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What frustrates you about the TLG?

mackrelmackrel Member Posts: 75
edited April 2011 in Everything else LEGO
My number one thing is the secret nature of upcoming sets. Why, TLG??? Get me amped up about new sets. Don't make me search the internet for info you should be dishing out on a regular basis. It's counterproductive. Their policy seems to be arbitrary and capricious.
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Comments

  • Rainstorm26Rainstorm26 Chicago Burbs USA (and sometimes Ireland)Member Posts: 1,004
    edited April 2011
    I am most annoyed by the cheap Chinese parts that they use in various sets. I celebrate when I find a set with no parts made in China. TLG group says that they monitor the quality of the parts from China to meet their high standards; however, if that is true, TLG has lowered their standards substantially. Personally, I would like a database field here at Bricklink in the sets for the countries of origin each of the sets comes from. This would add another piece of information which would help me determine if I really want to own a certain set.
  • PaulTRPaulTR Member Posts: 115
    The '08 price increase is my pet peeve. I understand that from an economic standpoint, it sorta makes sense, but come on people! 400 pieces should not be $50; that's just not fair! Also, their aloofness from the fan base makes me a little annoyed. Why can't TLG come down to our humble level and chat with us once an a while? After all, th best part of LEGO (besides the toy itself) is the awesome fan-base.

    Besides that, not much else annoys me, but then again, I've been too busy playing with their product to make an in-depth hate list :)
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Member Posts: 4,401
    While I don't think secrecy of forthcoming products is a very legitimate complaint, I imagine there are indeed areas of concern for even the most loyal of Lego fans. Price point is probably my biggest concern, followed by product quality. I'd also like for TLG to continue to bring us more Family Home and Recycling Truck sets and maybe push the Police Station and Fire Station reboots to only every 2 or 3 years. I would say the same goes with redesigning Star Wars sets. We have already had 4 different Slave 1 ships (if you count Jango's) in just the last couple of years. And it's not a complaint, but I'm hopeful that TLG has a plan for when the Clone Wars cartoon ends. I imagine these sets are doing very well and I would hate for TLG's great market surge to hit a plateau, or worse a cliff.
  • aplbomr79aplbomr79 Member Posts: 159
    @ PaulTR - I am with you. THe cheapening is a major sore spot - especially with Battlepacks. This was the reason I forewent the Kingdoms Series.

    Another area that perturbs me is their cycling of themes and product. I am a huge fan of castle and town. It seems that they will inundate the market with a theme for 1-3 years and then completely abandon them for a number of years. Why not only release a handful of sets each year over a number of years? This would allow the LEGO purchasers time to simmer on the Theme and generate some excitement.

    Case in point, the Farm Subtheme. I think that there is a larger market out there for the Farm theme - but as long as they release it over a longer period of time. We just had a Party for my youngest son's Birthday and after the kids were playing with LEGO for a bit, the dads noticed my boys' Farm sets (we have all of them in a separate collection) and were completely enamored by them. They asked where they could get them - and all I could say is try Bricklink or EBay. Our Local TRU is completely out except for the Tractor 7634 or the Farmer 7566.

    Now look at the new LEGO City sets and this year is inundated with Police (getting pretty tired of them) and the Harbour Themes. Why not stretch these out?
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,284
    @PaulTR: I personally don't feel as if LEGO is aloof. There are many instances where they solicit our opinion and that feedback is then seen folded into their business -- from set ideas to community events. Their ambassador program is a direct attempt to maintain a relationship with a cross section of their fan base. And LEGO employees do participate in web forums and the like; sometimes their presence is announced and other times, understandably, it is not.
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,284
    @aplbomr79: The product lines are a constant balancing act. The LEGO Group must continue to develop new ideas in search of the next phenomenon, as evidenced by their heavy cross-licensing of late, while also maintaining tried and true themes and designs.

    Once they do find a hit, they must "strike while the iron is hot" and capitalize on the popularity, because consumers are fickle and fads come and go. If they get your attention with a particular set they want to ensure there are similar sets available while they hold your attention rather than have to advertise to get it again in the future.
  • duilimduilim Member Posts: 61
    sorry, but I think I speak for all Australians when I say that my number one pet peeve is the ridiculous prices we have to pay. For Star Wars sets in particular, we pay almost double what the U.S. prices are, and our dollar is stronger!!! For other general sets, we still pay anywhere from 50% upwards for out sets......
    I think it's unfair how I have to pay more, just because of the country I live in.....
  • fox171171fox171171 Member Posts: 45
    I feel your pain duilim. I'm in Canada, neighboring the USA, and our dollar is stronger than theirs as well. Yet on LEGO's shop site, it costs more for me in Canada than in the USA.

    For example: The UCS Imperial Shuttle (10212) costs USD$259.99 or CAD$309.99. That's a pretty significant difference! According to the Bank of Canada at close yesterday (12 April), the Canadian dollar was worth USD$1.0383. If the site would let me order it from the USA, it would cost me CDN$250.40. Why should I have to pay CDN$59.59 more for it?
  • xowainxxowainx United KingdomMember Posts: 112
    My main problem is the scrimping Lego have been doing of late on the Star Wars sets (I don't collect other lines properly, so I can't really comment too much). I can take the price hikes (I tend to wait for sales/discounts on the ones I find outrageous like Slave-1), but it's the fact that with a lot of sets, just another 5-10 pieces would have made all the difference and made the set feel complete. Things like the mess of a cockpit within the T6 Jedi Shuttle, all the ships/vehicles without actual control panels (printed or otherwise) or seat backs (Fett's "control station" in Slave-1 being a good example), holes in cockpits/floors that can be covered up with a few pieces (the worst offender being the interior of the Twilight where they just stuck a winch in the way rather than bother to flesh it out).. The details have always been an important thing about lego models, and it just seems unnecessairily penny pinching when their sales reports and announcements seem to be consistently positive.
  • davee123davee123 USAMember Posts: 808
    My pet peeve is quality. It's been going downhill noticeably since 2003 in terms of tolerances, color consistency, instruction packaging, element integrity, print quality of instructions, etc. Some of that's been the move to China, some has been a change in their QA (I can only assume), and some has been a change in their molding procedures.

    Otherwise, I think LEGO's doing pretty well. They communicate reasonably well with the fanbase through things like the Ambassador program. It's true that when we had Jake McKee and later Steve Witt we did have people from LEGO that would routinely discuss things with the community more publicly-- and that would be nice to see again. But that's a pretty tiresome task given the size of the fanbase. I know Steve said on a few occasions that he was frequently inundated by a lot of rabid fans.

    Re: Australia prices. Back in 2002?, we heard from LEGO that Australia had really bizarre customs procedures that cost a lot more money. I don't remember the details-- I want to say it was something about everything being checked by hand or something. But it boiled down to higher prices and a difficulty for setting up a [email protected] service in Australia. Of course, that's probably not the WHOLE picture (in the USA, the market is much more competitive, or so we're told), but it was certainly (and likely still is) an issue. Brad Justus at the time said that Australian fans could help LEGO out by contacting their government representatives and asking for changes to the customs system!

    There's other peeves as well, like set numbering (make it more consistent!), but mostly they're pretty minor. My big one is quality.

    DaveE
  • PaulTRPaulTR Member Posts: 115

    Re: Australia prices. Back in 2002?, we heard from LEGO that Australia had really bizarre customs procedures that cost a lot more money. I don't remember the details-- I want to say it was something about everything being checked by hand or something. But it boiled down to higher prices and a difficulty for setting up a [email protected] service in Australia. Of course, that's probably not the WHOLE picture (in the USA, the market is much more competitive, or so we're told), but it was certainly (and likely still is) an issue. Brad Justus at the time said that Australian fans could help LEGO out by contacting their government representatives and asking for changes to the customs system!

    DaveE
    Hmmm, that's pretty interesting. I always thought LEGO cost more in Australia because it's surrounded by water, and it's a bit far from their distribution plants. Still, Australia is the only country on Earth that has its own continent, so I guess that's a plus for everyone Down Under :)

  • davee123davee123 USAMember Posts: 808
    Doing some research, it was Brad Justus talking about [email protected] being available for Australia at BrickFest 2001's Q&A session. Here's Larry P's quick paraphrasing:

    "One of the big holdups is your government who requires BOTH electronic AND paper import documents for the same import shipment. Complain to them."

    Original LUGNET post:
    http://news.lugnet.com/events/brickfest/?n=371

    Of course, I remember Brad being a little gentler than saying "Complain to them" :) I think he said something along the lines of: "If you want it to happen sooner, please contact your government representatives and tell them!"

    DaveE
  • MatthewMatthew Cheshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 3,734
    Still, Australia is the only country on Earth that has its own continent, so I guess that's a plus for everyone Down Under :)
    No it doesn't: It shares with NZ :-)
  • wander099wander099 Member Posts: 114

    Re: Australia prices. Back in 2002?, we heard from LEGO that Australia had really bizarre customs procedures that cost a lot more money. I don't remember the details-- I want to say it was something about everything being checked by hand or something. But it boiled down to higher prices and a difficulty for setting up a [email protected] service in Australia. Of course, that's probably not the WHOLE picture (in the USA, the market is much more competitive, or so we're told), but it was certainly (and likely still is) an issue. Brad Justus at the time said that Australian fans could help LEGO out by contacting their government representatives and asking for changes to the customs system!

    DaveE
    Hmmm, that's pretty interesting. I always thought LEGO cost more in Australia because it's surrounded by water, and it's a bit far from their distribution plants. Still, Australia is the only country on Earth that has its own continent, so I guess that's a plus for everyone Down Under :)

    Still doesn't explain why I have to pay significantly more in Canada despite the fact that our dollar is stronger, we are close to the USA , and in my case, I live relatively close to the border. It really bugs me because our prices are routinely $10-20 more per set, and that's just the under $100 sets. For the more expensive sets it's way more (the Death Star is $100 more!).
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,088
    My biggest complaint about TLG has been the same since 1986... for a building (as in "Architecture") toy to have a complete lack of a windows/doors system.

    Back in 1963 there were about 140 different LEGO elements (including the different colors of parts)... of which 20 were red/white windows/doors that all were part of the same system.... now 13,000+ parts later... no common windows/doors system. From 1956-86 you could mix and match your windows to come up with a hundred different styles.... and today? An embarrassment....
  • fox171171fox171171 Member Posts: 45
    Is it too much to ask that the electronic copies of the instructions be in vector format?
    A few are vector (mostly older ones as far as I can tell), but most are pixelly raster format. (At least in the SW line, which is mostly what I get.)

    image
  • Erinlyn80Erinlyn80 Member Posts: 29
    edited April 2011
    My complaint would have to be that sets seem to retire all throughout the year and without warning. I have a huge interest in the ones like the Carousel and those Modular houses like Grand Emporium etc but being $150-200 you really have to plan for a purchase like that I don't have that just laying around. It would be nice if you had some idea if you'd have 6mos or 2years to purchase it. I know to some degree it would be hard to publish that but it would be nice to at least get a 30day warning before it disappears off lego.com and tru.com and then you're stuck trying to find the same sets for $250+ (so for now I don't have any of them). I emailed them about his and they don't seem to care.

    I was also really disappointed when I submitted a suggestion to them that basically said thanks but no thanks we have a team that does product development we don't take consumer suggestions. Well really? Someone should tell your 'team' that its illogical to have series minifigures in sets of 16 and the collectible minifigure box holds 15 i think, wouldn't it be more productive to have one box per set? I'd probably buy the minifigure storage boxes if they fit the whole set. I can appreciate having a team for such things but you'd think they'd at least say thank you we will consider it, seems more polite than thanks but no thanks we don't care what you think.

    Thats my rant. : )
  • PaulTRPaulTR Member Posts: 115
    edited April 2011
    Still, Australia is the only country on Earth that has its own continent, so I guess that's a plus for everyone Down Under :)
    No it doesn't: It shares with NZ :-)
    Drat! Had a bit of a mental lapse there! How could I forget about good 'ol New Zealand!? And I've taken an honors course in geography...oh, the horror! :P
  • duilimduilim Member Posts: 61

    Re: Australia prices. Back in 2002?, we heard from LEGO that Australia had really bizarre customs procedures that cost a lot more money. I don't remember the details-- I want to say it was something about everything being checked by hand or something. But it boiled down to higher prices and a difficulty for setting up a [email protected] service in Australia. Of course, that's probably not the WHOLE picture (in the USA, the market is much more competitive, or so we're told), but it was certainly (and likely still is) an issue. Brad Justus at the time said that Australian fans could help LEGO out by contacting their government representatives and asking for changes to the customs system!

    DaveE
    Hmmm, that's pretty interesting. I always thought LEGO cost more in Australia because it's surrounded by water, and it's a bit far from their distribution plants. Still, Australia is the only country on Earth that has its own continent, so I guess that's a plus for everyone Down Under :)

    Let me give you an example.
    Last year, the Clone Turbo Tank sold for $120 U.S. in the U.S.
    The Australian price was $240 Aud - at the time, $1 Aud = $1 U.S.
    We paid double the American price.
    Whatever the reason, whether it be customs or distance for postage, it does not cost an additional $120 per set.
    Also, on the customs issue - they don't have that problem in Asia and yet, Asian prices are even worse than Australian prices!! So there goes that argument.
    Basically, Lego's latest explanation is along the lines that the American market is more competitive than in other countries, hence, the lower prices to compete.
    Cold comfort for those of us who live in the rest of the world....... (no offence to our U.S. readers.....)
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    edited April 2011
    Still, Australia is the only country on Earth that has its own continent, so I guess that's a plus for everyone Down Under :)
    No it doesn't: It shares with NZ :-)
    Drat! Had a bit of a mental lapse there! How could I forget about good 'ol New Zealand!? And I've taken an honors course in geography...oh, the horror! :P
    Actually, New Zealand is not on the Australian Continent no matter how you define it:

    "New Zealand is not on the same continental shelf and so is not part of the continent of Australia but is part of the submerged continent Zealandia. Zealandia and Australia together are part of the wider region known as Oceania or Australasia."

    And if you follow a common definition of continent, @PaulTR was right:

    "There is no universally accepted definition of the word "continent"; the lay definition is "One of the main continuous bodies of land on the earth's surface" (Oxford English Dictionary). By that definition, the continent of Australia includes only the Australian mainland, and not nearby islands such as New Guinea."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australia_(continent)

    Sorry for being pedantic and off-topic, but I couldn't resist.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,250
    My complaint would have to be that sets seem to retire all throughout the year and without warning. I have a huge interest in the ones like the Carousel and those Modular houses like Grand Emporium etc but being $150-200 you really have to plan for a purchase like that I don't have that just laying around. It would be nice if you had some idea if you'd have 6mos or 2years to purchase it. I know to some degree it would be hard to publish that but it would be nice to at least get a 30day warning before it disappears off lego.com and tru.com and then you're stuck trying to find the same sets for $250+ (so for now I don't have any of them). I emailed them about his and they don't seem to care.

    I was also really disappointed when I submitted a suggestion to them that basically said thanks but no thanks we have a team that does product development we don't take consumer suggestions. Well really? Someone should tell your 'team' that its illogical to have series minifigures in sets of 16 and the collectible minifigure box holds 15 i think, wouldn't it be more productive to have one box per set? I'd probably buy the minifigure storage boxes if they fit the whole set. I can appreciate having a team for such things but you'd think they'd at least say thank you we will consider it, seems more polite than thanks but no thanks we don't care what you think.

    Thats my rant. : )

    Just an FYI. In my educated opinion. Lego usually runs most sets for about 2-3 years (actually makes sets for about 2-2 1/2 years, then lets the supplies run out by the end of the 3rd). The caveat to that is some of the retail store exclusives.. it all depends then on the demand by the retailer I think (The Helicopter/limo set and city townhouse sets are good examples) But most sets, it is a 2-3 yr run.
    So, in short if you want the Medieval market village, Emerald night, Death Star, Fire Brigade, among a few others (I believe Battle of Endor as well) will be selling out this year, most likely around (usually before) Christmas, but it depends on stocks.. Again checking Amazon (if they have the set there) they usually have a notice if the set has been discontinued in the product details section, which can help.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,250

    I was also really disappointed when I submitted a suggestion to them that basically said thanks but no thanks we have a team that does product development we don't take consumer suggestions. Well really? Someone should tell your 'team' that its illogical to have series minifigures in sets of 16 and the collectible minifigure box holds 15 i think, wouldn't it be more productive to have one box per set? I'd probably buy the minifigure storage boxes if they fit the whole set. I can appreciate having a team for such things but you'd think they'd at least say thank you we will consider it, seems more polite than thanks but no thanks we don't care what you think.

    Thats my rant. : )
    Id have to say that you are not the only one who came up with that notion and that Lego has probably heard it plenty of times.. You also have to realize that not everyone that knows Lego inside and out are working there, so the answer you get sometimes is from the same type of person calling random people telling them that if they switch their phone service they will save money.
    FYI, There are new cases coming out that are divisible by 4, so you can have your 16 fig cases, you just have to wait.

    To everyone else:
    The reason why Lego does not show everyone what is in development is due to the fear of Mega-shlock and Chinese knockoffs from copying, however badly, their new lines.. Lego is trying to put out unique sets (hence the Farm line) and trying to be different than those companies... They change the lines to keep them fresh and while some are misses, others are hits... Will Farm be gone forever? Prob not, but again people do not buy the sets, causing Lego to stop the line, then people complain they cannot find them... well if they are deemed popular Lego will not keep them going.... Lego is a company and looks at the bottom dollar.

  • davee123davee123 USAMember Posts: 808
    I was also really disappointed when I submitted a suggestion to them that basically said thanks but no thanks we have a team that does product development we don't take consumer suggestions.
    They say that for 2 reasons:

    1) They don't want to be inundated with tons of suggestions. On other forums, we've seen examples of this, where people (particularly younger fans) have ADAMANTLY wanted to submit ideas like "make a new Cloud Car set!" and "you should make Halo sets!". LEGO doesn't need every 9-year-old out there submitting ideas, only to wade through a sea of mostly-useless suggestions. LEGO has teams of people for product development who are really good at it. They don't need to invest money in staff to read through 1000 suggestions every day in the hopes that one of them will be worth pursuing.

    2) "Legal reasons". This is the reason that Steve Witt would tell us repeatedly, without expounding on. My own guess is that this is only mildly true. If you submitted a fleshed out product suggestion to LEGO, and 6 years later they released something very similar to what you submitted, you MIGHT have reason to sue them demanding payment. If you could prove that LEGO *accepted* your suggestion, it could be evidence that you can submit legally in court. Hence, if LEGO throws away your suggestion, and tells you "sorry, we don't take suggestions", that covers them legally. Then they don't have to worry about keeping a MASSIVE database of suggestions, and prove that EVERY set they come out with DOESN'T have something similar in their suggestion database.
    Still doesn't explain why I have to pay significantly more in Canada despite the fact that our dollar is stronger, we are close to the USA , and in my case, I live relatively close to the border.
    That's a long-standing complaint with LEGO, I wouldn't expect an explanation. LEGO has said time-and-again that the strength of the Canadian dollar vs. the US dollar is meaningless in the price derivation for Canadian prices. What might be a better comparison would be CAD to DKK. But even then (says LEGO), there are a bajillion other factors at work, different in every country (OK, they might not say "a bajillion"). But basically, every country has its own customs, import taxes, regulations for childrens' toys, merchandiser demands, economic strength, etc.

    There's also a long-standing complaint that basically the USA has the cheapest prices out there. Nobody seems to compare Canadian prices to Australian prices, or Japanese prices to German prices. Everyone compares to the USA, because they've got the cheapest LEGO. The USA has cheap LEGO for various economic reasons, most likely the largest of which is that its citizens are absolutely unwilling to pay for a more expensive toy.

    From what we've heard, LEGO sells in the USA at a very low profit margin (I heard that from 2005-2007, I haven't heard any updates since). LEGO covers its costs in the USA, but doesn't make much in the way of profit there. In that timeframe (and before), LEGO actually made MORE profit in Germany than in the entire USA, despite selling a LOT more volume in the USA. Of course, since 2007, USA LEGO prices have climbed a little (or so it seems), so I don't know if that statistic still holds true.

    DaveE
  • paanjang16paanjang16 Member Posts: 1
    So what frustrates me about TLG?
    1) The price of Lego in Malaysia. Seriously, it is NO JOKE. Some examples: 8258 Crane Truck RM 999.00. 8070 Supercar RM 549.90. 7498 Police Station RM 559.90. Galactic Enforcer RM 549.90. At one time the UCS Falcon was selling at RM 2500 new. The conversion rate at this time is roughly USD 1.00 = RM 3.02.
    2) Availability of sets. Some sets are very very hard to find such as the flagship technic sets from last year.
    3) Late arrival of sets. We usually have to wait a few months before we can finally able to obtain the latest released set. For example the police station and bank is finally on sale last month (March) and the 8070 Supercar this month. I do not know how long I will have to wait to obtain the Unimog.

    We have a Legoland slowly building up in Johor at the moment. I seriously hope the price will go down otherwise the park will have a seriously hard time selling Lego to remain profitable. Our GDP per capita isn't really that high compared to the States or the EU.
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,233
    As some of you may have guessed from previous threads, one of my greatest frustrations is TLGs tendency to 'regionalise' certain sets, with Brickmaster being an excellent example of what I hate so much. Brickmaster means collectors outside the U.S., of whom there are many, are forced to pay ridiculous amounts in order to source sets which are often not even that great in order to keep their collections complete. I might even have given a small cheer when I heard that Brickmaster was being wound up. I just wish they'd get a move on and kill the blasted thing already...........
  • legowin2010legowin2010 Member Posts: 8
    So what frustrates me about TLG?
    1) The price of Lego in Malaysia. Seriously, it is NO JOKE. Some examples: 8258 Crane Truck RM 999.00. 8070 Supercar RM 549.90. 7498 Police Station RM 559.90. Galactic Enforcer RM 549.90. At one time the UCS Falcon was selling at RM 2500 new. The conversion rate at this time is roughly USD 1.00 = RM 3.02.
    2) Availability of sets. Some sets are very very hard to find such as the flagship technic sets from last year.
    3) Late arrival of sets. We usually have to wait a few months before we can finally able to obtain the latest released set. For example the police station and bank is finally on sale last month (March) and the 8070 Supercar this month. I do not know how long I will have to wait to obtain the Unimog.

    We have a Legoland slowly building up in Johor at the moment. I seriously hope the price will go down otherwise the park will have a seriously hard time selling Lego to remain profitable. Our GDP per capita isn't really that high compared to the States or the EU.
    I understand and I feel for you. As a fellow Malaysian currently studying in the US, I really think that the price of Lego in Malaysia is truly ridiculous. In my area, the only place selling Lego is a TRUs, and the price is like, for example City Corner 7641 RM 299 (which is approximately USD 100). Compare that to the MSRP of the same set in the US (which is only USD 59.99), and plus the fact that there are frequent sales of Lego in US that it is just a matter of time where you are able to get the same set for instances USD 30.00 (50% discount). Although I am excited that there will be a Legoland in Johor soon, I hope that the prices of Lego in Malaysia will be more justified. Maybe it's because of the fact that I have been accustomed with the expensive prices of Lego in Malaysia for such a long time, that when I go inside TRUs or Lego shop here and I look at their prices, I feel that everything is just so cheap:) And it reminded me of the cool set Fort Legoredo 6769 which I wanted so badly 10 years back, and the price tag was RM 480, which I knew my parents couldn't afford it..
  • cbowerscbowers Member Posts: 21
    My biggest complaint, and this may not be what you'd expect here is the large pieces used in new city sets. I remember it used to be fun to get a Town set and there were tons of small pieces in the box. Those small pieces made the bigger pieces that come in today's sets. I mean, how are we supposed to have vehicle crashes if the entire front is made of a couple of bricks...just sayin'
  • spency13spency13 Member Posts: 1
    @mackrel, i totally agree. Don't just make us guess, Lego!! What also agrivates me is when Lego announces what sets are coming out, and even release pics, but when you look at Lego.com for info on these awesome new sets, there is nothing there! You have to wait until about a weekbefore the sets come out for better pics and MAYBE some prices of the sets you've been looking forward to for a long time!! (i.e. PotC. They told us they would come out THIS weekend, and still no prices at Lego.com!)
  • cbowerscbowers Member Posts: 21
    oh the limited realease and promotionals...sometimes we're on the good end of the stick, but I don't like buying them through paypal and internationally...there are tons of airline promo's I've missed, and I do like the new police chase/radar set that was not release in the US. A shame. Probably could've stocked up on some convertibles and decent police cruisers.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,250
    @cbowers: Yeah I kinda miss the smaller pieces, but I am sure it saves Lego money to have bigger ones, not to mention I do not mind the 1 x 6 x 5 panels.. makes building construction easier.
  • cbowerscbowers Member Posts: 21
    @madforlegos: I'm not a huge fan of the newer 1x5x6 with those indentations. It leaves for messy corners. Plus, I just still enjoy building the walls.
  • mackrelmackrel Member Posts: 75
    "While I don't think secrecy of forthcoming products is a very legitimate complaint"

    I respectfully disagree. Why do we have to search the internet for fuzzy pictures of upcoming sets. We seem to spend countless hours speculating and wondering what is coming down the pipe. Why does the POTC just show up at TRU? Why wouldn't you let the LEGO world know that on 04/12/11 head on down to your local TRU and pick up the POTC sets. Imagine going to the movie theater not know what was playing. What kind of marketing strategy is that? Build up the excitement.
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,088
    What I dislike about TLG (and this is an offshoot of my previous lack of windows system complaint is that TLG produces zillions of part is an absurd amount of colors... but they NEVER seem to complete any "system".

    Examples...
    The Log Bricks.... they make a nice building facade (reminiscent of Terra Cotta or Streamlined Art Deco designs. But all they have are 1x2, 1x4 and that large panel piece. What would be nice would be a pair of 1x1 pieces (one with the wave on opposite sides, the other with the waves on 2 adjacent sides)... ditto for a 2x2 "L" piece with the waves on the 2 outside sides.

    Another system they never completed was sloped bricks.... 45 degee slopes (dating to 1958-60) they have had completed for many decades... but would it kill them to make a 3x3 concave 33 degree low slope corner? Or a 2x2x3 75 degree concave corner?

    Also the new macaroni bricks are useless (they can only be stacked and not staggered. A macaroni brick with a 1x1 brick size attached to both curved ends would be great for building curves.... and produce some without that ugly notch of missing plastic (like they did briefly from 1955-56).

    So many systems could use a few pieces to make building architectural projects easier... without having to use the SNOT technique (like on the 2008 Town Plan sets Octan Gas Station curved window).

    When TLG starts something promising... they never finish it like they used to do back in the 1960s.

    Also... would it kill them to make a 45 degree convex corner brick in trans-clear... for use with all those zillions of 2x2 clear slopes we all have from sets... so that we can build a glass pyramid or skylight?

    Just my rant...
    Gary Istok
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    edited April 2011
    Must say that a lot of what people are complaining about here is just good marketing and product management (not releasing early, regionalised releases etc)

    However,

    I agree that price parity is difficult to achieve, but I'm shocked to hear that the US doesnt turn a profit, thats plain bad for business so more parity please.

    Less juniorisation definitely.. very disappointed with the planes, they're like duplo.

    Less of the specialised pieces! Again, I know this is good marketing (less re-use = people buy more sets), but there's a delicate balance and sometimes it tips too far.

    More choice on pick a brick and please bring in bulk buy discounts to reflect the fact that it's surely cheaper in costs to provide 5000x of one piece than 15x different ones.

    More engagement with the fan-base definitely. We keep their business running but it doesn't feel like it sometimes.

    But mostly, as far as sets go, keep up the good work, some of the recent sets have been the best ever.



  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    edited April 2011
    I find it annoying when LEGO group puts a picture of a new set on their web server and then when that same picture makes the Internet rounds, they ask for it to be taken down because it isn't ready yet. I'm looking at you Maersk Train!
  • davee123davee123 USAMember Posts: 808
    @Si_Dorking_Surrey_UK :
    Must say that a lot of what people are complaining about here is just good marketing and product management
    I think the same goes with your assessments of Juniorization, specialized parts, and part availability in PAB. LEGO's trying to cater to children, who have very different desires than AFOLs.
    I'm shocked to hear that the US doesnt turn a profit, thats plain bad for business so more parity please.
    I think you may have misread that one-- the USA simply has a lower profit margin than everywhere else that we're aware of. It's not that the USA just breaks even, LEGO just doesn't make much profit per sale compared to what it makes in other countries.
    and please bring in bulk buy discounts to reflect the fact that it's surely cheaper in costs to provide 5000x of one piece than 15x different ones.
    LEGO does this with LUGBULK, but can't do it with PAB. PAB actually has a restriction on the maximum number of elements you can purchase in a single order, to prevent "runs" on particular elements. As far as I'm aware, it's an unenforced rule for PAB-- LEGO has the rule there just in case they ever need it (something like no more than 50 of a particular part/color per order).
    More engagement with the fan-base definitely.
    This was something that Jake Mckee did a lot publicly, and Brad Justus and Steve Witt did too, but not quite as much. The way the LEGO community is structured now, they keep direct discussion mostly with Ambassadors on their private forums. But I agree, it would be great if LEGO contacts were more active on publicly visible forums.
    We keep their business running but it doesn't feel like it sometimes.
    It's funny to go back to, say, 1999 and compare. Back then, not only was there no public discussion with LEGO, there were also no AFOL-centric sets. Nowadays there are modular town buildings, landmark sets, UCS sets, things like the Medieval Market Village, vintage minifig collections, support for BrickJournal, a LUGBULK program, Ambassador program, Affiliates program, LCP program, etc, etc. LEGO does a LOT for us.

    As for us keeping the business running? Debatable. We're about 5% of their total sales, so by pure sales figures, we're simply a small market group of their business. However, what AFOLs primarily add is advertising. AFOLs are putting up LEGO content on the web left-and-right, and we're doing local events like train shows, conventions, and displays. We're promoting their product a LOT, and by-and-large, we're amazingly brand loyal. That part's difficult to gauge-- how much value are we adding to the 95% of business that's NOT directly AFOL-generated?

    DaveE
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    ^Agreed.

    "How much value are we adding to the 95% of business that's NOT directly AFOL-generated?"

    I think we are quite important to keeping the value of their brand high. Also, I wonder how much growth potential there is in the AFOL market.
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    Just to clarify, when I said "More engagement with the fan-base definitely. We keep their business running" .. I didnt just mean AFOL, I mean the whole fan base.

    What's Lugbulk and why isn't it publically available? this is what I man, it seems like they just want to create a stratification of elites, rather than engagement. Doesnt feel very 2011.

    Juniorisation is only good for business to a point. There's a level where you throw out the USP if reuse isn't possible and I think that turns people off lego. 4juniors wasnt a bad idea in theory as it 'ringfenced' the juniorisation, whereas now it just randomly creeps in all over the place.
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    "What's Lugbulk and why isn't it publically available? this is what I man, it seems like they just want to create a stratification of elites, rather than engagement. Doesnt feel very 2011."

    Lego User Group Bulk Purchasing --> So that Lego User Groups that make public displays (which provide a form of advertising for Lego) can build larger displays since the bricks cost less. Well, that is the intended purpose I suppose.
  • davee123davee123 USAMember Posts: 808
    edited April 2011
    What's Lugbulk and why isn't it publically available? this is what I man, it seems like they just want to create a stratification of elites, rather than engagement.
    It's restricted because LEGO can't keep up with doing it on a large scale. To give you an example, LUGBULK in 2009 wasn't available in the USA, and then in 2010, LEGO decided that it was worthy of extending the program to US-based LUGs. If they offered the program to the public, it'd be a nightmare, and wouldn't be supportable.

    LUGBULK is effectively a way for LEGO to thank and encourage serious AFOLs, so that we do more events promoting their brand.

    DaveE
  • CortezCortez Member Posts: 19
    The quality of manufacture and materials is going downhill rapidly.

    Increasing use of large parts not usable anywhere else. I'm looking at you, 3182 Airport plane.

    Stickers.
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,233
    "We're about 5% of their total sales, so by pure sales figures, we're simply a small market group of their business."

    Just to reiterate a comment I made on another discussion thread, I believe AFOLs now account for around 15% of LEGO sales.
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,284
    edited April 2011
    ^ Any idea on how they go about calculating this? I have a suspicion that TLG is doing something as rough as estimating a percentage of sales for sets in each age category, i.e. 60% of sales in the 14+ Trains, 50% of sales for the 10+ Mindstorms

    If that's the case, I think the margin for error would be quite large.
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    ^ You would have thought that they'd use the lego shop registered users as a representative sample, and since everyone's put their age etc in to register, they'd have a pretty rich data set to sample from.
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,284
    ^ Sure, that would be a possibility, but since the revenue that TLG makes from direct sales ([email protected] and LEGO stores) is a small portion of their total sales, it would be but a representative sample. And of course, who purchases the set does not necessarily indicate whom the set is for, so TLG couldn't accurately discern if a set was intended for an AFOL or not. To further complicate things, most of the LEGO exclusive sets are popular among AFOLs so that would further skew the representation in their direct sale totals.
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,233
    ^^^ I'm not sure how they calculate the percentage of AFOL sales. It's a recent figure, however, and came from someone with solid connections within the LEGO company so I have no reason to doubt its veracity.
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    @rocao .. maybe they just use the Lego club registrations.. I seem to remember that when you register you put in whether you're buying it for yourself or someone else. Not sure how many AFOLs actually join however.
    Of course they could be really smart and cross reference everything to build a single view of the customer based but even major multinationals aren't great at that kind of thing so I'd be surprised if Lego do.
  • Nikola_BathoryNikola_Bathory Member Posts: 5
    Very interesting topic btw!
    So what frustrates me about TLG?

    1 - The price of LEGO in my country (Bulgaria). Here LEGO sets are more expensive than in Germany! Both countries are in the EU...
    2 - The giant setboxes with lots of air! But it seeme that TLG started to make slightly smaller boxes lately, which is great
    3 - The usual life cycle of many themes is far too short. TLG have many themes, but most last 1-2 years, which is something I don't like. It wasn't like that in the '80s and '90s! How am I supposed to build a large world when there are only 6-7 sets?! (Example: the Pharaoh's Quest theme, but there are many more such examples).
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    edited April 2011
    @rocao Actually, now that you mention it, I am curious how they went about getting that statistic. Even if it is accurate, it quite likely is very imprecise. Their methodology for calculating these figures would be nice to know.
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    @rocao .... Interestingly I just called lego about the status of my online order and they really made a point of asking me who the lego was for, and had quite a clever line of 'casual' questions to get to the bottom of it.
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