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Lego too expensive for most people on this planet?

sramsram Member Posts: 60
edited May 2011 in Everything else LEGO
Hello, I just discovered this forum and read some excellent threads. It is nice to see a vibrant online community (maybe this will replace Lugnet?).

A question that has always bothered me is the number of people who can actually afford to buy and play with Lego. I am pretty sure 99% of the people in Africa and Asia would balk at Lego prices. Throw in large portions of South America, majority of humans would certainly be priced out.

For all that talk of the number of Lego bricks per human (62 bricks?), out of 6+ billion people - maybe 1/2 billion may own and play with Lego.

Would be a good question to ask the management of The Lego Company. I would love to hear their thoughts on it. Maybe even be proven wrong!




  • cutmygrasscutmygrass Member Posts: 9
    I don't know about what question to ask but I know what the answer might by from worker on the molding hall floor, "Well the cost of living in Denmark and Switzerland, owning a fleet of private Jets, fast cars a Horse Stud and all the trimming that goes along with being a billionaire isn't what it use to be." " just a bit of tongue in cheek"
  • princedravenprincedraven Essex, UKMember Posts: 3,768

    Bit of a strange question that really isnt it?
    I mean, yes LEGO is expensive, and would seem even more so to some areas of the world. But its a toy, not really a necessity. So you could say the same about an endless stream of items. I doubt many people in Africa can afford Transformers, but its not really Mattel's fault (or whoever makes them).
    There will NEVER be a scenario where people all over the globe can all afford the same item its just not the way the world works (and certainly not something TLC can fix ;) ).
  • bahnstormerbahnstormer Member Posts: 180
    what I cant get is why so much packaging is used. bought a lot of 30 odd boxed sets and once sorted the boxes only need to be a third of the actual size.

    is this a case of psychological selling ? make the box look like it contains more than it does to justify the price..
  • pantenkindpantenkind Member Posts: 258
    I cant afford a Ferrari so I completely understand what you are saying. I want a Ferrari!! :-)
  • sramsram Member Posts: 60
    Well the reason I ask is quite simple, I moved to India a couple of years ago from the US. I keep up with the Lego discussions, but cannot but look at it from a local perspective. I have seen lego in very few places out here, and they tend to be marked up. More expensive than the US for sure. Few of the folks that do own Lego in India tend to be in the upper reaches of society and more often than not buy the toys when traveling.

    I so often read folks complaining about the price of Lego (in North America and Europe). So TLC must be in a an "Apple-like-situation" -- iPhone and Macs sell pretty well though we pay a premium for them (those products are not targeted at the average person either).

    Perhaps I feel guilty indulging in a hobby that most cannot afford. Or I simply want to share a perspective with y'all...
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,468
    Your experience of seeing real poverty in India, which those of us in Europe and the US cannot begin to imagine, has obviously put things in a different perspective.

    I don't think you can single out LEGO, but it is a reflection on the state of the world today. We think nothing of spending $100 or whatever on pieces of plastic, $100 that in India would feed a family for a month.
  • legoDadlegoDad Member Posts: 529
    edited May 2011
    Yep, it sounds like you feel guilty about your hobby.
    Perhaps the best way is if you can get a bunch of smaller priced Lego sets and Collectable mini-figs, distribute them yourself throughout your community. It'll be a way for you to give back to the young children in your area. Think about getting large buckets of bricks too for the kids....bulk lots on eBay, etc.
    I've donated many toys over here, over the years to my local church and even hospitals.
    But remember (and I'm sure you know this), everyone around the world can't afford to get everything they want. Just the way of life, but if you can...get out there, pick up some extra sets and see how much you can give back.
    For me and my family, basically when we got into Lego, I made an agreement with my kid. You're only getting Lego and no other collectables. Only around Xmas and birthday we expand to one video game but that's it. So far, he's happy as pie building and he gets games that keep him happy for months till the next big holiday or birthday. We definitely budget. But I have friends and know folks that spend hundreds a month to a couple thousand dollars a year on Lego and I say...god bless 'em. If they worked hard and got the whatever you like.
  • OrthobotrexOrthobotrex Member Posts: 165
    edited May 2011
    Are you really feeling guilty, or do you actually feel happy that you enjoy something that others don't and you just want to actually share it with them but, maybe, society has some restrictions?

    If it nudges your conscience sometimes that you are enjoying something the amount of which can feed a lot of people, then maybe you can do a little charity. It won't erase all the guilt, but there will be a sense of some relief.

    We also have a lot of poor people in our country...some definitely won't even buy the cheapest clone brands. But you know what pisses me sometimes? Some of them have the money to buy cigarettes and gin. So, I guess, to each his own.

    P.S. If people from America and Europe are complaining of expensive prices, you just don't know how lucky you all are...we pay almost double the price here in our malls in the Philippines. So much so that when we speculate on the price of a set, we simply say get the price in dollars of something similar, convert it to local currency, then double that amount. Only local enterprising online sellers have changed the tide in our favor.
  • OrthobotrexOrthobotrex Member Posts: 165
    ^^ my sentiments, exactly.
  • indy1973indy1973 Member Posts: 70
    edited May 2011
    Ah no, I don't think it is "guilt" per se... Just the same stunned revelation that every world traveler comes to when they realize that (for example) people in the Former Soviet Union and Russia earn an average of about $200 per month for a normal job like teaching, and people in India or China take home a bit less for normal jobs...

    So obviously, the *first lesson* here is to stop complaining about the less-expensive-clone-brands, or the supposedly-microscopically-lesser-quality-plastics made in Asia. If people complain about such things, then you know they have never traveled anywhere.

    Hmm, and yes, perhaps the second lesson might be to be more appreciative, and to give a bit to charities, whether it goes to other people in the world, or to save wildlife, or the environment, or anything else.

    Regarding building blocks, the basic economic fact is that most people of the world can not afford .10+ USD per brick. There will always be demand for a less expensive option.

    And yes, it is definitely a luxury brand. You can buy it in Moscow, Kiev, or Sevastopol, but not in smaller cities. I'm curious to hear about other counties.
  • indy1973indy1973 Member Posts: 70
    And P.S., Thanks for starting this topic... very thought provoking!

    Duty Calls...! =)

    Indy Out
  • sramsram Member Posts: 60
    edited May 2011

    Digitisation, globalisation and climate change -- those are the three major issues for the CEO. The globalisation part is relevant to this topic. Though it would be interesting to see how Lego deals with getting itS raw material from fossil fuels.
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