You are almost certain to have some experience with Lego at some point during your childhood, or perhaps as a parent. Those small, colorful plastic bricks have helped tons of small children take their imaginative ideas and bring them to life. If you have ever played with Lego bricks, you are sure to have appreciated their creative uses. But, how much do you know about your beloved childhood bricks?
Build a world with your imagination
Without giving you too lengthy a history lesson, the LEGO group was founded in 1932 by Ole Kirk Kristiansen. What started off as a humble toy company has today turned into one of the most famous and beloved toy manufacturers in the world. “Inspiring and developing the builders of tomorrow,” the company has transcended toys to become the perfect tool for anyone looking to create and play. From grand monuments to your latest take on a car, there is nothing you cannot create with a set of Legos.
If you are a Lego fan, or simply curious about the plastic brick, here are some facts about the beloved bricks.
1. Lego makes more tires than Goodyear
Though it might seem like a silly myth, this here is a fact. On average, LEGO produces a whopping 318 million plastic tires a year, making that approximately 870,000 mini-tires a day. The Lego company produces these tires 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
2. You can pitch your own lego set
For those part of the Lego community interested in creating their own Lego set, if you share your idea on their page and your idea gets 10,000 likes, the company will consider the possibility of bringing it to toy shelves.
3. The Lego mini-figures are yellow for a reason
When the Lego Minifigure was introduced in 1975, the company wanted the builders to project their imaginations onto faceless figures. Yellow was believed to be a racially-neutral color. Although today, they do come in other colors.
4. Artists love using Lego bricks to create inspiring work
As you probably already know, Lego bricks are not just for kids. Countless artists, sculptors, and painters have incorporated Lego into their works, creating imaginative and playful pieces.
5. Lego bricks from 1958 can still ‘connect’
If you found a Lego piece from the 1950s lying around, it would be able to connect with a Lego from 2020. Lego bricks are part of a universal system, meaning no matter when they are made, the pieces will always be compatible.
6. The biggest and most expensive commercial Lego set comes from the Star Wars universe
This highly sought after Ultimate Collectors Series Millennium Falcon set contains more than 7,541 pieces and costs around $800. It might take you quite a while to build this set. That’s right, you can finally get your hands on the Millenium Falcon.
7. There is a house entirely made of Lego bricks
Have you ever dreamed of building your home out of Lego bricks? Well, someone has actually gone ahead and done this. Using more than three million bricks, the BBC documented the building of a mostly functional home for the show James May’s Toy Stories. The house used more than 3 million bricks and included, “a working toilet, hot shower and a very uncomfortable bed”.
8. The World’s highest Lego tower contains over 500,000 bricks
A team of ambitious builders decided to build a 112-foot tower out of Lego bricks. The summer-long project landed them in the Guinness Book of World Records.
9. Numbers inside each Lego brick tell a story
The number on the underside of your bricks corresponds to the precise mold that was used to form the brick before it was placed in packaging. If there are any defects, Lego can trace the issue back to its origins.
10. This kid created a braille printer with his Lego set
Shubham Banerjee used the Lego Mindstorms set to create a fully operational Braille printer for the blind. Banerjee is the evangelist/founder of Braigo Labs Inc. Using Intel Edison Technology, his Lego project was borne out of the ambitious goal to help 200 million blind people.
11. The Lego name is special
Where did the Lego name come from? It is actually a lot more simple than you think. The word Lego was created by using the first two letters of the Danish words “Leg” and “Godt,” meaning “play well.” Interestingly, Lego is not a noun, it is an adjective, as in Lego bricks, Lego products, and Lego set. Have you been using the word correctly? Oh, and the plural of the word is also “Lego.”
12. There are a lot of Legos out there in the world, and they are extremely sturdy
Did you know that there are around 400 billion Lego bricks around the world? If you were to stack all of these Legos together, this tower would 2,386,065 miles (3,839,999 kilometers) tall — meaning that it would stretch ten times farther than the distance to the moon. Even more so, Legos are extremely sturdy. One LEGO can take up to 4,240 Newtons of force, or over 953 pounds. Maybe we should build more structures with Legos?
13. Your Legos will never decompose
Your Legos will probably outlast you… literally. Legos are made from ABS plastic. Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) is a common thermoplastic polymer. Because of its properties, you would need extreme temperatures or large amounts of UV light to begin the degradation process. This thermoplastic is also commonly used in 3D printing. Because of this, Lego is working on ways to reduce the environmental footprint of the bricks.
14. You only need a few Legos and a wild imagination
In 2014, Lego passed Hasbro to become the world’s second-biggest toymaker, behind Mattel — the creators of Barbie, and Hot Wheels. If you have not figured it out already, people love Legos, and you do not need many to get started.
Mathematician Søren Eilers devised a computer program to determine the number of possible structures you could make using just six standard (4×2) Lego bricks. The answer was an astounding 915,103,765. On average, children spend 5 billion hours a year playing with Legos.
15. Who invented Legos?
As we have already mentioned, Ole Kirk Christiansen created the Lego brick in 1932. However, he didn’t invent the first self-locking bricks. A British man named Hilary Fisher Page (1904-1957) invented a self-locking brick that was a predecessor to Lego. The Lego bricks were based on these. The first Lego blocks were patented in 1949.
What is your favorite Lego fact?