Today was the official first day that the life-sized X-wing Starfighter was revealed to the public in its new home at LEGOLAND California. I wasn't able to attend the official ceremony 'cause stupid work got in the way but I was fortunate that forum member Mos Eisely was headed down there anyway. So I asked him to cover the even for me and here's his report. There's also a video followed by a copious amount of pictures of the model. It's pretty impressive to say the least. I'm looking forward to seeing it in person this weekend.
“There’s nothing wrong, Artoo. I’m just setting a new course. We’re not going to regroup with the others. We’re going to the LEGOLAND system.”
Thursday, June 13, the life-sized LEGO X-wing was officially unveiled to visitors of LEGOLAND California. Employees, their families, the mayor of Carlsbad, and members of the local press and media were invited to watch as the red curtain was dropped, revealing the largest LEGO model ever built. The General Manager of LEGOLAND California, Peter Ronchetti, spoke briefly about the X-wing and the employees who helped make the presentation possible before his speech was interrupted with the sounds of the X-wing coming in for a landing. He quickly moved out of the way, steam was released, and the curtain dropped, showing everyone the massive X-wing.
LEGOLAND California did a great job with the presentation. The staff was friendly and accommodating. There were plenty of photo ops with members of the Hazard Squadron from The Rebel Legion as well as Stormtroopers and a remote controlled R2-D2 from the 501st Legion. After an hour, the X-wing was available exclusively for Annual Pass Members to view from 10:00am-2:00pm. When this special viewing was completed, the X-wing was open to all LEGOLAND guests and will remain at the park for the rest of the year. I was unable to find out where it will be heading next.
The X-wing itself is awesome. It’s much bigger than I expected and it is quite impressive. Unlike the Times Square event, there is no signage or push at all for The Yoda Chronicles, which is unfortunate because I would have loved to add a “LEGOLAND I <3” Yoda to my collection. My only real issue with the hangar is that other than the X-wing itself, there isn’t really anything going on in the display area. I think it would have been great if they dressed up the hangar more to look like a hanger. Have a printed banner across the back to make it look like the hangar continued on with other LEGO X-wings and ships in the background. Maybe have some LEGO-built equipment, droids and pilots hanging around. Don’t get me wrong, the X-wing is amazing and worth a visit, I just think for all the effort that was put into bringing it across the country that it deserves a fully dressed display area.
The dimensions and brick count has been covered by numerous sites, but I’ll finish up with some info from the official LEGOLAND California model fact sheet:
The LEGO® Star Wars™ X-wing starfighter model is the world’s largest LEGO model built to-date at 11-feet tall, 43 feet long with a wingspan measuring 44 feet. It is a 1:1 model 42 times the size of a detailed building set currently available for children of all ages. After being revealed in New York City’s Times Square, the Model “took off” for a summer landing at LEGOLAND® California Resort. Traveling the country in six freight trucks, the LEGO model arrived in Carlsbad, California, and was assembled by Master Model Builders inside a special hangar in Imagination Zone where it will be on display for the remainder of the year.
An international team of designers, builders, engineers, mechanics and logistics experts spent more than one year bringing this model from brainstorm to reality using the same bricks and elements featured in the general LEGO retail collection.
Key Model Specifications:
• Contains 5,335,200 LEGO bricks
• Weighs 45,979.61 pounds (including bricks and steel infrastructure)
• Height: 11 feet / 3.35 meters
• Length: 43 feet / 13.1 meters
• Wingspan: 44 feet / 13.44 meters
• 32 builders spent 17,336 hours (about 4 months) to construct
• Built in the LEGO Model Shop in Kladno, Czech Republic
• Is a one-to-one replica of LEGO Star Wars set #9493; The model is 42x the size of the retail construction set
• The model was heavily engineered to withstand all the transportation, setup/break down and to ensure it was safe for Times Square given the subway system below and California’s seismic requirements for the LEGOLAND California Resort installation.