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Brick Pricing and Continuity in DesignByMe

A Member of LEGO Company's staff drops in here from time to time to answer questions from LEGO fans like you.

Brick Pricing and Continuity in DesignByMe

Postby MrCRskater » Thu Nov 19, 2009 8:58 am

I've got a question for Steve (or anyone else around who may know). Since it's inception as LEGO Factory and now in its new guise as DesignByMe, there have always been a handful of bricks in the palette that disallow you from checking the price if included in your model. Are these pieces special-ordered or are they a part of the PAB inventory? And if the latter, why can't their cost be calculated with the rest of the pieces?

Further, with each new incarnation of the LDD software, some bricks get dropped from the palette and are no longer available. I understand that LEGO has been tightening the reigns on the piece selection across the board, but with a product such as PAB and DesignByMe, it seems that it would be more beneficial (from the consumer's standpoint) for the inventory to continue building on itself, rather than changing every several months. Of course, a bigger selection of bricks is offered each time out, but I'd like to know why some new bricks get offered in liu of existing bricks (rather than in addition to).
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Re: Brick Pricing and Continuity in DesignByMe

Postby Draykov » Thu Nov 19, 2009 10:15 am

My understanding of the issue is this: if a certain piece prevents you from checking the price of your model, it's because that piece is no longer in the current "in production" palette. DesignByMe/Factory has always had fluctuating palettes because the selection is slaved to the palette of parts being produced for sets currently going through a production cycle.

There are certain parts that may have a significant surplus and subsequently remain a viable option in DesingByMe after they're no longer in the production cycle, but once that surplus is exhausted, they're dropped from the palette as well.

On a related note, the selection at the Pick-a-Brick walls in LEGO retail stores and P-a-B online also seem to be slaved to active production cycles. For instance, not long after Power Miners theme debuted, my local LEGO store had lots of 1x1 round plates in lime green on the P-a-B wall.

Bottom line: while we'd all love to see a P-a-B/DesignByMe with every LEGO element the company still has a mold for and in every color available, it's just not feasible for the company to provide. It seems that that's too tall an order even if you restrict the menu to every part in every set currently in production.
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