The Land Where Lego Comes to Life

Each year there is a "BrickCon" Lego convention where lego enthusiasts from around the world come to display thier latest constructions.

"One if the first things I did as CEO was to go to one of these conventions where literally thousands of fans get together and share thier ideas," said Knudsdorp. "I spoke to these guys for three hours and what they told me was what Lego was all about, which I didnt understand ...We had lost our own way, they helped me on this journey of coming back to who we are."

The company recruits many enthusiasts to serve as ambassadors for the company and consult on new product lines.

"As therapy, Lego is brilliant," said Lego animation competition winner David Boddy.

Are Legos Recession-Proof?

After hitting rock bottom in 2004, Lego gradually began to turn a profit again. Then in 2008, as the recession deepened and toy sales in the U.S. fell on average by 5 percent, Lego sales in America actually climbed 38 percent.

"The families that buy Lego in the U.S. spend about $60 per year on Lego," Knudsdorp said. "If you could afford $60 on your child last year, even before the financial crisis, you'll still be able to afford $60 this year."

During the recession, sales are actually climbing. Laid end-to-end, the number of LEGO bricks sold in a year would reach more than five times round the world.

"One of the reasons is that parents see this as a good investment. It's not seen as the so-called wasteful society of buying something and throwing it away," Knudsdorp said.

But value for money isn't necessarily at the top of a child's list of attributes they look for in a toy. So top Lego designers like Will Thorogood are charged with dreaming up new, appealing product lines. The latest is Atlantis, which will hit stores in January.

"I was a huge Lego fan as a child, I loved Lego," Thorogood said. "When you walk into the shop for the first time and see that box that you made on the shelf in 'Toys 'R Us' of wherever you may be, you just think, 'Wow! That's amazing I did that.' And there are kids going, 'Look at that! Can I have that, Mom?'"

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