Creator Of LEGO's Yellow Minifigures Jens Nygaard Knudsen Has Died Aged 78
The man who designed LEGO's yellow minifigures has died at the age of 78.
Jens Nygaard Knudsen is responsible for creating the tiny characters that millions of children around the world have payed with since they were launched in 1978.
He passed away at a hospice in Anker Fjord, Denmark, last week (Wednesday 19 February), while being treated for motor neuron disease.
Announcing the sad news, former colleague and LEGO designer Niels Milan Pedersen paid tribute to the children's toy pioneer.
He said: "His imagination was so fantastic. If we had a brainstorm it was more like a brain hurricane, because he had so many ideas."
LEGO also released a statement thanking the 'visionary'.
A spokesperson for the toy manufacturer said: "We're very sad to hear that Jens Nygaard Knudsen, the creator of the LEGO Minifigure, has passed away. Thank you Jens, for your ideas, imagination and inspiring generations of builders.
"Jens spent 32 years with the LEGO Group and made an impact few can match. He was a true visionary whose ideas brought joy and inspiration to millions of builders around the world and we thank him for helping to create some of our most loved play themes such as LEGO Castle, LEGO Space and of course, the iconic LEGO minifigure."
Jens' wife Marianne Nygaard Knudsen spoke to local media and praised her husband.
Speaking to TV2, she said: "The figure was created so that there would be life in the houses. At the time LEGO's houses were empty, but then he drew this man."
We're very sad to hear that Jens Nygaard Knudsen, the creator of the LEGO Minifigure, has passed away. Thank you Jens, for your ideas, imagination, and inspiring generations of builders :heart: pic.twitter.com/7YixYvHtRW
- LEGO (@LEGO_Group) February 24, 2020
Matthew Ashton, who produced the LEGO movies, took the opportunity to thank Jens for inspiring generations of children.
Writing on social media, he said: "While I never met Jens, what he created played such a huge part of my childhood as well as for many other millions of kids around the world.
"Without him, I would never have been inspired to do the things I do today, without him I wouldn't even have my job today! What an amazing man, and what an incredible legacy he leaves behind."
Fans were also devastated by the news.
One heartbroken LEGO-lover wrote: "Really sad to hear of LEGO Minifigure creator Jens Nygaard Knudsen's passing. Only yesterday I gifted my childhood LEGO to my daughter and stumbled across three intact classic spacemen."
While another added: "It's very sad to hear that Jens Nygaard Knudsen, the creator of the LEGO Minifigure, has passed away. Thank you Jens, for your ideas, imagination, and inspiring generations of builders."
Featured Image Credit: LEGO Group