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Compare this to what happened before, that wasn't a loss of a licence it was the collapse of a licence (essentially). Yup, that could happen again, but now the success and variety of different licences and own lines make it so much less damaging if they have a lone ranger type debacle with a currently successful line.
I doubt Disney would opt to stop utilizing third parties for toy production - Hasbro, Lego...
And if it were that simple, explain to me why the Barbie-themed MegaBloks are nowhere near as succesful as Friends. Or why Kre-O is on life support...
Also, if you think the LEGO Group doesn't think about these "what ifs", you are doing them a great disservice. They think about all kinds of what ifs, up to and including if they lose their plastic and dye suppliers. What makes you think the possibility of losing a major licensing partner has not crossed their radar? That very possibility is probably why the last time the LEGO Star Wars license was renewed a few years ago, it was renewed for ten years (a much longer time than a typical license agreement).
LEGO would definitely take a big hit if they somehow lost their biggest licenses, but because they have so many other non-licensed lines to depend on, it would almost certainly be a hit they could recover from, unlike in 2003 when almost every theme they had was losing money.
And there's not the slightest reason to think the LEGO Group is manufacturing too many part types. They produce far fewer elements per year than they did back in their crisis years. Back in 2004, they produced over 14,000 elements per year. Nowadays they produce only around 6,000 per year and they keep that number closely in check. Designers generally cannot put any new element into production without taking another element OUT of production.
Oh, and regarding the LEGO Ideas "controversies" you mention: you'd have to be completely clueless to think the Helicarrier set was in any way ripped off of the Ideas project, or that it even COULD have been. The final Helicarrier set was officially revealed in January 2015, while the Ideas project was created in May 2014. A set this large and complex cannot be designed in just seven months. Even ordinary-sized sets generally start development at least 18 months before their date of release (so, a typical LEGO designer today is currently working on 2017 sets).
Also, the Helicarrier set scarcely resembles the LEGO Ideas proposal, which even in its updated form from July 2014 would have been much larger and needed more than twice as many pieces. So it's not even like the MOCist (who never built the model physically and probably doesn't even have a clue if it could support its own weight) could have saved the LEGO Group a meaningful amount of time with his initial concept. If incoherent conspiracy theories like that were enough to bring down the LEGO Group then there's nothing in the world they could do to save their business.
Again, please read Brick by Brick. The things that led LEGO to near-bankruptcy are specific, well-understood mistakes that they are now extremely diligent about avoiding. I'm not sure you entirely understand what many of those mistakes even were.
i cant imagine a scenario where Disney pays Lego anything. Why would they ?
I just think that there are parallels between now and back then, with additions of poor part quality and the rising set prices, I see LEGO potentially having issue quicker than most think. Brick by brick or not.
However, non-licensed products let the LEGO Group keep more of the revenue from each sale since they don't have to pay royalties. This is part of why Bionicle came about in the first place. The LEGO Group saw that the rich, character-driven story of Star Wars helped them sell a lot of products, so they decided to develop their own intellectual property so they could reap the benefits of that kind of story without the drawbacks of paying royalties on each product sold. "Big bang" themes like Ninjago are based on the same principle.
As you can see, it's a trade-off. How long LEGO holds onto a license often has to do with whether they think that trade-off is working in their favor.
While the LEGO Group likes themes that can sell video games, video game sales (and media sales in general) aren't a huge source of revenue for them. In fact, a big part of the video games' purpose is just to help advertise the sets, which are where the big money is made. Same goes for other LEGO-branded media like storybooks, cartoons, etc, for both licensed and non-licensed themes.
They're not sexy, but they still sell very, very well.
The time frame for ebay is minimum 14 days and amazon is maximum 30 days to notify you!
For the Uk this is
Extended Christmas Returns Policy
We've specially extended our returns period for the Christmas season. Items dispatched by Amazon.co.uk during the period from 1 November, 2015 to 31 December, 2015 inclusive may be returned at any time before midnight on 31 January, 2016. Our returns policy will revert to the standard 30-day period for items dispatched after 31 December, 2015.
That's for amazon themselves. Not for Marketplace sellers...
Please note that this doesn't apply to mobile phones with contracts or items sold and fulfilled by Sellers on Amazon Marketplace
A 20% restocking fee and buyer paying return shipping deters a lot of nonsense. Also, if the set is not in the same condition (ie they have opened it and assembled it). It's also why I don't fool with Amazon.
You are correct with the postage except in circumstances of faulty/damaged where you the seller is expected to foot the bill
The returns policy offered by Marketplace Sellers must be equivalent to or better than the returns policy offered by Amazon.co.uk.
... and that means better for the customers, not the sellers, of course.
Not including their holiday policy. Hence I put it back to you, you're wrong. The statement I have posted is a direct copy and paste from amazon for the 'Holiday' time sellers!
Ps, Given I'm quite a big seller on Amazon uk/ebay uk I'm quite well versed in their rules!