Wednesday, 23 February 2011
Opinion: The cost of Lego
From talking to people and reading stuff on the internet, it seems that most people are of the opinion that Lego is expensive.
There are good reasons why Lego costs loads more than other 'compatible with other brands' building blocks and they all stem from quality. Lego has ridiculously high quality control. When was the last time a piece was missing from a Lego set? Never. When was the last time you found a defective block in your new Lego set? For that matter, how often have you come across a defective brick in 30 year old sets? It occurs, but hardly ever. Unlike other brands, Lego is designed to last. Pieces made today fit seamlessly in with pieces from years ago.
I cannot think of a single other toy brand that almost guarantees today's toy will still work 100% with stuff made ten or twenty or more years from now.
If you buy a Lego set for a 4 year old, you'll get about a decade's play out of it. There's a good change the child's brother/sister will also play with it. Keep it, and your grandchildren will happily play with it to.
Will your grandchildren want to play with Ben 10 after your son is done with it? Possibly, but it's a definite gambol.
So is Lego really that expensive?
Saying that, I can't help but think if they knocked a third off the price of Lego sets they'd sell a lot more. I know I would. When sets are 50% off I consider them an absolute bargain and buy them instantly. Looking at them, and ignoring the 'Lego lasts for years' argument I made above, it seems that a third off RRP is about right for them. £80 sets look like they're worth about £50, maybe £60. £30 sets, well if they were more £20-22 it'd make me happier.
But then 3 3/4" figures cost almost £10 these days, so what do I know about pricing and value?