Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Lego Restructures with Eye to Expansion

Updated Dec. 6, 2016 2:26 p.m. ET

Lego is a line of plastic construction toys that are manufactured by The Lego Group, a privately held company based in Billund, Denmark. The company's flagship product, Lego, consists of colorful interlocking plastic bricks accompanying an array of gears, figurines called mini-figures, and various other parts. Lego pieces can be assembled and connected in many ways, to construct objects; vehicles, buildings, and working robots. Anything constructed can then be taken apart again, and the pieces used to make other objects. Lego pieces of all varieties constitute a universal system. Despite variation in the design and the purposes of individual pieces over the years, each piece remains compatible in some way with existing pieces. Lego bricks from 1958 still interlock with those made in the current time, and Lego sets for young children are compatible with those made for teenagers. Six pieces of 2x4 bricks can be combined in 915,103,765 ways.

The Lego Group began manufacturing the interlocking toy bricks in 1949. Since then a global Lego subculture has developed. Supporting movies, games, competitions, and six Legoland amusement parks have been developed under the brand. As of July 2015, 600 billion Lego parts had been produced.

Lego's popularity is demonstrated by its wide representation and usage in many forms of cultural works, including books, films and art work. It has even been used in the classroom as a teaching tool. In the USA, Lego Education North America is a joint venture between Pitsco, Inc. and the educational division of the Lego Group.

The article discuss the recent shake-up the company’s ownership structure, elevating an executive widely credited for rescuing the toy maker from the brink of bankruptcy to manage all-things Lego and explore new business ventures.

The Kirk Kristiansen family said Lego A/S Chief Executive Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, who has transformed the venerable Danish company into a global toys-and-entertainment force, will step aside at year-end. In his new role, Mr. Knudstorp will lead an umbrella entity called the Lego Brand Group that will oversee the family’s 75% stake in the toy maker, as well as interests in the Legoland theme parks and in an education business promoting the use of Lego toys in schools. Chief Operations Officer Bali Padda, a Briton, is appointed CEO of the toy company—its first non-Dane boss since Lego’s foundation in 1932.

The shake-up comes as Lego faces challenges to maintain the explosive growth the company displayed in recent years in Europe and the U.S., while conquering new markets such as China and India. With 18,500 employees, Lego is in a two-horse race with Mattel Inc. of the U.S. for the No. 1 seat as the world’s largest toy company.

  1. "Lego History-About Us". Lego. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
  2.  "How a Lego Works". How Stuff Works. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
  3. “Lego Fun Facts". Brick Recycler. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
  4. "Lego Education (see footnote)". Retrieved 4 December 2016.

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