Lego Timeline

  • The Very Beginning

    Ole Kirk Kristiansen, master carpenter and joiner, establishes his business in the village of Billund, Denmark. His firm manufactures stepladders, ironing boards, stools and wooden toys. His son, Godtfred Kirk Christiansen, starts working in the business at the age of 12.
  • Starting Small

    Starting Small
    The company and its products now adopt the name LEGO, formed from the Danish words "LEg GOdt" ("play well"). Later, it is realised that in Latin the word means "I put together". First LEGO product line 1932The firm has 6-7 employees.
  • 1st Logo is made

    1st Logo is made
    In 1934, Ole’s company and its products adopted the name LEGO, an abbreviation of the two Danish words “leg godt,” meaning “play well.” The first company logo was used on correspondence, shipping labels, and other printed materials, but not yet on toys.
  • 2nd Logo

    2nd Logo
    In 1934, Ole’s company and its products adopted the name LEGO, an abbreviation of the two Danish words “leg godt,” meaning “play well.” The first company logo was used on correspondence, shipping labels, and other printed materials, but not yet on toys.
  • The Duck

    The Duck
    The business manufactures its first LEGO wooden duck and markets “Kirk´s Sandgame” its first construction toy. Selected Product News 1935 The LEGO Duck Clothes hangers (Dagny Holm design)
  • Model Creation

    Godtfred Kirk Christiansen starts creating models. He is 17 years old.
  • Slowly Growing

    The LEGO Factory has 10 employees.
  • The End of the Beginning

    The LEGO factory burns to the ground, but the production of wooden toys is quickly resumed
  • Slowly Growing

    The firm has approx. 40 employees.
  • Selected Product News

    Wooden bricks with decorations (letters and figures)
  • New Start

    The LEGO Group is the first in Denmark to buy a plastic injection-moulding machine for toy production. The machine costs DKK 30,000. By comparison, the revenue of the firm this year is DKK 450,000.
  • Slowly Growing

    LEGO has 50 employees.
  • Selected Product News

    The LEGO Automatic Binding Brick with four and eight studs A plastic fish A plastic sailor
  • Selected Product News

    Selected Product News
    The company produces around 200 different plastic and wooden toys, including Automatic Binding Bricks, a forerunner of the LEGO bricks we know today. They are sold in Denmark exclusively. The first packaging with four colors is introduced.
  • 3rd Logo

    3rd Logo
    In 1951, the Binding Bricks name was supplanted by LEGO Mursten (literally LEGO Bricks) because Ole’s son, Godtfred, wanted to establish wider recognition of the LEGO name.
  • Selected Product News

    Big plastic and wooden cars
  • Selected Product News

    Selected Product News
    The Automatic Binding Bricks get a new name: "LEGO Mursten" ("LEGO Bricks").
    The name LEGO is printed inside all bricks.
    The first application for registration of the trademark. The Danish registration is accepted on the 1 May 1954.
  • 4th Logo

    4th Logo
    The first of the oval logos, this appeared on LEGO Mursten catalogues. The company still hadn’t standardised the brand colour, and examples exist in several variations, typically depending on the colour of the catalogue.
  • 5th Logo

    5th Logo
    The classic dog bone logo from late 1955 was the first time the logo was standardised in design and colour. It was used across all toys lines and appears widely on both plastic and wooden toys.
  • Patent!

    Patent!
    The current LEGO stud-and-tube coupling system is patented. The new coupling principle makes models much more stable.
    Ole Kirk Kristiansen passes away and Godtfred Kirk Christiansen becomes head of the company.
    The first telex machine and photocopier in Billund.
    140 employees in Billund.
  • 6th Logo

    6th Logo
    The current LEGO brick stud-and-tube coupling system was patented in 1958, the same year Ole Kirk Kristiansen passed away and his son Godtfred became head of the company. There were 140 employees in Billund.
  • 7th Logo

    7th Logo
    The first of the rectangular/square logos. This and many variants were used worldwide for the next 13 years.
  • 8th Logo

    8th Logo
    A variation of the 1960 logo that includes the yellow, red, blue, white, and black bars, and was the first to show the registered trademark symbol alongside the LEGO name.
  • DUPLO Series

    DUPLO Series
    The DUPLO series for under-fives is launched internationally. 843 employees in Billund. The first LEGOLAND film. LEGO car tyres are now made of PVC.
  • Todays Logo

    Todays Logo
    This logo appeared in 1973, the same year that LEGO began production and distribution in the US. It represents an attempt to cement a single worldwide logo and remains the most recognisable version of LEGO’s brand identity.
  • Becoming Established

    LEGO Spain is established.
    LEGO Overseas A/S is established.
    LEGO Futura ApS is established.
    The Mount Rushmore replica is created in the LEGOLAND Park.
    The LEGOLAND park in Billund receives visitor no. 5 million.
    The Esso Motor Hotel (built 1968) in Billund is bought and the name changed to Hotel Vis-a-Vis.
  • A System Within A System

    A System Within A System
    “System within a System” – Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen’s development model splits production into product ranges and lines.
    The DUPLO Rabbit Logo appears.
    The first LEGO Road Show takes place in Dayton, Ohio. Later, this becomes the LEGO World Shows.
    LEGO Japan (Nihon LEGO K.K.) is established.
    The first telefax is purchased (DKK 68,000).
  • Employees Worldwide

    Employees Worldwide
    3700 employees worldwide.
    LEGO Overseas holds its first World Distributor Conference in Billund.
  • Top Manufacturers in the World

    The LEGO Group is now one of the world's 10 largest toy manufacturers - the only one in Europe (the others are American and Japanese).
    The magic barrier - one million visitors in a single year - is broken for the first time at LEGOLAND Billund on 4th September.
    Godtfred Kirk Kristiansen, son of the company's founder, celebrates his 70th birthday on 6th July.
    LEGO Malaysia is established.
    LEGO Publishing is renamed LEGO Licensing.
  • Lego.com is launched

    www.lego.com is launched.
    LEGOLAND Windsor, the first LEGOLAND family park outside Denmark, opens on March 29.
    New development department, SPU Darwin, is established. Its work includes the development of software based on and related to LEGO products.
    LEGOLAND Billund has now had 25 million visitors since its opening on in 1968.
    The new LEGO Truck Show takes to the road.
    The LEGO Award goes to actor Paul Newman and the organization "The Hole in the Wall Gang".
  • Instructions are included with a model set

    For the first time, a CD-ROM containing building instructions is included with a model set. The set also contains a Bar Code Truck with a programmable bar-code reader.
    A 700 m2 LEGO Imagination Center is opened on 13th October in Disney Village, Florida.
    The first LEGO MINDSTORMS Learning Center opens at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, USA.
    The names PRIMO and DUPLO are changed to LEGO PRIMO and LEGO DUPLO on January 1st.
  • Toy of the Century

    Toy of the Century
    In 2000, LEGO was named “Toy of the Century” by both Fortune magazine and the British Association of Toy Retailers, and today the LEGO Group is owned by grandson of the founder, Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, the richest person in Denmark.
  • Brand Statement Changes

    Brand Statement Changes
    The brand statement "Play On" replaces "Just Imagine...".
    The LEGO DUPLO brand is replaced by the LEGO EXPLORE brand covering all pre-school activities.
    LEGO Brand Retail stores open in Cologne, Germany (September), Milton Keynes, England (November) and Moscow, Russia (December).
    LEGOLAND Deutschland opens at Günzbrug, Germany.
  • Results of 2003

    Results of 2003
    In January, the LEGO Group announces the results of 2003 – a huge deficit. Owner and CEO Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen heads up the building of an action plan to turn around the company. In October he appoints Jørgen Vig Knudstorp as new CEO of the company.
    The year ends with another huge deficit due to heavy write-downs.
    LEGO Factory at www.LEGO.com enables you to create your own model and buy the LEGO elements required to build it.
  • Employees Worldwide

    4922 employees.
    The LEGO Group announces plans to outsource major parts of production to external partners.
    The LEGO plant in Willisau (Switzerland) closes.
    www.LEGO.com averages more than 8 million aggregated daily unique visitors per month.
    The visitors spend an average of about 28 minutes at LEGO.com.
    CEO Jørgen Vig Knudstorp publicly announces Shared Vision – an action plan for the company until 2010.
  • 75th Anniversary

    75th Anniversary
    The LEGO Group celebrates its 75th anniversary on 10 August in good shape.
    LEGO Club has approx. 2.6 million members.
    All distribution for the European and Asian markets is gathered in one distribution center in the Czech Republic.
    The LEGO Group enters a license agreement with Lucasfilm Inc. on the production of LEGO Indiana Jones sets.
    The LEGO Star Wars™ Millennium Falcon is the largest LEGO model so far. Weight 6 kilos. Number of elements included: 5,195 pieces.
  • Top Manufacturers in the World

    The LEGO Group is now the world’s fifth largest toy manufacturer in terms of sales.
    Warner Bros. and the LEGO Group announced plans to develop the first-ever feature film based on LEGO bricks and icons.
    The LEGO Group announces a multi-year partnership with Disney Consumer Products obtaining exclusive rights to construction toys based on the entire portfolio of Disney and Disney Pixar properties.
  • LEGOLAND Opens

    LEGOLAND Florida opens. The world’s largest LEGOLAND Park.
    The LEGO Group launches its first appcessory “Life of George".
    The LEGO Group is now the world’s third largest toy manufacturer in terms of sales.
  • LEGO Movie

    At the beginning of February, The LEGO Movie premieres in a number of countries. The movie is written by Phil Lord
    and Chris Miller and produced by Warner Brothers. It is the first time the LEGO universe has been pictured in a movie.
  • Revenue Increases

    The annual revenue grows 6 percent. As of April, former LEGO Group CFO John Goodwin is the new CEO of the LEGO Foundation. In August and September, The LEGO Group celebrates its 85th anniversary with Play Day activities and parties on all LEGO locations worldwide.