When Lego first burst on to the toy scene, its bricks came in a very limited selection of colours; now, there’s an overwhelming range of choice. This chart shows how the available palette has changed over the years.
The stats were pulled together by Dave E over on the BrickSet forums. With the help of a little code, he analysed the data about Lego sets available on the BrickLink inventories, then ignored some sets that he thought would unfairly skew the distribution — including DUPLO, Fabuland, and Education sets.
As Brothers Brick points out, it’s worth noting that the figures describe the new sets made each year, and not their continued production or the total number of bricks made by Lego. Also, the pie charts show colour as a percentage of total pieces, which means the absolute number of bricks in a given colour could increase even though the percentage drops. All very important stuff.
Anyway, caveats aside, it’s interesting to see how a fairly substantial shift has occurred: the primary colours are less prevalent, and the proportion of light bluish grey and dark bluish grey at Lego have soared (those are actual Lego colour terms). Overall, the palette is now generally far more moody than it used to be.