LEGO launched a new initiative today called Rebuild the World, a campaign with the purpose to “help nurture the creative skills of the next generation.” The company has partnered with musician Mark Ronson, British designer and inventor Dominic Wilcox, and 19-year-old David Aguilar, who built a prosthetic arm out of LEGO to ultimately “nurture the creativity and problem solving-capabilities every child is born with.”
To mark the occasion, LEGO is hosting some events at the LEGO House in Billund, Denmark and launched a series of videos that discuss how we can “Rebuild the World.” LEGO CEO Niels B. Christiansen and LEGO Brand Group Chairman Jørgen Vig Knudstorp also filmed a video explaining the initiative with a special message to AFOLs around the world.
Click to watch the video
Where were you when the LEGO Star Wars theme launched twenty years ago? For me, it began with the January 1999 LEGO Shop-at-Home catalog. The front cover promised “LEGO Star Wars action” on pages 6 and 7, and it did not disappoint! My eyes widened at the sight of LEGO versions of the X-Wing and TIE-Fighter. As soon as the sets hit store shelves, I gathered my allowance money and purchased the Landspeeder as my very first LEGO Star Wars set. Now as an adult, I find the story behind the beginnings of LEGO’s first licensed theme just as exciting.
The foundations for LEGO Star Wars arguably existed long before the launch. Space exploration was a big topic of interest in the 1960s and 70s, giving rise to hit space-themed TV shows like Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica. In 1977, Star Wars was released and became a blockbuster hit. During this period, LEGO too began embracing the space age and released the first Classic Space sets in 1979. Instead of lightsaber battles and dogfights, the initial emphasis of LEGO was on exploration. Conflict would eventually make its way into LEGO space sets with the introduction of the thieving Blacktron I faction in 1987. The relationship between these defined “good guys” and bad guys” was relatively tame, keeping in line with founder Ole Kirk Christiansen’s commitment to not make “war toys.”
Keep reading about the historic launch of LEGO Star Wars
This time of year is one of the busiest for toy manufacturers, including the LEGO Group. In an effort to associate the brand with holiday gift-giving, the months of November and December bring a flurry of wintry-themed advertising. While much of the LEGO Group’s current advertising campaigns exist online, the company has a long history of producing holiday advertising in magazines, comic books, and mail order catalogs (aka LEGO Shop at Home catalogs). Our elves have been hard at work, sifting through the archives for some of the LEGO Group’s most memorable seasonal ads. Hop in the sleigh and hold tight for a wild ride back through time.
See more LEGO holiday advertising through the years