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[SDCC] Marvel and DC Minifigure Giveaways: How LEGO Gamed th

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Re: [SDCC] Marvel and DC Minifigure Giveaways: How LEGO Game

Postby Neal_Caffrey » Mon Jul 29, 2013 1:58 pm

In regards to posting the winners on the website:

Sure it wouldn't look glamourous or anything like they did, but how hard would it have been to draw the winning tickets (not doing block of numbers) then print out the list and post it on the site as a PDF or another similar format?

Posting the names of the winners last year was the only reall issue they had that was negative. The idea of posting online and at the booth seemed to correct that until that awful raffle!
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Re: [SDCC] Marvel and DC Minifigure Giveaways: How LEGO Game

Postby brandobond » Mon Jul 29, 2013 2:11 pm

I have never been to comic con before but after seeing lots of these articles on how poorly the giveaways are handled, I wonder why they don't just automatically enter everyone who registers for comic con and choose the winners in a truly random way. Then they can just post the winners online (and probably in a few different areas of the convention center). The winners can go claim their prize at the lego booth and there would be no chaotic lines, no time wasted that could be better spent enjoying the convention, and a completely fair distribution of prizes. Unclaimed prizes could be redrawn on the subsequent days.
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Re: [SDCC] Marvel and DC Minifigure Giveaways: How LEGO Game

Postby dWhisper » Mon Jul 29, 2013 2:18 pm

I think there's just way too much scalping and reselling of badges to be pre-registered, not to mention the legitimate privacy concerns on providing that information to vendors.
If the above post didn't offend you, you're probably reading it wrong.
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Re: [SDCC] Marvel and DC Minifigure Giveaways: How LEGO Game

Postby monkeyhand » Mon Jul 29, 2013 2:30 pm

If they are picking the winners but claiming its random I wonder if they are violating any CA laws? It seems like bait-and-switch to me.
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Re: [SDCC] Marvel and DC Minifigure Giveaways: How LEGO Game

Postby Neal_Caffrey » Mon Jul 29, 2013 2:40 pm

My solution is as follows:

First, your exclusive has to be more that 100-350. I think a run of 5000 spread over all 4 days would be a nice exclusive size.

Second, do not do a raffle. All raffle does is create a mess as most people know raffle actually means "limited supply of tickets".

Licensing issues aside, and I think this gets around the issue, create a 4 figure set and sell it at the Lego Store within the booth along with the other exclusives. But do not create just the 4 figures alone, also include some building element, like a dislpay stand for the figures. From my understanding, licensing agreements keeps Lego from selling individual figures outright unless they contain some sort of building element (that's why the minifig series are not ever licensed themed). If you have noticed all the polybags of just minifigs are giveaways and the ones Lego sells come with a building element.

Using this idea, they could come up with a set of, let's say, Fantastic Four characters with the building element of a display stand or actually something pertaining to the minifigs like in this example, Herbie.

A run of 5000 would give more than a handful of people a chance to get exclusive figures. Oh, and badges must be scanned as well.
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Re: [SDCC] Marvel and DC Minifigure Giveaways: How LEGO Game

Postby dWhisper » Mon Jul 29, 2013 2:43 pm

Bait-and-switch is actually a fairly narrow definition of a specific type of fraud, and one that deals with advertising and retail sales. Specifically, it's advertising a sale for an item and then carrying limited or no stock of the item with the intentional availability of a substitute item that is either more expensive or has a higher margin. It wouldn't apply at all here, as this was a limited giveaway product.

Even for fraud on a give away would require that there was a purchase directly required in order to win the item (i.e., you purchased a ticket in the hopes of getting the prize), and that there was proof that there was no chance of actually winning it. Say that you had to give a dollar for a ticket, but none of the tickets that were sold had a winning number on them.

What LEGO did was random, of sorts, it was just terribly controlled and poorly distributed. In truth, there doesn't seem to be anything malicious about what LEGO was doing, it was just poorly planned and terribly executed. They didn't understand the event or the audience, and they went to an adult convention with the purpose of trying to engage with children. Given their history, it's not really all that surprising... LEGO is just bad at engaging with their customers at almost every level.
If the above post didn't offend you, you're probably reading it wrong.
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Re: [SDCC] Marvel and DC Minifigure Giveaways: How LEGO Game

Postby Neal_Caffrey » Mon Jul 29, 2013 2:46 pm

Picking the winning numbers beforehand is not a big issue unless they actually sort out the actual tickets and distribute them differently than the others.

I think they did the winning numbers ahead of time just to make the website easier do.
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Re: [SDCC] Marvel and DC Minifigure Giveaways: How LEGO Game

Postby jonutah » Mon Jul 29, 2013 2:54 pm

Can anyone see a reason that these exclusives actually benefit Lego's brand? From what I can tell (as an outsider to SDCC), it seems like the experience of trying to get one is mostly poor from the long lines, resellers, selection process, etc. If I were running the Lego booth at SDCC, I'd kill the exclusive minifigure thing. Or, at least, make them way more abundant so that those that can't get one can purchase one for a low price in the secondary market.
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Re: [SDCC] Marvel and DC Minifigure Giveaways: How LEGO Game

Postby bruce n h » Mon Jul 29, 2013 3:23 pm

I've written this elsewhere, but IMO they should not do 'exclusives' at events like this, but rather should do 'sneak previews'. For instance, they announced the Riddler Chase set, including the Flash fig, at SDCC. What if their giveaway was the Flash fig. They'd get additional buzz and free press relating to the set preview. Con attendees would get the cool factor of getting a new fig we're all excited about six months before anyone else. Non-con-attendees would be assured that they'll get a Flash eventually (unlike, say, the Green Lantern and Phoenix). Most importantly, since it would be clear that this fig would eventually hit the general public, there would be no huge eBay markup* and therefore no great incentive for bad conduct on the part of con attendees (huge crushes of people trying to get tickets, trying to go through the line multiple times, accusations of raffle fixing, etc).

On the suggestion above of simply registering everyone at the con, according to Wikipedia the attendance is on the order of 120,000. Presumably only a subset of these are interested in LEGO (though I suppose by virtue of attending "comic" con there is a very high probability of being generally interested in major comic book figures). So if you give out a thousand figs at random, there's a relatively low chance of hitting the LEGO fans in the crowd. Requiring people to make some positive step - stand in this line, visit the LEGO booth, whatever - limits your giveaway to those with at least some interest in LEGO (even if that interest is just to resell on eBay, of course).

Bruce

*Sure, there will be some markup. There are always people willing to pay more for a fig now - see the occasional eBay auction of figs that have somehow snuck out of a factory prior to the release of a set, but these are never the hundreds of dollars we always see for these ComicCon exclusives.
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Re: [SDCC] Marvel and DC Minifigure Giveaways: How LEGO Game

Postby Brainslugged » Mon Jul 29, 2013 3:27 pm

I think they can get round the whole reselling thing by making the packaging exclusive, not necessarily the figures. For example the Maul/Sith Infiltrator and Luke/Landspeeder in tins from last year. That way, the re-sellers and hard-core collectors can go crazy trying to collect 'em all, but those unable to spend that amount of money aren't denied the actual figures (or of the sets if they want to piece them out themselves) as they'll be able to find them in future sets.

This is what I'm assuming/hoping Lego has done with the Azog figure (not that it appeals to me in the slightest). I can't believe that TLG would make a new head mold of a (what I hear is a) fairly major character in The Hobbit. So I'd have thought he should turn up in some future sets. Just because he turns up in the future doesn't make the exclusively-packaged Comic-con figure any less exclusive for the hardcore collectors (although presumably it wouldn't be able to sell for anywhere near the $1,650 that the one over the weekend sold for), and it wouldn't p!ss off everyone who would love the figure to complete their collections but don't have ridiculous amounts of cash to throw around.

Surely doing it this way would keep everyone happy?

I'm still hoping that we'll see chrome C-3POs again now he's being made with colored stomach wires as surely this would be a completely different version of the figure compared to the "exclusive" chrome ones available a few years ago.
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Re: [SDCC] Marvel and DC Minifigure Giveaways: How LEGO Game

Postby jindianajonz » Mon Jul 29, 2013 3:35 pm

Hello! I was at the SDCC giveaway, and my experience was different from the one listed. I was able to get a ticket on Thursday in the first mad rush and didn't see the "bag" that your article mentions adults were drawing from. A lady at the front of the line handed me my ticket directly. There was a guy standing a few feet behind her also handing out tickets, but since by that point the line was single file, the first lady was getting pretty much everybody.

The second day I skipped when I saw how long the line was, but stuck it out the third day with my girlfriend. We got through about 15 minutes after the line started moving, and again at the front, there were two people giving away tickets (and again, no bag). I got a ticket from one, my girlfriend got a ticket from the other, and neither of us ended up winning.

I suppose maybe they kept the winning tickets at the bottom of the stack and handed those to kids, but that seems unlikely, since they would have to burn through the top tickets sooner or later. There was also a kid directly behind me (about 12 years old) and he was issued a ticket from the same pile I was.

So yeah, I'm not seeing the same evidence of "gaming the system"
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Re: [SDCC] Marvel and DC Minifigure Giveaways: How LEGO Game

Postby onions » Mon Jul 29, 2013 3:41 pm

there was no bag on thursday.

it's possible you may have just missed seeing the bag if you're not looking for it or paying attention. or they could have already burned through all the tickets in the bag by the time you got up to the front.
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Re: [SDCC] Marvel and DC Minifigure Giveaways: How LEGO Game

Postby bruce n h » Mon Jul 29, 2013 3:45 pm

Over on Eurobricks someone wrote that Mark Stafford told them via e-mail that there will be an Azog fig in a future set, but it will not be exactly the same (the implication was that it would be in a different color ABS, but I suppose you could also interpret what was said as it having different printing on the torso).

Brice
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Re: [SDCC] Marvel and DC Minifigure Giveaways: How LEGO Game

Postby Mos_Eisley » Mon Jul 29, 2013 4:33 pm

jindianajonz wrote:Hello! I was at the SDCC giveaway, and my experience was different from the one listed. I was able to get a ticket on Thursday in the first mad rush and didn't see the "bag" that your article mentions adults were drawing from. A lady at the front of the line handed me my ticket directly. There was a guy standing a few feet behind her also handing out tickets, but since by that point the line was single file, the first lady was getting pretty much everybody.

The second day I skipped when I saw how long the line was, but stuck it out the third day with my girlfriend. We got through about 15 minutes after the line started moving, and again at the front, there were two people giving away tickets (and again, no bag). I got a ticket from one, my girlfriend got a ticket from the other, and neither of us ended up winning.

I suppose maybe they kept the winning tickets at the bottom of the stack and handed those to kids, but that seems unlikely, since they would have to burn through the top tickets sooner or later. There was also a kid directly behind me (about 12 years old) and he was issued a ticket from the same pile I was.

So yeah, I'm not seeing the same evidence of "gaming the system"


I'm assuming that by the third day you are referring to Saturday. There was definitely a bag, at least when the process started. I know the ticket distribution process was recorded on Saturday, so hopefully that will make it into one of these articles on the subject. Controlling the winning tickets would be easy - you just have a smaller bag with all the winners inside the larger bag.

I'm surprised so many people think the rigging of the system is acceptable. If they don't want to have a truly random raffle then they just need to hand them out randomly. Don't waste everyone's time with the raffle. These big Comic Cons are not kid events. If their goal is just to get these exclusives into the hands of kids then they shouldn't even bother going to these huge cons that are geared toward adults. If at Comic Con they are so worried about giving minifigures to kids (which they are), why don't they have exclusive minifigures at events like KidsFest? It's a little ridiculous to promote these cool exclusives at an adult event and then go out of your way to control who can actually get them.
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Re: [SDCC] Marvel and DC Minifigure Giveaways: How LEGO Game

Postby jindianajonz » Mon Jul 29, 2013 5:19 pm

Mos_Eisley wrote:I'm assuming that by the third day you are referring to Saturday. There was definitely a bag, at least when the process started. I know the ticket distribution process was recorded on Saturday, so hopefully that will make it into one of these articles on the subject. Controlling the winning tickets would be easy - you just have a smaller bag with all the winners inside the larger bag.

I'm surprised so many people think the rigging of the system is acceptable. If they don't want to have a truly random raffle then they just need to hand them out randomly. Don't waste everyone's time with the raffle. These big Comic Cons are not kid events. If their goal is just to get these exclusives into the hands of kids then they shouldn't even bother going to these huge cons that are geared toward adults. If at Comic Con they are so worried about giving minifigures to kids (which they are), why don't they have exclusive minifigures at events like KidsFest? It's a little ridiculous to promote these cool exclusives at an adult event and then go out of your way to control who can actually get them.


I got into line around 10:50, and was about 150 or 200 people behind where the line broke in half and you had to be escorted from the statue on the steps to the top where you actually got your ticket. I don't know how many people were lined up at the top, but looking at the area I imagine it couldn't have been more than 300, so I'm guessing i was within the first 500 people, and based on the people I could see I doubt more than 1 in 10 of those were kids. Unless the demographics at the top half were way more kid skewed than the bottom half, I don't think they could have burned through all 200 "winning" tickets before I got there. Maybe they had a bag somewhere, but the original post said adults were forced to draw from the bag, and I'm just saying that wasn't my experience.
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Re: [SDCC] Marvel and DC Minifigure Giveaways: How LEGO Game

Postby dWhisper » Mon Jul 29, 2013 6:37 pm

jonutah wrote:Can anyone see a reason that these exclusives actually benefit Lego's brand?


A better question would be "can anyone see how this really harms Lego's brand?

Sure, we're all annoyed that we won't get these figures, but is anyone here going to stop buying their products? They already don't give much thought to the AFOL market, and having an exclusive is part of the SDCC "experience." Given that it won't really adversely affect their sales, a few upset AFOLs is probably worth the show.

Why are we assuming that LEGO is doing this to help or hurt their brand? It seems much more like a poorly executed plan to give something to fans that are at Comic Con while not understanding Comic Con.

Maybe it's me, but I think the solution is a bit simpler than changing how things are scanned, tracked, etc. Make it a true "exclusive" for the shop, which actually puts people in there to buy things. And don't give it away... sell it. Take the stance of something like the Collectible Minifigs, and put them into blind packages. Make more of them (especially more than the absurd numbers they did this year), first-come, first-service, one per person. And it's random what you get.
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Re: [SDCC] Marvel and DC Minifigure Giveaways: How LEGO Game

Postby DarthCusm » Mon Jul 29, 2013 7:16 pm

As a father of a 9y/o Lego junkie, I HATE the rare exclusives. I love the idea of exclusive packaging and/or early release if figures for the cons. I hate that as of now my son will not have Green Arrow/Lantern, Phoenix, Spiderwoman etc. because I am not selling out hundreds of dollars for a single figure, hell $10 is my max for a fig for him as he actually plays with them. He really wants Mr. Gold, and we have an ongoing argument about we would do with him if we found one. I am glad Azog is coming out next year, we will buy the set and all will be well.
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Re: [SDCC] Marvel and DC Minifigure Giveaways: How LEGO Game

Postby SonOfSolo » Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:21 pm

I was caught up in the cluster F on Thursday. I know Lego lied last year telling everyone 11 and then capping the line early so since they told us 11:30 this year I was there at 10:45. The crowd grew so fast and so large that they were shut down by Comic Con security. That wasnt the most disgusting part though. I was caught up in the center of the ball of people and couldnt go anywhere. There was a family who lost a 4 year old girl during this fiasco and no one would evn move or bother to look. They were too concerned with getting their badge scanned. After this happened I said screw it. I got a Bizzaro last year. This year was way jacked up. Plus the crowd seemed a lot more hostile and for lack of a better word, ghetto. I didn't bother going back to Lego after that happened on Thursday. I am torn on a few issues after seeing all of this go down. I have 2 boys, 5 and 2, and would NEVER bring them to Comic Con. I got a lot of rude looks when I announced this on the main floor. Truth is, this isnt a place for kids. Bottom line. I know they have a Nicelodeon booth and whatever but this con has grown out of control and has fingers in too many pies. If they want a kid con then gorram it have a kid con. Where you cant get in without a kid. If you want a comic book convention then by all means have a great one. The crowds this year and the vibe was way different. I did meet some great people as I do every year but this year just wasn't the same. Maybe it's time to start searching out other cons out there......
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Re: [SDCC] Marvel and DC Minifigure Giveaways: How LEGO Game

Postby murphquake » Mon Jul 29, 2013 10:34 pm

i've never been to SDCC, but last year I was lucky in that my LUG was asked by TLG to do a fan display at New York Comic Con. As such I had an exhibitor badge and was able to line up early for the exclusive tin the 2 days I was there before they were all gone, but I had no luck at all with the raffle they held for the Dark Turtle minifig. Battle Damaged Kraang was another story. Go to Lego Store in Rockefeller Center, dressed as some semblance of your favorite TMNT, get handed a fig. Walk out and switch around costumes a few times? Sure! Lots of people did it. Saw one kid dragging mom/dad/lil sis around while he was holding at least 4 of them like it was his poker hand There were only 300 of those and after the morning rush they actually apparently still had them close to the store closing at 8pm that night (someone who got one went when NYCC closed at 7pm). Neither system was great but there was no mobbing going on. They did make the same failure pile of a posting of winners in small print on a small board, with lots of people trying to go look. I can see deciding to do batches of winners... "Winners: 150-200, 725-775, 1200-1250" is a lot easier to post than the same number of random ticket numbers. But then the tickets should be randomized or the batches should be picked at random. The bad thing about doing batches is if the tickets are being given out in order (NYCC was just 2 part tickets off a roll) is that a family of 6 could win 6 at a time while others go without and 5 of the 6 in that family have no interest. One good thing is that at NYCC they were handing out tickets all day most of the day, with no apparent limit, they just kept tearing them off, but you could go by many times (i heard someone say they had 18 tickets at one point).
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Re: [SDCC] Marvel and DC Minifigure Giveaways: How LEGO Game

Postby Brick_Obession » Tue Jul 30, 2013 6:32 am

Articles like these are written by sore losers! You have the accounts of a sore losers who percieves in their eyes what happened. Grow the eff up! The only thing Lego did wrong was make the quantities so little.

I just laugh at the notion only kids got them. Those kids must all be sell outs. Just look how many are floating around on Ebay. I had no problem what so ever collecting all 4 of them for a price I was confortable with.

It's another situation of people who are spoiled brats and think they are entitled to everything in life for free. Get over it!

I want an Audi R8, do you see me writing blogs or on forums complaining that they are only cater to the rich!

I have heard first hand from friends I know that were at SDCC and got their hands on Exclusives who happen to be well into their 30's and 40's. I guess Lego saw them as "over grown kids"

*rolls eyes*
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