Ask a LEGO Fan

The Future of LEGO Pirates

Posted in Collecting Bricks & Sets, Marketplace, Set Design by lfanquestions on March 17, 2010

Dave writes:

I have a couple questions concerning LEGO Pirates.

First, it seems that the new 2009 Pirates theme was very short-lived and its cancellation rather abrupt.  Why do you think this is?

Second, do you think there is any truth to the speculation that the Pirates theme was cancelled to make room for a licensed Pirates theme based on Pirates of the Caribbean, especially with the new movie On Stranger Tides scheduled for a 2011 release?  That would seem to be a lucrative option for TLG as it would attract fans of both the film franchise and the Pirates theme.  If this is the case, would TLG be able to release Pirates of the Caribbean sets based off of previous movies (like with Indiana Jones and Star Wars), even though Mega Bloks has already made POTC sets?

Dear Dave,

All core LEGO product themes (Space, Castle, Pirates) with the exception of Town/City have been cancelled by TLG at one point in time.  This happened in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s when TLG drifted away from their strengths.

Fans know that LEGO Pirates is universal and classic building brick theme.  TLG may have been hesitant to release their products head to head with Mega Bloks’ theme.

Fortunately they did revive Pirates once the MB line was discontinued.  TLG played it safe by designing Pirates as a one year line.  Hopefully they were surprised by the strong sales of these sets during the past holiday season.  The new Imperial Flagship and blue 32×32 baseplates are currently strong sellers on Shop at Home.  These strong sales numbers should indicate to TLG that Pirates is a core “evergreen” theme.

Any reasonable license is possible in terms of future set design.  In this case, I would prefer TLG to not pay for a license they do not need and continue their own theme design in house.

Sincerely,

LFan

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