1978 was a big year for a lot of things. Of note, it is the year that Lego introduced the first minifigure. I don’t know about you, but minifigures are practically the raison d’être of Lego for me. Building stuff is cool, and I like it, but I love the people the best. I get giddy over the attention to detail, and I’m not ashamed to admit that I have some minifigures that I don’t allow to be part of our family Lego bin. They are mine. Tell me I’m not the only one? (I know that many of you out there do the same.)
I think it’s pretty cool that this year is the 40th birthday of the minifigure. The Lego company is excited about it too, and at Legoland Discovery Centers across the country are celebrating. Big Time.
Here in Dallas the party started yesterday. I found out about it on facebook. (I find out about a lot of fun stuff on facebook. The events suggestions have led me to some really great stuff!) Yesterday’s event was MINI BrickFactor, a free building event for children aged 5-15. Now, I already had a few things on my radar for yesterday but you know me. Of course we moved things around to accommodate this!
I expected the event to be more crowded. I was pleasantly surprised at the modest numbers of participants. In the 10-15 year old group there were a little more than a dozen contestants. Each stood behind a bin of assorted bricks and had access to a bin in the middle from which they could select any additional pieces they required. When the timer began they had 30 minutes to build something that fit the assigned theme.
There were three judges and a master builder, in addition to the Legoland Discovery Center employees who circulated the tables and chatted with the contestants as they built. There was also a table off to the side with markers and posters, which I found helpful as I had a two-year old to entertain.
Everyone who participated received a certificate of participation in addition to valuable coupons for admission to Legoland Discovery Center and the adjacent Sea Life Aquarium.
Before we knew it the time was up. The judges selected six participants to move on to the final level. The contestants were assigned a new challenge and when the timer started they were quickly back to work. From that group of finalists they selected the top three. The winners received Lego-themed loot. The top winner also got a brick dump, which looked really fun. I think we are definitely going to try that at home.
Tomorrow and Sunday, as well as the following weekend, Legoland Discovery Center is hosting a big party to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the minifigure. Unfortunately our family has scheduling conflicts and we are going to miss the rest of the bash. If you go please let us know how you enjoyed it!
If there’s a Legoland Discovery Center near you, check their calendar of events. Not everything is free but it all looks fun! We had a great time at the building competition and it has renewed our interest in building with Lego at home. That, my friends, is a win win. Happy Birthday, Lego minifigures. 40 looks good on you.