How Lego Became the Most Valuable Toy Company in the World

A bucketload of license deals

“Guys, please don’t take pictures of that,” said the publicist ushering journalists around Lego’s booth at this past February’s Toy Fair in New York. Indeed, several little configurations of plastic bricks were labeled “NO PHOTOS.” That’s because the Toy Fair is always a magnet for camera-brandishing nerd bloggers, and some of the toys being shown there revealed entire scenes from upcoming movies and popular TV shows—among them, Man of Steel, The Lone Ranger and the new Ninja Turtles cartoon on Nickelodeon. The scolded photographer’s ears turned red, and he and his friends scattered.