14 comments on “Lego dials down Fan Events

  1. Here’s some more good reading on the subject:
    http://news.lugnet.com/general/?n=55899

    Some event managers sounding in with their take on it.

    There’s a lot of upset Lego fans out there right now, many of which dismissed the closure of LU as predictable because it was a poor product. Part of me wants to ask those fans how they are doing now, but that wouldn’t be very mature would it.

    • I saw that a day or so ago.. I agree with the premise that it’s not about freebies, I build for the Joy of it.. And events are, for me, a way to add a layer of texture to that joy. Freebies are nice, especially limited edition figs & such, but the absence of them will in no way diminish my participation…
      TLC has been over the top supportive of their fans for as long as I can remember.. and that is a LONG time, as many of you know. I would rather have the company continue on for my grandkid(s) than give me freebies and convention support today.
      The conventions and events started without support.. they will go on.

      • Can you think of another company that has historically been so invested in it’s userbase’s opinion? Maybe Firefox?

        The conventions will go on and will flourish, maybe this will also attract true fans and repel those who were in it just for the perks.

  2. A couple weekends ago, I was at a comic convention. The had a Bricks and Heroes event there. LEGO had a booth there but they did have products to sell. I’m glad I got stuff during the double vip points in Oct.

  3. The thing that makes me upset is how TLG seems to be pulling back from its fans–and why? What benefeit does this have?

    The thing that attracts me to LEGO fan conventions (I’ve never been able to go to one, sadly) is the chance to connect to other LEGO fans–especially those within the company. I could care less about discounts and early bird previews and the like, but the chance to talk one-on-one to professional LEGO designers, as an EQUAL? As an infamous credit card commercial puts it, “There are some things money can’t buy.”

    It feels like TLG is intentionally trying to split apart the community–the AFOL community needs to stay separate from the TFOL community, which needs to stay separate from the KFOL community, which needs to stay separate from TLG’s own internal community… One of the wonderful things about LEGO is how it pulled people from many different age, social, and national groups together; by withdrawing the TLG community from the rest (as they’ve been doing for years), though, they remove a huge part of the LEGO community as a whole, and it also sends the message that the AFOL community is somehow “wrong” or “invalid” or “not worthy of (official) support”. I don’t know why someone at the top would thing this sort of separation is a good thing, but whoever they are, they need to be put on a spaceship so they can come back to Earth.

    • Flipz, so well said. This move has a sting attached to it, even though it’s just business. *We* know that they are fools not to embrace the fan community to the fullest extent possible, this is what the product was created for. What tfols and afols make is what inspires the kfols ( and the parents of ) and helps drive the whole machine.

      Some of my favourite memories at the conventions is not just meeting other fans, but the employees. They were equally just as interested to engage with us in chat about the bricks, like cats and racoons meeting in the night. To meet people who designed sets, lines or parts… how cool, and beyond inspiring. To be totally clear, this is a decision by the TLC cloud, not the people in the trenches who are the creative force. If it was up to the designers I’m sure they would attend even more events.

    • Of the print interviews that we dug up with the LU closure announcement, trying to make sense of that, one thing that stood out was the managing board and Knudstorp were very focused after the bad days of the early 2000s on being able to assign some sort of value to any activity TLG spent money on (that includes employee time). With the management structure being flattened out, I imagine there is also more of a focus on which group is spending money on which activity;

      These first two are pure marketing/PR expenses, and it’s a curtailment of the expense, not an abandonment of the activity all together,

      1.The LEGO Company Booth will be decommissioned and no longer available at LEGO
      fan conventions.
      2. A local community representative will no longer be available on-site for the
      entire duration of the event (A local community representative will make
      arrangements to physically attend fan conventions for a maximum of two full
      days).

      The next two are the retail chain, including the online shop, but the fan community outreach is far more PR and marketing oriented, whose budget covers this?

      3. LEGO Brand Retail will no longer offer a discount, or any type of special
      promotion or offer, to registered attendees/exhibitors of fan events.
      4. LEGO Brand Retail will no longer offer any type of early discount or
      promotion for event coordinator(s) before the event takes place (for event
      supplies I.E. speed build sets, raffle prizes).

      While fan outreach is wonderful, the “magical” qualities of it somehow solidly increasing sales down the road are probably unappreciated due to that magic not being quantifiable.

      • This is one of their hugest problems is that they need to directly quantify everything. Loss Leader is not a new business model and TLC needs to take a serious look at how these seemingly waste of company time and energies spin out into profits.

        There were lots of odd reasonings behind the closing of LU, one of them I had heard was some of the brass was worried that virtual/digital bricks were in direct competition with physical plastic bricks. Proponents of virtual building were arguing that anytime face time with a Lego product vs any other competing toy or system was a positive but guess who got drowned out.

        Good to hear from you again Yak 😀

  4. Whereas I have never been to a fan convention like Flipz, I can understand why people would be upset, and rightfully so. :/

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