Lego Sets 1950 - 2017

Week 6 Dataset

Posted by Jonathan Leek on April 12, 2018

Data Storytelling and Data Viz Approach

I was mostly interested in how lego has evolved over the years. The first thing I looked at was color distribution; much like Skittles or M&Ms, Lego bricks are known for their colorful diversity, and I wanted to see how the distribution of bricks has changed over the years. In spite of the popular understanding, the most common colors of bricks are shades of greys and blacks, and their dominance has increased dramatically over the last 3 decades or so. I suspect that this is related to the rise of licensed sets. Star Wars in particular has been an enormously popular IP for Lego sets, and most of the kits related to that that franchise are space ships. Space ships that are, as you might guess, shades of blacks and grey.

In fact, it appears as if the rise of licensed sets has had a profound effect on the brand. Since licensed sets became a "thing" around the turn of the century, the number of sets released each year has exploded, while the diversity of themes those sets covered has increased at a much slower pace. This tells us that, while Lego is releasing many, many more sets each year, those sets will still be grouped amongst a relatively small number of intellectual properties.

Data Notes

This dataset comes from rather than from Lego directly, so there are bound to be inaccuracies. In addition, it's important to note that sales and production quantities are not represented in this dataset; any analysis based solely on this dataset assumes that all sets are produced in equal numbers, which is almost certainly not the case. If sales and/or production numbers could be taken into account, the color distribution would most certainly change.

Data Source

This week's dataset comes from the