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Not Looking Good...

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Re: Not Looking Good...

Postby fredjh » Sun Dec 13, 2009 9:58 am

theJudeAbides wrote:... "They" said it would help cut costs. People were angry at first but begrudgingly grew to accept it. ...


Yup... all to cut costs. For them. Not us. One of the reasons they dropped 9V trains was to "cut costs and make it more affordable to the target audience," then they asked for $50 for a rechargeable battery... and $25 for the charger, separately, after discontinuing similar sized battery boxes that would have been a lot cheaper.

Thanks goodness for bricklink.
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Re: Not Looking Good...

Postby Blacknight » Sun Dec 13, 2009 6:09 pm

I wonder if Lego isn't setting themselves up for problems this year. They're jacking up prices to unreasonable levels, discontinuing some of their star lines (Bionicle, Indiana Jones), adding a bunch of questionable licenses with pseudo-Lego parts (Ben-10, Toy Story), other questionable licenses with movies that may not be popular (Prince of Persia), while at the same time making lots of new expensive parts that aren't really needed (tiles in particular) along with strange printing decisions (the yellow on the tri-fighter rocket battle droid commander that you can't even see). It seems they're replicating all the same mistakes that caused their financial problems earlier this decade. They're riding the tide of increased demand created by parents terrified of lead-laden made in China products yet like all tides it will wash back out eventually, especially with price increases.
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Re: Not Looking Good...

Postby Jargon » Sun Dec 13, 2009 6:31 pm

Has the discontinuation of Indiana Jones been confirmed?
    - Aaron
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Re: Not Looking Good...

Postby Masta' Bo » Sun Dec 13, 2009 6:31 pm

Well, in the end many people will still buy TLG's products, regardless of cost.

Plus, let us not forget that the designs get better every year. That means better employees are being hired or more time and money is being spent on production. Cut TLG some slack.
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Re: Not Looking Good...

Postby yankeeken » Sun Dec 13, 2009 7:26 pm

To my knowledge, the discontinuation of Indiana Jones has yet to be confirmed, however the lack of news with regard to the line seems to suggest that it has been discontinued.
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Re: Not Looking Good...

Postby Flynn » Sun Dec 13, 2009 9:51 pm

And I'd like to restate:
I wrote:You know, it's really only the new wave of Star Wars that underwent the price hikes. Toy Story, Atlantis, and Space Police all have extremely good price per parts ratios. I mean, yeah, it's a shame, but it's not like LEGO's doing this to every line...


LEGO isn't "jacking up prices" on all of their themes (Which a number of you seem to think they are). The only themes I've noticed that have had horrendous price-per-part ratios are Ben-10, Bionicle, and Star Wars, and we've already seen price hikes in Bionicle and Star Wars for the past few years.
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Re: Not Looking Good...

Postby infallible » Sun Dec 13, 2009 10:44 pm

Also keep in mind that Star Wars has one of the higher licensing fees of any property, and that isn't just for LEGO.

I also recall mention, I believe last year, of Lucasfilm raising the fees on Star Wars across the board for all licensees.

Licensed sets will always cost more than LEGO-IP sets.

Not that any of this makes buying them any easier... Though, for me, the only one of the new stuff that I really want is the TIE Defender. I saw Toy Story at my local TRU today, and it just doesn't do it for me.
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Re: Not Looking Good...

Postby Blacknight » Sun Dec 13, 2009 11:49 pm

Flynn wrote:The only themes I've noticed that have had horrendous price-per-part ratios are Ben-10, Bionicle, and Star Wars, and we've already seen price hikes in Bionicle and Star Wars for the past few years.


That's their two main lines accounting for probably a third of all their products. Hence "jacking up" seems an appropriate word to describe what you just acknowledged. I'm not saying this is just a new phenomenon. Lego is an extremely expensive toy, and has been for many many years. Yet the incremental increases continue. At some point the consumer breaks.
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Re: Not Looking Good...

Postby theJudeAbides » Mon Dec 14, 2009 4:47 am

I think some of you guys largely missed my point, so allow me clarify.

My point wasn't so much about the prices going up as it was about the fans' usual and predictable reaction to it. Whether or not it's "only Star Wars" or "only licensed themes" is irrelevent.

The fact of the matter is, we LEGO fans love to get angry, complain, hoot-n-hollar, and in general express our disdain for LEGO's doings. However, when it comes to actually doing something about these perceived grievances, said fans aren't so big on "taking action."

If the court doesn't mind, I'd like to remind everyone of the landmark "LEGO vs Bley Haters" case that had so many furious about the color changes that threatened to force them to rebuild their collection. "Most Foul!" was exclamed by many, often followed by "If this doesn't change, I'll never buy LEGO again!" Yet here most of them are today, still buying LEGO. Oh sure, maybe a few actually followed through on the threat, but do you think the few sales lost even registered on LEGO's map? Extremely unlikely.

Now fast forward to today when LEGO is raising prices, Star Wars LEGO fans are again crying "Most Foul!" and "If this doesn't change, I'm going to stop buying [Star Wars] LEGO!" To which I reply (borrowing heavily from a certain cat), "Oh, reeeeeeeeeeally?" How many of you are actually man (or woman) enough to follow through on that threat? Perhaps a handful, but I doubt many more.

Now, don't take this post imply I'm defending LEGO and these prices. I'm not. I'm as unhappy about them as you are. But I'm not going to delude myself or others into thinking that this will stop me from buying Star Wars LEGO.

But by all means, don't let me stop you from hootin' and hollerin'. Raise a ruckus, have your war of words, and rake LEGO across the coals. Just color me unsurprised when you go back to buying the sets you swore to never buy again.
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Re: Not Looking Good...

Postby Mister Ed » Mon Dec 14, 2009 9:36 am

I'm just glad that I am saved from the temptation to make unrealistic pronouncements about not buying Star Wars LEGO at these prices by the fact that, IMHO, this new selection of sets, in addition to being overpriced, is underwhelming. It is doubtful that I would have bought any of them even at what I considered "reasonable" prices, other than the battle packs. So, in this instance, I can say I won't buy, and actually follow through with no stuggle. :D
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Re: Not Looking Good...

Postby onions » Mon Dec 14, 2009 9:42 am

the thing is though is that you can't look at it from our point of view. we, the most rabid of lego star wars fans, will, like i said, bend over and take it. 2010 items will eventually find their way into our collections, but perhaps most will wait for sales before taking the plunge.

the other point to keep in mind is that afols are not the main target for lego toys. we barely make a blip on their radar as far as sales are concerned. it's always been and always will be for younger children. and if prices are too high, timmy's mom/dad/grandma ain't gonna be buying squat. lego was already perceived to be an expensive toy, and next year's price hike isn't going to make it any easier.

i'm oversimplifying the scenario here, but if afols and target market alike aren't buying any star wars sets without waiting for a sale, lego will definitely feel affect. product will be sitting on store shelves, not moving, and retailers HATE that. LEGO cannnot keep upping the price and expecting sales to keep growing. there is a breaking point, and 2010 pricing might just be it.
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Re: Not Looking Good...

Postby Jargon » Mon Dec 14, 2009 10:14 am

The difference is that before, despite my angst, I COULD buy more.
By raising prices, my angst is irrelevant to the fact that I have to buy less.
- Aaron
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Re: Not Looking Good...

Postby fredjh » Mon Dec 14, 2009 10:16 am

onions wrote:the thing is though is that you can't look at it from our point of view. we, the most rabid of lego star wars fans, will, like i said, bend over and take it. 2010 items will eventually find their way into our collections, but perhaps most will wait for sales before taking the plunge.

Yeah... I guess it depends how "rabid." I'm an old-school episodes 4-5-6 fan, so a lot of the newer sets, including Clone Wars, have not interested me (although I watch Clone Wars... better than eps 1-2-3, IMO).

So, for example, when the Midi Falcon came out, I wanted it really badly... I have the 4504, but I have no shelf space for it, so it still sits in it's box. The midi was something I could put on the shelf at work, if not at home... but not for $40. I've spend thousands of dollars on LEGO in the past year, but I refused to spend $40 for the midi Falcon... until I got it on sale for $25. If someone from LEGO is actually listening/caring about this thread; I would have bought it day one for $30, maybe even $35.
onions wrote:the other point to keep in mind is that afols are not the main target for lego toys. we barely make a blip on their radar as far as sales are concerned. it's always been and always will be for younger children. and if prices are too high, timmy's mom/dad/grandma ain't gonna be buying squat.

Again, this is true, but it's also only ever been an excuse from TLG for certain unpopular decisions. I know I'm beating a dead horse when I talk about trains, but it's a great example... they moved away from 9v because, they said, it was too expensive for kids... but the newer sets are just as, if not more expensive, and if you make your own (or buy something like the beautiful Emerald Night), you actually need to spend several times what it would have cost to "motorize" one of the engines LEGO used to sell online. We're talking about $12.00 for an older style motor you could adapt your train to, versus $80 just for the rechargeable battery and charger for the newer system, and that doesn't even include the motor. And if they wanted to make it less expensive with the new system, they could have sold their old style battery boxes for $5/each.

So their excuse about their target audience doesn't wash with me.... kids aren't getting UCS Millennium Falcons or any of the UCS or $300 sets. Well, some might, but by and large these are going to adults and TLG knows it - either that, or they are going to children of AFOLs because the adults get to take part in it.

Further, look who they are really "ripping off;" those UCS sets usually have a very good price/part ratio and, in perspective, are not terrible prices... it's the $10 battle-packs that are seeing, relatively, the biggest bumps - the low end sets that are much more likely to be purchased by or for kids.
onions wrote:LEGO cannnot keep upping the price and expecting sales to keep growing. there is a breaking point, and 2010 pricing might just be it.

And this happens for a lot of companies that start getting greedy. I hate to say that about TLG, but as a privately help company their obligations are different than a publicly held one; their increase in profits has exceeded their increase in sales, and yet they continue to raise prices... they are trying to maximize their profit, which is fine, except the relative prices will keep yo-yoing until they find some sweet spot that they should have found a long time ago, IMO... it's hardly an inexperienced company.

Jargon wrote:The difference is that before, despite my angst, I COULD buy more.
By raising prices, my angst is irrelevant to the fact that I have to buy less.
- Aaron


That's right... TLG takes the same amount of your money and gives you less for it. From their perspective, it's win-win.

But that's not how it works with some of us (including me); I've actually spent LESS in the past six months than I had in the prior six months; they are not only selling me less, but they are, overall, making less money from me, and it has NOTHING to do with the economy (I'm doing just fine, personally).

OTOH, I'm sure they are doing just fine... if they could keep profits level with reduced sales, it's better for them.... it'd be like you getting paid the same amount per year for 10 months instead of 12 months of work. Wouldn't you like that?
Last edited by Draykov on Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: Edited to merge posts (and protect the closet UCF Golden Knights fan from ridicule).
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Re: Not Looking Good...

Postby soap » Sat Dec 19, 2009 10:49 pm

Just noticed on TRUS that they bumped the price on the 8088 ARC-170 Starfighter.
It is now $74.99 up from $65.99.Nice way to fleece the public. Thank you TRUS.
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Re: Not Looking Good...

Postby Darth's Daddy » Sun Dec 20, 2009 7:45 am

Have not posted in over 6 months, but I'm thinking this will be my excuse for getting out of the hobby.
I have been a bit on the fence about it for a while, but the new price structure is the push I needed. It's just not worth it any more. I've already lost my passion as reflected in my lack of participation in the forums.
I may pick up 1 or 2 of the new line if I can catch them on sale, but there is no way I'm going to pay those prices!

I used to pick up all the new sets as soon as they came out, but over the past few years, I've been waiting longer to find more and more sets on sale before I purchase them. 2009 was the first year that I did not collect all the sets and 2010 looks like a year where I may only get a few or even none at all. It's getting too expensive and a bit redundant.

I can also confirm the TRU price gouging. I wanted to see for myself if the reported prices were actual (and maybe even pick up 1 set if it was affordable), but I did not expect the additional increase beyond the reported price. I think TRU is taking advantage of the group of folks who need to get the sets before anyone else. $74.99 for the ARC Fighter. $16.99 for the Battlepacks. $32.99 for the Freeco Speeder. $59.99 for the TIE defender. $29.99 for the Tri-fighter. Needless to say, the shelves were full for these sets and none had a pricetag (I used the scanner). Hopefully, they'll come down to earth after the holiday season.
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Re: Not Looking Good...

Postby bigj22 » Sun Dec 20, 2009 10:38 am

wow, usually I keep my mouth shut on the prices of the sets. I realize due to costs , sometimes they have to increase the cost.This time I am freaking shocked. Not sure what I missed here but last week I bought all of the new sets that were available at Toysrus. I went there today to see if the new Landspeeder set was there since its been sold on Ebay now. What I saw was something I have not seen before since collecting Star Wars Legos about 10 years ago or whatever it is.All of the new sets prices were increased anywhere from 4.00 - 12.00 . I bought the Battle Packs for 12.99 last week, they are now 16.99. The Speeder I paid 29.99, now its 34.99 just to name a few.The ARC 170 is now 74.99 when I paid 64.99. I have never seen prices increase after they were released. Only decreased.. Did I miss something here?
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Re: Not Looking Good...

Postby kelano28 » Sun Dec 20, 2009 10:58 am

I think TRU believes that since these sets are "early release", people will pay a ridiculous amount for them (and in some cases, they're correct). I think they'll be a little surprised though when they stop flying off the shelves now that the already inflated prices have been raised yet again.

This change shouldn't affect the MSRP we'll see at Target or S@H, but I suppose it does delay my ability to pick up the new sets. :(
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Re: Not Looking Good...

Postby Bored Robot » Sun Dec 20, 2009 2:53 pm

I saw the ARC-170 for 64.99 a week or so ago and now it's 74.99? Wow....Are my eyes busted or something?
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Re: Not Looking Good...

Postby General Weegee » Sun Dec 20, 2009 5:16 pm

Today afternoon at my local TRU I found and purchased 7590 Woody and Buzz to the Rescue, 7593 Buzz Lightyear of Star Command Spaceship, and 7595 Army Men on Patrol. They were for a lot of money. 7593 was for $36.99, 7590 was for $16.99, and 7595 was for $14.99. I was mad so I went to Target and 7593 was $29.99, 7590 was $19.99, and 7595 was $12.99. I brought those and returned the ones I brought at Toys R Us and got a refund from them.
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Re: Not Looking Good...

Postby CitySlicker2009 » Sun Dec 20, 2009 5:25 pm

The new sets will have to drop in price for me to buy them. i got the older battle packs for 12.99 Canadian and i im looking to pay that for the new ones. So for me to buy any of 2010 SW line a price drop is needed.
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