QR Code Reviews – Lego City Arctic Helicrane

QR Code Reviews - Lego City Arctic Helicrane Making effective QR codes takes work.  To shortcut the amount of learning and work required, you can look at how others are using QR codes.  By using the best techniques you find and avoiding the worst problems, you can make your QR codes be the best they can be.

QR Code Reviews - Lego City Arctic Helicrane - QR codeToday we look at a QR code found on a Lego City Arctic Helicrane.  The code is about 1 inch square but does not include a call-to-action or URL.

You could argue about both points but there is nothing that specifically points users to the QR code.  Plus, the encoded URL is the the one listed on the package.  In this case, it makes sense.

The encoded data is a URL: http://lego.com/go/m/63

QR Code Reviews - Lego City Arctic Helicrane - iPhone screen

Overall rating: 3 out of 5

QR Code Reviews - Lego City Arctic Helicrane - Rating - 3 out of 5

7 Key Aspects to Great QR codes

Here are some important questions that all great QR codes need to answer:

Is there a good call-to-action near the QR code?

  • There is a call-to-action to visit a URL, but not one specific to use the QR code

What does the QR code look like (colors, design, etc)?

  • The QR code is the standard black elements on a white background.  Lego added a bit of graphics around the code that makes it look like a mobile device.

Is the QR code easy to find and incorporated into the overall design?

  • This QR code is easy to find.  Although it was not prominently featured in the design, it was included and visually enhanced.

What happens when you scan the code?

  • You are taken to the iTunes store to download the Lego City My City app

If a URL is encoded, is the landing page mobile friendly and designed well?

  • The landing page is mobile friendly since it links to the app download page.

If a URL is encoded, does it utilize a redirect to help with future changes?

  • The encoded URL does utilize a redirect and will be easy to adjust for future change

Does the action of the scan provide value to the customer?

  • The call-to-action encourages users to play the Lego City My City game online.  The listed URL takes visitors to a landing page where they can play.  The QR code takes visitors to the app store to download the game.

What We Can Learn

Lego does an okay job with the QR code campaign on their Lego City Arctic Helicrane building set.  The code measures about 1 inch square and is located on the back of the box.  It is surrounded by several graphics encouraging customers to play the Lego City My City game.  A URL is listed that takes visitors to the Lego website so they can play the game.   When scanned, the QR code takes visitors to the app store so you can download the game for your device.

From a user perspective, the QR code gets good attention due to the location.  Most kids (and some of us adults…) often turn Lego boxes over to look at all the cool stuff you can build with the set.  Your attention is drawn to the large graphic about the Lego City My City game.  At the bottom right of the graphic, you will find the QR code on what looks like a mini mobile device (possibly a tablet of some sort).  There is no call-to-action to encourage you to scan the code but a few of the techie people out there will undoubtedly do some scanning.

If you visit the URL listed near the QR code on a mobile device, you are taken to a very well designed, mobile friendly landing page.

How can we help Lego?

A good call-to-action would definitely help with scans.  Something as simple as “Scan the code to download the game” or a similar phrase would provide a small nudge toward the QR code.  If most customers are very familiar with QR codes, a call-to-action is less important but in my experience, QR codes are still a bit of technology that people recognize but have no idea what they are.

To engage with the customers a little more, you could link the QR code to a landing page similar to the URL listed near the QR code.  On that landing page, visitors could be encouraged to download the app or play the game online.


When making your own QR codes, keep the following in mind:

  • Until QR codes are well known to most of your target market, it’s best to include a good call-to-action.  Make the action specific (“Scan the code…”) for a specific result (“…to download the game”)
  • In most cases, QR codes can be printed fairly small with the minimum size being about 1 inch square.  Although the space on product packaging is at a premium, you should be able to carve out 1 square inch to add a QR code of your own (but don’t forget the call-t0-action)

We are starting to see QR codes on a large variety of products.  I’ve seen them on a can of black eye peasbrake padssilicone spray, a box of doughnuts, plantain chips, and many more.  What products have you noticed with QR codes lately?

If you have questions about how to get started using QR codes in your business, how to use QR codes more effectively, or how fix a QR code issue, let me help.   If you want to learn more about QR codes, check out my free e-book.