Think Lego is just for kids? Think again! This year, Lego is making itself relevant to young and old alike by introducing a new range of techno- toys that will tickle the fancy of the whole family.
Lego have also entered into the kids’ motion picture scene, releasing the Lego Camcorder or the Lego Animation Station Video Camera, perfect for your child’s first movie making foray. Produced by Lego in conjunction with kids’ gadget maker Digital Blue, the Lego Camcorder is a wonderful red and yellow, cool looking imitation of your average camcorder, made simple for kids. Features of the Lego Camcorder include a 1.5 inch LCD screen, a record and function switch, a detachable remote control system and a five way navigable control component. It will also come with a how-to guide for kids to learn to shoot video and video editing software for the PC to edit their movies. Not bad for a children’s toy.
Thankfully, Lego has not forgotten about us big kids! The company has engineered numerous bits and technological bobs for us to enjoy too. Members of the grown-up Lego gang include a Lego landline phone, fully equipped to make calls; a Lego inspired digital watch designed by Jeanne-Blanche de Castelbajac; Lego iPod speakers shaped like an original Lego brick; an MP3 Player with an exterior made completely out of Lego pieces; a Lego USB Hub with four USB ports shaped like a classic Lego Brick; and last but not least, a Lego webcam shaped like a cute Lego brick.
However, the coolest grown-up Lego gadget by far is the Lego Steampunk Sequencer. Designed by Yoshi Akai, a steampunk musician who has written a thesis on how to turn colour into sound, the Steampunk Sequencer is the pinnacle of his genius, being both novel and functional. Akai specialises in creating unconventional ways of making music and the sequencer uses three-dimensional Lego assemblies to imitate a three-channel, eight step sequencer. Each different coloured block produces a diverse sound or effect that enables artists to create complex and sophisticated song structures using the humble Lego brick. The blocks themselves are not capable of creating sound, so Akai works with resistors embedded inside the bricks, which create parallel networks within the brick structures as they are piled on top of one another.
Also worth coveting is the Brick Bright Lego Lamp. Designed by OutofStock studio, the exterior of the Brick Bright is constructed completely out of white, ethereal looking Lego bricks. OutofStock studios are not the only designers playing around (excuse the pun) with Lego lamps. Taiwan’s design group 25togo have come up with their own version of lights and Lego, and have created the LED illuminated, acrylic Block Lamps, which look just like giant classic Lego bricks. Not only are 25togo’s lamps beautiful to look at, they are functional as well, with a snap off top layer designed to house pens, pencils and other office items. The bricks measure approximately 6”x4”x2.4,” so they are roughly 100 times bigger than your average childhood Lego piece, just to give you a bit of perspective. There’s also the possibility of buying multiple single lamps and locking them together to create your own lighting tower or light house, a brilliant opportunity to engage in a bit of adult fun and games.
These new designs utilising elements of the original Lego line include something for everyone. The gadgets are exciting, novel and surprisingly functional, convenient and well thought out. I don’t know about you, but at least half of these will be making an appearance on my next birthday list.