On my recent trip to New York, I was able to go to the Times Square Toys R Us. Although the LEGO section wasn’t quite as big as I’d hoped — I’m spoiled though, by living so near LEGOLAND California — it was still pretty neat to see.
I was surprised (but not too suprised) to see that the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, and the Statue of Liberty are copies of the models that we have at LEGOLAND California. LEGO actually does this quite a lot, copying one model multiple times. Being a Master Model Designer, I totally understand why this is done, since once a model is designed, why reinvent the wheel so to speak?
They actually did that a few years back when LEGO first acquired the Star Wars license. One Model Shop had designed a Darth Vader that was standing with his hands on his hips and one had designed a Darth Vader holding a light saber. Because the Model Shops had not contacted each other, one Darth Vader (the hands on hips model) was actually at least a foot shorter than the other Darth Vader.
The Model Shops all around the world are now in much better communication with each other so situations like this don’t happen as much. In fact, even though I don’t work at LEGOLAND any more, since all my models are still there, some of my models have made their way to the other LEGOLANDs around the world and are on display there as well. Its kind of nice to know that I left a little bit of a LEGO footprint of my own after I quit. ;)