Lego Facts

Michael Bryan

Michael Bryan

28 Aug 2020

lego facts

Since its rise in the 1950s, Lego has been well-loved across the world by kids and adults alike. With a Lego version for everything nowadays, Lego is arguably the most powerful toy brand on Earth. You’d know you’ve achieved celebrity status once Lego releases a minifigure of you. While everyone knows what to build with Lego, not many know the story behind the bricks. Find out more about Lego’s journey with these Lego facts.

  1. Ole Kirk Christiansen founded Lego in 1932 in Billund, Denmark.
  2. Around the world, the company sells approximately 4 million pieces of Lego every hour.
  3. The Lego Group has more than 18,000 employees.
  4. Lego has over 50 different colors in its production.
  5. If you stack or build up around 40 billion Lego bricks, it can reach the moon.

 

  1. Ole Kirk Christiansen was a Danish carpenter.
  2. The company’s official trade name is The Lego Group.
  3. Lego-brand toys are famous for its interlocking plastic bricks.
  4. The company’s official website is lego.com.
  5. Niels B. Christiansen served as the CEO of the Lego group since August 2017.
  6. The Lego Group has constructed several amusement parks around the world, such as Legoland. They also own multiple retail stores.
  7. As of today, 9 Legolands, are found in Europe, North America, and Asia.
  8. The company’s gross income each year amounts to nearly 40 billion Danish kroner (or 6.3 billion USD.)
  9. The company’s net income each year reaches more than 8 billion Danish kroner (or 1.2 billion USD.)
  10. Kirkbi A/S (Christiansen family’s private holding) owns about 75% of the company and 25% is owned by The Lego Foundation.

 

  1. Lego came from the Danish phrase, leg godt, which means “play well.”
  2. The Lego Group is a private company unlisted in the stock exchange.
  3. There are over 1 million ways to connect 2×4 Lego bricks.
  4. The company has over 40 offices around the world.
  5. The Lego Group was on the verge of bankruptcy in the year 2000.
Table of Contents

The plural of Lego is Lego.

Although many describe the plural word of Lego as “Legos,” its plural form in the English language is actually just “Lego.” Others may also refer to it as Lego bricks and Lego sets.

The founder of Lego had a rough childhood.

The founder of Lego, Ole Kirk Christiansen, lived in poverty at an early age. Despite that, he managed to receive a basic high-school education. Christiansen was only 14 years old when he worked for his brother as an apprentice. When Christiansen turned 20, he went to Germany and worked as a carpenter for 5 years – long before Lego ever became a household name.

Initially, the founder of Lego had a different business.

After working for 5 years in Germany, Ole Kirk Christiansen bought the Billund Woodworking & Carpentry Shop and made remarkable sales for quite some time. However, his business suffered during the economy‘s crash in the Great Depression of 1930 and eventually had to close down.

Christiansen made toys out of leftover wood.

After his business closed, Christiansen started to make toys out of his leftover wood. Christiansen decided to officially establish an unnamed company in 1932. Eventually, this small company became the Lego Group we all know now.

Lego made profits in the middle of the Great Depression.

Seeing the opportunity, Christiansen focused on toy production. He used the highest quality of birch wood and later sold a vast variety of toys. From there, the company built its reputation as a high-quality toy manufacturer. Through this, he was able to pull out some profits even in the middle of the Great Depression.

The original name of LEGO was "Automatic Binding Bricks".

In 1949, the company’s plastics department started to produce different kinds of toys. The company marketed its first plastic bricks under the name Automatic Binding Bricks.

Lego recognized the Allied forces in World War II.

The company gave its product an English name (Automatic Binding Bricks) to recognize the Allied forces. These forces then liberated Europe and ended World War II in 1945.

Lego is not the first company to sell brick toys.

Lego may be the biggest brand known for brick toys, but they weren’t the first to do it. English toymaker Hilary Fisher Page invented similar building bricks in 1936 called Bri-Plax, later renamed Kiddicraft Self-locking Bricks.

The Automatic Binding Bricks officially became Lego in 1953.

Ole Kirk Christiansen and his son Godtfred noticed Kiddicraft’s rising popularity and quickly thought of a way to keep up with the competition. As a result, they asked for product samples and drawings from their British supplier.

Ole and Godtfred saw the potential and customized Hilary Page’s Kiddicraft brick, releasing the Automatic Binding Brick in 1949. Roughly 4 years later, the Christiansen’s product became officially known as lego.

Lego expanded to Western Europe in 1959.

According to records, Page was not aware that another toy company was also selling his toy inventions. Lego rapidly expanded into Western Europe as British Lego Ltd. in the year 1959.

Lego acquired the residual rights of Kiddicraft.

In 1981, Lego acquired the residual rights in the Kiddicraft brick designs in a court settlement. The decades-long dispute finally ended after Lego acquired the Kiddicraft toy company for about £45,000.

The company partnered with several movie franchises to overcome the dotcom bubble.

During the dotcom bubble financial crisis, many toy companies entered a financial slump, including The Lego Group. However, the company bounced back by tying up with movie franchises such as Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Indiana Jones for themed Lego sets and video games.

Lego highly values creativity.

According to the Lego Group, its core concepts and values are centered on creativity and individuality.

Lego Worlds is a Lego-themed sandbox game.

Lego Worlds is a Lego-themed sandbox game similar to Minecraft but with “Lego-like graphics.” Moreover, the game’s beta version was released in 2015 – Lego Worlds enables their players to build their own landscapes in a 3D-generated world.

Lego Worlds has four playing platforms.

Lego Worlds was officially released on March 7, 2017, for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows. More recently, it was launched for Nintendo Switch on September 8, 2017. See the world for yourself and build your childhood dreams by getting it here.

Your first goal in Lego Worlds is to become a "master builder."

Although some believe that Lego Worlds is just an imitation of Minecraft, many would also argue that Lego World’s graphics are much better. It also has a story mode unlike Minecraft.

For new players, their goal is to become a “master builder.” Being a master builder lets them open bigger worlds and build larger structures. You can become a master builder by finishing the tasks in the game and collecting 100 golden Lego bricks.

Some of the rarest Lego Minifigures come from the Marvel franchise.

A world is nothing without its inhabitants, and the same goes for Lego. Minifigures bring an extra amount of character to the Lego World, often coming in many shapes and sizes.

Of all the ones released throughout history, the rarest include a 14K gold Boba Fett and C-3PO from Star Wars. However, most rare minifigs come from Marvel, namely: the 2012 New York Toy Fair exclusive Captain America and Iron Man as well as the Black Suit Spiderman.

Lego released the Taj Mahal 10189 in 2008.

This Lego set has over 5,900 pieces of blocks that replicate the Taj Mahal. Although prices may vary, Lego’s Taj Mahal 10189 can be bought online today for thousands of dollars, making it one of the most expensive Lego items.

taj mahal, lego facts
Source: Unsplash

Lego's Statue of Liberty 3450 stands about 3 ft tall.

Released in the year 2000, Lego’s Statue of Liberty stands approximately 3 ft tall. It has around 2,800 green pieces aside from the other pieces that complete the statue.

The Millenium Falcon was the most expensive LEGO in 2007.

The Ultimate Collector’s Series Millennium Falcon 10179 has 5,195 pieces and costs about $500. This LEGO set includes Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca, and Obi-Wan Kenobi. To compare, it’s not nearly as expensive as the 2018 Millennium Falcon LEGO which costs about $800.

Lego helps children develop fine motor skills.

Lego is a notably popular toy for children which also helps them to develop fine motor skills, spatial awareness, and mathematical skills throughout childhood. Playing Lego also encourages teamwork within the family, relatives, or friends as children learn how to take turns and share.

lego facts, hands
Source: Unsplash

Playing Lego can improve children's self-esteem.

Connecting small pieces can be challenging for kids. So, accomplishing this task holds a tremendous feeling of satisfaction seen in a child’s smile when they proudly show off their completed project.

Playing LEGO can also develop planning skills and lateral thinking.

It is quite challenging to follow Lego’s instructions, especially for children. Nevertheless, this task can help improve children’s lateral thinking as well as planning skills. Once they encounter assembly problems, kids would learn to backtrack their steps and examine their work to determine the problem. Parents – take note of these Lego facts!

The company has a special product line for girls.

Lego released its first series for girls in 2012 as Lego Friends. This toy line featured “mini-doll” figures, which measured roughly the same size as the regular minifigures but more realistic and detailed.

Lego Friends was an instant success.

According to the records, Lego Friends became one of the biggest successes in the company’s history. From its launch in 2012, Lego Friends lifted the company’s sales as the line doubled sales expectations.

The Lego Group has a business partner in LEGOLAND.

LEGOLAND is a chain of family theme parks. The company’s theme park focuses on Lego, but it’s not fully owned by The Lego Group. Instead, the company’s main partner is Merlin Entertainments, a British theme park company.

LEGOLAND is a great theme park for children.

LEGOLAND’s target market is families with younger children under 11 years old. Compared to other theme parks, its rides are not as extreme and there are more suitable rides for younger children.

LEGOLAND also offers learning experiences.

The LEGOLAND theme park is not just made to bring fun in the families but also promotes learning. For instance, the theme park has water flow channels where LEGOLAND’s visitors can construct dams from Lego blocks and learn about laminar and turbulent fluid flows.

You can make an actual house using Lego bricks.

James May built his 10th house using Lego bricks in 2009. May built the house entirely from 3.3 million Lego bricks, including a bed, a working toilet, and a shower.

LEGOLAND Billund Resort is the oldest LEGOLAND.

LEGOLAND Billund Resort in Billund, Denmark is the oldest theme park of the brick company. Built near the original Lego factory, LEGOLAND Billund Resort attracts more than 1.5 million visitors each year. This easily makes it the biggest tourist attraction in the country outside Copenhagen.

There are more than 10 worlds in LEGOLAND Billund.

LEGOLAND Billund Resort divides its worlds into 10 different lego themes. LEGOLAND Billund’s land area spans more than fourteen hectares, which is more than half the size of Hong Kong Disneyland.

LEGOLAND currently has four theme parks in Europe.

The Lego Company has established LEGOLANDs in the United Kingdom (Legoland Windsor Resort), Italy (Legoland Water Park Gardaland), and Germany (Legoland Deutschland Resort). Finally, there is the famous Legoland Billund Resort of Denmark.

There are two LEGOLAND parks in the U.S.

LEGOLAND currently has two theme parks in the United States. Legoland California opened on March 20th, 1999, while Legoland Flordia opened on October 15th, 2011.

LEGOLAND currently has three theme parks in Asia.

LEGOLAND currently has three theme parks in Asia located in Japan, Malaysia, and Dubai.

The Lego Group plans to open three more LEGOLANDS.

The Lego Group plans to open three more LEGOLANDS in the future at Goshen, New York by 2021, Gangwon Province, South Korea by 2022, and Qingpu District, Shanghai by 2022.

The first Lego minifigure was a police officer.

Lego launched its first minifigure in the year 1978, featuring a police officer. In 2018, the master builders of LEGO brought back the replica of the minifigure to commemorate when Lego first started creating this kind of toy.

Lego has many factories around the world.

Apart from Denmark, the company also manufactures its Lego bricks in several countries around the world. Lego factories can be found in Hungary, Mexico, Czech Republic, and China.

Lego may extend its license with Star Wars again in 2022.

As one of Lego’s first partners, the Lego Star Wards line was originally licensed from 1999 to 2008. Later on, the company decided to extend its license with Lucasfilm again in 2011 until 2022.

lego facts, star wars
Source: Unsplash

Lego also has software and hardware for robotics.

Lego Mindstorms is a toy line that caters to more mature customers who have an interest in configuring robotics. Based on Lego building blocks, all versions of it have a computer Lego brick that controls the system as modular sensors and motors.

Lego Mindstorms EV3 is the successor of the second generation Lego Mindstorms NXT 2.0 kit.

The Mindstorms EV3 features more than 550 pieces from the Lego Technic system. Priced at $349, it includes the tanklike Tracker to a scorpionlike crawler. Moreover, this line’s mechanism uses three motors: a color-sensing module, a touch sensor, and an IR sensor.

Lego City is based on urban life.

This theme showcases urban life with iconic vehicles and buildings. Lego City sets include trains, airports, and other sights of the metropolis.

Lego Town was one of the first three Lego themes.

Along with Lego Castle and Space, the company released Lego Town in 1978. Since then, the Lego Town brand has been changed twice. In 2003, it became Lego World City and finally became Lego City in 2005.

Lego Castle was first launched in Europe.

With a medieval and fantasy setting, Lego Castle featured kingdoms, knights, and soldiers. The mini-figures included movable visors, helmets, and other accessories.

Lego City has a lot of sub-themes.

Apart from Lego City’s generic city and town life-based sets, it also has numerous sub‑themes such as Prison Island, Jungle, Deep Sea Explorers, and other niches.

lego city
Source: Unsplash

Lego once used the logo of the real-world oil companies.

Lego used to put the logos of the real-world oil companies on some of their Lego sets including Shell, Esso, and Exxon. In 1992, Lego released its fictional oil company “Octan” and removed Esso and Exxon but retained Shell in promotional sets.

Lego ended its marketing agreement with Shell in 2014.

Although Lego still used Shell’s logo after the removal of Esso and Exxon the company stated that it would not renew its marketing contract with Shell in 2014 due to pressure from the environmental group, Greenpeace.

Lego Jurassic World was released on June 12, 2015.

Another video game from Lego is Lego Jurassic World. Published by Warner Bros and developed by TT Fusion, the game mimics the events of the first four films in the Jurassic Park franchise. Lego Jurassic World is included in the series of Lego-themed video games.

Lego Architecture honors iconic structures of the past, present, and future.

The Lego Architecture line  includes sets designed by architectural artist Adam Reed Tucker. It also contains items and directions to create a model of a well-known architectural structure on a small scale.

Adam Reed Tucker is the founder of Brickstructures Inc.

These Lego bricks were born out of Adam’s passion for art and architecture. The idea came up while earning a degree in architecture at Kansas State University. Soon, Adam Reed Tucker began to design and create prototypes of well-known landmarks using Lego bricks.

The Lego Group partnered with Adam Reed Tucker.

The Lego Group has noticed Adam Tucker’s work and has established a partnership with him. Soon, the group released several of his designs under the Lego Architecture brand.

Chrome black is one of the rarest colors of Lego.

Currently, Lego has over 50 different colors in its production. The chrome black color is one of the rarest. Chrome black was produced in a single set (chrome Darth Vader of Star Wars) as a promotional polybag.

Lego released 10,000 packs of the chrome Vader minifigure for the 10th Anniversary of Lego Star Wars in 2009. Grab one of the last two items and complete your Star Wars collection here.

The tallest Lego tower ever made measured nearly 115 ft.

The world’s tallest Lego that was ever piled up had 550,000 Lego bricks and stood about 35 m, earning the Guinness World Record for the world’s tallest toy brick structure. To compare, a 10 story building is roughly 100 feet. One of the most awesome Lego facts, truly!

It would take 7 billion pieces of Lego to circle the Earth.

While Lego sells over four million Lego bricks every hour or over 35 billion pieces in a year – the Lego bricks sold in one year can circle the Earth about five times.

The Lego Group "sells more tires" than any other tire company.

The Lego Group manufactures its rubber tires for its vehicles within their Lego building sets. Each year, the company sells over 700 million tires, whereas Bridgestone (one of the largest tire companies in the world), can only produce about 200 million tires per year.

The Lego Group manufactured its first Lego cars in the 1950s.

In the early 1960s, the company decided to make its own sets of tires so the kids can have a more realistic feel. Adding tires in its product range became vital to the business over the years. Soon, the Lego Group created sets of different sizes of tires for their whole range of toy vehicles.

lego facts
Source: Unsplash

Lego bricks from 1956 can still fit in today's Lego.

After half a century of the Lego Group’s production, its Lego bricks still has the same size standard. In other words, if you have a Lego brick from 1956, it would still fit on the latest Lego brick.

Ogel is one of the famous villains in Lego.

One of the famous villain characters of Lego is Ogel, the main antagonist in LEGO Alpha Team. If you spell Ogel backward, you’ll get the spelling of Lego – similarly, Ogel represents the opposite of fun and play.

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