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Actually, my assumption is that I personally do not subscribe to the theory that Lego, is so unimaginative, that they couldn't possibly come up with a set that would sell better than a revamp....a revamp for a line that puts out only one set a year. Yes, I do assume that Lego has the ability to make a well-done set that would entice those that would have bought a Toy Shop to instead buy a brand new winter set.
It is why I qualified with 'well-done'.
Do I think Toy shop would do better than the Winter market they put out? Probably, but I also do not consider the market a well-done set. Do I think a well-done new winter set would sell better? Yup.
Now, I do completely agree that my above assumption could be wrong, because yes, they did put out some 'eh' sets in the winter line. At the same time, we do not know the directive Lego designers receive... is it to make sets that will sell better than the last sets in a theme, or make a set that will sell and that makes the theme more cohesive and explore various facets of a theme or something else.
I already said that I thought it might be difficult to create another Winter Village set. It rather depends how TLG see the theme. Sure, you can add all sorts of things, but they may not have wanted to go in any of those directions. If that was so, they might've been intending to kill off the series.
However, there's been quite a bit of talk about re-releasing collectibles - like Cafe Corner and this set But talk doesn't turn into profits. So rather than just kill off the Winter Village line, TLG use it, one last time, to see what happens if they release modified retired collectibles. It would be a lot less risky to do it with Toy Shop than Cafe Corner, because it's only available for a short space of time, and it's smaller. For this set, the changes almost seem contrived, but for Cafe Corner, there have been quite a few comments that it would have to be updated. Properly. So they tried that too.
Market research? The new set might actually be the market research.
Wonder what the company will choose. :wink:
I assume you will find out the differences whether from some nice soul here (maybe @Huw will do a review and note the differences between old and new), or when LEGO will release the instructions in pdf format.
As for the other "huh?" moves, what @madaboutlego said, plus banning folks from [email protected] You don't have to "make Lego your life" to know about these things on the boards either.
2. 'No Discount' policy for US (not sure what other countries this may apply to).
3. Discontinued Grab Bags with a lame excuse.
4. Rehashing valuable theme sets (Toy Shop, X-Wing)
5. Ever increasing ratio of price to parts for sets (City Shuttle, most SW, Smaug set)
6. Banning of VIP shoppers without notice if suspected of reselling.
7. Unstated removal of free promos with [email protected] orders.
8. Increasing limitations and restrictions when it comes to MMMB events.
There's more situations and examples I'm sure. But these have been the bigger ones in my view.
Plus the ever increasing price of CMF's from their original $1.99 to now $3.99 as if production costs have doubled in a few years. That one hurt a lot and is very obvious what they like to do when they know their fan/customer/money bag is hooked and bent over a barrel.
Also, as a bit of a "Corporate" person, I really don't expect anything "nice" or "generous" out of a Company. Wonderfully interesting to read all the differing viewpoints as to what TLG is or isn't and should or shouldn't be!
10. short-lived and ill-conceived attempts to force store employees to refuse sales on the spot to suspected resellers, which resulted in a racially charged incident in at least one location, and a quick walkback from the policy.
But I wasn't aware of that reseller incident, can you elaborate on what happened?
No discount policy
Removal of promos [which is usually inline with their terms and conditions]
Discontinuing the christmas pab boxes
Refusal to serve resellers
and I would add, tightening of lug/showcase offers.
Leaving you with...
Part quality [i haven't been effected by this, but it seems to be an issue for some]
Grab bags [excuse may be lame, and they were a great offering, not surprising they didn't last forever]
Rehashing themes - does two swallows make a summer, also hardly universal that its a bad thing
Increasing price/part ratio
Given Lego stores are faced with resellers travelling the length and breadth of the UK, trying to con store employees, use their families and phone orders to avoid purchase limits and abuse staff. Given they have to deal with resellers abusing store discounts in flagrant disregard of the terms and conditions leading to full blown arguments with staff and other customers what are they supposed to do? I remember saying when these first discussions were originally going around that the actions of, lets call them, the extreme resellers would end up hurting us all. Guess what. And when we lose our next benefit, which could be very soon, Ill know who to blame too.
The removal of pab boxes i was told was a response to resellers, as they were the primary buyers abusing the system (in lego's eyes at least) to end up with dozens of free pab boxes. The changes to the benefits of showcasers were to tackle reselling.
But this thread isn't really about resellers so I think we should move on / take it elsewhere
Ha, I couldn't help it when I saw how many responses the topic was still receiving. Wow, I didn't realize people were becoming banned from [email protected] I apologize for my ignorance. Seriously, I wasn't aware. What reasoning, do you know?
Wow, that's being release again too? Or rather, just coming back in stock I guess...
Not they they aren't entitled to cut freebies, discounts, promotions, etc, they certainly are. and when you are as hot as they are right now, you don't have to give away free stuff. Personally, I think it's short sighted to disgruntle your most loyal fanbase, but hey, it's not my call. And it's a certainly a lot easier for them to sell the profit-based motives by misdirecting people to another party to take the blame.
1. HUGE expansion of licensed themes. LotR & Super Heroes top the list of "themes I wish LEGO would make but never will (year 2010 edition)". Scooby Doo, Simpsons are also in the mix.
2. Collectible minifigures. I can count on zero fingers the number of AFOLs I know that haven't bought at least one.
3. Pick a Brick online
4. Bricks and Pieces online
5. Expansion in the number of sets and available themes
6. Creation and continued support of new themes targeted to the committed folks. (Large Creator sets & UCS)
7. Cuusoo and Ideas, both of which improve on the Design by Me concept.
Now if you will excuse me, I must get back to burning my now worthless MISB 10199 along with the rest of my WV.
1. Lego Store in my neighborhood! Don't have to drive 100 miles to the nearest store.
2. Super Heroes are back with a vengeance.
3. Collectible minifigures - introduce so many new and great head expressions, paint apps, accessories, multi-tone molds.
4. Free shipping on online orders.
Still selling my used 10199 to get version 1.1.
2) also a huge negative to me
3/4) hasn't this been around a long time? certainly it also long predates the recent changes being discussed thus far
5) one could argue this comes at the expense of both quality (design) as well as is a big driver of the availability issues that LEGO is having with their more popular themes
6) this hasn't changed too much since about 2009/2010. What changes that have occurred have been more negative than positive: ever smaller modulars, piece count reductions, price overinflation, investing set budgets into play features at the expense of display quality
7) both of which have been poorly implemented and policed, with poor guidelines and rules, and plenty of "unannounced" parameters
I'm curious to know how 2011 was some Lego renaissance that I should be romanticising...
1) new parts
2) new colors & color/part combinations
3) I'd agree with the original point above about more variety in sets/themes, though my point about this contributing to product shortages is a valid counter argument
4) minidolls/friends and specifically how this appealed to a whole new large demographic
I love Lego PRODUCTS and Don't see that changing. But the company policies and other retail strategies have certainly been a significant net negative over the past three years. I don't think that's really even debatable. And the ever dwindling benefits towards afols and Lugs have been a big slap in the face
Generally, I disagree with your assessment of the direction of Lego. And with aspects of your analysis, but I certainly respect your opinions.
I'm quite content with the company's offerings.