Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) is continuing the expansion of its empire with its most recent deal with the Lego Group. In the past these companies have come to arrangements for Lego Star Wars action figures and a video game. Marvel Studios, a subsidiary of Disney, even got in on the action with a similar deal years ago. So what does Disney have in store with this next deal?
Lego announced its 18th collection of LEGO Minifigures, starring some of Disney’s most beloved characters, inspired by stories from across the entire Disney universe.
These 18 new Minifigures are the playful characters of some of the most iconic characters from Disney classics personified in Lego form. For example, these personalities include Mickey Mouse, Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland, and range as far as Disney-Pixar favorites such as The Incredibles and Toy Story.
Although younger generations these days tend to be more technologically oriented and have seemingly left typical toys behind, Lego is still a very relevant brand with this generation. The recent “The Lego Movie” (2014) was a hit in theaters with a box office of nearly $470 million, and the reception among kids was incredible. Disney definitely sees value in this brand and might even be pushing for its characters to potentially get in on the sequel.
In making this deal, some might suppose that the Mouse House is furthering its ties with Lego. With Disney have been such an acquisition machine (Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar and so on), some investors and market watchers might even wonder if an acquisition might ultimately be on the horizon. Currently Lego is a privately held company, and being based in Denmark and being such an important company globally might bring regulatory hurdles from many angles (hint: many Lego toys are already considered high-priced). In its 2015 fiscal year, Lego Group had revenues of $5.4 billion and a net income of $1.4 billion.
Jill Wilfert, Vice President of Licensing and Entertainment for The LEGO Group, commented:
For more than 16 years, fans have been recreating their most beloved Disney stories through LEGO play. This year, we’re excited to give them a diverse collection of Disney characters from classic storylines, to never-before-seen LEGO likenesses of Disney icons in order to further the creative play possibilities for Disney and LEGO fans alike.
This collectible series of LEGO Minifigures will be widely available for purchase in all major toy retailers, as well as at shop.LEGO.com and in LEGO Stores nationwide in May, with a suggested retail price of $3.99 each.
Shares of Disney were trading at $98.60 in the noon hour Wednesday, with a consensus analyst price target of $108.93 and a 52-week trading range of $86.25 to $122.08.