David Thomsen

Future Pirates Speculation

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41 minutes ago, ArneNielsen said:

True! But then again, this was in Denmark, the home of LEGO, and it was in the COOP chain, the biggest chain we have, so at least it does carry some weight.

Apparently Germany is the sales benchmark for LEGO so maybe that's where we chould be looking.

 

42 minutes ago, ArneNielsen said:

But I admit, that it was only this set (which is the least interesting of the three sets); 6291 and 6292 were never on clearance in Denmark.

All three sets released in 2001 weren't the most popular and it's been speculated they were actually repackaged leftover stock from previous years.

Just now, Itaria No Shintaku said:

It's quite simple to say if a theme was a failure or not. It's like remembering the biggest flops of your supported sport team. I remember all the best and worst matches of my team perfectly, even the ones that took place 20 years ago. 

No, it's not the same.  You're just following one sports team and it's easy to keep track of your personal team.

There are hundreds of LEGO products across dozens of themes, so it's more like remembering the performance of each game from each team over the past 20 years.

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10 minutes ago, Mister Phes said:

Apparently Germany is the sales benchmark for LEGO so maybe that's where we chould be looking.

 

All three sets released in 2001 weren't the most popular and it's been speculated they were actually repackaged leftover stock from previous years.

No, it's not the same.  You're just following one sports team and it's easy to keep track of your personal team.

There are hundreds of LEGO products across dozens of themes, so it's more like remembering the performance of each game from each team over the past 20 years.

I politely strongly disagree.
I have been in LEGO since years and I can remember quite well the themes that didn't perform (like late Chima, late Nexo Knights, Bionicle 2, Hero Factory, Alien Conquest, Galaxy Squad, Pirates 2015, Castle 2013, Angry Birds Movie, Prince of Persia, Lone Ranger and more) contrasted with theme that performed well (Technic, Ninjago, Friends, Duplo, City, Star Wars, Minecraft and more).

I figure out if I can do it, and I am not a TLG member, what an actual member can say.

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Just now, Itaria No Shintaku said:

I figure out if I can do it, and I am not a TLG member, what an actual member can say.

Excellent, so how well did Knights Kingdom II sell in Canada and Vikings in Spain?

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6 minutes ago, Mister Phes said:

Excellent, so how well did Knights Kingdom II sell in Canada and Vikings in Spain?

I find this provoking really of little to no help.
I have never stated that I can say how well the various themes were received locally.
I can say that if you have tons of given sets on the shelves and you can get them nearly for free for how the discount is, that theme didn't sell well.
And through the global market you can see which themes didn't perform well all around the world.

I can say, for example, that Nexo Knights were priced 75% off in Indonesia, or I can say that TLG gave Lone Ranger sets for free in given circumstances, or I can say again that The Angry Birds Movie sets were on any european amazon at 50% their original price, if not worse.

I am not a member of TLG, so I cannot give an answer for Time Cruisers, but considering the number of sets compared to the actual number of sets they did for other themes in those years + the years they run that theme compared to years they run another theme, and so on, I can say that Time Cruisers wasn't a big bang theme.

When they will hire me in TLG I'll have more room to answer your questions.

Now, I have stated several different reasons for which a member of TLG can remember a big flop.
On the other hand I fail to see your reasons for which a member of TLG couldn't.
Apart from your personal beliefs, which sorry but are not a reason.

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31 minutes ago, Itaria No Shintaku said:

Apart from your personal beliefs, which sorry but are not a reason.

You completely misunderstand me, this has nothing to do with my personal beliefs.

It's to do with the fact that nobody can state how well a LEGO set or theme performs globally without sales data.

Now, maybe people in the employment of the LEGO Group have sales data memorized. I just find it dubious they can memorize sales data for sets released almost 20 years ago... maybe they can, I'm in no position to say what they can and can't remember.

But the point I'm making is, the average LEGO consumer cannot walk into their local store and assume what they see on the shelf is consistent with global sales.

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It's definitely not far fetched that people who actually work for TLG will have a rough idea of what themes broadly did and did not do well. In fact, I'd be highly questionable of them if they didn't.

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3 minutes ago, HothFan1987 said:

It's definitely not far fetched that people who actually work for TLG will have a rough idea of what themes broadly did and did not do well. In fact, I'd be highly questionable of them if they didn't.

Yeah, but we're not talking an entire themes, we're talking about specific sets.  Now bare in mind, during this period sets were rereleased from a variety of other themes including Castle, Western, etc.

But yes, you're right, an employ of the LEGO Group would in theory be able to say yay or nay on whether an entire theme sold well or not.

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34 minutes ago, Mister Phes said:

Yeah, but we're not talking an entire themes, we're talking about specific sets.  Now bare in mind, during this period sets were rereleased from a variety of other themes including Castle, Western, etc.

But yes, you're right, an employ of the LEGO Group would in theory be able to say yay or nay on whether an entire theme sold well or not.

KimT is the AFOL engagement manager and works in TLG since I can remember.
So, when he says that the Legends sets did not perform well, I feel like trusting him.
And I actually feel more like trusting him than trusting someone on a forum who tells me I shouldn't.

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33 minutes ago, Itaria No Shintaku said:

And I actually feel more like trusting him than trusting someone on a forum who tells me I shouldn't.

I'm not saying you shouldn't trust an employee of the LEGO Group - they would have better knowledge than anyone.

Nor am I saying trust me, because I do not have the sales data for those sets nor am I making any claims as to how well they sold globally.

What I am saying is; it's not realistic for LEGO employees to memorize the sales performance of every set and have that knowledge fresh in their mind at a moment's notice.

But I'm not saying it's impossible either, it just doesn't seem likely unless there is a particular reason to have that information at the forefront of their mind.

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3 minutes ago, Mister Phes said:

I'm not saying you shouldn't trust an employee of the LEGO Group - they would have better knowledge than anyone.

Nor am I saying trust me, because I do not have the sales data for those sets nor am I making any claims as to how well they sold globally.

What I am saying is; it's not realistic for LEGO employees to memorize the sales performance of every set and have that knowledge fresh in their mind at a moment's notice.

But I'm not saying it's impossible either, it just doesn't seem likely unless there is a particular reason to have that information at the forefront of their mind.

It depends.
Suppose that a theme had great expectations and failed hard (like the one we're talking about).

I remember Brazil losing to Germany 1-7 at Brazil 2014 even if I'm not fan of either team.

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If the sets who was some of the best sets made up to that point was re-released in a all time low period of Lego set-designs and they flopped, they will for sure do the same if released today!
I have bought some of the classic sets because I have wanted them since I was a kid e.g. Eldorado fortress. It is a great set and part of Lego history, but if something like that would be released today it would have 2000 pieces at least, not 506..

My guess is that if a theme does great, most of the sets in that theme sell a lot with some variation between the sets, the same apply if a theme sells poorly; all the sets do more or less poorly. I doubt a theme has a top 10 bestseller set and a bottom 10 low seller set in one year :def_shrug:

Also guess that a Lego employee that works related to the sets can remember how well past themes have done it and probably quite a few individual sets also :shrug_oh_well:

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1 hour ago, Itaria No Shintaku said:

It depends.
Suppose that a theme had great expectations and failed hard (like the one we're talking about)

Who said the pirate sets rereleased in 2001 had high expectations?

From what I understand there weren't the most popular sets.

1 hour ago, Itaria No Shintaku said:

I remember Brazil losing to Germany 1-7 at Brazil 2014 even if I'm not fan of either team.

But do you remember the result for every team for every game over the past 2 decades?

Or maybe I'm missing the point of what you're saying... perhaps you meant by chance KimT happened to know well these sets sold?

49 minutes ago, Roebuck said:

Also guess that a Lego employee that works related to the sets can remember how well past themes have done it and probably quite a few individual sets also :shrug_oh_well:

And that's the problem here, we're all guessing, including myself.

The only people who can say for certain are LEGO employees.

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I give up, really.
if you don't get it this time, I give up.

There are around 20 themes per year. So recalling if a theme did well, or didn't, in 20 years, is like remembering 400 informations.

I have been a supporter of my team for 30 years, and I assume that 400 players did surely play at least 1 season in my team.
When you ask me "did player Smith well or bad in your team?" I can easily tell you.
I may even recall the years he plaied in my team (with a small error) and one notable goal (or save if gk) he did (IF he did).

So, if someone is working 20 years in LEGO, to me there is absolutely NOTHING strange that he know every theme how well and how bad performed.
Most AFOLs can tell, why TLG employees shouldn't?
I don't get the point where you fail to understand such a simple thing. 

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19 minutes ago, Itaria No Shintaku said:

I don't get the point where you fail to understand such a simple thing. 

Because you're not seeking to understand my perspective. It seems you believe your perspective is the only possibility - but correct me if I'm mistaken.

That aside, I never said I didn't understand, I was just curious hence why I was asking questions.

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Your perspective is: someone at TLG instead of telling me "I don't know why they don't do LEGEND sets again" said "They won't do it again because their sales were bad" while it's quite impossible that he can recall correctly how bad/good the sales went for that.
My perspective is: someone at TLG said "They won't do it again because their sales were bad" and he said that because it's true.

So I understand your perspective, but I find it not reasonable.

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On 7/26/2019 at 12:48 AM, Itaria No Shintaku said:

"They won't do it again because their sales were bad" while it's quite impossible that he can recall correctly how bad/good the sales went for that.

I never said it was impossible, I said  I thought it was dubious it was fresh in his mind at any given moment.  That is quite different.

I also said, I'm in no position to assume what information a LEGO employee may remember and my assumption could be inaccurate.

However, I specifically meant sales for each individual set which is not the same as remembering all re-released sets have been unsuccessful. 

Really, I was just curious if there was a specific reason why he had that information beyond him being an employee.

For example: perhaps the LEGO Group were considering  re-releasing sets for the 30th Anniversary of Pirates and have recently reviewed the sales data from the last time they re-released pirate sets. So, that's why he knew.

But, in actual fact it's because all re-released sets failed and obviously it's not hard to remember that.

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Or maybe he was just fond of the old sets and still disappointed they didn't sell.
Or maybe the opposite, he thought that was a bad idea and saw his insight confirmed.
Or maybe for a moment he forgot who he was
Or maybe this kid just wanted to be hugged
Whatever it was I know it's because...
 

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9 hours ago, Mister Phes said:

Ok, so that was your own personal speculation and nothing confirmed in the source material.

As of 2015 the current business strategy regarding LEGO Pirates is to release a new wave of sets every 5-7 years.  There are no plans for yearly releases or an ongoing theme.

But whether that is still the strategy I cannot confirm...

That one is from 1987 so it predates Pirates by a couple of years.

Where precisely was it stated sales were lackluster?  Was it in the 2001/2002 yearly official reports?

Anecdotally, I recall seeing them in local department stores and deliberately waited for a sale in which I'd swoop in and clean up.  But they sold rather well and no sale eventuated so I turned to eBay instead. 

Yes, it was my speculation, i didn't say it was confirmed.Notice how the 2009 reboot was 2 years before LEGO Pirates Of The Caribbean came (2011) and then the next wave was 2015, also 2 years before Silent Mary.

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12 hours ago, Balkcuga said:

I see.They can re-imagine them.About the graphic design...i prefer the old one.I think Eldorado woudn't be Eldorado without basic smiles and baseplate, dont you think? The Forbidden Island have only two unique pieces and the palm.Eldorado only has unique doors,palm and baseplate.But i see what u want to say.Maybe better re-imaging them with new Pirate sets in that style, not those crappy sets from 2015.

Re: unique pieces, I think you're severely underestimating just how many retired parts they include that couldn't just be swapped with a current equivalent without any more major changes to the appearance and build. Eldorado Fortress alone has all of these long-retired parts:

But yeah, re-imaginings of some of this type of stuff are hardly out of the question! And truthfully, that's a lot of what the "back to basics" approach of the 2009 and 2015 waves seemed to be aiming for, even if their ability to measure up to some of that classic stuff in terms of size was stifled by low price points.

And yeah, my feeling is that if themes like Castle and Pirates are ever going to truly measure up to their former glory, price points have to go up. Even if LEGO in general tends to offer way better value for money today than it did in the late 80s and early 90s, it's still futile to expect a $100 pirate ship or $50 soldier fort to measure up to the Black Seas Barracuda after 30 years of inflation.

Just to compare:

  • Summer 2015 Ninjago playset price points:
    $20, $30, $40, $40, $50, $60, $70, $100, $120
  • Summer 2015 Friends playset price points:
    $10, $15, $20, $25, $30, $30, $40, $40, $50, $60, $90, $130
  • 2015 Pirates playset price points:
    $13, $20, $20, $30, $100
  • Summer 2013 City playset price points:
    $7, $20, $20, $30, $30, $30, $40, $40, $45, $45, $80, $100, $120
  • 2013 Castle playset price points:
    $12, $20, $30, $50, $100
  • 2009 Pirates playset price points:
    $6, $10, $20, $40, $50, $100

Now, I'll grant that it's possible to come up with awesome sets at a similar price range to recent Castle and Pirates waves — the Elves theme wowed me on a regular basis, even with only one set at the $100 price point over the theme's entire four-year run, and many waves only having five or six sets.

But it's obvious to me that not only have the "flagship" price points for Castle and Pirates remained stagnant for over a decade at this point (and the overall number of sets per waves and waves per iteration remained small), but there's generally been a HUGE gulf between the price points of the largest and second-largest sets, whereas in other themes it's more typical to see price points distributed somewhat more evenly between the highest and lowest price points.

So if these themes are ever going to come close to what nostalgic AFOLs want to see from them, then we need to get over the sense that any price over $100 is exorbitant for anything short of a Creator Expert level masterpiece… and that gulf in between the "flagship" set of a wave and the next highest price point needs to be narrowed.

9 hours ago, Mister Phes said:

Where precisely was it stated sales were lackluster?  Was it in the 2001/2002 yearly official reports?

I may have been reading too much into it since he doesn't mention sales figures specifically so much as general fan disappointment, but I was referring to this comment by Jamie Berard: https://forum.brickset.com/discussion/comment/57672/#Comment_57672

There's also comments in various places from Dave Eaton (an AFOL who tends to be pretty knowledgeable about this sort of stuff from my experience and has been active in the community for a long time) that suggest the same:

https://forum.brickset.com/discussion/comment/3640/#Comment_3640

https://www.quora.com/Why-dont-LEGO-reissue-their-old-sets-as-many-folk-feel-they-were-better

8 hours ago, Mister Phes said:

Does that include the 2002 release of 10040 Black Seas Barracuda? 

The reason that particular set went back into productions is because fans voted for it.

In general, that was one of the big lessons that LEGO took from the LEGO Legends… that just because fans SAY they want something doesn't mean they'll buy it.

That's also a big part of why during review the LEGO Ideas team has to look at a lot more factors than just how many people supported a particular project (like how much buzz there is about it on social media, how quickly it reached its 10,000 supporter goal, etc).

1 hour ago, Itaria No Shintaku said:

So, if someone is working 20 years in LEGO, to me there is absolutely NOTHING strange that he know every theme how well and how bad performed.

Most AFOLs can tell, why TLG employees shouldn't?
I don't get the point where you fail to understand such a simple thing. 

Another thing to point out is that Kim's job is interacting with the fan community, listening to feedback, and responding to questions or concerns, so it seems plausible that "Why don't you re-release classic sets?" is a question he's gotten a LOT. It's not implausible that the answer to that question is something he would have committed to memory by this point.

But honestly, even if you dismiss any number of statements from knowledgeable LEGO fans and employees as unreliable, I think it remains pretty telling that LEGO hasn't re-released any 80s/90s throwback sets since the mid-2000s when they went through and reviewed which of their products and other initiatives were making/losing money. So I strongly suspect that the LEGO Legends didn't fare well during that review process.

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33 minutes ago, Itaria No Shintaku said:

Whatever it was I know it's because...

I was hoping you had additional information hence why I was asking questions.

But obviously you don't.  Thanks for clearing that up! :thumbup:

21 minutes ago, Aanchir said:

I may have been reading too much into it since he doesn't mention sales figures specifically so much as general fan disappointment [...]

Thank you, Aanchir!  This is the type of response I was hoping for. I.e. one that sites sources, rather than personal speculation.

32 minutes ago, Balkcuga said:

Notice how the 2009 reboot was 2 years before LEGO Pirates Of The Caribbean came (2011) and then the next wave was 2015, also 2 years before Silent Mary. 

From my understanding Pirates of the Caribbean is a completely separate entity to the LEGO Pirate releases as PotC sets are dependent on the film franchise.

So it's merely coincidental that LEGO Pirate sets were released 2 years prior to the latter Pirates of the Caribbean films, given it takes 18-24 months for a LEGO theme to go from concept to shelves.

Therefore, planning for the 2009 pirate sets would have occurred during 2007 while the 2015 sets during 2013, long before the films were even announced.

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Just now, Mister Phes said:

I was hoping you had additional information hence why I was asking questions.

But obviously you don't.  Thanks for clearing that up! :thumbup:

What additional info should I add besides "I have been told by someone who knows his job that Legends were a failure"?
I also said that he reported that, if they should entirely listen to fans' request, they would re-release cafe corner and greengrocer.
These are the sets most fans asked for. Not 80s ones.

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44 minutes ago, Aanchir said:

Re: unique pieces, I think you're severely underestimating just how many retired parts they include that couldn't just be swapped with a current equivalent without any more major changes to the appearance and build. Eldorado Fortress alone has all of these long-retired parts:

But yeah, re-imaginings of some of this type of stuff are hardly out of the question! And truthfully, that's a lot of what the "back to basics" approach of the 2009 and 2015 waves seemed to be aiming for, even if their ability to measure up to some of that classic stuff in terms of size was stifled by low price points.

And yeah, my feeling is that if themes like Castle and Pirates are ever going to truly measure up to their former glory, price points have to go up. Even if LEGO in general tends to offer way better value for money today than it did in the late 80s and early 90s, it's still futile to expect a $100 pirate ship or $50 soldier fort to measure up to the Black Seas Barracuda after 30 years of inflation.

Just to compare:

  • Summer 2015 Ninjago playset price points:
    $20, $30, $40, $40, $50, $60, $70, $100, $120
  • Summer 2015 Friends playset price points:
    $10, $15, $20, $25, $30, $30, $40, $40, $50, $60, $90, $130
  • 2015 Pirates playset price points:
    $13, $20, $20, $30, $100
  • Summer 2013 City playset price points:
    $7, $20, $20, $30, $30, $30, $40, $40, $45, $45, $80, $100, $120
  • 2013 Castle playset price points:
    $12, $20, $30, $50, $100
  • 2009 Pirates playset price points:
    $6, $10, $20, $40, $50, $100

Now, I'll grant that it's possible to come up with awesome sets at a similar price range to recent Castle and Pirates waves — the Elves theme wowed me on a regular basis, even with only one set at the $100 price point over the theme's entire four-year run, and many waves only having five or six sets.

But it's obvious to me that not only have the "flagship" price points for Castle and Pirates remained stagnant for over a decade at this point (and the overall number of sets per waves and waves per iteration remained small), but there's generally been a HUGE gulf between the price points of the largest and second-largest sets, whereas in other themes it's more typical to see price points distributed somewhat more evenly between the highest and lowest price points.

So if these themes are ever going to come close to what nostalgic AFOLs want to see from them, then we need to get over the sense that any price over $100 is exorbitant for anything short of a Creator Expert level masterpiece… and that gulf in between the "flagship" set of a wave and the next highest price point needs to be narrowed.

Yeah, i don't know how i forgot about those pieces, as i have the Eldorado Fortress.

13 minutes ago, Mister Phes said:

 

From my understanding Pirates of the Caribbean is a completely separate entity to the LEGO Pirate releases as PotC sets are dependent on the film franchise.

So it's merely coincidental that LEGO Pirate sets were released 2 years prior to the latter Pirates of the Caribbean films, given it takes 18-24 months for a LEGO theme to go from concept to shelves.

Therefore, planning for the 2009 pirate sets would have occurred during 2007 while the 2015 sets during 2013, long before the films were even announced.

Maybe, but still i think they can't release Pirates in the same year with POTC, because of the sales.

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19 minutes ago, Itaria No Shintaku said:

What additional info should I add besides "I have been told by someone who knows his job that Legends were a failure"?

A reason why they were a failure - you did ask that right?

 

8 minutes ago, Balkcuga said:

Maybe, but still i think they can't release Pirates in the same year with POTC, because of the sales.

This is perhaps true, but predicting the release dates of Pirates of the Caribbean movies isn't entirely possible (with the exception of At World's End).

So if they were intending to have ongoing Pirates releases, there would perhaps have been more than one wave of sets.

Ok, so you can get technical and say the Imperial Flagship was released during 2010 after the initial wave of 2009 pirate sets, but that's not quite the same as releasing two waves of sets.

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I hope they don't put this under the City theme! 

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1 hour ago, Mister Phes said:

A reason why they were a failure - you did ask that right?

Maybe.... because they did not sell well?
Just wondering!

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