Ask a LEGO Fan

LEGO Licenses

Posted in Marketplace, Set Design by lfanquestions on September 9, 2009

Justin writes:

How does the Lego group go about choosing what properties to license? As an adult collector/ builder of Lego I dream of a Simpsons line of sets. It would be a huge seller for them, and there would be plenty of characters/ locations to base sets on. Do you ever see something like that happening? Also, why isn’t there a broader range of licensed sets? It seems like they could tap into a lot of other properties yet they only chose a few each year.



Dear Justin,

Many companies approach the LEGO Group each year to start a licensing deal.  TLG only selects brands which represent similar values as Lego.  If a brand is considered too “dark” and is geared towards teens and adults, it will not be picked up by Lego.

There is a debate within the company and the fan community on the extent that licensed sets remove resources from the core “evergreen” product lines.  Clearly certain licensed themes such as Star Wars are a key component to TLG’s product portfolio.  But other short-term licenses seem like a strange choice and often do not sell well (ie: Avatar).   A balance between licensed and non-licensed sets is needed.  The additional revenue from licenses is good but not if you lose your brand identity.

A “Simpsons” line would have advantages and disadvantages.  There are many unique characters which kids and fans could collect.  On the other hand, the best selling licenses have more “vehicle” sets than “location” sets.  I also wonder if the Simpsons has a large enough international following to be a strong seller in all Lego Markets.  Some Europeans would probably love licenses like Asterix, but I doubt they would sell well in North America.   I think it is unlikely that TLG will pick up the Simpsons license but it could happen in the future.




2 Responses

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  1. Bobby said, on September 10, 2009 at 9:08 pm

    This makes me really sad. I want Simpsons really bad. I hate all the vehicle sets. We need more buildings to drive to!!

  2. Dax said, on September 11, 2009 at 10:42 am

    A Simpsons range would be very interesting. I would definitely buy Moe’s tavern. My Lego city needs a bar for my towns folk to have some after work drinks.

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