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Is this normal? LEGO intentionally under producing sets or setting price too low?

NatebwNatebw Tampa BayMember Posts: 339
Ok, I have only recently come out of my dark ages and haven't spent much time thinking about the availability of sets. But based on the Curiosity and now Research Institute, I am wondering. Is it normal for LEGO to spend tons of time producing and promoting exclusive sets, only to have demand massively outstrip supply? Or is it a fluke? It isn't like these sets are expensive enough to keep people from buying them.

Is that what I should expect in the future?

Comments

  • ChanMcLChanMcL Member Posts: 1,224
    Licensed products might be limited by the license owner or the company.
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,112
    I think these are just cases of LEGO not really having figured out yet what they are doing with the whole Cuusoo/Ideas program. they will eventually either figure out the right model for that program, or discontinue it.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,190
    edited August 2014
    I think it is a bit of:
    -Lego underestimating demand of certain sets
    -LEGO making too many lines without enough manpower or equipment to meet demand
    -People thinking that LEGO has an endless supply of lines running and parts to build everything

    LEGO constantly underestimates, but I think that is better than overestimating and making 1000000 of something for it to sit in warehouses, at least for business (think PoP and some of the PoTC sets they apparently had massive stocks of after EOL).
    I think LEGO probably should have known there would be demand, but again the resellers struck first due to the outrageous prices to be had on places like Amazon and eBay for these sets.
    Plus someone else noted that LEGO is not just building the RI and Exo Suit, many sets are made and being made for beginning of next year I think.
    Plus you have new lines that they are just also trying to build up stocks for (Like Artic and new SW and new superhero, plus there are rumors about sets being made for LEGO movie for beginning of the year)
    So I think people have to calm down a bit.
    What is apparent though is LEGO is trying to do more with less and it is hurting supplies
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,112
    It certainly seems to me that they chronically overproduce many of the low and mid range priced sets across multiple themes such as Ninjago, City, and especially Chima, as evidenced by the never ending stock of sets that sit at permanent 20% discount for six months and more. You see this with many of the Low end Superheroes and Star Wars sets too. Certainly a tiny fraction of that wasted production capacity could be redirected to Ideas sets. How many of each $20 City set you think they are cranking out? Has to be six figures or more. Even taking just 10% of the capacity from a single one of these sets would likely allow them to double the production runs of Ideas sets

    I think at this point it's more about managing risk for them while they try to figure out how to model the expectations for Ideas
    eightbrickAngel_C
  • DoubleDDoubleD Oklahoma, USAMember Posts: 488
    edited August 2014
    You could say the same thing about the dolorian/back to the future set it has been on amazon for a discount for a while and it is a ideal/cussoo set.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,324
    I don't think you have picked very good examples. Lego didn't spend tons of time producing either the Mars Rover or the RI. They are both very close to the original designs, so there was not much production / design time compared to a normal in house set. Production / manufacturing would be similar to ant other set. And with promoting the sets, I don't really recall much promotion at all for either. The odd email, a banner on the shop page, but not much else. The RI promoted itself.

    Compare that with the production of the exosuit, there was a team of AFOLs involved in the development of that, promotion at a signing in store, some really good videos produced just before it came out.
  • NatebwNatebw Tampa BayMember Posts: 339
    Fair enough. I don't understand the interest in the exosuit. So I guess I wasn't talking about time/effort relative to other sets, but just for that set.

    It just seems that if a set passes the Ideas gauntlet, it would be make sense to produce more than one day's worth after.

    But clearly I don't know how these work, or I wouldn't have asked.

  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,324
    Natebw said:


    It just seems that if a set passes the Ideas gauntlet, it would be make sense to produce more than one day's worth after.


    That is the problem - how many will sell? I doubt even half of those already sold will be opened by the person that bought them (or given as a gift). If there is a rumour that they are limited, then they are bought for resale. Until lego does something about it, this will always happen. Even if they stagger batches, it will still happen, as rumours get around once the first batch has sold out.
  • GallardoLUGallardoLU USAMember Posts: 644
    CCC is exactly right, many of these limited or possibly limited sets are taken/consumed by resellers so that they can turn around and sell it to the next person in line at significant profit. and as long as these limited run sets exist Lego will continue to get embarrassed by selling out on day one.

    with Licensed themes day 1 sell outs is much more rare, Star Wars my have sets go to back order from time to time, but they are not sold out, as more will be produced/shipped from other warehouses.
  • NatebwNatebw Tampa BayMember Posts: 339
    Does LEGO ever change the price to respond to demand? After seeing a rush of pre-orders increase the RI price by 50%, for example?
  • GallardoLUGallardoLU USAMember Posts: 644
    never has Lego increased a set price. they will bounce off of back ordered status or go completely sold out, but not increase. they have to fight with the might piece to USD ratio mentality constantly. unlike other products the savvy FOL knows when the price is unjust and Lego has felt the fires of that in the past.
  • NatebwNatebw Tampa BayMember Posts: 339
    TLG is certainly in an interesting position - trying to appease hardcore AFOLs yet sell to soccer moms buying gifts for birthdays.

    I don't intend to get very wrapped up in this. If a set it is sold out or too expensive from resellers, I just wont have it. Easy enough.
  • binaryeyebinaryeye USMember Posts: 1,734

    never has Lego increased a set price.

    I'm not sure that's true. For example, I'm fairly certain that #6912 was $12.99 when first released and at some point increased to $14.99.

  • GallardoLUGallardoLU USAMember Posts: 644
    binaryeye said:

    never has Lego increased a set price.

    I'm not sure that's true. For example, I'm fairly certain that #6912 was $12.99 when first released and at some point increased to $14.99.

    I know some set prices have danced a little before street dates, but I've not witnessed an increase after it hits shelves. I can confirm you are correct on the change though as prices are listed at 12.99 on wiki, but 14.99 here and at lego.com

    with that said I must rescind my previous statement of "Never" and change it to extremely rarely has a increase price change occurred.
    Natebwbinaryeyedougts
  • ColoradoBricksColoradoBricks Denver, CO, USAMember Posts: 1,640
    #21050 was released for $149.99 but is now at $159.99, the MBA series also saw a large price increase (~ 60% in some case) but it was after repackaging and dropping the subscription system.
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,694
    I recall Tower Bridge and the UCS IS both went up in price on [email protected] during their life. I don't recall any changes to packaging etc. The price just went up.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,324
    I don't recall anything going up after a day / month of being out.

    They could always do limited runs as dutch auctions. So start the RI at £35 and lower the price to £30 after a month, £25 after two months, etc. down to whatever they want the price to be. I doubt they would get many fans for doing it that way though and probably a number of returns when the prices drop.

    An alternative is that the limited ones are limited to one per VIP for the first month, and they manage the VIP scheme a little better to ensure no duplicate memberships.
  • VenunderVenunder Nottingham, UK.Member Posts: 2,446
    edited August 2014
    Fortunately I have not seen Lego raise the price of specific sets. Except for the general inflation of set prices over time.
    Generally I have only seen the sale price of sets drop slightly, if shops sit with unsold stock for 3-6 months.
    But this is generally retailer led.
    If they still don't sell the lego then the retailer can do a discount sale, 3 for 2, or Lego voucher promo, like the current Argos £5 for £25 purchase of Lego.
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,112
    CCC said:


    An alternative is that the limited ones are limited to one per VIP for the first month, and they manage the VIP scheme a little better to ensure no duplicate memberships.

    this is the most obvious and easy to implement solution. But I doubt they really want this, because of the effect it would have on sales. I suspect they like the current situation, where they can point to a policy that says "limit 1", knowing full well that the policy is easy to skirt around and inconsistently enforced store to store. Yes, it stinks on the occasional minecraft, RI, or Exo, but for the most part it works fine on exclusives, which stick around for years anyway.
  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    Legoboy said:

    I recall Tower Bridge and the UCS IS both went up in price on [email protected] during their life. I don't recall any changes to packaging etc. The price just went up.

    I believe you're in the UK?

    Tower Bridge was released on 1 Oct 2010 at £204.99 - I've got a receipt, albeit from the day before! It's currently £209.99. However that isn't TLG increasing the price because VAT has increased. Excluding VAT, the launch price was £174.46, the current price £174.99 - technically a price increase, but only to match a price point.

    On the other hand, I believe Winter Village Toy Shop was more expensive the second year and whilst VAT had again changed it didn't explain the difference.
  • RonyarRonyar Member Posts: 357
    I know they increased the price on #3315-1 Olivia's House from $69.99 to $74.99 in the US at some point after it's release. (Maybe after the first year it was out?) That one definitely stood to me at the time, as I had gotten the set for my daughter before the price went up.
    legomason
  • VenunderVenunder Nottingham, UK.Member Posts: 2,446
    SO that was why Olivia's House was not discounted in the UK, for over a year....
    The shops eventually had to drop the price to £49.99 to sell their excess stock.
    As far as I know, it still is not selling well at the full RRP.
    Several shops have it reduced.
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