While there were some rumblings of Bricklink being acquired, I didn’t expect that it would be the LEGO Group to pick up the tab. Although on hindsight, it was an obvious decision by the brand.
The AFOL community are definitely concerned with this acquisition as it does pose an anti-consumer situation as the brand now owns a sizeable portion of their resale market.
LEGO purchasing Bricklink not only allows them to control that portion of the resale market, they will also have access to the buying patterns and data of Bricklink’s 1 million users which is what I feel is the main impetus for brokering this deal.
BrickLink will no longer be an “unofficial” marketplace and will need to be conscious of the fact that it is representing the LEGO brand in a much more direct way than before. ~ Bricklink
They also get Bricklink’s proprietary virtual design software Stud.io. which is one of the best LEGO design software that I’ve come across.
While there are numerous reassurances from The LEGO Group that everything will be as business as usual, there is bound to be some changes along the way.
I do believe that it is in LEGO’s best interest to keep Bricklink running in its current state and form as it is an invaluable resource for data mining.
Either that or the sellers could jump ship to Brick Owl…
BILLUND, Denmark, November 26, 2019: The LEGO Group today announced it has acquired BrickLink Ltd (www.bricklink.com), the world’s largest online community of adult LEGO fans from NXMH to strengthen its connection with its important adult fan base.
The BrickLink platform has more than one million members and comprises an online marketplace of more than 10,000 stores from 70 countries; a digital building software where builders can design and showcase their creations; and a vibrant online community where fans share ideas and builds.
The platform was founded in 2000 by Dan Jezek as a way to connect like-minded adult LEGO fans from around the world. It was acquired in 2013 by NXMH, which is owned by Korean entrepreneur Jung-Ju “Jay” Kim. BrickLink is headquartered in Irvine, California.
The LEGO Group CEO, Niels B Christiansen said: “Our adult fans are extremely important to us. They are passionate, committed and endlessly creative. We have worked closely with the community for many years and look forward to deepening our collaboration. We plan to continue to support BrickLink’s active marketplace and evolve BrickLink’s digital studio which allows our talented fans to take their creativity to the next level.”
Jung-Ju “Jay” Kim, owner of NXMH, said: “It has been a privilege to lead the transformation of BrickLink during the past six years. I am grateful to the community for being so welcoming, supportive and constructive. I am constantly amazed by everyone’s endless creativity and their love for building. I am confident the platform will be in good hands with the LEGO Group. As a fan myself, I can’t wait to see what’s next.”
The LEGO Group’s Chief Marketing Officer, Julia Goldin, said: “BrickLink provides the LEGO Group with a unique opportunity to connect with adult fans through new channels and exciting experiences. We’ve recently collaborated with BrickLink on a range of crowd-sourced sets to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the brick. We learned a lot and are keen to explore more ways of working together to create value. We look forward to collaborating further with our adult fans, while retaining and nurturing the independent spirit of the digital platform.”
The acquisition also includes Sohobricks which makes small batches of building elements.
Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Closing is expected to occur before the end of 2019.
About the LEGO Group:
The LEGO Group’s mission is to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow through the power of play. The LEGO System in Play, with its foundation in LEGO® bricks, allows children and fans to build and rebuild anything they can imagine. The LEGO Group was founded in Billund, Denmark in 1932 by Ole Kirk Kristiansen, its name derived from the two Danish words LEg GOdt, which mean “Play Well”. Today, the LEGO Group remains a family-owned company headquartered in Billund. However, its products are now sold in more than 140 countries worldwide. For more information: www.LEGO.com.
BrickLink is an online marketplace for LEGO® products and represents a vibrant adult fan community. The website was founded in April 2000 and currently has more than 1 million members. For more information: www.bricklink.com and @bricklink on IG and Twitter.