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 Post subject: Just what is LEGO's overall strategy?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:03 am 
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Anyone here wih Lego info or know-how? I was thinking about it. Aside from licensing agreements that may expire from time to time, why can't LEGO simply keep all LEGO sets in stock on their own website after retail is finished with them?

Case in point, the Batman Lego toys from a few years back. I managed to snag all of them except for the one with Bane and the one with Harley Quinn. Now, they sell for hundreds of dollars a piece. So, goodbye complete Batman Lego collection! Now, why can't Lego simply send them to anyone who orders directly from Lego? It's not as if it's a tooling issue: Lego bricks are the same from set to set, with maybe some unique bricks here and there. But the tooling for them is already done as well. Minifigure decos can't cost them too much, can they? In fact, all the design and production has been done already. Ship a Lego Batmobile(for example) in a plain white box with instructions and make that money. Apparently, that's what toy companies exist for :roll: Why let some schmuck on ebay make money off of Lego product when Lego can make the money selling it themselves? To hell with 'collectibility'. You buy something because you like it or need it, plain and simple.

Does Lego actually foster and feed the dealer/reseller market? I tend to believe that they do, or else we wouldn't see SDCC exclusives from them. But with Lego sets fetching hundreds of dollars a piece online and elsewhere, isn't Lego missing the boat here?

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 Post subject: Re: Just what is LEGO's overall strategy?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 11:01 am 
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I don't know much of anything about the behind the scenes business of Lego but I'll try to offer a plausible scenario for you.

When Lego picks up a License, that contract usually exists for a set amount of time. If they choose to renew and continue beyond that point great, but it doesn't always correspond directly to popularity or sales. The licensor may decide they want more money, Lego could decide another license will better diversify their brand or appeal to an untapped segment of the market. Whatever. BUT, that licensing agreement usually carries with it a time frame for development, production, and sales.

Once that time frame runs out, that's it. Lego couldn't keep producing and selling Batman sets beyond the agreement they had with WB once that license expires. No matter how much we want them too.

With In-House/Original properties, it plays out a bit different I would think. Any toy line, even one as open ended and modular as Lego, needs to stay "fresh". In order to do that, they need to cycle out old product and cycle in new. It doesn't mean that line is dead, its just that the concept is "resting" (to steal a phrase from Mr. Didio). Take "Kingdoms" for example. That line was out when I was a kid. Knights and castles lost favor, and got phased out for Space/Pirate/City/whatever sets. The cycle comes around and "Kingdoms" is back again. Some sets are revisions of old sets, some are brand new to the concept.

Now, add in to that Lego's competition with itself (in the "olden days") and other block style toy makers (nowadays everyone seems to be doing it) and you need to refresh/re-address much more frequently.

Now, go to the Lego website and you will find that you can, indeed, get Lego to give you pretty damn much whatever box packout you want (provided its not licensed material). If you "design" a set yourself, using Lego's own store software, they will put together, packup in a custom box (pretty much a "stock shot" of your creation applied to the outside of a pizza style box), and ship to you your "creation". If you wanted to try and utilize the literally thousands of brick and color options available to build your own "batmobile" you could do that (without actually using the name or it being an "exact" copy of their proprietary blueprints) and they would put it all together and ship it out to you. Its not cheap, but they can and will do it to much fan success.


I am sure there are many other details to all of this that I am leaving out, but that should cover the basics for you (and anyone else interested in any of this)

Asking any company to continue to produce, package, and sell any toy line after its retail lifespan is a bit of a pipedream to be sure, Howard. Why would Lego be any different?

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 Post subject: Re: Just what is LEGO's overall strategy?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 6:11 pm 
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I would have thought Batman would be a great ongoing for Lego. I still kick myself for not picking up that Harley Quinn set when I had the chance. It's the only one I'm missing, and there's no way I can afford it now. I appreciate the idea that they have to keep things fresh and that licenses expire, I do, but...it's Batman!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Just what is LEGO's overall strategy?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 6:33 am 
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In addition Well Im sure that some of those sets may see a rerelease-- with the license renewal (or at least in similar forms)-- but to be honest asking this question is why doesnt every toy company make stuff forever for sale--

There are many sets of Lego that do have pieces unique to them (go to bricklink- you would be amazed for what some single piece goes for)-- and also some that arent as unique still have unique colors-- I believe they are at least up to 25 (and some pieces come in all fo those colors)--- when they eliminated the original star wars grey color (for a slightly darker one)-- lego people started buying up the remaining sets just to get those color pieces (since that color was being retired)..

SO even though in theory they are modular--why should they keep producing them-- just like everyone else they are fighting for shelf space and warehouse space-- and actually if a set is superpopular-- lego just goes back and redesigns it with the more modern pieces (I mean compare the new Sith Infiltrator to the old one)-- the new one is nuts with all the new rounded type pieces they developed -- and not to mention the new Maul/Opress Horn piece-- which blows the pure old painted one away..

Like burly said before-- there is also the modernizing-- there was a time (less than 10 years ago-- where lego refused to do flesh colored mini figures-- only yellow-- now that has completely changed)--- they realized many of the buyers wanted a more accurate figure with their sets..(plus it gave them a chance to rerelease minifigs)

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 Post subject: Re: Just what is LEGO's overall strategy?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 6:44 am 
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Yeah, that's pretty much what I feared. However, since Lego sets usually share a huge majority of the same types of pieces, one would think that it would be almost too easy to offer almost anything online that they originally sold via retail.

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 Post subject: Re: Just what is LEGO's overall strategy?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 7:23 am 
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Forgot to mention-- most lego sets only go for insane money only if they are still in the box ( and of those sets- the price you are paying is actually for the included minifigures and not the pieces..)

And in addition-- lego pretty much keeps an average price per piece in their sets-- and like you said- since they are modular-- they pretty much can sell any set for the same price and make their margins on it-- (so in reality when a license expires - -they probably dont really worry about it - since the next set that comes out behind it will make the same money--

And another is that they actually sell more to the MOCers- since that is where the money is at for them-- stop buy a lego store on one of those buyer double points days-- its insane--

I once watched someone purchase 5000.00 worth of sets-- and all he did was take them out of the store and open up all of the boxes and dump the bags into a bin-- he just wanted the blocks-- and was buying sets based on the amounts of which of the colored blocks he got-(thats why at lots of the toy shows-- guys have lots of minifigs to sell and no actual lego sets)-- they know how they can recoup their costs with parts they really wont use in building..

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 Post subject: Re: Just what is LEGO's overall strategy?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 5:24 am 
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Damn, I wish I could get relatively cheap Bane and Harley minifigs after reading that. I'd rather have them than the Bat-Tank and Harley's monster truck anyway.

I am really hoping for an unaltered re-release of Bane and Harley minifigs when the DC Lego sets start hitting.

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 Post subject: Re: Just what is LEGO's overall strategy?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:59 pm 
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The Batman license never expired for Lego. They maintained it with the video game and apparel deals.

Both of which came out after the sets left toy shelves.

Most people who played the game never owned any of the sets.


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 Post subject: Re: Just what is LEGO's overall strategy?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:59 pm 
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Howard the Duck wrote:
Damn, I wish I could get relatively cheap Bane and Harley minifigs after reading that. I'd rather have them than the Bat-Tank and Harley's monster truck anyway.

I am really hoping for an unaltered re-release of Bane and Harley minifigs when the DC Lego sets start hitting.


Joker's Funhouse has Harley, and the new Batcave has Bane. The only way you are going to get them 'cheaper' is to buy them separately, but that will run you around $10 - $14 each. Great sets though. I own all the new ones except the Batcave, which I will probably be getting a little later this year.

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 Post subject: Re: Just what is LEGO's overall strategy?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 1:58 pm 
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Yeah, I saw that! Awesomeness! Now I don't have to troll ebay for overpriced minifigs! I'd much rather buy the sets anyway.

Speaking of the new sets, just where at retail can one find the Funhouse Escape set? Target does not have it on it's reset, and Lego's website labels it as Hard To Find. They seem to do that with semi-exclusive sets, right?

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 Post subject: Re: Just what is LEGO's overall strategy?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 11:41 pm 
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Howard the Duck wrote:
Yeah, I saw that! Awesomeness! Now I don't have to troll ebay for overpriced minifigs! I'd much rather buy the sets anyway.

Speaking of the new sets, just where at retail can one find the Funhouse Escape set? Target does not have it on it's reset, and Lego's website labels it as Hard To Find. They seem to do that with semi-exclusive sets, right?


I got mine at the Lego store in Washington. There aren't many of these stores around, but maybe you have one in your area. I haven't seen that set anywhere but Lego store though.

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 Post subject: Re: Just what is LEGO's overall strategy?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:43 am 
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Thanks for the Lego store tip! I did a search and found one not too far from me. I'll be out that way soon enough anyway, so I'll check it out.

The only two Lego Stores I have ever been to are the ones at Downtown Disney in Florida and Anaheim, CA.

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 Post subject: Re: Just what is LEGO's overall strategy?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 7:12 am 
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it has a listing on the TRU website store but not under Lego for some reason.

If you search "DC Universe" it will come up.

Currently not in stock and about $5 more than its priced on the Lego site, but they will email you when it is in stock and available for ordering.

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 Post subject: Re: Just what is LEGO's overall strategy?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 9:57 am 
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bnjmnrlyr wrote:
it has a listing on the TRU website store but not under Lego for some reason.

If you search "DC Universe" it will come up.

Currently not in stock and about $5 more than its priced on the Lego site, but they will email you when it is in stock and available for ordering.


That's cool! For TRU, do you know if they offer the option of picking it up at a local TRU, or do items have to be shipped?

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 Post subject: Re: Just what is LEGO's overall strategy?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 10:26 am 
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depends on the item.

Haven't looked at this item in particular since it is listed as not in stock but once I get the email saying it is available I will let you know.

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