In 1949, a Danish toy company called LEGO began making a line of interlocking plastic blocks called â€œAutomatic Binding Bricks.â€ Each block had round plastic studs on top that fit snugly into the completely hollow rectangular undersides of other blocks.
A good idea, sure, but it wasnâ€™t LEGO who actually came up with it. In fact, â€œAutomatic Binding Bricksâ€ were knockoffs of these things called â€œKiddicraft Self-Locking Building Bricksâ€ that were patented in the UK. The funny thing is, Kiddicraft never found out about this violation of their patent because LEGOâ€™s Danish version sold so poorly at firstâ€”people just hadnâ€™t warmed up to plastic toys yet, instead preferring their sturdier old-fashioned wood toys.
LEGO stuck with the interlocking brick idea, however, and eventually came up with a new and improved design, which they patented on January 28, 1958. Their key innovation? Plastic tubes on the underside of the blocks that gave the knobs on top more surface to grip. With these little tubes, and the structural stability they provided, modern LEGOs were born. Sorry Kiddicraft. You snooze, you lose.
Anyway, in honor of the worldâ€™s most popular toys, which have spurred children and adults alike to harness their creativity for over 50 years now, letâ€™s have a look at some of the most amazing and ingenious LEGO creations ever made.
9. Lego Volvo XC90 SUV
Okay, so a car isnâ€™t the most creative thing you can make with LEGOs. But it sure does take some perseverance to make an exact replica of this size, not to mention some mad skills. Itâ€™s a shame itâ€™s just a Volvo and not something sexier, like a Hyundai.
8. Lego Allianz Stadium
This beauty is an exact replica of the Allianz Arena that was built in Munich for the 2006 World Cup. And I do mean exactâ€”they used the original blue prints to build this 1.3 million brick LEGO masterpiece. The real stadium has a translucent exterior which is lit from behind so that the whole stadium changes colors. So obviously LEGO made special translucent bricks for this project so the LEGO version of Allianz can also change colors. Stop by and check it out for yourself if your ever at LEGOLAND Germany.
7. Lego USS Harry S. Truman Aircraft Carrier
The real USS Harry S. Truman is a nuclear powered aircraft carrier capable of carrying 85 warplanes and 5,000 crew members. Big deal. This gigantic LEGO replica has 300,000 bricks, is precise down to the finest detail and, apparently, it actually floats. Now that is awesome. I doubt it is nuclear powered, though.
6. Lego Pinball Machine
Alright, now weâ€™re getting to some seriously insane LEGO creations. Take this LEGO pinball machine, for example. Personally, I never have been a huge fan of regular pinball machines. But a LEGO pinball machine? Iâ€™d for sure line up to get a turn playing that.
5. Lego Harpsichord
Itâ€™s one thing to make a replica of a classical musical instrument out of LEGOâ€™s. Itâ€™s quite another to make a fully functioning musical instrument like this Harpsichord. No, it doesnâ€™t sound all that great. But I think just making it sound like anything at all is quite an accomplishment. (You can hear it for yourself on the LEGO Harpsichordâ€™s very own website.)
4. Nathan Sawayaâ€™s Lego Art
No list of insane LEGO creations would be complete without a sampling of Nathan Sawayaâ€™s decidedly low-tech LEGO Art. There are no moving parts, and they donâ€™t really â€œdoâ€ anything, but these sculptures are just freaking incredible. And this is only a small sample. Later, when you get bored looking at some other website, you can google this guy to see more.
3. Working Lego Electric V8 Engine
I guess this is what you make when you get bored tinkering with actual automobiles. This really takes LEGO machines to a whole other level, doesnâ€™t it?
2. Lego Printer
Iâ€™m mechanically and technologically challenged and, therefore, easily impressed. Pretty much any homemade printer would knock my socks off. But a homemade printer made out of LEGOs? Are you kidding me? Of course, itâ€™s completely useless in the real world. But it sure would impress nerdy chicks and/or dudes, so it might help you score.
1. Full-Scale Functioning Lego House
Hereâ€™s proof that you can do anything with LEGOs. English TV host James May oversaw this production for an episode of his show Toy Stories. Maybe this house isnâ€™t all that practical, but itâ€™s got potential. And it is insanely awesome. Based on this video, however, I do think I would go with traditional furnishings.