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Dear Lego: Please remain involved with Lego fan conventions

Open message to The LEGO Company. We make no guarantee that anyone from LEGO will actually read them, let alone respond!

Re: Dear Lego: Please remain involved with Lego fan conventi

Postby Lego Stu » Thu Dec 06, 2012 5:58 pm

At the risk of being off topic, I would like to add a few thoughts after my previous post as to not just whine. TLG's decision might feel like they are giving some of us the shaft, but I would like to point out that they let EB release they news about Series 9 minifigs(and past series). That's a big nod to the fan community IMO. They also have the LUG bulk program.
Maybe they could offer something like the K boxes at stores for S@H. Without having to pick out specific quantities, the price per piece could be kept down and they could offer more selection than a brick and mortar store without offering the full S@H PAB line. I imagine a lot of folks at CC would happily shell out $70 +shipping for 2700 1x2 light bley bricks.
Again, I'm sorry to see TLG's involvement and the discount go away, but they do seem to listen to the community and I'm sure took our feelings into account.
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Re: Dear Lego: Please remain involved with Lego fan conventi

Postby Bluesecrets » Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:55 pm

I never said they don't listen. I know they listen. All you have to do is hang around the AFOL world for a little while to hear all about the incident that I quoted earlier with the person complaining about their prize winning. Or someone calling LEGO Corporate to complain that there is a church in the community window. The list goes on and on of "negative" communication that they listened to, but...the list of things they do, has been become a small list.

Used to do:

Grab bags at the stores...GONE
Pick a brick at cons...GONE
LEGO booth with a full line of sets for people to look at and discuss with employees...GONE
Store events at cons...GONE
Discount on damaged sets...GONE
Tiered discount for sets at cons...GONE
LEGO representatives at cons...highly limited
(I am sure there are others that I have forgotten.)

They have not mentioned this or not...but it would be probably fair to assume it is gone too...the reveal of a new set at cons.

Yes LUGbulk exists, but there are changes for it this year. If your LUG hasn't been accepted yet, you wouldn't know. LUGbulk used to happen twice a year. Now it is once.

And as far as any online community getting press releases and information, well a lot of them actually do get them. It isn't just limited to one online community. And the reality is, actually FREE press for them, how is that for the community?

I'm not whining. I have yet to give my opinion on this. I have only stated facts. If you want my opinion, see me in chat.
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Re: Dear Lego: Please remain involved with Lego fan conventi

Postby RichardAM » Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:14 pm

May have missed it, but has there actually been a press statement or official word from TLG regarding this all ceasing or are we still going on heresy and rumour?
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Re: Dear Lego: Please remain involved with Lego fan conventi

Postby Bluesecrets » Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:19 pm

The conventions have all been contacted, who in turn contacted their attendees. As I have stated before, the ambassadors have been discussing this also. It has been confirmed. Official press release? I don't think so.
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Re: Dear Lego: Please remain involved with Lego fan conventi

Postby Lego Stu » Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:32 pm

Bluesecrets wrote:
I'm not whining. I have yet to give my opinion on this. I have only stated facts. If you want my opinion, see me in chat.

Sorry if you misunderstood me Blue
Lego Stu wrote:At the risk of being off topic, I would like to add a few thoughts after my previous post as to not just whine.

I was only referring to MY previous post, I didn't mean to imply that anyone else's complaints are whining. Everyone here has a right to their opinion AND a right to be upset about this. I'm certainly not too happy myself. BTW your point about getting some free press is well taken.
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Re: Dear Lego: Please remain involved with Lego fan conventi

Postby Bluesecrets » Thu Dec 06, 2012 11:12 pm

Bluesecrets wrote:
I'm not whining. I have yet to give my opinion on this. I have only stated facts. If you want my opinion, see me in chat.


Sorry if you misunderstood me Blue

Lego Stu wrote:At the risk of being off topic, I would like to add a few thoughts after my previous post as to not just whine.


I was only referring to MY previous post, I didn't mean to imply that anyone else's complaints are whining. Everyone here has a right to their opinion AND a right to be upset about this. I'm certainly not too happy myself. BTW your point about getting some free press is well taken.


Sir, I was not implying that you are whining. Just stating that I was not.
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Re: Dear Lego: Please remain involved with Lego fan conventi

Postby AK_Brickster » Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:07 am

RichardAM wrote:May have missed it, but has there actually been a press statement or official word from TLG regarding this all ceasing or are we still going on heresy and rumor?
The members of SEALUG were forwarded the email that we received from Kevin Hinkel regarding TLG's involvement with conventions. Since it's posted on a public forum, I suppose it's OK to share here:

Hello and Good Afternoon,

I hope this message finds you all well and I want to once again thank you all �for your patience and collaborative efforts throughout 2012. As we come to the close of 2012 and move into 2013, I look forward to another year of working with you all on behalf of The LEGO Group and the CEE (Community Engagement & Events) team. As I�ve stated before, your events are a wonderful experience and have a truly positive impact on the LEGO fan community in North America. I know you have been anxiously awaiting the support details for 2013 and after a few final discussions I am here to share these with you today. Again, as stated earlier, please note that there are several changes from what we have been able to offer in previous years. The reason behind these changes are twofold.

First and foremost, we now have a heightened focus on global alignment, not only within the CEE team, but The LEGO Group as a whole. Our goal is to align the support offered to fan events in North America with those in other regions around the world. As we all know, the LEGO fan community is a global entity and as such we are making a concentrated effort to establish a clear and consistent approach to support regardless of where an event takes place. Secondly, and a point which has been brought up many times before, budgetary restraints. As the fan community continues to grow exponentially, the same cannot be said of our resources. As newer events continue to form and find homes within the calendar, and older events continue to mature and grow even larger, the demand for our time and resources continues to increase. As such, decisions were made and we have come to the agreement for 2013. The following options are available for event support in 2013:

Bulk LEGO Element Ordering:

Event coordinator(s) are welcome to place an order for loose LEGO elements needed and/or desired to enhance their event. Examples of this include LEGO brick badges, exclusive event kits, goodie bag contents, and brick based activities such as a mural/mosaic. As with other LEGO community programs, events are limited to elements that are currently in production. However, restrictions such as order size and/or maximum unique element designs are waived. The event coordinator(s) will be required to submit a wish list of elements to the community representative for availability and prices to be added in for consideration. Please note, the turnaround time on this order on average is 3 months as the elements are ordered directly from Kladno, Czech Republic. Expedited shipping is not available. If placing an order, the invoice, unless otherwise requested, will be sent to the event primary point of contact within 30 days after the event has concluded.

LEGO Product Donation:

The LEGO Group will provide a selection of complimentary LEGO products to be utilized at fan events. Items will be randomly selected from a current selection of products and can be used as the event coordinator(s) see fit. It should be noted that the items are given with the expectation that they will in some way be offered to the registered attendees/exhibitors. Examples of this include event raffles, lotteries, charity auctions, award prizes, etc. Products will be of varying sizes both in price point and physical size. Although some requests can be made for specific items, and/or specific price ranges, the majority of these items will be randomly selected by the warehouse team. The size of the donation will be established based upon the best estimation of registered attendees/exhibitors. The community representative will reach out to the event coordinator(s) to ascertain this information 2-3 months prior to the event upon which the order will be shipped soon afterwards to a desired point of contact.

LEGO Employee Physical On-Site Representation:

A local community representative will make arrangements to physically attend fan conventions for a maximum of two full days, in which he will be fully available to interact with and/or otherwise engage the event attendees. In most situations this will cover one private �convention� day such as Friday and one �public� day such as Saturday. During this time, arrangements can be made, if desired by the event coordinator(s), for a keynote address and/or official LEGO Q&A session at the event. Otherwise the primary goal of the visitation is to engage with and interact directly with the LEGO fan community. This provides an opportunity for fans to voice any questions, issues or concerns directly with an employee from the company. Any and all associated registration costs will be taken care of by the community representative.

As in previous years, an effort is made to ascertain unique and special guests from the LEGO company to attend and speak at fan events across the globe. These individuals range from LEGO model designers, brand and marketing managers, community team representatives, quality and production professionals, to executive directors and company leaders. All efforts to arrange these guests are taken care of internally by the CEE team and visitation is circulated amongst events in the region year over year to ensure fair and equal support. If a special guest has been arranged to attend a particular event the information will be shared with the event coordinator(s) as far in advance as possible to coordinator any desired presentations and/or keynote addresses. Any and all associated registration costs will be taken care of by the community representative.

LEGO Brand Retail Collaboration:

In collaboration and agreement with LEGO Brand Retail, the marketing team will ensure all fan conventions in North America will be included and advertised in the monthly LEGO Store Marketing Calendar. There are currently two variations of the calendar (United States & Canada) that are distributed amongst all the LEGO Brand Retail Stores respectively. There is also a virtual copy which can be downloaded/printed via the LEGO.com website by accessing a store�s individual landing page. Although every effort will be made to ensure the event is placed on the front of the calendar, in some cases the information will need to be pushed to the back of the calendar as the focus still needs to remain on store events, promotions, etc. The LBR Marketing Calendar will include the event logo, basic information, event website, and will only advertise the public day(s). All efforts to arrange this type of advertisement are handled internally by the CEE team.

In collaboration and agreement with LEGO Brand Retail, the marketing team has made available a flyer template that may be utilized by events as requested. In addition to the monthly store marketing calendar an event may wish to also distribute event flyers at the local LEGO Store(s). Working with various departments within The LEGO Group (I.E. Legal, PR, visual, operations) we have created an approved template in which events can submit information to be added. The event coordinator(s) will then be responsible for the printing and/or distribution of the flyers to the LBR Store(s). The event will need to work with the local community representative to create the flyer before the desired distribution date. It is important to note that the LEGO Store and all associated employees are not responsible for the printing of the event flyers. There are two options to consider: 1 full page, and 1 half page (2 per sheet). Any additional forms of advertisement are not allowed in the LEGO Stores.

Exclusive D2C Model Announcement:

As in previous years, an effort is made to provide the opportunity to "unveil" a new Direct to Consumer (D2C) LEGO model at a fan convention. Typically these models are exclusive as they will only be available for purchase via the LEGO Brand Retail Stores and the LEGO.com website. Please understand that there are a limited number of models that are announced each year and the responsibility is shared amongst all the regions globally. As such, arrangements are made far in advance as to which events line up with the desired marketing drive periods and proper timing to announce the new item. All efforts to arrange this opportunity are made internally by the CEE team. An emphasis is made to circulate the opportunity not only among other events in the region, but across other regions as well to ensure fair and equal support. If an announcement is to take place at a particular event the community representative will reach out to the event primary point of contact to make arrangements ahead of time.


THE FOLLOWING ITEMS ARE NO LONGER BEING OFFERED AS SUPPORT:

- The LEGO Company Booth will be decommissioned and no longer available at LEGO fan conventions.

- A local community representative will no longer be available on-site for the entire duration of the event (for further details please see above: LEGO Employee Physical On-Site Representation).

- LEGO Brand Retail will no longer offer a discount, or any type of special promotion or offer, to registered attendees/exhibitors of fan events.

- LEGO Brand Retail will no longer offer any type of early discount or promotion for event coordinator(s) before the event takes place (for event supplies I.E. speed build sets, raffle prizes).


We are well aware that some of the items being removed may cause severe concerns with you and/or your event attendees. I can assure you that no decision was taken lightly and that the associated negotiations and discussions have been taking place for several months. As your local community representative within The LEGO Group, I have already voiced my concerns and expected community feedback to the proper channels. There is nothing more we can do at this point to change any of the support efforts, however feedback is still highly encouraged and appreciated. Good or bad, this type of information helps as the leadership team continues to evaluate our resources and options each year.

As always I welcome any questions, comments, concerns and feedback.

Thank you for your time and support.

Regards,
Kevin Hinkle
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Re: Dear Lego: Please remain involved with Lego fan conventi

Postby Fraslund » Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:46 am

On top of every other change the special black friday event this year for top 25 purchasers per store ( Correct me if I am wrong) had another massive change as well. Last year you got a pick a brick box for every $75, thus if you spent $750 you would get 10 pick a brick boxes. This year they limited it to 1 per visit... So basically for bieng in the top 25 purchasers for the store you get 10% off, a small holiday set ( I think?) and a box if you spend over $75. I am not seeing the incentive to buy from their retail store when I can go to a Walmart, Fred Meyer, Target, or even a TRU and get much, much better discounts.
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Re: Dear Lego: Please remain involved with Lego fan conventi

Postby Sir Osis of Liver » Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:01 pm

Many thanks to AK_Brickster for posting the letter that was sent from TLG that started all these discussions.

After reading the official correspondence, I really fail to see what most of the hubub is regarding this. It looks like there is still a more than reasonable level of support from TLG for the AFOL community and the conventions. With many of the initiatives that have come along in recent years like the VIP program, modular buildings and licensed themes galore, no one can say that TLG is not listening to the fan base.

I find it sad that there appears to be an attitude out there where people stand up and proclaim "I'm a LEGO fan. Gimme free stuff and discounts" and want an official company presence everytime 3 or more LEGO fans get together.

Just my thoughts.
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Re: Dear Lego: Please remain involved with Lego fan conventi

Postby RichardAM » Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:59 pm

AK_Brickster wrote:
RichardAM wrote:May have missed it, but has there actually been a press statement or official word from TLG regarding this all ceasing or are we still going on heresy and rumor?
The members of SEALUG were forwarded the email that we received from Kevin Hinkel regarding TLG's involvement with conventions. Since it's posted on a public forum, I suppose it's OK to share here:

Thanks for posting- it's good to actually read what they were proposing. This is what I was asked earlier in the thread- this is an official statement.

somewhat OT- does CC have an actual Lego Ambassador representing us? I've never actually seen the results of the scheme- information other than surveys are rarely if ever passed on and possibly vice versa. This whole thread has proven that despite this being news for sometime now a lot of us have only just found out this week, that's bad communication surely?
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Re: Dear Lego: Please remain involved with Lego fan conventi

Postby Fraslund » Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:34 pm

Sir Osis of Liver wrote:
I find it sad that there appears to be an attitude out there where people stand up and proclaim "I'm a LEGO fan. Gimme free stuff and discounts" and want an official company presence everytime 3 or more LEGO fans get together.

Just my thoughts.


I think that is an over simplification of the issue. This basically removes TLG retail segement completely from conventions and limits participation greatly by TLG. Brickcon for instance is hardly 3 fans. Every year close to 500 conventions goers attend and spend tens of thousands of dollars at our local stores and this past year we had over 12,000 people come to the public exhibition. I think the community is disappointed as this looks to be putting a distance away from the fan community from a convention perspective.

As far as expecting free stuff, it comes down to a matter of value. I can go save 25-40% at several online and local retail stores. As a fan aware of these sales and deals, Lego retail needs to compete to bring me into their stores or shop online from their site. I know many of the members of our Local Lug have a great relationship with our local Stores (we have two in close proximity) and the discontinuation of many of these special events make it more likely for us to shop elsewhere as it doesn't make sense financially to purchase from TLG retail shops when we could spend much less at a local retail store.
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Re: Dear Lego: Please remain involved with Lego fan conventi

Postby AK_Brickster » Fri Dec 07, 2012 8:13 pm

When convention-goers are spending over $1,000 on massive displays that greatly promote the LEGO brand, it doesn't seem wrong to me to expect a little help from TLG. Yes, we can shop elsewhere, but other retail outlets don't offer things like bulk buying of elements from the PaB wall that you can get from Lego stores.

I mean, none of us are going to quit displaying just because we don't get a discount at the convention, but I personally won't be able to do the same stuff in terms of displays without it, and I think that hurts the community as a whole, not just me as an exhibitor.
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Re: Dear Lego: Please remain involved with Lego fan conventi

Postby Nicker » Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:16 pm

I don't want to come across in a whiny way but Lego in the U.S. is very cheap even at the regular price. As a Canadian I have to pay extremely inflated Lego prices and it makes me laugh when Americans complain about Lego pricing being high for them and wanting discounts when they have the absolute lowest prices for Lego in the world. I believe Lego enthusiasts in places like New Zealand and Australia have to pay way more than even us Canadians approaching double the price in some cases compared to what Americans pay. Lego charges roughly 20% more per item in Canada even though the CDN dollar has been on par with the American dollar for years now. If you like Lego and you live in the U.S. consider yourself very lucky!

I think it would still be nice if TLG could make it to conventions etc but I can see that it would definitely become more difficult for them with the growing number of conventions.
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Re: Dear Lego: Please remain involved with Lego fan conventi

Postby Bluesecrets » Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:04 pm

I don't want to come across in a whiny way but Lego in the U.S. is very cheap even at the regular price. As a Canadian I have to pay extremely inflated Lego prices and it makes me laugh when Americans complain about Lego pricing being high for them and wanting discounts when they have the absolute lowest prices for Lego in the world. I believe Lego enthusiasts in places like New Zealand and Australia have to pay way more than even us Canadians approaching double the price in some cases compared to what Americans pay. Lego charges roughly 20% more per item in Canada even though the CDN dollar has been on par with the American dollar for years now. If you like Lego and you live in the U.S. consider yourself very lucky!

I think it would still be nice if TLG could make it to conventions etc but I can see that it would definitely become more difficult for them with the growing number of conventions.


I don't believe anyone was actually complaining about the cost of sets, or even the fact that the discount is lost at all. Those of us in America are very knowledgeable in the fact that we have good prices. But that is based on taxes, VAT, and services some countries pay out right out of their salaries/prices that here in the US we do not, (ie health care), etc. That of course is a whole different discussion entirely and some economist should probably talk about that instead of me. May I make a suggestion that you make some American friends to help you out? Or maybe plan a trip over the border? Because you can bring back something like $100-$300 a day into Canada without having to play taxes or something.

You do realize that Brick fete is a Canadian convention and it also has lost it's LEGO support? This is not just Americans. Brickcon has a HUGE Canadian population that attends which may be true for Brickworld also. There are people from all over the world who attend these cons. It isn't just Americans losing out here, nor should this become a battle of where you live. For that is not the issue at all.

This is about losing convention support, which is far more than just a discount.
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Re: Dear Lego: Please remain involved with Lego fan conventi

Postby Nicker » Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:50 pm

Bluesecrets wrote:Those of us in America are very knowledgeable in the fact that we have good prices. But that is based on taxes, VAT, and services some countries pay out right out of their salaries/prices that here in the US we do not, (ie health care), etc. That of course is a whole different discussion entirely and some economist should probably talk about that instead of me. May I make a suggestion that you make some American friends to help you out? Or maybe plan a trip over the border? Because you can bring back something like $100-$300 a day into Canada without having to play taxes or something.


If I read that right it sounds like your suggesting that Lego prices are higher in places like Canada because of our taxes. There are no hidden taxes on items like that here unless it's a Lego tax that TLG has implemented it on their own to subsidize other markets. We pay plenty of tax on top of those higher prices t the government. A trip across the boarder probably wouldn't be worthwhile once other expenses are added up like gas, food etc. I should really start up a separate thread on this subject sometime since I shouldn't derail this thread any further.

I will leave that topic at that for now since this thread seems to be more about TLG at conventions etc.
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