The LEGO Store London is home to the first Mosaic Maker, a new kind of personalised LEGO product. Martin Urrutia, Head of Global Retail Innovation at the LEGO Group, explains how the new in-store experience came about.
Leicester Square is home to Central London’s new LEGO Store, the largest in the world. One of the new features for guests to check out is the photo booth style Mosaic Maker, allowing customers to have their face turned into a LEGO mosaic in minutes. Martin Urrutia leads the Global Retail Innovation team, who are responsible for the new feature, and explained to Brick Fanatics how it works.
What is the Global Retail Innovation team?
Our main job is to make sure that every time you come to a LEGO shop there is a lot of fun. We took the opportunity at Leicester Square to bring to life things that we’ve never done before, or at least things that we have never shown before. The Mosaic Maker is one of the experiences, along with a few others like the play tables.
In the windows, we the minifigure scanner, so you will be able to put your hand in the window and it will scan you. It tells you which minifigure you are – so are you a pirate, a policeman, a fireman? That’s the experience.
But we’re very excited about the mosaic maker machine, we are showing this to the world for the first time today. We’re super excited because not only is it bringing fun and creativity together, you can create a unique set with your own photo and this is happening within minutes.
Why was this the right time to introduce the Mosaic Maker?
At this moment there is more technology, many more things we can do, so we wanted to bring those new innovations and convert them into LEGO experiences. It was very important that it was a unique LEGO experience, something that continues to have building, great fun and also the personal touch. We know that today, for our fans, personalisation is very important. So how cool it is that you can create your own set, but also it will have your own photo included?
How does the Mosaic Maker work?
The way it works is you come inside, you get your picture taken, then after a few minutes you will be able to select which one you like. Then you can send a copy of your mosaic to your e-mail, everyone wants it digital so you can share it on social media if you want. After you hit ‘okay’, it will take around 90 seconds to get the LEGO set ready and the unique instructions.
You get your personalised instructions printed, this is something only you have, it’s unique and it comes with all the bricks you need to build the mosaic with. The next step will be three hours, however long, to relax, have fun and put your picture together with LEGO bricks.
How long has this been in development for?
This is a very interesting point, because at the LEGO Group we used to do mosaics around twenty years ago, with different technology. You used to send off for it by mail to Denmark, then by hand it would be converted to a mosaic. Then it needed to go the warehouse, the bricks were selected by hand, put it in a box and shipped to you. So because of technology we couldn’t make it more agile. However, at this moment we said, ‘let’ give it a new try’ – when we’ve done other mosaics we’ve seen that everyone’s really enjoyed seeing themselves converted into a LEGO product. So we’ve been working on this new version since the beginning of the year, with a lot of development and also a lot of testing.