NEW YORK, Feb. 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL TOY FAIR -- LEGO Systems, Inc., the U.S. division of the world-renowned construction toy brand, achieved U.S. consumer sales growth for the eleventh consecutive year in 2015. The increase occurred during a year when the U.S. toy industry experienced its biggest growth since the 1990s and the competitive landscape for children's recreational experiences is at an all-time high.
LEGO Systems, Inc. 2015 U.S. Year-End Highlights (Source: The NPD Group/Retail Tracking Service)
- U.S. sales grew +11% over 2014
- Share of total U.S. toy market increased by nearly half a point
- Increased sales of U.S. Building Sets Subclass +10% over 2014
- Continued robust double-digit sales growth to girls* in the U.S., with sales up +21% over 2014
- Claimed leadership position in Junior Building Sets Subclass despite segment decline
*combines LEGO® Friends, LEGO Disney Princess™, and LEGO Elves, but does not account for other LEGO themes sold to girls
NPD Retail Tracking Service data represents 80% of the U.S. toy retail market. As a privately held company, LEGO Systems does not disclose internal market performance data and offers third-party data for directional purposes.
"It's both exciting and humbling to record our eleventh consecutive year of U.S. growth, particularly since the competition for children's leisure time is at an all-time high," said Søren Torp Laursen, president, LEGO Systems. "We believe that continued growth is the result of our focus on adapting the brand to be relevant to today's children while at the same time staying true to what parents understand and love about our heritage."
Balanced Product Portfolio Drove Growth
LEGO demand increased across all ages and price ranges in the U.S. last year. Growth in the U.S. toy industry in 2015 is largely attributed to the stories and characters within licensed properties—a trend reflected in LEGO Systems growth –but homegrown properties, non- licensed themes and open ended building were equally successful for the construction brand. According to The NPD Group, LEGO Star Wars™, LEGO City, LEGO Friends, LEGO Super Heroes and LEGO Minecraft ranked among the top five LEGO properties of the year in the U.S. market. LEGO Classic, a collection of building sets featuring versatile LEGO elements without building instructions, had a very strong launch year, making its way into the top 10 LEGO themes of the year in the U.S. and signaling demand for open-ended building.
Competitive pressure on toys will continue to intensify as the options for today's children continue to expand, but LEGO Systems is optimistic about its chances of sustaining year-on-year growth in the U.S.
"In today's complex and dynamic market, where children are savvy and have high expectations, we know how important it is to stay focused on product and experience innovation – both physical and digital – to keep the LEGO experience relevant," Laursen said. "Our ability to offer children of any age a compelling and compatible building experience is a strong differentiator, and our 2016 offering is designed to reinforce our unique position to extend our brand's lifetime value.
Laursen's confidence comes from the continuous evolution of the LEGO brand that, in the year ahead, features a strong and balanced portfolio of evergreen themes, strong licensed properties and open-ended creative play that will engage even more children—of all ages—in the joy of building and pride of creation.
The youngest builders get a new line of My First LEGO sets in the LEGO DUPLO® collection, as well as new sets that reflect some of today's hottest preschool properties. LEGO Juniors continues to bridge the building journey from DUPLO to LEGO bricks with compelling new themes. LEGO Classic, LEGO Creator, LEGO Technic and LEGO MINDSTORMS® continue to offer open-ended building opportunities. Proven themes such as LEGO City, LEGO Friends, LEGO NINJAGO™, LEGO Super Heroes, LEGO BIONICLE®, LEGO Minecraft, LEGO Elves, LEGO Speed Champions, and LEGO Star Wars™ all launch exciting new ways to build. New themes, such as LEGO NEXO KNIGHTS™ and LEGO The Angry Birds™ Movie, and lines designed for older builders, such as LEGO Architecture and LEGO Ideas, have potential to bring even more children into the LEGO experience.
"We are a single brand company with a unique play system and play material, yet numerous play patterns beyond building. Every time we sell a LEGO set, we engage children in a way that positively reinforces our entire brand and business," Laursen said. "Our momentum furthers our ability to invest in ongoing evolution of the brand to drive deeper engagement and recruit new builders to drive continued growth, and there are exciting new LEGO expressions and experiences coming this year that will provide growth."
NOTE TO EDITORS: Data is representative of retailers that participate in The NPD Group's Retail Tracking Service. NPD's current estimate is that the Retail Tracking Service represents approximately 80 percent of the U.S. retail market for Toys. It also does not include a manufacturers' direct sales.
About the LEGO Group
The LEGO Group is a privately held, family-owned company with headquarters in Billund, Denmark, and main offices in Enfield, USA, London, UK, Shanghai, China, and Singapore. Founded in 1932 by Ole Kirk Kristiansen, and based on the iconic LEGO® brick, it is one of the world's leading manufacturers of play materials. Guided by the company spirit: "Only the best is good enough", the company is committed to the development of children and aims to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow through creative play and learning. LEGO products are sold worldwide and can be virtually explored at www.LEGO.com.
For more news from the LEGO Group, information about our financial performance and responsibility engagement, please visit http://www.LEGO.com/aboutus.
LEGO, the LEGO logo, DUPLO, MINDSTORMS, BIONICLE, NINJAGO, the Minifigure, and the brick and knob configuration are trademarks of the LEGO Group. © 2016 the LEGO Group.
STAR WARS and related properties are trademarks and/or copyrights, in the United States and other countries, of Lucasfilm Ltd. and/or its affiliates. © & TM Lucasfilm Ltd.
© 2016 Mojang AB and Mojang Synergies AB. MINECRAFT is a trademark or registered trademark of Mojang Synergies AB.
© 2016 Rovio Animation Ltd. Angry Birds and all related properties, titles, logos and characters are trademarks of Rovio Entertainment Ltd and Rovio Animation Ltd and are used with permission. All Rights Reserved.
LEGO Systems, Inc., Michael McNally
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SOURCE LEGO Systems, Inc.