47

Kind of. From the LEGO Group's Corporate Responsibility report: Guideline for weapons and conflict in LEGO experiences A large number of LEGO minifigures use weapons, and are – assumedly – regularly being charged by each others’ weapons as part of children’s role play. In the LEGO Group, we acknowledge that conflict in play is especially prevalent ...


25

I believe it shows the target age range of the model - perhaps kids who've been doing all the harder Technic or more complex models - for example the VW Camper Van is rated 16+ - and might find it a bit "simplistic". Other examples include The Super Star Destroyer, also at 16+, the Tantive IV and Republic Drop Ship at 14+, and the Death Star and others at ...


24

No, it's not an acronym. The name 'LEGO' is an abbreviation of the two Danish words "leg godt", meaning "play well". All-caps is how the LEGO company asks to have their brand treated. Using the LEGO® brand ALWAYS write the LEGO brand name in capital letters. ALWAYS use a descriptive noun after the LEGO brand name, it must never appear on ...


22

There's a nice interview with LEGO Designer Mark Stafford on The Brothers Brick: From LEGO fan to LEGO set designer - the Mark Stafford interview The basic process was: The position was advertised, and Mark's portfolio was sent in. He was then invited to a two day recruitment workshop along with a number of other candidates. I've also read other ...


21

I have a memory - possibly false - of Lego boxes being labeled with ages like "8-99" in my childhood. – Joe Wreschnig That's correct. The Creator theme used to mark sets aged X to 99. I think the LEGO marketing team were going along with the idea that you're never too old to play with Lego. The Creator product line produced brick buckets and tubs ...


21

LEGO moulds bricks in the following plants: Billund in Denmark, Nyíregyháza in Hungary and Monterrey in Mexico. In addition, it has another facility in Kladno, Czech Republic, that handles painting and packaging for some of the bricks produced in Denmark and Hungary. The headquarters in Denmark is still where the most of R&D and product development ...


20

Their position has shifted over the years, in response to changing attitudes as well as commercial pressures, and the rising age of LEGO enthusiasts! Originally LEGO bricks were only available in bright primary colours e.g. red blue and yellow, with the conspicuous absence of green, aside from baseplates. It seems quite likely that this was a deliberate ...


20

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 ...


20

It seems like you understand why there are unique minifigs, but I'll point it out explicitly anyway. Unique minifigs add character to sets, and add to playability. For example, I always wanted this guy as a kid: Without him, my pirates were just a leaderless band, but once they have a fearless leader with a peg leg and hook, things become a lot more ...


19

LEGO doesn't directly take product ideas from fans. However, there is a website called LEGO Ideas where you can post creations that may potentially get turned into official LEGO kits. The process is as follows: Submit your idea to LEGO Ideas. Take some time to get good pictures, and write a good description, or your idea will probably not make it off ...


18

In 2008 The LEGO Group partnered with the Cuusoo Social Creation Platform as a way for (initially) the Japanese market to suggest new LEGO sets for development and sale in that region. This resulted in two products making it into production - The Shinkai 6500 and The Hayabusa. In October 2011 the site was opened out to the rest of the world, and it looks ...


17

Octan, is simply Octane in Danish, which is a chemical in and associated with gasoline making it a sensible name for a fictional petroleum/energy company. The LEGO Group (under pressure by a Greenpeace campaign) stopped the previous corporate partnerships, which had featured real world oil companies logos in LEGO sets, to distance themselves from the ...


15

According to data collected from Brickset, the total MSRP of all Star Wars sets to date is $18,933.76 USD. This includes a total of 508 sets. I simply used the CSV export feature on Brickset to put this together. Here's the raw data if you'd like to explore it further: https://gist.github.com/jncraton/68beb88e6027d9321373


13

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. http://www.lugnet.com/pause/legoqa.html


13

I believe that war sets have not been allowed from day one at lego, with the oft-quoted reason that Ole Kirk Christiansen did not was to reduce war to a 'state of child's play.' He was also reportedly a pacifist, and I have found a source stating that while lego may produce generic gun pieces, they will never directly model a contemporary gun, or likewise ...


11

This may not really qualify as an answer, but basically I believe designers are responsible for calling for new parts. For each new part, a production cost is calculated, which takes into account a lot of factors. There were talks a few years back about how they had recently changed these rules, but they aren't public (to the best of my knowledge). What is ...


11

LEGO Kingdoms is a sub-theme of LEGO Castle. LEGO Castle is one of the oldest LEGO themes, and through the years it had various sub-themes like Knight's Kingdom, Fantasy Era, Dark Forest, etc. The current LEGO Castle theme is simply called LEGO Castle without a sub-theme name and I think that is causing the confusion. The previous LEGO Castle theme ...


11

Alexander O'Mara's answer is correct, however I'd like to add the reasoning behind LEGO's desire to impose such strict rules on their name's usage. According to the copyright laws generic terms can't be a protected trademark and thus if people start using "lego" as a term to describe any bricks-based game - they might loose the exclusivity to their brand. ...


10

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 ...


10

As a child, I was really into Star Wars and had lots of star wars figures. However, it was always annoying that Star Wars vehicles and playsets didn't come with figures. The Ewok Village has no Ewoks in it. The X-Wing has no pilot. Etc. This policy let Kenner (now Hasbro) sell the figures at full retail on a per-figure basis and let collectors buy only what ...


10

Pierre Normandin followed the path of "well-known AFOL doing tremendous sets" to "AFOL invited by LEGO to participate in secret projects from time to time" to "Actual LEGO designer" (I'd like to say "demigod", but he tends to frown at me when I do that). He was also one of the first groups of LEGO Ambassadors. But in any case, the most important criteria is,...


10

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 ...


9

It is an indication for the target audience for that set. It is mostly to guide people with little knowledge about child development toward a set. It's a rough guide, how much the child enjoys it is very much dependent on the child. But 10 year olds will be less likely to enjoy Duplo and be happier with Star Wars LEGO. On the other hand, I really like ...


8

The complexity of the model and the expected time to complete it will increase with the recommended age. Lower aged sets, like the Juniors line, feature builds that rely heavily on standard stacking and more basic bricks. As the age recommendation goes up, you'll see more advanced building techniques such as offset stacking (think stair stacking), studs ...


8

LEGO has a list of open positions which you can consult. As far as I understand, the application process starts there and you have to register a profile to apply for positions. Some positions also list a direct point of contact who can answer questions on the specific position (usually the boss-to-be, I suppose). I'm not sure where a mathematics background ...


8

In order to sell older sets, TLG would have to either: (1) continue a production run even when the demand for a set has dropped off Production capacity is limited to a set number of components / sets at a time, and it makes sense to focus on newer, more profitable lines. For example, the moulds which produce LEGO parts are unbelievably expensive, but each ...


8

Page was owner of the patent only for Great Britain, allowing LEGO to use the design worldwide. Buying a "rival" company (Kiddicraft) later on is nothing unusual in business history. Therefore, blaming Page's death on LEGO does not make much sense. Regarding chinese brands, one has to make a difference between using a compatible plastic brick system (which ...


7

LEGO has always been a bit iffy on it's stance towards war related sets, which might be part of the reason most custom part makers specialize in realistic guns. Being primarily a children's toy, they had shied away from depicting tanks and battles in the beginning. It might be said that as popular culture in general had an easier stance with "playing war" (...


7

While the current plastic Lego "guns" are generally more tame (blasters, pirate pistols), that was not the case with wooden toys from the 1940's including this machine gun from 1945. It's about 18" long and makes a rat-tat-tat sound when turning the crank.


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