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It seems inevitable now that the Simpsons could turn out to be the most popular CMFs yet even at $3.99 / £2.50. This can only bode well for future licensed series which I'll be very happy about.
£2.50 for future non licenced series I think I will be picking and choosing those that I want and not bothering with those that I don't. For licenced series, assuming it's for something that I like, such as SH as per the example, I would still buy them all.
I agree that the Simpsons CMFs could potentially be the most popular yet, I'm seeing display cases being ransacked in the same way series 10 were towards the end of their run, and the Simpsons ones have only been on sale for about a week. Assuming they are doing as well as they seem to be (and it's not just short supply of stock or something that I haven't noticed) I'd say TLG would be foolish not to consider other licenced theme CMF series, but obviously there will be an issue for them in what deals they can come to.
I think the price rise is inevitable, and can almost be justified for 'a license' eg The Simpsons, but Tesco raised their series 11 figs to £2.50 towards the end of the run which was odd, but I guess points towards the expected.
At the end of the day, if they're still selling, then TLG will keep making them and squeezing as much money out of the market as possible. I think the The Simpsons series was needed as the CMF line was becoming a bit stale, so hopefully they'll come back with a really strong next wave (series 12? 13?).
A Marvel/DC series would be great, but I feel unlikely, as these figs are really what sells the sets, and if they were the more obscure characters that couldn't be put in a set, then they probably would be marketable (other than to serious Marvel/DC completists) as a CMF line.
I meant more of TLMs car with new moulds than most of the other CMF series, some more useful than others.
Tesco weren't the only ones to do that, in fact I think most did.
I think the bigger roadblock will be any issues with licensing agreements, but good sales on the Simpsons CMF line would certainly be a good bargaining chip for TLG to play.
I think that the biggest off putting factor for TLG while considering a Superhero CMF line would be the fact it would prevent them from having quite so much luck doing single character polys on promotions for those themes - like Martian Manhunter, Jor-El and Hulk.
- Simpsons went up due to a license
- CMFs are going up due to the addition of gaming content
It isn't a simple matter of sucking people dry, like I feel they are doing in other areas. No, the game content does not appeal to everyone, but it isn't just a sheer price raise like they have done in most other areas. This is at least far more palatable to me.
My larger concern, though, is that some of the cool characters we have seen are changed as they focus on what a child would like to see in a game. Example, what kid wants an elf? I, though, desperately wanted elves.
I do hope,this means, though that they are moving back to the more normalized distribution that we saw in the Simpsons. Kids/parents would be far less happy with the army building distribution they have used lately, if they are spending $4 and ending up with the same character, or can not find the hard to find ones.
I think the Simpsons are an anomaly on checking the #'s b/c there are obviously a lot of Simpsons fans who might not be into Lego who will purchase these.
It will be interesting when the next wave of CMFs come out and then we'll see if they still fly off the shelves at $3.99
In both cases - my kids. (And me, especially for the fantasy ones, but also the santa elf at Christmas time).
ETA: Example... pirate world is shown on the minifigure game site, and if the focus of new characters was pirates for the next wave, well... many here might love that, but those not interested in pirates could potentially lose out.
While it costs more, and I hate that, I am a big fan of change and trying new things if it gives us a long term benefit in the type of characters we get. (The flip to my concern above, is that we could suddenly get something exciting and new as they change this up and shift if towards the game.)
Lego have taken the wrong strategy here.
They should reduce the price back to £1, or $1.50 etc. and sell more of them.
Then Re-release series 1-12 in a staggered event.
Series 1 Rerelease
Series 2 Rerelease
Series 3 Rerelease
That will also remove the reselling market which Lego seem to hate so much.
I'd say Lego have taken the right direction. The Simpsons CMF seem to be selling very well. The Lego Movie CMF also. They have refreshed the series and brought in new fans. Will they stay? Who knows. Kids like playing online games, and linking the CMF to an online game is probably a good idea. Not for an AFOL, but for a kid.
I thought the Minecraft set (original one) was awful. Just a load of small bricks, plates and tiles that made something that didn't look much fun and probably double the parts price in any other set. Look where those sets are now.
The price increase from The Lego Movie and Simpsons Minifigures as also made retailers sell the figures more than £1.99. I'm ok if Lego increase the prices as long as the quality stays the same or improves and Lego should make better figures; whether it means we get licenced figures or better figures throughout the whole series.
I am sure my son will be quite excited about the online game, if it is done well. That is the key part.
I have to agree with Minecraft. I thought the sets looked blah. The new set, The End, I thought looked horrible. My 7 year old loves them all. I told him from the beginning they were too pricey, so we would not be getting them, but I did eventually find all of them for discounted prices. Minecaft is the primary line he is looking forward to this year.
With CMFs you get a couple of months to decide.
With the previous waves the most I ended up paying for a randomly assembled set was around £60, a lot yes but the extra £20 for the movie wave was just too much. Still end up with the full wave, just more economical and slightly less fun.
My local tesco's often puts stuff out after the official release date (especially if they have a backlog of the previous CMF series, and you can see that has a bit of an ongoing knock-on effect) and they struggle to sell, as I'm guessing those that want them have already picked them up elsewhere before the 'official' release date.
Whilst this might be good for me intially, with stuff eventually going on clearance after sitting on the shelves for a while, I can't help but think they will come a point where they just don't bother re-stocking on the next series.
However I have also heard some people say they are planning on getting multiples of some of the Simpsons characters because of the short sleeves parts. Most of those though I would imagine would want to buy them at a reduced price to justify the cost.
I think what has been said about the uniqueness of the characters is going to cause people to not buy as much as you think (though you would not know it by the prices on eBay for some of the figures now).
I think LEGO should have made them all the same commonality though based on how people will likely want a whole set and not just a ton of one figure.
OR just produce a set of 16 that is priced slightly more than the cost of buying 16 packs so people can just get a set.. Especially if they are all going to be 3.99 in the future series as well for CMF
In addition to less sales for 3.99 packs, I think the other thing that 3.99 means is more outright theft (ripping packs open). More people trying to steal the figure and reseal the packs to return to the store for a refund and more cherry picking of specific rares that will go up for more.
It is still less than other series I would buy. There are no special characters my son would like a few of. There are not multiple different female minifig hair. What I did buy, I will be getting a few extra of just for the parts.
I am also trading some spares for 3x Larry Baristas for if I ever get round to building my coffee shop moc.
Now that I'm back home from college, my shopping trips (at least, ones that take me to a toy store that stocks the CMFs) have been fewer and fewer, so I've gotten fewer and fewer series. And instead of me waiting on a ride at toy stores, my ride is more likely to be waiting on me, so there's not that sense of having "time to burn".
There's also a psychological factor — while I was at college, I felt more comfortable going to toy stores to buy LEGO and other "luxuries" because I felt like I was moving forward in life and deserved the occasional opportunity to reward myself. Now that I'm home and I have realized how difficult it is to get a stable job, let alone a well-paying one, I am far less comfortable making trips to buy LEGO without a special sale or other incentive.
For the past two series there have been other factors. There were LOTS of LEGO Movie CMFs I wanted, and I went out looking for them plenty of times. Rarely did I find them — the hype for the movie meant that most stores in my area were almost always sold out. As for The Simpsons, I have no personal interest in that series — I have nothing against the franchise, but it's just something I've never really gotten into.
So all things considered, the increasing prices haven't really affected me much. Completing a series has never been a pressing goal for me, and now with so many fewer opportunities to loiter in stores trying to select the figs I want, I'm no longer buying enough figs for the increased price to have a measurable impact on my overall spending.
I also don't think that the price is rising remotely high enough that people will stop buying CMFs en masse. After all, a lot of collectors are regularly willing to pay $4 for a typical trading card booster pack, and it's not like ten sheets of printed paper have more inherent value than an elaborately-printed minifigure with uniquely molded parts. More importantly, I imagine that like trading cards, a lot of CMFs are bought individually on impulse, and individually the price increases are not nearly so noticeable as when buying several at a time.
Still, I do wonder how the shrinking price differential between the CMFs and other impulse-priced LEGO like the Mixels might affect people's impulse spending habits.
Those ARE the same price @ $3.99.
There is no question in my mind and for us personally that the Lego Friends animals are the far better value. Because of the reduction in price, I have bought at least 6, and probably will by a few more. On the flip, I was choosy on the Simpson's and only bought the few we needed for parts.
Right now, I would rather put my money on Mixels or Lego Friends Animals, and only a few select CMFs. Looking at my difference in spending... honestly, I am probably spending the same or more, but on different products now.
I like the idea of selling them as a full set of 16 for lets say £32
Or maybe break them into Three sets at £14 each.
1/ Simpsons Family
2/ Adult figures including Mr Burns etc.
3/ The Children, Itchy and Scratchy.
But even then I would probably have bought them at a discount somewhere.
Had to admit I hadn't thought of any episodes like that, there was also an Itchy and Scratchy theme park that had them as mascots so they could be used in multiples for those - i think the same episode had a fantasia parody with itchy multiplying too.
There are probably a couple of other examples of possible multiples appearing in specific episodes but I can't think of any now.
I know that the show's rating went up 19% in viewership for the LEGO episode here in the states (I think that was on another thread), going from their lowest viewership in years the week before. So, this LEGO/Simpsons combination has some interest out there.
The only problem I have is that LEGO don't seem interested in doing fat characters, or at least making characters who should be fat, fat. Examples being Sumo from S3, and Chief Wiggum. That certainly rules out Comic Book Guy, to name a few.
Another thing. Is Marge meant to have hats? I can only assume this, since her skyscraper beehive has a hole in the top.