On a rainy Friday last week (and there have been many of those here recently) my daughter, her ‘boyfriend’ (both aged 6) and I all took part in an attempt to break the world record for the tallest Lego Tower, at the Legoland Windsor Park in the UK. The previous record of 31.9 meters has only stood for 3 months and was set by Lego itself as part of its 80th birthday celebrations in Seoul, South Korea, outside the Olympic stadium.
The build had been going on all week so when we arrived the tower was easily visible from the car park, already over the 20 meter mark. We joined in with the crew under one of two tents and set to work on level 56 of the pre-designed sections – basically a two stud wide, two plate thick cross shape, all glued together. The actual build was a complete free-for-all, with about 10 kids crowded around the cross, all slapping 2×4 bricks left, right, and center – a complete contrast to the organized solo efforts of the last Lego world we broke, a massive Star Wars Mosaic.
The more serious builders made their section ‘off-plan’ and then worked them into the main cross. A family from Spain went to great lengths to find all the red and yellow brick to make their country’s flag, and the Irish father and his son on the next table were very disappointed at the lack of orange bricks available for their flag. The guy next to me had two attempts at making a large S for him son, Sam, before he got it looking right and was able to integrate it into the cross. A member of the Lego crew was periodically checking to see if we’d made it high enough – 24 rows was the optimum number, and when we’d reached it I felt bad about having to remove some bricks.
With section 56 complete, the three of us headed off to enjoy the rest of the park, knowing that we’d done our bit. The car park is situated at the top of a big hill, so while we were wandering around in the rain we couldn’t see the tower growing. After our day was done and we’d exited through the gift shop (where I finally got my hands on the Monster Fighters Hot Rod Hearse) we arrived back at the tower just in time to see the final section being fixed on, and thanks to the efforts of the guy building the S, we could actually tell where our section was!
The wonderful topper shown at the top of this post was made by a Lego Master Builder using the special Team GB Minifigs created to celebrate the 2012 Olympics in London, but unfortunately they were a little scared of putting it up there on the day because of the wind, so they put a dummy piece the same size on the top to secure the record and then swapped it out for the photo opportunity the next day.
The record now stands at 32 meters 16 centimeters, but for how long who knows? They took it all down the following week and have probably packed the bricks and cross sections up ready to be shipped to a new venue for the next record breaking attempt, but for the moment it’s ours and we have certificates to prove it!