In a toy store in Vienna, a 7-year-old boy made the wrong choice. He regretted that for a long time. Until 43 years later when he got his hands on his childhood favorite in a more adult format. A bit more pricey, though. Nostalgia and newness, they always work.
On holiday in the city of the famous Riesenrad in 1979, my sister and I were allowed to buy something in a toy store. Already crazy about cars and science fiction, I opted for a fire-brigade red sports car with a wind-up motor.
Happy, I left the store, turned the corner, glanced through the secondary shop window, and there it was: the 928 Galaxy Explorer. The largest spaceship in the recently launched LEGO Space fleet. Apparently I hadn't looked around the store properly.
My dream set. Also on sale, cheaper than in the Netherlands. “NEU! LEGO Raumschiffe: Abenteuer im Weltraum”. Or something. Newness.
“Sure, you can trade your car,” my father said, “if you try to ask yourself. I’ll have your back and help you with German.” My thoughts were spinning. “I'll keep this one,” I said timidly.
At home the regrets came. Especially when that signal-colored plastic piece of crap lost a wheel and the motor failed. You don't drive to Austria for warranty. Eventually the 928 faded into the turmoil of my adolescent brain.
Don Draper said it in the brilliant Mad Men: no one can resist the temptations of nostalgia and novelty. Just Google "don draper carousel pitch".
At LEGO they understand that, especially in the more recent part of their 90-year existence. It’s the all-time most successful toy manufacturer for good reasons. And it’s one of the most valuable brands in the world.
When my oldest daughter was a baby, I bought a used 928 set on eBay. Childhood heroes usually disappoint when you meet them, they say. Likewise in this case. I bought, built and sold. But still… Nostalgia.
I’ve been counting down the days since the announcement of the grown-up anniversary edition of the LL928. And now it has arrived on my doorstep, set 10497 (the number is a reference to the US variant of the 928). Recognizable in all facets, more beautiful and better in all aspects. With the hidden surprise that you can also make upgraded versions of the sister ships 924 and 918 with it. Newness.
If you're looking for me, I'm brick building. Enjoying a bubble of nostalgia and newness. And after that, I’ll gladly help you with strategy, corporate storytelling and presenting and pitching with more impact.