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Ole Kirk Christiansen - Inventor of Legos

How can a simple piece of plastic, the LEGO become a worldwide hit? LEGO has been around since the 1940's but in the last 10-15 years this toy has enjoyed renewed attraction. LEGO has introduced complete sets around movies such as Toy Story, Star Wars and Indiana Jones. In addition to this they've premiered a line of LEGO building blocks for older kids and adults that are interested in robotics in fact they have helped bring robotics and the thrill of building working, moving toys to everyone. But what kicked off the idea, and who exactly is Ole Kirk Christiansen?
Lego started out as wooden toys in the workshop of Ole Kirk Christiansen who lived in Denmark, and by trade was a carpenter. He started making wooden toys in 1932. The company came to be called Lego in 1934 and by 1940 they had expanded into producing plastic toys. It was not until 1949 that Lego started selling "Automatic Binding Bricks" which were based on anohter product that was being sole in the UK in the mid to late 1940's.
The attraction was that the blocks snapped together, but not so tightly that you could not separate them. Easier on little hands and fingers and on the parents that would buy the blocks for their kids.
The name Lego is coined form the Danish phrase leg godt which means "play well". The Lego Group's motto (in Danish) is "kun det bedste er godt nok" which means "only the best is good enough" and this was created by Ole Kirk to let his employees know that they should never skimp on quality something which he believed in strongly. That motto is still in use today.
It is surprising that at the time, Lego was not highly regarded by retailers or consumers and they had very poor sales because at the time nobody thought plastic toys could ever replace wooden ones. How times have changed since those early days.
It was not until 1958 that the modern Lego brick was patented, and in fact the changes which took place to the product which have lived on until today. Bricks that were made in 1958 are still compatible with current bricks.
Today while the main format of the bricks are the same, Lego has turned the product from a simple toy to versatile sets that can be mixed together to create stunning designs. Reproductions of famous world landmarks are routinely built using Legos and almost every major city in the world has hosted Lego building competitions or displayed massive intricate Lego designs.
Some of the largest Lego sets have well over 5,000 pieces. Two such sets are the Star Wars Millennium Falcon with over 5,100 pieces and the Taj Mahal with close to 6,000 pieces.
Lego also produces licensed themes which include Star Wars, Batman, SpongeBob SquarePants, Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Spider-Man, Ben 10, Toy Story, and Thomas the Tank Engine.
Lego has become a household name today and has spawned many spinoffs, such as video games, business consultancy services to encourage and foster creative thinking, theme parks, retail outlets, children's clothing, board games, films and even books.
What is even more stunning is that the company has remained private all these years and continues to develop Lego sets that capture childrens' and adults' imaginations around the world.
Not sure what to buy your toddler, or teen this season, for their birthday or special occasion? Or if you are looking for more ideas on how to keep kids entertained, or the best electronic gadgets for the current season, then be sure to check out all the toys, games and electronics on Toys For Kids Reviews. We present the top toys for kids reviews for the 2010 season.

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