If you’re like most people, there’s a good chance you grew up playing with LEGO bricks and building sets. The iconic toys are instantly recognized around the world, and they appeal to a wide variety of age groups. But how much do you really know about Lego?
Here, check out 100 fun things to know about the LEGO brand we all know and love, from interesting historical facts to current-day immersive Lego experiences you may want to add to your bucket list.
1. The word “LEGO” is actually a combination of two Danish words: “leg,” which means play, and “godt,” which means good.
2. In Latin, Lego means “I put together.”
3. The plural of LEGO is “LEGO.”
4. LEGO bricks were invented in 1932 by Ole Kirk Christiansen, a Danish carpenter and the 10th child of an impoverished family. He founded The Lego Group that same year.
5. Christiansen’s principal assistant was his third son, Godtfred, who started working with his father at age 12.
6. The first LEGO bricks were made entirely of wood.
7. The LEGO Group began making plastic Lego bricks in 1947, after they got wind of a competitor in the UK doing the same.
8. Christiansen received a patent for the interlocking wooden version of the Lego brick in 1949.
9. A patent for the modern, plastic Lego brick was granted in January 1958, just a few weeks before Ole Kirk Christiansen passed away. The patent and company were inherited by his son Godtfred.
10. The plastic LEGO bricks made in 1958 are compatible with Lego bricks made today.
11. Lego construction sets were first imported into the United States in 1962.
12. The Lego Group first began including assembly instructions with its construction sets in 1964. These step-by-step instructions soon became an integral part of the toys’ packaging.
13. According to The Lego Group, the word LEGO is an adjective, not a noun. So, to be used correctly, it must describe a noun: Lego bricks, Lego sets, Lego products, etc.
14. There are more than 400 billion LEGO bricks in the world.
15. If all the Lego bricks in the world were stacked on top of one another, they would create a structure nearly 2.4 million miles tall, which is 10 times the distance to the moon.
16. However, you can only build a Lego tower to be 2.17 miles high before the bottom Lego brick would break. That means a single Lego brick can support 375,000 other bricks before giving out.
17. If you’ve ever wondered why it hurts so much when you step on a Lego brick, consider this: One Lego brick can withstand up to 953 pounds of force before breaking.
18. The Guinness World Record for the tallest tower of Lego bricks was set in Milan, Italy, in June 2015. More than a half million Lego bricks were used to complete the tower, which stood at 114 feet, 11 inches.
19. The amount of LEGO bricks sold in just one year could wrap around the Earth 18 times (2012)
20. Around the world, seven LEGO sets are sold every second. That’s more than 600,000 every day.
21. Most LEGO bricks are still manufactured in Denmark. Other major manufacturing locations include Hungary, Mexico, and China.
22. There are about 86 Lego bricks for every person on Earth.
23. The LEGO Group opened the first LEGOLAND park in Denmark in 1968. In its first season alone, the park saw 625,000 visitors.
24. The LEGO Group’s iconic logo was designed in 1973. It has not been changed since then.
25. The first LEGO minifigure was produced in 1978. It was a police officer and part of the “Town” themed set.
26. In 1977, Ole Kirk Christiansen’s grandson, Kjeld, took over The Lego Group.
27. The Lego Group’s first theme set, LEGOLAND Space, was produced in 1979.
28. Since its founding, the Lego company’s motto has been “Det bedste er ikke for godt.” In English, that roughly translates to: “Only the best is good enough.”
29. The first theme licensed by Lego was Star Wars. The company’s Star Wars construction sets first debuted in 1999. LEGO Star Wars sets are one of the most popular sets made by LEGO.
30. The Boba Fett figurine from the Star Wars Cloud City Lego construction set is one of the most rare and thus collectable Lego minifigures in the world.
31. Every second, about 1,300 Lego pieces are made around the world. That adds up to 78,000 per minute and nearly 4.7 million every hour.
32. And Lego doesn’t just make bricks: In fact, there are over 3,700 different Lego elements in production these days.
33. The Lego Group currently produces its pieces in more than 60 different colors.
34. Have you ever wondered how Lego pieces fit together so perfectly? Well, the molds used to make Lego elements are accurate to within 0.004 millimeters. To put that into perspective: That’s about 10 times narrower than the width of a single human hair.
35. Lego pieces are extremely versatile. In fact, just six 2X4-inch Lego bricks can be combined in over 915 million ways.
36. The Lego Group is the world’s largest tire manufacturer. The company produces a staggering 318 million tiny tires each year for use on vehicles within its building sets. That breaks down to 870,000 each day.
37. The company must have a stockpile of these parts, because it also claims to sell more than 400 million of its tires every year.
38. If your Lego set is missing a piece or one of the pieces breaks, you can contact Lego’s Brick Replacement Customer Service, which will replace the item for free.
39. Anyone with an idea for a new and unique Lego construction set can propose it via the Lego Ideas website. If your idea gains 10,000 supporters, the Lego company will review it and may send it into production.
40. The first Lego figurines to be based on real people debuted in 2003. These minifigures represented popular NBA basketball players such as Kobe Bryant.
41. If Lego minifigures were counted as a population group, they would be the largest in the world: There are more than 4 billion of them.
42. About 86 percent of Lego minifigures are male.
43. The first Lego figurines had yellow skin and simple features. It wasn’t until 2003 that the company began making its minifigures with realistic skin tones, modeled hair, and even facial expressions.
44. Until 2002, every Lego minifigure was exactly four bricks high. The Yoda minifigure was the first to break that mold.
45. More than 8 quadrillion unique minifigures could be made using the parts produced over the last three decades alone.
46. The most expensive Lego minifigure is said to be worth about $200. It’s the 14k gold Star Wars 30th Anniversary C-3PO, and the company made only two of them.
47. In 2009, British TV presenter James May, built the first-ever full-sized house made of Lego pieces. It contained 3.3 million of the plastic bricks and even included a working toilet and shower, which were, you guesses it, made of Lego pieces.
48. When it comes to Lego sets, the largest ever sold is the Lego Taj Mahal, which contains nearly 6,000 pieces.
49. Have you ever seen the acronym AFOL? It means “Adult Fans of Lego.”
50. Most Lego pieces are made from ABS plastic, which means they will never decompose. However, in 2018 the Lego Group released some botanical pieces such as leaves, trees, and bushes that were made from a plant=based plastic.
51. The company has pledged to use sustainable materials in all of its core products and packaging by 2030.
52. The Lego Group is one of the world’s three largest toymakers. The other two companies that regularly appear in the top three are Hasbro and Mattel.
53. It’s estimated that children around the world spend about 5 billion hours each year playing with Lego pieces.
54. When he founded the company, Ole Kirk Christiansen was adamant that he did not want to make war attractive to children. That’s why you won’t find any Lego sets that directly focus on war.
55. In 2000, Lego was named the “Toy of the Century,” beating out other iconic toys such as the Teddy bear and the Barbie doll.
56. The first movie about Lego, aptly titled “The Lego Movie,” was released in 2014.
57. If you wanted to recreate the entire “The Lego Movie” in real life, you would need more than 15 million Lego pieces.
58. The sequel, “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part,” was released by Warner Bros. Animation on February 8, 2019.
59. The color palette of “The Lego Movie 2” uses 76 official Lego colors, including unique materials such as transparent bricks and bricks made with glitter.
60. There are 523 unique characters in the Lego movie sequel and more than 1,000 unique props.
61. The first Lego minifigure to have a double-sided head was Professor Quirrell, which appeared in the Harry Potter Lego set. His head swivels, allowing you to change it from a “good” side to an “evil” side.
62. Most Lego minifigures don’t have noses.
63. The first Lego minifigure to have a specially molded head was Jar Jar Binks, which appeared in the Star Wars set.
64. Without taking into account voice acting, only two actors have had three Lego minifigures modeled after characters they have played. One is Alfred Molina, who is also known as Doc Ock in “Spider-Man 2,” Satipo in the Indiana Jones series, and Sheik Amar in “Prince of Persia.” The other actor is Warwick Davis, who played Star Wars characters Wicket W. Warrick and Wald as well as Harry Potter’s Professor Filius Flitwick.
65. When taking voice acting into account, one actor has had a total of 12 Lego minifigures modeled after him: Dee Bradley Baker played Momo in “Avatar: The Last Airbender” and Sandman in the Marvel Super Heroes series. He has also played 10 characters in the Star Wars franchise.
66. The heads of Lego minifigures are empty, with two holes on either side. The company has said that the holes make it less likely for children to choke in case the head is swallowed.
67. The artist Antonio Toscano used Lego pieces to recreate the entire trailer for the 2015 movie “Fifty Shades of Grey.”
68. All Lego bricks have a three-digit number stamped on their interior wall in tiny print. This number represents the mold that was used to create the brick and also where in the production line it was located. The reason? If there’s a defect, Lego is able to trace the error back to where it started and correct the problem.
69. If you lose your Lego kit instructions, you can download a new set for free from the Building Instructions section of Lego’s website.
70. If you were able to stack 40 billion Lego bricks on top of one another, you’d be able to reach the moon.
71. Retired, rare, and hard-to-find Lego pieces may be found for sale on sites like eBay and BrickLink.
72. Here’s an interesting play on words you may not have noticed: In the Lego Alpha Team set, the “evil” Lego figurine is named Ogel, which is Lego spelled backwards. Ogel is evil because he represents the opposite of the brand’s love of play and fun.
73. The molding process for Lego bricks is so accurate that only about 18 pieces out of every million are discarded because they don’t pass the company’s standard for quality.
74. About 20 billion Lego pieces are made every year in the Lego manufacturing facility in Billund, Denmark. When you break that down, it means the plant is producing about 2 million pieces every hour, or 35,000 every single minute.
75. Lego minifigures didn’t come with toy guns until 1999, which is the year the company began making licensed Lego sets.
76. When Lego bricks are made, the plastic must be heated to somewhere between 446 and 590 degrees Fahrenheit to become malleable enough to be poured into the molds. The newly formed bricks are cooled for just 10 seconds before they are released.
77. There are eight LEGOLAND parks located around the world. Locations include Denmark, California, Florida, Malaysia, Dubai, the UK, Japan, and Germany.
78. In 1998, Lego was one of the first toys to be inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame.
79. The first Lego DUPLO sets were introduced in 1969. At first, they sported a green Lego logo. But by 1971, that had been replaced with the iconic red Lego logo and the word DUPLO written in green on the box.
80. Despite being eight times the size, DUPLO bricks are made to connect perfectly with regular Lego bricks.
81. Nathan Sawaya, a New York-based artist who is known for creating art from unlikely materials, was the first person to take Lego into the art world with his touring exhibit, “The Art of the Brick.”
82. When they were first developed, Lego bricks were referred to as “automatic binding bricks.”
83. Lego blocks offer a structured and repetitive form of play, so some experts suggest that they are useful tools for children with autism. Some studies have shown that the toys help these children develop their communications skills and learn about sharing and teamwork.
84. The online dating site Plenty of Fish has a section devoted to “Users Interested in Lego,” to help Lego lovers find one another.
85. Many Lego building sets contain extra pieces that don’t end up being used in assembly. Why? Because some pieces are too small to be weighed during the allocation process. So, ensuring there’s a surplus of pieces in each set guarantees that everyone gets enough pieces to complete their project.
86. Researchers from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand studied more than 3,000 Lego minifigures made between 1975 and 2010 and found that overall their facial expressions were changing from pleasant to scowling. The change may be the result of more licensed characters being introduced over the years.
87. The Lego Group once thought adults who played with their toys were “weird” and “a bit bizarre.” The company has since changed its tune, though, and embraced its more mature fans.
88. During the holiday season, 28 Lego sets are sold every second. That means 1,680 sets are sold every minute, and more than 100,000 are purchased every single hour.
89. When Lego makes too many bricks of one kind, the company donates the surplus through its Lego Foundation charities around the world.
90. When you’re done playing with your Lego pieces, you can recycle them along with the rest of your household plastic.
91. The best way to clean Lego pieces is by hand, using water that’s no hotter than 104 degrees Fahrenheit as well as a soft cloth or sponge. If the bricks are exposed to higher heat, they may change shape.
92. Lego User Groups are groups of adult fans that hold regular club meetings, build Lego sets together, and go to Lego conventions and exhibitions.
93. You can create your own personalized Lego minifigure. Many Lego stores have a Build a Mini section, where you’ll find a variety of heads, hairpieces, legs, torsos, and other accessories. Or you can choose to order minifigure parts through the Lego site.
94. There are 132 Lego stores operated by The Lego Group around the world. Some of the most visited are the stores located in Disneyland and the Walt Disney World Resorts. There’s also a large store in Minnesota’s Mall of America.
95. The world’s biggest Lego store is located in London’s Leicester Square. When it opened in 2016, it boasted a life-sized London Underground train car made out of 637,903 bricks that took more than 3,000 hours to build.
96. One of the rarest and most sought-after Lego sets, the Grand Carousel, contains 3,263 pieces. When assembled, it spins via electric power and plays melodies.
97. Lego has established a Lego Children’s Panel in Denmark, which invites children from select schools in the country to test new Lego pieces and sets and provide their feedback to the company.
98. The Lego company publishes a magazine called “Lego Life.”
99. At the Lego factory in Billund, Denmark, visitors can take a Lego Inside Tour. During this three-day experience, you can see how Lego bricks are made, meet the Lego designers, and take a tour of the company founder’s house. Also, each participant receives a Lego set exclusively made for the Lego Inside Tour.
100. Lego fans in Billund, Denmark can also visit Lego House, which is filled with 25 million Lego bricks and a host of immersive experiences.