Updates on the LEGO VIP program; next VIP Collectible Coin available May 20 [News]

This morning, we had the chance to participate in a discussion with Jason Whiting, LEGO’s Global Director of the VIP Program, and were able to learn some interesting insights into the program and future plans for it as well as discussing some of the issues that fans have experienced. This comes as LEGO announces that the fifth and final VIP Collectible Coin will be available on May 20, as well as announcing that previous coins will be available again in the future. While LEGO has not yet confirmed when the rest of the coins will be back in stock or what the quantities on them will be, we did learn that LEGO intends to re-stock the previous coins (including the wildly popular Classic Space Coin) using the same listing, so VIP members who redeemed them already will not be able to redeem them again. This should give fans who missed any of them the first time a better chance at getting them this time around. LEGO did not rule out the possibility that if demand falls short on the second run, they may remove the 1-per-account limit. There is no word yet if LEGO also plans to re-stock the coin holder, which was a separate reward from the coins.

The LEGO Coin Collectible series is an ongoing VIP Reward and is released featuring a coin each month since January 2021. The 5th and final LEGO collectable coin will be available in the LEGO VIP Rewards centre (US | CAN | UK) on May 20, 2021.

The fifth LEGO VIP coin is modeled after the classic chrome gold coin that was first found in the Pirates theme dating all the way back to 1989. Instead of having the printed value on one side, it has the LEGO logo and the letters VIP embossed. 

The ones released earlier this year were selections from LEGO popular classic themes – Gold Castle Coin (January), Gold Pirate Coin (February),  Silver Octan Coin (March) and the Classic Space Coin in Silver (April). We expect the Gold VIP coin is expected to be exchanged for 1,150 VIP points as with the previous coins. Read our in-depth review of the VIP Castle Coin that we covered earlier in January.

Jason was also able to give us some other interesting insights about the VIP program. For instance, in 2019 the VIP program was overhauled to introduce the Rewards Center, where VIPs could redeem points for various rewards, including coupons for a discount off the next purchase. This has been a controversial decision, because while many fans enjoy the greater breadth of rewards being offered, they are no longer able to redeem VIP points directly during a purchase, either online or in stores. Jason told us that this is a technical limitation of the system which needs to integrate with their point-of-sale systems in LEGO stores, which does not currently have the ability to integrate directly with the Rewards Center. He says the current system is not intended to be permanent and that LEGO’s goal is to return to a system where VIPs can redeem points for a discount directly during a purchase without using a coupon from the Rewards Center. He also stated that another long-running complaint from fans—only being able to enter a single rewards code per transaction—is also intended to change. He was not able to provide us with a timeline for either update, however.

Another hot topic for many fans has been the Ulysses Space Probe VIP set, which sold out within minutes of its debut back in April, leaving many fans who wanted one disappointed. Jason said that globally, 10,000 sets were available, which is about four times the typical quantity that the company produces for VIP rewards. LEGO was very surprised at the demand, he says, and noted that the website experienced more traffic as that promotion went live than even during Black Friday. No doubt this contributed to the website errors that many fans encountered. Unlike the coins, LEGO has not committed to making the Ulysses Space Probe available again.

More broadly, Jason filled us in on the demographics of the VIP program as a whole. About 70% of VIP members are adults buying LEGO for themselves, he said, while about 40% are parents buying for their children. The two groups share quite a lot of overlap. Among VIP members, about one-third carry a large points balance to be able to redeem most rewards they’re interested in, while the rest tend to have a small points balance they use primarily for something special around Christmas and birthdays. The most popular rewards, however, might not be what you’d think. The number one most redeemed rewards are keychains, with the second and third being Xbox Game Pass and the unlockable LEGO Tower Minifigure Torso.

2 comments on “Updates on the LEGO VIP program; next VIP Collectible Coin available May 20 [News]

  1. Shaun

    “The most popular rewards, however, might not be what you’d think,” because the Lego VIP team can’t seem to zero in on what their fan base truly finds interesting. Who really wants to print off these colouring sheets? or collect an entire series of Fiat art? Yet they fell way short-sighted on the prospect of Winnie the Pooh fans! Their coin releases were a mess, but I hear they will fix that in the future, maybe? That April Fool’s day fiasco with the Space coin nearly put me off their entire brand for good, and they need to be truly careful too, because Chinese knock-offs are just as good now, at a much better price point, without the BS Lego makes us wade through for the premium product with rare sales advantages while selling direct-to-customer. I had to explain five different ways to my six-year-old son that, yes, even though he was the best boy all year long, during Covid crap, Santa still couldn’t bring him the Mos Eisley Cantina. This was after calls and emails to Lego, I could pay, but they couldn’t get me one for Christmas, it was never back in stock, yet there were Bricklink vendors parting the damn things out, stores getting them, etc. Every time you slight your customer base Lego, you risk losing parts of them, even loyal ones if you are not loyal to us along the way!

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