Lego plans summer opening at Chandler Fashion Center - East Valley Tribune: Business

Lego plans summer opening at Chandler Fashion Center

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Posted: Friday, April 25, 2008 6:49 pm | Updated: 11:23 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

The Lego company, a 76-year-old Danish maker of interlocking plastic toys, will open its first Arizona store at Chandler Fashion Center this summer.

The Lego Store, which has only 20 locations in the United States, will host a grand opening during the weekend of June 27 in vacant tenant space next to the mall’s indoor playground.

“It just makes the absolutely perfect space,” said the mall’s senior property manager, Christina Lanoue.

During the grand opening, store staff will host a “Master Builder” event in which they will construct an 8-foot-tall model of R2-D2, a fictional robot character from the "Star Wars" movie trilogy.

The store will sell hard-to-find products for Lego fans, host birthday parties and monthly building contests, and allow customers to play with the toys in the store.

Lanoue said gaining the state’s first Lego Store was a major coup for the mall, which had been trying to entice the retailer to open there for about two years.

“Because we’re such a family-focused mall, it just made perfect sense,” she said. “We have so many children. I like to say it’s been on our store wish list for a few years now.”

Justin Tripp, Lego’s global operations director, said the Valley has been high on the company’s planned locations for some time, too.

The area has a built-in target audience with a lot of families and plenty of adult fans of Lego toys, he said. It’s also one of the fastest-growing cities in the country.

“We felt that this was a good area for us,” he said. “The mall itself is obviously a very successful mall and ... the other brands that are in the mall fit really well.”

The name “Lego” is a combination of the Danish words “leg godt,” which means “play well.”

The Lego company dates back to 1932 and was started in a small carpenter’s workshop by Ole Kirk Christiansen, a Danish entrepreneur.

The company was passed down through multiple generations in Christiansen’s family and is still helmed by his grandson, Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen.

Today, Lego is a global company and the sixth-largest toy-maker in the world.

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