Co-branding for AFOLs: LEGO × [Adidas/Levi’s/IKEA]

Let’s cast a critical eye on three co-branded LEGO product lines that are coming out soon.

In the span of just one week, three co-branded LEGO products will be released! These are the first new highly-visible co-branding partnerships that the LEGO Group has introduced in years (beyond the long-standing tradition of LEGO-produced sets based on licensed themes.) Even more interesting than this explosion in co-branded products is the fact that two of the three partnerships are focused on products for Adult Fans of LEGO.

Upcoming co-branded release dates:

  • September 26, 2020 – LEGO × Adidas. A single (very colorful) limited-edition sneaker in their iconic A-ZX line. (Available in most countries by raffle only.)
  • October 1, 2020 – LEGO × Levi’s. A sprawling collection of denim products, hoodies, hats, and accessories featuring a washable 6×6 grid where you can attach LEGO dots pieces. (Available at levi.com, Levi’s store, and select retailers globally.)
  • October 1, 2020 – LEGO × IKEA. Three LEGO Storage products (designed for kids), and one LEGO Playset. (Available at IKEA Stores in Europe and North America.)

LEGO × Adidas

With just a single co-branded, limited release product, there’s not a lot to say about the LEGO × Adidas partnership. A single pair of LEGO-branded ZX 8000 shoes will be available in their Adidas Originals product line.

Adidas ZX 8000 LEGO Sneakers (Photo: The LEGO Group + Adidas.)

Adidas ZX 8000 LEGO Sneakers (Photo: The LEGO Group + Adidas.)

The shoes feature bold, classic LEGO colors of 21Bright RedRed, 24Bright YellowYellow, 28Dark GreenGreen, 23Bright BlueBlue, 26Black, and 1White, and will be available in the USA in half-size increments from M 3.5 / W 4.5 through M 14 / W 15. (There isn’t a mens or womens specific version, and no option for wide or narrow shoes.)

How to buy LEGO × Adidas ZX 8000 shoes?

USA & Western Europe You have to download and install the “Adidas” app on your iOS or Android phone and enter a raffle before September 25 for a chance to buy the shoes. I absolutely hate that you need to install a proprietary app and give them your location and credit card information in advance, but to their credit, it really is a pretty painless process. Just download and install the app, click on the LEGO A-ZX item on the home page of the app, and follow the prompts to give the app your location data, verify your phone number, choose your shoe size, and provide credit card information in advance (in case you win.)

Rest of World Sneakers will be sold on Sep 25, 10am local on adidas.com as a regular sale without any prior registration needed.

You can also buy or try to win the shoes at LEGO.com using VIP Points. You can redeem a whopping 15,600 LEGO VIP points on September 25th to get the sneakers, providing that your size is still available. (USA & EU only.) Or, for just 50 VIP points per entry, you can enter a sweepstakes to win the shoes. (USA, Estonia, France, Greece, Hungary, Republic of Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Slovakia, Sweden, United Kingdom only.)

LEGO × Levi’s

The broadest of the three co-branding offerings in this article is The LEGO Group’s partnership with Levi’s, which includes 16 different products for adult men and women. (A smaller Levi’s Kids line of printed t-shirts is only available in China.)

LEGO × Levi's - Jacket, Beanie, and Bag  (Photo: The LEGO Group + Levi's.)

LEGO × Levi’s – Jacket, Beanie, and Bag (Photo: The LEGO Group + Levi’s.)

Of those 16 products, only the denim jackets, sweatshirt, hoody, jeans, hat, beanie, and three bags include one or more “pliable LEGO silicone panel onto which fans can create their own customized designs using LEGO DOTS. … Sewn directly on the garment, anyone can create their own design using the mosaic-like tiles that “snap” onto the baseplates.”

Levi’s products with 6×6 Yellow LEGO Stud Patch:

  • Denim Trucker Jacket: “VINTAGE FIT TRUCKER” for Men, and “EX-BOYFRIEND TRUCKER” for Women, $148. (Both have two patches.)
  • Denim Jeans: “501® ’93 STRAIGHT” for Men, with two patches vertically on right leg. $148.
  • Sweatshirt: “LEGO RELAXED CREW” (Red) for Men, $80. “LEGO RELAXED HOODIE COLORBLOCK” for Men, $85. (Both have one patch.)
  • Hoodie: “LEGO RELAXED HOODIE” (Black) for Men, $85. “LEGO RELAXED HOODIE COLORBLOCK” for Men, $90. (Both have one patch.)
  • Hats: “LEGO FLAT BRIM” (Dark Blye Baseball Cap) Unisex, $25. “LEGO BEANIE” (Yellow) Unisex, $30. (Both have one patch.)
  • Bags: “LEGO PACK Vest” Unisex, $110. “LEGO MINI X-BODY” with one patch, $35. “LEGO STANDARD SLING” with one patch, $40.

How to buy LEGO × Levi’s Clothing & Accessories?

The full adult collection is available October 1st 2020 at LEVIs store, LEVIs.com and select retailers globally.

Misogyny in this clothing collection

Many people in the AFOL Community are working hard to raise the voices of female builders and make the community more inclusive. It is a huge dissapointment to see women treated as second-class customers with this LEGO × Levi’s partnership.

The first and most obvious slight against women is in the product offering as a whole—All of the products are available for men (or are listed as unisex), with only the Trucker Jacket offered in a Women’s specific product. (Yes, that means that you can not buy the most iconic Levi’s product—Jeans—in women’s sizes!)

If the limited offering for women isn’t enough, let’s look at the name of the only women’s specific product in the line… The men’s denim jacket has the inoffensive name “Vintage Fit Trucker”, whereas the women’s denim jacket is the “Ex-Boyfriend Trucker”. There is absolutely no reason that the naming of a jacket designed for women needs to imply a relationship to a current (or former) male romantic partner. It’s disrespectful to all women, and exclusionary to women who don’t have a partner or aren’t attracted to men.

I contacted Levi’s for comment on this inappropriate product naming, and was given the following dated and tone-deaf explanation: “It is from back in the day when a woman/teenage girl would wear her boyfriend’s jacket that was left to her and never returned after a breakup. A boyfriend would give his girlfriend his favorite jacket to wear as in taking pride in his woman and she would keep it and wear it taking pride in her man feeling as if his arms were around her, and sometimes the jacket was never returned after a break.”

A similarly inadequate explanation is present on their website: “Levi’s® Ex-Boyfriend Trucker Jacket is our cool, borrowed-from-the-boys take on the original Trucker Jacket. More oversized than our traditional boyfriend fit, it’s an ideal outer layer.”

May I suggest “Loose-fitting Denim Jacket” as an alternative?

LEGO × IKEA

We’ve already talked about the new IKEA BYGGLEK collaboration in a previous article, so I just wanted to remind readers that those products are going on sale soon. Unlike the fashion-oriented collaborations, they should be available for a while!

How to buy LEGO × IKEA = BYGGLEK

BYGGLEK will be available at IKEA Stores in Europe and North America on October 1.

Are you drawn to these co-branded products, or frustrated by misogyny that plagues too many aspects of our hobby? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below!

2 Responses

  1. Avatar Stephani Booker says:

    I agree with you that the lack of products targeted for women and the antiquated product naming and marketing in LEGO × Levi’s Clothing & Accessories is pretty offensive and annoying. This isn’t the 1950s; products marketed to women should have language that reflects the 21st-century, not phony “nostalgia” for the rigid gender roles of the past.

  2. Avatar Håkan says:

    I guess that “ex-boyfriend trucker” is an attempt of humor. You might argue about how funny or how offensive it is, however…

    And, by the way, disappointment is misspelled…

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