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Predictions on Discontinuing Sets and their Secondary Market Value

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Comments

  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 10,154
    I would say check the previous comments in this thread as I believe this has been discussed, but the 6857 funhouse EOL from appearances, as it is sold out at LEGO.com but TRU in the US has them still. So Im guessing they can be found but they appear done.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    CCC said:

    You only need to stand next to the display of Ewok Village in a store to hear things like "that's so cool", "wow, can I get it?", "£200?", "no, you can have a smaller set".

    Ahh, but you see, it has done it's job...

    That is why you have such flagship sets, it is called the halo product effect. It brings in attention that no amount of $50 sets would ever do, regardless if it sells itself or not, it sells the $50 sets all day long.

    An updated DS Mk II with 1,000 more parts, priced 50% higher at $599, would still sell, maybe not as much, but it would be darn impressive.

    Have you actually seen DS built recently? It once was huge, but put it next to IS, SSD, EV, and it no longer looks quite so big.

    If you want to make it a new flagship, I'd make it 25% larger. Again, it matters not if it sells 10,000 units a year or 100,000 units a year, it only has to exist.
    FollowsCloselyvitreolum
  • DougoutDougout Member Posts: 888
    I am building up a decent Lego City collection for my town, but if it wasn't for the halo products I wouldn't even be buying Lego. It's all about the appeal and mystique of these exclusive sets, not the profits per unit. The flagship sets bring in customers, that is why Lego has a glass store front. People can stop to look at sets in the window, walk into the store, and buy something else.

    I hear Lego's #1 halo product of all time wasn't even that big of a seller, it just sat warming shelves until they decided to clearance them, and then everyone decided they wanted one. That would be the Millenium Falcon #10179
  • flyingpigflyingpig Member Posts: 119
    Taking a harder look at sales numbers, pageviews tripled on Thanksgiving of all days, before coming back down, sales were normal. Then on cyber monday pageviews doubled and actual sales also exploded. I wonder if this was just a fluke of how I priced things or something other people saw.
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,950
    Lego stores don't need any "flagships" to push their products, massive mocs and dioramas result in the exact same effect.
    jasor
  • BTHodgemanBTHodgeman Member Posts: 622
    ^I agree. Very similar to a loss leader or other marketing gimmick. It either gets people into the store OR gets their attention once they're already in the store. Then they're likely to buy it, something else, or it and something else!

    Brent
  • FollowsCloselyFollowsClosely Member Posts: 1,034
    No. Little Timmy can not buy the moc for $200. Once a parent sees a $500 set, a $50 set seams reasonable. The big and awesome needs to be available for a large amount of $$$
  • jasorjasor United StatesMember Posts: 839
    They dont need the "unattainable" set. Any number of sets ranging from 129.99 - 199.99 would work just fine to garner attention.

    What if DS is the last of it's kind? We have the "UCS" models staggering with "Large Playset."

    What if all the future incarnations are just that? "Large Playset." 199.99-249.99 cap like the EV or AA.
  • BTHodgemanBTHodgeman Member Posts: 622
    LEGO doesn't need a truly unattainable set (i.e. a million dollars!), but I strongly beleive that LEGO always needs to keep a few "aspirational" sets in their line-up.

    It's hard to have an aspirational product in the toy industry, but LEGO has done that very well. They offer a couple expensive, "high-end" sets, and it gives the masses (i.e. parents and 8-12 year-old boys!) something to dream of buying, creates publicity, provides a "WOW!" in the retail stores, etc.

    They may never actually buy it, but the fact that LEGO produces OTHER products that are associated with the one they dream of gives them satisfaction in buying any type of LEGO product...

    That's why companies like Coach, Louis Vuitton, etc. started selling crappy little accessories - keychains, business card holders, etc. etc. etc. Lots of people will never afford or be able to buy a $1000 purse or piece of clothing, but they aspire to, and end up buying whatever they *can* afford from that same brand.

    Brent
  • BrickarmorBrickarmor USAMember Posts: 1,257
    Is there not some sense in which Orthnac meets many of the criteria here, as a complete play set, half a UCS display, and halo product? #10228 as well, perhaps even more so since the transformation from display to play is accomplished with merely a few hinges.
  • RennyRenny USAMember Posts: 1,145
    Reminds me when I collected Masters of the Universe and M.A.S.K toys as a kid. I remember walking into the toy stores with my parents and seeing Snake Mountain, Castle Grayskull or Boulder Hill on display and thinking "Wow, I would love to play with that". Was always told it was too expensive and I would end up getting a figure or vehicle instead. Still, was always a goal of mine to own them one day, never did though :(

    I agree though that these flagship type toys/sets play an important role in getting people's attention and gain interest in a specific theme, or just get someone to stop, gaze at the storefront window and walk in.
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,950
    edited December 2013
    Magazine advertisements, mocs and cartoons play the marketing role, as well as the "storefront gaze" (mostly the mocs for that).

    The DS (and Ewok Village, SSD, etc.) is only going to be sold to either:

    a) An adult fan
    b) An adult fan with kids
    c) A reseller

    Maybe I'd throw spoiled rich kid in there too. The DS exists because those groups buy it, not because it's a prestige thing - that's only a value-add. If those groups didn't buy it, it wouldn't sell, nor would it exist as a set, but I bet you'd see a moc'd one in a storefront or two.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409

    Maybe I'd throw spoiled rich kid in there too.

    :) Your bias comes through when you phrase it like that...

    Frankly, a lot of the DS sets are going to, as you put it, "spoiled rich kids". It is indeed a big set to give to a 10 year old, but no more crazy than giving an iPhone/iPad to a 10 year old (which is happening a lot).

    To a percentage of the population (and it is much higher than 1%), $400 for the "ultimate LEGO set" is not as much as you'd think.
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,950
    I put it, because it is. Couch it in quotes all you want, but a kid getting a $400 Lego set is spoiled.
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,098
    I think we had this debate before. I'm on the side that the DS is overkill for a kids playset. As a parent I would be wary of investing in such a set that might wind up in thousands of pieces spread across a bedroom floor. Also a toy manufacturer could probably make the DS using large prefabbed pieces for a lot less money. I think it has sold well because of the AFOL factor. It would be interesting to see sales numbers since the exclusive pricing has gone into effect.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    ^ We have had the debate, and frankly it is just a series of opinions based on our own observations, so we're all right, from our own points of view. :)

    You would be wary of investing in DS as a parent because you probably don't spend $40,000 a month to live. If you live on $4,000 a month, that is a big, huge deal to you. If you spend $40,000 a month, or even $20,000 a month, it matters less.

    Now granted, the number of families living on $4K greatly outweigh the number living on $20K (much less $40K), but they are out there and in greater numbers than you might think.

    I have given our DS to my 8 year old son to play with, I'm not yet ready for him to just take it apart, but that day may come. Depends on if they do another one and what the price goes to. If it stays low, it is all his.
    FollowsCloselyDougoutchrisdojo
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,098
    I had a Death Star playset as a kid: http://underscoopfire.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/star-wars-death-star-playset.jpg
    I got a lot of enjoyment out of it and I'm sure it cost a fraction that the Lego version does. My point is that we're paying a premium in having a 4,000 brick set that is primarily designed for kids to play with.
  • cloaked7cloaked7 Member Posts: 1,448
    edited December 2013
    You can easily throw in PS3's, PS4's, Xbox consoles and games into the mix. Parents (myself included) will go all out at Christmas and may get that 1 expensive item for their child or children. Get something they would only get at Christmas. And, you don't have to be 'rich' to do so. Also, when we bought for our 2 sons we didn't go all out every year. That PS2, PS3 would last for years. Kids are only that special Santa age for a few years.
    margotTheBrickLadd
  • LootefiskLootefisk Member Posts: 67
    FWIW "spoiled rich kid" is in the eye of the beholder. Driving my beat up Chevy Blazer might make me a "spoiled rich kid" to the guy that has to walk 5 miles to work.

    Everything can be expensive and a bargain at the same time. It just depends on your background and your point of view.
    FollowsCloselyLegoFanTexasGoldfreekgmpiratechrisdojodougts
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    Lootefisk said:

    FWIW "spoiled rich kid" is in the eye of the beholder. Driving my beat up Chevy Blazer might make me a "spoiled rich kid" to the guy that has to walk 5 miles to work.

    Yep... I read somewhere that over half a billion people in India don't have indoor plumbing, they have to go outside to a well to get water, and use outhouses to, well, go...

    Probably without exception, everyone here is better off than that, so perhaps that is worth keeping in mind. :)
    Dougout
  • BuriedinBricksBuriedinBricks USAMember Posts: 1,367
    mathew said:

    I had a Death Star playset as a kid: http://underscoopfire.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/star-wars-death-star-playset.jpg
    I got a lot of enjoyment out of it and I'm sure it cost a fraction that the Lego version does. My point is that we're paying a premium in having a 4,000 brick set that is primarily designed for kids to play with.

    Oh man, I had that thing as a kid. We got it from friends whose kids had outgrown it. Hours of fun, even if it was super fragile.

  • piratemania7piratemania7 New EnglandMember Posts: 2,144
    Agreed. I think you have to look at the larger picture too. How many lego sets does it take to reach $400? Noooot as many as you think. We, as in, the west, are all loosing sight of what matters in life. At the end of the day we could spend a $1000 on Lego but if it is through the course of the year no one flinches an eye lash. But boy, wrap that up into a couple DS and maybe a TH? There is your grand! And everyone is up in arms. Ultimately? I fall on the side of working hard and rewarding yourself or others for doing just that. It's certainly not an every day occurrence to purchase such a set and I do not have it myself. Now, if we began talking about the DS like we did the FB I might go out and buy myself one but I digress...
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,098
    iccarus said:

    mathew said:

    I had a Death Star playset as a kid: http://underscoopfire.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/star-wars-death-star-playset.jpg
    I got a lot of enjoyment out of it and I'm sure it cost a fraction that the Lego version does. My point is that we're paying a premium in having a 4,000 brick set that is primarily designed for kids to play with.

    Oh man, I had that thing as a kid. We got it from friends whose kids had outgrown it. Hours of fun, even if it was super fragile.

    Yep, mine was broke as well. By some dumb kid I wasn't even friends with who crashed my birthday party. I remember my mom being ticked off.
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,098
    Sure it's easy to blow $400 on Lego. I was actually thinking of getting the Death Star this year as a big Christmas gift for myself and my boys (even if they are too young). But coupled with the lack of discount pricing on exclusives and the other sales on non-exclusives it wasn't in the picture. Maybe next year before it's discontinued... ; )
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,950
    edited December 2013
    I find the theories and comparisons I'm seeing interesting, but I still find it quite lacking when it comes to justifying any kid getting a $400 Lego set. 4x $100 Lego sets? Same thing. Like I said, it's not the kid getting it, it's really the dad who is (or mom in some cases), and he's finding it incredibly difficult not to spoil his kid. As for the kids learning values to offset any "spoiling" that may occur? There's far too many parents today with neither the time nor inclination to teach their kids the values extolled above, because that takes actual work. Spend a couple days playing a rated M game on Xbox Live or PSN to get a feel for how many parents have any idea what their kids are doing these days.

    I know it's a little hard to take. I suppose I could throw in a few disingenuous smileys and a few unnecessary line breaks to make it easier to swallow.
    jasor
  • Pacific493Pacific493 Member Posts: 379
    How G
    Lootefisk said:

    FWIW "spoiled rich kid" is in the eye of the beholder. Driving my beat up Chevy Blazer might make me a "spoiled rich kid" to the guy that has to walk 5 miles to work.

    Everything can be expensive and a bargain at the same time. It just depends on your background and your point of view.

    If the proverbial "Little Timmy" is a spoiled rich kid, is it ok to snatch every clearance set off the shelf just as he's reaching for them?

  • prevereprevere North of Bellville, East of Heartlake, South of Bricksburg, West of Ninjago City Member Posts: 2,923
    ^Yes, as long as you growl at him while you're doing it.
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,098
    edited December 2013
    Lest us not forget about "Little Kimmy". With Friends being uber popular there's just as much chance of her being screwed by those nasty resellers come Christmas. I actually saw a "little Kimmy" at Target last summer during their Lego clearance. And she wasn't holding a Friends set. She had a Black Gate set that was on clearance. She was really excited too.
    red5margot
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409

    I find the theories and comparisons I'm seeing interesting, but I still find it quite lacking when it comes to justifying any kid getting a $400 Lego set.

    I don't recall anyone trying to "justify" anything...

    There is, perhaps, no justification for any LEGO set, ever. What we "need" to survive is so basic that we all live somewhere above the "survival" line. So then it just becomes a series of comforts and wants.

    So is a $400 set for a kid overkill, but 4 different sets at $100 each not? Or are both overkill, and a single $50 set "better?

    I'd suggest that it is all different sides of the same coin, if the kid has food in his/her belly, a warm home to sleep in, clothes on his/her back, and is getting an education, then frankly it's all gravy past that point.

    So we're all spoiled, when looked at that way. It just becomes more or less spoiled depending on where on the line you happen to be standing.
    Lootefiskecmo47
  • doriansdaddoriansdad CTCMember Posts: 1,337
    @thelonetensor do you have any kids or are you just talking out of your you know what?
    TheBrickLadd
  • DougoutDougout Member Posts: 888
    I don't see anything wrong with spoiling a kid a little bit if they have been well behaved. There needs to be some rewards or incentives somewhere.
  • Farmer_JohnFarmer_John USA - 4,035 Miles from 62 West Wallaby St., Wigan, Lancashire, UKMember Posts: 2,404
    edited December 2013
    I grew up poor, got myself an education, earned some money, and now try to give my kids some of the "stuff" my family couldn't afford when I was growing up. We (my wife and I) are selective on the "stuff" we give them and try not to overdo it. Additionally, we use Lego for incentives related to school (CMFs). The kids also recognize that it's just "stuff," and that there are bigger things in life.

    That said, I am 100% behind any toy or game that makes thinking and being creative more fun for them. I figure if my kids learn to enjoy thinking and being creative, they'll more easily be able to provide their families someday...just as I do for mine. Lego products are toys that pass the "creativity" threshold for me...trust me...I've seen some pretty interesting stuff made out of those little plastic parts.
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,098
    So to get this thread back on track: Does anyone else feel foolish not buying multiples of the Architecture Studio for resale? It's going for $250+ currently on ebay. With all of the coupons B&N sent out I could have picked up a few extras to flip this year... if I would have known it would be popular. Just goes to show that you can't trust popular opinion here on Brickset.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    ^ It is one of those sets that you would expect to remain in stock at all times.

    One of the reasons it is so high is that not many people stocked up on it, the people selling it may simply have one or two extra copies, or decided to sell the only copy they have, hoping to replace it next year.

    If everyone saw it coming, then it probably wouldn't be doing all that well. :)
    madforLEGO
  • xeeeejxeeeej Member Posts: 71
    ^^ I picked up a handful from B&N and probably would have gotten more, but there just weren't that many out there to begin with. I suppose that should have been a sign.
  • TrenthTrenth Member Posts: 162
    I sold 7 of them. As I said earlier, it has been the biggest winner thus far for me.
  • BumblepantsBumblepants DFWMember Posts: 6,982
    Will be interesting to see if they make more. They might have started with limited quantities to test the waters for an Architecture set like that. Or maybe they will make a MKII version with different parts and booklet ideas down the line at some point.
  • vitreolumvitreolum RomaniaMember Posts: 1,406
    edited December 2013
    A 400$ set is for a family with a decent income the same thing a 20$ set is for a poor family. You would't buy your kid an Endor battlepack for Christmas when you can afford an Ewok Village without problem, same way you wouldn't buy yourself a entry level Hyundai when you can afford a top of the line Mercedes.

    On topic, looks like the cheapest Funhouse in EU right now is EUR 69 in BL. That looks promising. And obviously I sold my stash of 20 in one go a few months ago thinking I can get more. And obviously I can't. Yay, Burrow all over again.
  • gmpirategmpirate Member Posts: 1,654
    After reading these past couple pages, I'm still not clear on how much money I can spend on my kids before they are spoiled. From what I gather, $400 is definitely over the limit, but where is the starting point? And is there a time frame attached to this? Say no more than a certain dollar amount in a given month or year?

    Is it ok to combine a birthday and Christmas for a $400 set? Or what if they received Lego gift cards from different sources? Would that be ok since the funds didn't come from one source? Or is that just circumventing things?

    At first I thought, just flat out $400 is too much. But then I saw the post that stated four gifts totaling $400 isn't right either. But 2 for birthday and 2 for Christmas? That might not seem so bad, but what if they are in the same week? Too close together?
  • flyingpigflyingpig Member Posts: 119
    Studio will hit 400 later this month and is selling like hotcakes per sales rank. Food for thought.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,772

    I find the theories and comparisons I'm seeing interesting, but I still find it quite lacking when it comes to justifying any kid getting a $400 Lego set. 4x $100 Lego sets? Same thing. Like I said, it's not the kid getting it, it's really the dad who is (or mom in some cases), and he's finding it incredibly difficult not to spoil his kid.

    That is partly the point about whether sets could be split (where it makes sense).

    Mum and Dad buy set A $100
    Granny and Granpop buy set B $100
    Nan and Grandad buy set C $100
    Kids birthday money buys set D $100

    Would all four (well, it is more than four) club together to buy the entire thing? Often people don't want to chip in to buy part of a gift, they want to buy something self-contained.

    That's when 1x $400 set is different to 4x $100 sets.

    It does happen to some extent with the virtual collections - where you just get each set as part of a bumper package. And display instore or in a catalogue is not an issue - it can still be built and displayed as a super-set.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    ^ All true, but there are already 4 different $100 sets in Star Wars to do that with.

    Jabba's Palace
    Sail Barge
    AT-TE
    Republic Gunship

    There is no need to break up EV, the $100 price point is already very well covered (as is the $10, $20, and $50 price points)

    EV covers the $250 price point, DS and SSD cover the $400 price point.
  • vitreolumvitreolum RomaniaMember Posts: 1,406
    ^ Precisely. Why destroy a part of the market only to make create something you already have?

    And this cannot apply to any set, how would you split the DS in 4? Like cheese? Or the Imperial Shuttle? Sell one wing in a different box and the body in another? EW is an exception really in this respect. Something you can say about Battle for Endor as well, they could have sold the at in one box, the bunker in another and the rest as a battlpack.

    Not to mention you would get worse value if they did that, they would remove some elements for extra packing and instructions.

    And all this only to trick people into thinking that they are not paying $400 for a set.

  • hoyatableshoyatables Northern Virginia, USAMember Posts: 873
    The architecture studio is one newspaper article on "hot gift ideas" away from really exploding in value.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,772
    ^ Note the words WHERE IT MAKES SENSE.

    Of course it would be stupid to sell just a wing for a ship.

    The extra instructions doesn't really hold up, since most larger sets come with multiple instruction books anyway.

    You could equally well go the other way. For example, sell a tie fighter and X-wing in the same set, not separate. Or sell themed modulars in pairs (fire brigade next to a police station).

    And value needn't change either. Imagine if you could buy, using the example above, an X-wing for $50, a tie fighter for $50 or a (virtual, combined) battle pack containing them both for $90. You 'd get better value for the multiple purchase, but have the same product at two price points.
  • vitreolumvitreolum RomaniaMember Posts: 1,406
    edited December 2013
    I didn't read that part, just noticed you mentioned the $400 set and instantly thought of splitting the DS. :))

    Value NEEDN'T change, but it would. While expensive, those large set offer excellent value in terms of price/part compared to normal SW sets.

    As for combining several sets in one pack, they do that sometimes... but looking at their choices it seems they are doing that by including a poor set next to a desirable one to sell more copies of it (the lame skull truck next to the ice dragon or that strange 66368 with the landspeeder and two hoth battlepacks).
  • binaryeyebinaryeye USMember Posts: 1,734
    vitreolum said:

    Value NEEDN'T change, but it would. While expensive, those large set offer excellent value in terms of price/part compared to normal SW sets.

    Do they? Remember, these large exclusives can no longer be discounted, whereas non-exclusives can almost always be found for at least ~25% off at some point during their lifetime.

    Death Star at $400: ~10.5 cpp
    Ewok Village at $250: ~12.6 cpp
    X-Wing at $45: ~8.0 cpp
    TIE Fighter at $41: ~9.9 cpp
    CCC
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,950
    edited December 2013

    @thelonetensor do you have any kids or are you just talking out of your you know what?

    Second part first, of course I am talking out of that, like everyone else does - opinions and holes in the ground and all that.

    I do have kids, 8 and 5, and they have many friends, so I am pretty immersed in what K-3rd grade kids have and get for gifts. I'd consider my community smack dab in the middle of middle class also, with some of us higher than the average and others lower. I find it terribly difficult to not spoil the kids because I want them to be happy. The rub is that toys make them happy, so tons of toys should equate to tons of happiness right? Of course that's not true.

    @Farmer_John made a great point about the value of imagination these little bricks create, and that's something not to take lightly, which is why Lego (and other creative things) get a bit of a pass when it comes to indulgence. @vitreolum, you mentioned that buying Endor is ok if you can afford it. That's where I disagree. I could buy my kids 10 Endors and make an epic moon village, but I don't can't do that for the simple reason that they would be warped, and their friends would look at them as spoiled and be jealous and resentful. It happens a lot amongst the kids, especially when there's a good range of socioeconomic levels in their school. This has happened since the dawn of time and continues into adulthood, so it's nothing new.

    So, if your kid's friends all have Death Stars, then I guess getting your kid a DS wouldn't warp him much in the short term, but it would warp him a bit once he got into the real world and had to talk to whatever blue collar buddies he comes across and doesn't say something like "What do you mean you didn't have a Lego Death Star as a kid?!?!" and maybe get a fist in the face.

    And as always, this is all tempered by a parent's love and committment to helping the child understand how the world works and giving them the tools they need to handle themselves. Unfortunately, being exposed to seeing lots of parents of lots of kids, this kind of thing is more the exception than the norm these days. These are just my observations. If you disagree, please refer to my first paragraph up there.
    CCCGothamConstructionCosidersddroxiowagnerml2jasorgivmellismdellemany2josh
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