How Smart Folks Almost Blew Up Lego

BI offers a great peek at how toymaker Lego came back from near disaster. But before one addresses how Legal came back, it pays to ask “what went wrong in the first place”?

Legal was on top of the world. But then came

…  a decision to ‘retire’ a large number of the LEGO Designers who had created the sets from the late 70’s through the 80’s and into the 90’s and replace them with 30 ‘innovators’ who were the top graduates from the best design colleges around Europe. Unfortunately, though great designers they knew little specifically about toy design and less about LEGO building. (emphasis added)

Ooops. New designs took Lego products from what had worked so well into uncharted areas. Core values were forgotten. Costs exploded. Yikes! But things changed again after a change in management. Here is one interesting development

(Lego) put creative control into the hands of hardcore fans of the brand rather than in those of top designers who had skills but lacked a real understanding of Lego’s history.

And there is a happy ending. We now have the Lego movie.

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