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TLG acquires Bricklink

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5 hours ago, msk6003 said:

I find rumor TLG will remove all custom part in bricklink. Is this true?

So it says in the interview with a TLG representative on Brothers brick blog. Only pure LEGO on BL from "now" on...

I also think that it doesn't matter if something good will come out of this, the price per part will RISE... and that is all I care about. So bottom line - not good at all.

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It is quite concerning as it could be a great thing, but equal money that it completely disrupts the secondary market in a bad way.  This could, however, be the best thing that has happened to BrickOwl.com in a while... :cry_sad:

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On 11/26/2019 at 9:13 AM, hagridshut said:

I don't believe that "political correctness" has anything to do with the decline of traditional LEGO themes, nor do I believe that fantasy elements had anything to do with the decline either.

Julia Goldin: "[...] From that perspective, you would not see BrickArms and guns and things that are potentially particularly connected to things like warfare and violence, which is something that we decided as the LEGO Group we would never support. [...]"

(extract from Julia Goldin interview, 26 November 2019)

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I doubt TLG has any interest in anybody being able to get the parts from any other source than their retail. 

I doubt TLG has any interest anybody being able the aquire the parts that are not available in the current sets.

I doubt TLG has any interest in anybody being able to aquire any parts without buying the sets. 

I doubt TLG has any interest in anybody selling MOCs or instructions or anything like that.

I doubt there will not be another platform (very) soon.

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I doubt TLG has any interest in anybody being able to get the parts from any other source than their retail. 

I doubt TLG has any interest anybody being able the aquire the parts that are not available in the current sets.

I doubt TLG has any interest in anybody being able to aquire any parts without buying the sets. 

I doubt TLG has any interest in anybody selling MOCs or instructions or anything like that.

I doubt there will not be another platform (very) soon.

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Lego: we bought Bricklink to safeguard it for our AFOL community.

AFOL community: Lego just destroyed our hobby.

Keep up the lolz internet.

Edited by andythenorth

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Do not want to repeat previous members. Of course, monopoly of any kind is bad for customers. We are living in democratic (or "democratic") world, where is no place for monopolies and  everyone want to have own free choice.

In the other hand, If I was a TLG I see BL as independent worldwide network that can both increase LEGO-hobby potential (in fact BL have positive influence), and in oppostite can be dangerous. Copycat bricks already at BL, and since potential market of cheap toys is larger, than exepensive original bricks market, one day cheap bricks can kick original LEGO out of BL, and ruin this marketplace as place for LEGO fans worldwide. I can say, that this can be a sensitive punch on LEGO hobby and community. And we will ask lego "why don't you protect us?". The same question was asked by many of us when some manufacturers start to copy our MOCs and sell them...BL growed to element that have influence on LEGO market. So, at least now TLG can protect this important element of growing LEGO hobby, and of course TLG businnes. You can play politely correct, but your contestant will be bold and dirty. To stay on the top you shoud think many steps forward in all directions. That's what LEGO doing now, protect the business.
And after all, BL is a large amount of data in the era of data🙄 .

Hope TLG have enough wisdom to separate main business and BL.

 

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Certainly doesn't seem like good news to me.  I won't rehash what others have said, but what it comes down to is that there a few ways TLG could make Bricklink better than it currently is, and about 10,000 ways they could easily make it much worse if they don't actively try to prevent themselves from doing so (and I have little to no faith that they will, not even because of ill intent but simply because they don't understand Bricklink as they view it through their corporate lens and a completely different perspective).

This may, however, be the best thing to happen to BrickOwl in a long time.  I'd be very curious to see what their account sign-ups look like over the next month or so...

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My therory is what Lego really wants is Stud.io considering that LDD hasn't been developed too much recently.

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5 hours ago, Shiva said:

If LEGO is against chromed bricks, as some say, why are those still operating thru Bricklink?

The announcement was yesterday, so TLG probably only just finished the process for acquiring the business. Any changes will start in the coming months, with possibly immediate removal on any Brickarms (etc) product and move on according to policy requirements.

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Well, they kind of stab their own leg by doing this, if Bricklink will really get worse. I bet they'll rise whatever ammount sellers now have to pay the site by a lot.

Displeasing their adult fans is what TLG does best. But we'll see how this goes.

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I can't see how it could be in TLG's interest to have people buy used items that were produced in the 1980's (apart from commission on the sales, which are peanuts).

As for sellers breaking up sets and selling new parts, what would be the point if TLG could actually provide all of these parts in unlimited quantities.

 

So I could see this going into a new PaB site, where in the end TLG is the only seller and everyone else is only a buyer.

 

Prices might then be determined by looking at the platform that will hopefully have replaced Bricklink :cry2:

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51 minutes ago, Gray Gear said:

I bet they'll rise whatever amount sellers now have to pay the site by a lot.

At least in the interview, on brickset, Julia Goldin, Global Chief Marketing Officer of TLG explicitly said the following: "There are absolutely no plans to change transaction fees or anything like that." and "We would seek to maintain the marketplace in a way that is competitively robust and we will continue to allow sellers to operate as they are doing already. LEGO will not be interfering with that in any way."

I hope they'll stick to this words :-)

Edit: When I think about it, some very rare parts, now not available on current sets may even be considered to be produced again? I mean if they weren't outdated in any kind.

Edited by Jundis

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This could be brilliant, or terrible, but I don't think there is going to be any halfway point.

I sincerely hope Lego don't interfere with the prices, as a lot of the smaller parts (like 1x1 round plates, technic pints, etc) are way cheaper on bricklink than buying direct through Lego Pick A Brick (or Lego's "Bricks and Pieces" customer service, which an awful lot of people don't seem to know about). A warning that a part can be bought more cheaply direct from Lego would be a nice addition, but that's about the only change I'd like to see.

Lego are also not keen on third-party bricks being sold on bricklink, but where will the limits be? What about the sale of Lego bricks with custom prints? Or 3D printed parts? Or chrome platings? Or custom stickers? Or custom reproductions of official Lego stickers? 

I am also curious about Stud.io and the future of digital Lego building. LDD has not been properly supported since 2012, so will Stud.io become the official replacement? Will development of Stud.io continue under the ownership of Lego? And as Stud.io uses the LDraw parts library, what does this mean for the LDraw community? 

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Wow people are in state of chock and run around with the hands over their heads in panic... why all this negativity???

Try and look at this a bit more calm and think on why TLG have had the wallet out of their pocket to buy bricklink?

here are a few thoughts of my own:

1. Times are changing. Good old customers of Lego like Toys-R-Us went bankrupt it have happened to other toy chains around the world too which means Lego loses B2B customers and have to rely on fewer and fewer large chains which of course tighten the deals they demand from TLG. This have lead to lego open more shops themselfs and I have read TLG focus even more attention on advertizing on Amazon etc etc, this makes a channel like Bricklink an important link too, since every set parted into single bricks of course come from TLG to begin with. By purchascing bricklink Lego secures this channel remain plus get the revenue from shops selling there.

2. Information. knowing what your customers want is the single most important information for any company, Lego already know some from their own shop and parts sale but the wishlist and sales list from BL will give an huge amount of data on what people wish. Now before people run around in a panic again and scream "big brother, big brother" then remember, TLG dont have much interest in what John Doe in XXXXXX city buy, but more that 10k people have part XXX in color YYY on their wishlist, a part that have not been around in any sets the past 5 years and therefore cost way too much... that kind of information can make TLG use that part in future sets, now is that so bad for us AFOL's?

3. Competition. BL is already owned by a korean company but what if Mattel and their Megablocks someday threw a large bag of money on the table to buy it and make room for Megablocks in the lists too... it is not a unlikely thought, and if some sellers and purist would complain they could just lower the fees for shops a few years to keep the sellers happy and staying... This purchase secures TLG that they remain in control and  that Lego bricks is the main item sold there, and sure because of their family friendly brand may cost brickarms their place there but they have done fine for years with out be in BL, I myself have bought brickarms stuff from some of the many shops outside of BL that sell so I'm sure they will survive still and we the customers will find their items outside of BL.

4. Joint projects. TLG already tried some joint projects now with BL and that will continue surely, both from what TLG have said and surely in a better way, the test projects had some issues with being packed on one continent which gave some postage and tax issues when imported/shiped to other continents, a problem which surely can be improved now where it will be with in the TLG family it happens onwards.

Lastly, is TLG stupid? of course not, they know very well that if they ruin BL a new website will grow and the money will be totally wasted... so I see this same way as when google bought youtube, or Facebook bought Instagram or when Ebay bought PayPal... it is to secure the future of the business to keep control of things that are important for future revenue and developement and I think with the ongoing transfer of sales to online markeds that BL is important for Lego and since BL was the first and the biggest it will and can remain that as long as TLG dont change most of it, and for that reason I feel pretty sure they wont.

thats my two cents, so calm down people and save the panic for when we have actual knowledge and reason to panic over this.

Edited by Dane

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This is wonderful news, ok, initially I was deeply concerned like most eurobrickers, however after reading an interview on another site with a spokemuppet from TLG all fears & concerns have been dismissed.  Turns out TLG are no longer corporate bullies and only have the interests of the AFOL community at heart, that’s why they’re helping us all buy purchasing a small and insignificant website with a mission of helping AFOLs find the best deals for parts and to foster growth for small traders.  Reading between the lines from the TLG spin doctor I have figured out their evil master-plan.

leveraging tlgs shipping volumes all BL orders over $150 will receive free shipping.

BL stores will be able to purchase discounted sets in plain packaging without instruction books with parts packaged by type for ease of sortation.

buyers will be able to order current production parts in any tlg colour they wish, a small delay may occur.

Orders placed with your favourite bl seller will be fulfilled and shipped from tlg with a commission to the seller.

Prices will go down across the board, sellers with outrageous pricing or sneaky fees will be delisted after three complaints.

AFOL designs on studio shall retain the ip of the designer.

New sets will be released digitally to the afol community prior to manufacturing so errors and improvements can be incorporated into production.

 I may have had a large dose of ketamine recently in hospital and could still be hallucinating  :excited:

Edited by OneMoreRobot

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1 hour ago, Gray Gear said:

Displeasing their adult fans is what TLG does best. But we'll see how this goes.

I’m not sure what you mean by this. There are several sets that are aimed at adults (Porsche, Bugatti, Mil Falcon etc) and even Bricks and Pieces requires you to be older than 18. 

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I have not read all seven pages so I hope this is not redundant.  But TLG has a perception about them out there, not saying it is accurate or not, but it is out there.  This perception says they are the typical big, bad, magnum company out there to suck all the money from the earth.  Again, not saying it is accurate or not, but it is there.  There is also a perception out there about copy-cat companies of TLG (Lepin, etc.).   The perception is they are bad, copy-cats, stealers, copiers, etc. .... but, at least they do not rob the AFOL community.  The narrative goes something like this..... they are dishonest in that they offer a product the illegally took from others, but...... at least they do not charge an arm and a leg for it.  At least they do not try to monopolize the hobby.  There are those out there, behind closed doors, that think monopolizing the market, or at least the attempt to do so, is as bad if not worse than being a copy-cat.  Not saying I agree with it, but the perception is out there. 

Pick your poison I guess.  I am wondering if this recent takeover changes the perception of any towards TLG versus copy-cat Lego companies....

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32 minutes ago, LvdH said:

I’m not sure what you mean by this. There are several sets that are aimed at adults (Porsche, Bugatti, Mil Falcon etc) and even Bricks and Pieces requires you to be older than 18. 

Of course these sets are for adults, because of the Pricetag that no kid could afford :look:

Those "Adult Sets" still have the blue pin yellow axle disease, so every 12yo can build them tho. Why ruin the good look?

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Oh boy, I have a lot of thoughts about this. But for now I'll leave the whole economic aspect out as many others have already made valid points. 

What bothers me right now is that they try to make bricklink "relevant". I mean it is integral for us, but bricklink is not the heart of the community. The forums and blogs and channels are. Bricklink is the lungs that pump the ressources through the organism and enable us to create mocs.

To me it appears that Lego is trying to assimilate the community. Correct me if I'm wrong, but hasn't there been a decrease in sponsored prizes from Lego for community run contests?

Instead they hold building contests on ideas. Then the thing about LUG. And the same was happening on bricklink. Trying to be more than just the market place. All announcements state something about "great ambitions", "great plans" for the site and community. That's the usual business talk when a company intends to change a running system into something nobody wants or asked for. 

I guess many others can appreciate their efforts more than I do. But I prefer the communication and community life to be held on fan run sites instead of company owned ones.

Lego can't be both the company and the community. That's just wrong. Communicate, yes. Support, appreciated. But don't try to own the infra structure fans have created. 

The Lego community is something beautiful that has grown naturally. With it's own structures and rules and traditions. And there's a difference between Lego community and Lego customer. Most consumers of Lego products are not inside this community. 

And while we are open minded and kind and welcome everyone, the individual person has to make some effort to come here. And you all know that because we all had this process. Coming out of the dark ages, search online, find forums and sources of information, learn the vocabulary and participate in activities.

And that's wonderful. And without overestimating ourselves, but basically the value of the hard core of the fan base is not measureable in sales for TLG. We are all influencers, to use a modern term. Everyone who builds mocs, showing them online and on exhibitions adds to Lego's popularity. And how many actual set designers have derived from this community?

TLG just needs to leave this organism intact. It would be for the better for both fans and Lego as a brand and company if they stood a bit away instead of intefering. 

Anyone read the statement from mr Christiansen himself? He was was very certain about telling us how awesome the community and bricklink are. 

Basically in his words everything is awesome. That left a bit of an aftertaste.

I fear TLG wants to awesimilate all of us.

 

Edited by Jacob Nion

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I'm not surprised by all the negativity that this is spawning around.
People tend to be conservative and watch suspiciously every single step forward.

What I feel important to say is:

bricklink was on sale since 6 months. It's been a long time nobody at the running company was caring about it anymore.
Why do I say this?

  • Error 500. Error 500 everytime everywhere.
  • People random-banned then brought back out of demand. (There are people who saw their NSS / NRS / NPB completed because the admins weren't caring).
  • No new features
  • Old features to be removed never being removed. Classic wanted list has a warning that it will be removed in 06/05/2017. That's 2 years and a half ago. You can't be serious!
  • No customer care.

Only people that used it seldom or rarely may have missed all the severe and critical problems BL had through the last years. And I don't think they earn few money out of 3% on every single transaction...

So did we need someone to acquire bricklink? Yes we did.

This point is out of question. Now, is TLG the good candidate to buy it? For many people that's not. I do not agree with many of their reasons.

If there is a group knowing how to handle LEGO stuff, who's better than TLG itself?

Being a purist, I have absolutely zero concerns on custom stuff. Instead, another failed promise by the actual (former) bricklink staff was to make a filter that could make you not see all that brickarms stuff. Too bad they never made it. Or, to be more precise, they did it but it simply didn't work correctly.
Or, why had brickarms a special treatment? I mean, if I wanted to 3d print my own itaria-no-bricks I couldn't but place them into a "custom items" category which is nothing and is not helpful in meaning of search functions.

To me, excluding custom products is a feature. If I had two markets to choose, one with, and one without custom products, I'd go for the latter.
I reckon that people have different points of view so I would welcome for all people needing custom stuff another market though I'd never go there.

In all the interviews that I read TLG is firmly calming people and telling them that they aren't gonna blowing up bricklink, yet people refuse as much firmly to believe them.
My stance is: out of the great damage they would do to the community, out of the possibility to wipe bricklink and make a precious gift to BrickOwl or BrickScout (that now have little purpose) is it really a concern?

TLG has two possibilities now. Ruining their relationship with the community, or strengthen it. 
So I'm not worried on their intentions. It would be super stupid to have malicious intent. Or if not stupid, at least zero farsighted.

I'm just slightly worried on the outcome assumed they have good intentions. Even with good intentions they can make bad moves.
But for this, it's quite too early to discuss.

So I believe all of this, including this comment, is quite pure speculation.

46 minutes ago, nerdsforprez said:

I have not read all seven pages so I hope this is not redundant.  But TLG has a perception about them out there, not saying it is accurate or not, but it is out there.  This perception says they are the typical big, bad, magnum company out there to suck all the money from the earth.  Again, not saying it is accurate or not, but it is there.  There is also a perception out there about copy-cat companies of TLG (Lepin, etc.).   The perception is they are bad, copy-cats, stealers, copiers, etc. .... but, at least they do not rob the AFOL community.  The narrative goes something like this..... they are dishonest in that they offer a product the illegally took from others, but...... at least they do not charge an arm and a leg for it.  At least they do not try to monopolize the hobby.  There are those out there, behind closed doors, that think monopolizing the market, or at least the attempt to do so, is as bad if not worse than being a copy-cat.  Not saying I agree with it, but the perception is out there. 

Pick your poison I guess.  I am wondering if this recent takeover changes the perception of any towards TLG versus copy-cat Lego companies....

This perception about TLG and the copycats a la Sheriff Nottingham and Robin Hood feels not just wrong but super wrong.
It's a bias.

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Like many, I don't really know how to feel about it. BL wasn't broken and worked really well from my pov, so any change is a potential source of issues. I can't predict the future though and maybe TLG will make it even better somehow.

I almost exclusively use BL to buy retired sets so my biggest worry at the moment is whether or not this purchase will affect how those are priced and sold in the future.

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51 minutes ago, Itaria No Shintaku said:

Being a purist, I have absolutely zero concerns on custom stuff. Instead, another failed promise by the actual (former) bricklink staff was to make a filter that could make you not see all that brickarms stuff. Too bad they never made it. Or, to be more precise, they did it but it simply didn't work correctly.
Or, why had brickarms a special treatment? I mean, if I wanted to 3d print my own itaria-no-bricks I couldn't but place them into a "custom items" category which is nothing and is not helpful in meaning of search functions.

To me, excluding custom products is a feature. If I had two markets to choose, one with, and one without custom products, I'd go for the latter.
I reckon that people have different points of view so I would welcome for all people needing custom stuff another market though I'd never go there.
 

That's how I see it as well.

Non-LEGO parts should not have been on a "LEGO" marketplace website at all, compatible or not.

Edited by TeriXeri

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