Episode I miniland now open at LEGOLAND Chicago

legolangILsw2The LEGOLAND Discovery Center Chicago opened up a new Star Wars miniland this weekend, and it is all The Phantom Menace. Located in the Chicago suburb of Schaumburg, the LEGOLAND Discovery Center is exhibiting three interactive dioramas showing off scenes from the first prequel film:

  • The Naboo hangar, with launching starfighter and duel scene
  • The Mos Espa podrace arena, with controllable Anakin and Sebulba podracers
  • The Naboo plains battlefield, where Gungans and battle droids face off

The new set of Star Wars dioramas, a first for a U.S. LEGOLAND Discovery Center, is made with over 500,000 LEGO bricks and 2,000 mini figures. Additionally, the Chicago skyline diorama will also celebrate the opening by including Star Wars minifigures and other references in its display. The new miniland opened to the public this past weekend with a series of grand opening weekend festivities. One blogger reports their ‘preview night’ experience with lots of photos.

legolangILsw1Unlike the miniland dioramas at LEGOLAND California (which previously announced some minor updates for this summer) which assemble characters in a blocky 4-6 inch height scale, these dioramas are at the scale of the regular LEGO mini-figures, so you’ll see your favorite LEGO figures from The Phantom Menace in the exhibit (including a hugely populated podrace arena grandstand).

This is the first Star Wars miniland at any of the indoor LEGOLAND Discovery Centers in North America. The Manchester UK Discovery Center was the first to receive the Episode I miniland, though only from February through June, and there are some hints that the Chicago installation may be temporary as well.

On the Tumblr: The Phantom Menace goes Vogue

We’re still going strong over on Tumblr, though I have been very lax at mentioning it here. Here are few things that haven’t made the blog proper.

coutureHigh fashion. Remember the Star Wars spread in the April 1999 issue of Vogue? It featured several of Queen Amidala’s costumes from The Phantom Menace.

Long reads. How obsessive fans built a better Han Solo blaster is strangely fascinating. Or maybe drop the ‘strangely.’

A Major Award. Of course there’s a Star Wars version of the lamp from A Christmas Story.. Of course.

It is the year of the GIF, after all. Who doesn’t love the floating head of Ewan McGregor?

Quick hits. Was that a dead Jaxxon on The Clone Wars? The Star Trek Into Darkness poster gets a Star Wars remix There are already Scoundrels costumes! And no roundup is complete without Star Wars infographics.