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This year's toy fairs will be a disappointment

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This year's toy fair season is nearly upon us and usually it provides our first opportunity to see the summer releases. However this year we will be disappointed.

  • LEGO does not have a stand at all at the London Toy Fair (23-25 Jan)
  • Severe reporting and photography restrictions will be in place at Nuremberg (31 Jan - 4 Feb) and while some fan sites are attending, including our friends over at Promobricks, we are not anticipating that anything interesting will be revealed.
  • LEGO will not be exhibiting the summer releases at the New York toy fair (17-20 Feb). Those that are attending the preview party have been told "only products launching the first half of 2018 will be in the LEGO booth this year at Toy Fair. We will not be showing any products launching June or later"

The only reason I can think for this change is to prevent the likes of Lepin getting a head start on producing copies, but it does all seem a bit draconian and unnecessary.

We will therefore have to continue to scour the darker recesses of the web for illicit images of the new sets, and wait a little longer for official images....

77 comments on this article

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By in United Kingdom,

That's devastating.. Although we all know there are sets to be released for:
Avengers infinity war x 6 sets
Solo movie x5 sets from what I've read.
Pirate themed roller coaster for creator,
Jurassic world 2 sets x6,
And 2 powerpuff girls sets,
Plus the 5 elves ones are due for release in the U. K in March,

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By in United States,

Yes, devastating. How will we carry on? It's like we'll have to wait a couple extra weeks to see pictures of things we already know exist.

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By in France,

A lot of mini camera's are available nowaday... :d

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By in Canada,

Yikes! I wonder if Lepin and similar companies are the reason why LDD is always so far behind on updates. Internal builds of LDD have all the new parts for game designers and people working on LEGO films. Such a bummer that we have to suffer due to copyright violators

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By in United States,

Pics of almost all of the sets through the summer wave have already leaked so I don't know what they think they're protecting. A lot of the best stuff is D2C these days anyway.

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By in United States,

Toy Fair...more like "Toy FAIL", am I right? I guess we'll still have those guys sneaking minifigures out of the factory in Mexico to fall back on, now.

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By in France,

A lot of sets are not leaked yet, especially creator and city.

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By in United States,

That's too bad. But I guess there's a balance between excitement and security when it comes to revealing new sets. With all that's already happened, it's in The LEGO Group's best interest to keep new sets a secret. At the end of the day, we don't actually lose anything, we just have to wait longer.

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By in United Kingdom,

I think it's disgusting that the biggest brick producer and tyre manufacturer in the world is hijacked by cheating unimaginative companies from China, ie Lepin etc , so disappointed and still agreeing with Lego ??

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By in United States,

It’s really sad considering these Toy Fairs would build up the hype, at least for me, for the summer sets. I would just spend hours looking at the pictures and then decide which bigger set I would get in July-August. :)

It’s really too bad. :(

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By in United Kingdom,

Doesn’t bother me too much, I’ve seen the summer Technic sets already by “searching the dark recesses web” and I’m mainly interested in D2C sets which aren’t shown at these fairs anyway.

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By in United States,

This really sucks. I want to see the Unikitty! sets super bad...

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By in United States,

I've already seen the sets for Avengers Infinity War, Jurassic World, Solo: A Star Wars Story, and the summer Technic wave... I can wait a few months for other stuff unless there's some real curveballs lurking somewhere else.

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By in United States,

@TheBrickPal they will get leaked soon enough. If this is their reasoning I understand it yet I hope a year from now we will no longer have this issue and Lepin will be a thing of the past.

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By in United States,

I don't see what the fuss is about. As a regular fan, my experience of an image is not more positive if I see it earlier; either I like the set or I don't. Images will come in due time, and then the next wave will come and it will be on to the new sets. How far we've come from the days of catalogs and 200 sets a year!

I say we enjoy the roll outs, which are quite frequent enough at the moment regardless of early images or not. Now if I had a press pass and was looking forward to going to the toy fairs that might be a different story... ;-)

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By in United States,

Then why bother going at all? LEGO really has lost their minds.

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By in New Zealand,

Will Lepin have a stand in Lego’s absence?

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By in Poland,

This is a VERY interesting case. Wonder what brake them?

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By in United States,

We've already seen nearly complete images of later sets through leaks so I don't think this is that bad

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By in United States,

That sucks! I was looking forward to all The revels!

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By in Russian Federation,

I'm 100% sure this all is caused by Disney.It's very like their politics of confidential from spoilering or etc. But on the other hand it's really strange.There's a lot of humors and leaks already spread out across the Internet, so there's no logic of keeping everything confidential..

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By in United Kingdom,

Well, at least we'll see march sets... 2 weeks before they launch when we'll probably have pictures already.

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By in United States,

@Arle 17 : Disney wouldn't have such control over such themes like City, Creator, Friends, Elves, and others.

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By in Australia,

This is an abomination! I'm absolutely devastated!

Its such a shame things like this happen nowadays. Lepin swines!

@legoavenger14

I heard about a possible roller coaster, but where did the rumors that it would be pirate themed come from?

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By in United Kingdom,

@brickchap, brick fanatics had a small post about it weeks ago and a rumoured summer sub theme for lego friends too
And also YouTube has a distorted picture of it with a U. S user explaining the set description on the video, and I've just noticed it's actually listed on here now in the creator set list,
I've seen the infinity war sets courtesy of Gizmodo. Com, I love the sanctum santorium one and the new hulk buster, I've seen a few of the solo ones plus two of the jurassic world sets and both powerpuff girl sets on YouTube,

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By in United Kingdom,

Well I dropped off the invite list for London this year as I wasn't able to go last year, at least now any thoughts that I was missing out on anything have been quashed. Also i can redirect the money from the train ticket to more lego

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By in Norway,

No worries. I can wait for official images. :-)

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By in United Kingdom,

@Brickshap. Take a look at all the 2018 sets using the “Browse” tab above. Some other upcoming sets are named too

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By in Denmark,

"I hope a year from now we will no longer have this issue and Lepin will be a thing of the past."

Yes, like illegal drugs and traffic accidents...

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By in United States,

Understandable but unfortunate move

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By in Jordan,

That's a bit of a disappointment, as I was looking forward to seeing some proper images of the summer Ninjago, Creator and Star Wars sets. All this really means though is that we have to be patient for a few more months.

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By in Ireland,

@TheBrickMaster2.0 ALL the Revels? Even the coffee ones?

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By in Netherlands,

If it's to deter Lepin and the like, they will be there and will make sure they'll get the info they want. It's silly to think they would be stopped by measures like this, or that it would make it significantly harder for them.

Maybe Lego has concluded that releasing more detailed information and pictures of sets that will not be available until almost half a year later does not really boost interest resulting in sales and might even dampen the enthusiasm. I know it kind of works like that for me: I find I sometimes am exited by a new set, only to have lost interest by the time the set actually comes out, simply because it seems like "old news" by then (yeah, superficial, I know...)

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By in United Kingdom,

I guess at the end of the day, these are industry events first and foremost to encourage retailers to stock your brand. I suspect Lego aren't desperately worried about needing to wow retailers into stocking their wares so if a pass or restricted product doesn't impact their profits then the extra element of surprise for the general consumer, plus the commercial secrecy aspect does make some kind of sense. I'm sure if this approach does impact the bottom line when the numbers are crunched then they will reconsider their position for next year.

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By in Switzerland,

leaks are all over the place. new trains are rather bland but i am curious to see new wifi control, avengers sets are cool and plethora of new minifigs, solo I don't care for, still waiting to see harry Potter sets... all in all, in the age of internet info can be easily found without waiting for official announcement.

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By in United Kingdom,

It makes me laugh if anyone thinks Lepin etc rely on trade fairs or images on the internet to get their intelligence. In order to get their exact copies of LEGO sets to market so close to LEGO’s own launch date (and occasionally before) the competitors must have moles deep within the LEGO Group.

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By in United States,

DOWN WITH LEPIN!!!!! If they just want to make their own sets that’s fine. BUT COPYING LEGO AND TAKING OUR SET PICTURES? THEY’VE GONE TO FAR!

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By in United Kingdom,

The problem is with the likes of Lepin is that their countries governments just don't give a crap about copyright laws. Since they can't make any advancements for themselves, they have to steal the technology of other countries to get anywhere. They've done it with cars, electronics, computer programs... everything. Until they're government stops being corrupt and pays attention to rules obeyed by the rest of the world, no amount of trying to hide things is going to stop them copying it.

As mentioned, plenty of people have already seen images of the summer sets in the 'dark recesses of the web'. Choosing not to turn up at all practically like they're doing makes zero sense then unless they're something else going on somewhere in the company that we don't know about.

Honestly, I would suscribe to the Disney involvement theory.. This is just the kind of tactics they try every time they don't want details to leak.

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By in New Zealand,

@thisisteekay LDD is just a very low resolution library and you cannot use that as is for manufacturing.

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By in Netherlands,

@GrizBe: they do care about copyright laws but only when it suits their own interests. I recall a news article from last week or so, that said Huawei had pressed copyright charges against Samsung...
If i recall, Huawei is a Chinese brand, the same country where copyright laws are ignored when it's someone else's stuff.

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By in United States,

I wouldn't call it draconian — it's not as though this is some sort of punishment for anyone. It's important to remember that the Toy Fairs are above all else a trade show, and the reason LEGO shows off their new sets is less for our benefit than so they promote the toys to retailers. With LEGO becoming as big a fixture as they have, it's very possible that sets no longer need this level of advance promotion at a live event, and thus the benefits of doing so no longer outweigh the costs.

It's definitely very disappointing to me, though, since seeing new LEGO set photos from Toy Fair is always something I greatly look forward to every year.

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By in United Kingdom,

Aanchir, I can confirm this is correct. As a toy retailer I now get invited to Lego to see the new products, under strict confidentiality rules of course, so there is no need for Lego to attend London toy fair at least.

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By in Portugal,

Hi all lego fans, I have a question and don't know where to put it...
Will lego release another Creator house in the line of 31026, 31036, 31050 and 31065?
They're great because they are mini-modulars, and I don't really like the new modular system they have.

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By in United States,

For a line like HP... I also do not think they need to promote. I also do not think those images have leaked yet,
I also recently had an ad for some group selling a Lepin knock-off go across my Facebook feed. I tried to report, but the message I received from Facebook was that only the copyright holder can claim something is a violation.

It will be a shame not to see early images, but I also can see why they do not need to show the items....

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By in United States,

Let's not forget that Lepin CUSTOMERS are also to be shamed. There would be no Lepin if people were not buying their crap. To me it's akin to buying stolen goods. If you buy stolen goods you have a morality problem.

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By in United States,

^ I think it is an awareness issue as well. When I looked at the comments on that ad, many only seemed to think it was an off brand like Megaconstrux that had made a cool set... not realizing that Lepin basically stole IP from Lego, that had paid money to license line, And then copied a set directly from Lego.

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By in Puerto Rico,

#ToyFail, "We will therefore have to continue to scour the darker recesses of the web for illicit images of the new sets, and wait a little longer for official images...." Can't you discuss the Infinity War sets or are those still on the ban list from Lego as well as the Han Solo Star Wars Story?

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By in United States,

Lego is losing money, they have a new CEO, and they're not showing up at the London toy fair, and not showing the 2nd half of 2018 sets at the NY toy fair. Is it just me, or does it seem like they're doing the exact opposite of what they're supposed to be doing? Speaking for myself, I always looked forward to seeing pics of the upcoming sets - seeing the new sets increases my enthusiasm, it doesn't dampen it.

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By in United Kingdom,

some of the new sets that are coming out in the summer like the Solo sets have already been leaked with box art and some of the Jurassic world 2 sets have been leaked as well. Its a shame that we have to wait for them to be officially presented at later date instead at one of these events. I for one want to see what the 2 finished train sets look like

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By in United Kingdom,

I'm more than happy to wait until release day to see new sets, or at least a week or two before via official press release. There's really no need to see what's coming several months ahead. Leaked images are always fuzzy awful things too.

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By in United Kingdom,

Fair point mr_skinny a lot of the images are basic and not the complete set i.e Stickers missing, Minifigures blacked out etc

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By in United Kingdom,

Awww, I was looking forward to another February like last year. Can understand their decision, though.

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By in United Kingdom,

We'll all just have to wait for the sets, like the rest of the masses. Plenty to be building in the meantime!
I for one quite like most of what Lepin do; selling direct copies of CURRENT LEGO sets is pretty low, but being able to buy large, out-of-producion sets for less-than-stupid money is mighty tempting...
And, crucially... LEGO seem to be learning the lesson of Lepin by rereleasing the Millennium Falcon & Taj Mahal. Long may it continue.

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By in Norway,

GrizBe - Unfortunately I think we need some countries/regions who flaunts copyright laws. These laws has gotten completely out of hand lately, particularly how copyright terms are automatically extended every time "Steamboat Willie" is about to go into public domain and how trademarks are abused as ever-lasting patents. Lego themselves are guilty of this - some years ago they tried suing Megabloks claiming the design of the bricks to be their trademark, and despite losing that case they STILL uses that bogus logo with a picture of a 2x4 labeled "tm" (often on the underside of the box, right now I can see it on both the BB and DD boxes). These laws were intended to encourage creativity by making sure creators got a fair income from what they made, nowadays they do the opposite by giving megacorporations a means to stomp out potential competition.

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By in United States,

It doesn't make the sets come out any earlier. I have no need to drool over poorly-taken images from a crowded booth to know what I will buy or not. I rarely buy sets on a first-day basis, so it really has no bearing on me.

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By in Australia,

Thank you to those who replied about the pirate roller coaster. Found a picture instantly. I looks good, reminds me of the one at Legoland (I think that was a boat ride though). Maybe this is one of the sets celebrating the Classic Lego themes, in this case pirates.

People have been mentioning trains, there does not seem to be any listed yet for 2018 under Creator or Creator Expert,nor can I find any possible leaked images.
Is this a train to do with Avengers and all that, or are the rumors of a possible creator expert train?
Another Creator Expert steam engine would be welcome, after the Horizon Express and Maersk cargo train.

Those people who are ok with Lepin selling cheaper old Lego sets (that are poor quality and stolen designs) are traitors and the reason Lepin and companies like it do this.

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By in Germany,

@Brickchap there's a new passenger and new cargo train for this year, which is to be released in July. Both trains are electric, the passenger one similar to the high speed passenger train. The cargo train is green/grey, with 3 carriages, forklift, crane and a van. If I understand the symbols correctly, they'll both come with the new power functions, which is bluetooth/wifi (not quite sure which one, but the control seems to be via a smartphone).

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By in United Kingdom,

@Brickcahp
Only scalpers are making money from discontinued sets; LEGO aren't making money (but are realising that they CAN make money from rereleases) or losing money from Lepin selling copies of those.
Why does that make me a TR-8R?

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By in United States,

I don’t know how Lego’s abscence from the toy fair would help their fight against Lego. I don’t think Lepin personal walk around the toy fair scrutinizing Lego sets and stealing designs. Maybe I’m wrong though.

In any case, this just seems like a confusing move by Lego. They are one of, if not the largest, toy companies in the world and will be completely absent from the London Toy Fair? That doesn’t make sense.

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By in United States,

That's lame.

On a different note, I wish LEGO would release a new CCBS theme already!

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By in United States,

@Daniel.H they probably have not because neither Hero Factory or the latest Bionicle have done well financially for them.

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By in Canada,

See what happens when you lay off people...nobody to mind the booth...

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By in United Kingdom,

This has absolutely nothing to do with Lepin. Do people really think that Lepin and others copy Lego from seeing a set at a trade show. How can they get ALL the internal details the same just by looking at a set on show. Lepin gets these details from either an insider in Lego or Lego giving them the plans Knowing that the Chinese market does not belong to Lego. Lego is far too expensive for the Chinese market as a whole and as far as I can tell Lepin does not sell direct to outside China markets. Every Lepin set that I have seen is sold by a third party vendor.
It is very suspicious that the top "fake" Chinese company releases 100% accurate sets in China before Lego does and that Lego doesn't seem too worried by this. I think Lego has a deal with Lepin for that market.

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By in United Kingdom,

I will miss trying to work out the construction techniques and minifigure detail on blurry trade show photos in darkened rooms - it used to be an annual tradition!

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By in United States,

I really don't see the point to this. I have great memories of seeing the summer 2012 NINJAGO sets from the toy fairs and getting really exited. I probably would not be part of the LEGO community if it wasn't for those pictures. This is one of the biggest let downs from LEGO in a long time...

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By in United States,

I was looking forward to see the new Harry Potter sets although I doubt they would show them anyways.

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By in Australia,

Revealing details of upcoming products too far ahead of their release can hurt sales of products already available (or that are releasing earlier than the revealed products).
I am sure there are people here who have seen a picture or a leak or a rumor of an upcoming set and on that basis decided not to buy something that is currently available (I for example decided to completly drop the Joker Mansion off my list after the leak of a proper D2C Creator Expert roller coaster hit since that's a much better way to get coaster track without all those useless Batman bits I dont want)

Revealing details too early can even put a company out of business as happened with the Osborne Computer Company, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osborne_effect (no its not going to put TLG out of business but it might hurt sales of some sets)

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By in United States,

It amazes me how many people are actually defending LEGO here like they are n a cult.

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By in Australia,

@zmarkella

Thanks for the info. Where did you hear of this? From your description they sound like City, I thought they would not do trains again. There are trains in City every 4 years, I just realized it HAS been 4 years already. Gosh time flies! I hope there is a good station (plus another taxi, perhaps a minivan style one this time) and a track repair vehicle like the one from 2010.

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By in United States,

They should reveal them (pics) in their Lego Stores. Another reason to draw people to them as well as get visitors excited,

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By in Germany,

@Brickchap seen the box covers ;) If you're on the forum, PM me an email address if you're interested. (I'm zmarkella there as well)

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By in Australia,

I think a lot of people (myself included) are simply pointing out that there are very good business reasons not to show the 2h2018 sets to the general public too early (gives the bootleggers more time to rip them off, potentially hurts sales of the sets that are currently available to buy and in the case of licensed sets can reveal things the license owner doesn't want revealed yet).

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By in United States,

Lepin? Do you really think a knock off company can just look at a photo and build the model? Try that one day... I'm pretty sure Lepin gets the products and instructions from factory leaks, not toy shows.

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By in United Kingdom,

I wonder if MB will be cashing in on the absence. "Biggest block manufacturer at the fair".

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By in Japan,

Well, noting wrong with knowing the old fashioned way, by walking into a shop and seeing if you like what is on offer.

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By in United States,

Was looking forward to seeing some of those summer sets. Oh well, Guess it is supposed to be a surprise? Doesn't stop any leaks of the summer sets tho.

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By in United States,

I cant believe this. 2018 has to be one of Legos biggest years ever! I can only hope it's because the last two quarters have some amazingly, balls-to-the-wall awesome sets that they are trying to build anticipation for

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