LEGO pricing and other money related stuff has changed alot recently, and I thought I'd just start a rant on a bit of semi-economics.
As you may have noticed, the more recent the SW set, the more overpriced it will be. There's not much to say here; it's basic demand. Star Wars LEGO has massive demand because of how popular the Clone Wars has become, and LEGO is able to make their sets overpriced and still have people buy them. If you're really, really into something, paying $10 more for a set won't really hurt much.
$$$Lord of the Rings$$$
I personally am not very satisfied with the new LOTR theme, but let's look at it this way. LEGO knows that with they'll be making lots of money with Lord of the Rings, what with grey brick thingies and awesome new figs/horses. However, despite the massive amount of demand for this theme, they cannot bring $1,000, 10,000 piece Minas Tirith's into the market. If they started selling things like Kevin Walter's Barad-dur, not many people would buy them. It's too expensive. Here is where the LEGO designers are brilliant. They were able to make large sets (Like Helm's Deep) large enough to still be reasonably playable/satisfy most people, but small enough so that enough fans would still buy the sets. True, if the LEGO Hornburg was twice as big (as it is in the movies), it would also be 10x as awesome, but if it was priced at, say, $300, would alot of people still buy the set?
All this pricing stuff really goes back to demand. Take a look at Creator. They have maintained, steady, reasonable prices ever since they were started. Rarely have I seen an overly expensive set in this line. The first reason I believe is demand. I mean, isn't the TIE Fighter exponentially cooler than the Creator Log Cabin (No offense, cabin builders)? The second reason is the parts. They usually don't contain heavily detailed minifigures, tiny elaborate parts, or extremely hard to find pieces. That isn't a bad thing; basic bricks are still good, but it's one reason I believe that Creator will always be cheaper than other lines like Star Wars.
Anyway, that's all for my rant. Feel free to reply; I'd be glad to debate on this topic. :) Permalink