Thursday, June 20, 2013

Hermit Crab Goes Decidedly Modern with LEGO Shell; Enters LEGO Contest

Harry the Hermit Crab and his LEGO Shell

Response to Fundamentally Toys' First Annual LEGO Contest was fantastic.  We had three age category entry levels: 3-6 years, 7-11 years, and 12+ years. Next year, it looks like we might need to add a category for animals, or at least drill down to invertebrates.

Harry the Hermit Crab was a late entry into our LEGO contest. He missed the cutoff of June 15, 2013, as it may have taken a while for word to get to him about the contest. You see, Harry lives at the Atlantis Discovery Center in LEGOland which is located in Windsor, Berkshire, United Kingdom. But despite the lateness, and half a world away from Fundamentally Toys in Houston, Texas, we were delighted to see his entry.

For those of you unfamiliar with hermit crabs, here's the lowdown. I only know as much as I do because my daughter brought her school's hermit crabs home one summer. She even took them with her on the plane to visit Grandma. She got them through security and airborne both ways. No one was the wiser.

Hermit crabs are soft and have no protection from enemies, so they have to carry shells around on their backs. They must be plenty strong to do that! I know firsthand that they pack quite a strong pinch, especially if they're hungry. As the hermits grow they need to find bigger shells. I discovered that they actually trade shells, stand in line for size tryouts, fight over shells, and have been known to throw a dweller out. Go figure how they decide on new digs or how they know they want some other crab's shell.

It seems that Harry was having a hard time choosing a new shell. Hermit crabs are very picky about their homes, and predictably, Harry didn't seem to be happy with his choices. So for the heck of it, I guess, his caretakers at Atlantis Discovery Center made a shell out of blue, yellow, and red LEGOS. They presented it to Harry, along with other more natural and traditional bungalow choices.

It's reported that Harry took to the LEGO shell immediately. He's probably not stupid and figured it was so much lighter feeling. Or maybe he was attracted to its modern structure and bright colors. Who knows? So now, he's happily carting his LEGO shell around LEGOland UK as shown in this Harry the Hermit Crab video.

I know Harry didn't mean to steal the thunder from the winners of our LEGO contest.  We were so delighted with all the entries we received! I've got to tell you that all our contestants were incredibly imaginative. Not only did they make cool creations, but they invented stories to go with them too. It was really difficult to pick winners.

Every contestant received a LEGO minifigure and a $5 gift card to Fundamentally Toys. Since there were so many great entries, we also chose six honorable mentions in addition to our winners. Here they are:

Three winners of Fundamentally Toys First Annual LEGO Contest each received a $50 gift card to the store.
Ages 3-6: Henry for "Shakespeare presents Hamlet"
Ages 7-11: Aidan for "LEGO Lightsaber"
Ages 12+: Will for "Apocalypse"

Six Honorable Mentions each received a $10 Fundamentally Toys gift card.
First Honorable Mentions:
Ages 3-6: Grayden for "Grayden's Masterpiece"
Ages 7-11: Gabriel for "Prison Escape"
Ages 12+: Rylie for "Modern Cabenin"

Second Honorable Mentions :
Ages 3-6: Genevieve for "Animal Rescue"
Ages 7-11: Iain for "Stormy Sea"
Ages 12+: Ben for "Outpost"

And as for Harry...well, we didn't award him a prize, but he's already a winner in his own category and unique way.  And we discovered what we knew all along: EVERYBODY LOVES LEGOS! Even invertebrates.

Check out the winners on Fundamentally Toys' Facebook Page!

Debbie Scholl

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