01 December 2008

LEGO Bicycle Culture

You'd expect LEGO, being Danish, to have featured the bicycle amongst their products. There are no bicycles in my boy's 10 kg pile of LEGO - a potpourri of Lego spanning 35 years and including the new stuff, my childhood lego and my little brothers, too - but I've seen them before. So a little googling brought me to this nerdy website listing sets that include LEGO bicycles. I slapped a number of the photos into the graphic above and included a couple of images I found on the internet.

My favourite is at bottom left. A petrol station shop. A cyclist pedals calmly away carrying an ice cream in one hand and fresh flowers in her panniers. She is glancing over at a motorist who can't control his vehicle and who, it appears, forgot his change. I like the contrast.

Above there is Café Corner, with a bike parked out front, of course.

Two of the shots feature merchandising for the German Team Telekom from back in 2000. The Tour de France is [has been] such a major cultural event in Europe for so long and Germany is one of LEGO's biggest markets so no surprise about this merchandising marriage.

At the bottom right are a collection of Community Workers featuring three bikes, including a cop and a fireman on bikes as well as two mechanics.

My Mission Explained *
I've probably posted this before, but if you go to the Danish Legoland, you'll see Copenhagen Cycle Chic in brick form.
Me - As featured in Legoland
And you'll see LEGO's hommage to me. :-)


David Hembrow said...

LEGO was a major part of my childhood, though mine was too old to include bicycles, or indeed little men to sit on them. I had to drive unmanned LEGO cars around deserted towns.

However, this is a greater improvement than you've given it credit for. Note that LEGO transforms everyone into a rider of a proper comfy upright bicycle fitted with lights, a carrier and North Road shape handlebars - even an internationally successful racing team.

Zakkaliciousness said...

I enjoy the thought of Ullrich and Klöden pedalling happily up Alpe d'Huez on their proper, upright bicycle. With the dynamo lights flickering even in the bright French summer light.

Or Zabel leaning slightly over the handlebars as his starts his sprint over the last 150 metres. :-)

David Hembrow said...

It's a great image. Given the speed that these people descend, I wouldn't bet on the life of the bulbs being terribly long.

I've seen photos of people going around a velodrome in London on butchers bikes, and read of people taking the racks off to race too.

It wasn't always the case that even enthusiastic cyclists could necessarily afford super light bicycles.

They'd use the bikes that they'd got, which in the days before "sport cycling" took over were always upright bikes. It's a reversal of the situation in some countries now where it's difficult to buy a practical bicycle.

Karl McCracken said...

I love that the girl on the bike next to the petrol station has flowers in her pannier bag (which looks a tad like one of David's wicker baskets?). It's attention to detail like this that transforms Lego from a kids toy to an art form. Not that it was at all bad as a toy - as I remember it.

Andy B from Jersey said...

I love LEGOs! I had (uhhmm, still have) a bunch! The only gift that you can give to a child these days (besides a bike of course) where you don't have to worry about encouraging antisocial behavior.

But on that note I'm curious. What's with "Sustainable Warfare"? A joke right, Mikael?

Cian said...

Bloody Danes with their Lego bicycles brainwashing me when I was a child! ;)

Adrienne Johnson said...

Along with my need for a Playmobil Viking ship to go with my many Vikings and their castle, I NEED the warrior girl!!

Word Verification- ovenc

I hope no one take ovenc if I decide to play with my Lego's and not go to work today.

Zakkaliciousness said...

Andy... just found the photo on the net... not an official LEGO product... :-)

Interesting how the bricks are called Legos - with an S - in North America. We just called them Lego in plural form.

I sometimes get a word verfication on the screen before it recognizes me. Today it was 'banter'. Which is pretty much the backbone of these blogs.

Ryan (green.ryder) said...

From the ages of 5 to probably 14,15 I played with LEGO...I had no idea it's from Denmark! No wonder it's a great product.