Visual-effects studio Lobo pulled out all the stops for a full-CG spot charting the changes that have rocked the world in the 30 years since Lego launched its first Miniman.

What do Luke Skywalker, the fall of the Berlin Wall and pro skateboarders have in common? They’re all referenced in a fast-moving, full-CG video created by Brazilian studio Lobo to celebrate the Lego Miniman’s 30th birthday.

The video, which was commissioned by agency Pereira & O’Dell for the Miniman Web site, is a minute-long recap of the events and trends that have defined the past three decades, acted out by legions of Lego Minimen.

The spot is available online in standard definition, HD and even 3D. It’s a whistle-stop tour that name checks Star Wars, Saturday Night Fever, subway breakdancers, an ice hockey match between the US and USSR, the fall of the Berlin Wall, space exploration, skateboarding championships and a rock gig.

On top of all this, Lobo has managed to fit in an impressive number of visual jokes, helping to ensure that the spot teems with life and energy.

Lobo’s original brief from the agency required that they fit in as many historical and cultural facts from the past 30 years as possible, meaning that Lobo had to engage in plenty of back-and-forth negotiations before the final storyline was settled on, and Lobo could create the storyboard.

“The agency wanted it to feel like a child’s imagination at work, flowing freely from one situation to another – that’s why we thought of all the transitions,” says Cadu Macedo, the spot’s director.

The sheer number of different scenes crammed into the spot meant that there would inevitably be planning problems. Although the spot’s references needed to run chronologically, the transitions had to be considered early on to avoid insurmountable problems at later stages – so all transitions were planned in detail during the storyboard production stage.