ArneNielsen

LEGO CEO suggests Chinese inspired sets

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At an interview in Danish media, LEGO CEO Niels B. Christiansen comments today on the latest financial year results, where the sales in China has grown more than 10%:

"We have in many years had great succes with Star Wars and Harry Potter, coming from the Western culture. But one could also imagine, that stories coming from Chinese culture could have a global interest" (my translation).

That sounds like the few Oriental sets we got last year is only the beginning; maybe some of the many Chinese Legends will come to life in LEGO in the coming years...

 

 

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7 minutes ago, ArneNielsen said:

At an interview in Danish media, LEGO CEO Niels B. Christiansen comments today on the latest financial year results, where the sales in China has grown more than 10%:

Could you share the link? :classic:

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27 minutes ago, ArneNielsen said:

Of course, but...- its in Danish!!!!

No problem! Here's a translation via Google Translate that's pretty much alike to how you put it:

Quote

"For many years we have had great success with Star Wars and Harry Potter coming out of Western culture. But you can also imagine that you can have stories that come out of Chinese culture that can have a global presence."

P.S. This topic would've been preferably posted over at either the General LEGO Discussion or Embassy subforums. Perhaps, @WhiteFang can help with the move. :classic:

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3 hours ago, ArneNielsen said:

That sounds like the few Oriental sets we got last year is only the beginning; maybe some of the many Chinese Legends will come to life in LEGO in the coming years...

I could also see this move manifesting in the form of future Creator Expert Modular Buildings and D2C Landmark sets taking more after Oriental influences, perhaps even rippling over to the Architecture theme, influencing a future in-house "big bang" action/adventure theme, and acquirement of licensed properties that the Chinese market takes more interest in than America or Europe do. :shrug_oh_well:

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4 hours ago, ArneNielsen said:

At an interview in Danish media, LEGO CEO Niels B. Christiansen comments today on the latest financial year results, where the sales in China has grown more than 10%:

"We have in many years had great succes with Star Wars and Harry Potter, coming from the Western culture. But one could also imagine, that stories coming from Chinese culture could have a global interest" (my translation).

That sounds like the few Oriental sets we got last year is only the beginning; maybe some of the many Chinese Legends will come to life in LEGO in the coming years...

 

 

1

I hope that means they release them worldwide unlike the current Chinese themed ones.

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4 hours ago, ArneNielsen said:

That sounds like the few Oriental sets we got last year is only the beginning; maybe some of the many Chinese Legends will come to life in LEGO in the coming years...

I'd be skeptical about it. You just need to look at the gaming industry. How long did it take "Monster Hunter" to get its first "Western" version? 15 Years? The cultural differences are still there and what works over there may not necessarily work around these parts. We can agree that quite generic sets like the Dragon Dance and Chinese New Years Eve Dinner would have worked wonderfully in Europe and LEGO were fools for not publishing them officially in Europe, but I'm not sure if too many people would be interested in stuff based on obscure Asian traditions and tales that may be "too far out" to truly relate to. It's also an issue insofar they may have to adapt those sets to be mor palatable for Western consumption and that in turn may tee off Asian people. Not saying it couldn't work, but they have to tread softly here and be careful and tactful to all sides.

Mylenium

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15 hours ago, Mylenium said:

I'd be skeptical about it. You just need to look at the gaming industry. How long did it take "Monster Hunter" to get its first "Western" version? 15 Years? The cultural differences are still there and what works over there may not necessarily work around these parts. We can agree that quite generic sets like the Dragon Dance and Chinese New Years Eve Dinner would have worked wonderfully in Europe and LEGO were fools for not publishing them officially in Europe, but I'm not sure if too many people would be interested in stuff based on obscure Asian traditions and tales that may be "too far out" to truly relate to. It's also an issue insofar they may have to adapt those sets to be mor palatable for Western consumption and that in turn may tee off Asian people. Not saying it couldn't work, but they have to tread softly here and be careful and tactful to all sides.

Mylenium

 

Um.... you do know that LEGO sales are sizzling hot in China right now.  By 2022 they will have a middle class of 550 million people... so China may be a case of the "tail wagging the dog".

I'm in the middle of writing a 9 volume LEGO Encyclopedia for the Chinese market (simplified Chinese).  Of course the book will also be in English as well... but China is where the money is.  With 1 child households, the Chinese will be lavishing more money on their kids... and that includes LEGO.  It would be kinda foolish for TLG to ignore a market that size.  Who says that they can't do more than one series of LEGO sets?  It's been done in the past.

Until 1980 North America had different sets (or sometimes just different set numbers) than Europe/Australia/Asia. 

I could envision some LEGO set series mainly for the Asian market, and others for western markets.

 

Spoiler

33484209630_c3621f40fd_c.jpg

 

Edited by LEGO Historian

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1 hour ago, LEGO Historian said:

Um.... you do know that LEGO sales are sizzling hot in China right now.  By 2022 they will have a middle class of 550 million people... so China may be a case of the "tail wagging the dog".

But then again it could be just as well a novelty fad that cools off faster than your recently deceased relative's body. The Chinese aren't exactly known for long attention spans and brand loyalty, either. I'm not saying that LEGO shouldn't cater for them, but the question in the broader sense is actually whether then it's still LEGO as we know it. If they start making specific sets for different markets, then what's the point? LEGO has always been about a somewhat universal appeal to a wide range of audiences with the sets finding a good middleground of not being too specific to aggravate anyone. Again, I'm not arguing the business side of things, just where this may be headed thematically.

Mylenium

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1 hour ago, LEGO Historian said:

so China may be a case of the "tail wagging the dog".

On that note one more provocative thought pops into my head: How many people around here actually buy Xingbao et al foir their Asian-themed stuff? In the end it may not at all be that, when you turn your theory on its head and you simply assume it should work the other way around just as well. Apparently it hasn't (yes, it's more complicated than that, but no need to turn this into an endless discussion).

Mylenium

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I would really like to see sets based on other nations's cultures and traditions. I am personally very tried of the Creator Expert, since almost all the sets are based on American cars, buildings etc. It this way in almost all of LEGO. All those LEGO Ideas Space sets are based on American Spacecraft. Why can't we see sets based on other nations's cultures? I would really like to see a modular based off a Chinese Building. LEGO is an international company, and they should appeal to everyone, not just to Americans. I am really looking forward to seeing Chinese-based sets. 

17 hours ago, Mylenium said:

The cultural differences are still there and what works over there may not necessarily  but I'm not sure if too many people would be interested in stuff based on obscure Asian traditions and tales that may be "too far out" to truly relate to. 

Mylenium

There are a lot of Western traditions that Asian people could consider obscure; And we all know LEGO won't put on the market sets of that type. 

 

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18 hours ago, MAB said:

I hope that means they release them worldwide unlike the current Chinese themed ones.

Yes, I hope so too.

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1 hour ago, Mylenium said:

How many people around here actually buy Xingbao et al foir their Asian-themed stuff?

Yo.

I have a set of mininbuild Journey to the West figures/scenes so I could have that Sun and  his friends. I have a set of Romance of the Three Kingdoms figures with excellent horses and weapons. I also have a half-dozen figures with accessories in tan for the Terracotta Army (Though I would love some in a dark orange). I have been doing my best to find some Calabash Brothers figures.

There are some great traditional stories and legends packed with interesting characters that would grab attention as an Action and Adventure theme, not to mention a number of architectural and fortification types that come from the east and look very nice. 

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Yeah, I also have some terracotta warriors from aliexpress.

1 hour ago, Lego David said:

I would really like to see sets based on other nations's cultures and traditions. I am personally very tried of the Creator Expert, since almost all the sets are based on American cars, buildings etc. It this way in almost all of LEGO. All those LEGO Ideas Space sets are based on American Spacecraft. Why can't we see sets based on other nations's cultures? I would really like to see a modular based off a Chinese Building. LEGO is an international company, and they should appeal to everyone, not just to Americans. I am really looking forward to seeing Chinese-based sets.

5

The modulars sell very well in Europe, so presumably they appeal to Europeans too. A number of them are European style, then there is Palace Cinema which is Westernised Chinese architecture. If you want Asian style, look towards Ninjago. A number of those buildings are modular sized, and can be enclosed to make them more like a modular. And of course, Ninjago City looks very modular like.

The first Ideas / CUUSOO sets were Japanese, the Shinkai 6500 sub and the Hayabusa satellite.

Ideas sets are based on what people vote for. If non-American spacecraft (or other) ideas are not voted for, then they will not be produced.

 

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I think after Lego sued Lepin they realized

  1. there's actually a pretty huge market they're neglecting (or not catering to enough) 
  2. it's kind of hard to justify suing a Chinese knockoff (proving losses, genericide, etc) unless Lego has a strong presence in the Chinese market

Note to the usual suspects: you don't HAVE to rush to Lego's defense over the above. The above is not a disparagement, just my random thoughts. You also don't have to write 5 pages picking apart my language. I'm not a lawyer, and you probably know what I mean.

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23 hours ago, Lego David said:

I would really like to see a modular based off a Chinese Building. LEGO is an international company, and they should appeal to everyone, not just to Americans.

I find this line of reasoning flawed. I'm just waiting for LEGO to bring out one such themed set and then everyone goes "Oh no, this sucks!". To me the whole point is that, for lack of a better term, LEGO irons over and smooths out too specific stuff and makes it palatable to a larger audience. It's kind of like re-creating specific art styles - you may kinda want your painting to feel like van Gogh, Monet or whatever, but you would be stupid trying to copy them exactly only to fail.

That also applies to Ninjago for instance - it is a fictionalized version of what we as Westerners may perceive as "Asian" and to us it "feels" right, but I doubt it is actually representative of more deeply rooted Asian cultural tropes. Similar assumptions can easily be made for a lot of other stuff. E.g. when I wrote my review of the Winter Village Station on my blog I explicitly pointed out how its style would be adequate for Germany, Austria, Poland, the Czech/ Slovakian regions and so on. I think this is really a better way to go about this.

The other point is of course just plain numbers. In your Modular Buildings example it would be hard to recoup the cost. Those sets don't sell like sliced bread. Peopel are very selective about them and plan their purchases due to the price tag. Therefore it's only logical that LEGO are settling on a specific type of building that mimics a style that could be acceptable to many. In the end your point about them being too American doesn't even stick for examples like the Brick Bank, the parisien Restaurant or even the Assembly Square, as American architecture in many cases is just a more kitschy re-creation of European styles, which in a Ven diagram gives LEGO that perfect intersection of covering two crowds.

Your point could also be further weakened by the many, many, many examples of custom Modular Buildings that never make the cut on LEGO Ideas. It's not their level of quality, as many of them are excellent, but clearly LEGO doesn't see a bigger market there. Same for buildings in other lines like Ninjago City, The Temple of Airjitzu etc.. This stuff is simply expensive and LEGO can only sell so many sets without oversaturating the market or pissing people off who can't afford them. This could only ever work at prices like Lepin and Xingbao offer them, which is the bittersweet irony here, though even then you get to a certain saturation point very quickly.

Mylenium

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On 2/28/2019 at 6:06 AM, Lego David said:

I would really like to see a Modular based off a Chinese Building. 

Actually in a sense, that has already been done... partially.  The Palace Cinema entryway is patterned after the former Grauman's Chinese Theatre (now known as Mann's).... During the movie palace era of the 1918-32, many different historic/national styles of theatres (inside and out) were created as movie palace.  Grauman's Chinese is about the most famous, and although it has little embellishments on the inside... the facade at least has Chinese influences.  I don't think anything else in that genre is necessary.  Although if TLG thinks that it could sell an Asian motive version in Asia... more power to them.  They could give it a try with one and see how it does.

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Posted (edited)
On 2/28/2019 at 4:25 AM, Mylenium said:

But then again it could be just as well a novelty fad that cools off faster than your recently deceased relative's body.  <SNIP>

Mylenium

It took me a few days to cool off before replying... since my aunt just passed away at 93 (die Tante Maria)...  but after reading your blogs and Facebook page... why don't you go back to playing with your LEGO Friends collection, and leave this conversation to the grownups.   Ich könnte auch ordinaire sein... :damn:

Edited by LEGO Historian

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Posted (edited)

No need to get worked up. We all are just exchanging views and opinions here. The rest is utterly beside the point. Can't exactly blame me for bad timing of what I intended to be a harmless joke. Sorry for your loss, but that's life. And since we're already here, allow me to go back to your other reply:

On 2/28/2019 at 8:52 AM, LEGO Historian said:

By 2022 they will have a middle class of 550 million people... so China may be a case of the "tail wagging the dog".

That no longer may be the case at all, if reporting about this week's Chinese people's counsil congreggation is to be believed. Mr. Keqiang's report sounded rather disastrous. The Chinese economy seems to be in more trouble than we all were led to believe and that alleged middle class may not be as big at all and the prospects for LEGO not as rosy, either, though arguably it's of course still a big enough market. My 2 Cents.

Mylenium

Edited by Mylenium

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Posted (edited)
On 2/28/2019 at 4:25 AM, Mylenium said:

But then again it could be just as well a novelty fad that cools off faster than your recently deceased relative's body. The Chinese aren't exactly known for long attention spans and brand loyalty, either. I'm not saying that LEGO shouldn't cater for them, but the question in the broader sense is actually whether then it's still LEGO as we know it. If they start making specific sets for different markets, then what's the point? LEGO has always been about a somewhat universal appeal to a wide range of audiences with the sets finding a good middleground of not being too specific to aggravate anyone. Again, I'm not arguing the business side of things, just where this may be headed thematically.

I feel like some of these concerns seem fairly naive. LEGO has made MANY sets over the years that have been targeted at much narrower audiences than a country that represents around a fifth of the world's population: Just look at BrickLink's list of co-branded items and you'll find many promotional or exclusive sets are likely to be fairly obscure in most parts of the world. Before the Internet, a lot of people outside the countries where these products were sold wouldn't have even realized they existed.

Also, the comment about LEGO having "always been about a somewhat universal appeal to a wide range of audiences" seems a little suspect. The reason we're hearing so much about LEGO's success in China all of a sudden is that for a long time, they had little to no foothold in Asia. As such their products and other initiatives have been tailored largely to a Western consumer base. Products and initiatives that neglect huge parts of the globe are no more "universal" in geographic appeal than themes before LEGO Friends were "universal" in terms of gender appeal.

And the comment that the Chinese "not exactly known for long attention spans and brand loyalty" just sounds like cultural stereotyping. Brand loyalty is not something that has historically been innate to other countries — it's something that brands themselves have fostered and cultivated in the societies where they operated. LEGO is doing that themselves now in China, and seemingly achieving some success at it. So I don't think there's any grounds to assume it's any more of a "novelty fad" than the brand loyalty LEGO went to such lengths to cultivate in other countries.

If LEGO's success in China doesn't last then it doesn't last, but that's a ridiculous reason not to try. After all, it's not like new themes tend to be a make-or-break investment or even a long-term commitment for the LEGO Group as a whole. Considering that some of the licensed and non-licensed themes that ARE released globally consist of just a one-and-done wave of six sets or so, it doesn't seem so far-fetched that at some point in the future there could be a strong enough business case for at least a line that size specifically tailored to the Asian market, or even to China in particular, without there being noticeably fewer new global releases than the rest of the world is used to.

All that said, I don't have enough insight into Chinese culture to know what subjects besides huge national holidays are well-known, trendy, and marketable enough to kids to have an extraordinary business case.

On 2/28/2019 at 6:06 AM, Lego David said:

I would really like to see sets based on other nations's cultures and traditions. I am personally very tried of the Creator Expert, since almost all the sets are based on American cars, buildings etc. It this way in almost all of LEGO. All those LEGO Ideas Space sets are based on American Spacecraft. Why can't we see sets based on other nations's cultures? I would really like to see a modular based off a Chinese Building. LEGO is an international company, and they should appeal to everyone, not just to Americans. I am really looking forward to seeing Chinese-based sets.

I'm not sure what you're talking about with Creator Expert being overwhelmingly American-based. After all, loads of the sets are based on iconic subjects, architectural styles, or brands from other countries:

By comparison, there are only 13 Creator Expert sets that I would consider unambiguously American-inspired:

  • 10265 Ford Mustang (2019)
  • 10264 Corner Garage (2019)
  • 10260 Downtown Diner (2018)
  • 10246 Detective's Office (2015)
  • 10232 Palace Cinema (2013)
  • 10218 Pet Shop (2011)
  • 10213 Shuttle Adventure (2010)/10231 Shuttle Expedition (2011)
  • 10197 Fire Brigade (2009)
  • 10185 Green Grocer (2008)
  • 10177 Boeing 787 Dreamliner (2006)
  • 10124 Wright Flyer (2003)
  • 3450 Statue of Liberty (2000)

I know some European AFOLs would even disagree about whether some of them truly belong on that list, because many people seem to be convinced that American-based Modular Building sets are an aberration, rather than having accounted for practically every other building since the start of the series!

It's also surprising to me that you brought up cars specifically, because this year's Mustang is literally the ONLY set in Creator Expert's Vehicles/Classic Cars subtheme that represents an American brand. Likewise, only 9 Speed Champions sets are based on American automotive brands, versus 24 based on European brands. Among licensed Technic vehicle sets, there are two based on American brands, versus 11 based on European brands. And in the Racers theme, there were 30 licensed sets for European vehicle brands and none for American brands.

There's certainly a strong case to be made that LEGO's media licensing focuses overwhelmingly on American IPs, which is probably because of Hollywood's vast reach in the global entertainment industry. But their automotive and heavy equipment licensing, not so much.

On 3/1/2019 at 5:55 AM, Mylenium said:

In the end your point about them being too American doesn't even stick for examples like the Brick Bank, the parisien Restaurant or even the Assembly Square, as American architecture in many cases is just a more kitschy re-creation of European styles, which in a Ven diagram gives LEGO that perfect intersection of covering two crowds.

I think a case could be made that Asian buildings aren't necessarily as "un-Western" in their looks as pastiches like Ninjago or even Palace Cinema tend to look. If you do a Google image search for postcards of 1950s Shanghai, for instance, you will find some shops and buildings that look a lot more "normal" from a Western point of view than the Palace Cinema, other than the writing on signs being in Chinese instead of a European language. Plus, by the vague mid-20th century period the Modular Buildings tend to be inspired by, many major cities in Europe, the Americas, and Australia had their own "Chinatowns" populated by Chinese immigrants.

Considering how many comments and pictures I've seen shared by other AFOLs in Western countries who have given their modular layouts their own Chinatown using sets like Battle for Ninjago City or the Temple of Airjitzu, I don't think the demand for sets designed with that sort of purpose in mind would be as slim as you're imagining. And let's be honest — many AFOLs have been grousing at length for the past decade about certain modular buildings being "too American" or "too modern" — if that sort of nitpicking hasn't hurt the series by now, then I think the series has room to at least dabble in other forms of architecture in the coming years. Again, if it turns out to be a misstep or considerably hurts sales, it's very easy to reverse course and continue making more of the types of sets that have had better sales previously.

14 hours ago, LEGO Historian said:

It took me a few days to cool off before replying... since my aunt just passed away at 93 (die Tante Maria)...  but after reading your blogs and Facebook page... why don't you go back to playing with your LEGO Friends collection, and leave this conversation to the grownups.   Ich könnte auch ordinaire sein... :damn:

Idk anything about what Mylenium does outside of this site, but insinuating that they're not "grown up" particularly on the basis of what themes they enjoy collecting/discussing, seems totally uncalled for.

Edited by Aanchir

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6 hours ago, Aanchir said:

I feel like some of these concerns seem fairly naive. (...)

Fair enough, but let me try to perhaps make my thoughts more clear with some random, short-ish points. I'm not gonna latch onto your points because you always write way, way too much and it distracts and confuses more than it is helpful, thorough as it may be.

a) I have nothing against Asian-themed sets per se. I have nothing against the "obscure" occasional set. I'm not that naive to not understand that LEGO is in it for the money and will sell you a bunch of parts worth 50 Euros for 180 Euros if it suits them and their partners - you know what I mean. However, I feel that there would be little point in a strategy that ends up being "This is LEGO for Asia/ China." and "This is LEGO for the rest of the world.". That would be pretty pointless and then LEGO could just as well have their Chinese factory be a totally independent subsidiary and do whatever they want, meaning for all intents and purposes it would be just as "obscure" to the rest of the world as some little known regional brand.

b) We are all victim to wrong tropes and stereotypes. I'm not claiming that I understand some of the stuff that goes on in some places of the world nor that I'm free from reservations or discriminating views on some things. That's just how it is and it happens all the time. Similarly, my understanding of foreign markets is limited to whatever information is published in a form I can understand, meaning spoken or written in one of the many languages I understand, but which unfortunately doesn't include Chinese. Not different than our little battle of misunderstandings when we talk about German stuff which you seem to not understand. Let's just leave it at that.

c) I perfectly get that China is important in business terms. It's just that I don't think that this "China is our savior" thing is working any longer and more specifically I don't feel it will save LEGO's bacon when they screw up elsewhere. As I just wrote yesterday, that alleged huge market may just have shrivelled down considerably and China is no doubt in for some tough years ahead. You also have to read the numbers for what they are - of course at this point their growth in China appears to be racing, but that's just a false impression IMO based on how unimportant LEGO used to be in that market and only now having reached a point where "organic growth", allows them to do things they couldn't before. Let's just see how this works in the long run and how things look five years down the road.

I hope this clarifies some of my views. I'm gonna bow out of this thread, regardless, because it has gone off the rails "for reasons" and I'm not going to expose myself to more personal insults over misunderstandings. See you another time in some other thread.

Mylenium

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3 hours ago, Mylenium said:

a) I have nothing against Asian-themed sets per se. I have nothing against the "obscure" occasional set. I'm not that naive to not understand that LEGO is in it for the money and will sell you a bunch of parts worth 50 Euros for 180 Euros if it suits them and their partners - you know what I mean. However, I feel that there would be little point in a strategy that ends up being "This is LEGO for Asia/ China." and "This is LEGO for the rest of the world.". That would be pretty pointless and then LEGO could just as well have their Chinese factory be a totally independent subsidiary and do whatever they want, meaning for all intents and purposes it would be just as "obscure" to the rest of the world as some little known regional brand.

 

I don't think it would ever come to being this product range is for Asia, and this range is for the West. Although cultures are different, they are also different across Europe, from Europe to USA, Europe/USA to Australia and NZ, from USA to South America, and so on. Yet the same sets sell well throughout those regions. I hope they do have more regional sets (although I'd prefer them to be available worldwide) celebrating different cultures. We have Halloween and Thanksgiving sets, and they release those in the UK and Europe despite them being mainly American (although not so much Halloween these days, that has spread but Thanksgiving hasn't).

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7 hours ago, Mylenium said:

I have nothing against Asian-themed sets per se. I have nothing against the "obscure" occasional set. I'm not that naive to not understand that LEGO is in it for the money and will sell you a bunch of parts worth 50 Euros for 180 Euros if it suits them and their partners - you know what I mean. However, I feel that there would be little point in a strategy that ends up being "This is LEGO for Asia/ China." and "This is LEGO for the rest of the world.". That would be pretty pointless and then LEGO could just as well have their Chinese factory be a totally independent subsidiary and do whatever they want, meaning for all intents and purposes it would be just as "obscure" to the rest of the world as some little known regional brand.

For what it's worth, I don't think the idea of having a whole different portfolio of products for China is any part of what the CEO was proposing/insinuating. The quote in the initial post specifically talked about stuff inspired by Chinese culture that COULD maintain a global interest (and as such, that would presumably still be promoted and sold to a global audience). This could potentially include things like a licensed theme based on one of the the increasing number of films that are co-produced by Chinese and Western companies, and which thus might have a stronger marketing presence in China than ones produced by Western companies alone. Or introducing more LEGO Architecture sets based on iconic Chinese cities/buildings, like the Shanghai set released last year. Or even a modular building with some Chinese-inspired subject matter and design cues, as mentioned by others above.

8 hours ago, Mylenium said:

I perfectly get that China is important in business terms. It's just that I don't think that this "China is our savior" thing is working any longer and more specifically I don't feel it will save LEGO's bacon when they screw up elsewhere. As I just wrote yesterday, that alleged huge market may just have shrivelled down considerably and China is no doubt in for some tough years ahead. You also have to read the numbers for what they are - of course at this point their growth in China appears to be racing, but that's just a false impression IMO based on how unimportant LEGO used to be in that market and only now having reached a point where "organic growth", allows them to do things they couldn't before. Let's just see how this works in the long run and how things look five years down the road.

I think you may be reading too much into some of the hype around Western companies like LEGO expanding their business in China. After all, in this case in particular, it is to a certain extent PR-speak. They make it out to be a big deal because from a corporate perspective, it is — China is something of a new frontier for them and one that may show long-term promise. There is also perhaps a slight sense of urgency for Western companies to establish a foothold there, since those that don't respond to the emergence and/or growth of a potential Chinese consumer base might lose market share to other Western or Chinese companies that DO capitalize on that consumer base.

But I don't feel like anybody at LEGO in particular is really pushing the idea of China being a "savior" — it's just one place LEGO is looking at as an opportunity for future growth now that there's no longer as much obvious room for growth in their European and North American markets.

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