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legal form Aktieselskab
founding 1932
Seat Billund , Denmark
  • Niels Jacobsen: Chairman of the Board
Number of employees 13,974 (annual average)
sales 36.4 billion DKK (€ 3.4 billion) (2018)
Branch Toy maker

The Lego A / S (also The LEGO Group , own notation: LEGO) is a Danish company and the largest toy manufacturer in the world that by now regarded as classic toy Lego bricks has been known. It is a modular system in which from colored plastic - terminal modules homes and another can be built. Today mainly kits with cogwheels , figures and other small parts are sold, which can be put together to make predefined or self-invented models . The word Lego is derived from the Danish le g go dt ("play well").


Lego bricks 1949 and 1958, first without, then with inner tubes
Hilary Fisher Pages Interlocking Building Cubes from 1939
Former Lego logo (1965)
Lego model car 1:87 (1956–1968)
Lego model vehicle 1:87 truck (1956–1968)

The company was founded in 1932 by the Danish master carpenter Ole Kirk Christiansen, initially to manufacture wooden toys . In 1934 he invented the name Lego as an abbreviation for “ le g go dt”, Danish for “play well”. Assumptions that the name is derived from the Latin lego (I read, I collect) are disputed by the manufacturer.

1947 bought LEGO, the first plastic - injection molding machines . For example, rattles were first made.

In 1949, building blocks were introduced that already resembled today's blocks. Christiansen initially called his game pieces "Automatic Binding Bricks". They were colored plastic blocks made of cellulose acetate , the tops of which were studded with knobs , as is the case with today's stones . However, the bottom was completely hollow, which meant that models built with these stones were not particularly stable. This problem was eliminated by integrating tubes into the underside of the stones. This also made it possible for the stones to be stacked on top of each other laterally. This coupling principle was registered for a patent on January 28, 1958 , which expired in 1978.

The British company Kiddicraft , founded in 1932 by Hilary Page , had been producing plastic toy bricks of the same construction since the late 1930s. Lego did the design after receiving samples from the English manufacturer. Since the Kiddicraft company had only acquired the patent right in Great Britain , Lego was able to sell the product internationally. After Hilary's death in 1957, his patents in Great Britain soon expired; Lego acquired all of the patent rights from Kiddicraft in 1981.

From 1955 to 1968 Lego produced - from 1958 also in a plant in Hohenwestedt (Schleswig-Holstein) - model vehicles made of ABS plastic with wheels and axles made of metal. The models were based on real prototypes on a scale of 1:87 ( nominal size H0 ). The series comprised 13 passenger car and three VW transporter models in transparent garages, two different types of trucks (Bedford A and Mercedes-Benz short-hooded trucks ) with different bodies, and accessories such as two-wheelers, gas stations, traffic islands, trees, street lights and traffic signs , the Lego studs could be plugged onto the Lego studs in recent years. Suitable buildings could be built from the blocks already sold, supplemented by further elements such as garage door and special base plate.

From 1996 the Lego brick was registered as a trademark by the German Patent and Trademark Office . Several competitors took action against this. On July 16, 2009, the Federal Court of Justice confirmed the deletion of the trademark by the Federal Patent Court in the last instance . In the general interest, forms would have to be kept free from trademark protection , the essential characteristics of which fulfill a technical function. The knobs on the top of the token are part of the Lego-typical clamping system and therefore only have a technical function, ruled the Federal Court of Justice. The European Court of Justice ruled accordingly on September 14, 2010 .

The method of pegging was adopted from the anchor blocks pressed from stone powder (see anchor stone construction kit), which were already known in the 19th century, and transferred from Lego to an 8 mm plastic-based system. This construction prevailed and is still used.

In addition to the standard Lego bricks, the Christiansen family made various experiments and developed alternatives to Lego. From 1967 Modulex was produced for architects' offices: The bricks had the original shape with the hollow underside, were 5/8 the size of the original Lego bricks and were therefore not compatible. In addition to true-to-scale models, information boards were made from these stones, for example for hospitals. In the mid-1950s, Ole Kirk Christiansen's son Gerhardt Kirk founded the company BILOfix , which, in addition to wooden toys, also manufactured a kind of modular tool kit.

The Lego product range was constantly expanded, for example with panels and pitched roof parts, later with wheels, transparent stones and figures. Today there are thousands of different components (as of March 2013: approx. 78,000 different components in 96 colors, although not every component is manufactured in all colors). As before, they can all be combined in some way.

In 2003 the company made significant losses (around 180–190 million euros ). This was attributed to fatal mistakes in management, which gave up the classic children's topics, for example the introduced brand name Duplo and the classic Legoland (city) theme . Sales of Star Wars and Harry Potter products, which were included as fashion themes in the program and were initially successful, stagnated. The Bionicle series, regarded by many adult Lego fans as not typical of Lego, proved to be the “salvation” of Lego . One product in this series made it into the top ten best-selling Christmas gifts in the United States .

In response to the losses, a return to tried and tested issues was attempted. Economically visible successes were already evident in the first quarter of 2005, when the losses could be reduced to 13.2 million euros. In 2006, the production facilities in Switzerland (in Lucerne's Willisau ) and the distribution centers in Billund , Hohenwestedt , Flensburg , Dunkerque and Lyon were closed and relocated to the Czech Republic . The German headquarters moved from Hohenwestedt to Munich .

Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, Managing Director of Lego A / S

Jørgen Vig Knudstorp brought a change. His approach was: back to the core business. This included reducing the over 14,000 parts to less than half (today Lego sets consist of around 70 percent standard parts), reintroducing Duplo and a more classic redesign of the sets.

More recently, there have been increasing criticisms of the gender stereotypes manifested in the sales concept, as in the case of the “Friends” range of girls' products (with a significantly higher proportion of pink and purple among the colors).

In 2016, the German Federal Cartel Office sentenced the group to a contractual penalty of 130,000 euros. The German subsidiary of the Danish toy manufacturer had violated the ban on vertical price maintenance.

Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen , the grandson of the company founder, and his three adult descendants hold 75% of the shares.

In January 2019 a legal letter to the operator of the YouTube channel Held der Steine caused a sensation. Lego asked the terminal block dealer and YouTuber Thomas Panke to change its logo, which resembled a typical knob brick, as there would be a risk of confusion with Lego. The background was that Panke had applied for trademark protection for his logo, whereupon Lego tried to protect his own brand. Lego received criticism from various quarters for the type of communication. The dispute was settled a short time later; Lego announced that communication was unhappy.

In November 2019, Lego bought the world's largest Lego marketplace, Bricklink.

Design and manufacture, material and compatibility

Since their introduction in 1949, Lego bricks in all variants have primarily been part of a system. Today's Lego bricks, despite all the changes in shape, still fit together with the bricks from 1963, provided that the cellulose acetate material, which was used until the 1960s, has not deformed too much due to aging. Since 1963 Lego bricks are made of the plastic acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene - Copolymer produced (ABS). Transparent components are made of Makrolon , a polycarbonate , and axles are made of polyamide .

There were some changes in the colors for the first time in 2004 (including the change from "old gray" to "new gray").

Environmental balance and energy supply

In 2012, the company set itself the goal of covering all of its energy requirements with renewable energies . This goal was achieved in May 2017 with the commissioning of the expansion of the Burbo Bank offshore wind farm , in which Lego has a 25% stake. In 2016, the company's energy consumption was a good 360 million kWh.

From 2030, all stones are to be made from bio-based plastic , in which the plastic is to be made from sugar cane instead of petroleum . Flexible elements that represent plants have been made from bio-plastic since 2018. According to the company, the sugar cane for this comes from sustainable cultivation in Brazil .

Products and product lines


A typical 4 × 2 Lego brick

As a system , the Lego block pitches are called. A basic Lego block (with a knob ) has a square base of 7.8 mm × 7.8 mm and is 9.6 mm (without knob) or 11.3 mm (with knob) high. A Lego brick with 4 × 2 studs corresponds to a normal brick with 9 × 4½ × 3 inches on a scale of 1: 7 . The sizes of almost all other Lego elements are derived from this. Lego Technic connectors can also be combined with this cornerstone by inserting them into the tubes on the underside. There are also Lego clocks that can be combined with the foundation stones.


Lego men (minifigs) in rush hour traffic

In 1974, parts that could be used to build human figures were first sold. They were rotatable head and arm parts; the lower bodies were built with conventional stones. In the same year, smaller figures were published that resemble today's figures, but only the head could be rotated, but not the arms and legs. The heads were faceless.

In 1978 the miniature figures designed by Jens Nygaard Knudsen , the so-called minifigs, which are still common today, were presented . They are approx. 42 mm high (scale approx. 1:40) and can be dismantled into head, upper and lower body. Both legs are separated from each other and connected to the hip by a hinge. The arms, like the hands and the head, can be rotated.

In 1979, the Fabuland series was also launched, which was intended for younger children. “Fabuland” consisted of larger components; The figures were animals, and stories were told about them in the building instructions as well as in individually sold books and radio play cassettes. In 1989 the series was withdrawn from the program.

In 1986 a Lego Technic themed package consisting of four models (8620 (snow scooter), 8640 (polar helicopter), 8660 (rescue unit) and 8680 (arctic station)) was brought onto the market, and in 1988 the amphibious aircraft 8855 was also available there were figures that were much larger than the usual miniature figures. It was possible to move the head and, through joints, arms and legs.

The action figure series Galidor was launched in 2002, but with Lego blocks only had Lego Technic connections as joints.

Since 2004 there have been around 20 cm high knight figures with innovative joints as a supplement to the Knight's Kingdom series.

Themed series

Lego city rich in detail
Railroad systems. Above: 2006, battery operated; Middle left: 4.5 volt system (with open battery trolley), right 12 volt (old); bottom left: 12 volts "gray" with different thresholds and (middle) transition to the old rail system
Large, blue steam locomotive with a tender from the MY own TRAIN series
UFO themed Lego spaceship (1997)
Millennium Falcon from Star Wars: Article 7965 with 1254 parts, Microfighter Article 75030 with 94 parts and Ultimate Collector Series Article 75192 with 7541 parts

The Lego system series consists of numerous themed series that were produced in different time periods.

  • Stadt / City / World City : Lego City (formerly: Legoland ), as the city theme is currently called, is the manufacturer's longest-running and most successful theme. The Lego City products are based on game scenarios from city life, so there are police stations, fire stations, garbage trucks or even camping cars, and usually at least one specially designed figure.
  • Burg / Knight's Kingdom / Castle / Kingdoms : The castle theme was introduced in 1978 and has been marketed under the name Knight's Kingdom since 2004 . Lego Castle has been manufactured since 2007 . In 2010 the name was changed again and the series was called "Kingdoms". Since 2013, Lego has been running the theme again under the name "Castle".
  • Pirates : Pirate sets were produced from 1989 to 2002. Another series was launched in 2009 and 2010 under the name Pirates . New Pirates sets have been on sale since April 2015.
  • Western : Western was only produced in 1996 and 1997, but then discontinued due to lack of success. In 2002 there was a short reprint. In 2013 a western theme was launched again with the theme " Lone Ranger ".
  • Vikings : The Vikings theme was marketed from 2005 to 2006.
  • Exo-Force : Exo-Force is a series of Lego products with Japanese animated film characters that specialize in mech robots (fighting machines). As with other science fiction Lego themes, it is about the conflict between humans and robots. The series was a huge hit in 2006 and was the best-selling series after Lego City and Lego Star Wars . In 2007, however, there was a slump because only the smaller, cheaper models could be sold and the more expensive sets stayed in stores. The last Exo-Force models were produced in 2008 as the series was viewed as a failure.
  • Adventurer / Adventure / Pharaos Quest : This series was launched in 1998 and is set as an adventure in Egypt and since 2000 in the jungles of South America or in a dinosaur world. In 2011 the theme was then re-launched with “Pharaoh's Quest”.
  • Railroad : One of Lego's greatest successes, especially in Germany, was the toy train series launched in 1966 . The locomotives initially had 4.5 volts , from 1969 12 volt and since 1991 9 volt motors .
    • While the locomotives in the 4.5 volt system had to carry a battery car that could be switched on and off mechanically by signals, the trains in the 12 volt system picked up the voltage via additional busbars that were in the middle of the track have been attached to the runways. The system was supplied by a mains transformer .
    • The tracks of the 9-volt system introduced in 1991, which also includes other elements such as sirens and flashing lights, do not require an additional central conductor rail, as the conductors are now designed as a metal surface on the rails. In addition, the sleepers are firmly connected to the rails. The assembly of the tracks is thus much easier, but they are no longer fully compatible with the 12-volt system. The remote control of turnouts, signals and other parts was omitted with this system.
    • From summer 2006 to 2009 there was a railway system in which the power supply was provided by batteries in the train. The speed was controlled remotely via an infrared transmitter. The only difference between the motorized chassis and those of the 9-volt system was that the wheels no longer contain any metal for drawing electricity; the tracks also differed only in the point that the previous rails were covered with metal on the running surfaces for the purpose of current flow. The 9 V infrared battery system is therefore backwards compatible with the previous systems.
    • In summer 2009, a new system was published in which the train is powered by the remote-controlled Power Functions motor system that has been used in other Lego themes since 2007 . Lego also launched new tracks that consist of small sections. Each section consists of two parts that can be rotated to each other at an angle of a few degrees. Many of these sections together make a flexible track that can be used to build both straight lines and curves.
    • Lately, models that are closer to the original have become increasingly available, for example replicas of the Super Chief of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad and the Hogwarts Express from the Harry Potter films. From 2001 to 2005, steam locomotives , railway wagons and accessories were combined in the MY own TRAIN product range . For the first time, a Lego set in different colors and designs could be ordered there (small tender locomotive, small tender locomotive, large tender locomotive and large tender locomotive; colors: blue, black, green, dark gray and brown).
  • Space : The space theme was launched in 1979 due to the success of Star Wars and has continued since then with various changing subtopics such as Space Police , Ice Planet , M: Tron , Mars Mission etc. to this day.
  • Belville : In 1994 an attempt was made to introduce Lego to those girls who were not interested in the conventional building block system. In contrast to the other Lego themes, the color of the bricks was predominantly pink and beige . Was replaced Belville by 2,012 newly introduced series Friends . There are now more than 100 building sets from the Lego Friends series. A city of its own was created for the target group of 5 to 12 year old girls: Heartlake City.
  • Games : In 2010 Lego tried to construct board games from Lego bricks. Most of the board games were designed as dice games: Dice are rolled with a "Lego cube" made of rubber and with knobs on its six sides for attaching dice images. The currently most popular Lego game series is called "Heroica" and deals with an interactive medieval board game.
  • Licensed topics: At the start of the movie Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace , Lego entered into a cooperation with Lucasfilm . This enabled the manufacturer to sell licensed kits for spaceships and the like from the Star Wars universe. They came with minifigure equivalents of the characters from the Star Wars films. The Star Wars series also included sets with a large number of parts, the so-called Ultimate Collector Sets (UCS). There are over 240 Lego Star Wars sets in total. Lego entered into a similar cooperation for Harry Potter , Batman , Spider-Man , Pirates of the Caribbean , SpongeBob SquarePants and Indiana Jones products. There are also licensed products for the Toy Story and Cars film series by Walt Disney . Another cooperation was concluded at the end of 2011, this time for The Lord of the Rings products.
  • Ideas (2008–2014: Cuusoo ): Suggestions for new sets can be submitted via an online platform. If a proposal reaches more than 10,000 supporters in a certain period of time in the community, Lego takes it for closer examination. The proposal may then be produced in series, but often slightly modified, sometimes greatly modified.
  • Ninjago : Ninjago is a series of related sets that originate from the TV series LEGO Ninjago - Masters Of Spinjitzu . It's about six ninjas fighting evil.
  • Hidden Side : Haunted ghosts in the city of Newbury are to be caught or the citizens of the city are to be freed from them. The ghosts happening and catching mainly takes place in a smartphone app.

Lego generates at least a third of its sales with licensed products, and even more on the US market. In a report from January 2013, Bayerischer Rundfunk stated the increasing militarization of the Star Wars series (including the increasingly detailed execution of handguns, the use of camouflage colors, etc.) as well as increasing aggressiveness in the facial expressions of the "evil" characters instead of the earlier neutral ones -friendly expression and states: “In 2000 and 2010 Lego must have decided that peacefulness is no longer worthwhile. Perhaps it is the influence of licensing lines such as Harry Potter , Spider-Man or Lord of the Rings that makes it necessary that the question of good and bad can no longer be left to children. "

  • Seasonal products / special products
    • The Lego advent calendar has been appearing for Christmas for several years. In 2007 there was also a Belville calendar for girls . A Santa Claus, an angel and a Christmas tree were also offered. In 2008 Lego wrapping paper with a special print was also available. Furthermore, a pumpkin was offered for Halloween .
    • The range has also been expanded to include many other products, such as magnet sets in the form of Lego figures, lunch boxes, pens and more.


Lego Duplo logo
Lego Duplo

Duplo bricks are Lego bricks enlarged to a scale of 2: 1, which also explains the name (from Latin duplus "double, twice as big"). The conventional Lego bricks are not suitable for children under three years of age, as small parts can be swallowed. That is why the Duplo system was introduced in 1969, which, according to the packaging, is suitable for children aged 1½ to 5 years. Both systems can be combined, as the knobs of the Duplo bricks are hollowed out so that exactly one tube of a Lego brick fits into it. In 2002 Duplo was renamed Lego Explore , but in 2004 it was back on the market as Lego Duplo .

Lego Explore

As Lego Explore a variety of new products to market, such as the music series came Lego Explore Music Orchestra  (3364), Music Twister  (3361), music Tapper  (3362) and Music Roller  (3363). There was also a whole range of extensions with new melodies (3371) and musical instruments / noises (3370). Available instruments / sounds are piano (1), double bass (3), drums (6), TomTom (8), flute (9), xylophone (11), bell (12), dog (15), duck (18), Organ (23), violin (27) and owl (30). There are also banjo, accordion, spring, pig, cow, sheep from the 3370 set. There is also a rattle, tuba, drum, horn, car and guitar.

Lego Technic

Lego Technic 8859: tractor from 1981

With Lego Technic , Lego managed to bind older children to the Lego world. The 1977 in Germany with the slogan "technique as in reality" introduced series extended the Lego blocks to newly formed tooth - and bevel gears , hole bar (lift arms Technic Bricks), special electric motors , and later to the pneumatic - and light elements. This made it possible, for example, to build technically sophisticated, remote-controlled cars with functioning steering. The main feature of the Technic elements are the holes they contain for axles, connecting sockets and other elements. Since the Lego Technic models are built much larger than the usual Lego models due to the technical details, special figures were introduced in 1986 that were significantly larger than the standard figures and had more joints. Since the late 1990s, more and more Technic elements have been introduced that no longer have the knobs of the classic building blocks. These components are usually referred to as "lift arms", they can be combined with the classic studded Technic perforated bars via sockets, axles and other connectors. In the years that followed, the lift arms replaced the classic Technic perforated beams more and more, so that the Technic models now mostly hardly have any classic perforated bricks.

Lego Model Team

This series was introduced in 1986, in Germany only from 1990. The series was listed in the catalogs until the turn of the millennium, and in 2004 a set was reissued once. The series consisted almost exclusively of vehicles that were very model-like and were therefore often used as decorative objects. Where necessary, elements from the Technic series were used (wheels, steering), but the appearance of the models differs significantly from the Technic models of that time.

Lego Bionicle

Lego Bionicle is a product line for the target group of 7 to 16 year olds, which was initially launched in 2001 as a Lego Technic product . From 2002, there was Bionicle as an independent series from Lego. It also became very popular with the elderly; there are many fan websites for this product line. Four animated films with the Bionicle figures have been released on DVD since 2003. There are also several video games for different platforms, board and trading card games. In 2005, the sale of theme sets made from conventional Lego bricks and bricks or masks from the series began.

The Bionicle figures are based on classic elements of Polynesian mythology and can mostly be combined with Lego Technic elements. In addition to the standard figures from Lego Technic, they are the most posable Lego figures ever produced.

There are a large number of heroic stories related to this themed series that are told on the Internet, in books, comics and films.

A total of around 200 different Bionicle sets have appeared. The stories about the characters can be broken down into seven big stories. The last Bionicle sets, the Bionicle Stars, appeared in early 2010. The follow-up series (Hero Factory) has been around since summer 2010, but it has no thematic connection to Bionicle. The story behind the Bionicle figures is to be continued and published on the Internet.

In the winter of 2014, new Bionicle figures were finally released again, which represented new editions of the first sets from 2001. The storyline was also largely adopted. Lego announced that it would phase out the Bionicle series at the end of 2016, but did not rule out a new edition in the future.

Lego Magnetic

In Lego Magnetic is not a very common form of magnetic Lego bricks. Like other merchandising items, these are so little known because they are only available in Lego's own stores ( Lego Brand Stores , German branches currently in Berlin , Essen , Frankfurt , Hamburg , Cologne , Leipzig , Munich , Nuremberg , Oberhausen and Saarbrücken ) and in Legoland . Of Lego Magnetic there are stones with 4, 6 and 8 knobs, and figures, which hold without pressing on a magnetic stone. The figures cannot be taken apart between the torso and the hip because the parts are glued there.

Lego Magnetic was banned in the US because someone managed to take the magnets out of the bricks. We are currently working on a new version which should no longer be able to do this. In Europe, Lego Magnetic has also been removed from the online shop and is only available in small numbers in Lego's own stores and in Legoland .


The Quatro bricks have edges that are twice as long as the Duplo elements and thus four times longer than “normal” Lego bricks. They can be combined with Duplo stones and, according to the packaging, are suitable for children from 1 to 3 years. The stones have more rounded corners than the Duplo stones and are made of a slightly softer material. Introduced in 2004, production was discontinued in 2006.

Primo stones


The Primo parts - also called Baby or Duplo Baby - are three times the size of Duplo elements and therefore six times the size of Lego system bricks. Primo building blocks appear softer thanks to their strongly rounded edges and hemispherical knobs at the top, making them suitable for babies. The cylindrical sleeve only protrudes 5 mm at the bottom with Primo, which makes the plug connection rotatable on a Primo knob or 4 Duplo knobs. Neighboring knobs do not interfere. Lego Primo went on sale in 1997 and was discontinued in 2006.


The bricks manufactured by the Lego subsidiary Modulex from 1963 in a wide range of colors were used to build architectural models and information boards. With their 5 mm grid, they are around a third smaller than the Lego system blocks (8 mm) and are therefore not compatible. Some of them have an "M" on their knobs.


In Lego Soft is soft large blocks for toddlers. Similar parts to Duplo are available. The dimensions of a stone with 4 × 2 studs are 19.0 cm × 9.5 cm × 7.0 cm.

Architectural design of a building with stones from the Architecture series


The beginning of this series can be traced back to the 1960s. This development began with the Scale Model line , which was founded in early 1962 and whose components were not in the usual five colors, but in white to support the creativity of engineers. However, this line ended in 1965; it was not until 2005 that the series was continued in a similar way with Architecture . It consists on the one hand of a creative kit with exclusively white elements, on the other hand of many historical buildings to replicate such as the Trevi Fountain , the Eiffel Tower , the UN headquarters in New York, the Brandenburg Gate , the Leaning Tower of Pisa and many other buildings.

Since 2016 there are not only historical buildings, but also skylines with buildings and sights. The first skylines from 2016 were Venice , Berlin and New York City . In 2017 more were added with Sydney , Chicago and London . Shanghai was released in January 2018.

Lego Creator

The “Lego Creator” series has been around since 2001, its sets comprised houses, cars, planes and figures, and later several subject areas were added. Many sets contain A, B and C models - instructions for three different models are then included. These sets are labeled “3-in-1”. For older Lego fans ( AFOLs ) there is the Creator Expert series, which includes the modular house series. There were also the subtopics X-Pods and Mosaics.

Pitch, compatibility

Dimensions of Lego bricks
Comparison of Lego and Duplo bricks
Measure Lego ("system") Duplo Quatro Primo
Width (grid) 8 mm 16 mm 32 mm 48 mm
Width (module) 7.8 mm 15.6 mm 31.2 mm 46.8 mm
Height (building block height) 9.6 mm 19.1 mm ? 38.3 mm (including 5 mm tube protrusion at the bottom)
Plate height (relative) 1/3 1/2 1/3
The grid size reflects the enlargement of a building by adding a stone;
on a stone, it is the measurable distance from the center of the pimple to the center of the pimple.

A few tenths of a millimeter of space is planned as a joint between the built-in stones. The bricks are a little narrower than the grid, around 7.8 mm for Lego and 15.6 mm for Duplo. This allows a stone to be easily inserted into a gap, even if the stone is slightly warped, bent or roughened. The structure also tolerates a certain bending of the base plate and becomes somewhat flexible. Rough breaking down of a wall becomes possible and the stones are protected from overload.

The knobs from Lego are labeled “LEGO” at the top, the knobs from Primo at the top and the bottom in the hollow duplo knobs with “LEGO” or “DUPLO”.

Lego Duplo Quatro Primo
Lego also sits on Lego studs
Duplo 2 × 2 stones and their multiples fit on Duplo studs because they are hollow fits With its cylinder sleeve protruding from below, it fits over 4 duplo knobs.
Because the body does not extend so far down, the simple primo stone remains freely rotatable on 4 duplo nubs (just like on a primo nub) despite the neighboring nubs.
Quatro fits
Railway bridge made from ZNAP elements


The ZNAP system introduced in 1998 was similar to Fischertechnik , but was discontinued after a year. Large model structures could be built with the ZNAP elements. Its holes made it compatible with Technic elements and thus with conventional Lego bricks.

Lego media / software

Video games

A whole series of Lego video games for PC and various game consoles have appeared since the late 1990s . Most of these games, e.g. B. Lego Star Wars , Lego Racers , Lego Rock Raiders , Adventures on the Lego Island , Lego Loco or Lego Master can be assigned to classic computer game genres ( car racing , strategy , adventure ). However, the virtual game worlds are made of Lego bricks. There are also several themed versions of the game Lego Creator (Standard, Knights Kingdom , Harry Potter , Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets ), with which virtual Lego worlds can be built on the PC.

Later, Lego video games were also created, in which you had to complete different levels; mostly based on films of the same name. These include: Lego Harry Potter (“ Years I – IV ” appeared in June 2010, “ Years V – VII ” a year later), Lego Star Wars (several parts available), Lego Indiana Jones (“ The legendary adventures "Published in June 2008," The New Adventures "in November 2009), Lego Batman and Lego Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game .

The massively multiplayer online game Lego Universe was released in October 2010 . In this, the players create their own characters and explore the virtual world with them. The players fight against an evil force that wants to take control of the Lego universe. Lego Universe was discontinued in January 2012. For some time now it has been playable again by the community using a private server.

In early 2011, Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars was another part of the Lego Star Wars series published.

In 2012 the games Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes and Lego The Lord of the Rings were released (November 30, 2012).

In March 2013 was published exclusively for the Wii U , the on Lego City -based open world Lego City Undercover , and in autumn 2013 Lego Marvel Superheroes .

On April 11, 2014 Lego released three new games: The Lego Movie Videogame , Lego Marvel Super Heroes and Lego The Hobbit . The latter processes the first two films of Peter Jackson's film trilogy The Hobbit , although there are no plans to complete the story of the third film via download content or a stand-alone game.

Lego Jurassic World , which has all four parts of the Jurassic Park series on the topic, was released on June 11, 2015 . In September of the same year, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment published the action adventure Lego Dimensions developed by TT Games . In this game, the purchase of real Lego minifigures enables them to be used virtually in various game universes that can be unlocked, e.g. B. Jurassic World , Doctor Who or The Simpsons .

The list of Lego video games contains an overview of all Lego video games released so far.

Digital designer

The Lego Digital Designer program (also called LDD or DesignByMe from Lego), which can be downloaded free of charge from the Lego website, enables the user to develop their own Lego models and create the associated instructions. The models could then be ordered from Lego as a single item including packaging until January 2012.

Lego Mindstorms

A first generation programmable component (RCX)
Lego NXT main building block of the 2nd generation (2.0)

Main articles: Lego Mindstorms and Mindstorms NXT

The first attempt to combine Lego with computer technology was the Lego Technic Computer Control series , which was developed in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) from 1984 and introduced in 1986. However, she could not prevail.

After renewed cooperation with MIT, Lego Mindstorms was successfully introduced in 1998 , with which robots can be built and programmed using a computer . The heart of every robot is the Robotics Command System (also: RCX), a battery-operated "programmable Lego brick". Programming can be carried out in numerous programming languages, from the original Lego block language to Java. The program is then transferred from the computer to the RCX via an infrared interface . This has a small LCD and connections for various sensors, such as temperature, light, rotation and contact sensors, as well as for electric motors and luminous stones.

After its appearance, Lego Mindstorms quickly formed a large fan base on the Internet with building and programming instructions. Due to the versatility of Lego Mindstorms, robots built with it were also used for scientific research purposes and were the subject of research work. Other sensors have been developed by third-party manufacturers.

In early 2006 Lego presented a new programmable building block, the NXT . This first appeared on the American market in mid-2006. The sensors of the RCX can be connected to the NXT using an adapter cable from Lego. The motors of the PF series can also be used with an additional adapter cable. New to the NXT are, among other things, motors that can only be operated via the NXT, but have an integrated rotation sensor. Ultrasonic and noise sensors have also been introduced. In this set only the new Technic “lift arms” were used. Although these do not have the well-known knobs, their shape opens up considerably more possibilities for constructions that were not possible with the previous perforated beams, such as the installation of strong joints in a robot. A combination of both systems enables further, previously impossible constructions.

In January 2013 Lego announced the new Mindstorms EV3 (EV = Evolution, 3 = 3rd Generation), which appeared in stores for the first time in autumn 2013. Five standard robots have been released for the EV3, plus 12 fan-designed bonus robots that can all be built from the main components of the EV3. The standard robots include a. the "TRACKER3R" and the humanoid robot "EV3RSTORM". Bonus robots developed by fans include: a. "PLOTT3R" (a drawing robot) and "EV3D4" (which is very similar to the R2D2 robot from Star Wars ). In the EV3, the so-called Brick is based on the open Linux operating system; this makes the brick hackable.

Lego Boost

At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2017 in Las Vegas was Lego Boost presented. It is a robot kit with app support. The aim is to introduce children from the age of seven to programming and animating self-made models. Lego Boost consists of a control unit with a tilt sensor, a distance sensor and an interactive motor. To build a robot, it contains a total of 843 Lego bricks and a play mat. There are apps for Android and iOS for programming .

Jump & run games

In addition to the “normal” computer games such as Lego Racers or Lego Creators , Lego also launched a film-oriented game in 2005 with Lego Star Wars . This takes place in the world of Star Wars , which is virtually modeled with Lego bricks. In the game, the player can re-enact many film scenes from the entire Star Wars hexalogy. There is an age restriction from six years, because "killed" figures simply crumble into Lego bricks. In 2006 there was a sequel to this game: While the first part dealt with the first trilogy begun in 1999, the sequel was based on the "classic" trilogy from the 1970s and 1980s. Since 2008, Lego has also introduced other games in this genre, such as Lego Indiana Jones: The Legendary Adventures and Lego Batman: The Video Game . The gameplay has changed only slightly in these games and now allows you to pick up items and use them as weapons. In addition, there are phobias in the Indiana Jones version in which the characters move more slowly. The Batman game is not based on several films, but has an independent storyline in which the most wanted criminals have escaped from the Arkham Asylum . The game has 18 levels and, in addition to the story and the free game mode, can also be played in the villain mode, in which you play two opponents of Batman who go through the same level, but on a different path. For example, in story mode you jump on the houses of Gotham City , while in villain mode you run through the sewers. In 2009 Lego Indiana Jones 2 was also released. The film The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was not included in the first part. In May 2011, Lego Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game , another Lego jump-and-run, was released.

Hidden side

Hidden Side represents the attempt by Legos to link real and virtual game worlds. With the appearance of the first sets in 2019, an app for iOs and Android was also available, with which the built sets can be scanned. Similar to the game Pokémon Go , ghosts then appear on the screen , which can be caught and collected. In the meantime, the app has been expanded to include a further mode that also enables the game to be played without sets.

Lego Education

The products of the Lego Education series were specially developed for teaching and some contain materials for teachers and students. This includes special sets from the Mindstorms series, supplementary ranges, sorting systems and furniture. These products are not available in toy stores, but in specialist shops for schools.

The Lego sets of the Lego Dacta product series , which were specially designed for educational purposes , are similar . This series is also only available from specialist dealers for school and kindergarten supplies.

Lego Serious Play

Lego Serious Play (LSP) was developed in the mid-1990s by Professors Johan Roos and Bart Victor in collaboration with the Lego Group and is now used in companies and organizations, in teams and with individuals. LSP is a moderated process that combines the benefits of playing and modeling with Lego bricks with the serious concerns of the business world.

In LSP workshops, for example, the participants develop new business strategies, develop or optimize teamwork, or analyze crisis situations and develop solution concepts. The topics dealt with should not only be visualized, but should also be made "understandable" by building metaphorical three-dimensional models. The playful interaction with the models is intended to improve communication and promote insight, imagination and creative brainstorming on the part of the participants.

Legoland theme parks

Lego-style amusement parks have also existed since 1968. There is the first of its kind in Billund ( Denmark ) next to the first plant, others in Windsor , England , in Carlsbad (California) and in Günzburg ( Germany ). In 2005 70% of the shares were sold to the Blackstone Group , which brought its shares into the Merlin Entertainments Group . The first Legoland in Germany was in Sierksdorf from 1973 to 1976 .


In the 1980s, Lego blocks and figures were first used to create short animated films (also called brick films ). The scene around these amateur filmmakers grew so quickly that Lego released the Steven Spielberg Movie Maker Set , which, in addition to some special Lego bricks, contains a digital ( Logitech ) webcam that can be connected to a PC via a USB port .

The best-known example of a Lego animated film from the media coverage of the 2006 Football World Cup is the film adaptation of the legendary final of the 1954 Football World Cup ( Miracles of Bern ) . The ten-minute film adaptation ( The Heroes of Bern ) serves the original commentary by Herbert Zimmermann .

The following films have been released:

  • The LEGO Movie , animated film, USA / Australia, 2014, 100 min., Written and directed by Phil Lord , Chris Miller , German cinema release on April 10, 2014
  • The LEGO Batman Movie , animated film, USA, 2017, 105 min., Book: Seth Grahame-Smith, Chris McKenna , Erik Sommers , director: Chris McKay, German cinema release on February 9, 2017
  • The LEGO Ninjago Movie , animated film, USA, 2017, 101 min., Book: Bob Logan, Paul Fisher, William Wheeler, Tom Wheeler, Jared Stern, John Whittington, director: Charlie Bean, Paul Fisher, Bob Logan, German cinema release on 21 September 2017
  • The LEGO Movie 2 , animated film, USA, 2019, German cinema release on February 7, 2019

Competitors and manufacturers of compatible building blocks

Various other manufacturers also rely on the successful toy concept of the terminal blocks. In the GDR , for example, PEBE and Formo stones were produced. The company Montini from the Netherlands developed its own connector system parallel to Lego. Rasti came onto the market around 1966 . In the period that followed, it developed into an independent system. The building blocks are insignificantly larger than the Lego blocks, are made of soft plastic and snap into place for a slightly better cohesion. Today it is manufactured in Argentina and sold in several South American countries.

Lego was able to win a patent dispute between Lego and Coko Toy in 2002. The competent court found that many of the building blocks from Coko were so similar to those from Lego that there was a patent infringement. The company was ordered to cease production of these parts, publish a formal apology in a newspaper, and pay a small fine to Interlego. In 2003 Lego won another lawsuit in Norway against the Swedish company Biltema , which sold Coko toys.

Lego tried to bring the spiked appearance of the Lego bricks under trademark protection in order to stop the production of Lego imitations. The Federal Court of Canada lifted trademark protection in 2002 on the grounds that a functional design could not be protected under trademark law. This decision was confirmed in the second instance and in 2005 the Supreme Court issued a declaration according to which "trademark law should not be used to allow monopoly rights to continue under non-expired patents". In Germany, on December 2, 2004, the Federal Court of Justice cleared the way for compatible Lego products. The European Court of Justice confirmed in September 2010 that Lego bricks are not a protected trademark, but a technical solution whose patents had expired in the 1970s. Today, competing companies are allowed to build a large part of the Lego building blocks; Lego still has copyrights or similar rights to some forms. There are lists of the critical parts in this regard.

There are now numerous providers whose building blocks are compatible with Lego. Many products are similar to the original Lego products in terms of plastic and manufacturing precision; some do not achieve comparable quality in terms of accuracy of fit and surface design. (Status: 2020)

Photo of the now overhauled world record Lego tower in Munich with a height of 29.97 m; built from October 1st to 4th, 2009

World records

Various world records are and have been set with Lego . Huge towers, long millipedes, huge pictures or cars in their original size are assembled. The world records are often classified by specifying length, height, number of Lego bricks and hours worked.

Lego is also the largest "tire manufacturer" in the world: in 2016, the company produced over 730 million tires, around four times as many as the largest "regular" tire manufacturer Bridgestone .

Possible combinations

Lego bricks can be put together in the most varied of ways, resulting in countless possible combinations. The number of 24 possibilities for two 4 × 2 stones of the same color can be derived easily and clearly. For three or more stones, the calculation is no longer that easy. As a study by the Mathematics Faculty of Aarhus University shows, the number of combinations rises to over 85 billion for just seven 4 × 2 stones of the same color. An exact calculation for eight or more stones, however, was not possible for the authors.

All possibilities to put together two 4 × 2 Lego blocks of the same color. There are 24 variants (red pairs). All white pairs are already represented by one of the red pairs.
Number of
4 × 2 Lego blocks of the same color
resulting possible
1 00,000,000.001
3 00,000.001,560
4th 00,000.119,580
6th 00.915.103.765
7th 85,747,377,755

Campaigns related to Lego

Partnership with Shell

Greenpeace launched a global campaign in July 2014 that questions the partnership between Lego and Shell . Greenpeace believed that Lego should no longer put Shell logos on its toys as Shell was drilling in the Arctic. Lego's partnership with Shell dates back to the 1960s. The online petition and the YouTube video launched in 2014 went viral through social media .

Stop funding hate

Lego ended its advertising partnership with the British tabloid Daily Mail in 2016 , also responding to a request from the Stop Funding Hate campaign , which called for people not to run ads in the media that sow hatred and promote social division.

Related topics


  • Der Lego-Stein (alternative title: La Brique Lego ) documentary film, France, 2009, 26 min., Script and director: Anna-Célia Kendall, production: arte France, Lobster Films, Steamboat Films, Center Pompidou , series: design, German first broadcast : March 1, 2012 at arte, table of contents and video excerpt (1 min.) By arte.
  • Mega-Fabriken: Lego (original title: Megafactories ) documentary, USA, 2012, 41:10 min., Director: Emre Izat, production: Off the fence, National Geographic Channels, series: Megafabriken - Europa, German first broadcast on January 18, 2013 on n-tv , table of contents from National Geographic.
  • Lego - the building block empire. (= Companies on the edge ; season 2, episode 3). A film by Leo Gizzi, production: Make Productions. 42:54 min. German first broadcast: ZDFinfo , August 30, 2018.


Web links

Commons : Lego  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Lego brick  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

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