Saturday, January 30, 2016

Bricks Before LEGO: A brief trek through history

Pictured above is an object that seems instantly recognizable at first glance.  LEGO has, at various times throughout its history, held a number of patents and trademarks for something just like it.  However, pictured above is not a LEGO product, nor a knock-off thereof.  It is, in fact, the patented design that LEGO copied to create its now timeless and world-dominating toy line.  Even this, however, was not the first studded, rectangular, interlocking block design used as the basis of a children's building toy system; not by a long shot.

This video, especially the first 4 1/2 minutes of it, is the culmination of a few months of casual research and investment.  My original intent was to simply find a first-generation LEGO brick and an earlier Kiddicraft brick to display as food for thought for folks who lambaste the likes of Mega Bloks and other LEGO "compatible" brands.  I never expected to learn that Kiddicraft made three sizes of bricks (each of which LEGO followed in some way) dating to before WWII.  I couldn't have imagined I'd end up with a bag of red 2x4 studded plastic bricks from a brand called ELGO, nor prewar versions of the same made of wood.  What came even a half-decade earlier blew my mind even further.



  1. Cool. Interesting pieces of history!

  2. There was also the Airfix Betta Bilda system in the UK, although that was single row interlocking studded bricks.