Build Up Your Knowledge of Lego Bricks 

The classic celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2008―a towering achievement.

By Elizabeth Schatz Passarella and Jaimee Zanzinger
Scene built from LegosKathryn Barnard
  • The name Lego was formed from the Danish phrase leg godt, which means “play well.” Later it was discovered that the word lego also means “I put together” in Latin.
  • The average person on earth owns 62 Lego bricks.
  • More than 4 billion mini-figures have been produced in the past 30 years―more than the human population of any country in the world.
  • The bricks sold in one year could circle the globe five times.
  • The Lego Group is the world’s biggest manufacturer of vehicle tires, producing 306 million a year. (Yes, they’re tiny, but still.)
  • There are more than 915 million possible combinations for six two-by-four Lego bricks (“two-by-four” refers to the number of studs on the brick).
  • There are 36,000 Lego elements produced every minute; 400 billion have been produced since 1949.
  • It would take 40 billion Lego bricks stacked on top of one another to connect the earth to the moon.
  • The highest tower ever built with Lego bricks was 28.74 meters (roughly 94 feet) high. It consisted of 465,000 bricks and was built in Legoland, in Carlsbad, California, in May 2007.
  • A Google search produces nearly 68 million references for Lego bricks, and there are more than 90,000 Lego videos on YouTube. (Don’t miss the Lego renditions of Monty Python and the Holy Grail and Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video.)
  • Generations of innovators―including Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google and Jonathan Gay, inventor of Flash animation―played with Lego bricks when they were kids.
Special thanks to master builder W. K. Rand, 12, of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, who created the sculptures pictured.
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