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[NEW STUFF] News about the minifig collection

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Re: [NEW STUFF] News about the minifig collection

Postby Morgan19 » Fri Jun 11, 2010 4:04 pm

SuperDave wrote:For what it's worth, these have been spotted at other major retailers, such as Borders. This may be fairly recent.


Out of curiosity, where'd you hear that they're showing up at Borders?

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Re: [NEW STUFF] News about the minifig collection

Postby Solo » Fri Jun 11, 2010 5:21 pm

legomatt wrote:
Solo wrote:
legomatt wrote:There's no point in Lego adopting this business model
I say, Solo, quoting half a sentence like that. bad show
Sorry about that, I didn't mean to misrepresent your comments, I was just figured you'd get the point that I was summarizing the whole thought that followed. To clarify, the limits they imposed aren't going to prevent these from selling out, which is the ultimate goal (ie making bank).

Whether you accept it or not that Lego is too large of a machine to shift gears on the fly is irrelevant, because that's the simple truth. Did the lower initial production run and limited availability cap profits? Absolutely. But the result can only be felt in future waves.

legomatt wrote:It's a tired excuse, in my experience, whenever a company exec has said they were 'too big to act fast', that executive can expect a long holiday for being shortsighted. It's an excuse i don't buy, as you say, they're in this to make money.
Do you really think that if they could pump out enough to keep sales going without hindering other profitable aspects of the company they wouldn't be doing exactly that? They are in this to make money, but this isn't the only task at hand. The minifigure collection is a tiny part of their product line and everything else can't be put on hold because suddenly retailers' expectations were proved wrong. Again: big complicated machine.

When digging for gold, I don't moan when I strike oil. (my second t-shirt) :D .
Eh, this is more like Lego saying "We know there's oil here, how much do you want?" and retailers only ordering enough to pay for one pump because they don't think it'll be as popular as gold. Sort of.

Daz Hoo wrote:And to tie this up with what others have been discussing so far, I don't think LEGO should be blamed for the somehow limited distribution of the minifig packs. IMHO, it's mostly the retailers' fault for not ordering enough to start with.
Pre-frickin-cisely :|
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Re: [NEW STUFF] News about the minifig collection

Postby legomatt » Fri Jun 11, 2010 7:34 pm

I agree, Don. I think we're largely echoing each other's sentiments using different words.

Lego is a big and slow machine, which is why i suggested they should've planned for the boom regardless of the noises they got from pensive retailers. As an established brand with its own stores, online presence and millions of hungry independent retailers, they should have stuck to their belief in the product until the larger retailers came knocking. Shortening/reducing the production according to a lack of larger retailer uptake doesn't sound much like belief to me, but more of a low-risk advance-sales driven business model.
Whether they ploughed as much capital into as they could is something we'll never know, but I think Lego blaming shortsighted retailers (in this economic climate) for dictating their own production run is a bit 'naff' of them. They could have pressed ahead regardless (if they believed in it so much) and perhaps shouldered the burden until retailers came clamouring to pick up the slack.

So i guess for the gold/oil thing, if Lego knew they'd struck oil, i say they should've drilled anyway (and got backing if needed elsewhere, if the usual suspects have passed up the chance, that's their loss). There's a lot of companies managed by people with "can't do" attitudes, and favour passing blame onto anything they can think of as reason not to. They don't become Billionaires and their companies get bought out. I come from an engineering background where "can't" is a word that gets a person fired.

My third t-shirt says..."There's only one reason to DO, any number not to".

I think I missed my calling as a marketing consultant. LOL :D

Last comment (i've written enough text walls for one subject lol, i will bow out after this):

I really don't like that idea about reintroducing series 1 etc figs into later series'. The whole point of figs being released as part of a collectable series is what makes them later sought after by collectors and swappers, like getting a valuable trading card, and basking in the glow of its rarity. Plopping a load of them back into circulation later spoils the fun of completing each series on its own merits. "Hey, bob, i have just completed series one!", "Cool mate, i'm chasing a robot! I'll swap you these? No wait, it just got put in series 4, now I have a complete series 1, too!". :)
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Re: [NEW STUFF] News about the minifig collection

Postby Mister Ed » Fri Jun 11, 2010 9:40 pm

Yeah, it does seem like LEGO based their production run not on how many they thought WOULD sell, but on how many they could get advance orders for, which seems a bit shortsighted. As somebody said, this line is a very small part of their total output. I think they could have managed a tiny bit of risk by doing a longer production run, banking that once retailers saw the popularity they would pick up the slack, rather than play it "safe" and short the market (and themselves) with a laughably inadequate production run, as it turned out.

Oh well. This weekend I'll probably call around and see if I can find anywhere I can get some, within reason. If I can't get ANY of Series 1, I'll probably be somewhat soured on the line going forward (especially since I forsee the price being jacked in general for future Series).
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Re: [NEW STUFF] News about the minifig collection

Postby banthafodder » Fri Jun 11, 2010 11:07 pm

You're right. They should have made more than enough for initial orders and follow up. If worse came to worse they could always stick it in a new set as an exclusive minifig and jack the price up $5-$10.
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Re: [NEW STUFF] News about the minifig collection

Postby PIG » Sat Jun 12, 2010 11:58 am

Does anyone have a list of what barcodes contain what figure?
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Re: [NEW STUFF] News about the minifig collection

Postby Morgan19 » Sat Jun 12, 2010 1:57 pm

Brickset has lists posted:

- U.S.
- The rest of the world

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Re: [NEW STUFF] News about the minifig collection

Postby meeotch » Sun Jun 13, 2010 11:44 pm

What I have to offer right now is complete rumormongering, but I thought I'd pass along that one of the guys at my PortLUG meeting this weekend said he heard (I can't beilieve I'm typing this telephone game) that a full third of the production on this series had to be trashed for poor quality. Something about one leg being shorter than the other.
"Always carefully check the source of your internet quotes" - Abraham Lincoln
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Re: [NEW STUFF] News about the minifig collection

Postby Draykov » Mon Jun 14, 2010 6:20 am

meeotch wrote:What I have to offer right now is complete rumormongering, but I thought I'd pass along that one of the guys at my PortLUG meeting this weekend said he heard (I can't beilieve I'm typing this telephone game) that a full third of the production on this series had to be trashed for poor quality. Something about one leg being shorter than the other.


I can believe it, but if it's true, at least they scrapped them instead of foisting them on an unsuspecting public. While the series 1 figs do seem to be of better quality than some of the recent minifig packs coming out of Sino-Bulgvanistan, they still have the annoying little cost-cutting indentations inside the minifig arms that save x amount of micro grams of plastic and I noticed some color inconsistency between my caveman's arms and hands.
Hail Space!
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Re: [NEW STUFF] News about the minifig collection

Postby SuperDave » Mon Jun 14, 2010 9:09 am

Morgan19 wrote:
SuperDave wrote:For what it's worth, these have been spotted at other major retailers, such as Borders. This may be fairly recent.


Out of curiosity, where'd you hear that they're showing up at Borders?

m19


I bought 6 on Friday evening after hearing from a friend that he saw them. I had to ask an employee where they were (they were in back; not yet put out on display). Borders is charging $2.99 for them, but as you can see in the Finds/Deals section of this forum, Borders often has coupons available (I used a 25% off coupon to get my 6 for about $2.24 each before tax).
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Re: [NEW STUFF] News about the minifig collection

Postby Morgan19 » Mon Jun 14, 2010 9:36 am

Yep I know, I've contributed several times to the Borders thread. ;)

But unless your store is more lenient with their usage, I wasn't aware that there's ever been a coupon for multiple items at once, or that you can use multiple coupons in one transaction. It's always been a "one-use for one item" deal whenever I'd used one.

I'd asked around this past weekend: one Borders didn't have any at all, while another had some earlier in the week and were gone the same day.

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Re: [NEW STUFF] News about the minifig collection

Postby Tyrant » Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:54 am

Morgan19 wrote:Yep I know, I've contributed several times to the Borders thread. ;)

But unless your store is more lenient with their usage, I wasn't aware that there's ever been a coupon for multiple items at once, or that you can use multiple coupons in one transaction. It's always been a "one-use for one item" deal whenever I'd used one.

I'd asked around this past weekend: one Borders didn't have any at all, while another had some earlier in the week and were gone the same day.

m19

The coupon for the middle of last week was 25% off the entire purchase. Even the employee I asked at the store before I used it wasn't sure about it but I checked the receipt afterward and it was 25% off everything. They don't come along very often and they don't always spell it out. Last week's said something like "25% off almost everything in your purchase".
Peace is a lie, there is only passion. Through passion, I gain strength. Through strength, I gain power. Through power, I gain victory. Through victory, my chains are broken. The Force shall free me.
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Re: [NEW STUFF] News about the minifig collection

Postby MicroJow » Mon Jun 14, 2010 2:10 pm

I checked at my local Borders in Los Angeles and they don't have any, haven't had any, and after checking the system, informed me that no Borders within a 50 mile radius has or had them in stock. Perhaps they're only trying it out in certain stores?

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Re: [NEW STUFF] News about the minifig collection

Postby Morgan19 » Tue Jun 15, 2010 12:47 pm

A big thanks to SuperDave for first noting in this thread that Borders is starting to carry them. I finally got my elusive ninja today to make a complete set amidst all this craziness. ;)

The couple Borders stores I'd spoken with over the last week said their shipments come in on Tuesday, so come this morning I rang them up, found out they'd gotten two fresh boxes in, and finally procured me some ninja-y goodness. (The price was indeed jacked up to $2.99, by the by.)

The woman I spoke with said they'd put the box out on a random endcap by the games; I didn't see it there when I popped in (it was either sold already or I wasn't looking in the right place) but they had an extra box in the back room that they let me rifle though.

So if you're at Borders and looking, I'd definitely recommend asking an employee to check the back room as well.

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Re: [NEW STUFF] News about the minifig collection

Postby GrayMattR » Thu Jun 17, 2010 10:01 am

My Borders store had them hanging on two pegs up front near the checkout with a bunch of "Gifts under $10" type items.
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Re: [NEW STUFF] News about the minifig collection

Postby Ralopo » Sun Jul 04, 2010 6:06 pm

They also have them at the store Five Below, if those are in your area. It was a great find for me, it is the first place i have seen them in Pennsylvania!
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Re: [NEW STUFF] News about the minifig collection

Postby SuperDave » Tue Jul 06, 2010 7:18 am

Did Five Below mark them up? What was the price?
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Re: [NEW STUFF] News about the minifig collection

Postby banthafodder » Tue Jul 06, 2010 8:31 am

So, if they are getting rid of the barcodes with series three, they must have a way to insure that they are not placing 64 of one minifig type into the box. There may well be another type of identifier for quality control issues that we are not aware of yet. It will be interesting to see when the packaging comes out.
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Re: [NEW STUFF] News about the minifig collection

Postby MicroJow » Tue Jul 06, 2010 10:12 am

Since they still haven't turned up at my local Los Angeles Borders, I asked an employee to do a search on their computer to see if they have any scheduled to arrive. Series 1 is now "closed out" meaning they never got them in that store and now they can't order them anymore. But series 2 is listed as being on order for arrival in August... with a sale price of $3.99 each.

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Re: [NEW STUFF] News about the minifig collection

Postby Mister Ed » Tue Jul 06, 2010 10:21 pm

banthafodder wrote:So, if they are getting rid of the barcodes with series three, they must have a way to insure that they are not placing 64 of one minifig type into the box. There may well be another type of identifier for quality control issues that we are not aware of yet. It will be interesting to see when the packaging comes out.


I don't see why they would have to have some other type of identifier. Pure probability would keep there from being 60 of one in a box, and beyond that, they obviously don't care at all if people end up with large numbers of multiples, or they wouldn't be blind packaged with varying rarities in the first place. (And the boxes would have been randomized in terms of placement, so they didn't keep sending out multiples to people ordering 5 from S@H.)

To my knowledge, few blind packaged collectible items are packed in such a way as to GUARANTEE a full set in one box. In many cases it is impossible, but where it IS possible, I think it is usually left entirely up to the laws of probability whether it happens or not. All LEGO really needs to do if they are wedded to the blind-packaged, differing rarity model is to institute processes that make the selection as random as possible. If their process is structured in such a way that probability is badly skewed in a "random" assortment, then in the long run they might lose sales because people get fed up with boxes of 60 that only contain 6 different figs. There isn't any real reason they need to know exactly what is going into each box.
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