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First Lego wheels

Lego vehicles before wheels

First Lego set with wheels

Wheel production

Many Lego tires

Smallest Lego wheel

Fifty years ago this month, Lego began adding tires to some of its sets, and toys have never been the same. Now, the company says, it is the world's largest manufacturer of tires, though you probably wouldn't want to drive a car that uses its wheels. Still, with an annual output of 381 million wheels (the number it produced in 2011), you could roll nearly 100 million toy cars around the living rooms of the world.

These are the first wheels Lego ever produced, in 1962.

Caption by / Photo by Lego
This is the box for a Lego vehicle before the company started rolling out wheels. Originally, many Lego cars were pre-molded, and some kids built their own wheels using standard Lego bricks.
Caption by / Photo by Lego
This is Lego set No. 400, which was produced in 1962. It was the first set to include wheels, and became the company's best-selling set by 1967, moving 820,400 units that year.
Caption by / Photo by Lego
A look at the Lego wheel production system.
Caption by / Photo by Lego
Lego wheels come in all shapes and sizes. Well, they're usually round, but they do come in many different sizes.
Caption by / Photo by Lego
This is the marketing material for Lego's smallest-ever wheel. It is 14.4 millimeters high and was part of a two-seater car included in Lego sets No. 345 and No. 346 starting in 1969.
Caption by / Photo by Lego
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