Common Terms And Facts

Terminology

  • MOC – My Own Creation.  You imagine it, you build it, no instructions required.
  • SNOT – Studs Not On Top.  An advanced building technique that involves building with side-facing bricks.
  • LUG – LEGO User Group.  A group of people who meet regularly to share in the fun of LEGO building.
    • rLUG – Registered LUG.  A LUG that is officially recognized by LEGO and participates in the LEGO Ambassador program.
  • GBC – Great Ball Contraption.  A Rube Goldberg-esque machine composed of multiple modules, the sole purpose of which is to move balls from one module to the next in an infinite loop.
  • BURP – Big Ugly Rock Piece. A 4x10x6 brick that looks like a rock and isn’t good for much else.
    • LURP – Little Ugly Rock Piece. The 3x8x7 version of the rock brick.

Facts

  • The word “LEGO” is a contraction of the words leg godt, which is Danish for play well. Coincidentally, “LEGO” also means I put together in Latin. (1)
  • About 19 billion bricks are molded every year, 2.16 million every hour, and 36,000 every minute. (2)  As of 2014, over 760 billion bricks have been produced, which breaks down to an average of 102 bricks per person on the planet. (1)
  • Bricks are currently made from ABS plastic and are vacuum-injection molded.  This method is so precise that only 18 of every million bricks are discarded for failing quality control. (1)
  • The LEGO system of play is a finite system, meaning that there are a limited number of bricks in existence and those bricks only connect to each other in a limited number of ways. The math that proves this, however, is truly mind-boggling! Just six 2×4 bricks can be arranged in 915,103,765 different ways (3, 4), so for all intents an purposes, the possibilities are limitless.
  • LEGO bricks are sturdier than you might think.  In an unofficial test conducted by the Open University, a 2×2 brick supported an average weight of 432kg before failing. That’s 952lbs; almost half a ton. (5) No wonder why they hurt so much when you step on them!
  • A brick’s clutch power – what makes the brick grip the studs on another brick – has been unofficially tested to endure more than 30,000 impressions before failing. (6)
  • The minifig was introduced in 1978, and as of 2014, there have been approximately 5 billion produced, making them the world’s largest population group. (1) It is projected that in 2019, the population of minifigs will surpass that of humans. (7, 8)
  • Recognized by the Guiness Book of World Records as the worlds largest tire manufacturer, LEGO produces about 318 million tires per year. (9)  This is almost double the output of Bridgestone, Michelin, and Goodyear – the second, third and fourth largest manufacturers respectively.
  1. Turner, 10 Jaw-Dropping LEGO Facts Everyone Should Know, 2015. https://www.dailydot.com/parsec/lego-facts-trivia-history/
  2. Diaz, Everything You Always Wanted To Know About LEGO, 2008. https://gizmodo.com/5019797/everything-you-always-wanted-to-know-about-lego
  3. Higgins, How Many Combinations Are Possible Using Six LEGO Bricks, 2017. http://mentalfloss.com/article/92127/how-many-combinations-are-possible-using-6-lego-bricks
  4. Durhuus, Eilers, On The Entropy Of LEGO, 2005. https://arxiv.org/pdf/math/0504039.pdf
  5. Alexander, How Tall Can A LEGO Tower Get, 2012. https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-20578627
  6. Mattise, LEGO Brick Still Lasts 30,000+ Impressions During New And Improved Test, 2014. https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2014/03/lego-bricks-still-last-30000-impressions-during-new-and-improved-test/
  7. Condliffe, By 2019, Humans Will Be Outnumbered By LEGO Minifigs, 2013. https://gizmodo.com/by-2019-humans-will-be-outnumbered-by-lego-minifigs-1450583306
  8. Minifigs, 2013. https://xkcd.com/1281/
  9. Trangbaek, LEGO Group Officially The Worlds Largest Tire Manufacturer, 2012. https://www.lego.com/en-us/aboutus/news-room/2012/june/guiness-world-record-to-the-lego-group