Lego remains the king of toy manufacturers. Its latest sales figures show further gains for the long-running company which was founded by Ole Kirk Christiansen in 1932. The Danish-based manufacturer, whose name derives from the Danish leg godt which means play well, reinforced its world-leading position as the king of toys with sales increasing by 25% in 2015.
It was once again evidence of the worldwide appeal of Lego which remains a family-owned firm. Last year’s successes were credited to tie-ins with major movie releases including J.J. Abrams’ new Star Wars film and a range of Frozen toys inspired by the much-loved Disney animation. 2015’s growth was the tenth year in a row in which Lego enjoyed sales increases, recording sales of £3.7bn with pre-tax profits up by 28% at £1.3bn.
While traditional favourites such as Lego Friends, Duplo and Lego city performed as well as expected, it was Star Wars that proved to be the biggest draw for customers. The Force Awakens tie-in products were by far the best selling items with the Millennium Falcon getting boosted by renewed interest. Away from Star Wars and it was Disney’s Frozen which helped Lego take over Mattel – the Barbie doll manufacturer – as the world’s biggest toy maker. Elsa’s now-iconic castle proved to be in most demand. Lego’s data says 72bn products were sold in 2015 with 725m mini-figures produced.
Executive vice-president and Lego’s chief financial officer John Goodwin noted his excitement at the latest figures, acknowledging year-on-year progress over the last decade and the belief that the next twelve months will bring further double-digit growth.
The near 100-year history of Lego saw it begin its life assembling small wooden toys in the early 20th century before its recognisable plastic bricks began appearing just after the Second World War. Today, the company is one of the world’s most iconic brands. It currently employs a worldwide staff in excess of 17,000 with full-time staff increasing last year by 11%.