Czech Repubrick is a Lego model exhibition located in the basement of Hamleys* Toy Store Prague.
I love Lego! Doesn’t everybody love Lego? When I was a kid, Lego just came in boxes of bricks, baseplates and wheels – you invented something every time. These days, there seem to be more pre-designed sets with instructions to build a specific model.
We visited 5.45pm on Saturday 23rd June. I was hoping that it wouldn’t be busy – as it was there were less than 10 visitors while we were there. This may have been because I’d chosen a perfect time, or could be a mixture of lack of awareness and a high ticket price (CZK 290 per adult if bought at the door).
The Lego model displays are numbered and so it’s easy to self-navigate around – which is handy as you aren’t offered any guide on entry. They’d made good use of a giant safe door, left by the bank that previously occupied the building – a model of the Bohemia Crown Jewels.
There was a fantastic model of Saint Vitus Cathedral – someone spent 1800 hours building that and certainly didn’t have any instructions.
The place felt more museum than family attraction – perhaps because it was so quiet, or perhaps because the majority of the models are static and not interactive. The model of Prague Airport in Terminal 2 of Václav Havel Airport is a good example of a great model with plenty of interactive features.
The Amusement Park (not based on anywhere in the Czech Republic) had some buttons to push and some carousels would rotate.
The park also had a roller coaster that ran every 15 minutes.
Here’s a video of the rollercoaster.
Along the side wall were some interactive models – buttons opened this car’s doors and spun the wheels.
For this Rock Concert display, a button started the concert music video, but none of the figures moved around – I suppose I’m asking too much really.
There was a marble track that looked really fascinating – sadly it wasn’t working.
There was an impressive life-size Terminator.
And even more impressive ‘Sally’ figure from ‘Nightmare before Christmas’
The model of the proposed new home for the Czech National Library – known locally as ‘The Blob’ or “Chobotnice” (The Octopus) with design by Jan Kaplicky – shows how versatile Lego can be. I still don’t think the actual building should be constructed though!
The Dancing House is a modern building that I do think fits well into the Prague landscape.
Would have been fun if the trams moved in the model though.
Jested. I love the design of that building and also stayed in the hotel there one time. Look closely (when you visit not at this photo!) and you’ll see that the model maker also included all the detail of the statue Alien by Jaroslav Rona.
The Old Town Hall and Astronomical Clock were nicely done.
I like to challenge the Czech Repubrick model builders to re-create a larger version of the Astronomical Clock in Lego, with all moving parts matching the original – and I mean when the original has completed it’s repairs.
There was a fun room where you were shrunk into a Lego world – and you could move the Lego around. There were some Lego-style hard hats on the viewing platform and these would have been fun to wear in this room – maybe also some fake Lego hands.
There was a camera obscura room, where images from exterior pinholes were projected onto a screen. To be honest it wasn’t that impressive and I have a feeling most visitors wander in, find the room dark and wander our again.
Our visit lasted about 45 minutes – exit is via a small gift shop with oddly-few Lego sets available. You can continue from there to visit the excellent Papilonia Butterfly House, also in the basement of Hamleys.
We enjoyed our visit, although I think there are rooms for improvement; more enthusiastic staff could be on hand to assist with the displays, interactive pieces and answer questions, a Lego builder on call to repair broken displays and a bit more model movement added. I also think the price is a little high – halving the price would most likely treble the visitor numbers.
But if you love Lego – you should go! There are plenty more models than I featured in this article.
Inside Hamleys Toy Store
Na Příkopě 854/14
110 00 Nové Město
Hours: 10:00 – 20:00
Adult: CZK 247 online CZK 290 door
Children up to 100cm: Free
Family 2+1: CZK 580 online
Family 2+2: CZK 730 online
Phone: 730 529 612
- Note that the apostrophe was dropped from Hamleys name around 1911, when they started to be referred to as Messers Hamley Bros. That lasted until about 1920, when the branding became Messrs Hamleys (without the apostrophe). Soon after, it became just Hamleys.