A new LEGO launch is always a big deal, but with Nexo Knights, the firm is introducing a brand that’s set to span toys, TV and apps. Billy Langsworthy talks to LEGO brand manager Harry Harrison about why the firm’s latest property, hitting shelves in January 2016, is aiming to take play experiences to the next level.
While licensing has proved incredibly lucrative for the folks over at The LEGO Group, the firm’s own brands are powerhouses in their own right.
Recent success stories include Mixels and Elves, while LEGO City is currently sitting as the fourth best performing toy property across the EU5 countries (Italy, France, Germany, Spain and the UK) in 2015.
Sticking with the top ten properties of 2015, the only new entry compared to 2014 is LEGO Ninjago. The brand sits in at ninth, and is in second place when looking at the top ten with regards to gains.
As well as being a hit in the toy space, Ninjago has conquered the worlds of comics, books, video games and TV, and the brand even has a movie on the way in 2017.
This multi-faceted approach to one of its own brands is something LEGO is adopting once again with Nexo Knights.
The new property is set in a futuristic, yet medieval, world where five knights download special powers to their shields in order to battle the royal court’s evil Jestro and a cast of monsters to restore peace.
14 LEGO Nexo Knights building sets will be available in January 2016 with additional sets to launch in August 2016, but the play is set to be bolstered by a new digital angle thanks to the LEGO Nexo Knights: Merlok 2.0 app.
“We’re building on the success of our established evergreen propositions such as LEGO Ninjago with LEGO Nexo Knights, and we are now introducing a completely new way to play,” Harry Harrison, brand manager at The LEGO Group, tells ToyNews.
“We have created a one reality IP in which physical and digital play is closely interlinked by the app.
“Here, kids will be inspired to go find, scan, and battle with unique Nexo powers across all different IP touch points, adding them to their digital power collection to creatively and continuously find new ways to defeat the enemy.
“The app will be available as a free download via the App Store, Google Play, Samsung Apps and Amazon Appstore from late December 2015.”
By utilising this blend of technology, LEGO believes its introducing a new play experience that caters to a vast demographic of kids.
“This is a multi-year investment,” Harrison tells ToyNews.
“Our aim is to meet kids where they are and create play experiences that cater for their needs. Some kids will find playing with our LEGO models the best thing in the world, some enjoy the fantastic app that we have developed and others will have great fun combining the two worlds.
“No matter the entry point – physical product or app download – their experience can be taken to the next level.”
Like Ninjago, Nexo Knights is heading to the small screen in an animated series that will hit Cartoon Network in December before airing throughout 2016.
“This is more than a story, more than a game and more than a toy. This a brand new way to play,” concludes Harrison.