Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Disappointment in All Things

We browsed the Lego store yesterday. There we saw a brand new set, the Horizon Express, a three-car passenger train. It costs $129.99.

If our kids ever got a Lego set of greater than $100, it would be a major, major deal for them. Like, they would tell their children and grandchildren about it. (Seriously.) They would have to bask in the glow of purchase for a long time.

Looking at the packaging for this product, it seems to be designed to kill that glow immediately. The back of the box shows a six-car train, noting that to get something THAT cool, you'd have to buy two sets and hook them together. So now your wonderful purchase is only HALF wonderful. Then there's an additional note that you should buy sets 8878 ($49.99), 8887 ($24.99), 8884 ($14.99), 8879 ($12.99), 88002 ($13.99), and 8870 ($6.49) to get the FULL experience. So what you REALLY should buy costs $383.42, and if you bought just the Horizon Express, the packaging itself tells you missed out on 2/3 of the fun. (This is ignoring track to run the train on; it appears a small circle of track begins at $19.99, but you don't really spend $400 on a train to make it go around a small circle, do you?) Good luck maintaining a glow in the face of that.

It's frustrating to me that Lego doesn't allow anyone to leave the store happy unless he's bought the absolute top-of-the-line item. Do you really sell more items when you make people unhappy with their purchases? What happened to the days when stores sold high-end products to the well-to-do, and low-end products to those who just wanted some connection, like Ferrari swimsuits? They're still pricy for swimsuits, but cheap compared to a car. And when I proceed to checkout, they don't tell me, "Those swim trucks are crap without a car to wear them in."

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