What You May Not Know About Lego
by Susan Green
The word Lego is taken from the Dutch for “play well”, which is leg godt. The word is now synonymous the whole world over for a toy which everyone loves to play with be they old, young, boy or girl. We are so used to making things from Lego that rarely do we stop to think about how each individual block of Lego itself is constructed.
Firstly, granules are loaded from large trucks into the granule silos. After this the granules are taken to molding machines. These subject the granules to high temperatures, melting them into a highly viscous substance. This substance is then poured into molds of various sizes to make the bricks that we all know and recognise. Once the molten granules have been poured into the molds they are transported to the decorating and printing stage. Although the color of the brick is determined by the color of the granules in the first stage of the process, the bricks can have patterns printed on to them, or designs. For example, bricks with words on such as taxi or police have them printed on at this stage in the manufacturing process. Once this is complete, the Lego bricks are taken to the packaging area where they are placed into boxes with other Lego pieces ready to be shipped to stores or to wherever they are required.
Lego also have additional branches which are aimed at different users. For example, Duplo is made by Lego but is widely known by the name Duplo and not always associated with Lego. Individual Duplo pieces are much larger than those of a traditional Lego set and they are aimed at a much younger clientele. Children aged 2-6 find Duplo much easier to get hold of because of its increased proportions and so encourage younger children to exercise their creative minds.
Technic Lego is more advanced than standard Lego and so appeals more to the 10-15 year old market. This often incorporates very small pieces as these kits have moving components. For example, you can make such items as a helicopter with propellers which actually move when you turn a handle.
For some time Lego was aimed primarily at boys with kits based on Star Wars or Batman. This balance has now been redressed somewhat and it is now possible to purchase kits to build Disney Princess Castles and such like. Lego is a great toy for children as it helps to improve their hand eye co-ordination as well as their imagination and so children of both sexes should be encouraged to play with it in preference to watching endless hours of TV.
About Lego Author
Susan Green is a regular contributor to SBG Toys where more information about children's toys is freely available.