A Childhood Classic Turns 50!

January 30, 2019

It was Australia Day and as my granddaughter and I waited for the main feature to start, they showed the shorts of a sort of space action movie involving an array of Lego people and places.

It was The Lego Movie 2, which, I’m told, hits the big screen in late March.

Interestingly enough I was getting into it, especially when a talking star shaped “person” got jammed in giant sliding door built to keep out the baddies.

I wanted more but, alas, a taste was all I was going to get.

I’m telling this story because the film, the latest in a string of popular Lego movies, had its origins 50 years ago today (January 30), would you believe?

That’s when the Lego Group launched its first “large brick for small hands”, which happened to be the same year the Americans launched the first person to set foot on the moon.

LEGO DUPLO bricks are twice the size of classic LEGO bricks on all dimensions so all bricks fit into the LEGO System in Play.

Simple enough concept, you’d think, but no.

Finding this 2:1 scale solution was no easy task. Lego tried both a 4:1 and 3:1 scale before second-generation LEGO Group owner Godtfred Kirk Christiansen, in 1968, came up with the idea to hollow the studs on LEGO DUPLO bricks.

This meant they could be combined with classic LEGO bricks, and thereby formed the basis for safe and more age-appropriate LEGO building experiences for the youngest children.

A Lego Group spokesperson said from birth to the age of four, children undergo intense neurological transformation, adding that the the most rapid period of learning and development a human being will ever experience takes place in those four years.

“That’s why all LEGO DUPLO products are carefully designed to inspire and help toddlers unlock their full potential through creative, playful experiences that will further shape their future,” said the spokesperson.

Happy birthday LEGO DUPLO.

WATCH THIS SPACE: The Lego Movie 2 has the citizens of Bricksburg facing a dangerous new threat when LEGO DUPLO invaders from outer space start to wreck everything in their path. The battle to defeat the enemy and restore harmony to the LEGO universe takes Emmet, Lucy, Batman and the rest of their friends to faraway, unexplored worlds that test their courage and creativity. A fitting climax, I’m sure you will agree.

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