“Lego® Opens New Flagship Store in Amsterdam that Honors Dutch Culture,” by S.M. O’Connor

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.

Foto: Diederik van der Laan / Photo Republic Figure 1 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: This is a picture from the opening of the Dutch flagship LEGO® Store in Amsterdam on Friday, November 29, 2019. The archways of the Bridge of Innovation & Brick Floor Canal in the flagship LEGO® Store in Amsterdam has built-in panels that reference Dutch innovations, such as the microscope.  Several customers in the que to purchase sets are holding the new LEGO® DC Super Heroes 1989 Batmobile™.  This set is for adults and teenagers sixteen-and-up.  It is a LEGO® Store Exclusive, meaning it cannot be found at other toy shops.  It has a list price in the U.S.A. of $249.99. 

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”),[1] 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.” 

Figure 2 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: Inspired by Maurits Cornelius Escher’s Relativity, the LEGO® Escher Staircase allows customers to go from the bottom floor to the top and take some surrealistic pictures while they do it.

Figure 3 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: The gabled roofs of the LEGO® model houses on the right are characteristic of Dutch Baroque domestic architecture. As in Venice, affluent families in Amsterdam historically built tall, narrow houses.

Figure 4 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: This picture is from the opening of the flagship Dutch LEGO® Store in Amsterdam.  A LEGO® model of Amsterdam’s famous Munttoren (“Mint Tower”) on the left, surrounding by a moat that is supposed to evoke the canals of Amsterdam.

Figure 5 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: This picture is from the opening of the flagship Dutch LEGO® Store in Amsterdam.  A LEGO® Mosaic Maker can be seen on the left.

Figure 6 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: The walls of the flagship store are graced by LEGO® reproductions of masterpieces by Dutch masters, including Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669), Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675), and Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890).  The eyes of the super-sized built Minifigures™ in these faux paintings follow visitors around.



[1] 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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