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Are Legos More for Adults Now?

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Are Legos More for Adults Now?

Postby Mark of Siloam » Sun Aug 23, 2020 12:07 pm

Hi everyone!
I’d like to open up a discussion about something I’ve been noticing the last couple of months. I officially became an AFOL a few years ago so I’m not sure if I’m only noticing it now, a sort of confirmation bias, or if it’s real. I’ve been thinking Lego has been targeting adults a lot more lately.
The products aren’t so obvious as whenever I see a 16+ type set I know I could have been building it long before that, but there do seem to be more sets focused on adults.
The product descriptions have followed this trend as well. Just flipping through the recent Lego Shop at Home Catalog I see perhaps 30 mentions like ‘display at the office’, ‘perfect centerpiece’, ‘unwind’, ‘pure escapism’, ‘spark memories’. Even three out of four of the new Star Wars sets on the page I happen to be open to mention how they are great for display- and they are $20, $40, and $100. Not exactly what I remember as the ‘ultimate collector’s series’ I remember growing up.
For especially the older FOLs out there, but anyone can chime in, I’d like to hear your thoughts on this. Do you think this is a trend? Am I just noticing something that has been around for a while? Where could this lead in the next few years?
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Re: Are Legos More for Adults Now?

Postby Bruce N H » Mon Aug 24, 2020 3:29 pm

Hey,

There's definitely a marketing arm at LEGO focused on the adult market. This goes back at least to 2007 with the release of 10182, Cafe Corner. Also that same year they released 1030, Imperial Star Destroyer. There were surely sets before that year that both due to cost and complexity were less for kids, but that was the year I remember thinking "these are for us". Also, look at the Ideas sets. So many of these are based on nostalgia for people my age. E.g. sure, my kids have seen Back to the Future, but that's probably not going to get them to go out to buy the set, but this is right in the wheelhouse of when I was in high school.

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Re: Are Legos More for Adults Now?

Postby jtooker » Mon Aug 24, 2020 9:38 pm

I think LEGO has just expanded their collection. There are more sets available at any one time than 20 years ago and some of those are adult and teen focused. I certainly feel certain themes do not have the adult focus (e.g. City) and a few have a mix (e.g. Ninjago).

Many of the licensed sets have a bit of an 'older kid' feeling - both in mood and build. Star Wars is a prime example here. Since so many themes are licensed now, I would say, yes, LEGO is skewed towards the adult end.
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Re: Are Legos More for Adults Now?

Postby Mark of Siloam » Sun Aug 30, 2020 1:09 pm

Thank you both for the perspectives. I'm hoping Lego's leaning towards adults leads to an expansion of lug programs in the coming years as my 'local' one is close to 4 hours away.
Oh, and I'm hoping for nostalgic castle sets, or any castle sets for that matter. :D
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Re: Are Legos More for Adults Now?

Postby Bluesecrets » Sun Aug 30, 2020 2:19 pm

I waited to say something here. I have thoughts about this but they are only my thoughts. Yes, I may have a little more knowledge but I'm not going to share that.

My thoughts start this way, when LEGO bought Bricklink, they caused a rift that already existed with AFOL's to widen in terms of trust. There are many gripes about things that AFOLs used to have access to that they do not now. There exists a lot of AFOLs who lack trust in LEGO now and that may be building. They are aware of this.

Over the years, I have heard that the AFOLs do not purchase a huge amount of the sales. I've heard as low as 8% and as high as 10%. No one will confirm those numbers. But reality is I think they are higher but hard to track.

Add LEGO masters into the mix and you have a formula for bringing back the 20 and 30 year olds with sets that have interest. Kind of like a new market, but not really.

I really think they are adding a marketing strategy instead of developing sets for adults. I know they have tried it within the last year or so...that weird fish set was marketed exactly for adults as desk fodder.
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Re: Are Legos More for Adults Now?

Postby Bruce N H » Mon Aug 31, 2020 5:58 pm

WHOA! Wait a minute. LEGO bought Bricklink?!?!? I know I've been very out of the loop for the past couple of years, but somehow I totally missed this. Have there been changes to Bricklink policies? Is LEGO taking a larger cut of the sales?

Oh, and also (again, I'm out of it), what fish set? Was it 30323, My first fish?
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Re: Are Legos More for Adults Now?

Postby Bluesecrets » Mon Aug 31, 2020 9:19 pm

Yes LEGO bought bricklink like last Fall.

This fish set:
https://brickset.com/sets/81000-1/Koi
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Re: Are Legos More for Adults Now?

Postby Bruce N H » Tue Sep 01, 2020 12:47 am

Hey

Hmm, just watched one of the video reviews on Bricklink. That's ... um ... interesting. I do like kinetic sculptures, like especially the ones by Jason Alleman JK Brickworks, and LEGO's done some of these recently, like Hedwig with the flapping wings and the Dragon Dance set. But I hate that while the innards of the koi set are LEGO, the thing you actually see is the paper (or is that thin plastic) skin. I like my LEGO being LEGO. BTW, on this, back to JK Brickworks: Jason Alleman has a solution - he took the mechanics from this koi set and built a shark using bricks on top of it.

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Re: Are Legos More for Adults Now?

Postby Frank_Lloyd_Knight » Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:29 pm

Bluesecrets wrote:... when LEGO bought Bricklink,...


Wait! Lego bought bricklink???!!!
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Re: Are Legos More for Adults Now?

Postby Bluesecrets » Sat Sep 26, 2020 12:58 am

Um..yeah...like last year.

or are you guys just messing with me?
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Re: Are Legos More for Adults Now?

Postby Mark of Siloam » Sat Sep 26, 2020 1:14 pm

I had no clue either. :o
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Re: Are Legos More for Adults Now?

Postby jtooker » Wed Oct 07, 2020 2:23 pm

I did notice this section on the front page of lego.com:

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Link to the Adults Welcome page.
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Re: Are Legos More for Adults Now?

Postby rogue27 » Mon Nov 23, 2020 9:04 pm

Bluesecrets wrote:Yes LEGO bought bricklink like last Fall.


Wow, I hate to continue derailing this thread, but that was quite a shock. I had no idea.

I think most lego is still for children, but a lot of the exclusives and ideas sets are more for adults.
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Re: Are Legos More for Adults Now?

Postby Crazylegoman » Mon Nov 30, 2020 5:15 am

Brickset recently had an article about the growing number of large sets aimed at adults. It seemed to be a very fitting article for the times, considering the release of the 10276 Colosseum set.

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Re: Are Legos More for Adults Now?

Postby Bruce N H » Mon Dec 14, 2020 2:43 pm

Hey all,

So, what recent set would you say is most specifically directed at "us" (here defined as 40+) (I'm 51, for the record). My vote goes to 71374, Nintendo Entertainment System:
Image

While there are other sets whose higher prices put them out of reach of kids (Colusseum, Diagon Alley etc), and others that just seem adult in nature (Grand Piano), the Nintendo Entertainment System and Super Mario Brothers came out in 1986 I think, and pretty much dominated the market for several years. So anyone who was a kid or teen in the late 80s spent lots of hours sitting in front of a TV that looked a lot like that playing that game. Mario is still a thing - my son plays it on his Switch, and all those other Mario sets are aimed at kids - but the gaming console and even more the design of that TV put this in a very specific time frame.

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