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Gee, that's a shame.
But no - I ended up buying four of these instead:
And hey, saved $10 too. Too bad for Lego I guess.
On that note - if it made a 10-pack of Duplo train switches available for anything resembling a reasonable price, I'd consider buying one. But even when it DID have a kit with switches, you only get two. What are you supposed to do with that?
Same for a 50 pack of Duplo straight track, or Duplo curved track, or maybe a few other Duplo things. But it doesn't.
Hardly the buying public's fault if Lego isn't producing what it wants.
This seller has 24 of them
That seller is also selling those sets for about $21/each...plus - I imagine - shipping, which is not going to be cheap from Germany. Ignoring the rest of the stuff in the set that I'm not interested in, that's $21 plus shipping for 2 switches - or roughly, $11/each - plus any shipping charges. With the link I posted, ignoring the extra piece (which I DO happen to what - but want to compare apples to apples), it's roughly $7.50 each. And shipping is free. If I want 4 switches, which I do, that's roughly $44 vs $30.
Now, truthfully, $14...meh...not really a big deal to be honest. It's just the principle of the thing. If I could buy from Lego, I'd buy from Lego. But since I can't - I'll buy from any source that I find attractive. For something like Duplo train tracks - I think it is unlikely that there will be any material quality difference. Certainly not one that is going to affect the enjoyment of my 2 year old who is the one playing with this stuff.
In any event - buying tracks from Bricklink instead of Funlock is unlikely to make any material difference to Lego.
It's not just too bad for Lego, for every person that takes your course of action, it's less money in TLG's coffers. As a company, they're in the game to make money, the less they make, the greater the chance they'll have to downsize, which can translate as less products on shelf &/or less variety of products.
It's not a need, it is a want, to declare it a need reeks of a seriously entitled attitude. I wanted to purchase the Minecraft sets the Village & the Witch's Hut, but unfortunately TLG chose to retire the sets before they went on sale here, so I missed out, that's on me, not TLG. If I want the sets now, I have to consider purchasing from the aftermarket at the going prices, or hope that my fellow bricksetter that lives in Queensland finds them up his way & we can come to some arrangement.
Don't like the way TLG is making a product available to you? Contact them, inform them that you would like a bulk track pack, but realise they are under no obligation to make the product available to you, the way you see fit. I'd like to be able to buy a 1,000 round 1x1 plates for AU$10 in any colour I want, but TLG don't do this, so I can choose to pay the price they're asking or hit up BrickLink, eBay, etc & see if I can get a better price from sellers there. You are not entitled to Lego products at the prices you deem acceptable, if you don't like the price I'd suggest wait & hope it goes on clearance, but as has clearly already happened to you, this means you run the risk of missing out.
You have legitimate alternatives to buying knock-offs, but you don't want to use legitimate alternatives? This is not justification, it's an excuse, a cop out. As for shipping from Germany being too expensive, it's cheaper than shipping from there to here, than from the US to here, but again it's an excuse to justify your purchasing of knock-offs.
I find this laughable, you post repeatedly about the price being too much, then turn around & claim it's not about the money, it's the principle, I'd post that Princess Bride "that word" meme, but memes aren't allowed on the forums anymore.
As for the quality? Do you work in quality control somewhere, are you QC inspector? No, then you are assuming the quality is the same, manufacturing standards are different in China, particularly for products meant primarily for the domestic market. Even if I was willing to buy knock-offs from China, I wouldn't gamble with stuff I intend for a 2 year old, even now, there are manufacturers over there using lead based paints & worse on products meant for children.
That BrickLink store had to purchase those products from TLG, either directly or indirectly, so some of the money ended up in TLG's coffers & when that BL store restocks, again TLG will see some of the coin, where as Funlock makes their own parts, so no money makes to TLG. The fact that TLG reps will direct people to BrickLink for replacement parts when a part is no longer in production, says different, otherwise, why don't they suggest Alibaba & the like for these parts?
But it's not about the price, it's the principle... It was available recently at retail & you didn't purchase, so now you have two legitimate choices or the option you picked, support the knock-off market & their IP theft, patent infringement & copyright/trademark breaching. Strong logic there, so were you actually intending to buy the legitimate product, or was the plan to wait until TLG retires the item so you can justify buy a knock-off product because of the evil aftermarket?
The real second hand stuff sells easily. I'm not sure about second hand knock-offs.
US seller that has 5 of the switches for $5 each. That's 4 for $20, plus shipping, but if you'd rather pay more for off-brand parts, continue to ignore Bricklink.
I had no idea they would axe such a useful little $20 set that is kinda critical to anyone wanting for their train to do much more than go around in a circle.
"TLG are under no obligation to make products available to you when you want them & at the price you've decided you want to pay."
So, no, they do not have an "obligation" to do those things, but it is in their best interests to do it as much as they can within their business model. If they do not listen to what consumers want (and I mean the actual target audience - parents of kids and kids), then their sales will decline and they will have a myriad of consequences to deal with. We're already seeing that now. The bottom line is that the VAST majority of people (not AFOLs) have ZERO brand loyalty to Lego. If Lego wants continual sales growth, then they need to figure out how to make competitive products at competitive prices.
Really? Please specify exactly what patent, what trademark and what copyright is infringed by someone producing Lego-compatible train tracks.
I did get, fairly recently, a box of Duplos locally on Craigslist that had two switches in it. If there were more such boxes to buy, I'd undoubtedly buy them. Duplo train stuff doesn't come up locally very often though - for whatever reason. A lot of other stuff does, but not that stuff.
I don't think it is accurate to say I "ignore" Bricklink. I check it out all the time. I just find it difficult to use and end up not buying anything.
I highly doubt that 1,400 people will be in agreement with you.
If the 1400 people referenced above want to complain about something, they'd be more reasonable to focus their efforts on the family that OWNS the company and decided to keep $2B for themselves and/or $2B for themselves is not enough, rather than blaming Lego's competitors.
Development costs, advertising, paying to be independently audited, paying decent wages in countries with high labour costs etc. Without Lego innovating you wouldn't gave the likes of Lepin able to rip them off.
No way i'd risk a toddler's health with suspiciously cheap toys that meet no internationally recognised standards such as "CE". That counterfeit Duplo could be full of Cadmium, Lead or other noxious substances, it could be brittle and liable to break into shards - and Duplo often ends up in little ones' mouths.
In the same vein I wouldn't put suspiciously cheap alloys of questionable origin on my car that might fracture or shatter if they go over a pothole. Worth paying for peace of mind.
There's one I could dig up with minimal effort. TLG has patented a good number of their parts & after the fiasco with the patents for the original SYSTEM bricks, they have taken more care to keep patents active & pursue legal action against those violating their patents. China a big issue for TLG, as they often refuse to acknowledge patents filed in other countries & allow local corporations to file identical patents in their country, so patent enforcement has been an issue. This is why you can buy those knock-off track elements from China, but no companies are making them locally.
I think overall, if you're going to be critical of a company, there are other less environmentally, socially and fiscally responsible companies to direct your attention. Part of maintaining a healthy company is managing growth or the lack thereof. I'm happy that LEGO cuts (and increases) their workforce if that ensures long-term stability.
Nice attempt to conflate the issue though, we both know that my comment wasn't about customer feedback from the average consumer, it was about the rants from perpetually entitled man-child AFOLs.
*insert meme of stormtroopers beating a lepin horse*
(lepin = dead)
I tried that a while back. Clearly it didn't work :(
The patent cited doesn't cover Duplo track switches - which is the subject of my above posts. In any case - by your own admission, they're not violating any patents according to the law in China.
I'm not complaining about TLG letting people go. I only said that things were not going well (or as well as TLG would like) and that we are seeing the consequences of that. How is that untrue? I read the 2017 annual report when it was released and it says that 2017 was a difficult year and changes had to be made which are being made. Do I hope they are successful? Absolutely.
Admission? What admission?!? Again, please show some basic logic skills. I gave you first active example of a Duplo track piece patent I came across, out of 100 odd patents relating to Duplo parts, but because I didn't hand you the exact patent relating to the Duplo piece you've given a loose reference to, that means I'm wrong, you're right & you win? I need an extra arm right about now, so I can triple facepalm...
All companies want to increase market share; Customer loyalty; revenue; profits; etc. Companies compare results to forecasts, so when results meet or beat forecasts, then they are indeed happy. When they fall below, then they are not. TLG's numbers fell below forecasts, prompting the structural changes we have been seeing.
$2 Billion in pre-tax profit for their private shareholders. I think they are doing just fine.
Good lord, man. Lamenting? Really? Way to twist words into something that they were not. Did Lego have a banner 2017? According to Lego, not some random guy on the internet, they did not. That is a fact. What you or I think about Lego's performance is not relevant to Lego.
And you did point out that those folks aren't happy about being downsized.
Anywya, given the TRU bankruptcy and loss of thousands and thousands of jobs, LEGO's performance looks more like feigning than real financial trouble.
(That was my point - of which I happen to think we agree.)
Who knows - maybe LEGO is already anticipating a downturn because of the uncertainly with TRU. We all should anticipate that earnings will be down in 2018 when TRU isn't available during the Christmas Retail Season.
The TRU situation will certainly have an impact. Hopefully TLG can develop some new partnerships to replace that one.