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Is LEGO reducing the numbers of CMF produced?

prof1515prof1515 EarthMember Posts: 1,561
edited March 2012 in Collecting
Earlier I noted that when I tried to pre-order a case of Series 6 Minifigures, I found out that the entire supply had sold out in under six hours. After contacting the distributor about resupplies, they informed me that Lego was not planning on sending out any more. This was back in January. I noticed though that while Series 5 is also sold out in recent weeks that they still have entire cases (not to mention individual figures) of Series 4 for sale.

Additionally, a friend of mine noted that all of the Lego stores near him are sold out of Series 6 as well and that their supply of Series 4 disappeared about the time their Series 5 did. When I was at the Lego store in autumn I was told that sales of Series 3 and 4 were disappointing and that Lego was discontinuing the figures after Series 5 in response. I didn't place any weight on a clerk having legitimate knowledge regarding Lego's future sales strategies and the existence of Series 6 and 7 proves that he was wrong. However, it does open up another possibility.

The scarcity in many places of Series 6 suggests that Lego has altered production totals or that demand has been significantly higher for Series 6 than ever before. The continued availability of Series 4, which I consider to be the worst of all the line, also opens up the possibility that they may have scaled back Series 6 given the lackluster sales of Series 4. Series 6 was probably in production around the time of Series 4 distribution and sales which may have influenced Lego to scale down production totals. This would account for the sold-out status of Series 6 and Lego's refusal to restock it even after it sold out within hours from some locations, something that I haven't heard of since Series 1.

If so and Series 6 figures tend to be less available than others, it might actually result in greater resale value for those particular figures and might also point to lower production numbers for Series 7 as well. Additionally, if Series 4 affected Series 6 production, the fast sellout of Series 6 might cause overproduction of Series 8 unless Lego hedges its bets (we have yet to know for certain what figures will be in Series 8 so it's impossible to say how popular that series might be).

Just some thoughts I felt like sharing as I continue in frustration to search for unopened cases of Series 6. At least one seller consistently evaded my questions regarding the nature of the case which led me to believe that they cherry-picked them before offering the case for sale, swapping in less-desireable figures like the skateboarder for the more popular ones like the Roman. B****!

Comments

  • Superman24742Superman24742 Cincinnati Ohio USAMember Posts: 25
    I did find some series 6 at kmart, got a couple of the Romans, a surgeon, and a couple others, I have all of the ones I want now besides the Highlander. Good luck on finding a full case anywhere, but I would look at some of the less popular stores in hopes of finding them.
  • OdinduskOdindusk Member Posts: 763
    They are certainly less prevalent around here than S5 was. I've only come across them at a random Target (about 6 others that I've never seen them at), same thing with a single K-Mart, and I've never seen them at Walmart. My local TRU keeps them at the register, so no feely shenanigans. Barnes and Noble had a fresh box, but at a whopping $4 a pack. So I didn't even search through that one.

    I feel insanely lucky to have 1x Roman. When I do find a display box, they've always been picked over. Someone missed the Roman I found, or left one for karma.

  • BoiseStateBoiseState Member Posts: 804
    I had about 25 boxes when they first came out.. Just sold the last one on EBay yesterday. Funny thing is, is the box was damaged from being stacked but it ended up going for more than any other box I ever sold.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 10,105
    I wouldn't hold my breath about reduced stocks.
    Lets see what occurs when LEGO actually runs out.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    My local Lego store has piles and piles of Series 6 in stock, as does Walmart...

    I just got a case of Series 6 in the mail about a week or so ago, and more are for sale, so I'm not sure what you're seeing that the rest of us are not.
  • canuhandle23canuhandle23 Member Posts: 104
    these things are everywhere....but there are less restocks then series 5....for what its worth
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    edited March 2012
    Round here there are s5s still all over the place
    (maybe because people are getting fed up of the endless series and giving up trying to collect them all)
    so maybe Lego learned their lesson and didnt overproduce this time.
  • romdamromdam Member Posts: 136
    Walmart here has MASSIVE amounts of series 5. There is no change the go clearance and if these stay around, no chance of seeing any other series until these are gone. I know this from experience when I used to collect other action figures.
  • FayriesFayries Member Posts: 4
    Just some thoughts I felt like sharing as I continue in frustration to search for unopened cases of Series 6.
    I don't know where you are located but Amazon France has been having Series 6 boxes available for sale (and I mean ready for dispatch) for a while now. I'm pretty sure they ship worldwide.

    Just follow the link on this Brickset news article.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,651
    In the UK, I have never had a problem finding S6. WHSmiths, Argos, John Lewis, many independent toy shops, all have stock.

    There are a lot of S5 around too, I spot them mainly in Tescos. I don't buy them as Tesco wants full RRP for them, whereas JL and Debenhams flogged theirs off for a quid a piece in January when S6 came out.

    I have noticed more people buying boxes to split on eBay though, wanting £5-6 for a Roman, £4 for genies, and over £2 for even the less popular models.
  • prof1515prof1515 EarthMember Posts: 1,561
    The limited distribution appears to be more of an issue here in the States then. As I said, a friend of mine has visited two Lego stores in his area and they were both sold out of Series 6 back in January and the online distributors I normally get them from were as well.

    As I live in the U.S., I don't normally check French (or UK, German, etc) product announcements. Thanks, Fayries, for the heads-up on a post I therefore didn't see!
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,977
    I do agree that series 6 was harder to find after the first week or two after it was released. I do not know if that directly correlates to Lego making less intentionally.

    I assume the CMF's are made in China? There have been labor shortages in China overall. For another toy line that I watch, I have noted far more backorders this year than in previous years.

    I have been wondering if we are seeing more of an issue related to the current Chinese labor issue, as opposed to Lego intentionally making fewer.
    Tammy
  • BoiseStateBoiseState Member Posts: 804
    Hmm.. Now that you mention it, I can't find a single Series 6 CMF in my city(Boise, ID). TRU or any other store.
  • Brewer51Brewer51 Member Posts: 248
    My local Tesco Metro has Series 6 in for 1.97 a pack.

    Just got a Genie and Leprechaun!
  • meyerc13meyerc13 Member Posts: 227
    I'd have to agree that these are definitely scarce in the US. While I can still go to Wal Mart and find a whole end cap full of S5, most of the local retailers have sold through their S6 already with no signs of a restock.
  • evansciverevansciver Member Posts: 11
    Tons of S6 here in Austin, TX. I just picked up (after feeling for key features through the bag) a Minotaur, a Robot, a Genie, two Statue of Libertys, and an Alien. I'll go back to the Lego store or Target/Walmart to find the Roman and the Surgeon. We have almost all the others.
  • The_Brick_BuilderThe_Brick_Builder Member Posts: 658
    I don't think LEGO will ever decrease production unless they become unpopular. There all the craze right now.
  • wertyjjwertyjj Member Posts: 64
    prof 1515 said:The continued availability of Series 4, which I consider to be the worst of all the line, also opens up the possibility that they may have scaled back. I personally think that series 4 is the best of all the series. Series 3 is probably the worst.
  • wertyjjwertyjj Member Posts: 64
    Earlier I found only 3 packets of S6 lying on a shelf at Walgreens.
  • OdinduskOdindusk Member Posts: 763
    Walgreens, as in the corner drugstore chain? I have about 10 of them near me, and I've never thought to look for them there.
  • Rainstorm26Rainstorm26 Chicago Burbs USA (and sometimes Ireland)Member Posts: 1,004
    My Lego store was all out of S5. They said they have been out of them for a while.
  • BoiseStateBoiseState Member Posts: 804
    Ya.. Didn't know Walgreen's carried Lego. Sure enough, walked in and they had the newest SW battle packs and a full box of S6.
  • prof1515prof1515 EarthMember Posts: 1,561
    edited March 2012
    Not all Walgreens carry them. Neither of the two that I've been to do. Correction, three.
  • legoDadlegoDad Member Posts: 529
    Lego Store sold out right away in Jan. in my area, then sold out again the following month but the local TRU and Target had a ton of them and about a box left of Series 5 (at TRU) as well. This was about 2 weeks ago.
    Target had only 4 figs left last Sun.
    Gonna' head on over to both Lego and TRU stores tomorrow to check.
    Also @Prof1515...I see them on eBay for roughly retail. Some sealed too.
    I remember Series 1 terribly hard to find, then found a ton a year later at a convention, Series 2 was all over the place, Series 3 were on the shelf forever, Series 4 seemed to sell quickly and Series 5 on the shelf for awhile.
  • LegobrandonCPLegobrandonCP CanadaMember Posts: 1,917
    My local TRU only had 3-5 boxes at their store, one at each register. There was also a limit to 6 per family.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    Interesting viewpoints from all...

    I had no idea what to expect ordering a case, but I figured why the heck not...

    It is small and easy to toss in the closet for awhile, be interesting to see if anyone wants it or even cares in a year.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,651
    Interesting viewpoints from all...

    I had no idea what to expect ordering a case, but I figured why the heck not...

    It is small and easy to toss in the closet for awhile, be interesting to see if anyone wants it or even cares in a year.
    Unless Lego release a historical / Roman themed set soon, people will still want the roman soldiers. The aliens look good as a small army too, as do the minotaurs. Parts of the minotaurs (ie the head) also look good for custom gladiators. The highlander is another good army builder. Robots will have some appeal. I reckon people will still want those ones. Surgeons and butchers will also be wanted by scene builders, as will sleepyhead, even if just for the teddy. I reckon series 6 has more collectable appeal than most other series (minus the elf, spartan, zombie) simply due to the army building capability of a number of the characters.
  • jwsmartjwsmart Member Posts: 298
    I don't know - I didn't have any problem finding these things. They were flowing freely at the Nyack LEGO store, and just a couple of weeks ago, about 20 cases of the things were visible through the window into the stockroom of the Roosevelt Field LEGO store.
    There was also a full case and two opened ones in the Lake Grove, NY TRU when I completed my set (mid march?), Lastly there has been an endcap with the things for a while at the Ridge WalMart...

    So, no problem with S6 in NY. It might be individual store managers still sore from the amount of overstocked S5 - or the underestimated how good S6 was.
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