News & Cool Stuff!
Summer Holiday Fun with Bricks 4 Kidz
BRICKS 4 KIDZ® has arrived in Australia where kids can build, play and learn with LEGO® bricks.
Although kids already know how to build with LEGO, BRICKS 4 KIDZ provide coaching and the opportunity to learn about science, technology, engineering and maths concepts, using specialised components. They believe in the philosophy of kids retaining more of what they learn when lessons are related to something they enjoy, like building with LEGO.
Fun LEGO fact #1** – The brand name LEGO was created by using the first two letters of the Danish words “Leg” and “Godt,” meaning “play well.”
BRICKS 4 KIDZ are offering December and January school holiday workshops in many areas around Australia.
Programs are run Monday to Friday and are either one day or two day workshops. The themes for the workshops will include:
FUN LEGO fact #2 – Did you know that you can combine six pieces of the eight studded LEGO bricks in 915,103,765 ways?
The school holiday programs are designed for kids aged 5 – 12 years and are staffed by trained BRICKS 4 KIDZ instructors. For full details, including program locations and times, see the website.
FUN LEGO fact #3 – A real house has been built with LEGO. James May constructed the world’s first full size LEGO house in Britain in 2009. The house contained a working toilet and shower and a bed and was made out 3.3 million LEGO bricks.
Places at the school holiday workshops will fill up fast, so make sure you book early and beat the brain drain of the summer school holidays with some brick building fun.
**Fun LEGO facts are courtesy of this Huffington Post article
***I’ll admit I had no idea what “Animal Grossology” referred to and had to consult Professor Google to explain it to me.
By Debbie Siegelbaum BBC News, Washington
Birds and the Big Bang Theory have won a decisive battle over Dr Who to become the two newest play sets created by Lego. Fans responsible for the winning concepts explain how it feels to have their dreams immortalised in colourful plastic bricks.
“It started off as a hobby and then became a little bit of an obsession,” Thomas Poulsom says.
The 36-year-old gardener from Bristol was a Lego fan from childhood, but a robin landing on his spade in 2012 inspired the Lego creations that will soon be sold in stores around the world.
Lego invites its fans to create and submit original designs to the company, posting their concepts on the Lego Ideas page.
Once a design reaches 10,000 online supporters, it is ushered into an internal company review process. A board of specialists – including set designers and marketers – reviews each concept for playability, safety and overall fit within the Lego brand. The chosen few become sets that the toy company offers alongside mainstay themes like Star Wars, Ninjago and Lego City.
For Poulsom what started off as one Lego robin built from scratch soon grew into more than 75 species from around the globe. His designs were a hit on Flickr and fan blogs but initially failed to make the coveted Lego review process.
It was a three-bird package of a robin, blue jay and hummingbird that eventually proved to be Poulsom’s ticket to the haloed Lego review circle.
Five other projects reached the critical milestone between January and June, including a Lego modular Apple Store, a Jules Verne train from the film Back to the Future III, two separate Doctor Who sets and one inspired by Sheldon Cooper’s apartment on the television programme the Big Bang Theory.
Geoscientist and Lego aficionado Ellen Koojiman, co-creator the Big Bang Theory entry, had weathered the tough Lego review process before. Her Research Lab – inspired by women in science – was chosen by the company for production earlier this year.
“I couldn’t believe it when they told me that things were looking good for our Big Bang Theory project,” the Swedish resident, 32, writes in an email to the BBC. “I was so excited!”
The entry’s other co-creator, Glen Wadleigh, describes the process from fan idea to Lego-approved product as a “very geeky decathlon”.
The Texas resident, 37, says it requires elements of design, presentation, media engagement and showmanship in order to capture the approval of legions of supporters on Lego Ideas.
The Big Bang Theory concept had all the “key factors for a successful campaign”, he says, with an instantly recognisable set, identifiable figurines based on characters from the show, a large and active fan base, and the fact that Legos have been featured within the popular programme itself.
Even so, it’s still far from a slam dunk in the Lego review process. The two Dr Who sets also had all the makings of Lego magic but ultimately lost this round.
Wadleigh, also a co-creator of one of the Dr Who concepts, isn’t too upset, however. The long-time fan still holds out hope that Lego will greenlight a new Dr Who idea, and advises fans to keep voting for such projects when they appear on Lego Ideas.
“One of them will hit the right formula some day,” he says.
For Poulsom, his time for Lego glory is now.
He describes an arduous three- to four-month waiting period this summer before he got a phone call from Lego saying to “put some champagne on ice”.
The gardener, who frequently spends three to four hours each night building Lego creations, says it still hasn’t really sunk in, however.
“I’m still kind of getting used to the idea,” the bird enthusiast says. “Until it’s on the shelves, I’ve still got my feet on the ground.”
Lego Is Biggest Toymaker in the World
Company overtakes Mattel, thanks in part to its movie
7 incredible Lego artworks you need to see to believe
TheJournal.ie – 7 incredible Lego artworks you need to see to believe
Can you imagine what it would be like to play around with Lego for a living?
American artist Nathan Sawaya traded in a career as a corporate lawyer to get creative with the little bricks, and now his Lego works of art are travelling the world in a very special exhibition.
These incredible Lego versions of some rather famous sculptures
This guy who basically bleeds Lego
Someone SWIMMING in Lego (Ouch!)
Some suitably abstract scenes
And this giant T-Rex skeleton
Chocolate Lego is now a delicious, delicious thing
- View Photo
TheJournal.ie – Chocolate Lego is now a delicious, delicious thing
Chocolate. lego. two amazing things in their own right, but combined…we need a minute.
Illustrator and designer Akihiro Mizuuchi designed this amazing-looking chocolate Lego by pouring melted chocolate into intricately-designed moulds, then popping them out and assembling them just like normal Lego.
The pieces are in four delicious flavours – milk, white, dark and strawberry chocolate.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like the chocolate Lego is for sale. But it needs to be. It needs to be.
Nasa’s Hubble Space Telescope Could Become a Lego Playset
Remember the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), which is out in space sending back some of the most beautiful photos of galaxies light years away?
Well, a keen Lego and space fan has recreated the telescope in great detail, entirely from Lego bricks, and his design has now achieved 10,000 supporters, meaning the Lego board will officially now consider making it into a Lego playset.
The Hubble Space Telescope was launched into space in 1990. Built by Nasa and the European Space Agency, it orbits outside the Earth’s atmosphere and is one of the world’s most important research tools, having achieved significant scientific breakthroughs in astrophysics.
Over the years, the telescope has had an array of wide-ranging cameras able to detect infrared and ultraviolet rays, which enable it to take extremely high-resolution images with almost no background light.
Most recently, Wide Field Camera 3, which was installed in 2009 during Space Shuttle mission STS-125, has succeeded in capturing stunning pictures of Messier 5, an ancient star cluster that has been fascinating astronomers for at least 400 years.
This year, Nasa has also released an incredible panorama of the universe featuring 10,000 galaxies taken by Hubble, which has the potential to help us understand the evolution of the cosmos.
Lego Ideas user Gabriel Russo said on his projects page that he made his version of the Hubble telescope from Lego Technic bricks and hopes that Lego will release the Hubble Space Telescope as a playset for the telescope’s 25th anniversary in 2015.
Russo is a big fan of space and has other Nasa-focused Lego Ideas project designs currently gathering support on the Ideas website, such as plans for a Martian base, a space excursion vehicle and an all-terrain transport vehicle. You can also view his non-space designs, such as a proposed playset of the Roman Colosseum and HG Wells’ Time Machine, modelled on the 2002 film.
Lego Ideas is a successful crowdsourcing platform where anyone can submit a concept for a playset, provided they have built and customised it from Lego bricks.
Previously successful products to have come out of Lego Ideas include recreations of iconic movie franchises such as Lego Ghostbusters and Lego Back to the Future, as well as the first ever female Lego scientists. The toymaker has credited crowdsourcing ideas with helping it stave off bankruptcy.
September 29th, 2014 by BRICKS 4 KIDZ®, Central Coast, NSW
Gizmodo is reporting on a bus stop built of LEGO® in London’s Regent Street – and of course, given LEGO®’s strict adherence to all forms of quality, it is built to Transport for London specifications!
The route signs, the windows, even the seats are made of Lego bricks. A nice touch though was to use some smooth bricks for the top of the bench – those little studs would be uncomfortable while waiting for any bus .
All photos in this post are shared from the original Gizmodo article.
Chuck the instructions! Your kids won’t replicate the LEGO® spaceship, but may build a better one instead
September 21st, 2014 by BRICKS 4 KIDZ®, Central Coast, NSW
Steve Vassallo is a partner in a Silicon Valley venture capital firm and a long-time entrepreneur. He wrote this article a for Forbes couple years back, and we wanted to share it – it has a great message!
His article is a tribute to the creativity unleashed by building with LEGO® Bricks as a kid – the first paragraph is a cracker:
When I was 10 years old, I built a monster truck out of Legos. It had a four-speed transmission and fully working transfer case, so you could switch from two- to four-wheel drive. It had articulating suspension and steering, a snowplow, and a winch. It even had working headlights. All this meant two things were inevitable: that it would be a long while before my first kiss, and that I would one day become an engineer.
He goes on though to reflect how LEGO® has changed since his young days. LEGO® has increasingly gone into licensing, and kits – with fantastic results for them, and skyrocketing popularity! However, he says this has been at a cost of sacrificing some of the original magic – LEGO® today is increasingly about reproducing a “provided solution”, he says, and less about creating an imagined new thing.
He urges the restoration of a balance. There’s no doubt that patience and fine motor skills are developed by all LEGO® activities, but we should encourage kids to take apart their kits and rebuild them into new things. He concludes the article with this sentiment, from which the title of this post is taken:
” … when you get home from the toy store, throw out the instructions. Your children won’t be able to replicate the Star Wars space ship. But, without a roadmap, they may find a way to build a better one.”
The image used here is a rocket ship built by adamtheant1 and shared on Deviant Art – its a freestyle creation and you won’t find the instructions anywhere! No doubt Adam is off now creating the next big Silicon Valley world-changing startup . Check out more of his work on Deviant Art, and share some of your kids’ amazing and magical freestyle masterpieces.