Masters of merch

Lego empire strikes back with expanded lines, retains crown

Lego’s multi-generational appeal, unique mix of storytelling with open-ended play—and partnerships with some of the biggest brands in the kids entertainment business—have once again put the Danish toymaker at the top of the Hot50 licensing heap.
“Additionally, our global reach is one of our key strengths and also one of our key criteria for our licensing program,” says Jill Wilfert, VP of Lego’s inbound licensing. “The ability to scale around the world is critical for us, and also really valuable for our partners.”
In 2015, Lego expanded its Star Wars line—its longest-standing and first-ever license—by adding 40 new products. Meanwhile, the toyco launched more than 30 new items based on the DC Comics and Marvel Super Heroes universes. Lego also introduced many iconic superheroes like Batman and Spider-Man to its Lego Juniors and Lego Duplo lines. “The idea of building with Lego Super Heroes at any age is a major accomplishment,” Wilfert contends.
Other feats include adding Jurassic World and Scooby-Doo to its lineup, as well as 22 new Ninjago building sets. For 2016, Lego plans to expand its partnership with Disney, add more new properties, and continue to drive innovation and deeper engagement across its entire licensed portfolio.

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