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Petition to reissue Cafe Corner

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Comments

  • edited March 2012
    The backlash I alluded to is a very real consideration for TLG since sales of LEGO benefit from being regarded as a collectible toy. It is a highly prized position, and the road of history is littered with countless corpses of once collectible toys that sacrificed their long-term viability for short-term profit by saturating the market and otherwise upsetting their customer base.
    This cannot be understated. LEGO doesn't care about the effect a re-release would have on sales of existing CCs on the secondary market. However, they would very much care about the effect it would have on the future primary market. If collectors and aftermarket resellers knew that LEGO will re-release retired sets, then a non-trivial number of those people aren't going to by up 5, 10, 20, or 100 of set X in the future. Thus, while a re-release could drive sales in the short term on that one product, it very likely will depress sales for years to come on dozens of other products. In addition, LEGO would risk losing a lot of the excitement, buzz, and enthusiasm generated by the collector and/or reseller communities.
  • edited March 2012
    To be honest, I'm getting tired of remakes. I mean how many versions of X-Wings and Tie Fighters do we need? There has to be other Star Wars vehicles to remake. It's as if Lego is getting lazy...LOL
    More. New generation of kids are constantly introduced to Star Wars and the demand is always there. If it makes Lego money, they'll do it. I even bought two sets of the new Xwing just so Luke and Jek Porkins could have their own starfighters. I would have still even bought it if I had the older renditions.
    This cannot be understated. LEGO doesn't care about the effect a re-release would have on sales of existing CCs on the secondary market. However, they would very much care about the effect it would have on the future primary market. If collectors and aftermarket resellers knew that LEGO will re-release retired sets, then a non-trivial number of those people aren't going to by up 5, 10, 20, or 100 of set X in the future. Thus, while a re-release could drive sales in the short term on that one product, it very likely will depress sales for years to come on dozens of other products. In addition, LEGO would risk losing a lot of the excitement, buzz, and enthusiasm generated by the collector and/or reseller communities.
    Moot point. Raise price and limit supply in future sets. The driving force behind demand has and will always be the buyers who intend to buy and enjoy it, not investors.
  • ^ Your statement about the true driving force is correct, but the overall point is not moot. Part of the pressure facing collectors is the notion of "getting it before it's gone" and the resultant pride in one's collection is often a function of how hard it was to obtain that collection. If TLG erodes this with frequent re-releases, it risks damaging overall interest in their product.
  • ^ not to mention, LEGO is a toy company that some people happen to collect, not a company in the business of making limited-run collectibles. The suggested model of severly limiting supply and jacking up prices (presumably only to be used for things like Modulars, etc) would go against how they run their entire business, and would have fairly serious logistical, cultural, PR, and other challenges.
  • You guys harping about the need to move on should just be quiet ...
    Everyone is entitled to their opinion here, as long as they keep it civil. Telling others they need to 'be quiet' is leaning toward non-civil behaviour. Just sayin'.
    The price is only going to go up as you whine about wanting it released by Lego yet again.

    If they didn't just sit around whining and wishing for a rerelease and just got their butts in gear and paid the going rate they'd have it before it gets more expensive. The problem isn't set scarcity or the going rate, they problem is people sitting on their hands and then complaining when they pay for their inaction.

    You whine and you still lose but you also annoy those of us who don't. :-P

    That goes double for you prof! haha.
  • We have upwards of 3000 serious collectors here and after at least a day, this "petition" has garnered no less than 23 signatures. I imagine that that pretty much sums things up.
  • edited March 2012
    ^ not to mention, LEGO is a toy company that some people happen to collect, not a company in the business of making limited-run collectibles. The suggested model of severly limiting supply and jacking up prices (presumably only to be used for things like Modulars, etc) would go against how they run their entire business, and would have fairly serious logistical, cultural, PR, and other challenges.
    That's what you guys are turning it into. Stop the supply as the demand continues to grow and call it a 'rare collectible' (as if it was even rare to begin with as these are mass produced). Seriously?

    I don't know how you guys operate, but I buy my sets without regards to future value on the basis that Lego just makes really unique and awesome toys so I really have no problem with reissues. Yea a cafe corner reissue might take up a new modular slot, but better than nothing.
  • Forget it. You guys sound like a bunch of stock speculators and don't seem to even care about the average joe just getting back into Legos.
  • ^ I agree there is a sniff of that.
  • Seriously, I couldn't give a crap about Ninjago. I'm surprised an AFOL is actually defending a hokey kid's theme like Ninjago over a classic modular set such as Cafe Corner. But again, you're a reseller so I can see how you would want to protect your assets.
    You may not "give a crap", but to TLG, they care very much. Ninjago is the first theme other than City to outsell Star Wars since TLG obtained the Star Wars license.

    That is a big deal, and it means that they will have the resources and capital to expand and create all new production facilities to hold down the cost of their product.
    I can tell you for a fact that if Lego re-released Cafe Corner it would sell 3x as many units as the current flock of ho-hum modulars (cough ahem *Town Hall*). That's just my opinion though ; )
    You are welcome to your opinion, but the facts are with me. Lego would not sell as many Cafe Corners as they would an all new design. It makes no business sense, it makes no logical sense, and it has been tried with the Legends series. Those didn't sell well either.
  • edited March 2012
    ^^^ other than one member of the board of directors (can't remember his name now, but he posted around here for a bit...quite the big wig), I don't think we have anyone else here at brickset that can make the decision you need made...the beef really should be taken up with TLG directly...they are the ones making the final calls which are mostly based on their bottom line (I would think??).
  • ^ An AFOL who can see the bigger picture. Ninjago needs to sell well to kids in order to subsidize the more niche adult market.
    This...

    The Lego Group could exist without the modular buildings, but without popular lines like Ninjago, they would not remain in business.
    The only people who would be hurt are the resellers and I don't care about them.
    I'm going to disagree with you here... While you're entitled to your opinion on this one as well, any graduate of business school could tell you that you're mistaken.
  • In addition, LEGO would risk losing a lot of the excitement, buzz, and enthusiasm generated by the collector and/or reseller communities.
    This is a real thing... Because of my collection, more than one person has gone over to the Lego store to buy more Lego.

    The girl I buy my girl scout cookies from (mmm... thin mints!) loves Harry Potter... She and her Mom were unaware it was being retired this year, they saw a handful of sets here and asked about them, when I informed them that it was going away for LOTR coming this summer, the Mom went over to the Lego store that afternoon to pickup the rest of the line so they didn't miss it.

    So while we might be "only 5%" of the market, I suspect we influence another 5% or more worth of purchases, due to the people we know.
  • Well, isn't everyone a bit grumpy today. :(
  • Well, isn't everyone a bit grumpy today. :(
    No one here but us chickens... :)

    *goes to get a cup of coffee and relax a bit*
  • Not grumpy... amused by this actually.
  • In addition, LEGO would risk losing a lot of the excitement, buzz, and enthusiasm generated by the collector and/or reseller communities.


    This is a real thing... Because of my collection, more than one person has gone over to the Lego store to buy more Lego.

    The girl I buy my girl scout cookies from (mmm... thin mints!) loves Harry Potter... She and her Mom were unaware it was being retired this year, they saw a handful of sets here and asked about them, when I informed them that it was going away for LOTR coming this summer, the Mom went over to the Lego store that afternoon to pickup the rest of the line so they didn't miss it.

    So while we might be "only 5%" of the market, I suspect we influence another 5% or more worth of purchases, due to the people we know.
    LOL...I give you brownie points
  • I missed CC and GG, dark ages and buying bionicles for kids made me miss alot of cool sets. I can live with it. I have about 1000 of the pieces for cafe corner stuffed in a bag waiting for me to get off my butt and source the rest. New sets are better than old sets, nostalgia (Galaxy Explorer) makes some people think old is better. Someone call in the Colonel as this thread has gotten far too silly!
  • @ devilhead I agree. Better than anything on television. :-)

    @yellowcastle Numbers don't lie.

  • You are welcome to your opinion, but the facts are with me. Lego would not sell as many Cafe Corners as they would an all new design. It makes no business sense, it makes no logical sense, and it has been tried with the Legends series. Those didn't sell well either.
    You don't know that. The Legends series came out what, ten years ago? The Lego market was a lot different then. Based on what I'm seeing there are a lot more AFOLs now than there were then. Lego also sells direct so there's no reason that they can't offer exclusive sets. For example, the Kingdoms Joust set is a Lego Store exclusive and at $120 I'm willing to bet that it's only rich kids and AFOL's who are buying it.

    Really you guys are making this whole thing way too much of a big deal. Will Lego ever re-release modulars? I would like to think that they might. Thank goodness they are not a publicly traded company. If they were, folks like BigLegoTexas would be pulling the strings and we would only be seeing Ninjago and Star Wars sets released because nothing else would be profitable enough.

  • edited March 2012
    Thank goodness they are not a publicly traded company. If they were, folks like BigLegoTexas would be pulling the strings and we would only be seeing Ninjago and Star Wars sets released because nothing else would be profitable enough.

    Now you're being silly ;-)

    ...LegoFanTexas probably could only afford a 10% stake in TLG, not nearly enough to pull all the strings to decide what themes are allowed.
  • Again LEGO TRIED this re-release business already with the Legends line and reprinted the Metroliner, Main Street, Guarded Inn, Black Falcon's fortress, and Black Seas Barracuda to name the big ones that LEGO thought they sell a ton of by reprinting, and took a bath on them.. as an example they were selling Metroliner for something like 50 dollars per set to get rid of them, and tons of stores were stuck with Main Street sets...
    I seriously doubt LEGO will EVER discount a modular to get rid of it, and for this reason alone I doubt LEGO would redo it.
    Also if there are AFOLs saying this design is woefully dated, what do you think the Actual LEGO designers think of it??
    I think you would need something like a million signatures to get LEGO to redo something, MAYBE, and who's to say that the CC would stay its original 140 price? It would most likely go up to around 200 as well. Then no one would buy it saying it cost too much for what it is.
  • I just researched the Legends series and to be fair, those were "old" sets that looked dated which is probably part of the reason they didn't sell well. And again, if you would read my post, the Lego market, especially in regards to AFOL has changed dramatically since the Legends series was released. But go ahead and enjoy your Ninjago playing cards and X-Wing Fighter version 519872-5142.
  • I just researched the Legends series and to be fair, those were "old" sets that looked dated which is probably part of the reason they didn't sell well. And again, if you would read my post, the Lego market, especially in regards to AFOL has changed dramatically since the Legends series was released. But go ahead and enjoy your Ninjago playing cards and X-Wing Fighter version 519872-5142.
    They were amongst the most popular sets of their day and still revered when the Legends line came out. The only problem was that those who wanted them pretty much already had them or resigned themselves to just move on without them. Peoples' wants always exceed their will to buy.

    The AFOL market hasn't changed all that much in the last ten years; it's merely become more visible and vocal due to the effect of the internet. I say that speaking as someone who has been an AFOL for two decades now (and never really had a dark age that took me out of contact with Lego even if there was a period when I wasn't buying).

    Personally, I don't like Ninjago but whether I think it's a piece of crap or not is irrelevant to the fact that reissued sets don't do better than their original release and when it comes to a more niche-market set like the Modulars, that spells death for sales recouping expenses.
  • edited March 2012
    You are welcome to your opinion, but the facts are with me. Lego would not sell as many Cafe Corners as they would an all new design.

    You don't know that.
    So LFT doesn't know that for a fact, but you know the following as fact?
    I can tell you for a fact that if Lego re-released Cafe Corner it would sell 3x as many units as the current flock of ho-hum modulars
  • @mathew - While I agree with your sentiment that, as collectors, the secondary market shouldn't be our first concern, you're missing the point that a lot of people are trying to make (which has nothing to do with the secondary market). The bottom line is that LEGO is a company and their goal is to turn a profit. Re-issuing a set that will appeal to a small portion of what is already a niche market makes no sense. Even as a direct set, in a plain brown box, perhaps not even including anything but a piece of paper with a link to the PDF of the instructions, you're asking them to re-issue a product that features pieces no longer manufactured to sell to a fraction of a market that, by LEGO's own assessment, accounts for less than 5% of their sales. If you were a company, wouldn't it make a lot more sense to devote your resources to creating a new model that would at least capture the attention of a majority of that 5% rather than mass manufacture a model that a good portion of that demographic already owns?
  • ^ Although for the most part I support what @mathew has said and would personally welcome a re-issue of the CC, I think the way you stated your argument is the best so far.
  • @mathew - For someone that has just returned to LEGO after a 25 year hiatus, you seem to have a lot of strong opinions about the state of this hobby. Since you first joined here less than a month ago, you have railed against reselling on multiple occasions and across more than one thread; taught us that LEGO has only recently become collectable; confirmed that only rich kids and adults are buying the Joust set; and explained to us how the AFOL market has dramatically changed in the past ten years.

    The idea that those of us disagreeing with the notion of rereleasing the CC are simply doing so to protect our aftermarket interests is offensive to me. Most of the vocal participants here are not even resellers. Perhaps you should stop carrying your disdain for the secondary market into each and every thread and instead simply weigh the individual posts on their own merit.

    At a minimum, I recommend you temporarily suspend your research on the Legends theme and instead reread the post above from @davee123. I think you'll find that he did indeed make some very interesting points, most of which are born from more than a fortnight's worth of experience...

  • 3) accept that you won't own it. This shouldn't detract from your desire or love of the other modulars - far too often we as collectors get caught up in the "I have to have ALL of a collection, or NONE". Why? There isn't really much rationality to it at all.


    Here's the problem: The Cafe Corner is still the best looking modular. It's the only modular that I could see being displayed in my living room. Town Hall? No way would I want something so ugly and un-inspiring. Grand Emporium? Nice looking but it's just a fancy store front. Fire Brigade? Second best looking modular but it's a fire station and just doesn't do it for me. Green Grocer? Really nice looking but it lacks a "story". Pet Store? ZZzzzz. Cafe Corner was inspired. It looks like it could belong in either Paris or San Francisco. It has panache. It has subtext.

    I would save up and buy a re-released Cafe Corner. They could spruce up the interior and ask $200 for it. You guys harping about the need to move on should just be quiet and let the guy do a petition. I've noticed that Lego Addicts are a lot like Apple Addicts...annoying with their fanaticism of purity.

    Thank you! Lego has an algarithm that preaches: 0 = Produce and sell, 1 = Don't Produce and Don't sell.
  • edited March 2012
    The bottom line is that LEGO is a company and their goal is to turn a profit. Re-issuing a set that will appeal to a small portion of what is already a niche market makes no sense.
    Why do you guys keep repeating the fact that LEGO is a company and their goal is to turn a profit? No kidding. I wasn't born yesterday and come from a family of small business owners. The original point of this thread was a petition for Lego to re-release Cafe Corner. That's it. Instead, I see the same posts from the same members saying it's a stupid idea and that Lego only cares about making money. Ad nauseum. I'm just playing devil's advocate by saying that I think that the market has changed and that collecting Lego is more popular than before. Therefore I believe that there is a market for re-releasing Cafe Corner for those that missed it the first time. Do you really think that it would be going for $1200 if everyone and their grandmother had purchased one like they were supposed to? Heck no. It's because the modulars have increased in popularity over the years and the resellers were slow to buy up stock. Do you really think Fire Brigade is going to be going for $1200 in a couple of years? I doubt it. Now, I could be wrong so you can take it or leave it.


  • At a minimum, I recommend you temporarily suspend your research on the Legends theme and instead reread the post above from @davee123.
    Suspend research? So don't use Brickset to look up older sets that I'm unfamiliar with? And you're an Admin?

  • He means take the time to read other people's comments instead of using your time to endlessly support your idea. @dave123 makes many great points, especially about lowering cost for a new design by using parts that are already being heavily produced for other sets.
  • Why do you guys keep repeating the fact that LEGO is a company and their goal is to turn a profit?
    Because your staunch support for a set being produced that would generate little to no profit for TLG seems to suggest you think otherwise... not to mention the animosity you display towards the proverbial 'bread and butter' lines.
  • I do think how lego do their business now is influenced by the secondary market which is why they are not keen to re release sets. Because they learnt from the legends line that it doesnt work because one those who dont have it are a small number and two those who now buy 5 or 6 sets to resell wont buy 5 or 6 sets if they re release a set and that hits profits harder rather than collectors who buy one or two to keep. I know lego say that they dont care about it but they would say that otherwise people will stop buying sets in disgust. but when someone will buy 5 town houses at 140 each and they make lets say at least 40% on that then who are you not going to want to annoy by making new sets. While they do re release things like the x wing etc these are bought by enough children to make it worth while.

    Although I would like to see lego, maybe not do an buy online option for old sets, but maybe make the parts to build it easier to get hold of through things like PAB
  • The Legends series came out what, ten years ago? The Lego market was a lot different then.
    I think it's more unlikely due to LEGO's experience with the Legends line rather than a re-evaluation of the idea of re-releasing.

    Essentially, as far as LEGO's concerned, they've been there, done that. So, unless you have a professional market research team at your disposal who can show them decent evidence to the contrary, LEGO's probably going to continue believing that the Legends line proved that they ought not do re-releases. Essentially, they (I believe) aren't even considering it, because that experience is still fresh in their minds.

    The Legends Line was also from a VERY low point in the company. And ultimately, Legends did poorly. So LEGO's got an extra bad taste in its mouth from many of the things they were doing in the late 1990's and early 2000's. There's an extra layer of taint surrounding re-releases.

    Somewhere down the line, sure, maybe they'll re-evaluate it. After all, not ALL of the Legends sets did badly. And it's true, the market HAS changed (and will continue to).

    As for Cafe Corner *specifically*, I can't imagine that they'd re-release it so soon, even if they WERE considering doing re-releases. I mean, it was still in stores back in 2009, and that was only 3 years ago. Maybe if they got over their fear of re-releases, and decided to do a 10-year anniversary set in 2017, I could believe that, I guess.

    But it does open up a big problem-- half the reason people want it now is because they're new AFOLs who didn't get a chance to buy it when it was out. So, if LEGO re-releases it... then what do you do in 5 more years with the even newer AFOLs who weren't around to buy the re-release? Do you re-release again? A 3rd time? A 4th? And then, what do you do about the other sets in the series? Do you re-release Green Grocer, Market Street, and the Fire Brigade? Pretty soon, you have to do more re-releases than normal ones, and we won't see anything new.

    And then you've got the same issue for things like UCS Star Wars sets, the MMV, the Winter Village, and all the other sets that AFOLs can't get enough of. It's just a bad precedent, IMHO.

    Anyway, I don't see it happening the way things are going currently.

    DaveE
  • edited March 2012
    And you're an Admin?
    Yup; but to be honest, I did find the badge in a Cracker Jack's box.
  • Dave, I mostly agree with you. I would argue that Lego could re-release or even just keep popular, classic sets in circulation. I think MMV is a good example. I just purchased and built it. I thought it was interesting that the instructions still include product images for the old, discontinued Castle sets from several years ago. There has to be a good reason why Lego has kept MMV in circulation. First, it's an excellent set and one that is almost perfect as it is. I suspect that it's very popular from within Lego. I don't have access to sales numbers but I doubt that it's a very big seller. So clearly, there are non-profit motivated reasons for keeping it alive. One could argue the same for the modulars. I don't necessarily see the point in keeping all the modulars in circulation but Cafe Corner I think has enough universal appeal to consider it.
  • ^ You get badges? ;-) Wear it with pride.
  • I personally don't see the need for a re-release as this set is readily available on the secondary market. It is cheaper for you to pony up $1k than expect TLG to eat millions in good will. Let's move on to a movie theater or restaurant.
  • Forget it. You guys sound like a bunch of stock speculators and don't seem to even care about the average joe just getting back into Legos.
    I personally don't see the need for a re-release as this set is readily available on the secondary market. It is cheaper for you to pony up $1k than expect TLG to eat millions in good will. Let's move on to a movie theater or restaurant.
    True that...There are only 7 Modulars and the OP wants to redo one? There are countless new ideas that could be developed.

  • edited March 2012
    I personally don't see the need for a re-release as this set is readily available on the secondary market. It is cheaper for you to pony up $1k than expect TLG to eat millions in good will. Let's move on to a movie theater or restaurant.
    Cheaper for me? Ok sure. I'll let you know when I win the lottery. I also don't think it costs TLG "millions" to re-release a set that the moulds, instructions and box art already exist for. And as several of us have said, TLG can sell direct.

    I agree that a movie theater done up in a classic art deco style would be great. Of course there would be those that would whine that it's already been done with the Town Plan set and why would TLG want to lose millions of dollars for those who were too slow (and not rich enough) to buy when it was available ; )
    Ohh, oh, I know... a Police Station...Lego hasn't made enough police stations and we all know that the City series is profitable for TLG so they should only make stuff that makes them millions of dollars.
  • Like I said EARLIER, Lego could set up a "Preorder like" list to determine if there is enough interest. They can email everyone they have an email account for to let them know about the interest. Cost = minimal at best!
  • Cheaper for me? Ok sure. I'll let you know when I win the lottery. I also don't think it costs TLG "millions" to re-release a set that the moulds, instructions and box art already exist for. And as several of us have said, TLG can sell direct.
    Not cheaper for you, cheaper in general... less total cost to everyone...

    The "millions" is the lost good-will a re-release would cost the company among its collectors. You continue to ignore this point, as if it doesn't exist, however history is littered with failed companies that failed to take the long view and protect the value of their brand.

    No, most people don't resell Lego, and many people never sell any of their personal collection, but there is value in having it have value. It improves the overall value of the Lego brand image, which is really all that Lego has since the patents are long expired. They want their product to be viewed as a premium product, which won't happen if it keeps ending up in the discount bin because they over produce everything.

    No, most people are not going to spend $1,200 on Cafe Corner, nor will they spend $2K on UCS Falcon, but having those two sets at that price makes the Lego brand appear valuable to everyone, even Soccer Mom's who are just buying for kids.

    I recently had my spring order of girl scout cookies delivered, and the Mom noticed a few Harry Potter Lego sets here, she mentioned that her daughter loved HP and had asked for a few of the recent sets for this coming Christmas. I pointed out to her that LOTR was coming this summer, so don't wait, and even she knew they would become more expensive on eBay once sold out, and she is just an average Mom.

    It does matter, it really does... it makes people buy now, even average non-collectors. She now has several more HP sets in the closet waiting for Christmas, picked up because I made her aware that it wouldn't be here come Christmas and she doesn't want to pay eBay prices in 9 months.
  • Like I said EARLIER, Lego could set up a "Preorder like" list to determine if there is enough interest. They can email everyone they have an email account for to let them know about the interest. Cost = minimal at best!
    You are missing the point... The cost in dollars to do that may be minor, the cost in goodwill is huge.

    You simply are ignoring the damage to the Lego brand by making things available forever... Short term gain, long term loss...
  • Hi Jamie, I'm glad our discussion was stimulating enough to have you post your comments. I greatly admire your work with the modular series and I'm grateful to hear your insiders viewpoint. I will take that as the final word on the matter.
  • @jamie - Thank you for weighing in and, as @mathew pointed out, for all your incredible work with LEGO.
  • Hi Jamie, I'm glad our discussion was stimulating enough to have you post your comments. I greatly admire your work with the modular series and I'm grateful to hear your insiders viewpoint. I will take that as the final word on the matter.
    I agree...Well, stick a fork in this thread...it's done. LOL

  • ^ Not until we all thank Jamie. ;o)
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