Thursday, March 5, 2015

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 184

 Legoland, Billund, Denmark, 1982

The postcard shows children riding in Lego cars at Legoland, Billund, Denmark and is from 1982.  The card is slightly damaged but still clearly shows the top and bottom borders with the familiar Lego connecting circles found on all Lego Bricks.

The photo on the postcard shows what is today called the “Toyota Traffic School” for kids 7 to 13 years of age.  Another version for 2 to 6 year olds is called the “Duplo Driving School.”  Below are two pictures taken in 1982 that show both of the rides.

Notice the language sticker (UK flag for English) on the windshield that alerts the attendant how to talk to the child driving the car.  The older children could steer the vehicle while the younger children’s ride had the car anchored on to a track so the child could still turn the wheel but the car would not rush off into the bushes.  Some of the older children did manage to accidentally drive their cars into bushes and off the roadway.  The cars are electrically powered.

Since that time additional smaller Legoland parks have been created in other countries including the United States.  The first park was opened in 1968 to promote the toy and is located next to the original Lego factory that was founded by Ole Kirk Christiansen in 1949.  Over 50 million people have visited the park since it opened.  There are 9 themed areas in the park that covers 45 acres. 

One of the main attractions is Mini Land where there are Lego brick models of buildings and famous landmarks from all parts of the world.   The photo below shows only a tiny section of Mini Land with its scale of 1:20 and over 25 million bricks.  The mountain (also made of Lego Bricks) visible toward the middle in the back of the photo is Mt. Rushmore and does have the presidential heads made of Legos and looks remarkably like the real thing only much, much smaller.  In addition to the real places found in Mini Land there are fantasy elements in separate divisions that include Pirates, Knights, Adventure, Star Wars, The Old West in the United States, imaginary trips to Atlantis and others. There are also educational hands on exhibits that allow experimentation with water, music, and something called the Lego Mindstorms center for fun-based learning.

Visiting Legoland brought back dreams of constructing a mammoth miniature city with ramps and castles made from building blocks for the marble people in the "Marble Kingdom" that my brother I invented when we were children.  My children and now grandchildren love Legos and have played with, collected, and invented many things with these wonderful toys much like the Marble Kingdom of my youth.  Legoland was a delight to visit for all ages. 

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