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Franchise / LEGO

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Occupying children's hands and imaginations and bedeviling parents' feet since 1949.

"Only the best is good enough."
The LEGO Group's original motto, created by company founder Ole Kirk Christiansen.

Lego System A/S, known by their trade name The LEGO Group,note  is a major toy company founded by carpenter Ole Kirk Christiansen in Billund, Denmark in 1932 that's world-famous for its line of construction toys, consisting of numerous plastic bricks.

The company's name comes from the Danish phrase "leg godt", which translates into English as "play well". While not an influence on the name, the fact that "LEGO" can also mean "I build" in Latin has been embraced by the LEGO Group. The product is legally identified as LEGO bricks, not "LEGOs", and the fandom will be unfailingly quick to remind you of that fact.

Experts on children have called them the ideal toy — they're easy to use, are infinitely expandable and foster creativity. And by infinitely expandable, they mean infinitely expandable — even the earliest bricks made in 1949, when they first started their construction toy business, are 100% compatible with bricks manufactured today. They are also (nearly) infinite permutations on how you can combine them, with only 6 of the basic 2 by 4 bricks being able to be combined 915 million different ways!


Over the decades, in addition to selling basic boxes of bricks, LEGO has produced a vast array of "themes", collections of related playsets devoted to a general setting and concept (and occasionally, an overarching story), exploring a diverse range of time periods, places, jobs, characters, genres and even styles of building.

Prior to 1999, the LEGO Group avoided adapting licensed properties, reasoning that LEGO was its own very successful property. But in 1999 that changed, with the LEGO Star Wars line, which was insanely successful. The LEGO Group now has a myriad of licensed themes based on a wide variety of popular franchises. It's almost easier to list the ones they don't include: those owned by other toy companies (e.g., Transformers, Halo), those not age-appropriate (e.g., Game of Thrones), and Star Trek, which is thoroughly locked up by Hasbro.


LEGO has also now expanded to other products and merchandise beyond their construction toys. LEGOLAND is an international chain of theme parks based on LEGO. And there are also numerous video games and animated cartoons based on LEGO, most notably The LEGO Movie, produced by Warner Bros. and released in 2014.

LEGO toys, media, and other products:

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    Toy themes 
In addition to the standard boxes of colored bricks that made it famous, LEGO has produced a large number of "themes": grouped collections of conceptually related playsets devoted to a specific setting or concept. The multitude of themes have explored a vast array of different time periods, settings, genres, themes, and even styles of building.

Note that most of the LEGO themes involve the use of common basic bricks, which are called System. Themes which use more advanced pieces are known as TECHNIC. Themes which are designed for infants and toddlers (for safe usage without risk of choking) are DUPLO.

Also, themes on this list that are marked in bold have tie-in media adaptations, such as video games or animated cartoons (see the other folders below for more information).

Original themes

Licensed themes

    Video games 

Original games

Licensed games

    Film and television 

Feature films (theatrical)

Feature films (Direct to Video)

  • BIONICLE films (2003-2005, 2009)
    • BIONICLE: Mask of Light (2003)
    • BIONICLE 2: Legends of Metru Nui (2004)
    • BIONICLE 3: Web of Shadows (2005)
    • BIONICLE: The Legend Reborn (2009)
  • LEGO: The Adventures of Clutch Powers (2010)
  • Hero Factory films (2010-2011)
    • Hero Factory: Rise of the Rookies (2010)
    • Hero Factory: Savage Planet (2011)
  • LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes (2013-present)
    • LEGO Batman: The Movie – DC Super Heroes Unite (2013)
    • LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes: Batman Be-Leaguered (2014)
    • LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League vs. Bizarro League (2015)
    • LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League – Attack of the Legion of Doom (2015)
    • LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League – Cosmic Clash (2016)
    • LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League – Gotham City Breakout (2016)
    • LEGO DC Super Hero Girls: Brain Drain (2017)
    • LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes: The Flash (2018)
    • LEGO DC Super Hero Girls: Super-Villain High (2018)
    • LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes: Aquaman: Rage of Atlantis (2018)
    • LEGO DC Batman: Family Matters (2019)
  • LEGO Scooby-Doo films (2016-2017)

Short films and TV specials

Television series


Tropes about LEGO:

  • Accordion to Most Sailors: One of the LEGO Creator 31109 Pirate Ship alternate models is the Pirates' Inn, which includes an accordion for one of the pirates to play.
  • Actual Pacifist:
    • The creator of LEGO, Ole Kirk Christiansen, having lived through WWII, was one. It is for this reason that LEGO does not make military sets, and even the first gun pieces for pirates and the like in the 1990s were controversial within the company. This is also why LEGO bricks initially came in bright primary colors that didn't include grey or brown; Christiansen didn't want kids to make realistic military vehicles and gear out of them (not that it actually stopped them).
    • The company today is more of a Technical Pacifist that allows for Family-Friendly Firearms and stylized depictions of real weapons. Depictions of medieval or futuristic warfare are apparently fine (consider the Castle, Pirates and Star Wars sets). It's just the modern and World Wars era that LEGO mostly refuses to cover. There have been a handful of exceptions through the years, though, including a series of collector's models featuring a Sopwith Camel and a Fokker Triplane, two World War I fighter planes, as well as a handful of Indiana Jones sets featuring the Arado Ar 96 note  plus another World War I fighter in the Albatros D.III. Furthermore, the F-86 Sabre and Mark VIII heavy tank both have official designs depicted in Lego Indiana Jones 2, but these were never released into physical sets. The Wonder Woman (2017) sets also depict World War I-era fighter planes.
    • It should be noted that this policy only extends to the weapons themselves, and there is technically nothing stopping soldiers of these periods from being depicted, Those Wacky Nazis featured in the Indiana Jones theme (albeit with No Swastikas) being the stand-out example. Likewise, the "Green Army Men" from the Toy Story line are a hand and head swap away from becoming 50s American GIs, who likewise have counterparts in the Soviet soldiers who also hail from the Indiana Jones sets.
  • Agony of the Feet: From the many online jokes, you'd think LEGO was a brand of caltrops, and many parents and careless kids have suffered from treading on a piece. LEGO themselves eventually became well aware of this.
  • Amusement Park of Doom: Two in the DC line; a small funhouse featuring attractions for Joker, Harley Quinn, and the Riddler, and a much larger park with rides for Joker, Harley, Poison Ivy, and the Penguin. Both sets have several traps for Batman and Robin (and Beast Boy and Starfire) to face.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Since it's very easy to lose the manuals for sets over time, LEGO has posted the instructions for thousands of the sets online to read free of charge. You can see them here.
    • LEGO pieces can be difficult to take apart sometimes, especially with small tiles or plates in the middle of larger plates or stacked on each other. To this end, LEGO solved its own problem by manufacturing brick separator tools that grip onto pieces and provide leverage to wrench them off, and can even be used in a model if you really want. Later, LEGO did one better than just selling the tool themselves, first-party: they designed a slimmer, more attractive version, and tossed one in every large set to ensure that buyers would have one for free. A devoted collector will never have to look far for a brick separator again.
    • The (sadly long discontinued) LEGO Brick Vac, a hand-operated gadget that let you roll up LEGO pieces quickly into one bin to save you the trouble of picking them all up while saving your feet from a world of pain as a welcome bonus.
    • In lieu of the Brick Vac, LEGO has released official LEGO Slippers to help protect users feet from the bricks.
    • If you break a brick or a certain part of a set or simply misplace part of it (very common with small parts like Studs) you can buy replacement pieces (over 11,000 to choose from) from the LEGO website. In general, the fact that LEGO sets largely consist of common parts, almost all of which are modular to begin with, makes it fairly easy to replace certain bricks with ones taken from other LEGO sets.
    • Bags containing the smallest pieces, discounting mini-fig pieces, always contain redundant pieces for those times that a dark gray stud rolls onto the carpet. Later sets started labelling bags and their instruction manual shows you to open them in order or at least separate the contents of each bag.
  • Art Evolution: While they always rely on the tried and true bricks, later sets have gotten more creative and sophisticated and sometimes use more specialized bricks to allow details and forms more sleek than what regular bricks allow. A comparison of the numerous Slave 1 Lego sets really highlight the difference between the older, more basic and blocky looking LEGO sets and the more series accurate, detail heavy ones on the market today.
  • Ascended Meme: The Goblin minifigure likes stealing bricks and hiding them under people's feet, referencing their reputation as foot pain incarnate.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Some sets include mechanisms that allow them to shoot studs. These are very cool, but also very problematic. For one, they shoot the studs far, and those little things have an annoying tendency to get lost. For another, they can be a pain to reload, and if you're not careful you might shoot yourself in the face.
  • Bat People: Manbat from the Monster Fighters theme and the similar-looking Vampire Bat from LEGO Minifigures Series 8.
  • Built with LEGO: Naturally, and especially at a convention by fans. Rule of thumb; if it exists, you can make it out of LEGO.
  • Call-Back: The Scooby-Doo sets feature stickers that depict Johnny Thunder and the Prospector (from Minifigures Series 12) on them.
  • Captain Colorbeard: The iconic minifigure who plays the part of the captain for the Pirate sets is officially named Captain Redbeard. He's got all the traditional pirate traits: a Badass Beard, a bicorn hat, an Eyepatch of Power, a Hook Hand, and a Seadog Pegleg.
  • Cool Car: The Creator line has made a number of cars at a much larger scale than the typical minifig scale, both licensed (like the Ferrari F40) and unlicensed. The Technic line one-ups this with a number of vehicles with fully functional internal mechanics, such as the top tier Porsche 911 which has a 6 speed paddle shifter gearbox, steering rack, and a flat-6 engine. Large Technic sets are typically designed so that it's fairly straightforward to add a Power Functions motor to them, turning them into remote controlled cars. And then there's the full-scale, drivable LEGO Technic Bugatti Chiron that The LEGO Group's own engineers built almost entirely out of LEGO Technic pieces (only a few parts, such as the wheels and tires, were not made of LEGO parts). It's even propelled by a powertrain made up of 2,304 electric motors, allowing for the car to reach blistering speeds of 12.4 miles per hour.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: While a big selling point of LEGO is that much of its elements are compatible with each other, there have been a few parts over the years that simply won't work with others, with the Galidor line being the most standout example: It had characters more like action figures, but could still be mixed and matched together, but the parts only really meshed well with others in the Galidor line, leaving them very difficult to use with regular LEGO parts and sets. The fandom even has its own acronym for seemingly ultra-specific parts used in creative ways other than what they're intended to be: NPU, meaning Nice Parts Usage.
  • Darker and Edgier: Some of the monster designs in the Monster Fighters theme are merely more serious and played-straight versions of figures from the Minifigures line, like Lord Vampyre, the Crazy Scientist, his Monster, and the Mummy.
  • Deliberately Jumping the Gun: The LEGO website used to have a flash game based on its Drome Racers line wherein you could set your start to go on green, yellow, or red. Going on yellow was safest: no penalty, and if your opponent started on green you'd begin with a 3 second lead. If you went on red and your opponent went on green, you'd be penalized by 3 seconds.
  • Dem Bones: Skeletal minifigures started to become fairly common from the mid-90s on. They have the same proportions as the regular minifigures and use the same headpiece (albeit designed to look like a skull), but unlike regular figures, they have a hollow ribcage, both legs are connected separately, and the arms are attached via a loose ball-and-socket joint (later replaced by a bar joint with clip-on arms that move like a degular minifigure's). Whether they're supposed to be regular inanimate skeletons or actual monsters varies from set to set.
  • Design-It-Yourself Equipment: The only limits to what you can make with LEGO are the number of bricks you own and your imagination. And for those who can't afford the sets, theres always the free LEGO Digital Designer program, which allows you to build virtually any Lego set you desire.
  • Disney Owns This Trope: Zigzagged. The patent for the bricks expired long ago, and LEGO has so far been unsuccessful in their efforts to trademark their iconic 2x4 brick, hence why you'll find very similar brands of construction sets like Mega Bloks on the market. Hasn't stopped LEGO from trying to take legal action against them time and time again, though. However, LEGO does have trademarks on more specific kinds of their LEGO parts, such as their famous minifigures.
  • Ear Fins: The Swamp Creature from the Monster Fighters line and the Swamp Monster from the Scooby-Doo line use the same fin-eared headgear piece.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • The earliest LEGO products weren't even construction bricks but wooden toys. They didn't even start making plastic toys until 1947, and it took another couple years before they even made their first precursor to a Lego brick, the Automatic Binding Brick.
    • And even then, the brick in its iconic form wasn't finalized until 1958, and the bricks before that had limited interlocking and a less modular design.
    • The bricks from 1949 to 1957 were also made of cellulose acetate, while the bricks from 1958 and on are made with ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) polymer.
    • Minifigs weren't introduced until 1975, and the earliest ones prior to 1978 had no faces, arms or movable legs.
  • Easter Egg: Some sets include subtle details in unexpected places which can be seen as easter eggs. For example, the Saturn V set from LEGO Ideas has a piece count of 1,969, referencing the year of the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon.
  • Excuse Plot: For most original themes, any story surrounding them is minimal so that the child playing with the toys can imagine one. That is, if there's any story at all.
  • Fun Size: LEGO has made novelty lines of small exaggerated vehicles in the Super Heroes and Star Wars lines, and advent calendars demonstrate just how small a LEGO model can get.
  • Family-Friendly Firearms: See under Actual Pacifist. This was the company's stance for a long time, and to some extent it still is today. For example, you still won't see any LEGO models representing realistic military vehicles (with the exception of two collector's models featuring a Sopwith Camel and a Fokker Triplane). They aren't quite as strict about it as they used to be, though; since they were first introduced with the Pirate theme in the 1990s, stylized minifig-scale guns have appeared in the Adventurers,, Batman, Indiana Jones and Wonder Woman themes, but they're all noticeably "classic" or outdated to keep them from being too uncomfortably modern.
  • Fun with Acronyms: AFOL (Adult Fan of LEGO), TFOL (Teen Fan of LEGO), MOC (My Own Creation), SNOT (Studs Not on Top), and more. Others include BURP (Big Ugly Rock Piece) and POOP (Piece Out of Other Pieces).
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: The company has an internal policy, made official in 2010 after many years of being the de facto rule, of avoid[ing] realistic weapons and military equipment that children may recognize from hot spots around the world and to refrain from showing violent or frightening situations when communicating about LEGO products. At the same time, the purpose is for the LEGO brand not to be associated with issues that glorify conflicts and unethical or harmful behavior. In short, sets depicting modern-day military weapons are not permitted. note  However, a few kits manage to sneak through the cracks.
    • This set is clearly meant to be a Lockheed F-35 Lightning II strike fighter, but since it's labelled simply as a "Blue Power Jet" instead, it technically doesn't violate the company's non-violence policy.
    • The V-22 Osprey set was an interesting case. Although in real life the V-22 is strictly a military vehicle, the LEGO version is depicted in civilian markings and makes no mention of its use as a vehicle of war. However, a German protest group pointed out that, as a licensed model, it would still be providing money to weapons manufacturers regardless, and LEGO withdrew the set in response. It got past the company's "radar" just fine, but it couldn't get past the protests.
    • This set can be built into a jet fighter resembling a Sukhoi Su-15 as well as a twin-engine prop plane based on a Douglas A-26 Invader. Once again, neither is explicitly named, giving the company a degree of plausible deniability. The same is true of this set, which can be built into a Northrop F-5 Tiger or a De Havilland Mosquito.
    • One of the Toy Story sets depicts the plastic soldier characters along with an Army Jeep. Ordinarily this would be a clear violation of the "no modern weapons" policy, but since it's based on Toy Story, as opposed to representing a real-world vehicle, it gets a pass.
    • There is an entire theme based around the Coast Guard, which is, legally speaking, a branch of the military. However, the Coast Guard's primary function is rescue and law enforcement, making it acceptable by the company's standards. That said, at least one of these sets contains a model that wouldn't be allowed in any other context— a rescue helicopter that is clearly meant to be a Sikorsky HH-53.
  • Humongous Mecha: Exo-Force was a line of anime-inspired mechas with very much anime-inspired pilots. The mechas introduced heavy-duty clicky two degree of freedom joints, allowing them to be posed like an action figure. A few other mechs have shown up in other LEGO lines before and since Exo-Force, but not as the main focus.
  • Impossible Hourglass Figure: Pretty much every female minifigure is printed with one, though the uniformly blocky shape of the minifigure mold itself makes it stand out a bit less.
  • Insistent Terminology: Officially, LEGO is stylized "LEGO", in all caps. Additionally, the company specifies that "LEGO" is a modifier, and when not referring to the company, is not a noun. A brick or minifigure or a set is not "a LEGO". They're LEGO bricks, LEGO minifigures, and LEGO sets.
  • Made of Indestructium: LEGO bricks are notoriously resilient and will stand up to many years of use before they start showing any sign of wear.
  • Monster Clown: In the DC line, Joker counts, but so does the clown-face archway on Jokerland.
  • Mukokuseki: LEGO have yellow skin for this reason. There are minifigures with more realistic skin colors—usually if the figure in question is adapted from another property where the character they are based on is of a specific race to begin with. This is visibly enforced in The LEGO Ninjago Movie, where black news anchors Michael Strahan and Robin Roberts are represented by the same yellow skin tone as everyone else in Ninjago City.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: Crocodiles were introduced in the mid-90s with the Islanders, and for those sets, replaced the sharks as the go-to animal hazard for the pirates to fall prey to.
  • No Backwards Compatibility in the Future:
    • Averted. Save for specialized parts (i.e. the Technic or Galidor line) Lego bricks are designed to be modular and universally adaptatable. A LEGO brick from 1958 will absolutely work with a LEGO brick from 2019.
    • Sadly, this doesn't apply to the LEGO bricks made from 1949 to 1957, which have limited locking ability and lack of versatility compared to the bricks from 1958 and on.
  • The Noseless: Minifigures by and large don't have any noses on their faces, with noses on modern minifigures only rarely being included for more animalistic or monstrous figures. Even the minifigure Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble's cartoony noses are only alluded to by the silhouettes of their beards.
  • Off-Model: Lego doesn't always get things right in adaptations, even when accounting for the limits of bricks and minifigs. For example, the "Podracer Bucket" set has a buildable figure of alien racer Aldar Beedo that looks absolutely nothing like he did in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. Likewise, Kylo Ren's shuttle also has the wrong color scheme (it's jet black in the films, whereas the Lego set is inexplicably grey). Some of these problems come from changes in production, since to get toys out earlier, companies have to work with early material that may be subject to change.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: LEGO have produced a number of dragons over the years; single 'big fig' figures in the 1980s and 1990s in the same vein as LEGO horses, more advanced ones with additional articulation in the 2000s, and block-based dragons with large articulation in the 2010s Elves and Ninjago line. Almost all are quadrupedal with two additional wing limbs. The Elves line feature friendly magical dragons varying in size from a small car to a building, while previous sets - typically the Castle line - feature traditional knights and dragon slaying.
  • Serial Escalation: LEGO bricks have been mathematically proven to be the most modular toy ever made, and a major factor in why they're so popular and considered a legitimate creative tool. With only six off the shelf 2x4 bricks, there are a whopping 915,103,765 different combinations you can make out of those alone. Adding more bricks beyond that escalates the possible brick combinations into the billions and billions territory.
  • Stealth Pun: Some of the brand's tongue-in-cheek humor counts as this. In the Brick Bank set, for example, the criminals smuggle stolen money out of the building via a hidden door in one of the washing machines ( in the neighboring shop), which leads to an empty air vent. In other words, they're money launderers.
  • Super-Deformed: The aesthetic of the Super Heroes Mighty Micros minifigures, using short legs and having simple yet exaggerated cartoon designs.
  • The Tetris Effect: Possibly the oldest living example.
  • Theme Naming: All of the Modular Buildings' names are exactly two words.
  • Threatening Shark:
    • Sharks were introduced with the Pirate sets in 1989 and have been a mainstay animal piece ever since.
    • The villainous faction for the Aquazone sets were called the Aquasharks for a reason: all their submarines were built to resemble sharks. Their sets also usually included a shark for good measure.
  • Trope Codifier: There were interlocking brick toys for decades before LEGO (the pre-1958 LEGO bricks were almost identical to Kiddicraft's Self-Locking Building Bricks) but LEGO caught the world's imagination in a way that its predecessors didn't.
  • Units Not to Scale: Particularly the Star Wars sets, where only the fighters (i.e. X-Wing) are roughly 1:1 minifig scale; other sets like the Imperial Star Destroyer or Tantive IV have major scale changes, usually with only an interior area built to minifig scale. This is to maintain sanity, because a to-scale Star Destroyer would be the size of an Olympic swimming pool.
  • Unreliable Canon: Trying to decipher the canon (outside of its more story-oriented themes such as BIONICLE) can be a real mess, though it hasn't stopped many from trying. Perhaps the greatest unreliability is the LEGO timeline and universe.
    • Some sources state that each theme takes place in its respective era. For example, LEGO Pirates takes place in the 1700s during the Golden Age of Piracy. LEGOLAND, the first LEGO Racers, and LEGO Time Cruisers LEGO Mania comics apply Time Travel as a Hand Wave for crossovers.
    • On the other hand, there are so many crossovers between LEGO themes (such as LEGO Island 2, LEGO Universe, Soccer Mania, and countless LEGO magazine comics) without the Time Travel Hand Wave that it would seem that most LEGO themes take place concurrently. For example, this means LEGO Pirates would take place in 1989, simultaneously with LEGO Space Police.
    • Other sources (such as LEGO Universe, LEGO: The Adventures of Clutch Powers, and one UFO/Fright Knights commercial) imply that all themes take place concurrently, but each on their own separate planet. For example, the 2007 LEGO Castle theme would take place in 2007 but on the castle-themed planet Ashlar.
    • The LEGO Time Cruisers comics from World Club Magazine which interprets the many LEGO themes as The Multiverse, but even within certain universes there are unexpected crossovers. For example, there's one universe which has UFO and Fright Knights interacting on Castle Planet (tying into the previously-mentioned commercial), and another universe which has Wild West, Extreme Team, Res-Q, and Adventurers all taking place simultaneously.
    • The LEGO Movie depicts all themes as taking place concurrently. They are all part of the same planet but were separated into separate theme-based zones under the rule of President Business, who dislikes crossovers. The setting of Classic LEGO Space, for example literally being a brick wall away from the settings of the Wild West and LEGO Castle themes. In reality, the entire LEGO world is the basement of "The Man Upstairs", with each zone represented by a different table. This may imply that LEGO's canon is all based on how each LEGO builder perceives it, and thus its inherent subjectivity explains why the canon is so unreliable.
    • When Everyone Is Related, things become even more unreliable. For instance, Evil Ogel is the great-great-great-great-great-grandson of Lord Vladek, implying that the two themes take place seven generations apart. The Evil Knight served under both Lord Vladek and Cedric the Bull, who has interacted with the casts of LEGO Island and Soccer Mania, both of which had a crossover with Alpha Team in one of the LEGO Magazine comics... which would imply that Alpha Team and the second Knights' Kingdom themes take place around the same time, not seven generations apart. And let's not get started on Johnny Thunder's family tree...
  • Updated Re-release: They frequently do this with their sets, most noticably with Star Wars, where iconic vehicles or scenes are remade after a couple of years with better builds and minifigures, rinse and repeat. The original Toa from Bionicle also got rereleased like this just near the end of the original series run.
  • Under Crank: LEGO commercials use this technique—whenever the set is being thrown together in the commercial, it's actually the model being taken apart in reverse so it looks smoother and faster when played forward at faster speed.
  • You Don't Look Like You: The clown archway in Jokerland only shares the green hair, white skin, and red lips with the character who owns it. The archway has a red nose, two tufts of green hair, and a bowler hat.

Alternative Title(s): LEGO Themes


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