This is perhaps one of the best news that’s come out of Billund in awhile.
LEGO have officially announced that they will be doing away with regional exclusives from 1 May 2019 onwards. Cue shouts of hallelujah in the streets!
Here’s their official statement:
Dear AFOL Community,
It has become apparent to us at the LEGO Group that you are dissatisfied with the recent launches of regional exclusive products. We’ve received a lot of feedback on the LEGO festival products to mark the Chinese New Year (sets 80101 and 80102), the LEGO The Movie 2 Brickheadz (41634, 41635,41636 & 41637) in the US as well as the LEGO Star Wars 20th Anniversary Darth Vader Bust (75227).
Because of this feedback and concerns from you, our dedicated and most loyal fans, we have decided that regional exclusives launched after May 1, 2019 will become widely available via LEGO Brand Retail stores and LEGO Shop at Home after a limited period of time (3-6 months) of the initial launch.
In the following areas we will still be launching products, which will have a certain limitation to availability and production runs:
- Pilot projects, such as Forma, to check out markets and opportunities without being able to make them widely available.
- Gift With Purchase campaigns through LEGO Shop at Home and LEGO Brand Retail.
- Products only sold in certain experiences (for example LEGOLAND, LEGO House & LEGO Brand Retail stores).
- Special Event Sets (Comic Cons, LEGO Inside Tour).
What does this mean?
This is obviously great news to everyone, especially the thousands of fans worldwide who missed out on this year’s Chinese New Year sets, and the LEGO Movie 2 Brickheadz, which were only exclusive to Target stores in the US.
From the statement, I can infer that LEGO will be shifting towards a “timed-exclusive” system, where they will still do regional releases, but they’ll then get a wider release after that window of 3 – 6 months ends.
It’s not perfect, but it does allow LEGO to still reward regional territories with their very own LEGO sets, and still allow for other countries to have a shot at those sets at a later date.
There are still a few things that are quite ambiguous, especially for those of us in Australis – we don’t have LEGO Brand Retail stores, so I’m not sure if this will apply to LEGO Certified Stores (which have their own independent buying teams) or Legoland Discovery Centres.
Hopefully the Shop @ Home clause covers us, but what about countries in Asia without access to LEGO’s Online Shop, and only have LCSes (like Singapore)?
That said, I’m very happy that LEGO has listened to feedback from the community (thanks to all of you who threw up a stink because of the Chinese New Year sets!) and for reacting pretty quickly to this.
Kudos to LEGO team members internally who I know have been fighting for this, and for the Leadership team for taking the feedback onboard to roll out these changes.
This further illustrates the importance of LEGO fans being vocal and not taking everything that LEGO throws ohttps://jaysbrickblog.com/2019/02/05/happy-chinese-new-year-editorial-giveaway/ur way. Keep commenting with your views here, and on LEGO’s social media and for sharing articles like this one as they do listen, read and monitor what the community is saying.
I guess this is also good news for the upcoming Dragon Boat Race set (80103) which is due to be released in May/June 2019, so hopefully this applies to that particular set.
Thanks again to everyone who has been especially vocal about this issue. This is a shared victory and makes me all the happier to be supporting and advocating for a company that actively takes community feedback on-board.
Let me know what you think of this announcement in the comments!