In a rather surprising turn of events this morning, The LEGO Group has officially announced that it will be taking over Bricklink – the world’s largest online marketplace by AFOLs for AFOLs – with the intent of “strengthening engagement” across its growing community of adult fans.
The announcement came in the form of an official press release issued by the company. Bricklink has been in existence for almost two decades when it began as a brainchild of LEGO fan Dan Jezek. Since then it has grown to be the world’s largest LEGO fan-based market place consisting of more than 10,000 stores across 70 countries. It was then acquired by NXMH LLC in 2013 by Korean entrepreneur Jung-Ju Kim.
According to LEGO top brass Niels B Christiansen, Bricklink’s acquisition of the LEGO Group will further deepen collaboration between the company and its growing number of brick fans. It is yet to be seen, however, on how this will be spelled out in actuality. Together with Bricklink, LEGO has also included in its acquisition Sohobricks – a clone brand that specializes in creating bricks that cater to artists and businesses.
Though I would like to give the benefit of the doubt on all of LEGO’s good intentions in taking over Bricklink, I couldn’t help but think about the repercussions that it may have on the many sellers out there on the Bricklink platform. As a fan-based and fan-driven LEGO marketplace, it has always thrived because of its decentralized nature without any corporate influence. So we’ll just have to see how LEGO will live up to its word in creating a more positive experience and engagement to all buyers and sellers in the marketplace. Hopefully, all of the details will be ironed out by the end of this year.
Here’s the complete press release as announced by LEGO, and feel free to comment down below on what you think will happen to Bricklink with the LEGO Group taking over.
The LEGO Group acquires BrickLink, the world’s largest online LEGO® fan community and marketplace to strengthen ties with adult fans
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.