LEGO exhibition in Hoorn great success; ‘my kids just love LEGO’

HOORN – For the employees of the Museum of the Twentieth Century, it is currently a lot of work. They can now count on an average of a thousand visitors a day because of the current LEGO exhibition. From the beginnings of LEGO in wood to various Disney sculptures in blocks, the museum on Oostereiland in Hoorn offers it all.

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After a previous LEGO exhibition in 1997, the museum will once again offer the iconic toy a stage from 17 December. The exhibition seems to be an instant hit. There are long lines at the entrance and visitors stroll through the corridors where the artworks are displayed. “The main reason we have this is because LEGO is the most famous toy of the twentieth century,” says museum director Hans Stuijfbergen. “The reason is actually twofold. This year, the LEGO company is 90 years old, the block itself is over 50 years old. And we had the opportunity to basically take over an entire LEGO museum. Unfortunately, it was for a sad reason because the owner of that museum passed away.”

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The museum had some LEGO to display in its own collection. Now they got the opportunity from the extra stock to do this and bring it in a good way. “Now we have a unique collection from the entire history. From the first wooden toys to the boxes from a year ago, also large figures that have been at exhibitions and in stores,” continues Stuifbergen. “These are often models made by LEGO in Denmark that you normally can’t get to, and now you can.”

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One of several works of art where movement can be observed. Photo: Jarmo Manshanden

Stuifbergen already knew that LEGO is popular and becoming more and more popular. “Our experience in 1997 was also very positive, so we knew it would attract a lot of people, but it’s very busy this Christmas holiday because we average a thousand visitors a day, and that’s a lot.” The director also stated that other reasons contribute to the exhibition’s popularity, such as the timelessness of LEGO, themes (Star Wars and Harry Potter) and television programs (referring to LEGO Masters). “Of course it’s also an indestructible material, because a stone from thirty or fifty years ago still fits.”

Interactive for children

There is also a way for children to interact with the familiar toys. For example, a play corner has been created for the children, where they can create their own works of art. The play corner is used by many children so that they can build alone and together with other children. Some structures are also stored in display cases to display them for a while until they fill up and make room for other creations.

There is also interaction in the exhibition. There are moving models, a diorama with a moving train and a basketball stadium that also shows movement. In any case, it attracts the necessary attention from both young and old. There are also famous life-sized fictional characters that children look up to, such as Woody from Toy Story and Harry Potter. Many parents let their children stop at the large statues to have their picture taken with them.

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The play corner, where children can make their creative constructions together with others. Photo: Jarmo Manshanden

That the exhibition is popular with people was already evident from the attendance and media attention it received. In the room itself, there is nothing but happy faces and enthusiasm, especially among the children. “Kids just love LEGO,” says a mother of two. “They are impressed by such large dolls, and it’s also nice that they can tinker with their own creations in the play corner,” she concludes.

Future

The museum has invested a lot of money in the LEGO collection. Therefore, they see this as an investment for now and later. “This year we are opening another room with a very large LEGO diorama. It contains a lot of movement, sound and light. We think young and old will like to look at it and press buttons to set something in motion ,” says Stuifbergen. The director cannot yet say which themes will be discussed later. “But we intend to unpack with LEGO in the coming years,” he concludes.

People who want to visit the exhibition still have plenty of time. The end date is scheduled for October 29, 2023.

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