28 Jan: Lego Shifts To Plastic

Stud-and-tube bricks, which paved the way for Lego to become one of the most successful companies in Denmark, were patented on 28th January, 1958. But this family business had already been in existence for 26 years, mostly making wooden toys.

It later emerged, however, that the plastic self-locking bricks that brought them so much success had in fact already been invented – and patented – by British toymaker Hillary Page in 1940.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly explain how Lego’s lawyers stay one step ahead of their imitators; unconvincingly demonstrate how to pronounce ‘Skoda’; and reveal how branded toys – a controversial pivot for the company in the ‘90s – helped save the business… 

UNLOCK BONUS CONTENT: including this week’s Great Lego Fact-Off, as Arion, Rebecca and Olly compete to out-do each other with astonishing facts about the Danish brand… only when you join Patreon (top two tiers only) or take out an Apple Podcasts subscription. Patreon.com/Retrospectors

Further Reading:

• ‘LEGO Brick Timeline: 50 Years of Building Frenzy and Curiosities’ (Gizmodo, 2008): https://gizmodo.com/lego-brick-timeline-50-years-of-building-frenzy-and-cu-349509

• ‘Self-Locking Building Bricks, Lego precursor, Kiddicraft (1944-)’: https://www.brightontoymuseum.co.uk/index/Category:Self-Locking_Building_Bricks_(Kiddicraft)

• ‘60 years of LEGO: capturing the world’s imagination’ (5 News, 2018): 

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