Fifty-nine years ago today on January 28, 1958, at 1:58pm, Godtfred Kirk Christiansen submitted a patent application for a tiny toy building block, which was approved six month later. Little did Godtfred know that his “highly sophisticated inter-locking brick system” would take the world by storm, and lead to LEGO becoming the largest toy company on the globe, selling products in more than 140 countries.
Even more mind-blowing, a LEGO brick from 1958 still interlocks with a LEGO brick made today. 1958 was a big year in history: NASA was formed, the first passenger jets crossed the Atlantic, and the first U.S. satellite was launched — not to mention that in 1958 the computer chip, modem, and TV remote were all invented too. But the simple LEGO brick has a special place in our minds and hearts, having endured and impacted our lives in countless ways by promoting creativity, community, education and sheer fun.
Still have doubts about how amazing the LEGO brick is? Here are some facts and figures to sway your opinion:
- In total, over 700 billion LEGO elements have been made so far (enough for every person on earth to have more than 80 pieces each).
- If each of those LEGO pieces were stacked, the tower would reach the moon and back nearly nine times.
- You can combine six 2×4 LEGO bricks in a mind-numbing 915,103,765 ways.
- If LEGO minifigures (introduced in 1978) were human, they would hold the record for the world’s largest people group.
- LEGO minifigures have traveled further than any human ever has, reaching Jupiter on NASA’s Juno spacecraft.
- LEGO is the largest tire manufacturer on earth, holding the Guinness World Record and producing more than 870,000 each day.
So let’s celebrate International LEGO Day by building a set, designing something new, sorting your collection, or playing a LEGO video game. Let’s share our love of these 59-year-old bricks by building something amazing. Play well, everyone.
Want to know more about the history of LEGO? Check out our LEGO History timeline!