Shopping at LEGO or Amazon?
Please use our links: LEGO.com Amazon
As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Would/Should/Could Disney buy Lego?

Following the news of Mattel buys Megabloks, I was thinking about this and would love to see what other people thinks as well. I think it would be a good idea for Disney to buy Lego, since that around 70~80% of licensed themes Lego are all owned by Disney anyways, and that this integration will not only potentially decreases licensing fee for Lego (Whether or not the price will reduce is another question), but also give Lego even more marketing and design talents that Disney has. The 2 companies have similar philosophies in terms of their business as well. Both target to kids and want to make kids happy, at the same time, target to kids at hearts like AFOL.

In terms of Could Disney afford to buy Lego, the answer is probably a solid yes. Money probably isn't much of a problem for Disney considering their own strong product lineup and recent mega purchases. I think the current question is more to if Lego would want to sell, especially as a family owned company that has such a long history in Denmark. Then again, all businesses in this world have a price.

I think if the 2 companies become one, the pros outweigh the cons, which I am not sure if there are any cons. What do you all think?

Comments

  • theskirridtheskirrid Member Posts: 12
    The cons are:
    1. Overly anthropomorphised cutesy junk, although the Disney Winnie the Pooh Duplo was quite well designed.
    2. LEGO sets designed as a cash-in for toy-advert films.
    3. American bias.
    4. Poor recent IP for decent long-lived product lines [except maybe new Star Wars directed by Mr. Lens Flare himself].
    5. Less love and care, more profit and loss.
  • oldtodd33oldtodd33 Denver 4800 miles to BillundMember Posts: 2,453
    What about a rise in set prices and a drop in quality and all production moved to China to save money resulting in a loss of jobs and taxes for Denmark?
  • iancam33iancam33 Member Posts: 407
    I hope they never do. LEGO needs to stay family owned.
    cheshirecatAdzbadboyLego91legomatt
  • NeilJamNeilJam USAMember Posts: 271
    I don't think they would ever want to sell the company.
    If LEGO was sold to Disney I am sure they would make horrible changes in the name of cutting expenses.
    dougts
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,380
    edited March 2014
    LEGO isn't a listed company, so the likelihood is low I think - without shareholders to worry about, LEGO would have to want to sell, and under current circumstances I'm not sure why they'd want to.

    Let's talk again if the LEGO enters another slump like they did in the mid-2000's....
  • BastaBasta Australia Member Posts: 1,259
    ^But what happens when Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen "departs", what's not to say the rest of the family would be happy to sell.

    I think if no other family member has any drive to work the family business then a good offer from the likes of Disney could be tempting. But as you say it's more likley to happen if the company is having troubles, which currently isn't the case.

    As far as Disney owning Lego, I think the potential negatives out way any positives IMO, so no Lego should not sell to Disney.
  • monkey_roomonkey_roo Member Posts: 1,381
    edited March 2014
    Interesting but I wouldn't have thought it would ever come about, even if Lego went into a slump.

    Right now Mattel is a toy firm looking over its shoulder as Lego closes in on its number 1 spot and they have reacted. Construction toys are big business now and one of the few areas of the global toy market growing. Mattel have some construction toys I think (really not sure but I think I recall seeing Barbie bricks last time I was in the US) but nothing major. Megablocks are starting to improve their product, they have a few good IP's and with the financial power of Mattel behind them can push on, it is actually a very good deal for both companies. There was little chance of Megablocks reeling Lego in on its own, no matter how good they became as there was just too much ground to make up. Now they have access to all of Mattels licences and buying power and more importantly, their customer base that job just became a lot easier.

    Disney on the other hand are not a toy manufacturer, yes they peddle a lot of toys but as a company they don't make all of them, they have a lot of deals with other companies including Mattel and Hasbro among others. They are a media and entertainment company, and owning the worlds second largest toy firm wouldn't make and sense, but the strategic partnership lego and Disney have right now makes perfect sense. If it ain't broke...

    If lego ever came up for sale I would say Hasbro would be first in line because they look likely to slip further behind Mattel and Lego in the toy firm pecking order.
  • josephliyenjosephliyen Member Posts: 24
    edited March 2014
    I never knew that LEGO isn't listed. That's a good point. I guess the likelyhood of them wanting to sell is very low. Then again, people were shocked when Disney bought Marvel and Lucasfilm as well. I don't see that much con if they actually would want to sell:

    I don't see anything wrong with "American Bias". Right now 90% of Lego designs are targeted to Americans anyways, with all Licensed themes American themes. The Simpsons is probably as American as one can get and most people seem to be loving it on this site. If they don't love it, they would love Marvel, DC, TMNT, LOTR, and/or Star Wars, all American.

    Disney may want to go cost down and go to China, which LEGO already does. And really, Disney isn't stupid either. They must know one of the biggest advantage Lego has is its quality. If they could maintain quality and be made in China, ultimately drop the price of sets, I don't see how that's a bad thing. People losing jobs doesn't make Disney evil. If it does, then every single company, including Lego, is evil.

    Disney as a company is extremely creative. I see so much creativity and care that comes out of that company not just in its films, but theme parks (IMO WDW absolutely trumps Legoland), their customer service, marketing, and even acquisitions. I would think they have many creative teams like Pixar that can make Lego even better than it already is. They may not be a Toy company, but they may see things about toys that no other toy companies see.

    Do people have a general feeling towards Disney that all it cares about is money? While Lego doesn't? I have always thought that all companies care about money first. But personally have thought that these 2 companies are fairly equal when it comes to treating its customer right. (In fact, Disney probably treats its customer better, considering what Lego has been doing with exclusives and store promotion limitations...)

    Anyways, based on what others say it seems that it's unlikely it will happen. I just thought it is an interesting discussion.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,242
    edited March 2014


    I don't see anything wrong with "American Bias". Right now 90% of Lego designs are targeted to Americans anyways, with all Licensed themes American themes. The Simpsons is probably as American as one can get and most people seem to be loving it on this site. If they don't love it, they would love Marvel, DC, TMNT, LOTR, and/or Star Wars, all American.

    That depends how you define the nationality of theme. It may have been backed by New Line / Warner's money, but LOTR was directed by a Kiwi and based on the books of an Englishman.

    I don't know which non-licensed themes you think are targetted towards Americans. Is Chima specifically targetted at Americans? Ninjago? Creator? Modulars?

  • josephliyenjosephliyen Member Posts: 24
    I think Ninjago is very americanized. I don't really like how it is but I love ninjas. The classic ninja theme was much better IMO. Perhaps the non licensed themes work well globally, but they definitely appeal to Americans. And the biggest lego seller is probably Star Wars by far, which is...100% American?
  • oldtodd33oldtodd33 Denver 4800 miles to BillundMember Posts: 2,453
    ^ Do you really think a large money making corporation who would buy a company for billions of dollars would drop the price of their new product instead of recouping their expense? If you do, you're crazy.
  • monkey_roomonkey_roo Member Posts: 1,381
    The cultural influence that can be seen in many lego lines comes from far and wide so to say it is US focused or influenced does the majority of the world a bit of a disservice. That isn't to say some lines don't have more of a traditional US feel, Friends would be the front runner in my mind but the play elements and images from that theme aren't exclusive to the US, except maybe Heartlake High :).

    As for others themes I would say Ninjaro has a heavy Asian or oriental feel, not just with the origins of ninjas but some of the constructs and building.

    Atlantis as a theme was so European as it was built on that myth.

    Star Wars is a real mix, Lucas is American and loves the all American story, but the galaxy far far away was built by many people from all over the world and a large proportion of those people came from the UK, as did many of the actors.

    City is as generic as you can get, no nation came claim that one.

    Superheroes is another odd one, while a lot of the original creators were all US chaps the notions and ideals represented within were and still are are based on all sorts of myths and legends from around the globe and preach about inclusion and the world coming together etc. etc, except for Captain America who was created specifically to boost US moral during the 2nd world war, and for the record is still one of my favourite characters.

    Castle is a real European based theme I think, obviously not the only place on earth where you find castles and so on, but certainly the most well known.

    Architecture, creator, Cuusoo, Duplo are all ether global or generic so no major US pull there.

    Monster fighters I think has a real European thing going for it, probably the castle in the line and the fact that so many of the origins for the monsters come from Europe.

    Modular has some clear US sets, the firehouse being the best example, but then a set like cafe corner or pet shop have a European feel to them, I would say a real mix in there.

    As for the rest, Mixles, Chima various exclusives, who knows and as for the movie sets, who really knows there is some crazy stuff there.

    Overall I would say that lego doesn't overly play to any one market in its designs and sets (maybe in its pricing but that is a different topic).
  • josephliyenjosephliyen Member Posts: 24
    oldtodd33 said:

    ^ Do you really think a large money making corporation who would buy a company for billions of dollars would drop the price of their new product instead of recouping their expense? If you do, you're crazy.

    Did I say I think they will drop their price? There's no need for name calling here.

    So where does one think Disney would make Lego America central if it happens? All these arguments of themes not American central completely applies to Disney, if not more so, I would consider Disney even more international than Lego. Out of all its major animation movies, I can only think of Princess and the Frog being in America. They have Disneyland all over the world and all of their movies have faithful localisation when released in theaters elsewhere, which many other movies do not. Often times english movies just have subs in other countries, but Disney is different.

    In fact, I would think Disney will make Lego even more internationally centered as Disney really knows how to do it well. Their stuff works, that's why you see so many licensed themes Lego owned by Disney. The 2 companies definitely share the same vision.
  • oldtodd33oldtodd33 Denver 4800 miles to BillundMember Posts: 2,453



    Disney may want to go cost down and go to China, which LEGO already does. And really, Disney isn't stupid either. They must know one of the biggest advantage Lego has is its quality. If they could maintain quality and be made in China, ultimately drop the price of sets, I don't see how that's a bad thing. People losing jobs doesn't make Disney evil. If it does, then every single company, including Lego, is evil

    So, you didn't say this? I'm sure you don't mind someone else losing their job to a foreign country, as long as it's not yours, right?

    I don't recall any name calling on my part. Crazy is a state of mind, not a derogatory name.
  • y2joshy2josh Member Posts: 2,002

    Do people have a general feeling towards Disney that all it cares about is money?

    I'm not sure about the 'only cares about money' thing, but shortly after they acquired Lucasfilm, I got an invite to a focus group where one of the surveys they put forth was general opinion of Marvel, Star Wars, LEGO, Transformers, Mattel and Disney. Disney was the ONLY brand where the opinion was unfavorable. There was no elaboration as to why, and it's certainly worth noting that the group is, presumably, comprised largely of Star Wars fans, but it didn't really surprise me to see that Disney was poorly regarded.
  • just2goodjust2good Member Posts: 247
    LEGO wouldn't let that happen at the moment. Only if Warner is bought out by Disney, too. The LEGO Movie was a huge success. LEGO has partnerships with Cartoon Network on their big IPs.
  • AFFOL_Shellz_BellzAFFOL_Shellz_Bellz Member Posts: 1,263
    Emphatically NO! The Lego Group should not sell out to Disney. While I love Disneyland, I don't want to see them take over a family owned business like TLG. They've already been allowed to purchase far too many companies imho. If they were an airline or a cable or cell phone company the purchases would have been turned down several purchases ago. The Disney Company enjoys a wholesome reputation because of Walt and Roy Disney's values that is no longer "earned" in my opinion.
    tedward
  • ninjagolightlyninjagolightly Member Posts: 140
    I don't believe Lucasfilm was publicly traded. Neither are the app companies in San Francisco or networking companies in San Jose that get snapped up for hundreds of millions to billions all the time. Anyone who thinks being publicly traded is a prerequisite to being an acquisition target knows nothing about business.

    That being said, it doesn't seem like a good strategic fit with Disney based on core competencies... Disney has never been in a business that is massively dependent on manufacturing and logistics, it makes much more sense for them to leave that to others like TLG and Mattel while Disney focusing on moving bits and and intangibles.

    On the other hand, if TLG is feeling cash-rich, it might make a great deal of sense for them to buy a media play that will help them bundle every theme with a TV show. I would say a studio or a video game company as opposed to an old-media entity like a cable TV channel would be shrewd. Actually, TLG should probably buy Nintendo, who are in big trouble strategically but are sitting on a gold mine of intellectual property and access to screens. Nintendo is worth far too much right now but it could easily be a fraction of that in a couple of years, at which point a merger with TLG assuming management control could be structured. This would also address TLG's long-term strategic imperative to link bricks with bits more... I know they have worked with Sony on some blue-sky stuff, but Nintendo's creativity in hardware/software could be just the ticket.
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,955
    I would hate for Disney to buy Lego.
    I want other themes that are not owned by Disney.
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,950

    Do people have a general feeling towards Disney that all it cares about is money? While Lego doesn't? I have always thought that all companies care about money first. But personally have thought that these 2 companies are fairly equal when it comes to treating its customer right. (In fact, Disney probably treats its customer better, considering what Lego has been doing with exclusives and store promotion limitations...)

    You answered your own question. Everything Lego has done in the last couple years certainly makes me think Lego cares a whole lot about money. Btw, I don't think Lego is as good as Disney when it comes to "treating the customer right." I'm speaking mostly to their properties/hotels/cruises/etc. You spend a premium on both (Disney & Lego), but Disney really bends over backwards when there's a problem. Lego does (missing parts, etc.), but not quite as much.


  • tedwardtedward CanadaMember Posts: 163
    No, by all the gods NO!
  • josephliyenjosephliyen Member Posts: 24
    oldtodd33 said:



    Disney may want to go cost down and go to China, which LEGO already does. And really, Disney isn't stupid either. They must know one of the biggest advantage Lego has is its quality. If they could maintain quality and be made in China, ultimately drop the price of sets, I don't see how that's a bad thing. People losing jobs doesn't make Disney evil. If it does, then every single company, including Lego, is evil

    So, you didn't say this? I'm sure you don't mind someone else losing their job to a foreign country, as long as it's not yours, right?

    I don't recall any name calling on my part. Crazy is a state of mind, not a derogatory name.
    Where do I in that statement say that Disney will lower prices back to the consumer? Read my very first post to see what I said about cutting prices.

    I didn't say that I don't care about people losing jobs. What I implied is that if that's what you care about, you would hate LEGO as I am sure they have laid off people before. It is what every single company does.
  • josephliyenjosephliyen Member Posts: 24

    Do people have a general feeling towards Disney that all it cares about is money? While Lego doesn't? I have always thought that all companies care about money first. But personally have thought that these 2 companies are fairly equal when it comes to treating its customer right. (In fact, Disney probably treats its customer better, considering what Lego has been doing with exclusives and store promotion limitations...)

    You answered your own question. Everything Lego has done in the last couple years certainly makes me think Lego cares a whole lot about money. Btw, I don't think Lego is as good as Disney when it comes to "treating the customer right." I'm speaking mostly to their properties/hotels/cruises/etc. You spend a premium on both (Disney & Lego), but Disney really bends over backwards when there's a problem. Lego does (missing parts, etc.), but not quite as much.


    Yeah I totally agree! I think that Lego has been less and less more caring about their customers. (It's still very good in general compared to most other companies) But Disney IMO treats their customers ridiculously good. But people still have this image of "Large corporation must be 100% evil" and "family owned must be so good and pure". Well, Walmart is pretty much a family owned business too.
  • josephliyenjosephliyen Member Posts: 24

    oldtodd33 said:



    Disney may want to go cost down and go to China, which LEGO already does. And really, Disney isn't stupid either. They must know one of the biggest advantage Lego has is its quality. If they could maintain quality and be made in China, ultimately drop the price of sets, I don't see how that's a bad thing. People losing jobs doesn't make Disney evil. If it does, then every single company, including Lego, is evil

    So, you didn't say this? I'm sure you don't mind someone else losing their job to a foreign country, as long as it's not yours, right?

    I don't recall any name calling on my part. Crazy is a state of mind, not a derogatory name.
    Where do I in that statement say that Disney will lower prices back to the consumer? Read my very first post to see what I said about cutting prices.

    I didn't say that I don't care about people losing jobs. What I implied is that if that's what you care about, you would hate LEGO as I am sure they have laid off people before. It is what every single company does.
    Sorry my bad I did say Disney "Ultimately", I was thinking "Potentially" but the chances of that happening, I don't think is high.
  • chuxtoyboxchuxtoybox Member Posts: 711
    The Lego Movie would probably have been much better if Pixar had done it instead of Warner Bros.( You may throw your BURPS now.)
Sign In or Register to comment.

Shopping at LEGO.com or Amazon?

Please use our links: LEGO.com Amazon

Recent discussions Categories Privacy Policy

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Brickset.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, the Amazon.com.ca, Inc. Associates Program and the Amazon EU Associates Programme, which are affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.