I was reading a thread just now, where a Bricksetter was heading to Singapore and wondered if there was anything they should pick up. Unsurprisingly, there were more than a few requests to pick up some #21021
Marina Bay Sands sets as, I'm sure you're aware, that set was only released in parts of Asia.
It got me thinking. Why do LEGO restrict access to certain sets by region? There are plenty of examples, one of the most obvious being the Master Builder Academy - we in the UK hear about it, but can only get it on the 'grey market'.
It strikes me that if ever a toy was designed that crossed international borders, needed little or no translation, and could be understood by a builder from Toronto to Timbuktu and from Beijing to Bradford, then LEGO is it.
I guess the argument (certainly for 21021) would be 'Well there wouldn't be much demand for it worldwide - it was just produced in the region that the actual building stands.'
But surely if that were the case, then what's the point of the Architecture line at all? Are LEGO saying that these sets are basically souvenirs for visitors?
With the advent of more and more downloadable instructions, even the argument of 'Having to print instructions in multiple languages'
is starting to fade. Yes the translation still needs doing, but you don't have to physically print them all.
I know it's difficult and expensive to tool up for a new set, but when the set is created from existing parts and it's simply a case of picking the pieces, printing the box and sending them out, when something like the aforementioned lines are proven sellers, it baffles me that that LEGO would restrict sales in the way that they do.
If they're worried about retailers shelf space, then make them on-line only.
I'm currently reading 'Brick by Brick', which is a fascinating insight into the troubles of the early 2000's, and how the situation was turned around by listening to their customers - both the retailers and us the consumers.
It strikes me they could do with putting their ear to the ground again!
Sure, they are fiddly little things, but people like me have gotten them all except the last three. It's frustrating to say the least.
MBA Academy Kits
SW Planets Series 4
SW Hoth Keychain
Games (Hoth, Batman, Helm's Deep)
Marina Bay Sands
Shell Ferrari Promos
Year of the Snake
Statue of Liberty Poly
Taxi Cab Poly
Pudsy Bear Poly
Legoland Picture Frames (Park Specific)
What else should be on this list?
#21100 Shinkai 6500 Submarine
The last two polybags I saw in retail chains over here were #30042 Atlantis Mini Sub and #5627 Mini Bulldozer in Tesco. And that was several years ago. Some online Lego stores have some polybags every now and then but very far from a complete line-up.
What is this SW Hoth Keychain you speak of? Any info appreciated....
Not that I can see the wisdom in it, but perhaps the Marina Bay Sands hotel didn't want it to be worldwide, or maybe they commissioned Lego to indeed make them to be expensive souveniers and nothing more.
A respected team of Bricksetters helped to import them into the US for distribution and I went for two of these.
An interesting one is the #31004 Fierce Flyer, it has not shown up in store in Australia (at least none of the many normal stores that carry Lego). That said you can get it from [email protected] and some local online only stores have it.
I assume there are many reasons, but as Lego are, or at least were, running at full production capacity maybe they just can't make some sets in enough volume to distribute to all markets.
A weekend stay in a nearby large city might cost $250. A week-long trip to the Mediterranean would likely cost ten times that (and triple that if I want to take my family).
Maybe that one set from a distant land is the set that someone wants because they aren't able to travel for any number of reasons, money being only one of them.
Pay for someone else to buy it and post it to you?
That is only possible if we know someone who lives or is visiting there. Not always an option.
I found your comments to be rude, just plain rude.
You also say, If everything is available with the click of a mouse from home, it gets a little boring when you travel.
I hope I never get so jaded that I can't find pleasure in traveling just for the sake of seeing new places and experiencing different cultures. Just my opinion of course.
Heres the flights
Heres the accommodation
As I've said elsewhere, I'd love them to do something exclusive for each lego store. It would be pointless if all stores sold every one though. If I could just go to the nearest store and buy a Lawrenceville or Anaheim keychain, they would be pointless.
I'm talking about from the UK, so if you're not from there then I guess prices may vary a bit though.
Oh and to whoever said it costs £400 to fly to the states well yes, the states isn't the Mediterranean. I was talking about travel in general, I think it's very cheap compared to Lego in this day and age.
the idea about the stores having something specific to the store has occurred to me before. I do travel a lot for work and have been in different Lego stores and wished there were something to pick up that said I had been there... of particular irksomeness was when I was in the Copenhagen store and they didn't have a thing (At the time) to pick up showing I had been there in the home country of Lego lol. nothing big of course... minifig, magnet, or some other small thing to build. even if it were specific to that country or region instead of a specific store. I think that would be neat... and you may confirm that by the 40ish some-odd different Hard Rock Café pint glasses I have on a shelf at home lol
A keychain or mini fig with the city name would be lovely and easy to cary home as a treat for special friends. A polybag of a famous site would be exquisite. We are not asking for a Tower Bridge or Sydney Opera House large scale set….just something small that can travel easily and is not just a tee shirt.
If Marina Bay Sands faces too many legal challenges, offer a polybag of the merman or the lions in Singapore. Or something from the famous Orchid Garden, which would be a stunner for sure. Many of these sets already exist as opening day polybags, and could easily be sold for 10US or less. That way we could bring home a suitcase full and give, trade, or sell them to our friends. After visiting LL Germany, Malaysia and California during the past 7 months, I am quite disappointed that no such sets are sold at each Park.
Yup, I have heard and understand the reason for the yellow flesh.
But it seems that most of the world does not have yellow flesh. And I don't care for that color either. Replace every bit I can with more skin like colors. Thanks for so many licensed figures with non-yellow flesh.
It is great that most AFOLS seem to buy the yellow color; otherwise the price of non-yellow skin would be stratospheric.
And I can't help but wonder how much LEGO sales would increase if they offered more skin color options. Hummm...
And I do feel the pain of the zillions of children who don't feel that LEGO people look at all like they themselves do. (As a huge fan of American Girl Dolls, a look at their color palette and choice of facial and hair features is just magical. They will make a doll that resembles YOU! Very, very cool.)
I am merely stating that I prefer figures that look more human with skin tone reflecting more realistic colors. I am not convinced that "everyone can relate to yellow minifigures' expressions."
However, I also understand and accept that yellow flesh is perfectly acceptable to many if not most LEGO collectors.
If we are indeed looking for a product that reflects the location of a specific Lego Park or Store, the use of more realistic skin tone color is one way to customize such a product.
Another way is to develop a mini build such as the ones used in store openings in Copenhagen, Nuremburg, Frankfurt and Munich to represent something special about that location. And these polybags do not require figures as they are designed in miniscale.
There are other options for customized polybags or small boxed sets that could be offered at one particular location. This is a wonderful thread for digging out some of these ideas because TLG needs help in this area. Cheers!
Check out the store opening polybag sets that show local landmarks:
The Miami one provides a more modern outlook while the other three are classics IMHO. (The prices for all three are humongous for polybags with 100 pieces or less. I own none of these. )
These are not Architecture sets and can thus be sold for very low prices hopefully about 10US max.
What if every LEGO Store and Park offered an exclusive like this? Sign me up!
Would it have made a good exclusive for LL Malaysia? I think not. The Park is not in the country of Singapore where MBS is located.
I would have started by looking for a well known Malaysian place/product, and after a week in Kuala Lumpur last September, that would have been the Royal Selangor Pewter company. I spent some time with one of the owners, Ms. Datin Chen Mun Kuen, and my guess is that she could help LEGO come up with a special polybag set, something like their anniversary pewter miniature tea pot, water vase and beer stein that RS is so famous for all over the world. I brought several of these home as gifts, and everyone adores them. They have many other fine designs that could translate into LEGO miniscale sets and are famous for their local tin made into pewter.
And we have not even mentioned the mother of all mothers, Petronas Towers, which was just a few blocks from my hotel. Talk about a perfect set for a smaller Architecture kit. It could also be a tiny polybag kit sold just at LLM.
So both the Royal Selangor miniature based polybag and Petronas Towers polybag would be fantastic choices for LLM exclusives. They also should be sold at the real Petronas Towers and the RS factory and stores in KL.
What ideas do you have for small polybags representing the other LL Parks? Or your LEGO store?
I think of the Orlando area as a place of massive sinkholes, massive traffic jams, way too many Disney freaks, air conditioner hell, alligators galloping out of waterholes and eating small animals, etc. And that is just based on my personal experiences there over five trips in 30 years. Small polybags of huge construction sets capable of destroying the natural environment in less than an hour would be most appropriate IMHO…..Humm! SO count me out on that one!
Can somebody who spends a lot of time around there and actually likes the place give us something positive to work with? At least LLF is located quite a ways south of Orlando and not that far from the most outstanding Tiffany Glass Museum on the planet in Winter Park. NEXT?
Maybe some unusual migrating birds or fish would do the polybag trick. Whales do spend lots of time zooming up and down that Coast and are fun to watch if you know how. And something similar to the too early departed little eagle polybag could be a hit if those birds are seen in the area.
One could produce a gardening/farming themed set for either FL or CA using as many small fruits and veggies as possible in little crates at a roadside stand because both of those States and Mexico produce most of our produce in the US. Might work with a tie-in to the Friends' Juice Bar. Last fall was one of the worst in US produce history; I did manage to find the last pint of fresh strawberries picked just outside the gate of LLC on a quick drive to the beach. That was my best purchase of the day after my first visit to LLC! Next?
Wow! Glad yours came so quickly! Hesitated opening mine last night after so much difficulty finally getting it. And the box is so darned purty!
But heh, it was my Christmas present with PR, the Juice Bars and Cuckoo sets. The others are built, and this one is waiting its turn already sorted and smiling at me on the kitchen table. Should be a reseller or traders dream! Enjoy yours!
My personal favs are the huge greenhouse/gardening extravaganzas sold by the kind Germans at P-bil....I have enough to open a floral business and adore that line. (It came in quite handy when my son got married at our home with the church theme built and enveloped with their fantastic range of floral decorations and their bride and groom as cake toppers with guests each adding a real flower to the side of the tiered wedding cake. But that is another story!)
TLG should take a hint and open some large greenhouses for Friends because they need lots of fresh blooms for their festive lifestyle, and gals love flowers. Did I mention that girls worship flowers? (Hubby is well trained!!!)
There's a lot that regional LL's could do in regards to polys or small sets. For the U.S., how about a state animal or bird? Whatever the item, it doesn't need to be specific to the exact location, as there may not be significant landmarks or points of interest, so broadening the selection palette to include the whole state or country would be... so California could also be a giant redwood, or the Golden Gate Bridge - i.e., someTHING that says LL "CALIFORINIA" ... same goes for LL Florida: how about an alligator or panther (I'm not familiar with Florida landmarks, other than the Everglades, but I'm sure there are many - manmade & natural).
Anyway, what I'm trying to say is there are a lot of options when you really think about it.
I hope Lego sticks with the yellow figures.
(I mention it only as an alternative for highlighting some of the ethnic differences in different parts of the world, not saying that a particular ethnic group has to be representative of the majority of people at a certain location.)
It seems the idea of finding a suitable landmark or symbol for each geographic area where there is a store or Park is easier than trying to solve the "people issue."