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[SDCC] USAToday Reveals Comic Con Exclusive Minifigs

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Re: [SDCC] USAToday Reveals Comic Con Exclusive Minifigs

Postby gomek » Tue Jul 16, 2013 9:30 am

buriedbybricks wrote:Fact: I do not think that word means what you think it means...


Umm.. I don't get it. Lego makes more and the price goes down. Lego makes less and the price goes up. I'm not sure how those are not facts. They certainly aren't opinions.

My whole point is you can't say Lego doesn't control the price. They do. This isn't a product that has been retired for years. It's a product that goes for 200x it's worth the very day it is released.

dWhisper wrote: Make no mistake, LEGO cares absolutely nothing about you as an individual consumer. They are under no pressure to market sets to individual people, and they owe us absolutely nothing. They are a toy manufacturer, and they're out there to make a profit.


This pretty much runs contrary to every Lego corporate guideline I've ever read and I've read quite a bit of their literature. I'm not saying your statement, or some form of it isn't true, but you'd be hard pressed to find anyone working at Lego who agrees with it.

see: http://aboutus.lego.com/en-us/lego-group/the_lego_brand/

Also to say that corporations can do whatever they want to make money and it has nothing to do with ethics?

dWhisper wrote:But to think that because you spend money on a product, you deserve the right to buy everything you want from them, no matter the circumstance is just flat out wrong. Economics and ethics have absolutely nothing to do with it.


Am I annoyed? sure. Do I feel entitled? That's a tricky question. I've seen plenty of Lego sets made for other markets or promotions that I didn't feel entitled to own. The difference here, with these sets, is that Lego is actively marketing them to me. They are doing press releases.

Look.. I will certainly grant you that on the scale of corporate ethics, artificially inflating the toy market is pretty insignificant. I didn't mean to say it was on the level of, per se, creating chemical waste. I simply mean to say it's a crappy practice.

onions wrote:responsibility and corporate ethics has NOTHING to do with supply and demand

Totally disagree. Sorry. Again, price gauging on toys is pretty low on the list, but pricing and ethics unrelated? No. Overcharge for gas after a hurricane? Unethical and illegal. If Lego charged $200 straight up for the figures there would be a lot of problems. A lot of ethical problems. Instead they create an environment in which others can do it. You say this relieves them of responsibility. That's fine. That's where we can disagree.
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Re: [SDCC] USAToday Reveals Comic Con Exclusive Minifigs

Postby onions » Tue Jul 16, 2013 10:08 pm

yeah i give up.
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Re: [SDCC] USAToday Reveals Comic Con Exclusive Minifigs

Postby cas » Wed Jul 17, 2013 4:44 am

These four minifigures are not a general consumer product. These are promotional, designed to garner attention to the Lego brand. They aren't made with the intention to be resold at unreasonable prices, but they are and out of Lego's control. It is an inevitability. Lego knows people want them and brand exposure is more than worth a few disgruntled nerds. I used to get slightly frustrated over figures like these, but I heeded Henry Jones Sr.'s words and let it go.
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Re: [SDCC] USAToday Reveals Comic Con Exclusive Minifigs

Postby Mister Ed » Wed Jul 17, 2013 5:22 am

cas wrote: Lego knows people want them and brand exposure is more than worth a few disgruntled nerds.


This is the part I don't get. What people are exposed to LEGO as a brand by these things that aren't already well aware of it? I would have thought that brand exposure would be better furthered by making product widely available, rather than making it impossible to get.

But I'm assured that this sort of thing does the brand good, somehow, and I kind of have to assume it does, or else assume that LEGO is either stupid or malicious, since they keep doing it. And I don't think LEGO is stupid OR malicious, so I guess I'm forced, as the only alternative, to accept the utility of this sort of scheme on faith...
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Re: [SDCC] USAToday Reveals Comic Con Exclusive Minifigs

Postby dWhisper » Wed Jul 17, 2013 6:55 am

Scarcity and exclusivity is what makes these things valuable... if they made them more widespread, there wouldn't be any draw or buzz around them. Think about things like action figures with chase designs or variant parts. They're put in there to make people excited and come and take a look.

More than that, what LEGO is doing is getting people to come stand around their booth, which means people buying things at their booth. These aren't targeted to anyone other than people at Comic Con, but since people outside of the Con want them, there is going to be aftermarket demand (and thus, high prices). The same prices are also caused by scarcity of it within the con, since only a small portion will really get the figures. If LEGO made more, or made them available outside of the con, they'd reduce the amount of people that show up to get them.
If the above post didn't offend you, you're probably reading it wrong.
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Re: [SDCC] USAToday Reveals Comic Con Exclusive Minifigs

Postby Mister Ed » Wed Jul 17, 2013 7:19 am

dWhisper wrote: If LEGO made more, or made them available outside of the con, they'd reduce the amount of people that show up to get them.


Wait, are you saying that if EVERYBODY that showed up at LEGO's booth got one of these figures, less people would show up? Really? I suppose that's possible, but if so, that tells me that much of the crowd is only showing up to get them for resale value, not because they want them. Is that REALLY the crowd to cater to?
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Re: [SDCC] USAToday Reveals Comic Con Exclusive Minifigs

Postby crazybirdman » Wed Jul 17, 2013 7:25 am

it's just like the giant LEGO sculptures the company makes. Nobody can buy those, but the LEGO company keeps making them. People will some to their booth/stores/theme parks just to see them, and may end up shopping while they are there.
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Re: [SDCC] USAToday Reveals Comic Con Exclusive Minifigs

Postby dWhisper » Wed Jul 17, 2013 7:55 am

Mister Ed wrote:Wait, are you saying that if EVERYBODY that showed up at LEGO's booth got one of these figures, less people would show up? Really? I suppose that's possible, but if so, that tells me that much of the crowd is only showing up to get them for resale value, not because they want them. Is that REALLY the crowd to cater to?


Poorly phrased, but somewhat accurate. There may be more people that come by to get the figure, but that's it. They won't stick around to shop or wait around long to get it. And I think you're overestimating the number of people that go there just for resale... the majority of the people that get that are going to keep and collect them. That's why they came to the Con in general.

Think of it this way... let's say that Harrison Ford is coming to a local store to sign autographs. If they said "autographs for everyone who comes," are you as likely to come and stand in line as you are if they say "autographs for the first 100 people?" One of those creates buzz and demand, the other basically says there's a stack of pictures signed for you to take while Harrison glares at you from a protective bubble.

And at Comic Con, that's the crowd LEGO is trying to cater to. That's the point of an exclusive, catering to the crowd at the event. These aren't designed for everyone out there, and not for those of us who aren't attending the con.
If the above post didn't offend you, you're probably reading it wrong.
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Re: [SDCC] USAToday Reveals Comic Con Exclusive Minifigs

Postby Mister Ed » Wed Jul 17, 2013 8:19 am

dWhisper wrote:Think of it this way... let's say that Harrison Ford is coming to a local store to sign autographs. If they said "autographs for everyone who comes," are you as likely to come and stand in line as you are if they say "autographs for the first 100 people?"


Uh, I'm FAR more likely to come in the former case. Why the hell would I brave the lines at ALL, if there was so small a chance of my getting an autograph? Unless my only goal was to turn around and sell it, so I had monetary incentive? If the likelihood was high enough, I might still turn up if they went the limited route, but given a choice I can't imagine ever being MORE likely to turn up if I'm less likely to get what I'm interested in.

If what I actually WANT is an autograph, not the chance to resell one for big bucks, I'm WAAAAAAAAAAAAY more likely to show up in a situation where I'm guaranteed to get one than one where the likely result is that I have to deal with a desperate mob and most likely end up with nothing. I cannot see why any SANE person would be more likely to show up in the latter case, frankly, unless they value the item in question not primarily for itself, but for its monetary value (whether they actually plan to resell it or not).

And I can't exactly picture why people that show up to get a fig and actually get one would be LESS inclined to check out the booth and maybe buy product than people that show up hoping to get a fig, stand in a long line, and get nothing at all. And I can only imagine that some people that want to see the booth, regardless of the fig giveaway, will be turned off by a massive live clogging the space made up of people whose main reason for being there is JUST to get the fig.

People presumably have a finite amount of time to spend at the con, and the more time spent in line waiting for a chance to get an exclusive, the LESS time spent actually checking out the booths, I would think, unless the line actually winds through the booth space itself, which would be HORRIBLE for those whose interest is the booth and NOT the fig.

Like I said, I have to take it on faith that this practice is good for the brand, since I refuse to believe that LEGO is stupid or malicious. But none of the reasoning presented seems very convincing. Fortunately, whether or not I'm convinced has nothing to do with whether the strategy is an effective one in real life. ;)
Last edited by Mister Ed on Wed Jul 17, 2013 11:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: [SDCC] USAToday Reveals Comic Con Exclusive Minifigs

Postby gomek » Wed Jul 17, 2013 11:07 am

Honestly, (all price gouging arguments aside) I think people on here are putting far too much faith in the marketing teams and strategies of the Lego convention team. I work with teams that do conventions. The people coming up with stuff aren’t spending hours toiling over sales numbers and working on strategies that result in hard sales. They are a few 9 to 5 shlubs who are just doing what they see everyone else doing, so they can get paid and go home. If the perception is that they know what they are doing, then they win, and they get to do it again tomorrow.

I don’t think it’s malicious, they simply can’t think of anything better to do, and to one of the other poster’s points, they don’t really care about a few disgruntled nerds. (I prefer ‘geeks’ but whatever)

Do I think all this exclusive stuff helps the bottom line? I do not. Personally I can think of a dozen other promotions that would accomplish the same thing and more, and not result in turning off completeists and die-hards.
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