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31 Jan – 4 Feb 2018
Spielwarenmesse®: Ms Augenstein, with the 5 in 1 robot set, you won the ToyAward of the Spielwarenmesse 2017 in the SchoolKids category with your product LEGO BOOST. What does this award mean for your company?
Martina Augenstein: The programmable robotics set LEGO BOOST was premiered in Germany at the Spielwarenmesse in Nuremberg. We are overjoyed that we won the ToyAward in the SchoolKids category – even before the product becomes available as of 26 August 2017 onwards. LEGO BOOST combines classic LEGO building fun with intuitive programming, resulting in endless fun with completely new possibilities. That means that builders as of the age of seven can bring their creative models to life and playfully gain programming experience and an understanding of software.
Even today, it is clear that these skills are becoming increasingly important to be able to cope with the challenges thrown up by modern society. We regard the award as confirmation that we are on the right track to inspire children with our products. Because we firmly believe in the idea of "Who plays, learns!"
What significance does the ToyAward have in the toy industry? Has it drawn additional attention to your company or its product?
M.A.: The trust of parents and children is the most important thing for us. This is something we have to work on anew year after year. The fact that our products win awards helps us to achieve this and is special proof that we meet our own standards.
All our products set great store by fantasy, fun, creativity and quality, learning and caring for each other. The ToyAward is one of the most important prizes in the toy industry. Accordingly, therefore, we are proud of having won an award for LEGO BOOST in the SchoolKids category.
People generally associate LEGO with the classic LEGO building blocks. With this product, however, you've focused more on the technological aspect. What triggered this change?
M.A.: With our products, we want to make our contribution to the fostering of creativity and thus ensure endless hours of fun. Our main product for this is – and will always be – the LEGO brick. However, we see this linking of the digital world with the world of haptic games as a way to expand games by means of traditional LEGO bricks and so create new play possibilities.
Digitisation is an important issue for us – and not just since the launch of LEGO BOOST. Which is why we have online games and apps relating to the most popular LEGO themes that bridge the gap between the virtual and real world in a very special way.
Why did you develop this kind of robot of all things – or what gave you the idea for developing this product?
M.A.: LEGO BOOST combines classic LEGO building fun with intuitive programming. Our goal is to stimulate children with our products and provide them with endless fun. When the children of today become adults, they will face challenges we cannot as yet imagine. That is why it's vital we create play experiences that will help them develop key skills for the 21st century. Skills that will help children to adapt to new demands in the future.
With LEGO BOOST, children from the age of seven will learn a block-based programming language and playfully create their own programming experience by bringing their own models to life or building one of the five models. The set includes instructions for five models: Vernie, the robot; Frankie, the cat; the guitar 4000; the multi-purpose vehicle Rover 4 (M.T.R.4); and an automatic production line.
Are you currently developing another product that you intend registering for the ToyAward again?
M.A.: We have managed to interpret LEGO products in a contemporary manner and our range offers the right mix of classics and digital play experience. In doing so, we focus on providing exciting play experiences that are fun and stimulate creativity.
Innovations make up between 60 and 70 per cent of our products each year. We would like to keep our young and our young-at-heart fans enthralled with our products and be the impetus of the toy industry. Future applications are, therefore, not excluded.