Following the acquisition earlier this year of Bricklink.com by gaming mogul Jung-Ju Kim, Bricklink has begun to make changes to their site in anticipation of a complete site overhaul. One of their first steps has been to roll out a new ToS. Bricklink appears to also be claiming the exclusive rights to the common naming system for LEGO pieces, through threatening legal action to competitors. This is intended to protect Bricklink’s market dominance from newcomers like Brick Owl. It is natural that Bricklink takes reasonable steps to protect its interests, but they may have stepped too far with this claim. Our friend Tim Johnson over at The New Elementary has an excellent write-up covering the issue.
The long-term future of the online LEGO sales site BrickLink.com has been uncertain ever since its founder Daniel Jezek passed away two and a half years ago. Today, Daniel’s family announced that they have sold BrickLink.com to a company that promises to upgrade and maintain the site.
Here’s the full announcement from Eliska Jezkova, Daniel’s mother and until recently the CEO of BrickLink:
About a week ago I posted a special message to thank all of you for supporting us over the nearly three years since my son Dan died. I thank all those who sent personal messages to me about what BrickLink has meant to them. In my message, I mentioned some progress we made, and also the challenges we faced. Good news remaining is that, despite the challenges, business has been brisk and even impressive. When I took over the website in the name of my son, the representational visitor log (front page of BrickLink) was at about 50 million visitors. Today, it is at nearly 144 million visitors and counting. Nearly two-thirds of all those who visited BrickLink over the 13 years since its inception have arrived here in the short time we’ve run BrickLink.com. Also, we’ve partnered with security experts and have been able to make the website safer than it has ever been. I’m proud of these facts and I again thank all of you for your patience in sticking with us to this day.
But it’s a new era, and much needs to be done to bring BrickLink to a higher level and to become the site whose potential all of you see and we want to reach as well.
Thus, I am announcing that I am stepping down as CEO of BrickLink and have handed the website over to the committed and competent hands of a new owner, Jung-Ju “Jay” Kim, founder of Nexon, one of the world’s largest online game companies.
I completely endorse Jay to take the reins of BrickLink. He has the knowledge, resources and capabilities needed for the job. He has a passion, not just for all things LEGO, but also for BrickLink. Like most of you, he has been a member of the community for years. He has tremendous respect for what Dan accomplished while he was alive. He also has a compelling desire to carry forward Dan’s vision and his guiding principles that were laid down more than a decade ago. Jay and his team are ready to work toward “BrickLink 2.0”, as well as continuing hardware architecture and application upgrades.
It’s a bright future for BrickLink, and I intend to be a part of it along with the rest of the BrickLink Community. Larry and I will be staying on in an advisory-consulting role to the new owners. Eric Smith will be staying on as Admin to ensure a smooth, seamless transition with minimal interruption.
Part of that transition will include relocation of the BrickLink site to a different data center. Later today you will learn more about that server relocation and the migration schedule, which has been carefully designed to minimize downtime.
It’s been a great three years. I did my best and I am sorry that the hacking incidents waylaid us from doing more, earlier. I am proud of the amazing growth of BrickLink, thanks to all of you.
As hard as it was to give up our treasured BrickLink that Dan loved so much, I felt it was the right thing to do, not for me, but for the Community. And, as always, it is that worldwide community that matters to me most, just as it mattered to Dan. That is why I am passing the torch to new leadership. It is what Dan would have wanted me to do.
As I mentioned, I will remain on with BrickLink and will act as an ambassador and link to BrickLink’s lineal past. Please feel free to contact me any time at firstname.lastname@example.org. I still want to hear from you.
Thank you and let’s all look forward to tomorrow.
Eliska Jezkova, former CEO of BrickLink.com
Dear BrickLink Community,
I am extremely pleased to be taking over the operations of BrickLink.com. I’ve been a LEGO fan for 40 years and an avid user of BrickLink.com for over a decade. My first plans are to upgrade the website, and do our best to make users happier and more prosperous, while staying true to the original vision of BrickLink.com founder, Daniel Jezek. We will work hard in order to ensure that BrickLink.com becomes stable, secure and as user-friendly as possible.
I want to sincerely thank the family of Daniel Jezek, especially his mother Eliska, as well as the BrickLink.com Community, for the opportunity to upgrade and operate such a beloved website as BrickLink.com. In order to expedite the process of renovating BrickLink.com, I and Bricklink Limited will be asking users to e-mail us with their ideas for the improved functionality of the site, as well as any current issues that need to be addressed in order to provide users with the best possible selling and buying experience. We’ll establish those lines of communication very soon.
Thank you for your continued patronage and support of BrickLink.com
Jung-Ju Kim, incoming owner of BrickLink.com
It remains to be seen what changes all of this will mean for those of us who use BrickLink regularly. Stay tuned to TBB for more details as we learn them.