Lego held its first virtual press meeting this week to discuss what it is doing for adults around the world, with the general theme “adults welcome”.

The company shared insights from its Lego Play Well Study 2020 conducted in May to June 2020 with a total of 18 435 participants from across 18 countries. About 30% of adults surveyed had children under the age of 18. An overwhelming 73% of adults said they research or think about ways to de-stress, and the same number of people (73%) also mention that play offers them relief from everyday chores and worries.

Audience strategist at Lego Group, Genevieve Capa Cruz said the survey revealed that 77% of adults experience feeling overwhelmed at least once a month. “The study documents how this impacts their lives, manifesting itself in sleeping troubles (32%) and negatively affecting mood (28%), appetite (25%), and even relationships with family and friends (21%).”

Lego believes it has the answer to adults problems  globally – building with Lego. At the livestream event, Cruz said there’s a lot of barriers that exist for adults regarding its products. She discussed two: one being adults are not aware that models exist for them and the second being the image or perception that Lego is a toy. The company says it will focus on ways to solve it.

“We want to show adults that building with Lego is for everyone. We have a wide range of products that fit their interest, and we want to ensure we are providing an enjoyable and relaxing building experience for adults,” says Cruz.

As a closer to 40yo adult I can personally say I never once doubted Lego was for adults too. I love Lego and have my own collection that is slowly building up. The company says adult products are easily identifiable through the packaging; what is displayed on the box.

The result, which you probably have already seen in stores, is a minimalist design with just a subject focus. It is completely different to the kids stuff that is busy, bright and colourful. Almost leaving you wondering where to look (Lol, I say this from shopping for my nieces and nephews for their birthday). Lego says the boxes make it easy to identify the “passion point”.

It adds that products leave adults absorbed in the whole process. “You’re engaged, completely immersed and captivated. Essentially, you’re in the zone. Imagine, you’re able to disconnect from the anxieties and mania of every day life,” says Cruz.

Lego saw an increase of people globally during lockdown spending more time building with the kids, citing a bunch of celebrities who posted about it on social media.

We can expect to see a lot of varying interests from sport to music to art & deco. I’m eyeing the Star Wars artwork for my office!

During the Q&A session, I asked Lego Designer Samuel Johnson how long it takes to create a set. Basically from the time it originates to getting on the shelf is roughly three years. It spends a year in development. And all their engineers build the products from scratch first, of course. There’s a team of 300 building away. Once a set has been decided, the designer takes four months to develop it.

Another interesting bit of info, did you know that the Millennium Falcon is the largest Lego kit by bricks? It’s around 7500 pieces!

The Lego Ideas platform allows anyone to design their own set and if you rack up at least 10 000 votes on the community, Lego will officially consider making it. And if it does indeed make it as an actual set, you can earn 1% of all sales.

Lego says it is focused on catering to the needs of adults, no matter what their interests are. It’s focus going forward is around key areas for adults:
– satisfying building experience
– display and decoration
– iconic and nostalgic

I know this blog post is not typically what I cover but I  found the insights interesting, and fascinating. I love knowing what goes on behind the scenes of such a largely successful company who creates products for all age groups.

PS Thank you, Lego South Africa, for sending me my own kit to build. I love that you knew how obsessed I am with the Fast & the Furious franchise. Stay tuned for the final product!

EDIT: Here’s a time-lapse of my build