Russia is replacing Lego with 'World of Cubes' after the toymaker refused to do business there

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A chain of toy shops called "World of Cubes" is replacing Lego in Russia after the toymaker joined the ranks of global brands that exited the country over its Ukraine invasion, according to Reuters

Danish company Lego used to work with Russian company Inventive Retail Group (IRG) to franchise its shops in Russia.

IRG now says it plans to open 65 "World of Cubes" stores in 20 Russian cities, saying the new chain will "appear in place of certified Lego shops" and sell Lego among its products, Reuters reported.

That comes despite Lego stopping its operations in Russia in July over its invasion of Ukraine, and ending its work with IRG.

But as of Monday, the "World of Cubes" website advertised a wide range of Lego products as being in stock, including items in the popular Harry Potter and Star Wars ranges. 

Parallel imports — the practice of importing goods without the trademark owners' permission — were legalized in Russia in May, and the policy has dogged numerous companies that are trying to keep their products out of the country.

This is how Apple's new iPhone 14 was still available in the country as of mid-September, as Insider's Hiuleng Tan reported

Lego told Insider in a statement that it has clamped down on reselling outside of Russia: "We have taken steps to increase visibility and control over any potential resale activity by our existing customers outside of Russia, including adding additional clauses to retailers' contracts."

The new "World of Cubes" stores represent another major substitution in the daily lives of Russians, who have already seen the 850-store McDonalds franchise replaced with imitation chain "Tasty and That's It."

Dozens of other brands, including Spotify, IKEA, Disney, Prada and Levi's, have left Russia.