The toys you grow up with. I want my block back!
Duplo (trademarked as DUPLO) is a product range of the construction toy Lego, designed for children aged 1½ to 5 years old. Duplo bricks are twice the length, height and width of traditional Lego bricks, making them easier to handle and less likely to be swallowed by younger children. Despite their size, they are still compatible with traditional Lego bricks. Initially launched in 1969, the Duplo range has gone on to include sets with figures, cars, houses and trains. Duplo is manufactured in Nyíregyháza, Hungary.
Duplo bricks were introduced in 1969, in four colors: red, yellow, blue, and white. The following year, two more sets were added with blue and red wheel plates. In the product catalog for 1971, the sets were described as being for children from 1 to 2 years, but were still sold mixed with Lego bricks, normally designed for ages 3 to 12. In 1972, the Duplo brick with two rows of two studs was introduced.
In 1975, Duplo became its own product brand, with five sets made up exclusively of Duplo bricks. New additions included a round-topped two-by-two stud brick and a small four-wheeled wagon with two rows of six studs. With these new Duplo sets, Lego began targeting children 1½ years old with the intention that when the children became older, their Duplo bricks could be used together with regular Lego bricks.
In 1977, the Duplo name was dropped in favor of Lego Preschool. Small figures the size of two-by-two bricks were introduced, made up of a cylindrical head and a tapered, limbless body, similar in design to Fisher-Price's Little People. Another new brick was a half arch. The new sets included figures, doors, and two-by-six brick wagons that could act as a car or train.
The name Duplo was brought back in 1979, along with a new reworked logo. Some brick sets were sold inside a plush version of the rabbit from the logo, that zipped closed.
In 1983, other Duplo figures appeared, often called Duplo people. These figures have a moveable head, arms, and legs and look like large Lego minifigures, but cannot be taken apart, making them safer for small children. Also in 1983, set number 2700 was introduced with a model of a steam engine with two train cars. In 1986, a Duplo doll house with sliding doors was introduced. This included a Duplo people mother, father, and smaller child.