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Lego misses out on top toy maker slot

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Lego hit record sales last year, but could not dislodge Barbie maker Mattel as the world's best-selling toy maker.

The perennially popular plastic brick maker grew sales by 6% to 37.9bn Danish kroner ($5.38bn; £4.42bn), a slowdown from 25% growth the year before.

Bali Padda, Lego's new chief executive, told the BBC it had seen "supernatural" growth in the last 10 years.

But he said this had now slowed down and would remain at a similar level in the future.

Worldwide, Lego sold more than 75 billion parts, 3,700 shapes and launched 335 new sets last year.

The Star Wars Millennium Falcon was its best-selling toy again, ahead of the Amusement Park Roller Coaster and the Porsche 911 GTS RS.

However, US toy maker Mattel had sales of $5.46bn, staying ahead of Lego even though its sales declined by 4%.

Hasbro, which makes My Little Pony and Nerf guns, was the world's third largest toymaker with $5.02bn in sales last year.

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Media captionLego copycats fool China boss

Lego's sales were strong in the UK and other European markets last year, but were flat in the US despite a significant increase in marketing.

Mr Padda, who is from the UK and is the first non-Dane to run the business, said it would seek to improve results in the US this year.

The Lego boss, who took over in December, also said the toymaker continued to "see strong potential in China".

China is a major part of Mr Padda's growth strategy, but the firm has warned that copycat Lego toys are a major problem in the country.

In an interview with the BBC in December, the boss of Lego's new Chinese factory could not tell the difference between a real and a fake Lego figurine.

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