LEGO World Copenhagen report, part 1

Posted by ,

Freebies from the LEGO World 2013 production area The fifth LEGO World to be held in Copenhagen has just ended. As you know I was there for two of the four days so I'm going to write a series of reports about the show which I'm hoping will persuade you to visit it yourself next year :-)

First, some basic information about the event. It's held in Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, at the Bella Center, which is a couple of miles from the city centre, and a couple of miles from the airport. It's on the city's metro system so is easy to get to. The Bella Sky hotel is next door and there's a Danhostel within walking distance, which provides budget accommodation.

It's unique among LEGO shows in that it's actually organised by the LEGO company, their Danish regional office. (LEGO participates in other events, like LEGO World in the Netherlands, but they are organised by clubs or other companies) This obviously means that they have a large presence, and indeed fill a massive hall with displays and activities.

Byggepladen, the Danish LUG, work with LEGO and coordinate the 'Fan Zone' hall, in which AFOLs from around Europe display their models.

I'll write the report in three sections: this first one will cover one aspect of the LEGO display: the production area. The other two will cover the other LEGO company areas and the fan zone.

Acknowledgement: Some of the photos in this report are courtesy of Chris, wiredforsound, whom I met at the show. Photography in the production area was difficult as it was always very crowded.

The production area

Aside from the fan zone, this was the most interesting aspect of the show and arguably worth all the effort of getting there on its own. If you've not been to the LEGO factory, this is the next best thing. Various machines used in the production and packaging of LEGO were on display and being operated.

Molding machine

A fully operating molding machine was working away throughout the show churning out red 2x4 bricks. Where they came off the conveyer belt into the crate, an operator was handing out handfuls to passers by. They were still warm, and it was quite a thrill to be holding such fresh bricks :-)

LEGOWorld 2013 LEGO World 2013 production area LEGO World 2013 production area

Tile printing

A machine was printing the design shown at the top of this article onto the 2x2 tiles on a 4x6 plate. You can see a video of the printing process in action. It's incredible how precise it is as the different colours of the design are printed individually. Once they'd been printed they were loaded (maually) into to the machine on the right that, on the real production line, would get them ready for packaging. A button on the front dispensed one which you could take home.

LEGOWorld 2013 LEGO World 2013 production area LEGOWorld 2013

There was another printing machine, not shown, where you could manually load up a 1x8 tile and press a button to have it printed with a LEGO World 2013 design.

Packaging

LEGOWorld 2013Once you'd collected your 2x4 bricks, your printed tiles and various other things that I'll tell you about in a minute, you could give them to an operator at a packaging machine who'd feed them into it to have them sealed in a bag, the type you find in boxed sets.

 

Unique minifigs

2x4s and printed tiles were not all that was on offer, though. Minifigs with a unique printed torso could also be constructed and taken. Three different heads and several different hairpieces/hats were available. This shows the most interesting of the latter:

Freebies from the LEGO World 2013 production area

Here are the minifig construction tables. You could, in theory, take as many as you wanted but it would not have been courteous to others at the table to cram polybags full of parts. I visited the tables several times during my visits and came away with 'enough' :-)

LEGO World 2013 production area LEGO World 2013 production area

 

Printed letter tiles

Another activity in the production area was making name badges using white plates and 2x2 printed letter and number tiles. There was always a scrum round the 6 or so tables and, unfortunately, the letters were all mixed up so trying to find the right ones for your name was challenging. Luckily I only have 3 letters in mine, but for some reason Us were hard to find :-)

I persevered, though, and after several visits to several tables I managed to gather three complete alphabets (I didn't bother with the extended characters) and numbers, plus some spares. Towards the end of the second day some letters were in short supply, D, J and O in particular: I guess they are popular in Danish names.

LEGO World 2013 production area

 

This area was definitely the highlight of the show for me, and not just because of the freebies. It was an interesting insight into the production of LEGO that, short of visiting the actual factory, you won't see elsewhere.

There are more photos in the Brickset flickr stream, and in wirefdorsound's LEGOWorld 2013 set.

In part two of my report (which I will write if you found this one interesting enough to warrant doing so) I will cover the themed play and display areas in the LEGO company hall.

26 comments on this article

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

The convention sounds absolutely brilliant, I already am setting plans in motion to go next time. Have you been to the Lego factory before Huw?

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

I'd love to go to this one day in the future, but unfortunately the £2000+ sets on my want list say no!

Gravatar
By in United States,

Very neat. No strong desire to or wish to attend (yet), but I do appreciate good reports on what is happening out there in the LEGO World.

Is the hair piece on the first figure available in a set currently?

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

^http://www.bricklink.com/catalogItemIn.asp?P=43753&in=S

A fascinating insight. I watched a discovery channel programme on the lego factory and the production line is incredible, so would be cool to see even a small part of that firsthand.

Is it expensive to visit? Or is it just flights? Guessing it's a reasonable day out if you live nearby, as there appear to be large numbers with kids.

Gravatar
By in Switzerland,

Wow, they have printing machine??? Great news, I have bought to my son 9473 TLOTR set with 33 freaking stickers! When I was a kid stickers were exception, now they put them in the ucs x-wing sets. One can only hope that they will start to use this printing machine asap.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Entry was 140Kr, which is about £15/$20.

@johannesen, thanks. I like your video of the 2x4s rolling off the conveyer :-)

@CapnRex101, yes it must have been about 8-9 year ago now, when Exo-Force was being packaged.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Fascinating report. I didn't even know there was such an event which would also include a presentation of these production steps.

Gravatar
By in United States,

This is definitely going in my bucket list! Unfortunately I'd have to agree with @TheCahleySlash because I too have a pricey want list ;) I can only image how a fresh brick feels like...

And $20 for admission! Wow!

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Great report and look forward to reading the next installment :)

Gravatar
By in Denmark,

The laser printed brick is among my favorites! A 2x4 brick with my bane on it! A most every year:-)

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

^Ah yes, I forgot about that one! That was indeed very cool.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Great report Huw, I'm looking forward to reading parts 2 & 3

Gravatar
By in Denmark,

The tiles that got printed with a 2x2 brick, the text "LEGO®World 2013" and a ladybug were white 1x8's.

I don't understand why you haven't mentioned the coolest freebies: the laser engraved 2x4 bricks.

Just as the previous years the production area was a clear second in where I spend my time (the fan zone being first of course).

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

^ Ah yes, so they were.

I had forgotten about that machine, as I said above, but I did get my name done on one. There was always a very long queue for it.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

wildboar - LEGO already do use printed pieces in many sets, and have done for years

Gravatar
By in Denmark,

Nice report! And excellent pictures.
I actually think that I saw you, Huw, somewhere around the letter tiles - I didn't say hi though. Sorry about that :)

Last year the J, N and I-letters were the ones running low. I think it is rather random which letters gets taken first.

But nice hairpieces you found! Isn't the first one from the left, (LEGO Club) Max's hairpiece?

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

It's Anakin's Clone Wars one.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Ooooo, what fun. This definitely sets this exhibition apart from the rest!

Shame those letter tiles are so kiddy, and not the LEGO font!

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

It would be amazing if TLG held an event like this in the UK, especially as The Lego Show is taking a year out this year :(

Gravatar
By in Europe,

Angied79 yh it is a shame I was looking forward too it this year as well :(
Looks like a great event huw especially with all the freebies! Yes Lego really need to start using that printing machine soon!

Gravatar
By in United States,

Amazing! Very nice article and I definitely wish I could go.
Interesting how there are few so 'U's, but I counted 13 'X's in the photo...

Gravatar
By in United States,

I would start making plans now if it were not for the following items that are more important:
Getting married this year
Moving to a new state
Starting a new job
Oh and buying about 10 more sets this year...

Gravatar
By in Switzerland,

Matthew - I know they are using it, but now it is becoming exception. Almost all sets I have from childhood are printed, now it's much cheaper for them to put stickers and I can understand that to some extension. But to put 33 stickers in childrens set and torment kids (well, not kids since parents most probably will apply those) and now even ucs cabin have stickers? And what is I apply that sticker badly, there is no other sticker set to correct it.

Gravatar
By in Puerto Rico,

Things like this make me wish that the Lego Group would come to Puerto Rico.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

wish I was there!!!

Commenting has ended on this article.

Related articles

Return to home page »