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Category: History

Like LEGO, Be Yourself

In 2003 LEGO sales dropped 35% in the US and 29% worldwide, combining to be the biggest annual loss in the company’s history.

This was new territory for a company that saw generations success decade after decade. But how exactly did it happen?

Like many other business trying to stay ahead of their competition, the iconic toy brick manufacturer attempted to pivot into an untapped market. Problem was they pivoted wrong.

LEGO tried to innovate without researching or simply asking their faithful customer and fan base what they really wanted. This resulted in a product that was very un-LEGO like. Items that were mostly prebuilt and had minimal assembly factor.

LEGO eventually rebounded and has since experienced steady growing sales, leading to several full length feature films and other entertainment expansions like streaming tv series and gaming franchises.

All because LEGO returned to their roots of success. Which was relying on their proprietary brick building system as the foundation for new innovation.

The moral of the story? When others seem to be growing in new experiences, opportunities or innovation, don’t be afraid to continue being your authentic self personally or professionally. Especially when you’ve had success doing so.

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A Real American Hero

When we hear the phrase “G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero!”, most of us think about the original cartoon series from the 1980’s. Others might refer to the original 12-inch action figures that were first introduced by Hasbro in 1964 and the extensive toy line decades following. But the true story of G.I. Joe originated much earlier than both of those references.

G.I. Joe was hatched in 1943 and eventually was awarded the Dickin Medal for most outstanding flight made by a United States Army homing pigeon in World War II.

Yes you heard that right. G.I. Joe was a originally a pigeon. And not just any old pigeon. A homing pigeon that helped saved over 100 U.S. soldiers by carry vital information to the air base when radio systems were down.

‘G.I. Joe’ went from being a critically important communication tool in war to eventually a billion dollar toy and entertainment brand. It’s purpose switched from saving lives to entertaining them.

This isn’t a moral report against Hasbro using the name for profit. Someone from the U.S. Army signed off authority to use the name. It’s more about how some things we set out to do may end up having another purpose that could be equally as important.

Where some may just see a plastic action figure, others know how much joy Hasbro’s G.I. Joe brought to kids who in their particular situation (illness, family issues, etc.) needed something to smile about.

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