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Serious PLEY...A threat to the LEGO secondary market


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This is a great point.  You know how word of mouth spreads in today's social media...for good and bad.  What happens if they cannot clean these sets properly, or forget to?  What if people are allergic to the cleaning solution?  What happens if some knucklehead claims to catch a flu-like virus from these used sets?  What do you think LEGO would do if rumors started that people were getting sick from playing with LEGO sets?  

I would think that Lego would say that the fault is at PLEY for not cleaning the sets properly. It would be their fault, but I think that they would be some type of negative effect to Lego because of that one report. Some people may interpret it wrong and think that Lego is at fault.

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I just skimmed this forum so forgive me if these points were made. In putting together used Lego sets. I've discovered that people really believed the set was complete. Even though pieces were missing. I don't believe they were lying. I've also learned certain pieces missing make the build unstable.

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I just skimmed this forum so forgive me if these points were made. In putting together used Lego sets. I've discovered that people really believed the set was complete. Even though pieces were missing. I don't believe they were lying. I've also learned certain pieces missing make the build unstable.

It's horrible when you are putting together a set from a bulk lot and then you find out that the most important piece is missing piece and it cannot be built without it. But if the piece is a small unnoticeable piece on the outside of the set, most people won't notice. That has happened to me a couple times. I only noticed after building the set again.

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Me: "I think I'd like to build the Death Star!" Orders from Pleygo.

Me, four days later: "Hmm, missing six pieces on step 3." Notifies Pleygo, Pleygo cheerfully ships me the parts.

Me, four days later: "Hmm, missing nine more pieces on step 8!" Notified Pleygo, Pleygo cheerfully ships me the parts.

Me, 256 days later: "Hmm, missing twenty-seven pieces on step 143!" Shoots self.

 

I would think the only way this would work is if they have the specific weights of each set on file, so that when they get the death star back it is weighed and if it's missing 20 pieces they'll know right away and will check manually.  If it passes the weigh in, it gets a quick visual inspection, is cleaned and sent to the next renter.  If this is not the case and you could end up running into missing pieces every other step, you could be waiting weeks extra just to get the parts you're missing which would eat up subscription time/money.  That makes for a very unhappy customer.

 

I think this business model serves one type of customer:  the kid who plays for a toy for 10 minutes and throws it in the corner when they get bored with it.  I think most true fans of lego, be they kids or adults, want to eventually break down their sets and combine the bricks to make new things.  At the very least, little Johnny is going to want to keep adding to his Lego town, not send the hospital back so he can get the fire station.

 

"Ownership is old school."  Not in all cases.  Lego is collectible, and people don't rent collectibles by nature.  The audience for most post-retirement Lego sets are AFOLS who want to collect specific sets and have the money to pay for them.  I don't think any rental model would cut into that at.

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I would think the only way this would work is if they have the specific weights of each set on file, so that when they get the death star back it is weighed and if it's missing 20 pieces they'll know right away and will check manually. 

 

This will work if Little Johnny hasn't randomly tossed an extra pound of megabloks and his sister's severed Barbie heads into the box when he returned it. Heck, anyone old enough to remember VHS? As a society we couldn't even get people to rewind before sending tapes back, what chance do we have that any significant percentage of LEGO sets, with all their teensy parts, will come back intact?

 

And the manual checking is another thing. I recently categorized the majority of a multi thousand piece set. I'm experienced, smart, quick, and motivated. It took me a long time. Paying minimum wage and all associated costs of an employee, a proper inspection of sets that come back in the door "off weight", especially if by only a few ounces, is highly unlikely to occur in many cases, most cases, or maybe even any cases.

 

I think they will have much better luck renting out other expensive toys that don't have so many parts, like robots that teach spelling or something.  :thumbsup:

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VHS?

Funny, I was going to let my son watch Star Wars for the first time a while back, so I went and found the original trilogy in a box In the garage only to realize it was on VHS and I haven't owned a VCR for at least 5 years. At least it wasn't on BetaMax, a quick run to Goodwill and all was well.

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VHS?

Funny, I was going to let my son watch Star Wars for the first time a while back, so I went and found the original trilogy in a box In the garage only to realize it was on VHS and I haven't owned a VCR for at least 5 years. At least it wasn't on BetaMax, a quick run to Goodwill and all was well.

I remember. Unfortunatly I was all in on beta
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It seems to me this is generally a bad idea for multiple obvious reasons, and more not-so-obvious reasons.

 

1. How can they keep track of all the pieces that might be stolen? Everyone knows how much value there is in LEGO, and anyone can simply pick up an interesting figure from an expensive set and resell it. They claim they check every set to make sure it's complete, but someone has probably already found a loophole. (A possible answer could be the fact that they must have an address to confront someone if suspected of reselling, but even then, you can gift sets to someone's house when they aren't there, pick it up, rinse and repeat. People are getting more creative with finding ways to make a few bucks, and for some that's through thievery.)

 

2. Who wants to RENT LEGOs? Most kids I know like building their own creations out of other sets to make their own creative vehicle or building (heck, I even do that). How are they going to keep the kids from not tearing up the set and mixing it in their own collection? Do the parents then have to buy the set from them? Do they have to spend hours picking out the pieces? Kids are messy and irresponsible, and the parents are sometimes the same. (They say you can buy the set from them at a discounted price, but how much of a discount and from what price? Original retail, or current retail?)

3. Only 1 at a time. I know that it makes it easier to keep track of, but what if you want to play with say, an X-Wing and a TIE Fighter, but can only rent one at a time? No answer to that except buying one, but that defeats the purpose of renting them, doesn't it? They suggest registering two accounts, but then you're paying TWICE as much to rent sets per month.

 

4. Renting. I don't know if it has changed, but there used to be 3 plans to choose from, Fan, for $15 (Get $25 sets and under), Super Fan (approx. $50 sets and under) fro $25, and Mega Fan (all sets) for $39. The only plan that is worth it to me is Mega Fan because you can get EVERY set, including the uber-awesome Death Star that retails for $400. I think most parents and kids would gladly pay 10% to build that set and play with it for a week or more! However, when it gets down to it, unless you live close to their shipping place, you are waiting on average 7-8 days for ONE set. For something like a small $20 City set, that is unacceptable. That means you can barely get 2-3 days of play for one set while waiting 8 for it to get there. If you've done the math, that's only 3, or if you're lucky 4 sets per month. THAT sucks.

5. Overall price. Since we're on the subject of Math, it doesn't seem like too much money at first, does it? $40 for a month of renting sets rather than $120 for sets all over your house, not bad. BUT, let's take a closer look. For those who thought that word problems were useless, I

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I don't know why you guys are slamming this....this idea would totally work!

 

....if they sent each set locked and sealed in one of these:

 

 

WoGUYVz.jpg

 

 

Actually, please forget that I even mentioned this, I've got my new business venture planned, all for a mere $7 per month per subscriber.

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This will work if Little Johnny hasn't randomly tossed an extra pound of megabloks and his sister's severed Barbie heads into the box when he returned it. Heck, anyone old enough to remember VHS? As a society we couldn't even get people to rewind before sending tapes back, what chance do we have that any significant percentage of LEGO sets, with all their teensy parts, will come back intact?

 

And the manual checking is another thing. I recently categorized the majority of a multi thousand piece set. I'm experienced, smart, quick, and motivated. It took me a long time. Paying minimum wage and all associated costs of an employee, a proper inspection of sets that come back in the door "off weight", especially if by only a few ounces, is highly unlikely to occur in many cases, most cases, or maybe even any cases.

 

I think they will have much better luck renting out other expensive toys that don't have so many parts, like robots that teach spelling or something.  :thumbsup:

 

I think some people will take advantage of the system and throw in megabloks, but I think a vast majority would be honest.  The cost of getting said megabloks, then making sure you put in the same amount to pass weigh in, etc etc, I think someone with this mindset isn't that smart and lacks the motivation.  I'm still saying this is a flawed business model though.

 

 

 

$39 x 36 = $1,404 spent on Johnny in total ($468 per year, BTW)

Follow up: Johnny lives on the west coast, so he only got 3 sets per month. On average, how much did Johnny

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I think some people will take advantage of the system and throw in megabloks, but I think a vast majority would be honest.  

 

It isn't a matter of dishonesty, it's a matter of kids toys getting mixed up and nobody willing or able to carefully sort, verify a complete set inventory, and ship it back intact.

 

If you have or have had jurisdiction over any young children, it's very easy to envision exactly the problem with handing a kid 200 to 500 LEGO bricks and parts and saying, "okay, Timmy, have fun, we'll send this back in a week!"

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Although I wouldn't want to "dismiss" Pleygo out of hand (just because I might perceive them as a "threat" ... and due to human nature ... because I might want to find "comfort" in convincing myself that my own course of action is correct) ... in my estimation ... the "dynamics" do not persuade me to want to liquidate every last set that I own right now ... before "everyone" will be using Pleygo!! (haha)

 

First off ... it seems that it would be important to acknowledge that there are really two "groups" of people who use (or will use) Legos.

 

(1) Kids ... for whom parents do NOT want to pay a cent more than they have to for respective Lego sets ... because they know that they will get lost ... get dirty ... get destroyed!

 

(2) AFOLS ... who are willing to pay a "PREMIUM" for sets that are no longer available ... because from a place deep down inside ... paying an obnoxiously large sum of money for a bunch of "plastic" makes total "rational" sense!! 

 

Having said that ... I'm not exactly sure that group #1 (kids) are my primary "target market" as a Lego Investor / Reseller.  However ... group #2 (AFOLS) are definitely my "target market" to pay me premium prices for discontinued sets ... not only because paying me "premium prices" is totally "rational" ... but from that same place deep inside ... this AFOL also wants to actually "own" and "display" said models!

 

It would seem that Pleygo's primary "target market / group" is group #1 (kids) and not group #2 (AFOLS).  

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It isn't a matter of dishonesty, it's a matter of kids toys getting mixed up and nobody willing or able to carefully sort, verify a complete set inventory, and ship it back intact.

 

If you have or have had jurisdiction over any young children, it's very easy to envision exactly the problem with handing a kid 200 to 500 LEGO bricks and parts and saying, "okay, Timmy, have fun, we'll send this back in a week!"

 

I have 3 children in my house ages 6 and below, and they know better than to play with daddy's Lego for this very reason  :twitch:   They have a ton of brick of their own, and they get lost, chewed, and destroyed.  Some kids are just really rough on their toys.

 

 

Although I wouldn't want to "dismiss" Pleygo out of hand (just because I might perceive them as a "threat" ... and due to human nature ... because I might want to find "comfort" in convincing myself that my own course of action is correct) ... in my estimation ... the "dynamics" do not persuade me to want to liquidate every last set that I own right now ... before "everyone" will be using Pleygo!! (haha)

 

First off ... it seems that it would be important to acknowledge that there are really two "groups" of people who use (or will use) Legos.

 

(1) Kids ... for whom parents do NOT want to pay a cent more than they have to for respective Lego sets ... because they know that they will get lost ... get dirty ... get destroyed!

 

(2) AFOLS ... who are willing to pay a "PREMIUM" for sets that are no longer available ... because from a place deep down inside ... paying an obnoxiously large sum of money for a bunch of "plastic" makes total "rational" sense!! 

 

Having said that ... I'm not exactly sure that group #1 (kids) are my primary "target market" as a Lego Investor / Reseller.  However ... group #2 (AFOLS) are definitely my "target market" to pay me premium prices for discontinued sets ... not only because paying me "premium prices" is totally "rational" ... but from that same place deep inside ... this AFOL also wants to actually "own" and "display" said models!

 

It would seem that Pleygo's primary "target market / group" is group #1 (kids) and not group #2 (AFOLS).  

 

Exactly, this is why I don't see Pley as any kind of threat to resellers.  The people buying Lego from investors are collectors who intend to keep the sets.

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It will be good for resellers.  Brand awareness is always going to increase profits for every entry point selling these items.  No collectors will be using this service, but this service might make a lot of future collectors from having experiences with the sets.

 

Also, the less ethical Ebay sellers who might approach this as a way to glean a few minifigures or parts from these rented sets, will not do much damage to the market either.  Minifigures and parts from 1 owner usually show considerable wear after being played with for a long period of time.  Minifigures and parts from mulitple owners are going to be way up on the 'used' scale.  No collector will accept this garbage.  Unless the person taking out the minifigures for resale gets the sets before any other families, they will be uncollectable.  

 

Any set with stickers is going to be nasty.  After they are cleaned a few dozen times, the sticker pieces will be worn and most likely stickerless.  

 

If this company does succeed in sending these sets out for any amount of time, it will be a win for resellers.   

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Guest eightbrick

Well, if some company is pumping in 6.75 mil obviously someone thinks it will work. I do see the longevity of the business definitely being harmed by missing pieces, improper cleaning etc. Lol I wish these guys went on Shark Tank or Dragon's Den so we could see them get bashed with all our points... by millionaires :D

 

This said I think we are giving them a bit too much heck... technically they are investing in Lego just like us. They're just a different breed of fish and there's still lots of room in the pond...

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Well, if some company is pumping in 6.75 mil obviously someone thinks it will work. 

They might think it will work, but there is a better chance that it won't, than will.  I have been in the car wash and quick lube business since the 80s and many smart people have invested 3,4, or 5 million+ dollars into a location thinking they can turn a bad business into a prosperous one.  I am not saying this venture will fail, only saying that investing a lot of money in a business is no guarantee of success.

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