Curiosities and Questions; LEGO Answers!

Curiosities and Questions; LEGO Answers!

Do you want to know how many bricks are produced every minute? How many bricks have been produced since LEGO has existed? What is the best-selling set ever? What was the worst? Do they recycle? How did they survive the crisis that almost knocked them down? How successful is LEGO Mindstorms? What are the actual names of each of the pieces? Why are there no blondes in LEGO sets? Why are there sometimes extra pieces? Here is the ultimate mega-reference, straight from LEGO. The questions are divided into groups: curiosities, the company, the environment, design and planning, some strange facts and the future.


CURIOSITIES


LEGO Curiosities and Questions - Curiosities

Why is there a hole in the minifigure heads now?

This hole has been added in the upper part of the head in case some child has a head stuck in the throat. In this way he would be able to continue breathing until the piece is extracted.

Why are there pieces left when the set is finished? Do they do it just to play with the kids?

For two reasons: first, because some pieces are so small that they weigh too little to be measured by their scale, during packaging. Second, because it is better to have too many of those pieces rather than missing a few. By statistically knowing which pieces could be lost, they include some extras.

Why are there no blonde minifigures in regular LEGO sets?

Because they look bad with yellow heads. There are blondes, however, in the licensed lines, such as Star Wars or Harry Potter.

Why are LEGO figures never sold separately from sets?

The minifigures can be purchased separately on a limited basis. Some of the LEGO stores sell the minifigures separately. You can also purchase minifigure pieces via LEGO.com in the Pick-a-Brick wall. Additionally, there is a set called Community Workers that features nothing but classic minifigures. However, look at the shelves next year, we will never know what we might find!

What are the different pieces called internally? Any other names besides bricks, like “house” for flat pieces or something like that?

They refer to the standard pieces like bricks, bricks. The flat pieces are either flat (these have studs and are 1/3 the height of a LEGO brick) or tiles (these are flat pieces without studs). Everything is indicated by its number of prisoners, so a classic LEGO brick is referred to as 2 × 4. Check and you will see that there are 1 × 2 and 2 × 3 and 1 × 8 and so on…

Why did they change the color palette?

The color palette changes as the Themes change. However, the basic colors of the brick, red, yellow, blue, green, white and black, will always remain as basic points in the assortment.

Why don’t DUPLO blocks integrate with QUATRO blocks like regular LEGO bricks integrate with DUPLOs?

DUPLO bricks are compatible with QUATRO bricks, just as LEGO bricks are compatible with DUPLO bricks. LEGO provides the collector with the only compatible construction system since his birth!

The definitive plural answer for LEGO bricks is simply LEGO or, as some insist, is LEGOs?

“LEGO” is an adjective and is not meant to be a standalone noun. They should always be LEGO bricks, LEGO building, LEGO products, etc.

Why are there no black minifigures?

When the minifigure was first introduced 30 years ago, it was given the iconic yellow skin tone to reflect the unspecific and transcendental quality of a child’s imagination. In 2002, as more licensed properties were added to the assortment, the decision was made to introduce ethnic and skin tones more in line with the real characters and personalities being replicated. This included the introduction of black minifigures. However, these ethnic minifigures are only used in our licensed sets, all LEGO games continue to use the generic yellow face.


COMPANY


LEGO Curiosities and Questions - Company

How many LEGO bricks are produced each year?

About 19 billion LEGO elements are produced per year. 2.16 million are printed every hour, 36,000 every minute.

Approximately how many bricks have they ever made since LEGO started making them?

More than 400 billion LEGO bricks have been produced since 1958. There are approximately 62 LEGO bricks per person of the earth’s population. (as of 2019)

How many LEGO sets do they produce each year?

The number of sets varies according to the period of the year and the characteristics of the year itself. In the United States, they launch an average of 130 new sets per year. About 7 LEGO sets are sold every second around the world.

How much money do they make per piece?

Because they have so many specialized pieces, the average cost per piece is hard to name. For example, a 2 × 4 LEGO brick does not require the complexity to be produced as a LEGO minifigure or LEGO fence pieces. The molds they use to create LEGO elements are very expensive to design and manufacture.

So can we buy ANY LEGO elements on shop.LEGO.com? (and maybe get suggestions for recommended replacements if there are no more available?) Why don’t they have all the parts available for single or bulk ordering on their website?

They always work to improve the assortment of parts available through the Pick a Brick service. They currently have over 900 items available. Unlike the traditional toy retail trade, it is more difficult for them to imagine what individual pieces or items will be in demand over a given period of time. For example, they know that children like LEGO on wheels. So if a new set has wheels, they historically look at other sets that have had wheels to predict demand. But for individual brick requests, they have no way of knowing when someone will decide to build a six-foot orange monster, thus requiring a huge amount of orange bricks. As a result, they currently limit the number of bricks available so that we can maintain a healthy inventory and prevent our frustration, but also test to see what people want most on a piece basis.

Why are LEGOs so expensive?

Quality and safety are the main concerns for the LEGO Group. To ensure the best and safest products, LEGO bricks are made of the highest quality materials, which takes cost into account. The use of high quality materials ensures that the product is not only safe, but that it is durable enough to be passed down from generation to generation. Their tests show that no bricks have ever decomposed or released chemicals.

Because they break streaks faster now than in the past. Once you could count on a series for several years, now for just 12 months and then “they are no longer produced”. Is this marketing? Logistics? Or are the trends really changing so fast in the market?

The toy industry has become a frenetic and competitive world, almost imitating the fashion industry as things come and go quickly. The life of a typical LEGO play subject line can range from one to three years. However, there are some themes, like Space and Castle, that consider evergreen themes, and those are rotated in and out over the course of a few years. When a theme is a classic, they often keep the theme, but rotate the new models over a shorter period of time to maintain the novelty and interest of the market.

Will LEGO sell bulk bricks again?

The LEGO Group has never stopped selling loose bricks. Creative Building buckets and tubs are available at all major specialty retailers. New brick boxes are also available. Also, if you are in the area of ??a LEGO store, you can stop by a Pick-a-Brick wall or visit the Pick-a-Brick section of LEGO.com.

Did Mindstorm’s investment pay off?

The Mindstorms product line has been a very successful undertaking for the company. Mindstorms RIS 2.0 is the best-selling product in the company’s history and over 1 million RCX bricks have been sold. Mindstorms NXT, the next generation of the original robotic toolset, was also very successful.

Which country buys the most LEGO sets per person?

Germany is the first LEGO market, in fact LEGO is the first toy company in Germany. The best-selling lines in Germany are LEGO TECHNIC and LEGO CITY. The United States is the second largest market, with the best-selling BIONICLE and LEGO Star Wars lines.

How did they relaunch the company when it was almost bankrupt?

As a company they say, they have been very lucky to survive their crisis. They’ve had very tough years, but it was the LEGO fans themselves who put them back on track. They were trying to do too many things and deviated from what they did best: the classic brick. To regain their position, they went back to basics and focused on brick and on those fundamental themes on which the company was built, such as the City and the Castle. They also ditched things that weren’t related to the toy business, licensed LEGO video game development to top partners, and sold the theme parks. Fans have been patient acknowledging this, and have welcomed them again with open arms. Fortunately, no matter how markets and children’s tastes change, there will always be room for classic LEGO play.

What is the best-selling LEGO set ever made?

The LEGO Mindstorms Robotics Invention System set is the best-selling LEGO set ever. Over 1 million of these have been sold worldwide since their launch. (data 2019)

What was the least-selling theme they ever made?

A few years ago, they strayed too far from the main product line when they joined an action figure line called Galidor. With no traditional LEGO building elements, it proved unfamiliar to LEGO fans who expect a certain type of play experience from the LEGO brand.

Which theme is the best seller, excluding the core sets and the city?

Each country has a different best-seller, and when different themes rotate in and out, they rise to the top. Over the past 50 years they have seen that City, Space, Castle and Pirates are the evergreen themes that always seem to have a place in the hearts of LEGO fans. At the moment, LEGO CITY is the number one theme worldwide and other global best-sellers include LEGO Star Wars, BIONICLE and LEGO Indiana Jones.

Why doesn’t the LEGO online store ship LEGO to Hong Kong?

They always try to extend the reach of LEGO products and where they are sold and shipped. Currently, LEGO products are sold in physical stores in Hong Kong.


ENVIRONMENT


LEGO Curiosities and Questions - Environment

What happens to all the discarded pieces? Is there a LEGO paradise? Do they recycle them?

Thanks to the precision of the brick molding machines, there are very few pieces discarded: only 18 elements out of every Million produced do not meet the high standards of the company. Extra pieces from other sets that are caught on the line and identified as missing pieces or with slightly damaged parts are used for donations that are distributed to disadvantaged children’s organizations around the world.

Why is there no recycling program for all the plastics they produce?

LEGO bricks are recyclable, but not in the way most people think of recycling. LEGO bricks are one of those things that never break and most people pass them down from generation to generation, thus keeping them alive. In addition, during production they recycle all the residual plastic used. In molding machines, they break up all the defective elements and put the granulate back into the mold. The plastic they can no longer use is sold to industries that can use them.

Is the plastic currently used to form LEGO the same as it was 20 years ago?

Plastic is almost the exact same plastic used 20 years ago. There were slight changes in the mix, but the quality remained the same.


DESIGN AND PLANNING


LEGO Curiosities and Questions - Design and Planning

How much do the tools and the use of the tools cost? Who produces them?

The price of a single mold is very high. Most are made in Germany.

How much do adult fans consider LEGO and how much children fans when designing the sets?

When designing sets, they take both children and adults into consideration. Children are the main audience, especially when it comes to the main themes of the game; however, much of what kids like about LEGO sets today has a strong appeal among adult fans as well. With LEGO Star Wars, adults are equally considered. When designing any set, it’s about the balance between the building experience and the gaming experience. They also leverage their direct-to-consumer channels to provide the best collectible sets, exclusive specials, sculptures and models designed with experienced builders and adult fans in mind. Sometimes they even invite adult fans to help them design new sets. Mindstorms NXT is a great example of how we worked together with adult fans to determine what the set would include, with an emphasis on ensuring the end result was as compelling for a child as it was for an adult user. They continually look to their community of children and adults to make sure they meet and exceed “our” expectations.

Why did they change the founders’ rule of never making gun-like elements?

The company still has a no-gun policy when it comes to realistic or military game scenarios. However, in order to remain true to the strong licensed properties they incorporate into the LEGO portfolio, they must remain true to those properties and sometimes this includes the inclusion of weapons. In game themes, some elements of conflict, good versus bad, are generally considered to be role-playing opportunities. In these cases, the environment is clearly a fantasy world.

Why are they using so many specialized pieces in their sets now, instead of using more “base” bricks that allow for more building outside of the set itself? Why have some LEGO sets for some recent generations been phased out?

This is an impression that many people have but, in fact, the number of pieces has been drastically reduced and there is a return to origins in LEGO, not only for creativity but to save money. LEGO has gone from 12,000 different pieces to 6,800 in recent years, a number that includes color variations.

Why do they use so many “cheating” bricks? … That is, instead of stacking 4 1 × 2 bricks they produced a 1x2x4 brick, or those huge chunks used for the castle walls. It certainly speeds up construction, but reduces creativity and playability…

Sometimes larger bricks are used to help children build easily and help them complete the model faster so they can enjoy the play experience. They have learned that there are many different types of builders out here, some look at the build experience, but others look at the play experience. They try to balance the portfolio to appeal to both groups.

Did the decision to make faces other than the usual face cause problems in any market?

The modification of the faces of the minifigures took place for the first time in 1989 with the introduction of the Pirates line. Since that time, they have received very few questions from consumers. For those LEGO purists out here, they left the original face in the assortment so that a familiar face is always there.

I would like to know what happened in the good old days of really complex and realistic models? I still have some of the old classics like the Semi Truck with the pneumatic crane on the back, the JCB excavator, the independent wheel sports car, the Ferrari Esque with the 4-speed gearbox … Where did the models like these go?

LEGO still has great LEGO TECHNIC sets and models that bring extreme levels of detail and functionality. They are not always available in mass retail channels, so you often need to search for them on LEGO.com or other specialist retailers.

How long does it take to develop a theme, or a set?

In recent years they have been able to dramatically reduce the time it takes to develop and produce a new set. The average development period is now about 12 months from start to finish, down from the previous 2-3 years.

What’s up with all the stickers recently? Do they no longer preprint anything? And if you need to remove the stickers to take apart the sets, why not have replacement sheets available at Shop-at-home?

Some elements are still pre-printed; however, they find that the stickers allow even more detail and more realism to each set. It can be frustrating at times as anyone with questions can contact their customer service.


STRANGE FACTS


LEGO Curiosities and Questions - Strange Facts

Does LEGO have any plans to sell life-size LEGO bricks? I want to build a real house.

They currently have no plans to sell life-size LEGO pieces. You will only have to build your house with normal materials for the time being friend.

Why does LEGO look so delicious but taste so bad?

As your parents probably told you when you were young, there are some things that shouldn’t be eaten. LEGO bricks are one of them. Please keep them away from your mouth.

Bricks are available in truly astounding quantities, but for artists like me who wish to explore the possibilities of LEGO as a medium for large-scale sculpture?

LEGO always encourages creativity and loves their LEGO artists. Unfortunately, there is currently no system in place for the sale of staggering quantities. Pick-A-Brick and Buckets and Tubs are the best solution for those looking for large quantities of classic bricks.

Where can I buy a legit golf shirt with the LEGO logo embroidered on it?

LEGO shirts tend to go in and out of the assortment. At the moment, there is no golf shirt in the assortment, but keep checking!

When will LEGO produce a beer stein kit complete with tap?

We love your creativity, but the LEGO Group probably won’t be producing a beer stein kit in the near or far future; however, if you are so inclined, you can design your own at LEGOFactory.com.


FUTURE


LEGO Curiosities and Questions - Future

Does LEGO have any plans to upgrade old sets like Blacktron or the Monorail?

They constantly look back to the past to help shape the sets of the future. As of now, there are no plans to update those sets, but what’s to come is always a mystery.

Would you include Mindstorm technology in regular LEGO sets?

In 2007, the LEGO Power Function system was introduced, which allows models to come to life using motors and sensors without Mindstorms’ programming function. For those who wish to combine LEGO constructions with Mindstorms technology, everything is compatible.

Why don’t you use LEDs?

Currently, LEDs are not used, but their designers are always coming up with new and exciting ways to improve the building experience.

Have you ever considered roller coasters in LEGO?

In deciding which products will go on the market, there are numerous factors that are considered. As a global company, they try to choose products that have global appeal. They also look for models that have the best building and play experience. LEGO modelers always come up with new and cool ideas, roller coasters can be included in this, it’s just a matter of making sure it works in the current assortment.

Would you consider making LEGO sets based on famous story scenes for education?

Everything is possible with the LEGO system. They have created models of famous landmarks, such as the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower, and have an Education division that always comes up with new ideas. But if you don’t want to wait for this to happen, there is always LEGO Factory where you can design and build your own historical scenes.

I really wish they weren’t discontinuing their 9V electrified rail train sets. My question is: why?

As a company, they are very focused on the fundamental building blocks and development of the “game system”. With the recent development of the LEGO Power System, they are able to replace several applications that are not compatible with a single electrical system. Unfortunately, this means that they are moving from two train systems to one coherent system.

Will LEGO continue to reach a more adult audience with more intricate and larger sets?

The adult audience is very important to LEGO and they will continue to produce the largest and most intricate sets, which are typically found in direct-to-consumer channels and other specialty retailers. The latest introduction is the LEGO Star Wars Death Star.

Where are the clear LEGOs? The ones that glow in the dark? Rubber?

New products and elements are always in development. In recent years they have introduced luminescent parts in different sets in addition to light bricks in select sets. They use rubber to make LEGO tires: “did you know that we are the largest manufacturer of vehicle tires in the world”?

When will the 9v train tracks and engines return to the factory?

Unfortunately, the 9v train tracks are gradually being phased out and are moving towards a more coherent system that uses the LEGO power system.

Does LEGO have plans for Wi-Fi connections for Mindstorm?

Mindstorms NXT includes Bluetooth capabilities for wireless communications and downloads.

Will LEGO produce Trike and old bikes again?

They have a very strong licensing department that always works with leading manufacturers to identify new categories and products that can carry the LEGO brand, but as of now there are no plans to produce Trikes and old bikes.

Why don’t you re-expose the theme of space forever?

The space theme is an evergreen theme. They currently feature LEGO Star Wars and LEGO Mars Mission themes to meet consumer demand for space-themed buildings.

Are there any chances that LEGO will start producing LEGO sets of modern warfare, with tanks and helicopters?

LEGO has a strict policy regarding military models, and therefore they do not manufacture tanks, helicopters, etc. While they always support the men and women who serve their country, they prefer to keep the play experiences they provide for children, belonging to the realm of fantasy.

Are they planning to make another set of Mindstorms for Star Wars robots?

As of now, there are no plans to release a new Star Wars robot kit; however, all fans are encouraged to create their own designs.

I am a huge fan of Star Wars LEGO, I have the Death Star on my coffee table and I was wondering if they would ever make models based on the Expanded Universe?

With the Star Wars franchise, anything is possible! Eyes open for interesting new things…

When will they release an advanced model of the Batman Roadworthy Batmobile (Batman Begins)?

They made it: LEGO DC Batman Batmobile Tumbler 76240.

Keep in mind that some of the licensing questions were not included because LEGO is (rightfully so) as confidential about its future products as Apple is.


FUTURE?


LEGO Curiosities and Questions - Future?

LEGO

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