LEGO bricks have been a mainstay of a child’s learning and development ever since 1932 when Ole Kirk Kristiansen, a Danish joiner and carpenter, began making wooden toys. The mission of the company’s products is to “inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow.” LEGO has stayed true to this philosophy especially through programs like FIRST LEGO League (FLL).
Transcending generations, LEGO bricks have become a timeless toy. Thinking back to my own childhood, I had boxes and boxes of LEGO of all shapes and sizes. I was always trying to one-up my friends with variations of cool new models of race cars, buildings and robots.
The folks at The LEGO Group must have been doing their homework. Their LEGO Creator 3-in-1 series accomplishes this exactly. In any given LEGO Creator box, there are a specific number of blocks of varying shapes, sizes and function. Yet the same blocks yield three very solid unique modeIs. It’s quite an amazing product design when a propeller plane can become a space shuttle and then a helicopter. Three models for the price of one? Not a bad deal if you’re looking to stretch your dollar.
How do designers come up with the great ideas that make up the LEGO Creator lineup? Well, real simple, they draw inspiration from visits to car museums, air shows and zoos, then build lots and lots (and lots) of concept models with all sorts of wild styles and crazy functions.
“We throw bricks together quickly and don’t worry too much about stability or color of creations,” says John-Henry, Amazing LEGO Designer. “By the end of this phase, we have filled our whole 20-person meeting table with models and there is no space for paper and pens!”
The concept models are then shown to kids from all over the world to find out which ones would be the most enjoyable to play with, then rigorously tested for strength. Once the final design is complete, design engineers from all over the company build through the model together, ensuring no mistakes.
What’s your favorite LEGO kit? Have you used any with multiple model variations?