I have vivid memories of Lego, and it’s clear in my mind that there’s no pain in life as great as standing on one of these brightly coloured little buggers with bare feet. These little socketed units have helped to teach a nation their problem-solving skills, and they have the cult following to match.
These tiny bricks have huge potential, and for a lot of people they’re the building blocks of childhood. A prime example of great design because of their innovative locking system, and iconic colour scheme, their braille-like pimples are the icing on the cake. With more than 915,105,765 possible combinations from just 6 8-studded bricks, Lego is a truly mind-blowing material.
Whether it’s a pirate ship or a spaceship, the humble Lego block goes one step further than a good ol’ cardboard box at letting you explore the potential of your imagination. So strong they’re handed down from generation to generation, with only a piece now and then eaten by the sofa or thrown with frustration from a bunk bed, if there was a toy to survive the apocalypse, surely it would be Lego.
Lego‘s name is taken from the Danish phrase ‘leg godt’ which means ‘play well’. And that we have, for over half a century. Founded in 1932 by Danish-based toymaker Ole Kirk Christiansen, Lego has proved that great design will survive through the ages. Initially starting out making simple wooden toys, in 1947 Christiansen moved onto plastic, and by 1949 this innovative company started producing its signature little blocks, Bearing the catchy moniker ‘Automated Binding Bricks’, these cubes are backwards compatible with the most recent versions, from present day right back to 1958. Over time, their brand name has become synonymous with their best-selling product, and the Lego block has become a true childhood-staple. Officially written all in uppercase, ‘LEGO’ has more than earned its capital letters.
Whether it’s Ed Sheeran’s song ‘Lego House’ or the literal Lego house built by James May in the grounds of Denbies Wine Estate in Dorking, Surrey; Lego proves that it really is a construction material to be reckoned with. Lego building is even a full-time job if you’ve got the knack for it.
Lego has evolved with the times, Whether your little tyke is into Star Wars or pink, there’s all sorts of gift sets available, including a particularly appealing advent calendar that gives you a piece of Lego each day leading up to Christmas. With pirates, Vikings, the wild west, space, dinosaurs, and robots all covered by Lego sets, they really are the toy of storybooks. Despite the more new-fangled creations, the 8-hole basic building brick is still a classic, and there’s even a larger version named ‘Duplo’ for younger children.
This building-block, toy hybrid has garnered a certain clout with adults and children alike, and it seems likely that children will be shoving Lego blocks up their nose for years to come.