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Old 2011-02-22, 03:26 PM   #41
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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.
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...
 
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Old 2011-02-23, 06:27 AM   #42
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Got two recently. A Ringmaster and a Surfer.
 

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Old 2011-02-23, 12:11 PM   #43
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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.
 
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Old 2011-02-23, 03:25 PM   #44
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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...
 
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Old 2011-02-23, 04:06 PM   #45
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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.
 
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Old 2011-02-23, 04:46 PM   #46
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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.
 

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Old 2011-02-23, 08:38 PM   #47
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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.
 
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Old 2011-02-25, 07:28 AM   #48
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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.
 

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Old 2011-02-25, 10:34 AM   #49
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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.
 
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Old 2011-02-25, 05:10 PM   #50
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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...
 
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Old 2011-02-27, 11:02 AM   #51
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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.
 
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Old 2011-02-27, 01:09 PM   #52
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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.
 
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Old 2011-02-27, 07:43 PM   #53
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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 and Series 5 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.
 
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Old 2011-02-27, 08:56 PM   #54
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I don't.

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.
 
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Old 2011-02-28, 12:14 AM   #55
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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.
 
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Old 2011-02-28, 05:51 AM   #56
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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.

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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.

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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.
 
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Old 2011-02-28, 02:36 PM   #57
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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...
 
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Old 2011-02-28, 08:26 PM   #58
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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?

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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.

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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.
 
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Old 2011-02-28, 09:07 PM   #59
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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.
 
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Old 2011-02-28, 10:02 PM   #60
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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-76...8930288&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!
 
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