International LEGO Day
Also known as
National Lego Day
annually on January 28th
Lego (stylized as LEGO) are plastic construction toys, including interlocking plastic bricks of various colors—as well as accompanying minifigures, gears, and other parts—that can be put together and taken apart, and be used to construct many objects, like model buildings, vehicles, and robots. It was on today's date in 1958 that a patent for Lego bricks was applied for, which is why today is known as International LEGO Day, a day on which we celebrate all things Lego.
Lego bricks and other items are manufactured by the Lego Group, which is based in Billund, Denmark. It was in this city in 1932 that a carpenter by the name of Ole Kirk Christiansen began making wooden toys. Two years later, his company began being called "Lego," which came from leg godt, the Danish phrase meaning "play well." The company started making plastic toys in 1947, and interlocking bricks in 1949. Called "Automatic Binding Bricks," they were based on Kiddicraft Self-Locking Bricks.
On January 28, 1958, Christiansen's son, Godtfred Kirk Christiansen, submitted an application for a patent for a "Toy Building Brick." These new bricks were made with ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) polymer. All Lego bricks, then and now, are compatible with each other, no matter their size or what they are used to build. Since the 1950s, thousands of Lego sets of various themes and environments have been produced. Some of them include space, castle, city, pirates, and trains. Lego themes have also been licensed from film, cartoon, and video game franchises like Star Wars, Harry Potter, Batman, Indiana Jones, and Minecraft. Additionally, Lego manufactures Mindstorms, a robotics line of Lego, and Duplo, consisting of bigger blocks for younger children. Minifigures walked onto the scene in 1978 and can be found in many sets. Some older Lego sets are quite valuable today.
In 1998, Lego became one of the first inductees into the National Toy Hall of Fame. Lego pieces have appeared in works of art, in classrooms as educational tools, in books, and in film. Besides blocks and sets, the Lego Group has been behind movies, board and video games, and robotics competitions. There also are Legoland amusement parks, Legoland Discovery Centers, and Lego Stores. On International LEGO Day, we mark the anniversary of the patent application for Lego bricks, and we celebrate everything Lego.
How to Observe International LEGO Day
Some ways you could spend the day include:
- Build with Lego bricks! Use bricks to make a structure of your own or build a set from one of the many Lego themes.
- Watch a Lego film or television program, such as The Lego Movie.
- Play Lego board games or video games.
- Visit a Legoland amusement park, a Legoland Discovery Center, a Lego Store, or the National Toy Hall of Fame.
- Encourage a child to take part in a FIRST Lego League competition, and let them explore the Lego Life app.
- Delve into the many Lego sets from throughout the decades. You could even begin collecting some.
- Learn more about Lego on the Lego website or at The Brothers Brick website.