LEGO primed to ‘become number one toy brand in China’

The LEGO Group has claimed that it is well-positioned to become the number one toy brand in China as it steps up its efforts to crack the market.

LEGO CEO Jorgen Vig Knudstrop has detailed his plan to increase his firm’s operations in China including the opening of the world’s largest LEGO store in Shanghai and the opening of its first Chinese factory in 2017.

The Danish toymaker is in the process of overcoming the controversy it sparked in 2015 when it refused to sell a bulk load of LEGO bricks to the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei.

In an interview with CNBC, Knudstup addressed the firm’s need to bridge a number of cultural divides in order to gain market share in China, a process it believes is well under way through its partnership with a leading Chinese university “to support creativity and play in Chinese schools,” via its LEGO Foundation.

To grow sales in China and Japan, the toymaker has updated its play kits to include more Asian characters and settings including a revamped Ninjago range.

The firm has also acknowledged the need to make some major scale product updates in order to keep up with the advanced Chinese gaming market including the possibility of taking its first steps into virtual reality.

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