Tuesday, February 14, 2006
The folks over at LEGO have released a press release on their line up of products that will be on display at the US ToyFair in New York during this coming week...
LEGO Group Unveils 2006 Product Line Guaranteed to Unlock Creative Potential, Inspire Imaginations of All Ages
-New and classic themes, next generation LEGO(R) MINDSTORMS(R) robotics, popular licensed characters continue momentum for world's leading construction toy brand-
The LEGO Group, the world's leading construction toy company, showcases innovative products for dreamers and creators of all ages this year as 150 new products join the LEGO(R) System of Play. The only high-quality, compatible building system that grows with children, the LEGO System empowers children to creatively express themselves, bring their imaginations to life and become the builders of tomorrow. Products are being shown during the annual American International Toy Fair in New York February 12-15.
"Consumer demand for LEGO branded construction toys is higher than ever. Last year, we took the number-one position among all boys' toy brands, aggregating all LEGO brand information reported by NPD Group, and we successfully re-established our 4+ construction theme business," said Soeren Torp Laursen, president, LEGO Americas, Pacific, Direct. "We recorded strong sales of LEGO Star Wars, but we also encountered the best performance since 2001 of our non-licensed, classic LEGO themes, with lines like CITY, DINO ATTACK(TM), KNIGHTS' KINGDOM(TM) and Racers all selling more than planned. LEGO products ranked high on children's wish list surveys last fall and we gained construction category market share."
He continued, "We have spent the last two years working very hard to re-focus the LEGO business on our unrivaled strengths - our core offering of construction sets - and our efforts have paid off. Moving forward, we will deepen our position as the leading construction toy brand with a balanced, innovative portfolio of construction sets that deliver the best and most fun building experience in the market for builders of all ages."
This year's LEGO line-up has something to spark imaginations of all ages:
Robotics building fun (ages 10+)
Consumer robotics the LEGO way moves into the next generation this August with LEGO MINDSTORMS(R) NXT. Smarter, stronger and more intuitive than ever, the MINDSTORMS NXT robotics toolset provides endless opportunities to build and program robots that do what kids want. New technologies, like a 32-bit microprocessor and Bluetooth, combine with four sensors, three motors, LEGO TECHNIC(R) pieces and completely new PC/Mac compatible programming software, to make it easy and fun to build robots beyond imagination.
LEGO(R) Themes (ages 5+)
"TIME TO POWER UP!" New LEGO EXO-FORCE(TM) takes imaginations to a mountain split in two, held together by bridges. Renegade robots will destroy mankind unless a team of young battle machine pilots can stop them. EXO-FORCE combines the building fun of traditional LEGO construction sets with the role-play adventure of action figures to create a futuristic world where kids become heroes, inspired by Manga animation. Kids build the machines and settings then create the excitement through play. New light brick "powers up" the machines.
Imaginations head "downtown" with classic build-and-play airport, hospital and construction site themes joining the LEGO CITY. Four new stunt racers, three new Ferrari playsets and a garage for tuning up collectible Tiny Turbos lead the new LEGO Racers speed team. And a World Cup year is the perfect time to "kick off" an all-new LEGO Soccer build-and-play tabletop game, revisiting one of the best-selling LEGO sets in company history. Medieval adventures of LEGO KNIGHTS' KINGDOM(TM) continue with six new constructible action figures and four new playsets expanding the castle grounds.
BIONICLE(R) (ages 7+)
A new island, evolving story and innovative product and packaging features drive an entirely new collection of constructible action figures and environments in the red-hot BIONICLE(R) property. A devious gang of Piraka (six to collect available now) arrive to take the Mask of Life, but a band of Inika (six to collect in August) heroes will challenge them with the counsel of the Matoran (six to collect available now) villagers. Piraka feature light-up eyes and glow-in-the-dark teeth, while Inika leverage a new strobe light technology to add role-play excitement. Three larger figures and three new LEGO playsets also launch in August.
Licensed building fun (ages 6+)
An agreement with Warner Bros. Consumer Products gives the LEGO Group construction toy rights for the classic Batman(TM) brand. LEGO Batman features six constructible play sets with strong vehicle focus (like the Batwing(TM) and Batmobile(TM)), cool functionality, gadgets and a library of collectible minifigures in April. The property's strong appeal with children and adult collectors makes it a perfect match for the LEGO brand.
An agreement with Nickelodeon gives LEGO Group master construction toy rights to the entire catalog of Nickelodeon properties. Two of the most popular Nickelodeon properties among boys come to life in brick form with three SpongeBob SquarePants sets and two Avatar: The Last Airbender sets available in August.
In 1999, Star Wars(TM) was the very first LEGO license, and to date, LEGO Star Wars is one of the most perennially successful lines. This year, six highly iconic, authentic models join the collection, like the Imperial Star Destroyer and Jabba the Hutt(TM)'s Sail Barge, while new minifigures drive collectibility.
Classic LEGO(R) building (ages 4+)
Open-ended LEGO building takes new shape this year with new classic building kits that offer everything kids need to build houses, buildings and vehicles, while newly branded LEGO Creator kits offer the possibility and instruction to build multiple models from one kit in cool themes like motorbikes, cars, dinosaurs and mythical creatures - anything a child imagines! New "FX" bricks add sound, light and motion for role play fun. LEGO TECHNIC(R) offers a wide selection of authentic models for skilled builders that replicate real life machinery and vehicles.
Building fun for preschoolers (ages 1-6)
Two starter sets join the award-winning LEGO QUATRO(TM) line, providing extra large bricks for smaller hands including a car chassis or jumbo figure to spark imaginative play. Top-selling LEGO DUPLO(R) Thomas & Friends continues, adding two iconic characters from the Island of Sodor - Harold the Helicopter and Cranky the Crane. And two new characters from the world of Bob the Builder - Sumsy and Scrambler - join the LEGO version of the beloved construction worker's fleet. More classic themes, vehicles and structures join the LEGOVILLE(R) assortment.