Vindice

Too much Lego? Good or Bad?

54 posts in this topic

Hi guys,

I was having an interesting chat with a friend the other day and we got to thinking.

Are The LEGO Group producing too much Lego at the moment??

I know this seems insane because for many of us there can never be too much but my concerns are this.

If TLG release too many lines, especially licensed, is this going to result in the lesser themes being cancelled due to poor sales?

Are the smaller themes like Alien Conquest, Pharaohs Quest, Dino and Atlantis not being given a fair chance to succeed because parents have no more disposable money after buying Star Wars, Superheroes and Lord of the Rings?!

I think each of those waves is capable of producing much much more if given a fair chance.

Is there an over-saturation point of Collectible minifigures?

I was interested to know if anyone else feels the same or sees other potential dangers. Or should we get more?

Think carefully, what is good in the short term may work even against us AFOL's in the end!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That probably does affect sales of the smaller lines, causing them to end a bit quickly. Unfortunately there isn't any really good solution to this. LEGO almost certainly won't lower prices, if they reduce the number of themes in production then there won't be as many new parts in new colors coming out probably, etc.

What do you mean by over-saturation of CMs?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that some themes (Star Wars, NinjaGo, Hero Factory, Creator, City and possibly Friends) are getting too many sets in 2012.

I also think some sets are on the shelf for too short a time (although some of that may be down to the retailers and not TLG)

And I think TLG are producing too many store exclusives. (then again, that may also be outside TLGs control as TLG has to give the stores the exclusives they want or else the stores may not stock as much LEGO)

Its hard to say whether Friends is getting too many sets in 2012 because its a new theme and having so many sets may be what it needs to succeed.

I do think that having 2 waves of NinjaGo plus Monster Fighters and Dino (all of which are notionally "action" themes) is too much, especially with all the licensed product going on. (Superheroes is very clearly an "action" theme IMO)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What do you mean by over-saturation of CMs?

Sorry mate, that wasn't clear.

I meant the Collectible minifigs. Do you think there are too many waves coming out? For some of us we can afford to collect maybe most of them but they are aimed at kids and can they get 4 whole sets a year?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry mate, that wasn't clear.

I meant the Collectible minifigs. Do you think there are too many waves coming out? For some of us we can afford to collect maybe most of them but they are aimed at kids and can they get 4 whole sets a year?

I'd agree on the minifigures front. UK, £2 a go and last year there were 4 series in the one calendar year. £32 a series and £128 for all 4 and thats before collecting doubles and perhaps paying aftermarket prices for the highly desirable ones.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi guys,

I was having an interesting chat with a friend the other day and we got to thinking.

Are The LEGO Group producing too much Lego at the moment??

Yes, specially licensed.

Are the smaller themes like Alien Conquest, Pharaohs Quest, Dino and Atlantis not being given a fair chance to succeed because parents have no more disposable money after buying Star Wars, Superheroes and Lord of the Rings?!

Yes.

Is there an over-saturation point of Collectible minifigures?
Definitely.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting topic as normally I would say there's never enough Lego.! :laugh:

But I can see your point. I think maybe they should limit the minifigures down to one or two waves a year. The licensing side is difficult as I imaging the Star Wars waves have helped TLG during a tough recession, but on the other hand the amount of licensed ranges must make it a nightmare for parents to decide what range to buy and stick too.

I don't think City will ever be replaced as the sets are fantastic for kids getting started with smaller Lego pieces, but I fear that other ranges like the Egyptian range (has this been wrapped up?) and maybe the Dino range may be caught out for not being either City or Licensed (not helpded with maybe very little promotion). Would be a massive shame with the Dino range as the sets and the molds of the dinos are amazingly good quality.

I wonder if part of the problem is the tie-in with Disney. Having to provide ranges for films like Cars, Toy Story, Prince of Persia (OK film but not much scope for decent sets, and no sequels) and PotC (didn't help that they came out just to tie in with the damn awful Pirates 4 movie) means that there's more choice, which in turn brings the headaches.!

It's going to go crazy with LoTR and more DC stuff (which is not a bad thing in the case of those 2).

My only gripe is that there will be more flesh coloured heads than the original/trad yellow which I feel is part of what makes Lego - Lego (but that's an topic for another day)

Edited by AngryChair

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the amount of lines is just fine and is not concerning. :classic:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure about whether there are too many themes for sale in 2012, but do think that:

-all of the new Friends sets are needed to jumpstart a new theme....most are completely sold out at our TRU and Target, and selling quite well at our local Lego store.

-many folks collect minifigs, and it is much less expensive to buy a CMF at 3USD than a set at 20-150USD just to get one or two minifigs you want. And the prices for these desirable minifigs from sets such as the Green Princess/Queen from Kingdom Joust, is ridicously high on BL at 16USD+.

So I do not think that these two lines are overproduced in 2012. Many of us only buy 3 or 4 from each set of 16 CMF's; even with 4 sets are introduced in one year, that is only 16 or so minifigs at a total cost of about 50USD. That is less than most larger sets cost.

The one major hole I see in Lego's line up is the lack of a LegoVille Duplo playhouse/doll house similar to the old 4966/9225. They need to bring these sets back or provide a new one in neutral colors for boys and girls; the retired replacement sets are sold out or very high priced on eBay. These sets are a wonderful way to recruit young kids to Lego.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do feel that there is too much, but only because there is a lot of good stuff out this year and I want it all. But, if that means more people will get into Lego because they like the designs then I say it's a good thing as there will be plenty for everyone to be able to find at the store.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I might be concerned if I saw a lot of LEGO being left on the clearance/remainder shelves for months or if a lot was showing up in the TJ Maxx/Winners type stores. These things would indicate an over-supply.

As it is however they are constantly selling out so clearly they have done a great job of matching supply to demand.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see your point, but more themes/sets = more/ different pieces for MOCs.

Also, more themes = more people that want to buy LEGO = more money

= more LEGO. . . :thumbup::classic:

Edited by Legoman273

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think the LEGO market is oversaturated.

I doubt there's an oversaturation of licenses. There are a great number of licensed themes this year, but there's little evidence that they're going to crowd out traditional themes. Lord of the Rings may have supplanted Castle temporarily, but I imagine the theme won't long outlast the Hobbit movies. We already have a number of iconic scenes from the movies depicted, and there are still at least two waves (winter and summer 2013) before the second of those is released. By that point I believe a number of the significant scenes will have been used, and LEGO will be forced to either release sets based on less interesting scenes, or remake older sets. LotR doesn't have the staying power of the multimedia behemoth that is Star Wars, so I doubt it will fall into said theme's two-to-five-year cycle of remakes. And while Cars seems to have largely supplanted Tiny Turbos, I don't see any reason why the non-licensed theme deserved to stick around more than a theme with actual characters and story.

Many lines don't seem to get a chance at another wave simply because there's not an intention to make those lines last. Where else could the Dino theme honestly go? There's already a ton of vehicles and a decent base. It's one example of a theme that I see as perfectly concise, with no more sets than it needs to fill out the cast of characters and setting. Alien Conquest was another example. I know AFOLs yearned for a human base other than the mobile one, and many wanted a mothership that could actually deploy smaller ships. But the alien ships had a defined, limited aesthetic, and kids would only purchase a number of sets with that aesthetic before getting bored. As for a human base, I'm sure mobile bases sell more than non-mobile ones in most, if not all, cases. So again, continuing the theme until sales dwindled to a non-sustainable point is pointless when LEGO can "refresh" the market with a new theme. I disagree that Atlantis wasn't given a chance. It lasted three waves, and I can wager that the third wave was less successful than the first two. So that's an example of a theme that WAS given a chance, but failed to return on expectations in the end. Pharaoh's Quest was a theme with limited scope: it only encompassed Egyptian locales. If it were to continue, it would need to do so in a different setting, probably with a different name. And who's to say it won't? It'd be easy for LEGO to bring back the cast of PQ when they next need to do such an "adventure" theme.

I also disagree that collectable minifigures are oversaturated. Most places I know only have the most recent two series' in stock at one time. And the CM line has a different dynamic than most themes. Once a kid (or AFOL, for that matter) has gotten their favorite fig, they might not spring to buy the same series again. So LEGO has to run a limited edition of each series, and release new series frequently.

And as others have said, LEGO's strategy seems to be working. You rarely see Lego on clearance aisles, except in the rare case of a theme that out-and-out failed, such as Prince of Persia or Speed Racer (which failed largely because the movie did not live up to the studio's expectations in terms of sales). LEGO has not stopped releasing exciting new lines in favor of licenses (even if new ones don't always have to be long-runners). And despite the frequent releases of new Collectable Minifigs, that line continues to sell well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Lego is doing just fine, there are plenty of offerings of both the licensed and normal kind. I don't really see Lego producing licensed themes as a problem, it's just another avenue of sales for them, and it has helped them increase sales as it's more acceptable for older kids and adults to buy those. Lego can barely produce enough sets as it is right now, just look at how desolate the isles were at the retailers this christmas, and that was at inflated prices, so I doubt there is any kind of oversaturation of the market.

I see how the limited shelf life of certain sets can become a problem if the sets are advertised, but never show up in stores. That would breed frustration and dissatisfaction with TLG, however, even the most short-lived sets are out for 5-6 months, so people should be able to pick them up if they really want them. Quick turnover of sets is not a bad thing, it means that there are always fresh sets out there to grab people's fancy. Yes it can get expensive for those of us who are completionists, but among lego's core group, the kids, most would not have the opportunity to own them all anyways.

As for the CMFs, they seem to be doing fine with a lifespan of 3-4 months where they are widely available before they disappear, and with an average rice of ~$50 per series the price is not awful either. In all honesty no one says you have to collect them all, I think plenty of kids are happy getting some of their favorites to play with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is there an over-saturation point of Collectible minifigures?

I'm not sure if it's the stores up here but there was a while when stores got a large number of boxes for series 4 and 5...and maybe as a knee-jerk reaction of being unprepared for the success of Series 1 and 2. Heck, there are still stores up here with Series 5.

Anyhow, I've been to 4 Wal*Marts here now where they would only have 2 boxes of Series 6...as opposed to the 8-12 they had for Series 4 or 5. While I believe there is "over saturation" I also wonder if retailers are getting tired of these and feel their time is done and rather devote shelf space to other items?

I'd be all for LEGO reducing this to 2 Series per year...especially in light of all the other offerings this year (i.e. Superheroes and LOTR) and the increasing prices of others (i.e. SW).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I might be concerned if I saw a lot of LEGO being left on the clearance/remainder shelves for months or if a lot was showing up in the TJ Maxx/Winners type stores. These things would indicate an over-supply.

As it is however they are constantly selling out so clearly they have done a great job of matching supply to demand.

Pretty much. The discontinuation of some themes isn't something that can be helped. Recently, save for Atlantis, action themes have a tendency of giving us a fine wave and then being switched out for another. But that's another discussion...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would say for me 2012 is not a good year.

I hope 2013 will be better with these themes;

New Historic Theme

New Space Theme

New Pirates Theme

More City Civilian Sets

New Train Sets

That would be nice as right now other than parts and exclusives I don't plan to have any theme purchases.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry mate, that wasn't clear.

I meant the Collectible minifigs. Do you think there are too many waves coming out? For some of us we can afford to collect maybe most of them but they are aimed at kids and can they get 4 whole sets a year?

Ah. While it might be difficult for most kids to get all of them (especially if they get them randomly rather than buying specific ones online), I still don't think there are too many coming out. They look good, often have new parts, and are great for MOCs. It would be better though if TLG stopped with the unmarked packages...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My problem isn't too much stuff, it's too much good stuff! :tongue: I just like everything, so I think they're doing fine with the quantity of new sets.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The amount of themes LEGO has released for this year is a varied amount. I really like how there are new sets from older themes like Spongebob, City, and Racers (though I think Racers just got axed), and that there are new themes and sets like Superheroes, Dino, and Friends.

On the other hand, I don't really like how sets from last Spring have already been discontinued in major retailers. The 2011 City Bank was on sale last week at Target, and there weren't any copies of it there since November! :sceptic: I also think LEGO should keep every 3 CMF series' available at retail together. I've been trying to hunt Series 4 packets down since November!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been burned out with CMF since series 3. Series 5 is stocked full at a ton of retailers and Series 6 is being released right now. I think LEGO releasing 2 and no more than 3 series a year would be perfect. There will always be a market for CMF and there's no need to pump these out quickly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Lego are in a great space at the moment. Lego is supposedly selling better than ever (I remember seeing somewhere Lego posted a profit last year despite the recession, correct me if I'm wrong) and, in my opinion, they're making tons of great sets. I see sets in every theme I want. I see specific elements that are new or in new colours that I want. I think it's great.

I think that perhaps the only thing Lego could do is hold onto some themes for longer. I find that an awful lot of themes (PoP or most recent Pirates best examples) have spawned some brilliant sets, and, in the case of Pirates, revived old fans and established a new fanbase - only to be cut short after one wave. Granted, PotC followed to continue the piratical side of things but I would've loved to see a few more waves of traditional Pirates. Kingdoms got a better run but it appears discontinued and it would've been nice to have had the usual castle theme running under the radar while LotR conquered all, just as another option. These under-the-radar themes also often spawn some of the best sets of the year. :wink:

But at least we are getting great licensed themes like PoP, PotC, SH, LotR. I also think traditional Kingdoms was very strong as a continuation of castle and Atlantis was nice too. I don't think there are too many themes - just a little bit much variation each year, without giving some themes a chance to establish themselves.

Here's to hoping LotR lasts as long as Star Wars. :wink:

Edited by Commander Laquiet

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are some great comments on here from people.

From a personal viewpoint I like seeing loads of LEGO available. But I am also a parent, and when I see my boys looking through a catalogue completely confused as to what sets to go for I see the other side too.

Lego is expensive and while it is doing amazingly well at the moment, it will only continue in this position of strength if they adopt the correct market strategy. Is having a large amount of product lines running concurrently the best strategy? I guess in time we will find out.

My concern will be that if parents get to the stage where buying Lego becomes too difficult (deciding on which sets to buy out of all the ranges) or they don't agree with it (some parents will not buy branded or licensed toys as it's too expensive) then they will pull the plug and if the parents do not spend their money then that will be bad for all of us!

Good debate people!

Edited by Vindice

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The min figs are great for adults willing to feel the packet's I managed to get only the one's from series 6 I wanted: lady liberty, mechanic dr. and a few Minotaur's there are a lot of set's i want and the kids its gunna be an expensive year, but if we all buy all the sets everything will be fine, lego will make loads of money and they will release more, now i must earn some money!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lego is expensive and while it is doing amazingly well at the moment, it will only continue in this position of strength if they adopt the correct market strategy. Is having a large amount of product lines running concurrently the best strategy? I guess in time we will find out.

It's not even having a large amount of product lines. It's having a lot of great product lines running concurrently. I think it's going to force kids/collectors to focus on specific lines. I love and want to buy LEGO Super Heroes but I just can't afford SW, LotR and Super Heroes all at the same time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.