International Lego Day Date in the current year: January 28, 2024

International Lego Day International Lego Day celebrates arguably the world’s most popular brand of plastic construction toys. It is observed on January 28 because on this day in 1958, the modern Lego brick design was patented.

The history of Lego Group dates back to 1932, when Danish carpenter Ole Kirk Kristiansen founded a company producing wooden toys, such as pull-along trucks and animals, houses, piggy banks, yo-yos, etc. His business originally focused on producing and selling ironing boards, ladders and other household items, but a decline in demand caused by the Great Depression forced Kristiansen to focus on other products.

Originally unnamed, the company received its current name in 1934. The word “Lego” is a shortened form of the Danish phrase “leg godt”, which means “play well” in English. Despite all the difficulties, Kristiansen’s business managed to survive the Great Depression, the German occupation of Denmark in World War II, and even an electric fire that destroyed the entire factory.

In 1947, Kristiansen decided to start producing plastic toys and purchased a plastic injection molding machine. The supplier also provided him with a sample of the Kiddicraft Self-Locking Building Brick invented by Hilary Page. Realizing the toy’s potential, Ole and his son Godtfred modified the brick and started to market their own version in 1949.

Lego’s Automatic Building Bricks weren’t particularly popular at first because customers were more used to traditional wooden and metal toys. The situation gradually began to improve over time, but a real breakthrough occurred in the mid-1950s.

In 1954, Godtfred Kristiansen began to take over the business due to his father’s declining health. After a conversation with an overseas buyer, he came up with the idea of a toy “system”: a line of related products consisting of many toys. The plastic building bricks seemed like the perfect candidate, but they needed some improvement to enhance their locking ability and make them more versatile.

The modern design of the Lego bricks was patented on January 28, 1958. This day is considered the “true” birthday of Lego, and its anniversary is celebrated as International Lego Day. Although it started out as an informal holiday, International Lego Day is now supported by the Lego Group because of its excellent marketing potential.

Although the last standing Lego patent expired in 1989 and a number of toy companies have started to produce similar interlocking bricks, Lego is still extremely popular all over the word. In 2015, it became the world’s largest toy company by revenue, surpassing Mattel, and Brand Finance named Lego “the world’s most powerful brand”. A 2019 study from the Moscow Higher School of Economics even found Lego sets a better investment than gold.

In addition to producing toys, the Lego Group has launched a chain of family team parks named Legoland; there are a total of eight parks, located in Denmark, Germany, the UK, the United States, Japan, Malaysia, and the UAE. And there is even a film franchise based on Lego construction toys!

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