In a virtually unparalleled feat in the fickle world of kids’ toy brands, LEGO has maintained its original product to become one of the most recognizable toys in the world as it celebrates its 60th anniversary this week.
Since launching in 1958, the LEGO brick has captured the imaginations of children worldwide, empowering discovery and delight
— LEGO (@LEGO_Group) January 29, 2018
“The LEGO brick changed the way that children build and play, and for 60 years has become a childhood play staple in homes around the world for generations, so we are thrilled to celebrate children’s creativity with a one-of-a-kind model designed to commemorate the occasion,” said Amanda Madore, Senior Manager, Brand Relations for LEGO Systems, Inc.
“We hope that LEGO bricks continue to entice people to build their imaginations to life for many generations to come.”
The LEGO Group began producing a plastic brick in 1949, but it was in 1958, that the LEGO brick known today was perfected so that two LEGO bricks produced 60 years apart still fit together.
— LEGO (@LEGO_Group) January 28, 2018
“LEGO play is powered by imagination and curiosity, and the LEGO brick is at the very heart of it – putting the bricks together and taking them apart over and over, with imagination as your only limit. This helps young minds to stay open, keep exploring and develop skills essential for the 21st century*, such as creativity, collaboration and problem solving,” added Julia Goldin, Chief Marketing Officer, the LEGO Group.
The privately-held, family-owned company has HQ in Billund, Denmark, and is committed to a mantra that says: “Only the best is good enough.” LEGO currently employs nearly 20,000 people worldwide.
Lego originally produced toys made from wood until a wood shortage in the wake of WWII turned he manufacture to plastic.
In 1978 the mini-figurines and small LEGO men and /women were made.
A decade later the brand expanded into digital with the programmable Lego Mindstorm. Its next goal is finding a sustainable form of plastic for the bricks by 2030.
While many LEGO sets are linked to film releases such as Harry Potter and Star Wars, the essence of the original brick has endured intact for six decades.
A Big Apple Celebration
To celebrate the milestone, the company created a larger-than-life LEGO brick model installation at its store in New York’s Flatiron District. The 1,200-pound, 10-feet-tall version of the iconic “2×4” took Master Builders a total of 350 hours to build and poses the question to passersby, What Will You Build?
Goldin summarized the company’s future vision: “All children are imaginative and begin their journey through life with incredible potential, curiosity and creativity. Playful learning experiences are important in helping children maintain this creativity and curiosity throughout life. We want to fire up the imagination of young generations to come too, and continue to inspire children to dream of worlds we’ve not yet imagined.”
Get to know LEGO:
• LEGO Group founder Ole Kirk Kristiansen launched the first bricks called Automatic Binding Bricks in 1949
• Original bricks were hollow underneath, so they had limited clutch power
• In 1953, the name was changed to LEGO “Mursten” (Danish for LEGO bricks)
• Early LEGO bricks were available in five colors: white, red, yellow, blue and green
• Six “2×4” LEGO bricks of the same color can be combined in more than 915 million ways
• A stack of about 40 billion LEGO bricks would reach the moon
• The molds used to produce LEGO elements are accurate to within 4my/0.004mm – less than the width of a single hair. This accuracy enables the clutch power that helps bricks stay together
• LEGO bricks are now available in more than 60 different colors
• There are more than 3,700 different types of LEGO elements now in production.