Begun as a modest woodworking company in the 1930s, Lego has become a multinational, multibillion-dollar manufacturer of toys and children's wares. Ole Kirk Christiansen, a Danish carpenter, handcrafted toys to supplement his meager income from home repairs. Soon, Christiansen realized his toy-making enterprise made him more money that carpentry. By 1949, his company concentrated on producing Automatic Binding Bricks, interlocking red and white blocks with studs on top and hollow cylinders below. The studs and cylinders allowed the bricks to be stacked in an endless number of configurations. The toymaker picked the name for his company from the Danish words "leg godi," which means "play well." Lego packaged its bricks in several sets and added figures of people, farm animals, cars, and other vehicles. By 1960, Lego made its bricks of plastic, and its sets were the most popular toy in Europe. In the next year, Lego offered its products in the United States. Today, Lego building pieces come in more than 1,700 shapes and in more than 400 themed sets. Almost annually, the Toy Industry Association lists a Lego product among the best selling toys of the year, and most thoughtful compilers of lists of classic toys or of toys belonging in a hall of fame include Lego products among the most exalted.
|Licenser||Walt Disney Enterprises|
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