Happy Birthday LEGO!
January 28, 2008

AFI wishes LEGO a happy 50th Birthday!   You don’t look a day over 10!   Thanks for the fun, the stimulation to our imaginations and for staying true to your product.   Here’s to 50 more! 

50th Birthday of the LEGO Brick

The LEGO® Brick – A Quality Product

The 50th birthday of the LEGO brick is in January 2008 and thereis plenty to celebrate. Children all over the world have played withLEGO bricks for the past 50 years, and LEGO is still right at the topof many wish lists – just as it always has been. Industry and tradeassociations also recognize the LEGO success. Just before the turn ofthe millennium the LEGO brick was voted “Toy of the Century”, one ofthe highest awards in the toy industry, by both Fortune Magazine in theUS and the British Association of Toy Retailers.

The LEGO history began in 1932 in Denmark, when Ole KirkChristansen founded a small factory for wooden toys in the unknown townof Billund in the south of the country. To find a name for his companyhe organized a competition among his employees. As fate would have ithowever, he himself came up with the best name: LEGO – a fusion of theDanish words “LEg” and “GOdt” (“play well”).

Barely 15 years later Christiansen discovered plastic as the idealmaterial for toy production, and bought the first injection mouldingmachine in Denmark. His courage, input and investment paid off: in 1949he developed the LEGO brick prototype, which continues to excitecountless children and adults to this very day. Over the years heperfected the brick, which is still the basis of the entire LEGO gameand building system today. Of course there have been small adjustmentsin shape, colour and design from time to time, but today’s LEGO bricksstill fit bricks from 1958.

Production of LEGO bricks with Acrylonitrile Butadine Styrene (ABS)began in 1963. This matt finish plastic is extremely hard, has ascratch and bite-resistant surface, and is ideal for keeping the bricksconnected. LEGO labs regularly monitor the high quality of the ABS forthe bricks.

LEGO bricks are produced in special plants in Denmark, the CzechRepublic and Mexico. The ABS compound is not delivered in a liquidform, but rather as granules, which are heated to 232° C until theymelt. Injection moulding machines weighing up to 150 tons then pressthe hot and “gooey” plastic mass into LEGO brick shapes. The shapes dryand harden and, voilà – you have the famous LEGO brick!

There are 2,400 different LEGO brick shapes, which are produced withthe greatest of precision and subjected to constant controls. Eachinjection mould is permitted a tolerance of no more than one thousandthof a millimetre, so that bricks of every colour and size stay firmlyconnected, allowing LEGO fans to build entire cities from all kinds ofLEGO elements.

LEGO bricks in boxes that are not sold are melted again and turned intonew bricks, in accordance with waste prevention and environmentalresponsibility.

About the LEGO Group
The LEGO Group with its headquarters in Billund, Denmark, is the fifthlargest toy manufacturer in the world in terms of sales. Besidestraditional LEGO bricks, its portfolio comprises 25 additional productlines sold in more than 130 countries. Worldwide, the LEGO Group todayhas 4,500 employees. The name of the company, founded in 1932, is madeup of the two Danish words “leg” and “godt”, meaning “play well”.

Daniel Pickett
Daniel “Julius Marx” Pickett has been around toys his whole life. The first line he ever collected was Mego’s World’s Greatest Super Heroes line back in the 70s. He has been surrounded by collectables ever since. In 1999 he was confounded by a lack of information and news about some of his favorite toy lines he was collecting. Since he couldn’t find the information he decided to pursue it himself thinking other people might also be interested in the same news. He started writing a weekly column on the toy industry and action figure for a toy news site and in a years time he tripled the sites daily traffic with his updates, reviews and product features. He built relationships with every major toy manufacturer and many sculptors, painters and mold makers. He grew his hobby into a world wide expertise that the industry has embraced. In 2004 he teamed up with his toy buddy Jason “ToyOtter” Geyer and they created their own website www.ActionFigureInsider.com. Daniel has been quoted in both industry and mass media press outlets. Over the years Daniel and AFi have been sought out as experts in the field. Daniel was regularly featured on “Attack of the Show” on the G4 network as the primary contributor to their “Mint On Card” segment, and our front page has been linked to from USA Today’s “Pop Candy” Blog twice. Daniel’s content has also been featured on MSNBC.com, Wired.com, Fark.com, Boing-Boing, Gizmodo.com, Ain’t It Cool News, the Official Star Wars blog, Geekologie, G4, CNet and Toy Fare magazine, among many others. He has consulted on toy lines, books, documentaries and TV shows. But all of that really just sounds snooty and “tootin’ his own horn” – the long and short of it is that Daniel loves toys and he LOVES talking about them.
Read other articles by Daniel Pickett.




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