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LEGO aquires BrickLink

LordmoralLordmoral Puerto RicoMember Posts: 360
Cooperating in more projects like the AFOL program is great but not so much eliminating the LEGO compatible products as I have sometimes bought Arealight and Brickarms products (as their selection of accurate SW weapons surpasses LEGO). I use both Brick and Pieces and Bricklink to service my parts needs but Briclink is better as the seller charge fast and ship faster than LEGO own services. What do you think?
https://brickset.com/article/47293/the-lego-group-acquires-bricklink#comments
KungFuKennySprinkleOtterkiki180703
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Comments

  • BrainsluggedBrainslugged England (the grim North)Member Posts: 994
    Mind blown.
    KungFuKennyLordmoral
  • alexwilalexwil UKMember Posts: 369
    Didn’t see that coming! Fingers crossed that this is a good thing, but slightly concerning as I thought lego didn’t like resellers?!! 
    Lordmoral
  • KungFuKennyKungFuKenny Deep in the Heart of TexasMember Posts: 610
    edited November 26
    I thought it was April 1st for a second...
    Same here!
    As someone who uses Bricklink regularly this is huge... on the plus side it sounds like there will be more AFOL designer sets coming, which is a good thing in my opinion.  I do worry about Lego trying to fix something that isn’t broken — I use Bricklink several times a week as a reference and for ordering parts, and I am hoping their influence will improve the database but not impair the basic marketplace structure...
    gmonkey76LordmoralmadforLEGO
  • AleyditaAleydita BelgiumMember Posts: 812
    TLG could bring a bit of sorely missing professionalism to BL's operations, but otherwise would do well to leave alone.
    KungFuKennyLordmoralBumblepantsJackad7
  • vwong19vwong19 San DiegoMember Posts: 1,178
    As someone that has a very small store on Bricklink, my immediate reaction was disbelief followed by dread. I hope I am wrong but Lego could negatively impact the secondary market by making it more costly and more difficult to sell which translates to fewer stores and then increased prices for Lego. 

    I hope however this will improve awareness, reputation and quality of the site. Official images of products and bricks would be nice. Bridging awareness of Lego Pick a Brick and Bricklink hopefully streamlines new users to check both markets like Ticketmaster or Amazon.
    KungFuKennygmonkey76Lordmoral
  • AleyditaAleydita BelgiumMember Posts: 812
    It should obviously be remembered that BL is not the only secondary market venue. Even if TLG somehow mess it up completely, the rest will presumably keep on keeping on.
    drdavewatfordLordmoralBaby_Yoda
  • pxchrispxchris Oregon, USAMember Posts: 567
    Well... I didn't see that one coming!
    KungFuKennyLordmoral
  • DB361DB361 UKMember Posts: 221
    Again, as someone who runs a small Bricklink store, this is huge news. Mainly because we have no idea whether it will in the long run be a good, bad or completely inconsequential thing. There's just so many questions going through my head reading the news.
    Do I stop buying sets to part out in case the whole thing does wind up? Do I buy more sets to part out with a potentially bigger audience browsing my store? Do I set up a BrickOwl account? If so, when? Will my Lego VIP account be affected? Will the usability of the site change? Will how much time I spend picking orders and adding stock go up or down? Will there be new rules to adhere to? The list is just endless.
    So, all in all a very worrying and uncertain time, even if I'm of the belief that actually not a signifcant amount will change. But I bet the guys at BrickOwl have their eyebrows raised at the news...
    LordmoralKungFuKennygmonkey76Jackad7
  • AleyditaAleydita BelgiumMember Posts: 812
    Just another way for TLG to identify who the resellers are.
    LordmoralLegoboy
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,043
    I have a very bad feeling about this. LEGO will now be able to link their customers with seller details on BL and identify who is reselling. They will also be able to undercut sellers, monitor which parts are selling well on BL and sell those themselves on BL.

    Plus if LEGO owns BL then are they going to get a bad reputation if dodgy sellers start selling on BL.

    Presumably it means (new) inventories will be correct and fast. But what if they start messing with old inventories, suggesting modern alternatives for parts instead of the correct ones for the date of the set.

    drdavewatfordGothamConstructionCoLordmoralBumblepantsBaby_Yoda
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,317
    CCC said:
    I have a very bad feeling about this. LEGO will now be able to link their customers with seller details on BL and identify who is reselling. They will also be able to undercut sellers, monitor which parts are selling well on BL and sell those themselves on BL.

    Plus if LEGO owns BL then are they going to get a bad reputation if dodgy sellers start selling on BL.
    Agreed - all of the above.

    You'd hope that they'd be sensible and not start banning people who list and resell a set that they've built and finished with, for instance, but once algorithms get involved and people take a back seat anything can happen.

    To be fair, I can also think of numerous ways that this could work out well, but I have to admit that this acquisition, and the fact that LEGO will now have the ability to significantly manipulate the secondary market (which it has a rather Jekyll and Hyde relationship with) makes me a little uncomfortable.
    GothamConstructionCoBumblepantsdutchlegofan50
  • AleyditaAleydita BelgiumMember Posts: 812
    BL users will need to be presented with the chance to agree a new TOU or otherwise close their account if TLG have any plans to try and link the BL user database to their existing customer databases.

    It's certainly possible they'll attempt to do it, but in these days of data protection, it won't be without our permission.
    Lordmoralbluedragon
  • SMCSMC UKMember Posts: 1,754
    Is brickset next up?
    LordmoralBumblepantsmak0137
  • jnscoelhojnscoelho PortugalMember Posts: 400
    I guess it's time to dust out my almost forgotten Brick Owl account...
  • ModeltrainmanModeltrainman In the Disney Infinity Toybox, Windows, or digging through LEGO parts in the USA.Member Posts: 313
    So is is this "Disney is accquiring Lucasfilm, Pixar, and Marvel", but for LEGO to LEGO fans, or something? Maybe I'm missing something. I mean, I needed a lot of 87087, in Orange, which LEGO doesn't make any more..But it doesn't seem terrible...

    Lordmoral
  • VorpalRyuVorpalRyu AustraliaMember Posts: 2,266
    Hmmm... I can see a number of upsides, but I can also see numerous downsides... Will be curious to see how this plays out, this could also be the push needed for BO to get serious.
    Lordmoral
  • benbacardibenbacardi EnglandMember Posts: 426
    Perhaps this thread should be moved under the article's thread?

    I didn't think we were (or should be) able to create threads under Brickset.com articles, only comment on the automatically created ones…

    @Huw @CapnRex101 @drdavewatford

    AstrobricksstluxBumblepantsMr_CrossBaby_YodaLordmoral
  • klintonklinton CanadaMember Posts: 736
    There's just no way this ends well for people running shoppes on Bricklink. Corporate meddling in your bread and butter is just bad news, all the way around. The marketplace needs to be independent of Lego itself.

    For the average consumer, there is probably a lot to be gained. In the short term, at any rate. Lego firmly having it's finger on the needs of the AFOL community will likely see an increase in the diffusion of highly sought after parts. This will be great initially. The diversity of the market (Bricklink's biggest asset) will likely taper off in the long run.

    Lordmoral
  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 2,558
    I hope sellers don’t flee the BL marketplace assuming TLG is going to meddle with it and wreck it, thus fulfilling their own prophesy.
    DB361KungFuKennyLordmoralgmonkey76Baby_YodaJackad7M1J0E
  • daewoodaewoo TexasMember Posts: 354
    According to an interview I read, BrickArms would not be permitted to be sold on Bricklink.  TLG's hypocrisy continues.
  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 2,558
    daewoo said:
    According to an interview I read, BrickArms would not be permitted to be sold on Bricklink.  TLG's hypocrisy continues.
    What interview?
    Lordmoral
  • LordmoralLordmoral Puerto RicoMember Posts: 360
    daewoo said:
    According to an interview I read, BrickArms would not be permitted to be sold on Bricklink.  TLG's hypocrisy continues.
    What interview?
    This one which I linked:
    https://www.brothers-brick.com/2019/11/26/news-the-lego-group-acquires-bricklink-from-nexon-founder-jay-kim-for-undisclosed-sum-interview-with-lego-cmo-julia-goldin/?fbclid=IwAR3JkaAMbGX5IhLoY9OKfyKyz3y90YFuzw3bYD-DxZbnJAMWuFrGFVnvTnw
    Astrobricks
  • TheFewTheFew EnglandMember Posts: 1,497
    Well roger me with an oblate spheroid. Looks like I won't acquire any new stock for me BL store and wait and see what happens. Luckily BL auto syncs with BO so at least I can switch to just BO if all goes wrong.

    Shame is as a buyer BL is so much better to use than BO.
    LordmoralKungFuKenny
  • bandit778bandit778 Docking Bay 94. Member Posts: 1,983
    I can see both good and the bad in this acquisition.

    I suppose it depends a lot on how truthful Julia Goldins answers to the questions in the main page article were. 

    If things are left as they are with the selling side of things, with minimal interference from TLG, but the platform is used to expand on ideas like the Bricklink AFOL designer program and other STUDIO design based programs to output a greater variety/number of MOC's that otherwise would never be produced then I look forward to the fruits of their labour. 

    If on the other hand there are any moves by TLG to encroach on the livelihoods of users by using data for their own ends to bypass the marketplace (or undercut it) or impose a set of rules and regs that makes it difficult for the sellers to obtain product without penalty then I fear Bricklink and the AFOL community itself will lose one of its greatest assets.
    Also, what about custom parts (chromed/printed/accessories and the like) and how do these fit into the equation with a firm that don't even list their old parts in their own set databases.

    My only hope is that someone at LEGO has sat down and realised that the money for the biggest majority of parts on Bricklink will have already been paid into the TLG coffers and all they have to do is sit back and take the percentage of the fees from when It's sold again.



    Aside from the buyer seller conundrum and how that will play out, there is also the question of how this will affect Brickset and it's database. Will they lose a source of income if the sites are under one company banner and/or will the Bricklink database be allowed to be used for set part counts and pieces so the part counts for sets can all be 100%?

    KungFuKenny560HeliportLordmoraldatsunrobbiegmonkey76SprinkleOtterdutchlegofan50Mr_Cross
  • KungFuKennyKungFuKenny Deep in the Heart of TexasMember Posts: 610
    edited November 26
    @bandit778
    Well said!  I also have some concerns about custom and chromed pieces, so we will have to see.  The Brickset interview provides some more detail — TLG seems to be emphasizing that transaction fees will be unchanged and that the marketplace will be allowed to continue competitively as before.  One interesting comment had to do with BL data possibly informing what pieces should be available from Bricks and Pieces, which could be a positive...
    https://brickset.com/article/47293/the-lego-group-acquires-bricklink

    As for the impact on Brickset, it seems that the working relationship between Lego and BS is quite good and mutually beneficial, so I doubt TLG will want to jeopardize that...
    LordmoralCalv
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 12,203
    edited November 26
    klinton said:
    There's just no way this ends well for people running shoppes on Bricklink.
    The flip-side is that Bricklink could have been shut down on a moment's notice, without explanation.  Or had an inherently non-profitable structure.
    There'll be sellers moving elsewhere, and since the Internet is a pretty robust entity, buyers will find them.  I'm reserving judgment on whether this is a good idea for the AFOL Community and LEGO Corporate...
    If I were BrickOwl or another BrickLink competitor, I'd be looking to increase my market share.  There are plenty of people that probably won't like some aspect of LEGO's managment.
    Lordmoral
  • BobflipBobflip Member Posts: 486
    CCC said:
    I have a very bad feeling about this. LEGO will now be able to link their customers with seller details on BL and identify who is reselling. They will also be able to undercut sellers, monitor which parts are selling well on BL and sell those themselves on BL.

    Plus if LEGO owns BL then are they going to get a bad reputation if dodgy sellers start selling on BL.

    Presumably it means (new) inventories will be correct and fast. But what if they start messing with old inventories, suggesting modern alternatives for parts instead of the correct ones for the date of the set.

    If it meant the beginning of them producing quantities of particular desired bricks, that could be a great bonus. I doubt they'd modify old inventories, but I'm definitely wondering which direction this is going to go in...
  • Glacierfalls265Glacierfalls265 USAMember Posts: 245
    I'm neutral until I see the direction it'll go. Part of me says "Ooh let's see if they bring more AFOL designer programs, maybe mine will succeed this time" and part of it (the Hermione part) says "THE MINISTRY IS INTERFERING AT HOGWARTS"

    KungFuKennygmonkey76M_BossLordmoralSumoLegobandit778brickventuresLostInTranslationSwitchfoot55
  • madejp86madejp86 IllinoisMember Posts: 254
    First thing they do is kill Studio
    LordmoralSwitchfoot55
  • bandit778bandit778 Docking Bay 94. Member Posts: 1,983
    madejp86 said:
    First thing they do is kill Studio
    Of all the things they could do, why would they do this? 
    LDD has been on the downturn for ages with little or no support or upgrades.
    Studio has regular updates, has a built in platform for instructions and parts lists that can be uploaded straight into the marketplace. 
    Personally, If anything, I think it will become a base platform for more LEGO/Bricklink design programs in the future with LDD becoming obsolete. 


    LordmoraldrdavewatfordAstrobricksstluxbrickedin
  • LordmoralLordmoral Puerto RicoMember Posts: 360
    bandit778 said:
    madejp86 said:
    First thing they do is kill Studio
    Of all the things they could do, why would they do this? 
    LDD has been on the downturn for ages with little or no support or upgrades.
    Studio has regular updates, has a built in platform for instructions and parts lists that can be uploaded straight into the marketplace. 
    Personally, If anything, I think it will become a base platform for more LEGO/Bricklink design programs in the future with LDD becoming obsolete. 


    LEGO and long term support to online platforms aren't in the same sentence, most likely they'll cheapen on updates so as to get more $$$$?
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,437
    I just worry about something like this. As with VIP point system revamps, sometimes LEGO meddles too much into things that are Ok already.
    Plus I can see them taking what is still a fairly good (IMO) system for quick referencing and trashing it to make it look more cartoon for the tablet brigades.

    Just something seems 'off' about this.
    KungFuKennygmonkey76Lordmoral
  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 2,558
    edited November 27
    Change always seems “off”.
    Personally, I’m willing to take them at their word for now that they will keep their interference to a minimum. It would reduce the value of what they bought if they are too heavy-handed. If it is really largely a PR thing rather than a data mining grab, then they would reap benefits from doing some selective investing in things like stud.io and database improvement. I’m crossing my fingers.
    7BSsklambLordmoral
  • davee123davee123 USAMember Posts: 810
    Honestly, I can't really imagine that LEGO is going to invest a ton in terms of improvement, although they could.  I don't see much ROI for (say) improving the interface or hiring staff to do much that isn't already being done.

    They could do it.  They've got the money.  If they felt that it was an important part of brand-building, they could invest a lot more in making BrickLink better.

    ... But, that's scary.  Because all of a sudden, BrickLink becomes part of LEGO's brand and is disposable when it no longer suits them.  If LEGO dedicates more resources to making it better, then it's a higher cost to them, and possibly becomes at greater risk for being dropped.  Sure, it won't happen in the immediate future, since LEGO's doing well right now-- but what happens if the economy tanks in 10 years, and LEGO makes some bad moves?  Suddenly cutting BrickLink is a cost-saving measure.

    Selling content is obviously concerning, too.  Suppose someone's selling a Squirrel Girl minifig.  That's not an official Marvel figure, and it infringes on Marvel's IP.  What about custom Star Wars weapons that LEGO doesn't sell?  But even beyond that-- what about Q elements that were leaked out of the LEGO factory?  Will LEGO try and stop them?

    And then there's the always sketchy "really cheap" sets that might have been stolen, and are getting resold at cheap prices?  Will those get pursued?  Not that I mind when they're right.  Nobody wants stolen LEGO on the market.  But what about when they're wrong?  Could there be an onus on sellers to prove their sourcing?

    The other huge thing for LEGO is moderation.  Is LEGO really going to want to maintain an un-moderated discussion forum on a site they own?  Is it going to have to be kid-friendly?

    Further, what is LEGO going to do about sale data?  I've always been the type to want increased sharing of data.  But LEGO's usually the opposite.  Will LEGO remove or restrict access to sale data?  (As a side note, when I offered to widely publicize my online LUGBULK tool, LEGO expressly told me the one thing they would NOT allow me to do would be to publish aggregate/anonymous data regarding desired/bought elements, since competitors expressly wanted that)

    I'm crossing my fingers that LEGO by-and-large leaves BrickLink alone.  But I see far more potential problems than benefits.

    DaveE
    dutchlegofan50drdavewatfordLordmoral
  • Bosstone100Bosstone100 USAMember Posts: 1,407
    TLG does not have a good track record with technology and there is nothing they've done that tells me that this will be good. I have a few projects on the back burner that could be scrapped depending on what TLG does.
    Lordmoral
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 12,203
    If LEGO tries to over-regulate Bricklink, that'll open another door for another platform to serve that market.
    Mr_CrossAstrobricksLordmoralBaby_Yoda
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,437
    SumoLego said:
    If LEGO tries to over-regulate Bricklink, that'll open another door for another platform to serve that market.
    I'm guessing brickowl may have gotten a surge in membership, or will.
    SumoLegodrdavewatfordLordmoralBaby_Yoda
  • gelkstergelkster MN, USAMember Posts: 505
    BrickOwl is already hooting with delight.
    KingAlanILordmoralBaby_Yoda
  • KingAlanIKingAlanI Rochester, NYMember Posts: 1,910
    gelkster said:
    BrickOwl is already hooting with delight.
    I see what you did there

    I have a BL store
    I don't know what this will mean yet either so I'm going to keep doing what I was doing
    I don't buy or sell chromed or custom parts so TLG killing that would be a moot point for me.

    Lordmoral
  • AleyditaAleydita BelgiumMember Posts: 812
    Some Q&A from a Lego rep:

    https://www.1000steine.de/de/gemeinschaft/forum/?entry=1&id=429088&fbclid=IwAR2Gi0mMNXogQckyBQ_VQ9YxAznvIK1qqamVSZ9dv6TmC9K_guMaoz9p8a8#id429088

    Summary as I understand it:

    - third-party and custom items will be banned.
    - whether unreleased but genuine parts can continue to be sold has not yet been decided.
    - no decision yet on how TLG's policy regards resellers will impact BL
    - no plans yet for TLG to directly sell on the platform
    - existing management team will remain in place
    - no changes initially in how BL will be run, but improvements will happen over time

  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,043
    I can see some positives. For example, any IDEAS submissions that get to 10000 votes but not approved, then stick them through sohobricks as AFOL designed sets and sell them via BL. Also set inventories (at least for new sets) should be quick and reliable. It will be interesting to see what happens with minifigures, as LEGO only has minifigure parts, not complete minifigures, in their sets.

    But the bigger issue for me is still the possibility of banning anyone selling new / current sets from buying via LEGO [email protected]/VIP program once they have names and addresses of customers and resellers.

    One company controlling both the primary and secondary markets is not good.

    LordmoralSumoLegomadforLEGOBaby_Yoda
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,317
    CCC said:
    ......Also set inventories (at least for new sets) should be quick and reliable.....
    Not necessarily. As we've seen from the LEGO-sourced inventories available on Brickset, elements are often missing. So quick yes, but reliable no on current evidence.
    Astrobricks
  • AleyditaAleydita BelgiumMember Posts: 812
    I have one hope

    That TLG's inventory system will push buyers through to BL for items TLG no longer has in stock.

    I suppose I have two concerns

    (1) the privacy issue that CCC notes the implications of. I never gave BL or TLG permission to share my data with each other, but I suppose their T&Cs technically allow it, I just never expected this sale.

    (2) if Lego's licencing arrangements prevent the sale of certain elements like Torsos, etc. how will that impact BL given it will soon be owned by TLG? If this is a loophole because technically its not TLG that's offering them for sale, it could actually be a good thing I suppose, if, as I hope, TLG's inventory system could link buyers through to BL for such elements.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,043
    CCC said:
    ......Also set inventories (at least for new sets) should be quick and reliable.....
    Not necessarily. As we've seen from the LEGO-sourced inventories available on Brickset, elements are often missing. So quick yes, but reliable no on current evidence.
    Yeah, they are a good starting point but will always need to be manually checked. Currently all elements have to be input each time, and that is only possible once all new elements are input into the catalogue. I would hope they would be able to link the two databases so that most of the elements are correct. Someone will still need to go through and list complete minifigures though, removing the minifigure parts.
    Lordmoral
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