LEGO community survey summary

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The LEGO community team has published a summary of the results from their latest survey:

Dear LEGO Fan community,

In April 2013, we ran an installation of our quarterly LEGO Fan Survey, and we would like to share the results with you.

Over 5,000 LEGO fans over the age of 13 participated from Afghanistan to Venezuela and nearly everywhere in between. This time, we provided the survey in multiple languages instead of just in English, and the overall base of responses grew as did participation from Asia (18% in this survey compared with 5% in the first quarter of 2012) and Central Europe (15% in this survey compared with 9% in the first quarter of 2012). Teens (13-18) represented 13% of survey takers, and the largest two groups of adult fans participating included those from 25-34 and 35-44. This time, women represented less than 8% of survey takers – women skew older than men and are more likely to be from North America, to talk to a LEGO employee, or to post photos or videos of their MOCs online than men.

From the survey, we’ve learned that there are strong regional differences. First, there are differences in how you perceive the value you get for the LEGO products you’ve purchased compared with the price you paid – Eastern Europeans and North Americans received the highest value; Australians, New Zealanders, and Western Europeans, the lowest. Also, Americans are spending the most on LEGO products, both for themselves and others.

In general, fans outside of Northern, Central, and Southern Europe don’t feel they’ve had good opportunities to participate in events with other LEGO fans, fans in Eastern and Western Europe especially feel this way. Fans in Central Europe, it seems, have found their LEGO hobby more inspiring than usual over the past three months than fans in all other regions.

Despite the differences, there are some similarities as well: fans across the globe feel that the LEGO fan community is strong, and they are recognized for their knowledge of LEGO products by fans and non-fans alike. Participation in the fan community, by commenting about LEGO ‘stuff’ online or having conversations about LEGO in person, is universally high, though strongest in Northern Europe. Posting photos or videos of MOCs is done by just over a third of fans but by more than half in Southern Europe. Similarly, attending a LUG gathering is an activity only a quarter of fans have done in the past three months, but 42% in Southern Europe have.

Finally, we learned that familiarity with the LEGO Community Engagement and Events team could be higher. Fans that are aware of our team seem to have a more positive perception of the value of LEGO products and participate more in events than fans who are unfamiliar. We anticipate that the many activities we have with newer LUGs will help drive up knowledge of our team.

Thank you to those of you who participated in the survey for allowing us the opportunity to improve. We look forward to your responses in the next survey and to your continued engagement and participation in the community.

With kind regards, Yun Mi Antorini, Community Strategist, on behalf of the CEE team.

23 comments on this article

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By in United Kingdom,

This is a fascinating read. I desperately hope that Lego has caught on with the general opinion of the poor treatment of Europe this year so far. We have had four themes delayed so far this year, which is simply unacceptable in my view.

I have also found their customer service to be a little weaker than usual in 2013. This does not necessarily make the customer service particularly bad, I think it is just a slight disappointment compared with the usual perfect service.

Finally, I am very interested to read how many people seem to have suggested that familiarity with TLC itself has been lacking. I must say, all that I have had to do with the Community Engagement and Events team (which admittedly is not a vast amount, although I do have some experience) has been exemplary and I thought they made their presence well known among the community.

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By in United Kingdom,

It would be interesting to compare the price of sets before Tax/VAT is added to see if there are any real discrepancies in the prices between each country. Obviously exchange rates and when the price was set would also affect the calculation. Then we'd know if we were actually getting more or less in our respective locations.

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By in United Kingdom,

^ There are some massive discrepancies even when local differences in VAT etc. are accounted for; pound for U.S. dollar prices or worse can't just be explained by differences in tax, and the Aussies have it even worse. There are a bunch of other factors at play here.

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By in Australia,

Go Australia!
Anything big i import from the US or UK, i buy small stuff locally when on sale as the international postage costs make it prohibitive.
Our dollar has been high for a number of years and many companies have not adjusted prices to reflect, just taken an increased profit, so LEGO isnt alone in this.
My biggest gripe is no real events here, no branded stores and very sparse access to promo/collectible items, generally only through TRU months after the rest of the world and with high minimum spends.

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By in Australia,

So now they're well aware of the pricing discrepancies those of us not in the US have to face, I hope they actually do something about it.

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By in Ireland,

The price differences are well known within TLG. They are regularly reminded in the Ambassador forum. People keep forgetting that TLG is a commercial company, not a charity. As someone on Dragons Den said: If nobody is complaining about your retail price it's too low. TLG have booked massive profits in recent years. They couldn't keep up with demand in some themes. Why would they lower their prices?

I though this line was funny:
Fans that are aware of our team seem to have a more positive perception of the value of LEGO products and participate more in events than fans who are unfamiliar.
The joy of statistics. There is a correlation between fans that take part in events and fans that are aware of the CEE team. Anyone surprised? I think however it's the other way around; taking part in events (where you tend to meet the CEE team) raises awareness of the team rather than awareness of the team increasing event participation...

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By in United States,

^ My favorite funny line: fans across the globe feel that the LEGO fan community is strong, and they are recognized for their knowledge of LEGO products by fans and non-fans alike

I guess I'm a cynic, but when taking this survey I thought that it was a bit fluffy to stroke the community's egos, to make us feel involved. What was really learnt here? The fans are knowlegable, or at least they feel they are knowlegable and others recognize this? Really? Good for us.

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By in United States,

Where was this survey hosted/located? I never heard about it... just asking?

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By in Australia,

@chrisaw - would be nice if they did but I wouldn't get my hopes up. Fact is, Australia is one of the most expensive places in the world to live. It's not just Lego - we pay more for our ammenities, taxes and property than nearly anywhere else in the world. I think in a recent Worldwide cost of living survey, Sydney came in as the 3rd most expensive place in the world to live, whilst Melbourne was number 4, only beaten by Tokyo and Osaka at number 1 and 2. Interestingly enough, no U.S. cities featured in the top 10.

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By in Australia,

@duilim - That's true enough. Luckily there are work-arounds such as importing, especially with the recent The Lone Ranger line. Compare US$29.99 for the Stagecoach set to Australia's AU$69.99. Ridiculous markup, and I think EU suffered a similar fate with this line. I think I read on another Lego fan forum that AFOL's purchases in Australia only make up a very small percent of the market, so unfortunately importing wouldn't really dent Lego's profits enough for them to take action in their price changes (although they have scuttled the import of some Lego to Australia from sites such as the US Amazon I believe).

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By in United States,

I remember a LEGO fan (I believe from South America) saying that prices are kept low in the US by keeping prices high elsewhere. Maybe there's some truth to this?

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By in Australia,

@BobaFett2 it's sort of true. I understand LEGO divides the globe into distribution zones, where each zone has to be profitable in its own right. AUZ/NZ suffers under this model due to a much lower population base. Same reason we pay through the nose for most imported goods from all sorts of companies...personally I think it stinks so I buy as much as possible direct from the US where the Aussie dollar gives me fantastic buying power. Sad to hear we are going to be majorly ripped on the new Lone Ranger sets...on another topic, having branded LEGO stores in Australia would be great, even though it wouldn't bring about any standard retail price reduction, anyone got any ideas why we don't have them here?

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By in United Kingdom,

This helps to justify that I almost never buy LEGO at full retail price. There's no point buying in from the States - lower prices but hideously expensive postage means it's cheaper to keep your eye on the EU Amazons.

I don't mind having the GBP as my currency, I just wish LEGO wouldn't abuse it and give us expensive prices in comparison to the US. LEGO must be working on a completely different exchange rate to the rest of us.

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By in United Kingdom,

I complained to LEGO about the price differences, more specifically their 50% off the B-Wing earlier in the month on a set that already has massive differences in price to outside USA prices.
I got this response.

> I am also sorry to hear you're unhappy about the price of LEGO® toys. We
> always suggest a retail price for every toy in each country and this
> depends on the local market. This means there are sometimes differences in
> the price of LEGO sets from country to country. In America all toys cost
> less and the price won't include tax (this gets added on when you pay), so
> if we want to sell LEGO sets to LEGO fans in America we need to price them
> competitively, I hope this answers your question regarding the price
> difference.

I am reading this reply as 'America is cheaper for all toys so we sell them cheaper there and fleece other countries at ridiculous prices because other toys are more expensive there'
Sounds like maybe some truth in @BobaFett2 comment above. Doesn't seem fair.. I told LEGO i will no longer shop online or pay full retail any more, I keep looking out for the 40% and 50% offers from Amazon/Tesco for my purchases.

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By in United Kingdom,

how many b-wings would be sold over here if there was a half price event? if they don't want to discount them then they won't sell and eventually they will need to be shipped to somewhere cheaper (the US) and sold there at half price. what a load of nonsense.

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By in United Kingdom,

It was a strange US deal, as apparently when they sold out, you could still order more at 50% off to be delivered at a future date when back in stock...
would they move stock from European markets or just do another production run (they do produce sets in Mexico/South America don't they?) for fulfilling the remaining US orders.

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By in United Kingdom,

This question / statement is veryproblematic for me .... there are differences in how you perceive the value you get for the LEGO products you’ve purchased compared with the price you paid ...

Note it's not the RRP, but the price you paid. I don't think I've paid full price for a lego set for at least two years. So what are they doing with the data obtained from people that have bought only on clearance and those that have bought at RRP? Just mixing it together?

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By in United States,

"Americans are spending the most on LEGO products, both for themselves and others."

We're buying in bulk, so we get the discount. :)

Though, looking at some of the comments about populations and distribution zones, this may actually hold true to some extent.

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By in Indonesia,

Buying LEGO where I live is effectively impossible...I attended a May the 4th celebration about a week ago (Yes, it's a couple weeks late.) Some Star Wars sets were 50 percent off, yet, it's still higher than the RRP. Well, it's better off with City, where sets are only about 1.5 times more expensive, at best. Licensed themes are at least 2.5 times. The Millenium Falcon from 2011 here costs the same as the UCS Millenium Falcon at RRP. The closest place to Indonesia with slightly more tolerable prices is Singapore. And of course, Hong Kong, but that's not as close as Singapore.

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By in United States,

I'm not an expert on the subject but I believe our very low or complete lack of import tariffs on toys and many other items equates to lower prices overall. It sounds good on the surface (hey cheap Chinese toasters and good prices on LEGO!) but it's not really all that great when your company fires everyone and moves production overseas to take advantage of it.

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By in United States,

I have talked to our local Lego Store here in Kansas City multiple times about getting Lego to allow them to have a Facebook Account so they can advertise Club meetings, monthly minibuilds, new products, and giveaways, but Lego Corporate won't let them. Seems insane to me to not allow some local advertising for each store in order to maximize consumer participation in events (which would generate more sales and $). That is the main gripe I have at the store level. For the Lego.com site itself it is annoying to use because of all the click-thrus to get to product to purchase. Their site needs a lot of work.

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By in United States,

Joehead10 it is a very common thing. I tried the same thing, they don't want it. Nor will they allow a twitter account. The best answer I got was, " we are afraid of what someone might say and we can't control that."

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By in Canada,

I really feel sorry for the people who live in Australia, who have to pay grossly overinflated prices for their sets. Even here in Canada we still have to pay as much as 20-30% more than people in the US, and when our dollar is on par - worth the same as the US dollar. I live within 110 km of the border - shipping should not be a problem. However, there is one tenth of America's population in Canada, and TLG's market economists have decided that we north of the border, people in Australia, and LEGO fans across the world have to pay extra - sometimes a lot extra.

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