Mgmt 449, Spring 2014
Along with the development of new technologies, the toy industry has became more competitive than ever. In the past two years, Lego faced multiples of threads from its competitors including the acquisition of The Marvel Entertainment by the Walt Disney Company. It also lost a long legal battle with major competitor MEGA Brands; European Union court removed the Lego brick trademark; and the second largest toy maker in the world, Hasbro, is getting ready for its new ambitious product line to enter the market.
Lego was founded in 1932 during the Great Depression by Danish carpenter Ole Kirk Kristiansen. He believed that “the only best is good enough” in making children’s toys. “Lego” was comprised by Danish words, “leg” and “godt”, meaning “play well”. It also means “I put together” in Latin. The first disaster happened to the young company as a fire burned down the entire workshop, which only had 12 employees. Not giving up too easily, the entrepreneur rebuilt the whole factory and even remade all destroyed designs by memory. In 1947, Lego became the first Danish company to purchase a plastic molding machine, which however also put the company into great debts. Using the new technology, the first plastic Lego bricks, Automatic Binding Bricks, which was later renamed to Lego Bricks, were created and sold in sets in 1949. During 1960s, the company has expanded to not only European countries but also the US, Canada, Japan and Australia. After multiple firing incidents involved the wooden Lego toys, the company completely stopped producing this line of product and focused only on making plastic bricks. In 1968, the first Legoland theme park was opened in Denmark and Duplo, the bricks that are 8 times the size of normal bricks to make it safer for younger kids to play, was also introduced. In 1978, Lego introduced the first miniature figures and the 3 theme sets that went along with them including Lego Town, Lego Castle and...
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