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Inside the Lego Factory

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the when-i-was-a-kid-there-were-only-2-kinds-of-bricks dept.

Toys 260

An anonymous reader writes "Gizmodo has a fascinating report and video tour inside the Lego factory, which is full of robots and controlled by a mainframe. 'This video shows something that very few people have had the opportunity to witness: the inside of the Lego factory, with no barriers or secrets. I filmed every step in the creation of the brick. From the raw granulate stored in massive silos to the molding machines to the gigantic storage cathedrals to the decoration and packaging warehouses, you will be able to see absolutely everything, including the most guarded secret of the company: the brick molds themselves.'"

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Old (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24278773)

They're not even naked.

Re:Old (0, Redundant)

PawNtheSandman (1238854) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279147)

Wasn't this a story about a month ago? Rehashing old stories so soon?

Re:Old (1)

PawNtheSandman (1238854) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279199)

Guess not. Guess this is inside the factory, not the vault like the previous article.

Re:Old (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24279529)

It may not be "old", but it's definately not an exclusive. I remember watching an episode of "How it's made" (Discovery channel) which peered into the making of legos

Beginning of the End (5, Funny)

Nerdposeur (910128) | more than 6 years ago | (#24278813)

The big secret: Lego Mindstorm robots are running the factory.

I, for one, welcome our new bumpy-headed overlords.

Re:Beginning of the End (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24278881)

you must be a nigger. only a nigger would say something so stupid. congrats on outing yourself as a nigger.

Re:Beginning of the End (1)

VoyagerRadio (669156) | more than 6 years ago | (#24278889)

Please, please get original. Now, my turn: It's rumored that Skynet recently acquired Lego. I, for one, welcome our new (and colorful overlords).

Re:Beginning of the End (-1, Redundant)

Nerdposeur (910128) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279089)

OK, OK, I'll try to be original. Um... in Soviet Russia... CowBoy Neal... GNU license... filthy record companies... tinfoil hat... aw crap I guess I can't do it.

Re:Beginning of the End (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24279107)

Originality sucks. I want a car analogy!

Re:Beginning of the End (4, Informative)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279409)

A/C:Bad analogies are a motor in Soviet Russia: it drives you! .
Grammar nazi:That's not an analogy, it's a synecdoche [reference.com] .

Re:Beginning of the End (5, Funny)

n1ckml007 (683046) | more than 6 years ago | (#24278917)

Where can I purchase the "Lego Factory" Lego set?

Re:Beginning of the End (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24279507)

You buy that in the lego factory factory.

Police police police police...

Re:Beginning of the End (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279645)

I always assumed it was done inside a large switch() statement.

Re:Beginning of the End (1)

SantorCet (1330117) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279279)

This was the Beginning of the End for LEGOlas. Saruman slowly took him apart...

Re:Beginning of the End (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279313)

No, TFA said that the factory is controlled by "mainframes". That's probably just nongeekspeak for "really fancy computer", but even so...

Re:Beginning of the End (1)

Hyppy (74366) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279493)

I don't know. Wouldn't a massive virtualization platform qualify as a "mainframe"? Or, they could just be running System z10. *shrug*

Re:Beginning of the End (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24279465)

OMG! It's made of people!

Never send a micro to do a mainframes job. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24278821)

Never send a micro to do a mainframes job.

Haha, no one has anything to say about Legos... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24278831)

fist prost

Re:Haha, no one has anything to say about Legos... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24279549)

When you see failure of this magnitude, you'll shit bricks.

Expensive (3, Insightful)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 6 years ago | (#24278833)

But this still doesn't answer the "Why is Lego so expensive?" question that I've always had ever since I was a kid. The materials can't cost that much (Obviously petroleum byproducts cost more now than they did 15 years ago, but still...). Also, those looked like injection molds - which AFAIK are one of the cheapest ways to manufacture something. Don't get me wrong - I love, love, love lego. I was just always sad as a kid that I didn't have money to buy more.

Re:Expensive (1)

pimpimpim (811140) | more than 6 years ago | (#24278915)

I am not in the toy making business, but I find their production process pretty high tech. And they probably have a very high production quality control. They probably invest a lot to keep their product as perfect as possible. Do they have production facilities in low-wage countries?

Anyway, thanks to Gizmodo for making this amazing piece of fabrication history visible for us!!

Re:Expensive (1)

hjf (703092) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279543)

It's high tech not to have high quality, but to have less operators. You can either have low automatization in factories in low wage countries or high automatization in high wage countries, but the quality is the same (is plastic, god damn it. The product is only as good as the plastic it's made of).

Re:Expensive (5, Informative)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279665)

That's not really true. Process engineers have a lot to do with the quality of plastic products. Those big injection molding machines are really finicky about temperature and pressure, and the molds have to be designed very well. Otherwise you'd get legos that shrink too much, or not enough, or worst of all - not consistently.

Legos have to strike a delicate balance between fitting too tightly and too loosely... it's actually amazing that all of the sets over the years are pretty darn compatible. It's the rare Lego that simply falls off.

Plastic quality is also important, but presumably they are just buying some standard high-quality type. (Maybe not?)

Re:Expensive (3, Insightful)

zsazsa (141679) | more than 6 years ago | (#24278929)

They're expensive because they're made in Denmark, not China like almost any other plastic thing made even 15 years ago.

Re:Expensive (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24279765)

The Danish factory will probably close in the near future since LEGO moved a lot of their production to Eastern Europe for cheaper cost.

Re:Expensive (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24279779)

bzzzzt wrong. They're expensive because people will pay for them. Plastic injected parts are super cheap. Take a look at http://www.caplugs.com/ those are made in the USA and are super cheap. When you are doing high volume injection molded parts it makes little difference if they are made in the US, Denmark, China or anywhere else. It's all what the market will bear.

Re:Expensive (1, Informative)

AndGodSed (968378) | more than 6 years ago | (#24278937)

Exactly! Right now we are not buying our kids lego because it is so darned expensive. We get better toys cheaper.

Re:Expensive (4, Informative)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279185)

Legos do have much higher quality than similar "block" toys. They have higher durability and don't wear out as fast, and have more stringent quality control. They may cost more than a competitor like Mega Bloks, but they'll last longer.

Re:Expensive (1)

AndGodSed (968378) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279273)

I realize I came across flamey - what I meant to say was that there is better value for money out there. Not necessarily in the direct competition area (as with Mega Blocks) but with other types of toys.

Re:Expensive (3, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279413)

What gives better value for your money than Lego?
I have yet to see a toy that will get as much play as a tub of Legos
Now I do think they have way to many special parts these days but that is just because I am old.

Re:Expensive (4, Funny)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279679)

Tub of hookers?

Re:Expensive (1)

kesuki (321456) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279693)

perhaps, maybe Lincoln logs, tinker toys. maybe knex, there was another toy that used nuts and bolts i cant' recall the name of... they might not make it any more, teaching kids how to build with wrenches and screwdrivers isn't as popular as it once was..

oh hey and Lincoln logs and tinker toys are made of renewable, biodegradable wood technology, it would be nice to know if anyone used cornstarch to build plastic like biodegradable interconnecting blocks.

i can find a google image, but not the name of the toy i was thinking of

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.toycon.com/quercetti/images/big_38024.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.toycon.com/quercetti/quercetti2.html&h=375&w=340&sz=45&hl=en&start=11&tbnid=iawHzVFVzlcQYM:&tbnh=122&tbnw=111&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dkids%2Btoy%2Bscrews%2Band%2Bbolts%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN [google.com]

name (1)

kesuki (321456) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279753)

ah it's so obvious now... erector.

Re:Expensive (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279805)

Oh they are all good toys. Lincoln Logs are not as flexible as Legos and knex is just a bit to fiddly for young kids.
They are all great toys with what I consider good choices.
You are thinking of Erector Sets or I think they where also called Mecco.

Re:Expensive (1)

AndGodSed (968378) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279829)

Isn't that mekano, or mechano?

Re:Expensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24279497)

Legos have no quality control process, because there is no such fucking thing, you imbecile.

Re:Expensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24278939)

My understanding is that it's largely due to QA. LEGO bricks have some of the highest tolerances in the manufacturing industry. Think about it: when was the last time you had two bricks that didn't fit together perfectly?

Re:Expensive (1)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279077)

Ahh, true that. I've never had a piece that didn't fit! Or a piece missing from a set either for that matter... I can't say the same for some furniture I've bought (and that cost a whole lot more than a lego set).

Re:Expensive (3, Interesting)

Jason Earl (1894) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279411)

I've had a set missing a piece. Heck, the last set I purchased for my kid didn't match what was on the cover. When we opened the box up our Lego Star Wars set actually contained Indiana Jones pieces. Even worse, the retards at Target almost didn't take the set back. It's no wonder that people shop at Wal-Mart.

I buy Lego sets because that's what my son wants, and my son wants Lego because Lego is way better at marketing than the competition.

As an example. My kids liked Star Wars, but they didn't become obsessive over Star Wars until they played the Lego Star Wars video games. Next thing I know even my girls want Legos, and my boy has gone completely crazy.

I don't mind. I happen to like both Star Wars and Lego. I just bough my kids the Lego Indiana Jones video game and I hope it has the same effect. I'm going to spend quality time with my kinds anyhow, but I would much rather play Indiana Jones or Star Wars than American Girl Doll or Power Rangers.

Re:Expensive (1, Troll)

Hyppy (74366) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279571)

I've had a set missing a piece. Heck, the last set I purchased for my kid didn't match what was on the cover. When we opened the box up our Lego Star Wars set actually contained Indiana Jones pieces. Even worse, the retards at Target almost didn't take the set back. It's no wonder that people shop at Wal-Mart.

Chances are, it was switched by a customer or something else to that effect.

Re:Expensive (1)

Hyppy (74366) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279553)

My experience has been a bit different... I've never owned furniture that was less expensive than some Lego sets I've owned.

Re:Expensive (1)

ettlz (639203) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279161)

Yes. Having "played" with LEGO for many, many years, I have yet to encounter a malformed piece or one with burrs or other moulding artifacts.

Re:Expensive (1)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 6 years ago | (#24278941)

It's like asking why macs cost so much. Part of the price is better quality, but largest part is trademark.

Re:Expensive (1)

VoyagerRadio (669156) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279251)

Legos have been around a long time, but I've never seen a "generic" version of them -- in other words, another brand of identical building block toys. Is their trademark repeatedly renewed? I'm more familiar with copyright issues than trademarks, so I'm not even certain I'm asking a legitimate question. What I'm trying to get at is, why don't we see a Lego competitor in the market?

Re:Expensive (1)

saider (177166) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279467)

They are out there. In fact, they generally occupy the part of the market that Lego does not touch, like military block sets, etc.

I have a big bin of Legos from when I was a kid (back ~25 years ago) and they work perfectly with the new Legos I get for my son. And I am confident that they will work with my grandkids' Legos in another 25 years or so.

Re:Expensive (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279611)

I have - they're called Duplo, identical except they're twice as big (linearly). But seriously, Airfix, better known for plastic model kids produced something like "Bucket-O-Brix" that were advertised as being compatible with *cough* the leading manufacturer, or words to that effect. I'm pretty sure there were others.

Re:Expensive (1)

AttilaSz (707951) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279841)

Duplo is actually a Lego product line - larger bricks targeting kids under age of 3 (so they can't swallow the little pieces, because they're, well, larger).

Re:Expensive (1)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 6 years ago | (#24278953)

Hah,

Have you ever used MegaBlocks? They totally suck, the plastic stretches and doesn't bounce back. The only good LEGO clone was the Tyco Blocks and even they have their issues, but their quality of the plastic was a bit better.

The reason LEGO are good is because the formula they use for their plastic, granted they could be less expensive.

The fact that EXACT COPIES of the basic brick ... (1)

Lanboy (261506) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279153)

.. Can and have been sold, and no one buys anything else even though they cost half as much pretty much explains why they are so expensive. Thier quality control is legendary. How many misformed or bad bricks have you run into?

Still I wish they were free and I would make a house out of them.

Re:The fact that EXACT COPIES of the basic brick . (1)

Tweenk (1274968) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279389)

How many misformed or bad bricks have you run into?

I once hit a malformed (smashed?) 1x4 gray plate in the Adventurers zeppelin set. This was the only occurence though. This was probably because the smashed plate weighed exactly the same as a normal plate (their main QC devices are precision scales).

Re:Expensive (3, Funny)

Mastadex (576985) | more than 6 years ago | (#24278967)

They say that the entire plant (and robots) are controlled by computers, but that's actually a lie. Each one of those robots has a midget inside of it, controlling the vehicle. Its very expensive to hire and feed those midgets and also to supply a steady stream of hookers to keep them from uprising. Hookers aren't cheap and that's why lego cost so much.

Re:Expensive (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279117)

That's why the little plastic lego men are modelled after their masters. What, you thought they were made to look like this [londonphotos.org] by accident? It takes the concept of the mini-me to a whole new level.

Re:Expensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24279227)

yes, but the savings from their tiny bodies (impacting how little they eat, amount of water for showering, environmental heating/cooling duty required, etc) offsets the hookers. still no excuse!

Re:Expensive (1)

johnlcallaway (165670) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279001)

There is only one supplier, a significant demand, and they charge whatever the market is willing to pay. Don't like it, don't buy them. If enough people stop buying them, the prices may drop or the company may start producing less and cutting back costs and charge the same. Or charge more to make up for the revenue loss if the ones left will pay the higher prices. And so it goes....

Re:Expensive (1)

sherriw (794536) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279005)

They charge what people are willing to pay. Period. Of course they cost way less to manufacture, but how many companies do you honestly think will lower their prices 'just to be nice'? Please, Lego are popular and fly off the shelves even at their inflated price. More power to 'em. That's how the market economy works.

Re:Expensive (1)

TorKlingberg (599697) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279223)

So the real question is, why don't other toy companies make the lego copies, but cheaper? There would still be a profit margin for them. Any patents lego had on the original blocks must have run out by now.

Re:Expensive (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24279527)

My best (unverified, speculative) guess, is that the shape of the Lego is trademarked.

Trademarks are more lasting than copyright/patents, and probably a sleazy way of maintaining a monopoly on a product ...

Re:Expensive (5, Informative)

UltraAyla (828879) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279033)

The big deal (according to someone at the company in an NPR interview, I believe) is repeat customers. Since their product is so durable, customers tend to buy until they have enough then use them for a couple generations (I know my legos will be used by my kids someday). When a product is so durable, you need to charge a little more for it in order to ensure your company's survival.

Re:Expensive (4, Interesting)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279137)

Indeed. There are Lego bricks in my kids' collection that are 40 years old from when I was but a tyke. The bricks that old seem to be a little more brittle than they are now, but otherwise are perfectly durable and compatible with the current Lego. It's cool to occasionally see the old logo on the studs.

Lego is very expensive, but it's worth it. They've been through many changes, including some that I thought moved away from the core of what Lego is all about, but they still make a great product, and I still buy plenty for my kids.

Re:Expensive (1)

Tweenk (1274968) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279275)

Lego is very expensive

Rant: They charge Europeans more in Euro that they charge Americans in dollars. And no, there's no factory in the US. WTF? Where do they get their exchange rates from?

With the dollar just above 2 PLN, buying stuff in the US and having it shipped to Poland is starting to look practical (and profitable).

Re:Expensive (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279727)

What they charge is determined by the market, not by the cost of the product, exchange rates, or any other mechanism. They will charge whatever they can get from you while still producing Legos at their plant's most efficient rate.

Durable products (1)

Nerdposeur (910128) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279141)

When a product is so durable, you need to charge a little more for it in order to ensure your company's survival.

Exactly. Which is why computers and software, which are obselete in less than 5 years, are so cheap.

Hey, wait a minute! :)

Seriously, though, you make a good point. If they wanted to be evil, I guess they could make them less durable, but I think in the end it's better that everyone knows them as the best.

Re:Durable products (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279491)

Seriously, though, you make a good point. If they wanted to be evil, I guess they could make them less durable, but I think in the end it's better that everyone knows them as the best.

There is also one thing to bear in mind - as soon as a company like Lego races for the bottom (in terms of price/quality), they're going to lose the customers who valued the quality and then be beaten to the customers who don't by other organisations who 10 or 20 years ago perfected the art of "juuuuusst enough quality that it won't fall apart within 15 minutes of the box opening. Probably."

Re:Expensive (1)

bugs2squash (1132591) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279125)

you love love love lego because it is different from duplo. It's got lots of cool themes that capture imagination and the product is so high quality that it's damn near impossible to separate some of the pieces when they're snapped together..

I think the creative marketing and design justifies an elevated price, even if the physical product alone had not.

It must also help to have the dealership channels that Lego have.

Snap it all together and there are lots of reasons why Lego can get more for their product than others can.

Sales at the Lego Store (4, Informative)

SirWhoopass (108232) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279221)

If you are fortunate enough to live near a Lego Store, watch for discounts on overstock.

I've been doing that since my son was born. Scored a bunch of Duplo train sets for more than 50% off the retail price.

Re:Sales at the Lego Store (4, Informative)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279565)

For the most value for your money I prefer the box of blocks (no doors, windows, filler, etc.) from the LEGO website. [lego.com]

Re:Expensive (1)

Verdatum (1257828) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279311)

A major reason for their cost (beyond brand name familiarity and novelty) is that they use ABS plastic to cast their pieces. This is choosen for reasons of safety and strength. It is one of the more expensive plastics on the market.

Re:Expensive (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279371)

I can think of one reason.
People are willing to pay it.

The reasons why people are willing to pay it probably have a lot to do with the quality of the product which IMHO is very high and the name recognition.

In other words they are not cheap junk and people are willing to pay for quality, at least in this case.

Re:Expensive (3, Informative)

dctoastman (995251) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279383)

Lego bricks currently clock in at an average of 10 cents a piece (i.e. an 800 piece set will run you around $80, a 5000 piece set will run you around $500 dollars.)

Re:Expensive (5, Informative)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279737)

I also find it surprising that advanced manufacturing technology hasn't driven down the price of Legos. However, this article [fastcompany.com] gives some insight into the business side of Lego and shows that the prices aren't simply inflated out of greed.

Lego is too explensive for modern man (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24278849)

And I say that earning 6 figures.

Re:Lego is too explensive for modern man (4, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279397)

FYI, you're not supposed to count the digits to the right of the decimal point when reporting your income in terms of "N figures".

It's all a cunning plot... (3, Funny)

markana (152984) | more than 6 years ago | (#24278887)

by an evil mainframe to enslave humans by hooking them on the irresistible construction toys, thus destroying productivity and creating an insatiable demand for new bricks.

So far, it's working pretty well....

Re:It's all a cunning plot... (1)

AndGodSed (968378) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279015)

Until some geek figures out how to build a robot-defeating UBER legobot... that runs linux.

Hey... that makes me wonder - do the Lego Building Bots run Linux?

No, seriously!

Speaking of Lego, Evil and cunning plots... (1)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279021)

http://www.youtube.com/v/egPgU5kAjKE&hl=en&fs=1 [youtube.com]
"to enslave humans by hooking them on the irresistible construction toys, thus destroying productivity and creating an insatiable demand for new Lego-movies."

Molding makes designing your house hard (0)

Amorymeltzer (1213818) | more than 6 years ago | (#24278925)

the most guarded secret of the company: the brick molds themselves

Really? ;)

No, seriously, I mean it - REALLY?! Maybe they designed it this way, but I'm pretty sure that the age at which Legos start being an acceptable toy is about the age you can figure out the mold.

Honestly guys, it ain't that hard.

Re:Molding makes designing your house hard (0)

istartedi (132515) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279037)

Shhhhh! The enemy has clay. Clay, I tell you. They might even figure out how to use it, so keep your lips sealed.

Re:Molding makes designing your house hard (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24279191)

Actually, making molds is a pretty complex process. The simpler Lego designs shouldn't be too bad, but they are often 'deep' shapes which can have problems.

Designing a mold to cast properly, without visible mold lines, is a definite science.

Re:Molding makes designing your house hard (4, Interesting)

Bazman (4849) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279485)

The thing with Lego is that if the molds aren't just right then the blocks either fall apart or jam together. Getting that right is a big factor of the success of Lego - it just feels so good when it all clicks together.

HowStuffWorks says the mold tolerance is 0.002mm. That's 500 to the milimetre.

Re:Molding makes designing your house hard (5, Insightful)

TigerNut (718742) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279781)

Really... plastics shrink as they're cooled from the mold, and how much shrinkage you get also depends on how much plastic is there. Now notice that all your long Lego trusses are exactly dead straight. Even the ones that are 20, 30, or 40 years old. And the 40 year old pieces interlock perfectly with the brand new ones. That says a lot for the plastics composition too. Go check out the dash on a 40 year old Dodge and see how much it's changed dimensionally. It's all in the details.

Legos? (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 6 years ago | (#24278935)

Is the factory itself made of legos?

If so, can it build more factories?

(Or run Linux in a Beowulf cluster while generating bad car analogies?)

How it' s Made on Discovery (1)

Gates82 (706573) | more than 6 years ago | (#24278947)

I know because it is Lego it is a big deal, but on How it's Made, airing on Discovery Channel they have shown many injection molding processes including either Duplo or some other knock off Lego manufacturer. It is interesting (short), but not that "top secret"; nor super informative.

--
So who is hotter? Ali or Ali's Sister?

Re:How it' s Made on Discovery (1)

mongoose(!no) (719125) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279357)

I don't know if you meant to make this mistake, but Duplo is a lego brand. It's their line of bricks for younger children. Really a gateway brick toy to some of their other products, such as the Town line of kits, or the most addicting of all, Lego Mindstorms.

Re:How it' s Made on Discovery (2, Informative)

Verdatum (1257828) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279387)

How it's made was one of the knock-offs, however, Discovery Channel did show the actual Lego factory in a segment of the show "How do they do that". It was mystifying to see that they are still hand-carving their new pieces, as opposed to CAD/CNC prototyping.

Mindstorm? (1)

oahazmatt (868057) | more than 6 years ago | (#24278965)

Show me a skynet-like control system constructed out of nothing but Lego mindstorm, or nothing at all!

(Still neat, though)

WEEEE (1)

Gagek (1230792) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279027)

Legos will rule the world! MUH HAHAHAHAHAHHA

mainframe police state (1)

bugs2squash (1132591) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279043)

So do the same mainframes control the police chasing Wall-e and Eve ?

THE NOISE! (1)

ettlz (639203) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279051)

And I thought the sound of a Lego factory was the jaunty music of plucked strings and xylophones. How my illusions have been shattered.

meh (3, Funny)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279065)

Waiting for the part about the spoiled rich girl falling down the bad block chute.

I declare... (4, Funny)

Digestromath (1190577) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279133)

The LEGO factory, in all its glory, is still missing oompa loompas. Sure the whole thing is robotic which is neat... but can those robots sing songs and look frightening to five year olds?

Used Legos (2, Interesting)

sokoban (142301) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279103)

Legos have always been expensive, but a lot of people don't realize that there are plenty of used legos for sale. Ebay and yard sales are often full of them. A great deal of the time, the instructions are included or are available elsewhere.

Bulk Legos (3, Interesting)

Nerdposeur (910128) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279181)

I also remember reading a story once about a guy who makes giant works of art, using Legos like pixels. I believe they said that if you want to buy like 10,000 blue bricks, you can get bulk prices straight from Lego.

Shut up! (1)

jbeaupre (752124) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279417)

Do be givin' away the secrets to Lego bliss! Won't be as much left for you and me!

Brand (1)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279209)

this still doesn't answer the "Why is Lego so expensive?" question

C'mon - seriously? Why does Starbucks coffee or Coke cost the consumer 25x the cost of the ingredients? Why do baseball cards cost 50x the cost of the paper and print?

It's all BRAND. You're not paying for the plastic - you're paying for the TV commericals, the packaging, the crappy Star Wars licensing fees and even the salary of the PR flunky who gets this crap posted on SlashDot.

Another factory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24279239)

I write software for a large plastic machinery producer. I don't think they use our stuff, but from the article it sounds like your typical plastics factory.

I have been in about 12 of them since I started and they all are pretty much the same.

Also, they are like it is a big deal that all the plastic gets recycled, but that is how every factory is run. Plastic is the most expensive part of the product and is really easy to reuse.

Basically, you throw it into a machine with big spinning blades and it turns back into tiny pellets. I was at a Honda factory where they often recycle entire car bumpers that are defective this way. Quite loud...

Remember, when buying gifts... (1)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 6 years ago | (#24279349)

a boy can never have too many LEGO bricks. Parents tend to feel otherwise.
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