5 Greatest LEGO Advertising Campaigns

August 29, 2016 4 Comments A+ a-

Many people complain about advertising, because ads can be very annoying sometimes. I am one of those people who try to perceive non sense ads as little as possible and do not give them more attention than necessary. But there are also cool ads that stand out of the crowd ... are creative and funny and strives to tell you something in the clever way. I give them my full attention ! :)
You can guess twice to which of these two groups LEGO advertising belongs ? Annoying or Cool ? Well, if you have seen at least a few LEGO ads you will definitely know the answer. Cool, of course. :)

There are a few eye catching LEGO ads campaigns that I would like to share with you today.

1) What it is is beautiful  
I will start with the very famous 1980's ads about children who build for fun. This campaign makes no difference between "girls" and "boys", just "children".
1980's LEGO ads 
1980's LEGO ads
2) How do you say "Imagination" without saying it ?
2006 campaign known as - How do you say "Imagination" without saying it ? demonstrates the power of imagination. Very bright idea.  
2006 "How do you say Imagination without saying it ?" as
3) Words puzzle
2011 campaign "Words puzzle" was another amazing idea. 
2011 "Words Puzzle" ad
4) Imagine
This took me a while to get it. :) 2012 "Imagine" campaign. Very funny and creative.
2012 "Imagine" campaign
5) All children are artists with LEGO 
2013 campaign with the slogan "All children are artists with LEGO" recreates famous works of art. Excellent idea. Probably worth less than original masterpieces but looks perfectly anyway.
2013 "All children are artists with LEGO" campaign
Those are my 5 favourite LEGO advertising campaigns. I think that most of these ideas would look perfectly as framed posters on the wall in my living room. :)

Do you like LEGO advertising campaigns ?
I will be happy for your comments below. 

LEGO Disney Castle - Welcome Home ! :)

August 26, 2016 4 Comments A+ a-

As I shared with you a few days ago in my post LEGO Disney Castle - BUY or PASS, I finally decided to buy this amazing set.
It's incredible how fast the LEGO shipping is. I ordered on Monday and when I came back from lunchtime yesterday I discovered a huge box right next to my desk ! :) What a lovely surprise !
Everything was perfectly packed as always. I thought that the box will be even bigger but it isn't oversized at all. The box itself is very nicely designed.
LEGO Disney Castle box
Inside the box you will find a pretty thick manual, stickers, many packets with bricks and ... one mysterious white box, which looks like a shoebox. :) But instead of bright new LEGO shoes, you will find many more bricks inside the white box, of course. Well, I hope you're not disappointed ! :)
LEGO Disney Castle inside the box
There is a huge variety of bricks. From very small ones to quite large ones. I finally like the colour scheme of the castle when I see it on my own.
LEGO Disney Castle bricks
There is one thick manual with building instructions. Moreover, there is one extra two page dedicated to a review of Disney-themed features that you will find in the set.
LEGO Disney Castle instructions
LEGO Disney Castle instructions
LEGO Disney Castle instructions
I mentioned that you will find also stickers in the set, but there are very few of them this time.
LEGO Disney Castle stickers
Once I finish building of one of Modular Buildings set I bought last week, I will start with this one and I guess it will take me at least 10 evenings to complete it. At least I will have plenty of time to find a nice place to display this big set in my small apartment. :)

If you have already built this set, I will be very happy if you share with me your feelings of it in comments below.

Mr. GOLD Madness - Do You Remember ? :)

August 24, 2016 2 Comments A+ a-

Many of you certainly remember the gold fever hunt for this extremely rare minifigure. Mr. Gold craze was in full bloom right after releasing the 10th Collectible Minifigure series in 2013 with people spending weeks searching up and down for the gold monopoly looking guy.
And some of them finally found him ! :) But I didn't ... I didn't even try because I wasn't into LEGO at that time, unfortunately.
The search for Mr. Gold was fast and furious and the rare minifigure was found everywhere over the world. Internet was full of headlines like these at that time.

  • The 19th Mr. Gold Found in Australia 
  • Mr. Gold found in the UK
  • Gold Lego man worth $1,100 found in Tuggeranong
  • Mr. Gold's turning up in North America
  • Mr. Gold - the hunt for the world rarest LEGO figure
  • Only one golden ticket left as Golden mania hits peak
Well, I'm sure that you noticed that the last headline is a joke and has, of course, nothing to do with our Mr. Gold. :) It's a completely different story, although quite similar in some respects. I love Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, especially the part when Charlie found the fifth golden ticket hidden in the wrappers of Mr. Wonka's chocolate bars.
Wait, I've just figured it out ! It's possible that LEGO got inspired by this famous children's book when inventing the marketing strategy for Mr. Gold. Hardly to believe but why not ? :)

It was clear from the beginning, that the value of Mr. Gold will rise sharply as time passes. But I think that a few people would have believed that the price could reach up to incredible $1,700 !!!

I promise that next time when LEGO releases another Mr. Gold or Mrs. Gold I will take part in this game. I love the whole idea. For me, it's not about an obsession to find the minifigure at any price, sell it and make a fortune. It's about something else - about fun and excitement while hunting and whether to successful end or not, that's not so important.

At the end of the day, Mr. Gold is only a very worthy piece of plastic. :) For me, what makes him so exclusive and desirable is the whole game behind it.

I hope it will not take long time until LEGO releases another Mr. Gold or Mrs. Gold ! :)

Do you participate in hunts for exclusives like Mr. Gold ?

I will be very happy, if you comment bellow.

LEGO Disney Castle - BUY or PASS ?

August 22, 2016 7 Comments A+ a-

I feel that everywhere I look, everyone seems to be talking about this brand new LEGO set.
I remember when I saw the set for the first time, I just loved it.
When I looked after a while and more deeply, I noticed a few things that I didn't like.

And then it started - part of me was yelling Yes, yes, we have to buy it immediately... It's absolutely beautiful and a real set. We have to buy it even if we had to sell everything else. And the other part of me was feeling like Well, it's a cool set, but we can skip this one. There are a few details we don't like. Let's wait for another incredible LEGO set like this.

To give you a better insight into my final decision - BUY or PASS, there is a short extract from my decision making. :) Let me introduce you Miss BUY and Miss PASS and their disarming arguments.

Miss BUY:
OMG. I think I'm in love with this set. Stunning ... The scale, detail and all the nods to different Disney movies. This is the best LEGO castle I've ever seen. It's a must purchase for every LEGO fan.
Miss PASS:
Not gonna get it. I don't like the front large wall pieces and the colour scheme. Shame about the price and the number of minifigures.
Miss BUY:
Wow. More than 4,000 pieces for $350 ? That's actually a lot of bricks for a decent price. It seems that walls are made from a lot of large pieces so there must be incredibly detailed and playful interior.
Miss PASS: 
But all the fun details are in the back. And the back is open, there isn't the possibility to close it like Modular Buildings.
Miss BUY:
Well, it's true but it would be twice as expensive if the set was closed I guess. So once I will build it and display it, I will show the castle the back to the viewer.
Miss PASS:
There is no Cinderella minifigure ? Moreover, similar minifigures have appeared in the Disney collectible minifigure packs this year.
Miss BUY:
Tinker Bell minifigure is very cool addition. Disney Castle without iconic Mickey and his friends ? Come on, it would be odd. I just wish there were more than 5 minifigures. But the castle is gorgeous and looks amazing. I think, you have lost Miss PASS, I have just decided. I will be buying this set.

After spending a few days thinking whether to buy or pass, I finally decided that Disney Castle will be my second that expensive addition to my LEGO collection this year. I love fairy tales and I don't wanna regret not buying it after a few years when the price will probably be very different.
I will be getting this set - hope to find it very soon at my post office. :)

And what about you ? How did you decide on this set ? Will you buy it or not ?

I will be happy if you comment below.

LEGO Modular Buildings Overview

August 19, 2016 10 Comments A+ a-

My blood is steaming at these sets. They are awesome but their market price is heart stopping. The oldest sets are often hard to find and you will really struggle to get them cheap.
First Modular Building set was released in 2007 and since then LEGO released one such set every year. If I count correctly ... there are 10 of them up to date.

It isn't easy for me to point at the best set out of those 10 since every set is somehow interesting and unique. But if I had to choose only two of them to my collection, I would pick The Fire Brigade from the older sets because I really like the old nostalgic look of this building and the Fire Truck. Then I would pick The Detective's Office from the newer sets because I like the exterior which looks like a two buildings with different architecture and the Detective's Office room is full of small sophisticated details - such as the secret compartment that can be accessed by rotating the picture.

I have prepared for you a short overview of these sets. I also added the current market price of every set.

2007 - CAFFE CORNER (10182)
2,056 pieces and 3 minifigures
Caffe Corner 
  • Very first LEGO Modular Building set
  • Nice exterior details - HOTEL sign, red bicycle, caffe tables with umbrellas or a trash bin
  • Most bear on the inside compared to other sets. Interior is totally empty, there is no furniture in 1st and 2nd floor except stairs. Windows in the first floor are without glass.
  • Hard to find today and very expensive to buy. Often cheaper to buy piece by piece than as a complete set.
  • RRP in 2007: $139.99, Sold in May-16: $2,408

2008 - GREEN GROCER (10185)
2,352 pieces and 4 minifigures
Green Grocer
  • Green Grocery store in the ground-floor. Apartments in the upper floors (there are two levels in the last floor) and a roof terrace on the top floor.
  • At the back of the building there is a courtyard area with a fire escape and a plant that grows up the wall.
  • Female minifigure comes with cool pram.
  • At the front, there are doors with printed tiles, good looking lamp or shelves with fruits.
  • There are also some more containers with food inside, fridge area or an old school clocks on the wall.
  • Worth five times more now than when released in 2008. 
  • RRP in 2008: $149.99, Sold May-16: $1,307

2009 - FIRE BRIGADE (10197)
2,231 pieces and 4 minifigures
Fire Brigade
  • Old nostalgic fire station with a golden bell, flag or 1932 title made from bricks
  • Red Fire Truck with ladder, equipment or dog can be parked inside the ground-floor. There are big entrance doors for the truck in the back of the Fire Station.
  • Front of the station, there is a nice street post and mail box.
  • Ground-floor of the station is an operational area with stairs that lead to the roof, there is fire equipment, helmets and many more.
  • Roof is my favourite with a golden bell and a bat hanging from the bell.
  • RRP: $149.99, Sold Aug-16: $903

2010 - GRAND EMPORIUM (10211)
2,182 pieces and 7 minifigures
Grand Emporium
  • 3 storey high shop with fantastic outside but a quite plain inside. 
  • There are nice outside details - flags, tiles on the floor, shop lettering, billboard sign with lightening, ice cream, glass ceiling on the roof.
  • Minifigures are cool - guy that is cleaning windows or female with shopping bags.
  • In the back there is nothing exciting.
  • Interior is average but there are some nice details such as changing rooms or elevators. 
  • RRP: $149.99, Sold Jul-16: $1,155
2011 - PET SHOP (10218)
2,043 pieces and 4 minifigures
Pet Shop
  • There are actually two separate buildings - Pet Shop and town house and the build is pretty tough. You get tons of cool things - two parrots, cat, dog. There are 3 bones and a ball, toys for animals or feed. A lot of flowers in this set.
  • There are so much details inside too - cash register, caffe maker, telephone, sofa, a lot of great micro builds.
  • 2nd floor is being renovated - you find there very cool painter guy.
  • Very creatively designed outside. 
  • RRP: $149.99, Sold Jun-16: $277
2012 - TOWN HALL (10224)
2,766 pieces and 8 minifigures
Town Hall
  • Big set with very tall structure and many windows also in the back of the building. Quite plain facade from the sides. 
  • Cool minifigures - mayor and his secretary, groom and bride, lady photographer with huge old camera or a couple of kids.
  • Very nice design of front doors. Another interesting exterior parts are clocks, a 1891 title or a bell (it's not actually able to move like on the Fire Station).
  • There is a very tall first floor where you find an atrium, tax office with computer, elevator that works and can move or a lobby with a white sculpture.
  • In upper floors there is a desk of the secretary of the mayor of the city, mayors office with interesting chair and little frog sculpture. The top floor is one large congressional area with long table and many chairs. You find there nice details such as a globe in the corner.
  • RRP: $199.99, Sold Jul-16: $685
2013 - PALACE CINEMA (10232)
2,196 pieces and 6 minifigures
Palace Cinema
  • It's a corner 2 level house.
  • Palace sign really sticks out - is a pretty nice looking with a lot of small gold pieces and a lightening. 
  • Above front door, there is a sigh that shows you what they are playing. 
  • There are a few posters that are covering windows and a couple of search lights. Floor tiles are eye catching too with Hollywood style golden stars.
  • Roof has different colours of red, is quite plain and empty.
  • In the ground-floor there is a ticket and customer service counter, red carpet, popcorn machine. Movie room with arm chairs and projection screen is in the upper floor.
  • Very classic black car is included in the set.
  • RRP: $149.99, Sold Jun-16: $227
2,469 pieces and 5 minifigures
Parisian Restaurant
  • Very nice building with a lot of windows and doors. Name of the restaurant "Chez Albert" is printed on the brick. 
  • A lot of details from the front - tables with chairs, little bench, red scooter, printed menu, stairs that lead up to the 2nd floor outside dining area. Many outdoor lights and flowers, small bottles of wine and glasses.
  • There is an artist room in the house with paint brushes, paintings, fire place. On the ground-floor there is a very well equipped kitchen. 
  • RRP: $159.99, Sold Jun-16: $328
2015 - DETECTIVE'S OFFICE (10246)
2,262 pieces and 6 minifigures
Detective's Office
  • Looks like 2 structures each with different architecture. Front of the building looks excellent. 
  • There is a barber shop with brick built sign and scissors, pool room with a secret passageway for cookies. The toilet looks excellent too. 
  • In the Detective's Office room there is a desk, chairs, cabinet with fan on top, hat stand and secret compartment that's accessed by rotating the picture - which is one of my favourite parts.
  • RRP: $159.99, Sold Jun-16: $374
2016 - BRICK BANK (10251)
2,380 pieces and 5 minifigures
Brick Bank
  • The Brick Bank has a very detailed ancient facade and sidewalk. It features a bank, secretary's office, manager's office and laundromat.
  • It has a wide arched entrance, clocks, ornate chandelier. 
  • There are very cool details in the interior - transaction counter with hidden alarm buttons and security glass, safe deposit boxes, banker's lamp and approval stamp, coin counting machine and many more.
  • RRP: $169.99, Sold May-16: $298
Well, and that's all. I am really curious what will be another addition to this beautiful Modular building sets in 2017. Do you have any guess ? :)

Which set will be the most worthy one in 10 years ? Do you think it will forever be the first in row set  - The Caffe Corner ?

I will be very happy if you comment below.

What you probably didn't know about some LEGO Designers

August 17, 2016 0 Comments A+ a-

I really like Official LEGO Designers videos on Youtube, where newly created sets are introduced by designers themselves to LEGO fan community.
It's interesting to learn about details of the set from the person who personally designed it.
I am very addictive to these videos ! Every time I watch a single video, I want to watch another. :) Moreover, after each watch, I feel that the set is perfect and cannot be missing in my collection.

I was curios to see how these designers found their way to LEGO so I was googling and there is a small overview of what I found about a few of them for you.
I also learnt some interesting things from their personal lives you maybe didn't know about. Some of them are quite funny ! :)

"One of the top managers from the LEGO Group saw what I had built, liked speaking with me and then offered me a job after I showed him my website with more images of other stuff I had built."
Jamie Berard
He was offered a job in LEGO in 2006 after displaying motorised amusement park rides at a big LEGO fan event in US.
He designed more than 35 sets so far. My favourites from his most recent sets are:
  • 10246 The Detective's Office,
  • 30023 Lighthouse or 
  • 10247 Ferris Wheel.
Maybe you didn't know that ... 
On Mondays, he play badminton with other Lego employees and his secret is that he is not a good cook, he once managed to burn a soup. :)

Mike, how did you become a LEGO designer ? "Well, I studied Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at University and built LEGO models in my spare time."
Mike, LEGO Creator Designer
So far he created amazing models like 31039 Blue Power jet, Ferrari F40s or CW Beetle.

Maybe you didn't know that ... 
His favourite LEGO brick is the 1x1 headlight brick, sometimes referred to as an Erling. He is a veggie at heart and his most favourite super hero is Isaac Newton.

Marco has been working for LEGO since 2010. Batwing Battle Over Gotham City was the first set Marco was officially assigned to. In 2013, it was the first he had the chance to make a Designer's video presenting his model. Marco has been lucky enough to be involved in many different projects. 

Marcos Bessa
He started as a Product designer, developing products targeted mainly for boys 5-7 years old. Currently he is focused on products such as MARVEL and DC SuperHeroes, Star Wars, The Simpsons, The LEGO Movie and Creator Expert.
He always creates great sets, I have never been disappointed by his work. Disney Castle looks just like another well designed set.

Maybe you didn't know that ... 
He writes his own blog (not about LEGO) - 
http://marcosbessa.blogspot.com, unfortunately it is only in Portuguese language. He is a big fan of The Simpsons TV Series. 

"Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine I would have a job at LEGO to start with - it's my dream job - and the fact that I've been able to be a part of making The LEGO Movie is amazing. I loved LEGO as a kid and distinctly remember sitting in my brother's bedroom playing with bricks and minifigures and saying I wanted to be a toy designer when I grow up. Then, you grow up and think that it's not a proper job. But I wanted to do something creative, studied fashion and ended up by happy accident working for LEGO."
Matthew Ashton
Maybe you didn't know that ... 
What he says about his mother:
"I'm supposed to be the one with the fashion degree but now my mum is a celebrity designer !"
Because his mother knitted a Unikitty jumper for him as a Christmas gift which was very popular among The LEGO Movie collaborators and more than 400 other people asked Matthew if he could commission her to knit them jumpers too. :)

"My childhood wasn't all about LEGO, I also enjoyed spending time outside. You could say that LEGO was my evening and rainy day activity, so thanks God Denmark is a very rainy country. In the university, we reunited with my friend and started creating amazing stuff with the Lego Mindstorms, We kept making robots and machines with LEGO, and our creations started to catch the attention of some LEGO employees. In 2010, LEGO reached out and to us and asked if we wanted to create a model that could show for LEGO World in Copenhagen. We then both got in a group called MCP (Mindstorms Community Partner) which is a group of selected adult Mindstorms users that discuss the product and its future with developers at LEGO. So if we had a good idea, we could ask LEGO for the pieces we needed and they would then send us everything, if they would found the idea interesting. We felt like Charlie at the chocolate factory, as we now had a chance to realize some of the projects that we had always wanted to do."
Lasse Lauesen
When he got his university degree, he was hired as a full-time employee. His work in computer engineering on LEGO Mindstorms involves working with LEGO existing product, the Mindstorms EV3, but also thinking about creating the toys of tomorrow.

Maybe you didn't know that ... 
He has never been good at reading thick theory books. LEGO wasn't the only one who had noticed what his friend and he were doing with their free time. They were approached by a company called Dynaway, that makes specialised software to help control large manufacturing builds.

"While I was studying Industrial Design at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts I was offered an internship at the LEGO Group. It was my chance to work for my all-time favourite company so, of course, I gave it my very best from the beginning. Eventually they offered me a job."
Thomas Bred
He has started working for LEGO in 2012 as an Industrial & Product Designer and he develops and follows new models and new elements from sketch phase to end phase. Currently working on Star Wars but he has also supported different project teams, including LEGO Extended Line, Bionicle, Ninjago, Minecraft, Chima and many more.

Maybe you didn't know that ... 
Thomas is also a passionate musician. He used to play a piano his neighbour allowed him to use provided he stored it in his apartment. He has a music studio full of guitars and pedals, and some of his songs found its way to Danish public radio. 

Kenneth has started working for LEGO in 2014 as a Product Manager at LEGO Licensing & Extended Line - Merchandise & Gift-with-Purchase portfolios.
Kenneth Gaba Lylover
Maybe you didn't know that ... 
Before joining LEGO, Kenneth was having more than 10 year professional experience as a freelance product designer and received several awards for his innovative and aesthetic products. Among some of his design works are functional series of kitchen utensils or innovative and trend setting computer chair known as Surf-chair. 

Well, there are many more great LEGO Designers than those I listed.
Who is your favourite designer ? Do you watch LEGO Official Designers videos ?
I will be happy if you comment below.

Kwik-E-Mart - finally completed ! incl. VIDEO

August 15, 2016 0 Comments A+ a-

Yesterday I finally completed this beautiful set - Kwik-E-mart (70016) with ca. 2,200 pieces. I enjoyed building it a lot, because every time I was building I discovered something new. So surprising set ! It looks perfect together with The Simpsons House set.

6 minifigures are part of the set - Marge, Bart, Homer, Chief Wiggan and Snake, a.k.a. Jailbird. If you own The Simpsons House too, you will find the first three minifigures almost identical in those two sets. I especially like Chief Wiggan and Jailbird because you can create many nice scenes with them - handcuffs are also perfect. We shouldn't forget the 911 car with removable roof which is also part of the set.
Chief Wiggan and Jailbird
The set is dominated by the yellow colour. There are so many stickers. You will find more than 8 of them on the facade - my favourite is Springfield sea food. They are quite funny ! :)

Kwikemart name above the front door is almost perfect. I like the "E" letter made from bricks, but the rest is the sticker.
Apu sitting on the roof of Kwikemart
Interior of the shop is impressive ! It looks like a real shop. You will find there fridges with milk and cheese. Shelves with cookies, fruits and vegetables. Marge will certainly find there everything she needs to start preparing lunch.
Marge shopping in Kwikemart
Yesterday's food at tomorrow's prices is very funny. As you can see, it's also Homer's favourite part of the shop.
Homer shopping in Kwikemart
There are two cash machines with many small printed magazines and comics, hot dog and donuts corner and many more.
Interior of Kwikemart
Everything monitored by two cameras, just in case ... But to some people, it does not matter.
Jailbird in Kwikemart
Jailbird robbing in Kwikemart
There is also an employee only zone in the back part of the shop. You will find there a small white surprise ! :)
Bart in the employee zone in Kwikemart
Overall the set is very nice. Details of food and cookies or magazines are awesome - donut's, muffins, buzz cola, juice machine and many more. I was taken aback by sophistication of most of them.

I also created a short video review for you where you will better see the set as a whole including its exterior and interior part.

Did you like my first video ? :) Do you have Kwik-E-Mart set in your collection ? Do you think that Kwik-E-Mart is nicer than The Simpsons House set ?

I will be happy if you comment bellow.

Billund, Kladno, Nyíregyháza, Monterrey and ...

August 12, 2016 2 Comments A+ a-

If you don't know where to go on holiday this summer, there are four tips for you. :) Billund, Kladno, Nyíregyháza, Monterrey ...
I am not sure whether these 4 cities are interesting place to visit for ordinary tourist, but for LEGO fan tourist they definitely are. They will be forever tight with LEGO, because they were lucky enough to be chosen as a city where the LEGO factory is based.

Now there are 4 LEGO factories in the world - 3 in Europe and 1 in Mexico. By 2017, a new LEGO factory is expected to be completed in China, Jiaxing to meet growing Asian demand for LEGO products.

LEGO recently finished expansion of its manufacturing site in Kladno, Czech Republic and is in the process of planning expansion of remaining 3 existing factories which should be completed by the end of 2022.

I am very pleased to see that LEGO business goes well and LEGO invest into their factories to ensure that the products will be delivered to all consumers in short time.

For every LEGO factory including the one under construction in China, LEGO released special edition sets as a gift for their employees.

Model of new moulding LEGO factory in Mexico was given to its staff as a gift to celebrate the opening of the factory:
LEGO Factory in Mexico
LEGO Factory in Mexico
Model of LEGO factory in Denmark was given to LEGO employees in 2012:
LEGO Factory in Denmark
Model of LEGO factory in Kladno was a gift for employees in the Czech Republic:
LEGO Factory in Czech Republic
LEGO Factory in Czech Republic
Model for LEGO factory in Hungary for Hungarian employees:
LEGO Factory in Hungary
And finally the model of LEGO factory in China:
LEGO Factory in China
With all planned LEGO factory expansions in the pipeline we will certainly see other sets in near future.

I have always found those sets quite boring but I didn't have a chance to see them or even build them on my own. Yesterday I was reading one LEGO forum and there was a guy who have them all at home. He posted some pictures of his collection and it looked so amazing. :)

So I decided to start hunting for one of them to get a better look out for these sets. I will try to get one of Kladno factory sets as I live less than an hour from this great site. And I will then share with you my feelings. :)

Do you have some of them at home ? Or how do you feel about those sets ? Do they interest you or not ?

I will be happy if you comment bellow.