LEGO celebrating 80 years

I am a big fan of LEGO as you can see on many LEGO related posts in this blog. Imagination-fostering Lego is 80 years old this month. Lego was founded by 1932, Ole Kirk Kristiansen, a Danish joiner and carpenter. The company started by making and selling wooden toys. In 1934, his company came to be called “Lego”. In 1949 Lego began producing the now famous interlocking bricks, calling them “Automatic Binding Bricks”. By 1951 plastic toys accounted for half of the Lego Company’s output. In 1958, the modern brick design was developed but it took another five years to find the right material for it, ABS polymer. LEGO eventually ended up making some of the most recognizable and long-lasting toys in the world: bricks and minifigures.

As The LEGO Group celebrates its 80th Birthday, The LEGO® Story short animated film take a look back at LEGO history. The whole story, from setbacks that included two fires, a world war and plain old hard times, is told in this charming video animation released by LEGO for the anniversary. If you believe the cartoon, the Kristiansen family kept reinventing Lego until they came up with the iconic bricks that are still around today.

It’s Lego’s 80th birthday party, but only the boys are invited article tells that LEGO is 80 years old this month and far from its roots as a creativity-inspiring construction toy for girls and boys. LEGO has had a huge success over the years, but it has had it’s struggles. The biggest issue LEGO had was in early 2000 where they were actually losing money, coming out of 30 years of constant growth and constant profit growth. The problem was that LEGO had lost interest in boys in their core group.

Lego today says that it spends a lot of time finding out exactly what it is that children want so it can give it to them. According to that research, girls aren’t into Lego. Lego was for boys, not girls, because although both sexes loved the larger preschool bricks of Duplo once the girls hit five, they weren’t interested in construction anymore. According to research girls don’t like the Lego sets that are available for over-five, so LEGO recently introduced Lego Friends. Long live LEGO.


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Lego building blocks made ​​of 36 billion pieces per year, or 1,140 parts per second.

    It is no wonder that Lego play shows for children’s bedrooms as well as the rest of society.

    Lego blocks are used as a teaching tool. Legoeducation ( ) says that they are widely used as an aid in science, engineering science, technology, mathematics and elsewhere.


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  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    LEGO Announces GNU/LInux-Powered Mindstorms EV3 Platform

    “Today LEGO announces the new mohawk (NASA’s turf) sporting MINDSTORMS EV3 platform”

    ‘Its intelligent brick sports an ARM9-soc running Linux on 64MB RAM and 16MB storage memory, and supports SD cards. There are also four ports, which allow four other ‘Bricks’ can be connected. The intelligent brick can be reached by WiFi, USB and Bluetooth, and supports control via Android and iOS devices. It comes with 3 servo’s, two touch sensors and an IR sensor

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    New smarter, stronger LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3

    15th Anniversary year of the original smart toy delivers more accessible yet more “hackable” platform

    LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 will be available at most toy and discount merchandise retailers and online stores in the second half of 2013 and will have a suggested retail price of $349.99(USD) and € 349.99.

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Lego spill tangles up West Virginia highway

    Better watch where you step. A tragic Lego disaster along a West Virginia highway results in a one-lane shutdown.

    One lane of Interstate 79 in West Virginia was closed down on Sunday for a tragic spill of Lego bricks. The bricks scattered across the highway, no doubt giving drivers traumatic flashbacks to the last time they stepped on a Lego brick in bare feet.

    As hazardous as Legos are to unshod humans, they also pose a potential risk to vehicles. They may not be able to puncture a tire, but I imagine Legos could be pretty slippery, especially in the damp, cold conditions at the time. The only thing worse than a bunch of loose Legos on an interstate would be a bunch of wet, half-frozen loose Legos.

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    Lego X-wing fighter touches down in New York’s Times Square
    Biggest-ever brick model to plug Disney show

    Danish toymeister Lego has unveiled the largest model yet using its eponymous plastic chunks: a 43ft (13.1 meters) X-wing fighter that’s a claimed 1:1 scale replica of George Lucas’ Death Star destroyer, and is 42 times the size of the same kit that Lego offers to children (old and young).

    The X-wing is constructed of 5,335,200 bricks, has a wingspan of 44ft (13.44m), stands 11ft (3.35m) tall, and weighs 45,980lb (20,865kg). It was built by 32 exceptionally patient staffers in the Czech Republic over a period of about four months, and was unveiled in New York City’s Times Square on Thursday.

    For those of you who want their own Lego X-wing model, albeit on a much smaller scale, you can now buy one for an eye-watering $200.

  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    NASA teams with Lego to offer coolest, most realistic model competition
    NASA says it wants to inspire future aerospace engineers

    Seems like a natural fit: NASA today said it would team up with Lego to offer a competition to see who can build the coolest models of future airplanes and spacecraft.

    The “NASA’s Missions: Imagine and Build” competition is open now with an entry deadline of July 31. Winners in each category will be selected by a panel of NASA and LEGO officials and announced Sept. 1.

    According to NASA, participants will design and build their models from Lego bricks based on real concepts and new technology NASA’s aeronautics innovators are working on to increase fuel efficiency and reduce harmful emissions and noise.

  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    RELEASE : 13-173
    NASA Partners With the LEGO Group for Design and Build Contest

    NASA and the LEGO Group are partnering to inspire the next generation of aerospace engineers by offering a new design competition. The competition will spur students of all ages to use the toy bricks in building models of future airplanes and spacecraft.

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  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    World’s Biggest Lego Tower

    Come see an architectural masterpiece – made from Lego.

  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    One Tweet Funded This Full-Size, Air-Powered Lego Hot Rod

    An Australian gearhead and his equally nutty friend in Romania made all our childhood dreams come true by building an amazing hot rod out of Legos. It actually runs — on air — and the fact that it isn’t any faster than a bicycle does nothing to diminish its brilliance.

  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    LEGO car powered by AIR hits the road
    Crowdfunded craziness bricks it at up to 30 km/h

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  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    12-year-old builds low-cost Lego braille printer
    A seventh grader’s science fair project turns into a quest to develop a customizable low-cost printer for the blind.

    braille printers, which can cost upwards of $2,000

    The better way he came up with involved the clever use of a $350 Lego Mindstorms EV3 kit along with a few bucks worth of hardware from Home Depot. He took a basic, preexisting pattern for a printer and reworked it with new software and hardware enhancements to print out letters in braille. The result is called the Braigo.

    He is in the process of making it all open-source

  21. Tomi Engdahl says:

    LEGO Movie

    An ordinary LEGO minifigure, mistakenly thought to be the extraordinary MasterBuilder, is recruited to join a quest to stop an evil LEGO tyrant from gluing the universe together.

  22. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Functioning Lego keyboard

    a fully functional Lego keyboard made with using official Lego pieces and a circuit board from a standard keyboard.

  23. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Why Are LEGO Sets Expensive?

    I’m not sure I would say LEGO blocks are that expensive, but the statement is that they are expensive because they are so well made. Really, this has to at least be partially true. If you take some blocks made in 1970, they still fit with pieces made today. That is quite impressive.

    These 88 measurements have an average of 15.814 mm with a standard deviation of 0.0265 mm.

    Basically, I looked at the price of different LEGO sets along with their pieces. The cool thing about all of the LEGO sets is that the number of pieces is always listed. BOOM. Instant graph (well, instant except for looking up all the prices).

    About 10 cents per LEGO piece. If you had a set with no pieces in it, it would still cost 6 dollars. Yes, there are some sets that don’t fit too well – but for the most part this works nicely.

  24. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The 10 most expensive Lego sets

    It’s been an ongoing complaint of parents for decades: Lego ain’t cheap. And that’s as true now as it has ever been in the past, even though the cost-per-brick of Lego has actually declined slightly since the 80s. Even so, there’s still a slew of high-dollar sets out there that are beyond the reach of all but the most well-heeled of collectors.

  25. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Why Legos Are So Expensive — And So Popular

    Did you know a small box of Legos costs $60? Sixty bucks for 102 plastic blocks!

    In fact, I learned, Lego sets can sell for thousands of dollars. And despite these prices, Lego has about 70 percent of the construction-toy market. Why? Why doesn’t some competitor sell plastic blocks for less? Lego’s patents expired a while ago. How hard could it be to make a cheap knockoff?

    Luke, a 9-year-old Lego expert, set me straight.

    “They pay attention to so much detail,” he said. “I never saw a Lego piece … that couldn’t go together with another one.”

    Lego goes to great lengths to make its pieces really, really well, says , who is working on a book about Lego.

    Lego made almost $3.5 billion in revenue last year. Mega made a tenth of that.

    But Mega Bloks may yet gain on Lego.

  26. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Apple enthusiasts use Legos for cable management

    A post on TUAW—which describes itself as “The Unofficial Apple Weblog”—contains photos and a video describing how to use Lego figures and the adhesive product Sugru to hold in place “Apple charging and other similar cables,” writes TUAW’s Kelly Hodgkins.

  27. Tomi Engdahl says:

    An Artist Built a Working Microscope Using Only Legos

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  29. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ghostbusters ECTO-1 LEGO Set Review

    It’s time to pick up the landline and dial the Ghostbusters – the ECTO-1 LEGO set has arrived at SlashGear. This magnificent set comes from the same place several of the most web-popular LEGO sets from the past few years have come: LEGO Ideas.

    The faithfulness to the original vehicle and characters with this set is top-notch.

    This set will cost you right around $49.99 USD

  30. Tomi Engdahl says:

    LEGO PancakeBot Pushes the Boundaries of Brunch Technology

    If you love pancakes but hate making them, then the LEGO PancakeBot is your dream come true. Designed by Miguel Valenzuela, the LEGO robot pushes the boundaries of brunch technology by using an X and Y axis to make a row of perfectly round silver dollar pancakes.

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  32. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Lego stop cooperation with Shell – background Greenpeace attack against the toy company

    Danish leikkikaluvalmistaja Lego has announced the closure of marketing co oil company Shell. In some Lego toys have been used in clam shell logo.

    The environmental organization Greenpeace took a summer toy firm its teeth into cooperation, as an organization condemns Shell’s oil drilling in the Arctic region.

    Lego valid “long-term” contract with Shell has been signed with the company’s announcement that in 2011, the Lego Group Director Jørgen Vig Knudstorp indicates that the agreement is not renewed after its expiry.

    “Greenpeace’s campaign to use the Lego brand would aim at Shell., As we have uttered in the past, we firmly believe that Greenpeace should be discussed directly with Shell. Lego and all they that keep the creative play, should never have been absorbed into Greenpeace and Shell controversy.”


  33. Tomi Engdahl says:

    ‘I’ve got a brick feeling about this’ – El Reg’s guide to the best Lego films + TV
    Ditch the Christmas Radio Times, surf this lot

    Using toys to re-enact beloved movies is pretty much one of every nerdy kid’s favorite playtime activities and Lego makes this easy, by providing minifigs of many of celluloid’s leading characters. It’s safe to say I had far more fun with my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Lego down the pub than I did watching Michael Bay’s film.

    However, taking the time and learning the skills to create a stop-motion Lego film homage is a different kettle of fish.

    There’s something about the shareable and nostalgic nature of Lego that appeals directly to my generation.

    Lately this wistfulness for Lego has led to some astonishing hipster builds such as the awe inspiring remake of The Grand Budapest Hotel. Ultimately I love the physicality of these plastic blocks, and the passion that goes behind these remakes is surely to be lauded. So what if it might make us sad nerds, because, hey, there’s nothing a basic knowledge of after effects and a piece of string can’t accomplish.

    Strangely enough the childish nature of Lego lends itself well to horror adaptations as it seems the juxtaposition of smiling Lego minifigs and piled on gore (often created from mince or jam) leads to some messy and rib-tickling viewing.

    TV series aren’t immune to the Lego treatment and jumping on the coattails of the outcry surrounding the release of Breaking Bad Lego, it wasn’t long until this narcotic-fueled small screen staple got its own Lego treatment.

    People could – and do – argue that Lego isn’t as creative as it used to be, and if you’re going to create stop motion why not use your own materials. However, I think Lego is a great vehicle for creativity and I’m glad it’s continually celebrated.

    I just think it was a shame The Lego Movie was not actually created using Lego bricks! But maybe its homage is more of a kind of craftsmanship rather than a true art form.

  34. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Software That Turns Your Lego Masterpiece Into a Digital Building

    It’s the frustration of many a designer: You grow up sketching and making with your hands, only to find yourself 20 years later spending the day in front of a glowing screen. The reality is, building in 3-D requires doing a lot of 2-D work first.

    But what if you could build your design in real life, then tweak it virtually? That’s the idea behind Lego X, which uses networked plastic bricks to build digital 3-D files.

    Lego X comes from the same team of designers behind Gravity Sketch, the bonkers Oculus Rift program that lets you draw in 3-D using augmented reality.

    Lego X taps something more basic: Our desire to play with toys.

    The underside of each brick (they’re Duplo, not Lego, but Duplo X doesn’t have the same ring) has a sensor and a gyroscope, which allow the toys to communicate wirelessly with each other and the software. As you stack one brick atop another, a rendering appears on your tablet in real time. Once you have your digital file, you can modify it to remove the nubs from the bricks, smooth corners, add windows and make other mods to ensure your design look less like blocks and more like a skyscraper.

    You might wonder if it isn’t faster to simply design with software from the start. Yes, in some cases. But the Gravity team believes there’s much to be gained from being able to actually build something.

    Gravity is still pondering how to build custom electronic components that can be added to the Lego blocks available in any toy store, but this will require additional time and money.

    But Lego X offers compelling glimpse of what’s possible. Just imagine how incredibly cool—and useful—something like Lego’s Architecture Studio will be once your ideas can be manipulated in a computer.

    A Lego Set for Budding Architects, With No Instructions

  35. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Dad and Daughter Recreate Jurassic Park With $100,000 In Lego Pieces

    Animator Paul Hollingsworth and his daughter Hailee, along with some help from a few “master builders” — decided to Jurassic Park using only Lego pieces. More than $100,000 in Lego were used

    Dad and daughter recreated ‘Jurassic Park’ with $100,000 in Lego pieces


  36. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Lego launches Minecraft rival Lego Worlds on Steam Early Access

    Surprise! Lego has launched its own sandbox-style Minecraft rival, named Lego World

    It’s available now to download via Steam Early Access, priced £11.99.

    Lego Worlds is being developed by the standard Lego video game developer TT Games, and is currently only single-player experience.

    But that is all set to change as development continues. Online multiplayer will be added in the coming months, alongside Minecraft-sounding features such as “procedurally-generated underground cave networks”, biomes, AI creatures, online and underwater gameplay. Sounds familiar.

    Elements from the main Lego games will also be included, such as Red Brick cheats and customisable characters.

    The main differences from Minecraft appear to be a focus on creativity rather than survival, and the ability to change vast chunks of the terrain at will.

    “Lego Worlds will be a fully open-world, creativity-driven game so we want to ensure that we provide it with the utmost care and attention as we expand on our ideas,” the game’s Steam page states.

  37. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Sad news for other popular plastic toy set:

    Life in plastic, it’s fantastic: Playmobil supremo dies at 81
    Farewell, Horst Brandstätter

    Horst Brandstätter, the man behind the global Playmobil phenomenon, has died aged 81.

    After joining the family business 1952, a 19-year-old Brandstätter set about making the transition from metal toy production to plastic moulding, resulting in his first major hit in 1958 with a hula hoop.

    Prompted by the early 1970s oil crisis, he asked the company’s Hans Beck to come up with a toy offering “the maximum amount of play value for the minimum amount of plastic”.

    The resulting three figures — a construction worker, a knight, and a native American — were introduced to the world as “Playmobil” in 1974. By 2009, when Beck died at 79, the Brandstätter group had exported 2.2 billion figurines to 70 countries.

    Happy 40th Playmobil: Reg looks back at small, rude world of our favourite tiny toys
    Little men straddle LOHAN, attend tiny G20 Summit… ah, sweet memories…

  38. Tomi Engdahl says:

    New kid on the blocks: Lego Worlds game challenges Minecraft
    Danish plastic-block giant fancies its luck in 3D virtual arena

    Lego has created a block-by-block world-building computer game to take on the Microsoft-owned Minecraft series.

    Lego Worlds is now available via Steam for Windows PCs, and allows players to use virtual plastic bricks to construct and alter landscapes, buildings, forests, mountains, and yeah, you get the gist.

    “In a galaxy of procedural worlds made entirely from Lego bricks, will you explore environments filled with adventure, then alter them? Discover secrets and treasures, then play with them? Create your own models, then make a world your own?” Lego asks gamers on Steam.

    Lego stops short of asking players if they dream of creating penis-shaped structures. Apparently, that was a major problem for Lego Universe, which was an earlier attempt to create a world-building game using Lego bricks.

    “We were asked to make dong detection software for Lego Universe,” ex-Lego programmer Megan Fox said on Twitter before the weekend.

    “We found it to be utterly impossible at any scale.”

    Don’t expect Minecraft’s creators to sweat much over the incursion from Lego.

  39. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Angry Birds LEGO sets are coming.

    Rovio and The LEGO Group announced today that a series of construction sets based on The Angry Birds Movie will be arriving just in time for the film’s May 2016 release. The dozen or so people still excited by Angry Birds in 2016 are going to be thrilled.

    Lego® Angry Birds Will Take Flight

    LAS VEGAS, Nevada– 8th June 2015– Rovio, makers of Angry Birds, the most downloaded mobile game ever, today announced a partnership with The LEGO Group to develop a line of construction toys. LEGO® Angry Birds will be available in spring 2016 to coincide with the release of The Angry Birds Movie, a full-length feature film based on the popular gaming franchise.

    “We are excited to bring Angry Birds to life in LEGO form, given the popularity of the game and its characters with fans of all ages, which will only be amplified by the forthcoming film,”

  40. Tomi Engdahl says:

    They used to be called “Automatic Binding Bricks.”

    The name LEGO comes from the Danish language.
    Lego was developed by the Danish Ole Christensen Kirch.

    The first Lego brick was prepared already in 1932 – it was made of wood.

    Every single brick created since 1958 can still interlock together.

    Every person on earth owns on average 86 LEGO bricks.

    Six eight-studded bricks fit together in 915,103,765 different combinations.

    Only 18 pieces in one million are wasted during the production process.

    There are over 4 billion in total LEGO figurines in the world.

    LEGO is the world’s largest manufacturer of wheels – 306 million a year

    Tiesitkö tämän Legoista? 9 kiehtovaa faktaa
    10 Fascinating Things You Didn’t Know About LEGO

  41. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Rope Braiding Machine Built Entirely from LEGO Technics

    If you’ve ever seen a rope-braiding machine in action, you know they’re amazing machines where bobbins of thread whirl and spin in a complex dance to weave the threads under and over each other. Building one of these machines must be incredibly difficult; building one out of LEGO Technics pieces is darn near insane.

    Braiding Machine makes Wristband !

  42. Tomi Engdahl says:

    LEGO Monowheel Corners Like It’s On Rails

    [Jason]’s at it again. This time the LEGO maestro is working on a LEGO BB-8 droid. As a first step he’s made a motorized monowheel that not only races along hallways and through living rooms at the peril of any passing people, but turns as well.

    To drive it forward there’s an axle that runs across the center of the wheel and a motor that rotates that axle. He’s also included some weight bricks. Without the mass of those bricks for the rotation to work against, the motor and axle would just spin in place while the friction of the floor keeps the wheel from rotating. If you’ve seen the DIYer’s guide to making BB-8 drive systems, you’ll know that this is classified as an axle drive system.


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