New LEGO adult box design “open to exceptions”

Answering questions about the new adult strategy, the LEGO Group’s marketeers confirmed that unique boxes will still be possible and explained why an 18+ age marking works for consumers

During LEGO Fan Media Days 2020, Global Marketing Vice President Federico Begher and Brand Strategist Genevieve Capa Cruz presented the new strategy for appealing to adults, including boxing products in a new, uniform black packaging, before taking time to field questions.

This new box style, has beenused on recent sets including 10273 Haunted House and 75273 A-wing Starfighter. Brick Fanatics asked about how it would affect a product like 21322 Pirates of Barracuda Bay, the recent LEGO Ideas set that comes in a box that captures the classic 1980s and 1990s design aesthetic, and whether box design like that will be possible in the future.

“I think the short answer is yes, there will be opportunities for things like that. In that case for instance, the whole concept of that was to bring a model that was very nostalgic that spoke a lot about things we have done in the past, so it wouldn’t help us if we forced this visual identity onto that,” Federico explained.

“When there are cases that justify it and if we would be losing too much if we didn’t do it, then yes we would be open to exceptions. The intention here is to create a range, a recognisable identity, something that starts to create on shelf communication, a memory shortcut that they know this is for adults, they know that this is part of a bigger family of products, that’s the main objective. Within that, when there are cases that really justify for us to really do something a bit different, we can do it.”

Those who enjoy the varied box styles can at least take comfort in knowing that exceptions will be permitted on occasion.

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LEGO Ideas 21322 Pirates of Barracuda Bay

The AFOLET (AFOL Engagement Team) themselves had a question for their colleagues, asking about whether the 18+ branding might lead to LEGO sets being perceived as inappropriate for children.

“We found that [that reaction] is very market specific,” Genevieve responded. “So we saw those inputs coming from the US but not so much from Western Europe or the rest of the world. I also think it’s important to point out that when they see it in relation to the LEGO brand, these are models that we are selling, that didn’t become a predominant issue anymore. So the context makes all the difference.”

Related to that, Federico touched on the change of age marking on some sets from 16+ to 18+: “It is about being very clearly communicating that the set has been designed thinking more of adults than for kids, as we know that is many times a barrier. But we tested this design also with teens to make sure we were not alienating them, and actually they felt more appealed by it. [sic]”

Read more from Brick Fanatics at Fan Media Days 2020

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Graham was the Editor up until November 2020. He has plenty of experience working on LEGO related projects. He has contributed to various websites and publications on topics including niche hobbies, the toy industry and education. Follw Graham on Twitter @grahamh100.

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