LEGO is a Danish toy manufacturer that has become known with colored plastic blocks. The blocks under the name "LEGO" sold, thus the name refers not only to the manufacturer, but has also become a generic name for the toy.
The manufacturer is the largest toy manufacturer in Europe with a turnover of 11.7 billion Danish kroner (1.57 billion) in 2009. LEGO has now been twice awarded the "Toy of the Century" won.
The LEGO Group is the fifth largest toy manufacturer in the world.
In 1916 Ole Kirk Christiansen began in the Danish town of Billund a woodworking thing. The first years he mainly furniture, but from 1932 he also started to wooden toys and found the name LEGO in use. The name "LEGO" is derived from the Danish words "Leg Godt" (play well). Later it turned out the word in Latin to interpret as "I collect" (also "I choose" or "I read").
After the Second World War it became increasingly popular use of plastic went Christiansen also use this material for his toys. In 1947 the company began to produce licensed plastic building blocks: blocks with round knobs at the top and hollow at the bottom, so the blocks could be interconnected. In 1957, LEGO patented an important improvement: through tubes in the underside of the tiles in place, they could more ways to be connected together. That was the LEGO bit as we know it today. At that time, however, a lower quality plastic (cellulose acetate) were used.
The poor quality of the LEGO bricks gave a bad name and the business was getting worse. In 1958 Ole Kirk Christiansen died, and his son Godtfred took over the business. Slowly the quality of the plastic stones forward and things went better. When in 1960 a warehouse up in flames, it was decided to stop with the wooden toys and plastic blocks to "core business" to elevate.
In 1961 the system was extended with wheels. As a result, the opportunities are much greater. LEGO this year was also sold in the United States and Canada.
In 1962, elements introduced the height of which one third was the standard height.
In 1963 to date plastic cellulose acetate exchanged for the more stable acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), the material to date (2012) is still used.
In 1966 one of the most successful series launched LEGO, the LEGO train system. With an engine of 4.5 volts (12 volts and still later then 9 volts) with self-built trains could be driven on rails (and in 2006, wireless controlled trains on the market).
In 1969, a new, specifically targeted at young children, put on the market system: DUPLO. The DUPLO bricks were larger than the ordinary LEGO bricks and do not contain small parts (inslikkingsgevaar).
From 1970 LEGO had an enormous growth. There were several new factories created the world and the range was increased. "Fabuland" was aimed at smaller children to build their own fantasy worlds and in 1977 created the "Lego Technic" series. This could (mostly) very detailed vehicles constructed and the possibilities were almost endless. In 1987, the "Technic" series with "LEGO Pneumatic". A few years earlier, in the early eighties was first released that Space LEGO spaceships, rockets and lunar vehicles could be built. This is one of the first theme, where there are sets around a subject a series of products is issued.
One of the latest additions to the plastic blocks are the LEGO Mindstorms "Robotic Invention Systems". This robots are to be built, by means of sensors able to respond to their environment. There are different types of programming blocks, the elderly are "preprogrammed", the latest types RCX and NXT are also user programmable. With these systems you can robot to "life" wake. There are now several programming languages.
But in the original LEGO came a renewal. The "System" LEGO initially consisted only of red and white pebbles, then came roofs, windows and doors at. Green blocks were designed so that trees and the building became possible. Afterwards, a popular yellow color used. The modern colors are light green, light blue and orange-Winnie The Pooh. (Which is also used in the new models in pumpkin-Legoland Billund.)
In 1988 did the last patent of the original blocks, since there are several manufacturers that make identical cubes under different names. In November 2008, the Court of Justice of the European Union calls for the company at the European trademark law: the Court held that technical functions (building blocks) are not protected trade mark. This statement was reaffirmed in , 2010.
On 28 January 2008/4 LEGO his 50th birthday. Before there were minifigs made by pop stars. It was Amy Winehouse, Madonna and Cliff Richard. The Web page of Google for this occasion showed a modified version of the Google logo.
Over the years many have been LEGO-related world records made and broken. On 6 June 2010 to Limmen the highest LEGO tower built in the world. It had a height of 30.52 meters.
Former Lego Factory in Neuhof in Baar. Production after the conclusion to Willisau moved.
The new Lego sets are primarily designed at its headquarters in Billund, but the company also has offices in Munich, Barcelona, Los Angeles and Tokyo. The design group consists of 120 persons from 15 different nationalities.
In 2004, several global factories where the LEGO bricks and accessories are produced. In Denmark, two factories and there are more plants in the United States, Switzerland, South Korea and the Czech Republic. Together, these plants produce about 20 billion LEGO bricks per year. The range consists of approximately 2200 different stones that are manufactured in 55 different colors. The quality requirement that each mold is only a deviation of 0.002 millimeter may have, ensures that every million bricks only 18 some which do not meet the requirements. All Lego bricks from 1958 to date are produced must fit together and it may not matter in this or any year in which the stones are factory made.
The plastic which is used to LEGO-bricks to make by the chemical group Bayer German supplied.
From the moment that the popularity began to rise, the quality was higher. The makers of LEGO designed "The 10 Commandments of LEGO", which manufacture would always be adjusted. These 10 commandments are guaranteed to date and still respected when designing new Lego bricks. The "Commandments" keep include the following:
Both boys and girls have the same LEGO play.
Each designed to block a very large number of construction opportunities remain six standard blocks (2x4 size) are at a whopping 915,103,765 different ways to combine.
LEGO blocks are identical in size, the molds that the stones 'presses' have a maximum deviation of 0.002 mm. (When Lego started making the plastic cubes, this was "only" 0.005 mm).
LEGO must be inventive and imaginative, the only constraint. This is also a slogan of LEGO: "the only limit is your imagination."
LEGO should be durable, which means that the color and the shape of a building block is not allowed to change.
The logo of LEGO, the LEGO word in white letters with a yellow and black border on a square red field, is world famous. It is therefore jealously guarded to prevent it being abused. The word LEGO is the company also consistently spelled with capital letters.
Since 1968, there are also theme parks in LEGO style. In that year the first Legoland opened in Billund. In the late nineties has built two parks: Legoland Windsor opened in 1996 in England and in 1999 Legoland California in the United States. Legoland Deutschland, the newest park, opened in 2002. Legoland Windsor attracts 1.3 million visitors. The other three parks are annually visited by about 1.4 million people. [Source?]
Despite these high numbers of visitors, all four parks their expectations are not realized: the parks are not achieved their intended profit. In June of 2005 bought the Blackstone Group, an investment company based in New York City, 70% of the shares of the four parks and brought them under the name of Merlin Entertainments Group. The LEGO Group reserves to date 30% of the shares.
The first slogan was LEGO Det bedste there complication for godt (Dutch: The best is not good enough).
Numerous specific themes are developed using LEGO. Thus, various Bible stories recreated in LEGO there are scenes from Harry Potter movies and Jurassic Park, and were also, for example Trafalgar Square and the Allianz Arena reconstructed.
On August 5, 2011 took the Juno spacecraft three specially produced LEGO figures that Jupiter, Juno and Galileo Galilei proposals back to the planet Jupiter.
In 2009, James May for his program James May Toy Stories, a house made entirely from LEGO. It was large enough to dwell.
The deejay's Jeckyll & Hyde 2 times have created an animation using LEGO.