North American International Toy Fair – building on momentum from 2018. With the recent nationwide premiere of The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part, LEGO Systems, unveils hundreds of building sets for the first half of the year that leverage its compatible system of play to continue a history of reinventing the way kids learn through play. New toys are displayed in booth hashtag 1335 in Hall 3B of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center from 16-19 February.
In 2018, the company outperformed the U.S. Toy Industry in the second half and full year, achieving a slight growth in market share, and in spite of a major toy retailer exiting the market, according to The NPD Group1.
LEGO products were popular with American kids of all ages in 2018. The LEGO Classic Medium Creative BrickBox was the top-selling non-licensed LEGO item in the U.S., signalling strong ongoing demand for the open-ended creative building. Three of the top five best-selling LEGO themes in the U.S. in 2018 were homegrown originals – LEGO CITY, LEGO Friends and LEGO NINJAGO. The LEGO Harry Potter Great Hall was the top-selling LEGO item of 2018 in the U.S., and LEGO sets accounted for eight of the top 10 Harry Potter toys sold last year. Similarly, LEGO sets accounted for 18 of the top 20 Star Wars toys sold in the U.S., and six of the top 10 Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom toys sold in 2018.
Capitalising on movie-driven success, The LEGO Movie 2” is an exciting start to the year for the brand. Building sets based on the film enable families to recreate scenes from the movie and unlock endless creativity and imagination. From transformable models like Emmet’s Dream House/Rescue Rocket to the open-ended creative building of Queen Watevra’s Build Whatever Box!, there are endless possibilities for families to build together.
“With today’s families’ increasing focus on shared experiences, we believe the LEGO brand can play a role in bringing parents and children together through the building. At the heart of The LEGO Movie 2 story is the idea that playing together is more fun, and a recent study we conducted reveals that there are positive benefits for families to spend time playing together. We hope that families find in our 2019 collection a way to spend more time playing,” LEGO Americas senior vice president Skip Kodak.
Bolstering its core portfolio, this year marks two milestones in the company’s shaping of global play: 50 years of LEGO DUPLO preschool building (circa. 1969), and 20 years of LEGO sets featuring Star Wars (circa. 1999), the company’s first foray into licensed stories and characters, yielding products that, over time, have developed their own unique and well-known style. These anniversaries represent the company’s youngest and oldest builders and LEGO solutions that engage the entire family in play, which according to the company’s Play Well Report, has tangible benefits.
A standout from the company’s 2019 collection is LEGO Hidden Side, an augmented reality (AR)-enhanced LEGO play theme where kids must turn a haunted world back to normal, one ghost at a time. It is the only play experience available today that fully and seamlessly integrates AR with physical construction to reveal a hidden world of the interactive play. The collection includes a series of eight ‘haunted’ building sets full of awesome functionality. When paired with a companion app, AR technology brings the models to life, revealing a hidden world of interactive mysteries and challenges to solve. When combined, the two worlds make each other even more compelling and fun.
“Today’s kids don’t see a difference in their play worlds and expect to seamlessly merge what’s real and what’s virtual to reinvent play on their terms. We’re committed to our mission to inspire and develop children to learn through play as they think creatively, reason systematically and unlock their ideas to personalize and shape their own world through the building. With the physical LEGO brick always at the core, our 2019 collection provides endless opportunities for children’s imaginations to run wild in both the physical and virtual worlds,” Kodak said.
Additionally, the company showcased new building sets in LEGO Classic, LEGO CREATOR, LEGO Technic, LEGO CITY, LEGO Friends, LEGO NINJAGO, LEGO Speed Champions, LEGO Minifigures, LEGO Ideas, LEGO Architecture, LEGO Exclusives, LEGO Overwatch, LEGO Minecraft, LEGO sets featuring Disney, LEGO sets featuring Spider-Man, and LEGO Batman. New LEGO sets launching in the second half of the year will be announced at a later date.
The benefits of play according to the LEGO Group’s Play Well Study:
- Family play time makes children happier (93 per cent of children agree)
- Families who play for +5 hours per week are happier (94 per cent of parents agree)
- Playing together builds stronger family bonds (95 per cent of parents agree)
- Family play time builds communications skills (93 per cent)
- Play helps them get to know their children better (94 per cent)
- Play helps them put their life into perspective (89 per cent)