“Absolutely essential reading for every LEGO fan.” —Blocks
The definitive history of LEGO, based on unprecedented access to the company’s archives and rare interviews with the founding family who still owns the company
"This book tells the story of how my family built the LEGO brand." —Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, former President/CEO of the LEGO Group and 3rd generation owner
It’s estimated that each year between eighty and ninety million children around the globe are given a box of LEGO, while up to ten million adults buy sets for themselves. Yet LEGO is much more than a dizzying number of plastic bricks that can be put together and combined in countless ways. LEGO is also a vision of the significance of what play can mean for humanity.
This book tells the extraordinary story of a global company and a Danish family who for ninety years have defended children’s right to play—and who believe grown-ups, too, should make the time to nurture their inner child. The LEGO Story is built on Jens Andersen’s unique access to LEGO’s own archives, as well as on Andersen’s extensive conversations with Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, former president and CEO of the LEGO group and grandson of its founder, Ole Kirk Christiansen.
A riveting cultural history of changing generations’ views of childhood and the importance of play, The LEGO Story also a fascinating case study of how innovation and creativity helped leaders transform LEGO from a small carpentry business into the world’s largest producer of play materials and one of the most beloved brands in the world. Richly illustrated with never-before-seen photos from the family’s private archive, this is the ultimate book for fans of LEGO, revealing everything you ever wanted to know about the brand.
An International Bestseller
Biographer Andersen (Astrid Lindgren: The Woman Behind Pippi Longstocking) turns to the legacy of Lego in this charming outing. Using the Lego Group's archives and conversations with former president and CEO Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen (founder Ole Kirk Christiansen's grandson), Andersen begins in 1915, in Western Jutland, Denmark, when Christiansen, a carpenter, bought a wood workshop. But his business foundered, only to be saved in 1932 after a lumber merchant saw toys Christiansen made and placed a large order for them. Toys became the center of Kristiansen's company, and the plastic blocks the company is famous for came about thanks to a mid-1940s wood shortage and inspiration from the "self-locking building bricks" made by an English toy company. Not long after, the company opened a headquarters in Germany, and, after a 1956 PR campaign, "money started rolling in." The upward trajectory continued in the early 1970s, when "expansion grew by 155 percent," and by the 1980s, the company signed a deal with McDonald's in America. Andersen does a great job showing the company's lasting power through 90 years of change, and the archival photos are a treat. This will delight business history buffs.