The Lego Christmas Story House
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The Corner of Cleveland StreetOn
I have made a minor modification to improve the model. Since each corner on the outside of the house is green, I needed a way to connect the interior walls together (for structural integrity) and originally used 2x2 yellow corner pieces to do the job. That worked out fine, but I have since found that the 2x2 facet bricks worked even better, as there is no corner stud. This allows for the upper levels to fit snuggly onto the lower levels without having to attach at each corner or rest on top of a tile piece. Instead, I chose just two corners on each level to use the "normal" 2x2 corner pieces for attaching the levels together, thus allowing easy removal. Underneath each upper level there is a plate at each corner to place on top of the facet pieces, which are slightly below the top of the wall, locking it into place. The first picture below is before, and the second is after to illustrate this change.
120,000+ Views and Counting!On
When I submitted this project, I really did not know what to expect. I can safely say that I absolutely did not expect this level of interest, and it has been an amazing experience. However, it did get me to wonder how many times that the movie “A Christmas Story” has been viewed, considering that for the past 20 years it has run for 24 hours a day for one day (and on two stations for some of those years). I could not get definitive total numbers, but after doing a little research, I was able to come across some data posted on the “A Christmas Story House & Museum” for 2013 alone. This is amazing stuff…
After adding up the viewership (from one channel) for 9 of the 12 showings of the 24 hour “A Christmas Story” marathon in 2013, the total comes to over 34.4M (and that excludes the 2am-6am time block). The first showing alone had over 5.2M viewers!!
Considering that the 24 hour marathon has been running for the past 20 years, now runs on two channels, and will run for the foreseeable future, the math starts to get a little crazy. The movie was released 14 years before the marathon started, so enough people watched and loved it enough even before to warrant the marathon itself.
This being my first LEGO Ideas submission, I did not do the best job in soliciting explicit support of the project and turning those views into official supporters initially. In the first week, I had over 30K views with just a few hundred supporters on the LEGO Ideas site. That is a lesson learned, but I still think we are on a great path to ultimately get to 10K and turn this set into a reality! Thanks to all that have viewed and supported the project!
I wanted to make one other slight correction to the project. In my photo where the old man stammers over the broken lamp, I quoted him as saying the unintelligible phrase "Not a finga!" However, I have since discovered that "Nadafinga!" is the correct pop culture reference (which is no less unintelligible). Even after seeing the film countless times, it seems I am constantly learning more about it, and I am happy to share! See the corrected photo below:
"A" Project UpdateOn
So the movie is called: "A Christmas Story"; the house (that is now a museum): "A Christmas Story House"; the musical: "A Christmas Story: The Musical". So, it would stand to reason that this project would more aptly be named as "A LEGO Christmas Story House" (replacing "The" with "A"). It is a minor change to be sure, but the name of a project is fundamental. Note that I also capitalized LEGO in the project name in this update... I have seen it both ways, but I have learned that it is most consistently capitalized. I suppose the official change would make the most sense when and if it reaches 10K supporters, so as to not cause any confusion while still collecting support.
Fra-gee-lay... It must be Italian.On
Just wanted to make one slight correction. In my initial description of the project, I referred to the "Fragile" crate and followed it with the phonetic spelling: Fra-jee-lay. However, I have since come to realize that the phonetic spelling of the classic line from the movie is most commonly spelled: Fra-gee-lay (still pronounced with the soft g of course). Either way it is a major award!
Happy Birthday Ralphie!On
Coincidentally, the actor who played our favorite deranged Easter Bunny in "A Christmas Story" (Peter Billingsley) has a birthday on this Easter Sunday! Thought folks might enjoy that fun fact...
The Evolution of a ProjectOn
Each time that the project has been displayed in person, I have been asked to explain the process by which the model was completed. Although I did eventually enter the creation into LEGO Digital Designer software (primarily to get the list of parts that I needed to purchase), it was first constructed using real LEGO bricks. Obviously, I did not have all of the right colors to start, but you can see the project take shape. I have found this "proof of concept" approach to be very helpful, and did a lot of tweaking before ordering the necessary parts. Even after getting the initial set of bricks, I spent some time fine tuning the design before submitting. The first iteration started with a green baseplate, evolved to white, and then I eventually added the snow as well as the floors in the interior.
He looks like a PINK Nightmare!On
The LEGO Christmas Story House was made with 100% LEGO bricks that I was able to find and procure. However, I do think that there are definitely some improvements that can be made simply by adding some strategic coloring. Perhaps the best example of this is Ralphie's bunny costume. The ears really should be pink, and some of you have noted that as well. Thus, I made some alterations to the below photo to show what this might look like. (Note that the hands should be pink too!)
The LEGO Christmas Story House is on display!On
I have actually created a second identical model of the project, and currently both prototypes are on display! One can be seen at A Christmas Story House Museum in Cleveland. Since it is modular and behind glass, I created an open view of the first floor with the characters. During the media blitz on the project in December, the Great Lakes Science Center also reached out to me, so I made a little road trip and have loaned them a prototype as well. That model is also in a display case, so I have created an identical open first floor display that can be seen along with the house there too. Take a look at the pictures and if you happen to be in the vicinity of either of the models, check them out in person! If you would like to continue to follow the progress of the project, be sure to also see the community Facebook page here.
Great Progress and Thank You!On
So an update on this project is long overdue. I had intended to send out a thank you to all of the supporters when we reached 1000, but we blew by it so fast, I did not have the chance. So, I guess I get to say THANK YOU to a much larger group! These past few weeks have been pretty crazy and just before the holiday, it was picked up by the media, and I was interviewed by NBC in Chicago, Fox in Cleveland, and the Detroit Metro Times among many others! (You can google "Lego Christmas Story House" if you want to see more) It seems that just the prospect of this iconic movie becoming an actual Lego set is mainstream news, and I think that is a good sign.
As we started to get some attention, I did create a community Facebook page for the project, and anyone can go there to get periodic updates. Also, feel free to message me through the Facebook page if you have any other good ideas on how to spread the word: https://www.facebook.com/alcsh/
I anticipate that support will be less intense after the holidays, but we have a really good path to 10K. Please continue to spread the word, as that is the only way that we can make this happen! This has been my first project on Lego Ideas, and the positive feedback that I have received has been overwhelming and humbling. Thank you all again.