|Licensed from||The Lego Group|
Lego Sports was a Lego theme that was launched in 2000 and discontinued in 2007. The theme focused on a variety of sports-themed toy sets, including football, basketball and hockey.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, The Lego Group made the decision to diversify its product range with sports-themed toy sets. The company initially focused on football, due to the popularity of table football sets and the football game Subbuteo during this period. Lego Sports was launched in 2000 and discontinued in 2007. As a result of several licensing contracts with major sports organisations, the product range displayed the official logos of these organisations.
The football product range differed from other Lego toy sets by focusing on football action instead of construction, so they contained fewer pieces. The branding of the sets was also different to other Lego product ranges. In 2000, the toy sets were illustrated with an image of French footballer Zinedine Zidane, who was represented in Lego minifigure form in set 3401. Some toy sets, such as Championship Challenge incorporated a kicking device that enabled minifigures to kick a ball. In 2001, the theme released the Women's Team set, which included six female minifigure players. This was the largest number of female minifigures included in a set at that time. A range of promotional sets was also released to coincide with the 2002 World Cup. From 2003 to 2005, the Lego Sports theme focused on NBA basketball and NHL hockey, but Lego football toys reappeared in 2006 with the release of three sets that launched around the time of the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
The toy sets for the Soccer sub-theme included:
The Gravity Games sub-theme introduced the extreme sports of snowboarding and skateboarding to Lego sets. The theme was released in 2003 and discontinued in 2004. The theme focused on the Gravity Games, a multi-sport competition that included summer and winter activities. The set boxes were sometimes illustrated with photographs of sports professionals next to their signatures.
The toy sets for the Gravity Games sub-theme included:
The Basketball sub-theme was launched in 2003. In the first year it was licensed by the National Basketball Association. The minifigures featured spring-loaded legs and hand designs that enabled players to use the minifigure to perform actions, such as shooting and passing. Like the earlier football sub-theme, the set boxes featured images of real NBA players and the toys were decorated with logos of Spalding and NBA. The largest set was Ultimate NBA Arena. Various players were recreated in minifigure form, including Shaquille O'Neal, Jason Kidd, Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash. The minifigures were designed to look like the real players and was the first time that non-yellow minifigures appeared in Lego sets. These realistic skin tones appeared in later themes, such as Lego Harry Potter and Lego Indiana Jones.
The toy sets for the Basketball sub-theme included:
The Hockey sub-theme was released from 2003 to 2004. It differed from other Lego Sports product ranges because the first hockey sets included special figures constructed from Technic and Bionicle pieces rather than minifigures. The theme was endorsed by the National Hockey League and NHL Players' Association. In 2004, the sets named NHL Championship Challenge and NHL Street Hockey included minifigures that were placed on discs with poles that allowed the puck to move around.
The toy sets for the Hockey sub-theme included: