By Neil Kalidas

Emirates Man – ‘The Summer Escape Issue’ – Download Now

Emirates Man gets under the hood of the latest Lego and Porsche collaboration.

Michael Psiaki
Design Master, LEGO Group

What was the inspiration behind the latest LEGO and Porsche collaboration?

This model started as a passion project of mine. We have one day a month where we are encouraged to work on individual projects that excite us. I have wanted to try my hand at a 911 and so it was on one of these days (in June of 2019) that I built a concept for this model. Naturally, I was very excited when we decided to mature it into an actual product.

What was the lead time for the collaboration between Porsche and Lego?

We began our collaboration with Porsche for this model in December of 2019 and then we finished the development in May 2020.

What has it been like collaborating with a brand like Porsche?

It was great. We worked closely with Joerg Thilow from the Porsche heritage department who shared so much knowledge with us to make sure we made the car as accurate as possible. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we were collaborating exclusively online. I would share the model digitally with Joerg and we would swap out parts and try different things live onscreen, which was super helpful.


Lego collaboration

What were the challenges during the development of the LEGO Creator Porsche 911 Turbo and Porsche 911 Targa and how did you overcome them?

The biggest challenge was solving the 2 in 1 aspect of the model, being able to build either the Targa or Turbo without making too many changes during the building experience. We ended up needing to make a special axle that could be added into the car at the very end to have either the wide Turbo axle or the narrow Targa axle.

Does the limited selection of parts, and the limited colour palette influence your creative process?

The LEGO color palette and parts palette have a big influence on the creative process. I love to have a lot of constraints when I’m designing. It makes it a harder challenge to find a solution, but it means that the final solution will be very cool.

Jeroen Beijer
General Manager, LEGO Middle East & Africa

Sales of LEGO surged globally in 2020 – how has brand awareness increased alongside?

2020 has been a very challenging year for everyone, however, it has been amazing to see how LEGO® as a brand increased its relevance during these trying times. I’m very proud that we have been able to engage kids and adults alike with fun & educational play experiences that have hopefully helped them to stay engaged and energized during the extended stays at home. I know in my home we have spent many afternoons and evenings as a family, building either new sets or just having fun, using our creativity and imagination to come up with amazing new builds.

How do you approach client retention, and do you see any market trends globally?

At the LEGO Group, we spend a lot of time perfecting the LEGO play experience, which should not only be very safe, but also fun, engaging, surprising, and suited for the target audience. We would like everyone to experience the joy of building and the pride of creation, whether they build LEGO DUPLO or the latest LEGO TECHNIC Supercar.

We are constantly thinking of new ways to develop play and how to tap into people’s passion points. Some recent examples are our partnership with Nintendo, where we created a fluid physical & digital play experience around LEGO Super Mario but we also recently launched Botanicals aimed at people with a passion for flowers and decoration.

We recently ran a whole campaign that was centered around the cars – with a wide variety of cars in our assortment, we were able to connect with consumers who are very passionate about cars of different sorts.
Some of the recent launches were the LEGO TECHNIC Ferrari 488 GTE, JEEP® Wrangler, McLaren Senna GTR™ as well as the LEGO Creator Porsche 911.


What is at the core of LEGO, Its DNA?

Our fundamental belief is that the best way for children to learn is through play and hence, from the LEGO owner family down to all levels of the LEGO Group, we want to help all children grow and develop to their full potential through play. Through LEGO Play we know that children build many critical skills that will be needed in the 21st century like creativity, critical thinking and problem solving to name a few. We are constantly adding, changing and evolving our portfolio with new themes and play patterns, which means that weather you would like to re-create your version of the city of Dubai, drive your favorite LEGO Supercar or dance with LEGO Minifigures to the tunes of Taylor Swift with LEGO Vidiyo, we have you covered.

Emirates Man – ‘The Summer Escape Issue’ – Download Now

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Images: Supplied