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Hapori Tohu

Planet Money Takes on Lego

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NPR's popular Planet Money program tackles our love of Lego in a recent spot on All Things Considered. The Planet Money site has both the audio clip and accompanying blog post, as well as a fantastic graph showing LEGO crushing MegaBlox in revenue.http://www.bzpower.com/story.php?ID=5876]View the full article[/url]

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Anyways, this seemed a bit negative(Biased against LEGO) and old.


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Listened to this the other day. Frankly, I was quite disappointed. The main sources they turned to were kids, and while the kids articulated their ideas a lot better than I expected them to, that didn't make them an especially authoritative source. Moreover, the story echoes the overly-simplistic narrative that LEGO Star Wars was what gave TLG an edge on their competitors after their financial struggles in the 90s. While there's a brief mention of how LEGO "makes or licenses" their stories, which is certainly alluding to their in-house story themes like BIONICLE, that doesn't even get into the nuance of why LEGO can afford to charge higher prices than their competitors, which is largely because they realized in the early- to mid-naughts that they were a premium-quality brand and thus their customers would be willing to pay premium prices (whereas they would have a hard time becoming successful if they tried to produce and sell their bricks as cheaply as their competitors).To be honest, when I heard the headline "The Economics of LEGO", I expected the story to be about how TLG has performed so well during an economic period that has been hard on toymakers, or perhaps about their future plans to maintain their current success. An article on just why LEGO sets are expensive seems less interesting on its own, especially when it fails to dig deep to the core of the issue.

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Haha, suck it MegaBlocks!-don't touch my pocket protector


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Yeah, they do have Halo, but their Halo sets are awful. :P

 

LEGO should always win a contest between them, though, if we the fans (and parents of new fans) teach our kids some basic morals -- you don't steal, and MegaBloks are essentially idea thieves. You support the company who actually originated the idea and without which neither company would have thought of it.

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$60 for a 102 piece set? What the heck is this person talking about?

 

They were talking about a Duplo set, which was another way the report was flawed. Duplo sets always have had and always will have a higher price per piece than normal Lego, specifically because Duplo pieces are bigger in general.

 

Yeah, they do have Halo, but their Halo sets are awful. :P

 

LEGO should always win a contest between them, though, if we the fans (and parents of new fans) teach our kids some basic morals -- you don't steal, and MegaBloks are essentially idea thieves. You support the company who actually originated the idea and without which neither company would have thought of it.

I actually think the Halo sets are one of the signs that Mega Bloks is turning itself around. They're far less dependent on otherwise-useless parts than earlier Mega Bloks sets. And I wouldn't shun an "idea thief" if they could do something different and unique the way Mega Bloks does. I don't buy Mega Bloks because Lego is still far superior in terms of quality, and the two brands really aren't visually compatible even if they are somewhat functionally compatible. But as "clone brands" go, Mega Bloks is one of the most scrupulous and generally has the highest quality.That said, the Mega Bloks coverage sounded almost like a plug for Lego's competitors, which was totally uncalled for. I was waiting for the story to continue on a higher note when the reporter said "...and, launching this week, Mega Bloks Barbie." You don't end a report on Lego with an advertisement for their competitor. That's just sloppy journalism.


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