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Magnet sets might be getting glued

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Magnet sets might be getting glued

Postby Robzula » Tue Nov 23, 2010 8:19 pm

At work today my buddy told me about this article saying LEGO might start gluing the minifigs to the magnet base for licensed theme so that they're no longer worthwhile for getting the 'figs. The news came from a guy who's Pharaoh's Quest magnet set was glued. When he called LEGO's customer service about it, they said there are talks of doing that for all licensed magnets starting in 2011.

Since there are some discrepancies in there, such as the customer service rep telling him it was only on licensed figs and starting in 2011 and that it was only a rumor right now, I'd take the news with a grain of salt. Hopefully LEGO doesn't go this route though...
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Re: Magnet sets might be getting glued

Postby deco_droid » Wed Nov 24, 2010 7:34 am

BWAH - HAH - HAH - HAAAA

i love it! about freaking time. now maybe people will actually BUY the sets those "rare" minifigs come in, and, you know, BUILD THE SETS. because lego is all about BUILDING. HELLO?!?

selling figures individually as magnets (chinese plastic or not) was a stupid business model. good for you, lego - you've seen the error of your ways!

HARDEE HAR HAR :lol:
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Re: Magnet sets might be getting glued

Postby Daz Hoo » Wed Nov 24, 2010 8:45 am

Personally, I would be surprise if LEGO went that way, because I think the only reason people do get the magnet sets is to get the minifigs. Gluing the minifigs to the magnets will surely decrease the number of magnet sets sold, and it most probably won't increase sales of the big sets.

IMHO, the only increase that would be achieve by doing this is the increase of prices on the secondary market for licensed minfigs. Good for eBay and Bricklink resellers, not that good for LEGO.
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Re: Magnet sets might be getting glued

Postby Draykov » Wed Nov 24, 2010 8:56 am

I guess I don't really care about this one way or the other. If it decreases my chances of acquiring a magnet minifig that's being passed off as one that came from a set, I'm all for it. I don't trust anything that's not in a dedicated set these days when it comes to minifigs.
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Re: Magnet sets might be getting glued

Postby legodavee123 » Wed Nov 24, 2010 9:10 am

Draykov wrote:I don't trust anything that's not in a dedicated set these days when it comes to minifigs.


Agreed. I've had it with the Chinese figures. I'm still interested in getting the collectible minifigs, but they stay separate to all my other figures because the quality is so poor. I've already made the mistake of buying and integrating some of the "army builder" castle sets, and when interchanging arms, it turned into a mess. So if 100% of the magnet figures are glued, that means fewer of them on the market, and fewer of them likely to wind up in my collection-- so I'm all for it.

From LEGO's perspective, though, this would be stupid. First off, the story makes no sense-- the magnet set was a Pharaoh's Quest set? That's not a licensed theme. (Unless that's a mis-type by the OP?) But that aside, it costs more money to glue figures, and AFOLs looking for cheaper figs won't be buying them. And I don't see any other cross-section of the market that would be MORE likely to buy them if glued.

The only thing I can think of is that people may have complained that the minifigs are always falling off the stands when they're on their refrigerators. I could see that-- the connection is flimsy, and is easily brushed off and onto the floor. So I could see where the complaints might be coming from. But the fact that it would only be for LICENSED themes makes no sense to me at all. What's the logic there?

Anyway, I'm glad to hear it, but for all the wrong reasons.

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Re: Magnet sets might be getting glued

Postby Daz Hoo » Wed Nov 24, 2010 9:52 am

If you read the blog that the article is referring to, one of the comments posted there states that this decision might have been the result of a "(...) contract issue between Disney, LucasArts and LEGO. And LEGO caved in to appease them!"

That, IMHO, would be the only logical explanation why LEGO would go this way.
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Re: Magnet sets might be getting glued

Postby Inzane » Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:17 pm

So fill me in here please. The magnet set mini-figures are NOT the same as the minifigs that come in building sets?

This is confirmed fact? And there is a noticeable difference in the quality? (I only ask because I only have a couple of the magnet sets, which have not even been opened yet. I don't have 1st-hand experience handling these figs).

Thanks.
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Re: Magnet sets might be getting glued

Postby Jabba the Taff » Wed Nov 24, 2010 1:17 pm

Perhaps Hasbro or someone else have complained? Magnet sets could almost be considered just the licensed action figures that means Lego has to produce the battlepacks.
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Re: Magnet sets might be getting glued

Postby Draykov » Wed Nov 24, 2010 2:28 pm

Inzane wrote:So fill me in here please. The magnet set mini-figures are NOT the same as the minifigs that come in building sets?

This is confirmed fact? And there is a noticeable difference in the quality?


viewtopic.php?f=21&t=1978

Basically, any minifigure that doesn't come in an official set has the potential to suffer from quality issues. We're talking non-licensed battlepacks, Vintage collections (except for early production runs of Vol. 1), collectible series, minifig based games, magnets, keychains...that sort of thing.

The issues that have been reported are brittle plastic, translucent plastic, weird coloration/sheen, misaligned printing, indentations on the inside of minifig arms and (this is more of an easy identifier than a quality issue) lack of the black mark on the front of the minifig neck at the top of the torso.
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Re: Magnet sets might be getting glued

Postby Tyrant » Wed Nov 24, 2010 2:49 pm

deco_droid wrote:BWAH - HAH - HAH - HAAAA

i love it! about freaking time. now maybe people will actually BUY the sets those "rare" minifigs come in, and, you know, BUILD THE SETS. because lego is all about BUILDING. HELLO?!?

selling figures individually as magnets (chinese plastic or not) was a stupid business model. good for you, lego - you've seen the error of your ways!

HARDEE HAR HAR :lol:

I just don't understand what could possibly drive this type of response. This is like the folks that gloat about how many sets they bought to resell (on clearance for some percentage I have never witnessed at a real store, no less) or how many Spartans they have cherry picked. Why would you possibly be giddy that people now have to buy expensive sets to get minigures? How can that make you happy?

As for me, I don't care. On the one hand, the magnets saved me from buying some pricey sets to get the figures (or, buying the figures seperately for a high price). On the other hand, they have made me reconsider buying some sets just for the figures knowing that they might show up in one of the magnet. And, to be honest, it will probably help in my reselling efforts if we go back to some figures only being available in 1 or a very small number of higher priced sets. Being honest, I don't know which I prefer. The customer/collector side thinks it's a bad thing that will cost me money while the reseller side thinks it will make me money. I am curious to see how it all works out.
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Re: Magnet sets might be getting glued

Postby Draykov » Wed Nov 24, 2010 3:01 pm

Tyrant wrote:I just don't understand what could possibly drive this type of response.


Oh, I wouldn't be too concerned.

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Re: Magnet sets might be getting glued

Postby Solo » Wed Nov 24, 2010 3:28 pm

I'm actually surprised it took them this long to address the obvious loophole Lego has been using to sell licensed minifigures.

deco_droid, Just a heads up, there are a fair number of collectors who are only interested in the minifigures, with no interest in the sets nor spare parts for building, which is presumably why Lego bothered with this in the first place.
Last edited by Solo on Mon Nov 29, 2010 10:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Magnet sets might be getting glued

Postby legodavee123 » Wed Nov 24, 2010 4:15 pm

Draykov wrote:Basically, any minifigure that doesn't come in an official set has the potential to suffer from quality issues. We're talking non-licensed battlepacks, Vintage collections (except for early production runs of Vol. 1), collectible series, minifig based games, magnets, keychains...that sort of thing.


Effectively, LEGO had issues in 2006-2007 (or thereabouts) with making enough product-- particularly minifigs. They couldn't make minifigs fast enough, and they really wanted more custom elements. Solution? Chinese manufacturing. Chinese manufacturing is cheaper, so it made a great target to produce their bottleneck elements like minifigs.

Problem is it's in China. First off, the facilities are new-- so they're not used to the "LEGO way" of doing things. Also (the BIG issue), the plastic. China makes it extremely difficult and/or expensive to bring in outside materials for manufacturing. LEGO could not use the same high-quality ABS that they use for other products, and were forced to choosing a plastic source from WITHIN China (this was reported via LEGO's VP of Quality Control in Denmark).

They eventually settled on a ~pretty good~ plastic for their Chinese production, but it's not as good as normal LEGO. As a result (I assume), LEGO decided to have China NOT produce the mainstream sets, possibly in part because they knew their reputation would be damaged if so. Instead, China produced things like magnet sets, minifig packs, keychains, and other various things that aren't LEGO's "standard" offerings.

LEGO reps have also stated that although the plastic is of lower quality, the printing quality is supposedly better in China. I haven't seen any evidence of the print quality being superior, but it might be true, hard to say.

The test to see if your minifig is from China is to raise your minifig's arm in front, and look on the inside of the arm. If it's made in China, you'll see a small indented rectangle, "The Rectangle Of Crap".

Draykov wrote:The issues that have been reported are brittle plastic, translucent plastic, weird coloration/sheen, misaligned printing, indentations on the inside of minifig arms and (this is more of an easy identifier than a quality issue) lack of the black mark on the front of the minifig neck at the top of the torso.


Also, another issue is the arm re-attachment factor. Mixing and matching the arms from Chinese figures results in very loose arms that can just flop limply by their sides, possibly actually deforming the plastic of the arm.

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Re: Magnet sets might be getting glued

Postby Robzula » Wed Nov 24, 2010 4:24 pm

Honestly the only difference I see between your post, Solo, and his is that he went with an in-your-face approach versus your use of sarcasm and snark. You both have the same energy and vehemence in your posts, although his is a little more founded as he's just gloating that a principle of his is being followed by LEGO while you're directly attacking a person.

More on topic, while I haven't gone the route of getting the 'figs through the magnets I'm not so happy that that road might be entirely closed. Sure that means that the other path (lotta driving metaphors here 'cause I'm watching Speed Racer) is gonna be more pure, but it also means it's going to become even less accessible due to the increased prices that are bound to occur. Plus the whole reason my friend told me about that article was because I mentioned I was probably not going to get the Turbo Tank because it's out of my price range and just isn't a pleasing vehicle to me, but that I was a little remiss that I'd be missing out on Aayla and Cad Bane (also don't like the speeder) and hoped they'd be magnets at some point (they might be already, I haven't looked, it's not the point).
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Re: Magnet sets might be getting glued

Postby Solo » Wed Nov 24, 2010 4:56 pm

On rereading my above post, you're right. I didn't mean to insult deco_droid and I apologize for the unnecessary remark. Rewording the point I failed to make above: please, give proper capitalization a shot.
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Re: Magnet sets might be getting glued

Postby legodavee123 » Wed Nov 24, 2010 11:18 pm

legodavee123 wrote:you'll see a small indented rectangle, "The Rectangle Of Crap".


Oh, wait, how about "Chinese Rectangle of Unacceptable Detriment" (CRUD)?

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Re: Magnet sets might be getting glued

Postby Robzula » Wed Nov 24, 2010 11:31 pm

Or the Rectangle of.... Box for... Chunk of Missing Plastic That...

You know what? I suck at these things.
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Re: Magnet sets might be getting glued

Postby Daz Hoo » Thu Nov 25, 2010 7:54 pm

To get back on the topic at hand, Patrick Bégin, LEGO ambassador for QuéLUG, got the official word from TLC about this issue (and you're not going to like it):

All Extended Line minifigure magnet sets will as of Jan 1st 2011 be glued.

Based on new requirements, the magnet base and the minifigures will have to be permanently fixed together on LEGO Star Wars magnet sets.

To ensure a consistent consumer experience across all LEGO minifigure magnet sets we have chosen to permanently fix the minifigure to the magnet base on all magnet sets moving forward from Jan 1st 2011 (incl. Pharaoh’s Quest launching Dec 1st). This decision has been carefully considered and was not taken easily as we know that many consumers will obviously not like this change.


So that's it. LucasArts (and probably at the request of ever-jealous Hasbro) has done it again and ruined a perfectly good product!
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Re: Magnet sets might be getting glued

Postby banthafodder » Fri Nov 26, 2010 12:34 am

Does that mean that just the legs will be fixed or will the entire fig be glued together? If the legs are just glued to the base, could the torso be removed and swapped with a new pair of legs?
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Re: Magnet sets might be getting glued

Postby Robzula » Fri Nov 26, 2010 1:58 am

Also, if they're glued to the base rather than being a part of the base, wouldn't it be possible to pry them off, much like how people have turned keychains into regular minfigs, just with hard-to-remove legs and holes in their heads?
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