Did you know there are Belgian Lego blocks?
In the nineteenth century, the Belgian town of Deinze was the Mecca of Belgian toys and was therefore also known as Nuremberg upon the Leie. Many toy and pushchair factories were located there. One of them was the phenomenal manufacturer Nazaire Beeusaert.
The first toy Nazaire Beeusaert launched in 1921 was a cardboard horse. The collection continued to grow, and after ten years the company manufactured around seventy different models. However, the Second World War threw a spanner in the works.
Due to the war there was a lack of cardboard, which was used to manufacture the horses. Therefore, in 1941, the toy manufacturer began to produce miniature soldiers. After the war, Nazaire Beeusaert resumed the production of horses and expanded the range with forts, nativity scenes and farms.
In 1954 the toy manufacturer presented something revolutionary: batima building bricks. They were wooden building bricks with studs at the top and tubes at the bottom so that the bricks could be connected to one another.
The bricks were short-lived. After all, the plastic Lego bricks entered the Belgian market in 1958. Unlike the batima bricks, they were unbreakable, water-resistant and colourful.