Good Morning

Apr 02022
⪮ Good Morning :: ⪮ s01e04: Little Plastic Bricks Everywhere
LEGO instruction books from the 01980-90s branded with Shell and Exxon.

LEGO and Big Oil

Recently, we dug out some old LEGO sets from when we were children. At the time, we completely missed the overt co-branding with oil companies, they were just fun blocks as part of a bigger Lego cityscape.

It wasn't until 02014 that LEGO and Shell parted ways, mostly under public pressure. As part of a replacement, LEGO invented their own fictitious energy company called Octan (later Octan Energy) to better control the brand.

Sometimes life imitates art, and there are now real, unofficial Octan stations using the same colors and logo.

Planned Organic Plastic Obsolescence

LEGO has a self-imposed deadline of 02030 to move to a more eco-friendly alternative than’s the plastic it currently uses in its bricks. They started using a bio-derived polyethylene, sourced from sustainable sugarcane, to make their botanical series sets. Bio-derived polyethylene is chemically and physically identical to traditional polyethylene—it does not biodegrade, but it can be recycled.

LEGO wants to do better for the planet, but if their bricks degrade too soon, people cry planned obsolescence. On the other hand, if LEGO doesn't plan for a way to keep plastic out of landfills, customers think they're not doing their part for the planet.

It's a tightrope, but we are glad to see they are making efforts in the right direction.

💍 LEGO Ring

Studs on Top. A free model for 3D printing your own compatible LEGO finger rings.

📅 LEGO Calendar

This is an analog calendar managed by colored LEGO blocks and a webcam. The article is from 02013 and we haven’t heard anything about it in the intervening 10 years.

🎨 LEGO Art

In 02005, Sean became the first person in the world to whom The LEGO Group offered a bulk purchase account.