Coming across more than a few toy vendors during our picking adventures I have one question, “Where have all the LEGOs gone?” We have seen Barbies, Kens, Big Wheels, Cabbage Patch Kids, board games and puzzles. However, LEGOs are few and far between. In fact, the only LEGOs we have seen were at the Columbia Comic and Toy Con where one vendor sold Ziploc bagfuls of LEGO bricks, which leaves me wondering – did everybody’s moms put the LEGOs in the attic?
You see, in our family, the toys that went in the attic have mysteriously disappeared. Fortunately, I never banished the LEGOs to the attic. Neither did I “just throw them out” (as suggested by The Great One) as we would find errant blocks hither and yon when packing up to move. Frequently, I cut power to the vacuum cleaner just in the nick of time before the treasured blocks were sucked into the infernal chamber from which they would not return and least not on my watch.
So, I decided to do a little research. Googling “LEGO Brick,” gave me 40,300,000 results instantaneously. Now, who in their right mind would attempt to wade through all of that? (Of course, the Great One would ask, “Who ever said you were in your right mind?”) Therefore, I decided to go straight to the source – lego.com.
In 1932 in Billund, Denmark Ole Kirk Kristiansen a master carpenter, who began carving wooden toys, founded the LEGO Company. He created the company name by using letters from two Danish words "leg godt", meaning "play well." In 1949 LEGO introduced the Automatic Binding Brick, which was the forerunner of the LEGO brick as we know it today, which was launched in 1958. All LEGO elements made since 1958 are totally interchangeable and compatible no matter when or in what factory they were manufactured.
I saw my first set of LEGOs back in the 60s in Miami. My parents had friends whose son played with these little white, gray and red plastic block things. Needless to say, at that time, I wasn’t too impressed. Fast forward about 15 years later and that little boy grew up to be an architect. I’m thinking maybe his parents knew what they were doing when they got him LEGOs.
According to Smithsonian Magazine, in the May of 2013 issue, LEGO had “supplied earth with more than 600 billion tiny plastic bricks.” Since LEGO bricks are pretty much indestructible, how did they just fall off the face of the earth? With my Google search results, it’s obvious that a lot of people are interested in LEGOs, a lot of LEGOs have been manufactured and sold and a lot of children have played with LEGO bricks over the past 50 years. LEGOs are a sturdy toy, manufactured to the highest standards, have no moving parts to break, and have never had a safety recall. So, where are all the LEGOs whose children grew up?
After all of my research and personal first-hand experience, I think I have a pretty good idea. None of those grown up children will part with their bricks and for those who will, there is an ever growing market of collectors waiting to scoop up those little beauties. Some want them for the fond memories they trigger. Others are still actively building and need an unending supply of bricks to feed their habit. Finally, there are some who buy them as investments to flip for a profit.
Click the links below to see some amazing LEGO art: