Ten things the LEGO AMA reveals about the future of BrickLink

BrickLink users were given the opportunity to ask questions of the LEGO Group – here are 10 key takeaways from the answers

Fans were surprised last year when it was announced that the LEGO Group had aquired BrickLink, the independent marketplace for fans to buy and sell LEGO elements and sets. Understandably, fans were concerned.

To provide answers to questions for Bricklink users, LEGO Chief Marketing Officer Julia Goldin and the BrickLink team participated in an ‘Ask me anything’ (AMA) a few days ago.

Here are 10 things that the AMA reveales about the future of Bricklink:

1 . Inventories will no longer be created by volunteers
The LEGO Group is going to collaborate with BrickLink to seamlessly share relevant data”, so going forward the inventories on BrickLink should be the official parts list that should precisely reflect what is in new sets.

2. Brand guidelines will not be enforced
The LEGO Group has a number of brand guidelines, including no religious buildings and limits to the type of violence that can be depicted. According to the AMA though, this will not impact BrickLink: “We have had this question a lot and it’s one we’ve debated in LEGO. Our current approach is to continue with what’s working on BrickLink.”

There is a caveat though, which is that some moderation will take place: “We will draw the line with builds and behaviours that divide and offend – but honestly we don’t see that very often.”

3. IP (intellectual property) based creations will not be permitted
This seems very straightforward – anything based on someone else’s creation, such as Star Wars, will not be allowed.

4. The LEGO Group is taking action against counterfeit parts
One of the challenges in buying from third party marketplaces such as BrickLink, eBay and Amazon is the risk of fake parts, minifigures and sets. The LEGO Group is reassuring fans that the company takes it seriously: “Last year alone the number of enforcements on internet market places exceeded 100,000 globally. It’s an ongoing issue and I want to reassure those of you who sell authentic LEGO elements and sets that we’re on it!”

5. The market will be left to operate as it always has done
There will be no price influencing by the LEGO Group, with the company committed to keeping the platform “competitively robust”.

Bricklink

6. Safety concerns mean customised parts cannot be sold
“We made it because we have no way of knowing details about the safety and quality of custom parts, especially chrome ones. We don’t want to curb creativity – but we also don’t want to compromise on quality and safety, something we are obsessive about,” the AMA response explains. The issue is that the LEGO Group is producing products as toys, that must meet minimum safety standards, while chromed parts bought on BrickLink are typically used by hobbyists.

7. The website will be getting an upgrade
Site performance issues are being addressed, with the LEGO Group “looking to make investments into the technology platform and the BrickLink site”.

8. Stud.io has the LEGO Group’s support
It seems that Stud.io is going to be the official platform for digital building: “Our vision is to make Studio the ultimate building tool for both professional designers and all entry-level builders. We are planning new features and upgrades to the Studio Desktop App to bring in an influx of new or existing MOCs that can be more easily fulfilled by BrickLink market.”

9. Parts that sell well on Bricklink will not be reintroduced
While there is the chance that discontinued elements go back into production, BrickLink data will not influence that process, which will continue to be down to the design team and product portfolio: “no, there are no plans of using BrickLink data to influence new element development.”

10. The AFOL Designer Program may return
Last year, BrickLink released a limited edition series of sets using LEGO parts that were designed by fans – and no decision has yet been made as to wheth

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Graham

Graham is the Editor of BrickFanatics.com, with plenty of experience working on LEGO related projects. He has contributed to various websites and publications on topics including niche hobbies, the toy industry and education. If you would like to get involved with Brick Fanatics, as a builder, writer or photographer – then please contact Graham at [email protected]

Graham

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