Lego has revealed its first fall in sales and profits since 2004, and the business is putting it down to parents resisting the high prices. Revenues dropped 8% and operating profit fell 16%. Chief executive Niels Christiansen said: “Last year was a challenging year and overall we are not satisfied with the financial results.”
According to the BBC, a Lego spokeswoman also admitted it had “too much” stock in warehouses and shops because the firm admitted to creating too many bricks. “There wasn’t enough room to get 2017 toys into the stores, and the toy trade is driven by newness,” she said.
When we asked parents on Facebook their thoughts on the reduction in sales, the majority said it was the price that put them off purchasing the colourful bricks.
Themed sets can be much more expensive - a Star Wars ‘Snowspeeder’ set costs £169.99 - but buying classic bricks works out slightly cheaper - a small ‘Creative Builder’ box costs £19.99.
“It is far too expensive to be a regular purchase in my opinion,” said Yvonne Grant. “We have a fair amount and it gets well played with but I do think it has been priced out of the market somewhat.” And Terrijayne Butler said it’s way out of most people’s price range now, “I looked at a basic set a few weeks back, which would have set me back £50, it’s just not value for money.”
Dad Robin Parker said his family used to buy a lot of Lego, but in the past couple of years they’ve stopped buying it entirely because “it’s become so ridiculously expensive”.
However some parents suggested that they’ve stopped buying the bricks, not because it costs too much, but because they have enough of it in the house, “If my son was desperate for a particular set we’d probably get it but he tends to play and make up his own things now so we haven’t brought many new sets recently,” said Lyndsay Kane. “However, I do agree it’s expensive for what it is.”
Some parents felt that the price was worth it, “We invest,” said Claire Ruck. “My son at 16 is a huge fan of the creator sets so we save, he gets one set from us a year for birthday or Christmas and if he wants any more he saves and buys himself. It is expensive, but I’d rather Lego than £50 a time computer games, hanging round on street corners or worse.”
Despite the high prices, parents still agreed that their kids loved Lego and many offered suggestions on how they still purchase it at cheaper prices. Mum Vicky Lock said they can’t afford the high prices, so always get it secondhand when they can. Another mum, Emma Chubb, said she and her family pick it up when it’s on sale, often when there is 25% off at big toy retailers. “I’m happy buying Lego because it lasts longer than other toys,” she said.
Mum Claire Jackson said she has a mix of Lego and a shop’s own brand colourful building bricks. “I was concerned with the shop’s own brand that it wouldn’t be much good and fall to pieces but it seems ok,” she said. “Not as good as Lego but for £5-£20 for the kits its a third of the price of Lego. It does mean my son can have more Lego and lives the house we got him in own brand.”
Do you still buy Lego for your kids? If not, why? If you do, why do you invest? Get involved in the conversation on Facebook here.