LEGO PLUS+ Taj Mahal (feat. DUPLO)
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Built with easy-to-handle DUPLO bricks "LEGO PLUS+ Taj Mahal" is a "grown-up" display set dedicated to senior LEGO fans and/or visually/motorically impaired builders, and also suits everyone who likes big models but doesn't like to handle thousands of pieces.
"LEGO PLUS+ Taj Mahal"
"LEGO PLUS+ Taj Mahal" is made entirely of DUPLO bricks and features many authentic details of the real UNESCO world heritage site in India: The world-famous marble dome, the four smaller domes around it, four minarets at the corners of the base platform, calligraphic and vegetative ornamentation around the big center doors, the base's distinctly patterned wall or the base's entrance including the "small" door to the stairs leading up to the platform.
What is "LEGO PLUS+"?
LEGO PLUS+ is my idea for a potential new LEGO product line dedicated to senior builders as well as visually and/or motorically impaired brick fans. While presenting AFOL-oriented building themes and sets, LEGO PLUS+ uses big "easy-to-handle" DUPLO bricks instead of small LEGO pieces which can be very difficult to build with for the continually growing audience of seniors (and people with a visual or/and motorical impairment). Moreover LEGO PLUS+ offers a less complex, less difficult building process and instructions with bigger pictures. Enabling the afore-said group of LEGO fans to have a more pleasant building experience overall without having to turn to themes/sets designed for preschool kids, LEGO PLUS+ extends the usage possibilities of DUPLO bricks and introduces a novel LEGO building experience at the same time, ensuring a lot more fun for an ever-growing user group that still gets too little attention in many regards.
Furthermore LEGO PLUS+ sets are also suitable for everyone who likes big models but doesn't like to handle thousands of pieces in the building process ("AFOD" = "Adult Fan of DUPLO"). To recreate a given set built with LEGO bricks, you only need about 1/8 (13%) of the number of pieces using DUPLO bricks for a model of the same size. For example: Recreating a 1,000-piece LEGO building takes only about 125 DUPLO pieces to get an equally big model.
Eventually, the "PLUS+" name & symbol incorporate different aspects of the potential new line's approach: "PLUS+" (older) age of the builders, "PLUS+" (bigger) size of the bricks and the "+" also symbolizing the "healthcare" aspect of the product line, helping people with different impairments. The "+" can also be seen as a reference to LEGO's age recommendation of "16+" for many AFOL sets. Just like the JUNIORS line introduces kids to LEGO bricks, "PLUS+" re-introduces adults to DUPLO bricks - and for a good reason. "LEGO PLUS+ Taj Mahal" has been designed as a display set and is not (necessarily) meant to be played with - yet, essentially it is "playable" of course and can be individually modified/furnished, meaning it also does not exclude kids from building/playing with it - marking another aspect of the "+" symbol: connecting LEGO's youngest with its oldest fans and "building a bridge" between two generations of builders.
About the designing process
Finding the ideal bricks and pieces for every part of the Taj Mahal was very challenging at times because the number of available DUPLO pieces is significantly lower than the numer of existing LEGO pieces, as you know. But this challenge is just one of the aspects I find so interesting in building with DUPLO bricks - so designing the Taj Mahal was great fun in the end anyway. I experimented quite a bit to find the best pieces for the top of the main dome and the minarets - in both cases the white "Cake Decoration" turned out to fit best (plus a "Candle" piece representing the spire of the main dome). Probably the biggest challenge was to find a way to build (or represent) the chamfered corners with their arches and windows. I tried many different options before deciding to use a combination of the "Turn Brick 2X2", "blank" white columns, white columns with a printed window and a "PLATE 4X4 W. ROUND CORNER" at the top, which (fortunately) connected accurately to the topside of the slightly rotated white colums. The white-and-yellow roofs of the small domes beside the main dome authentically hint at a big problem the real Taj Mahal has to deal with: Due to pollution the white of the monument is turning yellow more and more. So the bicolored 4x4 "Hemisphere" piece was a natural choice for me here. Two new bricks that had just been released in 2017 for the first time (in white), were essential for the overall look of the big dome and some walls, too: The white "WALL W/ BRICK 1X2X2" and the white "BRICK 2X3 W/ INV. BOW".
My user name "AFOD" ("Adult Fan of DUPLO") stands for the idea of either designing (play) sets for children using nothing but DUPLO pieces or for designing (display) sets for adults using nothing but DUPLO pieces as well. Being big LEGO fans for decades, we had bought many DUPLO sets for our little daughter and had great fun for hundreds of hours of building and playing. Then some day I realized that I had eventually become a real "Adult Fan of DUPLO". I started building DUPLO MOCs for kids using the masses of DUPLO bricks we already had at home. A lot of additional sets and bricks were bought for this purpose as well. Besides creating child-oriented DUPLO sets I recently started designing DUPLO sets for adults as well after realizing that building with DUPLO bricks offers some significant advantages for a lot of adult builders, too.
I hope you like my project and decide to support it with your vote. Thank you very much and feel free to leave a comment! Since I am already working on my next DUPLO Ideas projects, you are also very welcome to follow my account, so you can be sure not to miss anything coming very soon.
Please support my other projects, too:
- "DUPLO Mysteries of The White House": https://ideas.lego.com/projects/865fd7d2-ac55-4162-a098-80fa99d458cb