By Ryan Tuchow for Kids Screen
The LEGO Group is building its way into the arts and crafts category with the 2D tile-based play line LEGO Dots.
The new flat tiles come in various shapes and sizes and users can place them together to create 2D designs, such as facial expressions, planets and music notes. Dots is a departure for the company, which has primarily focused on 3D play with its many brick-based brands. Dots launches March 1 with bags of coloured and decorated tiles, wearable bracelets and room decor that can be decorated, including photo cubes, jewellery holders, a pineapple-shaped pencil holder, a small picture frame.
The Danish brick-maker is launching the new property to tap into kids desire for more personalised forms of play, where they’re free to explore and express themselves, LEGO said in a statement. LEGO discovered this white space after conducting a quantitative study with 10,800 parents and 7,200 kids across the US, China and Germany.
To showcase the new brand, LEGO partnered with London-based artist Camille Walala – and 180 kids – to build a five-room interactive house full of the new tiles. The installation is at Coal Drops Yard in London’s Kings Cross from January 28 to Feb 2.
In other LEGO news, the company is expanding its licensing relationship with Universal Brand Development to include Universal Pictures’ Fast & Furious franchise. Under the broadened partnership, LEGO will launch the new LEGO Technic brand, a construction toy line where kids can build their own cars, on April 27. Aimed at kids 10 and older, LEGO Technic is coming out ahead of Fast & Furious 9, which arrives in theatres in May.
LEGO has been collaborating with Universal since 2018 to turn some of its biggest brands into CP, including Jurassic World which got an animated special, a miniseries, and play-sets. It also teamed up with the studio as a CP partner for DreamWorks Animation’s upcoming feature film Trolls World Tour for the first time, last year.
This relationship might move beyond CP though as just last month multiple news outlets, including The Hollywood Reporter and Collider, reported that the brick-maker (whose deal with Warner Bros. expired last fall) was in talks with Universal about an exclusive film partnership for the studio to produce new movies focused on the toys.