Raleigh braces for Lego mania

Posted October 5, 2011

— For many people, the days of using imagination to build Lego brick cities didn't stop with childhood.

Aaron Wartner started playing with the plastic building blocks when he was 3 years old. Now, it's part of his career.

"I had my own room that was a Lego room. I'd build cities," said Wartner, the vice president of sales and marketing for Lego KidsFest.

Lego KidsFest takes over the Raleigh Convention Center Friday through Sunday.

For ticket prices and a coupon code, check out this blogpost from Go Ask Mom.

The event will have hands-on classes and expertly created models of characters including Batman and Spongebob Squarepants. 

For children who aren't as Lego-savvy, Lego-themed videogames will be set up, and other activities will be available that do not involve building, Wartner said.

Before you go, it is important to learn the lingo. The term "Lego" applies to the company only. The actual building blocks are called bricks. The larger blocks are called Duplos. 

Lego spongebob Lego KidsFest heads to Raleigh

Children at the Marbles Kids Museum on Tuesday used Duplos to create bridges. After they finished, the bridges were put to the test to see how sturdy they were. The activity, which will also be part of Lego KidsFest, is designed to help children learn to work together and practice problem-solving skills. 

"We want to inspire that next generation of creative builders ... mathematicians and engineers," Wartner said. 

That commitment to the future is what keeps Lego accessible to all ages, Wartner said. 

"As children and how they play progresses, Lego as a toy progresses," he said. "We make sure we are keeping in line with how kids learn these days. I think that is one of the great things about Lego. When you go to the event, you see grandpa next to mom next to the kids and everyone is playing because it is one of those toys. It is a universal toy." 

Raleigh is a hotbed for Lego enthusiasts of all ages, with 40,000 fan club members within a three hour drive, according to company officials.


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  • dwntwnboy Oct 6, 2011

    poverty begits creative alernatives to the norm- fun doesn't have to cost a lot

  • workingforthosethatwont Oct 5, 2011

    I'm glad this was posted...another good reason to stay away from Raleigh. Juvenile children posing as grown ups.

  • 2headstrong Oct 5, 2011

    BrickMagic ( was Mother's Day weekend this year, and tickets were $12/$8. It was quite an awesome display, and we walked around for hours taking hundreds of pictures. The kids didn't want to spend time building - they wanted to go look at the displays some more! This seems to be an annual event (I've found a wral story on the 2010 event), so this story's Lego thing is hardly the only Lego event in town.

    We'll save the pre-holiday cash and just go to the next BrickMagic.

  • dirkdiggler Oct 5, 2011

    dwntwnboy, you are my hero :) do you do guided tours too? :) thank you for the reasonably priced activities. it's about time pullen park reopened!

  • dwntwnboy Oct 5, 2011

    "Movie tickets and concessions are astronomical."- dollar store for snacks and then the $1.50 (or is it $2 now) theatre on Blue Ridge....of course there is always Netflix and a bag of popcorn you pop at your home yourself. EVERYTHING costs money and the prices are reflective of what the market will bear- and unfortunately, the market bears a high price on entertainment.

  • dwntwnboy Oct 5, 2011

    "It'd just be nice to go do something fun with the family and not have to shell out the equivalent to a week of groceries."- Pullen Park opens on Nov 19th. You can take the kiddies to the x-mas parade in the morning and then enjoy the new and improved park- make a day of it- all for a FRACTION of the cost of laser tag or Lego-palooza! :-)

  • Shelley Cooper Oct 5, 2011

    if you lego your money you can come in and play

  • dirkdiggler Oct 5, 2011

    ""WRAL11" coupon code gets you $2 off per ticket, that's $34 for the boys 5 and 8. Dropoff 3pm, pickup 7:30. "

    I seriously hope you are joking and would not leave a 5 and 8 year old to fend for themselves at a crowded venue. Your kids' safety is not the responsibility of everyone else at the event.

  • dirkdiggler Oct 5, 2011

    "Ok I got it mileage v3.0 you want to hold on to your money no problem with that. Why be so negative to something you don't want to waste your time and money with. Four hours of enjoyment doesn't always cost and it's nice to enjoy the things that don't but sometimes a $100 weekend is a win"

    Why? Because I think it stinks that everything, not just this lego thing, is so danged expensive. My kids came home with good reports cards and were rewarded with a trip to Frankies to play video games, a couple rounds of laser tag and drive go-carts. This 2 hour outing cost over $130. Each 'attraction' was ~$6 per person.... $30 for 5 people to play tag for about 5 minutes!

    Movie tickets and concessions are astronomical. It's just ridiculous. There's no reason any of these things should cost so much. It's not a matter of 'wanting to hold on to money'. It'd just be nice to go do something fun with the family and not have to shell out the equivalent to a week of groceries.

  • Da Toy Maker Oct 5, 2011

    LOL on all the comments.

    Here is my two cents: Of all money we spent on toys as our son growing up, we thought Lego toys were worth every single penny we paid. Our son became very mechanically savior and growing up love building things and working fixing stuffs. Took Auto repair in HS and is now studying mechanical Engineering at college. He still likes to lock him self up in his room now and then making things with his Lego. The thing that I hate the most about Lego: going into his room and step on those little pieces!! It hurts!