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Collectible Minifigs Series 1 Now Available

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Re: Collectible Minifigs Series 1 Now Available

Postby Blacknight » Wed Jun 02, 2010 8:18 pm

Sigh, for better or worse our Lego hobby finally gets random chase items and all the AFOLs unleash their pent up panic emotions repressed since they quit their last blind box collecting hobby. Seriously, by the time wave three or four come out the novelty of these will become old hat and these wave 1 figures will probably be a dime a dozen on bricklink. Relax. As for the store manager, I don't blame him, he's just trying to keep the system fair for the kids. How would you like to be the kid who keeps going to his local store to get that one last figure he desires, never suspecting that some greedy AFOL has cheated the system and cleaned out every box of it ahead of time? However, rather than yelling at customers or marking out bar codes, that manager should just keep the packs behind the counter and hand them out randomly to ensure fairness.
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Re: Collectible Minifigs Series 1 Now Available

Postby stevenli » Wed Jun 02, 2010 8:40 pm

I would agree that the manager should have simply kept it behind the counter and gave 5 limit at the time of checkout since people know about it already and would be asking. That'll crowd control, sell fast, and keep things as fair as possible.

That said, as a Lego person, I know that Lego can be weird sometimes, and this is one of them. I'd go spend first on this instead of regretting later...like those minibags at Target. once they're gone....they're gone....I maybe wrong, but not worth being on the wrong side on this one.
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Re: Collectible Minifigs Series 1 Now Available

Postby vynsane » Wed Jun 02, 2010 8:58 pm

Blacknight wrote:Sigh, for better or worse our Lego hobby finally gets random chase items and all the AFOLs unleash their pent up panic emotions repressed since they quit their last blind box collecting hobby. Seriously, by the time wave three or four come out the novelty of these will become old hat and these wave 1 figures will probably be a dime a dozen on bricklink. Relax.


I'm not certain that it's all "repressed panic emotions" - it's merely that the demand currently far outweighs the supply. For it to be fair, there should be a HUGE supply of these. LEGO stands to make a good deal of money off these if they can put enough of them out, but right now it's a dribble as opposed to a deluge. Part of that is due to retailer apprehension - it's a new thing for LEGO, untested. I'm glad at least TRU took a chance on it and now it looks like other retailers are following suit.

However, rather than yelling at customers or marking out bar codes, that manager should just keep the packs behind the counter and hand them out randomly to ensure fairness.


Were I the manager at that store I would have probably kept them behind the counter, but rearranged them so that a clerk could easily grab 5 different bags quickly - you might not get the ones you want, but at least you could get 5 individual figures as opposed to 5 of the same thing.
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Re: Collectible Minifigs Series 1 Now Available

Postby ufjason » Wed Jun 02, 2010 9:36 pm

Blacknight wrote:Sigh, for better or worse our Lego hobby finally gets random chase items and all the AFOLs unleash their pent up panic emotions repressed since they quit their last blind box collecting hobby. Seriously, by the time wave three or four come out the novelty of these will become old hat and these wave 1 figures will probably be a dime a dozen on bricklink. Relax. As for the store manager, I don't blame him, he's just trying to keep the system fair for the kids. How would you like to be the kid who keeps going to his local store to get that one last figure he desires, never suspecting that some greedy AFOL has cheated the system and cleaned out every box of it ahead of time? However, rather than yelling at customers or marking out bar codes, that manager should just keep the packs behind the counter and hand them out randomly to ensure fairness.


Wah wah wah. Frankly, I think any manager that limits someone from buying quantities is a fool. You ALWAYS take the sale. If it's selling well, you order more and sell more. These stores have automated systems to route stock to where it's selling well. If they didn't order enough since they couldn't anticipate demand on a new product, they can always order more.
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Re: Collectible Minifigs Series 1 Now Available

Postby that guy » Wed Jun 02, 2010 10:21 pm

Yes they have automated systems but every system like that has parameters tied to the stores volume. I used to run systems like this for major retailers and no matter how many of an item a store may sell, their historical sales volume will always dictate what their "minimums and maximums" will be even on new or high demand items despite the fact that they "could" sell more. Higher historical store sales volume will always result in more stock even if every store is selling out in one day. And with most of these, there is little to nothing a Store Manager can do to increase the stock coming in. Just the sad facts of the corporate retail world we're living in. In the end it's all GIGO.
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Re: Collectible Minifigs Series 1 Now Available

Postby Daz Hoo » Thu Jun 03, 2010 6:36 am

vynsane wrote:Did it come up with an actual read, or was it just trying to scan it and giving an error? When I worked retail, there could sometimes be multiple barcodes on products, sometimes partially obscured ones - which would give the 'beep' but wouldn't actually return any data.

(...)

Did you have to move the seam flap to do so? Did it return any usable data or did it just give you gibberish? Apparently the iPhone app 'ZBar' on the 3GS returns the name of the figure inside the package.


That's not how a barcode reader actually works. If the machine goes "beep", that means that the machine actually saw the barcode and read it. Whether the machine gives back information on the product or not depends solely on the fact that the information linked to that barcode was entered in the system or not.

The cash register at the Wal Mart I was in wasn't program with the side barcodes of the minifig packs, hence it did not give any information (it was an error message).

As for the ZBar apps, it's clear that someone linked the different barcodes with the 16 different minifigs, hence why it gives out which one is in the bag when you scan a minifig pack.
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Re: Collectible Minifigs Series 1 Now Available

Postby Draykov » Thu Jun 03, 2010 9:11 am

To add to what kayakermanmike said about cases being available at Entertainment Earth: if you receive the printed EE catalog, you can user your code to get $15 off of orders $99.99 or more. This should compensate for the shipping charges to most places.
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Re: Collectible Minifigs Series 1 Now Available

Postby natelite » Thu Jun 03, 2010 9:24 am

Draykov wrote:To add to what kayakermanmike said about cases being available at Entertainment Earth: if you receive the printed EE catalog, you can user your code to get $15 off of orders $99.99 or more. This should compensate for the shipping charges to most places.


are the codes unique or can you post them?
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Re: Collectible Minifigs Series 1 Now Available

Postby Aegrus » Thu Jun 03, 2010 9:51 am

atxdad wrote:I can confirm that two TRU in north Austin are selling figs at the increased price of $2.49; they were $1.99 last week. Both received a new box of figs today (6/1). Another AFOL was bar code scanning when I got there, so we worked together to complete our collections. :)

P.S. So that was another FBTB reader I met. Thanks for the note! Wish I could reply, but I don't seen to have privileges to do that yet.


Can you tell me where they are located in the store? I was just there yesterday and didn't even see a spot for them.
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Re: Collectible Minifigs Series 1 Now Available

Postby vynsane » Thu Jun 03, 2010 10:05 am

Daz Hoo wrote:That's not how a barcode reader actually works. If the machine goes "beep", that means that the machine actually saw the barcode and read it. Whether the machine gives back information on the product or not depends solely on the fact that the information linked to that barcode was entered in the system or not.


That depends on the system, too - sometimes it gives an audible 'error' beep that has a different tone, or double beep to let you know it was a bad read.

The cash register at the Wal Mart I was in wasn't program with the side barcodes of the minifig packs, hence it did not give any information (it was an error message).


It was also probably only getting a partial read on that barcode due to obfuscation of the first bit by the seam flap. A partial read can still return information, it's just incorrect information. If it scans a barcode, whether or not there is information associated with the number the code represents, it still returns a number to the computer. It's up to the POS system to determine what to do with that number, if anything.

As for the ZBar apps, it's clear that someone linked the different barcodes with the 16 different minifigs, hence why it gives out which one is in the bag when you scan a minifig pack.


Right, I figured as much.
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Re: Collectible Minifigs Series 1 Now Available

Postby Daz Hoo » Thu Jun 03, 2010 11:16 am

vynsane wrote:It was also probably only getting a partial read on that barcode due to obfuscation of the first bit by the seam flap. A partial read can still return information, it's just incorrect information. If it scans a barcode, whether or not there is information associated with the number the code represents, it still returns a number to the computer. It's up to the POS system to determine what to do with that number, if anything.


I'm pretty sure it wasn't a partial scan, because the error message specifically said "barcode not in system" (or something of that nature, but in French, of course), and not that it could read the barcode. That's why I don't think the the seam flap is a big factor.
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Re: Collectible Minifigs Series 1 Now Available

Postby vynsane » Thu Jun 03, 2010 11:24 am

Well, it's all hypothetical to me, as you were the one who was there - but just because it read a barcode and said it wasn't in the system doesn't mean it's reading the entire barcode - if you were to cover up a few lines from any barcode and try to scan it, it would more than likely come up as 'not in system'.
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Re: Collectible Minifigs Series 1 Now Available

Postby Blacknight » Thu Jun 03, 2010 11:45 am

ufjason wrote:Wah wah wah. Frankly, I think any manager that limits someone from buying quantities is a fool. You ALWAYS take the sale. If it's selling well, you order more and sell more. These stores have automated systems to route stock to where it's selling well. If they didn't order enough since they couldn't anticipate demand on a new product, they can always order more.


The problem is though if every buyer comes along and cheats the system by checking the bar codes, stores could be left with piles of unsold packs containing the unpopular figures. I reckon not too many people are interested in buying multiples of the diver fig for example. A poor kid that comes along and buys these randomly is going to end up with 4 divers out of every 5 packs he purchases.

I don't begrudge AFOLS for cracking this system, in fact I think it's brilliant. The whole idea of random figs is kind of naff anyway and Lego could probably sell more by just making these direct to order off their website. I'm just saying that like software piracy, cracking a system that isn't meant to be cracked can lead to other problems for both retailers and "honest" (aka naive) customers.
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Re: Collectible Minifigs Series 1 Now Available

Postby legomatt » Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:17 pm

A blind-purchase store that i shop at had what appeared to be a box full (or so it seemed), and in the 20 packs i bought, i got 8 divers and 10 crash dummies. As a mature adult i took it all in good humour (but was definitely disappointed that the mix should be impossible from one box). Since then I've managed to get nearly a full set (I'm just missing the Skateboarder...), but i've got a LOT of unopened swaps. I'm probably going to return them to the store if i can.
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Re: Collectible Minifigs Series 1 Now Available

Postby atxdad » Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:19 pm

Aegrus wrote:Can you tell me where they are located in the store? I was just there yesterday and didn't even see a spot for them.


In the Austin TRU's, the box for minifigs is in the 'LEGO aisle' on the shelf. It is NOT at the end display or on an island or by the registers or behind a counter, etc. However, staff says they sell them all within 24 hours, so they probably take away the empty minifig box if a buyer doesn't do so.
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Re: Collectible Minifigs Series 1 Now Available

Postby gmonkey76 » Thu Jun 03, 2010 2:39 pm

got mine at toys r us for $2.50 no limit
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Re: Collectible Minifigs Series 1 Now Available

Postby solo606 » Thu Jun 03, 2010 2:55 pm

The few TRU stores I have been too that have them, I found the box at the service desk, endcap of lego aisle and also in the middle of the lego aisle.
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Re: Collectible Minifigs Series 1 Now Available

Postby d.boy » Thu Jun 03, 2010 3:00 pm

TRU website has the Collectable minifigures at $2.49. Althought these aren't available, I think is an indicator that they will change the prince in all of their stores.

BTW, I don't live in the US, but I have some relatives that live there. One of them agreed to do me the favor of checking a store with the barcode list and buy me the ones that I want. What store do you recommend me? (Target, TRU, walmart, etc) As what I have heard, LEGO stores have the figs behind the counter. Or at this point, I better just buy random figs and see if I have any luck?
Thanks :)
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Re: Collectible Minifigs Series 1 Now Available

Postby Arkov » Fri Jun 04, 2010 1:39 pm

Placing multiple orders on LEGO S@H so you can get more than five minifigs won't work, they will just cancel any minifig packs in your order after the first five.
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Re: Collectible Minifigs Series 1 Now Available

Postby Draykov » Fri Jun 04, 2010 4:47 pm

natelite wrote:are the codes unique or can you post them?


Not sure if this will work, but you can give it a shot: EEPROMO10B
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