PUWI, a Danish LEGO clone


Early Danish clones are particularly interesting because they mimic, not the later Lego of the Patent Pending era, but rather the early Lego Mursten.

One of these attained export status and was sold abroad under the brand "DIPLOM" (at least in Switzerland) and "LINO Method" in the USA. In Scandinavia it was sold under the trade name "PUWI".

The bricks are compared with LEGO in Figure 1, far down. They interlock perfectly with LEGO and actually provide an excellent positive hold. Note the ejector pin marks, similar to those of 2X3vs01c, suggesting the mold may have been manufactured by one of the suppliers of LEGO.

Early bricks had no underside connectors, as shows the illustration used on a tube pack acquired from Switzerland (see image left, noting the bricks seen from beneath). This illustration may be from 1958, but the system is probably earlier, as shown by the permanence of the slot fixtures.

Figure 1 - DIPLOM bricks compared with a LEGO 2X4 (far right)


Reviewing the tube pack image, above left, it will be noticed that the hollows in the studs are not actually part of the image- rather, they were clumsily drawn over the photo. The reason for this may be that the early bricks in the picture had full studs which, sometimes, collapsed inside, exactly like LEGO's. The hollowing of the studs from the top was an alternate solution to LEGO's hollowing from the bottom. So, exactly how were the early PUWI bricks? Probably faithful copies of LEGO.

In the USA PUWI was sold under the name "LINO Method". The bricks may have been manufactured locally but more likely they were imported because neither the pack (see example at left) nor the instructions sheet inside mention any US manufacturing.

The LINO bricks are compared with LEGO below. They are exactly like DIPLOM but at the time this set was produced (mid 1960s?) the bricks were no longer slotted. Colours used were: white, transparent, dark blue and black.


Figure 2- LINO bricks compared with a LEGO 2X4 (far right)


The image at left shows part of a genuine PUWI small set box from Denmark (late 1960s /early 1970s, while the image below shows another side of the same box depicting some of the elements that made up the system.

Because of its relative success and close similiarity with LEGO, PUWI is often used in Scandinavia as an example of industrial mimicry.


João Manuel Mimoso, Lisbon, Portugal, Nov. 18, 2009
Reviewed Feb 05, 2010
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