Tag Archives: Business

LEPIN ordered to stop making and selling LEGO imitation products by Chinese court [News]

Earlier today, a district court in China ruled against four companies for infringing multiple LEGO copyrights by producing and distributing LEPIN-branded imitation products. The companies were ordered to “immediately cease producing, selling, exhibiting or in any way promoting the infringing products” and to pay LEGO 4.5 million RMB in damages (about $650,000 US).

The four companies, including Shantou Meizhi Model Co. among others, were held liable by the Guangzhou Yuexiu District Court for copying 18 specific LEGO sets and multiple minifigures in addition to “carrying out unfair competitive acts.” Niels B. Christiansen, CEO of the LEGO Group commented that the rulings “send a clear warning message to other companies who may be copying LEGO products,” and that the company will continue to “take all necessary legal actions to protect our intellectual property rights.”

The ruling is another significant legal victory for LEGO as the company continues to battle imitators in China. Last year, LEGO won a similar case against Bela Bricks for creating, distributing and selling imitation LEGO products. The rulings also provide precedent to continue pursuing many other clone brands who have tried shutting down and reopening with different names to avoid enforcement.

UK-based LEGO-building business Bright Bricks bought for £8.5m [News]

Last weekend saw Live Company Group, owner and operator of BRICKLIVE exhibitions, announce their acquisition of Bright Bricks, the UK-based LEGO-building business, in a deal worth £8.5m {$11.1m). This is a significant investment in the business of LEGO shows, and highlights Live Group’s ambitions for their BRICKLIVE brand of events and touring exhibits. They have previously stated their aims of expanding and increasing the number of BRICKLIVE shows across the world, with a particular emphasis on Asia and the US.

Bright Bricks bought by Live Group

You can read the press release about the announcement here, but we wanted to know more. We spoke with Ed Diment, one of the directors of Bright Bricks, to find out more about the deal, the ambitions of the new business, and what this might mean for the world of LEGO shows.

Click here to read our interview with Ed Diment

Toys ‘R’ Us, looking back and moving forward for LEGO fans [Feature]

It’s been a few weeks since the news of Toys R Us making its exit from the industry in the most unfortunate way—total bankruptcy—after 70 years of operations, and even more heartbreaking to know that founder Charles Lazarus passed a mere week later, knowing that his legacy ended. We’re not here to debate or speculate what went wrong or what could have been done better, as there’s enough of that news out there to feed on. Instead, we wanted to hear from our fans on what it means to us as LEGO hobbyists, and how this may impact us moving forward. Toys R Us (TRU) is remaining open for business in several countries around the world, including Australia and Canada, so we’ve asked a diverse group of readers to join us in providing commentary that’s part retrospective, and part insight into how TRU affects the LEGO hobby, whether closing or continuing operations.

Toys R Us Geoffrey Afraid

Continue reading

LEGO 2017 Financial Results – Simplified and made easy! [Feature]

Last week LEGO released its annual financial results for 2017, and to some of us, it may have seemed like it was written in a foreign language. You know what it means to have a profit and loss, but to help cut through all the accounting jargon, we’ve simplified things a bit further for you. Note that we’re taking a huge amount of liberty with the complex details to keep it simple, but it should give you the right general idea.

LEGO 2017 Financial Results Simplified Breakdown

Read our simplified break-down of LEGO’s 2017 financial results

LEGO Annual Results 2017: first annual sales decline in 13 years [News]

This morning in Billund, The LEGO Group has presented its full year financial results for 2017. Unfortunately, not everything is awesome for the Danish toymaker: the company has reported a decline in revenue and operating profit. Revenues declined 7 percent; global consumer sales remain flat.

Here are the highlights of the presentation:

  • Revenue for the full year decreased by 8 percent to DKK 35.0 billion compared with DKK 37.9 billion in 2016. Excluding the impact of foreign currency exchange, revenue for the full year declined 7 percent compared with 2016.
  • Operating profit (profit before financial items and tax) for 2017 was DKK 10.4 billion compared with DKK 12.4 billion for 2016, a decrease of 17 percent year on year.
  • Net profit for the full year was DKK 7.8 billion compared with DKK 9.4 billion in 2016.
  • Cash flow from operating activities for the year was DKK 10.7 billion compared with DKK 9.1 billion in 2016.
  • Decline in revenue was driven in part by clean-up of inventories across the value chain. Global consumer sales were flat and trended upwards in the final months of 2017.

Read more about the annual results…

LEGO wins Chinese copyright case against imitators [News]

LEGO has dealt a major blow to counterfeiters in China by winning a court case against two companies that produce imitation LEGO products. This is the first case that LEGO has filed and won in China claiming unfair competition, following a ruling last month proclaiming LEGO to be a well known recognized trademark in the region.

The suit was filed against two Chinese companies including the company Bela Bricks that were producing sets nearly identical to those from LEGO’s Friends line as well as other top-selling products. According to the ruling from the China Shantou Intermediate People’s Court, the two companies must stop copying LEGO’s designs, packaging, and instruction books due to copyright infringement. Continue reading

LEGO Group is to “reset the company” after single-digit decline in revenues for first half of 2017 [News]

According to their most recent press release, the LEGO Group’s revenue for the first half of 2017 is 5 percent down compared with the same period in 2016. Other key figures like operating profit as well as net profit are down too — 6 and 3 percent respectively. The board of management blames increased costs associated with investments in production capacity and organisational capabilities for causing mixed performance across various market regions. For instance, revenue has declined in the United States and in parts of Europe. On a brighter note, in growing markets such as China, revenue grew by double digits.

Commenting on the financial report, LEGO Group Chairman Jørgen Vig Knudstorp claimed that the company has already taken steps to change the situation for the better. The Group aims to bring the LEGO building experience to more children all over the world, and for this purpose the management is looking forward to resetting the company and revising and restructuring various internal processes.

Pressing the reset button includes some decisive moves which pursue a goal of simplifying the company’s elaborate global structure built during the past five years. “This means we will build a smaller and less complex organisation than we have today” said Knudstorp. As a result, the LEGO Group believes it would need to cut its total global workforce by around eight percent. This would impact about 1,400 positions. Currently the LEGO Group employs about 18,200 people.

One of the key goals of resetting the business is the development of innovative new toys. Knudstorp explains “We will find more opportunities to engage with kids and parents, including innovative ways to blend physical building and digital experiences, such as our successful LEGO Life social platform and LEGO Boost building and coding set”.

The full press release can be found on the LEGO Newsroom page.

The LEGO Group reports highest earnings ever in 2016, but US sales flat [News]

Every year, the LEGO Group releases its financial results, providing an insightful look into the operations of the company. For 2016, the company reported the highest revenue in the company’s 85-year history at 37.9 billion DKK (approximately 5.38 billion USD), representing a 5.5 percent increase over 2015. Notably in the US, however, consumer sales were flat despite a significant increase in marketing spending from LEGO in the second half of the year.

After all expenses, that leaves The LEGO Group with a net profit of 9.4 billion DKK (approximately 1.34 billion USD), slightly higher than the year before. The net profit is calculated after subtracting all operating expenses, including costly construction projects like the LEGO House in Billund and a new manufacturing facility in China, which ate up nearly a third of LEGO’s overall net profits. Continue reading

TBB Weekly Brick Report: LEGO news roundup for February 5, 2017 [News]

The Brothers Brick publishes so many stories that we’re giving you the best of LEGO news and reviews. This is our Weekly Brick Report for the first week of February.

TBB SET NEWS & REVIEWS: What an insanely busy week with so many new sets revealed from BrickHeadz and Batman to Dimensions and beyond. But hey, we aren’t complaining!


TBB LEGO NEWS: LEGO has been busy too, celebrating a birthday, making waves in the business world, and launching a new social network for kids.


Rubber Duck

TBB INSTRUCTIONS & INTERVIWS: Cute ducks, impressive mechs and an interview with a builder of the strange and unique.


OTHER NEWS: There was a massive amount of LEGO news from other places around the web this week. Here are a few items we noticed and thought you might enjoy.

Continue reading

LEGO named world’s most powerful brand by Global 500 rankings [News]

LEGO has been named the world’s most powerful brand according to Brand Finance’s yearly Global 500 rankings, unseating previous title-holder, Disney. The annual rankings are based on factors such as brand familiarity, loyalty, marketing investment, staff satisfaction, and corporate reputation.

Image courtesy of Bram Van Laere

LEGO has come a long way from wooden toys to plastic bricks and the licensing empire it is known for today. According to the report, LEGO’s brand strength is based on its appeal that spans generations, evidenced in the fact that LEGO bricks from 1958 are still compatible with their modern day iterations. That nostalgia and creative freedom, combined with a decade of solid marketing, financial gains and successful licensing product lines, helped take the company from near-bankruptcy in the early 2000s to its current number-one brand ranking.
Continue reading

Lego Brand Group’s Jørgen Vig Knudstorp joins Starbucks’ board of directors [News]

Coffee giant Starbucks announced this week that it is adding Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, executive chairman of the LEGO Brand Group, to its board of directors. Knudstorp is generally credited with turning around LEGO during a difficult time for the global company over a decade ago.

Continue reading

UK LEGO prices to increase 5% in January [News]

It may be time to stock up on LEGO if you are in the UK. Due to the falling worth of the pound in the post-BREXIT world, LEGO has confirmed that all prices in the UK will increase 5% as of January 1st. While that is only a few extra coins on smaller sets, it represents an extra £20 on the Death Star, currently priced at £400.

UK LEGO Prices up 5%

The price hike was announced in a letter from LEGO’s UK and Ireland’s general manager and vice-president, Fiona Wright. The letter explains the increased prices are the “direct result of the continued devaluing of the UK pound,” and that prices may increase again in the “event of a further negative trend.”

For context, since the UK voted to leave the EU in June, the pound has decreased 16% against the U.S. dollar. Due to these fluctuations, many companies and manufacturers have been increasing prices across the UK, especially on imported goods.

Image created by TBB’s own Elspeth De Montes