Why do we all love these colourful bricks?
One word, that can elicit a gamut of emotions in parents of most toddlers! One word, that can strike fear, horror and excitement all with equal elan! Presenting to you – LEGO.
They can turn even the most luxurious of floors into an excruciatingly pain-filled obstacle course.There is no greater pain a parent can experience than stepping on a LEGO block with bare feet at 1 in the morning on the way to “anywhere”. But wait, the same “you” wouldn’t cringe at the thought of picking up these masterpieces from any store for your little ones, whatever be the price tag on it.
In an age of digital onslaught, one wonders how these humble, coloured bricks have survived and even better, thrived. Lego is clearly the number one toy among children and these colourful building bricks also have a devoted following among adults. These small colourful blocks appeal to almost every individual, of any age, attracted by the idea of building things. And the appeal lies partly in the fact that the potential to build something is never-ending.
A Little history
Lego as a company was founded in a small Denmark village in 1932 (yes, thats how old it is). The company’s first toy was a wooden duck called Lego. The first plastic “bricks” were produced in 1949. But as with most legendary companies, Lego saw a downfall and a major crisis until 2003, which was the year of major resurgence of the brand.
It does pay off to stay on top of children’s wish lists
Statistics states that children from almost 130 countries are known to spend hours playing with these little wonders. Staying relevant through innovation and design is no mean task and Lego seems to have cracked the recipe just right. Boys and girls, both have something to relate to and its always exciting to go to a Lego store which never disappoints. Germany is the number-one Lego market, in fact, Lego is the number-one toy company in Germany. Lego’s success clearly lies in its constant innovation and a mind-blowing creation of 60-70 products every year. The products combat the “major innovation challenge” faced by most others in the segment by creating what the kids wish for. In the last few decades, Lego has grown into a profit-generating, design driven miracle built around intuitive and highly covetable toy that one cant get enough of.
So why Lego with so many others in the market at a cheaper cost
Clearly because, none in the market has been able to offer the kind of instant gratification that Lego does. However ambitious a Lego project, there is always something to be proud of at the end of the day, when you look at what you have built. No mess, sand, glue, paint and hence no perpetual “mommy mop” needed ever. Lego offers such a vast palette to work with. And with such kind of variety, one cannot help but create innumerable pieces of unique work. Turning this simple toy with no strict, rule-based system into expressive pieces of art can only be an outcome of a company that has believed in inventions and innovative reinventions. Approximately 19 billion Lego elements are produced per year. 2.16 million are moulded every hour, 36,000 every minute. LEGO has proven to be larger than life with some impressive, record breaking designs such as the world’s longest toy railway line at 1,800 feet, the world’s largest LEGO mosaic made with 384,00 bricks, and the world’s largest LEGO castle using over 400,000 bricks. These guys inspire creativity. The name LEGO comes from the Danish words leg godt meaning “play well” and these products encourage just that by helping kids discover new ways to build and create.
Secret of it’s success
As any parent can tell you, LEGO bricks are expensive – LEGO pays less than a dollar per pound for its raw material, ABS plastic, and sells its finished bricks for over fifty dollars per pound. Yet even with this price premium, the sets fly off the shelves. What’s even more striking about LEGO’s performance is that they compete in a very tough market. The patent for the LEGO brick expired in the 1980s. Making plastic bricks is relatively cheap and easy to do – anyone can get into the business. Walk into any toy store and you’ll see dozens of competitive toys with near-identical bricks at a fraction of the price. Then what is it in Lego that makes it so “desirable”? Quality and safety!
To ensure the best and safest products, Lego bricks are made with the highest quality materials, which does factor into the cost. Using premium materials ensures that the product is not only safe, but that it is durable enough to hand down from generation to generation. Their tests show that no bricks have ever decomposed or released any chemical substances. Given Lego’s vast applications in scientific research – on topics ranging from learning sciences, robotics, nano particles to synthetic biology—it seems likely that construction toys have inspired people in many other fields besides just having fun through play.