Pick of the week

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Pay Television - The Se­cret World of Lego Thurs­day, 9.30pm, LifeStyle (106)

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.

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