How Lego Took Over the Toy World

Retropod
|

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

In a year then goodyear here's a clue those tires well you'll never see them in traffic it here's another it's notorious for causing theme two souls of bare feet all over the world still guessing it's Lego accompanied that started as a tiny manufacturer of wooden toys that built itself into an empire of plastic locks that have provided kids with millions of hours of fun though why is it that adults are always the ones to step up anyway. The story of legos starts in the nineteen thirties in Denmark with a master carpenter named Ole Kirk Christianson with the Great Depression in full swing Christianson desperately needed a way to earn money so he used his skill with would to start a company that made all sorts of things step ladders ironing boards and an entirely new line of wooden toys yoyos trucks duck on wheels Christians and called his company Lego a Portmanteau of the Danish words for play and well according to David C Robinson author of a history of the lego company Christianson ran the business all on his own while raising four sons survived the Great Depression it survived the German invasion of Denmark in even survived fire that destroyed its factory including all of the blueprints for new toys in the one thousand nine hundred he's Lego began producing what it called automatic binding bricks from wood but plastic completely new idea a British inventor already developed the stackable plastic cubes with studs on top but Christianson modified the concept by sharpening the edges and in the one thousand nine hundred fifty s keep them the formal name Lego bricks the six were a hard sell they weren't sturdy they didn't stick together in the hollow plastic cubes just did not sell then in one thousand nine hundred fifty eight got a patent for an idea the company had been working on for years a new study and to design that let the bricks snap together without coming apart Christianson died the same year leaving his son to take over the company so he never had the chance to see what happened next eight total revolution in children's toys after watching children play with the bricks oh executives realized their future success was not about the brick itself but about the world's it could help create and so began expanding its offerings with the brick as the cornerstone in the one thousand nine hundred sixties the company's Brick Smith's invented go we'll around brick with a rubber tire in the nineteen seventies they were miniature figures to populate the Lego towns then castles with nights kings and Queens astronauts came soon after by this time toymakers around the world were trying to replicate goes success when the last of legos patents for its bricks expired in the late nineteen eighty s the company tried to fight back against imposters and failed but it hardly mattered lego experienced double digit growth in sales with control of over eighty percent of the toy instruction and then in the nineteen ninety s Lego found another way to solidify its place the imaginations of kids and their parents Lucasfilm was about to release its first Prequel to the original star wars gives their wanted to license a set of Star Wars toys to come out at the same time at first like executives were wary they value it their companies independence and worried about aligning themselves with a franchise that contained violence but the company surveyed parents and they didn't mind the partnership so the result was the phantom menace Lego line then someone else came along Harry Potter the company's path has always been upwards though in the early two thousands After expanding rapidly into other businesses like those sales sank and they were forced to shut down several theme parks and kill off poor performing product lines. Lego went back to basics those lovable stackable bricks just recently they released a new set

Coming up next