article headline

The LEGO Group Promotes The Yoda Chronicles with the Largest LEGO Model Ever Built!






May 23, 2013 11:00 am
by Joe Meno
more photos

The invite I received gave me no clue as to what I was going to, just a hint: Would you like to see the world’s largest LEGO model? For me, that’s a question I tend to regard with a little skepticism, but this invite came from the LEGO Public Relations. That made things a little different - the LEGO Group has the resources to make a big model. This was also built to promote the upcoming show The Yoda Chronicles on Cartoon Network. My curiosity got the better of me, and a couple of weeks later, I flew to New York City to see this, along with a few other press outlets.

The final destination, as well as my trip, was to be kept quiet. I was told that I was going to be shuttled out to a hangar somewhere, but that was all the information that I had before I was picked up at my hotel. From there, things got interesting.

Our group ended up about 45 minutes later at MacArthur Airport, at Long Island. We were farther out from the city than I thought, but it turned out to be a perfect place to hide something big. And aside from the LEGO logo on the door, you wouldn’t think anything is different, until you go inside.


front view
A forward view of the model.

Our group was greeted by Ashley Edwards and Amanda Santoro of LEGO Public Relations, and LEGO Master Model Builders Erik Varszegi and Dale Chasse, who led led us inside the hanger.

Side view
Side view


And there it was. It was clearly a model of an X-Wing set...but sized up to life size! “42 times the size of the set,” Erik stated, with an understated excitement in his voice. We were led around the X-Wing, which took a few minutes to completely take in. I have seen many large models, including those at LEGOLAND, but nothing of this scope. To give you an idea of the scale, one LEGO stud sized up 42x is very close to the size of a gray baseplate and larger than a green or blue baseplate. And that is just one stud!


bands
Even the rubber bands are duplicated!

skid
and if you look close, you'll see the upsized Technic pins!

The length of this X-Wing is 43 feet long, 44 feet wide, and 11 feet tall. Erik took most of the initial questions and also told the group that the model weighs 45,800 pounds, has over 5 million bricks (and yes, the elements were mostly bricks - there weren’t many plates used) and was built in the LEGO Model Shop in Kladno, Czech Republic. From there, the model was shipped to the hangar for reconstruction and setup.


dale
Dale Chasse with the X-Wing.

cockpit
Inside the cockpit there is a photo station so 'pilots' can take photos and load them online to Facebook.

wave
And that's me in there!

There were some other models too that were on display. A minifigure of Luke Skywalker dressed in his flight suit, as well as R2-D2, and R5-D8 were nearby, as was a figure of Yoda wearing a NY I LOVE shirt, first seen in the 2013 New York Toy Fair’s Collector’s Exclusive. All of these were also sized up in the same scale as the fighter. The star of the show, however, was the X-Wing. And after an hour of looking, learning and photographing, our session was over.

Luke
Luke and R2-D2.

R5
R5-D8.

yoda
Yoda.

The X-wing will be on display at Times Square for three days, then will be displayed at LEGOLAND California for the rest of the year. BrickJournal will take a look in an upcoming issue at the story behind this model, and how it was made! Following are fact sheets and press releases to the X-Wing and The Yoda Chronicles.

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The LEGO Group Unveils World's Largest LEGO® model To Delight LEGO Star Wars™ fans across the galaxy

-More than five million LEGO bricks used to create life-sized X-Wing starfighter in celebration of new LEGO Star Wars animated TV special “The Yoda™ Chronicles” premiering on Cartoon Network-

NEW YORK CITY (May 23, 2013) – The LEGO Group today unveiled the world’s largest LEGO model, a 1:1 replica of the LEGO® Star Wars™ X-Wing starfighter, in New York’s Times Square. To celebrate the upcoming premiere of The Yoda Chronicles on Cartoon Network on Wednesday, May 29 at 8:00 p.m. (ET, PT), the massive replica took 32 master builders, five million LEGO bricks and over 17,000 hours to complete. The model weighs nearly 46,000 pounds, stands 11 feet tall and 43 feet long, with a wingspan of 44 feet. The Model will “take off” for a summer landing at LEGOLAND® California Resort where it will be installed through the remainder of the year.

“Just as kids love to test and hone their LEGO building skills and imaginative storytelling, our LEGO Master Builders are always testing their creative skills to top their last larger-than-life sized creations,” said Michael McNally, Brand Relations Director for LEGO Systems.  “The size and structural complexity of a freestanding model 42 times the size of one our retail sets was a challenge they could not resist.”

LEGO Star Wars is the original and most successful licensed product collection in The LEGO Group’s history and remains among the best-selling global toy lines. The theme’s evergreen strength comes from its appeal across generations to fans of all ages and a steady introduction of digital content such as The Yoda Chronicles to compliment the building experience.

“Much the same way that fans can build the Star Wars universe with our LEGO sets, we are fortunate to work with Lucasfilm to build new stories, characters and vehicles through one-of-a-kind content such as the new  “Yoda Chronicles” miniseries launching on Cartoon Network,” said Nicholas Hort, LEGO Star Wars brand manager.

LEGO Star Wars X-Wing Starfighter Model Fun Facts
Contains 5,335,200 LEGO bricks
Weighs 45,980 pounds
Height: 11 feet / 3.35 meters
Length: 43 feet / 13.1 meters
Wingspan: 44 feet / 13.44 meters
32 builders spent 17,336 hours to construct – about 4 months
Built in the LEGO Model Shop in Kladno, Czech Republic
Is a one-to-one replica of LEGO Star Wars set #9493; The model is 42x the size of the retail building set
The model was heavily engineered to withstand all the transportation, setup/break down and to ensure it was safe for Times Square given the subway system below and California’s seismic requirements for the LEGOLAND California Resort installation.


How to Celebrate From a “Galaxy Far, Far Away” with Cool Content and LEGO Bricks
“The Yoda Chronicles”
The Yoda Chronicles is an exciting, funny and action-packed new LEGO Star Wars story told in three animated TV specials. “The Phantom Clone” will premiere on Wednesday, May 29 at 8:00 p.m. (ET, PT) on Cartoon Network with specials two and three airing later this year. In the first of three specials, a brand new character, Jek 14 will enter the Star Wars universe. Created by the LEGO Group, Jek 14 is a clone who has been ‘enhanced’ by the Force.
LEGO Star Wars Red Five X-Wing Starfighter™
The most detailed and realistic version of the construction set, the LEGO Star Wars Red Five X-Wing Starfighter, is now available as the ultimate collectible. This exclusive model that contains over 1,500 LEGO bricks comes with a special display stand and data sheet label, is available at LEGO® brand retail stores and shop.LEGO.com for $199.99 USD.

For more information, visit LEGO.com/StarWars

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X-Wing Facts

This LEGO® Star Wars™ X-wing Starfighter model is the world’s largest LEGO model built to-date, 11-feet tall and 43 feet long with a wingspan measuring 44 feet. It is a 1:1 model 42 times the size of a detailed building set currently available for children of all ages. After three days in New York City’s Times Square, the Model will “take off” for a summer landing at LEGOLAND® California Resort where it will be installed for the remainder of the year.

An international team of designers, builders, engineers, mechanics and logistics experts spent over a year bringing this model from brainstorm to reality using the same bricks and elements featured in the general LEGO retail collection.

Key Model Specifications
Contains 5,335,200 LEGO bricks
Weighs 45,979.61 pounds (including bricks and steel infrastructure)
Height: 11 feet / 3.35 meters
Length: 43 feet / 13.1 meters
Wingspan: 44 feet / 13.44 meters
32 builders spent 17,336 hours (about 4 months) to construct
Built in the LEGO Model Shop in Kladno, Czech Republic

Is a one-to-one replica of LEGO Star Wars set #9493; The model is 42x the size of the retail construction set
The model was heavily engineered to withstand all the transportation, setup/break down and to ensure it was safe for Times Square given the subway system below and California’s seismic requirements for the LEGOLAND California Resort installation.

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The Jedi Master Returns In LEGO® Star Wars™:The Yoda Chronicles
30-Minute Special Premieres Wednesday, May 29 at 8:00 p.m. (ET, PT)
Two Additional Specials To Air In 2013

LEGO®Star Wars™ returns in epic style with The Yoda Chronicles, an exciting, funny and action-packed new LEGO Star Wars story told in three animated TV specials. “The Phantom Clone” will premiere on Wednesday, May 29 at 8:00 p.m. (ET, PT) on Cartoon Network with specials two and three airing later this year. In the first of three specials, a brand new character, Jek 14 will enter the Star Wars universe. Created by the LEGO Group, Jek 14is aclone who has been ‘enhanced’ by the Force.

Set in the prequel Star Wars era, The Yoda Chronicles features the one and only Yoda -- the Jedi Master who has seen it all, done it all and taught generations of Jedi Knights. With help from a fresh class of Padawans, Yoda leads the Jedi in a desperate fight to stop Darth Sidious and his minions from creating a new super-weapon that could crush the Republic and win the war for the forces of evil.

In “The Phantom Clone,” under the orders of Darth Sidious, Count Dooku sets out to create the new ultimate weapon for the Sith.  It is now up to Yoda and the Padawans to prevent Dooku from carrying out his plan but will they be too late? Tune-in on Wednesday, May 29 at 8:00 p.m. (ET, PT) for action, suspense and comedy in this all-new LEGO Star Wars special.

The LEGO Star Wars specials have quickly become fan favorites on Cartoon Network. Last year’s The Empire Strikes Out premiered as the #1 telecast of the week among boys 9-14, and the #1 telecast of the day among kids 6-11 and key boy demos, according to Nielsen Media Research.

LEGO Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles is written by Michael Price (The Simpsons) and produced by Threshold Animation. This special marks the first time entirely new Star Wars characters and vehicles have been created specifically for LEGO Star Wars. Building sets related to The Yoda Chronicles and featuring Jek 14 will be available in August. 

Cartoon Network is consistently the #1 U.S. television network among boys 6-11. Currently seen in 99 million U.S. homes and 194 countries around the world, Cartoon Network is Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.’s ad-supported cable service now available in HD offering the best in original, acquired and classic entertainment for kids and families.

In addition to Emmy®-winning original programming, industry-leading digital apps and online games, Cartoon Network embraces key social issues affecting families with solution-oriented initiatives such as Stop Bullying: Speak Up and the Move It Movement.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news, entertainment, animation and young adult media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.

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