Lego Museum!

Posted by admin on May 29th, 2011 filed in Beren, General, Lego, Neat things

Yesterday Beren and I drove out to the Lego Museum!  If you are anywhere near Wheeling, WV (or was it somewhere in Ohio?  I’m not really sure, we seemed to be on the Ohio side of the Ohio River.  At least, I’m guessing that was the Ohio River.  I’m an English major, dammit, not a geographer!  As far as I’m concerned, everything that way *gestures vaguely in the direction of California* is lumped together under the category “Ohio and Points West”) check it out!

First we met up with the party at Ron and Stacey’s house.  Beren instantly fell in love with the dogs, dogs which he would later tire out completely.  There was much saying of the hellos and exchanging of the books, and then it was time to go to the museum.  The other women folk opted to stay behind.  Undaunted, Beren and I followed Ron and Mark to the museum.

Once there, the woman behind the counter let us in at a discounted rate because Ron used to work there.  Also, she liked my shirt. Mark and Ron settled in to sort through the Pick-A-Brick bins, where you can buy a pound of assorted Lego bricks for $10. It is a good way to get the pieces you need really cheap – if you are willing to look through all those bins. Beren and I left them to their task and explored the museum.

The museum seems to be an old school that they have converted to halls of Lego awesomeness. There are Lego things EVERYWHERE! The hallways, the old classrooms, even the stairwells! We thought it might be packed with visitors, since it’s Memorial Day weekend, but we only saw a few other people and no other children.

When we first entered, there was a gnomish sort of Lego man sitting on a giant Lego toadstool (let’s just assume everything I refer to from now on was made of Lego, so I can stop specifying that everything was built from Lego). Beren looked, but was unimpressed, so without thinking, I helped him touch it so he could understand that it was made of many tiny pieces. Then he thought it was neat. Then I realized we aren’t supposed to touch ANYTHING! Unfortunately I impressed upon him that we can’t touch the displays a little too hard, and he was scared to even pose for pictures in front of exhibits for fear of accidentally touching them and knocking them over. Oops.

There was so much to see that I don’t even know where to begin. I took a lot of pictures. There were lifesized Lego people everywhere. They had kind of an eerie presence. There were sports stars, people at desks, an army sort of guy, and even Spiderman!

Heh, naked Lego man butt:

Not quite lifesized pirate, with arm at feet:

And whatever this thing is:

In the old auditorium, they had their record breaking floor display. You could only see it from above, on a balcony, but that made it easier to see the whole thing. On the stage, they had a Lego band set up, and we could see that from our position on the balcony. Many of the displays had buttons to activate the Lego’s moving parts. The band had one button. We pushed it and they lit up and put on a concert for us!

There was also a lot of Lego architecture.

Skyscrapers:

Lighthouse:

Bridge:

And the Statue of Liberty:

Many of the rooms had a theme, and there was a zoo.

Lego giraffe:

Gator:

And a good sampling of famous characters, like Dora and Garfield:

Some of my favorite pieces were the pictures. Some of these were HUGE!

Look at this one up close, what could it be?

It’s Mt. Rushmore and it’s enormous!

This one took up the floor of a room, and it looks like the rest of the room is a work in progress.

Look at the painter on the side of this one! Cute!

Many of the rooms had themes. We especially enjoyed the Mars/space room. It was hard to take pictures in there because it was lit by black light. Here is one exhibit:

I think my favorite room was the Star Wars room! It was dark in there, so it was hard to get good pictures. As soon as you walk in, Darth Vader is standing RIGHT THERE! And he’s HUGE! I stood next to him and the top of my head came to the top of his shoulder, and I’m not short. I had to use the flash because it was dark in the room, so you’ll have to trust me when I say that Vader was much more intimidating when he was just looming there in the darkness.

And the battle droid. Okay. This thing was folded up all tidy like in the display. Looked harmless. It’s kind of in the shadows, like maybe it’s no big deal. There’s a big button on the front. Innocent little Beren went, “Oh! A button!” and pushed the friendly button set at the perfect height for a child to notice and touch. As soon as he activated it, the battle droid loudly unfolded and stood up to its full height, ready to fight. It was terrifying. It just kept getting bigger and bigger! I believe it was at least two feet taller than me. When it started moving and it was clear it wasn’t a friendly little show, like the miniature clown band or the twinkling stars in the Mars room, Beren backed up into me. He wanted to stop looking, but couldn’t. I was the same way. I bet both our mouths were open as we stood, transfixed. When it finally folded back up and went back to sleep, we were still standing there, staring at it. Beren didn’t push the button again. I asked him if he liked that. He said yes. I asked him if he was going to have nightmares. He said yes. I told him I was, too. Later we found out from Ron that you can hear the battle droid unfolding when you are in many other rooms of the museum, and that sound is usually closely followed by the frantic pounding footsteps of kids running away as fast as they can. I was frozen by this thing, so unfortunately I only took one picture of it, and it isn’t a very good one.

After we saw everything, we went back to the Lego store to find Ron and Mark looking through the Pick-A-Brick bins. I told Beren he could pick out one pound of Lego. I thought he would just grab a few handfuls and be done with it, but he wanted to sort through each piece, like the big boys. I think he enjoyed himself. He wants to make an airplane with the pieces he got.

So in conclusion, visit the museum, have fun at Pick-A-Brick, fear the battle droid. The end.


7 Responses to “Lego Museum!”

  1. Ingrid Says:

    It looks like it was a lot of fun. I love weird little museums to random stuff. I might have to drag Andrew out that way, with all of the Star Wars pieces, it shouldn’t be too hard.
    If you ever end up in LeRoy NY (a little West off Rochester) be sure to stop by the Jell-o Museum.

  2. admin Says:

    I think you’d like it. It wasn’t even that far from Pittsburgh, maybe a little over an hour? I think the full price admission was only like $8 for adults.

    I like little museums too. There is a photography museum on East Ohio Street in Pittsburgh that I’d like to visit. It must have funny hours because it’s been closed every time I’ve gone past.

  3. Ron! Says:

    The museum is in Ohio. And yes, the Battle Droid gas been known to
    terrify children. It’s that awesome. I actually helped move that spiderman once. It SUCKED. He splits in two. He is solid Lego except for the codpiece. That is where the mechanism is to take him apart. Each half weighs like 250 pounds and is made of sharp corners! Darth Vader actually is a steel skeleton with Lego surrounding. The only part that comes off though is the head, that that part is solid Lego. Since he is life size and David Prowse is gigantic, this makes transporting the model difficult.

    Also there is no better deal going for Lego than pick a brick there. We ran the numbers. You get over 10 times the pieces for your money rather than retail.

  4. jo Says:

    WOW! This place is so cool! I will have to go with my Dad. He is a Lego nut. His hobby is collecting them from yard sales. Thanks for sharing!

  5. admin Says:

    It was really neat. There were little bonus things to notice all over the place. They also had a lion room, which felt a little creepy to me. Inside the den, there is a gigantic collection of lion figures, toys, etc. that someone donated. It fills a whole room with nothing but lions. I’m glad that the collection has a home where people could appreciate it, but I felt a little weird in that room.

    I hope they don’t have to move Darth Vader and Spidey too often. They are pretty indestructible, right? I mean if it fell over, would the glue give out and let the thousands of pieces go crashing everywhere?

  6. Ron! Says:

    They are pretty tough, and they go to every convention. They draw people over like crazy. They would be hard to tip over since they are glued to those bases they stand on. I TOTALLY forgot a feature of the museum. Remember the store, well right across is the playroom. They hold birthday parties there (good ones at a great price) anyway, as long as there are no parties, you can go in and just play with the legos. At the end. If Beren builds something, they put his name and age and place it in the museum somewhere. Kids get a kick out of seeing the truck they built 2 years ago still on a shelf.

  7. admin Says:

    We didn’t realize that was a play room, but that’s a really cool idea. I did see all the pieces that kids built hanging around. Very nice!