8 LEGO® sets featuring awesome women

Celebrate female representation in LEGO sets this Women’s Day.

Let’s face it, 2020 has been a rollercoaster ride we’d all rather get off, but one thing we think it has offered is some pause for thought – a big ask in today’s fast-paced, demanding world. Women’s Month and the representation of women and girls in LEGO sets is where we’re pausing.

Why is that important? Well, gender equality is an important goal to work towards in all aspects of our lives, and gender representation in toys is an important aspect of this. Not only does it offer kids (and adults) the chance to identify with and benefit from the developmental advantages LEGO building has to offer, but it embeds the idea in all our minds that girls (and women) can enjoy playing and building with LEGO bricks too.

Without further ado, here are 8 sets we think feature some pretty awesome women:

1. LEGO Star Wars: Rey (75113)

This buildable action figure is an amazing display piece honouring the latest Star Wars female character, Rey. With posable limbs, cloth desert outfit, staff, pistol and a wheel-activated arm-swinging battle function, this LEGO action figure is ideal for intense action play. If anything screams “girls can do it too” it’s this!

View now on our online shop: https://shop.kiddiwinks.co.za/Theme/StarWars/75113-Rey

2. LEGO Ideas: Women of NASA (21312)

Astronomer and educator Nancy Grace Roman, computer scientist and entrepreneur Margaret Hamilton, astronaut, physicist and entrepreneur Sally Ride and astronaut, physician and engineer Mae Jemison are the pioneering women in science featured in this set conceived by AFOL Maia Weinstock. Sadly, it is no longer in production, however, we felt it deserved an honourable mention!

3. LEGO City: People Pack – Space Research & Development (60230)

This one is inspired by NASA careers and features minifigures in different jobs relating to space travel and exploration. It has some decent female representation with a few astronauts, a rocket engineer, a mechanical engineer and a botanist in the mix. A good one to get if you missed out on the LEGO Ideas: Women of NASA set.

View now on our online shop:

4. LEGO Friends: Dolphins Rescue Mission (41378)

We love the merging of two important causes in this sweet LEGO Friends set: championing strong women and saving the planet! Stephanie and her friend Kasey save a trapped dolphin and go on to find hidden treasure. While the set is by no means a conscious “women’s power” sort, it still has a really positive message demonstrating that strong girls can save the day!

View now on our online shop: https://shop.kiddiwinks.co.za/Theme/Friends/41378-Dolphins-Rescue-Mission

5. LEGO Ideas: The Flintstones (21316)

It goes without saying that Wilma and Betty are by far the level-headed and strong-willed characters in the cartoon series The Flintstones. The two long-suffering wives deal with their bone-headed husbands’ antics one episode after another. This LEGO rendition of the cartoon features the 2 couples and the Flintstones’ home in minute detail. Yabba Dabba Doo!

View now on our online shop:

6. LEGO Powerpuff Girls: Bubbles’ Playground Showdown (41287)

This list wouldn’t be complete without including the Powerpuff trio. Bubbles, Blossom and  Buttercup became feminist icons during the airing of the cartoon in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The  LEGO The Powerpuff Girls Bubbles’ Playground Showdown has Bubbles take on the spoilt and resentful Princess Morbucks. We love it and think everyone should grow up on a healthy diet of these superheroes. 

View now on our online shop:https://shop.kiddiwinks.co.za/Theme/PowerpuffGirls/41287-Bubbles-Playground-Showdown 

7. THE LEGO MOVIE 2: Introducing Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi (70824)

THE LEGO MOVIE 2 taught us that not only is everything awesome, but that we can all get along, whether we’re a tough action minifigure, a short and dumpy LEGO DUPLO figure or a doll-like LEGO Friends or LEGO Disney figurine. So, it follows that everyone should have a Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi in their LEGO collection. Bonus: she’s the least evil queen around!

View now on our online shop:https://shop.kiddiwinks.co.za/Theme/the-lego-movie-2/70824-Introducing-Queen-Watevra-Wa-Nabi 

8. LEGO DC: Wonder Woman vs Cheetah (76157)

Named a UN Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls in 2016, Wonder Woman is an iconic figure in women empowerment. She embodies a feminine sense of peace, justice and emotional intelligence combined with that classic superhero charisma. With this set, young superheroes can relive the movie as Wonder Woman encounters her archenemy, Cheetah, at the transmitter tower, setting the scene for an epic battle!

View now on our online shop:

Which LEGO sets do you believe have good female representation?

Let us know in the comments below.

9 reasons you’ll love the new LEGO® DOTS

We take a close look at why LEGO DOTS is one of the coolest things out right now.

Arts and crafts meets design and build with this brand new LEGO theme. LEGO DOTS is based on multiple shapes and colourful tiles that can be used to design and decorate both wearables and surfaces, making it a fun and versatile theme for a whole new group of young and old alike!

Here are 9 reasons we love the new LEGO DOTS theme so much:

#1 LEGO DOTS is all about self-expression

It’s truly about personalised play. After extensive research, The LEGO Group found that kids are wanting ways to express their own creativity. With its open-ended play and yet variety of accessories to help guide creativity, LEGO DOTS answers this in a big way.

#2 LEGO DOTS is design chic

Camille Walala might just be one of the coolest designers around and she happened to collaborate with LEGO DOTS to create the House of DOTS to showcase the amazing versatility of this brand new LEGO theme. The house is made of more than 2 million LEGO tiles and took 800 hours to assemble. It boasts 150 square meters of DOTS structure inside! No one can deny that this collab is an inspiring example of what can be done with LEGO DOTS.

Walala describes the House of DOTS as “a creative canvas for social, self-expressive play with endless, ever-changing patterns, colours and designs.”

#3 LEGO DOTS encourages creativity and boosts confidence

The LEGO Group rose to this desire in kids and has created a form of play that gets kids and adults alike to use their imagination and create their own pattern and colour combinations.

#4 LEGO DOTS helps develop your design ability

With that boost of confidence comes the opportunity to explore your ability to create more complex designs, find ways to understand design concepts and grow your own skill set. 

#5 There are no rules with LEGO DOTS

One of the best things about LEGO DOTS is that it is a blank canvas. If you can dream it, you can make it. We’ll quote The LEGO Group here and say that “play is limitless.”

#6 LEGO DOTS is for everyone

It will appeal to everyone aged 6 and up. Build creations as a family, or go solo with individual creations. Collaborate in a team or work one-on-one – it doesn’t matter, LEGO DOTS play will work in a variety of scenarios.

#7 LEGO DOTS is bite-size fun

You can satisfy your arts and crafts urge in a few minutes for an immediate sense of achievement… or sit down and enjoy creating for hours on end!

#8 Enjoy guided fun or make your own creations 

If you’re unsure of how to begin, LEGO DOTS has your back. You can follow the steps to make a bracelet or decor piece and have something awesome to show for your time. As your confidence grows you’ll be tempted to free-style it and dream up your own amazing designs, jewellery, decor pieces and more!

#9 LEGO DOTS is collectible

Aside from the bracelets and decor accessories that you can collect, there are also the cool tile shapes, colours and designs to look out for. In addition to the many shapes and colours available, over 30 mood tiles are also being introduced, including facial expressions, a music note, cosmic planet, starry night, paw prints and rainbow poo.

Find LEGO DOTS at any of our 4 shops or browse and shop online at shop.kiddiwinks.co.za

What’s green about LEGO® bricks?

The LEGO Group’s commitment to becoming more sustainable goes to the heart of the matter: the LEGO® brick. Together with a dedicated team of scientists and a $150-million investment, they’re on the hunt to change the recipe to their trusty LEGO® brick to use only plant-based or recycled materials. How far have they got in the almost eight years they’ve been at it? Let’s take a look.

Going green

What is The LEGO Group doing about becoming more sustainable? The simple answer: they are working to change the ingredients of their brick to plant-based or recycled materials by 2030. The group’s one major challenge is to ensure the new brick recipe yields as high quality a product as the old bricks. It’s a tricky process, but one that the company has shown clear commitment to in the past few years, culminating in the 2019 release of the 3036-piece LEGO® Ideas Tree House (21318) with 180 leaf elements made from polyethylene, a plastic made from the ethanol derived from sugar cane husk. So far, this is the highest number of sustainable bricks ever used in a LEGO® set.


The group’s drive to become sustainably minded spills over into a consumer education campaign called LEGO® Plants from Plants in which its hero, Plantus Maximus, leads the way in helping to save the planet.

On its website, the campaign challenges LEGO® fans to “build sustainable superheroes and and join Plantus Maximus on the mission to protect the planet.”

In an interview with the New York Times, Tim Brooks, The LEGO Group’s vice president for environmental responsibility, says the company emits about one million tons of carbon dioxide annually – 75% of which is from the raw materials made to use the LEGO® brick. A more sustainable alternative would greatly reduce the company’s carbon footprint.

LEGO Plantyus Maximus

A better future

The LEGO Group appears to be one of the leading international brands working towards more sustainable practices, driven in no small part by its customer base.

“We can’t say we inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow if we’re ruining the planet,” Brooks told The Wall Street Journal

On its website, the group declares, “The planet is facing challenges today that will have significant impact on the lives of future generations. At The LEGO Group we want to make a positive impact on the lives of children, our colleagues, our community and the planet.”

Project Green the Brick

So determined are they, that a task team of technicians was set up just over seven years ago that has already tested approximately 200 materials. But its stringent requirements for quality make settling on a material difficult. Wheat-based materials don’t take on the vivid colours associated with the LEGO® brick, while corn-based materials tend to be too soft. Other materials might not click and stay together easily or simply break in test environments. 

“The bricks have to be able to stick together. They have to be able to be broken apart without using special tools. We want the same shininess of the bricks. It can seem like quite a simple task, but it’s quite an engineering challenge, to make it so that the [sustainable] bricks can be fit together and taken apart without stretching or dissolving or things like that,” Brooks explained to NBC News

Polyethylene is suitable for some types of LEGO® bricks but not all, which is why the Tree House leaves are made from it but not much else just yet. This material tends to have a slight pliability which you won’t want in your 2×4 brick. 

Reduce, re-use, recycle

While The LEGO Group’s task team has a way to go in discovering and rolling out its new, more sustainable LEGO® brick recipe, it continues to find ways to reduce, re-use and recycle, claiming to have recycled 93% of waste from its operations in 2018. 

“100% of all plastic waste produced during the moulding of LEGO® bricks was recycled. This includes reusing some of the plastic resin in our own processes, as well as sending some of the waste to suppliers to be recycled and turned into other plastic products.”

Moreover, the group makes use of renewable energy supplied by wind farms in Germany and the UK – all due to investments made by the KIRKBI A/S, the parent company to The LEGO Group. 

“In 2018, the energy output from our investments in renewables was greater than the energy used at LEGO® factories, offices and stores.”

Kiddiwinks Fabric Bag
We now offer reusable fabric bags instead of single-use plastic ones at all of our shops.

As exclusively LEGO® shops, Kiddiwinks is just as committed to improving its own sustainability practices. This includes no longer offering single-use plastic bags with purchases, having replaced them with reusable fabric bags, as well as offering an email alternative for till slips. It’s a step in the right direction – one we remain determined to continue improving in the hope that it goes some way to ensuring a better future for the younger generation.

Got suggestions? If you have any ideas for how we, Kiddiwinks, can become more sustainable, we’d love to hear about them. Feel free to send us an email to sustainability@kiddiwinks.co.za

Stress less, build LEGO® sets

Adults are finding that losing themselves in a LEGO® build helps reduce stress and anxiety levels.

It’s certainly no secret that LEGO play is as much an adult pastime as it is for kids. In fact, even big stars like David Beckham have recognised the calming effects of building LEGO sets. In an interview with The Guardian in 2014, Beckham said, “I think LEGO sometimes helps to calm me down.”

LEGO Architecture, as well as LEGO Creator and LEGO Technic are just a few of the themes which have the support of avid adult fans of LEGO (AFOLs).

“I think LEGO sometimes helps to calm me down.”

David Beckham

“It’s nice to have something completely different from my job, where I’m not thinking so much but can get really focused and forget about everything else,” explains Peter Mordecai, in an article in the Metro about the anxiety-reducing effects of LEGO play. 

Dan Jarvis, who is another AFOL interviewed in the article, explains, “I go in the loft and I can forget about all the troubles in the world and I totally relax. And that’s my stress relief really.”

Yet another fan, Jack Daubey, observes that his LEGO hobby helps him to reset: “It’s something creative that also helps you clear your mind and that really works for me.”

Build your escape

“Build your escape” is an attempt at reaching the adult LEGO fan base to communicate the potential psychological benefits of building with LEGO bricks. Its suggestion: skip the yoga, and lose yourself in the process of building a LEGO set you can relate to. 

Here are 4 ways LEGO play can help you zen out: 

  1. It demands your undivided attention – leave your phone in the other room and focus on the task at hand.
  2. It helps you harness mindfulness – and encourages you to let go of any difficult or stressful experiences.
  3. It boosts your creativity – and helps you see things from a different perspective.
  4. It is precision based – it’s a great way to find control and remind yourself of your capabilities. 

A new LEGO theme…?

Just last year, The LEGO Group’s Creative Play Lab launched a crowd-funding project through IndieGoGo for a concept they call LEGO FORMA – a LEGO-based set that combines LEGO building and mechanisation with colouring activities for adults looking for hobbies that lower stress levels and promote mindfulness. The models are a variety of fish using just under 300 LEGO parts and a customisable “skin” which you colour in.

The description summarises it as “a premium LEGO experience for adults looking for a simple, fun way to disconnect from their screens and reconnect with their creative side.”

The crowd-funding campaign was so successful that the company managed to raise 1334% of their original goal. We will soon see whether or not fans find the sets successful at assisting them to destress.

Whether you sit down to enjoy an instructional build, prefer to free build or create your own LEGO model, it seems that the stress-relieving benefits of LEGO play for adults is one well worth paying attention to. 

5 female AFOLs from around the world we love!

For Women’s Month we wanted to highlight 5 female AFOLs (Adult Fans of LEGO), or better yet 5 AFFOLs (Adult Female Fans of LEGO), who are doing amazing things with our favourite brick.

Alice Finch

Alice Finch’s motto might as well be “Go big or go home”. Inspired to start building with LEGO bricks when her children took up the hobby, it wasn’t long before she knew that building with LEGO bricks was for her. Her first model was the Hogwarts Castle – 400 000 bricks later!

Hogwarts Castle by Alice Finch

Aside from building models for a living at her company Bippity Bricks, Finch also contributes to a range of social projects including Women’s Brick Initiative (WBI) which began in 2018 in collaboration with Shelly Corbett and Jacqueline Sanchez. WBI aims to inspire girls and women to build with LEGO bricks.

We want to demonstrate that the simple plastic brick can be used in a variety of creative ways beyond traditional building.

Alice Finch for WBI

We love her recent project for the United Nations Refugee Agency which highlights the plight of refugees worldwide. 

She has also been a part of the production of a range of LEGO-related books as an author or featured builder, including The LEGO Architecture Idea Book and LEGO Awesome Ideas

Mariann Asanuma 

Mariann Asanuma had wanted to be a LEGO Master Model Builder since childhood. Her determination and talent mean that not only has she worked at LEGOLAND California, but she has since gone on to create her own company, Model Building Secrets, building, writing and supporting LEGO and LEGO-related projects.

“This is one of my favorite creations from when I worked at LEGOLAND California. It is a 1 foot tall replica of the lion statue that stands in front of the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. This model is still on display at LEGOLAND California.” –
Mariann Asanuma

Her work ranges from custom builds to replicas, on site building events to picture mosaics and so much more.

Michelle Thompson

In 2018, the young and talented Michelle Thompson beat over 7000 applicants to become a LEGO master builder at the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre in Birmingham, UK. Her background as an HR assistant might seem somewhat unrelated, but as Thompson points out, she’s built LEGO models all her life and it so happens that General Manager Amy Langham was blown away by Thompson:

“She’s creative, she loves LEGO and she can build – it’s what many people brought to the table but Michelle went beyond what we hoped for with this infectious ability to excite and engage others. She really is the perfect person for the job and worthy of the Master Model Builder title.”

“LEGO has always provided me as an outlet for my creativity, especially as a child. Now I hope to inspire and inject the same passion I’ve conjured up over the years to many, many others,” she told What’s On Midlands.

Her role as the official Master Model Builder will entail constructing displays, curating exhibitions and sharing her infectious passion for LEGO building with young and old fans alike.

This year, Thompson recreated the Garrison Pub from the TV series ‘Peaky Blinders’ to celebrate the new season.

Veronica Watson

If you were ever in doubt as to just how creative one can get with a LEGO brick, you’ll doubt no more once you’ve laid your eyes on Veronica Watson’s creations. As a former LEGO Master Model Builder for Westchester, UK, Watson used LEGO bricks as her art medium. She’s well known for recreating iconic scenes using LEGO bricks such as Picasso’s Guernica, Beyonce’s Lemonade album and iconic tennis player Serena Williams in action on the court.

Watson’s LEGO version of Picasso’s iconic Guernica.
A scene from Beyonce’s album Lemonade by Watson.

Having graduated with a degree in architecture, the young master model builder applied her technical skills to the brick.

There is definitely a big crossover between architecture and LEGO. Ironically, I don’t typically build architecture-themed models.

Watson to autodesk.com

Just like all of us amateur builders, Watson admits that a brick separator is a useful tool to own: “One thing that’s pretty handy is a brick separator… it basically just saves your fingernails.”

Megan Amaral

An image of Megan Amaral nee Quigley
An image of Megan Amaral nee Quigley

According to a recent report by Boston.com, architectural graduate Megan Amaral is North America’s only female Master Model Builder, and just one of the three women in this role worldwide. Encouraging other young female LEGO fans to dream big is part of her mission.

“I always like to bring that up to be like, ‘Look, you could be the next female Master Model Builder when you grow up, because right now there’s only three of us in the world and you should go for it — keep building,’” she says.

She’s intent on bringing a female perspective to builds and aside from her work on the general displays at Legoland Discovery Center Boston, she designs a few of her own builds, where colour is a strong focus.

“A flamingo is not just one shade of pink, it’s two shades of pink and they have to work together,” she explains.

Megan Amaral's LEGO sculptures of a Flamingo and Red Panda for the Franklin Park Zoo. Image by Lauren Josey for Boston.com
Megan Amaral’s LEGO sculptures of a Flamingo and Red Panda for the Franklin Park Zoo. Image by Lauren Josey for Boston.com

Got any other suggestions of women in LEGO we should be following? Leave your suggestion in the comments below.

Will LEGO® Hidden Side™ engage the app generation?

“There’s an app for that.” 

It’s a common saying in most circles these days, used when someone is confronted with a problem that needs solving. For the most part, it’s true. There’s an app to measure your sleep cycle, an app to help you navigate from A to B, an app that orders your favourite takeout foods and an app that books cheap holiday accommodation. Then there are the gaming apps like Angry Birds, Pokemon Go!, Fortnite and more that keep us, and particularly the younger generation (who are increasingly known as the app generation), entertained for hours on end.

And so it seems that kids of this technological age are playing less with physical toys and more by using tech devices. How does a toy company like The LEGO Group, with its core focus on the physical building of bricks, respond to this change in how kids play?

Time to bridge the gap

It’s widely known that LEGO play has far-reaching developmental benefits for kids: fine motor coordination and problem solving, teamwork and organisational skills, just to name a few. But enticing a technological generation into physically building a LEGO set requires some innovative thinking from the group.

Enter LEGO Hidden Sides. It consists of eight core sets that make up different scenes in the little town of Newbury where two young bloggers Jack and Parker live. But, all is not what it seems. Build one of the sets, then download the free augmented reality app to your smart phone, aim it at the set and you’ll soon see what Jack and Parker already know: that Newbury is under threat from the paranormal world. So begins the task of ridding the little town of ghosts by solving puzzles that require interacting with the built sets along the way.

LEGO Hidden Side 70423: Paranormal Intercept Bus 3000

The app superimposes the ghost world over the LEGO sets via the phone’s screen, animating objects, adding a few ghostly characters and connecting what’s happening on the screen to the physical sets.

Not really LEGO play?

But criticism from some, including Fast Company writer Mark Wilson, is that the app gets in the way of real play. Wilson references the theory of play by Dr Peter Gray which argues that it should be self-chosen, imaginative, with less structure and rules, where the means are more valued than the ends and where play involves an unstressed mind. What Wilson doesn’t acknowledge is the need for a bridge between the technological and the physical.

Hidden Side intentionally brings the concept of app-ification into LEGO play as a way of reaching a new group of kids already thoroughly immersed in technology. Through this, The LEGO Group aim to entice even more kids to get building than ever before.

New territory for The LEGO Group

The app itself has also been criticised for being too simplistic. In the past, The LEGO Group has started with something simple, reworking it later based on user feedback: a trait that endears the group to its fans.

In fact, The LEGO Group has promised frequent updates for the app, adding in new objectives and challenges, thereby growing in its facilitation of imaginative play. This means that your LEGO set essentially gets an “update” too, which is an entirely new concept for LEGO sets. It’s a great base from which to engage new LEGO fans from generations Y and Z and draw them into the wonderful world of LEGO play.

Not all review feedback about the app has been negative.
Alice Clarke of Sydney Morning Herald observes that, “The star of the show is undeniably the physical LEGO, but this is certainly the company’s best app to date.”

And that’s what we want. An app that allows for what Professors Howard Gardner and Katie Davis, authors of The App Generation: How Today’s Youth Navigate Identity, Intimacy, and Imagination in a Digital World, call an “app-enabled” child. This is when an app facilitates expansive thinking and new possibilities, rather than one that controls or restricts how they behave, making a child “app-dependent”.

Will we see changes to the LEGO Hidden Sides augmented reality app? It’s likely, yes. As it is now, this new theme is a step in the right direction and one we believe will help to engage the younger generations in the magic of LEGO play.

Shop LEGO Hidden Side sets in any of our four shops or online at kiddiwinks.co.za

LEGO Hidden Side 70424: Ghost Train Express

The day LEGO® Star Wars™ was born

2019 marks 2 decades of LEGO® Star Wars™, that’s 20 years of awesome galaxy fun!  

It all began when LucasFilms and The LEGO® Group officially joined forces back in 1999 to release the first LEGO® Star Wars™ sets the year that the film Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace was released. This happened to be the first significant intellectual property licence The LEGO® Group ever signed, marking the beginning of its rise from financial doldrums. However, according to Netflix documentary The Toys That Made Us, The LEGO® Group grossly underestimated the theme’s popularity in that first year and sets sold out within a few weeks. So, in 1999, many fans of the theme struggled to find the sets worldwide. Talk about a let down! Determined not to make the same mistake twice, The LEGO® Group released far more sets in 2000 but hadn’t taken into account that no film release would take place that year. Needless to say, they were left with the opposite problem in 2000: a surplus of sets.

It took a few more years for the group to develop a deeper understanding of just how cyclicle the demand for LEGO® Star Wars™ was but ultimately, the success of the theme has meant that it has renewed its agreement with LucasFilms twice between 1999 and today, with the current agreement coming to an end in 2022. No prizes for guessing what the likely decision will be on renewal!

A collector’s item

To date, over 700 sets have been produced. While the general LEGO® Star Wars™ collections have proven massively popular, it’s the subtheme Ultimate Collector Series (UCS) which has truly defined the theme. These sets have had collector value from the beginning. They tend to be larger and pricier; more a display set than a toy you’d play with.

In 2000, the first two UCS sets released were the TIE Interceptor 7181 and the X-wing Fighter 7191. Even though UCS sets wouldn’t typically come with minifigures in subsequent releases, the X-wing included a minifigure of R2-D2. It’s become one of the most iconic of the UCS sets ever released. On a side note, did you know that R2-D2 is also the character that appears most often in the LEGO® Star Wars collection.

Other significant UCS sets worth mentioning:

  • The Death Star 75159 (2016), which happened to include all the characters necessary to re-enact almost any scene occuring at the Death Star in any of the films.
  • The Motorised Walking All Terrain Armored Transport (AT-AT) 10178 – which you programme so that it can walk forwards or backwards.
  • The Millenium Falcon 75192 – the largest set of any LEGO theme to date. This megalith contains a whopping 7541 pieces.

LEGO® Star Wars™ in South Africa

When it comes to releases of new LEGO® sets in South Africa, our smaller market and, perhaps, relative remoteness on the map, tends to mean we typically see rather lengthy delays before we can get our hands on them. So, it’ll come as no surprise that back in 2011 when the UCS Super Star Destroyer 10221 was released, it was only in early 2012 that Kiddiwinks received its first 3 boxes. It happened to be a rather large box!

“The Super Star Destroyer was one of the biggest sets we were getting up to that point and it was taking a big chance that it would sell,” reminisces Kiddiwinks owner, Bryony Poulter.

“I decided to be bold and order 3 of the sets. They came and we sold 1. I thought, great, they’re going, this is something special. Remember at R4830, it was pricey in early 2012!”

Then, LEGO® South Africa offered Bryony the opportunity to order a few more, which she quickly accepted, only to realise too late that “a few” was actually 18 more sets. Given the nature of the order, Kiddiwinks had to make good on payment right then.

“I scraped together to pay for these sets and then they sat, and sat, and sat!”

Just 3 UCS Super Star Destroyers sold that year, and another 3 in 2013. The rest continued to sit over several months, gathering dust and serving as a reminder to Bryony of her mistake. But in late 2014, South African LEGO® fans caught wind of the UCS craze and its investment potential. Unbelievably (and much to Bryony’s great relief), between August and December 2014, the rest were sold.

“I could have sold another 18 if I had them, but they had been discontinued and I could not get any more.”

There’s no doubt that the theme’s impact on fans and small, passionate suppliers alike (often the same people, by the way!) is entwined with the main story itself, turning this exciting LEGO® theme into an epic tale of anticipation, passion, frustration and excitement.

The LEGO® Star Wars™ story is certainly far-reaching. It began a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

Shop LEGO® Star Wars™ at Kiddiwinks

On “Introduce a Girl to Engineering” Day…

As the saying goes: Give a girl a LEGO® set and watch her become a world-renowned engineer. At least that’s the version we’re sticking with, given that today is Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day.

We know you’ve heard it before, but we’ll say it again: Women are under-represented in the engineering sector both in South Africa and worldwide. To quote WomeninTechZA: “Only 23% of tech jobs are held by women in South Africa – out of 236 000 ICT (tech) roles, women occupy 56 000 of them.”

Thankfully, we’ve made some progress over the past few decades – in no small part due to the strong women who have fought to stay in the field today. It’s thanks to them and a growing awareness that real gender equality is about challenging misguided and antiquated assumptions about what men and women “should” and “shouldn’t” do, and focusing instead on one key thing: ability.

It’s not like girls aren’t doing something about the bias themselves. They’re outspoken, proactive, often more insightful than the grown-ups. A few years back, we received a letter from a young girl who challenged us to drop our “Girls” category. We heard her and made the changes. And we’re not alone in receiving requests along this line. In 2014, a young girl by the name of Charlotte wrote a letter directly to The LEGO® Group:

Dear LEGO company,
My name is Charlotte. I am 7 years old and I love LEGOs but I don’t like that there are more LEGO boy people and barely any LEGO girls. today I went to a store and saw LEGOs in two sections the girls pink and the boys blue. All the girls did was sit at home, go to the beach, and shop, and they had no jobs but the boys went on adventures, worked, saved people, and had jobs, even swam with sharks. I want you to make more LEGO girl people and let them go on adventures and have fun ok!?!
Thank you.
from Charlotte

Since 2014, The LEGO® Group appears to have taken this request to heart but with an important caveat: they’re not about being gender-neutral, rather, they strive to be gender-inclusive. Simply look to the LEGO® Ideas Women of NASA set and the LEGO® DC Super Hero Girls™ sets released in 2017 as evidence.

It makes sense and is perhaps a small part of a broader picture. The main point is that there is no reason a young girl shouldn’t build whatever LEGO® Technic set her heart desires; or learn to programme Vernie the Robot, or indeed, build the LEGO® Architecture Taj Mahal.

Shop LEGO Technic

LEGO® play is a great source of skills development and girls should have the same opportunity to develop these skills. Getting lost in a LEGO® build is engaging, creative and problem-solving, no matter your gender. It’s the type of play that encourages our kids to develop vital skills needed to become good engineering students later.

A case in point: LEGO® Technic should be considered as important a theme for girls as it is for boys. With pneumatics, motors and gears involved in each build, this is a great challenge for anyone eager to take it on. It’s all about a challenging, yet rewarding, LEGO® experience, certainly not reserved for one gender.

It’s up to individuals in communities like ours to take vital steps towards this equality among our children. It entails having strong role models such as can be found in our local LEGO® User Groups and burgeoning organisations like Africa Teen Geeks and Women in Tech. We need to up our encouragement as parents and get our girls involved in awesome programmes like FIRST LEGO® League or LEGO® robotics classes when they come along.

Let’s band together to change the perception around what LEGO® sets and themes are available to our girls. After all, that young female LEGO® fan could go on to help change the world, solving one tech problem at a time.

Browse LEGO® Technic, LEGO® Boost and LEGO® Architecture sets at Kiddiwinks online shop or at our four stores!

What do you think we could do to get girls more involved in LEGO building? Tell us in the comments section below .

6 essential stocking fillers for the LEGO® fans in your life

The excitement of waking on Christmas Day to find your stocking full to bursting is the best part of the day.

Here are a few amazing (if we do say so ourselves) LEGO®-themed gifts you just have to include this Christmas.

Santa is bound to get a whole lot of extra credit once these LEGO® stocking fillers have been opened this year!

Minifigure collectibles

The LEGO® Minifigure collections have seen a rather busy year! From the LEGO® Series 18: Party that features a whole range of wackily costumed minifigs like Dragon Suit Guy and Elephant Costume, all the way to Harry Potter™ and Fantastic Beasts™ LEGO® Minifigures Series – every Harry Potter fan is bound to need each and every one of these!

LEGO Harry Potter minifigures stocking filler christmas

Last year’s Batman craze continues unabated and we have little doubt that fans will be smiling ear to ear after unwrapping a minifig or three from the The LEGO® Batman Movie Series 2. Ninjago fans are in luck too as we have The LEGO® Ninjago Movie Minifigures in stock too! So go on and get minifigures for everyone!

LEGO® Keychains galore

Everyone needs one, so why not get them keyrings they actually like?
The LEGO® Classic Firetruck Bag Charm and the LEGO® Star Wars – BB-8 Key Chain Light are two of our favourites!

lego keychains stocking filler christmas

Keep time the LEGO® way

The awesome Nexo Knights-themed LEGO® wrist watch is a wonderful way to learn how to track the time. For a bedside or desk clock, this LEGO® Star Wars Stormtrooper minifigure clock is more than equipped to deal with any assignment and at 24cm tall, it is definitely not a little short to be a Stormtrooper.LEGO StarTrooper clock LEGO Nexo Knights watch

LEGO® Arts and crafts…

What stationery junkie could resist these AMAZING LEGO®-licenced gel pens? These are the ultimate note-takers!

LEGO gel pens stocking filler christmas stationerySpend hours making pretty with LEGO® images and sand art. Get a complete kit of four LEGO® pictures,9 phials of coloured sand multiple sand art tools.

LEGO sand art christmas stocking filler

Get book smart

For the avid LEGO® fans, find a range of books in store and online! We love the exciting LEGO® Friends Jungle Rescue – a story about Mia, Emma, Andrea, Stephanie and Olivia’s jungle camping adventures. For the factual-minded, there’s Great LEGO® Sets: A Visual History and for those burgeoning LEGO® builders LEGO® Awesome Ideas unlocks the secrets of LEGO® building and shows you how to create a world from your imagination.

Mini-me builds

There’s nothing more fun and silly than a good old BrickHeadz. Get your favourite characters, or even better, build a caricature of yourself with the awesome Go Brick Me set.

go brick me brickheadz stocking filler christmas

Brickheadz Master Yoda and Luke Skywalker stocking filler christmas
Luke Skywalker™ & Yoda™ Brickheadz.

The story of our LEGO® passion

The Kiddiwinks LEGO® brand might have been solidified in 2002, but the truth is our LEGO®  passion began long before that.

During her childhood in the 1970s, founder Bryony Poulter played with her treasured LEGO® sets, a piano, a milk truck, forklift and a family of people who had round faces and little knobble hands.

“Some of my earliest memories involve creating fantasy worlds with our treasured LEGO® sets.” – Bryony Poulter, Kiddiwinks founder

When her first child was five years old he had fallen in love with trains. After trying model railway sets unsuccessfully, Bryony heard of the LEGO® System 4561 Railway Express which she set out to track down.

After trying every store in Cape Town without luck, she went straight to the suppliers, LEGO® South Africa. While they couldn’t supply direct to the public, they suggested she contact a certain shop. However, they too were unable to assist her. Unwilling to accept this as the final word, Bryony created a proposal which she presented to LEGO® South Africa – to trade as a mail order business supplying LEGO® products to the public.

At that time, Kiddiwinks was a kids’ clothing business, creating original designs sold mostly in craft markets over the weekend. But that would soon all change. After a lot of persuading, LEGO® South Africa finally gave in and it was time for Bryony to spring into action.

“Our first order was, indeed, our train with all its accessories.”

“There was a minimum order quantity at that time and we took orders from people until we had half that amount, and then agonised over how to make up the necessary figure to place the order.

“We started the business because we couldn’t purchase a LEGO® set that we wanted. But, over time, we realised that there was a gap in supply. Many people in the Southern Suburbs struggled to find the LEGO® products they wanted.

“This was the driving force for so long – to source and supply sets that people were looking for.

“As more and more businesses started stocking bigger ranges of sets, it became more important to grow a family of customers based on a mutual passion for a product.”

A few of the Kiddiwinks family’s favourite sets over the years

The launch of an online store came next in 2004 – the first time LEGO®  products were offered online in South Africa. The next year, online orders became possible to collect from the very first LEGO®-only shop, operated solely out of the Poulters’ garage, which served as storage and showroom all at once.  

The Kiddiwinks brand soon became the go-to for great LEGO® sets, offering more than just product, but experiences too. In 2006, they launched the LEGO® Education products, allowing home schools and individuals to get the products into their homes. No one else in Cape Town sold the education products then and this is still the case today.

It was around this time that Kiddiwinks got involved in the coaching and mentoring of the FIRST LEGO® League teams, opening the doors to the robotics offerings. In 2006 alone, Kiddiwinks entered four teams with three qualifying for nationals.

Kiddiwinks had expanded so well, that in 2007, they started supplying LEGO® products wholesale to small businesses.

The Kiddiwinks mail order-turned-online LEGO® supply business lasted for almost a decade before Bryony decided to take the plunge into retail in 2011 with the opening of their Palmyra Junction shop. This was in part driven by a dip in online sales that Kiddiwinks had seen – presumed to be due to the increasing competition in the online space. 

“With my mother predicting the doom and gloom of financial failure, I signed a lease for a shop in a very surreal moment.

I still sometimes feel like I am playing shop-shop.”

The passion for LEGO® products has continued through 18 years of Kiddiwinks. Not only has the entire family become involved with Kiddiwinks – from grandparents to grandchildren – but they are all as enthusiastic about this magic brick as they were on day one.

The key, says Bryony, is to never lose sight of the magic.

“LEGO® bricks hold a world of opportunity for everyone, regardless of age, gender, race, ability.

“Find the moments to create a dinosaur that looks more like a horse or build a castle for a king. Don’t be limited by the ‘I can’ts’ that the world teaches us.”

Find out more about where Kiddiwinks started at  our About Us page or simply shop for your favourite LEGO® sets over at shop.kiddiwinks.co.za.