PlayThings: LEGO Development Wrap Trophies

These LEGO figures aren’t for playing with, but rather a symbol of play.

Bringing you the latest instalment in our Playthings news series, examining the fascinating stories behind the played videogame objects from our Playthings exhibition and beyond.

Tomorrow, January 28th, is International LEGO day! As the LEGO legend goes, “May you walk through life without stepping open sole on a 2×2 brick”.

We often talk about ‘PlayThings’ as videogame objects that are played with. This week, however, it is time to consider unique objects that are created as a direct result of making something that can be playable by others. 

Developing a videogame is often a difficult and time-consuming endeavour. Some games have taken almost two decades to develop – yes, we’re all looking at you Shenmue III. These distinct LEGO Development Wrap Trophies are made as a playful recognition for the tremendously hard work that goes into producing videogames. 

Since 2005, and the successful release of LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game, LEGO-themed videogames based on licensed movie franchises have become globally popular. These playful reimaginings of Star Wars, Harry Potter, and The Lord of the Rings – to name just a few examples – allow new audiences to experience blockbuster movies in unique Lego form.

These games are made by British developers TT Games, a company formerly known as Travellers Tales. In the 1990s, the company made movie-themed games through the development of the popular A Bug’s Life and Toy Story games (they have an iconic 90s logo too).

At the end of production, these clear acrylic blocks were given to all staff members who worked on the LEGO games. The first LEGO Development Wrap Trophy was made at the end of development on the LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures games. The first prototype was made in Slough, and more than fifteen years on, the awards are still manufactured by the same supplier.

They are shaped as large versions of 1×3 bricks. The blocks are see-through and each entomb a LEGO minifigure, which can be personally chosen by individual team members. They have locking studs on top, meaning that they stack and connect just like a LEGO brick. This design is a fitting representation of how the work of each developer, artist, and programmer is an indispensable contribution to the entire videogame.

These LEGO Development Wrap Trophies are a fascinating reminder of the stellar achievements made by everyone involved in the development of videogames. 

Though, we don’t think we’d like to commemorate our Jar-Jar Binks LEGO figurine in quite the same way.


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