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LEGO Spider-Man Spider Mech vs. Venom (76115) Amazon Sale – August 2019

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Amazon currently has the LEGO Spider-Man Spider Mech vs. Venom (76115) for 34% off the regular retail price. It is currently priced at $32.90 which is $17.09 off and is only a few cents from the lowest price it has been on the site. The set includes four minifigures, Venom, Ghost Spider, Aunt May, and Spider-Man.

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New LEGO Pumpkin Storage Head Revealed

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LEGO Pumpkin Storage Head

A few days ago, I talked about some new LEGO Magnet Sets that Room Copenhagen will be releasing in the near future. Over on their website, they have also revealed a new LEGO Pumpkin Storage Head just in time for Halloween. Kids can either use it to collect candy or for the its intended use which is to store LEGO bricks. It will be able to stack with the existing lineup of LEGO Storage Heads. There’s no word yet on when it will be available.

LEGO Pumpkin Storage Head

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LEGO Ideas Harley-Davidson Building Contest

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LEGO Ideas Future Harley-Davidson

LEGO has kicked off a new Harley-Davidson building contest over on LEGO Ideas. All you have to do is to build what a future Harley-Davidson motorcycle could look like. The Grand Prize winner will get a plethora of prizes including:

-One 10269 LEGO Creator Expert Harley-Davidson
-One 10265 LEGO Creator Expert Ford Mustang
-One 10264 LEGO Creator Expert Corner Garage
-A $500 shopping spree on shop.LEGO.com
-A $1,000 Harley-Davidson shopping spree at an authorized -Harley-Davidson Dealership or on h-d.com/store where available
-A Harley-Davidson Originals Cardigan Sweater directly from the Harley-Davidson Museum® in Milwaukee

Two Runner Up winners will get:

-One 10269 LEGO Creator Expert Harley-Davidson
-One 10265 LEGO Creator Expert Ford Mustang
-A $250 shopping spree on shop.LEGO.com
-A $500 Harley-Davidson shopping spree at an authorized -Harley-Davidson Dealership or on h-d.com/store where available
-A Harley-Davidson Originals Cardigan Sweater directly from the Harley-Davidson Museum® in Milwaukee

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New LEGO Star Wars Set Teased for September 5 Reveal

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LEGO Star Wars Imperial Star Destroyer

LEGO has released the first teaser of an upcoming LEGO Star Wars set that will be revealed on September 5. As you can see from the short clip, you can see the distinct shape of a ship flying in and it has been rumored for a few weeks that it could be the UCS Imperial Star Destroyer. We’ll just have to wait and see. What do you think it is?

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LEGO Lead User Lab Details

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A few months ago, LEGO announced they are launching a new program called the Lead User Lab. This program will bring in ideas from LEGO fans themselves and potentially bringing them to life. LEGO has released a FAQ over on the LEGO Ambassador Network of some details on how the Lead User Lab will work. If you have some ideas that you would like LEGO to do, this may be of interest to you.

We’re happy to let you know that the Lead User Lab kicked-off in August. It’s early days, so you probably have a bunch of questions that need more clarity – what it is, what ideas we’re looking to incubate, what’s in it for you, ways of working, and more. Below you’ll find a quick FAQ. If we missed anything you’re curious about, let us know!

What are we up to next?

In the coming weeks, we’ll focus on fundamentals of the idea intake process and how to evaluate and prioritize them. At this stage, we’re also assessing the ideas we’ve received via email over the summer, since we first revealed the Lead User Lab on the LAN blog. We’ll let everyone know as soon as possible about the outcomes and whether we can continue with any of them in the stretching/incubation phase. High level, the Lead User Lab funnel looks like this: (1) Idea intake – (2) Stretching/Incubation – (3) Piloting – (4) Idea realization.

Lead User Lab – FAQ

1. What is the Lead User Lab?

It’s a 2 year pilot that will be a test-bed and incubator for innovative ideas that expand the LEGO brand. In it, we’ll co-create future innovations, putting the idea owner (the lead user) and the AFOL community front and center.

2. Why have we set up the Lead User Lab?

We want to establish a systematic process to tap into the lead users’ ideas and creativity and maximize that value. We believe there’s a unique opportunity to co-create and pick up very early ideas and market trends and start developing pilots that will successfully build on the LEGO brand and on what the AFOL community wants.

We’re a creative play company, we do it because we want to constantly innovate the LEGO idea and we want to inspire all our fans with innovation and experiences that we haven’t yet imagined. Also, we do it because just like the brick’s endless creative potential and reinvention, we believe our fans and lead users are also an endless and evergreen territory of creativity and innovation – and that’s something to be nurtured.

3. How does the Lead User Lab work?

We’re putting the AFOL community’s interest and the lead user front and center, to test an innovation value chain untested in a systematic way before in the LEGO Group – exploring structured ways to bring in outside ideas at an early stage and finding ways to scale them. Think of it as partly incubator, partly accelerator, but with a LEGO twist.

We will run an on-going, highly focused and selective idea intake process to ensure the most relevant and high potential ideas are selected for pilots. Then in a collaborative process with the idea owner (the lead user) we’ll stretch and incubate it, exploring ways to maximize the value. Then we’ll run pilots, to explore if, how and where the idea can be scaled, then act on it. It does mean we’ll have to make focused choices at all stages of the process – we see it as an innovation wheel constantly spinning out potential, shaping and re-shaping ideas, while finding ways to add value to the brand and to the lead user and community.

4. Who is it for?

It’s for all creative and entrepreneurial LEGO minds out there – the lead users – who spot early trends and market needs way before anybody else. The ideal lead user candidate already has a well crystallized idea, ideally a prototype or maybe even a set business, and is eager to collaborate and co-create with us, to explore incubation, piloting and potential scaling.

5. What ideas are we looking for?

We’ll be focusing on new-to-the-company ideas and will go beyond the LEGO brick. The type of ideas we’re looking to incubate and pilot can be new experiences, services, channels, audiences/targets groups, all which in some way expand the LEGO brand and add value to the AFOL community.

6. What can i expect from the Lead User Lab process?

We will evaluate ideas on an on-going basis, so you can expect a collaborative and iterative process. As you can probably anticipate, the process will look like an on-going funnel with continuous evaluation and prioritization. We’ll run a highly focused and selective process to ensure only the most relevant ideas are selected for pilots. This also means sometimes we’ll have to make difficult decisions and say no, either in the beginning of the intake, or during the incubation or piloting stage.

7. Will you take in ideas of standard LEGO products? / Does this compete with LEGO Ideas?

We will not focus on standard sets in the Lead User Lab. LEGO Ideas is a fantastic platform that does that already, leveraging fan ideas and turning them into LEGO products, whether new stories/universes, or IP universes. The main characteristic of LEGO Ideas is also that it builds on the core of the LEGO building system – creating and re-creating fun and engaging stories, using the brick’s creative potential and versatility. The Lead User Lab on the other hand is tapping into what lies beyond that – looking to leverage radically new ideas of experiences, services, channels, or target audiences. Also, worth mentioning, Lead User Lab is not a competitor of LEGO Ideas as the focus is fundamentally different.

8. How can you submit an idea to the Lead User Lab?

We are open to intake ideas in two ways: an intake portal where lead users can submit ideas – coming soon! At the same time, the Lead User Lab team will be scouting to find cool ideas and Lead Users who have already developed a prototype/have an established business and are eager to co-create on taking their idea to the next level. We’ve already received emails with ideas from lead users, and will soon start to evaluate them too. We’ll also be present at some of the fan events, so stay tuned for more!

9. How do i know if my idea is good enough?

We’re looking for new-to-the-company ideas that add value to the brand and the community. And most likely, you already have a prototype or launched your business. Does your idea add value to the fan community, does it tap into a strong and growing trend? Is it highly innovative and new? These are some of the parameters we’ll also be exploring in the intake process. If you’re not there yet, fear not. We’ll be looking for intake on an on-going basis. And we’ll be sharing updates and tips to help inspire you along the way.

10. Is there any financial incentive for lead users to be part of the Lead User Lab setup?

We’re working with co-creation in mind – this means keeping the lead user close and involved into the process end to end, while ensuring they benefit from their innovative ideas. It’s very early to get into financial specific as this can vary from idea to idea, but we do plan to set in place various legal, endorsement and/or financial mechanisms on a case by case basis for the specific pilots that are selected for idea realization.

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LEGO Announces LEGO Audio & Braille Building Instructions

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LEGO Audio & Braille Building Instructions

LEGO has announced a new play experience for kids who have visual impairment with the LEGO Audio & Braille Building Instructions. The initiative comes from 22 year old Matthew Shifrin, who is also visually impared, and it uses AI technology to give those with visual impairment more accessibility to building instructions.

The LEGO Group to pilot LEGO® Audio& Braille Instructions

Inspired by blind entrepreneur, Matthew Shifrin,the new building instructions will help children with vision impairment build and learn through play using LEGO bricks

Billund, Denmark August 28: What started as a kind gesture between friends living just outside Boston, US,is today being rolled out as a global pilot by the LEGO Group–using AI technology the initiative aims to make the LEGO play experience more accessible for those with vision impairment. We call it: LEGO® Audio& Braille Building Instructions.

The idea comes from Matthew Shifrin, who was born blind. As a child, he developed a strong passion for LEGO play. However, he always needed assistance when it came to specific LEGO building instructions.

LEGO Audio & Braille Building Instructions

“I had a friend, Lilya, who would write down all the building steps for me so that I could upload them into a system that allowed me to read the building steps on a Braille reader through my fingers. She learned Braille to engage with me and support my LEGO passion, and then spent countless hours translating LEGO instructions into Braille”.

Shifrin would pore over his customized instructions to create models such as the LEGO Creator Expert Sydney Opera House and London Tower Bridge, the latter of which required over 850 pages. For the first time ever, he was able to build LEGO sets by himself without being dependent on someone else guiding him through the instructions.

“This is extremely important for blind children because there aren’t a lot of places where we can say, ‘Look Mom and Dad! I built this on my own… I did this’“ says Shifrin. “For blind children, we don’t have access to what sighted kids are used to. LEGO bricks enable us to learn about our environment, to see the world. It is so important because blind kids get left out of a lot of social stuff, especially in elementary school. But LEGO building is one of the things we can do.”

LEGO Audio & Braille Building Instructions

When Lilya sadly passed away in 2017 Matthew was inspired to honour her memory by ensuring others benefitted from her idea of creating LEGO building instructions for those with no or limited sight. Through a friend at the MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Media Lab, he was then introduced to the Creative Play Lab at the LEGO Group.

The team took his idea to the Austrian Research Institute for Artificial Intelligencewho developed new AI software to translate LXFML data (LEGO Exchange Format Mel Script) from the visual digitalbuilding instructions to text based descriptions for braille and voice commanded instructions.

LEGO Audio & Braille Building Instructions

“Matthew’s story demonstrates the power of LEGO play. It brings people together, helps to build confidence and sparks creativity. It has been an honour to work with Matthew, his passion and energy are truly inspiring. But most importantly his project will help visually impaired children around the world experience the same joy of building and pride of creation that all our fans feel”, says Fenella Blaize Charity, Creative Director, LEGO Group.

Available in English as a free service for all through the accessible website www.legoaudioinstructions.com, the first four instructions to be launched include a set from LEGO® Classic, LEGO® CITY, LEGO® Friends and LEGO® Movie 2™. Consumers can either chose to hear audio instructions using their screen reader or with audio provided by the LEGO Group, or alternatively chose to read the instructions using a Braille reader. Depending on consumer feedback on the four pilot instructions, which will be collected until the end of 2019, the intention is to launch more Audio & Braille instructions first half of 2020.

While these instructions show radical innovation,there’s still a lot of progress to be made in terms of further developing the AI software and automating the process. The long term ambition is to add more languages and support all future product launches -most importantly however, is to ensure fun and high quality learning through play experiences.

LEGO Audio & Braille Building Instructions

The pilot launches just four months after LEGO Braille Bricks were announced – an initiative aimed at supporting young children with vision impairment to learn Braille in a playful and inclusive way. Co-developed with the LEGO Group, both projects have been funded by the LEGO Foundation.

“As I build a set I develop a better sense of what a building looks like and how it is laid out and constructed. For blind people LEGO sets act as miniature 3D substitutes for real-life buildings in lieu of two-dimensional photographs. LEGO bricks allow me to see things that are impossible to explore by touch, such as the arches of a Middle Eastern palace or the towers of the London Tower Bridge.

I would like to get my instructions out to the blind community. I would like every blind person to be able to download the instructions, buy a set, have a sighted person sort the pieces, and feel on par with a sighted builder. I want every blind person to feel that the once impossible is now possible; that he or she can now build a miniature LEGO world.”

– Matthew Shifrin

LEGO Audio & Braille Building Instructions

Explore Matthew’s original work here: legofortheblind.com/instructions/, but please note these instructions are recommended mainly for advanced builders.

FACTS:
– The four sets included as part of the pilot rollout are:
o 11001 LEGO® Bricks and Ideas LEGO® Classic
o 41365 LEGO® Friends Emma’s Art Shop
o 60207 LEGO® City Sky Police Drone Chase
o 70821 The LEGO® Movie 2™ Emmet and Benny’s ‘Build and Fix’ Workshop!
– Pilot phase is August 28 – Dec 31
– How it works: AI software translates LXFML data (LEGO Exchange Format Mel Script) from visual instructions to text based descriptions for braille and voice commanded instructions
– The instructions will be available in all markets through www.legoaudioinstructions.com as a free service for all and new instructions are expected to launch on the same site early 2020

LEGO Audio & Braille Building Instructions

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LEGO September 2019 Store Calendar Promotions & Events

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LEGO September 2019 Store Calendar

The September 2019 LEGO Store Calendar is now available and we can now see some of the promotions and events that will be happening for the month.


August 26-September 8: Free LEGO BrickHeadz Bumble Bee (40270) with purchases of $65 or more, while supplies last.

September 1: Celebrate the general release of the LEGO Disney Train and Station (71044) and if you dress up as a Disney character, you can get a special treat. Word has it is an exclusive minifigure.

Update: I was told it was a Series 2 Disney Collectible Minifigure.

September 2-15: Free LEGO Hidden Side Newbury’s Juice Bar (40336) with purchases of $50 or more, while supplies last.

September 2-October 3: Wanted: Ghost Hunters event. In-store demo of the LEGO Hidden Side sets.

September 9-15: Not listed on the calendar but there’s reportedly a promo for a mini Droid Commander polybag with purchase of the LEGO Boost Droid Commander (75253).

September 18: LEGO Triceratops Building Event. Required registration starts on September 5. Intended for children ages 6-14.

September 21: LEGO Life Meeting: Batman’s 80th Anniversary. Kids will be able to build a Bat-Vehicle. Adults are invited to the store at 3pm to build their own Bat-Vehicle. Upload your creations on the LEGO Life app for a chance to win a $50 LEGO Store gift card.

September 21-22: Rebuild the World in-store event.

September 23-28: Free LEGO Storage Bucket (5005630) with purchases of $100 or more, while supplies last.

LEGO September 2019 Store Calendar

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