Products for popular series and films have become an indispensable part of the toy business. With Star Wars, Lego is setting an example for lasting success in the licensing business.

Whether Marvel Super Heroes, Batman, Spiderman, Harry Potter or Jurassic World: Licenses play an important role at Lego. But one topic is likely to outshine all others: Star Wars. This marked the beginning of Lego’s success in the licensing business in 1999. This license was the group’s first franchise. Since its market launch 20 years ago at the New York Toy Fair, Lego has released a total of around 700 different sets. There are also around 1,000 Lego Star Wars minifigures and numerous video games as well as television and web series. Some of the most legendary models have been redesigned for the “20 Years of Lego Star Wars” special sets available since April. Each package also includes a reissue of an original classic minifigure. The five anniversary sets include Slave I, Anakin’s Podracer, Snowspeeder, Clone Scout Walker and Imperial Dropship.

Lego licensing business with a strong fan base

Jens Kronvold Frederiksen, Creative Director of Lego Star Wars: “The Lego brand in combination with Star Wars is for us a cooperation you can only wish for. It’s also a privilege for us to have one of the strongest fan communities in the world, which inspires us again and again and makes us grow beyond ourselves. This 20-year milestone shows how loyal and dedicated our fans are who have built, recreated, fought, and shared their Lego Star Wars adventures with us for two decades. 20 years later, the Force is still with us, and so much more lies ahead.” In 1999, the Lego Star Wars product line was released with 13 sets and a Lego Mindstorms Droid Developer Kit. Over the years, there have been many public favourites in this licensing business. These include the first version of the Chewbacca Minifigure.

Lego developed new design ideas for the license business

The entry into the licensing business meant a rethink for the designers. In order to be as close as possible to the film characters, the Star Wars minifigures were given their own hairstyles for the first time. Special heads were also designed. For Chewbacca, for example, the design team created a fur head that covered the back and front of the torso. This design has since been used in many minifigures. Derek Stothard, Vice President of Licensing at Lucasfilm: “Our collaboration with the Lego Group is still an enormous success. It allows people to explore the Star Wars Galaxy in a unique way. Whether the Millennium Falcon is carefully built for a display case or the duels are replayed with Lego Star Wars models, the Lego Star Wars series will fascinate fans of all ages who love the Star Wars Galaxy as much as we do.”


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Link: The first Lego Star Wars sets were released in 1999.

Image: Lego