By George Fox
It’s one of the biggest tours of the Spring … for parents and Master Builders alike.
Last night, as I’m helping my son put together his first Lego set (not Duplo), my wife tells me that I’m a “Lord Business” type. I wasn’t sure what that meant. It’s the villain from “The Lego Movie” she said. I haven’t seen it although I plan to. Part of the plot as she explained is that Lord Business discourages Lego improvisation — demanding that everyone follow the build instructions. I also told him he can’t put them in the toy box and they should go on a shelf. Oh my God, she’s right. My kinda guy.
I guess I’m a little stodgy when it comes to my Lego play.
We visited the sold-out 2014 tour of the LEGO KidsFest at the Rock Financial Showplace on Sunday. We stayed for three hours if that’s any evidence of how much fun we had. We didn’t get a chance to enjoy everything, but had a blast with the things we did see.
The Duplo display with Jake and the Neverland Pirates was the first thing we stopped at. We thought, “How perfect!” It’s one of Evan’s favorite cartoons. The block versions of Jake and Bucky knocked Evan’s socks off.
Among many organized activities was a pizza building relay race not listed on the website. I wasn’t sure if my son would get it, but the “chef” explained everything thoroughly and the game was well-designed and a lot of fun.
The museum of large-scale block models included “Star Wars” characters and comic superheroes Batman, Superman and an amazingly huge Hulk. Check out tons more pictures in the photo gallery.
Here’s a warning. Keep an eye on your kids. You don’t want to get separated in a big crowd like this, but there’s plenty of staff and they’re trained to respond quickly to those situations.
The place was very full, but not impossibly so. Maybe it’s the Zen of Lego rubbing off on everyone, but parents and kids were surprisingly patient and well-behaved.
Seeing what’s new in the Lego universe was great. I knew there were a lot of product lines, but I discovered many new ones I knew little or nothing about including Chima, Hero Factory and Mixels. It was nice to see a mix of boy, girl and gender-neutral activities. The Disney Princess castle display was impressive. It was also the only build stations I found that had mini figures to play with. Maybe they’re too tempting to pocket?
Pros: Vast selection of well planned displays for all ages and interests, fun activities, great photo ops with the large models, TONS of blocks, very clean bathrooms, energetic cast at displays, excellent crowd control
Cons: Where are the mini-figures to play with? A couple displays were a little dirty (bird nest bench guy), a bit pricey at $25 for adults and $23 for kids, concessions lines were slow
Overall I’d give this family-friendly activity four out of five “Nods of Approval.” I would definitely recommend this for families or anyone looking to see what’s new with Legos.
Learn more about LEGO KidsFest.
George Fox is a Spartan, a Michigander, and Web Producer for CBS 62/CW50 in Detroit. When I’m not working on content for the CBS Local websites, I’m probably hanging out on the boat, at deer camp or spending quality time with the fam. Follow George on Twitter @GeorgeJFox.