The LEGO Group took a major step toward further connecting with its growing base of adult fans and collectors with the acquisition of Bricklink.

The company entered into an agreement with NXMH to acquire the world’s largest online community of adult LEGO fans in a deal that is expected to close by the end of the year. The acquisition also includes Sohobricks, which makes small batches of building elements.

Based in Irvine, California, Bricklink was founded in 2000 by Dan Jezek as a way to connect like-minded adult LEGO fans from around the world. It was acquired in 2013 by NXMH, which is owned by Korean entrepreneur Jung-Ju “Jay” Kim. Over the past 19 years, Bricklink has amassed more than 1 million members and features an online marketplace of more than 10,000 stores from 70 countries alongside a digital building software where builders can design and showcase their creations. At its core is a vibrant and active digital community where fans can share ideas and custom builds.

“Our adult fans are extremely important to us. They are passionate, committed and endlessly creative,” says LEGO Group CEO Niels B. Christiansen. “We have worked closely with the community for many years and look forward to deepening our collaboration. We plan to continue to support BrickLink’s active marketplace and evolve BrickLink’s digital studio which allows our talented fans to take their creativity to the next level.”