Lego, the Danish manufacturer of the world famous plastic building bricks for children of all ages, is going green.
Lego the beginning:
Originally founded in 1932 by Ole Kirk Kristiansen in his small home carpenter’s workshop, the firm produced such diverse items as ironing-boards, stepladders, wooden stools, and wooden toys. Its first construction toy, made of wood and named Kirk’s Sandgame was produced in 1935.
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The company received its first plastic moulding machine in 1947 and began producing a range of plastic children’s toys, including, in 1949, the company’s plastic Automatic Binding Brick. The very first building sets, using the new bricks, went on sale in Denmark in 1949.
Onward and upward:
The 1950’s saw massive expansion, primarily in the building sets, and introduction of models and figures which complimented the sets. In 1958 the Lego brick as we know it was produced, providing for a more versatile, and stable building platform. In the years since, there’s little that hasn’t been touched by Lego. It’s been used by artists as a sculpting material, by builders and DIY enthusiasts to repair walls and build breakfast bars, and used to produce sofas, picture frames, plant pot holders and a variety of kitchen utensils. There’s even a house built entirely of Lego.
Once the versatility of the new brick was established, Lego continued to increase its building sets and opened up markets worldwide. By 1961 there were 50 complete sets plus ancillary figures and features. By the late 1960’s Lego were selling an average 19-million sets a year, with new sets being added on a regular basis. The first Legoland was opened in Denmark in 1968. There are now 6 major Legoland Theme Parks, one each in Denmark, UK, Germany, Malaysia, and two in the US.
Lego has 90 retail stores worldwide, produces amongst other things children’s clothing and board games, has various book deals, and been involved in numerous films featuring Lego characters.
Some interesting facts (care of Wikipedia):
Over 400-billion bricks have been produced
Lego produces over 36-billion bricks a year
If every one of the worlds 6-billion population had a share of Lego bricks in circulation, we would have 62 bricks each.
If you stacked one brick atop another, it would be 375,000 bricks high, before the first brick started to collapse.
The Star Wars Millennium Falcon set, released in 2007, had 5,195 pieces and the Taj Mahal set, released in 2009, had 5,922 pieces.
Green is clean:
Working toward reducing the company’s carbon footprint is nothing new to Lego. They are already heavily involved in investing in an offshore wind farm. They have also been working on new packaging using recycled materials, and reducing packaging sizes. Recently, they announced they plan to invest $150-million in a new Lego Sustainable Materials Centre. This centre will focus on replacing the ABS plastic used for their bricks, with a more sustainable material by 2030.
In February 2015, Lego overtook Ferrari as the ‘Worlds most powerful brand.’
By Rob Young from United Kingdom (Legoland Windsor – Edinburgh Castle) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By Prune123 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By Rob Young from United Kingdom (Legoland Windsor – Edinburgh Castle Bagpipe Player) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
A British expat who has lived on this Island of Tenerife for over twelve years.A full time freelance writer, most of my time is spent article writing. I also write on D2C, Writedge, and wherever takes my fancy. For fun I try to increase my portfolio of short stories, with a view to eventually getting them published.