While the LEGO Group was founded in 1932 in Denmark, it wasn’t until 1962 that the first LEGO brick landed on our shores in Australia.
It arrived in a suitcase carried by a Mr John Peddie, all the way from England. He flew over land and sea, in fact he had to take eight different planes before he safely set foot in Sydney in August 1962, carrying with him his precious cargo.
John soon set about trying to convince toy store owners across Australia to stock the versatile LEGO brick with little luck at first, ‘Kids play outdoors not indoors’ was the common response. But John persevered and drove up, down and across the country showing retailers how durable the humble LEGO brick was and how versatile it could be if you just used a little imagination. It didn’t take long before he sold the first set and soon it was flying out of the door.
Of course, LEGO is now the number 1 toy brick* in Australia and John has been part of the journey ever since he arrived with those first LEGO bricks in his suitcase, working for LEGO Australia to this day. John even still has the very passport that he used on that first trip and one of the first LEGO sets that he sold. He’s very proud to have played such an important part in introducing millions of us to the wonderful world of play with LEGO bricks, and he’s looking forward to joining in celebrating 50 years of the LEGO brick in Australia with the LEGO Festival of Play.
*Source: Gfk, Week 54, 2011