Unpopular Opinion: Is LEGO Losing Its Touch with its Fans?


That question has been heavily bandied about the LEGO Ambassador’s Network for the past week (it’s been a discussion for years actually) and recently hit a fevered pitch when LEGO starting rolling out exclusives that were unobtainable by the majority of fans.

I have always been a proponent of inclusivity but I do know that LEGO is a business as well and these marketing pushes are necessary which was posited by The Brick Architect in his article here.

This was compounded with the fact that there hasn’t been much in terms of ‘exclusives’ with regards to the Black VIP card. So far it has only been a poster blueprint of the UCS Y-wing and a LEGO Star Wars Black VIP card holder.


Fans across the pond voiced their unhappiness as well when the LEGO Spring Festival sets, Lunar New Year Reunion Dinner (80101) and Dragon Dance (80102) sets were released only in Asia. There were some stock that made its way to parts of Europe but it never made it States side.


But lets put things in perspective shall we? There was a period of time when we in Asia would only get our sets six months after their release in the United States and Europe markets. And these are just the regular sets mind you, none of the D2C stuff would make it to our shelves unless it was parallel imported.

This actually lead to the rise of the reseller (ie. Black Market) industry here in Singapore and the rest of Asia as there was a lot of money to be made in that six month window between the USA/Europe and Asian launches.

Current polybags are still not officially available over the counter in Singapore like in the United States and Europe where you could walk into a Walmart or Target and pick up one or even fifty if you so desire. Polybags are distributed only through gift with purchase promotions at the LEGO Certified Stores.

There still isn’t the LEGO VIP programme in South East Asia so we do not enjoy any of the benefits that comes with it including the use of VIP points. We couldn’t even get any of the gift with purchases (eg. Christmas Seasonal) that came with the programme unless we bought it online off eBay or Bricklink.

While I can understand that the recent exclusive promotions are a disappointment to those in the USA and European markets, we here in Asia have seen the strides that LEGO has taken even out the different markets that it wants to develop.

Due to the LEGO Certified Stores, we now have access to same day releases, polybags through gift with purchases promotions and even things like monthly builds and pick a brick which up to four years ago, were not available here in Singapore or other parts of South East Asia.

I’ll be the first to admit that there are still things I would love to see improved at LEGO (ie. Pricing, selection of themes) but at the same time, I also feel that we should always approach each issue with a fair and balanced perspective. The LEGO landscape has changed so much in the last five years, especially for Asia and I feel that overall it has been a marked improvement.

There are numerous LEGO Certified Stores all across Asia and South East Asia. There are now two LEGO Brand Retail Stores in China, one in Shanghai and the other in Beijing. While there are definitely things to work on, it is also prudent to acknowledge the initiatives that LEGO has done by listening to the fans. Just my two studs worth.

Anyway, LEGO is actively looking for feedback on this topic so chime in below with your thoughts on whether LEGO is losing its touch with its fans.

4 responses to “Unpopular Opinion: Is LEGO Losing Its Touch with its Fans?”

  1. Ron says:

    That was a well balanced opinion. Thank you f0r sharing your thoughts. I am American, been living in Singapore for 10 years. I love it here. Unfortunately, my hobby is LEGO Star Wars and there is an imbalance in the Force, here.
    Yes! I’ve witnessed a vast consumer improvement over that short time period, from LEGO. However, I still do not understand why they are only making half of a commitment to Singapore, Malaysia, which has the Merlin operated LEGOland and of course China, which is opening a new, certified store, almost every month.
    What I mean by 1/2 commitment is based on… why ‘certified’ store vs. ‘official’ retail store like those found in USA and Europe?
    Why can’t I use my VIP card, why is Shop@Home (official LEGO website) not available across these markets. Is it logistics? Is it LEGO’s desire to make extra profit off our backs, because the certified stores charge up to 25% more than USA?
    Apple took this approach, in Singapore for many years…when it was the authorized premium resellers doing all of the heavy lifting at a premium price with delayed inventory. Then Apple opened up their ecommerce platform which quietly undercut their unofficial brick n’ mortar counterparts for years…until, ultimately opening up an official Apple Store and soon 2 more.
    LEGO is already a premium toy. It’s a 100% want item, not a basic need in any sense of the word (though I do feel compelled to buy every LEGO Star Wars set).
    If LEGO wants to treat their Asian consumers fairly, properly and honestly, they will open up their official retail stores across the region. Allow the VIP program to integrate with the USA & Europe as part of the roll out their ecommerce platform which is rich with exclusives, promotions and more.
    LEGO has already blacklisted most of the mom and pop stores in Singapore, slowly cutting off their supply in favor of the the select few, certified shops. It’s only a matter of time, before they follow Apple’s model.

    • Brickfinder says:

      Thank you for your observation on the LEGO scene here in Singapore. I have to agree with you that LEGO has done quite a bit for the market here but it still falls short with some of the key factors that would actually make their product more sellable.

      LEGO is definitely a premium item and it should be marketed that way. Right now, a lot of fans are not compelled to buy on launch day because of all the discounts they know will be coming on later when the sets don’t sell.

  2. Elphie says:

    I’d love to see a LEGO brand store or at least online shop@home presence in Singapore where we can earn VIP points, but realistically I don’t think it’s going to happen in the next few years. As it is there are almost too many certified stores in our tiny island, and I doubt Bricks World would have been happy to overhaul all their stores into LCS if there’s an indication that LEGO is going to enter the market themselves soon. Even in their Danish homeland, there’s only 2 LEGO brand stores (no LCS), so 7 LCS for roughly the same population seems like overkill.

  3. Kit says:

    Lego scene is so much worse here in Thailand.    Over priced lego sets. Lousy promos.  Only recently with the opening of the first LCS in Bangkok did things improve slightly but still by far from US and EU norms.  Re-sellers and third party sellers thrive online Thai lego groups.  I never buy lego sets at Thai retail prices.  I would guess that Lego is losing out in the end because loyal brick fans can buy less of the lego products while a bulk of the profit goes to these resellers. For example the bugatti chiron goes for over 800 USD at retail…thats two large lego sets in the western world.  And i don’t think lego is getting the bulk of that 800 bucks from the seller.

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