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Old 2012-03-10, 02:48 PM   #141
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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.
 
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Old 2012-03-10, 03:40 PM   #142
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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.
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The Clockwork Robot is the king of all robots.
 
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Old 2012-03-10, 04:38 PM   #143
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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.

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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).
 
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Old 2012-03-10, 05:02 PM   #144
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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.
 
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Old 2012-03-10, 07:54 PM   #145
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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...
 
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Old 2012-03-10, 08:15 PM   #146
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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.
 
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Old 2012-03-10, 08:15 PM   #147
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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.

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Originally Posted by Skyquake87
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.

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Originally Posted by Warcry
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.
 
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Old 2012-03-10, 09:01 PM   #148
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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.

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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.

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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".

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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.

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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.
 
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Old 2012-03-11, 10:04 AM   #149
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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.
 
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Old 2012-03-11, 01:24 PM   #150
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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.

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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.

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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.
 
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Old 2012-03-11, 03:22 PM   #151
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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.
 
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Old 2012-03-11, 04:36 PM   #152
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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.

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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.

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


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Originally Posted by Cliffjumper View Post
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.
 
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Old 2012-03-11, 05:06 PM   #153
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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...POPB0QWU6ezpBA

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.)
 
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Old 2012-03-26, 02:05 AM   #154
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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.
 
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Old 2012-03-26, 08:14 AM   #155
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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
 
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Old 2012-03-26, 02:23 PM   #156
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Here's the whole set. 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.
 
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Old 2012-03-26, 09:07 PM   #157
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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.
 
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Old 2012-05-12, 05:37 AM   #158
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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.
 
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Old 2012-05-14, 04:42 PM   #159
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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!
 
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Old 2012-05-14, 05:22 PM   #160
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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.
 
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