P.E.I. Lego aficionado recreates Anne of Green Gables out of iconic toy
Chris Clarke says Lego and the beloved story of a red-headed orphan make perfect pair
The story of Anne of Green Gables has been portrayed on stage, screen and in print.
It's an "obvious combination," said Chris Clarke, owner of the Brick Barn in Morell, P.E.I., where he houses his massive Lego collection and invites others to play and create.
Clarke and his wife designed and built the Anne of Green Gables model house as a centrepiece for the business. But, when Clarke started receiving positive feedback, he wondered if Lego might be interested in turning the model house and characters into a set for consumers.
"Anne of Green Gables [appeals] to people of all ages, really, and so does Lego," Clarke said.
"But Lego has also done a really large push in the last five years to appeal to young, adolescent girls. And I thought — wow, what a great tribute to Anne of Green Gables to have a Lego set for that particular group of people."
It took about 30 to 40 hours to design and build the house and characters using 1,800 pieces from Clarke's 350,000-piece Lego collection. Finding certain pieces, such as Anne's red hair, took some "combing through the collection," he explained.
But the house and figures aren't just for show.
The roof can be removed and kids can play with the characters in various rooms and re-create their favourite scenes from the beloved story.
In order to have Lego consider the Green Gables house and characters as a potential product, Clarke had to register with the company's Ideas website. Clarke's online entry includes 23 images, including the Lego version of Anne Shirley and her friend Diana, as well as a detailed description of the characters and the house.
Visitors to the site can click on a button to support the project.
As of Tuesday, there were 136 votes of support and 417 days remaining in the campaign.
Clarke needs 10,000 votes for Lego's board of set designers and marketing representatives to review the idea and decide whether to turn it into a product for consumers.
"It doesn't guarantee we're going to get a set, but I think because Anne of Green Gables really aligns with their own philosophy, I think it's almost a shoo-in if we can get that 10,000 votes," he said.
Clarke added that any licensing agreements involving the use of Anne of Green Gables would be negotiated by Lego.
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With files from Nicole Williams