LEGO Celebrates LEGO DUPLO’s 50th Anniversary

The LEGO Group celebrates the 50th anniversary of LEGO DUPLO, its large brick for small hands. Launched in 1969, DUPLO is derived from the Latin word ‘duplex,’ meaning double. LEGO DUPLO bricks are twice the size of classic LEGO bricks on all dimensions, carefully designed to help toddlers engage in creative, playful experiences.

The desire was for all LEGO bricks to fit into the LEGO System, but finding the 2:1 scale solution was no easy task. The company explored a 4:1 and 3:1 scale before Godtfred Kirk Christiansen—the company’s second generation owner—came up with the idea to hollow the studs on LEGO DUPLO bricks in 1968. This meant that kids could combined them with classic LEGO bricks, and thereby formed the basis for safe and more age-appropriate LEGO building experiences for the youngest kids.

LEGO DUPLO products have evolved over the years, introducing a mix of structural and character-based role play themes to the youngest builders. In its 50th year, LEGO DUPLO gets its first-ever LEGO Movie product, including DUPLO versions of Emmet and Lucy.

For a deeper look at the history of LEGO DUPLO and the play patterns it supports, visit the 50th Anniversary hub.

About the author

James Zahn

James Zahn

James Zahn, AKA The Rock Father, is Editor-in-Chief of The Toy Book, a Senior Editor at The Toy Insider and The Pop Insider, and Editor of The Toy Report, The Toy Book‘s weekly industry newsletter. As a pop culture and toy industry expert, Zahn has appeared as a panelist and guest at events including Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) Wizard World Chicago, and the ASTRA Marketplace & Academy. Zahn has more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment, retail, and publishing industries, and is frequently called upon to offer expert commentary for publications such as Forbes, Marketwatch, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USA Today, Reuters, the Washington Post, and more. James has appeared on History Channel’s Modern Marvels, was interviewed by Larry King and Anderson Cooper, and has been seen on Yahoo! Finance, CNN, CNBC, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, CBS, WGN, The CW, and more. Zahn joined the Adventure Media & Events family in 2016, initially serving as a member of the Parent Advisory Board after penning articles for the Netflix Stream Team, Fandango Family, PBS KIDS, Sprout Parents (now Universal Kids), PopSugar, and Chicago Parent. He eventually joined the company full time as a Senior Editor and moved up the ranks to Deputy Editor and Editor-in-Chief.