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Brick Wars - Anyone outside Germany taking notice?


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7 minutes ago, brickvoyeur said:

It's a reoccuring problem there it seems

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You're so funny... except that the situation is the direct opposite. Means: You did not at all get what I'm talking about. Germans are not following LEGO, they're making fun of them and starting to boycot on a large scale.

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5 minutes ago, Frank Brickowski said:

You're so funny... except that the situation is the direct opposite. Means: You did not at all get what I'm talking about. Germans are not following LEGO, they're making fun of them and starting to boycot on a large scale.

Ive seen a lot of Bluebrixx stuff on Reddit lately and have been wondering what it is about. 

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Isn't the reason they ship the questionable sets without box to avoid potential licence breach as it would make it more obvious what it is? A cardboard box would only add a few hundred grams to shipping weight so cost wouldn't be much more.

The product page shows a box, so why don't they even have it as an option for the customer?

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You're so funny... except that the situation is the direct opposite. Means: You did not at all get what I'm talking about. Germans are not following LEGO, they're making fun of them and starting to boycot on a large scale.
Why do you not understand that you are preaching to the wrong congregation? If I were just a fan of Lego and building block sets in general then I may very well welcome competition to the market to drive down prices. But, I and most others here I assume, are not just fans. We buy and sell for profit. If there was more competition in the market here in the US and prices dropped, then it would decrease our profits as well and basically kill Lego as a investment. No one here wants that. So no one here is going to be very receptive of your position... learn to read the audience.
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1 hour ago, Sozial said:

I am from Germany so I can maybe add something: I know about the Youtuber"HeldderSteine" and all his followers saying lego is a bad company and how every other brickcompany is better/cheaper. If thats the case, buy it.

For the rest: It is a company which wants to earn Money(!!!), so yeah it has to protect its brand. So skip the hate towards lego. And the argument about not caring, oh come on, they do a pretty good job about caring even If there ultimate goal is profit.

They do? You mean like NOT giving AFOLs the sets the've been asking for for decades? Like giving fans stickers instead of prints in $500+ sets? Like reducing piece count wherever possible while keeping the price the same or raising it? Like keeping to disappoint Star Wars fans with releasing the same sets over and over again for years, relying solely on their loyalty? Yeah, I mean, there are so many examples... for the OPPOSITE of what you say.

22 minutes ago, roxio said:

Isn't the reason they ship the questionable sets without box to avoid potential licence breach as it would make it more obvious what it is? A cardboard box would only add a few hundred grams to shipping weight so cost wouldn't be much more.

The product page shows a box, so why don't they even have it as an option for the customer?

There's no license to be breached in the first place.

Edited by Frank Brickowski
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2 hours ago, Frank Brickowski said:

It's also a central point imo to clarify that, as you say, LEGO is no saint. They're a profit-driven company first of all. 

A profit driven company. This isn't a non-profit, why would anyone ever assume they aren't profit driven? They have ALWAYS been profit driven. 

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1 hour ago, Sozial said:

I am from Germany so I can maybe add something: I know about the Youtuber"HeldderSteine" and all his followers saying lego is a bad company and how every other brickcompany is better/cheaper. If thats the case, buy it.

For the rest: It is a company which wants to earn Money(!!!), so yeah it has to protect its brand. So skip the hate towards lego. And the argument about not caring, oh come on, they do a pretty good job about caring even If there ultimate goal is profit.

So....is the lego decline in Germany as dire as Frank B. is making it out to be?

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7 minutes ago, iahawks550 said:

A profit driven company. This isn't a non-profit, why would anyone ever assume they aren't profit driven? They have ALWAYS been profit driven. 

For some reason, profit has somehow been put on near equal terms with "evil" nowadays. Also, I work for a "Non-Profit" hospital that I can say makes plenty of profit, and is also one of the more expensive hospital networks in the nation. Non-Profit just helps them maintain certain tax status. I'm not a tax accountant though, and this is my extremely rudimentary understanding of this.

Also, I run what is a definitely For-Profit eBay store. Just a greedy capitalist pig over here.

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22 minutes ago, Bricklectic said:

So....is the lego decline in Germany as dire as Frank B. is making it out to be?

I have no Insight into lego sales, but stock levels at retailers are on the lower end, so I suppose demand is high or supply low.

@Frank B AFOLs are a part of legos business but ITS children what drive sales and the demands of AFOLs are just funny to me, If you dont like it dont buy it, but most people buy it and whine about it on the Internet. 

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22 minutes ago, legorunner said:

Agreed, I have 4 bags to go and love it. If you set aside expectations based on the original Ideas submission and take it for what it is, its a really lovely set with excellent detail and interesting building techniques. It reminds me of the Old Fishing Store in terms of quality of detail. Only my 2nd "day 1 buy", and well worth it. 

The follow-up sets to the Old Fishing Store... well... they're available in Germany in an official collaboration with RobenAnne, but I know, none of you cares since it's not LEGO.

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50 minutes ago, Bricklectic said:

So....is the lego decline in Germany as dire as Frank B. is making it out to be?

No, it's even worse for LEGO. Search on German YouTube or business websites or law blogs - NO ONE is taking sides with LEGO. Everybody dislikes what they're doing and many suggest not to support them anymore. And we're talking about YouTube channels with 300,000 followers, 600,000 followers, 1.4 million followers - this is not "a little bit of trouble" for LEGO. This is a massive loss of reputation and customers switching to alternative brands.
And like it or nor, this kind of trouble is going to come to other countries as well, cause LEGO is obviously totally incapable of switching from 100% "monopoly mode" to anything else. This will become the next big crisis for them and this time the company will not be the same again afterwards.

But hey, this is an investment site. How could any investor care for all this? Yeah, how could this ever be relevant for investing? I really dont know...

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11 minutes ago, Frank Brickowski said:

No, it's even worse for LEGO. Search on German YouTube or business websites or law blogs - NO ONE is taking sides with LEGO. Everybody dislikes what they're doing and many suggest not to support them anymore. And we're talking about YouTube channels with 300,000 followers, 600,000 followers, 1.4 million followers - this is not "a little bit of trouble" for LEGO. This is a massive loss of reputation and customers switching to alternative brands.
And like it or nor, this kind of trouble is going to come to other countries as well, cause LEGO is obviously totally incapable of switching from 100% "monopoly mode" to anything else. This will become the next big crisis for them and this time the company will not be the same again afterwards.

But hey, this is an investment site. How could any investor care for all this? Yeah, how could this ever be relevant for investing? I really dont know...

Okay you are right.

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4 hours ago, Frank Brickowski said:

I'm with you calling this situation "dubious", fair enough. But still it's not illegal - and that's a big difference. It's also a central point imo to clarify that, as you say, LEGO is no saint. They're a profit-driven company first of all. They don't care about fans anymore, not about kids and not about adults. All they care about money today. It used to be different, but this is the situation today. Anyone still in doubt should look at the German market and witness how they behave as soon as they're seriously losing their monopoly. In this case you'll mostly see lawyers taking action and LEGO showing it's very ugly true face.

By the way ModBrix did not use the name LEGO to refer to non-LEGO bricks. They only used the name "Razor Crest" which was not protected in Europe at the time due to LEGO/Diney's laziness. No competitor in Germany is using the name "LEGO" for non-LEGO bricks since you would be going to jail for this stuff in the end.

I trust market forces more than the "goodwill" of a large corporation.  

Here's my overall take:

  • LEGO, by far, has the best customer service...bar none. That's simply my experience as a consumer.
  • What other toy on the toy aisle will be worth, at least, as much as I paid 2 years later AFTER my boy has played with it? 
  • and yeah...lawyers suck (and my best friend is one so he'll be the first to agree)
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2 hours ago, Shortbus311 said:
2 hours ago, Frank Brickowski said:
You're so funny... except that the situation is the direct opposite. Means: You did not at all get what I'm talking about. Germans are not following LEGO, they're making fun of them and starting to boycot on a large scale.

Why do you not understand that you are preaching to the wrong congregation? If I were just a fan of Lego and building block sets in general then I may very well welcome competition to the market to drive down prices. But, I and most others here I assume, are not just fans. We buy and sell for profit. If there was more competition in the market here in the US and prices dropped, then it would decrease our profits as well and basically kill Lego as a investment. No one here wants that. So no one here is going to be very receptive of your position... learn to read the audience.

Many get frustrated by the quirks and baffling decisions by LEGO; but let's remind ourselves...that because LEGO do what they do, and not do is the range of which resellers thrive. If LEGO were to "listen" to the fans and become totally predictable...there would not be a reseller market.

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34 minutes ago, $20 on joe vs dan said:

I trust market forces more than the "goodwill" of a large corporation.  

Here's my overall take:

  • LEGO, by far, has the best customer service...bar none. That's simply my experience as a consumer.
  • What other toy on the toy aisle will be worth, at least, as much as I paid 2 years later AFTER my boy has played with it? 
  • and yeah...lawyers suck (and my best friend is one so he'll be the first to agree)

Yeah, having one of the worst shop websites on the whole internet, you better have a good customer service to take care of all the trouble it causes.

With the rest of your post I don't know this should relate to what you have underlined in my post - it's got nothing to do with caring about customers.

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I feel a bit like the battle lines on this conversation have already been drawn  😀

I will just add two things, this is definitely a relevant conversation on this site, but until we see some actual numbers, some sort of data that supports this argument I'm just not going to bite. Until that happens its all speculation and assumption. There may or may not be a cause/correlation relationship going on between the number of likes on youtube videos and the decline of LEGO's retail position in Germany, but at this point we just don't know.

The second is the idea that LEGO doesn't care about its customers. As a for profit company they have no choice but to care, this is a basic foundational aspect of the retail trade. That isn't going to come through in a lawsuit where they are trying to protect their brand - whether or not the way they are going about this is a good idea - that is debatable - but as stated by Joe Vs Dan, lawyers, in a lawsuit are not going to be warm and fuzzy.  

 

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7 hours ago, iahawks550 said:

It's a completely different manufacturing cost they can avoid. 

More like it could get pulled at customs so ship it without a box to show what it is. A quick google showing reviews, it can clearly be bought in HK etc in the box.

7 hours ago, Frank Brickowski said:

There's no license to be breached in the first place.

Won't 20th Century Fox own the merchandising rights ? Xingbao, Modbrix are clearly sailing as close to the wind as possible

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1 hour ago, Jackson said:

Can Blue Brixx be sold on eBay United States? I searched "Blue Brixx" and "BlueBrixx" and came up with only a few Germany listings.

BlueBrixx is a German company, located in Germany, operating under German law, having opened 8 brick & mortar stores in Germany in 2020. They have a YouTube Channel with 50,000 followers. They are the official German general importer for Xingbao. They collaborate with MOCers like RobenAnne (Old Fishing Store) and have released their own officially licensed sets ("Kingdom Come Deliverance" & "Das Schwarze Auge"). They have several in-house designers developing their own sets according to what German AFOLs would actually like to have (trains, cars, Medieval buildings, architecture etc.). They've become immensely popular in Germany over the last 2 years. And because all of that it's not surprising LEGO is now trying to harm them. It's only that TLG will fail - and they'll learn the hard way that their monopoly has officially ended.

So, yes, BlueBrixx's own sets could LEGALLY be sold in the US. They're a German company focusing on the German market. But they offer worldwide shipping, too. All of the 3rd-party sets sold by them (Xingbao, Cobi, CaDa, Mould King, Sembo, Wange, QMan etc.) can also be LEGALLY sold in the US - no matter what wrong info uninformed people around here or LEGO wants to make you believe instead. It's all 100% LEGAL.

By the way, BlueBrixx also produce several US-themed cars, trucks, trains and other vehicles you've never seen and WILL never see from LEGO.

Edited by Frank Brickowski
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1 hour ago, tyskr28 said:

I feel a bit like the battle lines on this conversation have already been drawn  😀

I will just add two things, this is definitely a relevant conversation on this site, but until we see some actual numbers, some sort of data that supports this argument I'm just not going to bite. Until that happens its all speculation and assumption. There may or may not be a cause/correlation relationship going on between the number of likes on youtube videos and the decline of LEGO's retail position in Germany, but at this point we just don't know.

The second is the idea that LEGO doesn't care about its customers. As a for profit company they have no choice but to care, this is a basic foundational aspect of the retail trade. That isn't going to come through in a lawsuit where they are trying to protect their brand - whether or not the way they are going about this is a good idea - that is debatable - but as stated by Joe Vs Dan, lawyers, in a lawsuit are not going to be warm and fuzzy.  

 

Fair. Wait till the numbers for 2020/21 become available and return here. You'll see the predictions having become true. Witnessing what is going on here right now, you'd have no doubt about this. It's actually like an earthquake going through the AFOL/AFOB community and this is not going to end well for TLG.

8 minutes ago, roxio said:

More like it could get pulled at customs so ship it without a box to show what it is. A quick google showing reviews, it can clearly be bought in HK etc in the box.

Won't 20th Century Fox own the merchandising rights ? Xingbao, Modbrix are clearly sailing as close to the wind as possible

Like I said, there is no license for AN Alien.

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2 minutes ago, Frank Brickowski said:

Fair. Wait till the numbers for 2020/21 become available and return here. You'll see the predictions having become true. Witnessing what is going on here right now, you'd have no doubt about this. It's actually like an earthquake going through the AFOL/AFOB community and this is not going to end well for TLG.

Like I said, there is no license for AN Alien.

I would want to see a pic of what you're talking about.  Is it just "an" alien, or, is it clearly the IP from the Alien franchise, owned by Disney?  (Weird to say, but true).

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7 minutes ago, Alpinemaps said:

I would want to see a pic of what you're talking about.  Is it just "an" alien, or, is it clearly the IP from the Alien franchise, owned by Disney?  (Weird to say, but true).

It's about sets looking VERY MUCH LIKE the Xenomorphs from the movies. No doubt. BUT some designs and names cannot be protected - like in this case. And if something IS not protected everyone can make their own sets about it. That's actually happening in ALL kinds of businesses and the toy business especially, not only in the brick market. All 100% legal - just visit your local toy store any time and you'll see hundreds of examples for this.

You cannot sell copyright-infringing brick sets in Germany or you'll go to jail. I've posted this multiple times and hope people will start to accept it.

https://www.bluebrixx.com/de/scifi/100885/XBA-04002-The-New-Alien-Xingbao

https://www.bluebrixx.com/de/scifi/100889/XBA-04001-Alien-Roboter-Xingbao

Edited by Frank Brickowski
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