Lego is one of the leading brands in terms of toy design and manufacturing. It is on the top segment of the market in terms of educational toys and has acquired a fan following around the world. The love for Lego transcends age, national borders, and cultural ideals. Lego is beloved by adults and children across the world.
How did the Lego company start?The history of Lego started in the workshop of Ole Kirk Christiansen, a Danish carpenter. He started making wooden toys in 1932. In 1934, the company gained the name Lego, which came from the phrase “play good” or “leg godt”. Originally, the toys were made from wood, but in 1947, the company started manufacturing plastic toys as well. In 1949, the company released the first iteration of the now famous interlocking bricks.
Where is Lego from?Lego is based in Billund, Denmark and their flagship product is interlocking plastic bricks and minifigures that allow the user to construct different models, following a pattern or as they want. Lego pieces can be used for building structures, vehicles, and even working robots. There is a wide variety of bricks that often represent popular franchises or offer different models to be built. The Lego catalogue features options for young children, like Lego Duplo that has bigger blocks and simpler designs, models for boys and girls, sets that allow the user to build landmark buildings or vehicles, and more. Today, Lego also has movies, TV shows, comic books, video games, and products from t-shirts to furniture inspired by iconic Lego designs. There are even several theme parks based on Lego. All Lego toys can be put together and apart and the bricks for all sets go together. Lego has been named the most influential and powerful brand in the world thanks to their achievements. Lego believes in quality and is committed to it.
When was the modern Lego brick developed?The modern Lego brick was developed in 1958 and it took five years for the design to be perfected, to find the right material, and to apply for a patent. The company grew internationally providing new product lines that have made it popular. In 1969 it introduced the Duplo product line with blocks twice bigger than usual for young kids. Interestingly, the minifigures that are such a strong part of the brand today were not introduced until 1978.
The history of Legos is also a history of increasing fan communities and fan achievement, as well as successful collaborations. Lego has collaborated with companies around the world to create new possibilities. For example, there are Lego kits on the International Space Station. There are Lego statues, including models that are made of millions of bricks. Lego has provided building materials for real-size plane, tower, and railway models, reaching, in some of these cases, several kilometers of length or a height of over 30 meters.
The Lego cultureLego goes beyond a brand and is a cultural phenomenon. It provides many options for play and enjoyment. The models that feature popular franchises also allow fans of those works to enjoy Lego. The brand is popular with kids but also with adults who collect and make Lego models. In particular, the AFOL or Adult Fans of Lego community is huge, spanning many different countries and continents.
There is a global network of adults interested in Lego. They buy the sets and build masterful works and gather together for conventions. They view the bricks as a beautiful and creative object that provides opportunities for creating and building for people of any age. Lego has been used for building bionics, creating architectural masterpieces, as inspiration for foods, as teaching tools, as therapy tools, and more. There are art pieces made entirely from Lego.
Since the 60s, the Lego brick has retained the basic design and functionality, showing that, truly, it is one of the best toys out there. Lego is not just a collector’s item or a toy, but a creative material with a top quality.
The AFOL communityThe AFOL community has existed for decades but it truly flourished with the Internet. Today there are online spaces with thousands of members that share their collections online and that regularly meet up in real life and host different events. Among some of the most popular ones, there is the Lego wiki, the Lego reddit, and thousands of others. The sites provide a place to gather, discuss, and also thousands of models that can be realized. The instructions and DIY options encourage the creativity of all community members. There are different techniques and building approaches and its own share of controversies (concerning, for instance, building methods).
Lego is not just a brand. It is something more. For years now, Lego is a creative medium. It is a medium that can encourage kids and adults to create something new from a material that is easy to master and provides endless opportunities for creation. With plenty of real-life applications and a design with universal appeal, it is one of the greatest toys ever made.
The large fan community of Lego reflects this high quality. Many Lego fans find new uses for these bricks to build actual houses, prosthetics, make art and statues, recreate their favorite historical and fictional scenes, and use it to drive their charitable work and projects.
Lego is a cultural phenomenon that has become a big part of their leisure and work for thousands of people across the world. It is something that can be enjoyed casually or even professionally. Lego offers toys for any age, any preference, and any culture. Lego strives to be appropriate and accepted anywhere, which guides some of its values, for instance, the notorious lack of military toys or toys that could be controversial in some countries.
The history of Lego goes back to the start of the 20th century, even though the iconic brick was not developed until the 50s. Since then, the popularity of Lego has only grown. It has one of the biggest, most solid, and most wholesome fan communities out there.
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