danth

German Toy Fair – LEGO To Increase Focus On AFOLs

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Yeah, I definitely think they can prevent a lot of kids from going into the dark ages.

Ironically, my friends son is getting into collecting the Lego knock off Military stuff which I'm sure was originally made for Adults. This is also sort of what I'm getting at, although not necessarily about military.

While I don't think Lego will ever do military, they have been bending that rule quite a bit.

Personally, I think they'd be wise to find a middle ground, like doing more detailed mechs. It sort of fits the 'fantasy' mold Lego finds acceptable while still having that cool factor. While Lego seems to be on the mech bandwagon, most/all of their designs are pretty simplistic, and don't have that feel that a lot of the AFOL MOCs have. If they can get out of the kid mindset with the Mechs, they'd do themselves a favor.

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12 minutes ago, TeriXeri said:

There are certainly more offerings now, when I got into the Dark Ages, it was literally the "Dark Age" of LEGO themselves during 2000/2001.

Unless you were a big Star Wars or Bionicle Fan or something, the core of LEGO themes literally had died at that point.

Town/Castle/Pirates/Space all needed multiple years to get back on the right track.

 

Town got back on track in a big way with the modulars, but I'd argue Castle/Space/Pirates made returns only to get completely ignored only a couple of years later.

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1 hour ago, Gomek said:

Town got back on track in a big way with the modulars, but I'd argue Castle/Space/Pirates made returns only to get completely ignored only a couple of years later.

Modulars came much later in 2007, and my personal preference actually goes to 3-in-1 scale right now as I don't have endless display room.

 

I'm mostly speaking of the 2001-2004 period which my Dark age had started already.

Internet was also not as big and accesible back then so those LEGENDS sets I never even knew were made, until much later.

Town had no new sets in 2001-2003, rebooted as World City in 2004

2000 Castle had the same issues as TownJR, also returned in 2004

Pirates:  didn't return until 2009

Space:  Star Wars didn't interest me as much as themes like Insectoids or earlier 90s themes, and 2001 Mars mission likely wouldn't have pulled me back into LEGO.

 

I suppose I never really discovered the Studios theme in 2001 as it's certainly the most interesting theme of that year.

But by then my hobbies had shifted to video games and budget did shift towards that as well.

Edited by TeriXeri

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30 minutes ago, Gomek said:

in a big way with the modulars, but I'd argue Castle/Space/Pirates

None of those themes got anything remotely as thought through and loving as modulars.
If TLG wanted to stick a vacuum cleaner into my wallet they'd release a Medieval modular line and a Golden Age of Piracy modular line. People had houses then too, yeah? And shops. And town squares.
You can't tell me benny's spaceship equals the effort put into modulars. Classic Space was almost made for modular space bases. Or if you add a bow and stern section, even modular space cruisers.
And yes I realize that there is a huge difference in build quality between the start and the current run of modulars. But that really just reinforces my point. Modulars ARE successful because TLG put in the effort. The three classic themes largely got re-heated 30-40 year old left overs. 

Edited by Masked Mini

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18 minutes ago, Masked Mini said:

If TLG wanted to stick a vacuum cleaner into my wallet.. .

Love this.. and yes, agreed with the full post.

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City hit its golden age from 2006 to 2009 and I was still a kid then. The only difference is that I have more money on me than I did then back during the days when I was getting an allowance of $20. From my point of view, City hit its dark age in 2012. 

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1 hour ago, Brandon Pea said:

City hit its golden age from 2006 to 2009 and I was still a kid then. The only difference is that I have more money on me than I did then back during the days when I was getting an allowance of $20. From my point of view, City hit its dark age in 2012. 

To Masked Mini's point though, the modulars started in 2007 and never stopped. I guess the scale might not be for everyone, but the amount of design and detail that go into those sets is unparalleled.

Sometimes the years blur together for me, so I had to look it up. Last (non IP) castle set was 2012. Ironically, according to Brinklink, last (non IP/Sci-fi) space was only a year later in 2013, with Benny's space ship being a one off in 2014.

If the idea is to engage kids or adults who like geeky stuff like Sci-fi and (Medieval based) fantasy, that's a problem.

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2 hours ago, TeriXeri said:

I was away from LEGO during 2001-2016 and I can clearly see there's more and more focus for AFOL sets compared to 20 years ago

That is certainly true. But ... 20 years ago ... there were a lot of things not there. 2 decades ...from that perspective in the beginning of LEGO moving to ABS there were zero AFOL sets.

Which translates to an indefinite increase because of that division by zero ...:laugh:

3 hours ago, leafan said:

Then I wish they'd stop saying that they care about AFOLs and that they're pursuing that market.

Oh yes. I truly second that. But you know ... "and then he/she/they said" ... https://imgflip.com/memegenerator/2073078/And-Then-He-Said

For my >very own, very personal< taste there is way too much "hurrah" and "love" and "great" and "outreach" and "so good" and "caring" and "reach out" ... and so on and so on in all these TLG announcement regarding the great AFOL community.

It may be because I am from Germany (you know of course the "How many Germans do you need to change a light bulb? One. Because we are efficient and not very funny" joke). But the thing is: No one talks like that to a German adult - if it were all good. You do that, when there is something else to it. OK, in Germany you wouldn't even do it that way because even the most "good willing" folks would know that there is for sure something else when hearing all that "super excited" talk. Not wrong. But something else.

No one here talks like that to an A. FOL or not. What you would tell an A is: This is gonna hurt in some way or the other but let's face it: We have to get a handle on this because of X, Y, and Z. It would depend on how smart you are to replace X, Y, and Z with "true and threatening issues". And then you would alleviate the situation by granting N, M, and O ... and more and more.

Actually they did it the other way around: Hurrah. All is good. Well sort of.

You know what I wish? Being treated as an AFOL and not as a ... kid. That is really all I would like to experience in that TLG AFOL dialogue.

As an adult, I like facts much more than smoke and mirrors and super excitement.

But again: I am German, and we are not very funny.

All the best
Thorsten

 

   

 

 

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59 minutes ago, Toastie said:

That is certainly true. But ... 20 years ago ... there were a lot of things not there. 2 decades ...from that perspective in the beginning of LEGO moving to ABS there were zero AFOL sets.

Which translates to an indefinite increase because of that division by zero ...:laugh:

But there still is a large increase in larger sets , especially in the last 5 years.

And I can see that increase even further in the future.

While the size of set isn't always directly related to being an AFOL set, many of the really largest sets certainly have an AFOL price range.

I also hope for more AFOL focused sets , especially in the non-licensed direction, Classic Creator versions of Pirates/Castle/Space would be a start if they can't do it via IDEAS or a full theme.

https://brickset.com/article/46973/ten-things-in-ten-years-greater-quantity-of-large-sets

After 2015 the number of sets over 1000 pieces really increased:

Graph%20B.png

 

 

Edited by TeriXeri

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31 minutes ago, TeriXeri said:

I also hope for more AFOL focused sets , especially in the non-licensed direction, Classic Creator versions of Pirates/Castle/Space would be a start if they can't do it via IDEAS or a full theme.

I'd like some generic sets for AFOLs too! That's why I recommended City 13+ or Teen Friends, which are spin offs of City and Friends. 

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5 hours ago, Toastie said:

again: I am German, and we are not very funny.

Speak for yourself. I'm kind of German, Bavarian to be precise, and I'm hilarious. I tell my wife that all the time! Even my kid agrees! (Ignore the eye roll)

But I fully agree with your point. The more marketing wank I hear the more I think someone is trying to trick me. Just come out and say it. You want my money. No problem, offer me what I want to buy. Done and we're both happy.

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7 hours ago, Masked Mini said:

And yes I realize that there is a huge difference in build quality between the start and the current run of modulars. But that really just reinforces my point. Modulars ARE successful because TLG put in the effort. 

That is a very interesting point.  It has to cost TLG more to design a Modular then say a City themed police station.  It had to be several times as many hours to design the Book Shop vs  the new fire station.  Wonder how this extra design expense is added to the overall cost of a set?  

One more comparison.  It has to have taken longer for the TLG designer to create the Tree House vs the modular The Corner Garage.  Are the design costs for TLG so small due to the overall volume of sales we just don't even notice it?  

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8 hours ago, LegoDW said:

One more comparison.  It has to have taken longer for the TLG designer to create the Tree House vs the modular The Corner Garage.  Are the design costs for TLG so small due to the overall volume of sales we just don't even notice it?  

Cost of sets is a weird thing for sure.

And it's not even always licensing.

I don't understand why some in-house sets are priced as extremely high, like the 2020 Friends Hospital somehow is €60 here (379 pieces).

Even the US price of $50 is still way too high for that set.

 

Anyway, I know it's not an AFOL sets, so /rant over.

Edited by TeriXeri

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1 hour ago, TeriXeri said:

in-house sets are priced as extremely high, like the 2020 Friends Hospital

Maybe it has to do with the cost of dyes used for the Friends pastel palette and the volume of bricks produced in that colour. Low quantity runs are generally more expensive to produce.

 

9 hours ago, LegoDW said:

Are the design costs for TLG so small due to the overall volume of sales we just don't even notice it?

Well the Treehouse was already provided to TLG in a shall we say 90% complete state. They had to re-design elements of it sure but the concept is worked out and likely a lot of the trickier bits have been worked out already. I'd think it more akin to painting by numbers than painting from blank canvas. You still do all the work but it's a fraction of the difficulty, especially for an experienced painter or in our case set designer.

To your modular vs. police station point, I think you are on the money.

 

14 hours ago, TeriXeri said:

But there still is a large increase in larger sets , especially in the last 5 years.

That's a mindblowing graph you got there! It gives me hope that we will see more large, detailed sets that happen to be attractive to AFOLs even if they are not targeted to us specifically.

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I still wonder what TLG's definition of AFOL is. Because I think they'd consider my good friend "Teddy" an AFOL. Except I wouldn't.
Teddy is a car guy. He lives and breathes cars, especially Miatas. He's also an excellent (professional) photographer... to take awesome pictures of race cars on track.
He likes Lego, sure. But he is only a fan of the Technic Cars. To me that makes him an Adult Fan Of Cars who happens to buy the occasional Car related Lego Set. But he is part of a new demographic of adults that TLG has been cultivating for awhile. So I suspect any Adult who buys any lego (for themselves) is considered an AFOL.

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Just now, Masked Mini said:

I still wonder what TLG's definition of AFOL is. Because I think they'd consider my good friend "Teddy" an AFOL. Except I wouldn't.
Teddy is a car guy. He lives and breathes cars, especially Miatas. He's also an excellent (professional) photographer... to take awesome pictures of race cars on track.
He likes Lego, sure. But he is only a fan of the Technic Cars. To me that makes him an Adult Fan Of Cars who happens to buy the occasional Car related Lego Set. But he is part of a new demographic of adults that TLG has been cultivating for awhile. So I suspect any Adult who buys any lego (for themselves) is considered an AFOL.

This kind of brings up something I've seen as well. After the Friends set came out (The ideas set, not the girls line) it was sold out for quite some time because of all the Friends fans who bought it. I don't want to guess what percentage of these people were also AFOL, but yes, I never considered Friends fans who bought a Friends Lego set to be AFOLs. Likewise our friends also bought the Voltron set and Stranger Things set, but I'm not sure I'd consider them to be AFOLs either. At best there is probably a gray line for those adults buying 2 or 3 sets of things they like. Personally though, if I'm Lego, I'm pursuing that demographic as well, though clearly all IP related. Harley Davidson bike is another good example of that type of product.

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10 hours ago, Masked Mini said:

I'm kind of German, Bavarian to be precise, and I'm hilarious

:head_back: that explains everything ... joking of course. I am from Northern Germany, almost as close as you can get to the border to Denmark. Well, most of that part of the country was Danish anyways ... it was always raining up there, and the steady west winds blow away all your hilariousness :laugh_hard:

7 minutes ago, Masked Mini said:

So I suspect any Adult who buys any lego (for themselves) is considered an AFOL.

Hmmm ...

... OK - when I came back from my dark ages, I was pretending for long that I am buying all that LEGO for the girls. It started out with 2 DUPLO sets just to seriously invest into DOPLO trains; track that is. And then slowly migrated towards Technic - I think that was the time, my wife found out about the "pretending" thing.

I don't know. Also As who do buy LEGO for their kids/family may be considered FOLs - otherwise they'd buy ... Playmobil or the like, isn't it?

Best
Thorsten     

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32 minutes ago, Toastie said:

I am from Northern Germany, almost as close as you can get to the border to Denmark.

I thought I detected a dangerously deviant accent in your writing. :roflmao:
 

 

32 minutes ago, Toastie said:

may be considered FOLs - otherwise they'd buy ... Playmobil or the like, isn't it?

I don't know that this is a logical follow-through. It is certainly true for You and Me, my daughter at 10 has more lego of her own than I did until my 30s. But I certainly received lots of Lego presents from adults who were absolutely not FOLs. I also received Playmobil (which I still have and shipped to Texas, but my daughter has no interest in.) but both were largely because I asked for it … a lot. Those Spielwarenladen catalogues were a staple for me. I'd anticipate each issue like teenagers hunger for Playboys. They were pored over, clipped and annotated and distributed to any adult who might be convinced to buy something of my "little list".

Edited by Masked Mini

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27 minutes ago, Gomek said:

After the Friends set came out (The ideas set, not the girls line) it was sold out for quite some time because of all the Friends fans who bought it. I don't want to guess what percentage of these people were also AFOL, but yes, I never considered Friends fans who bought a Friends Lego set to be AFOLs.

Recently, after looking closely, Friends seems to be more geared towards teenage girls than little girls. I just look at the overall plot of the theme as it mostly centers around things that teenage girls love to do than little girls in their single digits. Things such as going out to eat, shopping, driving, horseback riding. Things like that. 

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Just now, Brandon Pea said:

Friends seems to be more geared towards teenage girls than little girls.

He's talking about F*R*I*E*N*D*S the tv show set set.

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Just now, Masked Mini said:

He's talking about F*R*I*E*N*D*S the tv show set set.

Oh... Sorry! I couldn't tell the difference! 

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20 hours ago, Masked Mini said:

But I fully agree with your point. The more marketing wank I hear the more I think someone is trying to trick me. Just come out and say it. You want my money. No problem, offer me what I want to buy. Done and we're both happy.

Exactly. This should be simple, right? But I still see a ton of people on here falling for their posturing. Lots of people on here seem to buy stuff because they like "x piece/s", not because they actually like the set. This has been the way that most fans of classic themes have been buying sets recently, simply because classic themes are a thing of the past. We don't have to spend money, but I feel like some AFOLs are spending hundreds of dollars on things that they don't really want simply out of habit. Those people are under Lego's thumb, and as long as they exist Lego doesn't have to go back to making classic sets or anything that AFOLs actually want because their revenue will stay the same regardless.

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2 hours ago, BrickJagger said:

Lots of people on here seem to buy stuff because they like "x piece/s", not because they actually like the set.

I agree 100%. That explains why people here don't care what Lego releases. I care because I buy sets to build what is on the box and do mods as I see fit. I don't buy them for the parts. If I need separate parts, that's what Classic, Pick-A-Brick and Bricklink are for. 

Edited by Brandon Pea

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14 hours ago, Masked Mini said:

I still wonder what TLG's definition of AFOL is. Because I think they'd consider my good friend "Teddy" an AFOL. Except I wouldn't.
Teddy is a car guy. He lives and breathes cars, especially Miatas. He's also an excellent (professional) photographer... to take awesome pictures of race cars on track.
He likes Lego, sure. But he is only a fan of the Technic Cars. To me that makes him an Adult Fan Of Cars who happens to buy the occasional Car related Lego Set. But he is part of a new demographic of adults that TLG has been cultivating for awhile. So I suspect any Adult who buys any lego (for themselves) is considered an AFOL.

I am pretty sure TLG doesn't actually understand what a true AFOL is. That's why they focus their AFOL-Targeted sets on things that would normally appeal to a casual adult that also happens to like LEGO, but doesn't actively follow with the brand. Things like the Old Trafford Stadium, Harley Davidson etc, aren't things AFOLs like us would buy, but rather things a casual adult that appreciates LEGO, but isn't a fan would buy. 

If only they checked out sites like this one, where actual AFOLs are, I am pretty sure they'd get a better idea of what we actually want and would be willing to buy. I think this would be a good way for them to gather information about what AFOL-Targeted products to release, but for whatever reason, they don't do it.

So yeah, TLG is very disconnected from it's fans, and doesn't even know what an actual "AFOL" is. They'd better improve in that area if they don't want to loose us.

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14 minutes ago, Lego David said:

I am pretty sure TLG doesn't actually understand what a true AFOL is. That's why they focus their AFOL-Targeted sets on things that would normally appeal to a casual adult that also happens to like LEGO, but doesn't actively follow with the brand. Things like the Old Trafford Stadium, Harley Davidson etc, aren't things AFOLs like us would buy, but rather things a casual adult that appreciates LEGO, but isn't a fan would buy. 

If only they checked out sites like this one, where actual AFOLs are, I am pretty sure they'd get a better idea of what we actually want and would be willing to buy. I think this would be a good way for them to gather information about what AFOL-Targeted products to release, but for whatever reason, they don't do it.

So yeah, TLG is very disconnected from it's fans, and doesn't even know what an actual "AFOL" is. They'd better improve in that area if they don't want to loose us.

Nah, they understand completely.  Quite a few set designers were active in the AFOL community before they got hired at Lego.  Let's not start gatekeeping about who is a "true" or "actual" AFOL and who isn't.

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