Brick Fetish

Sunday 24 February 2008This is more than 15 years old. Be careful.

Brick Fetish is about the history of Lego building blocks. It does a good job shining a light on Lego’s deep past. So good, in fact, the most recent entry in its timeline is for 1973!

I thought I knew a lot about Lego, but I didn’t know that the brick design originated with a British company named Kiddicraft, or that Lego bricks were first distributed in the US by Samsonite.

They also have scans of vintage catalogs. The brick yard set was one I particularly enjoyed.


It had never occurred to me to make train tracks out of wheels like that (as in the brick yard).

The slotted bricks (very early design) look kind of interesting too. A girder system with slotted bricks would be nice for larger-scale construction (buildings always seemed too expensive in terms of bricks, as even a small building requires a very large number of bricks). It's disappointing that Lego hasn't done much to expand its base set of bricks; besides Technic all the basic bricks have remained pretty static. It's generally frustrating to me that Lego has resisted scaling up, with bricks that are overpriced and little of this kind of innovation in the system.

Grr... now that I'm thinking of it, someone needs to make open source bricks. Lego is a good idea hampered by a single company. How good is small scale plastic molding these days? Could this be economically viable?

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