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What would/could push you out of the hobby of collecting LEGO, and send you in to another Dark Age?
Feel free to nuke this or move it elsewhere, but a quick search turned up nothing of value...
What with the variety of color match issues, cracking 1x1 part designs and other part stress failures, price increases that seem uneccesary, and anything else that may grind your gears about TLG's current state of affairs... What would be the straw that breaks the camel's back and turn you off entirely? Is there any one thing? Or would it be the culmination of lots of little things (both from TLG, or issues in your personal life)? Would it be a competitor's product that surpassed TLG's offerings at a technical level?
This may be referred to as the "General Rant" thread. I'm curious what people's responses are.
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not sure if any one thing could push me over the edge, but my interesting and spending has already been on the decrease for about two years now.
I'd add, being a Star Wars collector;
•the amount of Rebels sets released - I have zero interest in Rebels
•the decreasing number of OT sets
•the quality of the upcoming film - I can't get excited about any of the sets currently on sale as they mean nothing to me not having seen the film (though I have bought the Falcon) - wait and see I guess
•stickers - older sets are now looking shabby due to poor sticker quality - even the UCS plaque stickers are starting to curl.
Another big one for me is saturation, or probably oversaturation. There is starting to be too much lego in media as everyone seems to jump on the bandwagon following the movie. Too much about investment, too much about social repsonsibilities (female representation, how much pink lego, artists getting bulk orders, ...). I guess that all goes along with being the number one toy company.
The lack of a castle / historic theme also puts me off buying new (proper boxed) sets. So I see myself tending to stick to smaller CMF purchases when the characters are relevant for me. I already have quite a bit of lego. If they stop selling the type of things I'm interested in then I won't give up, I'll just not buy. So not exactly enter dark ages, I'll just stop buying.
Space, money and disapproving looks from my wife are probably going to combine in the next 6 months to either stop or radically reduce by Lego buying.
Trouble is, even though I restrict myself to Technic, some Architecture and the odd Star Wars & Ideas sets if they appeal, I can still buy it faster than I build it, due to a lack of spare time.
I'm about to clear our loft out to re-do the boards up there, and at that point, Mrs Boo will see just how much Lego I've acquired over the past three years or so. At which point there will be a short economics lecture and a reminder that we've been planning to move house for nearly 8 years...
Trouble is, I wouldn't be able to just buy a few new Technic sets, so I either keep going, or just go cold turkey.
I suppose the burden of owning too much Lego could potentially ruin my enjoyment of it in the future, but in reality I think that would probably only make me stop buying new Lego sets. I'd just make do with, and enjoy what I've got left. Although to be honest, I probably already have far too many unopened sets as it is (including modulars!)
- If TLG change the colours of their grey parts again
Lego is fun, but without social and community feedback on Brickset it is just another toy that comes and goes.
Without a good median to buy and sell sets and parts the value of Lego can't be unlocked.
I really don't think price will be the deciding factor as prices have steadily risen year-on-year and there are always bargains to be had (3-for-2, Amazon price-match, Tesco clearance etc.).
Physical space and familial other(s) seem to be the main reasons for potentially giving up the big "L". Over-saturation (as mentioned above), is also a definite concern - I'm a bit of a completionist, so would rather avoid a theme completely, rather than have gaps in my collection (Super Heroes excluded, because the SDCC figs just don't exist in my mind, <put hands over ears> "La-la-la...") :)
In this case I would stop collecting and focus only on MOCs.
Seriously,the absence of a History theme or even a theme with more earth-toned bricks (just like Lotr was) pushes me even more into dark ages,not there yet,but getting closer and closer...
At this point, however, I have enough bricks, and there is Bricklink, that I don't know if I'd stop building. My first dark ages where characterized by all my Lego being in storage, and me being interested in other things, and neither buying nor building. Now, even the birth of my children (which resulted in a "dim age" of Lego-in-storage and less buying/building) couldn't stop me entirely from being an AFOL. It would take something pretty traumatic to turn me off of building. Something on the scale of learning that several set designers were abusing children and Lego corp was covering it up. I don't know if I'd be able to shake the disgust of something like that.
I have not seen the color or cracking problems that others see as rampant with new LEGO, but then again I haven't built many new sets lately either. Once I start building at a good pace again, maybe I'll start to see those issues too?
Honestly, with my "want list" of old retired sets well into the hundreds, I could stop buying new right now and still keep buying used LEGO for a couple of years without missing a beat. But the new sets still look pretty good...
I think TLG's retail policies in US are terrible and have done a lot of damage in how I view the buying process from them. It's been over 2 years now since I've started protesting by not buying directly from them unless it's necessary for a promo poly.
But the single thing they can keep doing that will turn me to the dark side is continuing Rehashes or Re-releases of important sets/themes. I swear, one more Rehash of a UCS, Modular or Creator Expert and it's over between you and I Lego!!! Drives me bonkers and it hits them on the important pillar of "Creativity of design" that they hold over other competitors. It's just a down right embarrassment to see the Designer Video of the Toy Shop, pretending as if it was something new and that he himself created. That was a sad moment to witness TLG.
Recently I've been buying more new sets than I used to, and the only quality issue I've found is a slight translucence to some colours that didn't used to be there. Seems to affect yellows mainly, but it's not a big problem.
I can't see that stopping unless Technic suddenly gets as rubbish as it was 15 years or so ago.
Sure, Lego is expensive, but the collectible sets don't generally drop in value so I can justify the expense.
The standard of quality right now is also too low. That's more of a pile on effect with me, along with rising prices, mediocre treatment of purchasers in North America, no sales, etc.
Things that have prompted me to feel this way:
1) The declining, poor quality of the bricks. I have had many, many, many bricks crack down the middle after the set is assembled. I really don't like the idea of spending hundreds of dollars on something that literally falls apart by itself from just sitting there.
2) The poor availability of the seasonal sets. Some of them were sold out even though I went to the local store to buy them on the first day there were supposedly released. With other sets, they refused to sell more than one when I needed two. When a product is not available when I need it, I tend to write it off.
3) The banning of discounts on large sets. Yes, I can still afford them even without the 10%. However, this shows a lack of good will towards customers and more focus on their own bottom line rather than building a relationship with customers.
4) Too many licensed sets. I personally don't care for Star Wars, super heroes, Disney, etc. I would be more interested in their products if there were more creator type sets.
4) Clutter. I have too many sets and the majority of them need to go.
Price increases, declining service, rehases, etc - I can hack all of those things. I don't like it but I can deal with it. The quality issue is absolutely damning though. I refuse to let that one slide.
I doubt if I'll ever have another dark ages because as a few others have said, I'll always have the interest. I may go through periods in the future where I'm not buying or building, but this is my one hobby that came back after not one, but two dark ages. That must mean something as every other hobby that I dropped for one reason or another never came back. But LEGO did.
That said, I could see my enthusiasm lessen in some areas for various reasons, including:
1. CMFs hitting $4.99. The price increase for these has been probably the most rapid of all LEGO price increases. Remember, Series 1 was not all that long ago and we're already up to $3.99. At $4.99, I might finally be out. I want the complete sets now, but at that price, I'll be sure just to pick my favorites of the bunch, if any.
2. Uninspiring superhero sets. I'm quickly being pushed to just being a minifig collector when it comes to the superheroes line.
And the other two have already seen my enthusiasm take a hit:
3. Lack of a space theme I enjoy. Galaxy Squad is the only one that has come out since I came out of my most recent dark ages and it just didn't appeal to me. I loved Classic, Space Police, Ice Planet, Blacktron, etc., etc. But Galaxy Squad just didn't do it for me.
4. The same when it comes to a castle theme. I have every LotR/Hobbit set all still in boxes waiting for my sons to be old enough to (HOPEFULLY) enjoy the movies as much as I did. I love the look of the theme. Love it. Then the latest castle theme came out and I was truly disappointed. I get that there's a difference between a licensed theme from a subject geared toward older kids and adults and a theme that is truly geared toward kids of all ages, but the difference between the two was just too much. I think more can be done with the castle theme to make the builds more exciting and the sets less blah. I didn't get a single one of theme when castle was/and still is my all-time favorite subject when it comes to LEGO. I have King's Castle #6080 (WHICH IS FROM 1984!) and I couldn't justify buying King's Castle #70404 because it wasn't all that much improved. I don't see 29 years of LEGO innovation between the two sets. And, oh yeah, #6080 came with 12 minifigs. #70404 came with 7.
It really sucks because I'm really excited about the newer designs.
Other factors are not as significant to me because I always had the, "But this is an heirloom quality toy to be handed down for generations" argument for things like pricing, difficulty to find, etc.
That's not to say that my other half hates LEGO, but she really just tolerates my collection, as it's not in her face all the time, which is a shame...
I collected SW toys as a kid and various toys throughout my life. I used to collect comic books. I was into trading card games and Hero-Clix. Now I've consciously been trying to stick with LEGO and not buy every action figure or other form of collectible based on SW or superheroes like I used to.
I still break down once and a while. Is it just my imagination or is Disney going crazy with the merchandising now that they've acquired Marvel an SW?
If either of those two thing were to happen (which I don't believe for the foreseeable future), there are still many older sets that I'm actively collecting and have several open and active building projects I'm working. I don't believe either qualifies as a "dark age" scenario.
Some other points for me is things that have already been mentioned here - price, quality issues, space. But the biggest problem lately has been keeping track of it all. I have minifigures everywhere that I should organize and display. I have LEGO in the basement and the attic and everywhere in between.
I also sort of burnt myself out buying 4 big lots of used LEGO (all of them great deals that I "could not pass"). Crazy amount of sorting. So a little break was the best thing to do.
I am not completely out, just easing down a bit. For the first time in years I have not checked this forum multiple times every day...
I don't like to think about worst-case-scenarios like this, of course, but until I can actually get a job that offers me some long-term financial security, they are a big concern of mine. And if these sorts of situations should come up, not being able to buy LEGO would be the least of my worries. It surprises me that most people in this thread are thinking strictly in terms of what could go wrong within LEGO (or generally good things that could happen like getting a significant other) and not about what could go wrong in their personal lives.
FWIW, I never had a "first" dark age. LEGO has been important to me in so many ways over the years, so it'd take a lot to pull me away from it entirely. Most of my strongest friendships and biggest accomplishments are a direct result of my participation in the LEGO community.
Being from Europe (Denmark actually) I do not get this. To me the US has the lowest Lego prices on the planet. So what is the problem?
Each of these has a limited impact but taken together have caused many people to feel taken for granted/alienated/punished for other people's behavior.
Relative to Denmark we're probably still getting better deals, I don't really know, but relative to four years ago we're significantly worse off buying LEGO.
Limits on small sets like the vignettes are probably a good thing to. Why does anyone need 5 or 10 of them? Especially when production runs are probably small for time sensitive sets, why sell them all to resellers who then sell them on at much higher prices when they are OOS a week later. Better to limit numbers and let customers buy them.
LEGO is certainly well within their rights to make most of these changes, but myself and others are well within our rights to complain about them.
- loss of grab bags (out of LEGO's control apparently, but still)
- loss of store ability to order specific PAB elements
- loss of any and all discounts on exclusives (Europe still gets discounts btw)
- loss of convention discounts
- loss of volunteering discounts
- loss of holiday PAB boxes
- decrease in freebies
- increased purchasing limits, with *WILDLY* inconsistent enforcement (I think most people would be fine with the limits if LEGO at least enforced them somewhat consistently)
- changes to, then loss of, LUG Window program and rewards
- knee jerk directives to store staff that were ill conceived, impossible to enforce, and in some cases resulted in potentially discriminatory practices
Last week, the local supermarket had Pepsi on offer; this week it doesn't. Deals come to an end. If those deals have been around so long that you could consider them "normal", then you should think your self lucky. It's different for the general public, but most people here are aware of the difference in pricing between different regions, and the writing has been on the wall for a long time.
as an AFOL, I get considerably less for my $ from LEGO now then I did 3 and 4 years ago. Of course that's going to impact how I feel about continuing to spend money with the company
I think most people understand that LEGO doesn't need to discount items to make sales. It doesn't mean they have to like it. Really I was just answering bok2's question, if you look you'll notice I haven't responded to the original point. My answer would be completely different to those shared so far and I don't feel like discussing it, today at least.
@TigerMoth that wasn't the question asked. And in light of yours I'll ask another - did you feel taken for granted five years ago? And if you did, did it affect your LEGO purchases?
This week fewer people will buy Pepsi at your supermarket. Likewise LEGO has made pricing decisions that affect its sales in certain segments of the American market. If Pepsi never goes on sale then some people might stop drinking it altogether in favour of a consistently cheaper beverage. If LEGO is never on sale its perceived value for money will decrease and some people will choose to spend their money on other things.
I doubt those sales will be made up in other markets because people feel that everyone's being treated more equally. Of course I also doubt LEGO will notice any change.
The lack of basic bricks at a reasonable prices will definitely drive me out of collecting Lego. Currently the Modular creator sets are the best way to get basic bricks in a good quantities at good prices. As Lego continues to raise the prices with the Creator line and add more specialized pieces to these models will this continue to be the case?