LEGO traces its roots back to Denmark in the 1930s, when carpenter Ole Kirk Kristiansen abbreviated the Danish words “Leg Godt,” meaning “play well” in English, to brand the wooden toys he was producing. It turned to plastic bricks in 1949.
In 1955, Kristiansen’s son Godtfred launched LEGO bricks as a system, embracing the idea that the more you have, the more things you can make.
He said, “Our idea has been to create a toy that prepares the child for life — appealing to its imagination and developing the creative urge and joy of creation that are the driving forces in every human being.”
Over the years, wheels and human figures were introduced in 1962 and 1978 respectively. And in 1989, miniature human figures sporting more facial expressions than the usual slight smile also emerged.
LEGO has also been determined to put smiles on the faces of children. A 25-page company document mentions the words “child” or “children” nearly 100 times.