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Lego has many licensed products...and for a likely reason

First off, this website has a list of all of the licenses Lego uses or has used in the past. Quite somesthing. I suggest a dual purpose for why Lego has so many deals. Obviously the first purpose/benefit is to give fans of the various licensees stuff to buy. Merging fans across different product categories a great marketing concept that has enabled Lego to become the largest toy company in the world.

Now my second reason may seem tin-foil but the more I think about it, the more it makes sense. The Lego bricks/parts/models/instructions are essentially in the public domain. I don't think anyone could count the number of clone brands (or people who sell parts so you can build that car you missed out on). When bricks/parts/models/instructions come from licensed agreements, those large companies are the ones who are enticed to enforce their intellectual property. They have the $$$ and lawyers that Lego cannot keep up with. I'm not sure there has been a case about a company in China (or elsewhere) selling Star Wars Lego models.

I hope I explained my thoughts in an understandable manner. If there are holes or things to add, please let me know in the comments.


  • The_RancorThe_Rancor Member Posts: 2,533
    I can see where you’re coming from, but I’m not sure there’s any solid basis for this. It might be slightly less bad right now, but clones have never really held back on licensed Lego products. ‘Star Wnrs’ for example.

    I see the licensing as a primarily, and possibly solely marketing decision. It brings in more customers who might not buy Lego before, but they do love the IP - be that films, TV etc. That’s why the Ideas and 18+ sets often have licenses attached, to draw in a new audience, as you suggested too.

    Lego are worried about clones, but I highly doubt they choose licensed sets because of them, even if the added legal support from the IP holder helps their cause.
  • CCCCCC Member Posts: 20,526
    Instructions and so on are not in the public domain. In fact, one of the things LEGO managed to get Lepin on was not the copying of the bricks and parts, but on the copying of box art.

    I think there are two obvious reasons why LEGO has so many licenses. 1 - (as above) it is simple marketing - the existing IP based fanbase needs little advertising to buy into LEGO versions of their favourite IP. 2 - if LEGO didn't do some of the licenses, other companies would and those customers would be lost to the other brand building blocks. Of course, LEGO cannot do everything, but redoing Classic Space type sets while dumping Star Wars would not increase sales. They'd get some extra sales of in-house space but lose all the SW sales to Mega Construx (as well as probably all the other Disney properties). Haviing the license typically stops other block companies doing the same things.

    When you break it down by IP-owner rather than theme, you really how much of popular culture Disney owns.
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