Over the years, creative collaborations with other brands have allowed the The LEGO Group to achieve several goals. They have increased LEGO’s brand reach and innovation; allowed entry into new markets and more diverse audiences; and collaborations have generated revenues and profit.
Here’s a look at five of my favorite and creative LEGO collaborations from the past two decades.
LEGO x Kellogg’s (2007)
In the 1990s, The LEGO Group and Kellogg’s teamed up to put a variety of small LEGO sets inside boxes of select cereal brands. This collaboration took extended into convenience foods in 2007 when Kellogg’s decided to cross-market LEGO Eggo Waffles and LEGO Fun Snacks.
The eight stackable waffles resembled LEGO bricks. Kellogg’s encouraged consumers to “Toast, Break, and Build” and tweaked the product’s popular slogan from “Leggo my Eggo” to “LEGO my Eggo” – a match made in heaven.
Fun Snacks were fruit-flavored and shaped like 2×2 LEGO bricks. The stackable snacks came in strawberry, orange, lemon, lime, blueberry, and grape. However, blurring the distinction between edible and read LEGO bricks proved problematic, as parents complained that children were putting real 2×2 plastic bricks in their mouths thinking they could be eaten. As a result, the snack brand was removed from stores.
LEGO x Muji (2009)
The trendy Japanese retail company Muji combined paper and plastic bricks in their 2009 collab with The LEGO Group. Armed with a unique Muji hole punch, builders could create stud-sized holes in paper and place between two LEGO bricks – adding a new creative dimension to the product line. Fourteen unique sets were released between 2009-2011 in a variety of categories, including animals, Christmas, and the sea.
LEGO x Crocs (2012)
Before Crocs took the fashion world by storm, the shoe company teamed up with The LEGO Group to produce a line of footwear for young children. The shoes came in a bright color palette with a LEGO brick relief pattern around the band and a logo on the top.
LEGO x IKEA (2020)
The LEGO x IKEA BYGGLEK collection is a series of white, minimalist storage boxes in varied sizes. Thanks to the integration of studs on each box lid, the boxes did double duty: storing bricks and serving as a three-dimensional baseplate for custom builds. In addition to the three boxes, the collaboration also included a 201-piece brick set of mixed colors and pieces.
LEGO x Levi’s (2020)
In 2020, LEGO & Levi’s introduced a limited edition brand collaboration of “wearable art.” The clothing line included hoodies, jeans, a jean jacket, t-shirts, and hats. Each item of clothing included a flexible LEGO baseplate sewn directly onto the denim. Fashionistas could playfully style (and re-style) the garments using LEGO Dots (small 1×1 tiles) that were introduced earlier in the year.
Although The LEGO Company’s foray into collaboration is young relative to the company’s 90+ year history, the approach aligns well with many of its brand values, including imagination, creativity, and fun. LEGO and its partners have honed their approach and learned what works best in creative collaboration—I’m looking forward to what future mash-ups bring!
Todd Coopee is Editor-in-Chief of Toy Tales, an online publication that covers toys and games past and present.