The beloved brick is back on television screens in The LEGO Story, a new documentary looking at the history of the LEGO Group
After LEGO MASTERS re-introduced the nation to the world of LEGO building, and just how hardcore it can get, perhaps it was the perfect time to provide a look back at the brand’s history. The LEGO Story revisits the origins of the LEGO Group and follows the company through the decades, touching on the introduction of the minifigure, the enduring appeal of the basic brick and the relationship with the adult fan community.
The majority of the documentary is made up of talking heads commenting on LEGO, in a consistently positive way. This is not a critical look at the LEGO Group, the participants are all clearly fans of the brick and hold it in the highest regard. Some of those talking are simply D-list celebrities with little to add other than nostalgic soundbites, but engineering and LEGO experts bring something more engaging to the mix. Prominent fan builders Simon Pickard and Tom Poulsom share a little about their own experiences with the LEGO system.
Some of the archival footage used is fascinating, with shots of the early days of LEGOLAND Billund and classic television adverts a delight to see. As the footage is archival and used between contributor commentary, this feels a lot like the nostalgia based TV shows that look back at a particular decade – it is not providing new information or insight, it is just warmly looking back at positive memories.
For those who want a refresher on the history of the LEGO Group, this does breeze through the key points with a few fun anecdotes. The over-told story of the company nearly going bankrupt is of course included, but less covered ground such as the introduction of Duplo is too.
Ultimately, this is designed for the casual viewer to enjoy over the festive period, and will no doubt encourage many families to get out the big brick box that is under the stairs. Because most fans are familiar with what has happened in the world of LEGO over the decades, this is best watched as something in the background while doing some building. It is worth watching and is accessible enough that whoever else is around will enjoy it – and probably learn a few new facts about LEGO too.