The 1960s witnessed the tremendous growth of LEGO® in the world of toys. LEGO® was being sold in 42 countries by the end of the 1960s. The LEGOLAND® Park was opened in Billund in 1968 alongside the LEGO® factory in Denmark.
LEGO® continued expanding, it was loved by the children and the parents both for its creative nature. Most of the parents found LEGO® better than other toys for several reasons. At the same time, China came up with cheaper toys and computer games. But LEGO® only kept emerging as a strong player. However, LEGO®’s downfall began around the end of the 90s.
LEGO® partnered up with big films and Hollywood studios. They produced new kits for films like Star Wars and Harry Potter and got high-scale sales and profit. Unfortunately, this strategy couldn’t last long. LEGO® produced and sold millions of bricks only during the release of the films with drastic diminishing numbers after a few weeks. By 2003, LEGO® was losing a million dollars everyday majorly due to high manufacturing costs and decreased popularity for its products. LEGO® bricks were still selling but there was a lot of competition by that time and other LEGO® products were failing to make an impact.
In 2004, Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, a grandchild of the founder, thought of restructuring LEGO®- the brand. He appointed a new CEO, Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, who turned around the management and the market stats. He innovated the idea of ‘Back to the Brick’ meaning the company was going back to its core products and values. A large number of bricks produced earlier were used in making new multiple products. They realized that easy-to-build bricks weren’t selling well, so, they added more challenges and creativity to their bricks. New products like Legends of Chima, Ninjago, and Lego Friends have all been a big success and most importantly, new strategies did not depend on mere movies.
The LEGO® brick is still the most important product. It has been named “Toy of the Century” twice. LEGO® products have undergone extensive development over the years – but the foundation remains the traditional LEGO® brick.