Bricklink Designer Program Update: More sets* to be released

Bricklink Designer Program Update

The first round of Bricklink’s Designer Program was mired in controversy, with sets selling out almost instantly, and purchase limits not put into place which led to many fans missing out on the first round of crowdfunded sets.

Bricklink will be put out an official statement soon, but here’s the gist of the announcement, addressing some of the major issues caused by Round 1.

  • Round 1 will be re-opened on 3 August 2021: with an additional 5,000 sets being made available for sets that have been crowdfunded except for the Castle In The Forest
  • Additional sets for Round 1 will be shipped in June 2022. Original run of 5,000 sets will still be shipped in January 2022
  • Change to purchase limits: Instead of a limit of 5 sets per account, the limit will be changed to 1 per account
  • No change to availability: If you are unlucky enough to be in a country that couldn’t access Round 1, you’re still out of luck
  • Regional caps will remain in place
  • Rounds 2 and 3 will be delayed

The re-opening of Round 1 will still occur on the Bricklink Designer Program page.

The system glitched and more than 5,000 Castle in the Forests were sold. These were legitimate orders, and there was no way to filter out orders that came after the limit had been reached.

Some other interesting insights about purchases of the Castle in the Forest – the exact breakdown of the orders provided by Bricklink were:

Customers who bought 1 75%
Customers who bought 2 15%
Customers who bought 3 or 4 5%
Customers who bought 5 5%

So it seems like MOST people did the right thing, and the threat of scalpers isn’t quite as pronounced.

So good news if you missed out on the above sets, as you’ll get a second chance at securing the Kakapo, Great Fishing Boat, Sheriff’s Safe or Pursuit of Flight.

Bad luck if you missed out on the Castle, and I suspect that it will inflate the prices further on the secondary market.

Overall, I have to commend LEGO and Bricklink for reacting and responding very swiftly, and welcome the additional 5,000 sets being made of the 4 projects. While it may not please everyone, and I am quite upset that there won’t be a second chance for fans who wanted Castle in the Forest, it feels like they made the best out of a bad decision.

For large corporations like LEGO, these quick pivots and changes are really hard to manoeuvre, through multiple stakeholders and approval processes – and it does seem like in this case, as it concerns production lines and supply chain that LEGO did try and move heaven and earth to get this compromise through.

Personally, I think it would have been fairer if LEGO/Bricklink had cancelled the 5,000 Castle in the Forest orders that somehow glitched through to make it more equitable… and LEGO were quite tight-lipped on exactly how it happened.

To read the Q&A and conversation about the first round, check out this Group Q&A from Recognised LEGO Fan Media (RLFM) Days 2021.

Let me know in the comments what you think of LEGO/Bricklink’s decision and whether this is a good enough resolution?

See below for the press release/statement by Bricklink:

BrickLink’s response to feedback regarding the BrickLink Designer Program Round 1 of Crowdfunding

Thank you for the incredible interest you showed in the BrickLink Designer Program. We have
been blown away by the response. As with any new endeavor, some things went well, and others
don’t go to plan.

What worked

Based on our first round of crowdfunding, we believe the BrickLink Designer Program has strong
potential. Your interest exceeds all our expectations. The portfolio of products is strong, and the
designers are a joy to work with. We are looking forward to preparing for rounds 2 and 3.
However, there are a few things we need to address urgently with Round 1.

What needs to be improved


Thank you to everyone who has shared comments and feedback with us over the past week.
While we understand many of you are frustrated, we are grateful for your quick and clear input.
There are four areas we want to address:

  1. Site performance
  2. Limited production of 5,000 units of each set & ordering glitch
  3. Order limits of 5 sets per customer
  4. Shipping limited to countries serviced by LEGO.com

Site performance & server capacity

When the crowdfunding went live on Thursday July 1 traffic to the site overloaded BrickLink’s
servers. This meant some users couldn’t place their orders in time and for many, the site ground
to a halt. We apologize for any disappointment this caused. We are currently reviewing server
capacity.

Limited production and ordering glitch

The limit of 5,000 units per set was based on the AFOL Designer Program run in 2019. For that
release, we produced 2,500 sets which didn’t all sell out. We obviously underestimated the appeal
of the Bricklink Designer Program sets and because of that, we will double the limit for future
releases.
The high level of demand was compounded by the site performance issues. An ordering glitch
meant that people were able to pre-order 5,000 additional Castle in the Forest sets, which means
we’ve received orders for 10,000 sets.
We have talked to many of you in the community about how to address this and have decided on
the following actions:

  1. Produce 10,000 of the Castle in the Forest sets so we can deliver to everyone who ordered.
  2. Re-opening pre-ordering for round 1 on August 3rd to allow the four projects Kakapo, Great
    Fishing Boat, Sheriff’s Safe and Pursuit of Flight to also sell up to 10,000 sets.
  3. Increase production for Crowdfunding rounds 2 and 3 to 10,000 each to meet demand.
    We appreciate that this approach may not satisfy everyone, but we had to balance meeting users’
    expectations with offering a fair outcome, so all designers had the chance to sell the same number
    of sets and the potential to dilute some of the exclusivity that comes with doubling the number of
    set available. We hope you understand.

Increasing production will delay shipping and future rounds of crowdfunding. Since we are
doubling the production run, the additional 5,000 sets for Round 1 will be shipped in June 2022, as
opposed to January 2022. This will also delay the release of Rounds 2 & 3. The final plan for this
will be communicated at a later stage.
If, because of these changes, you wish to cancel the sets you’ve pre-ordered, please contact LEGO
Customer Service.

Order limits of five per customer

We initially set the maximum order quantity at five per customer. Unfortunately, we saw a very
small number of opportunistic customers hoarding sets and re-selling them for inflated prices.

We’re disappointed by this as it wasn’t our intention to enable such behavior. We want everyone
to have an opportunity to get a hold of a set, so going forward, we will set a maximum order limit
of 1 set per customer. This will apply from when we re-open Round 1 to additional orders and to
future crowdfunding rounds.

It’s important to point out that 75% of orders for Castle in the Forest were for one set– so we’d
like to thank you for being considerate of other fans

Shipping limited to LEGO Shop countries

We have decided to sell BrickLink Designer Program sets through the LEGO.com shop to give you a
smooth shipping and support process. Unfortunately, this also limits the countries to which we can
ship. For now, we plan to continue to use LEGO.com and not offer additional shipping
destinations.
In summary

  1. For Round 1, we will increase the number of sets available from 5,000 to 10,000. Castle in
    the Forest has already reached this amount. The four other sets will re-open to additional
    pre-ordering on August 3rd
    , but it will not be possible to pre-order additional Castle in the
    Forest sets. The additional production run will delay in shipping and release dates for
    crowdfunding rounds 2 and 3.
  2. All future pre-orders will have a quantity limit of 1.
  3. Unfortunately, in the current LEGO.com setup we are not able to ship to additional
    countries.
    Again, we apologize for any disappointment and hope that the steps outlined above go some way
    to address the concerns raised.
    Thank you for your patience, feedback and support for the BrickLink Designer Program. We look
    forward to building a better experience moving forward.

Sincerely, the Bricklink team

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