History of the Lego toy: a mythical toy created in 1932
Of course, you have heard of or played with LEGO, one of the most famous toys in the world. Today I want to tell you a little more about the history of the LEGO toy.
Simple, block-shaped toys have been around for hundreds of years, but it took a twentieth-century Danish genius named Ole Kirk Christiansen to invent the interlocking pieces we know today as LEGO bricks. It all started in 1932 in the village of Billund, long before LEGO achieved world domination as a brand.
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Discover the history of the LEGO toy
LEGO is one of the most famous brands in the toy world. She is even more famous than Hasbro and Barbie. But few know that the Danish company started its history as a manufacturer of wood products.
However, the company has grown to such a size that many counterfeit companies today are copying its famous bricks.
The story of the Lego toy begins with Ole Kirk Christiansen
He was a carpenter in Billund, Denmark, and opened a carpentry shop in 1916. He and his team of apprentices built furniture for people in the area. By 1954 Christiansen’s son Godtfred had become the junior general manager of the LEGO Group. His conversation with an overseas buyer gave him the idea for a toy system. Lego was born out of the creative mind of Danish carpenter Ole Kirk Christiansen in the early 1930s. The name Lego was coined in 1934 and means’ play well’: it has more than certainly lived up to its name. The story begins in 1932, when master carpenter Ole Kirk Christiansen set up a business in Denmark to manufacture a variety of household items, such as ironing boards,
But the demand for these wooden items fell sharply during the global financial crisis, so Ole Kirk had to find a new niche to save his business. And he found it in the production of wooden toys because that demand was steadily increasing, even during tough economic times.
In 1934 he named the company “LEGO,” an abbreviation of the Danish words “leg godt” or “play well.” A few years later, Ole Kirk learned that Lego means “I put together” in Latin. The awareness of this fact had a severe impact on the future history of the company. Godfred Kirk Christiansen travels to England and meets a buying agent on the ferry. They talk about toys. Ole Kirk Christiansen was a carpenter who lived in Billund, Denmark, and this is where the company started.
When the story of the Lego toy began, only seven employees worked in the company; they were all carpenters who took great pleasure in creating new things and cared about the quality of the products. Ole Kirk Christiansen had a personal motto.
In the 1940s, many changes influenced the history of the company. First, the only LEGO factory and warehouse were burnt down. Immediately after the restoration, it was announced that LEGO would only be making toys. Several workers have continued to join the company, reaching 40 in 1943. In 1944, Ole Kirk Christiansen finally officially registered the company and called it “LegetOjsfabrikken LEGO Billund A / S.”
These elements were developed and patented in the UK by Mr. Hilary Harry Fisher Page, a child psychologist. Suffice to say that the Lego toy story was not going to end there!
By the end of the 1940s, the company had over 200 different models of plastic and wooden toys. But LEGO was still not the company today known for its unique sets. In 1958, after the father’s death, Ole Kirk’s third son, inherited the patented modern brick design company. By the way, the bricks from Lego toys from 1958 are still compatible with today’s modern bricks.
A second fire at Lego
Without a doubt, entering this extremely profitable market was a significant event for the Danish company, which was looking to increase sales of its toys worldwide. Two years later, LEGO began including assembly instructions for their building sets with a brief step-by-step tutorial on building a model shown on the packaging. Assembly instructions quickly became an integral part of every LEGO building set.
In addition, the company began to work more closely with customers, and as a result, they helped improve the quality of the sets. LEGO was one of the first companies to use the customer-centric approach and researched customer needs… and it was only after careful analysis that they started to develop new products. Such cooperation resulted in widely sold and successful toys, such as LEGO train sets. Therefore, the story of the Lego toy is also a little of its customers.