06 August 2010

Steve Witt's Q&A

Sitting at Steve Witt's Q&A Now, watch this space in a few minutes for updates...

(5:58pm) - Steve is introducing himself and other LEGO employees here this weekend.

(6:00pm) - Steve is dealing with the baselines now (color change, 9V, Monorail, Retail locations)

(6:02pm) - Q: Collectibles Series 1 returning? A: NO! Single production run.

(6:03pm) - Q: Will there be more stock of Series 2 than 1? Will there be more in series 3? A: We are still adjusting, most likely more stock by series 4?

(6:03pm) - Q: Pirates? A- We are doing Pirates 4 and it will be coming out next year. That's all I can say.

(6:04pm) - Q: Studded beams returning? A - We won't be returning to the entire system within Technic; the reason that Technic will not include studded beams is to help clerify the system.

(6:06pm) - Q: Has TLG been looking at collectible minifigs as pilots for themes? A - Tough to tell because they sold out in two weeks?

(6:06pm) - Q: Is Hero Factory a continuation of Bionicle? A - Separate theme.

(6:07pm) - Q: Will collectible minifig accessories trickle into playsystems? A - The intention is to make the acessories exclusive.

(6:08pm) - Q: The Star Wars license ends soon, will you re-up? A - Of course. The license is up for renegotiation, but it won't be ended.

(6:10pm) - Q: Will Hero Factory have chapter 2? A - Only if it is successful.

(6:10pm) - Q: Could you release Classic Space sets / Legends? A - Legends have never sold well. Discontinued elements have been a stumbling block in terms of high costs and mold reactivation. That doesn't answer your question, because I'm not going to answer it.

(6:12pm) - Q: How many set designers are there? A - 100. But they work Jamie 10x harder.

(6:12pm) - Q: Advent calendar? A - As far as Steve knows, Castle advent calendars will be available in the US and Europe.

(6:13pm) - Q: Purple? A - Purple is very difficult to color match, because of people's vision. Unless purple is absolutely necessary for the sake of an IP license, we don't want to build in purple in a solid block because of quality complaints.

(6:14pm) - Q: Does LEGO steal ideas from Club Contests or Catalogue Contests? A - No, that's not how it's used. We use the entries for the contest, then destroy them afterwards. We don't accept ideas unless you sign a legal waiver. These contests are intended for fan enrichment and not stealing ideas.

(6:15pm) - Q: Future of LugBulk in USA? A - It will continue. We want to expand it, but right now it is a manpower issue.

(6:16pm) - Q: Status of Belville? A - Active, still for sale. Less distribution in the US>

(6:17pm) - Q: Pnuematics? A - Power functions is the core. Don't know much about them.

(6:17pm) - Q: How actively is LEGO attacking Megablocks? A - We are always trying to protect our IP. We aren't actively going after them. I am NOT a lawyer and don't have that information for you.

(6:18pm) - Q: Why has LEGO not made Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff uniforms? A - I ASK ABOUT THAT!?!? I think they are trying to keep the focus on that centered, so kids aren't distracted just for the sake of making money on more sets.

(6:19pm) - Q: Is Legoland in Florida going to open next year? A - It will open, but don't know date.

(6:20pm) - Q: Why don't you update Blog and Twitter feeds more? A - It was an experiment. I hate writing without purpose. That's why it was a personal blog, not a LEGO company blog. I don't want to talk just to talk. Follow Steve on Twitter.

(6:21pm) - Q: PaB stock variability? A - We do market research, but it's tough to strike a balance. As stores expand, it will continue to become a bigger stock challenge. It also has to do with what's being made for set production in the line.

(6:22pm) - Q: How's the pay? A - I make above minimum wage and below billions.

(6:23pm) - Q: The year and a half cycle? A - That's all dependent on big-box retail structure.

(6:24pm) - Q: Lego Universe? A - We'll hold off on that, because the company LU contact is not here.

(6:24pm) - Q: Does LEGO use brand for corporate sponsorship with Boy Scouts, etc.? A - We deal with charity specifically through LEGO charity. We get requests 40 times a day. We have to specifically pick our causes because we are constantly bombarded.

(6:26pm) - Q: What's happening with CubeDudes? A - Exclusive at ComicCon and on at Celebration V.

(6:27pm) - And we're done!

We'll have a roundup post tonight or early tomorrow morning on Friday's events and some updates from the floor. Until then, enjoy this photoset from the Dulles Expo Center:

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