SHANGHAI, CHINA (Reuters) - Toy giant Lego opens its largest retail store in the world at the Shanghai Disney Resort on Wednesday (May 11), delighting children and adults alike.
The Danish plastic brick maker has been revitalised in recent years partly through the success of The Lego Movie. Founded in 1932, its brightly coloured plastic bricks have made the Kristiansen family one of Denmark's richest.
The company's factory in Jiaxing in China, 100km from Shanghai, is expected to be up and running in 2017, another step in its global expansion, and should produce most of Lego's toys for Asia in the future. The company already has factories in Denmark, Hungary, Czech Republic and Mexico.
Jacob Kragh, the general manager of Lego China who used to be the president of Lego Education, said entering the Chinese market was crucial.
"We want to make sure that we put a good, playful learning experience into the hands and the minds of children wherever they are in the world. But when you have that objective, you can think of no other country that offers that opportunity to a greater extent than China," he said.
In the store, decked out with giant Lego dragons and walls filled with multicoloured plastic bricks, both children and adults were playing.
The company now has 250 designers and launched 350 products last year. The nearby Walt Disney Co's theme park is slated to open on June 16.