Did you know that Lego maintains an underground vault containing nearly every Lego set in history? For lifelong fans who dream about a favorite childhood set of the plastic bricks or long to get their hands on a set that is no longer available, the vault might seem like a slice of heaven on earth.
In 1932, carpenter Ole Kirk Kristiansen began crafting wooden toys in his workshop adjacent to his family’s home in the little Danish town of Billund. Then, in 1947, when the proper wood was difficult to come by, Kristiansen purchased an injection-molding machine. And by 1949, “Automatic Binding Bricks” — the predecessor of the Lego brick (from the Danish words “leg godt,” meaning “play well”) — made their debut.
And although the factory was twice destroyed by fire, Kristiansen (with the help of family, friends and employees) rebuilt it. The factory and the family’s home still stand. The Lego Vault is hidden under that very house, now known as the Lego Idea House, through a secret door.
“The Lego Idea House is comprised of several buildings: Lego Founder Ole Kirk Kristiansen’s old family home, the old woodworking factory and a building called ‘the System House,’ which was the company’s first administration building” corporate historian Kristian Reimer Hauge told Inc. “In other words, the Lego Idea House is placed right at the cradle of the Lego Group where it all began.”
The vault contains more than 8,000 Lego sets dating back to the 1960s.
“The vault is a special place and as a rule of thumb it is only open for visitors with a business-relevant purpose,” Hauge said.
The Lego Inside Tour allows visitors to visit Kristiansen’s original house and the Lego factory, where you can see how Lego bricks are produced. Unfortunately, the Lego Vault isn’t open to the public, although you can watch a tour of it in this YouTube video by Beyond the Brick.
You might not be able to see it for yourself. But knowing that there are wonderful hidden secrets such as the Lego Vault makes the world seem just a little bit brighter.