Perc Tucker Regional Gallery 13 December 2013 - 23 February 2014
LEGO, the LEGO logo, the Minifigure and DUPLO are trademarks of the LEGO Group. Â©2013 The LEGO Group. All rights reserved. Historical information and materials provided by the LEGO Group.
Ryan â€˜The Brickmanâ€™ McNaught
Selected Minifigure Design Entries
Media Reach and Exhibition Statistics
Overview Perc Tucker Regional Gallery’s recent major exhibition Brick by Brick was the region’s largest ever exhibition of LEGO® history and products, and visitors responded in turn; a total of 102,320 visitors and participants engaged with the exhibition during its ten week showing, far surpassing the previous exhibition attendance record for the venue and all expectations. 100, 000+ visitors to a single exhibition is a historic first for a regional Gallery in Queensland and one of only few regional galleries to achieve this milestone nationwide. This is a testament to the enduring popularity of LEGO and also to the quality of the exhibition that was developed. The exhibition has been a cause for celebration; a coup for the city and a significant boost for the region’s arts and cultural sector. It has been rewarding to see such enjoyment directly stemming from Gallery Services’ efforts in developing the show over the last year and a half. However the secret to the exhibition’s success hasn’t been as simple as filling the Gallery with LEGO® bricks. In September 2012, Gallery Services developed a Visual Arts Strategy that would ensure a proactive and holistic strategic approach towards core service-level delivery. The Visual Arts Strategy recognised current changes in societal frameworks, aimed to increase the galleries’ qualitative and quantitative outcomes, and endeavoured to meet the evolving needs of our community. The Strategy identified a host of deliverable programs, many of which challenged the traditional view of a Gallery and its function. These programs would each fit within one of six major themes; Collections Management, Art in Public Spaces, Creative Communities, Creative Classrooms, Creative Spaces, and of course Exhibitions. We sought to increase our genuine engagement with all sections of the community – to break down the stigma of ‘the white box’ - while retaining our commitment to the delivery of high quality fine art, contemporary art and museological exhibitions. Our vision in engaging with a broader cross-section of the community has been validated by the recent adoption of the Arts for all Queenslanders strategy. The method identified as most effective in engaging this broader crosssection was the development of popular culture exhibitions, something that had not previously been done at Perc Tucker. The first cab off the rank was The LEGO® Group – an iconic product that has impacted all of us at one point or another, and provided huge scope to explore its evolving design and extensive history.
The intent of the exhibition was to appeal to both adults and children by concisely charting the product’s development over nine decades, displaying key items that illustrate important milestones, and exploring The LEGO Group’s impact on popular culture, while also ensuring the exhibition is fun, contemporary, engaging and participatory. A partnership with LEGO Australia was pivotal in securing historical information, images and materials, and in negotiating the loan of 53 historical items sent directly from the LEGO Idea House in Billund, Denmark. In a number of instances, it was the first time these objects had left Denmark. These items were carefully complemented by interactive activities, and large-scale sculptures by the Southern Hemisphere’s only LEGO Certified Professional Ryan McNaught, aka The Brickman. Brick by Brick has been a whirlwind of success, built on a commitment to community engagement and quality, and reliant on partnerships to best realise the exhibition vision. It’s a whirlwind we intend to experience again in future years, with more popular culture exhibitions in the works.
Shane Fitzgerald Manager, Gallery Services
Pull-Along Duck 1935
Developed by Townsville’s peak regional gallery with information and materials provided by The LEGO Group, Brick by Brick explored the origins of LEGO® bricks, bringing together the history, design and impact LEGO products have played upon popular culture. The intent of the exhibition was to appeal to all demographics of the community; youth through the incorporation of highly interactive components, and adults through the thorough exploration of the company’s history - allowing visitors to reminisce on their own childhood experiences with the product. Further, the Gallery’s traditional fine art audience were appeased through the extensive research and inclusion of large-scale sculptures created using LEGO bricks.
History and The LEGO Group’s Influence on Popular Culture The exhibition featured 53 historical items which were sent directly from the LEGO Idea House in Billund, Denmark. These items included early products such as the LEGO pull-along duck (1945) and assorted wooden toys, the original System of Play set, through to more recent special edition, limited edition, and memorable LEGO sets. Partnering these rare items were designed timelines and feature didactics which provided an overview of the intriguing history of The LEGO Group; from company founder Ole Kirk Kristiansen’s early trials and tribulations through to the present day.
A fire destroy s the factory and Ole Kirk Kristiansen life’s work. A ’s new toy fact ory is promptly buil t, and he painstakingl y remakes all of the lost des igns himself .
New lette and alph brick LEGO wooden
A particular emphasis was placed on examining the company’s impact on popular culture, and the way it is being impacted by popular culture. This examination lead to the display of works such as The White Stripe’s video clip Fell in Love with a Girl. First plastic
Ole Kirk n Kristianse
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Ole Kirk Kristians
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New LEGO products include a pinball gam e.
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Did You Know? LEGO, the LE
ic Binding Bricks
with box 1949
While Brick by Brick explored the history of The LEGO Group and its significant impact upon popular culture, it was also a participatory, engaging and FUN experience for children and adults alike. The Niche Gallery was transformed into a building centre with LEGO bricks kindly provided by The LEGO Group and LEGO Australia, and a mural developed by local artist Jenny Finn. In this room visitors of all ages were encouraged to explore their imagination and create any myriad of forms using the bricks, before connecting them to the wallmounted baseplates. The creations saw the room grow and evolve throughout the display. The Access Space explored The LEGO Groupâ€™s developments in the digital age, and allowed visitors to play some recent LEGO Video Games. Further interactive components included Ryan McNaughtâ€™s Mystery Mosaic which took form brick by brick, an Activity Booklet to be used while exploring the show, and LEGO Minifigure mask making activities.
Stunning large-scale sculptures by Ryan McNaught illustrated the amazing potential of the LEGO brick. Visitors were not only able to view Ryan’s objects, but meet him and watch him construct Perc Tucker Regional Gallery from LEGO bricks, or work alongside him on set dates at the Gallery and at Willows Shopping Centre. Further details about these activities is included in subsequent sections of this document. The centrepiece of the exhibition was undoubtedly the 4 metre long replica of 1980s television icon The Love Boat. Amazing visitors en masse, this stunning work was complemented by other works such as The Simpsons Donut, The Eyes Have It mosaics, Replica Ming Vase, LEGO Friends Cat and LEGO Friends Rabbit. In order to keep the exhibition fresh, a changeover of Ryan object’s took place in late January 2014, encouraging repeat visitation. New items included his replica of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, James Bond mosaics, and rare completed Star Wars official LEGO sets from McNaught’s personal collection. In February 2014, as part of a partnership with Willows Shopping Centre, McNaught’s ‘Elvis’ Erickson Air Crane was displayed.
At over 4 metres long and more than a metre tall, the work is one of McNaught’s larger creations and involved the use of 100,000+ bricks to overcome some very complex challenges.
Ryan, aka ‘The Brickman’, resides in Melbourne and is the only LEGO® Certified Professional in the Southern Hemisphere. LEGO Certified Professionals is a community-based program made up of adult LEGO Fans who have turned their passion for building and creating with LEGO bricks into a full-time or part-time profession. LEGO Certified Professionals are not LEGO employees, but they are officially recognised by the LEGO Group as trusted business partners. Each LEGO Certified Professional is selected for the program based on his or her building proficiency; enthusiasm for the LEGO brick and building system; and professional approach towards other LEGO fans and the broader public There are only 13 LEGO Certified Professionals in the world. Throughout his career, Ryan has built some uniquely Australian creations and had them displayed all around the world, including a cutaway model of a Qantas Airbus A380 incorporating LEGO MINDSTORMS™ technology. He specialises in making interactive models and getting people to participate in the process. Ryan has won many awards for his models and takes great pleasure in sharing his work with others. He states, “Making interactive models and building experiences is my speciality—building things that people can not only be inspired by but interact with allows an amazing flexibility, giving a remote control or allowing people hands on exposure in the build process really does make for a great experience.” Ryan’s work has included: corporate signage, mosaics, engineering models, sculptures and he is often found at trade shows building models for exhibitors. Ryan is only too happy to accept commissions for truly unique creations. Gallery staff were aware of Ryan’s work prior to the exhibition being conceived, and it was always felt the inclusion of some of his stunning large-scale LEGO brick sculptures would be vital to the exhibition’s success. Ryan has been amazing to work with and truly appreciated by the entire Townsville community. Not only has he loaned some of his eye-catching models and mosaics, such as the 4 metre long model of The Love Boat – he has also delivered workshops for hundreds of children, constructed a scale model of Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, been the guest speaker at the city’s Arts and Cultural program launch, and developed an interactive ‘Mystery Mosaic’ of Sidney Nolan’s famous Ned Kelly painting.
Public Program The public program for Brick by Brick featured a variety of activities programmed across the ten week exhibition offered in addition to the interactive components built-in to the exhibition. These activities included drop-in workshops with Gallery staff in the Gallery and offered in February at Willows Shopping Centre, programmed workshops with Ryan McNaught, and guided tours, which were all provided free for members of the public. To ensure maximum community awareness and engagement, all activities were detailed in a folded, A6 Public Program flyer made available to the public, and a variety of other marketing platforms. Provided opposite is a breakdown of the public programs delivered, and overleaf a selection of images from those activities.
Whilst in Townsville in December, Ryan McNaught conducted two building demonstrations during which the visiting public were able to view him construct a scale model of the Perc Tucker Regional Gallery from LEGO bricks.
A range of drop-in workshops expanding on themes and ideas explored within the exhibition were facilitated by Gallery Services’ Education and Programs Team throughout the exhibition. Dropin Workshops were offered at both Perc Tucker Regional Gallery and Willows Shopping Centre.
A range of booked workshops were facilitated by Gallery Services’ Education and Programs Team and Ryan McNaught throughout the exhibition. Booked Workshops were offered at both Perc Tucker Regional Gallery and Willows Shopping Centre, and included LEGO Minifigure-inspired Masks, Brick by Brick baking, LEGO Animations, and building lessons with the Southern Hemisphere’s only Certified LEGO Professional Ryan McNaught
Exhibition tours led by Gallery Services’ Education and Programs Team were provided both to booking groups including a range of School classes, School Holiday and After School Care groups - and were advertised to take place at set times on selected days for the general public.
Instances Total Participation
Documentation Included on this page are a selection of images from the exhibition space, depicting the selection of objects and wealth of information displayed within Brick by Brick. These images were taken by Gallery Services staff during the exhibition period, 13 December 2013 - 23 February 2014.
Competitions Run in conjunction with Brick by Brick were a series of in-Gallery competitions designed to provide incentives for children to engage with the exhibition and develop their creative thinking. Further, a highly successful competition was undertaken through Townsville’s major newspaper, the Townsville Bulletin, to broadly promote the exhibition. The competition was run for ten days split over two separate weeks during the exhibition, and encouraged readers of the Townsville Bulletin to find a hidden LEGO® Minifigure and enter a code word. Further evidence of the popularity of the exhibition, and moreover of LEGO products in the community, the competitions were reported to be amongst the most successful to have been run by the Townsville Bulletin. A full breakdown of the competitions developed for Brick by Brick is provided below.
Find the LEGO® Minifigure and WIN! Competition in conjunction with Townsville Bulletin Total entrants: Total prizes: Competition dates:
3500+ 10 Sat Dec 14 - Thurs Dec 19 2013 / Sat 8 - Thurs 13 Feb 2014
The competition saw entrants locate a hidden LEGO® Minifigure in the pages of the daily Townsville Bulletin, and visit the newspaper’s website to enter a codeword and provide contact details. The first 5 drawn winners each received an official LEGO set to the value of between $15.99RRP to $99.99RRP collected from Perc Tucker Regional Gallery.
LEGOÂŽ Minifigure Design Competition Competition run within the exhibition space Categories: 6 - 8 years 9 - 11 years 12+ years Total entrants: 99 Total prizes: 6 Competition dates: Fri Dec 13 2013 - 17 Jan 2014 The competition encouraged children to design their own set of three LEGO Minifigures for a chance to win a mystery LEGO set. Two winners were selected from each of the three sections. Entries were judged on originality and artistic ability.
Writing Competition Competition run within the exhibition space Categories: 6 - 8 years 9 - 11 years 12+ years Total entrants: 49 Total prizes: 6 Competition dates: Fri Dec 13 2013 - 14 Feb 2014 The competition asked visitors to write about their first LEGOÂŽ set, or imagine a new LEGO set and describe it. There were two winners for each section, and entries were judged on creativity and originality. Winners received a mystery LEGO set.
Selected Minifigure Design Entries The Minifigure Design Competitions unearthed many talented young artists in the Townsville community, and many great ideas for The LEGOÂŽ Group to consider! Here are a sample of some of our favourite designs.
Sponsors Brick by Brick was organised and funded by Gallery Services, Townsville City Council, with the generous support of numerous sponsors and supporters enabling the organisation to go above and beyond in the delivery of the exhibition. This additional support has greatly assisted Gallery Services in providing an exhibition that has delighted the general public and attracted impressive numbers of visitors. Gallery Services wishes to thank all of the sponsors and supporters involved for their invaluable contributions. Sponsors and supporters of Brick by Brick were:
Development Supporter Perc Tucker Regional Gallery gratefully acknowledges the contribution of The LEGO® Group, and LEGO Australia Pty Ltd for assistance in the development of the show, provision of items for display, and in-kind support through the donation of prizes to be disseminated to the public through a variety of competitions. LEGO Group Archives, LEGO Ideas House – and in particular Tine Froberg Mortensen, Records Manager LEGO Group Archives – are also gratefully acknowledged for the provision of endorsed text, and research and historical contribution.
Outreach Activity Sponsor $10,000 Outreach Activity Sponsor enabling the delivery of drop-in workshops and display of Ryan McNaught’s ‘Elvis’ Erickson S-64 Air-Crane N179AC within the Willows Shopping Centre.
In-kind Sponsor In-kind accommodation sponsor, which assisted Perc Tucker Regional Gallery in bringing Ryan McNaught to Townsville for significant periods of time to deliver workshops for the general public.
Sponsor and supporter of a hugely successful Find the LEGO® Minifigure and WIN! competition.
Volunteers The contribution of volunteers to the delivery of Brick by Brick was significant. A multi-faceted, highly engaging exhibition that attracted record numbers of visitors necessitated the assistance of high volumes of Gallery Services’ skilled and friendly volunteers to maintain the exhibition space to the highest standards. Brick by Brick involved the contribution of 66 volunteers, who completed 195 shifts totalling 799.5 hours of service across all areas of the exhibition, namely: • • • •
Visitor Experience Administration Public Programs Exhibition Installation, Maintenance and Demount
As the friendly frontline fielding enquiries from the public, and the representatives responsible for the immediate maintenance of the appearance and standard of the display space, the participating volunteers made an invaluable contribution to a hugely successful community event.
Feedback As is to be expected with a show attracting over 100,000 visitors, Brick by Brick also generated a record amount of visitor feedback. As well as the countless verbal compliments received by staff during the exhibition’s showing, there were 1127 written comments left in the guest books at the gallery entrance. Staggeringly, 99.46% of these comments were glowing accounts of the experiences had by our visitors. A sample of the comments is below and opposite, illustrating the immense appreciation of the exhibition. Of equal significance was feedback received from CBD Traders, who expressed gratitude for the organisation of an exhibition that boosted visitation to the CBD precinct, and in-turn positively impacted their businesses. This feedback validates the long-held and much-researched belief that the activation of spaces through the delivery of high quality arts and cultural activity provides broad economic benefits. ++
“Brought back many childhood memories - awesome exhibit. Thank you for bringing it to Townsville.”
Hanne - Townsville
“I really like the mosaic. I don’t ever want you to close!”
Jewel - Brisbane
“Awesome - after whetting my appetite in LA at LegoLand, this is just what I needed to feel better.”
A.Smith - Townsville
++ “Fantastic! An exhibition for all ages! Interactive and amazing! Should be more for Townsville! Well done!! Bring it back again? LEGO-Amazing!”
Warren and Sarah - Townsville
“My jaw still hasn’t risen from the floor”
Nick - Perth
“Fantastic! Our students enjoyed this display so much - something for everyone - so inclusive! Thankyou!”
TCLC - Townsville
“Great display. Worth the trip from Cairns.”
Trav - Cairns
“We loved it - you did a great job. Loved to see how both kids, youngs, adults and olds enjoy LEGO next time - make it bigger.”
Lisa and Thomas - Denmark
“This is wonderful! Kids had a great time. Will be back again during the holidays.”
Gabrielle - Townsville
++ “Stunned! How does someone have the patience? Teach me your ways!”
Amber - Townsville
++ “Wow! Grew up with LEGO! Amazing to see an exhibition like this.”
Connor - UK
“Absolutely fantastic. Great joy for kids of all ages.”
Starborough - Townsville
“Was awesome! Loved seeing all the artworks and learning about the history. Thankyou.”
Maria - Townsville
“Fantastic combination of interaction and information. Will return soon! Thanks.”
Alice - Townsville
“A brilliant look at the history of LEGO. The play sections were a hit with the kids.”
Dan - Townsville
“A fantastic display of this delightful interactive toy. Enjoyed by children of all ages.”
“Took me back in time. Lovely, helpful staff. Variety of activities - the grandchildren loved it.”
Sue Saffey - Wollongong
“Worth the 20 hour flight!”
Joshua, Jennifer, Jamie, David and Daniel - Canada
Ross and Wendy Whiley - Ayr
Media Reach and Exhibition Statistics A key component in achieving the overwhelming visitation figures for Brick by Brick was the phenomenal reach the exhibition received through the Galleryâ€™s social media channels and traditional media avenues such as newspaper, television and cinema advertising. The following data provides a succinct overview of the reach and social media activity of the exhibition leading up to and during the exhibitionâ€™s display.
Throughout Brick by Brick there were...
over 1 million LEGO bricks on display
90 public programs & workshops delivered to 5542+ participants
Perc Tucker Regional Gallery Facebook page likes increase
Pre - Exhbition Advertising
Dates of Brick by Brick
13/12/2013 Brick by Brick Open
Brick by Brick Closed Total unique engagements from Facebook during Brick by Brick equaled 100,312
4000 Pre-Opening Advertising
Brick by Brick Display Christmas Holiday Closure
Total estimated reach: 15,458 Twitter users Users who shared and interacted with our tweets and the amount of followers they exposed our content to.
@living_in_art @TCC_News @ItsGavinMacLeod @Lego_News1 @minimalist_art @TCC_PercTucker
66 volunteers contributed:
and 799.5 hours
102,320 visitors Through utilising Hashtags such as
Townsville Region Interstate
#BrickbyBrick #LEGO and #TheBrickMan Tweets were spread globally via a varied set of users. During the exhibiton Gavin MacLeod, Televisionâ€™s Captain Stubing from The Love Boat, interacted and shared some images that were shared by users and the gallery itself.
Double page spread article and images in November edition of DUO Magazine
Inclusion in Gallery Services’ 2014 Major Exhibitions Program, distribution of 5,000
News article in November City Update, disseminated to Townsville residents
Billboard advertisement throughout exhibition
Listing on Australian Tourism Data Warehouse
Cinema Advertising 14 December 2013 - 14 January 2014
Full page advertisement in Carols by Candlelight songbook, distribution of 55,000
Townsville Bulletin ‘Find the LEGO Minifigure and WIN!’ competition, advertisements and hidden Minifigure on separate pages in newspaper for 10 days throughout exhibition
Multiple posts on Townsville City Council Events facebook and twitter accounts
Numerous posts on Perc Tucker Regional Gallery’s facebook and twitter accounts
Dedicated exhibition webpage on the Townsville City Council website throughout the duration of the exhibition, with prominent links on the website’s frontpage
3 x dedicated Brick by Brick enews disseminated to Gallery Services’ contact lists, distribution of 4,500
Inclusion in Perc Tucker Regional Gallery’s December enews ‘Foreword’, distribution of 750
Inclusion in Perc Tucker Regional Gallery’s January enews ‘Foreword’, distribution of 750
Inclusion in Perc Tucker Regional Gallery’s February enews ‘Foreword’, distribution of 750
Large format posters displayed in Willows Shopping Centre
Promotion on ABC North Queensland local radio
Interviews and promotion on 4TOfm local radio
Promotion on HOTfm local radio
Ryan ‘The Brickman’ McNaught special guest presentation at Townsville City Council’s 2014 ‘Experience it Live’ Arts, Culture and Events gala launch
3 x news stories on WIN local news
3 x news stories on Channel 7 local news
Television advertisement through December-January
Large format exhibition promotional banners on Perc Tucker Regional Gallery frontage
Promotional posters displayed in Townsville City Council event display panels throughout Flinders Street
A3 folded Brick by Brick public programs flyer, distribution of 3,000
Brick by Brick ‘Coming Soon’ A3 poster, distribution of 500
Brick by Brick generic A3 promotional poster, distribution of 500
Staff email footers
National industry coverage as detailed in the following section, page 34
Listings in December, January and February editions of PakMag, Townsville’s free parenting and kids magazine, distribution of 30,000
Direct promotion to Australian and international LEGO forums and fan clubs
Listing in November/December Arts Guide Australia
Double page spread article and images in November edition of DUO Magazine
Townsville Bulletin ‘Experience It Live’ advertisement in Townsville Eye weekend lifestyle liftout, 30 November 2013
Townsville Bulletin Ryan McNaught article, 7 December 2013
Townsville Bulletin ‘What’s On’ listing and image in Townsville Eye weekend lifestyle liftout, 7 December 2013
Townsville Bulletin Brick by Brick article, 11 December 2013
Townsville Bulletin ‘Weekend Planner’ listing and image, 13 December 2013
Townsville Bulletin ‘What’s On’ listing and image in Townsville Eye weekend lifestyle liftout, 14 December 2013
Townsville Bulletin ‘Experience It Live’ advertisement in Townsville Eye weekend lifestyle liftout, 14 December 2013
Townsville Bulletin ‘Weekend Planner’ listing and image, 20 December 2013
Townsville Bulletin ‘What’s On’ listing and image in Townsville Eye weekend lifestyle liftout, 21 December 2013
Townsville Bulletin ‘Experience It Live’ advertisement in Townsville Eye weekend lifestyle liftout, 28 December 2013
Exhibition listing in January edition of DUO Magazine
Townsville Bulletin ‘Weekend Planner’ listing and image, 10 January 2014
Townsville Bulletin ‘What’s On’ listing and image in Townsville Eye weekend lifestyle liftout, 11 January 2014
Townsville Bulletin ‘Weekend Planner’ listing and image, 17 January 2014
Townsville Bulletin ‘What’s On’ listing in Townsville Eye weekend lifestyle liftout, 18 January 2014
Townsville Bulletin ‘Experience It Live’ advertisement in Townsville Eye weekend lifestyle liftout, 18 January 2014
Townsville Bulletin ‘What’s On’ listing in Townsville Eye weekend lifestyle liftout, 25 January 2014
Townsville Bulletin ‘Experience It Live’ advertisement in Townsville Eye weekend lifestyle liftout, 25 January 2014
Townsville Bulletin Brick by Brick article, 28 January 2014
Townsville Bulletin ‘What’s On’ listing in Townsville Eye weekend lifestyle liftout, 1 February 2014
Townsville Bulletin ‘What’s On’ listing and image in Townsville Eye weekend lifestyle liftout, 1 February 2014
Townsville Bulletin ‘What’s On’ listing in Townsville Eye weekend lifestyle liftout, 8 February 2014
Townsville Bulletin ‘Weekend Planner’ listing and image, 21 February 2014
Townsville Bulletin ‘Experience It Live’ advertisement in Townsville Eye weekend lifestyle liftout, 22 February 2014
Townsville Bulletin ‘What’s On’ listing in Townsville Eye weekend lifestyle liftout, 22 February 2014
Townsville Bulletin Brick by Brick article, 24 February 2014
Double page spread article and images in March edition of DUO Magazine
National Exposure As well as attracting record numbers of visitors, Brick by Brick also generated national discussion and assisted in positioning Townsville as a destination of vibrant arts and cultural events. Visitation from not only around the country, but also the world, evidenced the exhibition’s ability to contribute significantly to cultural tourism in the region. Many staff fielded email and phone enquiries from interested persons, a number of which were from arts and museum peers enquiring if the show would tour and how they could access it. Beyond the strategic local advertisting and media campaign, the exhibition was also celebrated in the following national industry related materials: • Article in Creative Foyer’s national e-publication ARTiculate • Museum and Gallery Services Queensland (MAGSQ) blog entry http://magsq.wordpress.com/2014/02/10/perc-tucker regional-gallery-townsville-lego-exhibition-smashes-attendance records/ • What’s On e-bulletin Article distributed nationally by Artshub • Arts Queensland blog entry: pictured opposite: http://www.arts.qld.gov.au/blog/index.php/brick-by-brick/
Exhibition Interpretation As previously detailed, Brick by Brick incorporated a significant amount of written and historical material in the form of Feature and Timeline didactics. To generate these informative panels, Perc Tucker Regional Gallery sought and gratefully acknowledges the contribution of LEGO Group Archives, LEGO Ideas House â€“ and in particular Tine Froberg Mortensen, Records Manager LEGO Group Archives â€“ for the provision of endorsed text, and research and historical contributions.
Further information was also extracted from the following texts and sources: • • • •
The LEGO Book. Daniel Lipkowitz. Standing Small: A celebration of 30 years of the LEGO™ Minifigure. Nevin Martell. Toy of the Century. Jette Orduna, Head of LEGO Idea House and LEGO Charity. www.lego.com
Copies of the 10 Feature and 9 Timeline didactics are appended in the following spreads.
• Toy of the Century. Jette Orduna, Head of LEGO Idea House and LEGO Charity.
• Standing Small: A celebration of 30 years of the LEGO™ Minifigure. Nevin Martell.
• The LEGO Book. Daniel Lipkowitz.
Further information is also extracted from the following texts and sources:
Perc Tucker Regional Gallery gratefully acknowledges the contribution of LEGO Group Archives, LEGO Ideas House – and in particular Tine Froberg Mortensen, Records Manager LEGO Group Archives – for the provision of endorsed text, and research and historical contribution.
Partnering these rare items are timelines and feature didactics which provide an overview of the intriguing history of The LEGO Group; from company founder Ole Kirk Kristiansen’s early trials and tribulations through to the present day.
The exhibition features 52 historical items which have been sent directly from the LEGO Idea House in Billund, Denmark. These items include early products such as the LEGO pull-along duck (1945) and assorted wooden toys, the original System of Play set, through to more recent special edition, limited edition, and memorable LEGO sets.
Developed by Townsville’s peak regional gallery with information and materials provided by The LEGO Group, Brick by Brick explores the origins of LEGO® bricks, bringing together the history, design and impact LEGO products have played upon popular culture.
Townsville City Council
• Ryan McNaught aka The Brickman, LEGO® Certified Professional
• The LEGO Group and LEGO Australia Pty Ltd
• Willows Shopping Centre
Perc Tucker Regional Gallery would like to acknowledge an express our gratitude to the following individuals and organisations that have assisted us in realising the development of this exhibition:
Welcome to Brick by Brick, the largest ever exhibition of LEGO® history and products in Townsville.
BRICK by BRICK
LEGO, the LEGO logo, the Minifigure and DUPLO are trademarks of the LEGO Group. ©2013 The LEGO Group. All rights reserved. Historical information and materials provided by the LEGO Group.
The Access Space explores The LEGO Group’s developments in the digital age, and allows visitors to play some recent LEGO Video Games.
The Niche Gallery is transformed into a building centre with LEGO bricks kindly provided by The LEGO Group and LEGO Australia, and a mural developed by local artist Jenny Finn. In this room visitors of all ages are encouraged to explore their imagination and create any myriad of forms using the bricks, before connecting them to the wall-mounted baseplates.
While Brick by Brick explores the history of The LEGO Group and its significant impact on popular culture, it is also a participatory, engaging and FUN experience for children and adults alike.
Stunning large-scale sculptures by the southern hemisphere’s only LEGO Certified Professional Ryan McNaught, aka The Brickman, are also included in Brick by Brick, illustrating the amazing potential of the brick. Visitors can not only view Ryan’s objects, but meet him and watch him construct Perc Tucker Regional Gallery from LEGO bricks, or work alongside him on set dates at the Gallery and at Willows Shopping Centre. To find out more about these opportunities and how to book your place, please ask at reception.
What potential is there for system and ideas? Godtfred Kirk Christiansen makes a critical appraisal of the company’s
Not unnaturally, the two talk about the toy business. “What an industry this is – no system of any kind whatsoever!” is the purchasing manager’s complaint. The words send Godtfred Kirk Christiansen’s mind racing, and as a toy manufacturer he takes up the challenge: How to bring ‘system’ to the world of play.
In 1954 Godtfred Kirk Christiansen visits a toy exhibition in Britain. On the trip he meets Troels Petersen, who had been recently appointed purchasing manager for Magasin du Nord’s toy department in Copenhagen.
A chance remark by a Copenhagen buyer sets Godtfred Kirk Christiansen thinking about how to bring a system to the world of play.
The challenge: How to bring ‘system’ to the world of play
System of Play
After inventing the tube solution, Godtfred Kirk Christiansen is anxious in case competitors come up with similar answers. The ingenious interlocking principle has to be properly protected. For this purpose, at 13:58 January 28, 1958 an application is submitted for “a patent in Denmark for a toy building element”, accompanied by manufactured elements and drawings showing every conceivable ‘internal’ interlocking option.
Mould Production experiments with ribs and grooves, which improves the clutch power but not nearly enough. One series of tests has a tube at each end of an 8 stud brick, but that too is insufficient. Eventually, the three tube arrangement we know today proves to be the perfect solution.
The problem with the LEGO brick is its clutch power – or more accurately, its lack of. There are many complaints from the German market, and competitors are moving in.
The LEGO System’s basic element – the LEGO brick – needs improving in order to live up to the product idea and the company’s quality standard. But how?
A technical solution – nothing short of brilliant – working towards a patent
Godtfred Kirk Christiansen’s thoughts on developing a System of Play are crystallised in six points which it is important to know in order that the seller can grasp the idea from the outset. This sales strategy is unusual in the 1950s. Godtfred Kirk Christiansen expands his thinking behind the new System of Play toys with the words: “Our idea has been to create a toy that prepares the child for life – appealing to its imagination and developing the creative urge and joy of creation that are the driving force in every human being.”
“Grab the idea and help raise play to a new level”
The idea is for children to build houses out of LEGO bricks. The Town Plan range is designed to create a more realistic urban environment, and is a particularly relevant play theme at a time when motoring is on the increase, and the child must learn to negotiate traffic.
After a period of concentrated development, the first system product – ‘LEGO System of Play’ with Town Plan no. 1 – is launched in 1955.
Launching ‘LEGO® System of Play’
total product range. Every item in both plastic and wood, totalling more than 200 products, is carefully assessed. Only LEGO® bricks - small plastic elements - fire his imagination as they can be developed into a toy system and can be massproduced. These simple pieces of plastic, while individually not particularly eyecatching, can become anything and everything in the world through the power of a child’s imagination – again and again.
LEGO, the LEGO logo, the Minifigure and DUPLO are trademarks of the LEGO Group. ©2013 The LEGO Group. All rights reserved. Historical information and materials provided by the LEGO Group.
1. LEGO System of Play box 2. Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen playing with the LEGO System of Play Town Plan no. 1, 1955 3. LEGO System of Play Town Plan no. 1, 1955 4. The patent to the improved LEGO brick and its building system, registered in 33 countries worldwide
After the paint jobs, arms are attached to the torsos and hands are put into the arms, while legs are snapped onto the hip piece. Finally, all these pieces are bagged, ready for the LEGO builder to put together. Originally, LEGO minifigures came assembled, but now the parts are kept separate so that children get the joy of building their minifigures.
Knudsen went back to the drawing board and came up with 50 new prototypes. He began by carving
Heads and torsos always require further decoration and sometimes the arms and legs do as well. This meticulous printing process is why the LEGO Minifigure is the most expensive part of any set.
LEGO Minifigures are made out of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, or ABS, a tough plastic compound that makes LEGO minifigures durable. This plastic is melted into specially designed moulds that produce the different parts of the minifigure—head, torso, arms, hands, legs, hips, and the accessories like swords, shovels and walkie talkies.
Construction of the LEGO Minifigure
In the mid-1970s LEGO® system designer Jens Nygaard Knudsen and a team of colleagues conceived the first version of the minifigure. He sawed and filed down existing bricks to create a prototype minifigure made of a single inflexible piece with no hands or facial expressions.
The Origins of the LEGO Minifigure
But a lot has changed in 30 years. In 2003, LEGO Minifigures were given realistic skin tones, facial expressions, and moulded hair when they represented real people or named characters from movies or TV series—starting with LEGO Minifigures in the LEGO Sports NBA Basketball theme and continuing with the licensed series.
The first LEGO® Minifigures in 1978 were based on archetypal characters such as spacemen, policemen, nurses, and knights and were facially identical—yellow skin, two black dots for eyes, and a wide smile—in order to represent people from anywhere in the world.
Following the overwhelming success of the LEGO® System of Play, the company marked the dawning of a new era with the introduction of the first LEGO figures in the late 1970s. They represented a whole new concept that added personality and themes according to the rules set by children themselves.
The dawning of a new era
The LEGO® Minifigure
LEGO, the LEGO logo, the Minifigure and DUPLO are trademarks of the LEGO Group. ©2013 The LEGO Group. All rights reserved. Historical information and materials provided by the LEGO Group.
1. The first LEGO Minifigure, 1978 2. LEGO system designer Jens Nygard Knudsen, who conceived the first version of the LEGO Minifigure 3. Various LEGO Minifigure prototypes 4. LEGO factory production line manufacturing LEGO Minifigures 5. Decorating LEGO Minifigure heads, 1980 6. LEGO Superman™ Minifigure 7. A fan-made customised Minifigure resembling Abraham Lincoln
Launched in 1975 this was the forerunner to the LEGO Minifigure
Prototype torso decoration
These prototype “red woman” LEGO Minifigures demonstrate the first use of the hair accessory and the slightly angled torso, which allowed designers to create arms that could swing up and down.
The LEGO Minifigure made its debut in 1978 in LEGO set 600, which featured a policeman and his patrol car. An icon was born and role play was added to the LEGO play experience.
bricks again, but later abandoned this approach and cast his more refined concepts in tin. These new versions were leaps and bounds beyond his originals—they had eyes and a smile, hands that could grip accessories, and their legs and arms could move.
No one knew just how popular these customised minifigures would become, but overs the years MOCs (My Own Creations) have become a vital part of the LEGO fan experience. Go online these days and you will see thousands of these one-of-a-kind minifigures. To view some of the amazing MOCs that have been created, use your phone to scan the QR code below:
As soon as LEGO Minifigures made their debut in 1978, fans started customising them. They created completely new characters using official LEGO parts and then adding their own stickers, paint jobs, and handmade accessories. Suddenly a banker’s torso with a formal black jacket might be used to make an Abraham Lincoln minifigure.
Not only are LEGO Minifigures perhaps the most diverse toys in the world, they’re also the fastest growing. Every second, 3.9 LEGO Minifigures are sold, which means over 122 million are sold every year, with over 4 billion in existence. At 12 times the population of the United States and 66 times the population of the UK, LEOG Minifigures represent the biggest population in the world. There are so many of them in the world that they would fill 170 swimming pools.
LEGO Minifigures have digital lives now as well: Computer-animated versions with greater articulation and mobility than real LEGO Minifigures appear in short films such as Star Wars™-inspired Revenge of the Brick and as playable characters in videogames including LEGO Star Wars™: The Video Game, LEGO Indiana Jones™: The Original Adventures, and LEGO Batman™: The Video Game.
LEGO Minifigures have gone global and their ranks have grown to include over 2,500 different characters from around the world—and beyond! Now there are LEGO Minifigures for movie characters like Harry Potter™, Darth Vader™, and Indiana Jones™, as well as original LEGO creations like Johnny Thunder, Captain Brickbeard, and the LEGO EXO-FORCE™ character Hikaru.
Since its creation in 1934, the LEGO® logo has undergone many changes. By 1953,
The LEGO logo
Creativity Creativity is the ability to come up with ideas and things that are new, surprising and valuable. Systematic creativity is a particular form of creativity that combines logic and reasoning with playfulness and imagination.
Values: Imagination Curiosity asks why and imagines explanations or possibilities (if.. then). Playfulness asks what if and imagines how the ordinary becomes extraordinary, fantasy or fiction. (role play - Imagine I’m a fireman). Free play is how children develop their imagination – the foundation for creativity.
Spirit: Only the best is good enough
Mission: Inventing the future of play
Vision: Inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow
Part of the reason LEGO® toys have become so successful is the clear and defined understanding of its vision, mission, spirit and values, as well as its branding evolution and continual evolution. The LEGO Brand Framework shows clearly and unequivocally what The LEGO Group’s vision, mission, motto and values are, thus gathering the whole ethos of the LEGO brand in one place.
Vision, Mission, Motto and Values
The LEGO® Brand
Quality From a reputation for manufacturing excellence to becoming trusted by all – we believe in quality that speaks for itself and earns us the recommendation of all. For us quality means the challenge of continuous improvement to be the best toy, the best for children and their development and the best to our community and partners.
Caring Caring is about the desire to make a positive difference in the lives of children, for our partners, colleagues and the world we find ourselves in, and considering their perspective in everything we do. Going the extra mile for other people, not because we have to – but because it feels right and because we care. Caring is about humility – not thinking less of ourselves, but thinking of ourselves less.
Learning Learning is about opportunities to experiment, improvise and discover – expanding our thinking and doing (hands-on, minds-on), helping us see and appreciate multiple perspectives. Playful learning is about giving in to one’s curiosity and giving form to one’s imagination through play and by making something, resulting in new, surprising and valuable understanding.
Fun Fun is the happiness we experience when we are fully engaged in something (hard fun) that requires mastery, when our abilities are in balance with the challenge at hand and we are making progress towards a goal. Fun is being active together, the thrill of an adventure, the joyful enthusiasm of children and the delight in surprising both yourself and others in what you can do or create.
1 - 20. The evolution of the LEGO logo through the years
what was affectionately nicknamed the ”sausage logo”—round, black-outlined white letters, and a red background—already resembled today’s distinctive brand. By the early 1970s, the LEGO logo looked almost as it does today; a slight modification in 1988 brought it up to date.
LEGO Island LEGO Chess LEGO Creator LEGO Loco LEGO Racers LEGO Rock Raiders LEGOLAND LEGO Friends LEGO Alpha Team LEGO Creator: Knights Kingdom LEGO My Style Kindergarten LEGO My Style Preschool LEGO Stunt Rally BIONICLE: Tales of the Tohunga
Title 1997 1998 1998 1998 1999 1999 1999 1999 2000 2000 2000 2000 2000 2001
Below is a complete list of LEGO Video Game titles released to date, ordered chronologically:
Over 45 LEGO video games have been created in total, for platforms including PC, Mac, PlayStation 1, Nintendo 64, Game Boy Colour, PlayStation 2, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo Game Cube, Xbox, Nintendo DS, PlayStation Portable, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, Playstation 3, Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation Vita, Nintendo Wii U, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, with titles also increasingly available on iOS and Android phones in response to the considerable growth in the smart phone market since 2007.
From LEGO® Island to famous licenses like Star Wars™ and Batman™, LEGO video games have been letting fans race, adventure, and play in the worlds of LEGO bricks for over 15 years.
LEGO® Video Games
Keeping up in the Digital Age
Big Name Games The LEGO Group’s biggest successes in the video games field have definitely been its games based on licensed properties. With four LEGO® Star Wars™ titles and other familiar names including Batman™, Indiana Jones™, Harry Potter™, and Pirates of the Caribbean™, they present well-known stories and characters with a uniquely silly LEGO twist.
Perhaps the most unusual title from this era was LEGO Friends (1999), which had no relation to the play themed setsand also had little to do with bricks or building, instead enabling players to arrange music and dance routines for a band of teenaged friends.
Following on from the success of this PC title, a host of titles such as LEGO Chess, LEGO Loco, and LEGO Creator were released in the years leading up to the turn of the millenium. These titles had simple concepts as The LEGO Group found its feet in the digital realm; LEGO Chess gave you the option of playing chess with a Western or a Pirates theme, LEGO Creator let you build with standard pieces of special ’Action Bricks’ and then bring your models to animated life, and in LEGO Loco you could build a town and railway system.
The one that started it all was LEGO Island (1997), in which players were introduced to pizza boy Pepper Roni, the deconstructing Brickster, and an islandfull of fun missions.
LEGO Creator: Harry Potter LEGO Island 2 The Brickster’s Revenge LEGO Racers 2 BIONICLE: Matoran Adventures Drome Racers Island Xtreme Stunts LEGO Creator: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets LEGO Soccer Mania BIONICLE: The Game LEGO Knights’ Kingdom BIONICLE: Maze of Shadows LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game BIONICLE Heroes LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga LEGO Batman: The Videogame LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures LEGO Battles LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues LEGO Rock Band LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1–4 LEGO Universe LEGO Battles: Ninjago LEGO Creationary LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5–7 LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes LEGO The Lord of the Rings LEGO City Undercover LEGO City Undercover: The Chase Begins LEGO Legends of Chima Online LEGO Legends of Chima: Laval’s Journey LEGO Legends of Chima: Speedorz LEGO Marvel Super Heroes LEGO Ninjago: The Final Battle
2001 2001 2001 2002 2002 2002 2002 2002 2003 2004 2005 2005 2006 2006 2007 2008 2008 2009 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2011 2011 2011 2012 2012 2013 2013 2013 2013 2013 2013 2013
1. LEGO Friends for Nintendo™ DS 2. LEGO Island cover 3. Screen-shot from LEGO® Superheroes™ 4. Concept drawing and realtime 3D of LEGO Friends
The Publicity Machine Now the game is in full production, and it’s up to the marketing and promotional teams to decide how to introduce it to the world, whether through magazines, online, or other media. Screenshots, trailers, interviews, and playable demos are released in the months leading up to the game’s debut to whet the public’s appetite.
Kid Testing Now it;s time for the biggest test of all: will kids like it? Kid testing is important because new players may notice problems with gameplay that the designers have missed. Thanks to their feedback, the team can create a better game for everybody.
From Paper to Pixels: Some of the initial illustrated designs make it into the game, while others are changed or removed if they don’t seem quite right. The result is a ’First Playable’ prototype that lets the designers test their ideas in a simpler version of the game.
Early Concepts: Once the game’s key features are decided, it’s time to create a concept framework. A small team of programmers and designers works on new abilities and functions for the game, while the art and animation teams work up ideas for the characters, the environments they’ll inhabit, and the game’s storyline.
What goes in the mix? It all starts when the game developers work together with the LEGO Group to find the characters and worlds that would work best for a new game. They boil the chosen LEGO theme down to its most important elements, and then the development and publishing teams meet to discuss the best way to blend them together.
Making a LEGO Video Game
Particularly through licensed games, The LEGO Group has also followed children into the digital age, producing a number of video games and products for various digital platforms.
The production of the Ferguson Tractor – one of the company’s biggest early successes in plastic –coincided with the increasing popularity of industrialised farming in Europe. This meant that the Ferguson Tractor arrived during a time when more and more families were switching from horses to tractors, making it a musthave toy for the 1950s child.
The production of toys such as the 1958 260 VW Beetle, and the focus on motorvehicles and town planning, beginning with the introduction of the System of Play right through to the 1970s, reflected broader society’s fascination with the motorvehicle at the time.
LEGO Space had rockets, rovers and lunar bases, and followed hot on the heals of the Space Race, which had captivated the globe and primed a new generation of children who wanted to grow up to become astronauts. With these sets, The LEGO Group were enabling imaginative children to get one step closer to their dream.
LEGO® Town continued to allow children to play with building, cars, roads, and trucks; the introduction of LEGO Castle had medieval knights, kings and fortresses.
The introduction of Play Themes in 1978 allow The LEGO Group to further tap into the imagination of children; respond to popular subjects at the time with highly engaging sets populated by the brand-new, fully posable minifigure.
Responding to trends
While the LEGO Group and its creative teams have been very astute at tracking and responding to
...And setting them
One of the big successes, with the world swept up in the book and film phenomenon, has been LEGO® Harry Potter™. The theme began in 2001 with the theatrical release of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and featured sets based on the entire Harry Potter film series. Starring the movies’ characters, the models conjured an enchanted world of moving staircases, hidden rooms, and magical creatures.
Right from the very beginning, the LEGO Group has evolved in response to the wants and needs of each new generation of children.
However, with the LEGO® brick and the diverse interests of children both presenting boundless opportunities to explore, the company would evolve dramatically to allow it to both respond to and set trends, and cement its place in popular culture.
However, in 1999, with the release of LEGO® Star Wars™, licensed LEGO themes really took off. Since then, we’ve seen LEGO® Batman™, LEGO® Mickey Mouse™, LEGO® Spongebob Squarepants™, LEGO® Marvel Superheroes™, LEGO® DC Superheroes™, LEGO® Indiana Jones™, and LEGO® Lord of the Rings™.
Remaining relevant through the ages
The LEGO Group and Popular Culture
1. LEGO® Ferrari F1, 2003 2. LEGO® Harry Potter™ 4758 Hogwarts Express, 2004 3. LEGO® brick backpack with zippered stud pockets
It was only a matter of time before LEGO sets started to branch out into some of the biggest licenses around. The LEGO Group’s very first licensed Disney products were a set of inflatable bathing rings released in 1956, featuring characters like Mickey Mouse and Lady from Lady and the Tramp. That same year, a painted wooden pull-along toy of Mickey’s faithful pooch Pluto was manufactured by the company’s wooden toy department, along with a rifle, musket, and cabin based on Disney’s new Davy Crockett film. And as early as the 1970s, the company was making branded gas station models and airlines were selling LEGO kits of their jets.
These LEGO Sports sets featured a host of popular sports, from soccer to basketball, hockey to extreme sports, and featured iconic teams and players. In 2004, Italian sports car manufacturer Ferrari S.p.A. joined the LEGO Racers team, and brought Ferrari’s famous Formula One race cars, premium sports cars, and an international reputation for speed and quality. 2004 was the year Michael Schumacher had won his fifth consecutive Formula One driver’s championship, and also broken the record for most race wins in a single season, and enthusiasm for Ferrari globally was at an all time high. LEGO® Ferrari��� sets would feature a number of famous drivers including Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello (2004), and Kimi Räikkönen and Felipe Massa (2009).
The LEGO Group also remained committed to making products to appeal to all children. Numerous sets designed specifically for girls – some exploring fashion, doll houses, and fantasy themes – were produced, while the more active child was also targeted through the production of LEGO Sports sets between 2000 and 2006.
While LEGO Town, LEGO Castle, and LEGO Space would endure, more play themes were added throughout the years in response to subjects popularised through movies, television shows, world events, books, and countless other sources. 1989 saw the release of LEGO Pirates, which quickly became the most popular LEGO theme of the time. LEGO Adventures saw children explore every corner of the globe, while other fictional themes such as monsters, ninjas and robots have all been celebrated in various forms.
The LEGO Group has undeniably shifted over time, in response to the popular trends of the time, and all the while setting one. The question is, how will LEGO bricks as we know them evolve in the future?
One such artist in Nathan Sawaya, a full-time freelance builder based in New York. His imaginative life-sized LEGO sculptures and giant mosaic portraits have been featured on television and in a North American touring exhibition, The Art of the Brick. His Metamorphosis series sees human figures sinking into or emerging from piles of bricks, opening up to reveal their inner nature, and even putting oneself together brick by brick. The three works, Red, Yellow, and Blue represent transitions, wth the artist stating, ”I create art out of LEGO bricks to show people things they have never seen before, now will they ever see anywhere else.”
The adaptability of the LEGO brick has also made it a very appealing medium for some artists. From Ryan McNaught – the southern hemisphere’s only certified LEGO professional – building grand sculptures, to Director Michael Gondry creating a stopmotion video clip for The White Stripes’ single Fell in Love with a Girl, the ways in which the LEGO brick has been used by artists are quite simply mind-boggling.
Fandom extends beyond fashion accessories, to official clubs. The first official LEGO Club was created by the company’s Canadian division in 1966. It was followed the next year by LEGO Sweden. Today, the LEGO Club provides building inspiration and behind-the-scenes information to 4 million club members around the world.
Much like The LEGO Group has secured a number of lucrative licensing agreements to produce sets resonding to shows and movies, these products are all created by outside companies under licenses from the LEGO Group.
For some, this includes wearing their love of LEGO bricks and building on their sleeves...and on their wrists, keys, and kitchen tables too! The iconic status of the LEGO brick and LEGO Minifigure has enabled the company to branch into the production of apparel and accessories for the most die-hard fan. Such products include a LEGO brick backpack with zippered stud pockets, keychains, minifigure shaped ice block moulds, clothing, coat racks with building studs and LEGO City Minifigures, mugs, salt and pepper shakers, watches, wallets, shirts, shorts, money boxes, lamps, MP3 players and much more.
Every day, people around the world are finding new ways to move beyond the instruction booklets and make their passion for LEGO building a part of their lives.
popular culture trends, the product is also a popular culture symbol in itself. From international fan clubs to minifigure movies and artists’ studios, the LEGO brick has definitely made the leap from simple plastic construction toy to global phenomenon.
Over the years, The LEGO Group has released a number of Special Edition or Limited Edition sets. Some have been created for milestone anniversaries, others to thrill the most experienced builders, and some just to look good. Special Edition and Limited Edition sets range from the Sydney Opera House to a series of 31 Community Workers minifigures, from a LEGOÂŽ Mosaic utilising an online Brick-o-Lizer which enabled users to transform their own
LEGOÂŽ Special Edition Sets
If you have any LEGO Special Edition or Limited Edition sets in your collection, you can consider yourself one lucky LEGO fan. Displayed in this section of the Showcase are four examples of LEGO Special Edition and Limited Edition sets.
photographs into step-by-step instructions into creating the image, to Pudsey Bear, the mascot of the BBC Children in Need program from which all profits from sales were donated back to the charity.
1. The first LEGO® CUUSOO set, 21100 Shinkai 6500, 2011
Themes such as LEGO速 City (originated 1978), LEGO Castle (originated 1978), LEGO Pirates (originated 1989), and LEGO Ninjago (originated 2011), among others, have all produced iconic sets that have ensured the same fond LEGO速
While there are only a select number of LEGO速 Special Edition or Limited Edition sets, there are countless memorable sets that have been created over the years.
LEGO速 Sets to Remember memories have been experienced by children across the generations. Displayed in this section of the Showcase are just some of the many LEGO Sets to Remember.
LEGO, the LEGO logo, the Minifigure and DUPLO are trademarks of the LEGO Group. Â©2013 The LEGO Group. All rights reserved. Historical information and materials provided by the LEGO Group.
1. LEGO Minotaurus 3841, 2009
Each LEGO Certified Professional is selected for the program based on his or her Building proficiency;
He specialises in making interactive models and getting people to participate in the process. Ryan has won many awards for his models and takes great pleasure in sharing
Ryan, aka ‘The Brickman’, resides in Melbourne and is the only LEGO Certified Professional in the southern hemisphere. He has built some uniquely Australian creations and had them displayed all around the world, including a cutaway model of a Qantas Airbus A380 incorporating LEGO® MINDSTORMS™ technology.
LEGO® Certified Professionals is a community-based program made up of adult LEGO® Fans who have turned their passion for building and creating with LEGO® bricks into a full-time or part-time profession.
LEGO Certified Professionals are not LEGO employees, but they are officially recognised by the LEGO Group as trusted business partners.
LEGO® Certified Professionals
1. Ryan ‘The Brickman’ McNaught with his Elvis helicopter sculpture
There are only 13 LEGO Certified Professionals in the world.
enthusiasm for the LEGO brick and building system; and professional approach towards other LEGO fans and the broader public
Ryan’s work has included: corporate signage, mosaics, engineering models, sculptures and is often found at trade shows building models for exhibitors. Ryan is only too happy to accept commissions for truly unique creations.
He states, “Making interactive models and building experiences is my speciality—building things that people can not only be inspired by but interact with allows an amazing flexibility, giving a remote control or allowing people hands on exposure in the build process really does make for a great experience.”
his work with others.
In 1905 Ole, aged 14, becomes a carpentry apprentice to his older brother, Kristian Bonde Kristiansen. In 1911 Ole leaves Denmark, first for Germany, then for Norway, to continue working as a carpenter, and returns to Denmark in 1916 with enough savings to purchase the Billund
Born in the village of Filskov, located between the towns of Sonder Omme and Give in Central Jutland Denmark, Ole was one of 10 children to parents Jens Niels Kristiansen and Kirstine (Andersen) Kristiansen.
Ole Kirk Kristiansen (April 7, 1891 – March 11, 1958) was the founder of The LEGO Group. He was married to Kirstine Sörensen, and was the father of Johannes Kirk Kristiansen, Karl Georg Kirk Kristiansen, Godtfred Kirk Kristiansen and Gerhardt Kirk Kristiansen.
Ole Kirk Kristiansen
While his sons are less convinced by the long term sustainability of plastic toy production (Godtfred Kirk Christiansen is quoted in a newspaper interview in 1949 as saying, “you can make nice, cute things in plastic – but wood is a stronger material”), The LEGO Group begins to produces its first range of plastic toys in 1949, following two years of experimentation. Among the models is a plastic brick named
The post-war period presents industry with new options in modern plastics and technology. With his customary awareness of emerging technology, Ole Kirk Kristiansen commits to the new trend and invests in an expensive plastic injectionmoulding machine. With cellulose acetate as its raw material, The LEGO Group moves into the plastic age.
The Plastic Revolution
A second fire in 1942, caused by an electrical fault, again destroys the LEGO factory and warehouse, bringing construction to a hault and destroying the company’s stock of toys. As before, Ole is resilient and takes out several loans to build a larger, improved workshop on the same grounds.
The next series of designs, from around 1935, included a number of animal models, including the classic pull-along wooden Duck. These designs were more complex and often required jig work from a pattern; a pattern that Ole would carefully draft himself. Over time Ole expanded the range with increasingly complex wooden designs. In addition to the many car, truck and animal models there are also examples of sail boats, tractors, cranes, farm implements, coat hangers, doll buggies, sewing machines, bagatelle games, traditional wooden blocks, chalkboards, board games, and an abacus.
With toys now the primary focus of Ole’s trade, his company adopts the name ’LEGO’ in 1934. Interestingly, having held a contest to decide the name of the company, it was indeed Ole’s own entry that was deemed the winner. Derived from the Danish words ’Leg Godt,’ which translates to ’play well,’ the LEGO name can also (quite fittingly) mean ’I study,’ or ’I put together’ in Latin.
By the late 1940s, all four of Ole’s sons are working for the LEGO Group. Ole suffers a stroke in 1951, which signals the beginning of his decline in health. However, with sales of both the wooden and plastic toys continuing to improve, Ole commits to one final expansion of the factory in 1952. In 1957, The LEGO Group celebrates its Silver Jubilee Year, and names Godtfred Kirk Christiansen Managing Director, Karl Georg Kirk Kristiansen the Director of Plastics Production, and Gerhardt Kirk Kristiansen the Director of Wood Products Manufacturing. Ole sadly passes away on 11 March 1958 from a heart attack, aged 66. Godtfred Kirk Christiansen is named the new director.
In 1924, while Ole and Kirstine were napping, Karl, Georg and Godtfred were playing in the Shop and accidentally set fire to some wood shavings using a glue smelter. The Shop and house are both burned to the ground, but Ole’s resolve sees him engage an architect to draw new plans for a larger building.
While the new building is more expensive than the family can afford, the Kristiansen’s get by by living in a single apartment next to the shop and renting the rooms. The building, which would be known for its large dormer and two lions flanking the front door, is now part of the LEGO Group and is one of only a few of Ole’s buildings that still exists.
Tragically, just as Ole begins to find his feet as a toy maker in 1932, his wife Kirstine passes away.
Godtfred Kirk Christiansen begins working alongside his father in the workshop, and production of toys begins to increase. A pricelist from 1932 shows an expansive range—some 28 separate designs in all. And while Ole’s first wooden toys (mostly vehicles such as ferries, airplanes and buses, including the massive 6 Hjul Rutebil) were large and simple in construction, they retained the impeccable quality and attention to detail that Ole was renowned for. The toys were primarily made from birch, which was brought in from the forest and air-dried for two years before being kiln-dried for three weeks. During assembly, the toys were sealed, sanded, primed and finished with three coats of paint.
1. Ole Kirk Kristiansen, 1911 2. Ole Kirk Kristiansen, in the workshop, 1943 3. Ole Kirk Kristiansen with son Godtfred Kirk Christiansen and grandson Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen at Ole’s 60th birthday party in 1951.
His contribution to the toy industry was duly recognised with posthumous induction into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame, USA in 1989.
Despite his many setbacks and challenges, Ole Kirk Kristiansen has left an amazing legacy that has seen the LEGO Group go on to become one of the largest, most recognisable, and certainly amongst the most widely loved, companies in the world.
An Amazing Legacy
Passing down the Baton
The Great Depression takes hold in Denmark in 1930, and is particularly severe on the agricultural industry. With the farmers around Billund deeply affected, construction work begins to dry up for Ole and he turns to making small household items that he thought the farmers could afford, such as trestle ladders, step ladders, ironing boards, stools, Christmas tree stands and small toys to get by.
the Automatic Binding Brick.
Maskinsnedkeri og Tømreforretning (The Billund Carpentry Shop and Lumberyard).
HISTORY: The beginning to 1939 1891 Ole Kirk Kristiansen, founder of The LEGO Group, is born at Omvrå near Filskov, not far from the village of Billund in Denmark.
Did You Know?
Ole Kirk Kristiansen held a competition in 1934 amongst his employees to na company, with a bottle of wine as the prize. He wins it himself with the name short for ‘LEg GOdt’, or ‘Play Well’ in Danish. Coincidentally, the word can also together’ in Latin.
Ole Kirk Kristiansen buys the Billund Joinery Manufacturing and Carpentry Workshop and sets up business as a selfemployed carpenter and joiner.
Godtfred Kirk Christians designing models for th age of 17. Model design drawing by Godtfred Kirk Christiansen 1940
1924 Ole Kirk Kristiansen’s sons play with matches and the workshop burns down. He builds a larger one, and rents out remaining spaces to make ends meet.
Dressing Table constructed by Ole Kirk Kristiansen c1910
Ole Kirk Kristiansen 1920
9 Ole Kirk Kristiansen’s 1936 motto for the company
ame the e ‘LEGO’, o mean ‘I put
Ole Kirk Kristiansen’s son Godtfred Kirk Christiansen carves Ole Kirk’s motto and hangs it on the workshop wall.
sen begins he company at the
Pull-Along Duck 1935
With the worldwide Great Depression threatening to close his carpentry shop for good, Ole Kirk Kristiansen starts to manufacture and sell wooden toys for children. These beautifully made and painted playthings included yo-yos, wooden blocks, pull-along animals, and vehicles of all kinds.
Yo-yo 1932 with Pony and Trap 1937
HISTORY: 1940 to 1949 1942
A fire destroys the factory and Ole Kirk Kristiansen’s life’s work. A new toy factory is promptly built, and he painstakingly remakes all of the lost designs himself.
Automatic Bindin Bricks, the company first plastic interlockin bricks, are produce Made from cellulo acetate, they resembl today’s bricks but h slits in their sides a were completely hol underneath, with tubes to lock th toge
Ole Kirk Kristiansen’s factory after the fire 1942
The company now ma about 200 plastic wooden
New LEGO® products include wooden blocks with painted letters and numbers. LEGO wooden blocks could be stacked and arranged into words to help young children learn the alphabet and spelling. These were forerunners of the plastic brick, which first appeared in 1949.
LEGO wooden blocks c1946
1947 Ole Kirk Kristiansen imports a plastic injection-moulding machine from the UK. The machine cost DKK 30,000 ($5948 Australian), one-15th of the company’s entire earnings for the year. Plastic toys were expensive to manufacture, but the risk paid off: by 1951, half of the company’s toys were made from plastic. The company produces its first plastic toys, including a ball for infants and Monopoli, and educational road safety game. First plastic injection-moulding machine 1947
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akes c and n toys.
LEGO Automatic Binding Bricks with box 1949
1948 New LEGO products include a pinball game.
Did You Know? From humble beginnings, Ole Kirk Kristiansen’s company was quickly growing, employing its 43rd staff member by 1943, and its 50th by 1948.
HISTORY: 1950 to 1959 1950
Two significant products are released; a building base with 10 x 20 studs sold for use with interlocking bricks, and the groundbreaking Ferguson Tractor.
On his 30th birthday, Godtfred Kirk Christiansen, son of company Founder Ole, is appointed Junior Managing Director of the company.
The Ferguson Tractor was one of the company’s biggest early plastic successes. Its highly-detailed plastic-injection mould cost as much to make as the price of a real tractor, but with 75,000 pieces sold in its first year alone, the gamble quickly paid off.
The company’s founder Ole Kirk Kristiansen passes away, with his son Godtfred Kirk Christiansen becoming head of the company.
The LEGO Futura department is established to conceive, plan, and oversee the design of new LEGO sets.
The ’Automatic Binding Bricks’ are renamed [’LEGO Bricks’]. The LEGO® name is moulded onto every brick.
Ferguson Tractor 1952
LEGO Mursten 1953
Technical drawing of LEGO Brick with three-tube clutching system 1957
1958 The LEGO brick is updated with a new stud-and-tube interlocking system that increases building possibilities and improves model stability. The System of Play’s release had reinforced that the new LEGO brick had to be as perfect a building toy as possible. Bricks needed to lock together firmly to make stable models but also came apart easily.
The ’LEGO® System of Play’ is launched with the release of the Town Plan range of 28 construction sets and eight vehicles. The idea behind the LEGO System was that every element should connect to every other element; the more bricks, the more building possibilities. With Town Plan, children could make their towns bigger and better with each new set, and thanks to the included extra building ideas they could make more than wha was just pictured on the box.
Did You Know?
Did You Know?
New products released by the LEGO Group in 1957 included bricks with light bulbs, and VW Beetles in eight colours.
The first LEGO System set was ‘Town Plan No. 1’. Appearing on its packaging was young Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, son of Godtfred Kirk Christiansen and the grandson of company Founder Ole Kirk Kristiansen. In 2008 Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, now the owner of the company, reprised his childhood starring role by appearing on the new Town Plan set’s packaging, which marked the company’s 50th anniversary of the patenting of the modern LEGO brick.
1954 The LEGO name is officially registered in Denmark, while the first brick-compatible LEGO window and door elements are produced. Town Plan 2008 released to mark the 50th Anniversary of the patenting of the modern LEGO Brick
HISTORY: 1960 to 1969 1960
A fire destroys the workshop where the company’s wooden toys are made. A decision is made to stop making wooden toys and focus entirely on the LEGO® System. With this renewed emphasis on the company’s plastic toy production, divisions are established in Finland and the Netherlands. Approximately 400 employees now work at the company headquarters in Billund.
LEGO products are first sold in Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, Morocco and Japan, with LEGO Australia also established in the same year.
After the fire which destroyed the wooden toy stock 1960
1961 The design for a LEGO® Wheel is discovered in a product developer’s drawer. Wheels are released the next year, letting children build rolling vehicles of all kinds.
1962 The LEGO Group takes to the skies; Godtfred Kirk Christiansen buys a small airplane, and a landing field is built outside Billund. In the same year, LEGO sales begin in the US and Canada through a license agreement with the Samsonite Corp. Luggage company.
LEGO Wheel 1962
Did You Know?
The LEGO® DUP August 1967. It wo following year, b for the under five
More than 18 million LEGO sets were sold throughout 1967.
Did You Know? Did You Know? The largest part of MINILAND Billund is the Port of Copenhagen, with moving miniature ships that travels 8,500 nautical miles a year.
The first battery-powered LEGO Train sets are launched in 1966 with a 4.5 volt motor.
First LEGOLAND park, B
ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) replaces cellulose acetate as the material used to make LEGO bricks. It is more colour-fast, and allows better moulding.
LEGO model sets with building instructions are first produced.
Godtfred Kirk Christiansen at the United States of America launch of LEGO 1961
Currently, there are over 3300 building instructions available online which date back to sets packed in 2002. Through the website, builders can search for replacement instructions by set number, key word or brand.
PLO® building system is patented in ould be test marketed in Sweden the before being launched internationally e years old market in 1969.
Billund Denmark 1968
Building instruction set 323 – alternative building, 1974
The first LEGOLAND® park opens in Billund on June 7 1968. 625, 000 people visit in the first year. The Park originally took up 38, 100 sq. metres, but doubled in size over the next 30 years. With the success of LEGOLAND Billund came the idea to create more parks in other countries. LEGOLAND Parks opened in Windsor, UK, in 1996, followed by California, USA, in 1999, Günzburg, Germany, in 2002, Florida, USA, in 2011, and Malaysia in 2012. The heart of every LEGOLAND Park is its unique MINILAND display. Constructed out of millions of bricks by the LEGOLAND Master Model Builders and populated by brick-built citizens, these constantly evolving and expanding 1:20-scale dioramas let visitors explore famous landmarks from their home countries and around the world. At the original MINILAND in LEGOLAND Billund, 20 million bricks have been used to create scenes of European life, with sections representing Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Norway, Finland, and more. Passengers on the Miniboat ride sail past Thailand’s Wat Phra Keo Temple, and Park guests can take in the entire amazing display from the top of a rotating panoramic tower.
HISTORY: 1970 to 1979
Did You Know?
Iconic new pieces are added, particularly t first modern Minifigures w printed face and movabl arms and le and LEGO baseplates w road markin
In 1974, a brick replica of Mount Rushmore was constructed in LEGOLAND® Billund by Danish artist Bjørn Richter.
LEGO Minifigure United States of America patent, December 18, 1979
1977 Danish Artist Bjørn Richter’s brick replica of Mount Rushmore 1974
1970 Small car set are beginning to be sold at pocket-money prices. Motor vehicles were an enduring interest for the company – Godtfred Kirk Christiansen enjoyed designing toy cars for his father’s workshop in the 1930s, and the tremendous sales of the Ferguson Tractor in the early 1950s led to the rise of the LEGO® brick and its unlimited possibilities for new transportation models.
The LEGO Technic series of mechanical models is launched. Developed from special gear sets and the Expert Builder series of the 1970s, LEGO Technic added mechanical motion to LEGO models. Early LEGO Technic models had traditional studded pieces, making them resemble LEGO System vehicles more closely than today’s streamlined Technic sets. Thanks to a clever combination of spinning gears and revolving axles, a trio of wheels built into the 1978 Technic crane model could be turned by hand to raise and lower the crane’s arm, extend its boom, and drop or retract its lifting cable.
LEGO sets designed specifically for girls are launched, including dolls’ houses and furniture.
The first to the with r bodies no. 200 LEG mother,
A new LEGO logo, which h the years since, unifi
the n-style with es le egs,
LEGO Castle 1978
The first three LEGO Play themes are introduced. Even though all of the sets in the LEGO System of Play were designed to be compatible within one big creative LEGO universe, there were some types of models that kids wanted more and more of. These initial LEGO Play themes addressed these demands; LEGO Castle had medieval knights, kings, and fortresses; LEGO Town had buildings, roads, cars, and trucks; and LEGO Space came complete with rockets, rovers, and lunar bases. The famous ’Yellow Castle’ was the first castle made for the LEGO System of Play. With tall towers, a crank-raised drawbridge and four factions of knights to attack or defend it, it had many of the classic features of later LEGO castles.
Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen 1979
LEGO figures – and a pre-cursor e modern minifigure – is released round heads, movable arms, and built from bricks. The best-selling GO® Family set included a father, son, daughter and grandmother.
1979 Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, Godtfred Kirk Christiansen’s son and Ole Kirk’s grandson, is appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of the company. LEGO Scala advertisement 1979
Did You Know? When new LEGO SCALA jewellery was released in 1979, the products featured necklaces and bracelets that girls could build and customise. While the theme was retired the following year, the SCALA name re-appeared in 1997 as the name of a new dollhouse-style theme.
has only been slightly adjusted in fies all of the company’s products. LEGO, the LEGO logo, the Minifigure and DUPLO are trademarks of the LEGO Group. ©2013 The LEGO Group. All rights reserved. Historical information and materials provided by the LEGO Group.
HISTORY: 1980 to 1989 1981
New, big DUPLO fi DUPLO Baby serie in this year, a d yeas of research o to a moving eye ball in the middle advice of a pane the rattle to
The first LEGO® World Show takes place in Denmark. Amongst the many stunning features of the show achieved by Kirsten Kristiansen, Chief Designer were a Castle Entrance - which took 100 working days to design and build and was made of 225, 674 individual LEGO® bricks - and a spectacular Fun Fair which took around 90 working days to design and build and involved the use of some 118, 262 LEGO World Show 1983
The LEGO Group celebrates its 50th anniversary, and also launches the LEGO® DUPLO® Mosaic and LEGO Technic I educational lines.
The LEGO Prize is founded as an international annual award for exceptional efforts on behalf of children anywhere in the world. The recipients have included Astrid Lindgren, Paul Newman, John Feierabend, Mario Lodi and such institutions as Associacão Santa Therinha in Brazil, The SaekDong Organisation in Korea, and Papalote Museo del Niño in Mexico City.
1986 The LEGO Technic Computer Control launches in schools, and the LEGO Technic figure is created.
The LEGO Prize certificate
In 1987, th basic LE were sold
LEGO TECHNIC go-kart 1986
1988 LEGO, the LEGO logo, the Minifigure and DUPLO are trademarks of the LEGO Group. ©2013 The LEGO Group. All rights reserved. Historical information and materials provided by the LEGO Group.
The LE estab exhibi World 38 ch
figures with movable arms and legs are released, and the LEGO es is launched. One of the first LEGO DUPLO Baby toys released duck rattle, may have looked simple, but was actually the result of on how babies play and learn. Because infants instinctively react e, the duck’s eyes bounced when the rattle was shaken, and the could spin and make sounds. The two grips were added on the el of mothers. Studs on top and openings on the bottom allowed o be attached to a child’s LEGO DUPLO or LEGO bricks later on. LEGO DUPLO Rattle, 1983
d You Know? Did You Know?
he first mixed buckets containing EGO and LEGO DUPLO elements d.
70% of Western European families with children under 14 had LEGO bricks in their home by the year 1980.
LEGO World Cup winner 1996
EGO Group continues to expand globally through the blishment of LEGO Canada. In the same year, the Art of LEGO ition tours the United Kingdom, and the first official LEGO d Cup building championships are held in Billund in August. hildren from 14 countries take part.
1989 The extremely popular LEGO Pirates theme launches with 11 new models. The 1989 LEGO Pirates theme was the first to break from the traditional LEGO® Minifigure face of two dot-eyes and a simple smile, giving many of its characters patches, stubble, and other scruffy features.
Captain Redbeard 1989
HISTORY: 1990 to 1999 1990
The LEGO Group is now one of the worldâ€™s ten largest toy manufacturers, and the only one of the ten in Europe.
Godtfred Kirk Christiansen celebrates his 70th birthday
The continued growth of the 7,550 employees and 1,000 i the five LEGO factories. This company to release new pr sets, LEGO Technic flex-syst controlled 9-volt trains amon released in 1991. LEGO TECHNIC Universal Set with Flex System 1991
Godtfred Kirk Christiansen, son of LEGO Founder Ole Kirk Kristiansen and long-time Director of the LEGO Group, passes away July 13, 1995. He was aged 75.
LEGO Mindstorms, three gen
1996 The official LEGO website, www.LEGO.com, goes online. A shop component of the website was added in 1999. With the goal of giving fans the ultimate LEGO experience, the official company website is now one of the most-visited internet sites of any toy manufacturer in the world. With 21 local sites, the awardwinning website welcomes visitors that hail from more than 200 countries, from Togo to Tajikistan. At recent count, the website has more than 1 million unique visitors per month.
e LEGO company sees it reach injection-moulding machines across s increases the capacity of the roducts, with LEGO® Town Harbor tem elements, and transformerngst those
For every fond childhood memory of playing with LEGO toys, there is also one of standing on a LEGO brick. The company helps address the painful problem by releasing the LEGO System Brick Vac, which helps children pick bricks up off the floor.
LEGO System Brick Vac 1991
The first tentative steps into the digital gaming world are taken, with the release of the very first LEGO Video Game LEGO Island, made for the PC. There is also increased interaction with applied sciences via the opening of the first LEGO® MINDSTORMS™ Learning Centre at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, Illinois, USA.
Fortune Magazine names the LEGO brick one of the ’Products of the Century’.
Fortune Magazine “Products of the Century” article 1999
Did You Know? In 1997, more than 300,000 children took part in a LEGO building event at Kremlin Palace in Moscow, Russia.
Did You Know? The global pupularity of LEGO products was confirmed in 1994, with the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR) using LEGO minifigures as part of an awareness campaign. It is also in this year that LEGO products are advertised on Chinese television for the first time.
HISTORY: 2000 to 2009 2000
The British Assoication of Toy Retailers names the LEGO® brick ’Toy of the Century’. Each year, 36 billion LEGO bricks are produced – that’s a rate of 68,000 LEGO bricks every minute. From humble beginnings, there are now over 4,200 different LEGO brick shapes.
LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY™ is founded to help businesses learn creative thinking through the use of LEGO bricks and building. Based on research that showed this kind of handson, minds-on learning produces a deeper, more meaningful understanding of the world and its possibilities, LEGO SERIOUS PLAY was designed to deepen the reflection process and support an effective dialogue between colleagues within an organisation.
LEGO Discovery NASA are released. LEGO Mi Moondust – or pict Earthlings to reach the
Back on Earth, LEG while the popularity of 1.63 million people visitin
The British Association of Toy Retailers Awards to the Toy Industry “Toy of the Century” certificate 2000
2006 LEGO trains first made an appearance way back in 1966. Since their debut, they have been powered variously by hand, a series of gears, batteries, and electricity. In 2006, infrared remote-controlled LEGO Trains replaced the classic electric system, with the model also returning to plastic rails. The controls could turn on an engine’s lights, change its speed, and even toot its horn. Further developments in 2009 would see the introduction of rechargeable motor batteries, new flexible tracks, and Power Functions technology – which were first rolled out to LEGO Creator sets in 2007.
A year of celebration a anniversary of the pate with a worldwide build the LEGO Minifigure is Go! internet campaign LEGO, the LEGO logo, the Minifigure and DUPLO are trademarks of the LEGO Group. ©2013 The LEGO Group. All rights reserved. Historical information and materials provided by the LEGO Group.
LEGO Golden Anniversary set 2008
sets based on modern space exploration inifigure astrobots Biff Starling and Sandy tures of them, at least – become the first e planet Mars aboard that NASA rovers Spirit and Opportunity.
Modern technology allows builders to create models online and buy the pieces to make them through LEGO Factory, while several traditional LEGO brick colours are retired and new colours introduced in their place
GO Town is re-branded LEGO World City, the toy is reinforced with a record-breaking ng LEGOLAND® Billund throughout the year. Biff Starling and Sandy Moondust 2003
LEGO Passenger Train set 2006
2004 After a brief stay – having replaced LEGO DUPLO in 2002 – LEGO EXPLORE is replaced by three building systems for the very young: LEGO DUPLO, LEGO BABY, and LEGO QUATRO. LEGO DUPLO, BABY and QUATRO Logos
2005 The LEGO System of Play celebrates its 50th anniversary. The LEGOLAND parks are sold to the Merlin Entertainments Group, in which the LEGO Group owners maintain a shareholding.
Did You Know?
In 2002, the Yoda LEGO Minifigure became the first to be a different height when shorter legs were introduced. Since then, there have been a number of mini minifigures, including the goblins from the Harry Potter sets and Short as The LEGO Group marks the 50thRound from the Indiana Jones sets. ent of the stud-and-tube LEGO brick ding contest, and the 30th birthday of s commemorated with the Go Miniman n and fan-video showcase.
HISTORY: 2010 to Present Day 2010
The LEGO® Minifigures line launches with its first series of 16 characters. To date, 11 series of the collectible LEGO Minifigures have been released, increasing the LEGO Minifigure population by some 176 unique characters. Each LEGO Minifigure comes randomly packed inside a sealed bag (a different colour for each series) so collectors don’t know which character they’ll get, encouraging trading between friends.
The LEGO Group continue to push into new markets, particularly through the release of the LEGO Universe massively multiplayer online game, in which players create minifigure avatars and adventure together in a world of quests and construction.
In the same year, a direct-to-video movie, The Ad first full-length feature film to star LEGO
The pho ma
The par and rele hav 10,0
16 unique Minifigures from LEGO Minifigure Series 1
2013 LEGO® Mindstorms™ celebrates its 15th birthday. To commemorate this anniversary, LEGO Mindstorms EV3 is launched. This series will introduce the next generation of LEGO enthusiasts to building, programming and robotics. LEGO, the LEGO logo, the Minifigure and DUPLO are trademarks of the LEGO Group. ©2013 The LEGO Group. All rights reserved. Historical information and materials provided by the LEGO Group.
Scene from LEGO Ninja
2012 LEGO Ninjago gets an entire season of half-hour television episodes.
2010 While the long-running LEGO® BIONICLE® line comes to an end with the release of six LEGO BIONICLE Stars commemorative sets (each including a piece of extra golden armour to upgrade the Tahu figure), the building style unique to LEGO BIONICLE is continued through the newly released LEGO Hero Factory theme.
LEGO HEROICA Ilrion, 2012
LEGO Universe multi-player online game
dventures of Clutch Powers, is the Minifigures.
e rise of crowd-sourcing sites, smart ones, and social networks prompt several ajor LEGO product developments.
e LEGO CUUSOO (meaning ’wish’ in Japanese’) rtnership is launched after three years’ development, d allows fans to vote for models to be considered for ease as LEGO sets. To date six LEGO CUUSOO sets ve been made, with over 16 having reached the required 000 fan votes to be considered.
ago television series 2012
The LEGO Games subtheme of Heroica introduces buildable games that can be combined into one giant adventure. Designed to make board games that can be played like video games and role-playing games, Heroica pits player heroes like the Knight, Ranger, Druid and Rogue against evil warriors and monsters in a quest to capture relics and free the world of Heroica from darkness.
LEGO City gains a new spaceport with sets developed in conjunction with NASA, and the partnership extends beyond our world with sets launched into space aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour. LEGOLAND Florida
There are major LEGOLAND developments around the globe, with Florida becoming North America’s second LEGOLAND theme park, the opening of a LEGOLAND Discovery Centre in Texas, and the addition of a new Star Wars section to the LEGOLAND California MINILAND display.