LEGO reflects on whether its 18+ packaging has worked in 2021

The LEGO Group’s new 18+ packaging has properly come to the fore in 2021, and the company’s Head of Product has reflected on whether it’s working as intended.

Originally introduced with 10273 Haunted House in May 2020, the all-black packaging is designed to unify products under the ‘LEGO for Adults’ umbrella, signifying that a set has been developed specifically for adult fans first and foremost – including those that would previously have been branded Creator Expert, as well as sets across themes like Ideas, Star Wars, DC and Marvel.

We’re now a full year and a half on from that switch in branding, and LEGO for Adults Head of Product Gen Cruz says it’s a decision the company is still firmly in support of – partly because of how well the black boxes serve their intended purpose, but also because they’re not rigidly applied to every single set designed for adults.

“I think back to the voluminous amounts of research that we conducted, and I think one of the key things is the fact that it really ‘heroes’ the model for me,” Gen tells Brick Fanatics. “The beautiful thing about the packaging is it makes the model the centrepiece. And that’s what you’re buying into; that’s the experience that you want. So I think that’s what’s working for it.

“But I think we have also been very open-minded in terms of what makes sense for the product, and what is best for the holistic experience that we want to offer to the consumer. So case in point, 10282 Adidas Originals Superstar has different packaging, because that makes sense for that particular offer. So I think we’re keeping the door open in terms of what makes sense for the product and for that particular audience.”

LEGO’s 10282 Adidas Originals Superstar comes in a shoebox, and it’s brilliant

The LEGO Group has already proved that its 18+ packaging is open to exceptions with 10291 Queer Eye – The Fab 5 Loft, which swaps the typical black background for bright white. It still uses the same single-colour backdrop with a patterned strip around the bottom, though, tying it into the wider LEGO for Adults line-up.

“Right now, the very simple guidance is, if the product is being made with adults first as an audience in mind, then it will be marked 18+, and it will come in the adult visual packaging,” Gen explains. “Again, that’s going back to the objective that we want to make it as easy as possible for adults to identify that this is a product for them, that they can navigate quite easily.”

It sounds like the 18+ packaging is here to stay for the foreseeable future, which means plenty more black boxes in 2022 (and possibly beyond). The first of those will debut on January 1 with 10297 Boutique Hotel, which follows 10278 Police Station in adopting the new ‘Modular Buildings Collection’ branding with plain black packaging.

For more reflections on LEGO in 2021, check out our ongoing Year in Review series, or head over to our YouTube channel.

Support the work that Brick Fanatics does by purchasing your LEGO using our affiliate links.

Chris Wharfe

I like to think of myself as a journalist first, LEGO fan second, but we all know that’s not really the case. Journalism does run through my veins, though, like some kind of weird literary blood – the sort that will no doubt one day lead to a stress-induced heart malfunction. It’s like smoking, only worse. Thankfully, I get to write about LEGO until then. You can follow me on Twitter at @brfa_chris.

3 thoughts on “LEGO reflects on whether its 18+ packaging has worked in 2021

  • 22/12/2021 at 23:45
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    Where can you buy some of the sets, and I am looking for a cloudy with a chance of Meatballs any ideal on that one

    Reply
  • 21/12/2021 at 21:29
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    “Again, that’s going back to the objective that we want to make it as easy as possible for adults to identify that this is a product for them, that they can navigate quite easily”

    WELL, respectfully Gen Cruz – by the time we reach 18+, most of us have a reasonable grasp on the written word. Believe it or not, but most of us can even read by now. Far gone are the days of Duplo, and primary colours.

    We don’t really need a colour to enable us to identify a product. Also, most of us buy LEGO based on what WE *want* (and can afford). Take myself for example; I like trains, Star Wars and the Titanic.

    So as nice as you might think the Fiat 500, a [single] Adidas shoe or a typewriter is, I bought sets like Benny’s Space Ship, the Cargo Train, the Millennium Falcon, Mustang and Titanic because I liked the sets.

    I get you need to visually differentiate the sets (and price points!!), but to me the golden beauty of LEGO has always been that everyone can enjoy them, that LEGO doesn’t insult our intelligence and that it’s first and foremost about having fun.

    Rather tell it like it is; You’re trying to make it look exclusive and worth the price point. Because once the box is open, there’s very little difference between the version of me that recently rebuilt my LEGO 6985 Cosmic Voyager, or my 70816 Benny’s Spaceship (spaceship!!!!!) or in fact my Titanic.

    I still open each bag with the same excitement and joy. As a 53 year old, I still pick sets now like I did when I was 7 – by imagining which will be nicest to own. OK, I have a bigger wallet now.

    But I’ve never needed box art to help me identify which set was for me.

    But then, I am a little odd

    Reply
  • 21/12/2021 at 17:31
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    Sin duda uno de los mejores juegos creado por el hombre,increíble y muy creativos,un saludo de un fan de LEGOS

    Reply

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