The Toys that Made us - LEGO

Starting from term 1, Oliver has kept encouraging us to watch films to learn both English and culture, he also strongly supported us to watch Netflix. Since Netflix has a trial service for 1 month, I gave it a try. After the trial expired, I found that Netflix's Advanced plan allows families and friends sharing one account, also allows 4 people to watch different programs simultaneously. I asked other 3 classmates to share the cost with me. However after the first 2 months, the workload in ITI started to increase, I was afraid I will get addicted to the endless TV drama. I ended up becoming " the denominator." During this term break, I finally re-opened my Netflix, and continued watching a documentary " The Toys that Made us." I tended to choose episodes that I had played with in my childhood, so I skipped some episodes and chose to watch "Lego."

Originally, Lego was a company that produced wooden home products including wooden toys. When the depression hit, they decided to switch their focus to only toys. The also changed their company name to Lego, which comes from "leg godt" (meaning play well in Danish.) During World War 2, the company produced plastic bricks as the main product. The colors they chose were inspired by the painter Mondrian, which are brighter and more colorful. 


A few years later, they invited the most important idea in Lego, the system. Every brick, including people (minifigures) and trees, perfectly fit together. With this concept, they created the city series, and it became a best seller. Years later, the second generation saw the potential of combining Lego bricks and programming language together, and presented " Lego TC logo." The company introduced the system to schools for education, and it became a worldwide robotic competition. I think it is good for its company image. Unfortunately, Lego also had some downturns in their history. The first crisis was when the patent expired, lots of companies were producing the exact products and sold them at half of Lego's price. Another challenge for Lego was video games. Lego started to fave a decrease in sales and was forced to lay off employees. What even worse, they also made some wrong decisions during the downturn period, including publishing video games, which ended up as a big failure. Thanks to Lego Bionicle, the cool skeleton figures with an extraordinary story and animation, Lego has been making profits again. Based on this experience, Lego found how stories support products, so they launched the Ninja series.


Watching the documentary of Lego was like meeting a good old friend from a different time. When I was a child, the only thing that interested me was how interesting the toy was, but now I am also interested in its background, such as company, design history, and inspiration. I do believe the producer of the toys that made us share the same feeling as me.


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