LEGO Group Celebrates 10 Years of the Force

-World's leading construction toy brand kicks-off year-long celebration of LEGO(R) STAR WARS(TM), its first licensed construction toy line-

NEW YORK, Feb. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- American International Toy Fair -- LEGO(R) STAR WARS(TM) celebrates 10 years of global toy success in 2009. Introduced in 1999, the company's first licensed line of building toys combines one of the most beloved and timeless movie franchises with one of the world's most renowned play patterns to engage children and adult collectors alike. The collectible building experience comes packed with authentic details, functionality, characters and play value that continues to top sales charts and wish lists worldwide.

A global toy phenomenon

Since its launch, LEGO STAR WARS continues to rank among the best-selling global toy lines, with in excess of 106 million boxes sold worldwide since launch. Over the last 10 years, more than 180 different LEGO STAR WARS products have been released, replicating iconic scenes and starships, including more than 250 minifigures from the STAR WARS universe. Sets have depicted everything from the feature film Saga to the animated television smash STAR WARS: The Clone Wars to the STAR WARS: The Force Unleashed video game. Additionally, three LEGO STAR WARS video games have changed the face of casual gaming, selling in excess of 20 million units, and are reciprocally driving desire for building toys and video games while also bringing families together to share both forms of play.

"Our decision to begin licensing stories into the LEGO universe is perhaps one of the best we have ever made," said Soren Torp Laursen, president, LEGO Systems, Inc. "LEGO STAR WARS has had an incredible impact on our global business by creating new ways to re-invent the LEGO system of play, in driving collectibility, retaining core users and recruiting new builders, while at the same time capturing the imaginations of fans young and old in the STAR WARS franchise."

Anniversary products

To commemorate the line's milestone, three sets inspired by the classic trilogy feature special edition anniversary packaging. In January, Darth Vader's TIE Fighter builds the Sith Lord's iconic personal starfighter, with stylized silver details, opening cockpit and flick-firing action. In August, builders relive the excitement of the Battle of Hoth with Echo Base, featuring the first-ever LEGO taun taun. The Battle of Endor, complete with 12 minifigures, re-creates the iconic moment where the Rebels assault the secret Imperial bunker with help from the Ewoks.

Additionally, LEGO Group and Toys "R" Us invited fans to choose their favorite of three iconic scenes from the saga to be created for the first time in LEGO form to celebrate the anniversary. The winning model, The Home One Mon Calamari Star Cruiser, received more than 50 per-cent of the 10,000 votes cast, and will be available in August only at Toys "R" Us stores, LEGO Stores and the shop at www.LEGO.com.

A year-long celebration

Starting in January, 10,000 exclusive, never-before-released chrome Darth Vader minifigures were randomly inserted to 2009 novelty products.

The company will mark the anniversary in other exciting ways. Partners are on board for several promotions, events, online activities and TV events to engage consumers - young and young at heart - in celebrating throughout the year. Information will be posted to http://starwars.lego.com.

Fun Facts

  • From 1999 to the end of 2008, a total of 106,107,779 LEGO STAR WARS products have been sold.

  • In 2008, nearly 15 million LEGO STAR WARS sets were sold worldwide, equaling, on average: 40,402 boxes per day, 1,683 boxes per hour, 28 boxes per minute, every day, around the world.

  • A total of 182 LEGO STAR WARS sets have been created in the last 10 years.

  • The best-selling LEGO STAR WARS set is the original 7140 X-wing Fighter(TM) from 1999.

  • From 1999-2009, a total of 254 LEGO minifigures have been introduced to enhance the fun and encourage creative play and collectibility within the LEGO STAR WARS franchise.

  • The largest LEGO STAR WARS model ever created and sold is the Ultimate Collector's Millennium Falcon, featuring 5,197 pieces, launched in October, 2007.

  • In 2006, LEGO STAR WARS was recognized by the Toy Industry Association with a prestigious Toy of the Year (T.O.T.Y.) Award for Best Activity Toy.

  • LEGO STAR WARS: The Video Game, released in 2005, sold 6.7 million units worldwide and ranked among the top 10 video games of the year in the U.S. In 2006, LEGO STAR WARS 2 sold 8.2 million units and received the BAFTA Award for Best Gameplay. LEGO STAR WARS: The Complete Saga, released in 2007, sold 3.4 million units.

The LEGO Group is a privately held, family-owned company, based in Billund, Denmark. It was founded in 1932 and today the group is one of the world's leading manufacturers of play materials for children. The company is committed to the development of children's creative and imaginative abilities through its products, which can be purchased in more than 130 countries. Visit www.LEGO.com

LEGO and the LEGO logo are trademarks of The LEGO Group. (C) 2009 The LEGO Group.

Lucasfilm, the Lucasfilm logo, STAR WARS(TM) and related properties are trademarks and/or copyrights, in the United States and other countries, of Lucasfilm Ltd. and/or its affiliates. (C) 2009 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All rights reserved. All other trademarks and trade names are properties of their respective owners.

    MEDIA CONTACTS:
    Julie Stern, LEGO Systems, Inc.
    860-805-4988 or julie.stern@lego.com
    Karen Lynch, Flashpoint PR
    650-490-0608 or lynch@flashpointpr.com

SOURCE The LEGO Group



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