Lego history facts

Denmark-based block maker LEGO creates plastic building materials that are omnipresent and ideal for teaching children how to think creatively while their barefooted parents learn how to swear creatively. Check out these 16 fully-connected facts about the beloved brand.

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When a salesman called on Kristiansen in and offered him a plastic mold injection machine to spare him the labor of handmade playthings, Kristiansen and his son, Godtfred, were intrigued by one of the samples he was carrying: a studded, interlocking brick. Kristiansen began making his own, apparently unaware a man named Hilary Fisher Page owned the patent. InLEGO perfected the brick with tubes on the bottom to help tighten the connection. LEGO later bought his company, Kiddicraft.

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Not, unfortunately, the kind of dough you can eat. The process is so streamlined that only an estimated 18 bricks out of every million are rejected for being misshapen. Not bad for an item that has an allowance of just. The number corresponds to which mold was used and where in the line the brick was located. It might help a little to know that ….

16 Interlocking Facts About LEGO

But such resistance comes at a terrible price. A LEGO brick can take up to pounds of force without blinking. It simply refuses to transmit any of your applied force, instead giving it right back to your delicate nerve endings underfoot.

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LEGO building sets are sometimes chastised for including seemingly unnecessary pieces that sit on the table after a pirate ship has been assembled. It turns out some pieces are simply too small to be weighed during the allocation process: creating a surplus guarantees everyone gets enough to complete their project.

And if you do happen to buy a lot of LEGO vehicles, you might have no problem believing that …. The company has vowed never to replicate any kind of military scenario for children.

They went so far as to ban tiny guns from their Minifigures untilwhen many licensed kits began featuring weapons in fantasy settings. The peacetime mandate was a big reason why …. By the late s, LEGO was in a tailspin, victimizing themselves by over-producing pieces and failing to control manufacturing expenses. But longtime LEGO honchos protested the idea, feeling the very name violated their antiwar corporate principles.

Unfortunately …. No toy manufacturer has gotten more off-brand than LEGO did with Scala, a Barbie-esque domestic assortment that barely interacted with their decades-old existing line of toys.

Instead of utilizing standard bricks, Scala used pieces that would form a flower upon completion.

lego history facts

When LEGO introduced the Minifigure init was a boxy, faceless entity meant to accept whatever role-play fantasy a builder might want to project. While the figures later garnered faces and gender roles, they have almost always remained yellow. Currently, LEGO assigns skin tone only if a set is based on an existing property or person. But for the figure, the lack of brains might be one reason why ….

The conclusion?At the time, Billund was an obscure village, and Ole Kirk Christiansen was just a simple carpenter with ambition. As a young man, Christiansen turned his love of whittling and playing with wood into a business and, inhe opened his own shop.

But injust as he was looking to expand his successful business, his sons accidentally set a pile of wood chips in the shop on fire. Inside the original Lego workshop when it was producing wooden toys. Others might have given up with a total loss, but Christiansen saw the fire as an excuse to simply build a larger workshop. Tragedy continued to strike, however.

Bowed by personal and financial disaster, Christiansen laid off much of his staff and struggled to make ends meet. Since times were so hard, Christiansen made the hard decision to use his wood to create inexpensive goods that might actually sell. Among them were cheap toys.

Christiansen actually slid into bankruptcy, but refused to stop making toys when his siblings tried to make it a condition of a bailout loan. But his love of toys pushed the company ahead, even when it limped. Christiansen may have been a good ironing-board builder, but it turned out he was a brilliant toymaker.

He refused to cut corners for the toys his company produced. Soon, his prototypes for ingenious models of cars and animals and his adorable pull toys gained a national fanbase. His bestseller, a wooden duck whose beak opens and closes when pulled, is now a coveted collectible. But by then, he was established enough to not only bounce back, but to be forward looking.

As a result, many manufacturers looked to advances in plastics to create cheap alternatives.

LEGO Facts & Worksheets

Among them: plastic-injection molding, in which melted plastic is forced into the cavity of a precise mold. However, due to materials shortages the Danish government forbade its commercial use until Inhe was finally allowed to use it for goods he could sell—and bythe company was creating a plastic product called the Automatic Binding Brick. The toy was inspired by a set of self-locking bricks invented by a British company, Kiddicraft. Godtfred Kirk Christiansen, President of the Lego company in Denmark, explains the Lego building toys to children, Christensen and his son, Godtfred, made improvements on the British design and began selling plastic bricks in That means that any LEGO block produced since can interlock with any other.

The Early History of LEGO

Today, that decision means big business.Like Easy-Bake Ovens and Troll dollsyou probably remember these famous plastic bricks fondly from your childhood.

But did you know the first one was made in and out of wood? Didn't think so. Here are a few more facts you might not know about the toy of the century :. And they were invented by a Danish man named Ole Kirch Christiansenwho started it when he lost his job as a carpenter.

Clearly the original name lacked some serious catchiness. A slight change to the design launched that year, and every block since has been consistent on purpose so that kids can use all of their sets interchangeably.

lego history facts

That's a lot. Computers helped LEGO calculate this difficult-to-comprehend number. Two bricks can be combined in 24 different ways, and three in 1, ways.

That's a little easier to digest. The molds are super accurate within two-thousandth of a millimeter so only a handful fail to meet the company's high quality standards. Sure, we've already shown you the crazy ways people have decorated with these bricks, but people like artist Nathan Sawaya take 'em to a whole new level. There are over 4 billion in total. Yes, every second. Think about it: That means 1, are sold every minute,every hour — you get the picture.

Sure, they're mini wheels, but still. The company produces million a year — that's more than Bridgestone, Goodyear, everyone. Product Reviews. Type keyword s to search.

Today's Top Stories.Left: Medieval-themed Lego set fromcomplete with jousting knights, nobility, and guards, one of the first minifigure packages. Source: Lego. Legos are everywhere. At this point, several generations of people all over the world have grown up building things out of Lego bricks, and the toys have evolved.

Once upon a time, the bricks were all basic squares or rectangles of bright plastic. Specialized pieces were introduced; minifigures were introduced, gears and pulleys and motors were introduced -- today, industrious builders can create a scale model of just about anything from Legosor design completely new structures.

Source: history. It arose out of a series of tragedies. Ole Kirk Christiansen began as a carpenter and a fire destroyed his shop. His wife died inthe world plunged into depression after the American stock market crashed, and he was forced to lay off most of his staff. The solution he came up with was to make inexpensive toys out of wood.

lego history facts

He was a talented toymaker, renaming his company leg godt play goodthe name which would become Lego. Another fire destroyed his factory and because of the scarcity of traditional manufacturing materials, he began to craft out toys out of plastic. InChristiansen purchased a plastic injection molding machine, despite the fact that they were not legal in Denmark until He started producing Automatic Binding Blocks that year, based on an interlocking brick design from the British company Kiddicraft.

Inhe received a patent for a wooden version of his blocks, and then, inshortly before his death, he received a patent for the plastic blocks.

Source: documentarynews. Lego is still based in Billund which is also the location for the Idea House, which includes almost every Lego set ever produced in a climate-controlled archive. The Minifigure. Source: mentalfloss. The s brought some important changes for Lego. The Lego logo was designed in The minifigure was introduced in At first they were faceless so that they could be used for any imaginative purpose.

Lego decided that they would be yellow because it was racially neutral. They are airheads on purpose as well; if you remove the hair from a minifigure, you will find that they have holes on either side, permitting air to flow through it. This deliberate feature is to stop a child from choking if they happen to swallow the head.

Each minifigure was four bricks high until the introduction of the Yoda minifigure. And finally, the first themed set, Legoland Space was introduced in Source: theverge. If the Lego bricks produced every year were laid end to end, they would circle the globe more than 5 times. There are over 4 billion Lego minifigures in the world, making them the largest population on earth. Speaking of population, there are more than 80 bricks for every person on earth.

Each brick has a number printed inside it. That number allows people to trace defective bricks back to their point of origin to fix the problem. Lego bricks are incredibly durable.The small, colorful bricks that encourage a child's imagination with their multitude of building possibilities have spawned two movies and Legoland theme parks. But more than that, these simple building blocks keep children as young as 5 engaged in creating castles, towns and space stations and anything else their creative minds can think of.

This is the epitome of the educational toy wrapped up in fun. These attributes have made LEGO an icon in the toy world. The company that makes these famous interlocking bricks started as a small shop in Billund, Denmark. The company was established in by master carpenter Ole Kirk Christiansenwho was aided by his year-old son Godtfred Kirk Christiansen.

It made wooden toys, stepladders, and ironing boards. Over the next several years, the company grew exponentially.

From just a handful of employees in the early years, LEGO had grown to 50 employees by The product line had grown as well, with the addition of a LEGO duck, clothes hangers, a Numskull Jack on the goat, a plastic ball for babies and some wooden blocks.

Inthe company made a huge purchase that was to transform the company and make it world-famous and a household name. In that year, LEGO bought a plastic injection-molding machine, which could mass produce plastic toys.

ByLEGO was using this machine to produce about different kinds of toys, which included automatic binding bricks, a plastic fish and a plastic sailor.

The automatic binding bricks were the predecessors of the LEGO toys of today. Inthe automatic binding bricks were renamed LEGO bricks. Inthe interlocking principle of LEGO bricks was born, and inthe stud-and-coupling system was patented, which adds significant stability to built pieces. Infor the first time, consumers could buy LEGO sets, which included all the parts and instructions to build a particular model.

They include towncastlespacepiratesWesternStar Wars and Harry Potter Figures with movable arms and legs were introduced in ByLEGO toys were sold in more than countries.

Since the middle of the 20th century, these small plastic bricks have sparked the imagination of children around the world, and LEGO sets have a strong hold on their place at the top of the list of the world's most popular toys. Share Flipboard Email. Jennifer Rosenberg. History Expert. Jennifer Rosenberg is a historian and writer who specializes in 20th-century history.LEGOplastic building-block toys that rose to massive popularity in the midth century.

In LEGO produced its first plastic brick, a precursor to its signature brick with interlocking studs on the top and tubes on the bottom. As a result, these bricks have saturated the culture of childhood throughout much of the world. LEGO, which has remained in the Christiansen family for generations, was among the inaugural inductees to the U.

LEGO blocks have been used to create everything from massive replicas of famous monuments such as the Eiffel Tower and Mount Rushmore to modern art. In the 21st century the LEGO brand spun off into multiple electronic games —including a series of popular Minifigure action-adventure games centred on famed pop-culture properties such as the Star Wars films, BatmanMarvel Comics superheroes, and the Harry Potter books—as well as The LEGO Moviea hit computer-animated feature film that also revolved around the exploits of Minifigures.

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See Article History. Get exclusive access to content from our First Edition with your subscription. Subscribe today. Learn More in these related Britannica articles: Seymour Papert. Toyplaything, usually for an infant or child, and often an instrument used in a game. Toys, playthings, and games survive from the most remote past and from a great variety of cultures. The ball, kite, and yo-yo are assumed to be the oldest objects specifically designed as toys. History at your fingertips.Back inLEGO or as we casually refer to them, Legos was one of the original toys to be inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fameand there are good reasons why.

In a way, Legos can be seen as the iconic "building blocks" of so many people's childhoods all over the world. Even if you never loved Legos, you definitely know what they are and you probably appreciate its role in keeping your brother out of your hair for hours. And Legos aren't just for kids. Plenty of adults have stayed fond of the ubiquitous bricks or, like us, have recently rediscovered that fondness via the awesome new Lego Moviewhich is definitely made for grown-ups.

It went from a small carpenter's workshop to the world's third largest manufacturer of toys. LEGO bricks are part of a "universal system," so that regardless of the year it was made and the set it belongs to, each piece is compatible with existing pieces.

You can combine six of the eight-studded LEGO bricks inways. Here's a challenge for your brain: Try to figure out the 24 different ways two LEGO bricks with eight studs can be combined.

The nation of minifigures would hold the record for the world's largest population if they were humans, of course. The first minifigure was created inand since then, four billion have been made. The house contained a working toilet and shower and a bed Legoland offered to take the house and put in their Windsor, Berkshire theme park, but took back the deal after deciding it would be too expensive to move it.

They also criticized May for not asking for their help when building the house. It stands feet and 11 stories high. You may have heard of Nathan Sawaya, a New York-based artist, who makes art out of unlikely materials.

Fellow artist, Sean Kenney, has also made a career of creating "contemporary sculpture" made out of Legos for clients and corporations worldwide. Kenney, who calls himself a "professional kid," says he likes to work with Legos because "unlike traditional art, kids love it; it gets them excited and creative. And seeing that makes it all worth while.

lego history facts

This sculpture is part of Kenney's touring exhibit, "Big Leagues Little Bricks," which is "celebrating the beauty and lore of baseball as a part of Americana. Kenney's six-foot long map of Iowa that was displayed at the Iowa State Fair in The set contains over 5, pieces.

The house was actually in Surrey, Great Britain. US Edition U. Coronavirus News U. HuffPost Personal Video Horoscopes. Newsletters Coupons. Terms Privacy Policy. Part of HuffPost Business. All rights reserved. Huffington Post.