Inventor of Lego minifigure died aged 78

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Inventor of Lego minifigure died aged 78


It will have (indirectly) animated the days of many children. Danish Jens Nygaard Knudsen, inventor of the famous figurine Lego, died Wednesday at the age of 78, said one of his former colleagues 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 in the 1970s designed the famous little guy with movable arms and legs, which was launched in 1978. The brand decided to put a neutral expression on his face, without mentioning gender or race, to unleash the imagination of children. "He created this figurine to bring life to the houses" and structures made from Lego bricks, his widow, Marianne Nygaard Knudsen, told TV2.



The Lego minifigure lost his daddy. We learned this weekend of the death at the age of 78 of the inventor of the little cartoon character 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 famous little multicolored plastic bricks.


A successful character


Success is based on two words: idea and marketing. The creator decides to put a neutral expression on the character's face, with no mention of gender or race, to let the children's imaginations run wild. This brings us back to the current debate on "gender", precisely in the toy sector. 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 around the world


Lego is one of the world's top three toy makers, 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 went into jewelry and children's clothing, amusement parks, but it didn't take.


New dynamic


A new boss arrived in 2003 and it was a revolution. The group is signing operating franchises with all their hands, in particular to develop derivative products and a collection Star wars. Star wars save Lego. The Danish group now employs 17,000 people and faces 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 of plant fiber, especially from sugar cane.


Inventor of Lego minifigure died aged 78


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