The answer I have heard the most (with a source citing the official confirmation) is that green, brown and gray bricks were omitted from the LEGO palette because the company wanted to discourage kids from building tanks, planes and other realisitc military hardware.
LEGO's official position on this technique was explained at Brickfest 2006. Jamie Berard, then a relatively new designer in Billund gave an excellent presentation on why certain techniques are considered "illegal" in official sets. The basics message is that building techniques should:
not stress the bricks
be suitable for the target audience of the ...
Early LEGO colors were inspired by the work of Mondriaan, which mainly consists of white, black, red, blue and yellow. These primary colors were considered to be most appealing to kids.
From the book “Brick by Brick”:
The new product was patented in 1958 and within a few years bright
yellow, red and blue Lego bricks, colours inspired by the paintings ...
I found this interesting comment by J on a blog post about LEGO female oriented sets.
I did a count of male and female mini-figures by theme in the 2011
releases for which we have visual evidence. The modular house line
always tends to be more balanced so there’s still potential there but
the City theme is particularly bad this year. Here’s the ...
In the 60s, Lego did produce a separate system for architectural modelling called Modulex which used a 1:1 ratio 5mm cube as its basic brick. It wasn't successful and was discontinued in the late 60s.
I believe the 6:5 was chosen so that studs could fit into the geometry. Related: why the plate is 1/3 of the brick's height. By adding two plates to the ...
Some of the earliest "LEGO brick" sets I could find were these three on BrickLink from 1954:
As other answers have noted, there were earlier sets than this, but they were referred to as "Automatic Binding bricks". It wasn't until 1953 that the bricks were officially renamed as "LEGO bricks" (i.e. "LEGO Mursten").
These sets were using precursor designs of ...
Here you go, from a scan of a 1985 catalog at Retroist. (I'm still looking for a version without the Retroist URL smeared across the bottom.)
The text reads, verbatim:
Dear Parents and Children
LEGO® is a brand name that is very special to all of us in the LEGO Group Companies. We would sincerely appreciate your help in keeping it special by ...
The minifigure is so-called because the original LEGO "Family" figures that were released in 1974 where somewhat larger, with bodies made from 2x2 Bricks, and arms made from hinged tubes.
There's a bit more of a condensed history in the minifigure tag wiki, and there is a bit more information about the minifigure as we know it today in the Company Profile
A practical engineering concern could be a reason to limit the colours used for molding in ABS plastic.
The colourant added to the base plastic can affect the physical properties of the molded part. Depending on how tight the dimensional tolerances are for the finished part a separate mold may be required for each colour.
Perhaps the Lego group process ...
Q: All of the LEGO catalogs are signed by Susan Williams. Is she a real person?
A: No...Susan Williams is the personifcation of all those
helpful Consumer Affairs people who work at LEGO. As for whether or
not there ever was a Susan Williams at LEGO, we're not sure.
Brickipedia (A.K.A. lego.wikia.com) list unreleased sets and themes in the form of an article and category of articles. It does mention CYBOTS and Europa in addition to Seatron, although there is no guarantee that the list is complete.
Contained action figures using both System and the first TECHNIC
ball joint parts. Several prototype models ...
I have a background in precision injection moulding, although not to the extremely tight tolerances of Lego. Here's why a manufacturer would try to reduce the number of colours they used, particularly in the old days.
Most resin (the raw material) nowadays comes pre-coloured, especially for a large customer like Lego. That wasn't the case fifty or sixty ...
A detailed timeline of Lego's history is layed out here dating back to the initial birth of the company.
We see from this that the first Lego-like bricks was the Kiddicraft Self-Locking Building Brick marketed by Hilary Fisher Page in England in 1947. This was the forerunner to Lego, and in 1949, the Lego company begins production of Automatic Binding Brick ...
This IS a subjective question and answer, but here is my take speaking as someone who got a start with LEGO toys in the 80's it came down to this:
The minifigs for non-LEGO brands were terrible and incompatible! Nothing beats the lovable, quirky shape to the official minifigs. You often had to construct differently for the different dimensions of the non-...
Maybe this question would better fit the Science Fiction & Fantasy or MovieStack Exchange, as it's more about the tv-series you're looking for than about LEGO, which just reminds you of that symbol.
It absolutely looks like the Triforce of the video game series Zelda. There also was a Zelda cartoon in the late 1980s / early 1990s. To this point, ...
First, LEGO did at some point reissue some sets (the "legends" series), but then stopped doing so, and it's likely they found out it was not really that interesting to do.
The reasons why would be pure speculation, but at the very least building techniques and available parts do evolve in a way that older sets wouldn't be able to compete with recent ones. ...
Why design the core monorail hardware this way?
This is hard to answer without a degree of speculation, but I assume that the core reason behind the decision to design the monorail this way likely came down to cost and engineering challenges. TLG wanted to allow for a monorail train to be able to navigate inclines effectively. This required:
A cog system
I asked Gary Istok on your behalf in this Brickset Forum thread, who is an expert on LEGO's history. He said the following:
When LEGO replaced the Cellulose Acetate bricks circa 1963 with ABS
plastic for non-trans parts, and polycarbonate for the trans ones,
they had a problem with the red and yellow parts. For some reason
(I'm not a chemical ...
So far, the best I can think of is the red classic space guy which appeared in 46 sets.
Considering minifigs were less specialized back then, I bet the winner is in that time period anyway, and the fact that spacemen wore an uniform makes me think there is no other minifig apperaing in 46 sets. Even the basic city worker only reaches a pale 21 sets.
Please forgive the length of this but I was careful to check all the facts from the graphic and include source information.
All information in this infographic, except for those that follow below, can be confirmed from the Wikipedia.org page devoted to minifigs: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lego_minifigure. I would not deny that Wikipedia can contain ...
You can find some of The LEGO Group's financial information in their annual report. Note that the financials are in Danish kroner, so you'll need to do some currency conversion. For example, the net profit for 2012 was 5.6 billion DKK, which works out to about 1 billion USD.
I'm not aware of a reliable way to get official sales numbers for individual ...
The official story is that Ole Kirk Kristiansen didn't realise until years after naming the company what it meant in Latin (normally it's said to mean "I put together", not "I collect"), and as there was no construction over the products made in the first many years, it seems unlikely that he should have thought along those lines.
LEGO does not directly create military sets.
A LEGO representative gave the following reason:
Are there any chances that Lego will ever start producing modern day warfare Lego, with tanks and helicopters and what not?
We have a strict policy regarding military models, and therefore, we do not produce tanks, helicopters, etc. While we always support ...
The BrickLink Catalog, which is the most comprehensive database of LEGO parts ever made, lists the first official stickers from 1971. They were used in the Homemaker sets to decorate furniture, etc. List of LEGO Stickers Sorted by Year
Interestingly, at the same time (early '70s), the large Homemaker figures had printed faces, but the first minifigures (...
The Technic minifigures last from 1986 to the year 2000. As far as I'm aware LEGO haven't released a statement on why the figures were removed. Minifigures are expensive and using them limits Technic sets to a certain scale.
Having a dynamic sense of scale allowed Lego to create the £9.99 ($10.90) 8045 and the £61.65 ($89.99) 8295, two variations of the ...
I sent the question to LEGO customer support and they replied:
The LEGO Duck became a classic icon because it was the first LEGO toy
ever to be released.
We do not have any lists of where would sell this product however I
imagine it would be sold at some antique markets or antique shows so
keep a look out!
We do not have any idea for how ...