The LEGO Group
It has been a difficult 2020 for many in the toy industry, with lockdowns related to the pandemic causing complications for manufacturing and shipping. But along with the challenges came opportunities, and The LEGO Group saw significant success in licensing this year.
“It’s a fantastic honor to be recognized by our peers and partners,” says Jill Wilfert, head of entertainment for The LEGO Group. “There are so many companies doing great things in licensing, so to be singled out is a testament to the LEGO team.”
One standout achievement was a partnership between the brickmaker and an all-time fan-favorite video game property. The LEGO Super Mario Adventures with Mario Starter Course building kit was a hit, integrating LCD screens and speakers into play to provide kids with an interactive experience.
“We’re very selective in who we partner with—it’s about authenticity and finding opportunities that fit with our brand values,
as well as with the LEGO experience,” Wilfert says. “We say no more than we say yes, and new partnerships need to expand the portfolio in some way.”
With families spending more time at home than ever before, construction sets were the perfect escape this year. The LEGO Creator Expert Old Trafford Manchester United kit, for example, brought sports fans back to the stadium, while the LEGO Technic Fast & Furious Dom’s Dodge Charger kit let kids live out their speed-filled fantasies.
“LEGO was one of those brands that has seen a lot of acceleration this year and we’ve had just a fantastic response to licensed products,” adds Wilfert.
With success internally, the team looked outward and tried to be supportive of its partners, she says. “We really tried to lean in with our existing partners, knowing that this year has been a challenging time.”