We were among the last attending Legofest in Minneapolis on Sunday. Team Lego was still going strong after three days and we (me, my daughter and son and my son’s friend) were lucky enough to see the beginnings of some towering Lego structures and weekend-long group activities, including Creation Nation, come to fruition.
The weekend show had five shifts – Friday night 4:00-9:00p.m, Saturday and Sunday 9:00a.m. to 2:00p.m and 3:00p.m. to 8:00p.m. I suspected our shift was probably the least popular time slot, judging from the 50-plus lines of roped stanchions that were empty when we arrived at 4:15p.m.
There would be plenty to see. Our first step was a visit to the Model Museum. Darth, C3PO and R2D2 were our favorites. It might have been named the Parent Photo Opp Center. Next was making and racing cars at the Race Ramps. They had done this (on a smaller-scale) at the Mall of America location, so they pushed their usual car creation to include wings and wheels on the top of the car, in case it flipped.
We then headed to Creation Nation – a huge map of the U.S outlined by white Legos, surrounded by tables and Lego staff that would strategically place your 16×16 Lego count green square where most appropriate. We contributed a modern house and a garden that strangely enough ended up in Kansas. We spent some time at the overview each pointing out special structures – The Statue of Liberty and what looked like the White House in Texas next to a prison. We couldn’t really see Minnesota from our viewpoint.
There were several Monochrome Bricklayer areas set up. We spent 20 minutes or so at the lime green station and added our creations to the cityscape going up. It was 5:15. We headed over to the Lego Mystery Murial wall, but they were so distracted by the two adjoining Lego stores and the $20 to spend at their discretion, we turned our focus to shopping. After paying for parking and tickets – $20 for parents and $18 for kids (2 and under are free) – parents were also buying Legos. When we entered the store, we could browse at our leisure. After 5 minutes, I looked up and wondered why the mad rush? It was time to make our choices, pay and get out. After settling on a few items in our price range, we moved through the line quickly due to at least ten checkouts.
With the anxiety of what to get behind us, we moved on to the football toss with the Vikings (the Lynx were there as well) and bypassed the long line for the jump bubble – both of which they could do anywhere. We then came across Brickscapes Model Mash-ups, a mix of all different Lego series behind a glass cube and questions prompting kids to find where certain Legos where – sharks, dogs, etc – in the mashed-up cityscape. It was 6:15. We were at the two-hour mark. We still had not visited the Games area (Lego Creationary tables set up seemed very popular) nor the Universe videogame area, nor the Lost Parents area. I was fine with all of this. Calvin’s friend was ready to go too, a new StarWars Lego battleship in hand.
We arrived home around 7:00 with some take-out that was downed with lightning speed. What? Why? Oh yeah, the new StarWars Lego Droid Tri-Fighter with 268 pieces awaited. Now Calvin could neatly organize it in our newly created three-ring binder with sleeves to hold each project’s box cover and instruction book. Now if we could just keep the foot-piercing Legos in their place.
At the end of the day, Legos categorized away, a thought I’m pondering: No doubt they are a great toy that people of all ages can enjoy, but contributing to all of that plastic production? Yikes! I’ll leave you with Lego’s call out in their brochure: Did you know that Lego minifigures are the world’s largest population?