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I don't know when, and how often this has happened in the past that certain sets are not released world wide, but it seems really weird for TLG to not release those sets here in Europe too!
What country are you from / residing?
@drdavewatford - best change your review to say how totally pants the set is ;-)
You put it very mildly. I am very disappointed with TLG's decision. I was really looking forward to the latest sets. Especially the ship #70173 and the aircraft #70171 . I think TLG should reconsider their decision. I wonder if the theme is really more popular in America than it is Europe, but even if this is so, it is ridiculous to not release those sets in Europe, especially since they are produced here.
I am also puzzled, as @obi_g stated, why this theme is not popular. The designs are good, the minifigs excellent. The sets offer plenty of play value for kids I believe. They even released some sort of video game to be played on a tablet. How can it be a flop?
If I was still a little kid I would have no trouble using the Ultra Agents sets together with either the Star Wars and / or Ninjago theme, or together with Lego city sets etcetera. Ultra agents is a scifi theme that is not too off-world not to be integrated in City, and futuristic enough to be able to be integrated into other themes. And as just parts packs the possibilities are endless.
The only thing I can think of, if Ultra Agents really are a flop, is that TLG just is releasing too many sets, and too many themes simultaneously.
If I have to import the sets from the USA the sets will become way too expensive, and unaffordable.
Also if [email protected] has another sale on Ultra Agents, and sells them all at a 30% discount they are still making a profit, and not a loss. They probably make less profit on all Lego sets that are being sold to all the consumers via all the third party retail channels such as all the regular toyshops, giant supermarkets, department stores etc. then when sold directly at 30% discount.
@bacbrix i'm sure we'll talk after pay day... :)
I've posted a question in the Ambassador Forum asking whether the rumours that we won't be getting the sets in Europe are true; I'll let you guys know what if anything LEGO come back with.
@Fauch....don't worry, I'd be happy to ship a set to Europe at just the cost of one arm, you can keep your leg :) Personally, I thought these sets would do better in Europe then in the US.....I always think generic ideas don't go over as well here....but then again, I just buy what I like and usually just walk buy the UA sets.
But it is certainly disappointing when a product is not offered at least for online purchase, in all regions.
Also, I agree that there are too many themes coming out all at one time. Being new to Lego, they are bombarding us with too many "have-to-haves".
I have one and will try to get my hands on a couple more --- but maybe a good opportunity to trade for something REALLY good that I missed out on before??
Do you think unboxing sets will make that much of a difference?
I am wondering if the set won't be released here in Europe, and someone in the States would be willing to send it to me 'person to person' (after of course financially settling the score) as opposed to 'business to consumer', it might very well mean none of all these ridiculous customs taxes and levies will be imposed by the Dutch government. Though I should check that. After all, the time I mailed some gifts to friends somewhere on the other end of the world, no extra levies were raised either. Though that may depend upon the country etc. ?!
Then again, I wonder if a weakness of the theme was that it didn't compete directly enough - there were no real 'superheroes', just agents with tech. The villains come across strongly in terms of visual personality: toxin, fire, eldritch some-other-dimension power, mecha-spider (of the ones I got). I don't have a clue who they are, but they make an impression. The agents just have different haircuts and maybe a bionic leg or something; I find the only one who really sells a personality with her appearance is Hydron, the scientist from the truck set. Maybe real heroes with themed powers - or at least tailor-made appearances for particular specialities, like GI Joe used to do - would've worked better. Of course it may not have been desirable for UA and Heroes to be butting heads like that, but perhaps it's a case of if you're going to do UA, do it right, or think up some other theme.
It is also possible (but perhaps not adviseable) to take all the parts of a set and stack them together into a brick shape that barely fits inside a Flat Rate Box while watching Netflix for several hours and ship a set across the pond that way.
Shame, these sets did look rather good, apart from the surveillance truck the ship and the platform are clearly the stand out sets of the theme IMO.
I think TLG needs to work harder at market research and understand that you can't push sub-par sets in a sub-par theme, but if you push awesome sets, people will forgive the theme. I fear that if people are being asked to e-mail TLG with their thoughts though that they'll now realise this too late in this case.
don't they do it often? or how comes most of licensed sets like superheroes, star wars or LoTR are almost exclusively available from sellers of north america on briclink? seems like stocks may have been severely limited for other parts of the world.
The exception to this being promos and polybags.
Maybe you should widen your scope?! I am sure that there are plenty of other sources in France, or elsewhere in Europe, where you can buy all those themes you just mentioned. Not only on Bricklink, which you told me once is your primary source for buying Lego, but also from other online retailers/sellers. I hardly ever buy anything from sellers outside the EU.
With regard to TLG hating resellers; I have often read people on forums claiming this, but I actually have no idea what TLG official position is on resellers? When people refer to 'resellers' I assume they don't mean third party retailers who order large shipments from TLG directly, and are thus 'official Lego dealers' but people like e.g.: LegoFanTexas (I don't know what happened to him btw, I hope he is OK). In the past when he was active on this forum, he often told how he went to this or that store, and bought all the Lego sets on the shelves in that particular shop, often when it was on special offer/discounted, in order to stash it. Wait for all those sets he bought and thought were a good investment to get discontinued, rise in value, and then at a increased if not utterly steep price sell them on to those who are both willing, and can afford to buy them at double or triple the original retail value from him. I remember there were quite a few people that resented his modus operandi, and his justification for it, which was something along the lines of: 'if little Timmy wanted that set, he should have gotten to the store earlier'.
It would not suprise me if somewhere on this forum someone posted TLG's official position on resellers like e.g. LegoFanTexas, but I have no idea where to find it?!
When it comes to stuff that's widely available or on the way out of production anyway I don't think LEGO really care too much about who's buying them and what for. Of course that's just my thoughts on it.
Most of what people quote as anti-reseller policies that LEGO use seem to me more about stopping people cashing in on promotions - again I assume to be more in line with letting as many customers benefit as possible.
Maybe we should all just contact TLG, and let them know that we here in Europe, and down under in Australia etc. also want this set. Wouldn't that as a first option make more sense? Who knows maybe TLG will make these three latest UA available too outside the US market?!
As for the resale market, I have spoken to someone from lego and they confirmed that the company doesn't like it. Although from where I'm sitting it seems like nothing more than lip service. Don't know how much longer I can justify letting my husband and son buy as much as they are. Mr 6yr old just asked why they weren't being sold here, he doesn't get it, and how can I explain it to him when I don't understand it either?