LEGO® Books come in many forms and cover many aspects of the brand and its fandom. But the book I’m taking a look at today is unlike most other titles. As the name suggests, it tells the story of the LEGO brand from the very beginning, that’s even before a single wooden toy was ever crafted. The history of the LEGO Group is a long one and over that time many things have happened. This book offers an in-depth recollection of that history with help from someone who knows it well, Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen. So here are my thoughts on The LEGO Story: How a Little Toy Sparked the World’s Imagination.
The definitive history of LEGO, based on unprecedented access to the company’s archives and rare interviews with the founding family who still owns the company.
This book tells the extraordinary story of a global company and a Danish family who for ninety years have defended children’s right to play—and who believe grown-ups, too, should make the time to nurture their inner child. The LEGO Story is built on Jens Andersen’s unique access to LEGO’s own archives, as well as on Andersen’s extensive conversations with Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, former president and CEO of the LEGO group and grandson of its founder, Ole Kirk Christiansen.
A riveting cultural history of changing generations’ views of childhood and the importance of play, The LEGO Story also a fascinating case study of how innovation and creativity helped leaders transform LEGO from a small carpentry business into the world’s largest producer of play materials and one of the most beloved brands in the world. 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.
- Book Title: The LEGO Story: How a Little Toy Sparked the World’s Imagination
- Publisher: Mariner Books
- Pages: 432
- RRP: £25.0/$25.00
- ISBN: 9780063258020
- Formats: Physical & Digital
- Availability: Online Book Retailers
Whenever I become interested in a company I like to delve into its history. As a Leicester lad, I charted the rise of Walkers Crisps from humble beginnings as a butcher. When I worked at WHSmith I revelled in the fact that Smith’s created the early ISBN system. As a gamer, I enjoyed discovering how Nintendo opened love hotels and sold noodles for a while. The same can be said about my interest in the LEGO brand. Two books I really enjoyed are very similar to The LEGO Story, which are Game Over: Nintendo’s Battle to Dominate an Industry and Brick by Brick: How LEGO Rewrote the Rules of Innovation and Conquered the Global Toy Industry. Not titles which roll off the tongue but they do excellent jobs of charting the long histories of Nintendo and the LEGO Group.
The LEGO Story is by far the most comprehensive history of the LEGO Group. It begins before Ole Kirk Christiansen even stepped foot in the small carpentry workshop in Billund and follows the LEGO story through to the present day. It’s not been plain sailing over the years and those moments are touched upon throughout the book. As in-depth and informative as the book is, for me the special moments come from the direct quotes from Kjeld. His love of the LEGO brand and its fanbase shines through. He may be a businessman but above that, he’s basically an AFOL or as he puts it, one of us ‘older children’. It’s as much his story as it is that of the LEGO Group. Along with his insight, the book is full of interesting photographs, giving an extra connection to the company’s past endeavours and early days. The LEGO community has changed a lot and whilst there are those who like to mock the company or complain about the silliest of things, this book is a nice reminder as to why I and many others still find solace in a highly sophisticated interlocking brick system.
This book was originally published in Denmark as Et liv med LEGO by Danish author Jens Andersen with this new edition translated by Caroline Waight. The LEGO Story is available now from Amazon and other book retailers.
I’ve read many LEGO books and a fair few similar titles detailing the history of companies and this is by far the most interesting and in-depth book of its kind. Even the most ardent LEGO fans will learn something new from this wonderful book. The insights given by Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen and others throughout the book really add so much more to the other information found within it. The LEGO Story is a genuinely captivating read and after reading the book you’ll appreciate those little plastic bricks so much more. The only downside is the cost, its UK RRP is £25 but you can get a digital version at a lower price point. If you can afford the physical version, you’ll certainly get your money’s worth.