Conceived in 1949 by a Danish company, the childhood imagination has been stoked for more than 60 years by the plastic construction medium LEGO. Providing what continues to be the simplest, interactive method for introducing a world of creation to through the placement of multiple interlocking blocks, LEGO is the toy that has opened the minds to the progression of many adults. As the new generation of children become introduced to computer and high technology sooner and sooner, the LEGO block reigns as a comprehensive teaching tool for children (and even some adults) to resonate the sensation of building an object.
From assembling spaceships, buildings as well as cars in between nap and snack times, young minds are awoken to careers in many creative fields. While problem-solving and imaginative skills gained through LEGO is transferable to very faucet of life, the futures of some past LEGO Maniacs has turned into technical jobs in architecture, construction and engineering. Taking a brief trip back to their childhood, 22 designers commissioned by Southeast Ford dealers and LEGOLAND Florida applied their advanced, grown-up knowledge into creating a special full-scale replica of the Explorer crossover vehicle.
A product of 2,500 hours of hand-placing over 380,000 LEGO blocks, the LEGOLAND Ford Explorer was revealed as a shocking likeness to the actual crossover vehicle. Door handles, headlamp housings and even the Blue Oval Ford logo on the 2012 Explorer is replicated on this unique one-off creation. From LEGO blocks shaping the four tires and wheels to the tall roof rack, this LEGOLAND Ford Explorer mimics the 197.1-inch vehicle’s proportions. With 380,000-plus blocks used in shaping the LEGOLAND Ford Explorer, the only major non-LEGO component of the replica is a 768-pound aluminum support frame. Weighing 2,654 pounds, the non-working LEGOLAND Ford Explorer is almost 1,450 pounds lighter than the Ecoboost four-cylinder equipped version of the actual crossover vehicle.
Created in Connecticut, the red Ford Explorer, said to be “Powered by Imagination”, made a public unveiling at Ford Motor Company’s Chicago Assembly Plant. Presented in the same assembly facility where hundreds of front-wheel and all-wheel drive Ford Explorers roll to completion, a long-range perspective may not be enough to identify the carefully-detailed LEGO model.
Asking the question for why the LEGOLAND Ford Explorer came to life, the vehicle sculpture brings attention to an attraction at the soon opening LEGOLAND Florida in Winter Haven. Located inside the LEGO City section of the park, the Ford Driving School gives children between the ages of 3 and 12 years old an interactive education in safe motoring. Besides the ultimate enjoyment of driving their own electric car (on a guided curb rail at speeds no faster than 3 miles per hour), youngsters are taught the basic of driving, importance of seat belts and traffic signs. An equal share of lesson and entertainment, the Ford Driving School is likely to fit well into the new LEGOLAND park in Florida.
The over 380,000 LEGO block-Ford Explorer replica will be part of the new LEGOLAND Florida attraction when it is slated to open October 15th this year.
Information and photo source: Ford Motor Company