Does LEGO Use Exclusives To Test New Product Lines?

Changes to the LEGO catalog come after a great deal of research and deliberation; with the increasing cost of product development, materials and transportation, the Danish construction toy company doesn’t want to release a lame duck. If you’ve been following LEGO closely you’ll know that over the years there have been more than a couple of product lines that have failed to inspire fans. Galidor is probably the most infamous, and Lone Ranger and Prince of Persia come a close second and third – and most recently, Vidyo.

And it won’t have escaped your attention that the LEGO Star Wars theme has had very few failures in it, and closer inspection reveals that LEGO have been quite clever about introducing new products – conducting surrepticious market research through convention exclusives.

The two primary examples of this are chibi-vehicles and busts – and a quick review of our LEGO Star Wars timeline will show that a year to a year and a half after their initial release they became subthemes in their own right – and it’s thought these won’t be the last.

What’s clear is that in the above two examples it is very likely that LEGO used the opportunity of the hype generated by event exclusives to soft launch Microfighters and the Adult Collector helmets.

For those who are curious, a soft launch is a preview release of a product or service to a limited audience prior to the general public. Soft-launching a product is sometimes used to gather data or customer feedback, prior to making it widely available, allowing adjustments to be made before a wider release and marketing efforts are implemented.

The likelihood that there’s more to come is high, and the chances that we will see detailed vignettes and prop replicas added to the Adult Collector subtheme is probable.

There’s already an indication, based on a unsubstantiated description of one the rumored Spring wave sets that the next exclusive-to-retail set will be similar to the micro-build vignette GWPs that we have seen over the last two years.

The rumored 75329 Death Star Trench Run does fit the GWP bill. Promobricks states it has 666 pieces (so expect a lot of background greebling) and is 26 studs long – which is about the same size as the previous GWP microbuild sets. The open-faced trench is said to have a mini-scale X-wing and TIE Advanced in it, along with a turbolaser emplacement and LEGO Star Wars printed on a 2 x 4 black tile, with a 2 x 6 tile below it with “The Force is strong with this one” printed on it.

With two exclusive lightsaber sets – 6346098 Yoda’s Lightsaber and 40483 Luke Skywalker’s Lightsaber – already released through the LEGO limited edition gift with purchase system, fans are clamoring for more and if the suposition outlined above is true, fans who want to see a range of buildable model lightsaber handles should expect to clear some shelf space in 2023.

If it doesn’t turn out then there are still plenty of instructions for custom lightsaber models available that can be used to supplement the two builds that already exist.

What do you think? Are there other LEGO Star Wars exclusives that you’d like to see turned into sets? Let us know in the comment section below.

Entertainment Earth

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