Friday, January 23, 2009

Salesmanship

I see that Adam Reed Tucker's two newest LEGO Architecture sets have come out: the Space Needle and the Empire State Building.



I should note while I'm here that Sean Kenney offered his own souvenir Empire State Building models for sale when he displayed his much larger, but still microscale version. This gets me thinking - what is the market for such sets? I don't really think it's the AFOL world. Yes, it is cool to get an official product designed by someone you know through the hobby and support our own, but these Architecture sets are things that any of us could recreate with the bricks at our disposal (aside from the custom printed tiles, of course).* At $50 for the pair I don't think that kids are the audience either. My understanding was that the first two (John Hancock and Sears) were sold in places like souvenir stands and museum shops, so I'm guessing adults with some nostalgia for LEGO get them and put them on their desks at work. Okay, then, I wonder what sort of market there is for this sort of thing. I've got a couple of my favorite vigs sitting on my desk; could I produce sets for sale? Or I would bet that people would have snapped up those miniland Barrack Obamas if they were on sale in DC this week (I went to the inauguration - people were selling all kinds of posters, t-shirts, buttons). Total kudos to Adam for this, especially if it raises the visibility of the hobby. I wonder what other MOCs could be turned into souvenir sets. Maybe Arthur Gugick should start thinking about this. Or any of us - I'm sure everyone has one or two small creations that we're proud of. Anyway, just some random babbling, I suppose. How much of this sort of thing do you think the market would bear?

*Please don't misunderstand. I'm not knocking these as creations at all. They are quite cool micro MOCs by Adam. I'm just saying that as sets these don't offer me much, since I pretty much buy for the pieces and part sets out pretty quickly after an initial build of the official design.

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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Adam has passion for LEGO at all ages, patience for kids (and their parents who are probably far too proud that the kid built the Sears Tower themselves at well under "10+"), and a great entrepreneurial spirit.

I think I agree about the general audience; but that doesn't stop the kids from being interested either. Aforesaid kid loves the Sears Tower (one of three sets that didn't get torn apart and built into other stuff almost immediately) and was thrilled both when he got the one he built from the kit, and from the lesson in building a larger scale version from Adam himself recently.

Marc said...

Yeah, at $7-8 a pop, I can see these things selling at museum gift shops, "educational" toy stores, places like that. I can't for the life of me see paying $50 for two of them (plus $10 for shipping!).

The cost would make more sense if this was just an AFOL who had to source his parts through BrickLink. But this is an official TLG collaboration, so you would think that would drive the cost down, not up.

I wonder why they didn't do this through LEGO Factory?