Monday, January 28, 2008

Lego is 50 years old!

The Lego plastic brick is 50 years old this month!

'So what?' I hear you cry.

I mention this fact because Lego has been a huge influence in my life one way or another. As a child I remember being given my cousins' hand-me-down sets and excitedly receiving new boxes full of plastic bits for birthdays and Christmases.
I spent many happy hours playing with my Lego, creating worlds for characters to inhabit and then telling their stories (which were always on the adventurous side). And, of course, through such play I began to develop my narrative sense. So, if it wasn't for Lego, I ask myself, would I be the writer I am today?

The other thing that impresses me about Lego, is how the company have reinvented the product in recent years to appeal to a nostalgic adult audience as well as today's media-drip-fed intellectual-properties-saturated generation of children. So we have Lego Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Batman, Spiderman, Harry Potter et al, and there are also Lego games available for the latest next-gen consoles.

Now my own children are starting to play with Lego and I witness my son starting to tell stories about the characters, so who knows where that might lead?

Today's fascinating facts:
  • The LEGO Group, which is based in Billund, Denmark, is the fifth largest toy manufacturer in the world in terms of sales and was founded in 1932.

  • There are 2,400 different LEGO brick shapes.

  • The name LEGO in a fusion of two Danish words 'LEg' and 'GOdt', meaning 'play well'.

Keeping to the Lego Star Wars theme, check out the following link. It made me smile, anyway...


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