In news that will only seemingly hasten Gizmodo UK's changeover into a dedicated Lego fan site, there's some good news coming out of America for a change. A 12-year old appeared on Shark Tank, the American version of Dragon's Den, and walked away with an $80,000 investment in some temporary glue for Lego bricks.
The way the Lego system works is that every piece is designed to be compatible with every other piece, locking in place in a way that's still temporary. That way you don't really need glue for everything to hold together. But that hold has its limits, and things can and will break apart if manhandled - especially if you're a kid playing the way kids do. That's why Tripp Phillips came up with the idea for Le-Glue, and took it onto Shark Tank.
The point of Le-Glue is to let people glue their Lego pieces together for better support, but without going full-on President Business and dishing out liberal helpings of Kraggle (better known as super glue, to you normal non-Lego people). Le-Glue is only a temporary bond, and to unstick the bricks all you need to do is soak them in warm water for 30 seconds. Then you can tear the set apart with no lasting effects. Unless, I'm assuming, there's one of those pesky Lego stickers on it, in which case repeated warm water soaks might cause it to peel off. Le-Glue is also non-toxic, which is good because people are dumb and may get it in their mouths - either intentionally or by accident.
Le-Glue has been available online for a while, and has reportedly earned $125,000 in sales since the launch of a dedicated online store. Tripp was also granted a patent for the stuff back when he was 10, making him one of the youngest patent-holders in the US. Naturally the stint on the show has also been a success, with investor Kevin O'Leary offering up the $80,000 with the promise of helping the Le-Glue company license the brand to block-manufacturing companies. In return O'Leary gets 50 per cent of licensing money until the $80,000 has been recouped, at which point he'll end up with a 20 per cent stake in the company.
Le-Glue is available to buy online, and while it's not clear how much more effective it is than, say, PVA or glue sticks, it's a hell of a lot better than superglueing your stuff together. Assuming you want to glue anything at all. Prices start at $5.99 (£4.59), though shipping to the UK is very pricey. Nothing is stopping you from buying some and trying it, but I know I'll be waiting until there's a bit more affordable international distribution. [CNBC]