New LEGO Survey from the Community Engagement & Communication Team

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Please take a moment to fill out the latest survey from LEGO community team.

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/AFOLJune2011

(For the purposes of the survey, 'Brickset' counts as a LUG)

76 comments on this article

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By in United States,

I just took the survey.

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By in United States,

I took the survey too. It had some really...hm...unusual questions. I'm not sure what LEGO was trying to find out! (c:

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By in United Kingdom,

Very strange. I wonder what they're getting at?

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By in Canada,

I took the survey via FBTB, and I didn't put myself as as member of any LUG! (oops...)

@theBrickBlogger-I agree. Some of the questions were strange.

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By in United Kingdom,

FBTB would have been a valid choice too, as they are recognised as a LUG by LEGO too. Select whichever community you feel most a part of ... for example, I selected 'Brickish Association'.

The 'communicating with LEGO' questions were a bit weird; I assumed they meant 'interacting' with LEGO, so it included using any of LEGO's stores or on-line resources (Shop Online, Universe, etc.)

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By in Canada,

^ LEGO didn't give me a space to enter any LUG.

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By in United Kingdom,

^It only comes up if you select 'yes' as the answer to the "Are you a member of a LUG" question on the first page.

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By in United Kingdom,

just done it :)

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By in United States,

I found the questions to be odd as well. Is there a resentment of LEGO fans towards one another based on how LEGO treats fans?

I suggested that LEGO send out a newsletter to AFOLs either weekly or monthly with alternate building instructions for the exclusive sets like the Pets Shop, news promoting upcoming AFOL fan events, how to successfully fill out LUGBULK orders, ways to improve the Pick a Brick wall selection, etc.

Thanks for the heads up Brickset. Best LEGO website!

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By in United States,

What special treatment would they be thinking of?
Fans from different countries?
I don't know...

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By in United States,

what's with the wierd questions? and what did it mean by "more uniform treatment".

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By in United Kingdom,

Uniform Treatment?

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By in United States,

If Huw isn't preferentially treated, then no one is. By the way, "more uniform treatment" means equal treatment.

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By in United States,

oh, ok.

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By in France,

@ Gtg905s : that's how I figured this question (that took me some minutes to understand tbh).
You have to admit that North American market have access to a lot of features that other countries don't (gold C3-PO anyone ? Not to mention some complete themes that are not even released in some countries). That's understandable from an economic point of view, but it can be a source of frustration for AFOLs.

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By in United States,

Thanks for posting this, Huw.

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By in United States,

Did the survey, as others posted, am a bit puzzled by the questions asked.

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By in Australia,

Those of you form the U.S. may find the questions a little confusing and strange, but I'm pretty sure that those of us from Asia/Australia and perhaps some European nations understood exactly what the questions were trying to get at. What you need to understand is that the U.S. tends to get the best of everything - best range, best prices, best exclusive releases (such as the gold C-3PO that yvo pointed out) and best sales. For example - Diagon Alley - this has been available in the U.S. for the past 7 months. It's priced at $150 USD.
Here in Australia, it's hasn't even been released yet, and will only be released as an exclusive to Target, meaning that availability is poor. In addition, it's priced at $270 Aud - bearing in mind that the Aud is stronger than the USD atm, it's no wonder we're annoyed (the Pet Shop is also priced similarly).

Lot's more examples to quote, but I think you all get my point. And I think that if you were in the same boat, you'd be pretty unhappy about the situation too. The fact is, if Lego can do it for the U.S., why can't they do it for all countries? (I understand that each country has different import taxes and so on, but that shouldn't nearly double the price!)

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By in United States,

^ I disagree with the above. I believe the survey was trying to explore how fans feel about LUGs and their relationships with stores and/or TLG corporate. Australian pricing may indeed be bad, but I doubt that was on the table with this survey.

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By in Canada,

@duilim-That's horrible! I didn't know you had it so bad there.

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By in Australia,

@yellowcastle - fair point. But my complaint wasn't just about pricing - it's also to do with the range we have here. As I've pointed out, a lot of the sets you get aren't released here until many months after - in some cases, up to 12 months (the Emerald Night train for example). I think that this, coupled with the pricing makes things a little too much to bear sometimes.

I agree that the first part of the survey was in relation to LUGs and their relationships. But that doesn't really offer an explanation to the second part of the survery - the questions I believe were;

1. Do you feel certain Lego fans are given special treatment?
2. Do you think this is a fair practice
3. Would you prefer a more uniform treatment for all fans.

Unless I'm mistaken, I really don't see how part of the survey this relates to LUGs at all. Of course, I may be totally wrong here (forgive me if I am), but unless you actually live in other parts of the world, it would be difficult to understand how your fellow AFOLs feel about their treatment from Lego compared to our U.S. friends.

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By in United States,

Did it. Weirdest survey yet. Who else agrees? (Why'd I ask that, you all know its weird)

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By in United States,

@bmwlego, Yeah, I felt the same way. I kept putting comments to my answers saying "I've never seen an example", and then continued to say "but I never have!" or something like that.

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By in United Kingdom,

Oh dear... I've seen this before.

Whenever brands/stores/governments ask about equal practice in any area, it basically means wherever people were seen to be getting the better deal than someone or someplace else, they basically won't get it anymore. And the reason will be "Due to popular demand for equality", it's a mild form of divide and conquer, using one person's perceptions against anothers.
The result of these questions is never to 'share the wealth', but almost always to 'increase the poverty'. i.e. if a region appears to get Set 'A' 50% cheaper equivalent than the rest of world, the set will most likely end up having prices increased to match the highest priced rest of world equivalent OR prevent comparisons by rotating availability region to region. They will not reduce the price in your area.

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By in United Kingdom,

Right... just got back from doing the survey... very disturbing. Instead of refuting the suggestion of special treatment for some over others, by following up with "If you answered yes, why do you feel this way" - they instead effectively admit to it by asking "what do you think of this policy"... err, hold on... are you saying there IS a policy of special treatment that we haven't been told about? Which is followed up with the stupidest question of all, i.e. "Is unequal treatment wrong?" errr... answer in the question, perhaps. This was definitely one of those situations where you just know that whatever you answer is somehow going to get twisted into whatever they want it to be.

WEIRD.

Will be very interesting to see what they come out with over the next few months.

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By in United States,

I agree with all of the above comments: veiry weird and disturbing. @legomatt, I too am wondering what this will mean for the future of LUGs and the entire Lego company. If they do in fact raise prices (as legomatt stated earlier) than I fear I might have to bid farewell to Lego for a little while....

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By in United States,

Wow... I guess I didn't understand what they meant by special treatment at all. I just assumed it meant people getting free sets to review and stuff like that. I didn't know we were talking about countries here! Now I don't know what to think...

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By in Australia,

I just finished it. For me, the confusing curveball of a question wasn't the special treatment - it was the inquiries into "communicating with LEGO". It may just be a product of my limited contact with the fanbase as a whole, but I really couldn't think of any cases where I /would/ be in contact with LEGO. Huh. For the "special treatment" question, I interpreted it two different ways and so split my answers into two categories based on said different interpretations - one concerning things like the LEGO Ambassadors, the other concerning how Australia and other countries seem to pretty much not exist as far as LEGO is concerned. :P

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By in United States,

Taking a Lego survey a couple months back in NYC in person was so much more fun than this.
Plus I got hugs from the girls running the survey...;) bmwlego knows what I'm takin' about yo'.

Wonder what they mean by special treatment? I'm guessing certain Lego fans get freebie stuff like if they run a site to help promote products, or run contests? Nothing wrong with that as far as I'm concerned. But honestly, not sure specifically what they mean.

@bmwlego...great suggestions. Make Lugbulk an easier process and definitely improve the PaB Walls. Rockefeller has a great wall due to space but at Queens Center, they still have the same stuff on the wall and get new brick elements but don't rotate or swap out more often.

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By in New Zealand,

When I read the questions I kinda felt like it was a good chance to let them know about the poor range, lack of promo's and give aways and shocking price differences between countries also. Interesting how those questions were viewed by Americans one way and Kiwi's/Aussies another way. I told them I feel we're a little neglected here.

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By in United Kingdom,

"well the Lego Ambassadors get special treatment.. they get to talk directly with lego and discuss things us little people don't get to talk about."

Some Ambassadors are voted for by LUG members, which is the case for the Brickish Association. In the case of Brickset, millions of people effectively vote with their feet because they regularly visit the site, so the likes of Bluemoose and Huw are in a good position represent a section of the online community. Would you prefer that random people who don't speak for anyone but themselves represent the LEGO community instead ? Maybe you would.....

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By in United States,

^ To expand on this, the role of an Ambassador is to serve as a representative for his/her constituent in speaking directly with TLG since it isn't feasible that TLG speak directly with its entire fan base. Ambassadors bring forward items from their constituency to TLG and disseminate communications from TLG and are not acting in a position of self-interest. Thus, the act of "talk[ing] directly with LEGO and discussing[ing] things" is not a case of special treatment.

TLG could have done us all a favor and worded the survey better. Bluemoose: perhaps you can relate our confusion about the intent of the questions to TLG in case they want to alter it to get the appropriate responses they desire.

Personally, I think they used "fan" to mean a smaller entity (i.e. LUG, certain high profile AFOLs) than entire countries!

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By in Australia,

What's with that survey? A free plug for survey monkey is all I could see out of that rubbish. Pick up your game LEGO more transparency would be a start.
It also kicked me off brickset to boot.

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By in United Kingdom,

rocao - "Bluemoose: perhaps you can relate our confusion about the intent of the questions to TLG in case they want to alter it to get the appropriate responses they desire."

There have been views expressed here about the quality of previous surveys; for what it's worth, I've previously collated those comments & fed them back to LEGO; I've no idea if LEGO have taken the comments on board, as I didn't get any feedback. Undeterred, I'm already planning to do that for this one too; just waiting a day or two to get more feedback :-)

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By in United Kingdom,

^ While previous surveys have been confusing in places, this one is possibly the worst yet. There are so many possible ways of reading some of the questions that it'll be impossible to interpret the results. That's OK, of course, providing LEGO don't do anything drastic as a result, e.g. stop providing prizes for those LUGs which run competitions, close down LUGBULK, etc.

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By in United States,

^After just receiving our LUG's first LUGBULK order, I, along with every member of I LUG NY and NY other LUG that has participated in LUGBULK would be devastated if LEGO were to end this practice. LEGO is a prime example of a company that actually reaches out to customers in order to strengthen the bond between both parties. If you would like to receive the benefits of a LUG, either join one or create one as we have done here in NY. Our hard work has come to fruition in the form of LUGBULK, LUG showcase displays, participating in local LEGO events and just building our love for the hobby with other like minded adults.

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By in United States,

bluemoose works for TLG?

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By in United Kingdom,

^ no, but I am the current Ambassador for brickset ...
http://aboutus.lego.com/en-us/ambassadors/default.aspx

^^ I think that every LUG that qualifies for LUGBulk (& chooses to take part) would agree with those sentiments. I'd encourage anyone that's considering joining a 'real world' LUG to do so immediately; avoid getting involved in any politics in the organisation & just enjoy the other benefits :-)

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By in United Kingdom,

^ Amen to that; we'll be sorting the Brickish Association LUGBULK order over the next couple of weekends, and I can't wait to get my hands on the LEGO for an ongoing project....

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By in United States,

@bluemoose: What kind of politics do you mean?

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By in United States,

@LEGOlas1 - when any group of people gather consistently, internal "politics" are bound to develop, even with LUGs. That being said, they're great places to meet other LEGO fans and to share this great hobby. Enjoy the camaraderie, learn some new building techniques, and exhibit your MOCs if you have any. The experience itself is so rewarding and there are the occasional perks like LUGBULK.

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By in United Kingdom,

I reckon everyone should comment on the price of LEGO saying that it's too expensive - If enough people mention it, we might get a point across.

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By in United Kingdom,

Interesting. Never heard of the Lugbulk stuff before either. Has any group we know of sent any LUGBulk orders using this service, if so, do they ever publish the info on what was ordered, what the parts were used in, and the price they paid. Also what kind of discount do the LUGs get? And what becomes of the parts after they are used.
I run a community club in my spare time (not lego), and I have to keep these kind of things (usually grants & funding) open and transparent to the club members (and local council) to show that no private individual ever benifits from the club activities. Do any Lugs using this service have an open book-keeping for members to look at?
I mean, it sounds as though it's meant to provide groups with bricks for displays, after which i would imagine the bricks would then form a sort of Lug parts library for future demos, but i've never seen mention of any parts available by LUGs to members to use in group activities... Or is that part of the 'politics' bit mentioned previous - something to do with cliques getting to keep the secret garden closed off.

Lol. It all seems so calm on the surface.

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By in Australia,

@legomatt: The conditions of the LUGBULK programme prevent participants from discussing pricing and availability to those who are not participating in the LUGBULK programme. This should mean that you won't find the sort of information that you asked (i.e. What is the discount, what was ordered, etc...) in a public forum. Anyone discussing that sort of information is likely to have their LUG removed from any future participation in the LUGBULK programme.

I am running the LUGBULK order for one of the LUG sthat I am member of, SydLUG. Within that LUG, I have made the process as transparent as possible to all of the LUG members participating in LUGBULK (not all members in SydLUG participated this year).

The main intention of LUGBULK is that the bricks are used in public displays, and the selection criteria for a LUG to participate in LUGBULK asks for proof of displays that the LUG has done previously. I imagine that many displays that a LUG would do would reuse many of the elements that may have been obtained in previous LUGBULK rounds. Having said that, I did not see anything in the terms and conditions for LUGBULK that explicitly states that parts ordered through LUGBULK must be used exclusively for public displays by the LUG.

Regarding group politics, unfortunately, human nature ensures that there is always some debate (sometimes quite heated) within a group. But as long as the debate is kept under control, a LUG is a great way to meet like-minded people, and even help in developing skills as a builder.

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By in United States,

@yellowcastle: I have a few questions.
1. Since I'm part of Brickset, a British site, would I be eligible?
2. When it says active pieces, does it mean only non-licenced pieces that are still manufactured can be ordered?
3. I'm not an AFOL. Do you have to be to participate in LUGBULK?

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By in United States,

@LEGOlas1 - As I rarely MOC or subsequently exhibit those MOCs with my LUG, I can't offer much on TLG's LUGBULK program. While Brickset qualifies as a LUG itself, we don't exhibit as a group which I assume is likely just one of the reasons we don't participate in that program.

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By in United Kingdom,

^^
#1 - you have to be a physical LUG to qualify.
#2 - Correct
#3 - The majority of LUGs require you to be 18.

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By in United States,

@LegoCoastGuard, looking at #3, I'm guess I'm lucky I discovered Brickset, huh? (considering I'm only 13)

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By in United Kingdom,

from previous post (shortened for brevity) --@legomatt: The conditions of the LUGBULK programme prevent participants from discussing pricing and availability to those who are not participating in the LUGBULK programme. I am running the LUGBULK order for SydLUG. Within that LUG, I have made the process as transparent as possible to all of the LUG members participating in LUGBULK (not all members in SydLUG participated this year).--

So does this mean to say that a LUG can make a Lugbulk order, but it does NOT have to discuss LUGBulk with non-participating members of the same LUG *unless* that particular member was involved in the order... Doesn't that potentially preclude everyone outside of a particular LUGBULK admin? i.e. only those participating being allowed to discuss it, making it impossible to join unless you are invited.

How does an average member of a LUG participate in the LUGBULK scheme, if the scheme doesn't see wide discussion. It seems it could be ran as a secret perk for some LUGs admins. I always just assumed those big displays where painstakingly collected over years of trawling ebay auctions and garage sales... *colour me naive*

Not directed at anyone, but I thought the whole point of being a member of a LUG was to have whoever your LUG representatives were to pass info, both back and forth, between LEGO and LUG. I'm getting the distinct impression that some LUG perks are not being passed on to the wider memberships, rather some memberships are just being used to qualify LUG admins for benefits. Or is that being harsh/cynical?

Or am i misunderstanding something here.

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By in United States,

@jonbuddy: I agree, I'm only 11.

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By in United States,

@legomatt - My understanding is that each qualifying LUG discusses participating in LUGBULK each year at one of its normal meetings. They determine whether there is enough interest to participate and what available elements they would be interested in buying as a group. I don't think there is a secret order of LUG proletariat in each LUG that horde all the info. I had no problems learning all I wanted to learn just by googling.

I do indeed think you're being too cynical and it surprises me based on your previous comments. TLG did the community a big favor by developing this program for groups that exhibit. I also can't understand how knowing that a fan utilized the program to buy some pieces in bulk at a better price than PAB would somehow diminish their creation. I rarely MOC and less so exhibit, but I love the fact that TLG has created a pilot program to assist those fans that do because it supports it's community while growing the brand at the same time.

In my opinion, your earlier comments in this thread seemed right on in that these types of surveys usually end up leveling the playing field not by raising the bar but by lowering it. I certainly hope the survey doesn't pave the way to the end of LUGBULK because I am confident it has helped in the creation of a number of amazing MOCs we've all seen the last couple of years. But there is always that small but loud group of people that complain, "If I can't have it, no one will."

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By in United Kingdom,

@yellowcastle: I agree with you 100%. I think you misinterpreted my meaning about the moc displays. I meant I never realised people had access to cheaper parts direct from lego - which makes it a broader field for more people to have a go (a good thing). Before i just thought exhibits were only do-able by people with extraordinary collections, now i know this is not the case, which opens up the area to many more people (which is great). Never imagined anyone would read that as being a slight on the exhibit itself. Not my intention at all.

However, one thing still confuses me, and that is i thought lugbulk is for exhibits and group displays (i honestly don't know the rules, being that i'venever been invited to participate in a lug event - so apologies if i'm very much in the dark), but the process as you described it sounded more like taking orders from individuals for their collection (which they might display, sure), rather than the LUG collectively putting on a display piece and agreeing on the parts needed do achieve it. How are individuals not simply adding to their personal collections, as opposed to forming a LUG-owned collection of parts to be used by any LUG members at events.

As an example, the (not lego) club i run sometimes receives pieces of kit and gear for the club. Nobody in the club gets to keep the gear, it belongs to the club. No matter who runs the club, the gear stays with it, and if the club was ever to dissolve, the gear would be sent to another club in the same field, or donated to charity. I don't feel the same is happening with LUGBULk purchases.

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By in United Kingdom,

Just thought i'd clarify - i don't want LUgBulk to end, far from it - it's a boon to lego exhibitions and i'm all for that. But i'm concerned that it seems open to abuse, for people to just bulk up a private collection at a discount.

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By in United States,

@legomatt - I would recommend you and any other interested parties browse the links above or google others. There's a wealth of info out there. And to your concerns on potential for abuse, I think you'll agree it's impossible to completely eliminate that but it appears they've put enough governors in the program to address those concerns. That being said, no one is going to check up on you to make sure you used 200 tan cheese slopes in your next MOC. :o)

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By in United States,

So from all of these posts I have gathered this one sentence summary:

LUGBULK is a program from TLC to give physical (possibly not) LUGs pieces & parts so they can have an easier time making MOCs for showcase.

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By in United Kingdom,

^^ there's no 'giving' involved; LUGs have to pay for the bricks. Mostly the bricks are a little cheaper than they are via on-line Pick-a-Brick, but a broader range of bricks are available. Some are far more expensive than through other routes (e.g. Bricklink); one of the tricks is knowing which bricks to go for. And, yes, the whole reason behind it is to get bricks into the hands of people who exhibit so that they can build bigger, better, more impressive models for shows. There are a bunch of criteria that a LUG has to meet before it can qualify for LUGBulk, and a bunch of rules they have to agree to; break the rules & the LUG won't get to take part in future & the relationship with LEGO is likely to be damaged.

And, no, the Brickset community does not meet the criteria to qualify for LUGBulk.

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By in United Kingdom,

@LEGOlas1 - Stop posting OT please. You can get in touch with me via my profile.

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By in United States,

Legowomen you have a valid point,

You shouldn't encourage kids to build and want something they can never achieve, in my opinion holding a Masters Degree in psychology this may discourage some children from buying lego bricks. While other children that have an addictive personality may even lead to lower self Esteem since the need is never filled with the desire and the want to have it all. These children may lead productive lives but still a few may turn violent and eventually steal for their passion that was created at such a young age by LUG members. There is only a small percentage of people that may fit into this category, but the possibility still exists and further research is needed on a larger scale over a long period of time to study the influence these LUG Groups pose on the society of the country that they effect.

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By in United States,


Thanks for posting the link, guys. Took it a little while ago today.
God bless,
(-)-Crushmaster-(-) >

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By in United States,

Legowomen1980p: you seem consumed by an irrational paranoia.

I am a member of a LUG and we allow members of all ages. Our overriding approach in how we run our meetings and make our public displays is to foster and encourage imagination in children. While this may not be true of all LUGs, you take the liberty of making sweeping generalizations of all LUGs while citing a very specific and isolated example of an exchange between a store manager and a person (which I even have doubts about regarding its authenticity). LUGBulk is in just its 2nd year while LUGs have been operating and displaying for well over a decade. The program is TLGs recognition that public displays are great advertising and if the envelope is going to be continually pushed in producing bigger and better displays, TLG can help ease some constraints. But as Bluemoose says, the pieces are far from free, and the main benefit is being able to procure items in quantity rather than buying entire sets for a few pieces.

Regarding your claim that TLG is unfairly teasing children, in which you liken LEGO to a drug and suggest that some great societal issues exist between the haves and the have-nots of LEGO bricks... wow, get a grip on reality! I grew up poor. As a child, I owned only a dozen or so sets and each one was picked as a birthday or Xmas present after months of deliberation. I cherished what I had, and at no point was I deluded into thinking that I was entitled to anything based on what I saw elsewhere. Nowadays we are so quick to look outward for harming effects on children and offloading the parental responsibility of providing our children with a healthy perpective. Many of the LEGO creations we see are transcendental: demonstrating that plastic building blocks are a valid artistic medium. I would rather take the time to teach my child than deprive society of art, and it's not even close.

Finally, in your last misdirected statement condemning LUGs when mentioning a bricklink seller (they are not the same thing), I find great hypocrisy in your accusations about morally bankrupt adults ruining the LEGO hobby for children. Aren't you the person boasting of profiteering tenfold on LEGO sets and procuring them expressly for that purpose?

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By in United States,

@legowomen1980p - On behalf of Playmobil fans around the world, please reconsider.

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By in Australia,

I have to admit, a lot depends on how you bring your children up. If you teach them to appreciate what they have as opposed to giving them what they want and don't spoil them, then you really shouldn't have a problem. Too often, we're quick to blame others for faults in our children rather than take responsibility ourselves. Remember as parents, we're the biggest influence on our kids, and if we bring them up with the right values, that things have to be earnt and not given, then their expectations will be more realistic. Blaming LUGs and TLG is just pushing the blame off to someone else.... which seems to be all too common in society today.

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By in United Kingdom,

@legowomen1980p - Seriously? you haven't by any chance sucked on a sour grape lately? LOL :oD

I wish to echo every word that ROCAO said, (sounds like we had similar childhoods too)

While a *little* of what was said *may* be happening, i can't help but doubt your (legowomen1980p) sincerity here, despite the strong tone you use, given your posting history, the fact that until you switched your collection to private, you boasted extraordinary numbers of almost every set listed for re-sale, and have spoken in forums about your expertise in the secondary market. Are you really this concerned about childhood, market demand and the rising ebay prices? Because in your position, I would be laughing. You can hide behind a veil of righteousness if you like, but you wear the mask to hide your envy very poorly.

*(I take no offence if this post is deleted - but i can't bear hypocrites and had to post something)*

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By in United Kingdom,

Anyway, this is all getting a bit 'Sylla' (black adder) for me, so i'm going - what a fuss this survey has caused! Who'd have imagined. :o)

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By in United Kingdom,

Agreed - very odd questionnaire. Since no-one understood the questions, I suspect TLG will get very skewed results, which wil be used to justify some weird campaign or policy. Who said: There are lies, damn lies and statistics ?

My only experience with a LUG is here, so I cannot comment much about dodgey practises. I'm glad Huw got special treatment and managed to share the Lego archive with us. I'd be equally happy if a group of Lego fans got a vast, free pile of bricks for a display housed at a local museum, or something. I'd be less happy about individuals profiting from organizing LUGs. Maybe TLG should collect the bricks after use and donate them to a local charity or auction the models for charity. Overall, its ok for LUGs to get special treatment, provided it is shared with everyone. Competitions are great too, so long as everyone has a chance to enter.

As for the whole teasing kids thing, making them want more and more: I think its simply part of today's society. Every retailer does it to stay in business. My son has way more Lego than I had, we all try to give our kids what we feel we missed out on. But I try to make him appreciate what he has and think hard about he'd like next. I try to get him to limit the number of themes he collects, so each purchase adds to his imagination and playability, not a simple Pokemon mantra of Gotta get them all.

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By in Australia,

@legowoman1980p (and everyone else asking what a LUG is): I was not a member of a LUG for many years, before I became associated with the LUG I a member of now.

The LUG I am a member of, SydLUG, was formed because a group of adults who all happened to play with LEGO bricks and build things got together as a group to further our own hobby. It's no different to a model railway club, or a tennis club. Most LUGs are welcoming of new members - most LUG members are keen to see more people involved in their hobby. Sure it seems that members of LUGs get 'perks' - but LUGBULK was a very, very recent thing, and it really is just an acknowledgement by the LEGO Company that LUGs do a lot of work to put on displays that the LEGO Company doesn't do any longer.

Here in Australia, many of my fellow AFOLs are quite envious of the things available to everyone (not just LUGs) in the United States - there is better pricing on LEGO products, there is easier access to the entire range of LEGO products in most parts of the US, people in the US can access Pick-A-Brick walls, and it goes on.....

We choose not to allow children to join our group, unless their parent joins with the group. This is mainly because of the problems with legal liability regarding unaccompanied children at SydLUG meetings. We don't hold "secrets" from anyone, we are as inclusive as possible of anyone interested in LEGO. Of course, within the group there are personal differences between individual members, but this happens in real life too - look at schools and workplaces, for example.

As a group we chose to make our own public displays - not to please LEGO, but for our own enjoyment. I do not see what is so bad about a LUG, when it makes people (both the exhibitors and children) happy! You sound like a good candidate to join a group - perhaps you should try looking for a LUG in your area? I think you'd be pleasantly surprised how good it can be discussing something you like with others who enjoy the same thing as you. Maybe you could form your own LUG in your area with other interested folks, if there isn't a LUG you want to join?

@legomatt: You got my post totally wrong! :-) The only thing that LUGBULK participants cannot discuss with non-LUGBULK participants within our LUG is the pricing of the pieces they obtained through LUGBULK. They are more than welcome to share information about what actual parts they purchased through the LUGBULK programme.

There is actually quite a lot of discussion about LUGBULK within SydLUG during the initial stages of the programme - in fact most other discussion within the group stops and LUGBULK becomes the main conversation within the group. I run LUGBULK within our group as a reasonably democratic affair (with some limits to prevent discussion from getting out of hand). This is when members of our LUG decide if they wish to participate or not. For members within our LUG, there are many reasons to participate in LUGBULK, but for some there are reasons not to participate. It's their own choice to be part of the LUGBULK programme or not to participate. This means that even if a member chooses not to participate in LUGBULK, they should hopefully understand the restrictions on those who did participate in LUGBULK.

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By in United States,

@legowomen1980p
I would like to reply to your post stating that LUGs are not good. My intention is not to insult or anger you, but to just state the opposite side of the argument.

I have personally reached out to you via the contact a brickset member link and we have exchanged an email or two this past year. I asked you if there was any interest on your part in joining our LUG and you mentioned that your interest in LEGO was because you are a parent of a child(ren) that enjoyed building with LEGO. Would this be considered stepping down from the "mighty position" of a LUG member to see a "little person" or does this not count?

I have been an AFOL for 5 years now and a member of a LUG for a little over a year. During my 4 years I never felt like I was a little person because I wasn't a LUG Member. I wanted to become a member of a LUG for the simple fact that I wanted to meet up regularly with other AFOLs. I wanted to broaden my LEGO hobby experience by learning from other builders, building with them and put on public displays with a group. Perhaps because you yourself are not into LEGO for yourself but more for your children you have a resentment towards LUGs.

When I did learn of the 2 LUG benefits (LUG Showcase and LUGBULK) that LEGO provided this was icing on the cake because we had already begun working on a LUG and meeting regularly when these 2 benefits were announced. Upon meeting up with other like minded individuals we decided to officially launch our LUG. We have invited and gained members through Brickset, LEGO fan conventions, flickr and the like.

Some people here have commented that they don't have a LUG near them. To them I say do what we did, start your own. Contact me through Brickset to learn how we did this and I will be more than happy to share our experiences with anyone who is interested in creating a LUG.

Hobby clubs are great ways to further enjoy a hobby. If the main corporation bend your hobby extends a benefit or two to your club be thankful that this is the case.

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By in United States,

Oh, and by the way, I am not this mystery customer who negotiated with the manager for any type of special treatment. Why can't any customer ask a manager of a store to order a particular item? From what you described, this individual just asked if it would be possible to order a box of PaB through the store instead of online. It only makes sense considering how this would be the much better deal. Sounds like this person is just a good shopper! If you never ask you'll never know!

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By in United States,

Wow, this little survey has caused a lot of discussion! Just to simplify things, LUG's are just Lego Groups (or clubs) that meet regularly and put on displays, in which they given discounts by Lego to make the displays just that much better. Am I right? If so, I don't really see the problem with them. In fact, I want to join one! Too bad they're not for TFOL's :(

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By in United Kingdom,

@jpmanalo: Agreed. I thought as much, and it sounds like a great program.

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By in United States,

@LegoCoastGuard: I'm sorry. I'm using my dad's email address, so I can't really contact you via email, because I don't know my dad's password. I will try to get my own email, and will not post off topic again. I also unfortunately am under the age of sixteen, which prevents me from using the Brickset Forum.

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