The LEGO House: History Collection

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View image at flickr

Since Huw and and I visited the house just before its official opening a two weeks ago we've written about the Mini Chef restaurant, the LEGO Brick Builder (manufacturing and packaging), and some of the exclusive items for sale in the shop: the fish tanks and the Architecture model of the building.

Now we will turn our attention to the the experience zones, the areas of the building that you pay to access, which are shown on the plan on the right.

When we were exploring the House, we both chose to start in the basement, where the history collection is housed. For me, part of the reason was that many people had chosen to climb the stairs, to the upper experience zones, while there were (slightly) fewer people going downstairs. I don't think I quite knew what to expect.

Everyone will find something interesting here, particularly collectors and historians, or anyone who wants to see the sets they had as kids.


When you first enter the floor you are met with this display set in the floor of the basement, showing how in the early days of LEGO, old moulds for LEGO bricks would be disposed by casting them in concrete foundation of new factories. This ensured they wouldn't fall into the wrong hands.

View image at flickr

On raising your head from the moulding display, you're met with this large LEGO logo. The logo is made up of 1.6 million LEGO pieces spanning the lifetime of LEGO. There are bricks from the 1950s through the present included.

View image at flickr

Here's a close up shot. The employee answering questions claimed that there were minifigs trying to dig their way in and out, but I never found them.

This floor is structured with a gallery that flows clockwise from the large LEGO logo, and covers the circumference of the floor. As you move through the exhibits, you travel through LEGO's history starting from the original wooden toys.

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

Each major milestone in LEGO history is documented, along with equipment from each period. One thing that you will notice right away in coming to the floor is that the lighting is quite dim, and the whole setting is calm. All the displays are well lit, though.

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

Many different aspects of LEGO culture is explored, with sets from different eras. One of the displays shows the mini modular set along with a LEGO store set, with minifigs from many LUGs in the foreground. Huw was quite happy to see Mr. Brickset right in the front row!

View image at flickr

All of the exhibits are located on the outer wall of the basement. Several of the inner walls of the gallery features shadows of children playing along with scrolling quotes in several languages about the importance of fun, imagination and play. There are benches placed thoughtfully in front of these walls for visitors who want to linger, as well as strategically placed bins of 2x4 red bricks for idle hands to play with.

The inner walls of the gallery suggest there's something behind it - and indeed there is. The center of the floor is taken up by a room that is filled floor to ceiling with LEGO sets through the decades.

View image at flickr

The presentation is excellent, with the set on side of the shelves and the packaging (usually MISB) on the other

View image at flickr

As you wander in a clockwise direction you are taken forwards in time until you reach an empty cabinet for 2018. I have idea what will happen in 2019 since there's no room for expansion!

View image at flickr

At either end of the centre room there are several built sets. At the opening event it seemed like one end featured many past and current Architecture sets, and the other featured several modulars and some of the larger sets. These could only be viewed through peepholes, which made taking pictures rather problematic (and why there's no pictures of them here).

There are also two large circular displays in the middle of the central room, one containing trains, the other Technic. The trains in particular are very attractively presented, on multiple layers and arranged like wheel spokes radiating out from the centre.

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

In the centre of this middle room there's a large Surface-like device with about a dozen touch screen workstations.

View image at flickr

By scanning your armband at one of the stations, you can log in. There, available to your touch, is an inventory of (almost) every LEGO set made, organized by year and theme. You can scroll through them, as you see I'm doing here. As you touch each set, a larger view comes up, so you can get a closer look at those sets that you've always wanted, and if they were in a box with a flap, you can flick your finger to open it to peer inside. (I notice that Cafe Corner is on this screen, which is on my personal wish list).

You also have the option of selecting the sets that you own, which is then stored in your file. At the end of your day at LEGO House, one of the pictures that you can download are all the sets you identified as owning there at the workstation. I could have spent hours at this workstation looking at old sets (and identifying all the sets I own would have taken a while!). As it was I was conscious that other people were waiting to use the workstations, not to mention there was the rest of the House to explore, so I only added a few sets to my file before moving on to other sections of the House.

(We've subsequently heard that there's a limit to the number of sets you add so it's no threat to Brickset! -- Huw)

View image at flickr


Summary

Originally, I started with the basement as I thought it would be a quick walkthrough to start the day. However, I was quite wrong! Scrolling through the inventory of all the sets could get you fully absorbed for ages, as well as checking out all of the displays.

I really like how they have the shadows of children playing on the walls with the scrolling quotes. This is a lovely, quiet and calm space. I think it was an interesting choice to make the lighting quite dim om most of the floor, but it works well with highlighting all the displays. I like the benches provided in different areas as well as the containers of bricks.

When I go back to the LEGO House, this is definitely an area where I would spend more time.View image at flickr

 

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14 comments on this article

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By in Denmark,

Excellent write-up!
And what is the limit to the number of sets you can add?

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By in United States,

Sooo happy to see Mr. Brickset!!! :-D

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By in Serbia,

Originally, the history section was going to have ALL the sets on display (i.e. be a Vault-type place), but I see that they decided to curate what's shown. I wonder if the Vault can still be visited (on a scheduled visit, of course) now that the LEGO House is open?

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By in United States,

If only I could afford to travel there, this is a LEGO fan's dream!

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By in United Kingdom,

@iris, someone told us 6 but my guess would be as many can fit on the virtual shelves, so 10 or a dozen or so.

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By in Denmark,

^I guess that would make 2 boxes on each of the six shelves at it appears the boxes are scaled to be approximately the same size.

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By in United States,

What a neat place to visit!

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By in United States,

What's with those 3 old cars in the tenth picture? Set numbers? Those are awesome!

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By in New Zealand,

Friends of mine are "doing Billund" at the moment. Of course, I'm not in the least bit jealous, 20000km away....

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By in United Kingdom,

@Legoguy29 They look like sets 390, 391 and 395 from the 1970s hobby set series.

This looks like an awesome place to visit and worth visiting in its own right without the rest of the Lego house!!! this is the area that would certainly interest me the most. The trouble is I’d want to break into the display cabinets and take the sets with me lol!!!

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By in United States,

My wife and I attended the first Lego Inside Tour in May. We got to visit the Lego House whilst under construction. The house was very impressive then, from all the pictures and videos I've seen it is even more so.

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By in United Kingdom,

I was pleasantly surprised to see that Fairy Bricks are also (almost) in the front row alongside Brickset!

Great review of this part of the House. I unfortunately couldn't see any of it on my Inside Tour but the other experience zones were certainly something to behold!

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By in Italy,

I've already spent hours (literally) in this place. And I feel I've only scratched the surface. By far my favourite place in the LEGO House. Probably in the world!

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By in Denmark,

Very nice review. Thank you.

I work at the studio that did this exhibition. Kvorning Design & Communication.

I've shared your review with the team and they find it very interesting. Most of the time, the reviews we read are from people in the design or museum business. It's a welcomed change to read one done by an actual user.

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