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Saturday, March 7, 2020

LEGO fascination reflected at Toronto Discovery Centre; step aside kids, dad wants to play


   One-Tank Trip for March 7/20
  
   (c) By Jim Fox

   Those little interlocking plastic bricks aren’t just for kids to play with anymore.
   LEGO – the legacy of Ole Kirk Christiansen from his Danish carpentry workshop in 1932 – continues as a world-wide sensation.
   These construction toys and related products and services have spawned a massive presence.
   This includes LEGO the TV show, stores, board and video games, films and even Discovery Centres, including one in Toronto, and theme parks around the world.
Nathan Fox, 9, meets some favourite LEGO characters. (Jeff Fox photo)
     The still-growing popularity of LEGO includes adults and some of the centres have special nights just for them to play without kids and master builder classes.
   Keeping up with the trend is the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Toronto.

   This indoor family entertainment centre (1 Bass Pro Mills Drive) is in the Vaughan Mills mall, just north of the city.
   “It's like you’ve just jumped into the biggest box of LEGO bricks ever,” said Bev Sahota, marketing coordinator.
Toronto downtown at night made of LEGO bricks. (Jeff Fox photo)
   The centre, the only one of its kind in Canada, has more than three-million LEGO bricks, half-a-million of which are in Miniland depicting Toronto streetscapes and attractions.
   Operated by the British leisure group Merlin Entertainments, the attraction includes 10 LEGO build-and-play zones, two LEGO-themed rides, a “soft play area,” 4-D cinema, the world’s largest LEGO brick flag and a gift shop.
   “It was super fun and it is cool,” said LEGO fan Nathan Fox, 9, of Kitchener after his first visit.
   He especially liked the rides and that big Canadian flag made from 248,072 LEGO bricks.
   “Also cool were the staff computers made of LEGO as well,” he said.
   The Discovery Centres give children and families “the opportunity to see the LEGO world of their imagination come to life,” Sahota said.
LEGO hockey fans fill a replica of Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena. (Jeff Fox photo)
    What’s happening
   Upcoming “pretty bricktastic” events include the LEGO Trolls World Tour from March 14 and throughout April.
   It’s making a stop at the Discovery Centre to feature the new Trolls World Tour movie.
   This marks the release of the movie along with the new colourful LEGO Trolls sets.
   Kids can learn how to their air-guitar skills, dance like a diva and get “Troll-ified” with brightly coloured hair.
   In May and June, the centre takes a dive into Pirate Captain’s crew to search for Blackbeard’s treasure in the Pirates Ahoy event.
   Throughout July and August, visitors can build their super-skills and choose to fight for good or evil during the DC Comics Super Heroes versus Super Villains event.

The airport made of LEGO bricks in the Toronto Miniland exhibit. (Jeff Fox photo)
   Just the facts
   The name LEGO is abbreviated from “leg godt” that means play well in Danish.
   The company sells 75-billion LEGO bricks a year, of which there are 3,700 different types.
   It says children around the world spend five-billion hours annually playing with its bricks and is hugely popular among adults.
   The secret to success was to continue with a high-quality toy and launching the stud-and-tube system in 1958 to make the bricks more versatile.
   The rarest LEGO sets and what they’re worth start with the Ultimate Collector’s Millennium Falcon (2007) up to $10,000; Han Solo on his Tauntaun (2011) $7,000; Statue Of Liberty (2000) $5,000; Piper Airplane - Inside Tour Exclusive Edition (2012) $4,500; and Antonio’s Pizza-Rama - New York Comic-Con Exclusive (2012) $4000.
   The thoughest LEGO sets to build are the Eiffel Tower (3,428 pieces); Ghostbusters Firehouse (4,634 pieces); Ultimate Collector's Edition Millennium Falcon (5,195 pieces); Tower Bridge (4,287 pieces); Super Star Destroyer (3,152 pieces); and Sydney Opera House (2,989 pieces).
   For more information: toronto.LEGOLANDdiscoverycentre.ca; (905) 761-7066

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Jim Fox can be reached at onetanktrips@hotmail.com
For more One-Tank Trips: http://1tanktrips.blogspot.ca 

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