Lego David

For how long will the LEGO company exist?

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48 minutes ago, JJ Tong (zfogshooterz) said:

 

I know it would be amazing to be at a point where everyone could be satisfied, but we have so many different opinions that there's no way that'll happen.

 

Not only that, but unlicensed and licensed are not mutually exclusive. It is perfectly possible to like Castle and Harry Potter, or Castle and LOTR, or Classic Space and Star Wars, and so on. I imagine there are more people that like some licensed and some unlicensed themes than there are that like all unlicensed (or all licensed) themes and hate all licensed (or all unlicensed) themes.

 

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2 hours ago, Blondie-Wan said:

Aside from the point I brought up earlier about our not really knowing exactly how well those themes sold or whether they were profitable, I don’t think the fact they each had one wave means anything. LEGO does single-wave themes all the time, both licensed and unlicensed, and for unproven new movie properties, it’s pretty much their standard operating procedure.

Presumably if any of those themes had done unusually well, vastly surpassing expectations, they might have done additional waves for the second year, but I don’t think there’s any evidence any of them were planned to have second waves.

This might help:

 

2 hours ago, JJ Tong (zfogshooterz) said:

But that's the reality isn't it? There's no way everyone going to be satisfied. Take you and me for example. We both love Original themes. However, I consider The Lego Movie 2 an Original theme (as that's something WB and LEGO cooked up not taken from any licensed) while you didn't find TLM2 interesting at all. Also you loved the Throwbacks sets that TLM gives while I hardly cared about those and also find them to be the least interesting.

I know it would be amazing to be at a point where everyone could be satisfied, but we have so many different opinions that there's no way that'll happen.

That could happen actually. If I had Castle, I would not complain about either Harry Potter or LOTR. If I had an original Space Theme, I would not complain about Star Wars. We have seen in the past that it is possible for those themes to coexist, and why can't they coexist now? If In-House and Licensed were equal, everyone could be satisfied.

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38 minutes ago, MAB said:

So what are you saying? Less in-house sets as they currently dominate the product line.

As of last year it wasn't a huge difference in terms of sheer number of non-polybag, non-extended line, non-education sets: by my count, 181 non-licensed sets and 178 licensed ones. And that's being rather generous, counting Ninjago City Docks, LEGOLAND-based sets, and any Architecture sets where one or more of the buildings is a protected IP as licensed.

Of the currently available 2019 sets, according to those same terms, there are 95 non-licensed sets and only 77 licensed ones — even counting The LEGO Movie 2 sets as licensed. But I think that's to be expected. Of these 172 sets, non-licensed Creator, Duplo, City, Friends, and Ninjago sets each include 10 or more, for a total of 72 sets between just those five themes. Whereas the only licensed brands with 10 or more sets meeting these criteria are Star Wars and The LEGO Movie 2, with 36 sets between them (counting the LEGO Movie 2 branded sets from the Duplo, BrickHeadz, and Minifigures themes).

If we also count 2019 sets that have been officially, publicly revealed and announced but not yet released, that adds 8 non-licensed sets and 24 licensed ones, balancing things out a bit more, but still with slightly more non-licensed (103) than licensed (101). And if we throw in other credibly rumored sets that haven't been officially revealed, that adds around 56 more non-licensed sets and 45 more licensed ones, for an estimated sum of around 159 non-licensed sets and 140 licensed ones.

Based on last year's overall number of sets, I suspect there may be as many as 55 sets still to come in 2019 that haven't had enough rumors about them to know that they exist or credibly predict whether they are licensed or non-licensed — in particular, there's been a conspicuous lack of rumors of summer Disney Princess and Duplo sets. But overall, I expect the end result will still wind up with sets of this sort being somewhere between a 50/50 and 60/40 split, skewing in favor of non-licensed themes.

And again, this is all operating under a pretty generous definition of licensed sets, since to a typical AFOL there's no meaningful difference in originality between Metalbeard's Motor Trike and a typical Ninjago set, or between licensed and non-licensed Architecture sets.

1 hour ago, Blondie-Wan said:

Aside from the point I brought up earlier about our not really knowing exactly how well those themes sold or whether they were profitable, I don’t think the fact they each had one wave means anything. LEGO does single-wave themes all the time, both licensed and unlicensed, and for unproven new movie properties, it’s pretty much their standard operating procedure.

Fair point! I think a good recent example is Jurassic World, which originated as a one-and-done license but achieved considerable success in that wave and has had a more stable presence since being brought back for the second movie.

Movie licenses are pretty well suited to achieving this sort of flash-in-the-pan success, since the amount of hype surrounding a movie usually tends to peak in its year of release, and the amount of development time needed to create movies means that even those that achieve enough success to have a sequel greenlit can go anywhere from two to five years before a sequel comes out to reignite that hype.

By contrast, with in-house themes, particularly the ones that are less generically archetypical than the classic ones and feature characters with particular names, personalities, and motivations, LEGO shoulders more of the burden for bringing the characters and brand to kids' attention, so when possible it can be better to design them with two or three years in mind to get the best return on that investment.

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26 minutes ago, Lego David said:

This might help:

 

 

You know this is all just speculation though. Someone else that likes to use the word "facts" to mean opinions.

26 minutes ago, Aanchir said:

Of the currently available 2019 sets, according to those same terms, there are 95 non-licensed sets and only 77 licensed ones — even counting The LEGO Movie 2 sets as licensed. But I think that's to be expected. Of these 172 sets, non-licensed Creator, Duplo, City, Friends, and Ninjago sets each include 10 or more, for a total of 72 sets between just those five themes. Whereas the only licensed brands with 10 or more sets meeting these criteria are Star Wars and The LEGO Movie 2, with 36 sets between them (counting the LEGO Movie 2 branded sets from the Duplo, BrickHeadz, and Minifigures themes).

 

1

Yeah, I was just looking at 2019 so far, and counting TLM2 as non-licensed (or discounting it completely as it is somewhere in-between). Either way, there are a larger number of in-house sets and so the idea that there are more licensed sets is wrong.

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Its more likely that Lego will continue to be successful despite one or two AFOL always talking about what they think Lego is doing wrong than Lego going under because they didn't cater to the individual desires of a small fraction of the barely double digit percentage of sales that AFOL constitute.

In the meantime you could MOC build your own Lego company made from "in-house" bricks which are far superior to those icky licensed theme bricks.

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20 minutes ago, koalayummies said:

In the meantime you could MOC build your own Lego company made from "in-house" bricks which are far superior to those icky licensed theme bricks.

1

Or just scrub the printing off the torsos and not apply the stickers. :-)

 

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55 minutes ago, koalayummies said:

Its more likely that Lego will continue to be successful despite one or two AFOL always talking about what they think Lego is doing wrong than Lego going under because they didn't cater to the individual desires of a small fraction of the barely double digit percentage of sales that AFOL constitute.

There are plenty of sets which are clearly targeted at AFOLS, which makes me question that.

Fine, if they will continue to be succesful, then it's their business. But in doing their business this way, they might loose customers over time. I don't know about other people, but they clearly lost me as their customer, and over time they will loose even more customers which were prievosly loyal to them. But who knows, I might be the only person on this entire forum which is never right in any way.

I really recomand listening to this video if you have time, it appears this guy is better at making arguments than I am

 

Edited by Lego David

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I imagine these kinds of topics are part of the reason why the company doesn't release sales numbers for specific themes and kits....

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On 2/27/2019 at 3:31 AM, MAB said:

The types of plastics being banned in most places are single-use, disposable plastics. LEGO hardly fits that, it is multi-use by definition. Plastics will not disappear, they are the right material for many jobs. They also happen to be a bad material for some jobs, especially for items that are used once then thrown away. The fact that it takes a long time to degrade are what makes it a good material for long-life toys.

Single-use disposable plastic is where the regulation is starting, because that is the low hanging fruit. The plastics that are polluting the oceans are not only straws and grocery sacks, however. It is also plastic from many long-life products like buckets, fishing nets and floats, etc. as well as microplastics that break down elsewhere and make their way into the ocean.

We used to use all kinds of materials that were once thought to be ideal for long-life applications - like lead, asbestos and mercury. Health and environmental standards changed, however, and the products using these materials had to change. Regulation of plastic has already started. It's hard to imagine what Lego would be made of other than plastic.

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2 hours ago, Lego David said:

Fine, if they will continue to be succesful, then it's their business. But in doing their business this way, they might loose customers over time. I don't know about other people, but they clearly lost me as their customer, and over time they will loose even more customers which were prievosly loyal to them. But who knows, I might be the only person on this entire forum which is never right in any way.

 

The thing that a lot of people don't seem to grasp is that Lego's business model generally takes the fact that they'll lose customers for granted. Lego loses the vast majority of kids as customers when they "grow out" of Lego. The number of them that stick around or come back to the brand as "AFOLs" are a small minority of Lego's audience, that often has a very different set of preferences than most kids or even most parents. As such, Lego generally places a higher priority on replenishing that core market of kids, through new sets and themes geared toward their interests.

That's not to say that Lego doesn't make overtures to the periphery demographic of AFOLs. They do, releasing a moderate number of high-dollar sets per year targeted toward advanced builders. But getting upset with the sets that Lego DOES make to appeal to their core demographic is counterproductive. Because if Lego were forced to choose between a hard to satisfy AFOL and a legion of enthusiastic kids who are much more likely to put their money toward Lego, it's not a hard choice for them to make.

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3 hours ago, Lego David said:

 I don't know about other people, but they clearly lost me as their customer, 

 

If this statement is true then why are you even on this forum, do you have some sort of agenda, is it your hope to change TLG more to your liking so you can become a customer? Do you have an actual point to make or are you just trying to make everyone hate LEGO to get even with them? I guess I just don't get it you seem to be talking in circles. 

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6 hours ago, Lego David said:

That could happen actually. If I had Castle, I would not complain about either Harry Potter or LOTR. If I had an original Space Theme, I would not complain about Star Wars. We have seen in the past that it is possible for those themes to coexist, and why can't they coexist now? If In-House and Licensed were equal, everyone could be satisfied.

You seem to be severely underestimating just how many themes it would take for everyone to be satisfied… between current themes that have proven reliably popular, and past themes that the most people seem interested in LEGO bringing back, the minimum range of theme or theme groups would have to include:

  1. City
  2. Friends
  3. Ninjago
  4. Duplo
  5. Technic
  6. Classic
  7. Creator 3-in-1
  8. Creator Expert
  9. Minifigures
  10. Juniors/4+
  11. Ideas
  12. Architecture
  13. Seasonal (including seasonal BrickHeadz)
  14. Space
  15. Castle
  16. Pirates
  17. Trains
  18. Adventurers
  19. Bionicle/Constraction
  20. Star Wars
  21. Harry Potter/Fantastic Beasts
  22. The LEGO Movie (including sequels and spin-offs)
  23. DC
  24. Marvel
  25. Disney Princess
  26. Disney Pixar
  27. Jurassic Park/World
  28. Minecraft
  29. Speed Champions
  30. The Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit

Themes in italics are those which are currently retired. Is the problem obvious yet? With about 360 new sets as of last year (excluding Education, polybag, value pack, and extended line products), splitting a number like that between 30 different themes would mean an average theme could have only six sets per year!

Look at how underwhelmed people were for the 2008 Exo-Force range, 2010 Bionicle range, 2013 Ninjago range, 2013 Castle range, 2015 Pirates range, 2018 Nexo Knights range, etc. Even if these HADN'T been the final waves for these themes, there was a sense of indignity that themes that previously had anywhere from 10 to 38 new sets per year had been reduced to anywhere from five to seven. What you're proposing would make that the new normal for ALL themes.

The City theme was at its smallest in 2007, with just 14 new retail sets. Besides the stand-alone advent calendar and airline promo, these were split between three subthemes: Fire, Trains, and Traffic (the last of which was a miscellaneous category roughly equivalent to today's Town and Great Vehicles sets). Your proposal cuts that number in half, and makes it unlikely to see more than two City subthemes per year. Realistically, the first of these would rotate from year to year between Police, Fire, and Construction/Mining/Demolition as was the norm from 2007 to 2011. The second would probably either revert to a generic catch-all Traffic subtheme or alternate between subthemes in the Aerospace (Airport/Cargo/Space), Nautical (Harbor/Coast Guard), and Exploration (Arctic/Deep Sea/Jungle/Volcano) subthemes. But either way there would be MUCH less room for variety in any given year.

The number of new minifigures designed for many themes each year would also need to come down. Besides minifigures that vary only slightly from one another (like with a different neck accessory, helmet, or face), a wave of six sets typically only has room for between 12 and 16 decidedly unique minifigures. For example, the six Ninjago Hands of Time sets introduced 16 new minifig torso assemblies, 15 new minifig leg assemblies, and 11 new minifig heads.

4 hours ago, Lego David said:

There are plenty of sets which are clearly targeted at AFOLS, which makes me question that.

The "plenty of sets clearly targeted at AFOLs" are a drop in the bucket compared to those targeted at kids.

Again, using 2018 as an example, there were 360-ish LEGO sets that year, excluding polybags, Education, Extended Line, convention exclusives, etc. Of those:

  • 46 were recommended for ages 10+ (41 BrickHeadz sets, 3 Technic sets, TRON: Legacy, and Billund Airport)
  • 2 were recommended for ages 11+ (Technic Rough Terrain Crane and Mack Anthem)
  • 8 for ages 12+ (2 Creator Expert sets, 3 Architecture sets, 2 Ideas sets, and Ninjago City Docks)
  • 3 for ages 14+ (Hulkbuster: Ultron Edition, Betrayal at Cloud City, and UCS Y-Wing)
  • 7 for ages 16+ (3 Creator Expert sets, Statue of Liberty, Voltron, Hogwarts Castle, and Bugatti Chiron).

So how that relates to how you define "sets clearly targeted at AFOLs" depends where you draw the line. For example:

  • If you define AFOL-targeted sets as anything marked 10+ or older (which includes AFOLs, TFOLs, and many older KFOLs), that includes 66 sets, or about 18% of the overall product range
  • If you define it as anything marked 12+ or older, it includes 18 sets, or just 5%
  • If you define it as anything marked 14+ and older, it includes 10 sets, or less than 3%
  • And if you define it as 16+ (which mostly includes AFOLs and older TFOLs), it includes a mere 7 sets, or less than 2%.

But no matter how you define it, there are AT LEAST four times as many sets that aren't AFOL-targeted as ones that are. More importantly, even if we go with the most generous definition, under which "AFOL-targeted" describes the 18% of sets marked 10+ or older… all that acknowledges is that LEGO sees enough adult buyers to support those 66 specific sets.

It doesn't somehow imply that the AFOL demographic is big enough to support all those sets AND entire additional waves of all the small or inactive themes that AFOLs think aren't getting enough emphasis. Particularly when many of these sets are targeted at older buyers are targeting a much wider demographic of adults than those who share the same tastes and preferences of the AFOL community.

I mean, let's be real: the main appeal of, say, a Classic Space revival would not be among AFOLs in general, but rather with a specific subset of AFOLs who had formative childhood experiences playing with sets that were introduced between 32 and 40 years ago. Anybody the right age to have been in the target age range for Classic Space sets during their year of release is currently between 38 and 52 years old.

And chances are, a lot more people within that age range are nostalgic for more mainstream IPs from that time (including ones LEGO has depicted in licensed sets such as Star Wars, ET, Ghostbusters, Indiana Jones, and Back to the Future) than for Classic Space.

I'll grant you that there are plenty of sets aimed at younger buyers (like this year's Benny's Space Squad) that are clearly meant to resonate with AFOLs on a nostalgic level. But ANY theme, even one aimed as young as Duplo, can include nostalgic touches as a bonus for AFOLs or for the parents of KFOLs.

It's the same as how kid-targeted movies and shows, including preschool shows like Sesame Street, sometimes reference shows and movies that only older viewers are likely to recognize. That doesn't somehow make those movies and shows are primarily adult-targeted — they're just acknowledging any adults who are in the audience.

Edited by Aanchir

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3 hours ago, icm said:

I imagine these kinds of topics are part of the reason why the company doesn't release sales numbers for specific themes and kits....

It could be more not to give their competitors any kind of insight that might help them better compete against LEGO.  :wink:

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6 hours ago, Johnny1360 said:

If this statement is true then why are you even on this forum, do you have some sort of agenda, is it your hope to change TLG more to your liking so you can become a customer? Do you have an actual point to make or are you just trying to make everyone hate LEGO to get even with them? I guess I just don't get it you seem to be talking in circles. 

Ok, so they lost me as their customer since I don't buy the new sets and only spend my money on old retired sets on Bricklink or eBay. So obiosly, I am still a LEGO fan of the old LEGO, but I dislike their new products. Since they don't gain anything from me buying their older products, they lost me as their customer.

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Fair enough, I can totally understand that, although I do buy a lot of new sets, I certainly have my most fun designing my own creations. 

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18 hours ago, Lego David said:

I really recomand listening to this video if you have time, it appears this guy is better at making arguments than I am

 

1

I imagine he is going in with a rather biased opinion though ...

ziYifak.png

 

8 hours ago, Lego David said:

Ok, so they lost me as their customer since I don't buy the new sets and only spend my money on old retired sets on Bricklink or eBay. So obiosly, I am still a LEGO fan of the old LEGO, but I dislike their new products. Since they don't gain anything from me buying their older products, they lost me as their customer.

There are typically more unlicensed sets than licensed though, especially counting all the Ninjago movie / LEGO movie etc as unlicensed since LEGO has input into the creative freedom over those. So it cannot be a problem with licensed sets, and more a problem with the unlicensed sets that LEGO do create.

 

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Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, MAB said:

Not only that, but unlicensed and licensed are not mutually exclusive. It is perfectly possible to like Castle and Harry Potter, or Castle and LOTR, or Classic Space and Star Wars, and so on. I imagine there are more people that like some licensed and some unlicensed themes than there are that like all unlicensed (or all licensed) themes and hate all licensed (or all unlicensed) themes.

Indeed! I don't see that much people who felt that way quite strongly either.

21 hours ago, Lego David said:

That could happen actually. If I had Castle, I would not complain about either Harry Potter or LOTR. If I had an original Space Theme, I would not complain about Star Wars. We have seen in the past that it is possible for those themes to coexist, and why can't they coexist now? If In-House and Licensed were equal, everyone could be satisfied.

While it is possible, however, there is always the case of the company not being satisfied if the themes that you like didn't generate profits. Which still leads to not everyone is satisfied. Like I said in other threads there's always a reason the themes got gutted.

19 hours ago, Lego David said:

There are plenty of sets which are clearly targeted at AFOLS, which makes me question that.

Fine, if they will continue to be succesful, then it's their business. But in doing their business this way, they might loose customers over time. I don't know about other people, but they clearly lost me as their customer, and over time they will loose even more customers which were prievosly loyal to them. But who knows, I might be the only person on this entire forum which is never right in any way.

Like others said, losing customers is always inevitable. Always. I mean only in a perfect world if all the customers actually stayed.

9 hours ago, Lego David said:

Ok, so they lost me as their customer since I don't buy the new sets and only spend my money on old retired sets on Bricklink or eBay. So obiosly, I am still a LEGO fan of the old LEGO, but I dislike their new products. Since they don't gain anything from me buying their older products, they lost me as their customer.

Which again......all comes back to a full circle of the other threads to this. 

And to be honest, I'm just glad Lego is doing something with the Original themes by doing Hidden Side which is start and that's something I'll be thankful of. 

Edited by JJ Tong (zfogshooterz)

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33 minutes ago, JJ Tong (zfogshooterz) said:

Indeed! I don't see that much people who felt that way quite strongly either.

While it is possible, however, there is always the case of the company not being satisfied if the themes that you like didn't generate profits. Which still leads to not everyone is satisfied. Like I said in other threads there's always a reason the themes got gutted.

Like others said, losing customers is always inevitable. Always. I mean only in a perfect world if all the customers actually stayed.

Which again......all comes back to a full circle of the other threads to this. 

And to be honest, I'm just glad Lego is doing something with the Original themes by doing Hidden Side which is start and that's something I'll be thankful of. 

I don't doubt I will be proud of Hidden Side too, but that still doesn't fix the fact that it will be only Action-Adventure theme alongside Ninjago (with Elves gone since last year)

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8 hours ago, Lego David said:

I don't doubt I will be proud of Hidden Side too, but that still doesn't fix the fact that it will be only Action-Adventure theme alongside Ninjago (with Elves gone since last year)

Well, besides “action-adventure” being a somewhat nebulously defined category with little to no official basis, it’s probably for the best that LEGO not launch too many new themes at any given time — that’s a quick way to dilute the excitement surrounding any of them individually. The kind of themes you want to see aren’t likely to make any kind of lasting comeback if LEGO sabotages them right out of the gate.

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