Lego is taking over the world

THAT AGE-OLD favourite toy, Lego, is very much back in fashion, but boy did their marketing department commit a howler this week. The firm caused outrage after describing one of its new characters as a ‘back-of-the-bus window licker’.

The full description on the company web site was ‘Turg looks like an experiment that’s gone very, very wrong! Part frog, part chicken, part back-of-the-bus window licker, this Mixel has the longest tongue of them all’.

After an angry backlash from disability groups, the company has removed the offensive slur from its web site, but not before it became visible on a whole host of other sites.

Staying with Lego, Cambridge University is to hire a new Lego professor to study ‘play in development and learning’. The lucky academic will head up their own research department. The job has come on offer after the university was given £4 million by the Lego Foundation. The winning candidate will start as Lego professor in October.

In Channel 4’s The Secret World of Lego it was claimed there are 100 Lego bricks for every man, woman and child in the world. That’s probably about right when you consider the number of times you’ve trodden on one, bare foot, on the way for a pee in the night. Ouch! Another interesting stat: in a couple of years the population of Minifigures will overtake humans. That’s a scary thought.

Their head office is in a Danish village where weird child-adults stick bits of Lego together for their job. The cult status of the company, and the fact it does not allow sugar in the canteen, did not put off 23-year-old Londoner, Justin, applying for a job there. He is an AFOL (Adult Fan of Lego). Of the thousands who applied, Justin was selected.

He said: “It’s amazing, it’s this great family atmosphere”. Justin, it’s about time you grew up and got a proper job that doesn’t include assembling coloured bricks for a living.

WHEN we were kids, come hail, rain or shine, we were pushed out of the door to make the two-mile walk to school. Those were in the days before mobile phones and Chelsea tractors. These days, you go anywhere near a school in the morning or at half-past three in the afternoon and you can’t move for four-by-fours picking up the little darlings.

Things have got so bad that St Gregory’s Catholic Academy in Longton, Staffordshire, is set to charge parents £45 to drop their children off in a car park. The controversial move comes after traffic problems that have plagued the school for years, leading to concerns over pupil safety.

The scheme, believed to be the first in the country, has received a mixed reaction from parents. Some say inconsiderate drivers are putting pupils’ lives at risk by parking on double yellow lines or even stopping in the middle of the road and have welcomed the move.

One fail-safe way to eradicate the problem instantly would be to get all of the children to walk to school. It never did us any harm and we weren’t obese.

AN investigation has been launched over Penzance council’s £50,000 spend on a doomed pirate world record bid.The event generated huge excitement when more than 14,000 pirates gathered in Penzance, but the town missed the official Guinness World Record by just 77.

That disappointment has now turned to anger after the inflated cost of hosting so many pirates has emerged. Nearly three times the agreed £20,000 budget was spent, at a time when the council is making huge cuts.

Mayor David Nesbesnuick has referred to it as a “sorry business”. Sorry indeed – tell that to those on the sharp end of the cutbacks.

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Kevan Blackadder

Written by Kevan Blackadder

Kevan Blackadder is a media consultant who runs Blackadder Media Limited. Kevan was previously editor of the Gloucestershire Echo and assistant editor of the Bristol Post. A Cumbrian who moved to the South West “for a couple of years” in the 1980s, he can’t quite believe he’s been there ever since.

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