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TLG acquires Bricklink

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2 hours ago, GlacierPhoenix said:

You know I look at this like Amazon. Amazon has tons of sellers that do their own fulfillment and it's sold under the Amazon brand.

Yeah, that's what I think too, BL will become a giant Lego marketplace, hope that's the plan.

By the way what will happen to Stud.io ?

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1 hour ago, f2k said:

And let's just be honest here... LEGO is a company, and companies don't do anything unless they think they can make money on it.

 

26 minutes ago, anothergol said:

Not true - large companies will also buy smaller ones (& not do anything with them) to stop the competition.

Buying out competition for the purpose of eliminating said competition altogether is entirely about making money, especially when the buyer shuts down the bought.

But I do generally agree with your other thoughts.

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I have mixed feeling about this. This will either be a great success and will be awesome for the AFOL community (which I very much doubt) or it will be the beginning of the end of Bricklink. With LEGO's recent behavior with going after people for things like custom/3D printed parts, printing/chroming ect as @Peppermint_M said, I have no faith that this is going to work. Bricklink should remain independent, it has done well over the last 20 years and now LEGO want to have a monopoly over the used part market. This has got corporate greed written all over it, I expected much better from LEGO and I'm disappointed with BrickLink for choosing to have a few extra pennies in their pockets over the AFOL community 🤬🤬🤬

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22 minutes ago, Captain Dee said:

Buying out competition for the purpose of eliminating said competition altogether is entirely about making money, especially when the buyer shuts down the bought.

Well when you buy & shut, it's more about losing less than making.

But here the competition isn't BL, it's all of the other brands. I could totally have imagined BL becoming a generic brick market, in that way it makes sense for Lego to buy it just to limit it to Lego, which is already their very first move.
The announcement also tells about "an opportunity", implying that it's more BL that offered the deal, & thus perhaps it was simply good & cheap enough for Lego.

But let's face it, AFOL money is pockey money for Lego, I don't think it's directly for the money that they care. Lego values their image, and that requires control on everything that touches it, and they seem to like control, which they see they're losing since today "Lego" means "all brick brands".

Edited by anothergol

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10 minutes ago, MxWinters said:

With LEGO's recent behavior with going after people for things like custom/3D printed parts, printing/chroming ect as @Peppermint_M said, I have no faith that this is going to work

Oh yeah I forgot about 3D printing. With resin printers being so cheap, & chinese manufacturers so ready to produce custom parts, I could have imagine many Brickarms clones as tiny new businesses. Now obviously that's not gonna happen, not on BL.

Is Lego also against chroming? (why?)

 

(something funky is happening when I'm posting here. It repeats my last message & loses the one I just typed?)

Edited by anothergol

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10 minutes ago, anothergol said:

Well when you buy & shut, it's more about losing less than making.

But here the competition isn't BL, it's all of the other brands. I could totally have imagined BL becoming a generic brick market, in that way it makes sense for Lego to buy it just to limit it to Lego, which is already their very first move.
The announcement also tells about "an opportunity", implying that it's more BL that offered the deal, & thus perhaps it was simply good & cheap enough for Lego.

But let's face it, AFOL money is pockey money for Lego, I don't think it's directly for the money that they care.

That's the extreme example, yes, quite rare in practice, and requires one to be supremely confident in one's position, but it still comes down to making money. But yeah, it has nothing to do with this scenario.

Perhaps TLG will stop with abolishing the real competition from Bricklink -- those other clone brands and such.

@GREG998 The link isn't working for me. Anyone else?

Edited by Captain Dee

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I was hoping this was a joke, but apparently it is not.

If TLG wanted to tap into the AFOL community, they could spend more time on LUGs and buy sales data from BrickLink.  Since they're not accepting applications for new LUGs and they purchased all of BL, I doubt these are the case.  I cannot believe that the AFOL community revenue would justify the purchase of BL, even if you include the Stud.io etc.

On the other hand, if TLG wanted to try and control the secondary market, this would be a good way to go: They can cut off BL sellers from purchasing from B&P and PAB, restrict anyone making custom prints from buying these items, and get rid of the BL sellers who sell guns, etc. that they don't want out there that they feel reflects poorly on the brand.  I think this is a real shame, as there are a lot of opportunities out there that are great for AFOLs, even if TLG doesn't support them.  My worry is that they will blacklist people to buy Lego because they have build adult-themed MOCs and such.  Linking multiple accounts now that they have control of BL could be easier for them.

Of course, I bet BrickOwl and Ebay are very happy about this.  Anyone with some decent coding skills should be gearing up to create a sellers marketplace as well.  This bodes well for sellers leaving BL and migrating to another platform.  It will be interesting to see what that platform is.

Edited by Grover

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Surprising news.

I purchase items only sporadically on Bricklink, but it has been an excellent reference resource for sets and components.  

I am adopting a wait-and-see perspective on this event.

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1 hour ago, anothergol said:

No, that can't change pricing in local shops, because it's only dictated by offer & demand. If it can affect anything, it's Lego's own pricing.

If BL stopped working like a stock market, with parts costing the same in every shop, it would be its end, that would make no sense.

Would they have a say in Bricklink's seller fees?

 

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I don't think BL would ever sell their sales data to LEGO. Data these days is often the worth of the company more than anything else. The only way LEGO was likely to get the data was by buying the company.

I remember a presentation a while back where the LEGO Group was suggesting they were okay with things like 3rd party gun sellers, as it was something LEGO couldn't do themselves. I think LEGO has to remove that stuff from BL and anything not made by LEGO by default. That is the sacrifice from BL side of things. e.g. I don't seem them actively trying to stop the sale of guns etc. elsewhere.

If we actually knew what they paid for BL, it would answer a few questions.

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2 minutes ago, hagridshut said:

I am adopting a wait-and-see perspective on this event.

In default of better, it is the best attitude to adopt.

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Well, let's see... BrickLink sellers buy LEGO and sell it to mostly AFOLs, if AFOLs can't get bricks anymore at an affordable price it will hurt LEGO in many ways... If it doesn't work out other initiatives like BrickOwl will get their chance...

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2 minutes ago, coinoperator said:

Let try to find an answer about WHY did BL sell itself to tlc
oh man, Jezec turns around in his grave

For money.....or/and they had no other choice.

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April 1st already?

Hanlon's razor.  https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanlon's_razor

TLG will screw this up.  I think it's an interesting move though.  Bricklink has been one of the great examples of a non-evil marketplace community in an internet that's increasingly full of twisted nonsense that's rotting society.   On the other hand...nothing lasts for ever. 

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1 hour ago, Grover said:

I was hoping this was a joke, but apparently it is not.

If TLG wanted to tap into the AFOL community, they could spend more time on LUGs and buy sales data from BrickLink.  Since they're not accepting applications for new LUGs and they purchased all of BL, I doubt these are the case.  I cannot believe that the AFOL community revenue would justify the purchase of BL, even if you include the Stud.io etc.

On the other hand, if TLG wanted to try and control the secondary market, this would be a good way to go: They can cut off BL sellers from purchasing from B&P and PAB, restrict anyone making custom prints from buying these items, and get rid of the BL sellers who sell guns, etc. that they don't want out there that they feel reflects poorly on the brand.  I think this is a real shame, as there are a lot of opportunities out there that are great for AFOLs, even if TLG doesn't support them.  My worry is that they will blacklist people to buy Lego because they have build adult-themed MOCs and such.  Linking multiple accounts now that they have control of BL could be easier for them.

I don't have reasonable access to a LUG and didn't know they weren't taking more. Anyone know the rationale behind it? Has TLG grown weary of that approach? (Sorry for going off topic...)

As for the whole PaB/B&P resellers thing: does anyone know for sure if this has happened? I don't really see what difference it ever would've made to TLG, but I can definitely see them stopping people from doing it, just because they probably now can.

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Now this is a susprise.

Not sure what to think. I'm not really worried about the availabiltiy of official Lego parts, but what kinds of consequences does this have for things like Brickarms, Chromebricks, custom (aluminum) parts, and other such "fan-created additions" to the building system?

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13 minutes ago, Captain Dee said:

I don't have reasonable access to a LUG and didn't know they weren't taking more. Anyone know the rationale behind it? Has TLG grown weary of that approach? (Sorry for going off topic...)

As for the whole PaB/B&P resellers thing: does anyone know for sure if this has happened? I don't really see what difference it ever would've made to TLG, but I can definitely see them stopping people from doing it, just because they probably now can.

I don't have access to a LUG or a Lego store easily either, which is frustrating to me.  I don't know why they quit accepting new LUGs, but the fact that they are not does not speak well to customer relations with AFOLs.

As for selling customer data, @Ankoku, companies and organizations do it all the time, even personal data.  If a company has any ethics, they might scrub personal data, but I would bet that a small company like BrickLink would be happy to sell sales statistics (# of pieces sold in what color, etc.) to TLG, as it would benefit both of them.  That would be relatively cheap compared to the sale of the entire company.

Maybe all this will be for the best, but large corporations buying up companies like this, especially when they have the market share on after-market sales... it definitely does not look good and I am very suspicious.

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Definitely not strictly Technic but see for yourself:

https://www.bricklink.com/v2/community/newsview.page?msgid=1166622

What is the impact of that move? I'm a little shocked to say the least.

 

UPDATE: Ah, sorry, didn't saw that:

...as I usually enter Eurobricks via "LEGO Technic and Model Team" only.

Edited by johnnym
Linked main topic

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This has the potential to be quite sinister.

Not a lot of AFOLs know of or appreciate "Bricks and Minifigs" but they are the largest US franchise of brick and mortar Lego resale shops.
Lego JUST annexed/Anschluss the Franchise as an Official Lego Group Partner, a week or so ago.
Sure they are now allowed to sell new sets, bought at wholesale but are required to dedicate x square footage of their store to new sets.
The entire Franchise is now going to rebrand to Lego colors and will lose it's own Identity essentially morphing into mom+pop Lego Group Stores.
An insane mish mash of family store with corporate overlord... how long before they are told how to run the rest of their businesses?
The best hope is that they are allowed to continue to run independently to preserve that small shop vibe as a counterpoint to the corporate stores.
 
We will see if TLG will follow up this Annex by sending C&Ds to the other brick and mortar Lego resale shops that run on the BAM model.

A rumor I was definitely not told by a friendly BAM owner was that Lego is trying to secure alternate product outlets to decrease Walmart's leverage on TLG.
It sounds plausible but no way to verify or debunk.

I am deeply affected by both these acquisitions as I buy the bulk of my... bulk and build my minifigures at BAM and most of my specialized parts on BL.
I spend a tiny fraction of my annual lego expenditure on new sets, S@H, PAB or Lego's Build a mini towers.

I'm getting a massive "The Mouse" vibe here. Straight out of the Disney playbook.

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If TLG works with Bricklink resellers this could be the best thing to happen to Bricklink an buyers and sellers. I just hope availability fo parts does not suffer.

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