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TF2012: The LEGO Press Releases

Posted by: D. Martin on February 16, 2012 at 10:37 PM CST

LEGO Systems Unveils 2012 Collection at American International Toy Fair

-Every brick tells a story as children of all ages and interests will find a set or theme to inspire build and play adventures with new construction kits, preschool toys, board games and activity playsets-

NEW YORK, American International Toy Fair (February 12, 2012) – (Virtual Press Office) - LEGO Systems, Inc., makers of the world’s leading construction toys, unveils its largest collection of build and play toys ever–more than 200 new products for children of all ages and interests–at the American International Toy Fair in New York City. Boys and girls will be inspired to build with open-ended LEGO® building sets or with themes such as city, dinosaurs, monsters, ninjas, heroes, and friendship. New products are displayed at Booth #1353 in Hall 3B of the Jacob Javits Convention Center, February 12-15.

“2012 marks our 80th year in business, and the classic LEGO brick continues to grow in popularity among children of all ages, thanks to our strong collection of evergreen themes, the best licensed properties on the market and brand extensions that help us to engage any interest or building ability,” said Søren Torp Laursen, president, LEGO Systems. “We have welcomed many new children into the LEGO play experience in the past year, and we know that our new collection—which brings many different play patterns into construction—will continue to excite them and will attract even more children who have yet to discover the creative joy of construction play.”

Preschool Building (ages 1½+)
LEGO DUPLO® introduces youngsters to building and delivers so many ways to play. Highlights include new Read and Build ($12.99 each), a series of kits that blend early reading with construction play, encouraging youngsters to build along as their parents read to them. Creative Sorter ($19.99) and Creative Cakes ($24.99) turn ordinary storage solutions into part of the build-and-play fun. The collection of “My First” DUPLO sets – My First Fire Chief ($9.99), My First Build ($24.99), My First Farm ($24.99) and My First Gas Station ($29.99) – combine building and role play, while fostering creativity and imagination. Additions to the LEGO DUPLO brand Cars 2TM line and a new DUPLO brand Disney Princess collection let children recreate favorite scenes and role play with beloved characters from their favorite feature films ($12.99 - $39.99).

Classic LEGO Building (ages 4+)
Open-ended Bricks & More sets ($9.99-$29.99) offer a versatile assortment of LEGO bricks and elements to set imaginations in motion, with building instructions and visual inspiration to bring children’s ideas to life. CREATOR kits ($5.99 - $79.99) offer 3-models-in-1 box in themes such as vehicles, creatures, and buildings, allowing children to build, play, and then rebuild their creations. Experienced builders enjoy the challenge of TECHNIC® sets, such as the Quad Bike ($24.99) and Jet Plane ($49.99), which replicate the movement of real-life vehicles and machinery.

LEGO Themes (ages 5+)
Designed from the input of girls and their moms around the world, LEGO Friends delivers a new theme option for builders ages 5 and up. Every set includes at least one of five best Friends in the form of a new mini-doll figure to inspire role play and stories after the building is complete. Andrea’s Stage ($9.99) is the perfect place to practice performing arts before the Friends hang out at the City Park Café ($29.99). Mia, who loves animals, volunteers her time at the local Heartlake Vet Clinic ($39.99). Olivia’s House ($69.99) features interior details and a modular construction that allows for the home to be built in a variety of different styles.

Six LEGO DINO sets create a jungle world where a team of scientists are trying to keep the dinos from fleeing the jungle and invading the city. Builders help round up the loose dinos with the Raptor Chase ($29.99) or the T-Rex Hunter ($69.99), keeping them at bay and the city safe with the Dino Defense HQ ($99.99).

New LEGO MONSTER FIGHTERS launches in August, taking builders’ imaginations to a bone-chilling world of classic monsters trying to blot out the sun forever. Builders help the team of Monster Fighters in a collection of seven sets ($6.99-$99.99) to overtake the mummy, werewolf, swamp creature, vampire, ghosts and mad professor.

Action and adventure continues to build in LEGO CITY. Five Transportation sets ($19.99 each) encourage classic role play for City builders, while new Forest Fire and Forest Police themes ($5.99-$79.99) take rescue heroes beyond city limits to protect and serve. In August, builders can create heavy duty machinery to dig for gold in the new Mining theme ($11.99-$99.99).

One of the most successful LEGO themes ever, NINJAGO introduces a new chapter to a storyline that merges classic construction with social and virtual gaming experiences, anchored by 26 episodes of the NINJAGO: Masters of Spinjitzu animated television series airing on Cartoon Network. Children can customize Spinners (13 to collect, $9.99 each) with Booster Packs ($4.99 each), or construct 11 new building sets ($6.99 - $119.99), such as Destiny’s Bounty ($79.99), an ancient shipwreck hiding powerful treasure.

Collectors will rejoice over 48 never-before-seen LEGO Minifigures sold separately ($2.99 each) in unmarked packaging via three new series releasing throughout the year.

Licensed Building Fun (Ages 2+)
LEGO DC Universe Super Heroes recreates famous comic heroes and villains. Available now, a collection of four BATMAN sets includes The Batcave ($69.99) featuring characters Bruce Wayne, Batman, Robin, Poison Ivy and Bane. Superman vs. Power Armor Lex ($19.99) creates a scene where Wonder Woman is captured by Lex Luthor.

Five LEGO MARVEL Super Heroes sets launching in May feature The Avengers in sets such as Wolverine’s Chopper Showdown ($19.99) and Hulk’s Helicarrier Breakout ($49.99).

New for 2012, epic characters and scenes take LEGO form in the new LEGO THE LORD OF THE RINGS collection, based on the three films in THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy. Six building sets launch in June ($12.99-$129.99). To coincide with the fall movie premiere, a collection of LEGO THE HOBBIT building sets launches late 2012.

Partnership with Disney continues in 2012 with eight new building sets inspired by the world-renowned CARS film franchise that children can use to recreate their favorite characters ($6.99-$49.99).

The popularity of LEGO STAR WARS continues to build with 20 new sets inspired by the Star Wars film saga and the animated television series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Highlights include new TIE Fighter ($54.99) and X-Wing Starfighter ($59.99) available now, and The Malevolence and Jabba’s Palace (both $119.99) in August. *More on Star Wars LEGO below*

The wacky hilarity of LEGO SpongeBob SquarePants returns with new building adventures from Bikini Bottom – The Flying Dutchman ($24.99) and Bikini Bottom Undersea Party ($49.99), both available now.

Constraction (Ages 6+)
The LEGO Hero Factory is producing new buildable, pose-able figures with powerful tools to tackle any challenge; product codes link to a new online game to deliver another level of immersive play ($8.99 - $34.99). Six buildable figures based on iconic characters also come to life – three from LEGO DC Universe Super Heroes and three from LEGO MARVEL Super Heroes ($14.99 each).

LEGO Games (ages 6+)
Building game nights to new heights, LEGO Games, the first collection of board games to build, play and change, grows. CITY Alarm ($19.99) encourages hours of family fun, and a brand new addition to the HEROICA adventure game genre, Ilrion ($19.99) can be played separately, or together with other HEROICA games to create a new and different adventure game challenge. Two additional games, launching in the fall, will be announced later in the year.

AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL TOY FAIR, NEW YORK (February 13, 2012) - (Virtual Press Office) – LEGO Systems, Inc., the American division of the world’s leading construction toy brand, achieved year-on-year, double-digit U.S. sales growth in 2011, reaching record levels in consumer sales and market share in 2011.

2011 LEGO Systems U.S. Year-end Highlights (source: The NPD Group U.S. Consumer Panel)
• Recorded seventh consecutive year of growth in the U.S.
• Grew U.S. consumer sales +22% to reach $1.33 billion.
• Increased U.S. total toy market share to 6.2%, up 1.2 share points over 2010, to solidify position as #3 toy manufacturer in America. The company’s share of the total U.S. toy market has tripled in five years.
• Accounted for 80% of Building Sets category sales in the U.S. in a year of increased category competition.
• Solidified rank as America’s #1 preschool construction brand, adding +11 share points to reach 43.5% of the segment
• Responsible for 25% of all toys sold to American boys ages 9-11 in 2011 and 20% of all U.S. toys sold to boys ages 6-8.
• Placed 9 LEGO properties in the top 100 of all traditional toys in the U.S.
“Achieving another year of record growth in the U.S. is exciting and reflects our continuing strategy to deliver a wide range of products for builders of all ages and interests,” said Søren Torp Laursen, president, LEGO Systems. “Our sales growth last year stems from a reinforced core business of building sets, now complemented by expanded offerings to reach new children and a 360-degree brand experience that bridges physical and virtual play worlds to engage children’s imagination and compel them to keep building.”

In 2011, sales of LEGO CITY, LEGO Star Wars and the company’s homegrown property LEGO NINJAGO alone accounted for 36% of the overall Building Set category. An expanded and diversified LEGO DUPLO collection drove strong gains in preschool construction. The company’s classic CREATOR line of 3-in-1 models also ranked among the top 2011 selling lines in the U.S., signaling that demand is also strong for traditional, non-themed building sets.

“A 23 percent increase in the building sets category last year, relative to a majority of toy categories in decline, may very well be attributed to our continuing strategy to drive relevance for construction play through a broad, yet deep, collection of building sets to inspire creative play in all children of any age, building skill or interest,” Laursen said.

The company’s expansion strategy, fueled by its reinforced core business and the discipline of inventing the future of play through only building experiences, has merged the core appeal of play patterns from toy categories including Preschool, Action Figures, Board Games, Vehicles and Youth Electronics, Collectibles and Girls’ Activity Playsets, as well as leveraging the popularity of video games to draw new users into building. Last year, the company recruited nearly four million new builders to LEGO building with its playsets and another one million new users to the LEGO brand through its video games.

“As a single-brand toy company, we see ourselves in the business of play, not only toys, and we play a different game from most in the toy industry as it relates to innovation and growth,” said Laursen. “We are leveraging the versatility of our play material to make Building Sets a home for many kind of play to change the way that children buy and engage with toys. By adapting play patterns outside of our category to construction play, we have the ability to deliver an authentic LEGO building experience for children who may not initially be drawn to construction.”

LEGO Systems introduces its largest, most versatile collection of build-and-play toys ever–more than 200 new products for children of all ages–at the American International Toy Fair this week in New York City. Building on a strong core business of evergreen favorites like LEGO CITY and LEGO Star Wars are new themes such as LEGO Friends, DINO and Monster Fighters; lines inspired by DC Universe and Marvel Super Heroes, the LORD OF THE RINGS film trilogy, and THE HOBBIT; and new DUPLO preschool products designed specifically for the U.S., making the potential for continued growth very strong.

“Our recent year-on-year growth trend and our early reads already this year have us bullish about our ability to further develop the LEGO business in the U.S. in 2012,” Laursen said. “We will continue to apply the LEGO idea to relevant play patterns from other categories to draw new children into Building Sets while staying 100% true to the core DNA of LEGO play and the 360-degree experience that sets the LEGO brand apart.”

New LEGO products launched in January. Additional launches are planned in March, May, June, August and

“The Force” Remains with The LEGO Group

-World’s leading construction toy manufacturer renews deal
to solidify LEGO Star Wars franchise development-

BILLUND, Denmark (February 13, 2012)- (Virtual Press Office) – The LEGO Group and Lucasfilm Ltd. today announced renewal of the Star Wars licensing deal that, 12 years ago, transformed a construction toy theme into a global entertainment property with strong cross-generational, multi-platform appeal. Fans can look forward to LEGO® Star Wars product and content development for the next 10 years, according to the terms of the deal.

The LEGO Group first acquired the rights to manufacture LEGO toys based on the Star Wars universe in 1999, marking the first time in its global history that the world’s leading construction toy manufacturer would represent someone else’s story and characters in the LEGO world. What was once considered a licensed novelty is now considered a core LEGO franchise, similar to LEGO CITY, and ranks among the company’s global top themes.

A best-seller since its introduction, LEGO Star Wars has experienced tremendous growth over the last six years in particular, due to the continued strength of core construction toy development and expansion to video games, publishing, television and video content and other relevant categories for fans of all ages.

“It is very rare to find an evergreen property that delivers growth year on year in toys, even in years without events driving box office buzz, yet Star Wars defies all odds, continually reinventing itself, and our LEGO business continues to grow exponentially,” said Jill Wilfert, Vice President of Licensing and Entertainment for The LEGO Group. “Star Wars is a cultural phenomenon that shares many characteristics with the LEGO brand–cross generational appeal, versatile story and character content, creativity and imagination—and we believe that we can continue to grow LEGO Star Wars for many years to come.”

“We are delighted to have extended our long and very successful relationship with LEGO Group,” said Derek Stothard, Senior Director for Global Toys and Hardlines at Lucas Licensing. “Bringing together these two iconic global brands has created something special that is enjoyed by kids, families and fans everywhere.”

Star Wars is as relevant—perhaps more relevant—today than it was in 1977 when it was introduced, and in 1999 when the first of the next three episodes began to be told. For 2011, Star Wars is the #1 property and #1 license for Boys ages 6 and older according to NPD Group, and has been a top 3 boy’s license for the last 11 years. The LEGO share of the property continues to grow, as new generations of children discover, engage with and explore the Star Wars stories through constructive play.

A global toy phenomenon
LEGO Star Wars continues to rank among the best-selling global toy lines, with in excess of 200 million boxes sold worldwide since its 1999 launch. More than 340 LEGO Star Wars models have been developed, replicating iconic scenes and starships, as well as more than 425 minifigures from the Star Wars universe. Sets depict everything from the feature film Saga to the animated television series Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Four cross-platform LEGO Star Wars video game titles have changed the face of casual gaming, selling in excess of 30 million units, and are reciprocally driving desire for building toys and video games while also bringing families together to share both forms of play. The line has inspired short- and long-form entertainment in the form of mini movies and the first-ever 30-minute television special, LEGO Star Wars: The Padawan Menace, aired on top children’s networks around the world, including Cartoon Network in the U.S., Super RTL In Germany and on France TV, and is now available on Blu-ray/DVD. LEGO Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary from Dorling-Kindersley has been on the New York Times Bestsellers list for 81 weeks, topping the list at number-one for 18 weeks. Additionally, the franchise is the basis of the first-ever LEGOLAND Park Miniland display area based on a fictional environment, which debuted last year in Carlsbad, California, Billund, Denmark and Gunzburg, Germany and opens this year in Windsor, England.

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