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Encyclopedia > Lego Group
Lego Group
Type Private company
Founded Billund, Denmark (1932)
Headquarters Billund
Key people Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, CEO
Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, vice-chairman and majority shareholder
Industry Toys
Products Lego
Revenue $1.380 Billion USD(2005)
Employees 7294
Website www.lego.com

Lego Group is a family-owned company, based in Billund, Denmark and best known for the manufacture of Lego-brand toys. Image File history File links LEGO_logo. ... A private company is a company that is independently owned. ... Billund is a municipality in the center of the Jutland Peninsula of Denmark, in the county of Ribe. ... Year 1932 (MCMXXXII) was a leap year starting on Friday (the link will take you to a full 1932 calendar). ... Jørgen Vig Knudstorp is the current CEO, and has been, since 2004 of the Lego Group. ... A Chief Executive Officer (CEO), or Chief Executive, is the highest-ranking corporate officer, administrator, corporate administrator, executive, or executive officer, in charge of total management of a corporation, company, organization or agency. ... Chief executive of Lego, Billund, Denmark-based toymaker, since 1979. ... A Chairman is the presiding officer of a meeting, organization, committee, or other deliberative body. ... A teddy bear A Toy is an object used in play. ... Lego Group logo. ... Revenue is a U.S. business term for the amount of money that a company earns from its activities in a given period, mostly from sales of products and/or services to customers. ... ISO 4217 Code USD User(s) the United States, the British Indian Ocean Territory,[1] the British Virgin Islands, Cambodia, East Timor, Ecuador, El Salvador, Maldives the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau, Panama, Turks and Caicos Islands, and the insular areas of the United States Inflation 2. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... For the album by the Kaiser Chiefs see Employment (album) Employment is a contract between two parties, one being the employer and the other being the employee. ... A Web site (or colloquially, Website) is a collection of Web pages, images, videos and other digital assets that is hosted on a Web server, usually accessible via the Internet or a LAN. A Web page is a document, typically written in HTML, that is almost always accessible via HTTP... Billund is a municipality in the center of the Jutland Peninsula of Denmark, in the county of Ribe. ... Lego Group logo. ...


The company was founded in 1932 by Ole Kirk Christiansen. It was named one of the 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers in 2004 by Working Mothers magazine. Year 1932 (MCMXXXII) was a leap year starting on Friday (the link will take you to a full 1932 calendar). ... Ole Kirk Christiansen (1891-1958) was a Danish master carpenter and toymaker, responsible for both founding the LEGO toy company and inventing the world famous LEGO bricks. ...

Contents

Legoland

The Lego Group built four amusement parks around the world, known as "Legoland". Each park features large-scale Lego models of famous landmarks and miniature Lego models of famous cities, along with Lego-themed rides. The oldest Legoland park is located in Billund, Denmark. Others followed: Legoland Windsor in England, Legoland California in Carlsbad, California, and Legoland Deutschland in Günzburg, Germany. All four parks have recently been sold to Blackstone Group, although the Lego Group retains a 30% interest and voting rights. Billund is a municipality in the center of the Jutland Peninsula of Denmark, in the county of Ribe. ... Model of Trafalgar Square within Legoland Windsor. ... Motto (French) God and my right Anthem God Save the King (Queen) England() – on the European continent() – in the United Kingdom() Capital (and largest city) London (de facto) Official languages English (de facto) Government Constitutional monarchy  -  Queen Queen Elizabeth II  -  Prime Minister Tony Blair MP Unification  -  by Athelstan 967  Area... Legoland California is the third LEGOLAND park, that is located in Carlsbad, California. ... Location of Carlsbad within San Diego County, California. ... Legoland Deutschland is a LEGOLAND park. ... Günzburg is a district in Bavaria, Germany. ... The Blackstone Group L.P. is a prominent private equity and management investment firm founded in 1985 by Peter G. Peterson and Stephen A. Schwarzman. ...


Retail stores

When the Mall of America opened in 1992, one of its premier attractions, next to the Camp Snoopy amusement park, was the LEGO Imagination Center (LIC). A second LIC opened at the Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World. A LIC is a large LEGO store with displays of LEGO sculptures as well as a play area with bins of bricks to build with; they offer a large selection of LEGO sets for sale, including sets which are advertised in LEGO catalogues as "Not Available In Any Store." Mall of America (also MOA, MoA, or the Megamall) is a shopping mall located in the Twin Cities suburb of Bloomington, Minnesota. ... 1992 (MCMXCII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday. ... Camp Snoopy (originally Knotts Camp Snoopy) is the seven acre (28,000 m²) themed amusement park located in the center of the Mall of America, in Bloomington, Minnesota, themed around the Charles M. Schulz Peanuts comic strip characters. ... Downtown Disney is the name of an outdoor shopping, dining, and entertainment area; there are locations in two Disney resorts: Downtown Disney (California), at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California Downtown Disney (Florida), at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida Categories: Disney parks and attractions ... Cinderella Castle, at the center of the Magic Kingdom, is Walt Disney World Resorts most recognizable icon Introduction Owned and operated by The Walt Disney Company, the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, USA is home to four theme parks, two water parks, several resort hotels and golf courses...


North American stores: 1999 saw the opening of 'LEGO Brand Retail Outlet' store in Dawsonville, GA (USA) located at the North Georgia Premium Outlet Mall. The fourth store was another LIC at the Downtown Disney at Disneyland Resort. The fifth store was another outlet, located at Potomac Mills Mall in Woodbridge, VA. A sixth store, described as a "Brand Retail Store" opened in Chicago, IL. The seventh store was a third outlet store, located at Discover Mills Mall in Lawrenceville, GA. The eighth store was a fourth outlet, located at Colorado Mills Mall. Downtown Disney is the name of an outdoor shopping, dining, and entertainment area; there are locations in two Disney resorts: Downtown Disney (California), at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California Downtown Disney (Florida), at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida Categories: Disney parks and attractions ... The Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California is a major recreational resort (owned and operated by The Walt Disney Company), and is home to two theme parks, three hotels, and a shopping and entertainment area. ...


In 2003, LEGO Brand Retail in the US started a larger expansion, adding seven new stores to the existing eight stores:


Burlington, MA (Burlington Mall) Marlborough, MA (Solomon Pond Mall) Paramus, NJ (Paramus Park Mall) West Nyack, NY (Palisades Center Mall) Schaumburg, IL (Woodfield Mall) Northbrook, IL (Northbrook Court Mall) Glendale, CA (Glendale Galleria)


In 2004, a second expansion opened stores in the following locations:


Bellevue, WA Santa Clara, CA San Mateo, CA Pleasanton, CA Bridgewater, NJ McLean, VA Rockaway, NJ Smithville, NY


In 2005, a third expansion opened stores in the following locations: Portland, OR Ontario, CA Natick, MA


In January 2005, the Dawsonville Outlet was closed.


Europe Stores:


October 2002 saw a significant change in Lego Group's direct retail policy with the opening of the first so-called "LEGO Brand Store" in Cologne, Germany. The second, in Milton Keynes, UK, followed very quickly - several dozen more opened world-wide over the next few years, and most of the existing stores have been remodelled on the new "Brand Store" template. One of the distinctive features of these new stores is the inclusion of a "Pick-A-Brick" system that allows customers to buy individual bricks in bulk quantities. How a customer buys Lego at a Pick-A-Brick is quite simple; Customers fill a large or small cup or bag with their choice of LEGO bricks from a large and varied selection and purchase it. The opening of most of these stores, including the 2003 opening of one in Birmingham's Bull Ring shopping centre, have been marked by the production of a new, special, limited edition, commemorative LEGO Duplo piece. For album titles with the same name, see 2002 (album). ... For other uses, see Cologne (disambiguation). ... Milton Keynes is a large town in northern Buckinghamshire, in South East England, about 45 miles/75 km north-west of London, and roughly halfway between London and Birmingham. ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The city from above Centenary Square. ... 2003 Bull Ring _ St Martins church and Selfridges The Bull Ring market has been an important feature of Birmingham since the Middle Ages. ...


History

See also History of Lego and Lego timeline // History of Lego toys The Lego Group had humble beginnings in the workshop of Ole Kirk Christiansen, a poor carpenter from Billund, Denmark. ... Lego Group logo This article lists notable events and releases in the timeline of the Lego Group and Lego products. ...


Lego Group began in the workshop of Ole Kirk Christiansen, a carpenter from Billund, Denmark. Ole Kirk started creating wooden toys in 1932, but it was not until 1949 the famous plastic Lego brick was created. Ole Kirk Christiansen (1891-1958) was a Danish master carpenter and toymaker, responsible for both founding the LEGO toy company and inventing the world famous LEGO bricks. ... Billund is a municipality in the center of the Jutland Peninsula of Denmark, in the county of Ribe. ... Year 1932 (MCMXXXII) was a leap year starting on Friday (the link will take you to a full 1932 calendar). ... 1949 (MCMXLIX) was a common year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1949 calendar). ...

The design of Lego bricks has changed considerably over time.

The company name Lego was coined by Christiansen from the Danish phrase leg godt, meaning "play well." Lego Group claims that "Lego" means "I put together" or "I assemble" in Latin, though this is a rather liberal translation. Three generations of LEGO blocks (showing warpage in oldest block) Scan of actual bricks, upload by MH 09:17, 2004 Aug 25 (UTC) This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Three generations of LEGO blocks (showing warpage in oldest block) Scan of actual bricks, upload by MH 09:17, 2004 Aug 25 (UTC) This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in Latium, the region immediately surrounding Rome. ...


In 1947, Ole Kirk and Godtfred obtained samples of interlocking plastic bricks produced by the company Kiddicraft via a London-based injection moulding equipment manufacturer which was interested in developing its equipment sales in Denmark. The initial response from Mr Christiansen was skeptical, but the company produced the Kiddicraft bricks and said "you could be making these rather than your wooden toys." The name London Injection Moulders appears beneath early Kiddicraft bricks. These "Kiddicraft Self-Locking Building Bricks" were designed and patented in the UK by Mr. Hilary Harry Fisher Page, a child psychologist, who in 1957 took his own life without receiving any major benefit from the global fame of his invention. 1947 (MCMXLVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1947 calendar). ...


In 1949, Lego began producing similar bricks, calling them "Automatic Binding Bricks." These bricks, manufactured from cellulose acetate, were developed in the spirit of traditional wooden blocks that could be stacked upon one another; however, these plastic bricks could be "locked" together. They had several round "studs" on top, and a hollow rectangular bottom. They would stick together, but not so tightly that they could not be pulled apart. 1949 (MCMXLIX) was a common year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1949 calendar). ... Cellulose acetate, first prepared in 1865, is the acetate ester of cellulose. ...


The use of plastic for toy manufacture was not highly regarded by retailers and consumers of the time. Many of the Lego Group's shipments were returned, following poor sales; it was thought that plastic toys could never replace wooden ones.


By 1954, Christiansen's son, Godtfred, had become the junior managing director of the Lego Group. It was his conversation with an overseas buyer that inspired the idea of a toy system. Godtfred saw the immense potential in Lego bricks to become a system for creative play, but the bricks still had some problems from a technical standpoint: their "locking" ability was limited, and they were not very versatile. 1954 (MCMLIV) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


It was not until 1958 that the modern-day brick design was developed. The bricks were improved with hollow tubes in the underside of the brick. This added support in the base, enabling much better locking ability and improved versatility. That same year, Ole Kirk Christiansen died, and Godtfred inherited leadership of the company. Year 1958 (MCMLVIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


In 1963, the material used to create Lego bricks, cellulose acetate, was dropped in favor of more stable acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, or ABS plastic, which is still use today. ABS is non-toxic, less prone to discoloration and warping, and is also more resistant to heat, acids, salt, and other chemicals than cellulose acetate. Lego bricks manufactured from ABS plastic in 1963 still hold most of their shape and color 40 years later, and still neatly interlock with Lego bricks manufactured today. 1963 (MCMLXIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (the link is to a full 1963 calendar). ... Cellulose acetate, first prepared in 1865, is the acetate ester of cellulose. ... Monomers in ABS polymer Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, or ABS, (chemical formula (C8H8· C4H6·C3H3N)n is a common thermoplastic used to make light, rigid, molded products such as piping, golf club heads (used for its good shock absorbance), automotive body parts, wheel covers, enclosures, protective head gear, and toys including...


Over the years many more Lego sets, series, and pieces were created, with many innovative improvements and additions, culminating into the colorful versatile building toys that we know them as today.


Trademark and patents

Since the expiration of the last standing Lego patent in 1988, a number of companies have produced interlocking bricks that are similar to Lego bricks. The toy company Tyco Toys produced such bricks for a time; other competitors include Mega Bloks and Coko. These competitor products are typically compatible with Lego bricks, and are marketed at a lower cost than Lego sets. A patent is a set of exclusive rights granted by a state to a patentee (the inventor or assignee) for a fixed period of time in exchange for the regulated, public disclosure of certain details of a device, method, process or composition of matter (substance) (known as an invention) which... 1988 (MCMLXXXVIII) was a leap year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Mattel Inc. ... Mega Bloks building blocks (above) are compatible with LEGO interlocking building blocks. ... Coko bricks and figures are similar in design to LEGO bricks. ...


One such competitor is Coko, manufactured by Chinese company Tianjin Coko Toy Co., Ltd. In 2002, Lego Group Swiss subsidiary Interlego AG sued the company for copyright infringement. A trial court found many Coko bricks to be infringing; Coko was ordered to cease manufacture of the infringing bricks, publish a formal apology in the Beijing Daily, and pay a small fee in damages to Interlego. On appeal, the Beijing High People's Court upheld the trial court's ruling [1]. For album titles with the same name, see 2002 (album). ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...


In 2003 Lego Group won a lawsuit in Norway against the marketing group Biltema for its sale of Coko products, on the grounds that the company used product confusion for marketing purposes.[2] 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Also in 2003, a large shipment of Lego-like products marketed under the name "Enlighten" was seized by Finland customs authorities. The packaging of the Enlighten products was similar to official Lego packaging. Their Chinese manufacturer failed to appear in court, and thus Lego won a default action ordering the destruction of the shipment. Lego Group footed the bill for the disposal of the 54,000 sets, citing a desire to avoid brand confusion and protect consumers from potentially inferior products.[3]


Lego Group has attempted to trademark the "Lego Indicia", the studded appearance of the Lego brick, hoping to stop production of Mega Bloks. On May 24, 2002, the Federal Court of Canada dismissed the case, asserting the design is functional and therefore ineligible for trademark protection [4]. The Lego Group's appeal was dismissed by the Federal Court of Appeal on July 14, 2003 [5]. In October 2005, the Supreme Court ruled unanimoussly that "Trademark law should not be used to perpetuate monopoly rights enjoyed under now-expired patents." and held that Megablok can continue to manufacture their bricks. Mega Bloks building blocks (above) are compatible with LEGO interlocking building blocks. ... May 24 is the 144th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (145th in leap years). ... For album titles with the same name, see 2002 (album). ... The Federal Court of Canada, more properly known as the Federal Court and the Federal Court of Appeal, is the court system set up by the Canadian national government to resolve disputes that arise under the national governments jurisdiction. ... July 14 is the 195th day (196th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar, with 170 days remaining. ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Economic difficulties

In 2003, the Lego Group faced a budget deficit of 1.4 billion DKK (220 million USD at then current exchange rates), causing president Poul Plougmann to be fired and Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen to take over. In the following year, almost one thousand employees were fired, due to budget cuts. One thousand million (1,000,000,000) is the natural number following 999,999,999 and preceding 1,000,000,001. ... The Danish krone is the currency used in Denmark and the Danish dependency of Greenland. ... The United States dollar is the official currency of the United States. ... Chief executive of Lego, Billund, Denmark-based toymaker, since 1979. ...


However, in October, 2004, as the Lego Group faced an even larger deficit, Kristiansen once again stepped down as president, while placing 800,000 DKK of his private funds in the company.


Future plans for getting the company back on track include selling the Legoland entertainment parks and reducing its workforce. The company will also move production of its bricks to the Czech Republic.


In 2005, the Lego Group reported a 2004 net loss of DKK 1,931 million on a total turnover, including Legoland amusement parks, of DKK 7,934 million. 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... shelby was here 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


For 2005, the results are encouraging: a profit of DKK 702 million, thanks among other things to an increase of revenue to DKK 7,050 million in 2005 against DKK 6,315 million in 2004 (+12%), the sale of amusement parks, of a factory in Switzerland and general tightening up. The company expects further difficulties in the coming years so it is going to concentrate on profit growth instead of expansion of sales. 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


References

  • Henry Wiencek, The World of LEGO® Toys. Harry N. Abrams, Inc., Publishers, New York. ISBN 0-8109-2362-9.

Gnomes 30th Anniversary Edition from Harry N. Abrams, Inc. ...

External links

  • Lego Group corporate information from the company's official website

  Results from FactBites:
 
Lego Group - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1701 words)
The Lego Group began in the workshop of Ole Kirk Christiansen, a carpenter from Billund, Denmark.
The Lego Group's appeal was dismissed by the Federal Court of Appeal on July 14, 2003 [5].
In 2003, the Lego Group faced a budget deficit of 1.4 billion DKK (220 million USD at then current exchange rates), causing president Poul Plougmann to be fired and Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen to take over.
LEGO Virtual Reality Article (1028 words)
The LEGO Group (www.lego.com), makers of plastic construction bricks of various shapes that interlock together in different ways, are extending their physical toys into the virtual arena.
The LEGO Group's approach to creating toys includes basic "rules of play" which guide their efforts: a focus on creating instead of merely playing with objects; total modularity; and an infinite playscape with limitless possibilities.
LEGO expects their foray into digital technology to be beneficial in a number of ways.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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