Early this month, we covered a single LEGO MOC display in Fort William, Scotland at the UK. It was a brick-built historical recreation of an ancient Scottish hillfort. That was just one display. But this month two other Scottish historical sites will soon be hosting their own multi-display LEGO exhibits. These are the Brick History and Brick Wonders displays, both composed of LEGO fan creations by LEGO artist Warren Elsmore and his team. Brick Wonders is set to debut in Stirling Castle this coming Saturday, September 29, at the former Scottish Royal Residence and tourist attraction Stirling Castle.
Brick Wonders will feature brick recreations of “amazing sights from around the world”, with equal emphasis on historical locations and modern-day complexes. As seen in the photo, they can range from old-style housing to aircraft, space shuttles and other vehicles.
In the meantime, Warren Elsmore’s other LEGO MOC exhibit, Brick History, is straightforward in its subject matter. It’s described as a journey through some of world history’s pivotal moments, from Pompeii to London Bridge to Mozart to Martin Luther King. The display kicked off just this weekend, September 22, this time at Fort George, Highland.
Both Brick History and Brick Wonders are included in the usual admission price for visitors at their respective venues of Stirling Castle and Fort George. Brick Wonders will remain at Stirling until January 23 of next year, while Brick History will finish off at Fort George earlier, on January 6.
There’s really no doubt now, that LEGO has fortuitously timed the introduction of so many elements of their total brand that their respective anniversaries – in multiples of ten – fall on the same year. Thus this 2018 they (and we) celebrated 60 years of LEGO bricks, 40 years of minifigures, 50 years of LEGOLAND (Billund’s opened in 1968), and 10 years of LEGO Ideas too.
That’s right; it’s been ten years since that wonderfully ingenious platform for the LEGO building community to submit designs that might become official LEGO sets came to be under its original name of LEGO Cuusoo.
Now, to celebrate yet another important milestone to the complete history of LEGO, a big exhibition is being held at LEGO House in Billund, Denmark. This exhibit showcases actual builds of the various models submitted throughout 10 years of LEGO Ideas, while not passing review, did receive 10,000 enthusiastic supporters needed.
The selection of 10K submissions, now called “Product Ideas” in the platform’s parlance, comes from 11 countries all over the world. The builds range from vehicles, to buildings, to creatures and robots galore, and a testament to the intense imaginations that fired up those who submitted them to LEGO Ideas.
LEGO House will keep the exhibit up until October 8, and it can be (thankfully) viewed in the Home of the Brick’s free-access area. Or you can view photos of the displays at LEGO Ideas’ official blog, alongside information and interviews with their respective creators.
In Halifax, Nova Scotia one can find an interactive science museum run by a non-profit charity. Its mission statement is to stimulate interest, enjoyment and understanding of science and technology for all children and families coming to visit. Its name: Discovery Centre. And one of its upcoming exhibits might, for a time, end up getting it mistaken for a LEGOLAND Discovery Center, like the actual Canadian one in LDC Toronto. Starting this Friday, September 21, Discovery Centre at Halifax Seaport will play host to the Towers of Tomorrow with LEGO Bricks exhibit. Still, a selected student group from Saint Mary’s Elementary School and members of the media got a sneak peek at the display on Wednesday. They were not disappointed.
The Towers of Tomorrow with LEGO Bricks are a series of impressive 1:200 scale-model skyscraper LEGO builds that were built for Discovery Centre by a team of LEGO Certified Professionals (LCPs). The 20 buildings featured are among the most familiar skyscrapers in the world, with hometown Canadian giant the Toronto CN Tower, accompanied by the Empire State Building, China’s twisty Shanghai Tower, Australia’s Infinity Tower in Brisbane, and (of course) the wondrous edifices found in Dubai, the UAE.
Each tower is accompanied by a detailed fact corner talking about the history of the actual buildings and their LEGO replicas featured there. Once visitors have gone through the Towers of Tomorrow, they can also try their hands at building structures with LEGO thanks to the free-play construction area with over 200,000 LEGO pieces of various sizes and colors; there’s also an early-age Duplo zone.
The Halifax Discovery Centre will keep the Towers of Tomorrow with LEGO Bricks display around up until January 4. That’s plenty of time for interested visitors to drop in. It’ll feel like an actual LDC there, save for the lack of LEGO products for sale.
It’s no secret that The LEGO Group has been investing quite a lot lately in Asia: from opening the world’s largest LEGO Flagship Store in the heart of Shanghai, to their exciting partnership with online gaming platform Tencent Games, LEGO is now expanding its horizons in the Chinese region by planning out the details of its second LEGOLAND China theme park in the next four years.
Soon to be located in Sanya in the Island of Hainan, this second LEGOLAND China theme park will be the 5th LEGOLAND located in Asia after those from Malaysia, Japan, South Korea, and Shanghai, China. Construction for LEGOLAND Hainan will begin in 2020 and once finished, will offer a one-of-a-kind LEGO experience for the entire family. LEGOLAND Hainan is also expected to take advantage of the booming tourism in the region considering that the island takes pride for its beautiful beach front and scenery. Here’s a rough Google translation of the official press release originally published in Chinese.
“On the afternoon of September 6, Hainan Provincial Governor Shen Xiaoming, Sanya Municipal Party Committee Secretary Yan Chaojun, Sanya Mayor A Dong, Chinese Media Group Chairman and CEO Li Ruigang, Vice President Xie Li, and Merlin Group Asia Project General Manager Ray Dubowa, in the Beijing Hotel on the cooperation and landing of the “LEGOLAND” project in Sanya, launched a tripartite dialogue and exchange.
According to the agreement, Chinese Culture and the Merlin Group will jointly develop a large outdoor family entertainment theme park, LEGOLAND, in Sanya. The two sides will combine the theme elements of LEGO bricks and the tropical atmosphere of Sanya to create a world-class integrated tourist resort featuring water parks. For families of children ageds 2-12, the park offers a variety of fun entertainment experiences and interactive puzzle activities that allow each child to create their own world in play. Among them, the mini-city built by thousands of LEGO bricks not only reflects the Chinese elements and Sanya scenery, but also is a wonderful stage to stimulate children’s imagination and wisdom. LEGOLAND Sanya Resort has an immersive parent-child interaction experience to create a family holiday destination based in China and radiating Southeast Asia.”
The Chinese Cultural Group and Merlin Entertainments Group are two of the world’s largest theme park and family entertainment development companies. Merlin Entertainments is second only to Disney as a live entertainment company, and is responsible for the establishment of other LEGOLAND theme parks and LEGOLAND Discovery Centers in various parts of the globe.
Image credit for the featured image above: The Forbidden City and Great Wall of China as seen in LEGOLAND Malaysia
Last week, the US LEGOLAND theme park resorts and Discovery Centers began announcing their respective schedules for Brick or Treat, their annual afternoon-evening Halloween events extravaganza for October and November (with some starting late September too). Now, other LEGOLAND locations are reporting their schedules, such as Windsor in the UK.
Every LEGOLAND park has several activities and shows in common during Brick or Treat, and it’s the unique ones to every location that makes each celebration stand out. For LEGOLAND Windsor, one of them is the refurbishing of one of their oldest ride attractions, Hill Train, into the Haunted Hill Train that will take its passengers through the Enchanted Forest.
The Forest itself will serve as a venue for more Halloween-themed fun, with booths for building LEGO pumpkins, brick mosaics and good old coloring activities for the young ones. There’s also a Brick or Treat Trail mystery-style treasure hunt that sends its participants around the park searching for missing potion ingredients and a chance to win a special Halloween prize.
But if that’s too much walking for you, then why not hang out at Frankie’s Monster Disco? It’s only for the Brick or Treat period at the Miniland area, where guests can boogeyman-boogie with their hosts Frankie, Orange Brick and Lord Vampyre. Halloween costume contests will be going on too.
For LEGOLAND Windsor guests staying at the Hotel, they’ll have their own unique experience with Ollie’s Campfire Stories. Lots of food and drinks get Halloween makeovers as well. Now’s no better time to go to LEGOLAND Windsor Resort and get your pants scared off in a totally fun way. Check out their official website for more details and ticket booking.
Last month, LEGO was able to prove the impossible when it unveiled its fully drivable and life-sized LEGO Technic Bugatti Chiron during the kick-off of the Grand Prix Formula 1 racing tournament in Monza, Italy last August 30. Powered by 2,304 LEGO Power Function motors, this fully functional LEGO vehicle patterned from its smaller counterpart, the LEGO Technic Bugatti Chiron (42083), managed to churn out a max speed of 20 km/h. Though this seemingly impossible MOC is still a far cry in terms of speed as compared to the 420 km/h top speed of its original predecessor, the brilliant engineering that went through in creating this brick masterpiece is simply amazing.
this MOC. According to Promobricks, this life-sized LEGO Technic Bugatti Chiron will go on a European Tour, which already started in Milan, Italy. It will make the following road stops at these locations.
Dusseldorf, Germany (Schadowplatz) – September 20-23
Munich Airport, Germany – September 28 & 29
Paris, France (Motor Show) – September 30 to October 14
Utrecht, Netherlands (LEGO World) – October 18 to October 24
Great Britain (exact place to be announced) – October 30 to November 11
Wolfsburg, Germany (Autostadt) – November 11 to December 12
There is no exact location yet where in the UK will this LEGO engineering wonder will make a stop, and I’ll keep you posted once new information comes by. I hope this build will eventually find its way to the US and the rest of the world – it serves as a reminder that with LEGO bricks, building for real, even what seems to be the impossible, can be a reality. For now, check out these images shared by Promobricks. Special thanks also to Francesco Frangioja for snapping these images.
It’s never too early to plan for a party, and what bigger party for everybody can there be at the end of next month, except for Halloween? We can bet that theme parks across the country have got their own spooky celebration events planned, including the various LEGOLAND theme parks of course. The LEGOLAND yearly Halloween extravaganza is called Brick-or-Treat Party Nights, and guests of the LEGOLAND parks and Discovery Centers across the US can be assured that they’ll be having an awesome monster bash wherever they may be. Each location has its own dates for Brick-or-Treat, so let’s go over these.
First we have LEGOLAND California Resort. They’re having Brick-or-Treat Party Nights as early as September 29, and so on every consecutive Saturday until October 27. LEGOLAND Florida Resort is starting late, but with more dates on schedule including on October 31st itself (though with limited activities and no fireworks display). Their Party Nights will happen in all weekends of October.
True to expectations, the LEGOLAND Brick-or-Treat Celebrations will start at around 5 PM on all selected dates, featuring attractions running from flashy colorful costumes to creepy (yet still kid-friendly) scares. In California, they’ll have a new “Dr. Frankenbrick’s Lab” show that invites its kiddie audience to participate in the Doc’s experiments to animate a slime, with fun science lessons extra.
Other exciting things to look out for are the Meet and Greets, the costume contests, build-and-craft sessions with the LEGO Friends at Heartlake City, and all the yummy candy for sale at treat stations everywhere.
You may book your tickets at the LEGOLAND parks’ respective websites; California even has “Early Bat” limited-time offers in store. Each LEGOLAND Discovery Center in North America has their own Brick-or-Treat days so you can check them for yourself here. Look under “News and Events”.
How long has it been since we last featured a LEGO MOC of a castle? One that comes to mind is our feature of a MOC by Mark Erickson of Theramore, the doomed castle town from Blizzard’s hit MMORPG World of Warcraft. This new LEGO castle MOC we found is not massive, but very historical. This history-inspired MOC was the creation of Brick to the Past, a UK-based LEGO building group that specializes in making large-scale, research-accurate historical structures out of LEGO. Their most recently completed project is the meticulously studied, custom LEGO Dun Deardail MOC, inspired by the ancient hillfort with the same name established in Scotland around 2,500 years ago.
Over in Glen Nevis, on the hill of Sgorr Challum, there stand the remains of an ancient hillfort given the name Dun Deardail. Brick to the Past expert builder Dan Harris created the sprawling LEGO Dun Deardail MOC on commission from the Nevis Landscape Partnership of Fort William in the Scottish Highlands.
Harris began his commission of Dun Deardail in December 2017 by reading what he can about the ancient hillfort, which was said to have been destroyed in a fire so hot that some of its stone portions melted. Work began on the LEGO version January, and wrapped up last month.
The custom LEGO Dun Deardail MOC can be seen on display at the Glen Nevis visitor center, Fort William. Of his MOC, Dan Harris remarks, “It’s great to be able to display at one of Scotland’s most popular tourist destinations and I hope that the model will encourage people to get out and explore the real hillfort.”
The days are counting down to the grand opening of the newest LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus in Ohio. Already the management has opened the mini-theme park to a hard-hat tour for press and local officials, and will officially open it earlier still for guests availing of its annual pass.
Now, local news has brought word of more attractions at the new LEGO Discovery Center: a new Miniland theme zone, where replicas of famous buildings and landmarks are sure to be found. One unique brick-built addition for LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus is a well-known Ohio skyscraper.
This is the Great American Tower at Queen City Square, found in Cincinnati. Opened in 2011, the tower has 41 aboveground floors (with no 13th), 3 underground levels, and 26 elevators. It’s also recognizable because of its rooftop “headdress”, recalling either the tiara of the late Diana, Princess of Wales or the Chrysler Building’s spire.
Resident LEGO Builders for LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus (LDC) worked 236 hours to recreate the Great American Tower, using 23,532 pieces. LDC Columbus GM Jacob Kristensen says, “We’re excited to have the tallest building in Cincinnati represented in our MINILAND and we can’t wait for you to see the iconic Great American Tower, and more landmarks, made entirely out of LEGO bricks in MINILAND Ohio.”
Other Ohio landmarks in the LDC’s Miniland include the Cincinnati Union Terminal, Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and Columbus’ own COSI Discovery Center. LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus opens to annual pass-holders in September 21, and to the public September 28.
For those LEGO fan families who can’t find time or have the funds to travel to any of the LEGOLAND theme parks around the world, they’re lucky if they happen to live close enough to a smaller-scale alternative, the LEGOLAND Discovery Center. There’re more of them than the theme parks. At present, there are around 19 individual LEGOLAND Discovery Centers operating in major LEGO markets around the world. The lion’s share of these attractions, usually found in malls and shopping centers, is in the US. And they’ll be joined by another one soon, with the new LEGO Discovery Center Columbus, Ohio due to open September.
There’s still some finishing work to be done at the Easton Town Center where the new LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus will open. But officials in charge of the attraction have deemed the site ready enough to conduct a hard-hat tour for the public’s benefit.
If somebody’s been to another LEGOLAND Discovery Center then they know what’s in store with this one: a 4-D cinema for LEGO animated movies, cafeteria and retail store for LEGO products, a Miniland containing Ohio landmarks (built by resident Master Builder Maxx Davidson), LEGO and Duplo play areas, party rooms and LEGO building classes too.
The main draws for the LEGOLAND Discovery Center Columbus are two rides: Kingdom Quest which is a 2-3 minute ride to rescue a LEGO princess; and then there’s Merlin’s Apprentice which takes the concept of bicycles for an unexpected spin.
LDC Ohio will open for the public in a grand ceremony on September 28 at 10 in the morning. However, annual pass holders can drop in over there as early as September 21, seven days earlier. For more info on those passes, and the Discovery Center as a whole, you can visit their official website.