On Friday, November 29, 2019, Lego A/S, doing business as The LEGO® Group opened a flagship LEGO® Store for the Netherlands in time for Advent. [Back in August, I wrote about the announcement that the first LEGO® Stores in the Kingdom of the Netherlands were set to open in Amsterdam and Utrecht in time for Christmas.] Before the doors opened, hundreds of people waited on and around the Kalverstraat (“Calf Street”), a busy street in the Dutch capital that is lined by shops.
The flagship store honors Dutch culture. Large models on display reference Amsterdam and the Netherlands as a whole, including the Amsterdam’s famous Munttoren (“Mint Tower”), a Dutch windmill, and a canal bridge sporting Dutch innovations such as a microscope, cassette, and artificial heart. The 3.35-meter-high LEGO® model windmill has a rotating propeller, lights, and sound effects. The flagship store also boats a LEGO® staircase inspired by M.C. Escher (1898-1972). The walls are lined by LEGO® replicas of masterpiece paintings by the Dutch Masters. Visitors will also encounter interactive LEGO® models, construct boats in the Build a Boat corner and float it on models of the canals of Amsterdam around the LEGO® model of Munttoren. Dynamic lighting effects allow the store to mimic Dutch weather conditions.
With the LEGO® Mosaic Maker, visitors can turn a photo into a LEGO® Portrait in minutes. In the LEGO® Minifigure™ Factory, visitors can personalize their own Minifgures™.
Claud Flyger Pejstrup, Executive Vice President, LEGO® Retail, stated, “It’s a very proud moment to open our first flagship store in the Netherlands and to bring fun and creative LEGO play to even more Dutch children. In our LEGO stores we aim to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow through creative LEGO play experiences by delivering the ultimate LEGO shopping experience, where people of all ages can enjoy hours of fun and creativity.”
 The Munttoren started out as one of two watch towers that were part of one of the city’s gates, when Amsterdam was a medieval walled city, around 1480. However, after a fire consumed everything but the east tower and part of the guardhouse in 1618, the tower was rebuilt and re-purposed in the Renaissance style as a clock tower with a carillon in 1620.
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