Ole Kirk Christiansen

You’ve probably never heard this name, or maybe you have. The Victor crew didn’t know this name but we do know his company and products. He was the founder of the Lego Group. The name Lego comes from the Danish words leg godt or “play well”. In Latin, it can mean “I put together” or “I assemble”. When Ole died in 1958, his son Godtfred Kirk Christiansen took over his company.

The Lego group started out as carpentry workshop that contructed houses and furniture. He also made some small toys like piggy banks, pull toys, vehicles, and houses. After plastic became available in Denmark, they bought an injection machine. The Lego bricks we now know were more like we know them in the 1960s. In the 70s they started introducing items for girls by introducting furniture pieces and dollhouses.

In terms of sales, Lego is the largest toy maker. 75% of the company is owned by Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, son of Godfredt, although he has stepped down from CEO. He is the richest Dane in Denmark.

Through the years of starting up, Ole made it through setbacks of not one but at least two fires to his factory. They seemed to surge in sales in the 80s as boomers had children and bought them for them. It is this author’s guess they will surge again as boomers’ children wax nostalgic and buy them for their children.