Worldwide LEGO shortage forecast

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That's according to an article on The Telegraph website today: Some children may not get their Christmas wishes fulfilled this year as Lego's factories, although running at full speed, may not be able to make enough plastic bricks to keep up with demand from toy stores in Europe.

The Danish company has become the world's largest toymaker by sales, overtaking U.S. Barbie-maker Mattel, thanks partly to toys linked to movies, including The Lego Movie.

But difficulties in forecasting demand accurately means some orders may not be filled on time.

"We will not be able to deliver all of the orders coming from customers in the remainder of the year," spokesman Roar Trangbaek said. "We are running our factories at maximum capacity and will do everything we can to meet demand."

He declined to specify which lines of toys or which European countries would be affected.

Thanks Emma J for the news.

49 comments on this article

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By in United States,

Good thing I'm not in Europe!

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By in United States,

I think this has been a problem for awhile. The Jurassic World sets came out in June and there has been a shortage of sets ever since.

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By in United States,

They'll have to take mine from my cold, dead hands!

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By in United States,

I at least hope this doesn't end up spreading to America, if so I should probably quit waiting for a Christmas sale and get the sets now.

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By in United Kingdom,

I had a feeling this was going to happen at some point.. With all these new sets, around 600 this year.. I see a future of sets retiring earlier than usual to keep up with new trends.. Get your Christmas Lego Now!!

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By in Pakistan,

Result, expect sprouting factories in China next CHristmas

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By in Norway,

This was in the news last week in Norway.

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By in United Kingdom,

What's new? Haven't the most popular toys frequently been scarce by Christmas? Cabbage Patch kids and Tracy Island anyone?

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By in Canada,

And now the apocalypse

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By in United States,

I have already started stocking up on sets I think will be in high demand... doubling their cost at retail... waiting until the panic of shortages strike... THEN I WILL SELL THEM OFF FOR A FORTUNE AND LAUGH AS PEOPLE PAY ME 16 DOLLARS FOR A SINGLE MINIFIG BAG!! MUAHAHAHAHA!!!

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By in United States,

i'm not to worried i get all my sets at walmart all though i still haven't seen the first or second waves of ultra agents sets yet.

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By in United States,

This might explain why the retooled Wall-E comes out in February, they are waiting for the Christmas rush to pass

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By in Germany,

Nearly no sets can be ordered at German wholesalers since begin of September. Only few Duplo sets are listed. It will get hard here...

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By in United States,

This would explain the fact that the Jurassic World sets have run out of stock.

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By in Belgium,

And the 2015 award for the most successful (and brazen) marketing gimmick goes to The Lego Group.

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By in United States,

The article's tiltle should be " How to sell out products before producing products. "
Glad that the U.S. isn't affected by the looks of it, but kind of ironic since LEGO is Europe based.
Very unsustainable business approach by LEGO made this year by producing more products but less of each, resulting in more demand and less product.

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By in Canada,

Who could have foreseen tiny pieces of plastic being worth their weight in silver/gold; depending on the set/piece

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By in United States,

Only affecting Europe is not worldwide. I panicked for a second there, but I live right smack in the middle of the US, so that shouldn't be a problem.

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By in United States,

Well that's actually a pretty good problem for TLC to have, seeing as how they almost went under about a decade ago! I just hope they don't find the solution to be outsourcing manufacturing to China. I've gotten some Lego from there and it smells, doesn't feel right, and doesn't hold up well with other Lego that I have.

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By in United Kingdom,

I find myself unconcerned as I have a cupboard full of Lego bought for Christmas presents when they were in various sales throughout the year.
New sets will not be needed in this house until end of January at the earliest. I figure any stock issues will be mostly sorted by then.
Never been a member of the Cult of the New

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By in United States,

... Why just Europe? There have been no signs of shortages here in the US (except Santa's Workshop...). Surely if there was such a huge shortage, they would just import it from the US or other countries.

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By in United States,

Um, audrey, what does that have to do with this...?

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By in United States,

More factories! MORE LEGO! :P

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By in Canada,

Audrey the spammer is here to weigh in on Lego shortages, obviously.

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By in Canada,

Wasn't this predicted last year as well? Didn't really notice a shortage here.

Anyways, as per @Toc13 above. Nicely stocked up here, not going to run out in my household anytime soon :-)

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By in United States,

Isn`t the US market supplied by the Mexico factory? Or does each factory only do certain sets? Demand in Europe may be more than they anticipated, whilst in the US it is at predicted levels.
I also thought their Chinese factory was coming on line next year?

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By in United Kingdom,

I've always been told that the moulds for making pieces are very expensive, so I'd imagine that rare/exclusive parts are all made in one place, combined with common local parts and then boxed locally.
I'm assuming shipping giant cardboard boxes that are 70% empty around the world would be pretty uneconomical.

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By in Canada,

@CHERUBboy according to the lego documentary I watched a while back the cost from start to finish for a new piece is $1,000,000.

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By in United States,

^Audrey the Spammer must has lost his job due to a Lego shortage ;)

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By in Australia,

Now if only Lego reduced the number of different sets each year and looked at making new sets and not just revisiting the same set year after year. I'm not sure how many fire stations and police stations my city needs but they are close to being one for one for the other buildings.

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By in United States,

Lego is the new Princess Unicorn.

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By in United States,

THE SPAM IS EVERYWHERE!

Next up it will be singing vikings... singing about the spam that is.

The only shortages of Toys I have seen on this side of the Atlantic have been related to Star Wars. Lego seems to be doing just fine. I might get the rest of the FA line and hold it till Christmas... just in case.

The REAL shortage seems to be that of the Sphero BB-8s. Those things are harder to find than a penguin in greenland.

@sixpax:
Maybe Lego city uses kindling and lighter fluid as construction materials? It would explain the large number of fire stations. The crime rate must be through the roof and into orbit as well...
The city's funding must be INCREDIBLE!

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By in Netherlands,

As beeing a reseller who has direct contact with LEGO I know it all has to do with the amount that LEGO is shipping from both the factory in Czech Republic and Mexico to China themself.

The only theme's I can order at the moment are:
City
Technic
Friends
Creator
DUPLO
Super Heroes
Juniors
Classic
And even from those theme's there's a lot not available anymore

Theme's that are completley closed are
Ninjago
Star Wars
Elves
Disney Princess
Jurrassic World (months ago)
Speed Champions
Minecraft
Pirates
Bionicle

The factory is Czech can't produce more then it does now and for next year the max growth is 4% while LEGO has a growth of 18% this year.

And LEGO is afraid that the problems won't be solved once the factory in China is open...

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By in United Kingdom,

There's no shortage in my house! :-)

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By in United Kingdom,

The spammer and its comments have been banished.

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By in United States,

Thank you, Huw.

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By in United States,

Phew! Maybe this will give us a breather from new sets. There are just too many new products available this year. This could be great for the planet if there is a limit as to how much plastic TLG can make and sell.

And yes, maybe the prices of existing sets will stabilize and not collapse as many have predicted. I have no problem with things slowing down a bit, and am more than fully stocked. We could even rename 2016 as the "Year to Build All of the LEGO Sets Spilling Out of Your Closets!"

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By in United Kingdom,

Luckily there is such a thing as EBay and old CCBS sets, so my Christmas is mostly sorted. :)

And I agree with Legogal on the first paragraph. There are too many products per year. I've been struggling to buy the CMF bags, Mixels and Bionicle sets this year, and won't finish my Mixels collection until December. I've only bought four sets from other themes, and three of which fall into the "impulse sets" category. Not particularly good work on the part of TLG, although it wasn't helped by me buying a load of that at full price. Even so, with all the new parts next year, I have no idea where the money to buy everything I want is going to come from.

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By in United Kingdom,

There was a complete lack of any sets I wanted to order from late Dec 2014 through Jan 2015 at [email protected] this year, so Lego should have known they needed to ramp up production for Christmas 2015.....

I also agree there have been too many products this year. Perhaps lego should limit their new products to one new set per day??
City really does not need 3 police stations each year. Nor does it need a new Fire station every year.
Elves should have been delayed until 2016.

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By in Germany,

The news wasn't quite complete. It also reports that the company at its Billund facility will look into alternative material to produce the bricks perhaps in a more sustainable way. Curious to see what other materials that could be to do the trick with comparable precision and durability.

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By in United States,

@ dafish
It's public knowledge that LEGO is looking into using synthetic resins to make more sustainable bricks.

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By in Germany,

@SprinkleOtter, just for completeness, some may not be aware though

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By in United States,

Just in time for the busiest toy season of the year.

SMDH

Just like refineries in the US shutting down before summer travel or busy travel periods.

#ItsAFix

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By in United States,

Wow, look at that.

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By in United States,

@Gnobama, thanks for sharing that. Very interesting. As far as the factory in China, LEGO repeatedly stated that factory will ONLY be producing sets for the Asian market. LEGO has been planning to break into the Asian market for some time, and this factory is specifically for that purpose. It will not be producing sets for the current markets in Europe, North America, etc. Although after this shortage situation that plan might change.

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By in Hungary,

@ Mr. Herold: I was thinking of the same. Just spread the word there will be shortage, and LEGO fans run to buy their sets, before they're gone. It seems to be a good marketing tool. After the danish now we might think that TLG cry wolf. But who knows if the wolf really came..
However Gnobama from Holland as a wholesaler made it clear, that he really can't order specific themes from LEGO because of the shortage, so the shortage must be true.

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By in United States,

@ Vortex, Sadly they been planning Chinese factories for a while, here's an article from 2013 about it.

http://www.lego.com/en-us/aboutus/news-room/2013/march/lego-group-to-build-factory-in-china

They say it will only make LEGO for the Asian market -- but I don't believe it, CMF are all 100% made in China now. And it seriously concerns me given China doesn't give a flying you-know-what when it comes to safety, chemicals, the environment, their employees well being or anything other than making more yen. Sure, LEGO can claim they will maintain quality, etc., but I don't believe it.

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By in Canada,

@SpinkleOtter "It's public knowledge that LEGO is looking into using synthetic resins to make more sustainable bricks."

My question is if bricks are made with 'sustainable' materials does that not mean they will degrade over time? I like my ABS plastic and the idea of being able to pass on their products to the next generation.

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