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ganon578
2010-05-21, 02:11 PM
So I was at Toys R Us last night, looking around at various things (nothing new in TFs), and went through the LEGO aisle. Lo and behold, there were minifig blind packs there for $2 each, and there are 16 different ones to possibly get!

I haven't seen these before and was wondering if any of you have seen them. I know some of you in the UK and elsewhere outside the US tend to get blindpacks more than we do, so I thought it was neat that we were finally getting something like this.

By the way, I picked one up, and managed to score a Robin Hood/Forestman. SWEET!!!

Cliffjumper
2010-05-21, 02:14 PM
Saw 'em - £2.99 here (at least in the indy in town). Don't fancy punting that much on a blind-packed Minifig, TBH, especially as the Minifigs from current stuff generally aren't much cop.

Sir Auros
2010-05-21, 08:18 PM
Yeah, but the awesomesauce is that so many aren't from current sets. You can get a zombie minifig, how crazy is it that they actually made that?

Cliffjumper
2010-05-21, 08:20 PM
I could also get another ****ing fireman. One with a facial expression that suggests his bowels have just spontaneously atomised. Probably.

Don't mind me, I'm an old misery.

Sades
2010-05-21, 08:27 PM
You could trade him away or something?

I might have to go to Toys R Us at some point in the near future.

Cliffjumper
2010-05-21, 08:38 PM
You could trade him away or something?

If Lego firemen were worth anything in trade, I'd have a platinum-plated Harrier jump-jet on the drive now.

Man, that would be so sweet.

Sades
2010-05-22, 08:53 PM
You never know, there might be some fireman-crazy little bastard out there just loony enough to trade you a bunch of doubleplusgood for your flamey-putter-outter dudes.

I'm hoping I can pull the BF away from his hobbies and friends long enough today to pay attention to me go to the Toys R Us. This should be full of spastic fantastico.

Warcry
2010-05-23, 04:40 AM
Despite being blind-packed, apparently they have different barcodes -- if you really want a certain minifig you can compare the barcodes until you find the right one. That's excessively nerdy even for me, though.

I haven't actually seen them yet. Do they come bagged or boxed? If they're in a bag you could probably tell by touch what you're getting.

Sades
2010-05-23, 05:59 AM
We went looking; didn't find squat. Boo!

LKW
2010-05-23, 06:16 AM
I say bah! I miss Lionel Playworld!!!

(They probably didn't have those in Canadia, huh?)

Sades
2010-05-23, 11:28 PM
Probably not... AFAIK we don't have drive-through liquor stores either. And we ride moose to work, live in igloos, say aboot, etc

inflatable dalek
2010-05-24, 07:34 AM
Despite being blind-packed, apparently they have different barcodes -- if you really want a certain minifig you can compare the barcodes until you find the right one. That's excessively nerdy even for me, though.

I don't know, I have to do lots of sexy barcode checking at work and it's really not that hard, all you need is the last three digits for a match.

ganon578
2010-05-24, 02:14 PM
Despite being blind-packed, apparently they have different barcodes -- if you really want a certain minifig you can compare the barcodes until you find the right one. That's excessively nerdy even for me, though.

I haven't actually seen them yet. Do they come bagged or boxed? If they're in a bag you could probably tell by touch what you're getting.

They come bagged. And yes, you can tell by feel. That's how I managed to stay away from a couple that I really didn't want. Cheerleader? No thanks. Found one that I couldn't really place, and it turned out to be a Forestman.

Anyways, I was there less than a week ago, and they had roughly 8 left out of a box of 20 or 30 I'm guessing. My wife and I returned there yesterday to look for baby stuff at the attached Babies R Us, and they didn't have any more, and the box was gone too. So I don't know if this was some fleeting sale, or if they will bring more in. I'm hoping for the latter because the Native American and Caveman minifigs we're fraggin' cool...

Also, they completely stocked up on the new 'Kingdoms' line, which will replace the 'Castle' line. To my knowledge, the Kingdoms stuff wasn't supposed to be out until August, but they had all the sets available. Too bad we have no money (i.e. the Babies R Us part) to invest in a $100 Lego castle. ;)

electro girl
2010-05-24, 03:56 PM
Yeah but if you indoctrinate a love of Lego into your child I'm sure it would grow up to understand why you had to buy the castle instead. :)

ganon578
2010-05-24, 06:50 PM
Excellent point. Now I just have to get the wife to believe that one!

Sir Auros
2010-05-24, 11:11 PM
I love the Castle stuff, and this new set looks sweet, but I'm totally out of room on my Lego setup as it is, so I'll probably just stick with a few small sets and minifigs.

Denyer
2010-05-25, 05:45 PM
http://gadgetsin.com/collect-all-16-lego-minifigures-in-8683-series.htm
http://bricks.inof.de/docs/minifig-barcodes/

Sades
2010-05-25, 06:57 PM
...

I now need that clown.

[edit] Why is it still acceptable to manufacture stereotypical 1800's-1900's Native American figs? I don't see your stereotypical turn of the century Asian or a stereotypical turn of the century black dude.

Oh well, I suppose it's better than manufacturing a present-day stereotypical Native American. I'm not really offended, just surprised.

Cliffjumper
2010-05-25, 07:05 PM
I take it all back. I hadn't had a proper look at the range; only Robin Hood (I have loads of Forestmen) would actually result in a '"meh" from me. Now, to get back down town and buy, buy, buy...

...
[edit] Why is it still acceptable to manufacture stereotypical 1800's-1900's Native American figs? I don't see your stereotypical turn of the century Asian or a stereotypical turn of the century black dude.

They are all yellow. Lego's general avoidance of race full-stop (aside from franchise stuff) gives them a free hand IMO. It's not like the cowboys are realistic or anything (they're part of the Western theme, which is pure cowboys 'n' injuns rather than historical commentary). TBH if anything I laud their general refusal to go particularly PC.

Sades
2010-05-25, 07:21 PM
They are all yellow. Lego's general avoidance of race full-stop (aside from franchise stuff) gives them a free hand IMO. It's not like the cowboys are realistic or anything (they're part of the Western theme, which is pure cowboys 'n' injuns rather than historical commentary). TBH if anything I laud their general refusal to go particularly PC.

That's true, I hadn't thought about that. Like I said, I wasn't offended- I'd still buy it, it's frigging cute.

electro girl
2010-05-25, 07:46 PM
I'm still waiting on official Sharpe Lego.

inflatable dalek
2010-05-25, 07:51 PM
Surely kids would just end up cutting themselves on it?

electro girl
2010-05-25, 07:58 PM
Warning may contain sharp objects and Yorkshire accent not suitable for small children.

Denyer
2010-05-25, 08:17 PM
http://www.brickarms.com/galleries/solidgold.aspx

Heh.

Cliffjumper
2010-05-25, 08:52 PM
Not sure exactly why, but I can't stand customised Lego parts, or physical modification of parts (like that old page with figs done as superheroes and they've got bits cut off and glued on and painted - what the Hell is the point in that?). I'm all for heavy duty customisation of anything, even some uber-rare Gokin or whatever. But it just rubs me the wrong way with Lego - it's Cheating, I suppose, and it kinda misses the point IMO.

Sades
2010-05-26, 01:44 AM
Lego bling.

I don't quite see the point myself- I think it's cool, but a part of me is going "so what happens if he loses the parts?"

Obviously he's going to make an effort not to, but... well, they be tiny, yo.

ganon578
2010-05-26, 02:03 PM
I was never into custom parts either, though I have a shield painted red because it was all scratched to hell. I usually always go with whatever true parts I have and make it look as close as possible to the character I'm goin for. I think I've done quite well making representations of characters from some Weis & Hickman Dragonlance novels.

Cliffjumper
2010-05-26, 02:17 PM
I think the problem for me is where do you stop, y'know? Why bother putting time and thought into a good model that properly works - get more or less there, then cut bits off, repaint them and glue some others on. Good work, ****o, have a bun. Lego's basic restrictions are good because you have to use imagination to get the stuff to work for you.

Denyer
2010-06-18, 07:17 PM
http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2010-06/11/working-sniper-rifle,-minigun-and-shotgun-built-from-lego

electro girl
2010-06-19, 08:06 PM
Fluff me!

Skyquake87
2010-07-06, 07:52 AM
Er, on topic ( a little bit!) . I have a few of these blind packed mini-figures. I like 'em, although I've given up buying them now, after my fourth Caveman in a row! I've got the forestman, ninja, zombie, skater boi, caveman, cowboy & magician.

I also have duplicates (1 of each) of the skater boi, caveman, ninja & magician if anyone wants to trade. i do actually want the cheerleader, if someone has her and doesn't want her!

The barcodes are all the same on mine, which I bought from WHSmith (where they are £1.99). There's a second series due in September featuring a mexican with sombrero and maracas! i quite like that Lego have thought to get in on the collecting craze, but at £2 (£3 in some places), you're not actually far off buying a small City set or something.

In other news, I've rather liked Lego's recent sets. I bought a load of City stuff last year and the level of detailing and complexity is impressive. I really like the farm stuff (they have pigs and cows!). Since about 2005, they seem to have been getting back to what made the range great in the first place, which means less of the 1990s/early 2000s 'three bricks builds the kit' nonsense.

I had a look over the Kingdoms stuff, and it looks alright, but a little bit 'Knights Kingdom'. I'll be sticking with my '80s Castle stuff!

Rack 'n Ruin
2010-07-06, 11:50 AM
Surely kids would just end up cutting themselves on it?

Ha! I still have a Lego inflicted scar on my right thumb! I got it one Christmas Day in the late 80's / early 90's when building the big white & yellow soldier's fort from the Pirate line.

Is it too late to sue do you think?

electro girl
2010-07-06, 01:03 PM
Come to think of it I've only ever seen them in WHSmith and not TRU or The Entertainer. It did feel odd standing in the shop feeling a bunch of plastic bags for a cowboy though.

Skyquake87
2010-07-06, 01:58 PM
Come to think of it I've only ever seen them in WHSmith and not TRU or The Entertainer. It did feel odd standing in the shop feeling a bunch of plastic bags for a cowboy though.

:lol: I caught myself on doing just that! Worse, I couldn't tell what was in them anyway, so I just ended up looking weird. And it was hot. So I was sweaty whilst feeling bags of lego.

um...none of that is sounding good in any way... :(

Ackula
2010-09-10, 05:50 AM
Has anyone been getting the new series 2? I'm loving some of these minifigs. We were able to find the Vampire, Witch, Pharoah, Safari guy, The Spartan, the Mexican, and the Mime. :)

Cliffjumper
2010-09-10, 06:42 AM
Yeh - there aren't many places round here that do them, sadly, but we've got the karate champ (trophy = win), the rock star, the safari dude and about six withces (that's getting a bit annoying, truth be told).

Ackula
2010-09-11, 08:28 PM
Yeah I feel a lot of witches and cops. Those seem to be the most common around here. You can always tell a witch though by feeling the package for a few seconds, honestly. The pointed hat is a dead give away. The vampire is the one that has been a headache to find, we had to go through two brand new boxes that were just placed on the shelves, to find only one! I had a copy of the UPC code for that one, because I knew how hard it was supposed to be to find. The rest I was able to find by touch alone, luckily at Target they are in the back of the store and there isn't a ton of people staring at my family as we blunder through all the minifig packages feeling them like weirdos. :lol:

Cliffjumper
2010-09-11, 08:45 PM
Biggest problem here is most places seem to have them behind the counter - £3 and pocketable is a shoplifter's dream - so no touchy touchy :(

Ackula
2010-09-11, 08:48 PM
Yeah, that sucks. They are at the check out counter at TRU here, but Target has them in the very back of the store with the seasonal Halloween stuff, they obviously think they would make great trick or treat basket gifts, which they would. I was a little shocked to find them back there myself.

ganon578
2011-02-22, 03:25 PM
They have wave 3 of these guys out, so we made a family trip to the Lego store (seriously, a Lego outlet store = pure awesome). So I felt around in the little packages for an elf (Lord of the Rings style, not the Santa Claus style). That little dude is awesome!

ganon578
2011-02-22, 03:26 PM
Yeah I feel a lot of witches and cops. Those seem to be the most common around here. You can always tell a witch though by feeling the package for a few seconds, honestly. The pointed hat is a dead give away. The vampire is the one that has been a headache to find, we had to go through two brand new boxes that were just placed on the shelves, to find only one! I had a copy of the UPC code for that one, because I knew how hard it was supposed to be to find. The rest I was able to find by touch alone, luckily at Target they are in the back of the store and there isn't a ton of people staring at my family as we blunder through all the minifig packages feeling them like weirdos. :lol:

Don't feel weird about feeling the packages. When I was looking for an elf, some other guy was feeling for a different minifig. And a couple minutes later a couple teenage kids were doing the same thing...

Slayer-Fan123
2011-02-23, 06:27 AM
Got two recently. A Ringmaster and a Surfer.

Thunderwave
2011-02-23, 12:11 PM
We get those damned things in at work every now and again. They NEVER last more then a day or two before we've sold them all. However I did figure out how to tell what's inside each package without standing there and molesting each packet for who knows how long.

I know Series One had a pair of barcodes on the back, one for the price and the other for...something. If you had a scanner, you know like an inventory control one, you could scan the smaller code and a number would pop up that matched up with what's inside. >.> While I know it's "Cheating" it does make searching for one out of the assortment go quicker.

Now Series Two has, along the bottom of the seal on the bag, little dots that look kinda like braille. They are real faint and you have to hold the bag juuuuust right to see them, but each figure has a pattern associated with it.

Did I mention I get really bored at my menial labor job?

I do, however, have a little LEGO Spartan sitting on my desk next to my monitor.

ganon578
2011-02-23, 03:25 PM
I do, however, have a little LEGO Spartan sitting on my desk next to my monitor.

Damn! I missed out on Wave 2, and later noticed that Spartan. That would have been a cool addition.

With any of these waves, though, I've only thought one or two of each wave would be neat to have in the collection. The others seem hit or miss to me...

Cliffjumper
2011-02-23, 04:06 PM
I'm sort of having the same thing... They're actually pretty difficult to find here in Winchester, and whenever I do go somewhere where they do them the wave seems to have changed. There's no chance for feeling packets (they're kept behind counters where they are sold to prevent shoplifting) and I always end up with something vaguely underwhelming like a bloody Witch or a Forestman (I've got dozens on them already...) rather than the funky Town/City-style figures I really want, and I'm always left with a feeling that I've just wasted my money. It's a shame, because some of the good ones we've had have been really impressive, but for whatever reason our hit ratio has been shocking.

electro girl
2011-02-23, 04:46 PM
I'm starting to think that feeling the bags isn't always a guaranteed way of getting different figures. I was very surprised how different two sumo wrestlers felt in the bag, at least I can make them wrestle. I think they are great as little gifts though, a mate of mine got me two for my birthday and I was pleased as punch.

Warcry
2011-02-23, 08:38 PM
I'm in the same boat as Cliffy...there's only one or two places that carry these, and they keep them behind the counter so it's impossible to tell what you're buying. I was excited when I first heard about them but I haven't actually bought any because what the **** am I going to do with the inevitable cheerleaders, crash-test dummies and robots in my Castle display? It's a shame, because if I knew what I was buying I'd have gotten a bunch of forestmen, witches, vampires, Spartans, cavemen, etc, etc...

**** blind-packing, in other words.

Ackula
2011-02-25, 07:28 AM
These things are everywhere here, and my son being a LEGO fanatic has to have them all and multiples of certain figures, so I've got the whole "feeling them out" thing down to a science. I have never been wrong, after buying at least 30 of these things for him. The bar codes were sorta hard to figure out unless you had the print out right in front of you, but the braille thing is really easy actually.

The only ones we missed were the Zombie and Robot from series 1, and they just cost too damn much on eBay. In fact if anyone has a spare of either of those and wants to trade from anything in the current series 3 set, let me know and I can get you whatever you need most likely. The Target stores here are overflowing with the damn things.

@Cliffy that is too funny, becuase he wanted an army of Forestmen and ended up not finding that many of them when that series was out. We have found dozens of Elves though.

Cliffjumper
2011-02-25, 10:34 AM
I'm pretty sure I'd be rubbish at it even if I could feel the packages, it's jsut not the sort of thing I'd be any good at.

I just wish there was the same alternative avaliable as there is with Japanese blind-packed stuff - a facility for buying a case of the things and being guaranteed one of each, or two of each or whatever... Obviously you'd miss out on the collecting aspect but for me (with numerous other things jostling for disposable - that I can buy a GI Joe figure I want for about the same as 1 or 2 Minifigs I might not actually want often makes the decision for me... They're £2 over here a pop where you can find them) and I suspect a few others it'd be a winning route - maybe as a website exclusive or something so they're still getting the big impulse sales from kids, but there we go...

Ahhh, TBH, my opinion is well done to them - it's a great idea that's put a great brand/system firmly back in kids' minds. Lego's the most important toy in the world because it's fun but harnesses creativity, intelligence and imagination too, and it should be keeping kids happy rather than old bastards like me.

ganon578
2011-02-25, 05:10 PM
I wish I had the money and a store close by that had the blind packs to look for a bunch of elves (to build a little elven army) and maybe one of the fishermen or tribal chiefs. The closest store to me is about an hour away (Lego outlet) but I'm off to Toys R Us to check that out tonight. They had Wave 1 way back, but have since not gotten any, or only had one box that sold quickly. The Targets around here don't have them...

Skyquake87
2011-02-27, 11:02 AM
I've given up with these. i bought a few from series one, wave two was nowhere to be seen (my local TRU stores had them on danglers by the checkouts for a week and then they were never seen again). tesco currently stock wave three (at £1.50 at the moment), but...i just can't be arsed feeling packets and working out barcodes or dot patterns to get the figures i want. great for kids though.

i bought the star wars bounty hunter space craft thing with aurra sing in instead. which is ace.

Cliffjumper
2011-02-27, 01:09 PM
Well, I've just hit ebay for most of the figs I'm after... they seem to fetch about £3-5 a fig, which isn't toooo bad - considering I could easily spend that in store and still not get the ones I'm after, never mind getting somewhere that does them. All being well, should have the Gorilla, the rapper, the tennis player, the cheerleader, the lifeguard, the magician, the fisherman, the vampire, the hula dancer, the singer and Disco Dude on the way... I sort of miss some of the fun but miss the frustration as well.

The prices the clown and the Spartan seem to be going for are terrifying, though.

Warcry
2011-02-27, 07:43 PM
The prices the clown and the Spartan seem to be going for are terrifying, though.
Holy crap. Never actually looked these up before. I can see the Spartan being expensive because anyone making a Greek MOC will need a lot of them, but why in the world is the clown so pricey?

Pics of Series 4 (http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5248/5237308645_4bc28940d6.jpg) and Series 5 (http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5011/5420004526_2f11232473_b.jpg) are out, but I'm not sure if that counts as news or not. The Viking, mad scientist and geisha in S4 look pretty cool, and so do the Buckingham Palace guard, boxer and gladiator in S5. The Gorn makes me happy too.

I do wish the assortments were less Town-centric though.

Cliffjumper
2011-02-27, 08:56 PM
I don't. :p

Geisha, chap with thr trophy (footballer? but no football?), artiste, hockey guy, scientist, blonde chick (Cinderella?), punk, sailor (like, fifteen if at all possible, to crew the ironclad) are all in for 4; royal guard, gangster, aerobics girl, boxer, gangster, Holmes, Gorillas in the Mist woman, lumberjack, teacher, Cleopatra and monster suit man are all in for 5.

Those are a bit Town-centric, aren't they? Odd, really.

I think with the clown it's the "LOL Evil Clown" factor, as IIRC they were all made in equal-ish numbers... Beyond that... dunno. Wasn't in the least bit surprised about the Spartan, though - there's probably a few nutters trying to do 300 with Lego out there.

Thunderwave
2011-02-28, 12:14 AM
The prices the clown and the Spartan seem to be going for are terrifying, though.

Because you need 300 of them, dugh. ;-)

We -still- can't keep these damned things in stock at work, even during the slow time that is January/Febuary. We've got this one lady who comes in and buys them like 20-30 at a time. I'd say she's a scalper but she dosn't give off the same vibe the other scalpers do.

Warcry
2011-02-28, 05:51 AM
Those are a bit Town-centric, aren't they? Odd, really.
Well...really, I can understand it. Town is by far the biggest theme, and the only one of the 'Big Three' that's really popular anymore (Castle is more of a niche thing nowadays, and Space has mostly been sidelined for Star Wars). Pirates used to be a big deal but it looks like that line's died for the second time now that they've got the Pirates of the Caribbean license. And nothing else seems to last more than a year or two, these days.

So from that perspective, since it doesn't seem like they can/want to use their licensed properties in the minifig series it only makes sense that Town would get the most attention. Making it 75% Town is a bit much though, IMO. Personally I'd like to see more historical or fantasy stuff...minifigs that wouldn't fit in with existing sets because Lego's never done anything like them before. Having fairly generic townsfolk just feels like a bit of a waste...but then, so does having a ninja, a viking, a dwarf, a Pharoah, a mummy and a Space Police alien when similar themes are either running right now or have run in the last few years.

I think with the clown it's the "LOL Evil Clown" factor, as IIRC they were all made in equal-ish numbers...
I read somewhere that they're packed in different quantities, although it's probably a fairly minor difference along the lines of two-per-case vs. three-per-case. I certainly wouldn't be surprised if more of the potential army-builders -- Spartans, Forestmen, sailors, etc. -- were produced than, say, the skateboarder or the chick with the boombox.

Wasn't in the least bit surprised about the Spartan, though - there's probably a few nutters trying to do 300 with Lego out there.
I would be surprised if there wasn't, really.

It'll probably never happen, but I'd love a Greco-Roman theme filled with Spartans, gladiators, hoplites, centurions, legionnaires, etc. paired off against brick-built mythical creatures. Sort of like the Vikings sets they did a few years ago, but with more variety in both the humans and the beasties.

Cliffjumper
2011-02-28, 02:36 PM
Aye - the time for that probably would have been 10 years ago (Gladiator, Troy)...

I think the Town bias is probably just because there's a lot more that kids will recognise without repetition... I mean, to your average kid, the Medieval stuff has knights in it, and that's it - slight colour/armour variations aren't going to be a big seller to the nippers, and neither is, say, a medieval blacksmith or market seller or squire or baron or servant or peasant or farmer...

Thinking back to my old stuff I really don't recall that many Castle figures which weren't either knights or soldiers of some description, and many of those which weren't (like the blacksmith) were just knights without helmets or weapons. I remember the chick from the Tavern (as soon as you need someone to serve food, they get in a woman - brutal...) but aside from that it was largely Medieval Military, because all kids think of when they think of castles is knights, and all they think of in space is astronauts and robots.

Whereas Town/City stuff can be anything they come across...

Warcry
2011-02-28, 08:26 PM
I think the Town bias is probably just because there's a lot more that kids will recognise without repetition... I mean, to your average kid, the Medieval stuff has knights in it, and that's it - slight colour/armour variations aren't going to be a big seller to the nippers, and neither is, say, a medieval blacksmith or market seller or squire or baron or servant or peasant or farmer...
Why must you list things that I'll never have? :(

Actually, I agree with you mostly. There's not much point in doing knights per se in the Minifig line (although a Templar or Joan of Arc or something wouldn't be unwelcome) and that is what the bulk of the Castle line is these days. But judging by how popular the elf seems to be, maybe some more medieval fantasy stuff would be a good fit?

Thinking back to my old stuff I really don't recall that many Castle figures which weren't either knights or soldiers of some description, and many of those which weren't (like the blacksmith) were just knights without helmets or weapons. I remember the chick from the Tavern (as soon as you need someone to serve food, they get in a woman - brutal...) but aside from that it was largely Medieval Military, because all kids think of when they think of castles is knights, and all they think of in space is astronauts and robots.
You're right that there wasn't much in the way of civilian sets in the Castle of old. They stopped making them, so I suppose they didn't sell well, but I find it odd how strongly that reversed as the kids grew up. By the time I got into Lego the closest you could get to peasants were the Forestmen, who looked the part even if they were meant to be a Robin-Hood-esque band of rogues.

That seems to be changing now. Half of the Castle sets we're getting this year are civilian (admittedly just two of four...lousy kids not buying enough Castle to justify more production...), a blacksmith's shop and a farm/mill. How well they sell will, I suppose, determine whether or not we see more of them as time goes on.

And don't even get me started on how few women there are in Castle sets. Between it being marketed at boys and the historical role of women at the time, we're lucky if we see one female figure in each year worth of sets. That's another reason I wish the minifigs weren't blind-packed -- I'd love to scoop up a dozen or so random female minifigures and snag the hair for female peasants and nobles.

Whereas Town/City stuff can be anything they come across...
Totally agreed. And speaking as someone who buys Lego for a kid as well as for myself, that's a factor for the sets as well when I buy them for my niece. City has a built-in bigger market to play to than any of the other themes. Not all kids are going to be interested in or familiar with castles or Ancient Egypt or ninjas, but you'll be hard-pressed to find one that doesn't know what a car or a house is.

On the other hand, I've always thought that City has much nicer sets in the low price points than the other themes I pay attention to, and that's got to be a factor as well.

Cliffjumper
2011-02-28, 09:07 PM
Mmm... bearing in mind that I only really remember the Castle stuff me and my bother had a) there didn't seem to be many small Castle sets (and the ones there were were unchanged for years... though then a lot of toys were like that at the time, or at least seemed to be) and b) were pretty uninspiring - odd little siege weapons or carts, and I seem to remember a highly unconvincing boat made of aricraft parts with flags for sails...

I guess that's a vagary of the range - 1 Castle means Castles and pretty much everything else is small fry and 2 there just aren't as many vehicles and the like to make 30-40 piece sets out of... I always thought Minifig sets of army builders might have been the answer, but it's difficult to draw a direct line between adult obsession and what kids like... As a kid I thought Minifigs were pretty awesome, but still preferred building kits - I'd have drooled over a set of Lion knights, but probably still have bought a sportscar for all the different bits. I seem to remember the old Minifig six-packs were also relatively pricey.

I guess with the women it's history at work... the three main career paths were noblewoman, wench and servant, and I guess Lego have to tread the line between realism and making something suitable for kids. Mind, one of the big problems with the older stuff is the unisex Minifig heads - you want a female Men-At-Arms, you take the helmet off and slap on a hairpiece. But then you've got one silly cow who's set out to battle without a helmet for no other reason that you can tell she's a girl. The Space stuff is the same - I'm fairly sure there's no-one who's obviously female in at least the first decade of that, because everyone's got a helmet on. Town was pretty poor really for years in this respect too for years - on percentage if not the full number.

I think a reason most of the other sub-themes haven't lasted as well as Town or City have.... With Castle it's difficult to come up with much that appeals to kids other than a couple of castles a year, a few siege weapons and then... well, you do a few more castles, with different knights. Not that I have anything against Castle or anything, but you can see why it might get stale from a commercial point of view... It's pretty much why Pirates never lasts long - you have a pirate ship, a soldiers' ship, a fort, a treasure island... and that's it. I seem to remember the second year of the 1980s Pirate set had some very silly stuff in it, mixed with some daft swapping (IIRC the second year the soldiers had the bigger ship...).

Whereas Town especially would give one sub-theme a big 'push' a year (airport, harbour, Grand Prix, Octan) before switching to something else, which probably kept things fresher - and the same stuff seems to be working for City. However, I think the hope for Castle is that it's the big collectors' theme, and judging by what you say is coming it might be that Lego are taking some note of that - quantity might not be huge, but it looks like variety is making a few strides.

Skyquake87
2011-02-28, 10:02 PM
They've obviously taken note of how well the premium collector set 'Medieval Village' did from 2008. I love the premium sets, but they are just way beyond my means and what I'd be prepared to pay for a set. Its nice to see that Lego do seem to be testing the waters with the premium stuff and then trying a more affordable version for the core range. For instance, I am particularly pleased with the three piece shops and yellow bus that came out some time back and seems to have come about off the back of the success of stuff like the Greengrocers. It was quite a novelty seeing for the first time in about six years, a non-emergency service set coming out of the City range (so much so that I wrote a gushing review on amazon http://www.amazon.co.uk/LEGO-City-7641-Corner/dp/B001U3ZMF4/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1298930288&sr=8-2 ).

reading through amazon's reviews, its quite suprising how many adults buy and enjoy Lego. The massive technic sets contain reviews from fellas well into their 60s! Brilliant!

Warcry
2011-02-28, 11:46 PM
Mmm... bearing in mind that I only really remember the Castle stuff me and my bother had a) there didn't seem to be many small Castle sets (and the ones there were were unchanged for years... though then a lot of toys were like that at the time, or at least seemed to be) and b) were pretty uninspiring - odd little siege weapons or carts, and I seem to remember a highly unconvincing boat made of aricraft parts with flags for sails...
I think another big problem is that they try to make sure that each set nowadays is a 'battle'. Take a look at this set (http://shop.lego.com/ByTheme/Product.aspx?p=7948&cn=640&d=70) as an example. There's really no reason why the tower and the catapult need to be bundled together...both of them would be serviceable standalone sets in their own right. The same goes for this one (http://shop.lego.com/Product/?p=7037) (One of my favourite modern sets, actually. The fort is really nice and the siege tower is both unique and very well-designed).

In the 80s and 90s, you could get small castles like this on their own, but nowadays you're far more likely to see the things bundled together in a single box with an 'enemy' set. And while I can see the attraction (kids can buy a single set and have a battle) I think it prices Castle out of the market a bit. Lego is expensive enough as it is, and when I was a kid buying the stuff with my allowance I rarely had more than $20 or $25 to spend at any given time. If Lego made an effort to have one or two small castles in the sub-$20 range, I think it would do a lot for the line. Because like you say, Castle is about castles. Troop builder sets, civilians sets, chariots and catapults are cool, but if they're the only thing kids can afford then they're not going to get into the theme to start with.

Pirates and Space have it a bit harder, I think, because making a small Castle is a lot easier than making a small boat or starship (at least, ones that don't suck).

I guess with the women it's history at work... the three main career paths were noblewoman, wench and servant, and I guess Lego have to tread the line between realism and making something suitable for kids.
Historical accuracy is cool and all, but when your kingdom is filled with dragons, orcs, wizards and the undead I think it's safe to say that it's taking a backseat to fun. Unfortunately, most little boys don't have fun playing with female characters, and between those two stumbling blocks it means that females aren't a huge priority.

Mind, one of the big problems with the older stuff is the unisex Minifig heads - you want a female Men-At-Arms, you take the helmet off and slap on a hairpiece. But then you've got one silly cow who's set out to battle without a helmet for no other reason that you can tell she's a girl. The Space stuff is the same - I'm fairly sure there's no-one who's obviously female in at least the first decade of that, because everyone's got a helmet on. Town was pretty poor really for years in this respect too for years - on percentage if not the full number.
Actually I think the unisex heads are nice in that respect because at the very least, they're a lot easier to repurpose as females than modern minifig heads. They're generic, sure, but at least they don't have beards and stuff...

Whereas Town especially would give one sub-theme a big 'push' a year (airport, harbour, Grand Prix, Octan) before switching to something else, which probably kept things fresher - and the same stuff seems to be working for City.
Castle's always done that to some degree. In the last four or five years we've gone from knights vs. skeletons and a necromancer to knights vs. goblins, back to the bog-standard "two teams of knights fighting", and now to a focus on civilian stuff. I think Castle has as much potential variety as Town, but because it has fewer sets per year and because some of those sets need to be the standard Castle fair, most of it stays potential.

What the difference boils down to, I think, is that where Town might have five or six 'airport' sets in their 'airport' year, Castle really only has room for one or two sets that break out of the standard mold every year. So we'll get a blacksmith and a mill one year, a siege tower another year and harbour/ship combo in a different year, but the line never seems to focus on a theme as much as I'd like it to.

On the other hand, a lot of the things that they could do with Castle end up getting explored in licensed themes like Harry Potter or Prince of Persia, and that both limits what they can do and probably contributes to Castle having so few sets per year.

However, I think the hope for Castle is that it's the big collectors' theme, and judging by what you say is coming it might be that Lego are taking some note of that - quantity might not be huge, but it looks like variety is making a few strides.
Is it? I always thought Town and Star Wars were a lot bigger with collectors, although Castle does have a lot of adult fans.

They've obviously taken note of how well the premium collector set 'Medieval Village' did from 2008.
That was glorious, wasn't it? Just a shame about the price...

reading through amazon's reviews, its quite suprising how many adults buy and enjoy Lego. The massive technic sets contain reviews from fellas well into their 60s! Brilliant!
I think think the adult Lego fandom is a bigger than the adult Transformers fandom. If 10% of Transformers' sales comes from adult collectors (I think that's the number that gets thrown around?) then Lego is probably closer to 20%. That's just a guess, mind, and probably skewed by the sheer amount of army-building and multiple-buying that goes on. But there's no way Lego would produce so many sets that cost >$100 if they didn't have a huge adult fanbase to support it.

ganon578
2011-03-01, 03:28 PM
Seeing all this talk of castle sets that should be less expensive and not so much in the siege weapons/engines category (which I wholeheartedly agree with all of you), have you guys seen the Mill Village Raid (http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=7189-1) which is set to release this year? I hope it's a mass-market release and not a Lego store only purchase. Either way, I'd drive the 1+ hour to the Lego outlet nearby to get it...

Now these are the types of castle/medieval sets that would be great to start getting!!!

Warcry
2011-03-01, 04:22 PM
It's supposed to be mass-market from what I understand. That and the blacksmith's shop they're doing are both high on my 'want' list.

I just noticed that the huge Medieval Market Village (http://shop.lego.com/ByTheme/Product.aspx?p=10193&cn=245&d=100) has been reduced from $150 Canadian to $135...but only in Canada and nowhere else. Still a hugely inflated pricetag compared to the $99 US cost, but less painfully so, at least. I'm tempted to pick one up now...

Between that and this year's sets, one would have the beginnings of a very nice Castle town.

ganon578
2011-03-24, 03:44 PM
It's supposed to be mass-market from what I understand. That and the blacksmith's shop they're doing are both high on my 'want' list.

I just noticed that the huge Medieval Market Village (http://shop.lego.com/ByTheme/Product.aspx?p=10193&cn=245&d=100) has been reduced from $150 Canadian to $135...but only in Canada and nowhere else. Still a hugely inflated pricetag compared to the $99 US cost, but less painfully so, at least. I'm tempted to pick one up now...

Between that and this year's sets, one would have the beginnings of a very nice Castle town.

Excellent. I'm getting all of those then. I better start saving.

On a random (or not so random) trip to TRU yesterday I picked up some blind packs and got another elf so now I don't have one lonely elf but two lonely elves, as well as a fisherman (complete with fishing pole and a green nondescript fish) which is really stinkin' cool!

And then I skipped to Target next door and scored an impulse polybag pack that contained a crossbow archer with an archery target, a small cooking fire with a chicken leg, and an apple tree. All in a little pack for $4. Score! All in all a <$10 day and 3 awesome minifigs!!!

Cliffjumper
2011-03-26, 05:33 AM
Series 4 seems to be out in the UK :) Got the surfer chick and the footballer; liking most of them so much I might keep just taking my chances on retail. Cue me ending up with half a dozen Frankenstein monsters, three garden gnomes and no Frank Sinatra musical sailors at all :(

Denyer
2011-03-28, 12:55 PM
Well, I've just hit ebay for most of the figs I'm after... they seem to fetch about £3-5 a fig, which isn't toooo bad
Bricklink sellers (particularly overseas) don't seem to be too bad, if you look once they've had a bit of time to get into circulation but not long enough to become rare. Generally I've been going for the ones I was after by buying a few randoms from the Cradley Tesco Extra, then going online.

Not surprised the Spartan got so expensive... even without the barcodes, the ones with bulky accessories are easy to feel and pick out of a box worth.

What surprises me is that there seems to be a market for supposedly blind-choice sealed bags on eBay. It's very unlikely the sellers have left any of the more sought-after figures in the picks.

I'd love to scoop up a dozen or so random female minifigures and snag the hair for female peasants and nobles.
Bricklink, seriously.

Cliffjumper
2011-03-28, 01:27 PM
Unless the City minifigs have really started to circulate on the parts market, Bricklink was a pain for female hair - the long-serving centre-parting and the 1990s pony tail were fairly common (but results in a town of clones), the old-style bunches were surprisingly pricey and there wasn't much else actually out there (as an aside, if anyone wants to see something terrifying for pricing of old minifig parts, have a look at how much the stickered torso parts for the very first batch of Town minifigs fetch...) and until the franchise stuff there weren't many more avaliable. On the plus side, subtle female heads seem to be a lot more common, which stops the old problem of anyone in a hat being a bloke (though they do usually end up looking like a stereotypical lesbian).

The problem I have is still finding somewhere nearby that stocks the things (having got into considerable trouble trying to order them in at work), so I probably will hit ebay a bit at some point, but as I say I'm potentially less worried due to this series being very Town-centric (and even involving a fair few figures I wouldn't be gutted at doubling up with). Definitely need half a dozen sailors, even if they are more New York, New York than Royal Navy.

Warcry
2011-03-28, 10:29 PM
Bricklink, seriously.
Like Cliffy I've never had much luck finding anything other than the two basic female hair sculpts -- which ironically look fairly androgynous in a medieval setting, actually. Then again, I haven't looked in ages and there's been a lot more intricate and/or 'girly' hairpieces coming out lately, a lot of them from the licensed themes. Of course, if I buy those I have to deal with the women having flesh-toned skin instead of the healthy yellow glow the rest of the village sports, forcing me to search out new heads and continuing the vicious cycle...

I'll never, ever understand why they did that.

The problem I have is still finding somewhere nearby that stocks the things (having got into considerable trouble trying to order them in at work)
Just out of curiosity...do you actually sell LEGO there or were you just going to buy the whole case yourself?

Denyer
2011-03-29, 04:51 AM
Of course, if I buy those I have to deal with the women having flesh-toned skin instead of the healthy yellow glow the rest of the village sports,
You generally don't have to buy figures, just the hair; eg,

Mid-length, braided
http://www.bricklink.com/catalogItem.asp?P=59363

Mid-length, draped
http://www.bricklink.com/catalogItem.asp?P=85974

Long, ponytail
http://www.bricklink.com/catalogItem.asp?P=62696

Bob
http://www.bricklink.com/catalogItem.asp?P=62711

They've all been used in about ten or twenty sets, so they're quite common.

(Some of the details may not show up until you're signed in so it can place you in relation to sellers who ship to you.)

If you are after whole figures, there's a small gotcha in the way categories are laid out. The collectible minifigs started off being organised as minifigs, but since about series 3 they've been classed as sets. Stock of the first few series can thus show up in either category.

tahukanuva
2011-03-29, 05:05 AM
If I weren't already convinced, this thread has definitely proven that Denyer knows everything better than everyone else.

Denyer
2011-03-29, 12:21 PM
As a follow-up to my still-not-quite-finished-to-satisfaction Space Marines dreadnought riffing on Jerac's (http://www.flickr.com/photos/jerac/sets/72157625354017872/)* I've been half-arsedly planning some TOS-era Trek pieces, and only gotten as far as the crew; thirty or so figs, mostly classic space torsos with various heads/accs to give them some variety and not make the crew all humans.

eg, This (http://www.bricklink.com/catalogItem.asp?P=973pb628c01) torso from Toy Story + suitably coloured hands/legs + face with smirk + bob hair makes for a passable Romulan guard IMO.

Good site once you get used to it.

*Ooo, synchronicity... the guy's just posted a rather lovely Enterprise-A as well.

Warcry
2011-03-29, 02:48 PM
You generally don't have to buy figures, just the hair; eg,

...
They've all been used in about ten or twenty sets, so they're quite common.
Sweet. They're actually a lot more common than when I looked a couple years ago. It also looks like the pick-a-brick on Lego's website has better prices on a lot of the hairpieces as well, although they don't have the greatest selection. I'm going to get the chance to check out a Lego Store when I'm in Minneapolis this summer though...I'll have to see what they've got in stock there.

Also, while I was clicking through the sets that have those hairpieces I found this (http://www.bricklink.com/catalogItemInv.asp?S=9349-1). I'm very tempted to try to track this down as well, since it's got so many unique old-timey female minifigs. A touch pricey, but tracking down the individual figs is even pricier by the looks of it.

I've been half-arsedly planning some TOS-era Trek pieces, and only gotten as far as the crew; thirty or so figs, mostly classic space torsos with various heads/accs to give them some variety and not make the crew all humans.
Any pics, by chance? I did that once when I was a kid -- ended up building minifig-scale bridge and engineering sets too -- but that was ages ago and everything's been long-since disassembled.

Denyer
2011-03-29, 04:06 PM
Excuse the bloody awful photography...

Command, a couple of random Series 1 astronauts, and Medical
http://img232.imageshack.us/img232/5642/q1ap1000089.th.jpg (http://img232.imageshack.us/i/q1ap1000089.jpg/)

Engineers
http://img827.imageshack.us/img827/4260/q2ap1000080.th.jpg (http://img827.imageshack.us/i/q2ap1000080.jpg/)

Security... the 'Borg' head shouldn't be in there, at least not yet
http://img715.imageshack.us/img715/6980/q3ap1000085.th.jpg (http://img715.imageshack.us/i/q3ap1000085.jpg/)

Random villain, and Romulans
http://img22.imageshack.us/img22/8154/q4ap1000086.th.jpg (http://img22.imageshack.us/i/q4ap1000086.jpg/)

Science
http://img718.imageshack.us/img718/4475/q5ap1000084.th.jpg (http://img718.imageshack.us/i/q5ap1000084.jpg/)

All quite keep-it-simple, and trying not to just recreate existing characters.

edit:

Anyone looking for actual TOS characters might like;

http://www.saber-scorpion.com/lego/startrek_toschars.php
http://www.customminifig.co.uk/captain-kirk-custom-lego-minifig/
http://www.mocpages.com/moc.php/45682

Cliffjumper
2011-03-29, 04:34 PM
Yellow spacemen always look like mad nudists :(

ganon578
2011-04-05, 03:14 PM
Series 4 is out around here at TRU. I was feeling around in packs to find something interesting, but my daughter decided she was done with stores for the day. Plus there isn't anything really interesting in series 4. I liked the Mad Scientist but couldn't find him. The other options were a garden gnome (also which I couldn't find) or a viking (though I have about a dozen of these guys). I think I'll just wait for Series 5 so I can stock up on dwarves!!!

Cliffjumper
2011-04-05, 03:22 PM
Got the sailor, the ice-skater, the chemical containment guy and the hockey player. Great stuff, especially the sailor's little telescope, the raw anger on the face of the hockey player and the chemical guy's look of sheer terror.

Warcry
2011-04-05, 03:29 PM
the raw anger on the face of the hockey player
He's pissed off that they gave him a football helmet!

Cliffjumper
2011-04-05, 03:57 PM
Footballers don't wear helmets.

Except Petr Cech.

Warcry
2011-04-05, 04:37 PM
No, no, not the dreadfully boring sport your kind watch. I meant the dreadfully boring sport that rednecks watch.

...

No, not NASCAR. The other one.

Rack 'n Ruin
2011-04-05, 04:39 PM
No, no, not the dreadfully boring sport your kind watch. I meant the dreadfully boring sport that rednecks watch.

...

No, not NASCAR. The other one.

Raccoon baiting?

ganon578
2011-04-11, 06:27 PM
TRU still had some Series 3 packs out. Scored two Samurai Warriors, another Elf, and a hula dancer. Awesome!

Skyquake87
2011-04-12, 10:06 PM
I got the cheerleader from series one the other day. Made me very happy :swirly: Not really arsed for any more (the only other one i now own is a skater dude from series one what i got free with an issue of the Beano that also included a mini figures mini-mag and poster).

ganon578
2011-05-05, 06:37 PM
In an effort to fill out random characters in my fantasy/castle display, I managed to get a few new minifigs. Picked up a Garden Gnome from TRU the other week (which will not be in a garden but rather will be a tinkerer/inventor gnome a la the Dragonlance universe).

Target also recently started carrying these around me and I also picked up a Viking warrior (to add to the dozen I already have, but damn he's got a cool shield) as well as what I was really searching for, a Musketeer. The Musketeer is really cool, and has a phenomenally huge floppy hat. He'll fit in well with my Pirates...

Tetsuro
2011-05-06, 04:32 PM
Dammit, already cranking out series 3 and I'm not even done with series 2 yet!

Granted, I only really want the Mexican and the Disco guy, but still...

ganon578
2011-05-09, 04:58 AM
Dammit, already cranking out series 3 and I'm not even done with series 2 yet!

Granted, I only really want the Mexican and the Disco guy, but still...

I completely missed Series 2. That Spartan would have been nice!

And the Pharoah. And the Witch. Maybe the Vampire too.

Skyquake87
2011-05-17, 08:37 PM
A little bit off topic, but what the heck. In the UK we have another Lego giveaway with our fabulous tabloid press. So far we've had a tiny X-Wing, Captain Jack Sparrow in a dingy with a bottle of booze, a tiny replica of the Black Pearl and today a Ninjago 'glider' (in reality a Ninja with a load of swords coming out of his back!). Later in the week we get a couple more Ninjago sets and a Pharoh's Curse set! Not bad for 30p a pop :swirly:

This is the fourth of these Lego giveaways we've had recently, and I like that we're not getting some City stuff for a change. Although there is a feeling that Lego are really pushing the new stuff hoping for follow on purchases of the lines...

Cliffjumper
2011-05-17, 08:40 PM
I was tempted by a couple (today's seemed to have Storm Shadow with it), but couldn't be arsed with the yomp into town after work to get them... Might get Sparrow when Smiths staff inevitably list billions of them on ebay for 50p, though.

The tractor in the last lot was ****ing awesome, mind. Shame the rest of them were usual giveaway "go-kart with blue lights = fire chief's car" silliness. Mind, they do charge nine quid for that sort of rubbish (http://www.amazon.co.uk/LEGO%C2%AECity-7279-Police-Minifigure-Collection/dp/B0042HOU0I/ref=sr_1_50?ie=UTF8&qid=1305664893&sr=8-50)...

ganon578
2011-05-17, 09:29 PM
It would be cool to get those little types of sets around here, especially the Jack Sparrow one. We get them here in stores like TRU and Target, and I think they retail for about $4. Too bad my local target is swamped with the dinky Atlantis set; it would be nice to get some new sets in!

Skyquake87
2011-05-19, 09:59 PM
I was tempted by a couple (today's seemed to have Storm Shadow with it), but couldn't be arsed with the yomp into town after work to get them... Might get Sparrow when Smiths staff inevitably list billions of them on ebay for 50p, though.

The tractor in the last lot was ****ing awesome, mind. Shame the rest of them were usual giveaway "go-kart with blue lights = fire chief's car" silliness. Mind, they do charge nine quid for that sort of rubbish (http://www.amazon.co.uk/LEGO%C2%AECity-7279-Police-Minifigure-Collection/dp/B0042HOU0I/ref=sr_1_50?ie=UTF8&qid=1305664893&sr=8-50)...

Ahh.. the little green Tractor! i love that wee set. It has a proper old-school feel about it :) i have two i like it that much! All the sets from that 2009 giveaway were pretty good, although I get what you mean about the go kart thing. In fairness though, those sorts of sets have always been part of the Lego landscape. i had a fire chief's buggy from the early 1980s that was just as ridiculous as these modern day efforts.

ganon578
2011-06-20, 06:38 PM
For Father's Day, my wife, daughter, and I all went about an hour southwest of our house to the Lego outlet store. They didn't have the new minifig series yet (Series 5), but they had something that was way frickin' cool!

In the middle of the store, they had this setup where you could build 3 figures however you wanted with a selection of legs, torsos, heads, headgear, and accessories. After you built your figs you snapped them into a little plastic container and they were $10 for the set. It was pretty awesome, if just a little basic.

What it did allow me to do, though, was make two medieval style females (barmaid-ish) and a pirate. Very cool way to do the minifigs, though I think some of the pieces were quite picked over and they hadn't replenished (for my pirate I had to get the stupid doo-rag headgear instead of a skull-and-crossbones hat). It was still good fun, and allowed me to help balance my female-deficient medieval/fantasy setup!

I also snagged a blue baseplate for my pirate section, a small Ninjago set (the black ninja) to use as an assassin in my set, and the Dragon's Prison set from the Kingdoms line. Not too shabby for a single trip!

ganon578
2011-06-28, 05:02 PM
A Target that is local to me was selling Series 4 at clearance, so I picked up a few (basically the last ones left) for $1.50 each. Not too much new, but I managed to get:

Garden Gnome (x2)
Viking
Kimono Girl
Skater Guy
Punk Rock Guy

All of them are neat (could have done without the Punk Rock Guy though), and I Frankensteined the gnomes & a couple Vikings into a couple more Dwarves for my fantasy/medieval display.

I also found a small pack towards the front of the store that contained a white ninja from the Ninjago line. Cost $4, but it came with a bunch of parts to make a 'hang glider'. Basically I used the parts strictly as gold skimitars (cause that's what they are).

Skyquake87
2011-06-29, 07:21 AM
I had a similar experience in a Lego outlet here in the UK. Me and my girlfriend had a nice little experience faffing about building our own mini-figures. It's a really great idea, but as you say, you are at the mercy of whatever parts are available. I made some cool looking secret agent types out of some Blacktron and robot parts and packed them in with a police officer, whilst my girlfriend made some mad looking pirates (and got one with a skull and crossbones hat). There were a LOT of construction worker parts there mind! I also liked that there was a wall of bricks and you could pick and mix parts too. A really great little shop. The mini figures were cheap fun (£3.50 for three in a clamshell pack - not bad when the blind packed mini-figures cost £1.99 a throw) and looking around i was impressed to see all the premium collector sets available off the shelf, including an architectural series I've not seen before in neat black packaging. The prices were a little eye watering though. Suprisingly for a dedicated shop, even regular City and other themed sets were a good 10% above regular RRP, which made buying any proper sets from the outlet a massive turn off.

I've also done suprisingly well at managing to get nearly all of series four's mini figures (er, even though i said i wasn't going to bother with these!). I've just frankenstein and the chemical suit guy to go and i've got the lot! i do have four spare sailors though, who freak me out a bit with all that winking!

ganon578
2011-06-29, 02:18 PM
Skull and Crossbones hat! You're lucky!

You truly are at the mercy of what parts are available. As I dug through there were loads of the construction stuff, like you said. It was a pain to find the barmaids shirts, and I only found one pair of legs to match. A shame they didn't have skirts to match. They also had only one Forestman shirt that I know of, and absolutely no hats or pants to go with him, let alone a decent head. I remember there being loads of black witches hats though. I thought the accessories could have used a boost too. Tons of hatchets and brooms.

This all just depends on what day & time you're there though. I bet on a Wednesday afternoon the parts aren't as picked over. We went on a Sunday.

I snagged a few more Series 4 guys recently (another local Target had some figs as well) and managed two vikings, two musketeers (hell yeah!) and a mad scientist. I think I was pumped the most about the mad scientist, basically because I am a chemist and I think he's one of the neatest figs they've had so far.

Warcry
2011-09-10, 09:58 PM
I had a similar experience in a Lego outlet here in the UK. Me and my girlfriend had a nice little experience faffing about building our own mini-figures.
I, er, spent far too much time and money at the LEGO Store while I was in Minneapolis, but this was one part of it that really disappointed me. They only had three or four different torsos at the time, all of them City prints except for a caveman. The heads and accessories available left a lot to be desired too -- nothing that'd fit into my Castle-themed collection. The Pick-a-Brick wall was equally dry when it came to stuff that I'd like, but at least in that case I'd expected it. After all, castles don't have the widest colour palette in the world and I imagine the grey bricks go pretty quickly.

I got myself a few of the collectible minifigs while I was down there, though. And even better, when I got home I found out that one of my local bookstores were selling the things for less than US MSRP when you factor in the 'member discount' I get for shopping there all the time. So far I've got the sumo wrestler and race car driver from Series 3, the artist, geisha and surfer girl from Series 4 and the lumberjack and dwarf from Series 5. I also had a pack with the Series 5 fitness instructor in it, but I gave it to my niece as a gift along with one of the two 'Alien Conquest jetpack guys' they were giving away to anyone who spend over $35.

I'm surprised at how nice they are, and since I've found a local source where I get get them for a half-way reasonable price I might buy more later. I'd be all over them for sure if I was a City collector, but for my purposes 95% of the figures fall into either the "cool, but not very useful" category or the "I'm cannibalizing it for parts" category.

Amusingly, while I was there I had a run-in with a 'serious adult collector' who was molesting all the Series 5 minifigs for what seemed like half an hour, and who gave me the dirtiest look imaginable when I scooped up a couple from the pile he hadn't picked through yet and went to buy them without even trying to find out what was in them.

I also bought a fair number of sets while I was down in the States. The biggest (and by far the most impressive) was the Medieval Market Village (http://shop.lego.com/en-CA/Medieval-Market-Village-10193). It was fairly pricey, especially considering how small the buildings are once they've been assembled, but I've never seen a set that was even half as detailed as this one. The set has 1600 pieces, most of them very small, and the build took me over six hours to finish. The end result is lovely, though. The two houses that are the centrepiece of the set are so detailed that I can't quite believe that they're assembled from Lego, and pictures really don't do them justice. The only real drawback is the price -- $100 US is a lot of money even for a set this big, and it's even more expensive than that everywhere else in the world. I refused to pay $150 Canadian for it when it first came out, and even when it was reduced to $135 I was leery of it. I was just barely willing to spend $100 on it, but I'm glad I did because it absolutely blew me away.

I also bought one of the Pirates of the Caribbean sets, the Captain's Cabin (http://shop.lego.com/en-CA/Captain-s-Cabin-4191). It's less a set and more a collection of nice pieces, really, and doesn't stand up as very good on it's own. It has a lot of useful parts though, including the globe, the map and compass. I also like the old-timey shelves, and the two 'bad guy' characters are the first black minifigures I've ever seen that fit in with a historical theme -- one of them is clearly a zombie, sadly, but the other one just looks like he's spent his whole life getting hacked up on the battlefield and fits in pretty nicely.

The Blacksmith Attack (http://shop.lego.com/en-CA/Blacksmith-Attack-6918) (which I actually impulse-bought shortly before we left for the States) is a neat set. The waterwheel is cool (although it's a scaled-back version of the one in the MMV blacksmith's house) and the shop stall is pretty convincing. I've heard a lot of people complain about the weapons that come with this set, since they're made from soft plastic and don't match the aesthetics of any of the previous Lego weapon molds. I agree that they're kind of funny looking, but they make great weapons for dwarves if you've got a lot of those. Not much else to say, especially since I've since taken the set apart and combined it with the previous set to make a cartographer's shop.

The last set I got was the Escape from Dragon's Prison (http://shop.lego.com/en-CA/Escape-from-the-Dragon-s-Prison-7187), which doesn't impress me at all. It's not so much a prison as it is a two-dimensional wall with a jail cell built into it. It comes with some nice figures and has a decent piece selection, but the model itself is fairly absurd. It also tends to fall apart at the drop of a hat, something that's partly the fault of Lego's recent tendency to use smaller plates instead of a single, bigger baseplate for it's buildings.

Skyquake87
2011-09-11, 12:17 PM
My Lego colelcting's on hiatus at the moment. The last set i got was an Alien Conquest one which was £4. A ncie small set with a jowly alien in a small flying saucer thing with a space ranger type guy with a pistol. And that was in June, I think.

The City stuff has taken a major nosedive in quality IMO, as the retro aesthetic has been pushed too far (2008 - 2009 there was a nice mix of the old and new) and the new Harbour series is ... ugly.

Pirates Of The Carribean is horrifically expensive. I've swerved it, aside from the Newspaper giveaways we had earlier this year. The cheapest set is around £20 and has a few figures and a bit of scenery and that's your lot. Likewise, Kingdoms is on a par with the main licensed themes (Star Wars, Harry Potter) leaving it an incredibly expensive purchase. Which is a shame, as they all look to be a decent run of sets. I must say, I am jealous of your medieval Market village. I would like that set, but as you say, it's very expensive this side of the pond.

I've completed my Lego Minifigures Series Four collection! Woo hoo :) I didn't know Series 5 was out though. In the UK, most places still have the Series Four and the a few packs of Series 3 hanging about.

Denyer
2011-10-10, 05:48 PM
Only partly minifigs, but some of the sets contain them... the Sun is doing free LEGO again...

http://www.brickset.com/brickLists/?5960

http://www.sacbee.com/2011/10/06/3965510/free-lego-toys-offer-is-back.html

Not as impressive this time around, IMO.

Skyquake87
2011-10-10, 10:09 PM
...a bit like Lego's recent offerings for their non-licensed stuff. We really seem to be on a downward trajectory following the sterling sets of 2008 - 2009.

Denyer
2011-10-16, 09:12 AM
And on the same theme, series 6 and 7 of the collectible minifigs have leaked...

http://www.brothers-brick.com/2011/10/14/series-7-collectible-minifigs-revealed-news/

Warcry
2011-10-16, 04:17 PM
Thanks for sharing that. :) I'd seen most of Series 6 before, but this is the first I've seen of Series 7.

I like. They've both got some nice figures and some good parts, but I think I like Series 7 better. The Viking woman, the Aztec, Little Red Riding Hood, Neptune, the bride, the black knight...all really cool. And am I the only one who thinks the rocker chick looks like Jem?

Not that Series 6 doesn't have a lot of cool stuff either...the Highlander, Roman legionnaire, Flamenco dancer and Minotaur for starters, and I really like the skater girl's hairpiece.

Obviously I'm not going to stop giving those crafty Danes money any time soon.

Sades
2011-10-16, 07:49 PM
Okay, wait. They got them in Manitoba? I never saw them in Alberta. Not even once. I stopped looking after awhile.

Maybe I was looking at the wrong times or something. But now that I'm not in Alberta I might be able to get my minifig on.

Warcry
2011-10-16, 09:54 PM
They've only just started showing up in the last three months or so, that I've noticed. I only saw them very, very rarely before I took my trip down to the States, but since I got back I see them a lot more...although that could be because I'm looking for them now, too. At first they were only available in Chapters/Coles bookstores in little impluse-buy bins by the checkout. They seem to have caught on now, though, because even big-box stores like TRU and Walmart are stocking them.

Walmart is about the only place that actually stocks them in the toy department, though, and even then they're usually in a different section than the rest of the Lego. Everywhere else, they're right by the checkout because they're too easy to pocket and walk off with.

Sades
2011-10-27, 06:04 AM
I gots them! I founds them!

The TRU limits people to two per person. I bought two, and they both turned out to be Queen's guard guys. :/ But I can totally get them now.

ganon578
2011-10-27, 04:28 PM
I found the latest series at Barnes and Noble near me, oddly enough. Didn't have any cash to pick a few up though, money's tight right now and bills, food, and supporting my family come before little plastic men.

The dwarf and the gladiator look really neat though. And the eskimo looks nifty too...

Sades
2011-11-12, 07:16 AM
I love the little soccer player's trophy.

Sir Auros
2011-11-13, 04:59 PM
I got two clowns, an eskimo, a snowboarder, the detective, and the boxer.

No dwarf or gladiator for me. :(

inflatable dalek
2011-11-15, 11:05 AM
Not Lego as such, but as it's blatantly supposed to look as much like the minifigs as possible... Picked up the "Character Building" Doctor Who set of all 11 Doctors. They're all so cute! And the fact the box design and costume choices mirrors the bigger box of the full size action figures is really neat as well. Shame that, if the 7th Doctor's umbrella had to be just one colour that they didn't go for black rather than all red though.

Denyer
2011-11-15, 07:30 PM
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Super-Rare-Character-Building-10th-Doctor-David-Tennant-Micro-Figure-/130596859553?pt=UK_ToysGames_ActionFigures_ActionFigures_JN&hash=item1e682deea1

Getting some water-transfer decals done can't be that expensive...

inflatable dalek
2011-11-16, 08:01 AM
Gotta love bonkers Ebay auctions. I'm not sure how super rare it can be when Smyth's toyshop (who I've never heard of before and are new in town but apparently have stores all over the place) have an entire front end shelf groaning under the weight of boxes upon boxes of the 11 Doctors set. Which has that figure and ten others for under twenty quid. I'm almost tempted to go buy the rest if I can get that sort of mark up on just the one figure.


The daft thing is, 10 is actually one of the weaker ones as by the stage the company have reached him they seem to have been struggling to come up with different expressions for each Doctor and he looks like he's having an especially difficult poo.

EDIT: Whoops, didn't actually read the text of the auction (or looking back on it, Denyer's post) properly. Well worth paying the extra forty odd quid for ten less toys in exchange for a small drawing of some glasses. I apologise.

Skyquake87
2011-11-30, 10:15 AM
I don't like Character Options not-Lego. But them I'm a weird Lego facist, unless it says Lego on the box then i'm not interested! Mega Blocks are horribly rubbery bits of crap that don't fit together properly and the Character stuff just feels...wrong. The Kre-O stuff Hasbro has churned out is of a very high quality though.

Anyway! Its nearly Christmas! So i have set up my Christmassy Lego sets - the winter bakery and winter toy shop! I love these. a tad on the pricey side for what they are, but the detailing and build patterns are superb. Plus! Carol singers! ha ha! awesome :) The post office looks good, but i might wait until we're 'out of season' to pick that up...

ooh! an i also recently bought the alien conquest tripod thing! oh my god, this sub line is such fun! in this set you get this super cute alien thing that you can attach to the head of a regular City minifigure so he looks like he's under alien control or something! great fun.

Sades
2011-12-09, 03:36 AM
I think I'm going to have to steal this Lego Christmas Village idea... I wanted to start collecting Christmas Village crap, but Lego is so much cooler.

We finally made it out to Toys R Us, I lucked out and got these... I'd been hoping for the guy in the Dinosaur suit! So out of Series 5, We're up two guys in big hats, Dinosaur guy, and the Gladiator. So want the Eskimo and the Viking.

Denyer
2011-12-12, 11:18 PM
When I get to sending stuff (probably best to give it a month or so; postal services around Christmas are usually crap in my experience) remind me if you haven't acquired an Eskimo by then.

Tetsuro
2011-12-14, 05:38 PM
Anyone interested in trading their doubles or triples? :)

Warcry
2011-12-26, 07:37 AM
Anyone else get some of these for Christmas? I got another lumberjack (:(), an eskimo/ice fisherman (:)) and the guy in the lizard suit (:D).

The lizard suit guy is the most adorable thing ever.

Skyquake87
2011-12-27, 11:42 AM
No minifigures...but i did get a Technic set! it is this:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/LEGO-8048-Technic-Buggy/dp/B002KCNUKS/ref=sr_1_5?s=kids&ie=UTF8&qid=1324985968&sr=1-5

which was actually my birthday present from my sister (only six months late :lol:) but was nice to have to muck about with over christmas. its great fun, nice and springy with steering and big squishy rubber tyres. it also builds into a tractor, but i'm not tired of the buggy just yet.

Cliffjumper
2011-12-27, 02:33 PM
I finally got the Robot from the first series thanks to my fiancee's sister's girlfriend.

Tetsuro
2011-12-27, 09:17 PM
I got another lumberjack (:()
Wanna trade? :D

ganon578
2011-12-28, 03:30 PM
Got a Gladiator and a Dwarf. Awesome!

Warcry
2011-12-28, 06:50 PM
Wanna trade? :D
I'm probably going to strip him for parts, actually. The plaid shirt looks like it'd be useful.

Tetsuro
2011-12-28, 11:05 PM
I'm probably going to strip him for parts, actually. The plaid shirt looks like it'd be useful.
http://i63.photobucket.com/albums/h149/Takeshi666/gonkgrow.gif

Cliffjumper
2011-12-29, 02:43 PM
I'm probably going to strip him for parts, actually. The plaid shirt looks like it'd be useful.

Huh, never thought of that, I usually just throw my doubles out.

Warcry
2011-12-29, 06:06 PM
I usually have no problem dismantling the minifigs I get and reusing the parts for other things, but for some reason I had a very hard time getting up the nerve to take apart any of these guys. I think the word 'Collectible' on the package is causing my subconscious to yell "No! They'll be worth money some day!" Obviously Lego have figured out how to market to people like me. ;)

But once I got over that (the utterly useless surfer girl figure helped with that), they became good customizing fodder, if a tad espensive. I'm especially likely to steal the heads and hairpieces, since Lego tend to reuse the same face prints over and over in every set within a theme for years on end.

Not that I need to worry about that again for a while, since my beloved Castle stuff has been sidelined for the foreseeable future to make room for Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit stuff. :(

Cliffjumper
2011-12-29, 06:21 PM
Might be some salvageable bits, though - if nothing else Harry Potter got me a terrific bus conductor minifig :)

But yeh, I generally strip my spares - it is a pricey way of parts building, but way I see it I've already spent the money. I've not got the patience to hang onto doubles long enough for them to reliably pass their original price on ebay. TBH, I rarely sell/trade anything Lego unless it's really useless (like the City Police bike my parents keep getting me for any birthday/Xmas... I'm on my fifth now and am seriously starting to think it's some sort of bizarre joke gift I just don't get).

Actually, a lot of the City sets are a bit useless to me for scale reasons, and often have minimal parts uses. I impulsively picked up a large-ish speedboat reduced in Sainsbury's about six months ago and haven't even built it as it's since struck me it's longer than my container ship and tugboat combined...

Warcry
2011-12-29, 07:55 PM
Might be some salvageable bits, though - if nothing else Harry Potter got me a terrific bus conductor minifig :)
If it follows the pattern of most of the recent licensed stuff most of the kits are going to be downscaled versions of fight scenes from the movies, like a Weathertop set with Aragorn, Frodo, one Ringwraith and no other Hobbits, or Helm's Deep with two Orcs, two Rohirrim and Theoden. The epic scale of LOTR doesn't really lend itself very well to being recreated as Lego sets unless you want to shell out $300 for every one of them.

But you're right. I imagine there'll be a few nice monster minifigs to add to that collection. Orcs and Ringwraiths at the very least, and probably Wargs too. And there's probably going to be a nice assortment of civilian and armour torso prints. Sadly all of the human minifigs will be flesh-toned, which tempers any enthusiasm I otherwise might build up. Non-yellow-skinned minifigures induce the same reaction in me that a random green and purple Optimus Prime knockoff does. It just looks wrong. If the figure is meant to have different skin colour, like Lando Calrissian or Voldemort, then OK. But the peach-skinned ones just look like they've got a really bad flu or something.

like the City Police bike my parents keep getting me for any birthday/Xmas... I'm on my fifth now and am seriously starting to think it's some sort of bizarre joke gift I just don't get
Oh, parents...

Actually, a lot of the City sets are a bit useless to me for scale reasons, and often have minimal parts uses. I impulsively picked up a large-ish speedboat reduced in Sainsbury's about six months ago and haven't even built it as it's since struck me it's longer than my container ship and tugboat combined...
The exact same thing put me off of the Star Wars sets a few years back (actually, probably closer to 'a decade' than 'a few years' :(). The first few waves of X-Wings and stuff were built to the same sort of 'downsized' scale as the old Town stuff, but when they realized it was such a cash cow everything started to magically get bigger. Now I think there might be one kit in the entire range that I could buy for less than $30 here.

What good is a landspeeder that's bigger than an X-Wing?

ganon578
2011-12-30, 03:27 PM
Sadly all of the human minifigs will be flesh-toned, which tempers any enthusiasm I otherwise might build up. Non-yellow-skinned minifigures induce the same reaction in me that a random green and purple Optimus Prime knockoff does. It just looks wrong. If the figure is meant to have different skin colour, like Lando Calrissian or Voldemort, then OK. But the peach-skinned ones just look like they've got a really bad flu or something.


:up: Agree entirely. There are so many sets out there that I would love to utilize in my 'fantasy' Lego setting like some of the recent Pirates of the Carribean sets, but I'd have to scrounge a ton of yellow heads for everyone, and at that rate they would all have two dot eyes and a smile with nothing else.

What I fear is that Lego is getting so into branded sets like Star Wars, Pirates of the Carribean, and now Lord of the Rings, would they continue on with their other properties like Space, Pirate, and Kingdoms? I think the City stuff is safe, but I don't know how well the other properties sell. Would they be expendable? I noticed the Space and Kingdoms stuff changes drastically every couple years, and the Pirate stuff was basically dead until a couple years ago. Would these all get replaced?

For something on-topic, I got an Eskimo/Ice-Fisherman yesterday. Shazam!

Warcry
2011-12-31, 07:34 AM
What I fear is that Lego is getting so into branded sets like Star Wars, Pirates of the Carribean, and now Lord of the Rings, would they continue on with their other properties like Space, Pirate, and Kingdoms? I think the City stuff is safe, but I don't know how well the other properties sell. Would they be expendable? I noticed the Space and Kingdoms stuff changes drastically every couple years, and the Pirate stuff was basically dead until a couple years ago. Would these all get replaced?
I'd be really stunned if City went anywhere. If it's not their biggest seller, it'd be a close second after Star Wars.

Pirates was basically cancelled to make room for POTC, wasn't it? And now Kingdoms has been discontinued (more or less...there's one new set this year and it's a Lego store exclusive) on the heels of the big LOTR announcement. I understand canning Pirates since that's sort of a niche market to start with, and nowadays Jack Sparrow is what most kids will think of anyway. Getting rid of Kingdoms is a bit more of a surprise, though, since it ran and did fairly well alongside Harry Potter and Prince of Persia (which both featured some very Castley sets). Unless LOTR is going to get a much bigger push than either of those, with a lot more sets.

Traditional Space sets were missing for years and years after they got the Star Wars license, too. I'm not sure when they brought them back exactly. The modern Space Police revival is the first non-SW Space stuff I can remember for quite a while, but I was out of Lego for a little while when the Castle range went into decline.

Skyquake87
2011-12-31, 02:59 PM
The lotr license surprises me,not only as it seems a bit redundant now despite the upcoming adaption of the hobbit, but because they pretty much tapped into this with the 2008 castle theme,with its orcs,dwarves and undead. I don't know that'll i'll be interested in the same stuff for three times the price.that said,the recent kingdoms stuff was as expensive as the star wars stuff.i don't know about america,but kingdoms hasn't had much exposure here.supermarkets only seem interested in the licensed,city and adventure themes and tru don't stock it at all,so i'm not suprised its gone.this appears to be the sad fate of the classic themes - it just doesn't get onto shelves leaving it at the mercy of online sales.that stuff like the recent space police theme struggles to last a year is perhaps an indication that the stuff just isn't appealing anymore or has been overtaken by better promoted adventure lines (ninjago seems to be doing well) and familiar licensed stuff.

Cliffjumper
2012-01-02, 08:45 AM
I didn't realise the minifigs had bios.
Lizard Man

“Stomp stomp stomp! Flee, tiny citizens! Flee!”

The Lizard Man lives to trample cities beneath his big green feet. Of course, since he’s really just a minifigure of normal size wearing a lizard suit, that’s not as easy as it sounds…so instead, he spends hours building his own meticulously detailed miniature buildings and then stomping all over them while making roaring noises.

When your greatest dream is to be a giant monster, it’s tough to find new hobbies. The Lizard Man sometimes thinks about becoming a professional wrestler, but the Gorilla Suit Guy never writes back to any of his challenges. On the other hand, rumor has it that the Super Wrestler would be happy to take him up on the offer anytime!

Denyer
2012-01-02, 01:23 PM
Switch the genders and this would seem more than a mite sexist...

http://minifigures.lego.com/en-us/Bios/Lizard%20Man.aspx#Cave Woman

Sades
2012-01-02, 05:48 PM
Sexism is sexism. But I'm not in the mood to go into it over Lego men. :p The Leezard Man has the greatest bio ever, but I am a little disappointed he stole my plans for next Halloween. To be honest though, I stole the mini city stomping idea from Calvin and Hobbes.

I'm gonna have to come back and read the rest of those later.

Cliffjumper
2012-01-10, 07:54 PM
Got four of the new series today (top tip I didn't realise until I checked the receipt when I got home - Sainsbury's self-service tills don't register the weight of the things properly... :s): -

Grease-monkey mechanic man - thought he'd be the Boring One, but the hair, oil-specked face and toolbox are all awesome pieces.
S8r girl - cool for the .alt hair and shirt
Sleepy guy - with what must be a three foot teddy.
Space slut - she really does look like something out of a porn film. A plus in my book, TBH.

Cliffjumper
2012-01-10, 08:05 PM
Switch the genders and this would seem more than a mite sexist...

http://minifigures.lego.com/en-us/Bios/Lizard%20Man.aspx#Cave Woman (http://minifigures.lego.com/en-us/Bios/Lizard%20Man.aspx#Cave%20Woman)

The Cheerleader's probably counter-weighs: -

The Cheerleader is perpetually filled to bursting with energy, excitement and enthusiasm. She prefers cartwheels and handsprings to plain old ordinary walking, and she waves her pom-poms around wildly whenever she talks, which is pretty much all of the time.
The Cheerleader loves to cheer people on, no matter what they’re doing. Whether they’re changing a light bulb, building a wall or just crossing the street, she’s always there with a peppy cheerleading routine to encourage them to do their best and never give up. It can actually get kind of annoying sometimes, but her perpetual good mood and sunny smile are so contagious that it’s hard to really mind.


Incidentally, the Minifig calendar is worth a look seeing as you can probably find it reduced. Top, top gags [/Jamie Redknapp]

Gagh
2012-01-11, 05:00 PM
I have the Cavewoman and Sherlock Holmes sat on my desk at work. The Cavewoman looks like she wants to do serious damage to Sherlock, and the only thing saving him is the Imperial Stormtrooper stood between them...

Skyquake87
2012-01-14, 07:37 AM
Saw the series six minifigures today. The only real duff one seems to be the statue of liberty one. that's a good hit rate! i like the emo skater chick and the robot.

in other lego news, i have bought lego dc superheroes dynamic duo funhouse escape and now have super cute minifigures of batman, robin, the riddler, harley quinn and the joker :) i'm quite pleased lego have put some revised batman sets out again. the last lot were ace but go for silly money on the secondary market now.

Skyquake87
2012-01-20, 10:35 PM
I has got a few minifigures :D

Series 5:

2 x boxers so i can have one victorious and one battered and bruised (they have the two faces thing)

Lumberjack - this is a really cool little figure, the hat is really nicely moulded and detailed, the shirt print runs all over his torso and the axe is ace!

Series 6:

Surgeon - fancy showercap and X-Ray!

Minotaur - best viewed three quarters on! Mooo!

Braveheart - "They may take our bricks - but they'll never take our freedom!" really nicely detailed figure with a lovely tartan print all over the place and very long hair too!

Bandit - Super cool badass looking cowboy with bullet belts on his legs and torso. Possibly my favourite so far! Black shooty pistols! peeow! peeow!

Flamenco Dancer - She's alright, not as good as series four's Geisha though

Hilary Briss the Butcher and his special stuff. The T-Bone steak is actually etched with the 'T', rather than just being a simple print and the cleaver is excellent. I am tempted to build him a wee shop he's so great.

Leprechaun - "They're after me Lucky Charms!" still think the small lego legs end up making the figure looked deformed. The cauldron/ pot thing is great.

Mechanic - nice Grease-styled 1950s throwback. Would look good with the 1950s Octan garage that came with the 2008 50th anniversary town square set. Nice detailing with the oil stains and logos, and a cute little tool box. Nice!

Barbarella - I have two of these and think they are great. The silver lipstick is cool and I have put these with my Alien Invasion blokes in some kind of gender specific crazy army type thing (blue for boys, pink for girls - take that camouflage!)

Terome
2012-02-02, 02:13 PM
I've got my clockwork robot on the cool motorbike from the Pharaoh's Quest set. He has a trident from Atlantis. It is the most badass thing I own.

electro girl
2012-02-02, 07:01 PM
I got the artist last night. It was the one i've wanted the most what with me being all arty farty. Got the butcher too!

Warcry
2012-03-10, 05:57 AM
I got a few minis from series six for my birthday.

The highlander/Celtic warrior guy was a little disappointing. I don't think his tartan stands out very well. The kilt is OK but I can barely tell that the torso print isn't supposed to be a uniform blue unless the light catches him just right. Not a big fan of the face print either, since his beard doesn't line up properly with the sideburns on his hair piece. On the other hand, I love the accessories. The targe is nice, and I love the new longsword mold even though every single existing sword mold Lego has would have been more historically accurate in his hands. It seems like this'll be the 'main' sword in the upcoming LOTR stuff, which is cool.

The skater chick is cool. I'm not a big fan of the face print, but the hair, the stripey sleeves and the shirt with a skull wearing a cute pink bow on it are all really nice.

The sleepy guy is neat too. I'm surprised that they didn't give him short legs to make him a kid, but I'm glad they didn't because I'm not the biggest fan of unarticulated minifig legs. The teddy bear is cute, and I think his hair might just be the most detailed Lego hairpiece I own.

Skyquake87
2012-03-10, 07:19 AM
I'm just fruitlessly searching for the Clockwork robot and Genie to complete series six. Might have to plump for insanely priced examples on ebay.

I really like the surgeon! The X-ray with a lego skeleton on it is excellent. I also like the Skate chick - she makes a good companion to Series 4's punk rocker :)

Cliffjumper
2012-03-10, 12:26 PM
We're sitting out the rest of Series 6 for now after accumulating an unreal number of doubles (something like 6 uniques from 18 packs). My little squad of Roman Legionaries are quite cool, though.

Denyer
2012-03-10, 01:39 PM
Pretty good going. Haven't found any Romans in the wild (packets in most displays obviously having been felt over, and the pricing on eBay is generally quite extortionate).

Cliffjumper
2012-03-10, 02:48 PM
Will bung one in with TF:P and the spare Herr Fiend I've decided to send you out of spite. The numbers aren't triangular at the moment anyway.

Terome
2012-03-10, 03:40 PM
I'm just fruitlessly searching for the Clockwork robot and Genie to complete series six. Might have to plump for insanely priced examples on ebay.
\

The Clockwork Robot is the king of all robots.

Warcry
2012-03-10, 04:38 PM
Pretty good going. Haven't found any Romans in the wild (packets in most displays obviously having been felt over, and the pricing on eBay is generally quite extortionate).
I still don't quite get why the figures are blind-packed, honestly. Lego's adult collector market seems to be pretty quick on the uptake, so they quickly figure out how to find the ones they're looking for (by feeling or by dot-codes/UPCs/whatever) and the highly sought-after 'army-builder' figures (Spartan, elf, gladiator, dwarf, legionnaire...probably others too but I only really pay attention to the Castley ones) all disappear quickly anyway. I'm not sure they're making any more money than they would if they showed you who the figure was going to be and made it easier for people to buy the complete set and/or pick up duplicates of the figures that they wanted. Either that or they should package them differently so that it's impossible to tell what's what and there aren't half a dozen nerds lined up around the Lego section molesting the packages for fifteen or twenty minutes at a time, trying to find a dozen of that one army-builder that they're after. Though I suppose the line's been so successful to date that there's really no good reason to change things up.

I find that I enjoy the blind-packed nature of them, usually, just as a cheap novelty. Then again, I've had unusually good luck with them...the geisha, lizardman, dwarf, British guard (What's he actually meant to be, by the way? I'm sure that's not what you Brits call them.) and Celt were the ones that I wanted the most from the last few series and I got all of them in the first few packs I opened.

We're sitting out the rest of Series 6 for now after accumulating an unreal number of doubles (something like 6 uniques from 18 packs).
That's ridiculous luck. I could see it if the displays you bought from had been picked over by package-feelers (I ran into a display once in Walmart that had something like twenty minifigs, virtually all of them boxers), but the Roman is probably the most felt-for figure in the series so I have to assume that the universe just hates you. The fact that you managed to accidentally get a bunch of legionnaires means that there are a lot of Castle fans out there who would kill for your "bad luck", though.

I've actually had good luck with duplicates, in spite of getting a lot of them as gifts and rarely bothering to feel to see what's in the package. The only figures I've got duplicates of are the boxer (which you want two of if you're going to build a scene for him) and the lumberjack (who makes a nice generic redneck as long as he's not holding the axe).

Cliffjumper
2012-03-10, 05:02 PM
I do like the blind-packing - getting them off ebay has certainly felt like cheating. I'm just absolutely crap at the feeling bit, no idea why, so don't really bother. Probably a big part of the kid appeal, though.

I am surprised they don't have specific ordering from, say, the website though - they could make serious money from army builders.

Skyquake87
2012-03-10, 07:54 PM
I got the Clockwork robot today! woo! He is great. I like putting his key on his head. It looks funny.

Just the Genie to go!

I have to somewhat agree with Warcry. I keep an eye out for fresh cases of the things, as once you get a week or two into them being on sale, hundreds of morons have felt/ opened/ attempted theivery of the things.

Although I have some duplicates, I've had a fairly good hit rate as opposed to series four (which was the last set I collected).

There is a Toymaster in town that actually opens them all up and numbers the packets so if you are desperately seeking a particular figure you can pick it up. I said that rather takes the fun out of it, but the cashier said they just got sick of people bringing them back for exchanges and / or refunds. Christ knows how they go on shiftting the more common / least wanted figures. I asked if it was adult collectors who were returning them and they said no, it was parents in the main. I then pondered whether kids swap these things at school like I used to do with Garbage Pail Kids and other collectable nonsense... a queue was building by then so thought it best to move on...

Cliffjumper
2012-03-10, 08:15 PM
I'm amazed they take them back, TBH. It's not really a very British thing, or didn't used to be anyway. I guess with the state of the toy industry in this country they just have to cut their cloth so as not to piss off customers, especially now places like WHSmiths stock the things.

Denyer
2012-03-10, 08:15 PM
Will bung one in with TF:P and the spare Herr Fiend I've decided to send you out of spite. The numbers aren't triangular at the moment anyway.
Cheers, but don't break up any sets or anything -- I got one off eBay a while back.

I'm not convinced the blind-packing helps LEGO all that much, who might get a proportion of extra sales but don't see the marked up prices -- although having said that they're treading the same route of many, many pocket money collectables, and the exposure can't hurt.

Mixed sets of, say, the historical type figures, or army builder sets, in the same vein as the classic figure sets, would probably do well for them in a few years.

people bringing them back for exchanges and / or refunds. Christ knows how they go on shiftting the more common / least wanted figures. I asked if it was adult collectors who were returning them and they said no, it was parents in the main.
Surprised they're still carrying them, having adopted a refund policy on something that's not defective and the value of which is so variable.

What's he actually meant to be, by the way? I'm sure that's not what you Brits call them.
Not sure if there's a specific name other than Queen's/palace guard. The ones with the nickname are Beefeaters, but it's a different costume.

Warcry
2012-03-10, 09:01 PM
I am surprised they don't have specific ordering from, say, the website though - they could make serious money from army builders.
When I was down in the US last summer, I noticed that the Lego Store's Build-A-Minifigure bins had a lot of bits and pieces from the earlier series of collectible minifigs (I seem to remember caveman, forestman and fisherman bits, but there were others too). It might be possible to part them together that way via their site's Pick-A-Brick function, though I've never looked to see 'cause I remember their selection being pretty poor and their prices pretty high the last I checked.

I keep an eye out for fresh cases of the things, as once you get a week or two into them being on sale, hundreds of morons have felt/ opened/ attempted theivery of the things.
I've noticed that a lot of stores are starting to put them right up at the till now, which seems to help. Even if the cashiers won't call them on it, people seem a lot less inclined to embarrass themselves in full view of everyone else in the store by feeling up a few dozen packages to find what they want.

Speaking of thievery, I was actually stunned when I found series five at Walmart hidden in a dark corner at the back of the toy department. I can't even begin to guess how many of the things disappeared into someone's pocket or up their sleeves as they went by. Most of the stores I've seen them in at least have the good sense to keep them in a high-visibility area (usually an endcap on one of the main aisles if not by the till) since they're such a tempting target for shoplifters.

I'm not convinced the blind-packing helps LEGO all that much, who might get a proportion of extra sales but don't see the marked up prices -- although having said that they're treading the same route of many, many pocket money collectables, and the exposure can't hurt.
The exposure probably does them a whole world of good over and above the money they make, yeah. I think they've helped to raise Lego's profile in the public consciousness from "yeah, they've always been there" to "trendy and cool".

Mixed sets of, say, the historical type figures, or army builder sets, in the same vein as the classic figure sets, would probably do well for them in a few years.
Not sure how well that would go over with the people who are buying them now, honestly. If someone bought twenty series five minifigs just to get the Cleopatra only to see her released in a regular set a few years down the line I think they'd be a little bit miffed. Though Lego being Lego there's no way the new molds that they've created for the minifigs won't get reused in a dozen different sets somewhere down the line.

Not sure if there's a specific name other than Queen's/palace guard. The ones with the nickname are Beefeaters, but it's a different costume.
Thanks. 'Beefeaters' was what I was thinking, but I knew that wasn't quite right.

Skyquake87
2012-03-11, 10:04 AM
Ooh! i have just remembered that Lego do do army builder type sets for some of their themes (Alien Conquest and Kingdoms spring to mind!), but they are extortionate. You get five figures in a clamshell for about £20 (normal rrp, Amazon had them for something like £13 last time I looked).

Ordering parts via Lego's website is costly. The prices are good, just a few pence per brick, but the postage is a killer at £3.95 a brick or soemthing silly. There didn't seem to be any combined postage option either, so I swerved that for a bad idea.

On the plus side, if you have a set that's missing a part they do send those out free of charge, which is great.

Cliffjumper
2012-03-11, 01:24 PM
I'm not convinced the blind-packing helps LEGO all that much, who might get a proportion of extra sales but don't see the marked up prices -- although having said that they're treading the same route of many, many pocket money collectables, and the exposure can't hurt.

I'd argue they'd have disappeared by now if they weren't doing very, very well. This sort of thing (cf. Moshi Monsters) seems to be having a bit of a revival over here at least. The clever thing is that through the blind-packing and low-ish unit price (lots of trading cards are ~£1.50 now, and they're blind-packed) they've managed to tie these things to trading cards/stickers instead of toys, getting the brand into Smiths and the like. The things probably function as a bit of a gateway too.

They could make more money off the fans by offering specific figures via web, but I'd say they're doing alright. I'm not sure the number of people who would buy ten Romans would outweigh the number of kids who'll sink £10 pocket money into trying to get one figure to complete a set.

I'd guess Lego's reasoning is that £2 isn't a bad price for a Lego minifig (the little six-packs they did in the 1980s/1990s were pricey for what they are) anyway, especially as they tend to be covered in paint applications and generally feature accessories. I would suspect that even a 'regular' Minifig costs an awful lot more to make part-for-part than just about anything else in a set, hence the traditional low number included even with large buildings and the like.

Surprised they're still carrying them, having adopted a refund policy on something that's not defective and the value of which is so variable.

I'd say that place is perhaps suffering from being a toyshop - it's difficult to picture someone making the same argument in a newsagents; imagine going "Hey, I got this pack of Match Attax and I've got all the guys in it already, give me another one instead". I would say that place will get reamed, though - I would suspect that beyond good manners stores are probably legally covered to refuse refund of blind-packed products, and big chains that don't rely on repeat customers will tell them to stuff their multiple skater girls up their bums. So they'll take them to the Toymaster instead, as the receipt'll show a generic code.

I'm actually pretty curious as to UK retailers' ability to refuse a refund of something like this, I'm not sure how much of it is just a societal thing (especially when you have the choice between a complaint to head office and just swapping a £2 figure over; by the same token, few customers would have the nerve to try and get a refund for a packet of football stickers which were all doubles) and how much of it is legal. Will try to dash off an email to our Trading Law mob on Tuesday.

Not sure if there's a specific name other than Queen's/palace guard. The ones with the nickname are Beefeaters, but it's a different costume.

99% it's the Queen's Guard. Usually a company from an existing regiment given the honour.


Am I right in thinking that recent series - apart from physically feeling the packs - have no external 'clues' on them (the first couple had barcodes or something, right?). That to me would be the most sensible middle way - it wouldn't diminish impulse/pester power buys, but would allow fans to buy multiples and frustrated parents to complete sets.

Skyquake87
2012-03-11, 03:22 PM
Beyond series one and two the packs have had no identifying marks on the packets as far as i know.

And yes £2 really isn't a bad price.as you say,trading cards and that are the same price and at least with the minifigures you can utilise them in conjunction with other toys / swap parts with other minifigures giving them a bit more value for money.

Warcry
2012-03-11, 04:36 PM
Ooh! i have just remembered that Lego do do army builder type sets for some of their themes (Alien Conquest and Kingdoms spring to mind!), but they are extortionate. You get five figures in a clamshell for about £20 (normal rrp, Amazon had them for something like £13 last time I looked).
Those 'battle packs' don't usually make it to retail over here, as far as I can tell (I haven't seen them regularly since the early 90s, anyway). I always thought they were a good idea when I was a kid, though I'm not sure I'd have picked them over a full-fledged set of the same price.

I've been seeing the Star Wars ones lately though, and I have to admit I like what they're doing with them. Instead of getting a bunch of troops and accessories, they'll have four different troopers plus a small build to go along with it (say, a speeder bike or a weapon emplacement. The value for money seems to be a lot better in those sets -- four minifigs and 70 to 100 bricks for the cost of five minifigs and nothing else in the other themes troop-builder packs.

Other themes have occasionally done a set like this, but usually just one every year or two. With Star Wars, though, it seems like they're putting a lot more focus into it.

I would suspect that even a 'regular' Minifig costs an awful lot more to make part-for-part than just about anything else in a set, hence the traditional low number included even with large buildings and the like.
That makes sense. Minifig parts are pretty small but have a lot more detail than your standard building brick, and it takes ten to twelve pieces to assemble one (head, hat/hair, two arms, two hands, two legs, torso, crotch and an accessory or two). I remember reading that it cost over $1 to manufacture one, and that was seven or eight years ago when the accessories were simpler and they only did simple paint apps on the face and one side of the torso. I'd imagine all of that takes the cost up closer to $2 per unit nowadays.

99% it's the Queen's Guard. Usually a company from an existing regiment given the honour.
:up:

Am I right in thinking that recent series - apart from physically feeling the packs - have no external 'clues' on them (the first couple had barcodes or something, right?). That to me would be the most sensible middle way - it wouldn't diminish impulse/pester power buys, but would allow fans to buy multiples and frustrated parents to complete sets.
They're supposed to have a series of bumps on the package that you can feel to tell what's what (probably machine-readable so that the packaging equipment doesn't fill a whole case with skater girls), though I've never bothered and IIRC they change them for each production run to make it harder for folks to do this.

Denyer
2012-03-11, 05:06 PM
Beyond series one and two the packs have had no identifying marks on the packets as far as i know.
They're coded, but a bit less obviously and the bumps differ for US and non-US markets... if the ones you're after have distinctive shapes (eg, the Greek soldier, hazmat guy, palace guard) then it's more reliable to go by how thick the packets are.

http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&q=lego%20minifigure%20codes&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=yNlcT_70H-PN0QWH9ZHKDQ&biw=1680&bih=961&sei=0dlcT8ipPOPB0QWU6ezpBA

I generally get a few when a wave's first out (trying to avoid duplicates) then look on eBay. Then maybe cherry pick remnants when the boxes are on the way out (got a second Greek soldier, a few palace guards and a couple of vampires that way, which will be nice for scenes.)

Warcry
2012-03-26, 02:05 AM
I picked up a couple more series 6 today, and got myself a leprechaun and a wind-up robot. The robot is just awesome. He's like something out of a cheesy 60s sci-fi movie or a pre-Transformers kids cartoon (my wife was reminded of the robot maid on the Jetsons), but it feels charmingly retro instead of being a self-aware parody like most callbacks to that era.

The leprechaun isn't quite as stellar, though. Like Skyquake said, the tiny legs make the figure look deformed and unlike a dwarf or an Ewok he doesn't have anything covering his torso to create the illusion of being in proportion. It's a shame, because the hat and torso print are both really nice and his pot of gold is a nice touch (if a bit stingy, since he's only got three coins in it). He looks much better with a set of normal green legs, though then he's less a leprechaun than an embarrassingly stereotypical Irishman. Of course, what with him being (literally) a plastic paddy, that's actually very fitting.

Skyquake87
2012-03-26, 08:14 AM
I'm still on the look out for a genie...

In the back of this month's Lego Club newsletter, the series 7 minifigures are shown. Again, a good looking set;

Swimmer with medal (i think), Hippy, Tech nerd w/ laptop, Space Marine, Glam Rocker, Valkyrie, Bride, Eviel Kenieval type, dude in a bunny suit... just the ones off the top of my head that I can remember :)

Warcry
2012-03-26, 02:23 PM
Here's the whole set (http://lego.wikia.com/wiki/8831_Minifigures_Series_7). I don't think it's quite as stellar as Series 5 or 6 have been, with a couple of minifigs that are just a little bit bland. There are a lot of nice ones in there though. Bunny suit guy, the Aztec warrior, Neptune/Poseidon/whoever and the Valkyrie are all really nice looking.

Cliffjumper
2012-03-26, 09:07 PM
Swimmer, nerd, rocker, bag piper, Tarzan and EVIL KNIGHT all look good. Not too sure about Evel Knievel, just because the real thing was an absolute twat who's been ironically venerated by the "Dude, space-hoppers Spangles Tight Fit BMX" twats.

Finally got Lady Liberty and the Clockwork Robot (sounds like a terrible indy band); we've got them in at work now where it's pretty much been proven I can't feel the packets for shit. I now have 5 skaters and four sleepy guys.

Cliffjumper
2012-05-12, 05:37 AM
THE BAGPIPER HAS PANTS UNDER HIS KILT [/notatrueScotsman]. The Valkyrie rocks - she seems to be singing, which is a nice touch.

If anyone's after Tarzan, thanks to Sar we have about 80.

ganon578
2012-05-14, 04:42 PM
The other day I snagged the Space Commander guy (that kinda looks like Shepard from Mass Effect) and the Mermaid King guy. Pretty stellar pickups, and I'm super pumped for the Space Commander!

Terome
2012-05-14, 05:22 PM
The bunny man might seem bad at first, but his bunny ears make any mini-fig look better FACT.

Also, have assembled an Axe Cop from various bits and pieces. This must be how fathers feel.

electro girl
2012-05-15, 01:39 AM
The bunny man might seem bad at first, but his bunny ears make any mini-fig look better FACT.

Also, have assembled an Axe Cop from various bits and pieces. This must be how fathers feel.

I love my new bunny man! I make him punch planes out of the sky.

Denyer
2012-05-15, 06:00 PM
Here's the whole set (http://lego.wikia.com/wiki/8831_Minifigures_Series_7). I don't think it's quite as stellar as Series 5 or 6 have been, with a couple of minifigs that are just a little bit bland. There are a lot of nice ones in there though. Bunny suit guy, the Aztec warrior, Neptune/Poseidon/whoever and the Valkyrie are all really nice looking.
Liking this wave more than the last few, personally... IIRC there's going to be a breather after these, but I can't imagine LEGO will keep them off the shelves for too long.

ganon578
2012-05-15, 08:03 PM
Liking this wave more than the last few, personally... IIRC there's going to be a breather after these, but I can't imagine LEGO will keep them off the shelves for too long.

Actually, Series 8 has already been announced (http://lego.wikia.com/wiki/8833_Minifigures_Series_8). Maybe a breather after that? Personally I think they are getting to the point of exhausting characters. Maybe a lull in the production then back with some fresh ideas before they retread too many characters.

It'd be really neat (IMO) if they started putting out some classic guys from past lines like from the space themes (Ice Planet 2002 anyone?), castle, or pirates. And any others I can't think of off the top of my head. That kind of thing would only need to last about a line and then be back to new stuff.

Denyer
2012-05-15, 08:39 PM
I think I'm a series out... can't remember where I read it, anyway.

Wouldn't be surprised if some of the licensed lines got the spotlight for a while.

Whilst they've done a few "classic" series, I'd be surprised if any got released in the same blind-packed way as the collectible waves (or in as large numbers). Most of them look very basic with the single face print.

ganon578
2012-05-16, 03:20 PM
Yeah, I didn't think of the bland faces. Maybe just slightly updated faces like the one on the Forestman would do the trick. I just thought it would be a neat deviation from the new characters.

They do have a ton of new licensed lines with Marvel, DC, Pirates of the Carribean, Star Wars, and the soon-to-be-released Lord of the Rings lines. Makes sense to give them the spotlight!

Skyquake87
2012-05-17, 09:16 PM
licensed characters would be nice to see, but then i suppose there'd be less incentive for us all to go and spaff £70 on a set to get ahold of a Black Widow minifigure or similar...

...stupid captialism!

Terome
2012-05-17, 09:18 PM
I'm not too in to the licenced stuff and even I would feel up the packs like mad to find a Magneto.

Magneto is hilarious!

Denyer
2012-05-18, 11:20 AM
Would be amazed if they started doing blind-packed licensed minis, but there's a lot of product out there at the moment -- if stores already stocking some LEGO can be persuaded to take a punt on small LotR or comics character sets, it's more of a presence, and the company would probably rather have that.

Not going to replace checkout-queue/newsagent pocket money toy displays, though.

inflatable dalek
2012-05-18, 11:24 AM
Having gone through a box of stuff Cliffy sent me it seems I'm now the owner of (what I presume to be) a pink biker girl mini fig. Rock on.

Cliffjumper
2012-05-18, 11:54 AM
IIRC it's the Barbarella-type space tart.

ganon578
2012-05-21, 03:05 PM
I'm an idiot. When I opened my Galaxy Patrol dude the other day, I thought he was neat but wished he had a the red visor like the pictures show. Instead mine had a robotic eyepiece painted on (which is cool too, but not like the visor). Found out you can turn his head around for the visor. Don't know how I missed that before, but now having two faces makes this guy even better!

Sixswitch
2012-05-21, 06:47 PM
Not really the same thing, but I'm not sure it's worth starting a new topic?

If you're in the UK, The Sun are doing a deal this week for a free Lego set when you buy the paper. You get a different one each day(starting today, ending Sunday). I think you have to take the voucher to Toys R Us or W H Smith to get 'em. Easiest is to buy the paper in W H Smith and get it there.

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/affiliates/lego/?CMP=KNGvccp-lego%20com

Only 30p each. My desk in work is about to become a hotspot of Lego. Well, kinda.

-Ss

Denyer
2012-05-21, 07:43 PM
Cheers for the heads up. They're definitely saving the best for the weekends this time.

Terome
2012-05-21, 07:47 PM
My girlfriend has been stockpiling Suns as discretely as possible so as not to ruin her reputation as a bluetop reader. Newspapers are strange.

Denyer
2012-05-21, 08:49 PM
I usually settle for feeding them straight into the bin outside since the staff in Smiths don't want to be left with the papers.

I also have a quick look to see if there are any magazines worth the cover price, but more often than not am disappointed. Not really sure how they stay in business.

Terome
2012-05-22, 04:18 PM
I also have a quick look to see if there are any magazines worth the cover price, but more often than not am disappointed. Not really sure how they stay in business.

Even the magazines I actually subscribe to, like New Scientist, or read online, like Wired, present very little reason for me to pick them up when they're on the newsstand.

ganon578
2012-05-25, 02:51 PM
While shopping for my daughter's 2nd birthday last night (she got a very large play kitchen BTW...) I snagged a Series 6 minifig at Toys R Us... And it turned out to be the pink space girl! She's pretty awesome; Farrah Fawcett blonde hair, a sweet blaster pistol and a visored pink helmet. Too bad these guys are always $3-4 each. I'd buy a bunch!

Skyquake87
2012-05-26, 07:57 PM
I usually settle for feeding them straight into the bin outside since the staff in Smiths don't want to be left with the papers.

I also have a quick look to see if there are any magazines worth the cover price, but more often than not am disappointed. Not really sure how they stay in business.

I wonder if there's any kick back for them with the fistfull of vouchers for other retailers you always get when buying anything from Smiths?

...I haven't regulalry bought a magazine since Select got axed in 2000 following the Metro /Emap merger. The odd copy of Front is about it.

Don't think I've ever bought anything else from Smiths, ever.

As for the Lego stuff, its been a slightly patchy collection this time around (i know these are just cheapy sets, but the lack of imagination and repitition is starting to show) and feels a bit like its been done begrudgingly.

The Batman sets are neat,as is the City racing car, the ninjago buggy is weird - and not good weird like that awesome skull copter - the star wars micro star destroyer, whilst accurate, is a bit dull, the tie fighter has popped up in a previous Mirror Star Wars promo. Whilst I love the police microlite craft, its another bloody police set, the fire cheif's buggy is another repeat (c.f. Mirror December 2010 promo) and there's the nagging thought that this promotion (which no doubt sees a spike in sales) comes at a time when newscorp is under tremendous pressure...

I've given up with the minifigures series 7 collection. i've five f**king keith lemon lookalike daredevils now out of a purchase of eight packets.

bloody hell, i sound miserable don't i?

Notabot
2012-06-02, 01:51 AM
I just found series 5 and 6 on clearance at a Walmart in the town we're in for a convention. At 1.50 apiece, I kind of went nuts picking up a bunch for the kids. I figure any repeats should be easily sellable to recoup any losses at that price. Dang, these are cute!

electro girl
2012-06-26, 03:10 PM
Finnaly got the space marine Lego minifig! It's so obvious now that I should have just felt for the packets with the most in them.

Might go round all the shops now and feel some packets.

Cliffjumper
2012-07-05, 04:08 PM
Anyone grabbed any of the Team GB ones? Nothing explosive in terms of unique parts, but it's nice to have partners/opponents for some of the earlier sporty chaps (boxer, martial artist, tennis player). The archer's my favourite - I think he's meant to be squinting down the arrow, but it just looks like he's doing a big dirty Sid James wink.

Denyer
2012-07-05, 06:02 PM
Haven't even seen 'em in Tesco. Couldn't find the more worrying (eg, cyclopean terror with camera for an eye dressed up as a policeman) olympic mascots either.

Cliffjumper
2012-07-05, 06:58 PM
Sar got ours from Sainsbury's, and we didn't see them anywhere else in town today - exclusive, maybe? We hadn't even heard of them until we saw them; I'm curious to know if there are own versions in other countries - France and the Netherlands didn't have any, but they're not quite as Olympic-y as us (even allowing for the hosting cash-in).

TBH, considering the official logo seems to be one mascot felating the other it's going to take a lot for the merchandise to raise an eyebrow.

Denyer
2012-07-14, 09:56 AM
http://www.brothers-brick.com/2012/07/13/pictures-of-collectable-minifigures-series-8/

Quite like the bat thing, alien warlord and second crack at the robot.

http://www.brothers-brick.com/2012/07/13/pictures-of-2013-lego-superheroes-minifigs/

Nails Commissioner Gordon pretty well.

Terome
2012-07-15, 11:47 AM
John Steed is definitely my favourite from that lot. I want a ton of those. My girlfriend has already claimed the Shakespeare. Bat-thing is a no-brainer too.

martyboy70
2012-07-15, 01:36 PM
Probably my least favourite assortment of Minifigs yet with a couple of standouts. Oh and the SWAT guy is Captain Freedom(Jesse Ventura) from The Running Man.

Sades
2012-07-15, 10:39 PM
Hm. I'm a little bored by that lineup.

Wants are probably Pirate Captain, Ancient Thespian, Enemy Robot, DJ, Santa and the Diver.

electro girl
2012-07-17, 12:57 PM
I picked up the boxer minifig from the Team GB this morning. He is now fighting the regular boxer on my shelf.

Terome
2012-07-17, 03:35 PM
http://www.brothers-brick.com/2012/07/13/pictures-of-2013-lego-superheroes-minifigs/

Nails Commissioner Gordon pretty well.

LOOK AT THAT PENGUIN!

Sades
2012-11-15, 05:03 PM
Got the Ice Fisherman and Highland Battler via D. BIGGEST THANKS EVAR- the ice fisherman looks super cool. And I like his little fish.

RUNAMOK
2012-11-15, 06:01 PM
I’m quite a fan of these collectable minifigures, I have actually succeeded at getting all of them including the Olympic ones. I like how they have a whole lot of new parts, and occasionally make figures that otherwise aren’t related to any existing themes.

Warcry
2012-12-01, 09:49 PM
I impulse-bought myself one each of series seven and eight while I was out doing some Christmas shopping. The series seven figure turned out to be the cute bunny-suit guy and the series eight fig was the conquistador, my two most-wanted figures from each set. I guess sometimes random chance works in your favour!

The conquistador is awesome. I don't think I've ever seen his helmet design used before, at least not on anything medieval-themed. I quite like it. His armour print is nice and unique and I love the deep red colour that his torso, arms and legs are cast from. His rapier is awesome, too, because I don't think I've gotten any of those before and I love it when Lego produces a different kind of sword. The Pirate cutlass and Castle broadsword from the 80s are cool, sure, but they don't work for everything.

Bunny man is just adorable. Though a part of me wants to steal his hat, paint it yellow and make a "young Link with bunny hood" minifigure...

I don't think I'd seen the full series eight checklist before, either. Lots of really nice figures in this set...the evil robot, alien, fairy, man-bat and pirate all look cool, and the ersatz Shakespeare is just gorgeous. I can't believe they made a ruffled Elizabethan collar piece for him. MUST HAVE.

Yes, I know. I get excited by strange things.

Sades
2012-12-02, 07:13 AM
If I can get excited by a little fish, you can get excited by a little ruffled collar...

inflatable dalek
2012-12-02, 07:31 AM
What about a fish... in a ruffled collar?



MIND BLOWN.

Warcry
2012-12-02, 07:34 AM
The collar wouldn't be able to stay on the fish. :(

If I can get excited by a little fish, you can get excited by a little ruffled collar...
Yeah, but you're supposed to have bizarre tastes and get worked up over insignificant things. You're a woman! Er...I mean, you're pregnant!

Skyquake87
2012-12-02, 05:16 PM
I picked up a couple of series 7 minifigures, wasn't that overlly impressed, but I do like the computer nerd guy whom weirdly looks like British actor James Lance as he appeared in Being Human as a child murdering ghost from the '70s.

I picked up a couple of seires 8 minifigures whilst in Manchester the other day to see Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson's 'Twins Of Evil' Tour (verdict on that: Rob Zombie is ace, despite cheekily trailing his upcoming film before reappearing for an Encore whilst Marilyn Manson is now just a sad cartoon of himself, endlessly repeating his career highlight 'Antichrist Superstar' to diminishing returns).

Anyway, I ended up with two divers. Which made me sad, but the little fellows are so cheerful and happy in their golden diving gear that I am not sad anymore. Just a shame the gold plastics feel uncomfortably weak.

RUNAMOK
2012-12-02, 06:40 PM
That Spaniard helmets are actually about 15 years old, Warcry. It has just never been featured in any castle sets. They were used in some of the very last Pirates sets and were reused more recently in some of the Indiana Jones sets that were from the 4th movie. I really love the conquistador; I bought 4 or 5 of them to boots my Imperial Armada a little.

Also there have been a few promo picture for series nine, and parts for series ten and eleven may have been spotted too.

Warcry
2012-12-02, 07:21 PM
I figured that might be the case, but I never bought any Pirate sets when I was a kid (to my infinite regret as an adult, because a lot of the Pirate stuff was awesome).

Denyer
2012-12-03, 10:27 PM
http://www.brothers-brick.com/2012/12/03/series-9-minifigures-revealed-and-reviewed/

http://i49.tinypic.com/33wbpm9.jpg

http://www.eurobricks.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=76075

Terome
2012-12-05, 11:02 PM
Pretty cool! Shall be all over that mech. We've run out of Series 8 packs down by my way and I never got me the bowler-hatted gentleman. These are dark times.

Warcry
2012-12-06, 01:06 AM
Must...have...cyclops...

Also the judge, Gypsy, she-elf, Marilyn Monroe wannabe, knight (Side-note: he's got a modified version of the classic broadsword! Woo!), Caesar, mermaid...half the series, pretty much.

I've got to reiterate just how brilliant the collectible minifig concept is. I'm not really interested in any of the themes now that they've cancelled Castle to make overpriced, boring renditions of movie scenes from Lord of the Rings, but I still keep paying attention to new releases because of the minifigs.

Side-note: I really want to like Monster Fighters, but the only sets I want are the two $100+ ones...which are too big for me to actually build and keep because the space I've allotted for Lego in the apartment is 95% full. The smaller sets are too focused on vehicles and don't provide good lairs for their (admittedly really cool) monsters at all. :(

Cliffjumper
2012-12-06, 01:42 AM
Pretty cool! Shall be all over that mech. We've run out of Series 8 packs down by my way and I never got me the bowler-hatted gentleman. These are dark times.

Have a spare if needed.

Tetsuro
2012-12-06, 04:19 AM
Anyone seen those minifigure display cases?

...and how hideously expensive they are for what they are?

Skyquake87
2012-12-06, 08:57 AM
Side-note: I really want to like Monster Fighters, but the only sets I want are the two $100+ ones...which are too big for me to actually build and keep because the space I've allotted for Lego in the apartment is 95% full. The smaller sets are too focused on vehicles and don't provide good lairs for their (admittedly really cool) monsters at all. :(

Same here. The massive vampire castle thing is easily the best thing in the series...but where would i put it? i've already sold off my Castle and City stuff for the same reasons. Lego have also down a 'collector's edition' haunted house (£149!) which isn't any better than the vampire castle thing...so why bother?

As its christmas, i have cracked out my two winter village sets - the toy shop and the bakery- which are still brilliant.

@ Tetsuro, yeah i've seen those display cases. don't see the point myself when you can build one yourself :) a lot of Lego's storage products are insanely expensive.

In series 8 news, i has the bolwer hat city guy and the fairy!

the look of that there series what denyer posted a pic of looks good, although Lego are reportedly going to be short-packing some figures to increase sales which is a bit..booo.

Terome
2012-12-06, 10:13 AM
Same here. The massive vampire castle thing is easily the best thing in the series...but where would i put it?

I plan on building mine into Helm's Deep somehow when I get a spare afternoon.

Don't have the mansion but I reckon it would really benefit from the addition of a few Friends sets inside. That way it more resemble a squat on the edge of town than a Scooby-Doo house.

The winter sets are really nice - would very much recommend the Winter Cottage if you've got a spare £90 lying around. There is a lot of detail inside and the light fittings are a minor work of art. It also comes with a kitten.

Cliffy - shall PM about that gentleman.

Cliffjumper
2012-12-06, 11:39 AM
Back right - is it me, or - aside from jet boots instead of helipack - is that Matt Trakker of MASK fame?

EDIT: Love Marilyn, the gypsy, the chicken and the mermaid. Have a feeling the cop and the plumber are going to fill the role of "mundane guy I end up with six of".

Improvement over the last wave, IMO.

Warcry
2012-12-06, 04:56 PM
Anyone seen those minifigure display cases?

...and how hideously expensive they are for what they are?
They look pretty awful, too. A person who wanted minifigure display cases could easily build something better without much work.

Same here. The massive vampire castle thing is easily the best thing in the series...but where would i put it? i've already sold off my Castle and City stuff for the same reasons. Lego have also down a 'collector's edition' haunted house (£149!) which isn't any better than the vampire castle thing...so why bother?
I like the look of the haunted house, actually, though the price is shocking. $200 isn't quite as nuts as the $500 Death Stars and Executors that the Star Wars crowd gobble up, but it's double what I paid for the Medieval Market Village -- which was awesome, admittedly, but also takes up lots of space and took me around six hours to build. A lot of the collector-themed Lego stuff just seems to be a bit much, to me...my brain just expects any and all Lego sets to be as cutely underscaled as the typical set in the 80s and 90s, so the bigger stuff often winds up looking "wrong" to me.

Even the normal themes aren't immune to it...Star Wars for one releases a new X-Wing or TIE Fighter or Landspeeder every three or four years, with each one being progressively bigger, more detailed and less "fun" (IMO obviously) than the last.

the look of that there series what denyer posted a pic of looks good, although Lego are reportedly going to be short-packing some figures to increase sales which is a bit..booo.
*shakes fist*

Hopefully it'll turn around and bite them in the ass when the short-packed ones turn out to be unpopular. :glance:

I plan on building mine into Helm's Deep somehow when I get a spare afternoon.
Maybe it's just me, but isn't Helm's Deep one of the most boring castles Lego's done in the last decade? It's definitely more realistic than most others, but unfortunately that translates to it being grey, grey and more grey, with grey highlights. It's a good design as far as layout and movie accuracy goes...it and Gandalf's cart are the only sets that are even close to adequate when it comes to replicating the scene it's supposed to represent. But when I compare it to the older non-licensed castles with their colourful, faction-themed banners, flags and trim Helm's Deep just doesn't look very exciting.

Skyquake87
2012-12-07, 10:37 AM
Well I was in Tesco last night and picked up a series 8 bard. He's lovely, really nice detailing and two -way facial expression malarky.

I also had a look at other Legos. The Vampire Castle is £50...a massive £20 off the rrp...tempting. Had a look at the back of the box and inside there's not much going on. Just lots of weird pits with teeth (?) one room and some ramparts for folk to run along. So I am swayed...but I do get the impression that it'll be a bit of a let down in the end. Nice minifigures though and the green car looks decent, despite the silly rocket launcher.

And oh yes that Helm's Deep Castle is BORING. Its just grey grey and more grey. It doesn't have much in the way of features either, and is as empty as the old 1980s interiors, so Lego, you can keep your £100 for that pile of dull.

The Avengers Lego is also tumbling in price. Always the danger of licensed stuff, once the film's been and gone, what have you got to sustain interest? Nothing. All the appeal of the sets is in the mini-figures, and with the Sun recently giving away Thor and Hawkeye, there's the cheap Cap and Iron Man sets leaving you with only the Hulk and Black Widow to get. And of course, those two are only available in the most expensive sets of the range. Booo.

Batman's Batcave seems to be a bit of a stiff. Again, its on discount, but its just quite ugly and flimsy looking and nowhere near as nice as the one from 2007 and not even worth it to get the Bane and Posion Ivy figs. You just don't seem to get much for your money. weird how these newer batman sets have less bricks but cost twice as much as the old sets did at retail. Now thats what I call capitalism!

Elsewhere, its all Ninjago (whatever) and City stuff with the mining sub-theme being thrust in your face at every turn. Star Wars is starting to look a bit desperate, but folk still seem happy to stump up silly sums of money for this stuff so there we go. The Dino theme seems to have sunk without trace though. Only TRU now carry it around my way and the sets are a bit ugly looking and do girls really need ugly malformed Mini-figs to play with Lego? I thought it was pretty inclusive, so why does the Friends line exist?

Warcry
2012-12-08, 04:13 AM
The Vampire Castle is £50
So...about $80 here. I'd definitely buy it if I could get it for that price, space issues or not. Even though I think the haunted house makes a lot more sense as a home base for a vampire. The castle would totally be seized by one of my ever-expanding bands of armed knights, if the vampires and manbats weren't enslaved by a necromancer first. :glance:

And oh yes that Helm's Deep Castle is BORING. Its just grey grey and more grey. It doesn't have much in the way of features either, and is as empty as the old 1980s interiors, so Lego, you can keep your £100 for that pile of dull.
If the price-per-piece ratio was better I'd be all for it just as a parts set. All that grey would come in very handy for building a castle of my own, with some colour and a few interesting play features and accessories tossed in. But as a licensed set it's about 15% more expensive than a similar, non-licensed set of the same size, so no, thanks.

The Avengers Lego is also tumbling in price. Always the danger of licensed stuff, once the film's been and gone, what have you got to sustain interest? Nothing.
I'm hoping the same will happen to LOTR and the Hobbit...

Though in the mean time, apparently real Castle Lego is coming back next summer so I'm quite happy about that.

Batman's Batcave seems to be a bit of a stiff.
Heh. I hadn't actually looked at any of the DC stuff before. You're right, it's pretty awful. And so is practically every other set in the range. I'm quite fond of the Arkham set, but that's the only one that looks good and again, the price is way out of whack for what you're getting.

Elsewhere, its all Ninjago
The smaller Ninjago sets are pretty cool, I think. The game-themed ones are silly, but I'm a fan of a few of the small buildings as well as the Technic-built beasts in a few sets.

The Dino theme seems to have sunk without trace though. Only TRU now carry it around my way and the sets are a bit ugly looking
TRU is the only retailer that stocks the full range of Lego around here at all, other than one shop downtown that caters to the hipster parent crowd. Walmart and the other major retailers will carry City, the licensed themes and not much else, and when they do stock something like Ninjago or Dinos or Monster Hunters it's nothing but the small sets.

I'm hoping that'll change not that Target has bought up the long-decaying corpse of Zellers and started converting the stores to their brand...

and do girls really need ugly malformed Mini-figs to play with Lego? I thought it was pretty inclusive, so why does the Friends line exist?
I ask the same question, myself. My niece loves Lego and occasionally asks for Friends stuff, but I'd never even think of buying her any. Not only is the theme cloyingly, stereotypically "girly", but the sets seem to be of very low quality, with much less complexity and building on a brick-for-brick basis than the normal sets. They remind me a lot of the really silly Belville line, more "dollys with Lego accessories" than "Lego aimed at girls" like the old Paradisa sets. If I was female I'm pretty sure I'd find it insulting.

...

You know, the fact that I can even remember two decade old girly Lego sets tells me that I spent way too much time staring at Lego catalogues when I was a kid...

Skyquake87
2012-12-08, 09:27 PM
Ha! i remember Paradisa! That was a really nice line. Sure it looked silly, all pink and white like a birthday cake, but the sets didn't look daft. Unlike Friends.

I have bought a few of the DC Superheroes sets (weirdly seem to be better than the Marvel ones) and I like the Catwoman set, the Jokers Funhouse is a nice little playset and as much as i liked the original two-face chase thing, this newer set is a bit better, throwing in a bank for you to rob rather than just a werid lamp/ spiky tyre damaging thingy. The silly Two-Face vehicle is superb in in its glorious orange and purple. I also got the Superman thing, which is great as well.

By comparrison, the only Marvel set (out of the two i bought) I think I really like is the Cap set. Iron Man just looks silly with his massive head, Loki is kind of sweet, but his rubber helmet isn't much fun and that massive Shield vehicle is just a bit ugly.

I think if the Vampire Castle is still reduced when I get paid Friday I might take another look...or get the Winter Village Post Office (the new Winter Cottage set is a bit too much at the moment). I can't tell you how great the winter village sets are. Lovely little sets, bags of details. Light bricks (ooh!) and just reasonable rrps (and cheapish if you buy them out of season) for Collector sets.

Ooh! That's reminded me, I did have a whirl with some modern Technic. Thats good fun. Much more realistic construction, and the build patterns are significantly divorced from the likes of City and so on to make it feel like you've bought a different construction line altogether. I have a buggy thing (its red) which looks like one of those Tamiya RC vehicles and rebuilds into a pretty cute tractor and I've bought a few of the tiny sets that are smaller representations of some of the massive show-piece sets and are great little things. The tiny Mercedes tow truck with working steering and winch is just adorable!

Denyer
2012-12-09, 10:28 AM
I ask the same question, myself. My niece loves Lego and occasionally asks for Friends stuff, but I'd never even think of buying her any. Not only is the theme cloyingly, stereotypically "girly", but the sets seem to be of very low quality, with much less complexity and building on a brick-for-brick basis than the normal sets. They remind me a lot of the really silly Belville line, more "dollys with Lego accessories" than "Lego aimed at girls" like the old Paradisa sets. If I was female I'm pretty sure I'd find it insulting.

If she likes it, go for it -- that's how Friends came about, despite more female figures also being pushed in the main sets. The focus groups wanted pastels and "play house" stuff. It's not as if the pieces can't be generalised with other System sets. (Even Scala added one or two useful pieces -- the award rosettes (http://www.bricklink.com/catalogItem.asp?P=33175) work pretty well as honour/purity seals if you're building W40K.)

http://brickset.com/detail/?Set=3933-1

^The inventor set was pretty decent as plain LEGO, I thought.

People have mixed Friends elements in quite successfully...

http://www.brothers-brick.com/2012/02/03/lego-friends-is-uninspiring/
http://www.brothers-brick.com/2012/01/07/3315-olivias-house-review/
http://www.brothers-brick.com/2012/02/21/flashing-friends/
http://www.brothers-brick.com/2012/01/18/lego-friends-father-daughter-review/
http://www.brothers-brick.com/2012/01/23/mocking-friends/
http://www.brothers-brick.com/2012/01/13/lego-friends-with-headgear/
http://www.brothers-brick.com/2012/01/09/take-to-the-skie-with-friends/
http://www.brothers-brick.com/2012/02/11/another-lego-tank-from-ghost-in-the-shell/

Cliffjumper
2012-12-09, 01:24 PM
Actually like a lot of the Paradisa sets - it covered a lot of normal stuff that Town hadn't done for a decade and it was easy enough to swap out the pink. IIRC there was a lighthouse thing that was ****ing epic. And yeh, a fair few salvagable pieces - especially minifig accs that had been barely used for a few years (cups and the like).

Warcry
2012-12-10, 03:16 AM
I stumbled on a store that's got a lot of older stuff (Pharoah's Quest and Kingdoms were the ones that caught my eye the most) still in stock, and that'll be doing a total inventory blowout right after Christmas because they're closing. I'll have to make a point to head back there when the store is in liquidation mode to see if I can get anything interesting at 30% or 40% off...

By comparrison, the only Marvel set (out of the two i bought) I think I really like is the Cap set. Iron Man just looks silly with his massive head, Loki is kind of sweet, but his rubber helmet isn't much fun and that massive Shield vehicle is just a bit ugly.
The Marvel sets all look pretty ugly, now that I see them. Not that the DC ones are much better, but at least the DC ones have a bit of personality to them. Some of the Marvel sets look like generic City or Space sets with Wolverine or Iron Man added.

...or get the Winter Village Post Office (the new Winter Cottage set is a bit too much at the moment). I can't tell you how great the winter village sets are. Lovely little sets, bags of details. Light bricks (ooh!) and just reasonable rrps (and cheapish if you buy them out of season) for Collector sets.
I've never really paid much attention to the Winter Village sets before, though I have to admit that both the post office and the bakery look really cool. I'd probably just end up de-wintering them, de-moderning them and incorporating them into my Castle town after a few weeks, though.

Ooh! That's reminded me, I did have a whirl with some modern Technic. Thats good fun. Much more realistic construction, and the build patterns are significantly divorced from the likes of City and so on to make it feel like you've bought a different construction line altogether.
I've never dived into Technic, personally. It feels like a totally different brand, like you say, and that's always been off-putting to me.

If she likes it, go for it -- that's how Friends came about, despite more female figures also being pushed in the main sets. The focus groups wanted pastels and "play house" stuff.
Eh. She's actually a major tomboy, so every time we've gotten her something girly she's been amused with it for about an hour before she goes back to more gender-neutral or "boyish" stuff. Plus it's not like Friends is the only thing she asks for when I ask her what sort of Lego she likes. If I give her a catalogue she oohs and aahs over practically every theme, the way I did when I was a kid.

The most annoying thing about buying her Lego is that she really, really likes Star Wars because of the Clone Wars cartoon. I know she'd love Star Wars Lego, but the smaller sets are practically all troop-builders to please the grown-up fanboy demographic. I've looked unsuccessfully for three years and I've yet to find a set that a kid of her age and building experience would be able to handle (in spite of that bar creeping up every single year). Which is a shame, because the simpler sets they had when the Star Wars line just started would be right up her alley. :(

On the other hand, if her little sister was into Lego I'd totally buy her Friends stuff. She's an absolute girly-girl and would love it, and as a younger girl who's not really had any Lego of her own before she's definitely more in the target market. :)

Actually like a lot of the Paradisa sets - it covered a lot of normal stuff that Town hadn't done for a decade and it was easy enough to swap out the pink. IIRC there was a lighthouse thing that was ****ing epic. And yeh, a fair few salvagable pieces - especially minifig accs that had been barely used for a few years (cups and the like).
I always thought Paradisa was pretty cool when I was a kid, not that I would ever have admitted it at the time. The only difference between it and Town that I saw was the colour of the bricks and the gender of the minifigs. It would have been a great way to fill out a realistic-looking community since the Town sets were, IIRC, not very good for gender balance (even if they weren't as much of a sausage-fest as Space or Castle).

Denyer
2012-12-10, 07:04 PM
Get 'em a bit of both and expect them to pool it? Or are they completely territorial?

I've never dived into Technic, personally. It feels like a totally different brand, like you say, and that's always been off-putting to me.
Some really useful parts if you want to do Studs Not On Top designs, though;

http://www.brothers-brick.com/2007/02/13/new-advanced-building-techniques-guide-by-didier-enjary/

Denyer
2012-12-18, 07:44 PM
http://www.hispabrickmagazine.com/content/hispabrick-magazine-015

From a light skim it's a better read than BrickJournal the last time I saw it, and there's an article on Scala/Belville/etc vs the newer Friends stuff. Mean to look into the raytracing stuff...

Would anyone object to making this a general LEGO thread?

Cliffjumper
2012-12-19, 12:27 AM
I WOULD, VIOLENTLY.

(I don't think I've posted for a few days so I'm just checking I haven't been banned)

Warcry
2012-12-19, 03:43 AM
I'm pretty sure it's been a general Lego thread for the last year, give or take. So it only makes sense that the title matches the contents.

Get 'em a bit of both and expect them to pool it? Or are they completely territorial?
Children come in the non-territorial variety? ;)

Some really useful parts if you want to do Studs Not On Top designs, though;
Oh, absolutely yes. I've definitely used them in the past, and found it very useful on space-themed stuff. But models that are exclusively (or mainly) built from Technic bits and pieces don't have a very "Lego" look to them. They're neat, sure, but they often lack that bricky charm that most Lego has.

http://www.brothers-brick.com/2007/02/13/new-advanced-building-techniques-guide-by-didier-enjary/
Some very nice techniques in there that I'd never thought of before. Sadly a lot of them look really, really parts-intensive.

Denyer
2012-12-19, 10:46 PM
Children come in the non-territorial variety? ;)
My experience of LEGO has been that it's one thing less fought over, anyway.

a lot of them look really, really parts-intensive
Most stuff I go for is, TBH. In particular I'm not much of a fan of having studs showing unless it's for a specific effect.

Warcry
2012-12-25, 07:52 PM
Most stuff I go for is, TBH. In particular I'm not much of a fan of having studs showing unless it's for a specific effect.
I've never been a fan of consciously tiling over every exposed surface. I find that the effect loses it's impact when people use it on every surface of a model. Especially for historical builds (Castle, Pirates, etc.) where most things would have been a bit rough around the edges, I prefer to leave at least some studs uncovered. When I'm building, SNOT techniques are incorporated more for the added creative possibilities they bring (building on angles that traditional one atop the other brick assembly won't allow) than for their aesthetic uses. I usually don't give too much thought to hiding all the studs unless it's for something that's meant to be ultra-futuristic or sleek, like a spaceship or something of the sort.

I got a few more Series 8 minifigures for Christmas, in particular the series 8 football player, lederhosen guy and cowgirl. The football player's pretty boring, all things considered...no torso printing under the pads, boring colours and nothing much in terms of reusable parts except for the nice trophy. Lederhosen guy is nice as a generic old-timey peasant or an attendee at a cultural festival. The cowgirl's pretty cool too, though she's more "modern fetishized line dancer" than something that'd fit in with the old Wild West sets.

Skyquake87
2012-12-26, 01:58 PM
Series 9 appeared shortly before Xmas, I picked one up and was really pleased to find it was chicken suit guy. He looks so happy :swirly:

In other news, Santa brought me a Ninjago set. It is one of the snake dudes riding a big green snakey bike (complete with wiggly tale). Its is both deeply silly and good fun at the same time. I also got the Ninjago character dictionary thing, which is fascinating as it shows how much effort Lego have put into the mythos and thinking behind the line. Cool 'free' Minifigure too.

Warcry
2012-12-27, 11:32 PM
Ninjago is surprisingly cool. The wide variety of different-coloured ninjas gives it a leg up on the Ninja theme from the 90s, which was more historically accurate but IMO a lot less fun. The various fantasy enemies (skeletons and snakemen) are a better fit as enemies than the samurai or shoguns from the old line, especially since the modern concept of a ninja has almost nothing to do with actual ninjas in feudal Japan and everything to do with romanticized fantasy tropes from kabuki theatre.

I think it's run it's course now though, hasn't it? I seem to remember reading that it was going to be winding down and getting replaced by "Legends of Chima" as the game-centric theme in 2013.

On a different note, I picked up a Monster Fighters impulse-buy polybag today. It's got a ghost and a grandfather clock (http://lego.wikia.com/wiki/30201_Ghost). for something that cost $1.50 more than a collectible minifigure bag, I have to say I'm very impressed with it. The grandfather clock is a very nice little build. It could use a splash of silver or gold for highlights, but it can be integrated into MOCs in anything from Castle all the way up to City to add a bit of detail.

The ghost is very cool, too. His 'sheet' is glow-in-the-dark, and he's dragging a ball-and-chain behind him for added ghostly effect. He's a new mold too, I think, with a mournful facial expression instead of the silly grin the old ghosts had. I wanted a ghost so much when I was little and never got one, so I'm pretty happy now.

Cliffjumper
2012-12-27, 11:41 PM
Got the City big yellow Lego truck for Xmas with a couple of smaller sets. It won't fit with my Town stuff (longer than the hospital, etc.) but it is a smashing set; a lot of the City stuff actually reminds me more of Model Team (http://peeron.com/scans/?tid=210&s=0)(a seriously underrated subset; really good load of pieces in each one even if the models didn't always appeal); the size of the kits makes me actually wonder how many kids have the space and money to really build up a city compared to the old Town stuff.

Skyquake87
2012-12-28, 09:18 AM
@ Warcry, yeah Ninjago has pretty much run its course. Reading the book I have, the Snakes thing, despite bringing some bonkers models to the table, is pretty much a retread of the Skeleton warriors m.o. The Snake Mini-figs are really cool though. I like the battle sets with a figure and some cards, but they are so expensive (roughly the same as a small City set). I've been happy enough with my Sun freebies to represent for Ninjago.

And that MF Ghost set is really cool. I'm keeping my eye out for that! I used to have the Black Knight and haunted tower set from the old Castle range and loved it. A really nice small set with a silly Ghost (again glowed in the dark) hiding in a small tower thing.

@Cliffy, Model Team was all kinds of awesome. Some of that ethos does still permete the Creator line, but the vehicles don't look as nice as the old MT stuff. And yes, the hugeness of the CiTY stuff does mean you can quickly swallow up floor space with just a few buildings and vehicles. Largely why I sold all mine just recently - I loved it, but nowhere for it to go. I have kept all the Farm stuff though because its unbearably cute - and I like tractors :)

Thunderwave
2013-01-12, 12:15 PM
http://mobileframezero.com/mfz/

Found this. Thought you all might be interested.

Skyquake87
2013-01-12, 08:33 PM
wow. i swear, seeing all this MOC stuff and things like that on the web makes feel such an underachiever when I fiddle about and make stuff. I like that so many folk have found ways of construction with lego that i never would have thought of. very inspiring. and that game looks pretty cool :)

in minifig news, from series nine i have the marilyn figure and the judge. the judge is frickin' awesome. i love him! and he looks like justice leveson off of our very own Leveson Inquiry Into Press Standards! hooray!

Slayer-Fan123
2013-01-19, 07:39 AM
Anybody seen these new Chima sets? They make wanna buy again!
Are those heads solid though, or are they a regular head covered by a helmet? I tried looking on Bricklink, but nobody is selling their parts separately yet.

Thunderwave
2013-01-19, 12:38 PM
Anybody seen these new Chima sets? They make wanna buy again!
Are those heads solid though, or are they a regular head covered by a helmet? I tried looking on Bricklink, but nobody is selling their parts separately yet.

From what I can tell it's a normal head and helmet combo. Haven't had one in my hands yet though, but from the photos on the packaging all the figs have the circles around the eyes that looks like a helmet.

Slayer-Fan123
2013-01-19, 10:12 PM
That's what I was guessing too, but I had to be sure. I HATE those differently shaped heads.

Warcry
2013-01-19, 11:28 PM
They have separate, printed beasty heads underneath, too:

http://www.brickshelf.com/gallery/rogueang/EaglesCastle/edit_-_eagles_castle_review_-_30_-_heads_-_front.jpg

They seem pretty cool, all in all. The helmets look more like something a primitive shaman would wear than anything, but Chima's definitely a neat, inventive idea. I doubt I'd buy anything, other than maybe a handful of minifigs to add to my menagerie of Castle monsters. But I could definitely see it being popular with kids. Especially since it's supposed to have a TV series like Ninjago.

Thunderwave
2013-01-20, 12:22 AM
They have separate, printed beasty heads underneath, too:

http://www.brickshelf.com/gallery/rogueang/EaglesCastle/edit_-_eagles_castle_review_-_30_-_heads_-_front.jpg

They seem pretty cool, all in all. The helmets look more like something a primitive shaman would wear than anything, but Chima's definitely a neat, inventive idea. I doubt I'd buy anything, other than maybe a handful of minifigs to add to my menagerie of Castle monsters. But I could definitely see it being popular with kids. Especially since it's supposed to have a TV series like Ninjago.

Faceception!

Jaynz
2013-01-20, 11:59 PM
Well, had a huge amount of cool with Lego this weekend...

Lego Krang.

'Nuff Said. :)

Warcry
2013-01-21, 01:19 AM
I'm not a huge fan of the TMNT sets. The Turtles themselves aren't very impressive, and the vehicle builds don't seem all that great. The Foot Soldier, Shredder and Krang (oh, wait, it's "Kraang" now for some reason) minifigures are pretty cool, but I'm not all that interested in anything else.

I did a lot of Legoing myself this weekend, though. First, sadly, I was obliged to dismantle a Dragon Masters-themed castle I built a few years back. I tore it down because I needed a bunch of parts from it to rebuild a couple of my old Star Wars sets, my X-Wing (http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=7140-1) and TIE Interceptor (http://www.brickset.com/detail/?set=6206-1). They've done about five different X-Wings since that one, which was the first, and you can tell...the design is very clunky and primitive compared to the newer ones. Still, it was a lot of fun putting these two back together...even though I spent probably four hours tracking down all the pieces I needed for the two of them. I really need to sort out my spare Lego better!

The reason why I did all of this was because I wanted the other two fighters to go with my A-Wing (http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=75003-1). I haven't bought a Lego Star Wars set in six or seven years, but the A-Wing is my favourite Star Wars ship by a large margin so when I saw they'd finally managed to do a good job of it I knew I had to own one. The finished product is great but the build isn't very complex, because the sleek, streamlined design could only be adequately captured with a lot of big, curving pieces.

In keeping with the zaniness of Star Wars toys in general, the A-Wing is piloted by a minifigure that appears to be obscure nobody Arvel Crynyd (of "flying into the Executor bridge" fame) and comes with a decidedly non-action oriented Admiral Ackbar figure as well. Han Solo is also there, presumably because Lego wanted to up the set's kid-friendliness by including someone they'd actually heard of.

Ackbar is unintentionally hilarious, because his highly-detailed fish-man head doesn't belong anywhere near a body made up of squared-off blocks. He's also got a clear coffee mug for some reason, even though I'm 90% sure the flippers that the character had in Return of the Jedi wouldn't be able to hold it.

All in all, a really cool set that's actually worth the money -- not something I can say about Star Wars Lego very often.

Thunderwave
2013-01-21, 02:02 AM
In keeping with the zaniness of Star Wars toys in general, the A-Wing is piloted by a minifigure that appears to be obscure nobody Arvel Crynyd (of "flying into the Executor bridge" fame) and comes with a decidedly non-action oriented Admiral Ackbar figure as well. Han Solo is also there, presumably because Lego wanted to up the set's kid-friendliness by including someone they'd actually heard of.

I saw a Porkins minifig with the new X-Wing. I'm pretty sure one of the snowspeeders came with Dak (or what the hell ever Luke's doomed gunner's name was). Seems like the old action figure philosophy is coming to LEGO now as well.

Jaynz
2013-01-21, 02:36 AM
I'm not a huge fan of the TMNT sets. The Turtles themselves aren't very impressive, and the vehicle builds don't seem all that great. The Foot Soldier, Shredder and Krang (oh, wait, it's "Kraang" now for some reason) minifigures are pretty cool, but I'm not all that interested in anything else.

Krang's name has been in dispute for years now, due to some really bizzare legal issues with the cartoon, comic, creators, movie rights holders, etc. The TMNT cartoon of the 2000s called him 'Kraang', so I guess that's what they're going with... Anyway, the little figure and the robot build he has is pretty good, exactly what I would WANT from Lego Krang - with the possible exception of missing his old android body.

The foot soldier is 'meh', but it's a foot soldier, and a new take on the android type. Not bad, not great... there are some Ninja-Go figures that work a bit better, I suppose.

Michealangelo is the included turtle in this set. Definately the 1980s-1990s cartoon vibe in this one, with goofy face and all, but it kinda works. The turtle shell piece is kinda nice as well. It doesn't entirely work, but, he's not why I got the set anyway. No nunchaku, either, which seems weird. I'll have to see if there's a set available in another Lego product.

Warcry
2013-02-03, 04:20 AM
The foot soldier is 'meh', but it's a foot soldier, and a new take on the android type. Not bad, not great... there are some Ninja-Go figures that work a bit better, I suppose.
It doesn't translate over perfectly into brick form, but the Foot Soldiers in the new cartoon are actually very similar in design to the ones from the 90s live action movies. Because of that I actually assumed that they were people, and even though I watched a bunch of episodes of the new show I can't actually remember anything that'd prove it either way.

But regardless, I found wave 9 of the minifigures at my Walmart, which was a surprise because they haven't stocked the things for a couple years now. I picked up three, which turned out to be Caesar and two knights. Caesar's a bit boring, honestly. His only accessory is a plate with a scroll printed on it, and the figure itself is basically an old man wearing a towel. There's no printing on the back of his legs either, which makes it look like he deliberately cut off his toga so that he'd expose his bare ass to everyone. That's, uh...a tad unfortunate.

The knight is great, though. His armour and shield prints are based on the knights from the fantasy-themed Castle line from a few years ago, with the same crown heraldry. They omit the rich blues and golds that those knights had, though, opting for a two-tone grey look. The look's a bit plain on it's own, but they fit in pretty well with the older Crown faction in the same way that the evil dwarf fit with the Dragon faction from Kingdoms. And, hey, better to get doubles of this guy than Caesar or the weirdo in the chicken suit...

Jaynz
2013-02-04, 02:57 PM
It doesn't translate over perfectly into brick form, but the Foot Soldiers in the new cartoon are actually very similar in design to the ones from the 90s live action movies. Because of that I actually assumed that they were people, and even though I watched a bunch of episodes of the new show I can't actually remember anything that'd prove it either way.

They've got the android wiring on them, though they don't have the strange heads from the 1980s cartoons. Since the new Turtles are, so far, based on the new cartoon, I'm guessing the Foot Soldiers are taken from that new design. (I haven't seen it to know for sure.)

HeavyArms
2013-02-23, 07:19 AM
Is it me or does Lego.com not keep any Lego sets older than maybe six moths to a year, do they recycle the sets or are there other web sites that have older stock? All that I found was Brickset, which seems to be a database sort of thing, and JustBricks Australia.

Warcry
2013-02-23, 02:39 PM
It depends on the theme, in my experience. Usually they'll release one new wave in the summer and another in the winter, with the big themes (City, Star Wars, etc.) getting new sets each wave and the less-important ones getting refreshed once a year. When Castle was still a thing, I noticed that the smaller sets used to disappear after about a year but that the biggest one or two usually stuck around longer than that.

As far as older stock goes, when I'm looking I usually have better luck at brick-and-mortar stores that don't turn over their toy inventory very well than I do online. Basically, if I'm looking for old Lego I go to the places that I'll never look for Transformers at because they're always a few series behind.

Skyquake87
2013-02-23, 09:08 PM
As i've been bouncing around West Yorkshire today (I've been to Dewsbury! wooo), I stopped off at TRU Wakefield just to have a look with no real intention of buying anything.

My, its just building sets for EVERYTHING these days, isn't it? The action figure aisles are looking pretty desperate, its all playsets and 3.75" figures and not much else. Are action figures dead now?

Anyway, off the point that. I saw the new Ninjago stuff. I honestly thought the Snakes thing was the last run, but no there's a 'Final Battle' of half a dozen new sets, where the Ninjago face off against...well, i don't know, some evil looking Japanese armour wearing dudes. I ended up picking up 70500 which is Kai's fire mech or something. Basically, it's a bit like a small Exo Force set only EPIC. Its the entry level set in the series, so its pretty cheap (well, by today's standards... £8 it cost me, which is probably up £1 - £2 on what this sort of smaller set would have cost a year or two ago). It's just a fantastic little set with some neat new (to me anyway) parts and the mech suit's proper hand can properly hold things! Not like when they used to cheat a bit for Exoforce by having a bit of Technic hook up a sword or whatever. The two minifigures are ace, but the bad guy gets stumpy midget legs and just looks wrong.

I had a look at what else Lego were up to. The Chimia stuff looks mental. I like the small hawk craft, but it didn't have the same value for money deal going on as the Ninjago set i went with, so that was an easy pass.

As for the licensed stuff, well, I'm impressed with the Spider-Man Daily Bugle set, and the Batman sets (which are always great), but the prices are a bit eye watering - especially on the Turtles stuff. It's a bit of a shame the Turtles stuff is LOTR expensive, as the sets look pretty neat (i liked the one with 'Fishface' in). It just seems to have the RRP jacked up in the hope that the Turtles will be this years 'big thing', which seems a bit...greedy (oddly, TRU don't seem to be carrying the 5" Turtles action figures which are pretty great imo). It's a good job Lego are working hard to make their non-licensed stuff as good - if not better- than the licensed stuff.

The most impressive stuff has to be some of the things turning up in City. Sets with BUILDINGS. There's a nice fire crew attending an abandoned house thats been set alight, and a couple of cool 'cops and robbers' sets. One with a Museum heist and one with some ne'er do wells trying to escape at some warehousing on the docks! There's some really cool Creator and whatever they used to call Basic/ Creator that now isn't called anything but is aimed at younger builders moving on from Duplo stuff knocking about too, including a nice construction scene and rally thing. There's also a set that looks suspiciously like Bulkhead...

Although I was really sniffy about it, the Friends line appears to have been a big hit with its target market and was responsible for helping Lego achieve $3 billion in sales last year (i read this in a newspaper or something).

In non Lego news, I cracked and picked up three Kre-O Micro Changers from Asda on the way home. Mainly because I was impressed that they were only £1.47 (a whole 52p cheaper than Lego's blind packed Minifigs!), a quick google to get the codes and I went for Bludgeon (not quite as good as I hoped), Scorch (er, now called Singe for no doubt exciting trademark reasons) whom has these mental flame throwers, Hook who is just ace and my favourite Angry Face Dirge. He is feckin' brilliant and I love him. Especially as he has a big daft looking pointy head. Marvellous.

Sades
2013-02-24, 06:52 PM
Some of the stuff you guys talk about make me seriously WANT. For serious.

I bought new minifigs the other day. They are awesome! I have nothing else to add. :/

Denyer
2013-02-27, 09:09 PM
Series 10 preview image:

http://www.brothers-brick.com/2013/02/27/first-high-res-image-of-lego-series-10-minifigs/

Not particularly grabbing me, this lot.

Warcry
2013-02-27, 09:39 PM
Not as solid as the last few waves, for sure. The Xena-esque warrior is cool, as is the sea monster, but none of the others are all that memorable to me unless I decide I want want a Sea Captain and Bumblebee Man for a Simpsons-themed build.

Skyquake87
2013-02-28, 10:10 AM
Hmm...it's a bit 'Late Series Garbage Pail Kids' isn't it? where new ideas are becoming harder to come by. I do like Medusa though.

Terome
2013-02-28, 10:19 AM
Will definitely snag multiple bumblebees ladies and I do like that old professor chap. Face on the skydiver is great, too.

Sades
2013-03-01, 02:01 PM
I was going to agree, but then I saw the seagull and was entertained for a minute of so. I'm easily won over, I can't help it.

The sad clown is entertaining me right now too, though that might just be because I'm tired. My brain's like "Ha ha, you're sad!..."

Injun stereotypes! Why is this still acceptable? Ah well. There's stereotypes all over. He has a tomahawk. We get those at birth, you know. Along with our own little starter jar of warpaint.

OMG, just saw the little dog. *squees like a girl*

Jaynz
2013-03-01, 02:24 PM
Injun stereotypes! Why is this still acceptable? Ah well. There's stereotypes all over. He has a tomahawk. We get those at birth, you know. Along with our own little starter jar of warpaint.

Well, there were tribes that actually did that, particularly out west, though admittedly not at birth. In those cases I think it's looked on more as a matter of pride than discrimination.. sort of like giving a 'colonist' minifigure a musket. - http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=indian+tribes+1880&FORM=HDRSC2 has plenty of images to back that up.

Denyer
2013-03-01, 02:55 PM
I quite like the way they're doing "sets" of characters throughout the various series (especially the monsters) -- likely to end up getting the gorgon, Capt Haddock, another Roman, bee to make a bee guy, and wouldn't be that disappointed with any of the others apart from the baseball guy.

At what point do the stereotypes that've been included throughout the various series become offensive? Is there anything else particular (hair, face print, etc) that would effectively identify figures as non-Caucasian whilst keeping the bright yellow skin tone? It does suffer from effectively being white by default.

The chiselled features on the baseball guy seem they could indicate several ethnicities, for instance, but eye markings seem potentially dodgy territory to be getting into if they could be interpreted as suggesting a shape.

Warcry
2013-03-01, 04:41 PM
Injun stereotypes! Why is this still acceptable?
You've got to keep in mind that these figures are designed by folks in Denmark, not the US like so many other popular toys/media. They probably don't have the first clue what is or isn't offensive since they've only ever seen your people in movies -- their perception of Aboriginals is probably just as screwed up as North Americans' perception of gypsies.

And like Denyer said the series hasn't exactly been short on ethnic stereotypes of other groups either. From the luchador to the mariachi to the various Asian martial arts dudes to the geisha to the two vikings, the Highland warrior, the Aztec, a gypsy fortune teller...Lego's been caricaturing pretty much everyone.

Sades
2013-03-01, 06:48 PM
Honestly not too concerned tbh... I said it to make a bad joke when I was half-awake, so it's not really a big deal to me. I fully realise there are other ethnic stereotypes present.

Denyer
2013-03-01, 07:25 PM
We could do with more figs that people can identify with, though... despite over a thousand different heads --

http://www.bricklink.com/catalogList.asp?catType=P&catString=238

-- "angry Scot" is probably the most recurrent stock group.

http://www.bricklink.com/catalogItem.asp?P=3626bpb691 -- quite European or steampunk
http://www.bricklink.com/catalogItem.asp?P=3626bpb656 -- that'd be useful in yellow
http://www.bricklink.com/catalogItem.asp?P=3626bpb460 -- there's Brits covered
http://www.bricklink.com/catalogItem.asp?P=3626bpb609
http://www.bricklink.com/catalogItem.asp?P=3626bpb534 -- quite stylised
http://www.bricklink.com/catalogItem.asp?P=3626bpx6
http://www.bricklink.com/catalogItem.asp?P=3626bpx7
http://www.bricklink.com/catalogItem.asp?P=3626bpb587 -- not necessarily male
http://www.bricklink.com/catalogItem.asp?P=3626bpb427

A lot of the heads that have less Western features are either scowling or aren't minifig yellow, and despite Medium Dark Flesh / Flesh / Dark Flesh covering a few backgrounds well, those colours haven't really made it to heads...

http://www.bricklink.com/catalogList.asp?v=1&pg=1&colorPart=150&catType=P
http://www.bricklink.com/catalogList.asp?catType=P&colorPart=28
http://www.bricklink.com/catalogList.asp?catType=P&colorPart=91

Hairstyles and headgear popular in different parts of the world are maybe a bit more promising; berets, braids, turbans, top knots, curls, keffiyehs... although most of the hats are still fancy dress.

http://www.bricklink.com/catalogList.asp?catType=P&catString=16

Not an area that third party producers seem to have picked up on much, judging by a few years of reading LEGO blogs.