LEGO Idea House: Secret Star Wars Stash

Tucked away in the modern LEGO corporate campus in Billund is a traditional red brick house which, being Ole Kirk Christiansen’s first home in Billund, is the original site of The LEGO Group and to LEGO fans is equivalent to Skywalker Ranch, the original creative headquarters of Lucasfilm.

Adjacent to the red brick building that Christiansen moved his young family into when he was setting up a workshop in the adjacent barn (long since burned down) to make wooden furniture is an ugly, Brutalist building that – from the outside – looks like a depressing kindergarten.

Unbeknownst to many, and only accessible to the lucky few, this innocuous building holds the company’s own History Collection, a representative selection of products that have been made since The LEGO Group was founded 90 years ago.

Unlike the LEGO House, which is situated on the opposite side of the road, the Idea House is not open to the public, and only special guests are invited to enjoy the walking tour, so when Marc Rutten (AFOL, supercar enthusiast and business manager of shmee150.com) was invited for a walk-through tour to see the collection, The Holo-Brick Archive asked him to share his experience and let us all know about the secret Star Wars room that has gained so much Internet fame.

However, the LEGO Idea House is more than a museum display; it follows the story of the company, tracks the decisions that the Christiansen family made in moving from carpentry to wooden toys and on to plastic injection, as well as how they developed and expanded the LEGO brand.

The tour steps back in time by starting in the old Christiansen residence, which has been renovated and cleared out of all their personal effects. Instead of getting a look at the life of their familial lifestyle, the rooms are kept austere and relatively color-free.

Inside are two pieces of early LEGO machinery – a drill press and an early, hand-operated plastic injection machine – along with a variety of the early wooden toys and plastic novelties that the company made.

Moving from the old brick house, via a connecting corridor, the modern concrete building is an assault on the senses because the transition from a plain wooden environment to a colorful plastic circus is immediate and over-riding.

The curving, almost amorphous, walls create an organic flow and with their informative script and illustrations provide the “educational” aspect of the museum, while wall displays full of iconic models and tables with sets (which can be played with) pulled Marc into the museum without any hesitancy.

Marc, who was totally unaware of any of the secret display rooms, was taken aback when his tour guide offered to show him the hidden Star Wars room.

So well hidden is the portal to the secret Star Wars display room, most visitors walk straight past it. When the display was first installed access was through an easily identified panel decorated with a life-size Han Solo in Carbonite model, but this has recently been changed to an easy-to-miss plain black panel.

The world of LEGO Star Wars is one we often only know of our own Star War collection at home, LEGO shops, LEGO conventions or events. However, in our world there are a few locations which are considered some kind of a holy grail when it comes to our AFOL fandom. One of those places is located in the center of Billund, commonly referred to as LEGO city. This location is not LEGO House with its history collection, but LEGO Idea House and it is unique secret rooms.

The highlights of the Idea House are not located center stage, but behind special doors which you don’t immediately notice. Behind each of the three doors you will find three themed rooms; AFOL, Technic and Star Wars. We opened all doors, but of course focused greatly on the Star Wars room which you can check below on the photos. Enjoy!

With the work done by Kvorning Design, a Danish company who specialize in exhibition displays, and a local carpentry firm, LEGO designers were asked to suggest what models should go into the recently refurbished room. With no selection process, sets were selected on taste rather than any specific requirements, giving the collection on display a truly personal touch.

Those wanting to visit the LEGO Idea House will need to sign up for one of the Inside Tours, a two-and-a-half-day guided tour that gives a once-in-a-life-time experience that includes the LEGO Idea House – and if you are really lucky, a chance to visit the underground vault that holds the largest collection of mint-in-box LEGO sets in the world.

Entertainment Earth

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