One of the things that I have appreciated across the years that I have spent as a purchaser of Lego sets is the way in which the price has typically been consistent for the time that they have spent available on the market.
Unfortunately, due to the various factors affecting the cost of living and inflation generally such as the costs of energy, raw materials and transportationand more, THE LEGO Group has today announced that there will be price rises across the portfolio taking place over the next few months.
It is anticipated that around 150-190 of the approximately 600 sets currently in the LEGO portfolio. Some of the sets will increase in price a few percent, while others might increase by 15-25% according advice received by German retailers, and reported on via Stonewars.de. It goes without saying that going forward, sets are likely to be more expensive than they have been.
I remember the outrage coast a few years ago when a new version of the LEGO® Star Wars Death Star playset was reissued barely six months after the previous version had retired . It was around 100 USD more expensive, for a similar part count. While the new version was more expensive, it was pretty well consistent with a CPI increase, averaged out over the previous eight years. It would appear that the increases in costs are now being applied to sets already released.
Here’s the official statement from The LEGO Group released via the :
The current global economic challenges of increased raw material and operating costs are impacting many businesses.
Putting consumers first is at the heart of what we do as a company, and for some time, we have absorbed these costs to keep pricing stable. However, as these costs have continued to rapidly rise, we have taken the decision to increase the price on some of our sets. This increase will come into effect in August and September.
The increase will differ depending on the set and prices will change on around a quarter of the portfolio. On some sets we will not alter price, on others there will be a single digit increase and on larger, more complex sets the percentage increase will be higher.
We will continue to work to ensure our products offer great value and full recognise how important this is to our fans and everyone who love our products.
While exact details for the price increase in most of the world are still pending, It would be reasonable to expect that sets that have been available for a couple of years, and are not yet due for retirement might well increase in price significantly, while those approaching end of life are likely to have already been manufactured: It might be reasonable to presume that existing stock of some of these is all that will remain. Likewise, it is reasonable to presume that sets released recently are unlikely to see their prices change, although, some of these prices might have been seen to change prior to actually hitting the shelves.
Advice received through the ambassadors network suggests that the price rise might be a higher percentage for sets at the upper end of the portfolio (adult focussed sets), while aiming to minimise the effects at the lower end(smaller, cheaper, kid focussed sets) of the range.
We can expect things to be uncertain for a while, and it feels quite difficult to feel a high level of sympathy on the back of the company’s recently announced record profits. There is no doubt that prices are increasing across the board, and there will be a limit as to how far TLG will be able to absorb the costs.
In the meantime, I suspect that many people’s discretionary spending will see the amount spent on LEGO sets going forward is likely to decrease.
Hopefully, we will be able to share some good news before too long. Until then,