LEGO hasn’t always been a manufacturer of plastic building blocks. From 1932 until 1960, LEGO manufactured wooden toys and, this year, they are celebrating this heritage with the release of LEGO Originals Wooden Minifigure 853967. As a casual collector of wooden LEGO toys, I find the LEGO Originals line intriguing because LEGO is embracing its roots in such a way that allows the public to participate. As excited as I am for the future of LEGO Originals, I thought it might fun to take a look at what I like to call the original “LEGO Originals.”
Seven Dials is a small area of London, squeezed in between the city’s theatre district and the nightlife of Soho. It’s one of the cool parts of town, narrow streets stuffed full of quirky shops and art galleries. One of these galleries is playing temporary host to a new LEGO launch — the Limited Edition large-scale wooden minifigure, the first release in the new LEGO Originals line, and we attended the gallery’s opening this morning. We also had a chance to sit down with the project’s design director for an interview.
Fans were invited to register for a timeslot to visit the gallery through the LEGO VIP loyalty programme, and the first session was booked up almost immediately. Although guaranteed admission, these first visitors still arrived early, and there was a good-sized queue well in advance of the official opening time. A further “standby queue” had also formed — people hoping some of those registered to attend might not show up. LEGO’s PR proved to be on-point, with the general air of excitement wafting off the line of adult fans and kids prompting photos and questions from passers-by.
LEGO is celebrating its past in a big way this year. When founder Ole Kirk Christiansen began making toys in 1932, he made them out of wood before shifting to plastic. LEGO manufactured wooden toys until 1960, always with the highest commitment to quality. The LEGO brick may have taken over eventually, but the company’s origin is rooted in wooden toys. Today, LEGO announced they are returning to those roots in a big way — by launching a new product line selling an upscale wooden minifigure: LEGO Originals 853967 Wooden Minifigure.
The giant wooden minifigure will sell for US $119.99 | CAN 154.99 | UK £109.99. in select LEGO stores and online beginning November 3rd for LEGO VIPS with general availability beginning November 8th.