15 Fun Facts from ‘A LEGO Brickumentary’ [Feature]

lego brickumentary

LEGOholics have another film to check out–if you’d rather not spend your time with a 584th viewing of The LEGO Movie, that is. A LEGO Brickumentary, a documentary (as its title would indicate) by directors Kief Davidson and Daniel Junge and narrated by minifig Jason Bateman, hit theaters and VOD (including iTunes) over the weekend. For a little amuse brick bouche, here are 15 facts you (yes, you) can learn from the film.

1. There are 100+ LEGO bricks for every person on the planet.

2. LEGO was founded in 1916 by Danish carpenter Ole Kirk Christiansen, who originally made wooden toys. Between 1916 and 1960, the LEGO factory burned down three times. Some elder God didn’t want LEGO to exist, but he clearly doesn’t know what he’s talking about. LEGO are awesome.

3. You can thank Ole’s grandson Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, who was the president and CEO of The LEGO Group until 2004, for the invention of the minifig. Originally, they had no arms.

4. Godtfred Kirk Christiansen, son of Ole and father of Kjeld, estimated when he filed the original LEGO patent that there are 102,981,000 ways to put together six 4×2 LEGO bricks. University of Copenhagen, Denmark math professor Søren Eilers has applied modern computing to the equation and determined that there are actually 915,103,765 ways.

5. LEGO bricks built in 1955 still work perfectly well with bricks you can buy today.

6. Some LEGO lingo for you—the pokey bits and holes on a LEGO brick are technically called “studs” and “tubes.” The patented technology that makes the bricks easily connect and come apart is called… wait for it… CLUTCH POWER (…OWERRRR… OWERRRRRR…)!

7. LEGO’s team of “Master Builders” based out of Enfield, Connecticut were responsible for building the LEGO set seen in Will Ferrell’s basement in The LEGO Movie.

8. A bit of LEGO fan convention lingo for you: “One by five” is code for a hot girl. The etymology here is that hot girls at LEGO conventions are rare, and LEGO doesn’t make a one by five piece.

9. Other terms used by the LEGO community: AFOL (Adult Fan of LEGO), KFOL (Kid Fan of LEGO), TFOL (Teen Fan of LEGO), NLSO (Non-LEGO Significant Other), MOC (My Own Creation), LUG (LEGO Users Group), LTC (LEGO Train Club), GBC (Great Ball Contraption), SNOT (Studs Not On Top), POOP (Parts Out of Other Parts), CRAPP (Crummy Ramp and Pit Plate), BURP (Big Ugly Rock Piece), and LURP (Little Ugly Rock Piece).

10. A team of master builders in Kladno, Czech Republic are responsible for the huge LEGO sculptures you see at LEGOLAND Parks and LEGO markets. Said sculptures are not 100% LEGO–they’re given stability by an internal steel frame.

11. The technical term for a stop-motion short film made with LEGO is “brickfilm.” The LEGO Movie doesn’t count as one; though modeled after brickfilms, it was created using CGI.  The first brickfilms were commercials from the 60s and 70s; the first fan-made brickfilm was The Magic Portal, made from the mid- to late-80s. (Hey, brickfilms take a lot of time!)

12. The brickfilm Garbage Man, by David Pagano, was featured in The LEGO Movie during the scene where the citizens of Bricksburg rise up and make their own creations instead of following the instructions. It’s the one on the top left.

13. After a period of massive growth from 1978 to the mid-90s, LEGO had its first financial loss in 1999. In 2003, they suffered another economic setback and almost went out of business. The reason? They were putting out sets that were more sculptural than construction-based; there wasn’t much for people to assemble, and many of the pieces you could put together weren’t cross-compatible with other sets.

14. LEGO won’t make modern guns for minifigs, only old-timey weapons (like for cowboy sets) and futuristic ones (for Star Wars sets and the like). Seattle based company BrickArms, unaffiliated with LEGO, makes and sells custom-molded minifig weapons and other military accessories, including M16s, sawed-off shotguns, and ammo clips.

15. Three spacecraft-grade aluminum minifigs, custom-made by LEGO, are attached to the main deck of NASA’s Juno spacecraft, which was launched in 2011 and is now en route to Jupiter. The minifigs are of Galileo, the god Jupiter, and the goddess Juno.

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