Legos have been a feature of many children’s toy boxes for many years, and more than a few parents have discovered how painful it can be to step on a lost brick! But why did such a simple toy last so long?
Today, Lego sets come in many different types, in addition to the standard large box of bricks. You can now get Star Wars sets and City sets, just to name a few, and that’s probably the first reason this toy managed to stay on top of its game.
Lego was first produced in 1949 and the now famous interlocking bricks were originally called “Automatic Binding Bricks”. The first bricks weren’t very versatile and didn’t fit together very well. The modern brick style was first produced in 1958 and the basic interlocking brick design hasn’t changed since then.
Despite the fact that the toy is now over 50 years old, Lego has managed to keep the brand up to date and relevant while keeping up with the times. Many of the sets on sale today are branded around movies, such as Star Wars or Batman. So while the little plastic bricks will no doubt still end up loose in the toy box just like they always did, they begin their life as part of an exciting and updated action figure set.
Unlike regular action figure sets, however, bricks can be used to create anything. So while a Harry Potter figure can be discarded once the wizards are no longer beautiful, a Harry Potter Lego set can still be made into Power Rangers, Transformers, or whatever else may be popular at the time.
In fact, most of the instructions for the sets are probably lost forever after the first build. After that, a child’s imagination starts running free and they start creating their own robots, spacecraft and jet planes. And of course, parents are just waiting for an excuse to get on the carpet and help out with construction projects too.
Today Lego is a multi-billion dollar venture that includes theme parks, retail stores and films such as The Lego Batman Movie. All of this helps keep the building blocks modern and relevant.
The other thing that helps keep Legos relevant is that it’s neither a toy for kids nor a toy for girls. Those little plastic blocks will work just as well as a dollhouse as a fortress or tank. These blocks are also durable, so they can be passed down from one child to another, or even from one generation to the next.
Most importantly, you can spend hours creating a masterpiece and then destroy everything and start over. There’s no need to fiddle with glue or paint, and every single part can be reused in another model.
So why are Legos still so popular? Because a set can start out as a thing and then become anything your imagination can come up with. While the sets may have gotten more complex and the figurines gotten more detailed, the basic premise of Lego is that you put it together however you like, over and over. Who could ever get bored with this?