Today we unveiled the new LEGO Set #10237 Tower of Orthanc in Lisbon!
Will be out on July 1st on LEGO S@H!
Wow, well this week was another roller coaster… There’s lots of stuff going on so I’ve been running around the office showing my face and playing the business man. Hold onto your hats!
We’re holding this year’s annual LEGO Certified Professionals summit here in Enfield, CT in mid April. As such, I’ve been meeting frequently with Vince, the Senior Manager for Event Marketing, to coordinate all the logistics involved with the meeting. The agenda has been set but there is still quite a bit of work left such as reaching out to colleagues around the company to join in the three day conference. We’re working with marketing, legal, PR, Consumer Services, Events, and of course the Community team. Not to mention the task of coordinating all the hotel rooms, transportation needs, restaurant reservations and catered meals. I’m looking forward to the event as it should help me in my understanding of the program as I have been recently assigned responsibility for primary CEE point of contact for the LCPs in North America and Australia.
I had meetings with both PR and LEGO Brand Retail (LBR) this week. We have continued our ongoing discussion with our colleagues in PR as to the best course of action to better and more appropriately support online fan sites. Should these sites fall under the responsibility of the CEE team? What happens when these sites grow to a point where they are on par with other main stream media outlets? These questions have brought up among others and we are hoping to have a system in place soon. Meanwhile, I have been continuing the ongoing discussion with LBR around the LUG Showcase and the future of the program. We generated a lot of good ideas and thoughts during a brainstorming session which will now get reported back to the global Community Support Team for consideration. It’s been quite challenging to get everyone on the same page as we have key partners and colleagues in both Enfield and Billund, Denmark with interest in these two discussions…
Outside of meetings and email discussions- every moment not previously booked for meetings has been utilized to continue physically shipping out LUG and event support to the community in North America. NILTC, AbbyLUG, MBLUG, IowaLUG, ParLUGment, VicLUG, ULUG, GMLTC, WamaLUG, DixieLUG, KLUG, GLUG, CoWLUG, OBB, WHaCKoLuG, rtlToronto, DelVaLUG, and ColonialLUG have all be sent their 2013 LUG support packages! I’ll be diving right back in again after the long holiday weekend, so if you’re group hasn’t seem anything yet don’t worry.
I can’t imagine anything else would be of interest to you folks. Perhaps maybe the fact that I received another product sample of the next LEGO exclusive model to be unveiled? Well, I’ll be building that over the weekend. The next unveiling will not be taking place in North America, however we still receive a sample to build and familiarize ourselves with it for any questions received after it’s publicly unveiled. Let the rumors commence.
Wishing everyone out in the community a wonderful Easter holiday!
Time for this business man to hang up his hat and put on the house slippers for a few days…
LUG UPDATE: We officially welcomed a new LUG this week into the region! SquatchLUG – The Northwest Washington State LEGO® Users Group has been spotted among the brush! They are still working out all the finer details of coming out from hiding, so they will hopefully have a website up soon. North America currently has 88 active LUGs.
Well, I’m afraid I missed my weekly blog post yet again last week. Unfortunately, due to the loss of a member of the Enfield community team a lot of energy and effort has been put into shuffling around responsibilities and shifting ownership. Internally there has been a lot of confusion around the office so I’ve been fielding questions, answering emails, and doing my best to fill in any holes that may have developed.
I’ve been very busy over the last few weeks speaking with various LUGs in North America in regards to event support. So far I’ve received 36 event support applications for the region of which I have already shipped out support for 17 of them. So far the response has been very positive and I hope that more groups will take advantage of these new programs we have worked hard to develop.
LUG support applications are still being collected and processed. The goal is to take care of shipping in one sitting so I have decided to hold off until the end of March before I ship out the support packages. 53 of the now 87 active LEGO User Groups in North America have already sent in their LUG support applications, so I still have a few folks out there…
I also began my initial reach out to the LUG community in Central & South America as I will now be handling support responsibilities for these regions as well. I am looking forward to learning more about these groups and working with them more closely!
This week was filled with meetings, both ones that I had previously scheduled as well as ones that I had inherited due to the changes at the office. I spoke with DK Publishing, our partner in producing the LEGO branded books, about exploring opportunities to support the fan community. They are very willing to work with our team so I hope to continue that relationship and dialog in the coming months. I also met with all the North American LEGO Store Managers Wednesday evening in Boston, Massachusetts while attending the annual LBR Manager’s conference. This was a great opportunity to meet with some familiar faces but also to discuss any issues or pending concerns with some of the programs we have in place to support the AFOL community through Brand Retail. It was great to hear some of the wonderful stories and experiences the managers had to share about their local LUGs and AFOLs!
I’m very much looking forward to the weekend after a nice long and productive week. I’ll have a shorter week next week as I will be traveling next weekend.
First of all my apologies for missing my weekly blog update last week, the blizzard changed a lot of my plans. With valuable forewarning of the impending weekend weather for most of the previous week, I had to make arrangements to redistribute my tasks and to-do items into a much shorter work week than normal to ensure I could be home with my family for the winter conditions. This made for a rather full and crunched week for me.
The blizzard has been the hot topic as of late, as you undoubtedly know, the New England region here in the United States received a rather super sized blizzard over last weekend. Some areas in Massachusetts reported snow fall of up to 3 and 4 feet, in that respect we were a little luckier here in Connecticut- but not by much. Life has slowly returned to normal as the roads have finally started to clear up and I was back in the office on Tuesday.
This week I’ve been working on both LUG support and event support applications. As of this week I have received 50 LUG support applications, the goal is to have them all in before the end of the first quarter (March). Upon which all support packages will begin to make their way across the region. As for event support, I have been working to establish contact with any events taking place before April, as it will be difficult to ascertain loose LEGO elements for these events in particular. At this point I have received 30 event support applications, although I expect many more throughout the year. So far the events that have received their support have been very grateful and supportive of the new program!
I’ve also been working with the LEGO fan convention Brick Fiesta’s event organizers to settle on support efforts including processing their LEGO loose element order. These are the elements that will go into their event for trophies, name badges, etc. In Canada, the dates have been confirmed for Brickfete so I will be booking my travel arrangements and begin the process of coordinating our support efforts towards this event as well. The convention season is coming… I see it just over the hill!
Outside of convention and LUG support, my time has been spent working with the Brand Retail team to establish AFOL contacts in regions where new LEGO Stores will be opening soon. We have confirmed new stores in San Antonio, TX; Des Peres, MO; Toronto, ON; Danbury, CT; and Freehold, NJ thus far. Personally, I’m excited to hear of a store finally being opened in Connecticut where the company has been headquartered for many years (LEGO Systems, Inc.). There are still several more locations to announce, as we await lease agreements.
Oh, and it’s also my 9th wedding anniversary today.
LUG UPDATE: We officially welcomed a new LUG this week into the region! LOLUG – The Lincoln & Omaha LEGO® Users Group has pioneered its way into the previously uncharted territory of Nebraska! They’re still small but working together to get all the kinks out of forming a new LUG. They currently have a Facebook group page if you’d like to give them a visit. North America currently has 87 active LUGs (71 USA, 16 CAN).
The last couple of weeks have shown me the darker side of having over 85 active LUGs (LEGO User Groups) in my territory: the paperwork. After announcing the new LUG and Event Support programs earlier this month, I was greeted with hundreds of emails from the groups turning in applications for support or asking questions and looking for further clarification. Nevertheless, I am glad that the community seems to be very excited and grateful for these new programs we have developed. I hope these initiatives show that the company has taken another step forward to better celebrate and show appreciation for the impact and influence the fan community has on the LEGO Brand.
This week my priority was to secure the shipping information and quantity requests from the LUGs in my region to send them their VIP card stickers. We were able to develop and implement a new program for LEGO Stores to show their appreciation to the LUG community, and these stickers are required to properly identify one’s self as a member of an active LUG in North America. I dropped off the pile of envelopes at the front desk this morning so the stickers will be making their ways to the mailboxes of the LUGs soon. It only took me two weeks to gather the info, and six hours to address all the envelopes and count out stickers.
Now that I have that out of the way, I will now be focusing my efforts on processing the event support applications received. I have currently received 23 applications, so I am expecting many more to come as we move further into 2013.
Tuesday I was asked to give a brief introduction and presentation to the LEGO licensing team about the fan community. These are the folks who develop the various licensed products you see in the wild such as the Moleskin notebooks, watches, t-shirts, and key chains. The presentation was well received and we hope to work more closely with the team more in the future! My only other item of interest was the nice surprise waiting at my desk yesterday: A volume sample of the next exclusive model that will be unveiled to the world. The next unveiling will not be taking place in North America, however we still receive a sample to build and familiarize ourselves with it for any questions received after it’s publicly unveiled. Looks like it’s time to build! Sorry, no hints from me on what it is…
LUG UPDATE: We officially welcomed a new LUG this week into the region! NMLUG, The New Mexico LEGO User Group has established contact and is claiming the Land of Enchantment. They have just under a dozen members and are currently working on a website. But if you can’t wait, you can visit their Flickr group. North America currently has 86 active LUGs.
Well, it’s back in the hot seat for me after a very lovely and well needed holiday vacation. First line item, of course, was to catch up on emails and messages received while I was out of the office. Not too bad, I don’t think I broke a hundred- but I didn’t count and this time it only took me about six hours to play catch up. There’s just a bit of cleaning up to do on the books for 2012 before I turn that page over and move full steam ahead into the New Year…
The first of which is collecting all the data and metrics reported in from the North American LEGO User Group (LUG) community over the 4th and final quarter of 2012. This data is collected throughout the year and is quite invaluable to us within the community team as we use these metrics to make the case for continued resources and to gain a better picture of the true impact of the AFOL community. I should have a few interesting bits of information to share back in the coming weeks, some of which will be incorporated into my hour long presentation while attending the LEGO fan convention BrickFair: AL (
) in a few weeks. The metrics are rather simple but we look to see how the LUGs are growing and developing with current membership, impact they have on the public with shows and displays, and of course keeping the records straight on desired points of contact.
Another year brings forth another opportunity to visit with the fan community in the region by coordinating travel arrangements. I spent a good chunk of time finishing up all the preparations needed to be on site for the LEGO fan conventions taking place in North America. First off, as previously stated, is BrickFair: AL in Birmingham, Alabama. Expect a full report.
A lot of hard work and effort over the last few months has gone into some new and exciting opportunities for the LEGO fan community in 2013. Understandably, there was quite a bit of push back and disappointment in the restructuring of support efforts towards LEGO fan conventions here in North America. However, as we continue to focus on a more streamlined and global approach to our support efforts we have developed a few programs that will hopefully extinguish the disappointment still lingering in the region. Over the coming weeks we will be opening up new opportunities for LUG support well beyond what we have offered in the past. We will also be announcing a new and exciting opportunity in collaboration with LEGO Brand Retail which will help soothe the sting of the missing convention discount. Could that have something to do with the picture below?
Last but not least, I have begun working with my colleagues once again at LEGO Brand Retail to help in another year of brand new LEGO Stores! As a new stores open we typically reach out to the local LEGO fan community first to gauge interest in building display models and/or volunteer opportunities before exploring other options. The first two locations have been officially announced and can be found in the February LEGO Store marketing calendar: Des Peres, Missouri and San Antonio, Texas! There are still quite a few locations to be announced which I hope to do so as soon as possible. Check out the picture above.
LUG UPDATE: We officially welcomed two new LUGs this week into the region, and they are definitely train fans! CLTC: The Calgary LEGO Train Club (
) will be pulling into station in Alberta, Canada while TBRR: The Texas Brick Railroad prefers the warmer climate in the south in Texas, United States. They are currently developing their website and we wish them luck! North America currently has 86 active LUGs.