Lego Soars With Film-related Merchandise

   Dec. 26, 2009 – There is some grousing in toyland that movie-related properties are too volatile in sales, but Lego hit the jackpot with its Hollywood ties. A Wall Street Journal article reveals the Danish maker of snap-together model kits enjoyed a 23% hike in first half 2008 revenue, while the toy industry as a whole suffered a 5% revenue decline.
   Lego Star Wars videogame allows users to explore a Lego world and take part in quests and mini-missions, notes the WSJ article by Kim Hjelmgaard. “Lego, which makes dozens of complex Star Wars play sets and spaceships, controls the construction-toy rights to licensed properties such as Star Wars, Indiana Jones and Toy Story," says the article. "Hasbro Inc. and Mattel Inc., the giants in the industry, turn out the dolls, action figures and vehicles from those movie brands.”
   Admittedly, Lego has an advantage because Star War toys involve an established multi-title film series, not an unpredictable new-from-the-ground-up release.
   Lego kits are moderately difficult to assemble—depending on their size. “The reality is that Lego's appeal is generally with a niche group of brainiacs, a group that includes many adults,” says the WSJ article. “Another major Lego challenge is the girls market, which the company has failed to crack.”
   Comic books, board games and video games are particularly hot properties for movie adaptations, and some toy properties as well such as Transformers. Universal Pictures has a film based on the Battleship board game set for summer 2010 release. A few weeks ago, Sony Pictures licensed the right to Hasbro’s Risk board game to make a movie.

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A Toy Story character is presented as life-sized in Lego bricks.