The highly prized LEGO Ideas NASA Apollo Saturn V (21309) may probably still sit on the top of our must have LEGO sets of the year, but unfortunately, in spite of the relative early shelf life of this set since its release last June, the availability of the Apollo Saturn V has been notoriously close to none. True, we have the reassuring words from the LEGO Ideas Team that the set will not be retired right away given that it has only been three months in circulation since its release in June 1. There were also moments when the NASA Apollo Saturn V set has been available at LEGO shop@home on very seldom occasions. However, the obvious unavailability of the set for weeks has cast a shadow of a doubt on the truth behind the availability of this highly sought after set.
For weeks already, shop.LEGO.com has always returned a ‘Temporarily Out of Stock’ message each time a query has been made for set 21309. Similarly, LEGO Brand and Certified stores have been informing customers about the indefinite date of 21309’s arrival in their respective stores. In search for answers, our friends from Promo Bricks decided to dig deeper and was able to have a privileged conversation with an undisclosed LEGO Product Manager. This may sound very, very sad, but according to Promo Bricks, the said manager has revealed that LEGO no longer has plans of producing the highly prized set. In other words, they are now in the process of delivering and selling the last copies of 21309 that went into production.
From TLG’s business perspective, this somehow makes sense, especially considering what a LEGO Customer Service Rep told Promo Bricks. According to CSR, even before a set is released for sale, there is already a pre-determined number of copies that each set is expected to have. This number is not usually revealed to the public, and the sets are produced in batches. When the demand exceeds the pre-determined supply eventually, then better expect delivery delays and ultimately the set’s cancellation. Furthermore, given the long lead-times needed to produce such great sets like the Saturn V, it is very impractical to produce more sets just for a short-term supply. Simply put, the LEGO Ideas Saturn V set is hugely popular and a solid success that LEGO could no longer supply the growing demand.
What are your thoughts about this brick fans? Are you somehow disappointed? Let us know in the comments.