For decades, creatives have been using Lego for everything from creating prototypes and amazing Lego art (opens in new tab) to spending hours engrossed in a themed set to relax. The ultimate creative tool, the humble little bricks can work wonders when it comes to design solutions and offering busy artists and design some creative downtime.
Recent years have seen the best Lego sets for adults (opens in new tab) become increasingly intricate, detailed designs. And today the company has taken things up a notch once again, releasing a 5:1 upscaled wooden Minifigure. The premium model (set no 853967) is handcrafted from FSC-certified oak, with adjustable yellow plastic hands, and measures over 7 inches (20cm) tall, 4 inches (11cm) wide and 3.5 inches (9cm) deep.
Those of you familiar with the brand's history will know the bricks weren't originally plastic. Founded in 1932, Lego's first toys were handcrafted from wood by founder and master carpenter Ole Kirk Kristiansen. After the Second World War, wood supplies became sparse, so Kristiansen began supplementing production with plastic, and the rest, as they say, is history. Until today.
The over-sized minifigure model is the first Lego product to combine both wood and plastic since the 1130 Bedford firetruck 60 years ago in 1959 (got one, anyone?). And the thinking behind Lego's decision to mix the two materials again now is unclear at present. There are no obvious anniversaries or milestones to celebrate, which leaves us pondering the motivation behind the new hybrid model.
Is it simply a case of a creative collaboration with Room Copenhagen (opens in new tab), a design agency known for its links with Lego and playful Nordic designs? Or is this a bigger move by Lego as part of its commitment to use more sustainable materials by 2030? The press release for today’s unveiling mentioned "a range of new products for dedicated Lego fans who love a bit of nostalgia", which suggests the minifigure isn't the only wooden item in the pipeline.
Whatever the case may be, there's no denying the excitement and anticipation around this model, specifically the change of material chosen to create it. What's it like to build wooden Lego? Is it different, better, worse...? We'll let you know.
The new wooden minifigure is available first at its pop-up shop in London's Covent Garden today and tomorrow, for the princely sum of £109. Reserve your place here (opens in new tab), but if you can't make it it'll be available to buy online for Lego VIP members from 3 to 7 November, then globally from 8 November.
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