Lego Toy Story - The Toy Story Continues

Lego is one of the worlds best selling toys, with the its ubiquitous bricks reckoned to be more numerous than the worlds population. In fact it is reckoned there would be about 62 bricks per person for the entire planet's population! So where did it all start?

Once Upon A Time

Well in 1932 actually, a private company based in Billund, Denmark was established by a carpenter named Ole Kirk Christiansen. His carpentry business had been struggling and then after losing his wife he had an idea. He put his idea into action and began making toys to support his family of four sons. The company began by making high quality wooden toys long before the invention of the Lego brick.

Innovation and the Lego Tractor

In 1946 at great expense to the company they bought a plastic injection-moulding machine that was demonstrated to produce plastic bricks. The company initially used the machine for making small plastic toys not bricks. It was actually a gray Ferguson tractor in 1951 that was to become their first real success in plastic toys.

The Lego Brick Is Born

The development of the brick followed in stages, at first the bricks could be put together to build a house say, but it would easily fall apart if moved or knocked. It was the design of a brick building system that would lock together, but could easily be taken apart again to rebuild something new that would be key to its success.

I wonder how many architects or builders have chosen their careers as a result of the childhood pleasures of experimenting and building their own designs in Lego?

The Lego brick in its present form was patented and launched in 1958 following a design of plastic binding brick brought out in 1949. The design of its interlocking principle with its tubes made it unique, and offered unlimited building possibilities limited only to a child's or adult's imagination.

Following a fire that required new buildings in 1960 the company finally ceased production of wooden toys to concentrate on the Lego system.

Wooden Toys

Following a fire that required new buildings in 1960 the company finally ceased production of wooden toys to concentrate on the Lego system.

What's In A Name?

In 1934 the company and its products adopted 'LEGO' name, it is made up from an abbreviation of the two Danish words "leg godt", meaning "play well". Amzingly and quite by chance in latin the word "lego" also has an appropriate meaning "I put together"!

Lego Airport

Lego Airport

Not a toy this time, but a real airport! For better worldwide distribution Lego had a landing field established just outside Billund in 1961.

Legoland

With the increased popularity of Lego visitors to the factory modelling department became too numerous to deal with properly affecting production. To display the models better a bigger place was required, the idea grew from an exhibition room to a theme park called Legoland, which in the first year saw 600,000 visitors. Now a number of Legoland branded theme parks exist throughout the world with more planned, although now not entirely owned by the company.

What's Happening Now

Lego defended the design patent of it construction vigorously for decades, but now it seems their case is lost and other companies are now producing Lego compatible products. However the Lego company and brand continues to produce toys and will surely remain synonymous with the toy building block system into the future.

Lego is still run by descendants of Ole Kirk Christiansen keeping his memory and values alive.

Lego Products

The range of Lego products is large and contiues to grow, too many to list here, from traditional building block designs to themes ranging from Star Wars to Harry Potter.

Unforgettable Lego

Who can forget their first Lego as a child and as an adult who can forget the pain of treading on a forgotten Lego brick without your shoes on!

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