The plastic clamping blocks are the reason why the Lego company can call itself the largest toy manufacturer in the world. The stone warehouse of the Danish company now includes more than 51,000 different parts, with each stone that has a different print or sticker being counted individually. Nevertheless, Lego has manufactured more than 700 billion building blocks since the company was founded in 1954. In detail, this means that around 200 million parts are produced worldwide every day. So it's hardly surprising why Lego can be found in almost every household today - and why there are more and more competitors who bring similar products onto the market. But can you keep up with the original? These six companies are trying.
The American toy manufacturer Hasbro also wants to take on Lego: Under the name "Kre-O", the company sells various building set systems for children aged seven and over. What is particularly striking about the sets is that they are based on successful cinema films such as "Star Trek" or "Transformers". As a result, the small-part construction sets also appeal to adult hobby civil engineers.
At first glance, the building blocks from Unico hardly differ from the Lego bricks. At second glance, however, you can see that the colors differ a little from the originals - but the alternative building blocks are absolutely compatible with those from Lego. The box with 150 components is suitable for small children from the age of one and a half and can be expanded with additional sets, such as the Unico construction site.
Even if the Chinese company does not have a well-known name, its building blocks can also be built with Lego. It is particularly striking that many of Sluban's modular sets were developed for girls: Under the name "Girl's Dream", pink and rose-colored models such as the dream villa or the restaurant catch the eye. In addition to the building blocks, the scope of delivery also includes many accessories and figures.
This brand also takes on the original: the building blocks from Katara can not only be connected to Lego bricks (except Duplo), but also to other competing products from Sluban, Papimax and Q-Bricks. This modular system already contains over 1200 individual parts as well as two base plates (green and grey), so you can get started right away and let your creativity run free.
The building blocks from infinitoo are no less interesting: the 500 building blocks made of high-quality ABS plastic are also compatible with Lego, but are significantly cheaper to buy. Suitable for children from the age of three, the modular system offers fun for the whole family. The variety of colors and shapes allows you to stimulate your imagination and create a wide variety of works of art.
If you've always wondered who invented the Lego bricks - here you get the answer: Ole Kirk Christiansen, a Danish master carpenter, founded the company back in 1932. The famous name is based on the Danish abbreviation "leg godt", which translates as "leg godt". means something like "play well". In the beginning he only made children's toys out of wood, the first building blocks followed 17 years later. The colored cuboids were already made of plastic back then, but they still went under the name "Automatic Binding Bricks". From a purely visual point of view, the game pieces in 1949 were already similar to those of today, but their underside was still hollow. This inevitably meant that the assembled models were very unstable once completed. After Christiansen developed a system with which the bricks could also be inserted sideways into one another and were significantly more stable, his son registered the invention with the patent office on July 28, 1958. This date is still considered the birth of Lego. Ole Kirk Christiansen died in March 1958.
Not only the competition, but also Lego itself developed an alternative to its classic game pieces as early as the 1960s. The bricks, known as Modulex, had the same cavity as the first Lego bricks, but were much smaller and only available in muted colors. They weren't produced for play, but for architects' offices - to make true-to-scale models of houses, industrial buildings or notice and information boards. The modular system was discontinued after only ten years because it could not achieve the hoped-for success.
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