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 LEGOÂ® Brick â 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 â 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 âToy of the Centuryâ, 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 â a fusion of theDanish words âLEgâ and âGOdtâ (âplay wellâ).
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 todayâs 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 232Â° C until theymelt. Injection moulding machines weighing up to 150 tons then pressthe hot and âgooeyâ plastic mass into LEGO brick shapes. The shapes dryand harden and, voilÃ â 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 âlegâ and âgodtâ, meaning âplay wellâ.
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