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Bricklink's AFOL Designer Program 2019


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Finally finished the expansion. The castle now feels complete!

Boxes are very nice. There’s a UV emboss pattern and yes they come sealed on the inner (remember the outer sleeve is meant to slide off and be a background) The exclusive piece feels disappointing b

Neat build. The brown and dark brown was difficult to see in the instructions, so I can see some people getting frustrated. Otherwise everything was perfect. Not a single extra piece in this set.

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1 hour ago, donbee said:

Wish I would’ve had time to submit an entry. I hope there’s another.

It looks like 10 of 16 sets are funded as of tonight.  There's a little less than 2 months to go.  Three others are basically 2/3rds of the way there.  I'd call it a success, so far.  I hope they can get everything out without a glitch so we can definitely call this a success.

I'd love to see them run this program 1-2x a year.  And hopefully, if this one is successful, it will attract some other people, so that the competition is even better, and the quality even better.  Hope there's another one so you can submit @donbee

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I am in for 2x castle and 2x monorail and 1x fire truck (seriously that thing is huuuge)

based on how forma was been going...I plan to basically sell one and keep one...both the castle and monorail will likely sell-out before the open sell phase (so I hope to recoup costs right away)...and since there's supposed to be an exclusivity element per set (which gets revealed after they ship), there's definitely incentive to get in on this early run.

I was initially bitchin about the price tag, but after seeing some of the vids...the scale of the sets completely changed my mind...you get a lot for the money and the sets seem more substantial than typical Lego sets of similar scale.

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I hope so too, echoing alpinemaps, given the apparent success so far, I think there's a good chance.


I imagine their will be another round. I think letting BL work out any design issues with packaging, shipment, replacements, etc. is probably a good idea. This is a crowd funded project, so there are bound to be some minor kinks before it becomes an annual or semi annual event.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Since each set is a limited run of 2500, what do you think the resale market will be for something like this? I'm guessing that a lot of people still don't know about the program, but the bespoke nature of this would basically be difficult to list on Amazon, right?

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10 minutes ago, Mark Twain said:

Since each set is a limited run of 2500, what do you think the resale market will be for something like this? I'm guessing that a lot of people still don't know about the program, but the bespoke nature of this would basically be difficult to list on Amazon, right?

The Forma series seems to be setting a decent precedence for something like this. Just checked and Forma not offerred on Amazon and a surprising only 13 listings on Ebay ranging from 2xRRP -3xRRP.

As I noted earlier in this discussion the key differences: its been confirmed that the BL sets will not be officially Labeled "Lego" although Lego will be on the package in some form; also I think the BL sets has broader appeal than the niche Forma.

 

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I think some of these sets are gonna be gangbusters, starting with the castle.  It will be interesting to see which other sets are winners - I’m guessing the monorail could do well with the train crowd, and the saloon has good potential as well.  If that shooting gallery were just in scale with the carnival sets, it would be money in the bank.  Of course, this will all be contingent on BL sticking to that 2500 number.  Perhaps some of the less popular sets will see even smaller production runs?  

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Just now, Thanos75 said:

As cool as that castle set is I don't see people willing to drop $3-400 on it in the aftermarket. $200 is already kind of steap.

supply and demand...theres tons of sets that are "not worth it" but...

once investors latch on the sets can become pretty scarce...the limit fo 3 is a key factor here but also worldwide distribution; pulling numbers out of my arse...out of 2500, let's say US has half, Europe has a third, so the remaining rest of the world.  

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28 minutes ago, Dr Jedi said:

I think some of these sets are gonna be gangbusters, starting with the castle.  It will be interesting to see which other sets are winners - I’m guessing the monorail could do well with the train crowd, and the saloon has good potential as well.  If that shooting gallery were just in scale with the carnival sets, it would be money in the bank.  Of course, this will all be contingent on BL sticking to that 2500 number.  Perhaps some of the less popular sets will see even smaller production runs?  

Based on how the manufacture, processing, and shipping is set up (as described in the youtube vids) there will not be multiple runs...I don't think BL can deviate from their original plan of production with its tight timelines. And the whole point of crowd funding means they WILL NOT green light any that are not fully funded.

If it becomes a success, then it seems to me that their best bet is to start a 2nd round with new future sets (next contest) but with greater production numbers.

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I don’t mean to insinuate that the sets that don’t meet the goal amount will be produced.  I just wonder about the sets that just eek over the threshold - will BL really make 2500 of those sets?  I don’t think anyone is going to want to be sitting on 1000+ of a certain set when only a couple hundred were ordered up front.  

As for the castle, I don’t think people will bat an eyelash at paying $300-$400 for this set.  I can’t think of the last castle set with 2000+ pieces (with the exception of the UCS Hogwarts, which is a very different beast), and this set is going to be significantly more elaborate than any castle set that TLG has put out.  There are going to be a lot of people that aren’t aware of these sets, but once they hit eBay and we see an increase in general awareness, look out!  These sets are going to have a 60th Anniversary Lego logo somewhere, so I do believe there will be collectability to these.  If there were no mention of Lego anywhere on the set, then I wouldn’t have as high hopes.  

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I don’t mean to insinuate that the sets that don’t meet the goal amount will be produced.  I just wonder about the sets that just eek over the threshold - will BL really make 2500 of those sets?  I don’t think anyone is going to want to be sitting on 1000+ of a certain set when only a couple hundred were ordered up front.  
As for the castle, I don’t think people will bat an eyelash at paying $300-$400 for this set.  I can’t think of the last castle set with 2000+ pieces (with the exception of the UCS Hogwarts, which is a very different beast), and this set is going to be significantly more elaborate than any castle set that TLG has put out.  There are going to be a lot of people that aren’t aware of these sets, but once they hit eBay and we see an increase in general awareness, look out!  These sets are going to have a 60th Anniversary Lego logo somewhere, so I do believe there will be collectability to these.  If there were no mention of Lego anywhere on the set, then I wouldn’t have as high hopes.  


Bespoke product for a specific audience. I don’t see it skyrocketing during Christmas. This is true niche market items. I haven’t done a pre order yet because I think so much depends on how it is packaged.

I have been wrong about things before. As an aside, in another life when I smoked and collected cigars, I bought a low production book called The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Post-Revolution Cuban Cigars for $80. Five years later I sold it for $750. I’ll let you all google the current market value to see my mistake.


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35 minutes ago, Dr Jedi said:

I don’t mean to insinuate that the sets that don’t meet the goal amount will be produced.  I just wonder about the sets that just eek over the threshold - will BL really make 2500 of those sets?  I don’t think anyone is going to want to be sitting on 1000+ of a certain set when only a couple hundred were ordered up front.  

so if they get 200 funded they decide to not follow-through w/ their promise which is what the whole program is about.  I just think on any premier launch...gotta stay true to your promises becasue any deviation will be greatly magnified given it's  premiere; otherwise it sets a terrible precedence and undermines the good faith behind the crowd source business model. Someone worked really hard to come up w/ 200 as THE number. 

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Any guesses on the "Exclusive Element?"

from their FAQ: 

What is the exclusive element included in each set?

The nature of the exclusive element will be kept secret until the very first orders are received by our customers. This element was produced exclusively for the AFOL Designer Program and will not be available in any official LEGO sets.

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4 minutes ago, Mark Twain said:

 


Bespoke product for a specific audience. I don’t see it skyrocketing during Christmas. This is true niche market items. I haven’t done a pre order yet because I think so much depends on how it is packaged.

I have been wrong about things before. As an aside, in another life when I smoked and collected cigars, I bought a low production book called The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Post-Revolution Cuban Cigars for $80. Five years later I sold it for $750. I’ll let you all google the current market value to see my mistake.


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me suddenly scrambling to find all my large coffee table books to Google the current value.

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2 hours ago, Dr Jedi said:

  I just wonder about the sets that just eek over the threshold - will BL really make 2500 of those sets?  

No, they will only make enough to cover the orders.  So if they get 250 preorders, and 100 more during the open sales window, then they'll only make ~350.  Remember they are packing these all by hand, so they won't want to waste hundreds of hours of labor.

So what makes that interesting is that the "popular" sets like the castle won't be the rarest.  The "imagine it, build it" set is at 96% funded with 151 backers.  So theoretically, it could just squeak through approval, and then have less than 200 produced, which would make it the rarest of he bunch.

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So I've read both 60th Anniversery Lego on the box and also no Lego at all on box.  I Would hope some Lego Labeling but some here seem confident that it was confirmed not. I'd think not having it could  hurt reselling overall.   So many fake bricks out there. WE know its legit but how will the next buyer. Most of us research way better than the average consumer and they might see no Lego mark and ignore.      I'm in for 1 castle, saloon and shooting game anyway.   

Is label confirmed either way,    for sure for sure?

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No, they will only make enough to cover the orders.  So if they get 250 preorders, and 100 more during the open sales window, then they'll only make ~350.  Remember they are packing these all by hand, so they won't want to waste hundreds of hours of labor.
So what makes that interesting is that the "popular" sets like the castle won't be the rarest.  The "imagine it, build it" set is at 96% funded with 151 backers.  So theoretically, it could just squeak through approval, and then have less than 200 produced, which would make it the rarest of he bunch.


Yeah, but how many people want a red block of nightmare fuel in brick form?


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26 minutes ago, Mark Twain said:

 


Yeah, but how many people want a red block of nightmare fuel in brick form?

 

 

Agreed.  Scarcity does not equate to value/high prices.  These sets will all be relatively rare; my money will largely be on the sets that are proving more popular in the crowdfunding stage.

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As the sets are created in the USA, the prices with import duties seem to be about 25% higher. Investment-wise I'm not sure. The packaging it quite important for the collectability of the sets and they're a bit vague about that. I would rather wait for the sets to be released and see how they handle the free shipping and how the sets arrive (cheap shipping is usually not kind for packaging). 

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Good luck trying to bricklink the pieces for this set, hoping to save a few $.

Plus these pieces will be new from the factory, with the plan to be sealed in sectioned bags, with instructions, an exclusive piece, and a supposedly collector worthy box.

$200 is a bargain.

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