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If you have been out shopping for Duplos recently you have likely been surprised by their prices in store. Even when you look on places like eBay for used Duplos their prices are still pretty high which seems pretty crazy to most people!
So, why exactly are Duplos so expensive right now?
The primary reason for the high pricing of Duplos is due to the fact that they are an offshoot of the Lego brand of blocks. So, since Legos are well known and expensive, so are Duplos. The prices are also high because many of the newer Duplo releases have licensed characters in them from Disney, DC Comics, and more.
The increase in licensed characters means that Duplo has raised their prices to pay for those licenses even if the set that you are buying doesn’t necessarily include them.
Another reason for high pricing is due to the proprietary manufacturing method that the parent company Lego uses. This produces a higher quality product than all of their competitors. If you have ever purchased the cheaper building blocks you will quickly realize how much worse they are than Legos or Duplos which is why these products sell for a higher price.
Finally, there are a number of issues involving licensing, collectible appeal, and competition which have caused the price to be higher than other similar products.
In the rest of this article I will go into more detail about why exactly Duplos are so much more expensive than their generic competition.
Despite the fact that Duplos are expensive they have some really amazing sets which make it worthwhile for many people.
Why Are Duplos More Expensive Than The Competition?
In the United States in particular, Lego has become the primary producer of children’s block toys. This is also true for the Duplo block brand which is Lego’s baby and toddler friendly brand of building blocks. The price of Duplo blocks is partially dictated by the fact that they are underneath the umbrella of Lego products and that makes them command a higher price then they normally would.
Some other reasons are:
Unique Quality and Manufacturing
Duplo blocks are made much the same way that traditional Lego blocks are made. This means that they go through the same quality assurance testing and safety testing that all other blocks of the brand go through. This is to ensure that they last a long time and are also as safe as possible for children to play with.
Duplo blocks in particular are rigorously tested to prevent children from being harmed due to choking hazards or other toy dangers. In fact, Duplo blocks meet or exceed child safety standards in over 140 countries around the world.
Duplo blocks are specifically made to be used by younger children and are compatible with other Lego products so that as the child ages they can transition to other products in the Lego brand as well (genius right?). The extra safety testing and compatibility with other products is a major factor as to the increased cost of Duplo blocks.
Additionally, more complex kits cost more due to the nature of molding and shaping the unique blocks. This means that a standard kit of regular blocks may be much less expensive than say a kit which includes the blocks needed to build a castle, a spaceship, or other complicated designs.
Licensing of Unique Characters and Sets
Making sets of blocks with certain characters or themes on them costs a considerable amount of additional money. Not only do many of these products call for their own unique mold, but the licensing for popular characters from other brands is far from cheap which means those costs are passed on to the purchasers.
Therefore, when Lego acquires the licenses for these characters in their block sets, the price is usually higher. The more popular and expensive the licensed characters, the more the set of blocks is likely to cost. This is especially true for sets that are only printed in limited quantities, such as those tied to movies.
Lack of Significant Competition
The Lego brand spends a lot of time and money making sure that it maintains a dominant position in the marketplace. This is partly due to the longevity of the brand name, but also due to the overall quality of the product. Many customers admit that when doing a side by side comparison between them and other competitors that Lego products are of much higher quality.
This has caused the base price of block sets under the Lego umbrella to go up and this includes the children’s Duplo block line. Similar products are known to not have as rigorous of safety standards and to not last as long. Some customers report handing down sets of Duplo blocks from previous generations to their children and them being just as good as when they were bought decades prior!
In the United States, Lego has such a presence that many consumers won’t even consider another brand simply because of quality and name recognition. This gives Lego such a dominant position in the market that they are able to set a base price that is noticeably higher than the competition without fear of losing customers.
In other countries competition is more fierce due to rules allowing other companies to imitate the Lego brand more closely. This has given Lego less dominance in other places around the world.
Collectibles and Resale Value
Another of the major reasons for the increased price of Duplo and Lego blocks in general is due to the collectible nature of the products. Many sets are produced only for a limited amount of time and this leads to people wanting to purchase the entire line of a particular series. This inflates the price artificially among other collectors and consumers as both groups fight over certain sets.
Many of these sets also retain their value leading people to purchase multiple sets as an investment. Oftentimes the value goes up due to a limited supply and an increased demand. Many discontinued sets continue to be sold online and at retail stores for drastically increased prices with certain sets going for several hundreds of dollars!
Duplo Blocks Come Highly Recommended
The last major reason that Duplo blocks are expensive is because they have become a recommended children’s product in many circles. This makes them a valued commodity in the children’s toy community. Since they are highly valued this allows them to command a higher price.
Duplo blocks are widely regarded as a great toy for children from 1 to 5 years old and are routinely named as a top pick for children’s toys by parenting groups and retailers. This extra attention makes them more popular and more valuable.
Duplo blocks are expensive for a number of reasons. The real reason for the cost of the blocks boils down to reputation and demand. The blocks cost more than other similar blocks because people know and trust the Lego brand and because of that they are willing to pay more for what they believe is a higher quality product.
You add to that the demand created from consumers themselves and you have the truth about why Duplo blocks are so expensive.