The Legomania

Who has never played Legos at least once in their life?

At least once in our childhood, we will have happened to get our hands on those colored bricks and try to build something, regardless of whether it was complex or not. Now, as much as it can be considered a child's game ... let's not forget that nowadays there are a lot of adults who lose their minds for these blocks thanks to the big advertising campaigns that they do in collaboration with important bodies related to the cinema or to comics.


Let's proceed in order.


First of all: what is a Lego?

As already said before, the Legos are bricks of various sizes that can be interlocked and allow the construction of small structures.

The name is short for two words in the Danish language, leg godt. The meaning of the two words is "to play well".

The Lego Group (whose brand is often graphically rendered as LEGO) is a Danish toy manufacturing company founded in 1932 by Ole Kirk Christiansen.

Ole Kirk Christiansen was a Danish entrepreneur: Born in 1891 in a suburb of Billund, the 13th child of a poor family of farmers from Jutland in the west of Denmark, he worked as a carpenter and, in 1932, he started making wooden toys after losing his job during the Great Depression. Looking for a system to mitigate production costs, he then thought of manufacturing his products by reducing their size, in order to speed up the design process. These miniatures were the inspiration for the production of toys that would soon begin: towing vehicles, piggy banks, miniature cars and trucks. However, it had modest success, also because the families in the area could not afford to buy toys for their children.

In 1934 Christiansen coined the name LEGO for his toys. Later, the company noticed the similarity with the Latin verb lĕgo, with the meaning of "put together", but it is a rather free translation of a verb that is normally translated with "I collect", "I choose", or with a variety of other meanings.

As the use of plastic became widespread, Christiansen introduced it into their own production. The first modular toy was introduced: a decomposable truck, made up of several interlocking elements assembled together. Later, the elements of which the toys were made became real bricks: in 1947, Ole Kirk and Godtfred (his colleague in business) created the very first examples of assemblable plastic bricks.


From then on it was an ups and downs of successes and failures, experiments and disappointments, which however gradually led this man to perfect one of the best-selling toys in the world.


“Legomania” has expanded into areas that go beyond the toy market.

With the renewal of the brand year after year, manufacturers have developed new ideas that have increased its popularity. First of all (as well as the most famous) themed sets, that is special collections that allow amateurs to recreate small scenarios, vehicles or even buildings that are based both on original themes and on famous concepts taken from fictional works or from the reality.

For example, there is a Lego construction set that allows the assembly of the Millenium Falcon from Star Wars with the use of 7,541 pieces.

Or even, a set based exclusively on the Taj Mahal with as many as 6,000 pieces and in fact recommended only for the most expert in editing.

Crazy, right? And you should see how many amazing constructions there are on the market, each crazier than the other. Many people pay lot of money to buy the best sets that the market releases, and the Polish Konrad Pawlus, who entered the Guinness of Records for having the largest collection of Lego figurines, made up of 5,544 elements, is well aware of this.

These bricks are truly amazing, you can practically recreate the whole world!


In this regard, due to the versatility of the buildings, very often real art exhibitions made of Lego are organized around the world: the works of the master builders that are put on display can be differentiated between large dioramas such as those already mentioned, or original constructions that wink at today's modern art.

And in addition to art, bricks are also becoming important in the field of study, particularly in the field of engineering.

It seems more than obvious to me.

The assembly of the pieces requires attention and study, especially for those more complex parts that cannot simply be fitted together. The Technic, was born in 1977 and is dedicated to children from the age of nine, as they are already able to understand the function of gears and mechanical parts. Never before seen brick formats were introduced: such as axles, sprockets, tires, pins and finally, electric motors, which represent the most important part of the series.

And it is precisely in this way that the idea of Legos, seen as simple toys for children, changed radically: young people, stimulated by the passion for engineering, were given the opportunity to build increasingly particular, detailed and able to move models thanks to technology.



However, the success of Lego did not stop at exhibitions and collections.

Over time, particularly with today's technology, the bricks have been digitally converted for video games - more precisely those aimed at younger players - and have also landed in the cinema.

Starting from the idea of themed sets and with the collaboration of the brands that have released the copyrights, numerous video games and films have been created in which characters such as Spider-Man or Superman are transformed into Lego men and with them everything their world. Seeing similar characters with a similar appearance converted was a lot of fun… not for nothing, the first official film “The Lego Movie” was a blockbuster, helping the further relaunch of the product.


In short, Legos are a toy within everyone's reach.

It does not impose an age or gender limit, it allows you to follow instructions or to freely build what you want, mixing everything you want into it.

Over time, industries have stopped producing many toys for one reason or another ... but I doubt these bricks will ever go into oblivion.



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