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People look at a display of Lego toys in the window of Hamleys toy shop in London, December 2, 2011.
Reuters/Luke MacGregor
That’s a lot of separate pieces.
EVERYTHING IS NOT AWESOME

Don’t panic, but there may be a LEGO shortage coming this Christmas

Jenny Anderson
By Jenny Anderson

Senior reporter, Editor of How to be Human

Everything is not awesome for parents wanting to buy their kids LEGOs this holiday season. The red-hot Danish toy maker said it might have trouble fulfilling orders coming in later this year.

“We will not be able to deliver all of the orders coming from customers in the remainder of the year,” spokesman Roar Trangbaek told Reuters, but he did say the company would fulfil the orders it had already received. He refused to specify which lines of toys or which European countries would be affected.

With the new Star Wars film fast approaching, the Danish toy brick maker is on a tear. First-half revenue was up by nearly 20%, while profit jumped by more than 30% versus a year ago.

It has overtaken Mattel, maker of Barbie, and Hasbro, the maker of Transformers and My Little Pony in sales…

…and is smoking the competition in terms of profit:

The company is investing heavily to increase capacity, adding 190,000 square meters (around 2 million sq ft) to its Monterrey factory in Mexico and expanding plants in Hungary and Denmark.

Its ambitions are not small. “We are regularly reviewing the needs for further investments in order to deliver on our ambition of eventually bringing LEGO play to every child in every country around the world,” said LEGO CFO John Goodwin.

Big ambitions aside, the potential shortage suggests Lego is not aware of just how awesome it really is. Reuters asked why the company failed to anticipate customer demand. ”It is really extraordinary and it has exceeded both ours and our customers’ forecasts,” Trangbaek said.

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