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Tampered Boxes

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  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Member Posts: 4,401
    Costco jn my area just started carrying the Minifigure books that come with a CMF. I finally picked up the CMF Book for $12. I went back a few days later and EVERY SINGLE book is missing its Minifigure. I mean, I might be able to expect this at Walmart, but Costco? If there's a sudden uptick in available toy soldiers from a Washington D.C.Bricklinker, now you know why.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,788
    edited February 2014
    If I do buy any sets at a Brick and Mortar store, I now weigh them if I have the set at home to ensure it is really the same weight, otherwise it is likely a trash box. Though I have seen boxes deviate a touch, like .5 and ounce sometimes, bu they likely have a bit more advertising or whatever LEGO does in the boxes. Or if you buy more than one at a store, or have more than one in your home, weigh them against each other. They should be Identical, or very very close (like off only .1-3 ounces) If not then you likely have one that was tampered with.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,788

    Costco jn my area just started carrying the Minifigure books that come with a CMF. I finally picked up the CMF Book for $12. I went back a few days later and EVERY SINGLE book is missing its Minifigure. I mean, I might be able to expect this at Walmart, but Costco? If there's a sudden uptick in available toy soldiers from a Washington D.C.Bricklinker, now you know why.

    Now I understand why that in some parts of the world they cut your hand off when you get caught stealing. It is frustrating to see such crap.
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Member Posts: 4,401
    ^ To be fair, they couldn't just leave a hundred dollar bill on the shelf. ;o)
    Legoboy
  • 1brickshyofcrazy1brickshyofcrazy Member Posts: 31

    If I do buy any sets at a Brick and Mortar store, I now weigh them if I have the set at home to ensure it is really the same weight, otherwise it is likely a trash box. Though I have seen boxes deviate a touch, like .5 and ounce sometimes, bu they likely have a bit more advertising or whatever LEGO does in the boxes. Or if you buy more than one at a store, or have more than one in your home, weigh them against each other. They should be Identical, or very very close (like off only .1-3 ounces) If not then you likely have one that was tampered with.

    @madforLEGO thanks for posting this
    This is interesting and Ive heard about this same thing before. Id like to test this out as well.
    Great suggestions on how to try to do this and also I think if you have multiples of the same sets you can open one and check it and then weigh it and then weigh the other sealed sets to see if they match. You can also check out Brickset great database of sets as I see most have the weights Thank you Huw for this.
    I'll try post my tests
    Thanks
  • BulkheadXBulkheadX Member Posts: 74
    I found some of the weights missing here on sets I have bought but did find it on Bricklink instead if it isn't listed yet. I had a couple sets read further off there though then I would expect but haven't opened them to make sure it was just a little bit off (not as sure on kg differences lol)
  • MommaLaMommaLa Member Posts: 21

    Oh great. Now I need to open and verify the contents of at least 200 sets. What is this world coming to?

    This is what I thought when I read this, I have a bunch of LOTR stuff bought this winter that I was waiting for summer to build, now I need to pull down those boxes and check.

  • BastaBasta Australia Member Posts: 1,259
    edited November 2014
    I just noticed this on a #60061 Airport Fire Truck box.

    Lego set 60061 new box design and opening?

    The two in the photo are both the same set but the top box has the little arrow and cut away which I have not seen before.

    The new style box also doesn't have the perforated half circle.

    Lego set 60061 new box design and opening?

    I haven't opened these but I can't see how this will help with tampering from looking at them, but I suppose the change wasn't done to stop tampering.
  • ClumsybumsyClumsybumsy Member Posts: 16
    I have never bought a tampered box but I once saw someone being caught for opening and stealing CMFs at a local Bart Smit(dutch toy store). In the Netherlands there is a €176 or €186 fine if you steal from a store, even if that what you steal is just €1, i don't know how that is in other countries but it is good. Just for the fact that getting caught as thief would cost them a lot of money.
  • jadedancjadedanc USAMember Posts: 1,303
    Just got a tampered with Disney Cinderella Castle yesterday from Target. It was missing quite a bit and seams were still intact.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,788
    The tampered boxes are really not the ones with the perforated half circles, but the ineffectual sticker 'seals' on the larger boxes. It is supposed to be rare, but it only has to happen to you once to be enough. It will not stop being an epidemic unless LEGO spends a little more to ensure that you cannot just remove those seals to empty a box.
  • BastaBasta Australia Member Posts: 1,259

    The tampered boxes are really not the ones with the perforated half circles, but the ineffectual sticker 'seals' on the larger boxes.....

    To be honest I'm not so sure either type of box is that great. I wont go into details but I played around on both types of boxes when parting out some sets, and I could get both the stickered and the perforated boxes opened and then sealed again without too much trouble, I just needed the right tools (Which everyone pretty much would have) and I don't think 99% of people could tell if the boxes had been opened or not.

    Obviously the stickered boxes come open easier and are more likely to be the ones targeted in the store, but if it is premeditated, take home, remove what you want, seal back up and then return to store I think the perforated ones are a better target for this.

  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,164
    I wonder how many "ticking time bombs" of what was thought to be MISB sets are waiting in the future.... for disappointment upon opening!!! :-O

    Perhaps some weighing of MISB sets is in order.... ;-)
  • ShibShib UKMember Posts: 5,338
    Seeing as I only buy to build, I always open the boxes and check the contents as soon as I get them, i know thats not an option for everyone but it means i always have plenty of time to sort it out if i do encounter a problem (not happened yet)
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,788
    Istokg said:

    I wonder how many "ticking time bombs" of what was thought to be MISB sets are waiting in the future.... for disappointment upon opening!!! :-O

    Perhaps some weighing of MISB sets is in order.... ;-)

    Its why I have primarily been buying from online, but it appears that amazon is mixing stocks with resellers now, plus they can also re-introduce returns back into the system apparently as well.
    I just do not have the space to build sets right now, so many of mine are sitting sealed. The other method I use is since I usually get two of each set I purchase I weigh them, as tampered with boxes will usually severely deviate from one another in terms of weight though I also have a scale that goes down to ounces.
    Andor
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    edited December 2014
    So having been redirected to a few pages back in this thread (thanks @CCC !) it got me thinking. Over the last year Argos in the UK have started routinely opening sealed LEGO boxes returned to their stores (unless I just look dodgy). Its happened a couple of times now with me and noticeably not with all toys. I suspect if anything will make LEGO change the security of their packaging it will be this.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,914
    I wonder how much a problem it really is, and whether it is big enough that lego will change packaging to, for example, having a clear window like some older sets used to have. Although even that will not stop a determined thief, and may actually give them more confidence. If you can open a box, open a bag, steal the minifigs (as they are often the most valuable part), reseal bags and box, and then prove the lego is still in there through the window, then thefts will not stop. The only way I can see it working is to have a window where the pre-assembled minifigs can be seen at the front. But this may make them easier to steal from a box in store.
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    edited December 2014
    Enough of a problem for one of the UKs largest LEGO retailers to seemingly enforce a policy. As much I love the windows of the past I doubt windows are the answer. They increase costs, increase materials and reduce stabilitly/increase issues to damaged packaging. From LEGOs point of view you'd just be replacing one issue of damaged stock with another. Tamper proof seals on all sealed edges would be sufficient.
    madforLEGO
  • batdude3batdude3 Member Posts: 58
    Hi :). I think it's pretty common this happens. My local Walmart always has boxes that have been ripped opened by someone, and I know people whom have gotten sets in which the box was opened, and the sealed bag with the minifigures missing. I always check sets to make sure they are completely sealed. And anyone buying a set should always check to make sure the set is sealed. If the tape on the box is neatly cut, the sets can appear sealed. In this case it sounds like someone crooked probably took the figures from the box then returned it.
  • BastaBasta Australia Member Posts: 1,259
    I'm not sure there is much they can do, the only almost fool proof way is probably those blister packs that are heat sealed together and that you can't open with out a knife or scissor's. You have no chance of sealing those back up.

    Lego already make these #10579 they look like they are just snap sealed though. If they did the same but heat sealed the entire way around I think that would make things almost tamper proof. Not sure how it would scale though.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,788
    batdude3 said:
    Hi :). I think it's pretty common this happens. My local Walmart always has boxes that have been ripped opened by someone, and I know people whom have gotten sets in which the box was opened, and the sealed bag with the minifigures missing. I always check sets to make sure they are completely sealed. And anyone buying a set should always check to make sure the set is sealed. If the tape on the box is neatly cut, the sets can appear sealed. In this case it sounds like someone crooked probably took the figures from the box then returned it.
    I think it is more common in certain areas. Also, just because the seals look unbroken does not mean the box was not tampered with. Take it from someone who was a victim of one of these @#$%%^& thieves. Just like you cannot take the contents 'sounding a certain way' to be a sure sign either. The only way I have found to tell is to get two of the same set, and weigh them on a good scale. If the weight is off by more than a 2-3 (or more) ounces, something may be fishy with them.
  • BastaBasta Australia Member Posts: 1,259

    I don't think tampered boxes are a big problem in Australia. I have never come across one or heard of someone who has.

    The few times I have purchased damaged boxes, squashed, opened and holes. The store has never had a problem with me checking the contents when I take it to the counter and its a good time to ask for a further discount.

  • batdude3batdude3 Member Posts: 58
    Yes it seems more common in certain areas that are in smaller town areas.  I've gone to a Wal mart in more Metro area, and have seen boxes opened there too, but not like the smaller town areas.  I personally don't see how people get away with it anymore but they do.
  • vwong19vwong19 San DiegoMember Posts: 1,185
    I bought some sets from Target this weekend online with in store pickup. After pickup, I went home and noticed that the tape seals on one of the sets looked suspicious. I opened the set and discovered that all the bags were opened and the contents tampered with. I quickly returned to Target and returned the set to customer service and they allowed me to exchange with new set from the store. I'm glad it worked out, but this scenario presents a couple problems.

    1. Original returned set was likely not inspected during the return. 
    2. My return was not questioned to a high degree.

    Had I not noticed the tampered seals, the set could have sat on my shelf for months. Also I re-sell sets, so I could have re-sold a dud to a customer and they would not have been pleased.

    For expensive sets, this is a very serious problem. People who collect mint in sealed boxes may have junk in their collection and never know about.

    Also I built the set that I bought from Target and discovered that it was missing a unique part that I had to order a replacement from Lego customer service.

    Overall experience with missing parts is about 1%. 
    Overall experience with tampered boxes is 0.1% (many sets I buy are direct from Lego or Amazon).
  • AwesomenessAwesomeness OhioMember Posts: 183
    One of my biggest fears currently. Most of my sets are still seal and stored away for the right time to build. I always look over the seals when I buy from any store. If seals are tampered, or box is crushed beyond belief, I pass on it. But like said before, I spent most of my shopping on Amazon or shop at home.
  • LuLegoLuLego UKMember Posts: 985
    I came across this about 6 months ago from Asda. Fortunately, I bought the set to build so discovered that all the minifigures were missing (from an expensive set) very quickly. Asda refunded.
    The customer service lady didn’t seem at all surprised and suggested it frequently happens.

    Question: so when people return sets to amazon (or any online seller or [email protected]), where do these sets go? Do amazon ever put returned sets back into their system?
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 13,089
    First @vwong19 - excellent zombie thread reanimation!

    Second, I will try and figure out what LEGO currently does with returned sets.  Years ago, returned sets that appeared not to be tampered with would go back into inventory, and sets that had been opened or appeared to have been tampered with went into a bulk random parts bin.
    vwong19
  • oldtodd33oldtodd33 Denver 4800 miles to BillundMember Posts: 2,519
    I miss the old grab bags.
    BlueTacolego007SumoLegokiki180703davetheoxygenman
  • BlueTacoBlueTaco MarylandMember Posts: 78
    ^ Miss the old grab bags too. The Lego store in the Potomac Mills mall used to have some really great grab bags.
    SumoLegokiki180703
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,914
    LuLego said:

    Question: so when people return sets to amazon (or any online seller or [email protected]), where do these sets go? Do amazon ever put returned sets back into their system?
    Amazon warehouse for amazon returns.
  • FowlerBricksFowlerBricks USAMember Posts: 1,674
    I've never had a tampered box, but I did get a Hulkbuster set from Kmart with half the pieces gone.
  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 3,153
    I once gifted my brother with a TIE Fighter set bought at Target that turned out to contain a completely different set. I’m pretty sure that was LEGO’s fault.
  • LuLegoLuLego UKMember Posts: 985
    CCC said:
    LuLego said:

    Question: so when people return sets to amazon (or any online seller or [email protected]), where do these sets go? Do amazon ever put returned sets back into their system?
    Amazon warehouse for amazon returns.
    And then where?
  • catwranglercatwrangler Northern IrelandMember Posts: 1,854
    LuLego said:
    CCC said:
    LuLego said:

    Question: so when people return sets to amazon (or any online seller or [email protected]), where do these sets go? Do amazon ever put returned sets back into their system?
    Amazon warehouse for amazon returns.
    And then where?
    People can buy them from there; Warehouse is listed as an option on Amazon. It's worth checking regularly; I believe @chrisalddin has had some good finds on Amazon UK's Warehouse...
  • chrisalddinchrisalddin UKMember Posts: 3,013
    LuLego said:
    CCC said:
    LuLego said:

    Question: so when people return sets to amazon (or any online seller or [email protected]), where do these sets go? Do amazon ever put returned sets back into their system?
    Amazon warehouse for amazon returns.
    And then where?
    People can buy them from there; Warehouse is listed as an option on Amazon. It's worth checking regularly; I believe @chrisalddin has had some good finds on Amazon UK's Warehouse...
    yep, i picked up some stuff at good price's.
    the key is reading why it is in the Warehouse. and looking for box's with cosmetic damage only. if it said some think like inside packing open. dont buy!
    right now i can tell you that the Amazon Warehouse is quite tapped out.
    however it dose have a "LEGO Ideas NASA Apollo Saturn V 21309" on the Amazon Warehouse right now it's over RRP. but that a very hard to get set. paying over RRP for one is not to bad. happy i have that set so dont need to buy it again.
    you will from time to time find stuff on Amazon Warehouse that amazon do not normally stock. like the Apollo. or very old set's.!
    catwrangler
  • CharmiefcbCharmiefcb SydneyMember Posts: 301
    I always cheak the boxes before buying them so touch wood I don't have one with stolen bags in my to build pile.
    The places I buy from do have the security seals with metal strings that go around the box. Plus where I buy from it would be very hard to open a box and take out bags as the Lego is always near a counter where staff members are present.
  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 3,153
    Metal strings. Is that the same as wires? :)
    BooTheMightyHamsterCharmiefcb
  • CharmiefcbCharmiefcb SydneyMember Posts: 301
    edited December 2017
    Haha you know what I mean. Those security seals that go around the box and can only be taken off at the counter when you buy it. Only way to get into a box is to rip it open with one of these security devices on.
    Here found an image of what I'm tallking about
    httpcdnnewsapicomauimagev14b1f204cf9a43fbb72f656d58a83b254width650

    PS I'm actually going to Minneapolis in March.


  • HanzoHanzo VAMember Posts: 607
    Yeah the problem isn't so much happening in store it's people that buy a set take it home, remove what they want and return it then the store puts it back on the shelf.
  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 3,153
    Haha you know what I mean. Those security seals that go around the box and can only be taken off at the counter when you buy it. Only way to get into a box is to rip it open with one of these security devices on.
    Here found an image of what I'm tallking about
    httpcdnnewsapicomauimagev14b1f204cf9a43fbb72f656d58a83b254width650

    PS I'm actually going to Minneapolis in March.


    Your comment made me chuckle because it reminded me of the meme wth the stoner referring to an extension cord as an electric hose :)

    Good idea to wait until March to come to Mpls! I'd love to go to Australia in February :)
    sid3windr
  • AustinPowersAustinPowers GermanyMember Posts: 278
    edited December 2017

    Luckily up to now I have not had any sets that had been tampered with.

    Only one strange occurance was when I bought 41135 Livi's Pop Star House last year for Christmas. When our daughter built the set she came to me and said there were pieces missing. Turns out during packaging Lego must have switched one complete bag of parts. The bag with the missing pieces was replaced with a bag from 10247 Ferris Wheel - of all things. I knew immediately because I had just built the Ferris Wheel a couple of weeks prior and recognised the parts selection in the bag.

    One mail to Lego customer service and a couple of days later and we got the replacement bag of parts without any problems. I'm always happy about Lego's top notch customer service who usually go out of their way to help in any way possible.

    LegoboyFowlerBricksFizyxkiki180703catwrangler
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