Lego Google Doodle
On January 28th 2008, the Google homepage was taken over by a Lego Google Doodle celebrating the 50th birthday of the Lego brick. In the Lego Google Doodle the search engine’s logo appeared in its trademark font and yellow, red, blue and green colour scheme. However in the Lego Google Doodle the letters were constructed out of Lego’s trademark construction bricks and were displayed in a 3D zigzag pattern. Atop the second “G” of the Google logo stood one of Lego’s trademark men, who appeared to be waving, welcoming users to the search engine for the duration of the day. The Lego Google Doodle appeared globally.
The original storage for Google was made in part from LEGO so it’s great to see them celebrating the toy manufacturer with a Lego Google Doodle!
Although the iconic Lego brick was introduced to the world in 1958. Lego began during the early twentieth century as a manufacturer of small wooden children’s toys. The brand was founded in 1932 in Billund, Denmark by Ole Kirk Christiansen and to this day remains a family owned company.
The word Lego has its origin in the Danish words “Leg godt” which translate into English as “play well”. However the word Lego also has Latin and Italian meanings, “I gather together” and “I connect” respectively.
Since 1989, a number of children’s building bricks similar to Lego bricks have emerged. This is because the last standing Lego patent expired in this year. Companies who have taken advantage of the subsequent opening in the market include Mega Blocks and Coko. Whilst the bricks manufactured by these companies are similar they are marketed at a much lower price.
Despite the expiration of the patent in 1989 Lego has since taken legal action against competitors. One such action was launched against the Japanese manufacturer Coko in 2002. Lego sued Coko for copyright infringement. The court found that a number of the bricks manufactured by Coko did infringe those manufactured by Lego. As a result, Coko was legally forced to end the production of the infringing bricks, pay a small fee to Lego for damages caused and even write a formal apology which was published in the Beijing Daily.
However Lego has not always enjoyed victory in their legal endeavours, in 2004 Lego was defeated in a patent challenge launched against Best-Lock Construction Toys.
Lego have not limited themselves to the production of children’s construction bricks and models. The brand have also opened a number of theme parks, known as “Legoland”, throughout the world. The first Legoland was opened in the brands hometown of Billund, Denmark. To date there are Legolands in America, Germany, England and even Malaysia.
In 2002 Lego began to open a series of Lego Brand Stores, the first of these was opened in Cologne, Germany in the October of that year. Following this, a second store was promptly opened in Milton Keynes, England. These new stores provided visitors with the “Pick a Brick” system, whereby they are able to buy individual bricks in bulk quantities. With the Pick a Brick system visitors can fill a bag or cup with bricks of their choosing and then pay for it.
To date there are a total of 32 Lego brand stores in Europe, the highest number are found in the United Kingdom. The first Lego brand store was opened in native Denmark on December 13th 2010. A number of Lego Brand stores have also opened in Canada and the US, including the Lego Imagination Centre which stocks a number of model sets unavailable anywhere else. In 2012 it was revealed that the Lego Group was the single most valuable children’s toy company globally, ahead of former leader Mattel, with an estimated value in excess of $14.6 billion.