If you’re like most kids, you probably love to play and build things with those colorful little blocks we all know as LEGO® blocks. Let’s learn a little more about the history of these fun toys.

LEGO® blocks are just part of the overall line of construction toys made by the Lego Group, a company from Denmark. In addition to the colorful interlocking plastic blocks we’re all familiar with, other LEGO® toys include gears, figurines, wheels and various other parts that allow kids to construct all sorts of buildings, machines, vehicles and even robots.

The great thing about LEGO® toys is that they can be taken apart and reused over and over again to make new creations. LEGO® toys have become so popular all over the world that they have expanded from just toys to include movies, games, competitions and even LEGO®-themed amusement parks!

The Lego Group got its start in the carpentry workshop of Ole Kirk Christiansen. He started making wooden toys in 1932. He began calling his company “Lego” in 1934, based upon the Danish phrase leg godt, which means “play well.”

The Lego Group began making its famous plastic interlocking blocks in 1949. At first, they were not very popular, because customers still preferred wooden toys. Over time, though, they became very popular as the company made them part of an overall system of toys that kids could use to build an unlimited variety of things.

The LEGO® block design still in use today was patented on January 28, 1958. Blocks from that year are still compatible with blocks made today. The Lego Group takes great pride in manufacturing precise pieces that fit firmly together, yet can be easily taken apart.

Since 1963, LEGO® blocks have been made from a special plastic called acrylonitrile butadiene styrene or ABS. Over the last 50 years, the Lego Group has produced over 400 billion LEGO® blocks. That’s enough LEGO® blocks for every person in the world to have over 60 LEGO® blocks!

Today, the Lego Group also makes LEGO® robotic sets that help young students learn how to build and program robots in competitions, such as the Junior FIRST LEGO® League and the FIRST LEGO® League.

Some children may also be familiar with the video game series that have developed from the popularity of LEGO® toys. Some of these popular video games include Lego Star Wars, Lego Indiana Jones, Lego Batman and Lego Rock Band.

The popularity of LEGO® blocks has grown so much over the years that these toys can be found in all parts of popular culture and even in schools as educational toys. In 1998, LEGO® blocks were inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame.

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    • Hi, Lucas! Thanks for being the very first Wonder Friend to visit today’s Wonder of the Day® and leave us a comment to let us know you liked it! We’re so happy to hear from you! :-)

    • We think you’re right about that, Julie! Weren’t some of those creations extra AMAZING? They inspire us to try our best to build our own! Thanks for sharing your SUPER comment with us today…YOU ROCK! :-)

    • Thanks for stopping by today’s Wonder of the Day®, Rithik! We hope you had as much fun learning about the invention of LEGO® blocks as we did! They’re WONDERful! :-)

  1. No! :( I was wrong. Today’s wonder of the day is not about construction. However, I loved today’s wonder! :D I think tomorrow’s wonder of the day is about grills.

    TJ

    • We think today’s Wonder has a LOT to do with construction, TJ, because people use LEGO® blocks to CONSTRUCT awesome things! We think your guess was GREAT! Thanks for telling us that you loved exploring today’s Wonder and also for sharing your guess for tomorrow’s Wonder…you are a SUPER Wonder Friend! :-)

  2. Did you know that one of the first lego sets to come out was a pull along duck and the Lego company went over 19 different logos?

    I think tomorrow’s wonder is going to be about the Fourth of July parties, how grills work, or grilling.

    • We really like the cool facts you share with us when you explore Wonderopolis, icebat2! Thanks for letting us know a little bit of your background knowledge on LEGO® blocks! WOW…19 logos is a LOT! We’re glad they decided on one…we really like the LEGO® logo! :-)

  3. I love to build LEGO. I once built an ultimate collector’s set in just two days. I was really proud of myself. I also love to play with my LEGO Star Wars video game on my Wii. I WONDER what other toys are in the National Toy Hall of Fame. I guess I will go search the Internet to find out.

    • WOW, Charlie! Two days must be a record for building an ultimate collector’s set! We’re glad you were proud of yourself…that’s quite an accomplishment! We’re SUPER proud of you, too! :-)

    • You’re welcome, Julie! We really appreciate all your awesome comments and how you let us know what you learn and like when you visit Wonderopolis! :-)

  4. I just love LEGO blocks I built cars, towers, and a boat. I even post it on LEGO magazine, but it never came out 2 years ago. Anyway, I once went to the Orlando Lego world with tons of lego and lots of rides. :-D

    • Thanks for sharing how much you like building with LEGO® blocks and about all the awesome things you’ve created with them, Carlos! That ROCKS! We appreciate the GREAT comments you leave for us when you visit our Wonders of the Day! :-)

    • Hi there, Owen! Desertopolis ROCKS! We know you and your classmates worked super hard on it…and it shows! Thanks for letting us know you and your friend invented that factory replica with LEGO® blocks. We bet it is SUPER AWESOME! :-)

    • Hi there Tomas, thanks for sharing your comment at Wonderopolis! Our Wonder Friend, Carlos, seemed to have a great time experiencing the world of LEGOs! We hope you have a SUPER day, Tomas! :)

    • We love when Wonder Friends can chat at Wonderopolis! We are so happy that you’re learning something new about one of our favorite stackable toys, Tomas! Nice work! :)

  5. I am such a huge fan of Lego’s. I’ve got so many sets at my house it’s hard to count. Some are old and some are new. Some I even took apart (not by purpose) and made new things. They are way too fun.

    • Hey there, Tyler J! We love your passion for LEGO blocks! We think it’s so much fun to build new skyscrapers from your own imagination– it’s a great way to practice your architecture skills now! Keep up the great work and we hope you’ll be back to Wonder with us soon! :)

  6. Dear, wonderopolis
    I really like legos so much! I was also really flabbergasted that the company lego is about 50 years old!
    I was wondering do you know what year lego robotics began? And do you know if lego the company is going to go down?
    Sincerely, vincent ma

    • Legos® are great for building awesome cities, Vincent! We LOVE Legos®, and we can’t predict the future, but we think the LEGO® company will be around for a very long time! :)

  7. Lego is awesome! Before me and my dad built a giant lego castle. It was fun. I liked reading about the lego wonder. Thank you Wonderopolis!

    • How cool, Henry! Your castle sounds awesome– we bet you and your dad did a WONDERful job creating it! Thanks for WONDERing with us! :)

  8. I think it is really cool that Lego blocks where inducted to the Toy Hall of Fame. I think this post is the best post on Wonderopolis that I have read so far.

    P.S. My favorite toy is Legos.

    • WOOHOO, we’re so glad to know that you love LEGO blocks as much as we do, Garret! Thanks for WONDERing about toys with us. We hope you have a WONDERful day! :)

    • And in addition to that, Landon, an astronaut built a LEGO space station while IN SPACE! How cool! Thanks for sharing such great information with us, we are glad you’re here! :)

    • That’s great, Jenna! LEGO blocks are TONS of fun for building new structures and using your imagination! Nice work! :)

    • HOORAY, LEGOs are so much fun, Jack! We’re so glad you learned something new about one of your favorite toys! Thanks for WONDERing with us today! :)

  9. Dear wonderopolis, this wonder is basically made for me because I llllllllooooooooooooooooooooooooooooovvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvveeeeee legos. My favorite brands are ninjago, monster fighters, star wars and creator. The video was cool. I once made a lego machine that if you put $2 in you get a bouncy ball.

    • Hey Nick, thanks for telling us all about your awesome LEGOs! It sounds like you’re becoming a LEGO master– nice work! We Wonder if you designed the machine to get a bouncy ball? Perhaps you’ll be an engineer when you’re older!? :)

  10. I built a huge castle with cups and it had lego people it kept being attacked by orcs and battle droids! I LOVE building things. Cool wonder

    • We LOVE your imagination, Jman! We can imagine your castle, even while it’s being attacked! Thank you for sharing your awesome comment with us- such a great connection! :)

    • Great topic, Mario! Do you think you could come up with a Wonder Question? If so, be sure to submit it to our “What Are You Wondering” section on the website. If enough people vote for your question, it could become a Wonder of the Day! How cool is that? Thanks for WONDERing with us, Mario! :-)

  11. I love to build LEGO. I once built an ultimate collector’s set in just two days. I was really proud of myself. I also love to play with my LEGO Star Wars video game on my Wii. I WONDER what other toys are in the National Toy Hall of Fame. I guess I will go search the Internet to find out. Wonderopolis should make a Nintendo video and article.I built a huge castle with cups and it had lego people it kept being attacked by orcs and battle droids! I LOVE building things. Cool wonder!Dear wonderopolis, this wonder is basically made for me because I llllllllooooooooooooooooooooooooooooovvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvveeeeee legos. My favorite brands are ninjago, monster fighters, star wars and creator. The video was cool. I once made a lego machine that if you put $2 in you get a bouncy ball.I have a ton of legos and I’ve always wondered who made it.Team
    Dear, wonderopolis
    I really like legos so much! I was also really flabbergasted that the company lego is about 50 years old!
    I was wondering do you know what year lego robotics began? And do you know if lego the company is going to go down?
    Sincerely,
    kaleb keedy

    • Thanks for exploring the Wonder about Legos today, Wonder Friend Graham! We’re glad you joined us. :) We’ve heard about the theme park. Have you every visited the park?

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Have you ever wondered…

  • Who invented LEGO® blocks?
  • When was the modern design of the LEGO® block patented?
  • What are LEGO® blocks made of?

Wonder Gallery

Try It Out

Ready to build? Chances are that you have access to LEGO® blocks at home or at school. Can you build a fantastic LEGO® creation that will impress all your Wonder Friends? If so, take a picture of it and post it to Facebook. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

If you don’t have access to any LEGO® blocks, you can play tons of fun online games at the LEGO® Games website! Check it out!

Still Wondering

Check out Science NetLinks’ Shapes at Work lesson to look at shapes in the natural and designed world, investigate ways shapes can be used and design and build structures using appropriate shapes.

Wonder What’s Next?

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