The LEGO Story: How a Little Toy Sparked the World’s Imagination by Jens Andersen

LEGOs entered my life as a parent. I bought them for my kids who built wonders with these little pieces of interlocking plastic bricks. I wanted my kids to be engineers. Inadvertently, they only planned to engineer my doom. It was never fun finding them spewed in different parts of the house or worse yet stepping on them completely unaware when barefoot. Ouch! Not pleasant at all. I swear I can still see LEGOs under my wooden deck when some of them escaped through the cracks when the kids were super small. They haven’t aged at all. There they lay through many winters and summers. No tiny hands can reach them. They will only be liberated when the deck is demolished.

The LEGO Story: How a Little Toy Sparked the World’s Imagination by Jens Andersen examines how a tiny plastic toy changed the world. LEGOs always seem to be the perfect toy to liberate your imagination. LEGO is more than interlocking plastic bricks, it has found its way into pop culture from The Lego Movie franchise to the ever-expanding worlds based on popular franchises such as Star Wars or DC Comics. The LEGO stores showcase some of the most brilliant designs ever made possible. Long gone are the days of building a rectangular plastic house. Mind you, you can still do that. Now you can build an intergalactic spaceship that is able to tear a planet asunder. LEGO has created just about everything under the sun that they put in a box so that you can assemble it together. I wonder if they ever created a LEGO sun? (Yup, they did that already!)

The LEGO Story is the definitive story behind one of the most beloved brands on the planet, shown through the deeply personal lens of one singular family. Excellently written with ease and verve, it’s also a riveting cultural history of changing generations’ views of childhood and the importance of play. Richly illustrated with never-before-seen photos from the family’s private archive, this is the ultimate book for fans of LEGO, revealing everything you ever wanted to know about the brand. 

The extraordinary inside story of the LEGO company—producer of the most beloved and popular toy on the planet—is based on unprecedented access to the founding family that still owns the company, chronicling the brand’s improbable journey to becoming the empire that it is today. 

From bare-bones wooden toys to plastic interlocking bricks, from a single rectangle on which a child could build a simple house to the ability to recreate the worlds of Harry Potter, Star Wars, Batman, and more, hundreds of millions of people around the world have played with LEGOs, driven around in toy cars at LEGOLAND, and flocked to theaters to watch The LEGO Movie and its sequels. Some have taken their passion into adulthood, building in the late hours when the younger generation has been tucked into bed. Though LEGO has existed for nearly a century, the product has not always been the one we know and adore today. The toy has undergone big changes in both material and design due to a combination of cultural and historical circumstances as well as industrial advancements.

“This book tells the story of how my family built the LEGO brand.” —Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, former President/CEO of the LEGO Group and 3rd generation owner

Yet as ubiquitous as the LEGO company is, the family behind the brand is an enigma. Now, for the first time, the Kirk Kristiansen family has agreed to tell the story of LEGO and their life’s work to Jens Andersen, one of Denmark’s most acclaimed writers and beloved biographers. Through interviews with Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen—who represents the third generation of the family business—and with access to the vast LEGO archive, Andersen takes the reader back to the very beginning of LEGO and chronicles its improbable journey to become the iconic company that it is today.