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Mega Bloks Wins Supreme Court Battle Against Lego 254

saskboy writes "Canada's highest court ruled unanimously Thursday that Mega Bloks can continue to sell their Lego styled stackable blocks in Canada. CBC writes, 'The Supreme Court of Canada decision marks the end of a long-running trademark battle between the Montreal-based Mega Bloks and Denmark's Lego.'"
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Mega Bloks Wins Supreme Court Battle Against Lego

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  • by Kelson ( 129150 ) * on Thursday November 17, 2005 @06:43PM (#14057364) Homepage Journal
    I remember when I was a kid I had a ton of Legos, including some of the larger Duplo blocks left over from when I was *really* young. At one point my brother and I picked up a set of Tyco blocks (some dinosaur mecha, if I remember right). What was interesting about it was that the blocks and pegs were the same size, so they could connect with Legos, but the flat pieces were half the thickness of a normal piece instead of one-third. That made for some interesting possibilities.

    There was also a set of Tic-Tac-style candies (I forget the name -- Ipso or something like that) that we found at some store that came in square plastic boxes with pegs on two edges and holes on the other. Each edge was exactly like the top or bottom of an 8x2 Lego piece. We'd use them to build walls or base plates. I never saw them anywhere else, so I assumed they were discontinued pretty quickly, whether Lego put pressure on them or they just didn't catch on.

    We'd mix and match those different brands of blocks all the time. Having the other companies' blocks never stopped us from buying more Legos.
    • 1/2 versus 1/3 (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Alaren ( 682568 ) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @06:58PM (#14057523)

      The thing I always liked about Lego's "1/3" flat pieces over Tyco's "1/2" pieces was that the distance between bumps is the same as the thickness of the flat pieces. So you could make (admittedly delicate) connections that effectively changed the direction of the bumps and enabled more versatile 3-d design.

      That said, Tyco was the only other "interoperable" company with decent products... I'm glad Megablocks won this one (for legal reasons) but to this day, they remain inferior to Lego in terms of how well the blocks stay together.

      • Re:1/2 versus 1/3 (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Yartrebo ( 690383 )
        Yeah, but at least having some competition has reigned in the price. I was surprised when I was shopping this year to see that the nominal prices of LEGO blocks are cheaper than when I was a kid (that's not counting for inflation) and the Mega Blocks are even cheaper.

        This seems to be the trend with all toys. Generic or interchangable toys (like building blocks) are cheaper, while branded or IP-based toys (video games, action figures from TV shows, etc) keep getting pricier. My guess is that it's based to mo
    • Those orange tic-tac boxes were the best! Great for the outermost walls of my lego fortresses. And you could put lego men's heads inside the little square hole in the corner!
    • by Mattcelt ( 454751 ) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @07:16PM (#14057673)
      The candies are still around - I bought some a few months ago in North Carolina. I don't know if they still click with Legos, but they can be built on their own for sure. (Might be a different brand, I don't know.)

      What I remember about the Tyco blocks is that while they technically did intermingle with real Legos, for some reason they did not hold the connections between blocks well at all. I remember several times getting very frustrated with the Tyco blocks because my creations would fall apart wherever I had used them. I eventually (at 9 or 10 years old) purged my Lego collection of any Tycos whatsoever and never bought them again. To this day that collection is Lego-brand only.
  • Oh no! (Score:5, Informative)

    by slimey_limey ( 655670 ) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (yemil.yemils)> on Thursday November 17, 2005 @06:43PM (#14057376) Journal
    I always hated Mega Bloks. They are made out of the cheapest plastic, and don't stay together. Even though they may have needed to win (legally) they shouldn't have (quality-wise).
    • Right. Which is why the market is the best judge.
      • Re:Oh no! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Blondie-Wan ( 559212 ) on Friday November 18, 2005 @01:15AM (#14060267) Homepage
        Unfortunately, the market is being kinder to MegaBloks than to LEGO. LEGO has fallen on hard financial times in recent years, while MB has been eating away at their market, and doing so using a basic brick design cribbed from LEGO.

        Parents buying construction toys for their kids don't necessarily know how much higher the quality of the plastics used by LEGO are to their competitors, or how much better-engineered the bricks are, but they do know MB is a hell of a lot cheaper than LEGO, and many of them buy accordingly. It's a shame, but there it is.

        And then, of course, there are substantial numbers of people who don't even realize there's a difference. There've been surveys showing a lot of people think MB is some sort of LEGO subsidiary or sister brand.

        • Re:Oh no! (Score:3, Informative)

          by ClayDowling ( 629804 )
          Speaking as a parent and somebody who plays with the blocks himself, I can say that there are situations where the Mega Blocks are a better choice. Lego kits in the last few years have been mostly specialty parts and fewer basic bricks. This means that I'm a lot more restricted in what I can build with a Legos kit. Sadly MegaBlocks seems to be hopping on this trend as well, but last time I purchased blocks I found that a kit contained a lot of basic blocks that were easily recombined into other things.

    • Re:Oh no! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Fallingcow ( 213461 ) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @06:56PM (#14057490) Homepage
      You're exactly right. The damn things fall apart if you try to build anything big with them.

      I had some Mega Bloks dinosaur thing when I was little. I never managed to build it all the way, because it would fall apart any time more than 1/3 of the blocks were stuck together at once. What a piece of crap.

      Legos are way better. I wish they'd re-make some of their classic sets, like some of the old Pirate and Castle ones. That, and not charge 10,000% markup. $100 for an 18-inch-long lego boat? Madness.
      • Re:Oh no! (Score:3, Informative)

        by Generic Guy ( 678542 )

        I understand what you are saying, that the Mega Bloks (of old) are cheap crappy knockoffs. However, now as parent of my own kids, I've been impressed at how much improved the Mega Blok products have become. At the same time, I'm very distressed at how expensive and "specialized" a lot of the LEGO blocks have become -- so many of the LEGO pieces are no longer "bricks" but specially shaped or curved pieces. So, I've embraced the dark size of building blocks and have been purachasing a lot more Mega Blok pr

        • Re:Oh no! (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Fallingcow ( 213461 )
          I know! I hate the movie themed lego crap. It seems like they dropped their Space stuff and replaced it with Star Wars, and replaced their Castle sets with Harry Potter! If kids want to play with movie themed stuff, there are perfectly good action figures for that. Legos should be about making your own thing, or at least having no pre-made storyline tying you down or prejudicing your views of the characters before you start, even if you just build what's on the box.
    • Re:Oh no! (Score:4, Funny)

      by slideroll ( 901934 ) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @07:01PM (#14057553) Homepage
      Remember, it's colder in Canada, so the blocks contract. That way they stay together better. Also, Canadian children often spit on them to freeze the joints together.
    • Re:Oh no! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by v1 ( 525388 )
      I had a huge box full of legos when I was a kid. The 2x4 bricks and the 2x12/2x14 were by far the most useful. Did you know you can build a functional tumbler locked storage box that requires a lego key to open? (if you glued the blocks together, you wouldn't get in without either the key or a torch)

      Years later I bought a set of knock-off blocks to play around with, and was sorely disappointed in the difference in quality. The bricks would sometimes stick, sometimes not, and sometimes you'd need two pair
    • "Even though they may have needed to win (legally) they shouldn't have (quality-wise)."
      Well, yeah, Mega Bloks suck compared to Legos, but obviously a court case like this shouldn't take sheer awesomeness into consideration. If it did, I'd become a trial lawyer. Ha!

      Seriously, though, that part of it gets sorted out by the market, which is why there's an entire aisle of Legos in my local Target, and I'm not sure if they even stock Mega Bloks anymore.

    • I always hated Mega Bloks. They are made out of the cheapest plastic, and don't stay together. Even though they may have needed to win (legally) they shouldn't have (quality-wise).

      Well, the only other option you have is LEGO, and it completely sucked when you get two flat LEGO pieces stuck together. That frustrated my parents to no end as they had to get a razor blade to pry the two pieces apart.
      • The secret is to flex them. And be gentle. Take your time. Also, don't stick two of the same size together like that - leave yourself a handle.
      • Re:Oh no! (Score:5, Informative)

        by Demolition ( 713476 ) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @08:14PM (#14058199)
        Well, the only other option you have is LEGO, and it completely sucked when you get two flat LEGO pieces stuck together. That frustrated my parents to no end as they had to get a razor blade to pry the two pieces apart.

        What you needed was an official Lego Brick Separator []. It separates pieces without denting or cutting them (or yourself) as could occur if you used fingernails, tools, etc. Also, it prevents one of the more common problems of children swallowing pieces while trying to separate stuck pieces with their teeth.
        • A Lego Brick Separator??? I don't think they had that 20 years ago, and even if they did, I was too young to know any better. Plus, name me one dad who didn't think they could get it apart with their own tools?

          • I played with LEGOs as a kid, and I remember the brick separator existing (although I didn't have one). What sometimes worked for me was to connect more blocks to the top and bottom of the stuck pieces, and squeeze them at an angle to make a sort of lever action.
  • Next up... (Score:5, Funny)

    by OakDragon ( 885217 ) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @06:44PM (#14057383) Journal
    ...Microsoft and Amazon race to patent 'bumps on blocks.'
  • by dada21 ( 163177 ) * <> on Thursday November 17, 2005 @06:44PM (#14057386) Homepage Journal

    I'm always here decrying the value is striking copyright, patents and trademark rights. At the most basic, they're a way to gain government's monopoly on force for yourself.

    Legos. Plastic bricks. The value in their logo is held up by showing consumers that Lego makes the most consistent blocks, with the easiest instructions and with the most fun creations. The State-granted monopoly that gave Lego sole use of the design isn't the power behind the brand.

    I'd normally get replies saying "Without protections, no one would write music/invent/make plastic blocks!!!" But this is not true.

    If you open a restaurant, do you get a monopoly for running a restaurant in your area? Isn't it wrong for someone to open a restaurant in a new community, build a customer base for years and then have some whipper-snapper open a new restaurant across the street and steal your customers?

    I own retail stores (board sports and paintball). It costs about $25 in marketing to get a new customer into the sport and into my store. At least yearly I have someone see our good fortune and open a few miles away. They underprice me, steal some business and then go bankrupt and sell everything at half price. In 3 years I've outlived 7 such competitors.

    Why is my time (or my managers' time) building my product different than a song writer or a book writer? It isn't. Yet they're legally protected with monopoly powers.

    Trademark (and copyright) is bunk. Freedom means the freedom to compete.

    Create a product. If it's copied easily, find a way to make yours better.
    • Yeah! (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by jfengel ( 409917 )
      We should also dump domain name registration. Just because that nerd Bezos pays a bunch of jerks eleven bucks a year, what gives him the right to the name Amazon? He gets the name as his intellectual property, and I get squat. He should open it up to competition.
    • by everphilski ( 877346 ) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @07:01PM (#14057547) Journal
      But your selling other people's products. Your 'product' is 'joe's sports equiptment store' or whatever. Now if another store comes in town called 'joe's sports equiptment store', then you've got a case. Again, the difference is, you are not creating you are reselling. Very distinct from this case where you have MegaBlocks making bricks with bumps, and Legos making bricks with bumps, and the question being if the bumps infringe on the image. (go back to my second sentance, your parallel would be another company called joe's...)

    • "Create a product. If it's copied easily, find a way to make yours better."

      That's how I feel about the issue as far as software is concerned.

      But, what if your creation can be reverse engineered somewhat easily, and adding new properties is difficult?

      Don't get me wrong, I don't like the idea of not being able to do something because someone did it first (especially when it happened decades before I was born and therefore I didn't have a chance to make it). But I still think some, limited, form of protection
    • It's quite difficult to dump trademarks, copyrights and patents. I doubt it would happen in the US because it would require a constitutional amendment.

      I don't believe your retail or restaurant analogy fits. I don't believe that the market can fix all problems, and I don't believe that government can fix all problems. I would personally like some form of government protection if some competitor used my name and somehow managed to convinced the sheep that they are the real thing, and later ruining my reput
    • Legos. Plastic bricks. The value in their logo is held up by showing consumers that Lego makes the most consistent blocks, with the easiest instructions and with the most fun creations.

      Clearly, you never had grandparents who thought the one who could create the biggest pile of plastic toys on a budget won.
    • Dump all intellectual property rights?

      Tell me, what is the incentive to create a $100 million movie when on completion you don't even own it? What about a $10 million game (like half-life2 or World of Warcraft).

      Why not just dump ALL property rights. Why not have your customers help themselves to anything they want in your store?

      Create a product. If it's copied easily, find a way to make yours better.

      Thats the thing about IP, its pathetically easy to duplicate, whether we're talking about software, music, bo
      • An idea in your head is priceless. An idea mentioned to others could be wort less.

        Don't put any idea in writing if you don't mind losing it. Write a song? Only play it live. Or only let people have "dibs" on seeing you live IF they have an official CD. There are infinite ways to profit from a song without copyright.

        Have a movie? Only show it in theatres with metal detectors. Don't release movies on insecure formats.

        I write articles and books and sell My personal services for the real movie. Just wri
    • If you open a restaurant, do you get a monopoly for running a restaurant in your area? Isn't it wrong for someone to open a restaurant in a new community, build a customer base for years and then have some whipper-snapper open a new restaurant across the street and steal your customers?

      Here's a little story for you: There's a restaraunt called Qdoba, that came up with the idea of a "naked burrito" -- a "burrito" that didn't have a shell, but instead just had all the insides piled on a plate. Well, along

  • by temojen ( 678985 ) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @06:45PM (#14057390) Journal
    "Trademark law should not be used to perpetuate monopoly rights enjoyed under now-expired patents," the Supreme Court says.
    • "purely functional" features, such as the well-known geometrical pattern of raised studs on the top of the bricks, could not be the basis of a trademark.
      • If you look closely at the bumps, I believe they have a tiny LEGO logo etched onto them. :)
        • Not the Mega Bloks ones.
        • Re:Also: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by idontgno ( 624372 )
          If you look closely at the bumps, I believe they have a tiny LEGO logo etched onto them.

          What, even on the MegaBloks? I rather doubt it. Otherwise, simple trademark law would have won the day for Lego.

          Lego has a technically superior product of far greater quality, consistency, and creativity. I mean, this is the company that gave us Space Police, Blacktron, and Mindstorms!

          But attempting to stretch the bounds of trademark law over functional qualities--the domain of patents--is just completely evil and radi

  • by __aaclcg7560 ( 824291 ) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @06:46PM (#14057398)
    Home court advantage? I wonder what would happen if the Supreme Court ruled the other way. Burning Lego blocks on the court steps... :P
  • "For a Limited Time" (Score:5, Informative)

    by Concern ( 819622 ) * on Thursday November 17, 2005 @06:46PM (#14057399) Journal
    Lego's invention is very old, and was patented a long time ago.

    Patents live only so long. This is for a reason. Granting exclusive monopolies on things forever is not a good idea.

    Lego's patent expired, long, long after they had recouped money orders of magnitude beyond what would induce others to attempt to innovate in that industry.

    Other people started to make lego-like bricks.

    Like a lot of monopolists, Lego became addicted to not having and not suffering competitors. They decided that they wanted to play lawyer games and try to keep others from competing with them rather than follow the law, and pretended that the studs on the bricks that make them work are "trademarked" by them...

    The judge basically said, "Look, don't you even try that stunt in here. Your patent expired. The studs on the blocks are a mechanical feature, not a mark. Go away."
    • The studs are a mechanical feature, true, but they're also a mark. People see studs on bricks like those and think "LEGO," not "interlocking stud-&-tube-assembly construction brick toys." They're distinctively characteristic of LEGO's toys.

      Whether that means they should be protected, I don't pretend to know. I'm deeply uncomfortable and sometimes outraged with a lot of the hyperzealousness we see from companies guarding their IP, but I don't know that it means there shouldn't be any protection. I'm bi

  • by Rhys ( 96510 ) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @06:47PM (#14057405)
    The quality of non-lego blocks is seriously sub-par compared to the lego company's brick quality.

    They feel cheap, they don't hook together and stay hooked, and they use way way way more custom peices than lego (and these days, that's saying something!).

    I mean, I'm all for competition, but I can't say that I think the price legos deliver at, around 1c US per brick in the generic bins of bricks is, you know, out of line.
    • Now that other comanies can go to market without getting sued, there will likely be many new market entrants, hopefully some where the quality is good and with a line like Dacta, not stupid only-builds-one-thing dinosaur/castle/pirate-ship sets.
    • You want loose blocks so infants can develop the motor skills necessary to use them without getting frustrated on lego....that and lego is a choking hazard where mega blocks are not.
  • Even though their stuff is generally inferior to Lego, yes Mega Blocks did deserve to win. Quality-wise, the only bricks I've found up to Lego's quality have been Tyco, and Lego probably scared them out of business. The newer BTR sets are of almost as high quality of plastic as Lego, but they have a lot more pre-cast big chunks, like vehicle chassis, and I don't think I've ever seen anything but BTR "kit" sets. I don't recall seeing any BTR sets of just a bunch of bricks.

    The one exception to Mega Blocks

  • by S. Ballmer ( 931150 ) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @06:49PM (#14057417)
    ...Lego shift the current block format a millimeter or so. That way it can cripple interoperability with mega blocks' products and further lock in customers. They can sell it as an innovation, saving money to their costumers with all the plastic being cut out. But that's just how we do it where I work... :)
    • ...Lego shift the current block format a millimeter or so. That way it can cripple interoperability with mega blocks' products and further lock in customers. They can sell it as an innovation, saving money to their costumers with all the plastic being cut out. But that's just how we do it where I work... :)

      What do you think Technic and Bionicle were for? So they could create new pieces and new types of connections which were patented in their own right. That they could do new cool stuff with Technic was

    • Is Sony entering the building block business?
    • ...Lego shift the current block format a millimeter or so

      And what would Lego do to itself then?

      Lego would destroy the standard they created. Why would you buy more Lego if it didn't work with the rest of your Lego?
  • by erucsbo ( 627371 ) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @06:51PM (#14057453)
    I used to run a quick poll on people who were wanting to get in to IT (before the crash) and it ran along the lines of:
    • Put up your hand if you played with Lego (mechano/etc) as a child, and
    • Put up your hand if you can appreciate Monty Python (the Goodies / Red Dwarf / etc) humour.
    If you put up a hand for both questions then you have the right personality to be able to work in IT, otherwise there are now plenty of jobs around the periphery of IT that might suit you.
    I'm yet to find a major exception to the above theory.
    Nice to see that there will continue to be Lego alternatives for those anti-Danish interested in developing IT aptitude skills ;-)
  • by One Louder ( 595430 ) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @06:52PM (#14057465)
    The interconnecting block wasn't even invented by Lego - they were invented by a British inventor named Hillary Page. Lego manufactured them in countries in which Page did not have a license, then purchased the expired patents after he commited suicide.

    However, Lego did have patents on the little tube on the underside, which allow more connection combinations. After the stud-tube patents expired, Lego attempted to use the appearance of the bricks as a trademark - losing in litigationin most countries, including the United States. Lego now attempts to frighten companies with the more nebulous "trade dress".

    More info []

    • purchased the expired patents after he committed suicide

      "Suicide" eh? If I think too hard about that one it might throw a dark cloud over all those happy times spent building with Legos as a child. It poses a moral question: are the hours of enjoyment for millions of children worth the death of one man? Granted, he was British and had a girl's name. That alone should be enough to retroactively label him "terrorist" and purify Lego's avarice-driven assassination.
  • It's not there anymore, but [] used to open to a personal note (screenshot here: /legoslas.jpg []) from the muti-million dollar world-reknown company telling you that they did not want their name tainted by calling Lego® Blocks "legos".
  • by Pinkoir ( 666130 ) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @06:56PM (#14057501)
    Now let's all go build a Mega-Blok castle on Hans Island [] and really teach those bastards a lesson.

    As an aside, since they are made in Montreal would they be Mega-Blok Quebecois? And if so is it ironic or paradoxical that separatist cubes would be specifically designed to stick together with things.

  • We can look forward to taking our kids to Lego ^H^H^H^H Blocko Land...
  • Especially after such a long time of existence. Having said that it's hard to imagine Lego being replaced because competitors cant outdo them on features or it'd ruin the simplicity of the thing and they can copy it but basic Lego isn't to expensive and Lego has the advantage of being Lego with an image created over decades that a competitor cant match. But they should be allowed to try compete, good for everyone.
    • Lego isn't to [sic] expensive

      I suppose it all depends on your definition of expensive. A quick search for bulk discount Lego blocks puts them at about $0.05 each; not high until you consider the block is nothing more then a tiny colored bit of molded plastic that probably cost a quarter of a penny to manufacture. If you go with one of their boxed kits, the price jumps up significantly on the price-per-block scale.

      Sell Lego blocks at 1 or 2 cents each, and I'd probably get back into the hobby in a big way.
  • on software depending on "purely functional features" similar to those of that commercial software.

    Then again, that was Canada's, not US' Supreme Court.
    And of course, there's the issue of software patents... :(
  • by sbaker ( 47485 ) * on Thursday November 17, 2005 @07:17PM (#14057687) Homepage
    Any serious or even semi-serious Lego builder will tell you that MegaBloks are *AWFUL* compared to the genuine article.

    They are made of a much harder plastic and after being snapped together and pulled apart just a couple of times, they wear out to the point where they hardly stick together at all.

    Lego parts are of a slightly more 'rubbery' plastic - they feel almost oily to the touch. I have Lego bricks from 40 years ago that still work just as well as they day they were first used.

    When my son was given a bunch of MegaBloks as a present, they 'polluted' our vast Lego collection. Every time I find one, I toss it straight into the trash.

    About the only use for MegaBloks is in making large sculptural pieces that you want to glue together to make permenant. The hard polystyrene in MegaBloks can be glued together with polystyrene cement - and the issue of wear becomes irrelevent!

    Yet other Lego clones exist - but they tend to have poorer tolerances than either Lego or MegaBloks and can actually damage your real Lego if you mix them.
  • by ApuD2 ( 929032 ) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @07:26PM (#14057770)
    I'm surprised Mega Bloks won against Lego. I figured the odds were stacked against them.
  • You can only patent inventions. Why does it need lawyers and courts to figure this out?
  • It seems fairly obvious that the Lego Corporation tried something pretty amoral (using money/lawyers/trademarks to try to maintain their monopoly after their patents had expired). If this was any of a number of known big name companies we would be happy to scream foul and claim evil...but we are talking about Lego...I grew up with that stuff. I have been dreaming of buying it for my son. And now they went evil??!!

    Man, that hurts.
  • by NoMercy ( 105420 ) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @07:43PM (#14057912)
    I always hated it when I found other non lego blocks in my bin full of blocks, espically if they fitted with other lego blocks, but not quite perfectly, I'd be happyly looking for the right piece, think Ive found it, and then have it pop off every time I play with my creation, only to find out it's a fake that's slipped under the radar!

    Though if megablocks don't fit into lego blocks I'd be happy with it :)
  • by Txiasaeia ( 581598 ) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @07:59PM (#14058028)
    ...but what the hell is Lego thinking as of late? Okay, so you've got a lawsuit against a competitor because their product is similar. I can see that. But why in the world did they move from terrific, wonderful, *creative* designs to essentially marketing Harry Potter and Star Wars sets? Blacktron (new and old), Space Police, M-Tron... Lego used to put out extremely interesting sets 10-15 years ago, and then all of a sudden they decided that creativity was no longer necessary and sold their soul to IP.

    I'm glad that Mega Bloks won the suit - they, at least, put out more creative sets than Lego (not to mention they're Canadian). Lego, if you're listening, I've got lots of disposable income and a fondness towards your brand, but if all you're going to is brand other people's IP, you're not going to have me as a customer.

  • I applaud (Score:2, Interesting)

    I'm a big Lego fan. And when you had to get your Lego bricks from overseas (I'm in the states) it made sense that 20 pieces would cost $10+. But I think they are produced locally now... and so I don't understand why Lego has not reduced their prices. ????

    I use Mega Blocks (the small kind) in a class room setting of about 25 children and have never had any problems. They stil stick hard... so hard that they have a tough time pulling them apart (just like I remember with Lego bricks). I can buy 600-900

    • Re:I applaud (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Bombcar ( 16057 )
      Lego is actually not produced in the US anymore. Current production of bricks is in Denmark and Switzerland, with packaging occurring in Denmark, Switzerland, U.S., South Korea and the Czech Republic.

      The moulding machines are very expensive, and they mould their bricks to tolerances so high that you can use them in scientific optical experiments to hold lenses. This results in a high manufacturing cost; even with the high current cost of Lego, they're having a hard time turning a profit. In 2005, the LEGO G
  • Before Lego (Score:3, Funny)

    by HermanAB ( 661181 ) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @09:35PM (#14058919)
    there was a UK company with a product called Montini.

    Lego copied the idea and was better at marketing. Sorta the Microsoft of building blocks.

    See, it IS possible to slam Microsoft even with something as simple as kiddie blocks... :)
  • While the small-sized mega-bloks may not be quite as good as lego in terms of quality, they do have some nice products for younger kids, like the castle I bought my son for Christmas last year *that he can actually go inside* []
  • Mega blokes wins supreme court battle... ..those bloody blokes!
  • Legos are from Denmark??? I thought all my childhood toys came from the good ol' U.S. of A.

    What's next, action figures made in Tiawan?

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"