Lego is probably the most popular toy of the century. This plastic construction toy with interlocking studs and tubes has been a staple for kids for many generations. Whenever someone goes on the hunt to buy a perfect Lego set for their kids, one thing that really surprises them is that it is extremely expensive.
This article is for you if you have questions in your head like “Who invented Lego?” and “Why is it so expensive?”
In short, Lego is expensive because of the high-quality material, superior machinery, engineering techniques, heavy expenditures on R &, expensive marketing, higher cost of licensing, and many other factors.
Let’s discuss these factors in detail!
Who Invented Lego?
Lego bricks are plastic construction block toys designed to link and stack with each other in several combinations to form buildings, castles, mini-figures, towers, cars, and whatnot.
To answer this question of who invented Lego, we have to go to Billund, Denmark, to the wooden toys workshop of Ole Kirk Christiansen. He formed the LEGO Company and created the first plastic brick in 1949, a precursor to the current Lego design. In 1958, Godtfred Kirk patented this plastic Lego brick and became head of the Lego Company.
Since its launch, Lego thrived everywhere — from the European to the American market. It has become such a childhood staple for many generations. There is nothing that Lego bricks cannot create. They can replicate London Bridge to the Taj Mahal to Spaceships. There are Lego theme parks called “LEGOLAND”, and we even have The LEGO movie.
Lego is currently the world’s largest toy company, with more than 400 billion bricks circulating globally. Lego has been named the “Toy of the Century” twice. Retailers all over the world sell 7 Lego sets per second.
Keeping the cultural influence of Lego aside, one thing is worth noting Lego is expensive. A single Lego brick costs around 10 to 13 cents, and if you buy exclusive theme sets with many bricks, it can go as high as 800 bucks.
Why is Lego so expensive than its other counterparts? Let’s find out the answers.
Why Is Lego So Expensive?
Let’s delve into the question, why is Lego so expensive? And are the high prices even justified?
Lego Uses High-Quality Material
When you buy a Lego set, one thing you are sure of is that it will last forever (except if you lose bricks somewhere). These tiny colorful plastic bricks are sturdy and durable. The company claims that its 1958s edition bricks are still intact, which manifests the durability of its product.
They are not sturdy by chance. There goes a lot that ensures the durability and longevity of these Legos. Lego uses high-quality materials. These high-quality materials do not come cheaper, of course!
One of the plastics (12 others) that the company uses is Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS). ABS is a petroleum-based material that gives these plastic bricks longevity and sturdiness. Since it is a petroleum product, its prices fluctuate with the crude oil prices.
Then, all Legos go through strict quality control procedures and processes. Lego also claims its plastic does not decompose and does not emit any harmful chemicals over the years.
All these materials and processes justify the high prices of Lego.
Sophisticated Equipment & Engineering
One thing that Lego is synonymous with is high quality with precision. You can replace any missing or broken Lego piece with another from some other set. The good thing is that it will fit perfectly. This perfect fit is no coincidence, as it comes from sophisticated equipment and engineering techniques.
Lego molds are super precise and have tight tolerance (as narrow as human hair). Lego molds are a well-guarded secret of Lego. These molds can even endure the rigid assembly process due to their tightness.
Lego Spends Heavily on R&D
Lego spends heavily on Research and Development. Every year more than 75 billion Lego bricks are produced worldwide. It always strives to introduce newer products to its portfolio, which is why more than 50% of its product portfolio has new products. Each new product requires engineering, testing, and even newer machines to produce.
Lego is striving and experimenting with new ways to provide a better experience to its customers. It is taking serious sustainability measures to produce environmentally friendly alternatives to plastic for Lego production.
This high R&D expense makes Legos so expensive.
Licensing Is Expensive
Lego also buys exclusive rights to popular brands, especially TV shows and movie franchises. Famous movie-themed Lego sets are Star Wars, Harry Potter, Avengers, and many more.
So if you want to create Hogwarts Castle of Harry Potter with plastic bricks, then you can only buy them from LEGO Company and not anywhere else due to exclusive licensing.
When Lego buys these rights, it passes the cost to consumers, which makes Legos so expensive.
Lego Does Expensive Marketing
Lego has an aggressive marketing strategy. Besides, in-store traditional marketing, Lego does video games, theme parks, and even a movie to market its brand. Then its exclusive licensing makes its marketing even more expensive.
This does not cost a few bucks! It is expensive and makes your Legos expensive.
Lego charges a premium for its brand name; more like big fashion brands, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and others charge higher prices because of their brand name. Similarly, Lego being the oldest and most renowned toy maker charges a premium due to its rich history and extensive portfolio of creative sets.
Lego also has high resale value. For example, the Star Wars Slave set was retailed for $80 in stores and now sells online for more than $200.
The size of the Lego also affects its price. For example, LEGO Star Wars UCS Millennium Falcon costs $799.99. Similarly, the Colosseum set costs $549.99 and has more than 9000 pieces.
The Bottom Line
Legos have been there for many decades and have been a staple in every childhood of every generation. Some even pass their favorite Lego sets to the next generation as family heirlooms.
Here, we tried to answer two imperative questions: “Who invented Lego?” and “Why is Lego so expensive?” We know now various factors rightly justify its high prices.
So, know when you buy a Lego set for your kid, you not only buy a premium product made with superior material and engineering meeting high high-quality standards, but also a legacy, an experience that they will cherish forever.