“To contemplate LEGO. Many colours. Many shapes. Many inventive and useful shapes. Plastic. A versatile and practical substance. Symbolic of the resourcefulness of man.” – Jay Woodman, author & poet
Over the holidays, I had the chance to watch the trailer for the upcoming LEGO movie. I was intrigued. It looked like good fun for kids and adults alike.
It also got me thinking about this product that I loved dearly as a child. I could spend hours playing with LEGO. It’s the kind of toy that forces you to use your imagination every time you use it.
LEGO is a privately-held Danish toymaker that has managed to reinvent itself over the decades. Thanks to good quality control, an aggressive patent and litigation strategy to ward off copycats plus clever marketing, this company’s future is bright. Check out this chart, it shows how LEGO’s revenue growth leaves the global toy market in the dust.
Please note that the “global toy market” category includes things like video games! Amazing.
LEGO has seen its share of misses, like its attempt to bring its characters to life on the small screen with a TV show in the ’90’s. That was short-lived because LEGO execs weren’t impressed with the program. But its merchandising partnerships have been hit-makers, helping the company churn out and sell product lines for Harry Potter, Star Wars and Pirates of the Caribbean.
Part of LEGO’s success stems from its ability to appeal to several demographics at the same time: the nostalgic grandparent, parent and child. Three generations of LEGO fans… you do the math!
Like the LEGO movie, which looks like it has enough slapstick to keep kids entertained while providing just enough grown-up humour to keep the, ahem, bigger kids’ attention, this is a company with products for all age groups. Take for example the $500 Death Star kit, which is clearly aimed at adults. Or, if the leaked images are to be believed, the upcoming Simpsons set, featuring a rumoured 2,500 pieces of Springfield inspired LEGO.
Word on the street (or online) is that this set will retail for more than $300… That’s a hefty grown-up price tag!
For a company like LEGO, that boasts as much brand recognition as Disney, it’s too bad it isn’t publicly traded. I can think of a few investors who’d like to get a “piece” of LEGO action.