By now, most of you who don’t rely exclusively on The Brothers Brick for your LEGO news have probably encountered all the grainy, blurry photos marked “Confidential” circulating on Flickr, Brickshelf, and elsewhere. With no specific policy in the past, we’ve pointed you to these now and then. We ourselves have never been a source or conduit for such leaks, of course, but we are a LEGO news site, and we’ve felt that these were newsworthy enough to share with you.
With this post, I’m announcing that The Brothers Brick will no longer be posting pre-release set lists, retail catalog scans, leaked prototype photos, and other very early LEGO set news. That doesn’t mean you’ll get less LEGO news — we’ll continue to bring you all of the high-quality information that you’ve come to expect from us, such as high-res box art, release dates, pricing, and other important details.
Here’s the thing. Solving LEGO’s information security issues isn’t up to consumers like you and me; the LEGO Group needs to figure out how to keep confidential things confidential. Nevertheless, LEGO frequently asks fan sites to remove leaked photos, explaining that these leaks can enable other toy makers to come out with competing products earlier and hurt LEGO sales by making fans hold off on buying sets now in favor of sets later. (
For the record, The LEGO Group has never attempted to exert editorial or any other kind of control over The Brothers Brick. Update: Okay, not just once but twice.)
But none of that is why The Brothers Brick won’t be posting links to these scans and photos.
When photos of the Power Miners sets were first leaked, the comments about them were nearly universally negative. When higher-resolution photos became available, opinions started to turn, and with the actual release of the sets, it feels like many of us have actually found a lot to like in this new theme.
It can be fun to say, “How much do you think it will cost?”, “Do you think it will be available here in Mozambique?”, “Wow! Is that a new X piece?”, and the standard “Meh.” Following the comments on the most recent set of leaked images, I see this pattern repeated over and over.
Discussions about very early LEGO news are speculative at best and frequently seem to be proved wrong in the long run. Therefore, I believe they add little value to the conversation taking place within the broader LEGO fan community. I’m announcing this decision in an attempt to raise the level of discourse between all of us LEGO fans. By focusing on reliable, high-quality information rather than speculation, I believe we’ll have more interesting and relevant conversations here on The Brothers Brick.
Who am I to dictate what you talk about and how you talk about it? I’m just a blogger and a LEGO fan, but I hope that The Brothers Brick and you our readers can lead by example with the sort of mature, thoughtful discussions we’ve been having lately with the Power Miners designers.
So, what think you, dear readers? Cop-out? Cave-in? Sell-out? Or can you get on board with this? Let us know in the comments on this editorial.