caiman0637

Where is LEGO Going?

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I've been thinking, speculating, for a while now about where LEGO is going as a product. And I have to say, the future is bleak. Fifty years ago, LEGO was a bunch of bricks used for building. That's it, and that's all. Now, LEGO is electronics, LEGO is apps, LEGO is everything- and it's in a downward spiral.

Let's start with the introduction of LEGO Island, the first LEGO video game. It came out in 1997, and more apps were introduced as the screen revolution began. Suddenly there were TV shows, movies, and all sorts of screen-related media. 

Two decades later, the Hidden Side theme was revealed. And so the beginning of the end began. And then came Super Mario, a fully electronic theme. Not-so-fun fact: LEGO Super Mario set instructions can only be viewed using the Super Mario app. And don't get me started on LEGO's latest brain killer- Vidiyo. A TikTok app for kids, what fun. 

If you asked somebody what LEGO is, you'll always get the same answer- a building toy. But LEGO's executives don't understand that- they think that their brand needs to keep up with the times, in doing so failing to see the timelessness of the LEGO brick. 

Please share your opinions on this down below!

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Posted (edited)

Chill out, yes vidiyo is bad, but super mario is fine except for the instructions, hidden side I think is just a lego set if you don't get the game.

Edited by OTIS_0937

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4 hours ago, caiman0637 said:

I've been thinking, speculating, for a while now about where LEGO is going as a product. And I have to say, the future is bleak. Fifty years ago, LEGO was a bunch of bricks used for building. That's it, and that's all. Now, LEGO is electronics, LEGO is apps, LEGO is everything- and it's in a downward spiral.

Let's start with the introduction of LEGO Island, the first LEGO video game. It came out in 1997, and more apps were introduced as the screen revolution began. Suddenly there were TV shows, movies, and all sorts of screen-related media. 

Two decades later, the Hidden Side theme was revealed. And so the beginning of the end began. And then came Super Mario, a fully electronic theme. Not-so-fun fact: LEGO Super Mario set instructions can only be viewed using the Super Mario app. And don't get me started on LEGO's latest brain killer- Vidiyo. A TikTok app for kids, what fun. 

If you asked somebody what LEGO is, you'll always get the same answer- a building toy. But LEGO's executives don't understand that- they think that their brand needs to keep up with the times, in doing so failing to see the timelessness of the LEGO brick. 

Please share your opinions on this down below!

Two decades later, and more than 99% of their output is still brick based. Even their tech stuff is mainly brick built. That tells me that they firmly see themselves as a toy building brick company. 

LEGO does need to keep up with the times, and there are many positive ways they are doing this. Wider representation (disabilities, gender), licensed products, AFOL products and, yes, tech linked products.

 

Why do you think hidden side was the beginning of the end. Why not Nexo Knights or Life of George or Fusion? Why not Mindstorms or the 1980s electronic bricks? 

LEGO produces a huge range of toys for people with different interests. A small portion of that is based on current tech, for those interested in it. The day LEGO decides to stop doing new products using new tech is the beginning of the end. I think vidiyo is pointless but one of my kids is enjoying it, which suggests that it is interesting to its target market.

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Brings a classic to mind:

 

There was electronic lights and motors in the 70s. The 80s introduced all kinds of electronic additions to Technic. 

LEGO is simply keeping up with the times. Adding new technology to their brick toys.

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Video games have been fine since their introduction in 1997. I think that the real problem is all those apps - Lego should be about building with bricks instead of playing with app, yes, video games also are on screen but they don't seem to cross the line. Also the fact that you can access instructions only digitally is horrible. It's about the brick, not the app. Maybe I'm being a fool and ranting for no reason. It's just that I don't think Lego should try keeping up with times, as they already have been doing well with just selling sets. This is the future, kids are more attracted to the app than physical toy, internet can surely ruin ones mind.

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34 minutes ago, Jack Sassy said:

Video games have been fine since their introduction in 1997. I think that the real problem is all those apps - Lego should be about building with bricks instead of playing with app, yes, video games also are on screen but they don't seem to cross the line.

It can be both. Why not appeal to both old fashioned style play for brick builders and app play for those that want to combine building and tech. Not every LEGO product has to appeal to every LEGO consumer. There is room for both in their massive product range.

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5 hours ago, MAB said:

 

Why do you think hidden side was the beginning of the end. Why not Nexo Knights or Life of George or Fusion? Why not Mindstorms or the 1980s electronic bricks? 

 

Mindstorms is a different story; at least it's supposed to educational. But the Nexo Knights app minimally uses sets, while the Hidden Side one uses the entire set for the gameplay. This makes the Nexo Knights app seem like an add-on, an afterthought; yet Hidden Side is a full-fledged set-based game. 

I have to admit, I've never heard of Life of George. However, Fusion had somewhat educational purposes. 

1 hour ago, Peppermint_M said:

There were electronic lights and motors in the 70s. The 80s introduced all kinds of electronic additions to Technic. 

LEGO is simply keeping up with the times. Adding new technology to their brick toys.

Lights and motors aren't screen-based. My point is that LEGO is LEGO. It doesn't need to change, a building toy is all kids need. Children get way too much screen time anyway, why must everybody's favorite educational toy company rot brains too? 

41 minutes ago, Jack Sassy said:

Video games have been fine since their introduction in 1997. I think that the real problem is all those apps - Lego should be about building with bricks instead of playing with app, yes, video games also are on screen but they don't seem to cross the line. Also the fact that you can access instructions only digitally is horrible. It's about the brick, not the app. Maybe I'm being a fool and ranting for no reason. It's just that I don't think Lego should try keeping up with times, as they already have been doing well with just selling sets. This is the future, kids are more attracted to the app than physical toy, internet can surely ruin ones mind.

My point exactly. Thank you.

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1 minute ago, 1963maniac said:

Humanity is going digital. What's wrong with TLG doing so? 

You need to understand that that's not what LEGO is. Kids can have as much fun with a pile of bricks as a game, and LEGO chose the brain-rotting option.

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12 minutes ago, MAB said:

It can be both. Why not appeal to both old fashioned style play for brick builders and app play for those that want to combine building and tech. Not every LEGO product has to appeal to every LEGO consumer. There is room for both in their massive product range.

I know, it's just that it might replace building with bricks completely, as weird as it may sound.

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Just now, caiman0637 said:

You need to understand that that's not what LEGO is. Kids can have as much fun with a pile of bricks as a game, and LEGO chose the brain-rotting option.

No, you need to understand that is exactly what LEGO is - a company that tries to stay relevant to people. LEGO is mainly a building / construction toy but for many years has dabbled around the borders of it, trying out new things. If you don't want to play with apps, then you don't have to. The vast majority of LEGO's output is still construction. LEGO choose to invest in many different themes in the hope that they are of interest to, and hence sell to, as many consumers as possible. If someone doesn't like one theme as it is app based, then they can chose from the rest of the product ranges. This is no different to if someone doesn't like City, Technic, Star Wars, or Ninjago.

7 minutes ago, Jack Sassy said:

I know, it's just that it might replace building with bricks completely, as weird as it may sound.

Really? So what will they do with all the factories they have and are continuing to invest in? They will be manufacturing toy bricks for a long time to come.

23 minutes ago, caiman0637 said:

Lights and motors aren't screen-based. My point is that LEGO is LEGO. It doesn't need to change, a building toy is all kids need. Children get way too much screen time anyway, why must everybody's favorite educational toy company rot brains too?

It does need to stay relevant so it needs to change. If children want to combine their screen time with LEGO themes, then why not allow them to do that, and sell even more LEGO in the process? Children only get as much screen time as their parents allow. If kids play LEGO on their screens then keep playing the same stories with their bricks, then what is the problem?

 

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*yawn*... another hot take from an old-school AFOL about how things were better back in their day...

It amazes me that even after all these years, AFOLs continue to forecast doom based on the flawed assumption that every new endeavor Lego engages in represents a direction the whole of the company is taking, and that the ways it differs from what they grew up with automatically make it bad.

Like, oh no, Lego Super Mario, a licensed theme that involves less screen dependence than the video game it's adapting, requires a screen. Horror upon horrors. Oh no, Lego decided to make a music video theme that requires an app to make the video. This is new and bad and must therefore "rot brains". Oh no, Lego makes TV shows and movies based on its themes now. This in my mind completely invalidates the fact that kids continue to build and be creative with these themes in the same way kids did decades ago. And all of this adds up to the conclusion that Lego is going down the tubes—never mind the continued prominence of traditional themes like Classic, Creator, City, Technic, and Duplo. How DARE Lego see that kids are enjoying digital media and try to meet them where they are? Are the toys we grew up with 20 or more years enough not good enough for them? Who cares that broadening the range of their products has made Lego more popular and widely loved than ever—don't they know it was better when only lonely nerds like us enjoyed it?

Perhaps, just maybe, the problem is you. You've gotten yourself so caught up in the nostalgic idealization of what you think Lego "should" be that anything that differs from that, or appeals to a different audience (and lets be frank, as an adult, 90% of themes are not aimed at you), is some sort of betrayal. It's not. If there's still Lego sets that you do enjoy, it'd serve you better not to bother complaining about the ones that you don't. And if there aren't... congratulations, you've finally "grown out" of a childhood hobby, several decades later than average.

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Where is Lego going? Nowhere. Lego have been the premier construction toy brand for decades (their last true rival, Tente, went to the wall about thirty years ago, and I don't think even they ever outperformed Lego). In that time, every new initiative is heralded as a portent of doom by a subset of fans, and every time Lego gets stronger. The sets today are better than they've ever been, and only improving. The company is a titan, investing in the future. 

I personally don't like the concept of the new Mario sets (not really new any more, but still). What I have done about it is not buy them - there's plenty of other things I do have interest in. But that doesn't mean I think Lego is dying, they have just made a theme that doesn't interest me. Just like Monster Fighters didn't interest me, just like Technic doesn't interest me, just like a dozen other themes.

All companies have to evolve with the changing times, and Lego are no different. For an idea of what happens to a company that doesn't evolve successfully, see Woolworths. Pop in to your nearest Woolies and tell me what you find. (Disclaimer: this won't work if you are in Australia or anywhere else where Woolworths is an active brand). 

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If screen time caused brain rot, humanity would have been extinct decades ago. 

As it is, we continue to adapt and innovate. 

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1 minute ago, Peppermint_M said:

If screen time caused brain rot, humanity would have been extinct decades ago. 

Not extinct, stupid. Maybe that's what happened to the executives at LEGO. (Kidding).

16 minutes ago, Lyichir said:

*yawn*... another hot take from an old-school AFOL about how things were better back in their day...

It amazes me that even after all these years, AFOLs continue to forecast doom based on the flawed assumption that every new endeavor Lego engages in represents a direction the whole of the company is taking, and that the ways it differs from what they grew up with automatically make it bad.

Like, oh no, Lego Super Mario, a licensed theme that involves less screen dependence than the video game it's adapting, requires a screen. Horror upon horrors. Oh no, Lego decided to make a music video theme that requires an app to make the video. This is new and bad and must therefore "rot brains". Oh no, Lego makes TV shows and movies based on its themes now. This in my mind completely invalidates the fact that kids continue to build and be creative with these themes in the same way kids did decades ago. And all of this adds up to the conclusion that Lego is going down the tubes—never mind the continued prominence of traditional themes like Classic, Creator, City, Technic, and Duplo. How DARE Lego see that kids are enjoying digital media and try to meet them where they are? Are the toys we grew up with 20 or more years enough not good enough for them? Who cares that broadening the range of their products has made Lego more popular and widely loved than ever—don't they know it was better when only lonely nerds like us enjoyed it?

Perhaps, just maybe, the problem is you. You've gotten yourself so caught up in the nostalgic idealization of what you think Lego "should" be that anything that differs from that, or appeals to a different audience (and lets be frank, as an adult, 90% of themes are not aimed at you), is some sort of betrayal. It's not. If there's still Lego sets that you do enjoy, it'd serve you better not to bother complaining about the ones that you don't. And if there aren't... congratulations, you've finally "grown out" of a childhood hobby, several decades later than average.

Wow, I feel old.

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1 hour ago, MAB said:

Really? So what will they do with all the factories they have and are continuing to invest in? They will be manufacturing toy bricks for a long time to come.

Well, they might stop manufacturing them after some time, because people will stop buying and sales will go down. Remember, this all is just something I assume and frankly, I don't want to argue, everyone has their own view on this, some think it's bad and others think that's just how Lego adapts. I think that it's bad but I'm not meaning to start a revolution against change, just expressing my thoughts, is all.

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12 hours ago, caiman0637 said:

Fifty years ago, LEGO was a bunch of bricks used for building. That's it, and that's all.

Eighty-nine years ago a carpenter named Ole Kirk Christiansen began making wooden toys. That's it, and that's all. Wood. Not plastic.

Lego was a lumber-based toy. The plastic bricks of today are causing brain rot; case in point: threads like this. :tongue: They have strayed too far from what they were.  :laugh: The sky is falling. The end is near.

87 years ago he chose to call it Lego, "derived from the Danish phrase leg godt [lɑjˀ ˈkʌt], which means "play well"." No mention of the medium, material or content. Just play well. Wood, metal,  plastic, rubber, video games. Play. Well.

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18 minutes ago, Jack Sassy said:

Well, they might stop manufacturing them after some time, because people will stop buying and sales will go down. Remember, this all is just something I assume and frankly, I don't want to argue, everyone has their own view on this, some think it's bad and others think that's just how Lego adapts. I think that it's bad but I'm not meaning to start a revolution against change, just expressing my thoughts, is all.

Well if people stop buying bricks even though LEGO keeps making them then that suggests that people don't want to build with physical bricks any more. And in that case, it would be good (for LEGO) if they had explored alternative products since people no longer want to play with plastic bricks.

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2 minutes ago, MAB said:

Well if people stop buying bricks even though LEGO keeps making them then that suggests that people don't want to build with physical bricks any more. And in that case, it would be good (for LEGO) if they had explored alternative products since people no longer want to play with plastic bricks.

Then Lego will be a kids app company?

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6 minutes ago, koalayummies said:

Eighty-nine years ago a carpenter named Ole Kirk Christiansen began making wooden toys. That's it, and that's all. Wood. Not plastic.

And to think he could have stuck to making useful products like ladders, and not switched to toys.

 

1 minute ago, Jack Sassy said:

Then Lego will be a kids app company?

If the kids of that era no longer want anything to do with plastic building bricks, and LEGO cannot survive by making adults' building brick sets, then yes.

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5 minutes ago, MAB said:

If the kids of that era no longer want anything to do with plastic building bricks, and LEGO cannot survive by making adults' building brick sets, then yes.

Then I want nothing to do with LEGO. EuroApps? The Brothers Game? ScreenLink?

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14 minutes ago, caiman0637 said:

Then I want nothing to do with LEGO. EuroApps? The Brothers Game? ScreenLink?

Yes, but then this would only happen if everyone that currently loves playing with plastic bricks suddenly stops buying plastic bricks. And there would be no need for any brick sites as nobody is interested in them any more.

 

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31 minutes ago, MAB said:

Yes, but then this would only happen if everyone that currently loves playing with plastic bricks suddenly stops buying plastic bricks. And there would be no need for any brick sites as nobody is interested in them anymore.

And you're okay with this happening?

1 hour ago, koalayummies said:

Eighty-nine years ago a carpenter named Ole Kirk Christiansen began making wooden toys. That's it, and that's all. Wood. Not plastic.

Lego was a lumber-based toy. The plastic bricks of today are causing brain rot; case in point: threads like this. :tongue: They have strayed too far from what they were.  :laugh: The sky is falling. The end is near.

87 years ago he chose to call it Lego, "derived from the Danish phrase leg godt [lɑjˀ ˈkʌt], which means "play well"." No mention of the medium, material or content. Just play well. Wood, metal,  plastic, rubber, video games. Play. Well.

You have a good point. But it saddens me to think that LEGO might be a video game company 50 years from now. 

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4 hours ago, caiman0637 said:

You need to understand that that's not what LEGO is. Kids can have as much fun with a pile of bricks as a game, and LEGO chose the brain-rotting option.

Well, if you're the parent, then only buy them what you approve of from TLG. It's simple!

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2 minutes ago, 1963maniac said:

Well, if you're the parent, then only buy them what you approve of from TLG. It's simple!

Yes, you're right. But what a waste of factory space.

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