Time to LEGO?


The family-run company’s friendly image is hard to maintain when announcing more than 1,000 layoffs, but Lego expressed humility at the need to let workers go. “We are very sorry to make changes which may interfere with the lives of many of our colleagues. Our colleagues put so much passion into their work every day and we are deeply grateful for that,” Knudstorp said. “Unfortunately, it is essential for us to make these tough decisions.” More at Quartz.

LEGO is a company that deserves to be admired and the products have inspired millions for generations. I do hope the company doesn’t eventually fall under the weight of the trend that is killing Toys R Us.

Categories: Misc

4 replies

  1. I understand they’re a lot smaller than people realise. Places like Legoland give the impression they’re bigger, but they’re often owned by others eg. Merlin Entertainment.

  2. That is a bummer!
    Its been interesting seeing some of their fall and rise, especially as they’ve moved into other people’s “universes”, starting with Star Wars.

    I lost a heapload of money loaned to a toy store, “The Construction Site”, that started with a focus on all building toys. For a while they were the USA’s second largest importer of Lego, behind Toys R Us! Despite being kind of rinky dink. Unfortunately they over-expanded and got crushed in the 2007-8 downturn.

    Interesting how “they’re smaller than people realize” – some culturally important Japanese game companies might be like that? Specifically I think Nintendo, especially back in the 1980s. It’s intriguing how some things punch way above their weight, culturally speaking.

  3. There’s still the excitement of building with Lego. My son kept his and has handed them down to my grandson, although I’m not sure who has more fun building stuff. The movie tie-ins, although we may turn up our noses, keep things exciting for the next generation. Who wouldn’t want to build their own X-Wing?

    • I dig that they seem to have gone back to their roots sometimes, both in terms of not doing “big ugly pieces that should actually be made of smaller things” and sets that aren’t “intellectual properties”, but can be reconfigured into 3 or 4 different things.

      Legos occupy a special point in the matrix of “ease of assembly” and “can make cool looking, realistic, or otherwise visually finessed things”. Tinker Toys are easy to use but the the results always look so skeletal, similar for Magna-Tiles (magnetic squares+triangles). Other things (I’m thinking Erector, maybe?) might look cool and be more sophisticated but are tougher to get your head around (says the guy who never quite got as deep as Technic does 😉 LEGO is a sweet spot.

      One change: as a kid in the 80s, I felt I could make sets that were cooler than the models the bricks came in (specifically in my favorite “Space” line -my favorite for it’s “realism” in the sense of we know modern day cars and houses and old castles or pirate ships don’t have dot studs all over them, but the future– who knows, maybe they will!) but these days- forget it! Once the Star Wars line added these crazy interesting “joints”, the bar for how cool something could look and move got raised – look at something like the “Recon Mech RP” from their Mars series! Crazy detailed. Which is empowering in some ways, but also oddly discouraging – in the same way in the 80s I could make a video game that was at least in the same genre as the commercial games, but now that everything is 3D, the gap is so wide! (With AAA games at least- casual games are still in the realm of the possible-by-amateurs)

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