Scourge of bare feet takes top toy firm honours

Lego is now the world's best-selling toy
Lego is now the world's best-selling toy
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For many children, it is the ultimate toy for unleashing their imagination.

To many parents, it is the scourge of vacuum cleaners and bare feet.

Lego has been a favourite for generations of youngsters and its enduring appeal has been underlined by new sales figures showing the company is now the best-selling toy firm in the world.

Despite having to compete with video games and tablet computers for the attention of 21st century youngsters, the Danish firm clocked up sales of more than £1.2bn in the first six months of the year.

That represents an 11 per cent increase on the same period last year, enough to take it ahead of American toy giant Mattell, the company behind Barbie and Fisher-Price.

The hike in sales is in part down to its surprise cinema success.

Lego Movie products provided a significant boost to our sales during the first half of 2014,” said chief financial officer John Goodwin, who is originally from Shipley.

Lego is also enjoying success in new markets, with Chinese sales up by more than 50 per cent in the half-year period. The company said “classic” product lines such as Lego City and Lego Star Wars continued to deliver strong growth around the world.

Lego was founded in 1932 by Ole Kirk Kristiansen and the bricks have been in their current form since 1958.

The company passed from father to son and is now owned by Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, a grandchild of the founder.

The name is an abbreviation of the two Danish words “leg godt”, meaning “play well”.