Astronauts, speed building, and new product reveals: LEGO CON 2021 pulls out all the stops

NASA astronauts, high speed car chases, and official global exclusive product reveals; LEGO certainly pulled out all of the stops to ensure the resounding success of its first all-digital fan-facing event, LEGO CON over the weekend.

The two-hour livestream entertained fans and families with an array of guest appearances, from former NASA astronauts and Volvo engineers, to the top bods from the video gaming franchise Minecraft, as well as more LEGO designers than you can shake a brick at.

The event also played host to some exclusive product reveals from LEGO Star Wars and LEGO Ideas, alongside interactive entertainment from LEGO Dots, LEGO Minecraft, LEGO Harry Potter, LEGO Super Mario, LEGO VIDIYO, and more.

NASA’s Mike Massimino helped get the online action underway, taking to the stage to talk to kids, fans, and families about life as an astronaut and share details behind the NASA Artemis mission. He was joined by LEGO designer George Gilliatt to reveal how NASA and LEGO worked to recreat actual space crafts as LEGO sets.

The pair also hinted at further projects in the works.

Meanwhile, for fans of LEGO Technic, the Ultimate LEGO Technic Driving Challenge saw Volvo engineer, Frida Jonsson take on LEGO Designer Samuel Tacchi in a race for pride and glory to become the first official LEGO CON champion to take home the LEGO CON Technic Driving Challenge trophy.

Among the official product reveals was the global grand unveiling of the LEGO Star Wars Imperial Light Cruiser, LEGO Star Wars Imperial Armored Marauder, and the LEGO Star Wars Boba Fett’s Starship building sets. 

Fans were also treated to a Q&A with Michael Lee Stockwell, the LEGO Design Manager who oversaw the development of the range.

Meanwhile, LEGO Harry Potter fans were treated to a Speed Building Challenge between LEGO designers, before Design Master Marcos Bessa took to the stage for a sneak peek at the latest builds inspired by the Wizarding World.

The crowd also watched the world exclusive announcement of the next fan build to be made into an official LEGO Ideas set, as the 16 year old Hungarian LEGO fan, Donat Fehervari witnessed his fan favourite Foosball Table get selected for production as part of the LEGO Ideas We Love Sports contest review.

The event also held a number of interactive elements for visitors throughout the show, including the chance to contribute to a 100m2 LEGO Dots art installation. Using digital LEGO plates, fans created customised designs and patterns which will be exhibited on the walls of LEGO House for years to come.

LEGO Minecraft fans also got the chance to participate in a Q&A session with Mojan Studios’ chief storyteller, Lydia Winters and take part in a poll to help determine which character skin will be included in a future LEGO Minecraft caves and cliffs set to be released in 2022.

And still the two-hour session had more to deliver, as LEGO Friends Design director Fenella Charity, and LEGO Friends Designer Ellen Bowley took fans behind the scenes of the LEGO Headquarters in Billund, Denmark, as well as reveal behind the scenes details about the design process.

Other highlights included an appearance from LEGO VIDIYO’s L.L.A.M.A and a closer look at LEGO Luigi, the news addition to the LEGO Super Mario line-up.

Tim Brooks, vice president of environmental sustainability and Nelleke van der Puil, vice president of materials also discussed the latest updates on the LEGO Group’s sustainability journey, especially highlighting the newly announced prototype LEGO brick made from recycled plastic bottles.

Emma Perkins, senior director at The LEGO Agency, said: “We established LEGO CON as a unique way to bring fans of all ages and interests together for one incredible and inspiring day of LEGO fun! We wanted to connect with LEGO fans in a new way, and seeing the idea which we first pitched internally ten months ago now brought to life feels truly incredible.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to see the engagement from fans who fully immersed themselves in the event, whether it was through voting in a poll, creating a LEGO DOTS design, or connecting with other like-minded fans in the live chats. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for LEGO CON moving forward.”

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of ToyNews and its sister title, Licensing.biz. He has worked his way from Staff Writer to Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing robert.hutchins@biz-media.co.uk or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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