Event Coverage: "Women of NASA" Set Launch at the Flatiron District LEGO Store

On Saturday, Oct. 28, the LEGO Ideas team held its first-ever U.S.-based launch for the forthcoming "Women of NASA" set, designed by AFOL Maia Weinstock, at the LEGO Brand Retail store in Manhattan's Flatiron District.  A line of eager fans curled around the block for a chance to meet the designer and get a signed box ahead of the general release on Nov. 1st.  Members of the New York City LUG joined parents and families for the four-hour event, which also featured a special in-store build for kids.   According to Tim Courtney, Experience Manager for the LEGO Company, the event marked the first time that an Ideas set had premiered in America: prior sets had early releases in Europe.  

fan designer maia weinstock (center) is flanked by tim courtney and hasan jensen of the lego company during a launch event for the "women in nasa" set oct. 28th in New York city.

fan designer maia weinstock (center) is flanked by tim courtney and hasan jensen of the lego company during a launch event for the "women in nasa" set oct. 28th in New York city.

The fun began early Saturday morning as LEGO VIPs began lining up, eager to meet Maia Weinstock, the fan designer who submitted the "Women of NASA" concept to LEGO Ideas last year and quickly gained the needed 10,000 votes.  The set itself is available to the public beginning November 1st, but during this special event, fans would be able to snag an early copy, as well as meet Maia and have their sets signed.

As AFOLs go, Maia is recent to the hobby, telling us that she first began designing minifigures based on hr contemporaries in the science field in 2009.

THE LINE CURLED AROUND THE BLOCK WITH FOLKS HOPING TO GET THEIR OWN "WOMEN OF NASA" SET.  

THE LINE CURLED AROUND THE BLOCK WITH FOLKS HOPING TO GET THEIR OWN "WOMEN OF NASA" SET.  

STACKS AND STACKS AND STACKS OF SET #21312, READY TO BE SOLD AND SIGNED!

STACKS AND STACKS AND STACKS OF SET #21312, READY TO BE SOLD AND SIGNED!

Store manager Carlos Fernandez and a team of about 12 employees got the store ready, setting up rows and rows of set #21312 and ensuring that once inside the store, fans would be able to quickly pick up their sets and get into line to meet Maia.  As a courtesy to the hometown LUG, several members of the New York City LEGO Users Group -- yours truly included -- as well as correspondents for AFOL publications were given early access so they could wrap up interviews with Maia and Hasan before the doors opened at 10am.

Tim pointed out that previous LEGO Ideas launch events were held outside the US in cities across Europe. However, with the amazing turnout for the Flatiron launch of Women of NASA, there's little doubt that we should expect many more events like this stateside.

the designer, being interviewed for a feature in scholastic magazine as the line outside the lego store patiently waits

the designer, being interviewed for a feature in scholastic magazine as the line outside the lego store patiently waits

maia talks with enthusiastic young fans, helping to mold our future stem leaders!

maia talks with enthusiastic young fans, helping to mold our future stem leaders!

ALL TOGETHER NOW  |   MEMBERS OF NYCLUG, I LUG NY, AND CORRESPONDENTS FROM BRICKNERD, BLOCKS MAGAZINE AND BRICKJOURNAL PROUDLY POSE WITH THEIR "WOMEN OF NASA" SETS! 

ALL TOGETHER NOW  |  MEMBERS OF NYCLUG, I LUG NY, AND CORRESPONDENTS FROM BRICKNERD, BLOCKS MAGAZINE AND BRICKJOURNAL PROUDLY POSE WITH THEIR "WOMEN OF NASA" SETS! 

OBLIGATORY.   set designer maia weinstock poses for a group selfie at the flatiron lego store in manhattan oct. 28.

OBLIGATORY.  set designer maia weinstock poses for a group selfie at the flatiron lego store in manhattan oct. 28.

And in a reminder of how LEGO brings folks together, one attended shared, via Twitter, the very special reason why she showed up to get a copy of "Women of NASA."

In all, it was a great day.  We hope the event's success encourages LEGO to hold many more just like it.