Thursday, December 17, 2009
Lego is a line of construction toys manufactured by the Lego Group, a privately held company based in Billund, Denmark. The company's flagship product, Lego, consists of colorful interlocking plastic bricks and an accompanying array of gears, minifigures and various other parts. Lego bricks can be assembled and connected in many ways, to construct such objects as vehicles, buildings, and even working robots. Anything constructed can then be taken apart again, and the pieces used to make other objects. The toys were originally designed in the 1930s in Europe and have achieved an international appeal, with an extensive subculture that supports Lego movies, games, competitions, and four Lego-themed amusement parks.
The Lego Group began in the workshop of Ole Kirk Christiansen, a carpenter from Billund, Denmark, who began making wooden toys in 1932. In 1934 his company came to be called Lego. It expanded to producing plastic toys in 1940. In 1949 Lego began producing the now famous interlocking bricks, calling them "Automatic Binding Bricks". These bricks were based largely on the design of Kiddicraft Self-Locking Bricks, which were released in the United Kingdom in 1947. The company name Lego was coined by Christiansen from the Danish phrase leg godt, which means "play well". The name could also be interpreted as "I put together" and "I assemble" in Latin, though this would be a somewhat forced application of the general sense "I collect; I gather; I learn"; the word is most used in the derived sense "I read". The Lego Group's motto is kun det bedste er godt nok which means 'only the best is good enough'.
The animated ad illustrates the huge variety of things you can make out of LEGO bricks by way of a battle between a mouse which, when threatened by a cat, turns into a dog. The cat turns into a dragon and so on to a submarine and a submarine-eating kipper. Pretty cool.