When did LEGO switch from wood to plastic?
In 1949 LEGO produced its first plastic brick, a precursor to its signature brick with interlocking studs on the top and tubes on the bottom. It was patented in 1958 by Christiansen's son Godtfred Kirk, who replaced his father as the head of the company.
The LEGO System in Play and the equally important stud and tube principle introduced in 1958 are the key reasons for the decision made in 1960 to stop the production of our wooden toys alongside the other plastic toys.
Just five years after launching its System of Play, LEGO sustained a third catastrophic fire. Like the first, this blaze sealed the company's fate: Since the fire burned up all of the company's wooden toy inventory, the company decided to ditch wood for good and move ahead with plastic.
In 1947, Lego expanded to begin producing plastic toys. In 1949 Lego began producing, among other new products, an early version of the now familiar interlocking bricks, calling them "Automatic Binding Bricks".
LEGO prices vary greatly on the secondary market and generally increase two to three years after retirement. Returns range from -50% to +600% annually, so don't assume every set will automatically make you rich.
Lego recently announced that it will not renew its contract with Shell when it ends in 2016. “We want to clarify that as things currently stand we will not renew the co-promotion contract with Shell when the present contract ends,” the company said in a statement released last week.
ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) is the type of material we use to make the classic LEGO brick as well as LEGO DUPLO. ABS is a hard plastic, it's very scratch resistant and is optimal for achieving the perfect clutch power!
LEGO baseplate packaging
The new baseplate packaging replaces single-use plastic wrappers and will be phased in during 2022.
LEGO discontinued all wooden toy production in 1960, following a devastating fire which destroyed the carpentry workshops (The company suffered a similar fire in 1942). Under the leadership of Ole's son Godtfred, the decision was made to abandon wood toys in favor of plastic toys.
In fact, Lego actually began in 1932 in a Danish carpentry workshop, and Lego bricks were made of wood for several decades.
When did LEGO switch to ABS?
It provides the unique connective grip, high gloss, and the color stability our LEGO bricks are known for. It meets a long list of safety, durability and quality rules and we've been using it ever since 1963! ABS plastic is also commonly used to make plastic telephones, computers and car interiors.
Why is LEGO making this change? LEGO have a pretty ambitious mandate – to ensure that all their packaging are sustainable by 2025. This is a company-wide initiative, so this impacts nearly every single product produced.