March 4, 2015
Do you have a guess as to what toy has been named Toy of the Century?
Here are a few clues:
They are small, colorful, and provide hours of fun for children (and adults!) all over the world. Each year 19 billion are made, and there are enough to give every single person in the world 62 of them!
If you guessed LEGO then you are correct! LEGO just may be the most popular toy in the world.
Just why is LEGO such a popular and lasting toy? To many, this Danish company was an important part of their childhood. LEGO has a nostalgic sentimentality about it, and at over 80 years old it’s still versatile and beloved.
In The LEGO Group’s own words, “‘good quality play’ enriches a child’s life – and lays the foundation for later adult life. We believe that play is a key element in children’s growth and development and stimulates the imagination and the emergence of ideas and creative expression.”
I would imagine that this was the inspiration behind founder Ole Kirk Kristiansen’s creation of the name ‘LEGO’ given to his toy company in 1934. Derived from the Danish words Leg Godt, (translated to English as play well) LEGO has been synonymous with endless opportunities for creativity and imaginative possibilities since its inception.
The universal qualities of LEGO are what set it apart: colorful bricks to create to your heart’s content; smiling “non-specific and transcendental” faces; hours of fun and enjoyment, both individually and cooperatively, for all children and children-at-heart. LEGO appeals to us all.
The LEGO Group was founded in 1932 in Billund, Denmark and is still owned by the Kristiansen family today. Despite a brief stumble in 2004 after near-bankruptcy for LEGO, today the company is exceeding expectations. LEGO is on the list of Time Magazine’s 100 Greatest Toys, and Time declared 2013 The Year of the LEGO. However, lately it seems that 2015 may be an even bigger year for the toy giant. Forbes recently announced that LEGO has beat out Mattel as the World’s Largest Toy Maker. In February LEGO made news at The Oscars, both as a prop and as a nominee for best original song. At the box office The LEGO Movie has grossed $234 million worldwide to date, and the company proves it can change with the times as it continues to unveil new products, as well as support longstanding favorites.
It’s no wonder that Danish architects were recently praised as ‘most innovative.’ They’ve had a lifetime of practice!
Kun det bedste er godt nok (‘Only the best is good enough’) – Lego Company motto