Dec 13, 2009 12:00 pm
by Joe Meno
Article and Photography by Linda Villarreal and Michael Zehr, BrickJournal Correspondents
(Editor's Note: Originally, this article was to be released earlier, but final analysis of the parts took a little longer than expected. However, those wishing to analyze the pod's characteristics can go here - http://www.bradfordrant.org/pod_02_build.html)
Recently a spacecraft made of LEGO elements landed in Denmark near the LEGO headquarters. Scientists from the Bradford Rant Institute of Cosmic Kinesis (BRICK) have been analyzing the spacecraft, or pod, and predicted that another one would be landing in early December. Long-range scanning predicted a location on the east coast of the United States of America, eventually pinpointing the impact site as the LEGO Imagination Center at Downtown Disney near Orlando, FL and an arrival date of Dec. 3.
Even before the LEGO Imagination Center opened there were several pod-chasers in the area, anxiously searching the skies for signs of arrival. Scanning and triangulation indicated that the pod would be landing in a few hours.
Excitement built among the pod-chasers as the time passed. Those anxiously awaiting the arrival included Florida residents as well as a family from Georgia and one from Texas. Official word that the pod had landed came via a statement posted on BRICK's website, http://www.bradfordrant.org.
The area was secured, LEGO representatives confirmed that it was pod #2, and allowed the pod-chasers a chance to observe the spacecraft, artifacts, and mini-fig pilot.
BrickJournal had a chance to talk with Henrik Krogh (of LEGO, asked by BRICK to travel to Orlando to secure the pod) and Tim Halbert, Master Builder from the Orlando LEGO Imagination Center:
Q: What time did the pod land?
Henrick Krogh: It landed in Orlando, FL as 11:30 local time. We got a call from the Brandford Rant Institute that it had landed.
Q: There's been speculation that the pods might melt during entry. Any comment?
HK: It seems that it was not damaged.
Q: Were there any people on board, and if so were they ok?
HK: There was one mini-fig and it seems to be fine.
Q: How does it feel to have something related to LEGO land at your store?
Tim Halbert: It's extremely interesting. As a flag ship store representing the company it's quite an honor. We were very excited.
Q: Is there any additional data from pod 2?
HK: Only the pod ID [SklXMg]. That's all we can see for now. It has to be brought back to the Brandford Rant Institute for scanning and observation.
Q: Where do the scientists think the pods are coming from?
HK: From outer space somewhere. They have still not located the origin of the pods.
Q: Any indication of when the next pod will be arriving?
HK: The scanning shows that it will be sometime soon. We don't know yet. It will be announced by the Bradford Rant Institute. [Note: as of Dec. 12, 2009, the Brandford Rant Institute has indicated that they expect another pod to land shortly in southeastern Texas.]
Q: Do you expect that there will be any LEGO products related to this?
HK: We do not know.
Q:It's mentioned in the video concerning pod 1 that there is a 6-way attachment. Is pod 2 constructed the same way? Can we duplicate this?
HK: It appears to be constructed the same way from indications so far.
TH: Six different directions is very difficult, but if you have the right pieces you may be able to do it. It poses a challenge.
Q: What else can you tell us about the construction?
HK: There's a very rare piece on the top of the pod. There's also a 2x4 green piece that has never been seen before. Each [pod] seems unique.
TH: [For the known pieces] if you're familiar with the LEGO sets you can tell which sets the pieces come from.
Q: Since there are building instructions available, how can we distinguish a pod from outer space from one built here? If a member of the public finds a pod on their own, what should they do?
HK: The Brandford Rant Institute has sophisticated tools for scanning and analysis. If someone finds a pod they can send pictures and the location to the Brandford Rant Institute for analysis.
Q: What else do we know about the pods?
HK: The pod has a scanner on the back so it could be communicating with the other ones. We do not know, but the question is why they have a scanner?
Henrik Krogh (left) and Tim Halbert
Henrik unveils the second pod.
The second pod.
Tim and Henrik pose with the pod.
Pod closeup with passenger.
New parts on pod are highlighted
Many thanks to BRICK and Linda Villarreal!