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Too much Lego? Good or Bad?


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#26 TheLegoDr

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 12:25 AM

View Posttedbeard, on 08 February 2012 - 05:20 PM, said:

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.

You should move here. There was definitely an abundance of sets on clearance at the Targets/Wal-Marts/TJ Maxx near me. Luckily I purchased my fair share of goodies at really low prices, but they still have some sets post Christmas on clearance at some of these stores, but they aren't sets I want so I didn't buy any. A lot of the sets I've seen on clearance were the Alien Conquest and Pharaoh's Quest, so if they weren't selling well in clearance, they might not have been selling well to begin with.

With that said, I do think Lego might have too many lines running at the same time. I have been out of the loop for Lego for a while until the last year, so I don't know their usual rollout speeds, but it seems there is a lot of variety to choose from for 2012. That is great to an extent, but it will also make the waves run shorter to allow the new waves to get the shelf space. I have yet to purchase any Lego this year (other than clearance) and I don't know when I will (maybe LOTR or the Marvel sets), but that is only because I am saving my money to purchase these other lines, as opposed to buying Dino or some early City sets. I just can't afford every set I want, so many will get left out. On the grand scheme of things, having that much to choose from would allow enough consumers to pick up the slack that I am leaving and TLG will benefit either way, but for the consumer, there is too much to be able to focus on one select theme before it gets discontinued/discounted to make room for the next wave.
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#27 Gryphon Ink

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 06:18 AM

View PostTheLegoDr, on 10 February 2012 - 12:25 AM, said:

You should move here. There was definitely an abundance of sets on clearance at the Targets/Wal-Marts/TJ Maxx near me. Luckily I purchased my fair share of goodies at really low prices, but they still have some sets post Christmas on clearance at some of these stores, but they aren't sets I want so I didn't buy any. A lot of the sets I've seen on clearance were the Alien Conquest and Pharaoh's Quest, so if they weren't selling well in clearance, they might not have been selling well to begin with.

There are a lot of them here, too.  POTC, Alien Conquest, Hero Factory, Cars and Harry Potter are all still overflowing the clearance aisles at both my local Walmarts, and I've seen a bunch of items from other themes too.  In the majority of cases, the ones that are abundant in clearance are the lackluster sets that I wasn't interested in buying, so I can definitely see a case for the idea that they didn't need to produce so many sets.  And Cars and POTC don't seem to have sold at all!  Even at the lower prices, I see the same number of boxes on the shelves every time I go in the stores.
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#28 Jedi master Brick

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 07:58 AM

Lego are doing fine, it is great because different people like different themese.  Last year I remember reading in a newspaper that Lego profits were up 25%.  So this strategy must be working for Lego to some extent.
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#29 Cwetqo

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 09:48 AM

I also think that lego is doing very good lately: we got a lot of trains, very good technic sets and, and constantly solid performers in city and sw.

What I dont like is how they treated some themes, like Kingdoms and in some degree also Harry Potter and Pirates. Availability of 2nd wave of Kingdoms was very limited (most shops never got them) and announced EOL not even after full year. Similar was (at least in our coutry) with 2nd wave of Harry Potter (I never saw smaller hogwarts set in a store) and with pirates (this theme would really deserve at least second wave and even the first one disapeared very quickly).

#30 JackJonespaw

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 01:01 PM

I think that Lego is producing a nice amount of Legos. Although some themes will probably run their course in the early 2012 wave. (Dino, Ninjago) I do wish that Lego had continued some themes like Harry Potter and Alien Conquest and stopped some, like Spongebob.
But, all in all, I don't think there can ever be too much Lego that's bad.

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#31 Sir_Basil_Ashton

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 02:12 PM

I think Ninjago is going to be around for awhile. From what I understand, the cartoon is doing really well and the LEGO sets don't sit on the shelves very long. As long as the cartoon is still on, I would expect LEGO to continue releasing sets.

#32 Lyichir

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 03:24 PM

View PostJackJonespaw, on 10 February 2012 - 01:01 PM, said:

I think that Lego is producing a nice amount of Legos. Although some themes will probably run their course in the early 2012 wave. (Dino, Ninjago) I do wish that Lego had continued some themes like Harry Potter and Alien Conquest and stopped some, like Spongebob.
But, all in all, I don't think there can ever be too much Lego that's bad.

Yeah, Ninjago won't have "run its course" for a while. Toy Fairs have shown us the summer lineup, and Mark Stafford has confirmed that he's already working on sets for next year. Additionally, the TV series has been picked up for a third season, so there's really no end in sight for this theme.

#33 brickbuilder711

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 04:08 AM

My analysis is LEGO is diversifying. They have come up with quite a bit of profit over the years so I guess they're just taking the risks and producing all these third-world themes that really do not jive all too well with the community. The action figure lines are just awful when they make those macro figs... and it seems they won't learn with their Ben 10 mistake. Otherwise core lines like City, Exclusives, SW, and Creator are all overall well founded while the others you know are going to be short lived. I had no strong hopes for PQ, and Toy Story little more hope, and into 2012, you all have seen the deals.

Edited by brickbuilder711, 11 February 2012 - 04:11 AM.

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#34 vexorian

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 04:13 AM

Lego diversifying would sound great to me if it wasn't for my local retailers only bringing a few themes per year. With so many licensed themes and ninjago and hero factory, I don't really think I'll have much chance to get to buy Dino or Monster hunters this year

View PostLegogal, on 08 February 2012 - 04:52 PM, said:

-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+.
It is not like the CM bags come with Kingdom Joust figs. Also, specially with the more recent CM bags that make it very hard to pick by touch, I think you'll need to buy a lot of bags before the figure you want.

Oh, sure they sell, but they are a rip off and costumer abuse in their blind packaging.

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Edited by vexorian, 11 February 2012 - 04:17 AM.


#35 mrklaw

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 11:52 AM

View PostSir_Basil_Ashton, on 09 February 2012 - 06:49 PM, said:

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.

kids *do* focus on specific lines. Its what they do. My daughter really wants a Dino set. Actually all of the Dino sets because one has a T-rex, one has a pterodactyl, one has a...etc. But she isn't interested in city. My son likes creator but doesn't care about atlantis for instance. Kids will have particular interests so you need a wide enough range of different subjects to capture as many of those little pockets as possible.

#36 GeluNumber1

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 09:52 PM

I personally think that thre are not too many Lego sets being released. With more sets on the market, more people can buy a Lego set without having their specific set run out. This leads to more people buying Lego, and more money for TLC. However, there are a bit too many minifigures. I've already spent well over $200 on series 3-6, and there are just more and more coming. TLC should definitly slow down production.
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#37 Lyichir

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 10:59 PM

View Postvexorian, on 11 February 2012 - 04:13 AM, said:

Lego diversifying would sound great to me if it wasn't for my local retailers only bringing a few themes per year. With so many licensed themes and ninjago and hero factory, I don't really think I'll have much chance to get to buy Dino or Monster hunters this year


It is not like the CM bags come with Kingdom Joust figs. Also, specially with the more recent CM bags that make it very hard to pick by touch, I think you'll need to buy a lot of bags before the figure you want.

Oh, sure they sell, but they are a rip off and costumer abuse in their blind packaging.

---

Too much LEGO can indeed become a problem. Ask video game makers what happened when there were too many Atari games at the same time. LEGO's bubble may explode.

How are the CMs customer abuse? I haven't heard any sob stories about kids breaking down after not getting their favorites. I understand your criticisms of the blind packaging system, but honestly it's not abuse if the vast majority of customers are happy with their purchase.

I doubt there's a "LEGO bubble", and I think their efforts at diversifying work to prevent such a thing from occurring. While some AFOLs might not be able to get all the sets they want, more consumers choosing LEGO (for instance, the Polly Pocket/Barbie crowd of young girls buying Friends instead of passing up on LEGO altogether) will likely lead to net growth for LEGO. And remember, the fall of Atari largely had to do with the overproduction of low-quality games (like E.T. the Extra Terrestrial). Since LEGO seems to be doing a good job of ensuring quality in all its themes, we have little reason to fear a market collapse.

#38 vexorian

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 01:16 AM

It is abuse precisely because the people still buy them. LEGO could easily stop it with the blind packaging and stop using artificial means to increase sales and CMs would still be very successful. But sure, since they will sell CMs anyway they feel like getting away with it.

Edited by vexorian, 12 February 2012 - 01:17 AM.


#39 Sir_Basil_Ashton

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 01:52 AM

View PostGeluNumber1, on 11 February 2012 - 09:52 PM, said:

I personally think that thre are not too many Lego sets being released. With more sets on the market, more people can buy a Lego set without having their specific set run out. This leads to more people buying Lego, and more money for TLC. However, there are a bit too many minifigures. I've already spent well over $200 on series 3-6, and there are just more and more coming. TLC should definitly slow down production.
Here's the issue I have. There are more themes and sets that are released by LEGO but the LEGO section at retailers such as Target, Walmart and Toys R Us is still the same size. I believe this has resulted in certain sets that are still in production not being sold in every store. I know they're still available at Shop at Home but I like the option of going to a store and buying the specific set that I want.

#40 Lyichir

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 04:25 AM

View Postvexorian, on 12 February 2012 - 01:16 AM, said:

It is abuse precisely because the people still buy them. LEGO could easily stop it with the blind packaging and stop using artificial means to increase sales and CMs would still be very successful. But sure, since they will sell CMs anyway they feel like getting away with it.
Maybe. But I doubt the figs would have such variety if they weren't blind-packaged. I know figs like the lifeguard would likely flop in regard to the target audience. All we'd be left with is a bunch of army builders, and while those are popular, some fans (myself included) prefer the more niche figs staying around. But I'm sure you've heard this argument a thousand times, so I figure there's no changing your mind.

#41 Graysmith

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 02:45 PM

I would definitely agree that many great (non-licensed) themes aren't given a fair chance. LEGO seems to give up on them right away if they're not an instant hit (which is hard when you have to compete with licensed themes and themes that have their own tv show). There are way too many themes that just come and go, often themes that are so good that they'd be worth having around for a couple more years worth of sets. Alien Conquest, for example, is by far the greatest ufo/alien theme they've ever done (IMHO) and yet it only got one wave of sets. Kingdoms, which is LEGOs finest Castle theme since the 80s, only got two years (ignoring this year's swan song Joust set), which is an absolute outrage as far as I'm concerned. Atlantis did get a decent amount of sets but it really deserved a longer life too considering how much that could've been done with it. Pharaoh's Quest wasn't a homerun but it had a lot of promise and could've definitely gotten much better if they'd let it continue.. And so on.

#42 Lyichir

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 06:29 PM

View PostGraysmith, on 13 February 2012 - 02:45 PM, said:

I would definitely agree that many great (non-licensed) themes aren't given a fair chance. LEGO seems to give up on them right away if they're not an instant hit (which is hard when you have to compete with licensed themes and themes that have their own tv show). There are way too many themes that just come and go, often themes that are so good that they'd be worth having around for a couple more years worth of sets. Alien Conquest, for example, is by far the greatest ufo/alien theme they've ever done (IMHO) and yet it only got one wave of sets. Kingdoms, which is LEGOs finest Castle theme since the 80s, only got two years (ignoring this year's swan song Joust set), which is an absolute outrage as far as I'm concerned. Atlantis did get a decent amount of sets but it really deserved a longer life too considering how much that could've been done with it. Pharaoh's Quest wasn't a homerun but it had a lot of promise and could've definitely gotten much better if they'd let it continue.. And so on.
This kind of mindset devalues the actual work LEGO puts into these one-wave themes. And many of your examples betray the faults in this logic. For instance, what more could have been done with Atlantis? It went from a cohesive first year, with the crew seeking out the iconic treasure rings, to seeking out... a bunch of disparate treasures that didn't even look good together. I loved some of the second-year Atlantis sets, particularly the drill submarine, but I can't deny that the theme was going downhill fast.

Besides, it's not a case of LEGO "not giving themes a chance" so much as customers not giving them a chance. Based on what I've seen in stores, Alien Conquest didn't actually sell that well. If LEGO wanted to try to extend the theme, the lower sales would force them to cut corners and produce sets that would look, and probably sell, even worse. The talk in this topic reminds me of the discussion of BIONICLE on BIONICLE-centric forums. People there complain that the theme wasn't given a chance, and that theme lasted 9 years. But the net cause is the same; sales were down, and LEGO as a business can't afford to produce sets at a loss. Why can't we respect themes for what they were, rather than for what they probably never could have been?

#43 MetroiD

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 09:50 AM

View Postbrickbuilder711, on 11 February 2012 - 04:08 AM, said:

My analysis is LEGO is diversifying. *snip*
From an economic perspective, that's the spot on definition of what's going on in the moment. And with the substantial additional turnover guaranteed by the collectable minifigures, which by the way are being marketed perfectly and have brought about not only serious profit, but also an incredible amount of hype around the entire brand, LEGO can now afford the luxury of trying out more stuff in the vein of Ben 10 - and also revisiting older, more short-lived ideas that had potential in them (which is, for example, the way I see the whole Monster Fighters thing).

To answer the question of this topic - yes, there is a tendency of oversaturating the market. That said, I am convinced that LEGO are well aware and have explicitly chosen to try out this strategy in order to determine where the future lies in terms of long-term profit makers. The swift revamping of the product line does probably leave many parents/customers wondering what to get precisely, but it's more than welcome for AFOLs who would just like for LEGO to produce new pieces in as many new colours as possible. So from that point of view - keep 'em coming. I can't promise I'd buy any set from the short-lived themes, especially seeing as I don't buy too many sets nowadays and prefer to get bricks in bulk, but I sure as hell could use even more cool colours (one of the reasons why Friends is such a good thing :wink: ).
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#44 supersympa

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 02:06 PM

I have been thinnking for the last couple of weeks, "wow  so many great themes coming in 2012, but isn't that an overkill?"

I mean, I do collect a few star wars (ep 4-6), I do like marvel and superheroes, I do like LOTR, I do like modulars, I do like the monster fighthers...I do like almost everything that is coming!

So either I make a choice in what I will buy, or i need to change house!

what will happen probably is I will resell some of the previous theme I started to collect,
or do not buy the new ones...

#45 mrklaw

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 02:37 PM

View Postsupersympa, on 14 February 2012 - 02:06 PM, said:

I have been thinnking for the last couple of weeks, "wow  so many great themes coming in 2012, but isn't that an overkill?"

I mean, I do collect a few star wars (ep 4-6), I do like marvel and superheroes, I do like LOTR, I do like modulars, I do like the monster fighthers...I do like almost everything that is coming!

So either I make a choice in what I will buy, or i need to change house!

what will happen probably is I will resell some of the previous theme I started to collect,
or do not buy the new ones...

whereas I was thinking 'oh there isn't much coming in 2012, I can take a breath and save up for 2013'. I don't like LOTR, don't care for the Monsters theme, or Marvel/superheroes. And the UCS SW themes don't look that interesting.

people are different, so you need a range of products to have something attractive to as many people as possible.

Edited by mrklaw, 14 February 2012 - 02:37 PM.


#46 Legocrazy81

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 05:41 PM

Have people complaining about blind packaging never collected anything before? Trading cards are blind packaged. As a kid, there were dozens of little toys that were blind packaged. It's the only way to make it, in a sense, fair. Could you imagine, given the current way they have each box set up with certain figs, what would be left for the kids after the "vulture" AFOLS hit the LEGO aisle. Kids wouldn't have a chance to get a Spartan, Elf, Zombie, Roman, or any desirable fig. Not to mention the people out to make a buck on eBay would pick the bones dry of any boxes they see.
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#47 Gryphon Ink

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 07:35 PM

View PostLegocrazy81, on 14 February 2012 - 05:41 PM, said:

Have people complaining about blind packaging never collected anything before? Trading cards are blind packaged. As a kid, there were dozens of little toys that were blind packaged. It's the only way to make it, in a sense, fair. Could you imagine, given the current way they have each box set up with certain figs, what would be left for the kids after the "vulture" AFOLS hit the LEGO aisle. Kids wouldn't have a chance to get a Spartan, Elf, Zombie, Roman, or any desirable fig. Not to mention the people out to make a buck on eBay would pick the bones dry of any boxes they see.

Agree with that 100%.  Blind packaging is a proven sales tactic that sold a billion boxes of Crackerjack and fifty gazillion Kinder Eggs.  I still buy Kinder Eggs every time I can find them, because it's just such a kick finding out what you get - even if the actual toy turns out disappointing, it never stops being fun. Plus you get a chocolate egg no matter what, so everybody wins. There are more efficient ways to get a chocolate fix or a silly molded plastic toy, but none of them are as fun.  The blind packaging of the CMFs definitely makes them fun.  It's not just "run to the store and pick up a Dwarf Battlepack for my enormous Dwarven Legion", it's go to the store, hope to find a dwarf, feel the packets, this one's a dwarf, no it's a gladiator damn it I can feel his helmet, that one's either a dwarf or a clown, and what the hell is THIS ONE?"  Buying your minifigs becomes a mini-game.

I realize there are many AFOLs who would vastly prefer to just buy the Dwarf Battlepack, but I doubt the CMFs would have sold anywhere near as well as they are if they had not been blind packed.
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#48 ACWWgal2011

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 08:33 PM

View PostLegocrazy81, on 14 February 2012 - 05:41 PM, said:

Have people complaining about blind packaging never collected anything before? Trading cards are blind packaged. As a kid, there were dozens of little toys that were blind packaged. It's the only way to make it, in a sense, fair. Could you imagine, given the current way they have each box set up with certain figs, what would be left for the kids after the "vulture" AFOLS hit the LEGO aisle. Kids wouldn't have a chance to get a Spartan, Elf, Zombie, Roman, or any desirable fig. Not to mention the people out to make a buck on eBay would pick the bones dry of any boxes they see.

As a kid, the only "blind packaged" items i was into was pokemon cards but that only lasted a few years or so. And I think a few stores could use non-blindfolded lego figures honestly. Lego series 5 showed up last month as a near by walmart in the form of 16 BOXES and from what i saw, those figures barely moved at all. They vanished a few days or so after the last time i saw them but that was most likely the result of walmart taking them down to make room for 2012 stuff. Only problem is that the lego item section has remained half empty from sets NOT being put up for going on something like 2-3 WEEKS now. Target had a bunch of them and same with toys r us, selling status unknown.

As far as what do I think of the number of themes? I really think it's to much. I do understand that different people have different likes but TO many themes seems to be an invite for having lots of sets on the discount isle as more sets keep getting sent to stores. As far as my likes? Even though i'm not an AFFOL anymore, i DO still have a desire for city, creator, cheap sets from other themes from time to time(Alien conquest impulse set for example), and just overall collecting minifigures.

#49 Capt. Kirk

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 04:53 PM

View Postvexorian, on 11 February 2012 - 04:13 AM, said:

Too much LEGO can indeed become a problem. Ask video game makers what happened when there were too many Atari games at the same time. LEGO's bubble may explode.

Very interesting this little comment.
I encourage you all to look it up and read about the 1983 game crash and try to fill in the LEGO players.

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#50 Lyichir

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 07:07 PM

View PostCapt. Kirk, on 15 February 2012 - 04:53 PM, said:

Very interesting this little comment.
I encourage you all to look it up and read about the 1983 game crash and try to fill in the LEGO players.

As I commented earlier in the topic, LEGO has nothing to fear in that respect seeing as the 1983 crash was caused primarily by the markets being flooded by third-party games of inferior quality. LEGO closely controls its output, and while LEGO is seemingly producing a greater quantity of sets than in the past, I haven't seen anything that is lesser in quality than the rest of LEGO's products. People who compare LEGO in 2012 to Atari in 1983 are blowing the non-issue of LEGO expanding and diversifying completely out of proportion.




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