A MASTERS degree in product design from Glasgow University took Scot Morgan Walker from Glasgow to Denmark - and now he has his job is the envy of millions of children.

He’s head of the Creative Play lab at LEGO headquarters in Billund, a sort of Santa’s workshop – and the company’s innovation arm – which aims to make sure LEGO can continue to be developed in the digital age and beyond.

It has been Walker’s domain for the past decade, where he focuses on the potential toys of the future.

“It is basically every boy’s dream job,” he told The National. “I’m usually too focussed on two Christmases away, but I know what my son’s getting for his Christmas, he’s already been through the catalogue.”

LEGO’s interlocking plastic bricks have been a children’s favourite since the group was founded in 1932, but Walker said it was constantly being developed.

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“A lot of people draw a blank and ask me, ‘are you working on a new type of brick?’ But there’s definitely been a shift over the last 10-15 years partly due to digitalisation, and a lot of other factors.

“We are more conscious about the play experience of Lego, the old nostalgic one we all love – a box of bricks, the instructions, make something nice and eventually you end up with this huge Lego bin and you can make your own thing and that is the core of Lego.

“But times are changing and kids are growing up in a world that’s shaped by video games and technology and these multi-media franchises where everything’s a TV show, a film, a video game, a bedspread and a pencil case. So we’re trying to react to that world kids are growing up in but with core Lego values.

“I’ve worked on projects that have tried to fuse digital with physical. Video games with building was one project; we do a lot with AR, mixed reality, we do a lot of stuff in computer vision and all kinds of things. I think we’ll see more and more of it coming out in the next few years.”

He added: “Hidden Side is something I briefly worked on – it’s an augmented reality (AR) ghost-hunting play theme that’s been released and there’s a big push for Christmas,” he said.

He said although the lab was streamlined and producing around 300 new LEGO boxes every year, his work was more experimental and he could never be absolutely sure if a new toy would be ready for this Christmas, or next.

Part of the challenge facing his team was fusing the physical and virtual worlds into one.

Walker said: “We strongly believe that being ‘hands-on minds-on’ as we talk about it, actually working with materials is a really great way to learn. We also appreciate that digital has an awful lot to offer kids and we’re still carving up that space, still learning about it.”

Walker, who spoke to The National when he was a keynote speaker at an Innovation Summit in Glasgow, said the biggest difference between Scotland and Denmark was the number of of large companies still family-owned or still based in the country.

“I think it would be lovely if Scotland had a few more of those, but I think the spirit feels similar.

“Denmark’s very proud of the companies it has, they often have a prefix – Dan – in front of their name and you can see that really appeals to Danes. They want Dan butter, Dan audio and they want Dan this Dan that, and it’s a great culture they’ve fostered.

“They’re a country of makers and I think Scotland is too.”