nerdsforprez

42100 - Still a toy?

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So the title pretty much says it all.  I am making this thread because although this might be a good discussion for the actual 42100 thread, at the same time it may distract from it.  Additionally, there are other examples i want to bring in  other than just 42100. 

Many of us, myself included, have a problem with 42100's price and built into our complaints is the model's definition.  That it is a toy.  Who spend this much $$ on a toy?  But is it really? 

Obviously, just because something is made by a toy company does not mean that by default it is itself a toy.  Hopefully no one would make that argument on the life-sized Bugatti.  Made by a toy company - yes.  Made out of toy parts - yes, but a toy?  Naw.   Why?  Because its size?  Because how much it costs?  Because its complexity and needed brain power to build?  Perhaps all three?

Another example would be any number  of MOCs made by AFOLs.  Made by a toy Co.? - No.   But made out of toy parts - yes.  Are they toys? Who knows?  Or do we?  Consider a few scenarios: 

1) - Simple MOC, built by AFOL.  Again - simple.  These are my own opinions, but I would venture to say yes, toy.  Because it is a simple build, likely to be replicated or assembled by a child.  If this is true, then rule out the criterion of having to be made by a toy Co. to make something a toy b/c in this scenario, the build is not. 

2) Complex MOC "......".   COmplex and unlikely to be built by teen or child.  I would venture to say, no, not a toy.  Therefore complexity needs to be a criterion.  Right?  To be ruled out as a toy. 

3) Cost.  If something is $1000, no matter how simple or difficult - is it a toy?  I guess there are those very wealthy parents who can afford such gifts for kids.  I remember years ago K'NEX put out a $1000 grandfather clock and a family I know bought their 12 year old one.  So, I supposed in such case things can be still considered a toy, but honestly, I have a more difficult time with that one.  Perhaps it is more like an investment? :head_back:

Don't take any of this too seriously, I really just am posting this to generate discussion.  I really don't have any firm opinion either way.  And of course, the above is not even discussing what we mean by "toy".  In the English language, there are certainly many more uses for the word toy than just applied to children.  Grown men call their trucks, boats, etc. their "toys."  My wife calls my RC cars, some of which are well over $1000 my toys.  And even my wife's friend calls her pool boy her "boy ....." well, you get the picture and as you can see the definition does get a little murky.

But the point I am trying to make is that I think folks are still applying the title of "toy" uniformly and I am not sure it fits anymore.  New benchmarks are really, really being set here.  Began long time ago when TLG began selling sets with thousands of pieces, typically in the adult genre (UCS Star Wars) for hundreds of dollars.  But lately?  A UCS MF for $800 USD?  And now a Technic set, with 7 motors, a new electronics system, new actuators, etc.?  If I think something no longer is a child's toy, because of size, expense, and complexity - well then this set seems to check all the boxes (well, complexity still remains to be seen).  

What are your thoughts?  And would it ever be appropriate for TLG to think of opening a new sector of build aims solely at adults?  Right now in the genre of Technic there are sets that take all of 15 minutes with barely over 100 pieces and can be assembled by fetuses as soon as their umbilical cords are cut at one end of the spectrum all the way to now a 7 motor, 4000 piece, etc. behemoth that you need to take out a second mortgage at the other end of the spectrum.   Does this seem odd to anyone? 

 

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Generally you are right; for longer period of time I do not see sets itself like sets, but more and more as parts pack and buying them  at discount when they are at the end of their life-cycle. since I'm in the mid 40s I have opinion; toy is usually something smaller (more affordable) like 42079 set, or perhaps like 42081 if we stick to last year. when we discuss about price, I agree that Liebherr is way to expensive for my valet but I have learned something - the difference between man and boy is in price of toy and perhaps that was idea in TLC management to make some kind of categories or adult line and child line of Technic? Bugatti is (usually) to expensive to be child's toy...so good question is where is a limit

Topic has sense because people from TLC read our forum, so every aspect will at least be discussed in future

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Mmmm... I have a Kawasaki ZX10r sat in my garage, and i consider that a toy. Last winter i spent over £1k just having its suspension rebuilt, but its still a toy. I've 3 motorbikes out there, all toys. My car's not a toy.

People spend £3-4k on pushbike(!), and they're toys.

Price doesn't determine whether something is a toy or not..... its a hobby. Different hobbies have different price tags, simple as that.

What you're saying is that this hobby is getting more expensive, but its still a hobby and they're still toys regardless of the cost.

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The size, cost, custom control and level of cosmetic detailing of 42100 leads me to believe this is not a children’s toy, but a model intended primarily for the AFOL market. I also absolutely love that they’re doing high level MOC style sets.

Edited by Bartybum

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3 minutes ago, TeamThrifty said:

What you're saying is that this hobby is getting more expensive, but its still a hobby and they're still toys regardless of the cost.

Precisely.  But, if we keep using some form of the statement "$$$ is too much for a toy" we are not being true to your statement above.  We get it when applied to boats, RC cars, or motorbikes but as long as we keep using some iteration of the above complaint then somewhere in our collective unconscious as Lego hobby enthusiasts we are defining "toy" as children's toy, not an adult toy.  Therefore, that is why I perhaps recommend the delineation and I think TLG may want to as well. 

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You are correct that 450€ is not that much compared to other near-or-far related hobbies. Take for example die cast models. The medium ones are easily 450+ and it is accepted price in the comunity. The novelty here is that such price point is among first for lego, while lego is still percieved as toy maker for kids, not a maker of collectibles for adults (in general view, ofc not here). TLG is trying to move there but it will take time. I wonder if this set will be in catalogue, maybe it will be only D2C

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I have more expensive fishing rods.

I think it is a toy. I even think it is toy even for kids (obviously not 5yo), but it is.

Is it for everyone? of course not.

I skipped the Porsche, I skipped the Bugatti - IMO both ridiculosly expensive for what they are, even at some "amazon discount" price. I did not buy Technic set since H2 2016, because there was not anything I would feel like I "need" or the price/like ratio was poor or very poor.

But I will buy Leibherr 9800, even at this price I will get one. price/like performance is good, even at this price.

it is all relative.

Edited by J_C

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Definition of toy:

" 1. An object for a child to play with, typically a model or miniature replica of something.

1.1 An object, especially a gadget or machine, regarded as providing amusement for an adult."

Source (lets ignore 1.2 :laugh: )

So my understanding: Yes, still a toy, but maybe more of category 1.1.

My personal definition is that a toy is everything that I don't really need (which doesn't really have a task except of personal pleasure). Therefore, (to me) Lego is always a toy, no matter if I try to build models from it or if my small kid plays with it.

 

 

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Not a toy. Presentation of new electronic system with "Liebherr" label on it.

 

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6 minutes ago, M_longer said:

Not a toy

It is... see definition above.

 

8 minutes ago, Yonnix said:

My personal definition is that a toy is everything that I don't really need

I agree with this.. 100% a toy

It might be the presentation of new parts with a label on, but that label is on a toy. The ONLY argument, is each persons opinion on the price. Toys don't have a defined price range, more than 'X' and its not a toy! Price doesn't define whether its a toy or not.... 

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Of course it is a toy: It is an item which is a small representation of a real machine, has no real world function (like cleaning your house) and building and using it is intended as a past time.

The question is not whether or not is a toy, but for whom it is intended. Toys for boys (and girls) such as track-day racecars, jetskis, sailing boats, etc are all toys by the same definition but not definitely not aimed at children. The same goes for the huge large scale RC scene (trucks, airplanes, machinery, ...) out there. These all cost anywhere between hundreds and ten thousands of moneys.

It seems that since the success of big Star Wars and Technic sets, TLG is increasingly aware of the part of their market which can afford to spend €€€ on big, limited edition or licensed sets. With the Bugatti and the 42100 it only caters to a demand which is clearly very present: Just look at the presentation the TLG CEO has shown at the latest fair: the best selling Lego sets of 2018 were a Technic set with RC (42065), a Technic set with a license (42078), the biggest Technic set so far (42082) and a huge Star Wars set (75192). The 42100 is a combination of all the biggest selling points a Technic set can have: License, big size and RC and tops it off with some new parts, so it will definitely be a commercial success, despite the price.

I have explained this before here on the forum that cost, price and value of a product are completely different and mostly unrelated concepts. I will not repeat my explanation here, but suffice to say that the TLG has judged that the target audience for the 42100 values this kind of set with its size, license, new parts, and new functionality around €450. As long as those expensive sets are getting bought often enough, Lego will create them and they will keep trying to see how far they can go. I guess they will hit an upper limit at one point, but I dare to say the 42100 will not be that set.

As Confucius said: "Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it."

Edited by Cumulonimbus
Typo

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If I can give it to a 12 year old child so he can play with it and have fun and enjoy it and learn and have positive experiences it can be considered a toy.

"expensive" is a relative term based on disposable income. For some it will expensive for others not so much. There are other factors too, some people buy toys for their children all year long and some concentrate them in select dates, some people prefer lots of smaller presents and some  less and bigger. That can affect greatly to the definition of expensive.

Furthermore when I got 8860 as a child given the time and economy in my country it was at least as "expensive" as this one. And it was a few hundred parts, we are talking 4000  and electronics here. So price is again relative.

Children of the age that this set will be targeted to also manage electronics with their eyes shut, and get their first phone almost when they leave the pacifier so complexity in that regard don't dismiss either the fact that it can be a toy.

Yes, it is big, complex and perhaps expensive but still a toy... or not.

What do you want it to be?

It might be a collector's item sealed for 100 years or It might be a dirt chip toy with all the parts laying on the ground getting chewed and lost. It might be a nice decoration on a shelf or the fuel for the imagination of the next Elon Musk.

Edited by aol000xw

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Given all answers, I think the question is irrelevant in itself. Whether it's a toy or not is dependant to the use you are - or the persone you're offering it to is - doing with it, not that much the price - which is seen differently by everyone : for me $450 is a lot, for people who earn $3000 a month, it might not be.

If $450 is affordable and you buy it for pleasure / collection or so, you may consider 42100 a toy.

If you're a children and get 42100 as a gift, then obviously it's gonna be a toy :)

If you're a MOCer and get it as a part binge, then it might not be a toy. More like something that enables you to get pleasure building / engineering something yourself, some kind of logistics supply. (I'm it this category ^^)

If you're a worker at Liebherr and buy 42100 as a engineering demonstrator (which it could be, why not ?), then it's a working tool... And maybe, also, a toy for you.

And I'm probably missing many situations where 42100 could be considered as a toy, or not. Soo... just my point of view :D

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Call it any way you like - it's fun and it's educational.

Price is irrelevant - we're not talking about a primary good here. Oh, and incidentally, if you compare 42100's part count and part type with 42030, the two sets are pretty  much aligned.

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for 42100, it seems to be aimed at the AFOL market entirely. Let’s hope the instructions are more adult, i.e. challenging, too.

to me things are toys if they are not really a necessity. A commuting bike is no toy but a weekend use mountain bike would be, so adult market or not it is a toy.

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Things are what you make of them. Some might use Lego as a toy, others as an educational tool, others as therapy and so on.

I find it disturbing when people worry more about "what is that?" and less about "what can I do with that?".

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2 hours ago, M_longer said:

Not a toy. Presentation of new electronic system with "Liebherr" label on it.

 

:laugh: LOL

 

But I am more in the toy bandwagon. For me it is entertainment in pieces, specially the new electronics

I can feel guilty for expending so much in a non vital thing, as I would do with expensive clothing, restaurants or watches, but in my mind is money spending in having fun so, a toy. Regardless it surpasess my budget for that or not

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The main pieces of this toy are the large LAs in my opinion, now we can built almost all type of machinery.

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It's only relatively expensive. For example it costs a monthly rent here in Budapest, Hungary. Costs much more than one year of not too intensive smoking. You spend much more on a holiday in a crap apartman in a random European county. It's only expensive if you are not into Lego (or you are too into it). you feel it's expensive because it's hard to explain it to your friends who are not into Lego (but probably who spend much more on their hobbies, because most of the popular hobbies can easily be more expensive, unless you are a maniac collector).

regards,
Captain Obvious

Edited by Lipko

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29 minutes ago, Lipko said:

It's only relatively expensive. For example it costs a monthly rent here in Budapest, Hungary. Costs much more than one year of not too intensive smoking. You spend much more on a holiday in a crap apartman in a random European county. It's only expensive if you are not into Lego (or you are too into it). you feel it's expensive because it's hard to explain it to your friends who are not into Lego (but probably who spend much more on their hobbies, because most of the popular hobbies can easily be more expensive, unless you are a maniac collector).

For comparison, 450€ is something about 1900PLN, which is more than a minimum wage here, in Poland. Soooo... pricey :)

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42100 has 2 hubs, 7 motors and 4000+ parts for 450

42099 has 1 hub,  3 motors and   958  parts  for 230

So for a bit more than half price you get less than one third of the stuff. Is it really the Liebherr we should be thinkering about?

On the subject

For me this excavator isn't one toy, but 4108 separatelly usable piece (of toy) that happend to come in a form of a mine machinery. But if some of these parts are ending up being built into my camera stand, they suddenly turn into a tool.  So I dunno. :sweet:

 

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The question of whether or not it's a toy only being asked because of the sticker shock.  Let me illustrate this:

Tesla's first mass produced/adapted car, the Model S, is expensive (please ignore any TOC or NPV calculation).  It's a full-fledged luxury vehicle, and a flagship for the brand.  When Tesla came out with the Model 3, the price was much less of an issue, despite still being high, because it was cheap compared to the Model S.

In contrast, Hyundai started with cheap, crappy and inexpensive little cars which over time improved in quality and design.  Roughly 10 years ago, Hyundai decided to enter the luxury market, but knew it would have a difficult time selling a $50k car under its brand name.  So it created a luxury brand called Genesis, which can have flagship models with flagship prices without being burdened by Hyundai's history of cheap, crappy cars.

Lego is taking the Hyundai path, mostly due to historical reasons.  Sets are growing in size from year to year, there seems to be a demand for them despite the increasing set prices ($ per part is not being discussed here), and Lego even created a UCS line for these higher-end sets, indicating that they are a luxury item.

If Lego were a new company in 2019 and launched the Technic line with the 42100, the Bugatti and the Porsche GT3 would have looked like bargains in comparison.

The 42100 is a toy, an expensive toy, but still a toy.  It's all a matter of being used to certain prices.

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It depends on how you are going to use it. Im normally disassembling models after 20 minutes of exploring design and functions. Then it's immediately turning into resources for new models.

Edited by Yevhen

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2 hours ago, Yevhen said:

Im normally disassembling models after 20 minutes of exploring design and functions. Then it's immediately turning into resources for new models.

me too. nothing stays built for long... waste of bricks!!

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