Lego Celebrates 50 Years in Australia with Top Ten Aussie Moments

Lego Australia - Top ten moments

[photo by Mike Stimpson]

Although the Lego company first launched in Denmark in 1932 (the plastic blocks we know today first appeared in 1949), it took til August 1962 for the colourful bricks to make their way down under in Australia.

50 Years later, Lego is celebrating with ‘Festival of Play‘, a nine month schedule of activities from April to December, taking place both online and in the real world.

Just to clarify, the real world is that place where you find that last piece of missing Lego… at 3am… in barefeet.

The latest online part of Festival of Play launched in early July, with Lego inviting Australians to vote on their favorite moments from the last 50 years. In August, after receiving nearly 14,000 votes, the top 10 was finalized, and UK photographer Mike Stimpson was tasked with recreating these iconic moments using Lego Minifigures.

The Top 10 Moments in reverse chronological order are:

  • Australian racehorse Black Caviar undefeated in 22 races (2012)
  • Cadel Evans wins Tour de France (2011)
  • Steve Irwin feeds a crocodile with one hand while cradling his baby son in the other (2004)
  • Steven Bradbury wins gold in the men’s 1,000m speed skating at the Winter Olympics (2002)
  • Nikki Webster stars in the opening ceremony of the Sydney Olympics (2000)
  • Cathy Freeman wins gold in the 400m at the Sydney Olympics (2000)
  • The Castle film receives widespread acclaim (1997)
  • America’s Cup victory for Australia ends US domination (1983)
  • Mad Max, an Australian post-apocalyptic film starring Mel Gibson, is released (1979)
  • Sydney Opera House opens (1973)

View the entire Creating History gallery.


LEGO’s ‘The Life of George’ Connects Physical and Virtual Gameplay

LEGO - Life of GeorgeI can’t remember a time where I didn’t have LEGO around. There have been more than 400 billion LEGO bricks produced since 1958, that makes 58 Lego bricks per person on Earth if my math is reasonable correct. There must be at least that many still stuffed down between the couch cushions at my parent’s house.

LEGO has always been a leader in incorporating technology into the product. They created a Lego website in 1996 in the very early days on the web. They created a line of programmable robotic bricks and bit called Mindstorms, which it developed in partnership with MIT Media Labs. LEGO’s Digital Designer software lets budding designers create models using virtual bricks, then post the results online at LEGO Design ByMe and purchase the real bricks to make the design in real life.

On October 1, LEGO released it’s latest product ‘The Life of George‘, an interactive game that requires the player to recreate the items that appear in George’s vacation photographs using LEGO bricks assembled and placed on a special gridded gaming mat. Players use the free iPhone app to score to time and capture an image to test the accuracy of your LEGO building skills. The game features 12 levels of play with 10 group of photos in each level. The game begins with images from George’s trip to Hawaii including sunglasses, palm trees, a crab, even a cocktail glass(??). You can challenge yourself or battle against one of your brick-building buddies for LEGO dominance.

‘The Life of George’ kit is available for $30 at LEGO stores now. The free ‘Life of George’ app is available in the Apple app store.