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other than that, I'm not going down the pricing debate rabbit hole again...
I'm in the US. I did not see this set on [email protected], but I could have missed it when it came out. I still have a good amount of basic bricks I have collected over many years but as my MOCs get larger I find that supply dwindling. PAB is an option, but buying basic bricks in large quantities that way can get pricey. Depending on the color of the brick, BrickLink can also be expensive. Creator sets like the Pet Shop offer a bountiful supply of of reddish brown and sand blue bricks that I can use to build my projects without breaking the bank. I am glad Lego is offering a wide variety of different products that will appeal to everyone, but it is the basic bricks that is the backbone of most of my MOCs and keeps me collecting.
Much like a UCS Serenity.
My wife absolutely detests Lego. And I detest dancing - so we are even.
Probably not going to stop me but thought I'd have a moan here about it!
it is the same in all collectable areas, there are periods where the companies producing the items go through purple patches where they can do no wrong and then periods where they miss the mark, collectors tend to respond to that in the same way, over a lifetime of buying Lego there will be periods where you just have to have stuff and periods where you don't.
the biggest driver away from a hobby is when a company tries to correct itself when it dips or misjudged its success and pushes the consumer to far (Hasbro with its modern SW figure line a few years ago made this mistake) and as a result people just don't want to spend hard earned cash on stuff they have seen before or isn't at the same quality threshold as before so they move onto other things.
that would be he thing that would push me away from Lego as a hobby. I don't think that will happen anytime soon, but I am sure it will come at some point, it is inevitable really
If Lego wants customers, they certainly do owe them something: reasonable prices on a quality product.
I mean, I get how you might feel like the company isn't treating you like you want, but is that the only thing that keeps you here?
As a Canadian I'm used to getting the worst deals from Lego. We have neither the low prices of the US nor the deals that Europe gets. Example: AFOL day in Canada is 15% off all the regular sets. All the good sets are excluded: so no modulars, no UCS, no exclusives, basically none of the large sets at all. In Europe the discounts are higher and there are no exclusives, and when you factor in the pricing the deals can be really good (or bad, depending on your country).
Not only does Lego offer us little in terms of sales, but our other toy retailers are pretty bad at discounts too. Essentially, Lego only goes on sale at 20% off max. Very rarely will you find a set discounted more than that. And never one of the exclusives - Lego has an agreement with all the stores that carry them.
I don't like the situation. I complain to Lego about it: it's not a fully global market, but it's getting there. Customers are better informed and needlessly high prices put people off. But what it means is that I buy less Lego. I'll buy fewer sets, I'll wait for sales. If sets were cheaper I'd buy a lot more of them. But to stop buying them altogether? They'd have to become way more unaffordable.
Your comment hits home and makes me wonder how many in their twenties will be able to afford this hobby to the extent that older AFOL's have. Not only will the twenty somethings not have the extra cash to buy much LEGO, they will not have space for it if they can't afford a decent place to live. I see this as being a larger potential cause of Dark Ages behavior than most of the factors controlled by TLG. And it is sad because in the past children were expected to achieve a material standard of living better than their parents.(I am not saying that this should be our only goal in life, but we have to be able to afford the necessities before we have leftover funds for hobbies like LEGO.)
If we limit factors leading to more Dark Ages to those controlled by TLG, most of the arguments advanced above sound reasonable. It just depends on which issues push your buttons and is a very subjective matter. Like many seniors, I an not too fond of most themes offered now, so that limits my buying along with the lack of space for more LEGO. Recognizing the fact that seniors buying for their own use are a small source of sales, this is not a major concern for TLG, which finds it major markets among younger populations. Of course, we grandparents do buy LEGO for our grandchildren, so our importance could increase over time as our share of personal wealth outweighs that of younger folks.
I never claimed to be entitled to anything. I'm only pointing out that LEGO provides far less deals and benefits than they used to provide. That's just facts. I'm not entitled to any of these things. But LEGO used to provide them, and now they don't, so of course I'm going to feel a sense of loss
the value proposition for buying LEGO is significantly worse than it was 3 years ago. Enough so that it has resulted in me buying less LEGO. If it continues to get worse it could end up resulting in me not buying any LEGO anymore
Entitlement would be claiming LEGO owes me these things. I have never claimed that. Nor did I claim I am in the hobby because of these benefits. No idea how you would draw such a conclusion. As I've said before, it is possible to like the product but dislike some of the company's business practices
Answering the original question, for me the primary factors will be space and life events.
I know I have definitely purchased less than I did a few years ago. I'm sure their popularity is through the roof so they can do whatever they want for a time, but hopefully one day it will bite them hard and things will change.
I also agree about the CMF. I can't justify $4 each, but I still bought a full set, even figures I don't care for. It is an addiction + gotta have them all mentality that drives the sales. I need to skip a series just once and break that mentality and then I'll be okay.
I also agree with the statement that people feel entitled to deals and discounts. They got used to them always being around. But that is the way of the world. Kids these days expect to go to college for whatever degree that want then fall right into a sweet job making more then their parents. The world doesn't work like that anymore. There are still tons of jobs out there. Most are not very glamorous but they feed the kids and pay the bills. The world is always looking for nurses and skilled labor. My father told me " As long as the world keeps eating , the world will need plumbers."
What if it was something else we used to have that goes? For example, what if more bricks crack very easily, and AFOLs complained that the quality was worse than it used to be. It may be that as lego has had to step up production so much to cater for all the new fans, that they don't need to care so much about quality any more, it's speed they need to care about. It's quantity that matters, not quality. Most parents don't care if the odd few bricks or slopes in their kids lego sets crack. It still sells so lego makes its money. Are we still entitled to quality just because we used to have it?
There is a corollary between the two. No discounts as lego keeps on selling anyway, so they aren't necessary. Less quality but faster production as lego keeps on selling anyway, so quality can slip*.
* at least for now.
"I get less brick for my $$ now than I used to, therefore I choose to spend less $$ on LEGO, and perhaps hold the company in slightly less regard due to business practices which I view as impacting me negatively" no one is "at fault", it just is what it is.
Far too often in life, and especially online, we are all looking for someone to "blame". But many times, all that is doing is putting the focus on the wrong things. There is really no blame or fault here, just facts and opinions that derive from those facts.
The point being are we entitled to the same product we are used to. Of course, quality could mean brick quality, quality of designs (just re-releasing old sets would probably still lead to sales) or quality of customer service (you broke / lost it, we aren't to blame, no replacements.)
Taking that experience into account, I can extrapolate the circumstances that might lead me to leave Lego collecting. First of all, Star Wars would have to take a serious nose-dive in set design, variety, and my own personal interest in the films themselves for me to walk away from the theme. "Cute-tification" of Lego persists, and Star Wars is not immune. Not to mention I have no idea how Disney will start pushing the saga once TFA comes out and does boffo business. The dollar signs and demographic data will roll in, and who knows how they will try to affect the flow of Star Wars to the masses. Lego will undoubtedly be affected, but I am optimistic things will be fine, unless crazy edicts like "No more UCS sets!" or "Star Wars 4 Juniors is the priority!" come through.
Second, and unfortunately already coming true, BIONICLE has not come back the way I had hoped. Maybe I actually did outgrow it, but its newest incarnation doesn't "move" me the same way the 2001-2010 story and sets did. It's hard to accept, but even though everything doesn't add up (i.e. I like the CCBS system, but not how it was applied to BIONICLE), I have to concede that I'm just not interested in BIONICLE anymore aside from occasional curiosity (like the Tahu I bought earlier this year).
However, something has filled the void left by BIONICLE...a lot of somethings. Modular buildings. Trains (I can finally afford them! Even the old 9V ones from my childhood). Architecture. Ideas. Individually, I do not get a lot from these themes. But combined, they're more than making up for BIONICLE's loss. Seems like the sky is the limit now for whatever can become a Lego set. So even if Star Wars drops off the map, I'd still actively follow and collect Lego so I don't miss out on some awesome set based on a book, movie, building, historical era, or TV series that enraptures me.
Therefore, it seems even less unlikely that I could enter a dark age now. Lego would have to over-cute-ify everything, make poor set selections, and make new themes that do not appeal to me at all (a la the TV show themes, Ninjago, Chima, Nexo Knights, etc.). Finally, the death knell would probably be marriage at the same time. I only have a girlfriend now, and she is quite the distraction from all things, including Lego. I involve myself happily with her and spending time with her, so I can imagine anyone I choose to marry is going to get the lion's share of my attention and time, too. If Lego is pissing me off concurrently, then it will easy to see what will fall out of my life.
But that is all in the future! Who knows what will actually happen?
Have you looked at the Classic line?
now, with that said. I do not foresee that tip coming anytime soon for me. I'm always trying to keep it all in line. I buy on sale, I disassemble before building something new and I always find time to carve out just enough for me to enjoy some building.
I recently looked at the inventory of the some of the Classic Line sets. I like that they give a wide range of colors of bricks. Unfortunately, they don't provide one color of bricks in large quantities. For instance, I purchased multiple copies of Creator Family House 31012 (when Amazon had them at less than retail price) to get a significant stock of white bricks. The Classic line seems like great starter sets but does not offer me the significant quantities I need.
This would be horribly short-sided for TLG to think like this. The only thing that sets LEGO apart from clone brands is quality. Quality of bricks, quality of designs, quality of instructions, etc. This is why most people who know the brand spend the extra money to buy genuine LEGO. This is their true value. They should be advancing this to maintain the gap, not allowing it to slip to increase short-term sales. The gap is closing whether we want to admit it or not. If a clone brand put some serious money toward set design, it could get ugly. Just my opinion...
I went througha dark period for about a year almost a couple years ago. Liquidized 90% of my collection to fund another expensive hobby, muscle car. Ended up buying and selling two muscle cars and then refocused on rebuilding my collection. Took about a year to rebuild a majority of my collection. Was not able to fund another USC Falcon or SSDx2, but thats ok...for now. Once done, bought another sports car and now working a balance to keep both at the moment. I guess whats helps is building MOCs, even though I do not have a lot of time to do it and when I do I usually end up doing something else.
(Stick shift, please!)
DISNEYIFICATION of Lego.
It's bizarre that people seem to have this kind of apprehension at the prospect of next year's Disney minifigures. Brothers Brick even shared an article about a GIF of a drawing of a Mickey Mouse Duplo figure from Instagram and it got a lot of "Oh no!" comments even though it's a figure that's already in sets this year.
They've been in Lego sets in the past but an even larger share of Lego sets and shelf space is something I do not look forward to.
Disney is wealthy enough to go make their own plastic bricks! lol