Lego, the popular kid's construction set comprising hundreds (thousands?) of small, brightly colored plastic bricks, has been around for a long time now. Lego came into being as far back as 1934, when Danish toymaker and master carpenter, Ole Kirk Kristiansen, merged the two Danish words "leg godt" - which translates as "play well" - to come up with the now famous company name.
It wasn't until 1947 that, together with his son Godtfred, Kristiansen got hold of some samples of interlocking plastic bricks produced by Kiddicraft. Hilary Harry Fisher Page - a UK child psychologist - had patented these. Lego started production of similar bricks in 1949, with the snappy name of "automatic binding bricks".
At that time, plastic toys were considered to be inferior to wooden ones, and the early Lego sets were not an immediate hit. There were also a few problems with the locking ability of the bricks, but these were resolved in 1958 when, what is essentially the same design as today's was developed.
A further 5 years passed before Lego found the precise material for best performance - acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, better known as ABS. It's widely used in any number of different items today, but it was a huge innovation at the time.
Today, Lego is one of the most instantly recognizable toys on the planet - and one of the most successful. There can't be many households where the children haven't played with Lego at one time or another.
It's a toy that appeals to all ages. Younger children have Duplo - which is just Lego but with larger bricks. The standard range covers children right up to their early teens, and there are a number of electronic and robotic kits available for older children.
You will even find corporate executives snapping Lego together on training courses. It definitely is an educational toy - and one which appeals to a wide age range.
And Lego hasn't made the mistake of relying on the fact that it is based upon a good idea stunt it's growth and development. There are constant updates and movie tie-ins to keep the product line current and up to date. You can get themed sets for Pirates, Dinosaurs, Star Wars, Batman, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter etc. You can even get Lego storage bricks to store your Lego in.
There are also four "Legoland" theme parks in existence. One in Denmark (of course), one in Germany, one in the UK and another in the USA. Children and adults can visit to witness incredible examples of Lego constructs and creations, go on rides and even drive Lego cars and sail in Lego boats.
Needless to say, there is a very good Lego website to visit. Children can also get any number of Lego video games - again tied in with movies more often than not - for the games consoles.
Lego certainly cannot be accused of resting on their corporate laurels. With such a wide range of constantly updated products, it seems safe to assume that the brightly colored legos will be being strewn across living room floors for many years to come.
Lego 405 Piece Building Set
Amazon Price: $130.79 Buy Now
(price as of Dec 15, 2015)
Lego Duplo Starter Set
Amazon Price: $259.99 Buy Now
(price as of Dec 15, 2015)