History Behind The LEGO Company

FamilyKids & Teens

  • Author Ashley Gagne
  • Published May 13, 2011
  • Word count 613

For sure you have heard or played with LEGO, one of the most famous toys in the world. I want today to tell you a bit more about the history of such a great company

The original "The Lego Group" started as a wooden toy shop in the year 1932. The workshop’s carpenter and founder was a man named Ole Kirk Christiansen from Billund, Denmark. The company name became "LEGO" after the Danish phrase of "leg godt" meaning "play well."

As the company began to grow, it evolved from producing wooden toys to producing plastic toys by the year 1947. Soon after, in 1949 they started transforming into the infamous company that we know today. 1949 was when LEGO began producing interlocking bricks that were called "Automatic Binding Bricks." The interlocking bricks were designed after the Kiddicraft company’s self-binding bricks. Lego examined these bricks and then modified them into there own version.

"The Lego Group‘s" motto was det bedste er ikke for godt which means 'only the best is good enough'. Ole Kirk Christiansen used this motto as an encouragement to employees to never skimp out on quality which he believed in very strongly. Today this motto is still used within the business.

An interesting fact to take note of was that during the early years, manufacturing using plastic materials was frowned upon. Many of Lego’s early shipments to retailers were often returned to the company because retailers felt the product were of poor quality being plastic material and did not live up to the standard of wooden toys.

By 1954 Christiansen’s son Godtfred Kirk Christiansen became the junior managing director of Lego. It was Ole’s son that would forever change the company with his vision. He and an oversees buyer struck a conversation one day about creating a toy system out of the Lego. Since Godtfred saw immense potential in these bricks being a successful toy for creative play, he decided to technically re-develop them over time into a more versatile design and by expanding the inter-locking ability that at the time was somewhat limited.

In 1958 Godtfred finally did it. He created the ultimate interlocking brick. The brick that was so perfect that the design is still compatible with the ones of today. Because of this vision, Lego has grown a simple concept into a major universal interlocking system. There can be seen variations in the systems over the years but ultimately the pieces of today still interlock with the pieces from 1958. All the parts of the Lego systems from the bricks to the beams to the mini figures and gears are all made with exacting precision to allow for the universal capabilities.

Today the company’s primary concept and development take place in Bullind Headquarters located in Denmark where it employ’s some 120 designers. There are offices in Spain, Germany, UK and Japan. Each new product that is developed takes around twelve months to complete, in a series of three phases.

Over the many years that the Lego company has been around it’s created thousands of sets with many themes. Some themes include robots, towns and cities, pirates, the wild west and more.

This enterprise is now massive and has amusement parks called Legoland that can be visited in Denmark, England, Germany, California and Florida. Many generations adored playing with these simple little toys. Future generations now have the opportunity to live these imaginations by visiting a Legoland. This success may have come from the moral belief still spoken in "motto." or maybe its because of the precision used into perfecting the design. Nonetheless, Lego is certainly a company unmatched and will continue to joy many generations to come!

To read more articles related to the one above, click Toys and Games and you will find an array of other topics including tips about toy safety, finding that perfect toy for your child and games the whole family can enjoy.

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