Category: AFOL

Articles about the Adult Fan of LEGO (AFOL) community.

New design for adult-focused LEGO products

Has The LEGO Group finally admitted that Adult Fans are important with updated packaging, 18+ recommended age, and more…?

#10273 LEGO Haunted House was announced today, alongside an official statement about the new packaging design (which we have already seen on several previous 2020 LEGO sets aimed at adults). According to LEGO, these sets “feature the new stylish packaging designed to reflect the sophisticated nature of the creative process.”

New packaging marked 18+ designed to appeal to adults.

New packaging marked 18+ designed to appeal to adults.

These sets have revised packaging with a smaller LEGO logo in the lower-left corner, and additional product details displayed on a ribbon across the bottom of the box. Eagle-eyed readers will also notice that they are all marked with an age recommendation of 18+. I don’t think this reflects an increase in technical difficulty, so much as a consious branding decision to use the age associated with adulthood in most of the world.

A narrow ribbon includes product details along the bottom of each box.

A narrow ribbon includes product details along the bottom of each box.

The press release included this quote from Senior Marketing Manager Anders Hellegaard Iversen: “So many of our older builders love the Creator Expert products, as they allow them to show off their passion for the bricks. Whether it’s their favorite film moments, sport icons, travel destinations, buildings, fairgrounds or vehicles, LEGO sets help to bring these to life in brick form. That’s also why we have decided to stop using the Creator Expert branding and, instead, use the new adult-focused packaging design to make it clearer which hobbies or brand products they can relate to. We hope this will make it easier for fans to track down models they would be proud to display once completed. Of course, our product range will continue to include the same advanced-build, collectible products that guarantee hours of building enjoyment for fans.”

As Anders indicated, this change coincides with the end of the “Creator Expert” branding, which was first seen on packaging for 2013’s #10232 Palace Cinema. (Previous sets in the Creator Expert series have had various recommended ages, from 12+ for #10267 Gingerbread House, 14+ for #10248 Ferrari F40, and 16+ for #10270 Bookshop.) We will have to wait and see how the next set in the Winter Village series is branded, but I suspect it will not be included in this adult-oriented branding program.

One other line in the press release caught my attention: “All new products in the LEGO Group’s ranges that appeal to adults will now feature the sleek, minimalistic new design across related packaging, building instructions, exclusive content and in-store and online store design.”

It’s about time that The LEGO Group made visible changes to acknowledge the importance of their Adult Fans. I can’t wait to see more excusive content and in-store/online design changes soon!

LEGO Masters USA

LEGO Masters is coming to the USA on Wednesday February 5th. What can we expect of the new show, based on previous seasons in the UK an Australia?

March 2, 2020: Many of the contestants are sharing recaps of each episode on social media. Learn more in our new article Meet the LEGO Masters… on Youtube, Instagram, and more.

Readers in the United States have probably seen ads for LEGO Masters, a new show on FOX which premieres Wednesday, February 5th. You might not have realized that (just like the Great British Bake-off), LEGO Masters (UK) came first; with a four-episode first season in 2017, and a six-episode second season in 2018 on Channel 4 TV. The show was lighthearted and fun, especially given that some of the two-person teams included children. I enjoyed the program, but don’t plan to go back and watch it again.

Following the UK show, Channel 9 Australia launched LEGO Masters Australia in April, 2019. It was a much longer 9-episode season featuring more complex challenges and a more competitive approach. (They did not include young children in the competition.)

LEGO Masters Australia is vastly superior to the UK series due to heightened competition, better challenges and more engaging judges and hosts. Speaking of the judging—Ryan McNaught (Australia’s only LEGO Certified Professional) was fantastic in the series. He highlighted advanced building techniques featured in the models which casual viewers wouldn’t have noticed, and even used the right terminology such as SNOT (Studs Not On Top). Episode 5 was my favorite—they were asked to build the strongest bridge, which was destroyed later in the episode!

Based on what I’ve learned from the promotional videos and articles about the show, I’m hopeful LEGO Masters USA will build on formula perfected by the Australian show. I’m happy with their decision to only include adult builders in the competition, excited by the large number of participating teams, and impressed by the beautifully designed set and more dramatic editing.

Lastly, I’m excited to see so many talented LEGO Artists have come together to make the show a reality, including judging by two talented LEGO Designers (Amy Corbett & Jamie Berard), LEGO Art models by Artist Nathan Sawaya, and hosting by the voice of LEGO Batman himself; Will Arnett.

Articles about LEGO Masters that you might enjoy:

What’s next for LEGO Masters? I guess we’ll have to wait and see how well this season goes! (P.S. German readers, they’re now casting in your country, too!)

The Guardian view on LEGO for adults: play is a serious business

Hot on the heels of the Washington Post article we shared a few days ago, here’s a short article on The Guardian about the trend, citing the upcoming USA LEGO Masters show, huge LEGO sets designed for adults, and LEGO as mindfulness practice.

According to the article, toy sales to ages 12+ (including adults) are up 11% in Europe versus two years prior. Good Job AFOL’s!

 The Guardian