Celebrating 60 Years of LEGO Bricks Endless Creativity

January 28 marks the 60th anniversary of the iconic LEGO® brick

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Today, we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Patent Submission for the LEGO Brick as we know it today. It is a phenomenal achievement, to inspire children over such a period of time, that only a few iconic brands have achieved.
There are a number of sets that have been released to mark this occasion.
These include the 40210 Anniversary set, which includes microscale versions of a number of classic sets, including :

 

  • 40290-1.jpg6399 Airport Shuttle
  • 375 ‘Yellow’ Castle
  • 6285 Black Seas Barracuda
  • 928 Space Cruiser and Moon Base

This set is currently free with purchase over $AU200 in shop.lego.com.

Other commemorative sets released include replicas of Windmill and House sets from the early 60’s, although they are currently exclusive to Walmart in the US, to the best of my knowledge. (Images from Forbes via brickset.com and brothers-brick.com)

UntitledThe commemorative tile can also be found in the Building Better Thinking Sets released this year, as part of the classic range. Whilst visiting classic LEGO Themes such as space, undersea and castle along the way, this series perhaps represents the very spirit of the LEGO Brick.  It also represents an extremely trivial missed opportunity of the 60th anniversary campaign:

  • 10401 Rainbow Fun  85 Elements
  • 10402 Fun Future 186 Elements
  • 10403 World Fun 295 Elements
  • 10404 Ocean’s Bottom 579 Elements
  • 10405 Mission to Mars 871 Elements

If you add up the total number of elements here, we have 2016 elements.  Would it have been so hard to throw in an extra couple of bricks, plates, tiles or brick separators across the 5 sets to bring the official total to 2018? That said, they look like great sets, and I look forward to looking at a couple of them over the next couple of months.

 

gRktO5lk1QgThere will also be a Limited Edition box for 10715 – Bricks on a Roll.  It’s availability outside of Walmart in the US is still uncertain.

There are so many Anniversaries at LEGO this year: the Brick (60 years) the minifigure, as well as classic themes Town, Castle and Space (40 years); Mindstorms (20 years) and LEGO Land Billund (50 years!) We are yet to see how many of them will be celebrated. I wait with baited breath to see the journey that we will be taken on!

In the meantime, to remind us why today is special (and 1:58pm Central European Time in particular), here is a copy of the original Building Brick Patent application:

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Godfred Kirk Christiansen’s original patent application drawings, filed at 1:58 pm, January 28, 1948.  (Source: Google patents)
Here is the Press Release
from LEGO Australia:

Sixty years ago, the simple idea of adding tubes inside a plastic brick turned into one of the most exciting and influential toys in the world – the LEGO® brick. Since then, LEGO play has been about the joy of building and giving every child the chance to shape their own world through inventive play.“LEGO play is powered by imagination and curiosity, and the LEGO brick is at the very heart of it – putting the bricks together and taking them apart over and over, with imagination as your only limit. This helps young minds to stay open, keep exploring and develop skills essential for the 21st century*, such as creativity, collaboration and problem solving,” said Julia Goldin, Chief Marketing Officer, the LEGO Group.

The LEGO Group began producing a plastic brick in 1949, but it was not until nine years later, in 1958, that the LEGO brick we know today was born. It took several years of iterations to find the iconic design, which has not been changed significantly since. The unique design and the uncompromised focus on quality and safety during the past six decades ensures that two LEGO bricks produced 60 years apart can still fit together.

“We are excited to be celebrating the timelessness of the LEGO brick here in Australia. From the big pineapple to the Sydney skyline – the LEGO brick has brought to life many of the country’s iconic landscapes. Over 60 years, we have seen that LEGO encourages play and creativity that has been able to transcend all age groups, from toddlers to grandparents,” said Claus Kristensen, Vice President & General Manager, Australia & New Zealand.

 

Building the world’s creativity for over 60 years, The LEGO brick has proven timeless due to its great quality, opportunity for constant reinvention and endless hours of fun. LEGO play appeals to all generations and remains as fun and relevant today as it was in 1958, inspiring generations of builders, creators and dreamers through the power of play.

While the LEGO Group has constantly created new ways to play, its original mission has never changed: to build children’s future through play and imagination.

“All children are imaginative and begin their journey through life with incredible potential, curiosity and creativity. Playful learning experiences are important in helping children maintain this creativity and curiosity through-out life. We want to fire up the imagination of young generations to come too, and continue to inspire children to dream of worlds we’ve not yet imagined,” said Julia Goldin.

 

Notes: *The Future of Jobs Report (World Economic Forum) lists problem solving, critical thinking and creativity as the top 3 skills needed for the future workplace.
Facts about the LEGO brick: 
LEGO founder Ole Kirk Kristiansen launched the first bricks called Automatic Binding Bricks in 1949. Four years later the name was changed to LEGO Mursten (Danish for LEGO bricks) and they came in five colours: white, red, yellow, blue and green.

The original bricks were hollow, so they had limited clutch power. Children could build models, but they could fall apart if moved, or if the structures tipped over. While children played with tubeless bricks, the work to improve the clutch power intensified, lasting until 1958 when the current LEGO brick design was perfected.

Fun facts:

  • Six “2×4” LEGO bricks can be combined in more than 915 million ways
  • If you built a column of about 40 billion LEGO bricks, it would reach the moon
  • The moulds used to produce LEGO® elements are accurate to within 4my/0.004mm – less than the width of a single hair. This accuracy is what we refer to as clutch power
  • No. of different colours used in production: 60+
  • No. of different types of LEGO Elements (includes all types of LEGO bricks and other elements): 3,700+About the LEGO Group:  

The LEGO Group is a privately held, family-owned company with headquarters in Billund, Denmark, and main offices in Enfield, USA, London, UK, Shanghai, China, and Singapore. Founded in 1932 by Ole Kirk Kristiansen, and based on the iconic LEGO® brick, it is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of play materials.

Guided by the company spirit: “Only the best is good enough”, the company is committed to the development of children and aims to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow through creative play and learning. LEGO products are sold worldwide and can be virtually explored at http://www.LEGO.com.

As we said earlier, this is a great year for celebrating everything to do with LEGO Bricks.  Of all the upcoming anniversaries, which is your favorite? Leave a comment below, and follow the blog to be kept up to date.
Until next time,
 Play well.