The Unremarkable Lego Brick Separator

I bought my younger daughter a set of Legos for Christmas. The set came with a little, orange plastic tool that looks like this:

It’s called a Lego brick separator. It seems to be common add-in for most of the bigger sets now, but definitely didn’t exist when I was a kid.

Watching my daughter use it sparked a few observations:

  1. As a child, I always had a hard time — and many damaged fingernails from — separating Legos. In fact, many of my Legos even had teeth marks on them, from when my fingers weren’t quite strong enough. But, no longer. It’s remarkable how much a single tool can completely change an entire experience.
  2. It’s also a great illustration that innovation is always possible, even for mature products that have been in market for decades. Of course, this is far from Lego’s only innovation (see Mindstorm, Boost, movie licensing, etc.), but this is a nice reinforcement that even a single, unsexy $0.03 piece of plastic can have a tremendous impact.
  3. Embarrassingly, I had idea how to use this tool and was still content to pry the pieces apart with my fingers. It was my six-year-old who figured it out, reminding me of the value of a fresh perspective that’s unencumbered by the “way it’s always been done.”

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