LEGO Haul no. 22 – City Materials

LEGO Haul no. 22 – City Materials! It’s been a while since I had a good LEGO haul. In this video I’ll be taking a look at some of my recent LEGO purchases which I’ll be using for my LEGO city. It’s very important to have enough materials to build your LEGO city. Today’s LEGO haul is all about stocking up on good city materials! Maybe you can get some ideas for your own LEGO city!?

Thank you for watching!

Why is LEGO changing Bricklink?

Before the weekend a post on reddit revealed that certain limitations are being enacted on intellectual property-related creations and customized LEGO pieces on Bricklink. This happens in spite of CMO Julia Goldin’s assurances that the LEGO group would not change Bricklink after the acquisition. However, she also stated that none-LEGO branded products would not be allowed to continue on the platform. Why is that?

This AFOL believes that the answer is straight-forward: brand control. Limiting the sale of custom pieces is probably an attempt to avoid confusion of what is and what is not official LEGO bricks. If custom pieces are sold on a LEGO-branded platform, the LEGO group (TLG) is likely to be held accountable for any issues with custom pieces by private customers. Moreover, private customers may begin to wonder why certain custom pieces aren’t available directly from the TLG. This kind of confusion is unwanted for any company trying to retain a level of brand control.

But why limit the sharing of intellectual property inspired custom creations (like Avengers, Back to the Future etc. creations)? My guess is that this is a question of copyright. TLG has different deals with IP-owners – Disney being one. TLG does not want to break those deals by hosting material that might be copyright-infringing on their platform. Moreover, TLG has official LEGO sets in the Harry Potter, Spider-Man etc. themes. Custom creations within these themes may be confused with official LEGO sets. This is both an issue for TLG in relation to their quality guarantee, ease-of-build policy and as potential competition to their own products.

Users of Bricklink is likely to experience some hassle if they have previously relied on custom pieces and creations. However, to TLG brand-control is likely more important. In any case custom LEGO pieces and creations are probably available on other platforms and those who are interested can go there.

From a brand-management perspective these changes makes a lot of sense to this AFOL

LEGO acquires BrickLink

Today, it was announced that the LEGO Group has acquired the secondhand LEGO platform: BrickLink. It is an exciting move for both parties. Reading the announcement on BrickLinks website, the acquisition seemed almost inevitable.

Wrote BrickLink in their announcement:

When two companies have perfectly aligned visions while filling in the missing parts of each other, it’s not too difficult to imagine how the collaboration will go.

In an interview with Julia Goldin (LEGO Chief Marketing Officer) the Brothers Brick pressed for details on the potential conflict of interest. However, CMO Goldin underlined that the LEGO Group does not believe there is such a conflict. An interesting detail that came out of the interview: the LEGO Group will only support LEGO-branded sellers on BrickLink.

In the view of this AFOL; the acquisition of BrickLink is a smart move. Controlling the largest online platform for selling and buying secondhand LEGO is a huge opportunity. The potential for the LEGO Group to – essentially – compete with themselves in the sale of bricks-on-demand is undeniable. Traditionally, the LEGO Group has been very fan-minded and service-oriented and this acquisition can be an interesting way to improve that even further. Supplying builders with the bricks they need, when they need them, is key to a thriving LEGO fan community.

What is your view on this acquisition by the LEGO Group? Let me know in the comments!