Creator of LEGO Figure Dies


Image from CTV News

Amanda Mourelatos, Editor in Chief

The creator of the LEGO figure lost his battle against ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) at age 78. Jens Nygaard Knudsen passed away in hospice care on Wednesday, February 19th, 2020.

Knudsen worked with LEGO from 1968 to 2000. He created the well-known, yellow “Lego Man” as well as contributed in the design of Legoland and other LEGO building sets, such as the space and castle figures.

All figurines in the first series were created by Knudsen, simple facial features and all. He designed them with movable limbs, interchangeable pieces, and the classic yellow color which stuck around until 2003, when other skin colors were introduced to LEGO figures.

Image from Xiaomist

The vice president of design, Matthew Ashton, said on Twitter, “While I never met Jens, what he created played such a huge part of my childhood as well as for many other millions of kids around the world… Without him, I would have never been inspired to do the things I do today, without him I wouldn’t even have my job today! What an amazing man, and what an incredible legacy he leaves behind.”

A fellow colleague and designer, Niels Milan Pedersen, said, “His imagination was extraordinary – he wasn’t brainstorming – these meetings were more like a hurricane.”

Julia Goldin, LEGO’s chief marketing officer, said, “He was a true visionary whose ideas brought joy and inspiration to millions of builders around the world and we thank him for helping to create some of our most loved play themes.”

As Ashton also said, “He was truly one of the unsung heroes of the toy industry.” May he rest in peace and his memorable spirit live on through the LEGO mini figures.