A license too far!I remember a time when LEGO was all about themes. It was about Knights and Castles, Pirates, Space Adventures, Airports and City Building.... ah the good old days!
Things have now moved forward and we are living in a new age of Brick Building where licensed product rules. Gone are the Pirates, the castles are in ruin and Benny's Spaceship is now a Space-X launch vehicle.
Lego using licensing is nothing new, back in the 80's we had Shell Branding on a number of city sets. This kind of makes sense when you look at it; Shell are in the oil business and Plastic is made from oil...simple's!
Now lets fast forward to today (2019-2020). What are Lego licensing now, well it might be easier to say what they aren't using; but here are just a few, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Powerpuff Girls, Marvel, Spiderman, Batman, Friends, Disney, Hidden Side... the list just keeps going!
There is absolutely nothing wrong with any of these sets, the LEGO designers always do a good job. But why so many Licensing Deals, why go down this path....? Simple really MONEY and PROFIT! Sometimes people forget that Lego is a business doing business things. It is not a happy wonderland full of play, fun and cake, it is a business. I'm sure the employees like working there, find fun in their work and probably eat cake, but at the end of the day you gotta make profit.
So why use a License in the first place? When you buy into a Licensed product you are buying into a brand, an already established and proven concept. With this comes a loyal fan-base and this in turn is a loyal and guaranteed customer.
Lego also has another very good reason for investing into Licensed Product and that is Brand control. Lego has historically struggled to protect its Brick IP from being copied. All patents for studded interlocking toy bricks expired long ago and anyone can legally jump onto the bandwagon.
Now here is the fun part, if you put a Star Wars logo on the box, no one can copy it... not even a little bit! If someone does happen to try and "Rip-Off" your Star Wars Licensed set you can sue them for damages. Now when you do take them to court as the Licensee not only can YOU sue them, but the Licensor can sue for damages as well.... double hit!
So it makes sense to work with big brand licenses, its safe, its profitable and there are always more of them.