Legos turn 50

It’s the fiftieth anniversary of LEGO Group founder Ole Kirk Christiansen’s patenting of the now-iconic brick. This year is also the 30th anniversary of the minifig and 10th anniversary of LEGO MINDSTORMS.

(The company has actually been putting out toys since the ’40s but only settled on the perfect brick architecture in 1958.)

Who can doubt the huge impact of LEGO? The bricks have been used to create 3D printers, autopilots and buckyballs. Architects concept with LEGO bricks. It has inspired museum-quality works of art as well as more humble ones. There are an average of 62 legos per inhabitant of the Earth, with 2,400 different kinds of bricks in 53 colors. There are 55,600 LEGO videos on YouTube and over 170,000 pictures on Flickr.

To commemorate the anniversary, the LEGO Group is holding a series of building challenges around the world to determine the best builder in each country between the ages of 6 and 13. The finalists will be invited to Denmark to participate in a huge building bonanza. Details will be revealed in March on

Happy Birthday, Legos!