20 Things You Might Not Know About LEGO

For starters, the plural of LEGO is LEGO.

1. “LEGO” comes from the Danish phrase leg godt, which means “play well”.

2. The company got its start when Ole Kirk Christiansen, a carpenter, lost his business and began making toys out of his surplus lumber.

The business took off and eventually evolved into the giant Lego empire.

3. Originally called “Automatic Binding Bricks,” LEGO wasn’t the first to market the toy. Kiddicraft holds that distinction, and LEGO just improved on the design.

4. In 2002, LEGO sued the Chinese makers of “Coko bricks,” a building block closely resembling LEGO bricks. Coko had to cease production and issue a formal apology.

5. Early LEGO figurines had no facial features, gender, arms, or moveable legs.

Lego

Lego

 

The figures on the left are early versions of what LEGO produces today.

6. 560 billion LEGO parts had been produced as of 2013. That’s 80 LEGO pieces for every human being on the planet.

7. LEGO is the world’s largest producer of rubber wheels—more than Bridgestone, more than Goodyear, more than anyone.

They produce more than 306 million tiny rubber tires a year.

8. The world’s tallest LEGO tower was 94 feet high a utilized 465,000 bricks.

9. In 2009 a life size house was built using 3.3 million LEGO bricks. 1,000 volunteers helped to assemble it.

10. There have been fifty LEGO video games.

Lego/Warner Bros.

11. The factory process is so streamlined that only 18 out of every million LEGO pieces fail to meet company standard.

Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

12. Every second, seven LEGO sets are sold. In the time it takes to read this sentence, dozens of sets are sold worldwide.

Bloomberg / Getty Images

13. There 915 million different ways to combine just six individual LEGO bricks.

Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

According to National Geographic’s special MegaFactories: LEGO, the possibilities are nearly endless.

14. The largest commercial LEGO set is that of the Taj Mahal, with 5,922 individual pieces.

Lego Group

15. There are no LEGO sets with a direct military theme. Ole Kirk Christiansen didn’t want to make war seem appealing to children.

Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

16. As part of the 2011 “LEGO Bricks in Space” program, astronauts brought 13 Lego kits to the International Space Station to see how they react in microgravity.

Bloomberg / Getty Images

17. Speaking of space, there are enough LEGO bricks to stack from the earth to the moon…ten times.

Bloomberg / Getty Images

18. Legoland, LEGO’s theme park chain, has a whopping seven locations worldwide.

Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

Billund, California, Florida, Malaysia, Windsor, Günzburg, and the Discovery Center in Manchester.

19. LEGO is more than just a toy, it’s an art form. Nathan Sawaya is the world’s foremost LEGO artist and he’s shown in museums around the nation.

20. In 2000, The British Association of Toy Retailers named LEGO the “Toy of the Century”, over the teddy bear and Barbie doll.

Christopher Hawthorne/Los Angeles Times / MCT

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