Denmark’s Lego Publishing Has Licensing Partnership With Chronicle Books

In News by Porter Anderson

Expected to go to market in spring 2020, the new Lego-based content from Chronicle Books includes seven new Lego titles, multiple formats.

Lego Playgrounds is part of the app-based content being developed by the company. Image: Lego Group

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Sharing the ‘Lego Love’
In terms of dream licensing deals, could there be a better-sounding announcement than Chronicle Books‘ news this week that it has a deal with the Danish Lego Group to publish books inspired by the brand’s toys, bricks, and minifigures?

The partnership is to include not only books but also puzzles, postcards, journals, erasers, and more merchandise. And there’s to be a title called The Art of the Lego Minifigure—which would seem to indicate that all is not for the kids in this partnership—and “many new formats,” according to the publisher’s media messaging.

While those “new formats” aren’t specified, it’s been noted that a week ago, Lego messaged the media about Lego Playgrounds, a first-time portal development using augmented reality in an evocation of the Lego NingaGo Dieselnaut and Dragon’s Pit sets.

Diane Levinson at Chronicle confirms to Publishing Perspectives that the target territories for the content will include the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Spain, Italy, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, China, Japan and Korea.

Chronicle also points out that it’s no stranger to such approaches. Chronicle has publishing partnerships with Disney Pixar, for example, as well as Luscasfilm, HBO, DC Comics, Star Trek, Pantone, Marimekko, and others.

Sarah Malarkey, executive editorial director for Chronicle, is quoted, saying, “We are thrilled to work with Lego, an internationally beloved brand that shares our values of quality, creativity, and play.

“Both companies have generations of fans and a real affinity for one another. Together, we will make a publishing program that helps people express and share their Lego love in many different formats. We can’t wait to start creating together.”

From Robin Peterson, Lego’s publishing director, we read, “We are delighted to welcome Chronicle Books into a select group of publishing partners who work closely with the Lego Group to create books that delight and inspire fans around the world.

“Chronicle Books’ unique sense of humor and style will allow us to explore original and innovative publishing formats that celebrate Lego in all its facets, from inspirational studies of Lego creativity to hilarious memes and jokes featuring iconic Lego bricks and minifigures.”

Lego is based in the Danish city of Billund, and Chronicle is based in San Francisco.

And this news of licensing progress comes quickly after Dominique Raccah’s November 30 keynote at the FutureBook Live conference in London from The Bookseller. Raccah reminded us of how broadly based her licensing arrangements now are at SourcebooksPut Me in the Story line of personalized books for children.

The list there now includes Mickey Mouse, Disney, Marvel’s The Avengers, Elmo and Sesame Street, Disney Princess, Pete the Cat, Curious George, Disney Baby, Peanuts, National Geographic, Dora the Explorer, Fancy Nancy, Nickelodeon, the Berenstain Bears, Spongebob Squarepants, and Winnie the Pooh.

Chronicle Books base in San Francisco. Image: Chronicle Books

More from Publishing Perspectives on licensing is here, and on children’s books is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.