Travel the dunes with the LEGO� Star Wars™ Ultimate Collector Series Sancrawler™

FBTB - From Bricks To Bothans

Follow us: RSS
News? Questions? Comments? Email!

Lego Store Disappointment

Want to talk about how the LEGO company is doing, your recent visit to LEGOland, your local LEGO club, other resources in the online LEGO community, or about LEGO software and games? Come in here and join us!

Lego Store Disappointment

Postby Crusader » Wed Jul 01, 2009 1:46 pm

This is meant to be the mildest of rants, so everyone please don't get too excited over this. The nearest Lego Store to me is the fairly new King of Prussia store (it's a bit over an hour away). It opened to huge crowds in the fall. My family was there, it was crazy but fun. The store was well stocked that weekend even on Sunday when we went and it looked like the beginnng of a beautiful friendship for the store and my wallet. Until that opening, the closest store was in Jersey and it was a bit of a haul to get there.

However I've visited the store twice since then, and both visits were a little disappointing. Both times I've visited the store some time after the latest sets have hit the shelves (once in late February and just now in late June), and both times the store was picked fairly clean. In February if I recall, there were practically no new Star Wars sets, and in this last visit the new Agents, Space Police and Power Miners sets were just about gone. In addition the build-your-own-minifig set-up was poor with few options for the figs, and the Pick-A-Brick selection was practically the same as my last two visits. Consequently I didn't spend a whole lot of money either time.

Now the staff were all nice, and the store was clean. And of course you can order anything they don't have in stock and they'll ship it for free to your home. But I bring my kids to Lego stores for the new and unique stuff, not the same stuff that's been gathering dust at Target for the last year. And telling a kid to wait a week for a set to come in the mail is a bit of a letdown. I just think that Lego needs to do a better job at keeing its brand stores well stocked I guess. If it was the same weekend that the stuff hit the shelves for the first time I could understand, but weeks later it just has an air of indifference.

When Crusader has doubts about a future trip to a Lego store, it's a troubling sign.
"He is a very shallow critic who cannot see an eternal rebel in the heart of a conservative." - G.K. Chesterton
Crusader
 
Posts: 115
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2009 5:23 am
Location: Jundland Waste aka Eastern Pennsylvania

Re: Lego Store Disappointment

Postby bigospedros » Wed Jul 01, 2009 1:58 pm

you could always phone ahead to check what they've got to avoid disappointment and a wasted trip? ;)
bigospedros
Staff Writer
 
Posts: 650
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2009 4:45 am
Location: Waterlooville, UK

Re: Lego Store Disappointment

Postby Solo » Wed Jul 01, 2009 2:13 pm

Hey, if he wanted solutions he wouldn't have called it a rant. Keep that kind of crazy talk to yourself. :roll:
                                                                                                                           Image
Solo
 
Posts: 70
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2009 11:53 am
Location: right here

Re: Lego Store Disappointment

Postby Mister Ed » Wed Jul 01, 2009 2:21 pm

bigospedros wrote:you could always phone ahead to check what they've got to avoid disappointment and a wasted trip? ;)


Or at least a wasted trip. I suspect he would still be a bit disappointed that their inventory was so poor. But at least the time and gas money wouldn't be lost.
Mister Ed
 
Posts: 1155
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2009 3:18 pm

Re: Lego Store Disappointment

Postby Draykov » Wed Jul 01, 2009 3:25 pm

I have to admit that my unrealistic expectations regarding the Pick-a-Brick wall at my nearest LEGO store lead to a bit of a disappointment. I've been twice, once just before the grand opening got completely nuts and once a few weeks later. The selection was unchanged and I was really bummed to see the lack of the little Squidman SPIII set.

I understand that the Pick-a-Brick selection is unlikely to vary drastically over short periods of time. Anyone know how often they switch stuff out? Do they circulate parts bins in and out or is it a sweeping change of the entire palette every time? Does it typically alter more frequently than the online equivalent? I imagine all of these questions have different answers depending on region or even individual stores.
Hail Space!
Image
Draykov
 
Posts: 1775
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2009 8:14 pm
Location: Lone Star

Re: Lego Store Disappointment

Postby a red shirt » Wed Jul 01, 2009 3:38 pm

This sounds like quite a letdown. Just keep your head up though, because it could always be worse. You could live on an Island of some sort, have to take a ferry to get to the mainland, and the nearest LEGO store could be in a different country or something. Not to be specific or anything :(

Your situation certainly has the makings of a grand disappointment, especially with kids. Better luck in the future!

RedShirt
a red shirt
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 5:13 pm
Location: In my red shirt.

Re: Lego Store Disappointment

Postby Draykov » Wed Jul 01, 2009 4:22 pm

Just so I don't seem like an ingrate, I want to respond to Redshirt's comments: I am by no means dissatisfied with my overall experience with LEGO retails stores, and I'm especially happy to have one (soon to be two) in my area. They're not around the corner, but close enough to make the 45 min. drive every now and then. I know what it is to live without a LEGO store in your neck of the woods and I don't wish that dark, pitiful existence on anyone. :)
Last edited by Draykov on Thu Jul 02, 2009 4:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Hail Space!
Image
Draykov
 
Posts: 1775
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2009 8:14 pm
Location: Lone Star

Re: Lego Store Disappointment

Postby banthafodder » Wed Jul 01, 2009 8:52 pm

I too have gone to the lego store on several occasions and have been disappointed. Like you it has been with pick-a-brick. It is not too close for me o go to a lego store (3 1/2 hours) but my in-laws are 10 minutes away, so when I visit I will sometimes go mainly to escape my in-laws :shock: One time I went to get 2x2 white tiles something that I thought would be fairly ubiquitous only to find that they had four other colors but not white. Even as an adult it is disappointing waiting for a week. On the bright side I have absolutely no complaints about the customer service that I have received.
Now I will add a little rant of my own. Why won't they coordinate the Legoland Star Wars Days with the release of the new sets. Very frustrating. :S
banthafodder
 
Posts: 675
Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 9:38 pm

Re: Lego Store Disappointment

Postby Puddleglum » Thu Jul 02, 2009 4:17 am

Draykov wrote:I have to admit that my unrealistic expectations regarding the Pick-a-Brick wall at my nearest LEGO store lead to a bit of a disappointment. I've been twice, once just before the grand opening got completely nuts and once a few weeks later. The selection was unchanged and I was really bummed to see the lack of the little Squidman SPIII set.

I understand that the Pick-a-Brick selection is unlikely to vary drastically over short periods of time. Anyone know how often they switch stuff out? Do they circulate parts bins in and out or is it a sweeping change of the entire palette every time? Does it typically alter more frequently than the online equivalent? I imagine all of these questions have different answers depending on region or even individual stores.


When I helped with the Annapolis, MD grand opening, the store manager mentioned to us being bummed about his PaB wall. Apparently when a store opens, LEGO corporate orders all the parts for their wall. So usually there isn't much in the way of special parts or selection, since it's probably whatever corporate thought they have extra of. It can never hurt to ask the store manager if they have ordered any new parts, or if they expect to cycle any parts out soon. Sometimes they have ordered parts, but still have them in the back because they don't have any empty slots for them yet.

As to the original poster, it seems (this is just speculation on my part) there has a been a change of policy with regards to new sets. In the past, they would wait until they had tons of these sets to put them on the shelves. It seems like now they are releasing them as they have them, even if they only have a few here and a few there. I'm not sure which is better, since I'd rather have a chance to get the sets early, than have to wait until August. But I can also understand why you would not want to have disappointed buyers looking for sets that are all sold out. Anyways, as others have said, I would just call ahead next time to see if they have the sets you want!
Im in ur flickr
Puddleglum
 
Posts: 124
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2009 10:01 am
Location: Northern Virginia

Re: Lego Store Disappointment

Postby Crusader » Thu Jul 02, 2009 5:43 am

Calling ahead is certainly a good idea. However if there was a point to my little rant it was that it would be kinda nice if you didn't have to. It is a Lego Store after all, and one would hope it would have plenty of the latest and coolest Legos.

The flip side is that what it probably means is that Lego sales are excellent and they simply can't keep up with demand. Which means more and cooler Legos for all in the long run.

And let me repeat--the stores are still cool and the staff are generally excellent. PAB is very cool, especially if you've never done it before. Crusader and family will be back again, just with lower expectations.
"He is a very shallow critic who cannot see an eternal rebel in the heart of a conservative." - G.K. Chesterton
Crusader
 
Posts: 115
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2009 5:23 am
Location: Jundland Waste aka Eastern Pennsylvania

Re: Lego Store Disappointment

Postby theJudeAbides » Thu Jul 02, 2009 11:18 pm

Regarding the PAB selection:

I've talked to store employees and my local LEGO store, and this is what they tell me. When it comes to PAB parts, they are completely at the mercy of corporate, who sends them whatever parts they want/need to get rid of. There are even instances where parts that come in pairs (left/right wings & wedges, hinges, etc..) are split between stores. Since they have no say over what they get, all they can do is put out whatever LEGO gives them. When does the stock change? Whenever they run out of one type of piece, they'll put out a new one.

I agree the PAB can be a bit of a little letdown. With little coherence between the pieces, it is very often a crap shoot. I realize this probably sounds a bit silly, but would it really be too much to ask for coordinated selections. I.E. one month is "all red parts" month, the next month blue parts, and so on? With 12 months, you could cover most of the major colors. Or you could do things based on part types, having (for example) 1x1 bricks in all colors (or major ones anyways).

But no, that's just a silly pipe dream. Much as we may wish it otherwise, PAB is really just an outlet for LEGO to dump their excess parts. The online store is better, but at $.35 a piece for most pieces, it's pretty pricey. I wish they'd base their prices on how many of the given piece could be stuffed into a standard PAB container rather than having them all the same. Having ordinary 1x2 bricks cost the same as the rarer 1x12 and 1x16 pieces makes no sense to me.

Anyways, that's just my "mild rant."
Image
The beauty of a LEGO MOC is not the elements that go into it, but the way those elements are put together.
theJudeAbides
 
Posts: 236
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2009 7:00 am
Location: Minnesota, USA

Re: Lego Store Disappointment

Postby meeotch » Fri Jul 03, 2009 11:13 am

I think most of the important points have all ready been covered, but one more thing I'd like to add is that since you're in an area that's new to having a Lego store (and it's a relatively densely populated area) I would guess that the novelty of having a store hasn't worn off on the population as a whole yet. I imagine it will get slightly better with time.
"Always carefully check the source of your internet quotes" - Abraham Lincoln
meeotch
 
Posts: 796
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:11 am
Location: Portland

Re: Lego Store Disappointment

Postby Puddleglum » Sat Jul 04, 2009 5:53 am

theJudeAbides wrote:Since they have no say over what they get, all they can do is put out whatever LEGO gives them.
Interesting that you were told this. I was told that the store managers do have some choice of what parts they want.

theJudeAbides wrote:Much as we may wish it otherwise, PAB is really just an outlet for LEGO to dump their excess parts.
I don't think this is exactly the case, given the various types of leaves that have been showing up on PaB walls lately!

theJudeAbides wrote: Having ordinary 1x2 bricks cost the same as the rarer 1x12 and 1x16 pieces makes no sense to me.
This was driving me crazy as well but they seem to have finally rationalized their brick prices, you should have a look.
Im in ur flickr
Puddleglum
 
Posts: 124
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2009 10:01 am
Location: Northern Virginia

Re: Lego Store Disappointment

Postby infallible » Sun Jul 05, 2009 8:54 pm

Pick-a-brick is one thing, but not having sets is another. The store manager's in charge of ordering sets, and that stuff should be out there and on display. Now, the new Hawaii store may be the exception, since shipping out there is a much bigger deal, but for a store in the lower 48, they should be able to get stuff in.

I'd *highly* recommend that you contact the LEGO retail customer service. I know that complaints of that nature are taken seriously and are read by both regional managers and the retail managers' manager, so you should write in or call.

If it were a one-time thing, I'd say that it's probably a fluke, but for you to have gone and seen missing sets multiple times is something of which the company should be made aware.
infallible
 
Posts: 49
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2009 3:48 pm
Location: Austin, TX

Re: Lego Store Disappointment

Postby Puddleglum » Mon Jul 06, 2009 10:15 am

infallible wrote:Pick-a-brick is one thing, but not having sets is another. The store manager's in charge of ordering sets, and that stuff should be out there and on display. Now, the new Hawaii store may be the exception, since shipping out there is a much bigger deal, but for a store in the lower 48, they should be able to get stuff in.

I'd *highly* recommend that you contact the LEGO retail customer service. I know that complaints of that nature are taken seriously and are read by both regional managers and the retail managers' manager, so you should write in or call.

If it were a one-time thing, I'd say that it's probably a fluke, but for you to have gone and seen missing sets multiple times is something of which the company should be made aware.

When sets first come out, of course they are limited in supply. A store manager can't do anything about it when LEGO sends them 30 or 40 copies of a set and says "that's all you get for now".
Im in ur flickr
Puddleglum
 
Posts: 124
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2009 10:01 am
Location: Northern Virginia

Re: Lego Store Disappointment

Postby infallible » Tue Jul 07, 2009 7:32 am

But if you'll recall from the original posting:
However I've visited the store twice since then, and both visits were a little disappointing. Both times I've visited the store some time after the latest sets have hit the shelves (once in late February and just now in late June), and both times the store was picked fairly clean. In February if I recall, there were practically no new Star Wars sets, and in this last visit the new Agents, Space Police and Power Miners sets were just about gone.

(Emphasis mine.)

The managers are in charge of keeping the shelves stocked. It's one thing if there's a general shortage of sets everywhere, but I don't think that's the case.
infallible
 
Posts: 49
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2009 3:48 pm
Location: Austin, TX

Re: Lego Store Disappointment

Postby Puddleglum » Tue Jul 07, 2009 8:52 am

infallible wrote: It's one thing if there's a general shortage of sets everywhere, but I don't think that's the case.

I have been to three different LEGO stores since those sets came out, and while I can't vouch for every single theme and set, I can say that all three stores were completely sold out of Space Police III sets. And the shelves are always "stocked", just not with the new sets.
Im in ur flickr
Puddleglum
 
Posts: 124
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2009 10:01 am
Location: Northern Virginia

Re: Lego Store Disappointment

Postby meeotch » Thu Jul 09, 2009 9:47 am

I can ditto the above for my store as well. My (somewhat uneducated) guess is that, given the "current economic climate" (gawd, I'm sick of that term) Lego scaled back production of the newer sets to see how well they'd sell, and so far sales are surpassing expectations.
"Always carefully check the source of your internet quotes" - Abraham Lincoln
meeotch
 
Posts: 796
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:11 am
Location: Portland

Re: Lego Store Disappointment

Postby slicer87 » Thu Jul 09, 2009 9:59 pm

I was at the King of Purssia store in March and they had alot of Star Wars stuff then, I even bought the Dropship/AT-OT set there.
ST=CT
slicer87
 
Posts: 73
Joined: Tue May 05, 2009 8:47 pm

Re: Lego Store Disappointment

Postby Obi-Wan Skywalker » Fri Jul 10, 2009 11:42 am

Crusader

You must have gone at a bad time they usually have sets out the wazzoo there.

Also By clean do you mean windexed every three seconds.
Quoting Firespray
There is no Ace, The Ace is a lie.

My flickr... http://www.flickr.com/photos/42848399@N03/
Obi-Wan Skywalker
 
Posts: 86
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2009 3:20 pm
Location: Uhh come back later?

Next

Return to General LEGO Discussions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: FirstCircle, LauraKQB, LN.01354 and 7 guests