Start your brick-building journey with Zavvi IE’s wide range of LEGO sets for adults and kids. Featuring a variety of figures and Minifigures, these officially licensed products encompass dozens of themes and franchises: Star Wars, Technic, Harry Potter, Friends, City, and more.
What Is LEGO?
Known for their signature brick, The LEGO Group is a company that manufactures construction toys. It was invented by Ole Kirk Christiansen, a humble carpenter from Billund, Denmark, who began creating wooden toys in 1932. His small business venture eventually expanded into what we know as LEGO, which is a spin on the Danish phrase leg godt. This means ‘play well’ in English.
Though Christiansen was a carpenter and therefore someone who specialised in wood-crafted items, the company made the decision to start using plastic in 1947 (a decision that was perceived as unsustainable because of the dramatic departure from established materials), and two years later, the famous bricks were created, given the name ‘Automatic Binding Bricks.’ These bricks are synonymous with the brand, but they are not, in fact, the first of their kind; the credit for that innovation belongs to Kiddicraft, whose ‘Self-Locking Bricks’ directly influenced the design of their Danish competitor.
The LEGO brick was (and continues to be) made through a process of injection moulding, which ensured that each item off the production line adhered to the company’s high standards. To reinforce this focus on quality, Christiansen devised a simple motto: ‘only the best is good enough.’ However, despite their exceptional quality, the original design lacked versatility, limiting their creative potential. Christiansen’s son, Godtfred, recognised this flaw after he assumed the position of junior managing director, and by 1958, the modern ABS brick came into being. In subsequent decades, the brand would expand its portfolio, introducing various product lines and toys, such as their staple Minifigures.
How Many LEGO Sets Are There?
The company releases around 900 new LEGO sets on an annual basis, their output continuing to increase each year. Today, it is predicted to have exceeded 15,000 sets in total, and these span a variety of different themes (not just Classic), some of which are based on popular franchises, such as films, TV series, and video games.
One of the brand’s earliest innovations was LEGO DUPLO, which appeared in 1969. The purpose of this theme was to make LEGO suitable for people of all ages, with products in this range targeting young children (between the ages of 1 ½ and 5). This was accomplished by doubling the standard dimensions of the bricks — 11.4mm x 31.8mm x 15.8mm (2 x 4) and 15.8mm x 15.8mm x 9.6mm (2 x 2) — so that they were both easier to handle and less likely to be a choking hazard. The DUPLO line is joined by other kid-oriented sets, including Friends, VIDIYO, Creator 3-in-1, BOOST, City, DOTS, BrickHeadz, Speed Champions, MINDSTORMS, Hidden Side, and Ninjago. What they have in common is that they provide fun while also aiding child development by encouraging them to follow instructions.
Conversely, there is plenty of LEGO for adults: Architecture, Creator Expert, ICONS, and Technic. These comprise big, structurally complex sets that challenge the builder’s cognitive ability, containing hundreds of pieces to represent vehicles (such as cars and trains), buildings (such as recognisable landmarks and simple houses), and objects (such as flower bouquets, bonsai trees, and fish tanks).
As mentioned, the company does tailor its themes to specific audiences, but there is some overlap when it comes its licensed franchises: Star Wars (including The Mandalorian), Harry Potter, Disney (including Mickey Mouse), Jurassic World, DC Comics (including Batman), Marvel Superheroes (including Spider-Man, the Avengers, and the Guardians of the Galaxy), Super Mario, Ghostbusters, Back to the Future, and Minecraft — to name a few. These sets can range from the basic (like the Frozen Disney Castle and Minecraft Mushroom House) to the advanced (like the Death Star, the Batmobile, and the Daily Bugle).
How to Display LEGO
For those who are contemplating the best ways to display their new LEGO sets, it is advised that you think outside of the box. Some of the products offered by the brand are not only hard to build but also problematic to house, reaching sizes that are beyond the capacity of a regular cabinet or shelf. This means that creativity is rewarded, and you may have to invest in custom furnishings, ideally with a glass screen for protection from dust and other environmental hazards, to accommodate the biggest LEGO sets in your collection, such as the famously large Titanic.
Another alternative is LEGO storage. Though lacking the aesthetic appeal of a glass-panelled display cabinet, these tidying solutions (boxes, drawers, shelves, and even Minifigure-inspired heads) are convenient if you have children who are likely to leave pieces of their unbuilt models lying on the floor. Similarly, given that these toys can be expensive (and worth lots of money on the aftermarket), it pays to not lose any of the components.
If you think there is something missing from your display, something that would please both you and fellow collectors, the brand provides a platform for fans to propose original concepts: LEGO Ideas. This site, created through a collaboration between The LEGO Group and a Japanese company called Cuusoo, allows you to provide a unique description and supporting model, after which point the project must receive 10,000 votes in the span of two years.