Why LEGO will get even pricier in South Africa come November

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LEGO has always been a luxury item, especially in developing countries like South Africa. Come November, however, this range of toys will be even more expensive due to a price increase that will affect almost everything LEGO-related in the country.

While each set will see its price changed differently, we’ve seen retailers report that it will be 15 percent on average.

More expensive sets seem to be the ones scheduled to be affected the most. Looking at some of the examples below, the most we’ve seen a set increase is by R1 300, which is rather drastic. That being said some smaller sets have very marginal price increases with some seeing bumps in the double digits, and others in the triple.

This does make sense, however, as certain sets are more expensive as they have more pieces, which means bigger, heavier boxes that will cost more to import. Supply chains have been heavily impacted because of COVID-19, especially here in South Africa and its lockdown.

While annual LEGO price increases are to be expected, 2020’s one seems to be particularly harsh. We reached out to LEGO to find out why this is and, unsurprisingly, it’s because of a poor exchange rate.

Kristian Imhof, the country manager for LEGO South Africa, provided us with this statement about the changes:

“LEGO South Africa confirms that there will be an increase in LEGO product prices as of 1 November 2020.

We would like to assure our loyal and valued LEGO fans that this decision has not been taken lightly, and is one that we have been delaying since the beginning of 2020. However, it is now unavoidable, given the fluctuating Rand-to-Euro exchange rate and the resulting higher costs of importing LEGO products into the country.

In addition to this, it’s important to note that the price of LEGO products vary from retailer to retailer, as the LEGO Group does not set the retail price of LEGO products anywhere in the world.

As every LEGO fan knows, buying a LEGO product is an investment in a safe and high-quality play experience designed to last generations. Building with LEGO bricks inspires your creativity and imagination, lets you play out a story, imagine new stories and build and rebuild whatever you can imagine – over and over again.

We take great pride in delivering these high-quality LEGO play experiences and the latest LEGO products that our South African consumers have come to love, and endeavour to maintain these standards for our local fan base.”

Looking over this statement the Rand-to-Euro exchange is a big sticking point. Just take a look at the graph at the bottom of this page to see how this has played out over the past year.

According to Xe.com, the low of the past 12 months was R15.68 to the Euro, while the high was R20.85. At the time of writing this amount is R19.55, which is still close to the 12-month high. Not good for importing or the wallets of local LEGO fans.

The other important part of the statement is retailer prices. While LEGO may not set the retail prices it does have recommended retail prices for all its sets. Because of this, those retailer-specific price examples we used earlier should still be noted if you’re planning to buy any LEGO right now or in the future.

Clinton Matos

Clinton Matos

Clinton has been a programmer, engineering student, project manager, asset controller and even a farrier. Now he handles the maker side of htxt.africa.