LEGO Systems Continues U.S. Momentum Brick by Brick -Demand for the brand remained strong in 2013; prospects for year ahead are promising-

NEW YORK, Feb. 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL TOY FAIR -- LEGO Systems, Inc., the North American division of the world's leading construction toy brand, outpaced the U.S. toy industry to build consumer sales growth for the ninth consecutive year. Besting its record performance in 2012, the company maintained its overall U.S. toy market share despite tremendous competitive pressure on toys.

2013 U.S. Year-End Highlights (Source: The NPD Group/Retail Tracking Service)

  • U.S. consumer sales grew +1% to reach $1.35 billion
  • Reached 7.8% share of total U.S. toy market, maintaining rank as America's third largest toy manufacturer
  • Maintained leadership in overall Building Sets category
  • Grew sales in Preschool segment of U.S. Building Sets +30% over 2012
  • Continued robust double-digit growth in second year of LEGO® Friends
  • Manufactured 49 of the top 50 Building Sets of 2013

The company's growth rate and consumer sales volume in the U.S. were higher when considering the full retail landscape and its own retail channels, which are not represented by NPD Group/Retail Tracking Service data. As a privately-held company, LEGO Systems does not disclose internal market performance data.

"Our U.S. sales growth last year was more moderate than the supernatural increases we recorded over the last eight years, so we are thrilled to have ended a year of increased competitive pressure on toys in a positive position while also equalizing our recent growth trend to a more sustainable level," said Soren Torp Laursen, president, LEGO Systems. "In the year ahead we will balance our core business of open-ended, themed and licensed building sets with innovative expressions of LEGO play to invite more children into the brand and keep them building for longer."   

Strong and Balanced Product Portfolio Drove Growth
LEGO CITY, LEGO Star Wars™, LEGO Friends, LEGO Legends of Chima and LEGO Ninjago ranked among the top five LEGO properties of the year, accounting for 43% of all Building Sets sold in the U.S. in 20131.  LEGO Friends continued to be a growth driver for the company in expanding its active user base in the U.S., with year-end sales +20% higher than 20122. A broad and versatile LEGO DUPLO® collection recruited new builders to the brand to grow the company's position with this age segment by +30%3. Sales of LEGO CREATOR™ 3-in-1 models increased +12%4, signaling continued demand for classic LEGO building sets.

First-Ever Feature Film Kickstarts 2014 Momentum
The February 7 premiere of the brand's first feature film, "The LEGO Movie," smashed box office predictions and is currently America's number-one movie. A collection of 17 building sets and a series of collectible LEGO Minifigures inspired by the film offer the ability to recreate scenes from the movie. 

"It's an exciting time for the brand, seeing ourselves for the first time on the silver screen, and the positive reception the movie has had among children and families is both incredibly rewarding and humbling," Laursen continued. "We're thrilled that the film has become an anthem for building, inspiring families with its positive messages of creativity, imagination and individualism."  

The Year Ahead
To sustain sales growth in the U.S., LEGO Systems will introduce nearly 300 new building sets at the American International Toy Fair this week in New York City. Among the company's innovative introductions is LEGO Juniors, which fills a specific need to serve 4 year-olds who are transitioning from DUPLO play to LEGO building. LEGO Mixels, a collectible mini character building system inspired by a multi-platform property co-developed with Cartoon Network, features animated shorts and a rich app gaming experience launching in March. A collection of LEGO Minecraft Creative Adventure sets takes the digital creativity of one of the world's most popular games and creates a physical experience through building for older children.

"Competition for children's attention is stronger than ever these days, but we continue to see bright spots for toy demand if we deliver the right combination of challenging yet rewarding fun, relevance and long-term play value. Our 2014 collection provides an immersive and irresistible LEGO experience for children of all ages, interests and building ability to drive sustained growth in the U.S.," Laursen said.

Note to editors: The NPD Group US Toys Retail Tracking (POS) data is an un-projected national service, covering 80% of toy retailers in its panel. It does not include manufacturers' direct sales, and is for directional purposes.

About LEGO Systems, Inc.
LEGO Systems, Inc. is the North American division of The LEGO Group, a privately-held, family-owned company based in Billund, Denmark, one of the world's leading manufacturers of creatively educational play materials for children.  The company is committed to the development of children's creative and imaginative abilities, and its employees are guided by the motto adopted in the 1930s by founder Ole Kirk Christiansen: "Only the best is good enough."  Visit the virtual LEGO world at www.LEGO.com

LEGO, DUPLO, Legends of CHIMA and their logos are trademarks of The LEGO Group.  © 2014 The LEGO Group.

THE LEGO MOVIE © The LEGO Group & Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

CARTOON NETWORK and the logo are trademarks of and © Cartoon Network.

© Notch Development AB and Mojang AB.
MINECRAFT is a trade mark of Notch Development AB.
MOJANG is a trade mark of Mojang AB.

1 The NPD Group / US Toys Retail Tracking (POS) Service
2 The NPD Group / US Toys Retail Tracking (POS) Service
3 The NPD Group / US Toys Retail Tracking (POS) Service
4 The NPD Group / US Toys Retail Tracking (POS) Service

MEDIA CONTACT:
LEGO Systems, Inc., Michael McNally
860-830-5885 / michael.mcnally@lego.com

SOURCE LEGO Systems, Inc.



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