The Hustle

After sales slump, Lego gets back to what it does best… stackin’ blocks and makin’ bucks

Lego reversed its recent sales slump, increasing sales 4% in the first half of 2019 by doubling down on franchise toys.

September 4, 2019

Last March, Lego reported its first decrease in sales in 13 years, which resulted in 1.4k layoffs.

Now, little more than a year later, the Danish toymaker is back to building its block biz: Lego reports that global sales were up 4% in the first 6 months of 2019.

The big screen was a big reason for Lego’s bounce-back

According to Lego, sales of toy sets related to the recent Avengers movie and its own Lego Movie 2 were particularly strong. Generally, Lego sets tied in to other franchises — Star Wars, Harry Potter, Jurassic World — are the brand’s biggest block-busters.

Despite the sales increase, operating profits dropped 16% due to increased investment in Lego’s online presence and its physical stores across India and China.

But Lego wasn’t the only toymaker to get involved with video…

Most major toy companies are embracing mixed media. 

American toy titan Hasbro recently purchased Entertainment One, which makes the wildly popular children’s TV series Peppa Pig.

Today’s toymakers can’t just make toys, they need to make toys relevant — and one way to do that is by investing in video programming that exposes kids to toy characters.

Some startups are going even further to make toys relatable: Superplastic recently raised $10m to turn its toys into Insta-influencers.

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