Taken from Lugnet:
(Jake requested I post here too)
I apologize for coming anywhere close to this subject again, but I felt it was important to share the official statement from our Corporate Communications group regarding the Maersk ship. I think the statement is pretty clear, so I’ll let it speak for me on this issue from this point forward.
This same statement was also posted to 1000steine’s forums, as well as the De Bouwsteen forums.
Thanks, and again, sorry for the rehash.
LEGO Community Development
MAERSK ship in LEGO bricks on sale again
In early March 2005 the LEGO Group will re-launch an exclusive model of the MAERSK SEALAND container ship that the company sold as a limited edition product last year to A.P. Møller and via LEGO Shop At Home on the internet. The reason for the re-launch is that A.P. Møller has requested another batch of the ships, which the shipping company uses as gifts – at the same time enabling the LEGO Group to sell a new consignment via LEGO Shop At Home and the company’s Brand Retail stores. We are pleased at the level of demand and also happy that we can once again offer consumers this exclusive ship.
The idea for the MAERSK ship originally emerged because the LEGO Group had found itself with a supply of light blue granulate after manufacturing a MAERSK model truck in 1997. The extra material was thus put to good use. The Company had no plans to produce more of the ships at a later date, and LEGO Shop At Home wrote at the time of the launch that it was consumers’ last chance to buy bricks of that special light blue colour.
We apologise to consumers that this information has now proved incorrect. The satisfaction of its consumers is of paramount importance to the LEGO Group. The re-launch affords even more users the opportunity to buy the popular ship. But we fully understand if some of those who purchased the ship last year feel that they were misinformed. And if we receive any complaint from such a user, we shall offer to buy the ship back.
The company has made certain minor modifications to the MAERSK SEALAND box for its re-launch in March, distinguishing it from the original box. The new box carries the wording “2005 Edition”, the MAERSK SEALAND logo on the side has been adjusted, and there are a few cosmetic changes on the front.
A few obvious questions and answers:
Have you not cheated consumers – was it not dishonest marketing?
We acted in good faith. When we launched the MAERSK container ship last year, we had no plans to manufacture more ships at a later date because we had used up the last of the special light blue granulate – and agreed with A.P. Møller to sell only a limited number. In retrospect, we very much regret the information given by LEGO Shop At Home in 2004. And if any consumer complains, we shall offer to buy the ship back from him or her.
Why have you suddenly changed your mind?
A.P. Møller has again asked us to produce a large number of ships, which the shipping company uses as gifts – at the same time making it possible for us to sell a new consignment via LEGO Shop At Home and the company’s Brand Retail stores. We have chosen to accept this opportunity because it is good business for us and because we would like to give more consumers the chance to buy this exclusive ship.
Is this year’s ship identical to the one you sold last year?
The actual model ship will be the same as last year. But the box is slightly different. It will show the wording “2005 Edition”, the MAERSK SEALAND logo on the side has been adjusted, and there are a few cosmetic changes on the front. And the stickers in the boxes are now in pre-pack bags.
(Note: The reason the stickers are now in pre-pack bags is in direct response to consumer complaints that they received bent or folder sticker sheets. Hopefully this new packaging will solve that issue)