Metatron wrote:Lego makes single use items all the time - take for example the red phoenix in the Harry Potter sets and the head of the dewback. Frankly, all of those licensed theme lines are full of single use items. They can and do make short run items all the time. And that is to say nothing of the gambles they take on other lines like Jack Stoned or Galidork. Such lines represent dozens of elements that are rarely reused.
Here's maybe another way to look at this-- what parts do you propose they take *out* of production in order to make room for the parts you'd like to add in?
Basically, they only have so many machines, and so many employees, and so much money that they can direct towards making end products for customers. In order to add in dark brown leaves (say), you'd have to take out some other part, which means redesigning some sets with replacement parts that are slated to be in production, eliminating or delaying those sets from the production queue, or cutting down the production runs of BOTH the piece you're putting in and the piece you're taking out.
They keep a pretty close eye on the efficiency of their production chain-- I'm not sure how many months/years ahead they have it all planned out, but it's designed to make sure they remain profitable, and making sure that the sets they sell are still useful. Sure, they could have done without the dewback head or the Sandy Cheeks element, but it makes those sets that WOULD'VE come with them less appealing to customers, or means those sets won't exist at all.
It's a balancing act of making good stuff and making money. Sure, they could eliminate the Bionicle line entirely for a year and give us some 60 part/color combinations that we've never seen before-- but then they probably won't have enough money to do it again.
In the end, I think there's some frustration here where it seems like you're suggesting that Lego can just flip a switch and give us whatever we want at virtually nil cost, and that they not only can, but ought to. Maybe you're not suggesting it to that absurdist degree, but that's the jist of what people are hearing, I think. But I'm honestly not clear whether you're suggesting that Lego ought to be taking the financial hit for the sake of their dedicated fans, or whether they don't even need to be taking much of a hit at all. Or both, of course.