I read an article on cnet.com yesterday – “How Lego Changed the World of Toys” by Daniel Terdiman – that really got me thinking about those crazy colored bricks.  I loved playing with Legos as a child and, as a parent, enjoy seeing my son play with them (I often get down on the floor and, happily, join him in the building process), but, I wondered, have Legos really changed the world of toys?  At first I kind of scoffed at the idea but the more I thought about it, the more I believe that they have.  The truth is, I can’t deny that Lego has had a sizeable impact on generations of children. So what makes Legos so darn great?  I think a lot of the appeal has to do with the seamless construction of the bricks, the immense versatility of a toy that on face-value looks deceptively simple, and the timelessness of the product.  It seems these days that toys are pretty trendy.  Toys that are “in” for one season --that kids get into drool-inducing ballistic temper tantrums over -- are quickly and callously tossed aside when the next “in” toy comes along.  Lego, on the other hand, has been able to persevere through generations of children.  The word “Lego” comes from the Danish phrase, “leg godt,” which means “play well” -- a very fitting name for a toy that can spawn hours of play,  limited only by the constraints of one’s imagination. I think Lego appeals to everyone, regardless of gender, because the actual bricks are only one-half of the equation -- a child’s creativity is the other.Some nifty facts I picked up from Terdiman’s article were that with just six 2x4 lego bricks of the same color, you can stack them 915,103,765 different ways.  Holy cow, Batman!  And Lego has 9,900 employees all working for that single brand -- yes, a single brand that has generated an empire of Lego-related products,  including theme parks, video games and movies, but a single brand none-the-less that’s sustained a company for over 70 years.  In addition, Lego is the fourth largest toy manufacturer in the world and still owned by the Kirk Kristiansen family -- Ole Kirk Kristiansen first founded the company in 1932 in Billund, Denmark, where it is still based.  Now that’s impressive. Okay, so yes, I can definitely buy the notion that Lego changed the world of toys but, at this point, to call Lego just a toy seems inaccurate.  Lego may be only a toy, but it just might be the coolest toy on the planet.P.S. For some Lego fun, check out http://legomyphoto.wordpress.com/.

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