|Source: Children Come First|
The LEGO Group is to partner the H.C. Andersen 2005 Foundation and HCA abc Foundation and celebrate Hans Christian Andersen’s 200th birthday in April 2005. The partnership will involve a variety of activities in a LEGO environment – including the launch of several products based on the Danish writer’s famous fairy tales.
An Ugly Duckling in LEGO bricks will be the mascot of the two Hans Christian Andersen foundations. The little duckling has been brought to life at the LEGO factory in the Czech Republic. It takes a professional LEGO builder 3.5 hours to build and glue the duckling, which requires 514 bricks. During the celebration of Hans Christian Andersen’s bicentenary on April 2, 2005, all Hans Andersen ambassadors will be invited to Denmark to attend the many birthday events in Odense (his birthplace) and Copenhagen. The LEGO version of the Ugly Duckling will spread its wings and travel the world – as a gift to each of the Hans Christian Andersen ambassadors.
Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, owner of the LEGO Group, says: “Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales are pure magic. They fire the child’s imagination. The fantastic universe of the child is very much at the heart of the LEGO Group – so it is only natural that we should opt for a partnership with the H.C. Andersen 2005 Foundation.”
He adds: “We chose the duckling as its mascot because the tale of the Ugly Duckling is one of the most popular pieces that Hans Andersen ever wrote. It creates space for things that are different – and a future full of possibilities. It is also alert and charming – and quite irresistible! We have built it in shades of grey and white because, as everyone knows, cygnets (young swans) are not yellow.”
Lars Seeberg, Secretary General of the H.C. Andersen 2005 Foundation, says: “Through his fairy tales and stories Hans Christian Andersen caught the imagination of the whole world and became a source of inspiration for everyone. We are pleased that a special relationship has been formed with the LEGO Group, which – in the spirit of Hans Christian Andersen – encourages all ages and all nations to join in creative play, magical universes and imaginative approaches to the world.”
Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday will also be celebrated at LEGOLAND Billund (which has a permanent statue of the writer outside its main gate). On April 3 there will be a grand fireworks display. And a special fairy tale weekend will be held in September, when visitors to LEGOLAND will have a special glimpse back into the 19th century. Children will have the opportunity to meet – in person! – several of the renowned characters from Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales. There will be magical entertainment for the entire family. The LEGOLAND Orchestra will put on a special concert, and there will be opportunities to explore the new LEGO BELVILLE fairy tales – and DUPLO Princess Palace products.
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