Ford creates unique Explorer from more than 380,000 LEGO bricks

Article by Christian Andrei, on September 28, 2011

The reinvented and new Ford Explorer is an attractive model on its own as it comes with its own capability and blending style. It is even equipped with technology that guarantees its fuel efficiency, which is top-of-the-line.

Through the EcoBoost engine, fuel efficiency is at an EPA-certified rating of 28 mpg highway. Today however, Ford will be releasing a one-of-a-kind Explorer from its Chicago Assembly Plant. While it does have the craftsmanship that has become the signature of this model, it has one extraordinary feature in that it was created using an excess of 380,000 LEGO bricks and taking at least 2,500 hours to make.

Coming in bright red, this special edition of the Explorer has a weight of 2,654 pounds and is supported by an aluminum base in its interior weighing 768 pounds. In building this LEGOLAND Florida edition of the Explorer, it took a team composed of 22 designers. For those who are interested to see a time-lapse video of this model being built, a copy is available and can be viewed online. Once it has made its official debut, this special edition model will then be put to a trailer and then sent to the EGOLAND Florida theme park, a 150-acre land outside of Orlando.

In addition, the trailer transporting this special edition will have transparent sides so that motorists will be able to enjoy it as well. Once it reaches the theme park, it will become part of the attraction which is the Ford Driving School for Children. This is because the release of the LEGOLAND Florida edition of the Explorer also signals the start of what may be a long partnership Ford has with LEGOLAND Florida theme park.

Ford Experiential Marketing Manager Tracy Magee shared that the automaker is excited to be part of this collaboration between the Southeast Ford dealers and LEGOLAND Florida. She added that the LEGOLAND Florida Explorer, and with it the Ford Driving School attraction, presents a great opportunity for the company to display its products as well as the safety messages to visitors and families, but in its own unique way.

With the Ford Driving School attraction, children will be able to get the chance to drive their own vehicles at a maximum of 3 mph and experience fun while learning about responsibility when it comes to driving. LEGOLAND Florida opened in October 15 and is targeted at kids with ages 2 to 12 years old. This theme park offers about 50 attractions, rides, and shows that are mainly family-focused. It even has a historical botanical garden.

The exhibits displayed in the park took at least 50 million LEGO bricks and then divided to 10 different entertainment themed zones for the kids. The different attractions ensure that kids are able to experience various adventures like getting behind the wheel and be able to learn how to drive. In terms of size, this theme park is the second largest in the U.S. and the fifth in the world.

Press Release

Ford Explorer Now 100 Percent Reinvented in LEGO® Bricks Debuts at Chicago Assembly Plant, Becomes Centerpiece of New Ford Driving School at LEGOLAND Florida Theme Park

Full-size LEGOLAND® Florida Explorer created from more than 380,000 LEGO bricks makes its debut at Chicago Assembly Plant; model took more than 2,500 hours to create

New LEGOLAND Florida theme park is the second in the U.S. and the fifth and largest LEGOLAND park in the world; it's comprised of more than 50 million LEGO bricks

Ford Driving School at LEGOLAND Florida allows children to experience the fun and responsibility of driving in their own vehicles (at a maximum speed of 3 mph)

CHICAGO, Sept. 26, 2011 – A unique Ford Explorer rolling off the line today at Chicago Assembly Plant will feature the model's trademark eye-catching craftsmanship with one notable distinction. This Ford Explorer is created from more than 380,000 LEGO bricks and marks the beginning of a long-term alliance between Ford and LEGOLAND® Florida theme park.

The bright red LEGOLAND Florida edition Explorer, created by 22 designers, weighs 2,654 pounds and is supported by a 768-pound interior aluminum base.

Click here to see time-lapse video of the build of the unique Explorer.

The completely reinvented Ford Explorer is a head-turner on its own, of course, blending style, capability and technology with class-leading fuel efficiency. It delivers an EPA-certified 28 mpg on the highway with an all-new EcoBoost® engine.

After its debut at the historic Chicago plant, which produces the Explorer, the vehicle will be loaded onto a trailer with transparent sides so motorists can see the LEGO Explorer as it makes its way to the new 150-acre LEGOLAND Florida theme park just outside Orlando.

There it will be featured in front of one of the park's attractions, the Ford Driving School for children.
"Ford is excited to support the alliance between LEGOLAND Florida and the Southeast Ford dealers. The LEGOLAND Florida Explorer and the Ford Driving School attraction are great opportunities to showcase our products and safety messages to families and visitors in a unique way," said Tracy Magee, Ford Experiential Marketing manager.

LEGOLAND Florida, which opens Oct. 15, will cater to kids ages 2 to 12 with more than 50 family-focused rides, shows and attractions and a historical botanical garden.

The park, which features exhibits using more than 50 million LEGO bricks, is divided into 10 themed entertainment zones for kids. It allows them to experience different adventures, including the empowering thrill of getting behind the wheel and learning to drive their own vehicle.

"We're less than a month from opening and the anticipation level is incredibly high," said LEGOLAND Florida General Manager Adrian Jones. "This is the only park of its kind in the world built exclusively for kids ages 2 to 12, and it will be a total departure from anything families with young children have seen before. It's a completely immersive experience, engaging kids' imaginations and their sense of adventure through interactive play."

Driving through LEGOLAND Florida

The driving school is divided by age. There's a Ford Junior Driving School for children ages 3 to 5 years old and a Ford Driving School for those ages 6 to 12. The children watch a video with driving instructions and safety tips – starting with the basics like safety belts and the difference between the accelerator and the brake – and move on to stoplights and stop signs. Children then have the opportunity to drive in their own electric vehicles on curbed roads with maximum speed limits of 3 mph.

With its detailed LEGO theme, the attraction is designed to give children the experience of driving in a real-world neighborhood.

\While the children are behind the wheel, park employees known as "model citizens" are nearby to ensure the experience stays positive. After the drive is complete, the children are issued their own Ford Driving School license.

The school was the brainchild of Florida-area Ford dealers that worked with LEGOLAND Florida management, and is designed to introduce the fun and responsibility of driving skills to children.

Topics: ford, ford explorer

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