The LEGO Group is the latest company to launch a space-focused consumer products program in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, along with a month of global events designed to inspire kids to take an interest in our solar system.
It sounds like a good flight path for the brickmaker as a recent survey from Haris Poll/LEGO survey found that 86% of children ages eight to 12 are interested in space exploration, and 90% of them want to learn more about space. The majority of kids surveyed (97% in China, 88% in the US and 87% in the UK) believe a human will go to Mars in the future. Most kids also believe that humans will live in outer space or on a different planet. Kids from China (95%) were more likely to say they personally want to go to outer space than those from the US (68%) or the UK (63%). The study surveyed thousands of children ages eight to 12—and hundreds of parents—in the US, UK and China.
New building sets are available now, including the LEGO Creator Expert NASA Apollo 11 Lunar Lander, which recreates the historic moon landing. The LEGO City Mars Exploration set, meanwhile, is inspired by NASA’s future missions to explore the moon and Mars, and the LEGO Ideas Women of NASA set celebrates women in STEM. The LEGO Ideas NASA Apollo Saturn V is a three-foot-tall LEGO brick replica of the rocket that powered the Apollo missions and the LEGO City People Pack–Space Research and Development set features 14 minifigures representing professions that make space explorations possible (including astronauts, botanists, personal trainers and drone engineers).
Beyond consumer products, the LEGO Group will continue its space-focused celebrations with a number of events. LEGO master builders spent almost 300 hours designing and building a life-size LEGO model of an Apollo 11 lunar module pilot, which replicates the space suits worn on the moon in 1969. Built from 30,000 LEGO bricks, the model will be unveiled during the Apollo 50 Festival in Washington, DC, later this month. The Danish brickmaker also created one of the tallest LEGO rockets ever displayed in Canada, which families can visit until September 2 at the Ontario Science Centre. Coming in at more than 11 feet tall, the rocket is built from 80,000 bricks and features built-in light, sound and fog effects.
Additionally, LEGO stores around the world will host activities until the end of July, including weekly build and display activities related to Mars exploration.
LEGO is also partnering with Scholastic on an educational program that will be available to teachers in Title I school districts across the US and will send 50 children to NASA Space Camp in 2020.
A number of other companies have recently jumped on the space bandwagon, with Mattel launching new short-form content on YouTube, Australia’s ABC ME and Nine Network hooking up with German pubcaster Super RTL to commission the new animated kids series Space Nova, and Apple TV launching the partially-scripted “documentary” Peanuts in Space: Secrets of Apollo 10.