A LEGO Store Adventure

by Dimitry Perez 

Editor’s Note: The following story was written by a student in our Urban Youth International Journalism Program in partnership with the Chicago branch of Spark. The UYIJP is generously funded by the McCormick Foundation.

On Oct. 15, 2014, in an interview at the LEGO store, located in downtown Chicago at the Water Tower building, Josh the supervisor shared great information about the Skyline Lego display in the storefront window. Josh is 24 years old from out of town who attends school here in Chicago. He loves building LEGOs and he has been building LEGOs for 19 years. Josh said that the store has a team of master builders who build the displays on site. Josh likes building his own LEGO creations and does not have a favorite LEGO set. Josh is working right now on a Tiki Bar creation.

Josh says the towers, displayed in the storefront windows, were designed by Adam Tucker.

“Some fans from the LEGO fan club came and help built the towers at the store,” he said.

He explained how they clean the displays at the Lego stores, “The towers are not glued so it makes it incredibly scary to dust them, in fear of them falling.”

The fountains in the background of the displays were built by a team of master builders. It took 450 hours to build the 2D fountain and 600,000 LEGO pieces.

This display caught my attention because it was really incredible looking. All the towers and buildings took 25 days to build. Way too long, but the display looks awesome and I would like to have it for real. It just surprised me that the buildings and towers haven’t fallen down or broken into pieces. It’s still there with no damage for all these years.

While I was in the LEGO store, a bunch of customers were there checking out all the cool building sets and buying all these different types of LEGO toys. The customers were building these little weird cars and while I was there, I built a little car too.

There were 2 children playing with the LEGOs and I asked their parents if I could talk to them about their interest in LEGOs. The children were under the age of 10 so we couldn’t use their names, but their parents allowed them to talk to me. The little boy and girl are siblings. The little boy was 7 years old and the little girl was 9 years old. They were visiting from out of town and came all the way to Chicago just to stop by the LEGO store.

The little girl has been playing with LEGOs since 2012 when the LEGO friends LEGOset started. She likes playing with LEGOs. She spent a day building a house with LEGOs. She wishes there were more LEGO sets for girls. The one thing she wanted from the store was the Heartlake Shopping Mall.

The little boy wanted to take home an Arctic Base Camp. “I have been playing and building LEGOs longer than my sister. I started when I was 5 years old.” His favorite set of LEGOs is called LEGO city and is mainly for boys. “I build more things out of LEGOs than my sister. I built fire trucks, dump trucks, police cars and small towns.”

After interviewing the children, I reflected on my time at the LEGO store and realized that LEGOs are very popular and people search for the perfect LEGO sets to fit their own collection. It is safe to say young and old people both have LEGOs as a common interest. Recently, LEGO has gained a lot of attention with a new movie and video games that have already come out.

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