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The LEGO Inside Tour – introduction

by admin on September 3, 2014

in Community News

(Written by Ernest)

As a die-hard LEGO fan, what is your ultimate wish within the LEGO hobby? Owning a very rare and limited edition LEGO set? Meeting LEGO Model Designers, or even the company’s CEO? Taking a tour of the LEGO factory where all the LEGO bricks are made? You might think that these dreams are impossible to achieve. But… what if I told you that the LEGO Inside Tour can grant you all these wishes at once? Interested? Read on! 🙂

LEGO Inside Tour

The LEGO Inside Tour is a 4-day event in Billund, Denmark, specifically designed for LEGO fans to get to know their favorite company more intimately. Here is some information directly from the LEGO Inside Tour website: “The LEGO Inside Tour is a unique LEGO experience, which is often referred to as a ‘once in a lifetime experience’ by past participants. As a participant you are invited inside Ole Kirk Christiansen’s original house with the exciting exhibition of LEGO sets and models that can be dated all the way back to 1932. You will meet the LEGO Designers who are ready to meet you; they will introduce you to their daily work at the LEGO Group and provide you with a building experience unlike anything else. Experienced employees will guide you around the LEGO factories in Billund and specially designated employees will introduce you to their areas and any current projects. You will gain an insight into the unique culture and strong values that characterize the company. The LEGO Inside Tour also goes past the LEGO staff shop. The LEGO Inside Tour Award Show is held on Thursday afternoon, featuring the red carpet and highly-sought after prizes, and you are naturally the guest of honor. On the last day there is a guided tour behind the scenes at the LEGOLAND Park followed by a closing ceremony, at which you will received a unique gift produced in close cooperation with Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen especially for this year’s LEGO Inside Tour participants.” Here is a short video about the event:

It is interesting to note that a lot of LEGO fans never even heard of the LEGO Inside Tour, so it is kind of like an open secret. Even though few people know about the event, it has actually been around for a decade, with the 2014 LEGO Inside Tour marking its 10th anniversary. Since information about the 2015 LEGO Inside Tour schedule is going to be published in the middle of this month, now this is the best time to bring it to your attention and talk about it. Below is the schedule of a typical LEGO Inside Tour:

  • Day 1: Arrive at Billund, Denmark
  • Day 2: Meet the LEGO Senior Staff, visit the LEGO Idea House (LEGO Headquarters), and participate in the LEGO Building Competition
  • Day 3: Visit the LEGO factory, go shopping in the LEGO Staff Shop, meet the LEGO Model Designers, announcement of the winners of the LEGO Building Competition
  • Day 4: Join the LEGOLAND Billund Backstage Guide Tour, go to the Master Builder Workshop

Next, lets discuss some of the best features of the LEGO Inside Tour, starting with getting an exclusive LEGO set, which actually happens on the last day, but is one of the highlights of the event. This set is made in very limited quantities, is quite substantial (usually 500 pieces or more), only available to participants of the event, and is something related to LEGO’s history. The box of the set is also unique with each of them individually numbered, and at the box there is a photo of your tour-group (see photo here). This makes the set very memorable to the participants. In fact, these are some of those sets you will hardly ever find on the secondary market, as most people would never part with them. The guys from the BrickShow were lucky enough to get their hands on the LEGO Inside Tour Exclusive 2014 Edition, which is the #4000014 LEGOLAND Train (photo via Brickset.com), based on the train at the LEGOLAND Park in Billund, Denmark. If you are interested, you can watch the review video here.

#4000014 LEGO Inside Tour Train

And below is the LEGO Inside Tour Exclusive 2013 Edition, which is the #4000008 LEGO Villy Thomsen Truck (photo via Brickset.com). And you can see some of the previous years’ here: #4000012 LEGO Piper Plane (2012), #4000001 LEGO Moulding Machines (2011), #4000007 LEGO Ole Kirk’s House (2009) – you can sometimes find this set on eBay, here is the link for current listings: LEGO OLE KIRK’S HOUSE ON EBAY

#4000008 LEGO Inside Tour Truck

Another highlight of the tour is meeting the LEGO Designers, and even the CEO of the company. They share with participants of the tour about their daily work, and their personal experiences and insights. LEGO staff members also give out their “business cards”, which are minifigs with their names printed on the torsos – also very unique items that are hard to find (photo below by Eric Lumsden).

LEGO Inside Tour Business Cards

Then there are the tours… you might have heard about the Ole Kirks House (photo below by bluemoose), but visiting the place where the LEGO legend begins is a whole other matter. In the LEGO Inside Tour participants have a chance to explore Ole Kirks House and hear more about LEGO’s history and learn about the culture and values which makes LEGO one of the top toy brands in the globe. There is also a trip to the headquarters of the company (called the Idea House), and to the LEGO History Museum which showcases the collection of almost all products ever made – including those wooden toys manufactured by LEGO dating back as far as 1932. And one of the most memorable events is visiting the LEGO factory, where participants can see the fully-automated process of LEGO brick-making.

LEGO Inside Tour - Ole Kirk's House

On the second day of the LEGO Inside Tour there is a LEGO building competition where each and every tour member can hand in their own LEGO models. Sometimes due to the tight schedule people have to build their models overnight, but I think it’s totally worth to enter. Participants have access to a tremendous amount of LEGO elements, and it is definitely a blast to see other contestants’ models. The competition is judged by actual LEGO Model Designers. An exquisite brick-built trophy is awarded to the winning contestant. (Photo below: Inside the LEGO Idea House by Mauricio Vives)

LEGO Inside Tour - Ideas House

Then there is also the LEGOLAND Billund Backstage Tour. Some of you might have been to a LEGOLAND Park, but I bet you have never explored the backstage of it. Participants can go behind-the-scenes and check out the technical operation of how LEGOLAND runs. In the guided tour participants are accompanied by LEGO Model Designers around the park, and afterwards there is a lot of free time to explore LEGOLAND on their own.

LEGO Inside Tour - LEGOLAND

If you are reading this I bet that you are quite thrilled and ready to join the next LEGO Inside Tour, am I right? But don’t get too excited, because this one-of-a-kind LEGO experience costs DKK 13,000 (about US $2,300) per person for all ages. Yeah, it is expensive, and the price doesn’t include transportation to Billund, however it does cover decent accommodation at the LEGOLAND hotel and most meals. In addition, you must race against other LEGO enthusiasts to register online for upcoming tours. Last year it took only 270 seconds to get a whole year worth of tours fully booked! Anyone can register and participate, however children ages 7-14 must be accompanied by an adult. If you are still interested, you can register at the LEGO Inside Tour website (a link will be provided on the page for the registration form when registration opens).

To write this article I mainly used information from LEGO’s own website and Apple New Daily (which is something we have here in Hong Kong). Please note that some of the info may be not entirely correct as tours from year to year can change a bit. Furthermore, I’m a TFOL (Teen-Fan-of-LEGO) and this is my first article here at theBrickBlogger, so thanks for reading! Comments and constructive criticism are more than welcome! What do you think? Are you planning to go at a LEGO Inside Tour? Have you been to one already? Feel free to share in the comment section below! 😉

And you might also like to check out the following related posts:

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

BLProductions September 3, 2014 at 11:32 AM

I’ve never really bothered about inside tours, though I heard about it on Brickset, but this makes me seriously want to go. I think it will help me in my goal to become a Lego Designer. Too bad it’s so expensive, I’ll have to save up for 10 years to get that much. 🙁
Very nicely written article, Ernest! Your techniques keep the whole article interesting and smooth. 😉
Also: http://brickset.com/article/12209/75060-ucs-slave-i-pictures-revealed . One word: awesome! 🙂
Off-topic, but does anyone know when Ninjago will be on next in the US?

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admin September 3, 2014 at 4:20 PM

Yes, Ernest is a good writer. He churned out four articles in just a few days (I will be publishing them all in the next couple of weeks). It is nice to see young LEGO fans coming up with great articles like this. And yes, if you are planning to become a LEGO designer going on the tour coudl be an important step in the right direction. Especially since you would have to move to Billund! 🙂

As far as the Slave I, yeah, I was just looking at those gorgeous pictures this morning! And in regardst to Ninjago, I heard October, but I’m not 100% sure.

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BLProductions September 3, 2014 at 7:23 PM

Four articles?! Wow. I haven’t even done one in three weeks.
Concerning Ninjago, can I write an article about the 2015 sets once I see episodes 33 & 34? I have figured out quite a bit about them.

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admin September 3, 2014 at 9:41 PM

Sure, you can! Should be interesting. 🙂

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Ernest September 4, 2014 at 4:25 AM

Thank you for praising my article!!!
Well, too bad you haven’t watch the last two episodes of Ninjago. They were great!

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Kim September 3, 2014 at 12:33 PM

I’d love to go on the tour and I love those exclusive sets! Maybe someday. We’ll see.

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Kim September 3, 2014 at 4:17 PM

Really wish I could get the instructions for that train but I would be surprised if anyone has even opened theirs.

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Håkan September 3, 2014 at 4:24 PM
admin September 3, 2014 at 9:52 PM

Thanks, Hakan, that’s very helpful.

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Kim September 4, 2014 at 2:27 AM

Awesome! Thank you!

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admin September 3, 2014 at 4:32 PM

The BrickShow has an excellent review on the set, so you can take a good look at it: http://youtu.be/owCMa2eRIxY, also, Brickset has the parts-list, so you might be able to piece it together using those two sources: http://brickset.com/inventories/4000014-1

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Kim September 3, 2014 at 5:20 PM

oo. I”ll definitely take a look at that when I get home from work.

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admin September 3, 2014 at 4:22 PM

Same here; would love to go one day. I have heard that there are some people who go every year! They are obviously very rich though! 😀

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Strider September 3, 2014 at 1:15 PM

Well, to be honest I was thinking that I would love to make a detailed and skillfully crafted castle out of thousands of pieces, in answer to your first question, but the tour seems awesome. I love the look of the sets they hand out, but I see no reason for anyone to sell them. I think their main value lies in the fact that they commemorate an experience. They are actually fairly simple sets, so yeah, just my opinion. (From a collectors perspective, I get that their rarity makes them wanted.) Also, off topic, but I bought a Lego Mindstorms Nxt 2.0 for seventy five dollars off on ebay, and it came today! :D. I can’t wait to get into it! (Oh, one touch sensor is missing, I was aware that it might be before buying, so I’ll. have to order one, but still not bad.)

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Håkan September 3, 2014 at 2:43 PM

Not sure if Lego sells separate sensors, but I’m sure you could find one on BrickLink…

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BLProductions September 3, 2014 at 4:48 PM

Yes, they do, they’re under the Robotics section on Lego shop: http://shop.lego.com/en-US/Robotics-ByCategory (at the bottom) 😉

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Strider September 4, 2014 at 12:00 PM

Actually, through some strange turn if events, when I had dumped all the bags out in a tray to get building, the second sensor was right there in the middle. The bags were sealed. Every review I had encountered showed the piece in a white box along with the other sensors.

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admin September 4, 2014 at 12:59 PM

Nice! Glad to hear you found it! 😀

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Håkan September 4, 2014 at 5:16 PM

Sweet!

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admin September 3, 2014 at 4:27 PM

I would love to get the moulding machines set from 2011! That is by far my favorite, but I have never-ever seen it on sale anywhere – as you say, hardly anyone would consider selling them. Have fun with your Mindstorms set! 😛

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Strider September 4, 2014 at 12:01 PM

Thanks! 🙂

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tk November 3, 2014 at 10:46 AM

I signed up for the tour today. I received my confirmation at ten minutes after. My confirmation says I am on the “wait list” Does everyone go on the “wait list”??? or just once it is full?

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admin November 3, 2014 at 10:51 AM

The wait list means that the tour is full, however if there is a cancellation people on the wait list will get priority. If they can’t put you on the upcoming tour they will try to fit you in a later date. The tours usually sell out within the first 5 minutes after they go live. It is very exclusive and very popular.

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tk November 3, 2014 at 11:55 AM

Thanks so much for the reply. I was on the website right on the “release” time, but I didn’t notice the link until 5 minutes after the hour. Was anyone else on at that time? Did you see an active link? or did I just not notice it until it was too late?

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tk November 3, 2014 at 11:56 AM

I was online on the hour of the release, but I didn’t recognize the “register here” button until 5 minutes after the hour. Was anyone else online? Was it live right on the hour? did I simply overlook the link?

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admin November 3, 2014 at 12:00 PM

I’m sure a lot of people were online. As I said; the tour usually sells out within the first 5 minutes. You need to keep refreshing the page to make sure you are there when the link goes live. Since you are on the waiting list, I’m sure you will receive an email shortly with what the status of your registration is. Sometimes people cancel, so you have a good chance of getting in, especially since you are already in the system. 😉

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