How a completely different approach to the norm with the Bionicle range saved the Lego brand from permanently shutting its doors.
Lego started off as a family-run business founded by Ole Kirk Christiansen in 1932. Lego was originally set out to develop construction materials for housing development but, unfortunately, there was none of that happening thanks to WW2.
Ole Kirk Christiansen then focussed his attention to making kids toys which were exclusively made out of wood, as metal was far too expensive and was mainly used by the government to manufacture ammunition. Ole Kirk Christiansen also stated that he would never make a toy that resembled violence, or even supported any colour that was used by the military, such as green and grey.
Quite a few years later, Ole Kirk Christiansen discovered that children wanted to have the ability to create their own inventions, and thus invented the self-supporting Lego brick, which proved to be an international success.
Many years later and under new management, Lego made an innocent, yet devastating mistake shortly after signing a contract with Star Wars to exclusively manufacture themed Lego sets after the movie in the late 90s. This was, of course, fantastic for Lego, but they didn't take into consideration just how popular the themed sets would be and shelves around the world lay empty. Lego then got to work and created more than enough stock, however, they were too late, the Star Wars movie trend slowly lost kids interest and Lego nearly filed for Bankruptcy.
They had to do something and fast. A young visionary named Bob Thompson hopped aboard the sinking ship, he realised Lego's potential and what kids wanted at the time. He came up with a concept that went against all what Lego stood for, with buildable action figures with sci-fi weapons and intricate parts that were new and trendy at the time of the early 2000s. He also went the extra mile and made a TV series and movie based around the new action figure heroes which they called Bionicles.
The Lego Bionicle range was a global sensation and put Lego on the map once again.
Take a look at the video below by YouTube channel, The TTV Channel, on BIONICLE Autopsy: How BIONICLE Saved LEGO.