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Sunday, August 31 2014 07:19

Beyond DUPLO: Building New Worlds with LEGO JUNIORS #LEGOJuniorMakers

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When it comes to toys, the name LEGO easily stands as one of the most iconic - a name that most would include in a count-on-one-hand list of the must-have toys that every kid should own. LEGO transcends generations, making those perfect little bricks not just great for kids, but for grownups, too (or "kids" of all ages) - capturing the imagination at a young age, fostering creativity and inspiring Makers for countless builds to come. Now comes LEGO JUNIORS, a new line of building sets that help bridge the gap between the DUPLO (for kids 1½-5) and the traditional LEGO realm by presenting kids ages 4-7 with easy-to-build models and simple instructions that can be created with minimal (or no!) help from parents, letting little Makers build something else: confidence.

#LEGOJuniorMakers

My girls received the 480-piece Knight's Castle (10676) and 306-piece Pony Farm (10674) LEGO JUNIORS sets, each containing simple, easy-to-follow instructions and bricks packaged in numbered bags for an organized initial set-up. Five-year-old Addie was quick to point out that "this has pictures of a LEGO ME!" in the booklet, with colorful illustrations featuring a LEGO child helping to guide each build. The bricks themselves are standard-sized pieces that will work with all of your other LEGO sets, but it's the ease of instructions and complexity that have been carefully chosen for the LEGO JUNIORS line.

#LEGOJuniorMakers

While my little Makers (Addie and Little Finley) have done plenty of builds in the past, working with LEGO JUNIORS is the first time that I've really taken a hands-off approach, sitting back and observing as Addie took the lead and followed the instructions herself. With Kindergarten having just started this past week, spending time with LEGO JUNIORS has been a great after-school activity, and one filled with endless opportunity for open-ended play.

#LEGOJuniorMakers

#LEGOJuniorMakersEach set goes beyond the first build with additional instructions for rebuilds that re-use the pieces to create entirely different structures. A generous amount of extra bricks lets little Makers add-on and expand, with a lot of room to create whatever they desire ("houses" are a popular one here). And combining sets? Absolutely! Minifigures are one of the coolest elements of any LEGO collection, and you can bet our LEGO JUNIORS are no exception! The little girl from the Pony Farm kicking back with the Skeleton from the Knight's Castle? Done. Maybe they're visiting Medieval Times or something - but whatever they're doing, anything goes. If you've seen THE LEGO MOVIE, you know that in a world built by Makers, the mix-and-match possibilities are only limited by imagination... and that rocks.

LEGO JUNIORS sets are available in a variety of configurations, including those featuring popular licenses like TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, DC COMICS SUPERHEROES like BATMAN and SUPERMAN, MARVEL's SPIDER-MAN and more. See them all at LEGO.com/Juniors.

THE ROCK FATHER was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective. The content and opinions expressed here are entirely that of James Zahn.

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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