Tuesday 10 January 2017

A trip to London With Anki Overdrive and LEGO Lester!

Towards the end of November we were invited by Anki Overdrive to go down to London and have a bit of fun at their Christmas Party. We love the Anki Overdrive, it's great all-round entertainment here, so how could we refuse?

Anki had done some magic, because they'd managed to set up 4 different playable tracks on 3 floors of The Driver - an impressive feat when you remember the cars are robotic and controlled by bluetooth connections. We've reviewed the Anki Family Bundle previously, and regularly play 4-player, but I'm still really impressed they could maintain connection despite the building being so busy.

Santa was also in attendance, and a magician who enthralled my son. We slid past the face painting as my youngest always wants to be Spiderman and I didn't fancy what it would look like by the end of the day.

The Anki guy gets his groove on, while Santa discusses the benefits of Supertrucks over cars.

Any minute now, your card will fly up into the iPad...

My youngest was on form though, winning most of his races, much to the amazement of a lot of the adults he beat. I was a little disappointed there weren't any jumps to try out, but they did have a super long track for us to admire, and there were plenty of people there to convert to what has to be frankly the easiest and most reliable car racing system ever.

We were also able to check out another of the Supertrucks. We have Freewheel (the green and silver Anki Supertruck), but the X52 was in London. Each of the vehicles play quite differently, and the trucks are a completely different drive to the cars. It is really clever and a lot more fun than our slot style car track,  where cars only perform differently because they're getting old or full of fluff!

There was some gorgeous refreshment, and then we still had time to have a visit around London, in particular Leicester Square and the new LEGO shop - the biggest in the world.

Despite my love of LEGO, I hadn't expected to be able to visit and had paid little attention to any offers. We were well aware of the London LEGO exclusive set though, and had decided to buy ourselves one, plus the London Bus. Sadly we had to pass on the 'Make a LEGO portrait of yourself' Photo Booth for £99... even though it's the only one in existence...

When we arrived were given a special sticker sheet for the London Bus set, then a passport before having our photo taken in a London Tube carriage made of LEGO. It was awesome. So exciting - for everyone.

The shop was full, with numbers limited inside so the kids could have a play or browse, but our youngest was a complete nightmare. He was a bit overwhelmed by the experience and had an urgent need to see and try out absolutely everything at once. The LEGO Shop may be a massive 914sq m, but he covered every cm about 17 times.

During this time my partner went downstairs to pay and was given a scratchcard which won him a LEGO Parrot, but the lady at the till next to him won a Lester - a very rare minifigure made to celebrate the Leicester Square branch opening. He came back sooooo excited. We'd lost the 6 year old again, so I Googled the Lester while he took a turn looking - only 275. I couldn't believe how rare it was!

We had dithered over getting another LEGO London set as a gift, and I wanted a LEGO City Advent Calendar, so I went to pay. I was given my scratchcard and passed it to my 8 year old to scratch while I enthused with the lady behind the till about all the LEGO shops I'd been too.

Without even glancing away the cashier suddenly screamed straight at me, before shouting "We have a Lester". The shop went wild, it was crazy. I looked down at my beaming 8 year old and then back at the cashier as she placed Lester in my hand. Behind me everyone was cheering and clapping, It was like I'd been dropped into the end of a movie. So I turned round and held him up to his admiring crowd, who cheered some more. Surreal moment of the year.

I turned back to the counter and then as she handed me my shopping, the cashier whispered a warning in that wise shopkeeper way. "They are selling on eBay for over a thousand pounds".

It was only as I left the store with my Lester safely zipped into an inside pocket that I realised I never even saw the scratchcard. Boo....let's face it, I'll never see one ever now!

Lester is now safely away, but he made an appearance in my LEGO 12 Days Of Christmas, and hopefully (when my youngest isn't around) he'll be back in the spotlight every now and again...

We ended our day with tea and a little look at the sights before we had to come back to Manchester.   Definitely my favourite trip to London ever...

Thank you to Anki for inviting us down and treating us to our day, it was epic. 


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