July Issue 2013

By | Newsliners | Published 7 years ago

Lego has finally arrived in Pakistan with the opening of its first flagship store in Karachi. With Lego’s trademark stylised red, yellow and white logos decorating the walls of the Forum Mall, the store — situated next to Liberty Books — welcomed the young and the young at heart to its inauguration in an open-for-all event. Talk show host and funnyman Mani Sheikh hosted the event, with actor Saud and model Nadia Hussain making appearances with their children to endorse the franchise.

The store has a warehouse-factory look with high ceilings and colourful, Lego-shaped blocks in place of chairs. Young girls and boys could be seen immersed in their own worlds of building, taking apart and recreating.

Founded in Denmark in 1949, Lego has expanded considerably and has retail outlets in many parts of the globe as well as theme parks and a clothing line. It is currently the third largest toy manufacturer in the world, right behind Hasbro and Mattel. But Lego blocks aren’t just toys for children; they are also collectibles with special series such as Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, besides Iron Man, Batman, SpongeBob SquarePants and Harry Potter. Architecture models, various technologies and automobiles — some of which are fairly complicated and difficult to build — all form part of the Lego kingdom. Lego is educational, encourages creativity and is designed for the architects and engineers of the future.

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Asad Mehmood, one of Lego’s representatives from Hong Kong, mentioned that Lego is planning on opening stores in Lahore and Islamabad by the end of the year. Asked whether the prices were too high for the average Pakistani consumer — some collections are selling for as much as Rs 100,000 — he said, “All our products are manufactured in Europe. And our prices are reasonable compared to other regional markets such as Dubai.”

The writer is a journalist and former assistant editor at Newsline.