February 22, 2013

LEGO® Friends doubled expectations for sales in 2012

LEGO® Friends doubled expectations for sales in 2012

 Image courtesy of The LEGO Group

 The new LEGO Friends products have sold twice as well as expected – and contribute to an exceptional annual result for the LEGO Group.

 Last year’s big new strategic milestone – LEGO Friends – exceeded all expectations and more than doubled the initial sales forecasts for its first year in market. The product line tailors the iconic LEGO construction experience especially to girl’s ages five and up, and is the result of the most researched LEGO concept ever done by the world’s leading construction toy company.

Mads Nipper, Chief Marketing Officer, reflects:

“We entered 2012 with high expectations for LEGO Friends but also with a lot of anxiety as we have historically never been very successful attracting girls to our play offers. That is why it has been amazing to experience the enthusiastic welcome, which consumers have given the new range, as well as know that we through LEGO Friends have managed to introduce LEGO play to millions of girls who had never received a LEGO product before.”

Even though the LEGO Group more than doubled its production of LEGO Friends versus expectations, it was not possible to deliver all of the products demanded. As a result of the high demand for LEGO Friends products a set from the line – Olivia’s House – also tops the LEGO Group’s list of bestselling sets for the year.

4 years of research

The LEGO Friends concept development spanned four years and involved more than 3500 girls and their mothers around the world to understand what girls who have previously not been attracted to LEGO play, would expect from a construction toy.

LEGO Group Vice President Nanna Ulrich Gudum, who was responsible for developing the LEGO Friends product line, explains;

“The girls we talked to let us understand that they really wanted a LEGO offering that mirrors what the boys experience, but in a way that fulfills their unique desire for redesign and details and combined with realistic themes in community and friendship.”

The successful 2012 sales have not made the LEGO Group introduce more sets than already planned. But the Danish company enters 2013 with a lot of confidence for the second year with LEGO Friends on the market.
Mads Nipper, Chief Marketing Officer, explains;

“This year we will expand the Friends story to include more themes and deeper characters, which the children that tested this year’s products, really enjoyed. We can also see that the attention from our customers is even more positive this year, so I am excited about LEGO Friends in 2013”.

The LEGO Friends product line includes 28 sets at the start of 2013.

At the 2013 International Toy Fair in New York, the LEGO Friends line received the following awards:

Toy of the Year (T.O.T.Y.) Award for Best Toy.
The honour was bestowed at the Toy Industry Association (TIA)’s annual gala to celebrate the best and most innovative toys, held Saturday, February 9, at New York City’s Plaza Hotel. 
LEGO Friends also won the 1st prize in two other categories: “Activity” and “Girls”.

At the 2012 Nuremberg Toy Fair, the LEGO Friends product “Olivia’s House” won the award for “best toy” in the age-group 6-10 years.

February 19, 2013

LEGO Friends Books from DK

Hi, I'm Maya! This is my first article as a news staff member here at the Heartlake Times

Our news page got its name from Heartlake City's newspaper where Olivia's father Peter works as editor! How do I know he works for the newspaper? Because they say so in one of the LEGO Friends books! 

These books give you cute little personal details about the Friends characters that you would not have known otherwise. For example, can you answer the following questions?

1) What's Olivia's mother's profession?
2) Two of the main five Friends girls are cousins. Do you know which characters?

3) Where does Olivia know Nicole from? 

4) Who is Stephanie's penpal?

You can answer them all if you have read all of the DK books that are currently available. 

In March 2012, the first two DK Readers books were released: "Friends Forever" and "Welcome to Heartlake City" written by Helen Murray. These two books introduce you to all the Friends characters, places and activities from the Friends sets released in January 2012. The pages are filled with colorful pictures mostly from the official LEGO Friends photos that you see on the product packages.

                              LEGO Friends: Friends Forever (DK Readers Series Level 3)
                                    ($3.99 USA)
                           LEGO Friends: Welcome to Heartlake City (DK Readers Level 4)
                             ($3.99 USA)

Then in October 2012, DK released LEGO Friends Brickmaster. It comes with more than 100 LEGO pieces, and the 48-page book contains a short adventure story with Mia and her school friend Chloe. It also has several step-by-step instructions for the models that go with the story. The book section was written by Victoria Taylor and the LEGO Friends Design Team worked on the designs of the models.

LEGO Friends Brickmaster
($29.99 USA)
This year has already seen the release of two additional DK Readers books: "Let's Go Riding" and "Summer Adventures" written by Catherine Saunders. The original release date for them was March 4th, 2013, buy they became available in mid-February in the US. The stories revolve around the sets released during summer 2012 as well as all the polybags from 2012 (such as Olivia's desk). Once again, all the pictures used in these books look familiar because they used the official set photos from LEGO.

                                 DK Reader Level 3: LEGO Friends: Let's Ride
                                       ($3.99 USA)
DK Reader Level 2: LEGO Friends: Summer Adventure
($3.99 USA)
At the same time with the new DK Readers, "LEGO Friends Ultimate Sticker Collection" was also released. It contains lots of stickers and each sticker page is printed twice. The first 32 pages are non-sticker pages, and these are where many of the stickers can be applied; it is also filled with cute little information about the characters, items and places.

Ultimate Sticker Collection: LEGO Friends
($12.99 USA)

These books can be found on amazon and at many other book sellers. 

In my next article, I will talk about the two other new LEGO Friends books published by Scholastic, as well as future LEGO Friends books.  

February 10, 2013

New York Toy Fair pics

The New York Toy Fair offers additional images of the set builds, as well as the boxes with boxart.

Advent 2013 - box
Advent 2013 - builds

Advent 2013 - builds

Heartlake High
inside Modular school
 Heartlake High - Box

 Dolphin Cruiser - box
Dolphin Cruiser - build

Downtown Bakery - box
Downtown Bakery - build

Andrea's Bedroom - box

Andrea's Bedroom - build

Emma's Sports Car - box

Emma's Sports Car - build

Olivia's Beach Buggy - box

Olivia's Beach Buggy - build

Series 3 Animals

February 3, 2013

Heartlake High

Highly anticipated Heartlake High - inside the school view, notice it's another Modular building for LEGO Friends:
photo by Joe Meno

Front of school yard showing a picnic table and another new boy Mini-Doll.

 photo by Spieletest
 photo by Joe Meno 
Another look at Heartlake High, along side the Downtown Bakery, Emma's Sports Car, Andrea's Bedroom, and Olivia's Beach Buggy.  Also, a glimpse of the next Advent Calendar.

photo by Joe Meno

Dolphin Cruiser
 photo courtesy Karsten Grosser NOZ.de

 Dolphin Cruiser with top deck off:
photo by Joe Meno 

Andrea's Bedroom
 photo by Joe Meno

Next wave of LEGO Friends Animal Series 3 and some build images of Series 2:

Fawn's Forest - photo by Joe Meno

  Front of pack image of Fawn's Forest - photo by Joe Meno

Parrot's Perch - photo by Joe Meno

Puppy's Playhouse - photo by Joe Meno

Series 2, which we've seen packet images, yet not build images until now.

Hedgehog's Hideaway - photo by Joe Meno

Bunny's Hutch - photo by Joe Meno

Poodles' Little Palace - photo by Joe Meno

Stay tuned as more image emerge!

Bakery, Beach Buggy & Sports Car pics!

Now we get a glimpse at what the Downtown Bakery looks like up close, as well as first images of Olivia's Beach Buggy, and a better look at Emma's Sport Car, thanks to toy play testers Spieletest.at!

 Downtown Bakery - photo courtesy of Spieletest.at

Olivia's Beach Buggy - photo courtesy of Spieletest.at

Emma's Sports Car - photo courtesy of Spieletest.at

Some fans are eager to see Heartlake High (school) photos.  Check back here, as we will post those as soon as they surface.