LEGO and the Market for Children’s Building Blocks

Powerful Essays
• Background

There exists in some human beings an insatiable draw towards the unique and the

unusual, as much a statement of individuality as the clothes a person wears. This attraction

sometimes leads towards the hobby of collecting a set of objects. Each person has their own

niche of memorabilia, often a set that reminds them of childhood fantasies or other happy times.

Because these consumers have specialized needs, wanting with varying fierceness to obtain

specific, rare items to complete their sets, the collectibles market makes for intriguing study,

especially that dominated by LEGO—the market for a collectible children’s toy distinguished by

its interlocking bricks.

The LEGO Company has made itself a giant in the market for children’s toys during its

existence and has used that leverage to propel itself successfully into the collectibles market. The

firm began as a manufacturer of wooden toys in Denmark seventy years ago. Sales allowed the

Danish company to survive, but not to thrive until it introduced in 1949 miniature plastic blocks

with divots and bumps that were aligned such that they could fit into one another, and were

designed for building structures. With these plastic blocks the company was able to market to all

first-world countries, from North America to Western Europe, Australia, and Japan. Visualizing

something and then constructing it, its creators believed, was and is an educational experience

that encourages “lifelong creativity, imagination and learning,” according to their press release.

Perhaps the very reason that many people now collect LEGOs is that they were indeed captivated

as children with the infinite capacity of the blocks.

LEGO expanded its product line in the late 1980’s by...

... middle of paper ... By having examined its

competitors and their successes, one now sees by contrast what LEGO is and is not. To continue

setting the market standard it must maintain its current corporate direction, including repeated

product updates and retirements, that was critically scrutinized here and proven to work. Indeed,

ask history itself.

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Works Cited

“Annual Average Exchange Rates: 2001.” Spreadsheet. Bank of England. 29 Oct. 2002


Annual Report: LEGO Company. “Annual Accounts 2001.” 2001. .

Annual Report: MegaBloks Inc. “MegaBloks Quarterly Report 2002. 2002.


“The Ultimate LEGO book.” New York: DK Publishing. 1999.

Heller, Richard. “(Re) Building Blocks.” Forbes. 168.13 (2001): 154.

Mand, Adrienne. “Bionicle Web Chronicle.” Advertising Age. 72.33 (2001): 21.
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