Lego has been the building blocks of play since its inception in a Danish carpentry shop in 1932. Adapting with the times, it quickly developed from quirky wooden characters to hard wearing plastic. But, in 2014 Lego made the biggest change to its concept when it stepped out of the real world and onto the big screen with the debut of The Lego Movie. The concept of animating the moving bricks is not a new one, with amateur filmmakers attempting to create stop-motion videos of Lego characters for years, but a film showcases all that can be done with animating Lego.
Lego’s move onto the big screen was influenced by many factors. Following a period of strength from the 1960s – 1990s, the company didn’t anticipate that toy use was changing. People didn’t have as much time to devote to creating intricate Lego masterpieces, and the rise in technology was absorbing all of our time and attention. In 2004, the company posted a record loss of $174million. Following this, Lego knew it needed to move with the times, and began animating its characters – or at least the ones it was partnering with Lucasfilm for: Lego Star Wars.
In 2005, the Lego Star Wars video game allowed Lego to branch into other venues within the gaming market. The move showed that Lego was still a formidable brand that was able to adapt to the changing ways of engaging with play. And then, following a slew of titles that allowed franchise fans to hit the bricks and face the Lego treatment, in 2014 the company decided to produce its first film, bringing the animation that had been attempted by many into fruition.
The success of the Lego Movie, grossing $469,160,692 worldwide spurned Lego to partner with another licensed Lego creation: Batman. The animation itself of the Lego Batman film in 2017, could be said to take a different route, by being inspired by comic books. Indeed, the stop-motion style of animation that Lego warrants takes a lot from the frame by frame of comics, as can be attested by the range of comic book-inspired slots online at William Hill Games. These online games further showcase the similarities between the simplicity of animating Lego and the nature of comic books that allows this to occur seamlessly.
Lego continues its foray into animation, with the upcoming release of The Lego Ninjago movie, which features notable stars such as Jackie Chan and Dave Franco lending their voices to the ninja-themed branch of Lego. Tapping into the various different sectors Lego has carved out for itself proves beneficial, especially by taking household names under the Lego umbrella.
Lego’s development through the ages of maintaining the top trends is testament to their success and strong brand positioning and recognition. The bricks they offer are but a small part of the overall proposition, and as technology takes us further and further away from the physical, Lego will no doubt ensure it stays on top of the trends.