Lego has finally made its way to Karachi. Originated in Denmark, the toy line consists of colourful interlocking plastic bricks which come in an array of shapes, gears and figures. At the launch of its first store in Pakistan on Friday at The Forum, Lego fans — children and parents — were busy constructing plastic architecture and enjoying a family day out.
The huge turnover reflects two things: there is a die-hard Lego following in Karachi and it clearly appeals to people of all age groups, not just children. Lego bricks are playful and can be assembled in numerous ways — you can construct objects such as vehicles, building and robots, wherever your imagination takes you.
At the launch, the store was abuzz with children as young as three (along with their parents) who were busy deciding which toy to take home. Children above the age of 10 were seen huddled on small tables busy building castles and buildings.
Amongst many parents present, Chheena Chappra, a mother who was seen with her 11-year-old son Habib said, “I have literally grown up playing this game [Lego] and years later, I see my young son being so involved in it. I think I am more excited than my son that Lego has come to Pakistan,” she exclaimed.
Chief Executive Officer of Lego Pakistan Bilal Saleem informed The Express Tribune that the legacy of Lego dates back to 1938. “It’s all over the world now,” he said. Saleem started operating the business online before launching the store; he started to sell Lego toys on his website, www.iknowmytoys.com last year. “I felt that there was a dearth of good, creative toys in the Pakistani market. This is the reason why I thought of opening up a place which would sell brain-stimulating toys,” he explained.
Saleem said he played with Lego as a child and felt that in today’s world, children only engross themselves in iPhones and computers. “The creative ability of the youth is shrinking fast because they don’t do anything creative, such as building something with the help of these plastic bricks,” he added.
Lego might awaken that creative streak inside you, but these plastic bricks might just be a little hard on your pocket. The price range starts at Rs500 and can go up to Rs100,000 and above. The colourful boxes were labeled with price tags, which were much more expensive compared to other toys in Pakistan. However, Saleem feels that the price is competitive. “Keeping the Dubai market in view, we have Lego toys at a much cheaper price,” he said.
With a wide range of Lego variants on the racks, from doll houses to complicated ones such as the Star Wars pack, parents and children were left perplexed making the right choice.
Correction: The date 1938 was incorrectly written as 1983 in an earlier version of the article. The correction has been made.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 11th, 2013.