Disney's 'Pirates' Shifts Toy Kits to Lego

By Robert Marich
   Nov. 20, 2010- The fourth installment of the Pirates of the Pirates of Caribbean movies will get a hefty merchandising blitz with Lego offering eight of its plastic-brick assembly toy kits based on the Walt Disney Studio’s film franchise. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is scheduled to set sail for US/Canada theaters screens on May 20, 2011.
   The $2.1 billion-revenue global toy maker Lego, which is headquartered in Denmark, replaces Montreal-based Mega Brands as licensee of Pirates merchandise in the toy assembly-kit category.
   Lego Chief Executive Jørgen Vig Knudstorp says that the Pirates movies are attractive because they have action and humor. “It’s not a one-off, but it’s a series,” he told the Wall Street Journal. “It’s got action, but it’s not too violent.   And pirates are such a classic in the Lego world, so it makes good sense for us.”
   Since 1999, Legos has cranked out Star Wars toy assembly kids that have been big sellers, after pacting with LucasFilm. “Some of (the movie-based toys) are exceeding expectations. Star Wars, Indiana Jones and Harry Potter have all outgrown our strongest estimates,” Knudstorp told the Wall Street Journal. Lego games based on TV property Dora the Explorer, which is extremely popular with girls under age 12, and Disney’s Prince of Persia were sales disappointments.
  The Wall Street Journal pegs Legos as the third largest toy seller in the US, after Mattel and Hasbro.
As part of the Lego tie-up, a video game will come out in May simultaneously with the movie from TT Games, which is owned by Warner Bros. and has long ties to Lego.
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Below is a Lego rendition of Buzz Lightyear from Disney's Toy Story franchise