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posted by janrinok on Thursday November 17, @10:10AM   Printer-friendly

The tiny animated duck is a replica of a toy created by the company's founders:

On average, Lego produces about 20 billion plastic bricks and building elements every year, and most come from injection molding machines that are so precise that just 18 of every million parts produced are rejected. It's the secret to Lego's enduring appeal and quality standards, but the approach also has its limits, which is why the company is starting to experiment with other manufacturing techniques.

The process is fast, taking just 10 seconds to create a new Lego element, which allows Lego to churn them out by the millions. But creating those highly-accurate molds is a very expensive and time-consuming process, and before commissioning a new minifig or type of piece, Lego needs to know it will sell enough sets to justify the costs of developing the mold for it. It's why new Lego building elements are few and far between and often a big deal, but it doesn't necessarily have to be that way.

[...] Availability of the 3D printed element will be limited, and visitors wanting to purchase the unique souvenir will need to sign up in advance for the chance to spend 89 DKK—or about US $12—on one. On top of that, those who purchase the duck will be asked to complete a survey that asks questions about their experience with it, and how it compares to Lego elements manufactured using more traditional techniques.

Admittedly, I was more of an Erector Set kinda kid back in the day, but that was way before Lego had all their specialized kits. Originally spotted on The Eponymous Pickle.

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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by crm114 on Thursday November 17, @01:15PM (3 children)

    by crm114 (8238) Subscriber Badge on Thursday November 17, @01:15PM (#1280189)

    My first Lego set was #546 - Moon Landing

    From there it was all of the old 197x "space" themed ones. My sister and I had a moon base with the moon plates (#3974a), with her "Lego Home" (#6365) in the middle of the base. We had a "force field" in place so her Lego people could enjoy life. :) Hours of enjoyment mixing and matching the kits to build new things. Back then imagination was the only limiting factor.

    I still go by the Lego shelves in stores, but the new sets are so specialized it seems there is only one way to build the kit.

    (And yes, I had an erector set as well... but Lego was just less friction on the "imagination" aspect.)

    Anyone else have memories of their old Lego sets?

    • (Score: 2) by Opportunist on Thursday November 17, @03:58PM

      by Opportunist (5545) on Thursday November 17, @03:58PM (#1280213)

      Pretty much the same. First for me was the Galaxy Explorer (928) and I had a few of the other Classic Space sets.

      And yes, I noticed the same. I was pondering getting some Lego for the kid of a friend a while ago, but it just ain't the same anymore, it reminds me more of what Playmobil was: A pre-made, pre-determined set of a handful of parts that you can assemble in exactly the way they're "supposed" to go, no imagination possible.

      That ain't Lego.

    • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Thursday November 17, @06:36PM

      by Freeman (732) on Thursday November 17, @06:36PM (#1280227) Journal

      I have a stupid amount of Legos. A good 1/3 or more of my closet is just bins of Legos. My wife and I both enjoyed Legos and have bought interesting sets throughout the years. We've also bought kiddo some, but kiddo hasn't shown much interest. While the sets now are "specialized" you're not limited to just building it one way. They have pushed the star wars and other branded Lego themes, but the old stuff is still there. They actually recently released / re-released a Classic Space set(s) for some anniversary year thing or the like. I love the old Legos, but I also love that you can use them with current Legos. We did go to the local Lego store(s) and would get cups full of random stuff. Fire pieces, foliage, wheels, etc. When they still did that. Last I remember, they'd stopped doing that or maybe it was just that they switched to baggies or something dumb.

      I have no idea what my first set was. I do have some of the old style "Classic" space sets, though.

      Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 17, @10:57PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 17, @10:57PM (#1280262)

      My tender Lego years were in the early to mid 70s, so there really weren't specialized sets. When the specialized sets did come out, there was no interest because not only was I older, the sets were seen as too specialized. Then when I had kids it seemed to be hard to just buy Legos without buying a specialized set.

      I also grew up with Erector sets and Lincoln Logs. All were fun for me as a little boy.