Christoph Bartneck, author of the scientific studies Have LEGO products become more violent? and The Emotional Expressions of LEGO Minifigure Faces, has just published a new paper that looks at whether LEGO sets have become more complex.
Of course, we all know that they have, but proving it scientifically is not straightforward.
Here's the abstract:
The LEGO Group has become the largest toy company in the world and they can look back to a proud history of more than 50 years of producing bricks and other toys. Starting with a simple set of basic bricks their range of toys appeared to have increased in complexity over the years.
We processed the inventories of most sets from 1955–2015 and our analysis showed that LEGO sets have become bigger, more colorful and more specialized. The vocabulary of bricks has increased significantly resulting in sets sharing fewer bricks.
The increased complexity of LEGO sets and bricks enables skilled builders to design ever more amazing models but it may also overwhelm less skilled or younger builders.
Read the paper, view the data used for the analysis and more at Plos