Brick by Brick: 45 Intriguing Facts about Lego

26Braille Printer

Braille Printer

A 13-year-old boy made a Braille printer out of Legos after discovering that millions of blind people in developing countries buy Braille devices that cost $2000 and weigh 20 lbs. His machine prints braille from computers onto paper using raised dots instead of ink. It weighs a few pounds and costs only $350.

27. Though the name of the company LEGO comes from the Danish phrase “leg godt”, which means “play well,” coincidentally, the Latin word “lego” means “I put together”.

28. The first-ever storage device used by Google was made out of LEGO because it presented an easy way to store several hard drives.

29. The Bionicle line helped save Lego from its financial crisis of the late 1990s, becoming one of its biggest and most successful product lines.

30. LEGO sets are subjected to an “oven test” wherein the bricks are heated to 60 to 70 degrees Celcius. At those temperatures, the bricks change shape slightly which will cause structurally unsound sets to fall apart.

31Lego Shortage

Lego Shortage

Due to the popularity of The Lego Movie which was released in February 2014, there was a shortage of Lego products by the following September.

32. Children develop more creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, and communication skills when they throw away Lego instructions and build things together with others using their own imagination. Routine, manual jobs are increasingly automated, whereas the ‘new work’ is non-routine cognitive.

33. LEGO also used to manufacture “non-brick” wooden toys under the BILOfix brand. Their wooden toy factory burnt down twice: first in the 1940s and second in 1960 when lightning struck it. After this, the team decided to focus on the production of plastic construction sets instead.

34. One study has found that the faces of “Lego” characters have become more conflict-related and angry over the last 30 years.

35. Lego Quatro was the largest-scale LEGO element ever created and was specially designed to endure teething.

36LEGO or Legos

LEGO or Legos

There is a HUGE debate about pluralization for LEGO. Some say an ‘s’ can't be added because it is a proper noun or because it is a Danish word. Others defend their right to add a ‘s’ mostly because when you're eight years old, you don't care.

37. It takes an average of 1.71 days to poop out a LEGO blockhead, based on a six-person, three-day study. The volunteers rated their bowel movements using a Stool Hardness and Transit (SHAT) score. A higher score meant looser and more frequent bowel movements.

38. Lego only started introducing instructions in 1964, a full 30 years after it was invented.

39. In 2009, James May (of Top Gear fame) worked with an architect to build a two-story bungalow out of Lego blocks. The second story held the weight of 5 people.

40. In 2002, several Māori iwi (tribes) from New Zealand challenged Lego’s right to use some of their words to name certain characters, locations, and objects in the Bionicle storyline. As a result, Lego drew up a code of conduct to govern the way it uses folklore to spice up its toys.

41Minifigure Population

Minifigure Population

There are more Lego Minifigures than there are humans on earth.

42. Each Lego piece has a unique identifier and you can order any piece from any set if you know the part number. There are some exceptions though. You can't order pieces from some of the older sets and there are some unique pieces you can't get.

43. Legoland in California isn’t actually owned by Lego. Originally, the Legoland Parks were all built and owned by LEGO, but a few years ago, when LEGO nearly went out of business, they sold the parks to Merlin Entertainment.

44. LEGO model makers rely on solvents to weld blocks together rather than using glue.

45. Nintendo created their own line of plastic building blocks in the 1960s to counter the rising success of LEGO in Japan, called Nintendo Block.