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Lego City vs Lego Town


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#26 lightningtiger

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 01:36 AM

I can see where the inspiration for the 2013 fire station......I would say a fusion of ideas from the past twenty years of Lego town/city fire stations.....except TownJr ( :sick: ).

#27 Chri5kng

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 01:41 AM

 lightningtiger, on 28 November 2012 - 01:36 AM, said:

I can see where the inspiration for the 2013 fire station......I would say a fusion of ideas from the past twenty years of Lego town/city fire stations.....except TownJr ( :sick: ).

Not much of an inspiration when it just a remake carbon copy of the 1994 fire station.

#28 Ricecracker

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 01:41 AM

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#29 1974

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 02:11 AM

 sixoh, on 27 November 2012 - 08:34 PM, said:

Here in the United States, Playmobil presently has very little to no retail presence, at least that I have observed. While I have no doubts that a return of great diversity to the City theme specifically would sell (which, for the record, is a change I would heartily welcome), I'm inclined to believe that such sets won't sell as well as the traditional 'hero' roles that rescue sets fill, and thusly Lego, as a business, probably has little interest in a product that would sell less than another.

But in other parts of the world Playmobil is a major LEGO competitor, directly targeting the same group

TLG puts out themes all the time that does not sell as well as SW. Should they, by your logic, stop that as well?

I'm sure TLG have loads of people hired to look into their target group deepest wishes

I'm also quite sure they had the similar people telling them just what those boys need when TLG almost went totally down the drain

LEGO is also educational and TLG tend to take the moral high ground from time to time. I think they should tone down the conflict/action sets, at least in the city. They got plenty other themes for that

If would be nice to learn young kids that there's a lot more to daily life than conflict. Kids needs guidance

Afterall, I'm sure if you ask a 10 year old boy if he'd like some modern LEGO military tanks, 99% of them would say yes in a heartbeat

Edited by 1974, 28 November 2012 - 02:12 AM.

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#30 Chri5kng

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 02:23 AM

 1974, on 28 November 2012 - 02:11 AM, said:

But in other parts of the world Playmobil is a major LEGO competitor, directly targeting the same group

TLG puts out themes all the time that does not sell as well as SW. Should they, by your logic, stop that as well?

I'm sure TLG have loads of people hired to look into their target group deepest wishes

I'm also quite sure they had the similar people telling them just what those boys need when TLG almost went totally down the drain

LEGO is also educational and TLG tend to take the moral high ground from time to time. I think they should tone down the conflict/action sets, at least in the city. They got plenty other themes for that

If would be nice to learn young kids that there's a lot more to daily life than conflict. Kids needs guidance

Afterall, I'm sure if you ask a 10 year old boy if he'd like some modern LEGO military tanks, 99% of them would say yes in a heartbeat

It so funny TLG is against police officer with gun yet they have all of these violent theme.....doesn't make any sense.

#31 lightningtiger

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 03:35 AM

That's the point of Lego town/city......it's a peaceful place, though unrealistic as it may seem. You will not find modern weapons in any Lego set unless it is used in a Licensed set.....generally pre-20th century and future weapons are what Lego mainly uses.
Now on the fire station, that's no carbon copy....the new one is bigger and it has a six wide truck in it.

Edited by lightningtiger, 28 November 2012 - 03:35 AM.


#32 Chri5kng

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 03:39 AM

 lightningtiger, on 28 November 2012 - 03:35 AM, said:

That's the point of Lego town/city......it's a peaceful place, though unrealistic as it may seem. You will not find modern weapons in any Lego set unless it is used in a Licensed set.....generally pre-20th century and future weapons are what Lego mainly uses.
Now on the fire station, that's no carbon copy....the new one is bigger and it has a six wide truck in it.

I'm new to Lego, what do you mean by six wide truck?  I think it bigger but from the picture I gather it still similar design?  Is it any bigger than fire station 1945?

#33 lightningtiger

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 03:44 AM

Right so you don't know what 6 wide is.......6 stud wide vs classic town 4 stud wide.....and I'm NOT new to Lego.....I started over 34 years ago (of course spent 27 years in the darkness). :wink:

#34 Aanchir

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 03:46 AM

 Chri5kng, on 27 November 2012 - 11:24 PM, said:



Exactly my point!  You also make a good point regarding future AFOL.  Kids now a day won't get the same chances and opportunity most of you guys got to experience as a kid, and that is really sad.  

One problem I don't understand is why did Lego discontinue all the set since 2005?  If they aren't going to make another set to replace them why discontinue them?  You can say to buy it from re-seller (which goes against my moral) but as what I see now is police and fire station, and the new fire station is inferior to the 7945 fire station release a few years ago.  I don't know if the 2013 fire station is better than the recent one but still feel like the same old fire station in different configuration.  I have no problem with City but all the good set are gone.  All the set that would bring your city to life such as the famous town plan are no longer purchasable.  Why make a new police station almost every other year instead of a new hospital, theme park (would be so awesome though), plaza, mansion, etc..?
Because keeping a bunch of sets in production at the same time is an exorbitant expense. Furthermore, retailers do not want to keep the same sets on shelves year after year. They want to rotate their stock regularly so there's always something "new" to grab kids' attention.

#35 Chri5kng

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 03:59 AM

 Aanchir, on 28 November 2012 - 03:46 AM, said:

Because keeping a bunch of sets in production at the same time is an exorbitant expense. Furthermore, retailers do not want to keep the same sets on shelves year after year. They want to rotate their stock regularly so there's always something "new" to grab kids' attention.

Then why Lego don't keep an archive and still keep old set at the Lego store for anyone interested which is what I was referring to.  

Tiger - I would prefer 4 wide vehicles if it mean the play-set is bigger.  Do you consider the new ambulance which I own a 6 wide vehicle cause it pretty narrow in width.

#36 lightningtiger

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 05:06 AM

You can do more with a six wide vehicle, more detailing, more play features........oh, yeah that 6 wide one vs that tiny one in the helicopter rescue set.....different designers also different price points so they can offer a good product and still make it worth while for them to produce. :wink:

#37 Vestabuyer

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 06:08 AM

Greetings! :classic:

I see a lot of good points here. I, like some of you, grew up during the "golden age" of Town (1980's-mid 1990's). We saw many beautiful sets like:

airport shuttle 6399
cargo center 6391
airport 6392
public works 6383

We also saw the creation of several nice promo sets like:

arla milk truck 1581
weetabix town houses 1484
maersk truck 1831

I went though a dark age from 1996 to 2008, what made me come back was the vestas wind turbine 4999. I thought this set did a good job of combining the classic cues of Town with it's more modern cousin City. Since then I have found an appreciation for the modular buildings and a lot of the city sets such as:

city corner 7641
toys 'r' us 7848
recycling truck 4206

I have also found the creator series to be an excellent value for the houses that have come from that series. I believe it is safe to say that most of us Classic Town folks are required to adapt to City since Town as we know it doesn't exist anymore and to say we hate City would be almost saying that we aren't interested in Lego's anymore. Judging by how many people are on this forum I would say that we are quietly adapting to the new city sets. I know I have from time to time grumbled about needing other sets other than the same public services every year, but I feel that Lego is doing a pretty good job. I have found out that, through careful selection of city sets, that a person can successfully blend classic town sets with modern city sets and still have enough diversity.

Another thing to think on: If there is not enough diversity, consider the many resources out there that are available to be able to make your own Classic Town MOC....Resources that weren't available when I was a kid :cry_sad:

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#38 Chri5kng

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 07:00 AM

Vestabuyer

Thanks for the input.  

I will admit I didn't really care about Lego town growing up as a kid because it was expensive and I would get more vehicles and cooler playsets with Matchbox 20 or Hot Wheels.  What I really wanted was Lego Star Wars but since it was too expensive, Lego was not an option.  I think by the time I lost interest in Lego was when Lego developed new bricks (circa 2005) and by that time I didn't care about toys anymore because I was in high school and I wanted one thing, and that is girls.  

So I guess I miss out on Lego because these toys you see today was not part of my childhood.

#39 The Dutch Guy

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 08:04 AM

I think we are missing a point here, and that is the time we are living in compared with the past. In yesteryears things were easier in compagnies like TLG. Designers had more freedom than they have these days. TLG is big business with a lot of shareholder who want only one thing, getting more money on there investments. That means making more profit with less costs. Creating (more) new sets costs money on development and on production costs (more diferent bricks or colours to produce). So it's easier to produce sets that will sell always and produce every now and then an different kind of set.

There is an other point though. TLG produces these days more brands, just think of Friends, Starwars, Ninjago, Lord of the Rings,...... the list goes on. In yesteryears the catalogue was rather thinner then these days, so City is not all that important anymore, sad for us here, but it's a fact.

Thinking of quality, i must say that that has improved very much. I am 56 and have bought Lego of and on for most of my life. I started at six with the showroom set of Lego System and am now crazy about the modulars and MOC's . There was a time in the late 90's and early 00's that the sets were realy ugly (opinions can differ). Cars with printed headlights and those ugly big bricks. These days things are looking up. See the new sets for 2013 and we see a lovely tankertruck, flatbed and cementmixer. More details and not made in a few seconds. No, i don't think Lego designers lak inspiration these days, i think they are being pushed to produce sets that sells, sells, sells.
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#40 PsyKater

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 08:04 AM

Hmm.. I can't tell anymore what the intent of this thread is.
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#41 lightningtiger

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 10:26 AM

 PsyKater, on 28 November 2012 - 08:04 AM, said:

Hmm.. I can't tell anymore what the intent of this thread is.
Yep, this topic has about as much direction as a V-1 rocket ! :laugh:
Another angle to take on this is back 30 years ago video games were so much the in thing, now days it's everything....so kids want toys that will spark interest in them playing with those toys just like how video games, Ipod's, etc., do today. :wink: .

#42 1974

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 11:57 AM

 The Dutch Guy, on 28 November 2012 - 08:04 AM, said:

I think we are missing a point here, and that is the time we are living in compared with the past. In yesteryears things were easier in compagnies like TLG. Designers had more freedom than they have these days. TLG is big business with a lot of shareholder who want only one thing, getting more money on there investments. That means making more profit with less costs. Creating (more) new sets costs money on development and on production costs (more diferent bricks or colours to produce). So it's easier to produce sets that will sell always and produce every now and then an different kind of set.

There is an other point though. TLG produces these days more brands, just think of Friends, Starwars, Ninjago, Lord of the Rings,...... the list goes on. In yesteryears the catalogue was rather thinner then these days, so City is not all that important anymore, sad for us here, but it's a fact.

Thinking of quality, i must say that that has improved very much. I am 56 and have bought Lego of and on for most of my life. I started at six with the showroom set of Lego System and am now crazy about the modulars and MOC's . There was a time in the late 90's and early 00's that the sets were realy ugly (opinions can differ). Cars with printed headlights and those ugly big bricks. These days things are looking up. See the new sets for 2013 and we see a lovely tankertruck, flatbed and cementmixer. More details and not made in a few seconds. No, i don't think Lego designers lak inspiration these days, i think they are being pushed to produce sets that sells, sells, sells.

I'm not sure you know what you're talking about?

TLG is a private company, they'll never hit the stockmarket

How do you know that the designers have less freedom today?

Detailing can be good, but at the expense of the overall picture? I think not

I can only conclude that City just isn't very important for TLG
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#43 lightningtiger

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 12:08 PM

Yeah, Lego has only a small shareholder base......all family ! :wink:
Reading between the lines of all the posts I can see many different opinions.....it's quite possible this debate may never end ! :blush:

#44 Aanchir

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 01:13 PM

 Chri5kng, on 28 November 2012 - 03:59 AM, said:

Then why Lego don't keep an archive and still keep old set at the Lego store for anyone interested which is what I was referring to.  

Well, part of it is because they don't want older products taking up shelf space that they could be using for newer products, which have a lot more demand. Usually sets still have a two- or three-year shelf life, but keep them around for much longer than that and there's no longer any room for the most up-to-date products. Not to mention that after that time the supply still available might be woefully limited.

There's also the fact that TLG is constantly working to improve their appeal with today's kids. And this means that sets have to be timely to have their maximum appeal. A set won't sell as well with today's kids if it's based on what kids were interested in five years ago. Additionally, TLG constantly works to improve the quality of their sets. This year they put a white outline around all black parts in the instruction booklets because people were having difficulty telling black and dark gray apart in the instructions. If a kid buys a set from four years ago, then it won't have that improvement. Likewise, last year the LEGO Hero Factory theme introduced a ball joint design that doesn't tend to break nearly as frequently as the ones from 2008-2010. If TLG were still stocking older sets with ball joints (and that includes non-action-figure sets, like some Atlantis and Space Police sets), then they'd be knowingly peddling a product of inferior quality.

 The Dutch Guy, on 28 November 2012 - 08:04 AM, said:

I think we are missing a point here, and that is the time we are living in compared with the past. In yesteryears things were easier in compagnies like TLG. Designers had more freedom than they have these days. TLG is big business with a lot of shareholder who want only one thing, getting more money on there investments. That means making more profit with less costs. Creating (more) new sets costs money on development and on production costs (more diferent bricks or colours to produce). So it's easier to produce sets that will sell always and produce every now and then an different kind of set.

There is an other point though. TLG produces these days more brands, just think of Friends, Starwars, Ninjago, Lord of the Rings,...... the list goes on. In yesteryears the catalogue was rather thinner then these days, so City is not all that important anymore, sad for us here, but it's a fact.

Thinking of quality, i must say that that has improved very much. I am 56 and have bought Lego of and on for most of my life. I started at six with the showroom set of Lego System and am now crazy about the modulars and MOC's . There was a time in the late 90's and early 00's that the sets were realy ugly (opinions can differ). Cars with printed headlights and those ugly big bricks. These days things are looking up. See the new sets for 2013 and we see a lovely tankertruck, flatbed and cementmixer. More details and not made in a few seconds. No, i don't think Lego designers lak inspiration these days, i think they are being pushed to produce sets that sells, sells, sells.
Yeah, as some people have pointed out, stock in TLG isn't publicly traded. But this last paragraph here sums up my thoughts on the matter quite nicely. Yes, it's true, TLG could probably afford to release more City sets based on less exciting parts of city life. But that probably would not give them nearly the same profits they get from selling sets based on emergency response teams. And with all their competitors in the toy industry that could pose a serious problem.

Someone mentioned Playmobil as an example of a brand that targets the same audience as LEGO and still has diverse product lines, but it shouldn't be ignored that from what I've seen, Playmobil is a "niche" product here in the United States. It's usually one of the hallmarks of small independent toy stores or small chains {including the only toy store chain I've been able to find around the vicinity of my college), but it has nowhere near the same brand name recognition as LEGO has and I wouldn't even know where to look for it in a Toys 'R' Us. And I can guarantee its absence from most department stores.

#45 1974

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 03:08 PM

Now, two people have pointed out the Playmobil isn't very popular in the US. The US is not TLGs only market :wink:  Playmobil and LEGO are both huge in Germany and is most certainly competing for the same target group. In fact Playmobil is quite popular in all of the EU (and in _south_ America I hear)

I don't buy the idea that TLG isn't doing (much) City because of costs

Cost most certainly is _not_ the only factor for TLG. They could probably lower their costs significantlty if the did more outsourcing (and they're not, in fact they're about to 'back source') and/or skimp on the plastic quality/colour (<-- like they do with yellow right now, sigh)

No, they decided that City ain't cool. Wonder why? :look:
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#46 monsinjor

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 03:25 PM

Maybe because of this:

Look the cartoons today, at least the ones on the TV... there's Ben 10, Winx, Gormits, Animalrobots, Pokemon from last years etc... there's almost nothing with town/cars etc.

Kids love this stuff.

Maybe I'm wrong... don't yell at me :look:

#47 1974

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 05:33 PM

Just because that's the xxxx (and that's imo) that's on telly, doesn't mean you have to let your kid watch it :wink: I know my son prefers Tintin to any of that

Oh, and Cars is the biggest digital cartoon hit ever. Quite a lot of city in that
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#48 Martin_B

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 07:12 PM

I started thinking about the 'evolution' of the Town/City theme, and The Dutch Guy hits on some points that occurred to me after I wrote my last reply.

One of the reasons I went into my Dark Ages was because the offerings in the late 90s and early 2000s didn't appeal to me so in some ways the new City and Creator sets are getting back to a higher standard. That's objective, measurable things like numbers of minifigs, piece count, number of specialised parts, and also more subjective aspects like playability and aesthetics.

One possible argument for why things have changed is that TLG is trying to compete with videogames and other 21st century media, but I think the economic climate is a big factor here, as Aanchir mentioned. My theory is that, because times are tough financially, manufacturers are producing 'safe' products that are more likely to sell. Emergency services and themes with 'conflict' are obvious candidates for the target audience; adding other things to the range carries a risk of poor sales. Maybe if we didn't have this worldwide recession TLG might run the risk of experimenting with new ideas instead of falling back on police and fire stations?

Another question: does anyone know why there haven't been any more reissued 'Legends' lately? Since it's impractical to keep the old faves on the shelves all the time, bringing the occasional classics back every now and then was a nice compromise.

#49 Lyichir

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 07:47 PM

 Martin_B, on 28 November 2012 - 07:12 PM, said:

I started thinking about the 'evolution' of the Town/City theme, and The Dutch Guy hits on some points that occurred to me after I wrote my last reply.

One of the reasons I went into my Dark Ages was because the offerings in the late 90s and early 2000s didn't appeal to me so in some ways the new City and Creator sets are getting back to a higher standard. That's objective, measurable things like numbers of minifigs, piece count, number of specialised parts, and also more subjective aspects like playability and aesthetics.

One possible argument for why things have changed is that TLG is trying to compete with videogames and other 21st century media, but I think the economic climate is a big factor here, as Aanchir mentioned. My theory is that, because times are tough financially, manufacturers are producing 'safe' products that are more likely to sell. Emergency services and themes with 'conflict' are obvious candidates for the target audience; adding other things to the range carries a risk of poor sales. Maybe if we didn't have this worldwide recession TLG might run the risk of experimenting with new ideas instead of falling back on police and fire stations?

Another question: does anyone know why there haven't been any more reissued 'Legends' lately? Since it's impractical to keep the old faves on the shelves all the time, bringing the occasional classics back every now and then was a nice compromise.
The Legends line, from what I've heard, wasn't very successful at all. And I'm not at all surprised. The Legends rereleases didn't appeal to new fans much since they looked boring and old compared to modern sets, and they didn't appeal to older fans much because they were not very authentic (since they had to replace older parts and colors, which in the case of some sets like the regrettable King's Castle completely changed the look of the set).

#50 twenty6twelve

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 07:52 PM

 The Dutch Guy, on 28 November 2012 - 08:04 AM, said:

I think we are missing a point here, and that is the time we are living in compared with the past. TLG is big business [...] That means making more profit with less costs. [...] it's easier to produce sets that will sell always and produce every now and then an different kind of set.

Both of these are extremely important points. Just because TLG may not be publicly traded on the stock market does not mean that they aren't dedicated to the goal of all businesses - finding ways to decrease spending and increase profit. While we may adore their products and the company quite obviously appreciates it's fans, that does not interfere with how a business runs.

 1974, on 28 November 2012 - 03:08 PM, said:

Cost most certainly is _not_ the only factor for TLG. They could probably lower their costs significantlty if the did more outsourcing (and they're not, in fact they're about to 'back source') and/or skimp on the plastic quality/colour [...] No, they decided that City ain't cool. Wonder why? :look:

While cost is likely not the only factor, you have to take into account that reducing cost to produce a product that sells less rather than simply producing what regularly sells in massive quantities in the first place makes very little sense from a business standpoint. I sincerely doubt Lego has decided that "City ain't cool." Were that the case, rescue themed sets would probably make up the entirety of the theme, rather than the majority. People often like to mention 1988's Metro Park and Service Tower as one of classic Town's all time greats. While I heartily agree (and owned the set myself once upon a time), Lego has not forgotten how popular it was - or else they would not have released it's modern counterpart, this year's City Garage. For anyone who'd like to contest the lineage, note that both sets feature three story parking garages, fueling facilities, a tow truck, three civilian cars, an elevator, a car wash... I personally consider that to be too much of a coincidence to imagine that the latter isn't a direct descendant of the former. Now, if Lego had decided City wasn't 'cool,' would they have gone through the trouble to update and produce a modern version of one of classic Town's most fondly remembered releases? What about this year's Recycling Truck ? I can't say that recycling is a particularly popular play theme among young boys, but yet, here it is, just as it was in 1997 and 1987, with more details, playability and minifigures than either of the two sets before it.

Quote

Now, two people have pointed out the Playmobil isn't very popular in the US. The US is not TLGs only market :wink:
That is certainly true, but you also have to take into consideration the fact that the US, while not TLG's only market, is a huge portion of it and thusly is guaranteed to have a large impact on financial decisions. Consider also that Playmobil, while a direct competitor, makes far less profit than TLG, the third largest toy company worldwide. What Lego is doing, whether we like it or not, is most certainly working for them, especially considering the world's current economic climate.




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