LEGO Survey analysis

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The LEGO community team has published an analysis of the survey we were asked to complete in May. Here it is verbatim:

We hereby share top line, aggregated results of the LEGO Fan Survey which was conducted in May 2012.

Over 6.000 LEGO fans over the age of 13 participated in the survey. A majority of you who participated in the survey were above 18 of age with seven out of ten being between 18-44 years old. 14% of the respondents were women. When we compare this figure with previous studies, it indicates that more adult women are entering the LEGO hobby. The main occupation among you who took the survey were “computer/engineer/technical”, then “arts/design/media”, followed by “business/financial operations” and “education/training/library”. Close to half of you have a bachelor degree or more.

In general the data indicates that the joy of building was ingrained in you from early childhood. Thus, eight out of ten confirm that as children they really enjoyed coming up with solutions to problems. The data also suggests that you were not afraid of embarking in building activities that others would think of being a bit too challenging. Apparently, you had plenty of time for free play and for many, playing with LEGO elemets was a daily occurring activity. Surprisingly, at least to us, the numbers suggest that you did not make use of older siblings and friends to help you build with LEGO products. This to us suggests that you were self-motivated and did not need assistance or to be encouraged to play with LEGO products.

Among those of you who responded, LUG members and people who have participated in a LEGO fan club meeting or a convention seem to represent a smaller group. However, data suggest that there are many more fans who expect to participate in LEGO fan activities in the future. We can also see that there are quite a few who expect to organize or participate in events where the purpose is to show fan created work to non-LEGO fans. Thus, there seems to be lots of enthusiasm among LEGO fans and a great interest in taking part of fan organized activities. We guess that there is a direct link between the great work that so many LUGs are doing and then this great anticipation to engage and socially interact.

About your online LEGO hobby activities, nearly nine out of ten check out LEGO related online sites a couple of times per week or more. You mostly use LEGO related online sites to check out new LEGO products and MOCs and to read reviews of LEGO products. Many of you use LEGO related online sites to learn new building styles and techniques, to keep informed about good LEGO deals, and to hear the latest rumors or gossip. Fewer of you use LEGO related online sites to show your latest MOCs, to contribute to LEGO fans’ discussions and to get other fans’ input and help with things you are working on. Only very few use LEGO related online sites to find new friends.

Regarding the way you perceive LEGO products, most of you agree that you feel a personal connection with LEGO products and that you believe that LEGO products are best in class. Judging from your answers, you are very knowledgeable about LEGO products and many of your non-LEGO friends turn to you to get advice on LEGO products. Close to half of you who took the survey have played with LEGO products for more than 16 years. So, it is actually no surprise that others think of you as a great source of knowledge and experience.

Seven out of ten agree that they take great joy in showing and explaining LEGO models to people who are not actively involved in the LEGO hobby. Six out of ten agrees that he or she feels compelled to help a fellow fan if he or she asks for help on how to improve his or hers LEGO design. This to us indicates a general openness and willingness to share and exchange the deep knowledge and experience many of you possess.

We also asked you about the way you perceive your MOCs. While most of you would not be too worried if other LEGO fans disliked your MOCs, many of you agree that the opinions of other LEGO fans are important when judging your work and that a MOC has to live up to certain standards if it has to be appreciated by many LEGO fans. More than eight out of ten agree that winning a MOC award or having one’s MOC praised by other LEGO fans would potentially represent a very positive experience.

We are using the survey results to better understand the LEGO fan community and your relationship with the LEGO products in general. We would like once again to thank you for your participation.

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Is there anything in it which surprises you?

19 comments on this article

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By in United Kingdom,

Not many surprises to me if I am honest, it more kind of confirmed somethings I had thought ie regarding who the majority of AFOLs are and the long term enjoyment from building lego thrives on.

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By in United Kingdom,

Only surprise was the relative low membership of LUGs. But thinking about it, maybe not so surprising. It's perhaps more of a call for the LUGs to consider

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By in United Kingdom,

No surprises, and that includes a complete lack of mention of prices.

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By in United States,

@delatron -- Eggggggsactly. Of COURSE it'll be engineers first. Thats a duh moment. I remember my parents getting Lego sets as toys because they were reusable, used my imagination, and they were AFFORDABLE. The pricing isnt unbearable yet, but it's definitely less flex than it used to be...and it seems like the Lego aisles are busier than ever. On a positive note, that means they'll be around for a good long while.

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By in United Kingdom,

Who'd have thought that the majority of people filling in an online survey would be in the "computer/engineer/technical" field! :) Surely the nature of the survey itself skews that one slightly...

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By in United States,

^ Perhaps, but then again, isn't EVERYONE pretty much online these days?

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By in United States,

This reads like a speech that a beauty pageant contestant would give. It's nice, but it seems skewed to make the community feel good and appreciative of itself. Even the one negative-ish part (about the low membership in LUGs) ends with a positive upbeat optimism.

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By in United States,

"When we compare this figure with previous studies, it indicates that more adult women are entering the LEGO hobby" So, does this mean my chances of finding a girlfriend have increased!? Yesssss!

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By in Canada,

@ericjohn : Indeed. Doesn't say much and certainly doesn't address any negative points. Then again, the survey was commissionned by LEGO, so it was to be expected. I for one think their brand image suffers when we see huge profits and high prices...

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By in United States,

There is a lot of negativity towards greed lately, as it seems to be the root of a lot of the problems these days. So when we see fairly high prices, we think GREED. We may not see other factors for the high prices that are not a result of greed (or at least not on LEGO's part), such as material cost increases, licensing, and so forth. That said, I am pretty unhappy with the generally high prices. I have even found sets like city, that don't have the added cost of expensive license agreements, yet still often having a high cost per piece often as bad or worse than licensed sets.

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By in United States,

Not very surprising at all. It seemed kind of predictable. Happy 4th of July, fellow Americans!

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By in United States,

I don't think the higher prices are greed, I think it is a classic example of the economic principle of price being linked to supply and demand. LEGO can't keep the shelves stocked at the current prices, which means that they can raise prices and make more money while still moving product. Don't blame it on LEGO, blame it on the people who are buying it regardless of price.

I don't think I've ever seen the LEGO shelves look like they do this year. How often this year have you seen the Ninjago or Friends section at your local store fully stocked? Not often, I suspect. That's usually something you see around the Holidays, not mid-year. LEGO just can't make this stuff fast enough.

Parents - start your holiday shopping now. By the time Christmas rolls around you won't be able to find any of the in demand sets if this pattern keeps up.

Back on topic... the point about LUGs describes me. Not a member because there wasn't one within 100 miles, but I'm actually trying to form one. If you live in Northeast Wisconsin and haven't heard from me, send me a private message on the forum.

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By in United States,

Hmmm more women play with LEGO? Might find someone with common interest lol :P

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By in Canada,

So we turn to Brickset and the like for gossip? Very funny. I wonder how TLG is going to use the results?

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By in United Kingdom,

@PaulTR Not if you go round saying things like that :-) I have a mental image of Moss from the IT Crowd uttering that line!

FYI There is hope and there are stories of happy couples that have met through Lego.

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By in Australia,

Haha with only 13% of respondents being women, the odds are not stacked in your favour gents! I'd say they'd be even worse if you subtracted those already in relationships and those that prefer the ladies!

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By in United Kingdom,

I don't think it is "obviously" due to Friends.

If you think of anyone coming out of their dark ages, it takes a while to establish yourself in a hobby. Something puts Lego into your mind and you buy something...you get a taste for it, and you look for more things to build. You might look online for bargains, or for new ideas of what to build...and voilà, you end up on a fansite.

From there, you have the bug - and that's how you end up identifying strongly enough as an AFOL to fill in such a survey. I would say that's a fairly long process, and Friends has only been going for about 6 months.

If I had to choose a theme to account for the upsurge in AFFOLs, I'd say the modular buildings could have a lot to answer for. There has been a perfect storm over the last 18 months or so of fantastic adult builds which don't look like traditional 'boy toys' (which Technic, or Star Wars Lego does). I wouldn't say that adult women would be turned into rabid fans due to an explosion of pink...

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By in United States,

@ scooby
As much as Modulars have attracted more females to LEGO bricks as adults, don't discount part of the increase being due to Friends. Several adult fan venues/sites have enjoyed an increased AFFOLs of about 10% during and since the release of Friends.

I would also like to address your comment about "explosion of pink" in that, the truth is merely 10% of the bricks/pieces in LEGO Friends sets are the color pink. The boxes are purple. New brick elements have colors of Azure Blue, Aqua Blue, Lime Green, pale Yellow Green, 2 Lavenders, and yes, some bright pink. The sets also contain loads of Red, White, Green, Black, Tan, Brown, etc. Although pink bricks have existed for decades, the recent online "freaking out" about Friends has artificially magnified the prominence of the color.

New elements, a Friends Modular, more colors which exist in the natural world, and some fun set designs are most definitely bringing more adult females either to the hobby for the first time, or out of "dark ages" to build again. Not only is this evident on image sharing sites and fan sites -- it is also demonstrated in LEGO events. LEGO Friends are just the beginning. The past year saw an increase in female minifigures appearing in sets and as collectible. This will continue to increase over the coming years, to the delight of females who prefer the classic minifigure.

LEGO stores' building areas have more girls participating than ever before. Whether those girls who are now building with LEGO bricks due to Friends will influence more adult women to build -- or more adult women building will influence more girls to build -- both activities have surged.

The true empowerment is for girls who never built with LEGO bricks before Friends. For those girls who did not relate to LEGO before Friends to now have an opportunity to build their own play scenes is a dynamic shift. In years to come, when those girls become women, they will be able to comment on how they gained their STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) skills by playing with LEGO Friends. I will have a very big smile then :-)

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By in United States,

Being in the 14% female minority i have to second that the modulars would likely be a large factor in capturing the eye of an adult woman. I love them and drool for them but do not personally own them I'm too busy buying the sets my almost 8yr old son drools for :p Even if I didn't have a son the modulars remind me of those dept 56 houses people collect or dollhouses, i've always thought dollhouses were cool and loved the idea of furnishing one but it's ridiculously expensive (ie 1 piece of fake food $8) and then what do you do with it when you're done? It sits and gets dusty, lego is definitely an affordable outlet for that. Of sets I have bought for myself (not caring if my son wanted to play with them) its been the creator 3 in 1 houses. I totally love the small little minifigure food and accessories and my absolute favorite is the animals. As an adult woman the Friends line doesn't excite me much. I used bricklink to get the new animals but as far as the dolls and that I don't care but I can see how little girls would. That said i've always been kind of a tom-boyish child anyways. I never cared much for actual dolls, I did have barbie and then my other favorite was hot wheels cars. I just had generic lego as a kid :P So my 2 cents for the lego group (not that I think they read our forum) would be to keep sets coming that allow girls to "play house" women love to build houses and then furnish and decorate them... that's kind of a no brainer right? And make more animals :P I love the animals, I know i can build them out of bricks but it's not the same I like the lego made animals.

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