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11 LEGO Moments That Defined LEGO Play We Know Today

Continuing with my coverage of LEGO’s 85th anniversary, there’s a new video that shows the most defining moments of LEGO play. There are some of the usual ones that you probably would expect but there are also one on the list that may make you scratch your head as it was just released.

What are some things that you think should have made the list but didn’t? Let us know in the comments below.


  • JDrew33

    The main thing and probably the most game changing was Licensing. When Lego partnered with Star Wars, Disney, DC, Warner Brothers, this was a huge game changer and increased their profits immensely.

    • Purple Dave

      I was reading through the comments on Eurobricks, and licensing was something that came up as a possible omission (so was Bionicle). It was basically shot down because it’s all covered by the #3 point, Storytelling. And if you pay attention to the types of things that did make the list:

      11.Wooden toys
      10. Injection molded plastic
      9. Automatic Binding Bricks (patented)
      8. Tubed LEGO bricks (patented)
      7. LEGO wheel (invention predating the patent system, but the specific connection systems may have been patented)
      6. DUPLO (patented)
      5. TECHNIC (patented)
      4. Minifigure (patented)
      3. Storytelling
      2. Mindstorms (patented)
      1. Boost (probably patented)

      So aside from founding The LEGO Company, shifting from wood to plastic, and introducing Storytelling, this list is basically just a string of major (or potentially major, in Boost’s case) invention milestones in the company’s history. And if we’re being completely honest, it’s not like the introduction of licensed sets is the one thing that suddenly said, “No, it’s actually perfectly okay for you to build stuff in these themes now.” People build in themes that aren’t original IP or under licenses all the time. I’m pretty sure that most (if not all) of the official licensed themes were built as MOCs before TLC ever started talking about licensing agreements. For sure Star Wars and Batman have been MOC fodder long before they were official, and BttF/Ghostbusters both came through Ideas submissions.

      • Purple Dave

        Whoops, I meant reading the comments on Brickset, not Eurobricks (though I’m sure they have a thread about this somewhere on their site).

  • Tsr

    Lego Friends. This line of Lego acknowledged that there was a whole group of kids that was in a way left out. There where not that many Lego sets/lines aimed at girls before Lego Friends.
    As i recall, and correct me if i am wrong, Lego Friends was/is the fastest selling line of Lego products. So that i think was a greater step than some of the others.

    • Purple Dave

      See my reply to JDrew33 for why Friends isn’t on the list (and why the minidoll could be eligible).

      As for best-selling, I remember that back during the early days of Bionicle, when the company in general was losing money, Bionicle was selling so fast that they had to install another production line just to keep up with the demand for parts. They paid for it by raising the price of the six original Toa sets by $1. Obviously there was a significant drop in sales over the entire life of the theme, but I’d be surprised if any theme had been able to repeat the 2001-2002 success of Bionicle.


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