It’s been a staple in the lives of children all over the world. The only limit to what you can build is your imagination. A LEGO Brickumentary is a great look into LEGO’s humble beginnings, how it almost ceased to exist, and its triumphant comeback into homes and communities around the world.
A LEGO Brickumentary, directed by Kief Davidson and Daniel Junge, goes into great detail about how the LEGO brick phenomenon took place and gives great exposure to the Master Builders behind the scenes and the large community of users as well. LEGO was founded by Danish toy maker Ole Kirk Christiansen. He was a carpenter making wooden toys in 1932, but saw a future in making toys with hard plastic. After a tumultuous trial-and-error period which included multiple factory fires and copious designs, the classic six-peg brick we know today was born.
The big appeal that came years later was in that of their sets. I can remember when I was six years-old, there were three sets that were popular: Town and City, Gas Station, and Pirates. I was able to get the gas station (which they were able to get licensing with Shell) and it was the greatest thing ever. With instructions simple enough for a child to understand, I was well on my way to building the greatest Shell Station known to man (because that’s what your imagination said you could go). But even in my personal experience, there are two lessons that came from this that linked to the documentary.
LEGO exploded in popularity because of the sets like I had, but the exclusivity came with the licensing. My simple Shell Gas Station set was seen as paltry compared to the popularity of say, a Star Wars set (of any kind). With the licensing LEGO had, it was a forced to be reckoned with, but once the turn of the century hit (early 2000s), a new problem arose for them.
After dominating the toy industry with a construction block for so long, the productivity and sales of the popular brick toy diminished. Let’s revert back to my personal experience above. I mentioned I had a licensed Shell Gas Station set with instructions simple enough to build on my own. Their new problem came with accelerated technology. People wanted to build with their imaginations and not with instructions. At this point they could either stay stiff-necked and let their company tank, or they could humbly receive customer feedback and suggestions from the LEGO community.
You’re taken through this century-long exploration by an actual LEGO, voiced by Jason Bateman. You get to meet some very imaginative Master Builders, AFOLS (Adult Fans Of LEGGO), and stop motion filmmakers who use the popular bricks as the focus of their movies.
A LEGO Brickumentary is a fun movie for kids and adults that dives into its rich history as much as it challenges your imagination. I give this an 8 out of 10.