Sunday, July 26, 2015

Rebuilding Memories with LEGO Singapore #SG50 @ Raffles City

Saturday mornings are one of our busiest as Lil Pumpkin has her morning swim class and not many occasions can get me out of watching her swim & enjoying a lazy brunch with her after :P

However, if it involves Singapore heritage {especially the Dragon Playground!!} and LEGO, you can be sure that I'll be there ;)

To mark Singapore turning 50, LEGO encouraged fans to rebuild and relive memories to celebrate the Singaporean spirit and launched 4 LEGO SG50 Limited Edition Singapore Icons Mini Builds.

The 4 Mini Builds include quintessential Singaporean icons of the past such as The Cable Car, Ice Cream Bike, HDB Flats and the Dragon Playground.

Since early July this year, the Mini Builds were released in phases at selected stores with purchase of LEGO products, and saving the best for last, the Dragon Playground was available at the LEGO SG50 Rebuild Your Memories event in Raffles City that's current running now.

Unfortunately as of yesterday when I checked, all Dragon Playground Mini Build sets have been fully redeemed!

At the event, visitors could also do their part to help build an 8.5-foot Dragon Playground sculpture with over 22,000 bricks! It was a free activity and Sat morning was the last chance to be part of it {and bring home a special LEGO Dragon Builder certificate hehe} so I made sure I was there early since it was going to be completed at 12 noon by Singapore's only LEGO Certified Professional, Nicholas Foo.

I've been chasing Singapore Heritage Playgrounds for the past year or so and found it extremely meaningful to be part of rebuilding one of my fave playgrounds, even if it's just a small piece.

Managed to snap a shot and have a little chat with Nicholas before he got to busy :P

He shared with me more about his passion for LEGO {check out his blog to see more of his previous work for private and corporate commissions} and what it's like being a LEGO Certified Professional.

To be a LEGO Certified Professional, other than being an expert builder, you must also be enthusiastic for LEGO {duh!}, creative, a people person and have business acumen. It's for adult LEGO hobbyists who have turned their passion for building and creating with LEGO bricks into a full-time or part-time profession.

LEGO Certified Professionals are not LEGO employees, but they are officially recognized by the LEGO Group as trusted business partners.This means they are allowed to market and sell their services as Lego master artists.

As of now there's only about 13 LEGO Certified Professionals in the world!!! If you're interested to find out more about the program, read about the details on LEGO's website.

I'm totally in awe how someone can turn a childhood hobby into a thriving profession... to many others, it's just a dream but to Nicholas, it is a happy reality.

Oh by the way, Nicholas is the one who designed all 4 LEGO SG50 Limited Edition Singapore Icons Mini Builds.

This is the other side of the Dragon Playground. I was a bit confused and thought orange would be a better colour since that's the colour of the other Dragon Playground at Ang Mo Kio, but then I remembered that ya, the inside of the Toa Payoh Dragon Playground is blue haha.

Even though the Dragon Playground Mini Builds have been fully redeemed, and the Giant Lego Dragon Playground has been completed, it's still worth a going down to see this LEGO event.

Earlier this year LEGO also organised a Make Your Own Creation Competition for local fans to construct their fondest memories of Singapore with LEGO. 10 winning entries were chosen and are also displayed there now.

This is one of an old barber shop scene. Check out the red, white and blue barber sign at the back and the old-school chair. The details of these winning entries are simply marvelous *clap clap clap*

This certainly caught my eye and is one of my fave since it depicts the old aquarium that used to stand in the middle of Wistma Atria. The 1.5-metre tall tank at Wisma's basement was home to hundreds of fish spanning 12 different species since it was built in 1986, when the mall was first opened.

My parents used to bring us to Orchard Road pretty often and I loved just standing there and watching the fishes swim by. As I grew up and went downtown myself with friends, it was also an easy and popular meeting place for us. Too bad it was removed in 2008 when the mall redeveloped.

There are loads of different Lego sets to see and purchase. If you spend at least S$30 on any LEGO toy(s) in a single receipt on the same day, kids aged 5 - 12 years old can build a LEGO piece of their own imagination and bring it home!

Some of the conditions are that you can only redeem twice in a single day, loose bricks are on a first-come-first-served basis, and all creations are to be kept within dimensions of 8cm {length} x 3cm {width} x 4cm {height}.

Kids happily building at the Build-and-Takeaway area... felt a little bummed that Lil Pumpkin couldn't come along since she was at her swim lesson {mum helped to bring her for it, thanks!}.

After our NDP rehearsal show at the Padang {more on that soon!} last night, I made sure that we popped by so that Lil Pumpkin could see the finished Lego Dragon Playground too. If we didn't go during the event, she won't have a chance to see it because it's going to be dismantled after the event!

Initially I felt it was quite a pity and should be on permanent display somewhere like the LEGO Merlion structure.. but then, the beauty and JOY of LEGO is that you can always build and rebuild sets again and again. If we're so obsessed about keeping them perfect and whole, and not actually "play" with them as intended, we'd just be like Lord Business from the LEGO movie.

Anyway Lil Pumpkin was mighty pleased to see it and remembered our outings to go and play at the original mosiac playground. I hope that she will continue to have such fond memories the Dragon Playground as she grows up, like her daddy and I have, as well as the other playgrounds we've been bringing her out to.

SG50 Rebuild Your Memories LEGO event
Raffles City, Atrium, Level 3
Period: 25 - 30 July
Opening hours: 10am - 9.30pm
Free admission

P.S. If you didn't get your hands on the Mini Build sets, look out for the LEGO SG50 Big MiniFigures coming soon. With only 50 pieces available, these Big MiniFigures will be even more coveted especially since the back of each figure comes with a unique serial number and birthday message to celebrate SG50. Sure to be a collector's item!!

To get one of these MiniFigures, you need to spend a minimum of S$100 on Lego Toy(s) in a single receipt from 5- 31 August 2015 to be one of the lucky ones to receive a LEGO SG50 Mega MiniFigure. Participating outlets include all LEGO Certified Stores in Singapore, Toys’R’Us, LEGO Mono Brand Stores, Departmental Stores and select toy stores.



mail4rosey said...

Isn't it amazing the things that are made out of Legos? And they really do look like what they're trying to represent. I'm glad you had a good time. I love the family pic at the end!! :)

An Apel a Day said...

My boys would go crazy over this place. They love Legos. Another set is always on their birthday or Christmas list.

Stacy said...

I love Lego too! Trying to stop myself from buying too much now, getting short of space. Lego is something I hope my girls will pick up. Methinks it's a better alternative to TV/ipad/computer games.

Unknown said...

Such a super cool event right? I was bummed that I couldn't go... had an old friend's wedding to attend. Just gotta love LEGO lah.

Ai Sakura said...

mail4rosey: Yes I'm really amazed at the skills of Masterbuilders who can create all those unbelievable structures!

Alissa: I know they would!! ;)

Stacy: that's true. Encourages more imagination and creativity, plus trains their motor skills!

Lyn: It was super cool! Glad I made time to go :)