Prising me from Lego’s vast shop near People’s Square was like unsticking two stubborn bits of Lego. This huge retail outlet can be found in People’s Square, in the center of Shanghai, covering two stories and featuring many interactive experiences. The theme is “Future of Shanghai”, with Future City Play Tables, where you can build your own future city, making you think about planning issues such as harmony with nature, renewable energy and cultural heritage.
I remember that as a child I would build my own worlds with Lego and be lost in playing and creating for hours at a time. Like many other parents, my mother saw the educational merits of these bricks and at the same time knew that play was essential for her child’s well-being. Playing with these brightly coloured construction toys definitely helped me think about how things are put together, how they work and that there is art in building something. This store brought back so many happy childhood memories for me that I spent a couple of hours exploring everything it had to offer.
I was amazed by the distinctive cultural elements of Shanghai and China which are featured in the store with models of the Oriental Pearl Tower and a large dragon made with Lego bricks. Lego is astutely catering to local tastes here in China, no wonder it is such a huge success over here.
A Shanghai skyline mosaic was made from approximately 4 million bricks and took builders almost 19,000 hours to create.
But this store is not just focusing on Chinese culture as I found a life-sized Queen’s Guard among the many Lego treasures this store has to offer.
What was your favourite childhood toy?