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TLG acquires Bricklink

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17 hours ago, JanetVanD said:

Whatever the plans for Bricklink are, I do not believe ruining things for AFOLs is the objective. 

I hope not. Given as though a lot of AFOLs I know in person use Bricklink.  

17 hours ago, JanetVanD said:

At the grand opening ceremony of LEGO House, Kjeld spoke very animatedly about his long range visions for the company.

So you've actually met Kjeld. Then you I can trust. What are his plans if you don't mind me asking? 

I'd like to meet the guy someday. I wonder what he sees for the City theme in the long run.

It'll probably be as it is now. 😔

Edited by pooda

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On 12/15/2019 at 1:32 AM, Robert8 said:

hey would be getting money out of selling Marvel or SW figures, right? Doesn't that violet the licensing rule?

That is my worry. I have not bought a lot of licensed stuff but I may want to down the line. Someone else brought up the first sale doctrine which might be a legal out.
I'm more concerned with TLGs decisions regarding discontinued Lego themes such as Classic Castle, Pirates and -tron era space. Hopefully they won't curtail the sale of that stuff by brushing with a too broad brush.

On 12/15/2019 at 5:23 AM, JanetVanD said:

Some have even referred to TLG as a shareholder-driven multinational without even bothering to check facts.... it's actually family-owned by direct descendants of the founder. 

TLG may only have 7 shareholders with direct ties to the founder (Kjeld/Camilla/3 kids/2 Grandchildren), but they are shareholders nonetheless. Look at TLGs behavior in the market as opposed to fixating on whether it is a publicly traded corporation or a privately held corporation. They are a shareholder driven corporation. You are correct in that they might not have gone full Walmart yet (also family owned by direct descendants of the founder), they do a lot of outreach and some charity. But then again so does McDonalds (Ronald McDonald house, free apartments nearby children's hospitals for families whose children are undergoing serious surgeries and chemo). That kind of stuff makes great PR, somewhat useful for market research and is used to offset profits for tax purposes. Even Walmart has a foundation, which they insinuate dispenses a billion $US to charity. (https://walmart.org/)  Outreach and charity does not set TLG apart (from publicly traded companies). 
They, TLG, are not acting in the market sphere as if they were a family owned mom and pop store, doing it not for the profit but for the love of making the little kiddicrafts smile.
Oh and by the way... TLG is very much a multinational (multicontinental) corporation as they own subsidiaries incorporated in and operating out of the EU, NA and Asia.
::megabloks rustled::

On 12/15/2019 at 6:24 PM, Artanis I said:

They aren't individual action figures, they're 'incomplete building sets' with the vehicle's parts removed, your honour.

Excellent courtroom defense. The problem here is that as a company lawyer you need to avoid the courtroom like the plague. To get to the part where you get to address anyone as "your Honour." costs serious money. That hits the bottom line and if it can be avoided by simply modifying your ToS in the first place... well it doesn't take a rocket surgeon to figure out which way the beancounters will go.

Edited by Masked Mini
turning down the hostility.

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1 minute ago, Masked Mini said:

I'm more concerned with TLGs decisions regarding discontinued Lego themes such as Classic Castle, Pirates and -tron era space. Hopefully they won't curtail the sale of that stuff by brushing with a too broad brush.

Those aren't licensed, so there shouldn't be any concern about those. 

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Just now, Lego David said:

Those aren't licensed, so there shouldn't be any concern about those.  

You are correct in that they are not 3rd party IP but they are Intellectual Property. Hence hoping they don't brush with too broad of a brush.
With luck TLG will not alter the deal any further. Most of us seem to be fine with or at least accepting of a return to purism on Bricklink marketplace.
Shame about the MOC side of things but that is easier to host elsewhere. 

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I really agree with what @Masked Mini has replied in the last post.

Plus and most importantly: Many have voiced concern about people replying here and elsewhere being "hostile" (or whatever) with regard to TLG. This is utter nonsense.

I can only speak for myself, but do sense (it at least in other - lets call them less favorable replies with regard to TLG's move acquiring BrickLink) a disparity in LEGO front folks talk and corporate texts - and reality. And that is all there is for me: I simply don't like being addressed as - believer - in higher and almost holy forces. TLG has matured into a global enterprise. And this is what AFOLs (A as in adult) should take at least into consideration.

A global enterprise can very well be a family owned company, as @Masked Mini has already clearly and very nicely illustrated (thank you again!). There may be so and so many - lets make that family members "in charge" to be 5. I have heard how many people here admire that family. That is entirely OK and I can really see that. But how many of the myriads of business decisions that TLG makes, every single day - on a >global< market with competition growing crazy - from entire (competing) >different< "toy" markets to cloning brands all over the place - do you think human beings like the Danish family of 5 can make? Within 24 hours minus sleep time, breakfast, appointments to meet with AFOLs, openings, lunch, visits to places on planet earth, dinner, talking to the media, and doing the Christmas thing? Forget it. They do the >very big< decisions. For one, because they need sleep. Acquiring BL or not - I believe this was cooked up by mid-admistration folks getting on their radar that BL sells - e.g.(!) clone stuff. >Or whatever<. The market value of BL is a small blip - not more - compared to the market value of TLG.

And then, once the decision is made, and let us assume, one or all of the 5 family members were involved: This has to be dealt with. Never ever by the family. They have appointments with AFOLs or big business folks securing the next year in surviving on the global market. But by folks who know how to deal with it, because they have a BA or MA degree in business. What else? Man, they tried amusement parks and what not.

All I would like to be appreciated here on EB is that TLG is not from a better outer world; it is a very big business with uncountable decision levels, that they have an awful lot of people on their payroll (and - as a family business - want to secure!), and then make decisions. And when they do, they have to use the business phrase thresher to make it look good. Everybody is doing that out there, with no exceptions. And that is not bad at all - it is a logical and natural (in a competing and cheating global business world) thing to do.

And I would really appreciate that eventually, somebody form TLG - somewhere in the small print - says just that: We had to do it. I simply just don't like to be pushed around.

And finally: I love LEGO. I love the idea of building with bricks - with the finesse and creativity of LEGO. I will never stop doing that.

But I will never pray to them - and I will continue to tell them that acquiring BL was like removing freedom - >for me<. And only for me. And it will continue to see it like that until they tell me - or us - with none of that business bulls*it talk, why they did that. It was not to reach out to AFOLs, simply forget it. From a business perspective that is total and utter crap. Look at the sale numbers. But they won't.

OK. Done. Folks: I have - well not more than but hopes - that Santa will bring me the LEGO Apollo 11 Lunar Lander. Please cross your fingers ... 

Rock on people and all the best!!!

Thorsten

Edited by Toastie
10 x CRLF at the end and twice my name. Phew

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Another sensible approach above. 

Agreed: TLG are not angels wanting to be our fairy godmothers, but neither are they demons wanting to be our ruination. 

Most of all I was dismayed by the volume of irrational wailing, tearing of shirts and gnashing of teeth following the announcement.

In a public forum it is right and proper for people to express their concerns and/or hopes regarding things that may happen. Informed and thoughtful speculation is good, too. Instant negative assumptions and forecasts of doom as if it were already a foregone conclusion is not so great. (Incidentally, I wouldn't be in favour of naive "Everything's going to be awesome" assumptions, either) 

We don't know yet how this acquisition will pan out. Perhaps TLG doesn't either. In that case, (and considering the possibility that someone from TLG reads these posts from time to time) it might be most productive if people discussed their concerns and hopes in a rational manner and perhaps even offered some hypothetical solutions or compromises. 

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Oh blarf. Now I have THAT tune in my head again... :sick::laugh:

on a positive note: maybe TLG opens their own storefront on bricklink!

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27 minutes ago, Masked Mini said:

Oh blarf. Now I have THAT tune in my head again... :sick::laugh:

on a positive note: maybe TLG opens their own storefront on bricklink!

Tbh. I don't know what to think when it comes to TLG buying Bricklink. Whether its a good thing or a bad thing. 

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On 12/15/2019 at 1:23 PM, JanetVanD said:

This is one of the more sensible views. 

I've read the full T&Cs on the BL site and don't see anything unreasonable. 

No non-LEGO stuff makes sense; BL was always about being a marketplace for genuine LEGO in the first place. No infringement of IP rights makes sense too. How many of us would like our work ripped off and/or appropriated for profit without our permission? Well, in a fair society, the same protections should be in place for all without prejudice, big companies and little guys alike. 

It's amazing how many people are acting as if TLG is some evil, faceless giant, out to destroy fandom. In actual fact, TLG does more to encourage and reach out to fandom than any other company I can think of. 

Some have even referred to TLG as a shareholder-driven multinational without even bothering to check facts.... it's actually family-owned by direct descendants of the founder. 

And yes, of course a lot of TLG's decisions are about profit. The company has to survive in a competitive, ever-changing environment and they have thousands of employees whose jobs matter. What's wrong with being concerned about profit? How many of us go to work all day and don't expect to get paid for it? Of course it's not good to always put profit first; that's why many of us do volunteer work and why TLG has established LEGO Charity, LEGO Foundation, etc. 

LEGO is, after all, a toy and a luxury item, (not essential like food or medicine) and TLG's acquisition of BL won't be robbing anyone of anything or denying anyone if anything they cannot get easily enough elsewhere if they really want it. So please, let's put this in its proper perspective. 

 

If you already happened to be a purist, it is easy to ignore such the change about custom parts, but I dare to argue that different sort of 3rd party customs have been one of the key factors making the AFOL community to be born and grow to the extent it is right now, particularly considering the builders rather than the collectors. 3rd party customs such as the BrickArms for military and Star Wars themes, metallic parts for Technic builders, chromed parts, S-Brick, custom minifigures, railway parts for their respective users have been vital to make certain themes interesting from an adult's perspective. AFOLs have been time and again the most loyal followers of a brand according to many surveys, and I don't doubt that any of us wouldn't be happy to buy such special parts from the TLG, should it be possible.

I am not sure if I had ever got so exited about certain themes without custom made gun parts. I have always loved Lego building as such, and I try to make things as purist as possible, but especially the small arms just cannot be done into as much detail in any other way than using customs.

I feel and I am afraid that the AFOL community as a hobby community will suffer a major hit as a result of this. It does not concern everybody of course, because a certain number of purist builders and collectors especially might even feel a sort of satisfaction over it, but it does concern great many of us. More than that, I hate the idea of TLG quite literally pushing into my Lego room saying what I can do and what I cannot do regarding my personal hobby as if my creations on the internet were there for the sole purpose of advertising their brand.


- Samppu

 

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@Samppu

Very wisely and nicely phrased. For me, this discussion has reached a level, which is far away from "all bad" and "all good". Fully along the lines of @Masked Mini and @JanetVanD.

Very enjoyable, I learned already a lot, and I am very happy to not be alone with these "subtle feelings" of uneasiness. I don't trade things, I just buy. And I am trying to be as close as possible a purist. But I do for example cut into bricks, make holes where I need them (as close as possible to a true LEGO hole) and so on. Sometimes - by just waiting - the element I made before pops up in a TLG model. Purists (and I have not any - none whatsoever - hard feelings about LEGO purism) then often praise the TLG. Well. My approach is: They don't make it, so I do. Mostly electronics stuff. But from a fundamental point of view, that does not matter.

And thus BL - for me - was a place that fostered these lines of thinking. This is - for me - changing now. But it does really not matter (the music is still playing:laugh:).

Should however the pricing go belly-up - and this is - for me - a very reasonable scenario - than I hope, there will be another place of trade. One example: TLG asks for >insane< amounts of money for their electronic stuff. I will repeat it again and again: The 10V DC power supply apparently "required" for the PF/NXT rechargeable battery was sold by TLG for at least 25 $/€. For one, the "required" 10 V was a true lie (and I am firm on this, have reported it here in EB, after I did some extensive experiments); and secondly, the abundantly available and very well suitable 12V/15V stabilized DC power supplies on the free market sell for $5 ... $7. This got me very frustrated, as some would-be so smart folks at TLG actually pulled this off. This is nowhere family driven - as the family never ever heard of it, I am 100% sure. This was driven by low-range smart business folks. And they pulled it off to the very end.

The same holds true for TLG's PoweredUp stuff. Yes, it was expensive to develop that. But then: The world - as of today - partly relies on the underlying technology, which is low energy Bluetooth. Yes, they needed to develop their own protocol. But so neede gazillion other companies. On BL, you could get the new PoweredUp items for a fraction of the "original" price  TLG was/is asking on their website. On BL, the PoweredUp devices sell rather cheap - at least they did. Why? Because they were some kind of "fall-out" of the sets they came with - many people did not get used to it. How do I know? I don't, but I judge that simply from free market rules: Too many items of the same available makes the price go down (provided, there are no "higher authorities counter measures").

And this is >my< personal concern. As of now, I can get a PuP device for relatively little money - I'd say for a fair price. Because the free market did that. As well an NXT or EV3 intelligent brick. Etc. etc. When this continues to be the case - fine! But why on earth should TLG tolerate the price for a current 2IO PuP box on BL - being 4 times as expensive on TLG's website? BL and TLG are now the same. It does not make any sense - in a free market world. How do they want to streamline that?

We will see.

Best
Thorsten

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1 hour ago, Samppu said:

custom minifigures

I bought a few knights and a bunch of custom pad printed shields from a fine gentleman in Monaco. Very pricey fellow BUT fantastic quality of printing. BETTER than TLG. And he offered historically correct Crusader Orders.
I will be sad to see him go to be honest. I disagree with TLG on their new policy of not allowing modified Lego bricks such as the chromed parts or the non-IP infringing custom prints a la Steinedrucker for instance. I can live without them on bricklink and like Steinedrucker they will find other means of reaching into my wallet than through bricklink.

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On Sun Dec 15 2019 at 6:46 PM, Lego David said:

I don't know about fan forums, but I can certainly see them go after sites like Brickset next.

Read any of their reviews lately? They are already bought or brain washed by TLG

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So TLG is forbidding custom parts in Bricklink...

I knew nothing good would come out of this  and here we go...

Next they will go after Brickowl...

This makes me sick, no matter how they try to spin it to make it look reasonable.

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Where did LEGO ever say that nothing was going to change?

It is funny really. BL allowed the sale of custom parts as custom items for many years and nobody complained. Then brickarms items got added to the catalogue, and suddenly nearly everyone is up in arms that custom items are allowed to be sold on BL and that the catalogue has been tarnished by this and that BL should be purist only. Then LEGO buys BL and has custom items removed from the catalogue and also bans the sale of custom items and again people are up in arms that custom items should be allowed.

I sold brickforge and brickwarriors parts on BL. I reckon less than 0.01% (so less than 1 in 10000) of my sales were custom parts. I don't think I ever bought a custom part on BL.

I can totally understand LEGO not allowing the sale of custom items. The majority of them have no safety testing. The majority have little quality control, and are definitely not approved by LEGO. LEGO should not allow the sale of parts they do not approve on their own site. The same with fake parts, be they capes or custom chromed parts, as they are both fake and possibly not up to LEGO's standard. Plus they drive sales away from sellers with the genuine LEGO parts. And what if someone buys custom train track then has a problem with it, they blame LEGO for allowing it to be sold via their site. Or a custom motor that overheats or a custom LIPO unit that they connect incorrectly that causes a fire.

 

 

On 12/13/2019 at 10:08 PM, Mestari said:

So there you have it. We no longer can buy custom parts. Thank you LEGO...

"Modified Parts: All parts listed in your store must be genuine LEGO parts in their original, unmodified condition. Custom printed, engraved, chromed, or painted parts are not permitted."

 

On 12/14/2019 at 7:58 AM, AllanSmith said:

Sad to see that we can no longer get custom chromed parts :(

You can still buy custom parts, just not on a LEGO owned site. There are still lots of placed to buy custom parts though.

How many custom parts do people buy through BL rather than direct from the seller anyway?

 

On 12/15/2019 at 6:51 AM, hjxbf said:

You kind of get the feeling that this rather surprising ownership change wasn't entirely voluntary on the previous owners' part.

He has been trying to offload most of his businesses for quite a while. When a big player comes after a small part that was not really going anywhere, I'm not surprised he got rid of it.

 

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I think it is like seeing a set with a good on sale price and you buy it.  Now you have to figure out what to do with it as it is not a theme you build/collect. First you get get rid of the stickers because as an AFOL you don't like stickers. Then you try to fit the other stuff into your collection...

 

 

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On a slightly different note but still related to the topic:

Is it just my imagination or have some of the images on the BL catalogue been upgraded to match the ones on Bricks & Pieces? (eg some of the more common elements that are in current production) If so, was this done before or after the acquisition? 

I always thought that the BL parts images were provided by AFOLs, but I'm just noticing some that are identical to the "official" B&P images. Was I just not paying attention before now? 

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5 hours ago, JanetVanD said:

On a slightly different note but still related to the topic:

Is it just my imagination or have some of the images on the BL catalogue been upgraded to match the ones on Bricks & Pieces? (eg some of the more common elements that are in current production) If so, was this done before or after the acquisition? 

I always thought that the BL parts images were provided by AFOLs, but I'm just noticing some that are identical to the "official" B&P images. Was I just not paying attention before now? 

Do you have any example part images to link to? I'm sure there's a bunch of us that would like to see.

If they're going to do that then maybe they'll switch to the official Lego color names as well? So long tan, bright light orange, flesh, light bluish grey etc. Hello Brick Yellow, Flame Yellowish Orange, Nougat, Medium Stone Grey etc?

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12 hours ago, JanetVanD said:

On a slightly different note but still related to the topic:

Is it just my imagination or have some of the images on the BL catalogue been upgraded to match the ones on Bricks & Pieces? (eg some of the more common elements that are in current production) If so, was this done before or after the acquisition? 

I always thought that the BL parts images were provided by AFOLs, but I'm just noticing some that are identical to the "official" B&P images. Was I just not paying attention before now? 

They have been using official images for a while now. It depends what users upload.

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22 minutes ago, pooda said:

@AFOoLish Love the username. 

Btw, what does that article mean. I sounds scary. 

I don't think it's scary personally, but still many uncertain aspects.

It might be for many users of Custom Parts as they have to buy/sell elsewhere, but I already seen former sellers sites saying they are setting their own shops for their Custom parts, of course this will take time.

Also mentioned is the data could lead to LEGO having a better picture on what (Old&New) sets still sell a lot.

Overall , the same trend seems to be across multiple community websites, that there's certainly a divide on opinion and a great part of that divide also seems to between Purists and users of Custom parts.

What will change for buying/selling of just regular non-custom parts and how it would affect Pick-a-Brick or Bricks&Pieces remains to be seen, before I can make a further opinion on that.

Also , how MOCs and Licensed parts/sets/figures are handled still has some unknown future.

 

 

Edited by TeriXeri

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@TeriXeri That's a relief. 

Just now, TeriXeri said:

Also mentioned is the data could lead to LEGO having a better picture on what (Old&New) sets still sell a lot.

So do you think if Lego plays its cards right, we may see a harbor this summer? 

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