Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy 50th(?) LEGO!

I've been meaning to blog about this for literally months now, and it seems like I have finally gotten around to it. And it's been bugging me the whole time! Well, anytime it comes up of course.

So, Lego is celebrating their 50th birthday this year. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I grew up with Legos and to this day still have a house and a few vehicles assembled and kept in a shoe box in my closet. One way of celebrating is by including a commemorative golden brick in certain boxes (or something like that). Pretty sweet! The confusion - I have a silver brick that commemorated a 25th anniversary. The silver brick was made in my lifetime, and I'm not 25 yet, so something here isn't adding up...

It was time to research Lego.
Just so we're on the same page, 50 years ago = 1958. Got it? Cool, lets move on.
According to the time line on Lego's official website, 1958 was the year "The current LEGO stud-and-tube coupling system is patented. The new coupling principle makes models much more stable." So it seems we are celebrating 50 years of the Lego brick as we know it. Fair enough, makes sense to me.

FYI: According to Wikipedia, LEGO is taken from the Danish phrase leg godt, which means 'play well'. So play well with your Legos, ok?

Where was I? Ah, 50 years of the Lego brick. So the bricks made in 1958 will actually connect with pieces made in 2008. That's pretty neat. So what about that silver brick that I had determined was the VCR in my created Lego dwelling?

From what I have come across on a few places on the web, I have determined the silver brick in question was released in 1998. Ten years ago. Certainly 1998 wasn't the 25th anniversary of the brick if 2008 is the 50th. Hm, 1998-25= 1973. Back to the Lego time line!

This time I didn't come up with a very clear answer. Lego says...

A single new LEGO logo replaces the various logos that have been used until now. The new LEGO logo unifies all the company's products under one banner.
First sales to Eastern Europe (Hungary)
LEGO USA established in Brookfield, Connecticut.
LEGO Portugal established.
German psychologist Karin Grossmann writes the book "Mach mehr aus LEGO". It is a study of 200 children and their play with LEGO bricks.

Selected Product News 1973
The London Bus
Doll's house units, together with furniture components

So.... 25 years of the Lego logo? Looking at a picture of a 1998 bucket containing the silver brick, it says '25 years of building imaginations.'

I'm still unclear of what they were celebrating in 1998, but I do have the sweet silver brick so it may not be worth all the questioning I am giving it. Now I just need a GOLD brick.....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Greetings Missy, I was employed by LEGO Systems Inc. in Enfield, CT from 1979 to 1999 and have several Silver LEGO Bricks. The 1998 Silver Brick celebrated 25 years of distributing LEGO product from the US. Prior to the 1973 American Sales office being established in Brookfield, CT, there was limited distribution from 1961 through Canada by the Samsonite Corporation. The company moved to Enfield, CT in 1975 and began manufacturing operations. Best Regards, Jim