Roads Traveled with Linda L. Osmundson
A friend said she and her children recently spent four hours at the Longmont Museum’s BUILD! The Amazing World of LEGO exhibit without tiring or getting bored. A fan of the creative toy, from the time our boys were young, I decided to check it out.
I drove to the Longmont Museum at 400 Quail Road. Before I even stepped into the exhibit, I heard happy voices and the shuffling of what I determined must be LEGO bricks. Only a few people
meandered through the exhibit room but beyond a wall, I found at least two-dozen children and adults involved in creative play. Some designed racecars, then excitedly sent them rolling down a track. Others created buildings to form a town. A smiling grandfather sat on a bench watching his grandchildren create their own constructions from buckets of colorful LEGO bricks. A half wall on one side of the room separated moms and toddlers engaged with DUPLOS, the larger version of LEGO.
Perhaps you’ve seen LEGO sculptures in other locations. The museum coordinated with Colorado Wyoming LEGO User Group’s artists and designers to organize this amazing exhibit.
Large wall labels provide interesting LEGO facts; such as the longest Lego construction was a millipede in Turin, Italy, with a length of 5,179 feet, just 100 feet short of a mile. From 1964-1972 Samsonite Corporation operated a factory to build LEGO sets for distribution in Canada and the United States. Unlike the European sets, these included instruction booklets.
A brief LEGO history:
LEGOS existed earlier than the Loveland Samsonite factory. Ole Kirk Kristiansen, a Danish carpenter, invented the toy in 1958. Before that time, his small company made wooden toys, stepladders, and ironing boards with help from his twelve year old son and a couple of employees. Within sixteen years from its 1932 beginning, his company grew to fifty employees. He acquired a plastic injection-molding machine and expanded to plastic toys including LEGO. He searched for a name for the new toy and finally decided on an abbreviation of “leg godt” or LEGO, which means, “play well.” His company passed from father to son to grandson and is now, determined by sales, the fourth largest toy manufacturer in the world.
More amazing LEGO locations:
Consider visiting LEGOLAND Theme Parks. California hosts one in Carlsbad, located about one hour south of Anaheim and thirty minutes north of San Diego. Florida’s LEGOLAND resides in Winter Haven, south of Disney World and east of Tampa. You can find others in Denmark, Germany, Malaysia and Windsor, England. LEGOLAND Discovery Centers are also located in Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta, Kansas City, Westchester, Toronto, Berlin, Oberhausen, Manchester, and Tokyo.
In the meantime visit Longmont Museum’s exhibit, BUILD! The Amazing World of LEGO, which runs through September 22, and provides a glimpse of unique LEGO creations and an opportunity to produce your own amazing constructions. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children and seniors, and free for children five and under. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m.