Chana Joffe-Walt examines Lego’s dominance despite their products’ high cost and lack of exclusive patent:
Lego goes to great lengths to make its pieces really, really well, according to David Robertson, who is working on a book about Lego. Inside every Lego brick, there are three numbers, that identify exactly what mold the brick came from, and what position it was in in that mold. That way, if there’s a bad brick somewhere, the company can go back and fix the mold. For decades this is what kept Lego ahead. It’s actually pretty hard to make millions of plastic blocks that all fit together.