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The appeal of the LEGO minifigure as it turns 40

Ask any working parent in the UK about their childcare plans over the 6 week summer break and you’ll receive a mind-bogglingly complex list of summer clubs, drop-offs, hand-overs and play dates. For my family, the 6th and last week of childcare has fallen on grandparents, which means that on top of babysitting comes their huge collection of LEGO. The “family” box of LEGO hasn’t been far out of reach for at least 45 years.

LEGO minifigure infographic

On discovering today that the humble minifigure is celebrating its 40th Birthday this year has revived quite a few sentimental memories. An imagined time-lapse of brothers, sisters, cousins, friends, nieces and nephews all coming together at family occasions and holidays in the same hallway, playing with the same bricks and mini-figures from builders, and astronauts to cowgirls and superhero’s.

Its hard to comprehend that when these little plastic people first came into production back in 1978, the disco scene was dominating the charts and the concept of mobile phones were non-existent. Even the Internet was a decade away. And yet, despite all the other distractions contemporary living offers children, LEGO was still successfully able to compete for kids attention. LEGO minifigures still feel as relevant today as back then by means of un-stereotyping gender roles with the likes of female firefighters and ninjas, through to fathers equipped with baby carriers. The whole point of minifigures is to let children create and be anyone they want – male or female, helmet or hair, freckles or glasses.

LEGO minifigures

The recent announcement of LEGOS long term commitment to sustainability highlighted in the kidswear ICYMI report ensures that LEGO are planning ahead for their future consumer and we’re sure to see the family LEGO collection continue to be cherished and hopefully grow further for at least another 40 years to come.

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