Half a week’s salary for a LEGO car

The brand new Lamborghini Sián FKP from LEGO will cost you half a week's salary. That is a lot of money, but construction sets with the Danish stone are on balance becoming cheaper.

The latest car in the LEGO® Technic ™ stable costs a whopping 380 euros. The bright green Lamborghini Sián FKP is one of the most expensive car models that LEGO ever made –30 euros more expensive than the original list price for the blue Bugatti Chiron from 2018 and even 130 euros more expensive than the bright orange Porsche 911 GT3 RS from 2016. With that, every new one LEGO Technic car to become more expensive than its predecessor. That's right, but not entirely. Because for that money you get more and more building blocks. They become cheaper per box.

Strike through the night

Those who followed LEGO a bit in recent years saw one advanced construction kit appear after another. Several classics appeared in the Creator Expert series, such as the Volkswagen T1 and the Fiat 500. In addition, the Danish toy manufacturer introduced many large construction sets - from film themes to architectural highlights and from adventurous friends to motorcycles. Their common denominator: increasingly realistic models at increasingly higher prices. Many LEGO boxes nowadays sell for no less than 100 euros. In the official web store then, because those who search the internet can save a lot. The cheaper sets, varying from a few euros to a few tens, are mainly a 'trifle' - fun for a nephew or niece and good for an hour of building fun at the most.

With that, LEGO seems to be increasingly targeting an audience that wants to dig deep, but that is not all. LEGO explicitly wants to be more than a toy brand for children. With extensive and complicated models, the brand is also attracting more and more adults: they still know the brand from the past, are looking for relaxation in hectic times and can and want to pay a weekly salary for a lot of plastic stones. To take them seriously - after all, an adult LEGO fan is not infantile - the building sets mainly focus on building fun. Because let's face it, after hours by building you will also get such a model shinen.And so you don't take it apart so quickly. Only a few do that.

Let that brand new Lamborghini Sián FKP be just such a model. It costs something, but then you also have something. Even if you build on stiffly, it will take you about 14 hours. Some fans even pass a night to finish it. Real techies will of course get their hands on the advanced construction, while Lamborghini enthusiasts mainly love the realistic details. In turn, die-hard LEGO enthusiasts are especially fond of the unique bricks. Because LEGO introduces a few of these in every advanced box. Not too much, because the price of a new mold should not push the sales price too far. But with a few - often specifically mentioned in the product presentations - any LEGO fan is satisfied.

De Lamborghini Sián FKP van LEGO zit boordevol details. © LEGO
The Lamborghini Sián FKP from LEGO is packed with details. © LEGO

Ever cheaper bricks

All that building and collecting fun comes at a price. For the Sián you can then spend almost 400 euros, the model is certainly not the most expensive that LEGO offers. If you shop by price in the webshop on lego.com, you will see various price filters. The highest filters on sets of 200 euros and above. But fair is fair, that indication distorts the matter. Because take the rare Taj Mahal: it costs a whopping 350 euros. The Liebherr R 9800 excavator that came on the market last year goes for an extra 100 euros over the counter. The Star Wars Millennium Falcon takes the cake: the enthusiast will pay 850 euros. The model may be rare, according to LEGO, it is still for sale. The price undoubtedly has to do with that.

Yet those sky-high amounts are only one side of the story. Because the price may go up, the number of building blocks per box also increased. In 2013, the owners of weblogcompared the The Reality Prose sales price per LEGO box with the number of bricks in that box. The result was surprising: the average price per LEGO brick varied widely, but dropped from $ 0.25 in 1960 to $ 0.12 in 2013 and even to about $ 10.4 per brick in 2016. So fans are getting more and more better value for money, although a LEGO box continues to cost them a lot.

It is confirmed by –we will take it again as an example– the LEGO Lamborghini. For the price of 379.99 euros you get - in addition to a nice box and a sleek instruction manual - 3696 bricks. That equates to 10.2 cents per brick. The Bugatti Chiron offers 3599 stones for 399.99 euros –11.11 cents per stone. And that bright orange Porsche 911 GT3 RS counted 2704 stones for 329.99 euros: a sloppy 12.2 euro cent per brick.

If you look at a LEGO box like that, you will get a different picture of the building models that cost hundreds of euros each. What's up with that?

LEGO describes on its website which factors determine the price of a LEGO box. These include the price of the number of pebbles in the set, the number of new and unique molds needed, and the licensing fees for characters from other companies and brands. Even statistical data on a country's population, transport costs, exchange rates, local laws and taxes, and prices for other toys are taken into account. Long story short: the more stones and the more unique parts a box contains, the more expensive that box will be. That is why the designers of LEGO try to use as many existing bricks as possible. So the doors of the new Lambo look almost the same as those of the Bugatti Chiron and the Porsche 911 GT3 RS: it makes little difference to the end result, but it certainly does for the price. Only at the level of detail does it rub a bit: the luxury designer bag that LEGO proudly put in the luggage compartment of the Chiron in 2018 is now also in the Sián FKP. If you can afford 2 expensive cars, you will of course also want 2 different designer bags ...

De Porsche 911 GT3 RS van LEGO
The Porsche 911 GT3 RS from LEGO

7 construction boxes per second

LEGO therefore seems to be paying attention to the little ones. How is it possible that the brand is more like a luxury brand than a brand for Jan Modaal?

This is mainly due to the marketing activities: after all, the brand pays much more attention (and budget) to larger construction sets than to a box with a space shuttle at 25 euros.

The underlying idea: consumers will buy those small boxes anyway, but LEGO mainly wants to score with the more luxurious boxes. The Danish toy producer does not do that tactically: after a dip in 2017, the company has already made a profit for 15 years - in 2019 even 1.1 billion euros. LEGO is the only toy brand in the Interbrand ranking of global top brands. With core values ​​such as authenticity, differentiation and commitment, the brand has been able to retain a loyal customer base worldwide for many years. They ensure that 7 LEGO building sets are sold every second.

While LEGO building sets remain pricey, a long-term strategy can help put those prices into perspective. The bright orange Porsche is no longer available in the LEGO webshop, but at bol.com you can find it new for 550 euros. That is a price increase of 66 percent - a higher return than the average stock market share in times of crisis. And enough profit to start thinking about a new construction project.

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