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Lego Wins Big in a Slumping Toy World

COPENHAGEN – Guess what? While the toy world’s seeing some gloomy days, Lego’s shining like a star. These iconic little plastic bricks from Denmark are singing a different tune. Even when folks in China are taking their sweet time returning to stores, Lego’s hitting the high notes and capturing a bigger piece of the pie.

In the first half of this year, while other toymakers were probably scratching their heads, Lego’s sales danced up by a tiny 1%, raking in a whopping 27.4 billion Danish crowns (that’s a cool $4 billion, folks). Now, if you think that’s something, rewind a bit. Last year, these guys skyrocketed with a 17% increase and an eye-popping 27% the year before. Talk about going places!

Niels Christiansen, the big boss at Lego, spilled the beans to Reuters. He said, “The toy game’s been a tough cookie lately, but hey, we’re playing it right. We’re zooming past our competitors at a rate 10% faster than them.” And believe it or not, while the overall toy market took a 7% nosedive, Lego’s consumer sales hopped up by 3%. I bet Hasbro and Mattel felt that pinch!

But, hold your horses. Christiansen’s now putting on the brakes a tad, hinting that this year’s growth might just be in the single-digits. Well, nobody said the ride was always smooth!

Now, let’s talk crowd-pleasers. Lego’s Star Wars, Technic, and Icons sets are flying off the shelves. And who can resist their miniature Eiffel Tower or that rad “Back to the Future” time machine? Pure nostalgia, right there!

Good news for us Lego lovers – they aren’t hiking up the prices anytime soon. Seems like their costs are in check. But, oh man, their operating profit took a 19% tumble down to 6.4 billion crowns. Ouch!

But the Lego train isn’t stopping. They’ve swung open the doors to 89 brand-new stores this year, with dreams of hitting a 150 by year’s end. The grand total? A jaw-dropping 1,050 worldwide. And Christiansen’s not pulling the plug there. He’s got his sights set on the same pace for another 5 to 10 years. Talk about ambition!

Since 2017, under Christiansen’s watchful eye, Lego’s been mixing the good ol’ physical bricks with the snazzy digital world. And, not to mention, they’ve been popping up new stores left, right, and center.

Speaking of new digs, China’s where the action is! Over half the new Lego storefronts this year will dot the Chinese landscape. Despite the Chinese crowd being a bit wary post-pandemic, Christiansen’s optimistic. He said, “With so many kiddos in China, the potential’s enormous. We’ve barely scratched the surface. Our Chinese adventure’s only just begun.”

So, while the world might be changing, one thing’s for sure – Lego’s building dreams, one brick at a time. Rock on, Lego!

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