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Lego's part in modern danish culture


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#1 Mazin

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 03:17 AM

Hi guys
This is more like a question I'd like to ask our danish friends.
Does Lego take a big part in every Dane's life?

I mean, think about it, as much as I think of Denmark from the angle of it's history ( as I am a historian myself ), in the eyes of the modern World "Denmark" is just a another tiny country, somewhere next to Sweden ( porn industry ) and Germany ( nazi industry :wink:  ). It's completely absent in the media and newspapers.
Well, perhaps some people might have heard about Queen Margrethe, Andersen's fairy tailes or... that big pile of snow and ice near the north pole with lots of funny natives living in igloos and running with harpoons is this little country's province :wink:
Perhaps...
Perhaps some people my know it for Kopehagen's little mermaid... and some Californians would be familiar with the lovely city of Solvang...

And then... there is this most popular toy in the history of the universe. A phenomenon beating large american companies and trademarks... by only one product :sweet:
Seriously, Lego is like the biggest danish contribution to the history of human civilization since the times of your cotrol of Oresund :wink:  
If Lego has been invented in USA Americans would never give it a thought... they have thousands of things that make America famous.
But with Danes...

So how big is/was Lego's impact on your life?
Do all danish childen go on a pilgrimage to Disneyland like if it was a Holy Land?
Is it in the every day's news, do politicians talk about it?
Are foreign toys considered a second class product?
Are Lego's ups and downs also ups and downs of the entire nation? ... :wink:

Or perhaps the whole Lego mania makes you guys sick of it?


This is a very interesting matter for me as there is a lot of societies, cities or regions who often build their own identity and pride on just a single silly product or landmark.

Like with the Poles. I'm pretty sure that Lego would be our second God if it got invented here...
Since we cannot offer much to the civilization we get extremely overproud and crazy of any famous filmaker, musician or inventor with even minimal polish roots. Our politicians take our sportsmen' and business men's succeses as if those were government's successes and we patriotically celebrate a lot of silly things that no other nation would care about... :laugh:

Edited by Mazin, 18 November 2012 - 03:21 AM.

"Many people don't know what to do with time. Time doesn't have this problem with people"
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#2 Carsten Svendsen

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 08:14 AM

LEGO has no say in the media at all except if economy is involved. I don't think any dane see themselves as proud because LEGO was invented here. It's just how it is. Our own LEGOLAND isn't even the biggest in the world!
My current project: Antonov AN-140 which is a 1:15,65 scaled airplane

#3 Ulrik Hansen

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 12:52 PM

It's a sure thing that some danes are VERY proud of The LEGO Group (TLG) being danish, as with Aqua/Barbie Girl, Maersk Sealand, Danfoss, Carlsberg and our (so called oldest in the world) flag. We have had our megablocks kicked in post viking war so many times and our borders shrunk so much that the next step would be extinction (I wonder why it hasn't happend yet). It is obvious that anything danish is only gonna be big, if the surrounding world is taking the bait — like the toll of Øresund. There is no huge marked within Denmark for quick ventures but then again as we all know LEGO is not something that came overnight. The times were just right in the startup for the big danish companies of today. I think the geographical position of Denmark (it's really a passthrough from north to south and east to west both via land and sea) lends a certain perspective to innovation and necessity. It's a place for western culture tryouts that can be taken further if proven successful. Many times it doesn't succeed but it's worth the try because of the big difference in profit between the danish marked and that of the international world.

There is no need for TLG to advertise a lot in the media because LEGO bricks are obvious gift choice for any sane parent + resellers do a lot of ads already when having special brick sales. Only later in a kids life does other stuff enter the gift picture like computers, phones and clothing.  But then they have already been affected for life with Dublo's and years of SYSTEM play. Of course ANY respectful kindergarden in Denmark have a large brick collection and a wash routine to keep up with small greasy fingertips (washing was not invented by BL).

Does LEGO LEGO LEGO make danes sick? No. Does every dane understand the AFOL community? No. Are some spouses fed up with their partner's hobby? Yes, but that's an international phenomenon, right. All said, let's not be tooooo nationalistic about TLG. After all they have/had their inspirations along the way too. I think we can all be proud of LEGO being from planet earth. The rest is about creating.

LEg GOdt :blush:  Play well
Ulrik Hansen • semikoma.dk • flickr.com/ulrikbrick

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#4 meyerc13

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 05:16 PM

This is an interesting discussion.  Can most people in Denmark name OKC?  Is he as well known as Steve Jobs or Henry Ford would be here in the US?
Christopher Meyer

#5 Multiverse

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 06:37 PM

View Postmeyerc13, on 25 November 2012 - 05:16 PM, said:

This is an interesting discussion. Can most people in Denmark name OKC? Is he as well known as Steve Jobs or Henry Ford would be here in the US?

My guess would be that <0,5% of the Danish population would have any associations whatsoever to OKC's name. Steve Jobs, though, would be a definite >35%.

As others have said, and I'd just like to reinforce, Danish media aren't hugely affected by Lego's presence. Every once in a while, the news have a feature or story about TLG, but even then it's mostly a business thing with numbers and statistics and not a word about what it actually is they're doing. But you're still going to see Lego everywhere: any self-respecting toy- or grocery store has a decent selection of sets, and even most bookstores have lately been having a minimum selection of either Ninjago or the Games lineup. TV ads are rare (though that's possibly just my impression from mostly watching British tv).

I think that in this aspect, the Danish society is pretty much similar to what the American would be with a 40% mark-up in prices. :wink:



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