Access to the Finnish market

The LEGO Group enters the Finnish toy market in 1960. At the time, severe import restrictions have been in force in Finland since the end of World War II. Under these legislative measures it is possible to import only a limited volume of LEGO® bricks. To cope with this situation the LEGO Group enters into a partnership agreement with a businessman, Boris Strömsholm, to manufacture LEGO bricks under license in Finland.

Setting up production

Boris Strömsholm sets up modest production facilities in Bemböle, Espoo, outside Helsinki, with molding machines and tools for manufacturing the most common types of LEGO bricks. The company produces about 60% of the LEGO bricks sold to Finnish shoppers. The remaining 40% is imported from Billund, Denmark – first and foremost LEGO special elements. Production continues in Finland until 1964, when the government eases the tight import regulations, and LEGO bricks sold in the Finnish market can then be manufactured in Billund.

Sales conference at the LEGO System House in Billund, Denmark, 1963. Left to right: Boris Strömsholm, Finland; Bror Åsberg, Sweden; Ragnar Lyngra, Norway; and Hans Sørensen, Denmark

Establishing a LEGO sales company

In 1960, the LEGO Group sets up a subsidiary, under the name Oy Suomen LEGO AB, to market and distribute LEGO products in Finland. Boris Strömsholm, who is also in charge of the license production of LEGO bricks, takes on the position of country manager of the new subsidiary. In 1978, Boris Strömsholm sells his share in the company and Oy Suomen LEGO AB becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of the LEGO Group.

Two official languages

Finland has two official languages: the vast majority of Finns speak Finnish, but a part of the population speak Swedish, primarily in the south‑western coastal region. For this reason the marketing of LEGO products in Finland differs from that in the other Nordic countries as all sales and marketing material is bilingual.

Leaflet in both Finnish and Swedish from Oy Suomen LEGO AB, 1962