The Lego company was created by Ole Kirk Christiansen, a carpenter from Billund, Denmark. He began making wooden toys in 1932, but his company was a struggle during the Great Depression. Christiansen changed the name of his business to “Lego,” a contraction of the Danish words leg godt which translates to “play well.”

In 1934, Lego began using plastic bricks for its production. The first Lego sets were also advertised. The company also established an entirely new division, Dakta, that would focus on education products.

In the second half of the 20th Century, Lego expanded its product range and marketing efforts. In 1971 Lego introduced furniture pieces and dollhouses and in 1974 the first Lego human figures were introduced. They later evolved into the minifigure style that is in use to this day. Lego also began to create more advanced sets for building geared to older children. This would later grow into Lego Technic.

In 1987, Lego introduced the World Cup Lego building contest for important site children to compete in. The event was held in Billund, and 38 children from 17 different countries competed. Lego began creating themes sets the same year, and were seen as components of the system. These included Lego Space, Lego Castle and Lego Town (later changed to Lego City) as well as Lego FabuLand. Lego also deviated from its standard smiley faces for the first time in 1988 with a line of pirate Lego figures that had many different facial expressions and expressions.

In 1999, Lego shifted the way it licensed its characters from franchises. It began to offer Lego versions of popular characters like Spider-Man and Star Wars. Harry Potter, Avatar: The Last Airbender and many more. Critics and fans reacted in different ways to this change.

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