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Lego creates typewriter complete with working keys

2 min read

Lego has created a typewriter with working keys in homage to the classic machines of the past.

The Lego Ideas Typewriter is the brainchild of Steve Guinness from Chester, a former teacher who gave up his job to build Lego professionally and lead creative workshops in building with the miniature plastic bricks.

The £199 kit, which goes on sale on 16 June, comes complete with a centre typebar that rises as a key is pressed, a carriage that moves from left to right in correspondence to typing and a platen roller that pieces of paper can be fed into.

The 2,079-piece set also includes a black and red fabric spool ribbon, specially-designed type bars, and is aimed at adults longing for the golden age of typing rather than younger fans.

The model features working keys (Photo: Rasmus Bluhme/Lego)

Mr Guinness submitted his idea for the mid-century modern typewriter design to the Danish company’s Lego Ideas platform, which transforms popular fan concepts into real kits for sale.

Applicants whose suggestions are chosen to be made into official products receive one per cent of their design’s total net sales, but Mr Guinness told i last year that walking into a Lego shop and seeing something he’d designed on the shelf would be a dream come true.

“I wanted to create something totally different from anything that Lego has ever done before and showcase that you really can make anything out of Lego,” he said.

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“I bought a vintage typewriter for my research and then played around with bricks and the mechanism until I was happy with the design. I hope it will bring nostalgia to adult fans like me, and wonder and curiosity to younger fans who might not have ever seen a real typewriter!”

Once a common sight in offices and newsrooms across the world prior to the rise of the modern computer, typewriters are now the preserve of enthusiastic hobbyists.

Actor Tom Hanks is a vocal champion of the vintage machines. He has an extensive collection and even named his debut collection of stories Uncommon Type in tribute.

“If what you are writing is lengthy, the distraction of rolling another page into the carriage allows you to collect your thoughts,” he wrote in 2017.

“You take great pleasure in the tactile experience of typing – the sound, the physical quality of touch, the report and action of type-bell-return, the carriage, and the ­satisfaction of pulling a completed page out of the machine, raaappp!”

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