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In January 1954 Godtfred attended the London Toy Fair. On the ferry across the North Sea he began a discussion with Troels Petersen, the toy buyer from Magasin du Nord, the largest department store in Copenhagen. The buyer lamented the fact that all toys seemed to be one-off items and that there was no cohesive toy system available.

Once back home in Billund, Godtfred began to give this idea serious thought. He drew up a list of attributes he thought a toy system should have and began to review his own products for a possible candidate. The result was the now classic Principles of Play. These principles were issued to every Lego employee in 1962 and still stand as the core principles of the company.

10 Important LEGO Features:
unlimited play potential
for girls, for boys
fun for every age
year round play
healthy and quiet play
long hours of play
development, imagination, creativity
the more LEGO, the greater its value
extra sets available
quality in every detail
Godtfred reviewed the company’s current designs (at the time over 200 different wooden and plastic toys were on their price list) and finally decided that the Lego Mursten showed the most promise for expanding into a true system. He organized the exsisting Lego Mursten sets and modeled new designs around a single, common theme — a townscape or street scene. After nearly a year of development the result was the Lego Mursten System i Leg (System of Play).

The System i Leg (System of Play) was unveiled at the Nürnburg Toy Fair in February 1955 but the reaction was less than positive. One buyer even said that “the product has nothing at all to offer the German toy market.” Even some Danish retailers were skeptical, but the buyer from Magasin Du Nord, whom Godtfred had talked to 13 months earlier, was excited about the system and even set up a special ground-floor display for its Danish launch. The System i Leg was well received in Denmark and sales in 1956 nearly doubled.