Jeremy Wright is a sucker for Lego

Jeremy Wright is a sucker for Lego

Lego has legions of followers across the globe and now, the Danish building brick manufacturer can add UK culture secretary, Jeremy Wright, to its ever-growing fan base. Wright has revealed he owns an extensive Lego collection, with the MP's Lego news admission detailing he turns to his beloved bricks whenever he needs to de-stress from his demanding government position.

Wright explained he sees the iconic building bricks as a handy way of putting his brain into a neutral setting, before admitting his “very large indeed.” In fact, his collection is so sizeable it’s a point of contention in his marriage, with the MP revealing his wife thinks it too large. Nonetheless, the well-known Conservative is steadfast in his appreciation of the famous building toy and its therapeutic effects.

Going into detail about his love for all things Lego and its calming capabilities, Wright described the simple task of putting something together before pulling it apart as key to the therapeutic process. The media mogul is a particular fan of newer sets from the toy manufacturer, commending the engineering capabilities of more recent additions to the catalogue of available kits. A particular favourite is the Lego Death Star, an incredibly popular release that boasts a whopping 4,500 bricks.

The mindfullness market

Jeremy Wright’s not alone in realising Lego’s strength as a de-stressing tool. In fact, the manufacturer itself has actively promoted its products as the perfect way to bring some inner peace to a busy mind. In 2018, Lego pushed out a series of advertisements to social media platforms that show a young woman trying to bring about a sense of relaxation. In the narrative, the woman in focus struggles through the usual methods like yoga, before settling on a Lego ship building set. The advertisement closes with captions highlighting that constructing Lego buildings and other kits can help minimise stress levels and improve overall well-being. The final words: “It’s zen, but in the shape of a brick.”

Reconnecting with creativity

Earlier in the year, Lego rolled out another initiative to engage the growing adult market for its popular building bricks. LEGO FORMA is billed as a premium building experience for grown-ups, helping them re-engage with creativity. This innovative product began life as a crowdfunded campaign, with the quirky fish and shark models offering a simple yet engaging exercise for those looking after practical playtime at any age. Besides the basic rods and skeleton parts of the model this mechanical fish also boasts a host of customisable features, with an array of colours and patterns to pick from. Once completed, the eye-catching model can be displayed with pride in the home or at the office.

Although adults have long been spending on Lego for themselves, this is one of the first releases from the manufacturer aimed squarely at the more mature market. Specifically, it’s the 18-34 demographic that accounts for much of this big kid spending that Lego sought to entice. The product proved popular with consumers and arguably helped steer profits skyward. This is certainly good news for the manufacturer, with Lego having seen its first revenue dip in a decade in 2017. However, the first half of 2018 bucked a trend nobody at Lego HQ wanted to see settle in, with revenues stabilising.

Creative activities for all ages

Another demographic that Lego is keen to target is the slice of the adult market purchasing products that can be enjoyed along with their children. In an age dominated by smartphones, the internet and gaming consoles, many parents are now looking to reconnect with youngsters through the use of hands-on, practical activities. Lego is an ideal choice for this back-to-basics approach, with the brand now honing its output to match the growing appetite for shared activities. What’s more, Lego hasn’t isolated its products completely from the new technologies that are competing for the attention of kids. Lego’s Creative Play Lab are turning out products that embrace the digital spectrum, with customers encouraged to take photos of their Lego builds and unique creations before posting them to social media channels.

While Lego enjoys a premier position in the toy market, this digital integration is an essential tactic for future-proofing its product against unprecedented arrivals onto the scene. The old-fashioned charm of hands-on play and novelty of a shared experience are still at the core, while engaging with social media and official Lego campaigns ensures an ongoing line of communication between manufacturer and consumer. For adult fans with an active online presence, this also produces an extra round of product promotion as they share content about their latest creations.

How much are adults spending?

Admittedly, children are still the main target audience for Lego, but the manufacturer and others aren’t ignoring the growing appetite within the so-called ‘kidult’ market. Research shows that £1 out of every £10 spent on toys is spent by adults purchasing items for their own use. Furthermore, there’s a consistent year-on-year increase in the amount adults are spending on toys for themselves. In fact, from 2016 to 2018, spending in this category increased by a massive £30 million. In this market, construction and model-making kits come out on top, with Lego sets among the most popular choice by adults looking to spend on themselves.

Lego’s not just appealing to adults looking for a one-off indulgence to kill a few hours either. While a happy customer will always return, those with independent spending power can also become Lego enthusiasts. There’s a real market for collectors of the brand, with the sometimes dizzying asking prices of themed sets and limited edition kits a minor obstacle to those with their own income stream.

Whether it’s an overworked MP looking to de-stress after a hectic day in government or a mindful millennial embracing nostalgia, Lego has an adult market with an appetite that’s ever-growing. What’s more, with a marked year-on-year increase in adults spending on toys for themselves, it’s almost certain Lego will up its offering of products aimed squarely at the big kid demographic in years to come.