Why Did LEGO Become a Media Empire? Pretty Much Pop: A Culture Podcast #37

Why has a chil­dren’s toy become a brand attached to vir­tu­al­ly every media type, part­ner­ing with the most ubiq­ui­tous fran­chis­es, and serv­ing as a pas­time for many adult hob­by­ists who will gut you if you call LEGO a “chil­dren’s toy.”

Bri­an Hirt (our res­i­dent AFOL, i.e. adult fan of LEGO) talks with co-hosts Eri­ca Spyres and Mark Lin­sen­may­er about cre­ative play vs. fol­low­ing the print­ed direc­tions, build­ing purists vs. anthro­po­mor­phiz­ers, LEGO qua cor­po­rate over­lord, the LEGO films and com­pet­i­tive build­ing TV show, and more.

Bri­an’s LEGO designs that we react to are the Man­del­brot frac­tal, baby Yoda, drei­del, and swim­ming pool. “AFOL” is but the first of many LEGO-spe­cif­ic ini­tialisms; see the glos­sary.

Here are some arti­cles we drummed up to pre­pare:

Learn more at prettymuchpop.com. This episode includes bonus dis­cus­sion that you can only hear by sup­port­ing the pod­cast at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This pod­cast is part of the Par­tial­ly Exam­ined Life pod­cast net­work.

Pret­ty Much Pop: A Cul­ture Pod­cast is the first pod­cast curat­ed by Open Cul­ture. Browse all Pret­ty Much Pop posts or start with the first episode.

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