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LEGO Group turns 80

LEGO Group 80 years _ Children playing

In 1932, Ole Kirk Christiansen founded the LEGO Group. Today the company has approximately 10,000 employees, and it is the world's third largest manufacturer of play materials.

The LEGO Group can look back onto an impressive success story: in 1932 Ole Kirk Christiansen founded a production company for wooden toys in the Danish city of Billund. His central idea was, “Only the best is good enough.” The motto stayed, but other than that, a lot changed. The company has moved from the originally small workshop back in 1932, to become the third largest producer of play materials in the world. It is currently represented in more than 130 countries with approx. 10,000 employees. The name “LEGO” comes from the two Danish words “leg” and “godt”, which translates to “play well”.

The success story of the LEGO brick
The triumph of the LEGO Group started almost fifteen years after the foundation of the company, when Ole Kirk Christiansen discovered that plastic was the ideal material for toy production. At the end of the 1940s, the first bricks hit the market, which resemble the modern classic of today. In 1958 Christiansen perfected the LEGO brick with the familiar knobs-and-tubes-connecting-system, which is what the now 3120 different LEGO elements are still based on. LEGO bricks can be combined in an endless variety of combinations in continuously new ways. For six bricks of the same color with 2X4 studs alone, there are 915 million combination possibilities. The imagination has therefore no boundaries.

Since 1962, LEGO bricks are made of acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene-copolymer – short: ABS. This matte-gloss plastic is very hard and has a scratch- and bite- proof surface. The LEGO basic material is also completely safe. For toddlers who like putting their toys in their mouth or biting on them, the material is perfectly suitable - especially the LEGO DUPLO® bricks, which are twice as big as the normal LEGO bricks and therefore cannot be swallowed.

From small to big: Building fun for every LEGO fan
In addition to the classic LEGO brick sets, the LEGO Group has over 25 product lines in their range. The product lines of LEGO DUPLO and City, with their realistic themes, like zoo, police or fire department stations, are especially made for preschool and primary school children. Boys aged seven and up can dive into different fantasy worlds whether it’s with the LEGO The Lord of the Rings™ or the galactic LEGO Star Wars™ Sets or with the action-packed, Asian themed, Ninjago characters. Technic enthusiastic children from around age nine will find the MINDSTORMS and Technic sets interesting.

Not only children but also adults enjoy tricky construction challenges of the Technic and Architecture sets or the exclusive items such as the LEGO VW T1 camping bus.

In 2009 LEGO Games was introduced, inviting families with children aged five or older to enjoy a new dimension of LEGO fun with board games. With the buildable LEGO dice and the changeable game board (made out of classic LEGO elements), each game can be played in a different way. Another new product is LEGO Life of George a mobile game merging bricks and augmented reality.

The newest & most successful product launch to date is LEGO Friends, a line focusing on friendship between five girls. The products are successfully combining building and role play around the themes of nature, sport, music, and animals.

Creativity, Quality, and Building-fun guaranteed for generations
Whether playing with a bicycle, spaceship or train station, the values of creativity, fun, quality, learning and care apply to all LEGO products and services. These values and the LEGO brick are the heart of the LEGO Brand and are continuously brought to life in our product development, and shared with kids around the world. Hopefully someday they will share their LEGO childhood play experience with their children.