PICTURE: Daniel Wildman (www.sxc.hu)

It was 50 years ago last January that the humble Lego brick made its first appearance on the world stage.

Lego’s history goes back as far as 1932 when Dane Ole Kirk Christiansen founded a small wooden toy factory in Billund, drawing the company’s name from a fusion of the Danish words leg and godt (meaning “play well”).

But it wasn’t until 1958 that the brick had emerged in the plastic form as we know it today and 1.58pm on 28th January of that year when the then Lego chief, Gotfred Kirk Christiansen filed a patent for the toy.

Since then more than 400 billion Lego bricks have been made. According to the company, these days the Lego bricks - and there are 2,400 different shapes - are produced in special plants in Denmark, the Czech Republic and Mexico with those bricks not sold melted down and made into new bricks.

Voted ‘Toy of the Century’ by both US Fortune Magazine and the British Association of Toy Retailers, the bricks are all created within a tolerance of no more than one thousandth of a millimetre to ensure there's a firm connection.

Lego today is the world’s fifth largest toy manufacturer in terms of sales and is sold in 130 different countries.


~ www.lego.com

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