Fifty years ago, children wanting to play with Lego cars had only two options – either play with a finished car or make wheels out of standard bricks. But then, the toy-making family business wheeled out its new creation – the Lego wheel – which is celebrating its 50th birthday this month.
Lego Group, owned by the founding Kristiansen family and famous for its small and colourful bricks that can be assembled to form anything, today produces 381 million wheels every year.
Over the 50 years, the wheel has not only become hugely popular, but the family business is also one of the largest tire makers in the world, according to the company website.
The toy set that featured the group’s first wheels became Lego’s best-selling model in 1967 – five years after its launch – with more than 800,000 sets being sold.
Lego Group was founded in 1932 as a company making wooden toys. With revenues of more than €2.5 billion, the business is currently in its fourth-generation of family control and is headed by Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen.