Youve probably noticed that the LEGO online Pick-A-Brick / LEGO Factory palette
has recently been updated with new parts - and new prices. As an avid user of
the LEGO Factory system, I was curious just how much the prices had gone up by.
I created three train models in order to evaluate the new prices - a caboose in
6-wide, the same caboose as an 8-wide model, and an AAR-style wheelset using
some new wheels that were recently added to the Palette.
Ive designed numerous LEGO Factory models over the years and have a feel for
what these models should cost based on previous pricing. In my experience,
models typically average about 15 cents per part. A 6-wide railcar typically
runs less than $70. My 6-wide caboose uses the train baseplate and minimal SNOT,
so it should cost about $50 or less. At 329 elements, my 15c/part estimate gives
$49.35 - almost in exact agreement. The 8-wide version is SNOTtier and has 601
pieces, so $90 is a good estimate. The AAR truck has only 43 pieces, but it uses
an expensive magnetic buffer piece. To estimate the price, take the 15c/part
estimate of $6.45 and add on the (former) cost for the buffer of $1.54. This
brings the estimated cost to $7.99.
So, how did these estimates check with the new (USA) LEGO Factory prices? The
results arent encouraging. Lets start with the AAR truck... this little
43-part gem is now a whopping $21.57 - 270% more than the estimate using the
previous Factory pricing. At this price, it would cost you over $40 just to
supply the wheels for a railcar using two of these AAR trucks.
8-wide railcars are always expensive. Just before the price increase, I ordered
an 8-wide, 1086-element locomotive, sans 9V motors and wheels, from LEGO Factory
for a cost of $107. This caboose has 601 elements, so we would expect the cost
to be less, given the same pricing. However, the pricing is not the same
anymore... and this caboose now costs $201.50 - averaging 33.5 cents per brick.
Thats more than double the old prices.
The real shocker is the 6-wide caboose, which should have cost about $50 with
the old pricing. It comes in at an unbelievable $181.51, or 55 cents per brick!
Why so much more for the 6-wide model? The secret is in the wheels. For this
model, I used stock train wheelsets. There is a bug (if you can call it that) in
LEGO Digital Designer that includes one four-pack of train axles for each
wheelset ordered. That means that the caboose model will actually ship with four
axle packs, or 16 total. These axles are now priced at $13 per 4-pack, and a
wheelset costs $16.10 as a result. Since the model includes four wheelsets,
these add more than $64 to the cost of the model. The AAR trucks actually end up
being cheaper, even at more than $20 each!
Im really disappointed by this new pricing. LDD models and online Pick-a-Brick
have become unaffordable. If LEGO requires such high prices in order for online
PaB to be profitable, then it appears that the time has come for LEGO Factory to
close its doors.
As a LEGO Ambassador, I have voiced my concerns through the LEGO Ambassadors
message board. I also contacted LEGO Customer Service by phone and was told that
several customers had voiced the same concerns over Factory pricing. I was told,
however, that these prices are set by LEGO in Denmark and that the US Customer
Service could not provide me with further information at the time of my call.
LEGO is already aware that there are a number of fans upset over the new prices.
However, if you find these new online Pick-a-Brick / LEGO Factory prices
objectionable, I still encourage you to make your concerns known so that LEGO
can understand the impact of the new prices - which are more than double the old
and have made online PaB impossibly expensive. Their toll-free number in the US
is +1 (800) 835-4386. I will pass along more information as I receive it.
I also posted this story - with pictures of the MOCs - on MOCpages. The link
for that is:
-- Jordan Schwarz
Message has 6 Replies:
| ||Re: LEGO Factory / PaB Pricing Study|| Ludo Soete|
|(...) Hi Jordan, Thanks for this information. I noticed it today also after a message from one of the French FreeLUG people about those ridiculous high prices. I found the previous (European) prices already on the high side, but now its as you (...) (4 years ago, 6-Apr-09, to lugnet.lego, FTX) |
| ||Re: LEGO Factory / PaB Pricing Study|| Scott Wardlaw|
|I have also noticed the higher prices from the online Pick-a-Brick. I wonder how often and how thoroughly that the calculations that go into these prices are looked over by management. With such a high volume of parts that the machines that make (...) (4 years ago, 7-Apr-09, to lugnet.lego) |
| ||Re: LEGO Factory / PaB Pricing Study|| John Gerlach|
|(...) There are a couple elements that I've been meaning to purchase for a few projects. They used to be 11cents, now they're 34cents. Since I'd need to purchase several hundred of each that is a big difference. I guess I won't be starting those (...) (4 years ago, 7-Apr-09, to lugnet.lego, FTX) |
| ||Re: LEGO Factory / PaB Pricing Study|| Brian Kelley|
|In lugnet.lego, Jordan Schwarz wrote: -snip- (...) I believe that this is one of the biggest downfalls in the LEGO(R) Company's organizational structure which is the lack of representation here in the US. Denmark has always had a stronghold over the (...) (4 years ago, 9-Apr-09, to lugnet.lego, FTX) |
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