Legend has it that there are far more Lego bricks and pieces in the world than there are people and I can well believe it. To most of us, Lego is a joy, apart from the odd occasion when we have trodden on a piece in bare feet, in the dark. Ouch!
Lego began life in 1932, in the workshop of a hard-up Danish carpenter. If that sounds like something out of a fairy tale, it may be because the woodworker in question, Ole Kirk Christiansen, lived in Billund, which is only a couple of hours’ drive from Hans Christian Andersen’s Danish birthplace, on the island of Funen.
Lego is basically a distillation of the spirit of Denmark: every time you got your Lego bricks out, you are building a miniature Northern European welfare state—bright of hue, placid of demeanor, basically solid and reliable, but given to occasional disturbing creaks. To the rest of us, Lego looks like Toytown. To the Danes, it must sometimes feel just like home.
Many years ago every small child had a few bits of Lego and had to think up ideas for themselves. It sort of followed on from Meccano which had helped to train and enthuse the budding engineers of the post-war era. Then, the miracle happened. Lego evolved into a wonderful creation that could be sold as a kit for everything marvelous. Lego Technic led to way for a generation of boys and girls to solve engineering problems way beyond their parent’s skills. Many a young person must have smirked watching mum or dad attempt to understand the complexities of a differential gearbox or the complex steering mechanism that they were building. Today, many a highly skilled engineer or designer owes their success, in part or in whole, to their early years playing with Lego.
See baby and toddler toys – In the beginning there was Lego Duplo. This used to be just handful of larger bricks that small hands could easily cope with. Mum and dad could press a few blocks together and watch as their little darling then pulled them apart. However, even Lego Duplo evolves. Today there is a delightful range of brilliantly designed colourful outfits, all based on a theme. All equally suited to boys or girls and all beautifully made, with safe, rounded corners, they really are the perfect toddler toy that can grow in play value along with the child. Children as young as one year old enjoy Duplo and many will still be playing with the same colourful items when they are four or five years old.
See toys for three to five year old children – This age group are soon well adept at making quite complex Lego models. The days of simple Duplo are fast becoming behind them and they enjoy the tiny components and characters of more complex models that would seem quite fiddly to adult fingers. Lego Friends and Lego Frozen II are extremely popular with girls, although some boys also enjoy the tales of Elsa and Anna.
See toys for 6 to 8 year old children – Now feeling quite grown up and well used to having a reasonable amount of of money splashed upon them, Lego makes a perfect gift for both girls and boys in this age group. Always well received, many a distant aunt or family friend has had the present buying problem solved for them with a well-chosen Lego mode. Choose from Lego Frozen, Lego Disney, Lego Technic, Lego Harry Potter and many more. Something for everyone.
See toys for children aged 9 to 11 – Children aged 9 to 11 have firm opinions and know exactly what they want! Modern Lego is extremely sophisticated and some of the complex models that the average 9 to 11 year old undertake would challenge an adult. If buying a present for a 9 to 11 year old it is always best to get some kind of hint as to which range they enjoy the most. Some 9 to 11 year olds adore Lego Disney, some Live for Lego Disney Frozen II, Some worship Lego Hogwarts and Harry Potter and some many (not only boys by any means) get very excited about the complexities of Lego Technic. If in doubt, ask the child for a hint!
See Models for children aged 12 to adult – Children grow up so very fast these days. They have had all the advantages of a superb education, especially by the standards of their parents and grand-parents. Lego is beautifully designed by real engineers and keeps pace with their fast growing skills. Many Lego complex and attractive models are enjoyed by teenagers and adults alike. We heard a tale recently where a 77 year old was bought a complex model as a gift, by his long-suffering wife. The poor chap eventually had to ask for help from his 12 year old grandson! You are never beaten until you give up though. Lego Technics and Lego Star Wars are especially popular with teenagers and adult of all ages.