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Sunday, January 18, 2009

The move, which marks a radical departure from the building brick toys for which it is traditionally known, will see Lego join forces with a US firm to produce electronic gadgets aimed at children.

Lego said it hoped to bring its toys to life in "an all-new way for its fans". The range includes fully-functional digital cameras, MP3 music players, alarm clocks and walkie-talkies, which all feature Lego's distinctive look.

"Our entrance into the youth electronics space will enable our fans to express themselves through photos, videos and music, while displaying their enthusiasm for one of the world's all-time favourite toys," said Jill Wilfert, Lego Group's vice president of licensing.

The new product line, developed with Las Vegas based electronics firm Digital Blue, will be aimed at children aged between seven and 11, although it is also expected to appeal to older gadget fans because of its retro appeal and iconic design. The range will be available later this year, and the devices are expected to cost between £14 and £40.

"We're extremely proud to team up with Lego, a highly regarded brand among generations of parents and kids throughout the world," said Tim Hall, chief executive of Digital Blue.

Lego, a family-ownded firm based in Billund, Denmark, was established in 1932. It has won legions of fans for its simple, snap-together building brick system that allows children to make everything from cars and boats to planes, spaceships and castles.

In recent years, Lego has sought to modernise its product line with new toys that appeal to today's tech-savvy youngsters. The Technic range, for instance, allows youngsters to build Lego cars, bulldozers and dumper trucks with working 'engines', while the Mindstorms range features state-of-the-art robots that children can build and program themselves.


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