Happy 63rd LEGO® Patent Day

On January 28, 1958 at precisely 1.58 pm the application for the very first LEGO® brick patent was filed at the Danish Directorate for Patents and Trademarks. Soon after, patent applications were filed in numerous countries around the world.

In the months after the application for the Danish patent, applications were filed in countries such as Norway (March 12, 1958), Sweden (March 22, 1958), Germany (April 10, 1958) and Holland (April 14, 1958). Also in 1958, applications were filed in France, Belgium, Switzerland, and Italy.

The following year, in 1959, the LEGO reach was increased even further to include countries such as Israel, South Africa, England, Poland, Ireland, Turkey, Finland, Portugal and Spain.

And today, as we know, LEGO play is reaching millions of children all over the world.

More information has come to light about the development of the development of the LEGO Brick. Speaking with Kristian Reimer Hauge, one of the Corporate Historians at the LEGO House as part of Brickvention online, told me that ” there was a meeting in 1958, on January 23rd, between Godfredt Kirk Christiansen, second generation owner , and some other people. And that is where they came up with that [the idea of tubes underneath the bricks.] Five days later, on January 28th, we took out the patent for the LEGO Brick. That is a new discovery for us.”

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Ninjagopalooza II: Concept Art and Prototyping 2009-2012

This week, we are celebrating 10 years since the first release of Ninjago on an unsuspecting world. It was never expected to last as as long as it has, now becoming an evergreen theme:

“Originally, the NINJAGO theme was supposed to end after season 2 in 2012,” says Tommy Andreasen, Sr. Manager, Entertainment Development at the LEGO Group, who worked on the LEGO NINJAGO product line and show from the beginning. However, sets of the theme were still planned to be on sale throughout 2013. The continued success led to both the TV series and products continuing to the current day. “It just shows an incredible commitment from our fans that we are still going strong 10 years later,” he adds.

In this post, we will look through some of the concept art, as well as marketing artwork that has been released over the years. Some will be new, and some have been taken from the LEGO® archive, for a special exhibition at the LEGO House in Billund.

All images have been supplied by the LEGO group as part of a celebration of the 10 years of LEGO Ninjago.

Before we go any further, lets take a quick look a Ninjago Timeline:

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The Wooden Duck 40501 [Review]

This week, the LEGO House reopens after closure during the COVID19 lockdown. With its reopening, we have a new Limited Edition set released, available exclusively at the LEGO Store at the Billund attraction. The Wooden Duck 50401 was announced last week.

The Wooden Duck occupies an important place in the history of the LEGO Group – with the story of Godtfred Kristiansen trying to save his father’s manufacturing costs being a cornerstone in the LEGO Ethos of ‘Only the best is good enough’

The Wooden Duck itself, in particular the model with the pullalong quacking action, was in production from 1935 through to 1960.

I was fortunate to receive a copy of the set to review, courtesy of the team at the LEGO House. Here’s how it went together…

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Announcing: LEGO House Live Tours

Regular readers of the Rambling Brick know full well that I am interested in the history of there LEGO Group, and of the bricks we build with. Therefore, you can only imagine how excited I was to hear about a new initiative from the LEGO House: Live, Online Tours of the History Collection:

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The Search For Bill and Mary I

Long Term Character Development in LEGO Town and City.

In which we begin our ongoing search for Bill and Mary, by looking through LEGO Town and LEGO City for evidence of long form story telling, beyond the confines of a single set. If we can find it, then we are one step closer to demonstrating whether or not the protagonists of the 6000 Ideas Book could still exist in LEGO City today…

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Celebrating 20 Years of LEGO® Star Wars: Advertising Archive

In which it becomes apparent that the LEGO group are celebrating the 20th Anniversary of LEGO Star Wars. With some of their Archive material, as well as some of my own, from a simlar era, we look at the Early Days of the Star Wars print ads.

LET ME TELL YOU A STORY. Forty two years ago – a Long, Long time ago, in a galaxy not so far away… Star Wars was released on an unsuspecting world. Fan based consumerism would never be the same again.

A LEGO X-wing fighter, circa 1982. It contains a Kenner Luke Skywalker Action Figure, as well as a brick built R2-D2

Star Wars consumed 9 year old me. I read the novel, again, and finally saw the film at the cinema for my ninth birthday. The Belgrave Cameo Cinea, in March 1978 for those playing at home. Drawings, LEGO models and action figures. I couldn’t get enough. I had a ‘making of’ magazine – covering movie history, the special effects, and some of the concept artwork by Ralph McQuarrie, and more still by the Brothers Hildebrandt. Eventually my brother and I managed to combine LEGO with our actions figures. Fast forward to the future…

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The AFOL’s Guide to Overwatch #6: Watchpoint Gibraltar 75975

In which I reach the end of my survey of the (first wave of?) LEGO® Overwatch sets, find a gigantic gorilla in an armoured space suit, build a shuttle and gantry, discover an interesting property of some dark red elements and return to the ancient history of the LEGO Group as I ask the question “Why does the colour seem a bit off here?” Do you want to know more? Read on.

Let me tell you a story. When I began reviewing the Overwatch sets, I knew nothing of the game, and nothing of the lore. I still know virtually nothing about playing the game, BUT I have come to meet a number of the characters along the way, and appreciate the Lore behind them all. We have seen a number of sets so far: Tracer vs Widowmaker 75070 ; Hanzo vs Genji 75071; Dorado Showdown 75972; Rheinhart and D.va 75973 and most recently Bastion 75974. There is one set left to review: 75975: Watchpoint Gibraltar. This is the largest of the Overwatch sets, featuring a large shuttle launch vehicle, a rocket gantry/launch pad three minifigures and an oversized Gorilla wearing reading glasses.

I asked Harry, the game playing teenager in our house to explain why all these things would want to be put together in a single set, and why we should care?

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Feeling Forty and Fabulous in Fabuland [Review 341/132 Catherine Cat’s House and Morty Mouse]

Let me tell you a story.

This year, amongst other things, we celebrate forty years since the release of the first wave of Fabuland sets. Directed towards children making the transition from DUPLO® to regular system bricks, Fabuland represented the company’s first foray into story telling, and multimedia marketing.

Fabuland started simply in the form of sets: a town, with anthropomorphic animal headed figures, living their lives together. We had the essential services represented: police, fire and hospital, and ice cream. In time it expanded to include school, cafe, local government, transportation and paparazzi.

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Duplo 50: Taking the Lead with Characters.

This year, we are celebrating the 50th Anniversary of LEGO DUPLO. Basic brick sets first appeared in 1969, but figures were not introduced until 1977. They provided a way to introduce role play into the way that children interacted with DUPLO bricks. These first figures appeared ahead of minifigures, and there were then several ways in which DUPLO figures have led the way with regard to character design compared with minifigures. In this article, I will cover the changes in shape of the basic shape of figures seen in DUPLO sets since they were first introduced. I will not cover the introduction of each colour or hair/helmet mold, but I will cover the important changes that occurred in body design, as well as touch on some of the licensed figures that have appeared over the years…but only some!

1977

While DUPLO debuted in 1969, the first Duplo figures did not appear until 1977, a year ahead of minifigures. These figures were simple, finger puppet style figures, which would fit comfortably over 2×2 DUPLO Studs. With no moving ares or legs, they were similar in some respects to the ‘stage extra’ figures in use in the regular system sets at the time.

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Anniversary Alert: 50 Years of LEGO® DUPLO® Bricks

We love a good anniversary celebration here at the Rambling Brick, and recently, we have had plenty! Last year we saw 60 years of the Brick, 40 years of the Minifigure, 30 years of the Helicopter Transporter and 20 years of Mindstorms. This year we celebrate 40 years of Fabuland, 30 years of LEGO® Pirates and 20 years of LEGO Star Wars. And one more thing.

Today we celebrate the Fiftieth Anniversary of the first announcement of LEGO DUPLO®. The year of the Moon Landing, Woodstock and the airing of the first episode of Scooby Doo was also the the year that the LEGO Group first released the DUPLO Brick.

Aimed primarily at Toddlers, DUPLO Bricks have been the introduction to the LEGO system of play for millions of families over the last 50 years.

Not the first Big Brick, but possibly the most interesting

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