The Adult Fan of LEGO world was rocked last week with the annoucement by LEGO that they will be acquiring Bricklink , the largest marketplace for loose LEGO elements in the world. LEGO fans all around the world have been using this platform to buy and sell their LEGO parts for more than 19 years.
Below is the press release from LEGO
Acquisition will strengthen the LEGO® Group’s engagement with its growing community of 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 the 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.
Below is the memo from the Bricklink team
Dear BrickLink members,
We are extremely excited to announce that BrickLink Limited has entered into a definitive purchase agreement to be acquired by the LEGO Group. As the LEGO Group has announced today through its official press release, the transaction is expected to close by the end of 2019.
About 6 years ago when Jay took over BrickLink from Dan’s family, Jay promised to keep Dan’s legacy and continue to strive for his original mission – to help AFOL communities thrive. Our team is deeply grateful for Jay’s generous investment and our vibrant community’s enthusiastic support that helped us keep the promise. BrickLink now has nearly 1.2 million community members after quadrupling the initial 300,000 members who began the journey with us back in 2013. It’s not just volume that has grown over time. The overall engagement level of the community is higher than ever thanks to our avid members with various roles including catalog contributors, volunteers, big and small sellers, MOC designers, and set/minifig collectors.
Along the way, we also set an ambitious company vision – to unlock the true potential of LEGO bricks with the power of global communities. We believe in the creative power of AFOL communities and wanted to harness it with BrickLink. That’s why we launched AFOL-powered platforms and tools, such as MOC Shop (2014), Stud.io (2016), Studio 2.0 (2018), and piloted the first AFOL Designer Program (2018-2019) in addition to improvements on marketplace features.
Collaborating with the LEGO Group for the AFOL Designer Program taught us how much the LEGO Group cares about AFOL communities and how deeply they respect all of the creations and cultural heritage of adult LEGO fans. When two companies have perfectly aligned visions while filling in the missing parts of each other, it’s not too difficult to imagine how the collaboration will go. Once the potential synergy turned into reality with the success of the first AFOL Designer Program, we had no doubt that we were ready to take the collaboration to the next level. The LEGO Group’s acquisition of BrickLink was the best possible choice for us to secure future collaboration opportunities for AFOL communities.
So, what does this acquisition mean to you? It’s too soon to tell what exactly will happen at this point, but the direction is clear. The LEGO Group shares our ambition to create the best possible platform / experience for adult fans.
We understand that you might have more questions about the details of future changes. Please refer to these FAQs, and feel free to leave comments on this post. We also welcome any suggestions or cool ideas for future collaboration projects.
We’ll keep you posted when we have follow-ups or major milestones to announce. So, please stay tuned.
At present, no further details have been released and nothing more substantial will probably be released until the closing of the sale.