Self-Locking Building Bricks, Set No.1 (Kiddicraft)
Self-Locking Building Bricks, Set No.1 (Kiddicraft)(i)
|Arch Two , Area 24 |
Building Sets 2 (display)
Self-Locking Building Bricks, Set No.1, by Kiddicraft.
The set went beyond just plastic bricks, and reflected Hilary Page's interest in childhood play.
As well as Page's original bricks, the large set included plastic window and door pieces that could be fitted into the side-slots, card roof panels, and a wide range of colour printed cards that could be cut out and slotted into the blocks' side-grooves to produce more detailed panels (such as clockfaces, shop window displays and pieces of household furniture).
It also included a stack of thick printed instruction cards with three "introduction" cards and another forty-eight cards that each showed how to build a single model, often with the help of the included printed "detail" cards.
The Original Lego
This construction set was the culmination of years of research and R&D by Hilary Page, and the result of a chain of patents on the bricks and improvements and accessories such as baseboards.
However, when a Danish company that made wooden toys decided to investigate the possibility of buying an injection-moulding machine, a sales rep from England took a set of blocks with him from his previous client (Page), and seems to have suggested to the Danes that if their company bought the nice machine, that this was the sort of cool thing that they could make with it.
Lego seemed to agree, and quickly started churning out their own copies of Page's blocks, complete with end-grooves.
Both Page's and Lego's ranges initially faltered, but Lego's range took off after advice from a sales rep, and they started exporting to America. Page, meanwhile, found that his distributors had trouble selling the sets, and he tried to boost the fortunes of his company by announcing an ambitiously large range of dollhouse accessories. Before the range could be completed, a dejected Page killed himself, apparently without realising that the Lego company had been making money from unauthorised copies of his designs.
After Page's death, Lego bought the rights to Page's designs from his daughter. Lego went on to remove the end-slots from their bricks, put their company name of the top of each brick's pegs, and improved the way that the brick bases clipped together. However, the basic design, size and proportions are still recognisably Page's.