Lego David

Themes LEGO should discontinue

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42 minutes ago, KotZ said:

Using membership for a website like EB is a terrible metric. Users can't delete accounts, so when a user leaves, their account is still there. Many people just drop off the site and don't return. There's no true way to measure how old a user is, and there are certainly TFOL and KFOLs on the site. If ages were used when signing up here, and then compared to user usage and site traffic, then that would be a better way to use that metric.

Without mention that most of the users here don't buy the current sets, so

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@Lego David I wouldn't argue. They are bent on defending the state of City sets. They are basically part of that "Defend Special Police and Explorers" group. That's the group that claim that these things are not pointless or irrelevant and that they sell, but fail to provide evidence that it sells. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, pooda said:

@Lego David I wouldn't argue. They are bent on defending the state of City sets. They are basically part of that "Defend Special Police and Explorers" group. That's the group that claim that these things are not pointless or irrelevant and that they sell, but fail to provide evidence that it sells. 

Oh you want evidence? ok, there you have it 

The top performing themes in 2018 were, in no particular order:

  • Technic
  • Ninjago
  • City
  • Friends
  • Star Wars

 

2017's best selling themes include:

  • City 
  • NINJAGO 
  • Creator
  • DUPLO.

These themes accounted for the greatest revenue in 2016

  • City 
  • Star Wars 
  • NINJAGO 
  • Friends 
  • Creator
  • DUPLO

 

The top 5 bestselling themes in 2015 were:

  • Duplo
  • City
  • Ninjago
  • Star Wars
  • Friends

 

Top Bestselling themes in 2014 were:

  • LEGO City 
  • LEGO Creator
  • THE LEGO MOVIE 

 

You can download the PDF. of all of these Annual Reports here: https://www.lego.com/en-us/aboutus/lego-group/annual-report

In the other hand, if you have evidence that the lego City sets don't sell anymore, why don't you provide us with that information then?

Edited by Ronan54

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I'm talking specifically about subthemes under City. Fyi. 

What I'm saying is that City would still be up top even though they don't have special police themes under it. Back in 2008, it was still one of the top 5. So yeah! 

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2 minutes ago, pooda said:

I'm talking specifically about subthemes under City. Fyi. 

What I'm saying is that City would still be up top even though they don't have special police themes under it. Back in 2008, it was still one of the top 5. So yeah! 

Possibly yes, it would. It's one of the evergreen themes, like Castle, Space, and Pirates. But now LEGO has only one of those classic four stiill going. And certainly the subthemes under CITY contribute to it being a successful, continuing theme, among other reasons of having characters kids can look up to. It's the classic "Timmy what do you want to be when you grow up?" "Well, I want to be a firefighter police officer construction worker astronaught" and so on. All the subthemes are just various flavors that fit under a city category.

In 2019, the subthemes (according to Brickset and aren't magazine give aways or a calendar) are Construction, Fire, Great Vehicles, Sky Police, Space, and Town. Of these, Space has 9 sets, Police variant has 7. Great vehicles has 6 with a mix of vehicles of types.

In 2008, the subthemes (going off same criteria above) are Airport, Cargo, Coast Guard, Construction, Fire, Police, and Traffic. You can make the argument that Coast Guard is just a variant of Police subtheme, thus bringing a combined "justice/law" theme total to 19 different sets. Even separated, Coast Guard and Police has 10 and 9 respectively. 2008 had more police and adjacent related sets than we have now or any of the previous years.

For 2020, Brickset currently has slated Construction, Fire, General, Police, and Traffic, along with 11 others that have not been given a subtheme yet. Currently Police and Traffic are tied with 6 sets each. Perhaps LEGO is easing back on various police subthemes, and I'm sure their market research and testing back them up either way they decide to go, but studies have shown that kids benefit from story structured playtime, and one of the easiest ways is through stories that have clear good guys and bad guys, like a Police set. If LEGO sees a shift to less police or its subthemes, they will shift to that.

LEGO has absolutely done their market research (as cited by Ronan54 through the stats he posted), and police and various police subthemes have been around in the CITY theme since 2008 (I'm including Coast Guard for this). You have to go to 2005-7 for no specialty police sets, and these were the years following World City which ran from 2003-4 and were basically only Police sets mixed in with like four or five rescue sets and then the other half was trains,.

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3 minutes ago, KotZ said:

You can make the argument that Coast Guard is just a variant of Police subtheme, thus bringing a combined "justice/law" theme total to 19 different sets. Even separated, Coast Guard and Police has 10 and 9 respectively. 2008 had more police and adjacent related sets than we have now or any of the previous years.

Coast Guard has nothing to do with the police, except being a rescue based subtheme. Otherwise, the coast guard team in City seems to be exclusive to only emergency situations regarding an injured beach goer or stranded sailor. 

And the regular police sets that come out every three years were the only police sets under City at that time. What are you talking about? And you can't count Space Police because that was it's own theme. I think this conversation is over. Goodnight! 

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23 minutes ago, pooda said:

 

Coast Guard has nothing to do with the police, except being a rescue based subtheme. Otherwise, the coast guard team in City seems to be exclusive to only emergency situations regarding an injured beach goer or stranded sailor. 

And the regular police sets that come out every three years were the only police sets under City at that time. What are you talking about? And you can't count Space Police because that was it's own theme. I think this conversation is over. Goodnight! 

I honestly did not pay too much attention to the theme that year. But it could be easily guessed to be a police adjacent theme, especially from the States and the Coast Guard does do police-like work out on US waters.

i never mentioned Space Police which is a space theme. I said Sky Police which seems to be aerial vehicles like helicopters. Sky police is a 2019 sub theme (according to Brickset).

so yes, your point about regular police is somewhat accurate, but since 2008 (if you include coast guard) at the earliest has been police adjacent. If you don’t, in 2012 Forest Police was started. So essentially it’s been four years of regular police and about five or specialty themes. 

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On 8/25/2019 at 4:11 PM, pooda said:

The terms of use says that if you can't handle certain things, leave! This is a forum for grown adults. 

Kinda ironic, eh? You can’t seem to handle that Police sets sell. 

Now, I do agree that Police take up too much room & would much prefer other businesses & buildings. Like the 3661 Bank & Money Transfer set & 60008 Museum Break In, which are great smaller buildings. These days it seems like we only get those other buildings in the big $100+ sets. It’d be nice to see cheaper single building sets again. 

But TLG knows what they’re doing. They do the market research. If Police didn’t sell, they wouldn’t continue making it year after year. 

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1 hour ago, Vindicare said:

But TLG knows what they’re doing. They do the market research

I would argue that they don't do as much marketing research as they really should. If so, they would look back into what was successful in the past rather than just throw random licenses (and police subthemes) that nobody really asked for. 

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2 hours ago, Lego David said:

 rather than just throw random licenses (and police subthemes) that nobody really asked for. 

Who is “nobody”? Adults who make up a small proportion of Lego’s market or kids who make up a large proportion of Lego’s market and are Lego’s intended target audience? Don’t get me wrong, I’d also like to see more sub themes other than police, the 3182 Airport was a great set and I’d love to see more airport related sets in the future. But as said by many others if its Police, Star Wars and Spider-Man that are selling then it’s those themes that Lego will produce. 

2 hours ago, Lego David said:

 If so, they would look back into what was successful in the past 

But kids interests change over time. Kids who grew up in the 90s have different interest to kids who grew up in the 00s and those kids have different interests to the kids of today and I’m sure kids in 10 years will have different interests to today’s kids. Growing up you may have enjoyed certain themes but those themes may not be popular today. 

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On 8/25/2019 at 7:02 PM, pooda said:

The explorers subthemes and the overwhelming amount of police subthemes defeat the purpose of City - which is to build a bustling town. I can't build my town properly with all the police sets and explorers themes in the way. 

No it isn't. In my view, City is to provide vehicles and buildings that kids (mainly boys) like playing with.

If you were to build a realistic town, then more than 99 out of 100 sets would need to be houses. Yet presumably City houses don't sell very well as boys tend not to want to play "house", which is why we don't get them. Whereas when aimed more towards the girl market, then houses are popular - look at how many appear in Friends.

 

Adults that want to build cities have their own range - the Creator Expert modulars.

2 hours ago, Lego David said:

I would argue that they don't do as much marketing research as they really should. If so, they would look back into what was successful in the past rather than just throw random licenses (and police subthemes) that nobody really asked for. 

LEGO knows what sells far better than you do. They have all the sales data. They know that kids (especially boys) like vehicles. They know they want something similar to last year but different enough to distinguish it as new. Hence variants on police.

Not only do "random" licenses sell sets to people that were possibly not already buying LEGO (and hence don't compete so much with LEGO's other lines compared to other current liceses), they also know that bringing in "random" licenses may well turn fans of that license into more general LEGO fans of other themes as well. Look at posts about what brought people out of their "dark ages" - it is often a licensed theme that sparked their interest.

 

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, MAB said:

They know that kids (especially boys) like vehicles. 

Direct them to Speed Champions and other Lego themes like Star Wars, DC or Marvel then. 

But don't do that with City. City's main focus needs to be on buildings. 

Edited by pooda

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27 minutes ago, pooda said:

Direct them to Speed Champions and other Lego themes like Star Wars, DC or Marvel then. 

But don't do that with City. City's main focus needs to be on buildings. 

No it doesn't. It may be for you, but not for kids. Often younger kids are not into Formula One or performance cars, they want things that are exciting to them - police, fire and ambulance. Look at non-LEGO kids toys for 4-10 year olds. Many of them are emergency services. Kids don't really care about going to the shops, or visiting the bank to get some cash and so don't act out stories like that. But they find acting out a fire at the construction site or a robbery at the bank exciting.

 

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Except we haven't seen a construction site in years. 

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Downtown fire brigade (2019) has a (fire at a) construction site set:

60216-1.png

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1 hour ago, Tariq j said:

But kids interests change over time. Kids who grew up in the 90s have different interest to kids who grew up in the 00s and those kids have different interests to the kids of today and I’m sure kids in 10 years will have different interests to today’s kids. Growing up you may have enjoyed certain themes but those themes may not be popular today.

We can't really know if today's kids enjoy a theme or not when that theme hasn't even been around for them. 

 

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29 minutes ago, Lego David said:

We can't really know if today's kids enjoy a theme or not when that theme hasn't even been around for them. 

 

I imagine most kids would enjoy most LEGO themes if they were put in front of them and the kids were told they can play with it. Give them a choice and they are more likely to sway towards the more modern sets. And for kids of a certain age, even more likely still if there is a tablet / screen involved. What is important is if kids like current themes enough to want them.

There is also a downside to bringing back old themes and aiming them at kids. As AFOLs, we might think re-releases or re-imaginings are great for nostalgia. However, some parents might see that LEGO has not changed since they were kids and why bother buying new sets when the kids can play with their exact same old ones which are still in Granny and Grandpa's loft/attic.

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Posted (edited)

Around the mid 2000s until 2010s Creator provided the larger houses, and Friends arrived in 2012

City itself had very few house sets at all.

8403-1.jpg?201005060850(2010) City, not that much different in style compared to a 3-in-1 set released in recent years.

3-in-1 still provides houses, and the larger buildings are found in Creator-Expert, with some outlier sets having houses as well (Emmet Dream House for example)

However that's still not much different from the Town days, where themes like Basic and Paradisa were around at the same time.

710-3.jpg?200012091200 (1983) Basic vs (1983) Town 6374-1.jpg

545-1.jpg?200012031200 725-1.jpg?200012031200(1990) Basic

6416-1.jpg (1992) Paradisa

While Town had a lot of (vacation)houses from 1978-1990, the 90s were very empty of pure house sets, and even City.

Right now we get at least 1 or more house sets yearly again via multiple themes, so my opinion is that LEGO houses are in a better period compared to let's say 1993-2003.

While Creator certainly shifted from the 2004-2011 Creator was the main theme that provided houses, City only had 1 standalone house set mentioned above in 2010.

Since around 2012 some more changes happened

- 2012-now Friends came around as a theme, and while it certainly is somewhatfrom Town or even Paradisa in some aspects, the theme has been around ever since having consistently provided many buildings.

- 2007-now buildings that are now mostly known as "modulars" came to be, and labeled under Creator since 2013, Expert since 2014.

Edited by TeriXeri

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In regards to the discussion about classic themes (and Space in particular), I am an AFOL with a fairly good LEGO collection. I bought the entire Alien Conquest line (except the 2 polybags and the battle pack which I was never able to get hold of easily). I bought a fair few of the sets from the Space Police 3 line (including the Lunar Limo) and regret not buying the big base set at the time. I also bought a few Mars Mission sets and a lot of Life On Mars stuff. I bought the Exo-Suit, the Space Squad and the Spaceship Spaceship SPACESHIP. And I have a large collection of older space stuff (Classic Space, Futuron, Space Police 1, Blacktron 1 and Ice Planet in particular but parts and figs and such from other themes as well). Oh and I own the full NASA Discovery line of sets, the Saturn V Rocket, the Women of NASA, the Lunar Lander and quite a few of the City Space sets including the new modular space station. So you can see that I just LOVE alll things LEGO Space.

I do not buy Star Wars (except for the rare occasion I buy one on sale for parts such as when I bought the 4+ A-Wing a while back to get a few parts for a MOC) but if LEGO released a decent Space line (be it new sets that fit into an old theme, a sequel to an older theme like happend with Space Police 3 or a totally new theme) I would be VERY likely to buy the sets in the line (assuming I can afford it of course).

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54 minutes ago, MAB said:

I imagine most kids would enjoy most LEGO themes if they were put in front of them and the kids were told they can play with it. Give them a choice and they are more likely to sway towards the more modern sets. And for kids of a certain age, even more likely still if there is a tablet / screen involved. What is important is if kids like current themes enough to want them.

Then just bring those themes back with a Hidden Side-style app or a Ninjago Style TV Show, and I don't see how it won't appeal to them.

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1 minute ago, Lego David said:

Then just bring those themes back with a Hidden Side-style app or a Ninjago Style TV Show, and I don't see how it won't appeal to them.

I believe they play test various ideas, and presumably "real" settings work better with Hidden Side than space. Plus they have recently done Nexo Knights, so space knights alongside a tech interface.

Hidden Side has also brought something that AFOLs have asked for in the past - a school.

 

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44 minutes ago, Lego David said:

Then just bring those themes back with a Hidden Side-style app or a Ninjago Style TV Show, and I don't see how it won't appeal to them.

I think it could work more with the AFOLs with a Hidden Side Style app rather than a Ninjago Style TV Show

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2 hours ago, Lego David said:

We can't really know if today's kids enjoy a theme or not when that theme hasn't even been around for them. 

 

EXACTLY!!!!! My other point is that certain things haven't even been given a fair chance. Police sets get plenty of chances because they get a new darn police theme released every year. Subthemes that I believe have potential like a News subtheme or a Metro Transit subtheme aren't even given a fair chance. The latter two can only be seen in traces and so far, only two sets have ever been released that really showcase the transit system and those are sets number 8404 and 60154. 

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8 minutes ago, pooda said:

EXACTLY!!!!! My other point is that certain things haven't even been given a fair chance. Police sets get plenty of chances because they get a new darn police theme released every year. Subthemes that I believe have potential like a News subtheme or a Metro Transit subtheme aren't even given a fair chance. The latter two can only be seen in traces and so far, only two sets have ever been released that really showcase the transit system and those are sets number 8404 and 60154. 

And how do you know they haven't been given a fair chance? LEGO playtests themes and sets with kids before they are released. A posible reason we are not seeing a full blown news subtheme is because kids just aren't interested in such a theme during playtests.

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40 minutes ago, pooda said:

EXACTLY!!!!! My other point is that certain things haven't even been given a fair chance. Police sets get plenty of chances because they get a new darn police theme released every year. Subthemes that I believe have potential like a News subtheme or a Metro Transit subtheme aren't even given a fair chance. The latter two can only be seen in traces and so far, only two sets have ever been released that really showcase the transit system and those are sets number 8404 and 60154. 

There was a Castle theme in 2013 wich pulled to look a lot like its classic counterpart and it just endured a year, same with the Pirates theme in 2015. So, lego GAVE that chance to the classic Castle and Pirate theme to shine but, unforunately, kids didn't pay attention to them.

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