Bizarro and Phoenix minifigs have been officially revealed. They will be part of a giveaway on Friday. To enter the chance to win these minifigs, you’ll have to visit the LEGO booth on Friday starting at around 10 am. You’ll have your badge scanned and you’ll be placed into a pool. Badge scanning will stop sometime in the afternoon. After that, names will be randomly selected to win 1 of the four exclusive minifigs. The other two are Shazam! and Venom. There are 1,000 of each figure. And just to be extra clear on this point: these figures will NOT be available in any future set.
Greetings! I’ve compiled all of the LEGO related events that are happening in and around the con. So get your calendars out and plan your days accordingly:
Warner Bros. presents Extra! at SDCC. LEGO® The Lord of the Rings: 3D Street Art: From the creative minds at Planet Streetpainting comes a one-of-a-kind, LEGO The Lord of the Rings–inspired 3D street art design that will be created and on display for fans of all ages over the course of three days, July 13–15. Stop by each day and watch the artwork unfold!
Location: On the lawn between the Hilton Bayfront Hotel and the Convention Center.
11:00-4:00 Nathan Sawaya Live LEGO Build Event and Art Installation: Renowned LEGO brick artist Nathan Sawaya is teaming up with legendary comic book artist Jim Lee at Comic-Con for a super hero-inspired art exhibition as part of Darkness & Light: Art Inspired by Heroes & Villains, Hope & Heroism, a one-of-a-kind art and education tour benefitting DC Entertainment’s We Can Be Heroes giving campaign to raise awareness and funds for the worst hunger crisis in 60 years in the Horn of Africa.
On Friday, July 13 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sawaya will be on hand to build a vibrant recreation of Lee’s Batman portrait using standard LEGO bricks. Sawaya is donating his time and the final artwork to benefit We Can Be Heroes. The weeklong Darkness & Light exhibition as well as Sawaya’s live art installation are free to the public and a Comic-Con badge is NOT necessary for admission to the gallery.
Location: Michael J. Wolf Fine Arts, 363 5th Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101
3:00-4:00 Warner Archive Collection: Shazam!— Join ever-informed, fancentric WAC Podcast hosts George Feltenstein, Matthew Patterson, and DW Ferranti as they give fans a look at the upcoming DVD release of the popular 1970s series Shazam! The series’ own Billy Batson, Michael Gray, will be on hand, and an exclusive, limited-edition Shazam! LEGO figure will be awarded to a lucky number of fans in attendance. WAC panelists will also offer sneak peeks of Gene Roddenberry’s “other” TV series, The Lieutenant, and some highlights of WAC’s wildly entertaining upcoming slate of releases. And don’t be surprised if a few unannounced guests appear with the bold shout of a single word!
Location: Room 25ABC
3:00-4:00 LEGO Fan Community and What They Build— Jim Foulds (community relations manager for the LEGO Group), Joe Meno (editor of BrickJournal Magazine), Mariann Asanuma (author of modelbuildingsecrets.com), and Steve Decraemer (model builder for LEGOLand California) discuss the LEGO Fan community, what they build, how they build it, and what it takes to become a member of this growing community.
Location: Room 28E
5:00-6:00 BrickJournal— In the past decade, a community has grown around the toy bricks produced by the LEGO Group. With Joe Meno (editor of BrickJournal magazine and contributor to The Cult of LEGO book) as your guide, see how the community has grown and what they have built, with builders Brandon Griffith and Elizabeth Cortes, plus Jim Foulds of the LEGO Community Team and LEGO certified professional builder Nathan Sawaya. Dust off those bricks and join the community of LEGO builders!
Location: Room 23ABC
10:30-11:30 LEGO Ninjago — Get an inside look at one of the hottest boys’ properties of 2012, LEGO Ninjago! Hear from the creators how the hit Cartoon Network TV series is developed. LEGO designers will show how they create LEGO models from the characters and vehicles on the small screen. Join the Q&A session and see an exclusive sneak peek of Ninjago: Season 2!
There is also a special poster, pictured above, being given away by Papercutz (Booth #2546 / #2548).
Location: Room 8
Unfortunately there’s no LEGO Star Wars panel this year as far as I can tell. However, there’s a lot more LEGO goodness happening throughout the weekend and we’ll be reporting things as they come up so stay tuned.
There’s TONS of other things to do, obviously, so if none of those fancy your pants, hit up the Comic Con Programming page for more things to do and see.
I just wanted to make a post stating that we’ll have some news coming in throughout the day regarding LEGO’s presence at the San Diego Comic Con. There are some big things in the works that you won’t want to miss. Comic Con starts tomorrow with Preview Night from 6-10pm and continues through Sunday. Stay tuned!
Despite the indescribable madness surrounding the LEGO booth at this year’s Comic Con, there was one shining aspect of their booth besides the retail space, eight shining aspects to be exact: their display cases. Ever since I can remember, LEGO has been putting display cases in their booth showing off their current product line from select themes. The glass cases were tall with one or two sets on each shelf. This year however, things were a little different. There were a total of eight large cases, and inside each case was huge diorama showcasing a particular theme. I thought this was a great way to display the currently available products as it shows what can be possible when you put everything together. The presentation looked much nicer and more cohesive than just sets on a shelf. I tip my hat to whoever designed these displays. It was one of the few things I enjoyed at the booth.
I guess I can start with the positives. This year, for the first time, LEGO had a large free build area composed of only 2×4 yellow bricks. Personally, I think it’s a great idea since it exemplifies the very core of the toy brand we all know and love. It also forces a builder to use their imagination to build something creative. At the end of every day, the booth employees/volunteers would tear most of the creations that were built but some were kept throughout the week.
The retail portion of the booth also had all the licensed themes for sale, including the newest Star Wars assortment. There was also Ninjago near the end of the week which was was a huge seller, and the first set of the Master Builder Academy. The retail side also sold the Star Wars Advent Calendar exclusive set for $50. You were limited to 2 per purchase, but you could always go back to the end of the line to purchase more. There was no ticket system for this exclusive, that was reserved for the minifig giveaway. Simply line up and buy.
This is a far cry from how they usually handle their exclusive, but like I said, the usual method was reserved for distributing the Batman and Green Lantern minifigs. The ticket system has been LEGO’s method since 2006, the year they decided to enter the exclusive game with their very first LEGO Batman exclusive announcing the start of the LEGO Batman line. Little has changed over the years in the method. You line up, once the designated time rolls around you draw a ticket. If your ticket has a stamp, you win the chance to buy the exclusive. I know, it sounds ridiculous to win the chance to spend money. LEGO wised up this year and just gave away the minifigs once you draw the winning ticket.
I actually don’t mind this method since the LEGO exclusive wasn’t really one of those highly sought after items, not like whatever Hasbro or Mattel was offering to generate such great demand every year. You could pull a ticket, and then get right back in at the end of the line and repeat until all the winning tickets were drawn.
This year, the landscape completely changed. Wednesday through Friday, the demand was pretty high and steadily increasing. The lines were getting longer, the chances to go through the line multiple times was diminishing. Saturday was the worst day in that line to purchase the Star Wars exclusive went around the booth in one direction, and the line to pull the ticket went around the booth in another. At one point, the minifig line doubled back on itself, making a wall of people 3 people thick around parts of the booth.
It was so crowded that security came by and LEGO had to quickly change their strategy. Instead of drawing a winning or losing ticket, you just get a ticket and winning numbers would be posted later on in the day. Much smoother I though, and the line went much faster. It still wasn’t ideal but was a good change to accommodate the large crowds.
There are plenty of ways that LEGO could change their method of handling exclusives.
Sell immediately: For whatever reason, LEGO insists on starting their ticket distribution and/or sales at a certain time. And at the same time, they insist that there be no lines before a certain designated time. I don’t think this is realistic at all. People who really want to get them are more than willing to wait, so naturally a line is going to form. If they started selling the exclusives immediately once the hall floor is open to the public, it would mitigate any large mobs of people just hanging around waiting and forming lines against their wishes. Ticket distribution should also be done immediately.
No tickets: sell or give away the exclusive on a first come first serve basis. Lots of other booths handle it this way and it works well enough.
Designated line area: Some booths have their line form elsewhere and batches of people are brought to the booth for the transaction.
Presell online for pickup at the show: Currently, I only know of one company that does this and that is Sideshow Collectibles. You purchase your exclusive online weeks or months before the show and you can pick up the exclusive at any time during the con. The infrastructure needed to make this happen is probably far more than what LEGO is willing invest in, but it is an idea.
My preferred method? First come first serve. There’s a certain number of exclusives allocated per day, so if a person isn’t able to buy one, there’s always the next day. Use a ticket system as a secondary measure to ensure that no one cuts in the line and that those who follow the rules are guaranteed an exclusive. People are willing to throw their money at LEGO but they are making it more difficult than it has to be.
I realize this is already a rather lengthy read, but I’ve tapped forum member Mos_Eisley to recount his experience. I can only hope that the powers that be at LEGO seriously reconsider their approach for next year. But given how bad things got, I don’t think it’ll take much convincing. Hit the jump to read more.
Revealed last week, Hallmark is entering the LEGO Star Wars market with a new ornament of a LEGO Darth Vader minifigure. The ornament goes on sale in October for $14.95. They had a few on display at the San Diego Comic Con which I was happy to take pictures of. The Dark Lord is a pretty good size for an ornament, much larger than an actual minifigure and around the same average size for their other figure ornaments. My only gripe is that the cape seems all too narrow. In some views, especially head on, it seems like he doesn’t even have one on. You just see a hint of it. I would have like to have seen a much larger sweeping cape, one that is immediately noticeable without having to purposefully look for it. Still, not bad for the first product out of the gate.
Hallmark will also be selling a series of party accessories based around LEGO Star Wars such as bags, cups, plates, etc.
But the biggest news is that they had a little sign showing a sneak peek what next year’s LEGO Star Wars ornament was going to be for 2012: Stormtrooper. LEGO hasn’t used the loudhailer and 1×1 round stud as a blaster for awhile now, so I’m not sure why they are using it for the ornament. Perhaps it was a licensing issue but I really wish they had sculpted in a blaster instead. It does give the figure a bit of nostalgia, though, for old timers like me.
They need to do everyone’s favorite pair of droids next.