Pick of the week
Yes, the company does offer a tour of the factory once a year but, like so many internationally successful products, Lego’s formula is a tightly held secret. The small, interlocking plastic bricks are the brainchild of Ole Kirk Christiansen (1891-1958), a carpenter from Billund, Denmark, who began making wooden toys in 1932. Lego (Danish for “play well”) has been on the market since 1947 and is produced in factories in China, Mexico, Hungary, Czech Republic as well as Denmark. Last year, Lego, much loved by adults as well as children, became the most profitable toymaker in the world and this year it surpassed Ferrari as the most powerful brand. It’s said there are 100 Lego pieces for every person on Earth. This documentary is a fascinating look behind the doors of the headquarters in rural Billund. Matthew Ashton (pictured), the lad from Liverpool, England, knew from an early age that he wanted to work for the company. Now Lego’s vicepresident of design — one of the most coveted jobs in the world — he takes us on a tour of the company’s private archive, starting with the first sets. Security is everywhere (although I don’t quite get why stuff is not allowed to remain on a desk for more than 90 minutes). Then 40 hopefuls are given the chance to score a place on staff by coming up with an original design. Fascinating.