PLYMOUTH TWP., Pa. - There are 62 LEGO bricks for every person on the planet, a big number for such a small toy.
"LEGO is actually the number one tire manufacturer in the world, believe it or not," said Blaine McCurry, marketing manager for LEGOLAND Discovery Center Philadelphia in Plymouth Township, Montgomery County.
The factory produces about 306 million tiny rubber tires a year. You'll see some of them on the trucks riding through the city streets of Philadelphia.
There's a Miniland inside the new LEGOLAND Discovery Center at the Plymouth Meeting Mall. It's part of the 33,000-square-foot indoor LEGO playground. The city is made out of more than one-and-a-half million LEGO bricks. It took about six months to create and seven weeks to install. Iconic moments come to life in the city, like Rocky's run up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
In Miniland, every 15 minutes is a new day as it goes from day to night.
"Right now, we're in dusk, and as you can see, all the lights of the buildings are coming on and the city is coming to life at night. At nighttime, you'll see a little fireworks show," McCurry said.
Each Discovery Center has its own Miniland. The first ever would take you all the way to Denmark.
"They began in Billund, Denmark, in their headquarters, still in Billund," McCurry explained.
The plastic bricks were invented by a carpenter, Ole Kirk Christensen, who started out making wooden toys in the 1930s. He began experimenting with plastics in 1947, and the interlocking system came about two years later. LEGO comes from the Danish phrase "leg godt," meaning "play well."
The company is still family-owned today.
"We're all about families here. We've had some surprisingly efficient LEGO experts who come through the building," McCurry said.
Families can build together and then leave what they create. Some of those creations are on display in the Master Model Builder's creative workshop.
If you want a break from building, you can take a ride on the Imagination Express, which is like a ride-through LEGO video game in a LEGO car. It might give you a few ideas for what to build next.
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