Monday, February 11, 2008

LEGO knows partnering

My two sons, ages 7 and 5, are all about Star Wars. They know every episode, every character, every spaceship. It amazes me that a 30-year-old film (and its successors) could have a hold on little imaginations as strong as if it were released last year.

They also love Legos. And what could be better than combining these two obsessions?

(Well, nothing actually.)

Legos have come a long way since I was a kid. Then they were basic building blocks--eights, sixes, fours, twos, a few windows and wheels. That was it. Now Lego has morphed into a modeling architecture--like the plastic models of my youth, without the nasty glue and paint. It's a nightmare if you want to sort parts, but for a kid, being able to build an exact replica of an AT-AP is priceless.

Going even further, there's a Lego Star Wars web site, as well as a video game, which is permanently installed in our Wii.

In order for Lego to enter this new phase, they had to get comfortable with partnering up. They worked with Lucasfilm Ltd. to license the Star Wars characters, scenarios, etc. (This is one of several licensing projects that Lego is involved in: have you seen the Lego Hogwarts Castle?) In so doing, they extended their brand and made it relevant to an entire new generation of customers--without losing what was distinctive and different about Legos.

(And if you're not a kid anymore, like I am, you can still construct a house with eights, sixes, fours and a few windows.)

(Photo: LEGO Star Wars Yoda, from the web site)

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