BusinessLego’s profits are built on top of its bricks...

Lego’s profits are built on top of its bricks — by making something for everyone

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When all the pieces fit… Lego, the world’s largest toy biz by revenue, revealed it hit record sales and profits in the first half of this year.

The family-owned Danish toy giant nearly went bankrupt in 2003 after lots of kids abandoned IRL toys for video games. But the pandemic boosted sales across the toy biz.

  • Lego raked in a whopping $990M profit for the first half of 2021 — 1,000% more than Hasbro, the world’s No. 2 toymaker. Part of the reason:
  • While Hasbro hiked prices because of the global supply crunch, Lego avoided Brickflation by building factories (#RealBricks) in its biggest markets.

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Build a brick… Unlike Hasbro and Mattel, which sell huge catalogs of toys ranging from Nerf Guns and Play-Doh to Barbie and Hot Wheels, Lego built its entire business around humble plastic bricks. And recently it’s found new ways to expand the Lego life:

Bricks for all: Lego adapted its bricks to audiences with nearly every interest imaginable, from Roman history to video games. It partnered with cultural giants like Marvel to boost popular appeal. Think Minecraft, Harry Potter, and Frozen Lego sets.

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The Lego-verse: By keeping its core brand simple, Lego laid the foundation for IRL extensions like Legoland theme park and Lego Stores staffed by “Brick Specialists.” It expects to open 174 new stores this year.

THE TAKEAWAY

The fun is in the franchise… So is the money. Following in Disney‘s footsteps, Lego and other toy giants are focused on expanding toy lines into movies: Lego has released several successful Lego flicks, Mattel is developing 13 live-action movies based on popular toy brands like Barbie and Polly Pocket, and Hasbro has already built Transformers into a $5B movie mega-franchise.

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