Inventor of Lego minifigure died aged 78

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He will have (indirectly) animated the days of many children. Danish Jens Nygaard Knudsen, inventor of the famous Lego figurine, died Wednesday at the age of 78, one of his former colleagues said on Saturday February 22. "He had a fantastic imagination, he had so many ideas", said Niels Milan Pedersen. 
Jens Nygaard Knudsen worked at Lego from 1968 to 2000 and designed in the 1970s the famous little man with movable arms and legs, which was launched in 1978. The brand decided to put on his face a neutral expression, without mention of gender or race, in order to give free rein to the imagination of children. "He created this figurine to bring life to homes" and structures made of Lego bricks, testified his widow, Marianne Nygaard Knudsen, to the TV channel TV2.

L’inventeur de la figurine Lego est mort à l’âge de 78 ans

The Lego minifigure has lost its dad. We learned this weekend of the death at the age of 78 of the inventor of the little character drawn in the 1970s. The company owes him a lot.
Jens Nygaard Knudsen was a man with a fertile, even "fantastic" imagination, to use the words of his colleagues. It is to him that generations of children, parents and collectors owe the little man with movable arms and legs, launched in 1978, which will become the indispensable companion of the famous little multicolored plastic bricks.

A successful character

Success is based on two words: idea and marketing. The creator decides to put on the face of the character a neutral expression, without mention of sex or race, to give free rein to the imagination of the children. This brings us back to the current "gender" debate in the toy industry. But here we are in 1978. The Danish inventor of the Lego character was forty years ahead of the debates that animate us today.

Lego has remained a strong brand worldwide

Lego is in the top three toy manufacturers in the world, alongside Hasbro and Mattel with its famous Barbie. Each achieves a turnover of around five billion euros. The group experienced great difficulties in the 2000s with competition from video games. He then launches into jewelry and children's clothing, amusement parks, but it does not take.

New dynamic

A new boss arrives in 2003 and it is the revolution. The group signs exploitation franchises with a vengeance, in particular to develop derivative products and a collection Star wars. Star Wars save Lego. The Danish group now employs 17,000 people and is facing a new challenge: replacing plastic. Damn plastic material that has made the success of its small multicolored bricks since their creation in 1958. Lego has found the solution in biomaterials: the bricks are now made from vegetable fiber, in particular from sugar cane.

Inventor of Lego minifigure dies aged 78


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