At the recently held Recognized LEGO Fan Media (RLFM) Days, one of the presentations was about LEGO’s collaboration with National Geographic to inspire kids to develop creative solutions for real life environmental challenges. Representatives from LEGO City and LEGO Friends talked about the collaboration and the campaign to engage children in exploring the world of different creatures and the problems they are facing.
As you probably know already, the LEGO Group and National Geographic have a well-established relationship, previously having collaborated on wildlife awareness sets such as the LEGO Friends Sea Life Rescue and the LEGO City Jungle sets. However, this is the first time the two brands are partnering on a campaign that seeks to inspire kids to think creatively – not only is it fun, but it may result in a creative solution that can one day help explore and protect our planet. The presentation was very interesting with both designers talking about the collaboration, the new features, characters, and creatures in the LEGO City Ocean Exploration and the LEGO Friends Jungle Rescue sets. Below is the press-release that talks about the partnership in more detail.
New LEGO City and LEGO Friends sets have been developed to create awareness about exploration and the protection of endangered species in the world’s jungles and oceans. To support the launch and engage children even further, a campaign has been developed in collaboration with National Geographic that will launch July 1st on LEGO.com, which encourages children to explore the world and maybe even develop their own creative ideas on solving the real-life challenges our world is facing. The LEGO Group is also announcing a contribution towards the National Geographic Society to fund grants in ocean exploration and species conservation.
The campaign will invite kids and their parents to visit the heights and depths of the earth, and to learn about exploring our world and protecting wildlife in our oceans and jungles. This includes educational content about pandas, sharks, elephants, deep-sea creatures, and much more. To inspire kids to pursue creativity as a way to one day help protect the world’s wildlife, the campaign will portray stories from six different National Geographic Explorers who are working in creative, unexpected and surprising ways to help address real-life problems that our planet is facing. National Geographic Elephant Ecologist, Dominique Gonçalves, is one of the explorers sharing her personal story about how she needed a creative solution to stop elephants eating food from villages in Mozambique. Her story shows that even the simplest ideas can make a big difference. Knowing that elephants are scared of bees, she implemented a system of rope fences with beehives attached so the bees now safely guide the elephants away. By seeing these stories, kids and parents will see that many of the world’s challenges can be impacted by using creativity.
The LEGO Friends and LEGO City sets have been developed to provide a strong foundation for kids to creatively express their passion for our planet and exploration, while giving them an opportunity to further explore and learn about the ups and downs animals are facing in the wild. Both play themes are based on real-life settings, and supported by the campaign site, so children are well placed to learn about life as an explorer through play.
“We know that creativity is an incredible skill, and the 21st century needs all the creative problem-solving it can get.” Says Ellen Catherine Lucy Bowley, LEGO Friends Designer, the LEGO Group. “Caring for our planet is becoming ever more relevant to kids around the world. They are more committed to seeing positive environmental change than any previous generation, and their creativity will play a key role in finding solutions that will help better protect our wildlife. We hope this initiative will inform children of the current challenges explorers are facing and reassure them that even the most simple or unusual idea can make a big difference in the real world. The most important thing is to have a YES YOU CAN attitude. Therefore, this initiative is dedicated to kids with this exact attitude; children who are curious to learn and make a difference for our wildlife.”
Paul Rose, a National Geographic Ocean Explorer who began his journey as a creative child and today explores the ocean in unexpected ways is also featured on the campaign site. He says: “As a kid I loved swimming and building things – I lived for making soap-box carts and being in the sea! Even on the coldest, roughest days, I would spend hours in the water imagining myself as a diver exploring the ocean. Amazingly, that dream has come true and, as a National Geographic Ocean Explorer, I now lead marine science expeditions to help protect our threatened ocean. It’s so cool to be able to share my story with kids all over the world and who knows, by following their own dreams, a lot of them could end up stepping into my fins to help explore and protect our ocean one day!”
Both LEGO and National Geographic are known for focusing on education, enrichment, and conservation, so this collaboration is a perfect match for both companies. The new LEGO City and LEGO Friends sets are already available in most countries, except in North America, where they will be released in August.
The new LEGO City Ocean Exploration sets are as follows: #60263 LEGO City Ocean Mini Submarine, #60264 LEGO City Ocean Exploration Submarine, #60265 LEGO City Ocean Exploration Base, and #60265 LEGO City Ocean Exploration Ship. Notice the new hammerhead shark, anglerfish, and ray, and shark! The designers giving the presentation were particularly proud of the big ship (it can float!), and that a minifig can fit inside the mouth of the big shark. Ha-ha! The sets are listed at the LEGO City section of the Online LEGO Shop.
And here is the list of the new LEGO Friends Jungle Rescue sets: #41421 LEGO Friends Baby Elephant Jungle Rescue, #41422 LEGO Friends Panda Jungle Tree House, #41423 LEGO Friends Tiger Hot Air Balloon Jungle Rescue, #41424 LEGO Friends Jungle Rescue Base, and #41432 LEGO Friends Alpaca Mountain Jungle Rescue. Notice all the new animals like the elephants, pandas, sloths, and alpaca! The sets are listed at the LEGO Friends sections of the Online LEGO Shop.
What do you think? How do you like the new LEGO City and LEGO Friends sets focusing on ocean exploration and animal rescue? Would you like LEGO to continue collaborating with National Geographic? What other sets would you like them to add to the LEGO City and LEGO Friends collection? Feel free to share your thoughts and discuss in the comment section below!
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