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Predictions on Discontinuing Sets and their Secondary Market Value

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  • brickupdatebrickupdate Member Posts: 1,020
    I thought we heard several confirmations from LEGO Store managers and employees that Emerald Night was definitely retiring. I agree with @Farmer_John that a company of this size, with so many product lines and shelf space, isn't going to redo their entire product strategy to fit in a set that sold an extra 5,000 units in December. Their product roadmap is much bigger than that. But now the choice is... do we buy more $100 Emerald Nights from Lego.com...
    :)
    -Dan
  • dremel99dremel99 Member Posts: 123
    "Either they planned to keep the EN originally or they found several more pallets to sell and still plan to EOL it in the near future."

    Well if they found a couple more pallets then I would think it would be ready to ship right away. I think they never did intend to discontinue if more are being produced to ship Jan. 7th.

  • Farmer_JohnFarmer_John USA - 4,035 Miles from 62 West Wallaby St., Wigan, Lancashire, UKMember Posts: 2,404
    @Farmer_John I went grocery shopping at Walmart tonight, and checked several PotC and Harry Potter sets (my best bet for a clearance at this store, since the have zero PoP and Toy Story by now), but they were all RRP. This store is selling well this December, and I don't think they'll put anything on clearance before the 26th.
    I agree...if they are still charging full price for Christmas lights, then Legos will be up there too. The sales I'm referring to are after Christmas. WMT always has those "mark down aisles" that have miscellaneous red tagged stuff. There are always Legos in those aisles after Christmas. Last year it was Atlantis, Bionicles, a couple SW, Hero Factory, and misc. City. Probably the stuff that particular store didn't move and needed to get rid of. Now that I think of it, we have two WMTs in our area. One is great for picking up cheap lego sets even a couple weeks after Christmas (the one I've been referring to) and the other is tough to find anything at all (much less Legos) in the red tag aisles. The latter is the busier of the two.
  • Farmer_JohnFarmer_John USA - 4,035 Miles from 62 West Wallaby St., Wigan, Lancashire, UKMember Posts: 2,404
    edited December 2011
    "Either they planned to keep the EN originally or they found several more pallets to sell and still plan to EOL it in the near future."

    Well if they found a couple more pallets then I would think it would be ready to ship right away. I think they never did intend to discontinue if more are being produced to ship Jan. 7th.
    Good point...

    The EN is still for sale in other parts of the world, right? Let's say Lego is wanting to EOL this product as soon as possible world-wide (not just in the USA). The USA is a hot market right now for this set (ask Amazon). If the pallets are located in Europe, it will take until at least January 1st to get them here through their normal delivery channels.

    If they do plan to continue, they now have to compete with four other train sets they sell AND those underselling them for the EN in the aftermarket. Plus they aren't shipping until after Christmas, so they get to kiss off the rest of the most active sales season. Ultimately, sales of the EN from Lego are going to go down.

    I believe the set is EOL.
  • dremel99dremel99 Member Posts: 123
    Yes, I didn't think about maybe having stock overseas. Who knows, I guess we will find out soon what is happening.
  • Farmer_JohnFarmer_John USA - 4,035 Miles from 62 West Wallaby St., Wigan, Lancashire, UKMember Posts: 2,404
    It's been a long and good run for the EN, but all good things come to an end. There are just too many good sets to be had from Lego and all of them can't be sustained forever.

    I'm with you and am looking forward to the after-Christmas sale (which will answer a lot of questions)!
  • MinifigsMeMinifigsMe Member Posts: 2,844
    EN is still sold out in the UK
  • coolpixcoolpix Member Posts: 357
    Despite everything I said, I do believe EN is EOL. It's been out for quite some time, and Maersk train is it's replacement on the "exclusives" line. That does not mean that they didn't an inventory of emerald green parts at Billund and found out that they coud put together another 1000 sets without the need of making new parts, and decided to put together the sets to ship in January. I think that would be a lot more reasonable than a "lost pallet". I think they are too much organized to have pallets lost on their warehouses. Plus these sales will probably be online only. I don't see this set coming back to LEGO stores. Anyway... we'll see in a few days and weeks what will unfold.
  • BTHodgemanBTHodgeman Member Posts: 622

    One thing I did the other day: They had a small Atlantis set on clearance in a store for $4.00. Only 3 of them. All other stores had it at the SRP of $9.99. What I did? I bought a bunch of sets for $9.99 and returned them at the store that was clearing them out for $4.00. I was able to buy them back for $4.00 almost immediately, saving $5.99 per set! A lot of work, but it paid off to know that's possible to do, if you have plenty stores around with different items on clearance. This works at Target too, just be careful when returning at Target, because if the item is marked as NCF, or does not show up on the store's inventory anymore, you may not be able to buy it back.
    The other thing to be careful with Target is that if an item is being reduced on the "seasonal clearance schedule," if you were to return it AND the item has undergone further clearance, you will receive the lower price despite having paid more.

    Example: You buy a full-price LEGO Polybag for $3.99. It goes to 50% clearance. You will only receive $1.99 back.

    That policy technically *only* applies to seasonal merchandise, and is in effect to prevent people from "renting" Halloween costumes, Christmas trees, etc. You could probably pretty easily make an argument that a LEGO toy is NOT a seasonal item, but they could make the counter-argument that it is on the "seasonal clearance schedule."

    Brent

  • coolpixcoolpix Member Posts: 357
    Good point. I never knew that about Target. That makes sense though. Imagine people saving the Christmas Tree receipt and returning it on Dec 26th for a full refund? By the regular store's return policies I believe you can, so it makes sense to have a seasonal policy.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 10,170
    edited December 2011
    ... But now the choice is... do we buy more $100 Emerald Nights from Lego.com...
    :)
    -Dan
    UGH Im done buying EN's... at least that is what I am telling myself unless they wind up having stock for the Christmas sale...
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    I'm also done, unless they are really discounted...

    There is a deal right now on Public Transport on TRU for 25% off plus a free holiday polybag plus free shipping, worth picking up one or two of them, I think it is going out this year as well.
  • coolpixcoolpix Member Posts: 357
    edited December 2011
    "Methinks" too. Public transport has "Retired" written all over it :-)
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    But I'm not going to buy one, I swear...
  • coolpixcoolpix Member Posts: 357
    edited December 2011
    I think you should. This set will probably increase in value, not as much as the exclusives, but it does not hurt to have 4 or 5 of these to resell at a later date, if you don't have any yet. I just think it will not go up as fast as EN or IF, but will go.

    I think the LEGO stores will have this at 50% on the 26th, and I plan to get at least 2. One for myself, another to sell.
  • kylejohnson11kylejohnson11 Member Posts: 508
    @coolpix keep both for yourself. On EuroBricks there is a thread about adding power functions to the blue tram. It takes two to do it.
  • OdinduskOdindusk Member Posts: 763
    I've been tempted by the Public Transport set, and I don't even collect City. Looks and feels unique enough to be worth grabbing one to stash away. Like the bank set.
  • coolpixcoolpix Member Posts: 357
    @kylejohnson11 humm... interesting. I think I need to visit EuroBricks more often. :-) Plus I can have extras of the platforms, green bus and the yellow car.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    City Garage surprised me... It is up to $180 or so on Amazon. We only have one of them, built of course, bought last year. :)

    Oh, ok, fine... I'll buy a few Public Transports... free polybag never hurts either... but if [email protected] has them for 50% off, I'm going to be grumpy. :)

    The funny thing is, I don't know what is left to mark down to 50% on [email protected], besides 10215. Almost everything else that was on sale for 25% off on Brick Friday is gone now, with perhaps the exception of 8404.
  • Pacific493Pacific493 Member Posts: 379
    I will be surprised if Lego has as deep of a 50% off sale as it did last year. From watching Lego for the past few years, my sense is that Lego really misjudged their inventory needs last year and got caught holding a lot of excess inventory, which prompted the 50% Christmas sale. Maybe I'm wrong, but I'm not holding my breath for as profound a sale this year as we saw last year.
  • avoiceoreasonavoiceoreason Member Posts: 224
    the rise in sales with the set at full retail price would cause it to stick around for longer, because someone at TLG would think: "Top dollar item, rise in sales before Xmas, then it's a WINNER! Let's keep it for another year!".
    While I don't necessarily believe this is true, I can almost guarantee that this won't become common practice at TLG. Why? This is probably the first "big" year for speculators IMO. Granted there have always been some, and last year you saw some after CC prices skyrocketed, but there are a lot, and I'm guessing a whole lot, more speculators running around this Christmas season.

    If TLG suddenly starts producing another batch of ENs, they are likely going to sit on the shelves for a long time. This takes up shelf space in both stores and warehouses and is negative working capital that could be put to better use elsewhere. So if they do it this year, I think they will quickly put two-and-two together and understand that the sales spike they are so eager to exploit is simply speculators, and that the sales spike will evaporate immediately on another production run.

    Bottom line: if TLG does it this year, I bet they don't do it next year.
  • cbaker1974cbaker1974 Member Posts: 150
    I also think that this year's after Christmas sale at [email protected] may be a bit of a dud...the sets it does have will be smaller for sure. Honestly that is not much different than last year, but I think a lot of people got caught up in the hype machine when Green Grocer and Grand Carousel were listed in the sale but never available. There may be a few pieces here or there found in a warehouse of some larger sets, but they will be gone seconds after the sale starts.

    The better bet is to hit up the in-store sale if you have a Lego shop nearby. For the average buyer it will be a nice sale, but even judging by last year which was a very good sale, it's not going to be raining Grand Emporiums or anything like that. Midrange sets that are modestly popular seem to be the norm there...something like Cad Bane's speeder for example.

    Head over to brickupdate's blog (http://www.brickupdate.com) to get an idea of what it looked like last year.
  • Farmer_JohnFarmer_John USA - 4,035 Miles from 62 West Wallaby St., Wigan, Lancashire, UKMember Posts: 2,404
    edited December 2011
    I completely agree...it does not make good business sense and TLG will get stuck with everyone else.
  • Farmer_JohnFarmer_John USA - 4,035 Miles from 62 West Wallaby St., Wigan, Lancashire, UKMember Posts: 2,404
    I completely agree...it does not make good business sense and TLG will get stuck with everyone else.
    I was referring to @avoiceofreason's post above.
  • Pacific493Pacific493 Member Posts: 379
    the rise in sales with the set at full retail price would cause it to stick around for longer, because someone at TLG would think: "Top dollar item, rise in sales before Xmas, then it's a WINNER! Let's keep it for another year!".
    While I don't necessarily believe this is true, I can almost guarantee that this won't become common practice at TLG. Why? This is probably the first "big" year for speculators IMO. Granted there have always been some, and last year you saw some after CC prices skyrocketed, but there are a lot, and I'm guessing a whole lot, more speculators running around this Christmas season.

    If TLG suddenly starts producing another batch of ENs, they are likely going to sit on the shelves for a long time. This takes up shelf space in both stores and warehouses and is negative working capital that could be put to better use elsewhere. So if they do it this year, I think they will quickly put two-and-two together and understand that the sales spike they are so eager to exploit is simply speculators, and that the sales spike will evaporate immediately on another production run.

    Bottom line: if TLG does it this year, I bet they don't do it next year.
    I tend to doubt that speculators account for a huge amount of lego's annual sales., particularly with the larger sets. Based on what we can discern about amazon's inventory alone, TLG must be selling tens of thousands of certain sets each year and I find it hard to believe that a significant percentage of those sales are for speculation. It may seem like a huge number on a forum like this, but when you compare it to all of the sales that take place everyday of every year on amazon.com, [email protected], tru.com, and tru brick and mortar, I would wager that the number of speculation sales is not much more than a blip on TLG's balance sheet given the enormous amount of profit that they generate each year.
  • dremel99dremel99 Member Posts: 123
    edited December 2011
    You have to think about how many speculators are here on this forum, not many compared to worldwide. Look how many sets just this small group of speculators on this forum buy. A lot. Now times this by many 1000's worldwide. I think AFOL/speculators account for a large chunk of annual sales. jmo.
  • Pacific493Pacific493 Member Posts: 379
    You have to think about how many speculators are here on this forum, not many compared to worldwide. Look how many sets just this small group of speculators on this forum buy. A lot. Now times this by many 1000's worldwide. I think AFOL/speculators account for a large chunk of annual sales. jmo.
    I'm not convinced. If speculators accounted for a large percentage of TLG's sales, there would be no money to be made in secondary sales unless price increases came from speculators selling to other speculators. My opinion is that the overall consumer market for toys in general and Lego in particular is much larger than most of us could comprehend. Even if you had a few thousand ENs being held for speculation. That would be a drop in the bucket of total EN sales worldwide throughout the life of the set. I am not saying that there aren't a lot of speculators, but it is a fairly specialized segment of the market. Perhaps the next few years will show whether we have reached the tipping point when there become so many speculators selling into the secondary market that EOL sets are no longer rare and do not rise in price much, if at all. I suspect we will hit that sooner or later if we haven't already, but I still think that the secondary sales market is orders of magnitude smaller than TLG's primary retail market.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    Lego is on track to sell 220 million sets this year...

    I have a hard time believing that even 1% of that is resellers/speculators...
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,659
    ^ Agreed.
  • brickupdatebrickupdate Member Posts: 1,020
    About a year ago I read some statistic about how much of LEGO sales were from AFOLs. It was dramatically smaller than one would have thought. I don't have the data (should have kept the link!), so I can't back this up.

    I will say, that when I got to a LEGO Store, it is PACKED with kids, and many parents buying stuff. Sure, I may buy more per transaction on sale stuff. But think about how many families are out there with 2 kids buying stuff at full retail.
  • dremel99dremel99 Member Posts: 123
    As reported on MSNBC here is a statement from Lego,

    "Adult fans — who hold conventions, organize group meetings, and buy and trade bricks online — account for roughly 5 percent of Lego sales, says Michael McNally, Lego's North American director of brand relations. They represent the first and second generations of Lego users; although the Danish company dates back to 1932, the plastic Lego brick did not debut in the United States until the mid-'60s."



  • brickupdatebrickupdate Member Posts: 1,020
    Thanks @dremel99. So if 5% of the total LEGO market is AFOLs, then what percentage of that number are people who actively buy multiples of sets as some of us on here do. Clearly, a much smaller number.

    Now clearly, balancing this out are those who spent $30,000 on last year's Dec 26th sale (I heard reports from someone who did this.) or those who max out the 50% off discount on Black Friday up to $5,000.

    It's actually interesting to consider those special VIP invites that went out in November for about 10 or so big customers per LEGO Store. How many thousands of transactions does LEGO do in a month at each store, where only 10 AFOLs were invited back as VIPs?

    Thanks.
    -Dan
  • tk79tk79 Member Posts: 329
    edited December 2011

    It's actually interesting to consider those special VIP invites that went out in November for about 10 or so big customers per LEGO Store. How many thousands of transactions does LEGO do in a month at each store, where only 10 AFOLs were invited back as VIPs?

    Thanks.
    -Dan
    I wasn't aware that those special invites around Black Friday were so limited...just 10 per store, is that right? Not sure why I would have received one (unless I'm thinking of something else...it was an envelope with a red fake wax seal). I haven't been to the Lego store closest to me yet, weird.

  • vman100vman100 Member Posts: 13
    On EN maybe not retiring, keep in mind Winter Toy Shop was retired and then came back to life. Wouldn't be completely unprecedented for a set to come back...
  • brickupdatebrickupdate Member Posts: 1,020
    @tk79 I will have to check the threads to confirm that number. I remember reports from that morning being numbers such as 10 - maybe has high as 20.

    @vman100 Very true about Winter Toy Shop. Being part of a series, I wonder if they did so for the same reasons that the modular line succeeded - to show people they need to "collect them all!"

    -Dan
  • avoiceoreasonavoiceoreason Member Posts: 224
    I agree with everyone that speculators aren't a large percentage of TLG sales on an annual basis. However, the context of my comment above was in relation to someone conjecturing that the spike in sales recently of some sets (DS, EN) might lead TLG to do another production run.

    And while the speculators may not be a large % of total annual sales, I would venture that they could be a large percentage of a specific single sets sales during a specific period in time (i.e. right now). Of the last 1,000 EN at Amazon/Target, I would be willing to bet speculators were a relatively large percentage of those sales. And how long had those 1,000 ENs been sitting there before the frenzy started (in part perpetuated by this forum/thread)?

    So it wouldn't be beyond comprehension that TLG could say, "wow, EN (or DS or whatever) is really selling well this holiday season, let's do another production run." They may be thinking of the market much like many of you are, i.e. that speculators are a very small portion, and therefore missing that they are actually a large portion of the sales jump on the particular product they are assessing.

    Which brings me back to my original point that if TLG extends a production run based on sales this year they won't do it again. As the extra inventory sits on shelves through 1Q12, they will at some point understand that the spike in sales wasn't attributable to true end market demand.
  • dremel99dremel99 Member Posts: 123
    If someone already mentioned this then disregard, but Emerald Night is showing as Sold Out again on S&H
  • avoiceoreasonavoiceoreason Member Posts: 224
    edited December 2011
    I was at my local Lego store today and saw something I've never seen before. Bare shelves. They had no DS, EN, WTS, IF, FB, AT-OT, only one GE, and no HP other than Diagon Alley. Wow.
  • DavidRod8DavidRod8 Member Posts: 143
    My store wasn't as bad, but it was pretty empty too. I got an at-at and a few wedding sets. Enand IF are all gone.... Surprised to see 10215 still with 25% off tag
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    If Lego doesn't have people smart enough to understand that a spike in sales at the end of supply is just that, a spike due to resellers, then they need new management.

    They should know darn well that the last few pallets will be bought by resellers, that doesn't mean you do another production run.

    Lego thinks much bigger than this, they are (or should be) much more worried about the 500,000 Dino sets they'll sell this month rather than the 10,000 EN sets they "might sell" if they made them.
  • BTHodgemanBTHodgeman Member Posts: 622
    I was at my local Lego store today and saw something I've never seen before. Bare shelves. They had no DS, EN, WTS, IF, FB, AT-OT, only one GE, and no HP other than Diagon Alley. Wow.
    My LEGO store, as of this morning, had more stock than ever, with very little duplication.

    I suspect they'll get hit pretty hard this weekend, so I'll be going back next week to see what may be in stock for the Dec 26 sale.

    Brent
  • cbaker1974cbaker1974 Member Posts: 150
    I agree that the amount of sales by speculators is small...I've seen plenty of folks buying the large sets for their kids at the Lego Store. I've also seen tons of adults buying 1 of the large sets seemingly for themselves...I have yet to run into another "Lego Speculator" like myself at my local retail store, or at any of the TRU, Targets, or Wal-Marts after many trips. I know there is at least 1 in my area though due to buying patterns of slowly moving older sets at one TRU I visit...I live in one of the top 10 largest metro areas of the country.

    On the other hand, the number of Lego Speculators on this forum is high, and I think that tends to inflate the view of folks who read and post in these forums as to the overall amount of Lego speculation. This forum and other online Lego discussion forums do not at all represent the general population...we are the "extreme of the extreme"...already in a select group of people because we are AFOL, and then an even more select group as community members who are into their Lego hobby enough to visit these forums each day. In the end it's a tiny portion of the population, even a tiny portion of the AFOL population. Where else would lego speculators congregate? There's only 1 other forum I know where folks have talked openly about investing and even there it is limited to a thread or two...it should logically follow that a lego investor is well connected online (to find sales) and therefore a lot of them happen to be here since this is where the discussion is at.

    True, there are lurkers here not posting who are also investing at the levels at LFT is (I purchase similar amounts), but even if it is 10:1, or 100:1, the total number of sets bought by speculators is small. The tales of folks making $30,000 purchases after Christmas are great, but the number of people actually doing business at this level is very small, and I think bricklink inventories bare that out. Additionally, if you look at eBay sales over the past year (if you have a market research tool), you see that eBay has the capacity to absorb thousands of these retired sets selling at double or triple MSRP.

    People saving 1,2, even 5 of a set to resell is just a drop in the bucket...I think if you see an uptick in the number of folks buying 50-100+ sets of the same item for resell then that could really effect the market, but I have serious doubts about the number of people buying at that level worldwide running this as a true business. However, the more and more lego investing is talked about, the more a chance of that happening.
  • Ma1234Ma1234 Member Posts: 693
    You have to think about how many speculators are here on this forum, not many compared to worldwide. Look how many sets just this small group of speculators on this forum buy. A lot. Now times this by many 1000's worldwide. I think AFOL/speculators account for a large chunk of annual sales. jmo.
    They don't. LEGO even said not long ago that AFOLs are a minuscule part of its business, accounting for less than <5% of sales,

  • BTHodgemanBTHodgeman Member Posts: 622
    That person has 0 feedback. Yipes!

    Brent
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    I was in the Lego store tonight...

    I watched for an hour while I was talking to the staff and picking out some items...

    I think that 95% of their business really is just parents buying stuff for the kids, I watched a number of older ladies (clearly grandmas) come in with printed e-mails asking the staff for "these items here", the staff picked them out and started to explain what they were, the nice ladies just said "would you please just bag them up for me, they are for my grandchildren". They didn't know or care what they really were, they were just buying what they were told to, probably by Mom and Dad. ;)

    One lady was there buying several HP sets for her kids for Christmas, another person bought a bunch of Ninjago stuff for his son, it was interesting to watch.

    I did get more Pick-A-Brick boxes, they still have those. Now I just have to find people who would like a few extra PAB boxes for use after the 25th... Hmm, now where would I find such people? :)

    Back to the topic at hand, I will say that I took the last four 4840 sets off the wall, those are now gone from that store and won't come back. The assistant manager there tonight actually was very happy to have me clear a few items from the shelf (I took all the remaining 5866 & 5765 as well) because they have SuperHeroes and Friends coming next week and need the shelf space for them, those older items weren't really selling anyway and they would rather display the new good stuff.

    So I can say that there ARE times a retail WANTS you to take all they have, when it is EOL items that they need the room for anyway, in this case they were perfectly happy with it. I did ask (as I always do) if they wanted me to leave a few of each and they said no, please take it all.

    I did pickup some more Wedding Sets, so if anyone wants one for trade, I'm happy to do so.
  • BrickDancerBrickDancer Dunes of TatooineMember Posts: 3,639
    How long do you think the Wedding Sets will be around?
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    The Wedding Set is sold out @ [email protected]
  • BrickDancerBrickDancer Dunes of TatooineMember Posts: 3,639
    Hmm... I loaded up on only 3 this weekend (1 on display also). Not sure if should pick up more.

    LFT: When do you expect they will go EOL?
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