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LEGO Notre Dame de Paris rises again

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Arnaud Gaudilla, a French history teacher, recalled bursting into tears when he watched television coverage of the Notre Dame fire in 2019. “We could do nothing but watch it burn,” he said.

Now, five years later, hundreds of architects, engineers and metal workers competition is over By the end of the year, Mr. Gaudilat will have rebuilt the cathedral’s roof and cables, but he won’t sit idly by. He will build his own Notre Dame. 4,383 LEGO bricks.

Lego, the world’s largest toy company, on Saturday unveiled a model of Notre Dame de Paris with a rose window, bell tower and central spire surrounded by statues. The toy, designed for adults, will be part of the company’s line of toys based on architectural masterpieces, including works by Frank Lloyd Wright. Falling Water and his Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

“I just want to have this beautiful thing in my house,” Mr. Gaudillat, 25, said of the Notre Dame set. He began building the intricate Lego set a few years ago and has been hooked ever since.

The Danish toy company is known for its colorful play sets for children, including its best-selling animal sets, train sets and Harry Potter-themed sets. But since 2020, when Lego launched a new toy category for people aged 18 and over, the company has doubled down on its line of toys for adults. About 20% of the toys the company sells are aimed at adult fans of Lego, known as AFOLs.

The $229.99 Notre Dame set has received attention for its design and is the first religious building released by the company in 67 years, according to Lego’s official historian.

Parisian screenwriter and director Thomas Rahon said he wanted to buy the Lego Notre Dame because the real cathedral – a jewel of medieval Gothic architecture – was very important to him.

“It’s a moment to reconnect with the cathedral, we can go there or rebuild it with Legos,” said Mr. Lahon, 28, who A company plan Solicit design ideas from your fan base.

Construction of Notre Dame (the real one) began in 1163, during the reign of Louis VII, and was completed in 1345. During the French Revolution of the 1790s, a mob chopped down Notre Dame’s statue of the king, and the cathedral fell into disrepair.

Victor Hugo’s 1831 novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame highlighted the condition of the cathedral and prompted its renovation, which took place between 1844 and 1864. Architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc Designed and added the spire.

Genevieve Capa Cruz, head of adult products at the Lego Group, said in an interview that the company’s adult Lego fan base has grown in recent years, especially those in high-pressure jobs who see building Lego as a way to relax.

She said the company is trying to reframe playing with Legos as a “legitimate leisure activity” for adults, “just like you spend time and money making a ceramic bowl.”

She said themes that resonate with adults include architecture, flowers and movies, such as “The Lord of the Rings” and “Star Wars.” Lego’s adult fans are important to the company, and not just because their sets are more expensive – Star Wars Millennium Falcon Model price: $850 — but because they also tend to buy Lego gifts for their kids, she said.

Lego plans to open at least 100 more stores in the next 10 months, Chief Executive Niels B. Christiansen said, as sales at other toy companies, including Mattel and Hasbro, rose 4% last year. Yahoo Finance Interview.

Sonia Hudson, an intensive care doctor at a hospital outside London, said she planned to buy two Notre Dame Lego sets: one she would build to display in her living room and another to buy bricks to add to her collection of about 500,000 sets, which she would use to create her own designs.

“I don’t think of Lego as a toy,” said Dr. Hudson, 50. “I think of it as a building medium. I can build it with wood, I can build it with clay, but if I build it wrong, I have to start over.”

Rok Zgalin Kobe, the Lego designer of the Notre Dame set, said he designed the cathedral so that users would build it in the same stages as the real cathedral was built, rather than from the bottom up, tracing back nearly 900 years of history.

“Once it was finished, you could actually look through the front door and see inside,” he said. “You could feel the sense of space, the grandeur that came with it.”

The design process for the set involved experimentation and required daily trips to a room at the company’s headquarters in Billund, Denmark, where all the Lego bricks available to create new items were located.

Like Dr. Hudson, who uses Lego to relax, Gordon Finley, 62, picked up Lego again after a long absence. He and other Lego fans call the period between when people stop playing with Lego as children and rediscover it as adults the “dark ages.”

Mr Finlay, who lives outside Glasgow, said he planned to build a Lego-scale Notre Dame next month, when 15 million tourists are expected to descend on Paris for the Olympics.

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