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fantasy set sales question

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fantasy set sales question

Postby karl » Fri Jul 02, 2010 4:12 pm

I know the fantasy line is not very popular with many of you here, but i love it ! my question is how were the sales for lego ? did it do well ?
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Re: fantasy set sales question

Postby Bluesecrets » Fri Jul 02, 2010 5:02 pm

I know the fantasy line is not very popular with many of you here


Exactly where are you getting that information from? I don't believe your statement is in fact correct.
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Re: fantasy set sales question

Postby davee123 » Fri Jul 02, 2010 5:37 pm

karl wrote:I know the fantasy line is not very popular with many of you here,


Um... what?

AFAIK, the fan community generally speaking disliked Fright Knights and Knight's Kingdom 2. Other lineups have gotten mixed reviews (Ninja), some are generally "ok" (Dragon Masters, Knight's Kingdom 1, etc), and others are pretty universally liked (Black Falcons, Crusaders, Forestmen). I'd rate the fan reaction to the Fantasy lineup somewhere between "ok" and universally liked. There are a few people who didn't care for it that much because it wasn't overly realistic, but a lot of people really loved it.

karl wrote:but i love it ! my question is how were the sales for lego ? did it do well ?


It sounded like the initial year or two did pretty well for LEGO-- not a runaway hit or anything, but better than expected. I don't really have much information on it, but it was mentioned as doing well in the annual reports, where themes aren't generally referenced individually unless they're doing very well or very poorly.

If I had to guess, I would suspect that the 2009 lineup didn't do as well as the 2007 lineup, which probably did the best (though again, I don't really know). Typically, parents like to buy "good guys" for their kids rather than "bad guys", and the 2009 lineup featured the large Troll fortress. Also, no new factions were introduced in 2009 to entice kids with something new. If there were (as occasionally speculated) a new "Elf" faction or something, perhaps it would have done better.

The response from LEGO was, IIRC, that the "Castle" lineup was planned to run for 3 years, whereupon it would be replaced with something new-- as it turned out, the replacement was the new "Kingdoms" line. Their response was that the discontinuation of the Castle line did not mean that it was selling poorly, or below expectation-- just that it had run its course. However, I take it to mean that it wasn't a blowout success, either. After all, if the Castle sets sold out immediately and demand was still through the roof at retailers, there's no way they would have stopped it after 3 years.

Anyway, the fact that Castle is being IMMEDIATELY replaced by Kingdoms says to me that the whole medieval theme as a whole does pretty well. Things like Alpha Team/Agents and Pirates seem to have a several year hiatus between lineups, even though they'll return eventually. The medieval themes seem to be going without a break-- from Knight's Kingdom to Castle to Kingdoms. There was a break from 2001 to 2003, but other than that, pretty seamlessly since 1984. I think that's a good indicator that the line is currently doing pretty well.

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Re: fantasy set sales question

Postby Count Blacktron » Fri Jul 02, 2010 6:48 pm

Three years is nothing to sneeze at. IMHO 2007-2010 Castle fantasy did both very well for LEGO and for us AFOLs. Not only that, but we got the Medieval Market Village out of this theme, which is like saying to AFOL collectors/builders that [a] LEGO loves us, [b] the theme did very well and [c] LEGO loves us. Back at them. :halo:
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Re: fantasy set sales question

Postby karl » Fri Jul 02, 2010 8:23 pm

when i said it was not liked well here i was referring to the dwarves and orcs and dragons etc... i have read many post here from people who prefer the human factions and i was referring to the non-human factions which i like :orc:
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Re: fantasy set sales question

Postby MarioDAlessio » Sat Jul 03, 2010 12:50 am

karl wrote:I know the fantasy line is not very popular with many of you here, but i love it ! my question is how were the sales for lego ? did it do well ?


Karl, like you, I like the line as well.

Lego do not release figures of the units sold.

The preferences of adult Castle Lego collectors are influenced by many factors, the Fantasy Castle line was primarily marketed for children. As discussed AFOL were rewarded with Medieval Market Village.

I consider this series release in 2007 to be the start of a renaissance period for Castle Lego.

I chose to collect the entire series MISB.

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Re: fantasy set sales question

Postby timber_wolf899 » Sat Jul 03, 2010 1:41 am

Seems to me fantasy era was generally liked with some highly vocal critics.

Personally as a fantasy fan I loved the dwarves, orcs, and undead. Don't get me wrong i did get bored with only one human faction, after a while, but i was more than happy to deal with that in order to have all taht awesome fantasy stuff. HOnestly when i first saw dwarf mine, i pinched myself! hehe
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Re: fantasy set sales question

Postby Teh Stud » Sun Jul 04, 2010 3:22 pm

Since Lego doesn't release sales figures, I think this best gauge is how often you can find the sets on clearance. The Fright Knights were easy to find with heavy discounts. The Trolls sets were not... So based on that very unscientific observation, I would guess the sets sold well.
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Re: fantasy set sales question

Postby Bruce N H » Sun Jul 04, 2010 3:32 pm

Hey,

Just wanted to chime in with another voice saying that I think the fantasy line was generally well-liked around here. Personally I'm not a huge fan of skellies, so was happy to see them replaced by the orcs. I remember when the dwarves were first introduced there were a lot of raves about them. There has also been a constant demand for other fantasy factions, specifically elves.

As to the three year run, I disagree that they would have necessarily kept this going if sales were through the roof. It's important to them to have some constant turnover in themes, so they come up with a new version of the castle theme every few years. Much better to leave off a subtheme at the top of its game than to wait until people are sick of it and sets go unsold. If they had additional set ideas for fantasy sets (e.g. the above-mentioned desire for an elf line), we may well see those in the next go around, after the current Kingdoms line plays out. Or maybe even further down the road. We've seen before that set designs can be planned out over many many years, with some ideas sitting on the shelf until LEGO deems it appropriate to release them.

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Re: fantasy set sales question

Postby Blueandwhite » Sun Jul 04, 2010 3:57 pm

timber_wolf899 wrote:Seems to me fantasy era was generally liked with some highly vocal critics.

Personally as a fantasy fan I loved the dwarves, orcs, and undead. Don't get me wrong i did get bored with only one human faction, after a while, but i was more than happy to deal with that in order to have all taht awesome fantasy stuff. HOnestly when i first saw dwarf mine, i pinched myself! hehe



I don't think that's even true. While there were several AFOLs who expressed their preference for human factions (myself included), I think that the fantasy line was well recieved amongst an overwhelming majority. I don't really recall any truly vocal critics. Not wanting elves or a fourth year of fantasy sets isn't in really a criticism as much as it is a preference for something different. I suspect that LEGO simply changed directions this year to keep the castle line fresh.

Personally, I found that most of the criticism about this line stemmed from the fact that several of the sets were somewhat uninspired when compared to the minifigs themselves. The same accusation could just as easily be directed towards the new castle theme. While I feel the new King's Castle is a nicer build than the King's Castle Seige, I find that most of the other sets are just as, if not more lackluster than the original year of the fantasy line.
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Re: fantasy set sales question

Postby Bruce N H » Sun Jul 04, 2010 4:17 pm

Blueandwhite wrote:I suspect that LEGO simply changed directions this year to keep the castle line fresh.


I agree. This is pretty common in retail. For instance, there is a children's clothing store we go to quite often (given that at the age of our kids, they outgrow everything they own every so many months). About every two months they come up with a whole series of new clothes. The idea is that there is constantly fresh material, which keeps bringing customers back from something new. And we're not just talking strictly seasonal thing like holiday-themed shirts or whatever, just your basic kids' clothes. From our standpoint, this is a great thing, since the older stuff is discounted on racks at the back of the store.

Or take the Disney store. My wife used to collect Winnie-the-Pooh. Again, there was a complete new inventory about every two months, which kept us coming back to see what was new. Here this was little more closely tied to holidays (Pooh in a Santa suit in December, Pooh holding a heart in February, etc), but not always. They'd have Pooh and friends wearing different employment uniforms at one point (Pooh in a doctor's coat, Tigger wearing overalls and carrying carpentry tools etc), then two month's later there would be a really plush line where all of the characters had really soft longer fur and less stuffing, then they'd have Pooh dressed as Buzz Lightyear (lots of cross-Disney-promotions) two months after that.

If LEGO continues the same subtheme for two many years, it runs the risk of getting stale. The best set ideas are used up, so they start becoming rehashes (how many X-wing redesigns do the SW people have?). At least some people are less interested in a given subtheme, so now they've gone several years with minimal purchases. Even those who are really excited by a given subtheme will get excited by the next new thing. Much better for LEGO to come up with a brand new direction, build up a lot of buzz and excitement, and bring new customers in.

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Re: fantasy set sales question

Postby Count Blacktron » Sun Jul 04, 2010 4:37 pm

Toy lines generally reboot every year, and when you have a span that draws beyond three years such as with Bionicle or Star Wars you certainly see children growing along with it as well as growing into and OUT of it. By keeping a theme fresh with a reboot every year to three, you reduce the risk of having your loyal audience moving beyond the product. Thankfully, with the LEGO themes that are core, the characters are not so important as the sets themselves, which is not true for many action figure based toy lines. Just imagine how frustrating these constant reboots are to collectors of toy lines such as G.I. Joe where we have now over 60 versions of Snake Eyes in just over 25 years of relaunches. Count your blessings LEGO fans. :wink:
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Re: fantasy set sales question

Postby Tower of Iron Will » Sat Jul 10, 2010 2:23 am

Even as much as I like having the Lion faction as the current product line for example, after the third year I due tend to look forward to the newer faction. It also helps focus my purchases for that faction. I try to get the same amount of each faction so that when its gone I'm not sitting around wishing I had purchased more.

I think LEGO corp has been pretty consistant in swiching the product line for Castle on a 3-year cycle, with maybe the exception of KKII. Like Ben said I don't think that LEGO cancelled the Fantasy line due to lower/poor sales. I do hope that LEGO brings back a Fantasy assortment again to freshen up the product line again.
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Re: fantasy set sales question

Postby Tycho McKorley » Sat Jul 10, 2010 5:50 pm

I'll throw in my two cents here. I actually really enjoyed the fantasy line (including the undead figures) but I'm happy to see something new. After three years, I actually starting to be more excited by pirates than castle. :shock:
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Re: fantasy set sales question

Postby divonic » Mon Jul 12, 2010 4:53 pm

I kinda wish that they would have had the themes evolve or overlap rather than a restart. fantasy sorta started like that but then restarted.

I absoultly loved the Orcs (trolls)
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