LEGO is a line of toys featuring plastic bricks, gears and minifigures in a variety of colors and other pieces that can be assembled to create models of anything you can imagine. Cars, planes, trains, buildings, castles, sculptures, ships, spaceships and even working robots are just a small part of an extremely large list, full of things that can be built with LEGO bricks. The high quality of production and careful attention to detail ensure that the LEGO pieces can come together in a myriad of ways, which is one of the main reasons for the toy’s success. The sets are manufactured by the LEGO Group, a privately held company based in Denmark. Coincidentally, “LEGO” translates into various Latin meanings such as “Assemble” and “Connect“.
LEGO System along with LEGO Technic, is The LEGO Company’s main line of building elements, minifigures and sets, and features the iconic standard LEGO brick which evolved from LEGO’s first series of Automatic Binding Bricks that first appeared in 1949. The new pieces were first marketed under the name LEGO Mursten in 1953 and from 1955 to 1970 in the System i Leg series of toys. Later it was simply known as LEGO System. Most System bricks can be used with TECHNIC bricks. LEGO System is also the brand under which most standard minifigure-compatible sets are marketed since 1978. The pieces in this line are smaller than DUPLO blocks. The iconic logo of LEGO System wasn’t featured on boxes and catalogues until 1992. Most newer minifigure-compatible sets no longer feature the logo, although they are still considered a part of System.
The 1 × 1 LEGO System brick measures approximately 8 × 8 × 10 mm. The dimensions of almost all other LEGO construction toys derive from this size and can be combined with it. With the introduction of minifigure-compatible sets in 1978, 3 main themes were introduced, LEGO Town, LEGO Castle and LEGO Space, within each of which several new sub-themes were subsequently added, which consisted mainly of distinct new factions of minifigures and were all related to their respective main themes. With boats and trains, 2 minor themes were introduced which complemented the City but were not considered parts or sub-themes of it. Another unique theme was the 1986 Model Team, whose sets focused on more or less accurate scale replicas of real-world vehicles and were not designed to be compatible with minifigures. Beginning with 1989‘s LEGO Pirates, LEGO has added additional main themes to the LEGO System line alongside the initial 3 main themes. These 4 main themes made up most of the LEGO System sets of that era and were also the most popular themes. Another minor theme of the system, Belville, was introduced in 1994, and contained larger figures and specially designed bricks. The next addition was Aquazone from 1995, followed by Western from 1996.
Another small theme, Time Cruises, was introduced in the same year. The current 6 main minifigure themes (Town, Castle, Space, Pirates, Aquazone and Western) underwent major changes in 1999. Space, Pirates, Aquazone and Western were discontinued. Castle was renamed Knights’ Kingdom. The main themes of Town were outsourced to Town Jr. and subsequently to the City Center, although they were integrated by several sub-themes which in most cases were only remotely linked to the life of the city. One exception was the 1998 Smaller Adventurers theme which was supplemented with several sub-themes until its discontinuation in 2004. The smaller Alpha theme was introduced in 2001 and lasted several years longer than most of the others themes. Instead of slowly adding new factions and sets to existing main themes, most of the themes were now standalone series which, in most cases, had all their sets released in the first year and only lasted for an extra year or 2. One such new theme was 1999‘s Rock Raiders and 2001‘s Life on Mars, a brief revival of the old Space theme.
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LEGO System Themes
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