Finally, ‘everything is awesome’ in Manila

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Emmet now has a home in the Philippines

Emmet now has a home in the Philippines

First official Lego Certified Store opens in BGC

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Who doesn’t love Lego?

Way before Emmet became a Hollywood superstar via the Lego Movie in 2014, the iconic multi-colored interlocking bricks of Danish origin have always been a toy of choice for generation upon generation of children around the world. Filipinos are no exception to this, with Lego sets a staple in every toy store in the country for many decades.

What is curious to note, however, is that despite the popularity of Lego among Filipino children aged three to 93, there has never been a stand-alone Lego store in the country dedicated to this ever-growing and ever-evolving range of awesome construction toys.

No wonder endless queues have snaked around the brand new Park Triangle complex in Bonifacio Global City these past four days, after the first official Lego certified store opened to the public on May 12. Enthusiasts young and old of what has twice been named “Toy of the Century” were thrilled to finally find the most extensive Lego collection under one roof, with multiple spaces around the store devoted to free play with mountains of bricks.

Lego Group’s senior business manager for Asia Camilla Botke finds her best endorser in Danish Ambassador to the Philippines Jan Top Christensen

Lego Group’s senior business manager for Asia Camilla Botke finds her best endorser in Danish Ambassador to the Philippines Jan Top Christensen

“Just to let you know, in Asia, the Philippines is not behind in having its first Lego Certified Store,” assured the Lego Group’s senior business manager for the region, Camilla Botke, in a one-on-one interview with The Manila Times at the opening. “The first one only opened in Jakarta, Indonesia a year ago, and it was the store’s success there that prompted us to look into the Philippine market.”

Together with LAJ Marketing Philippines Inc.—Lego’s long-time exclusive distributor both in the country and in Indonesia—Botke saw the need to finally provide the market with the “complete Lego experience.”

“Looking into opportunities in Manila, we didn’t see much of a brand-building of Lego, and we wanted to give children and even the adult followers of the toy the complete experience of Lego,” Botke continued. “As you can see, it’s all Lego from the moment you when you come in here, and we know that getting the children to experience our bricks with their hands is what will really get them to be creative, imaginative and critical thinkers.”

Thus, at the new BGC hotspot, visitors will not only enjoy exclusive collectors sets but also product lines unique only to Lego Certified Stores around the world. The first is Pick A Brick (PAB), where customers can buy the Lego elements that they need individually to complete their personal creations. Pick A Brick is sold per 100 grams.

‘We know that getting the children to experience our bricks with their hands is what will really get them to be creative, imaginative and critical thinkers,’ says Lego’s Camilla Botke

‘We know that getting the children to experience our bricks with their hands is what will really get them to be creative, imaginative and critical
thinkers,’ says Lego’s Camilla Botke

Another feature is the Build A Mini (BAM), which allows customers to build their own customized mini figure by choosing a specific headwear, head, torso, legs, as well as tools and accessories to go. Each BAM set includes three customi-zable mini figures.

There will further be the Monthly Mini Build (MMB) program, a hands-on monthly event where kids ages six to 14 are invited to build simple, seasonal, and exclusive Lego Store mini builds without having to purchase a single item. Children below six, by the way, will not be left out as long as an adult accompanies them during the activity.

“The whole idea of a Lego Certified Store is that the same experience can be had in any Lego Certified Store around the world. Our global portfolio will be present in every store, with the same recognizable features and assortments,” Botke added.

On Tuesday’s opening, no less than Danish Ambassador to the Philippines Jan Top Christensen was the best endorser of the brand as he recalled playing with Legos as a young boy.

The Lego Certified Store in BGC features the most extensive Lego collection under one roof, with multiple spaces around the store devoted to free play with mountains of bricks

The Lego Certified Store in BGC features the most extensive Lego collection under one roof, with multiple spaces around the store devoted to free play with mountains of bricks

“As a kid in the last millennium, I was already playing Lego bricks at that time, and I was even inspired to become an architect,” he shared. “But even if I ended up in the Foreign Service, to this very day, I believe Legos are a fantastic choice for a toy because kids can do whatever they want with them—not just follow what’s shown on the box—and run away with their imagination.”

The envoy further expressed pleasure over the fact that Lego has become very visible in the capital this summer, citing the highly successful Lego BrickXhibit mounted by the Philippine Lego Users Group at Resorts World Manila in April. Just like the store opening, he graced the exhibit launch with his wife and eight-year-old daughter, who is also a Lego buff.

“[Before this summer], I had been wondering why I didn’t see more Lego here in the Philippines because it’s such an excellent choice for children. But with this store, and the growing middle class of the Philippines, I’m sure to see more Legos around because parents will always want the best for their children. More than iPads and tablets, Legos will foster brain development, dexterity and creativity in such a fantastic way,” he enthused.

And indeed, just by the name of this world-famous toy, parents can be sure to foster fun and learning in their little ones. For, to give a bit of trivia, the name Lego is actually an abbreviation of the two Danish words “leg godt,” which in English translate to “play well.”

Awesomely apt, isn’t it?

The first LEGO Certified Store in the Philippines is located at Park Triangle, 11th Avenue corner Rizal Drive, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, the same building for the soon-to-open Kidzania.

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