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Searching CMF packs.....To Search or Not to Search

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  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,444
    It seems everyone has missed the point of CMF's. They are meant to be packaged the way that they are. Just like baseball cards. I always hated getting the same player over and over again, but that's the luck if the draw. It's a money maker for sports card manufacturers. They want you you buy several packs to get what you are looking for and so does Lego. Adults are not Legos target market. We all have to remember that.

    I have never felt a pack or used any system to figure out what's in the pack while I'm in the store. I have always bought 1 box. That way I know I have at keast 3 sets. 1 for me, 1 for my daughter and 1 for my nephew.

    As far as people clearing out the Lego on clearance. Most Lego sets are around for 1-2 years and to blame someone for "stealing" your chance to own that particular set is absurd.
  • beabea Member Posts: 227
    Where did you get "stealing" from exactly? I didn't use that word. And yes, I was disappointed I missed an opportunity to get a good price on parts/bricks.
  • Steve_J_OMSteve_J_OM IrelandMember Posts: 982
    Pitfall69 said:

    It seems everyone has missed the point of CMF's. They are meant to be packaged the way that they are. Just like baseball cards. I always hated getting the same player over and over again, but that's the luck if the draw. It's a money maker for sports card manufacturers. They want you you buy several packs to get what you are looking for and so does Lego.

    Well, tough. I spend a hell of a lot of money on Lego every year, I'll be damned if I'm going to spend more than I need to in order to get a full set of 16 minifigures.
  • GothamConstructionCoGothamConstructionCo Colchester UKMember Posts: 791
    People feeling packs i can live with, there is usually good volumes of stock at the start of a series to give any one a chance.
    What angers me most and it seems to be getting worse is split packs where someone splits the pack open to have a peak. these packs then become worthless to everybody because you no longer know if the sets complete.



  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,444

    People feeling packs i can live with, there is usually good volumes of stock at the start of a series to give any one a chance.
    What angers me most and it seems to be getting worse is split packs where someone splits the pack open to have a peak. these packs then become worthless to everybody because you no longer know if the sets complete.



    Yes, that is ridiculous. I can't stand that either.

  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,444
    edited August 2012
    bea said:

    Where did you get "stealing" from exactly? I didn't use that word. And yes, I was disappointed I missed an opportunity to get a good price on parts/bricks.

    I used the word in the general sense because I have heard this story more than once in the forum.

    Ok. I understand your frustration, but one person didn't allow you to not purchase Lego ay a good price. There are sales all through the year and we all have missed out from time to time.
  • sadowsk1sadowsk1 Member Posts: 124
    I like the idea of cardboard packaging for the figures, make them so a either a person has to guess everytime or make them transparent so you know exactly what you are getting. I imagine that Lego would stand to gain more by making you guess each time. If a person doesn't like to compete with the feelers and resellers at least Lego seems to have plenty that you can order directly from them. That way you know they aren't picked over if you are going for a random pull. I am guilty of feeling up a package or two, collector on a budget, comeon.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,004
    Pitfall69 said:

    It seems everyone has missed the point of CMF's. They are meant to be packaged the way that they are. Just like baseball cards.

    But they are not packaged the same way as baseball cards - that is the whole point of the thread isn't it? They are packaged so you can identify them without opening (whether intentionally or not). If they were meant to be truly blind, then they would neither have the dot codes on them nor be in a thin packet so you can feel them. There would be no dilemma if they were in truly blind packaging.
  • GothamConstructionCoGothamConstructionCo Colchester UKMember Posts: 791
    Legos main demographic for these packs are children 5+ who may or may not have the dexterity to feel the packs but find excitement in the surprise of who's inside.
    Or perents who have aren't willing to stand and fondle packs but who Grab one or few and pop them in the shopping basket.

    It's the few with the inside knowledge (pardon the pun) who use the feeling technique for their own gain what ever that may be.

    Who suffers? The children (key demographic) who end up with boxes and boxes on the shelfs of the less desirable figures and end up spending all their pocket money on loads of fitness instructors.

    If you want to cherry pick buy a sealed box and have at it.

  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,004


    Who suffers? The children (key demographic) who end up with boxes and boxes on the shelfs of the less desirable figures and end up spending all their pocket money on loads of fitness instructors.

    Maybe having an army of fitness instructions will brainwash them into getting fit, and so long term they will be healthier. :-)

    PS. Kids can feel them. I've seen it done many times.
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    ^ This. People (ahem resellers) seem not to understand that their are people (kids, grandparents who don't know better) that miss out so that they can make their ebay buck. Most CMF buyers wont get the whole set straight away, they're pocket money items bought on a whim over a few months.

    Its not that I've missed out before as like most here I get the full set of CMF's within a few days of release. Its just some common decency and consideration for other people that seems to go out of the window with the thought of flogging things on ebay for a quick buck.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,004
    ^ You are focussing on the end results - kids not being able to get full sets, and getting lots of the less desirable figures. So why is it OK for collectors cherry pick, but not resellers, when the end result is the same?
  • GothamConstructionCoGothamConstructionCo Colchester UKMember Posts: 791
    ^ these sets are for collecting but you can't walk into a shop and complete aset if a reseller as looted the boxes on release and cleared out the most sort after packs and whacks them on eBay for more them RRP and a collector has no choice if they want that figure but to pay because the local store has been cleared out.
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    ^ As before - motivation. One because they want lots of something for their own personal use (just like people that buys reduced sets for parts) and the other because they just want to make money, and in doing so make more money because they take the popular ones out of circulation thereby pushing the value up. Sure, part of me would prefer it if neither happened but I can still justify one more than the other.

    The current packaging does seem to be the absolute worst balance, where to the uninitiated they are blind whilst to those in the know they aren't with the end result that you get boxes of crap left over. With series 7 TLG did seem to help things by having more of the ones that were likely to be popular (IMO at least) per box.

    Just to point out, I have no problem with people making money but there should be some service/ value added in there. If the service is in identifying the items, then buy a box and put them all on ebay otherwise its just exploitation.
  • GothamConstructionCoGothamConstructionCo Colchester UKMember Posts: 791




    Maybe having an army of fitness instructions will brainwash them into getting fit, and so long term they will be healthier. :-)


    I just pictured 100 fitness instructors scaling the wall of Helms Deep :-)

  • mrseatlemrseatle Member Posts: 410
    I used to think reading dots and feeling packs was beneath me. Then came Series 7 Galaxy Patrol... I'd like to get a few of those without paying eBay prices. Wish I had become more mercenary sooner when Romans were still on the shelf.
  • ACWWGal2011ACWWGal2011 Member Posts: 534
    "So is it OK for you to go and in take what you want, but not for others to do the same?"

    If you're implying im a major army builder or cherry picker, i'm not. As far as ones i bought in store, it's not a ton since the closest target is about 45 minutes away, lego store is rare since it's around 5-6 hours away so it's a vaction time only thing), and WM only had series 5.

    As far as in store buys, i've only done 2 series 3, 3 series 4(3&4 were from a lego store trip), series 5 complete with a few extras(not planned but they went on sale at WM for a buck a pack and i got a little over excited at that), and 1 series 7. I also did make an attempt to track down a series 6 interglatic space girl but series 7 had already taking over at stores. *eye roll*

    Most number of figures i have is 5 of the dwarfs but whenever i do another BL order, i'm planning on getting parts to make 3 female to finally have female battlers in my collection.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,444
    I am a "fitness instructor" if that is what you want to call us. Dexterity can be taught, but it is usually for things like playing the piano. It's more of a practice thing. There are a lot of AFOL's that still have trouble feeling packs.

    Lego has packaged these minifigures this way because I'm sure it was the cheapest way possible. Adding hard packaging would surely increase costs.

    I will say this again, CMF's(and most Lego sets) are geared toward children. I'm sure people have seen children feeling packs, but most children don't buy Legos themselves and I'm sure the parents just throw a bunch of packs into their cart.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,444
    As far as baseball cards. I used to deal in that hobby as well and there were ways to find out what packs contained the "chase" cards. So, to say that it's not the same as the way CMF's are packaged is not actually correct.
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,981

    Legos main demographic for these packs are children 5+ who may or may not have the dexterity to feel the packs but find excitement in the surprise of who's inside.
    Or perents who have aren't willing to stand and fondle packs but who Grab one or few and pop them in the shopping basket.

    It's the few with the inside knowledge (pardon the pun) who use the feeling technique for their own gain what ever that may be.

    Who suffers? The children (key demographic) who end up with boxes and boxes on the shelfs of the less desirable figures and end up spending all their pocket money on loads of fitness instructors.

    If you want to cherry pick buy a sealed box and have at it.

    Uh... huh??

    Sorry, my kids get excitement by looking over the listing of the all new minifigs, and determining which they would really, really like. I have one child obsessed with aliens and robots. Take a wild swing at who he desperately wants. Opening a package and hoping desperately for a single awesome looking alien that he would then spend the next day playing with non-stop and instead getting some sort of actor holding a skull...yah, you can have that level of
    excitement. I don't know of any child that would rather have the 'excitement' of an unviewable package, as opposed to picking out the minifigures they really want.
    The entire reason for the packages is for Lego to make a profit, and I doubt this is really about targeting a demographic. (Although, I will state that I believe Lego has adjusted their female ratios in these sets, since they have seen that girls really like these as well.)

    Inside knowledge of feeling packages?? Okay. I'm sorry. I would maybe understand if you were talking about inside knowledge of dots. I'm pretty sure anybody with a bit of common sense, could figure out that one can feel a package and start to figure out which figure is in there.

    I don't have the money to buy box after box of sealed minifigures, but I can manage to find the ones that my kids will actually use. Considering I have 2 girls, and Lego still hasn't figured out how to make sets without a simple token female, feeling up Lego minfig packages to find a few extra females for them, is one of the only ways I can compensate.

    The issue here isn't people going through packages, but how Lego has chosen to package these. If they were more concerned with the demographic as opposed to the money, they would not have these as blind bags. They would have them as limited editions lines. Even then, guess what... people would still buy the ones they wanted, and still leave shelves full of unwanted ones.

    Tammy


  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,004
    edited August 2012
    All that matters is that this inside information is available. If you are allowed to feel packs in store, then you can either use it to your advantage, or ignore it at your disadvantage, or refuse to buy from that store. You cannot complain other people use it if you use it, no matter whether your intentions are somehow good and their intentions are somehow bad.

    My above statement could be applied to CMFs. It could also be applied to people posting about sales on the shopping threads. Is it fair to get the minifigs you want, leaving others empty handed if they wanted the same ones? Is it fair to buy all the cheap sets in a sale, leaving others without? Other people (non-Lego fans) may have come across them randomly in store and bought them if they were a good deal, whereas those with inside information go and clear the shelves as soon as they know about it.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,444
    Shame on Lego for wanting to make a profit. Maybe Lego should just turn into a charity and just give Legos away ;)

    This IS about making money. It could be worse, Lego could only offer these CMF's through their website and make you order tons of CMF's to get a complete set. I think there is a little method to their madness. They know that the average person can just feel the packages to obtain the minifigures they want. By packing them blind, people will have to work at it to obtain their sets/minifigures. A lot of people have neither the time or patience to feel all the packages at the store.

    By packaging them like traditional action figures, the minifigures would cost more and you would still have people pilfering the cases for the most desired ones. This will not solve the issue. In fact, I think that would make things worse. At least with the blind packaging, the pilferers would have to work at it a little. I see this with Star wars action figures and Hot Wheels. It's a big problem.

  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,004
    Pitfall69 said:


    By packaging them like traditional action figures, the minifigures would cost more and you would still have people pilfering the cases for the most desired ones. This will not solve the issue. In fact, I think that would make things worse. At least with the blind packaging, the pilferers would have to work at it a little. I see this with Star wars action figures and Hot Wheels. It's a big problem.

    Theft is a different matter. People can steal whether they are blind packaged or not. Cherry picking is not pilfering.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,444
    I'm not talking about stealing in the traditional sense.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,444
    I'm talking about people waiting outside stores waiting for the doors to open and running to the toy aisles to grab all the good figures, leaving nothing much for the next person.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,444
    ...that is a big problem. I have literally seen an adult grab an action figure from a child in the toy asile because it was a "chase" figure.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,444
    By the way, people will always find a reason to justify their actions :)
  • Farmer_JohnFarmer_John USA - 4,035 Miles from 62 West Wallaby St., Wigan, Lancashire, UKMember Posts: 2,404
    I was at TLG a few weeks ago looking at CMFs and a store employee asked me if I needed/wanted any particular CMFs. I told him I was interested in a couple specific ones and he proceeded to feel up the bags until he found the ones I wanted. Great customer service in my humble opinion...
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,444
    I guess, for sake of argument, that would be the way to do it, but I'm sure that it's not Legos policy for their employees to help in that manner.
  • Bosstone100Bosstone100 USAMember Posts: 1,434
    Getting something on clearance is not a right, but luck of the draw.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,444

    Getting something on clearance is not a right, but luck of the draw.

    Agreed

  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,981
    Pitfall69 said:

    Shame on Lego for wanting to make a profit. Maybe Lego should just turn into a charity and just give Legos away ;)

    This IS about making money. It could be worse, Lego could only offer these CMF's through their website and make you order tons of CMF's to get a complete set. I think there is a little method to their madness. They know that the average person can just feel the packages to obtain the minifigures they want. By packing them blind, people will have to work at it to obtain their sets/minifigures. A lot of people have neither the time or patience to feel all the packages at the store.

    By packaging them like traditional action figures, the minifigures would cost more and you would still have people pilfering the cases for the most desired ones. This will not solve the issue. In fact, I think that would make things worse. At least with the blind packaging, the pilferers would have to work at it a little. I see this with Star wars action figures and Hot Wheels. It's a big problem.

    I agree very much with the above. My main point is, that this isn't about the demographic. For Lego, the minifigs are really about the money.

    Also, Lego has ramped up production. In the series with the rare mad scientist, I ended up randomly grabbing a couple that were being clearanced out at Target, and ended up with him, and another one that was difficult to find. Obviously, they were nowhere close to being picked over. While the Lego store may get pilfered, these days, there is such a big quantity out there that one can find a good selection.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,444
    Yes :-)
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,444
    What was great about the Mad Scientist is that he was the easiest to feel for because of his rubber hair.
  • TyoSoloTyoSolo Member Posts: 539
    What annoys me is that every time I get a S7 packet at the shops, I always end up with the blooming Hippy. I hate that Hippy!

    I'm just going to stick to buying/trading them in the aftermarket or by the case - let someone else do the hard work - it would cost me more than £1.00 of my time to stand there looking gormless while feeling up a load of packets, plus I'm useless at it! :-)
  • ACWWGal2011ACWWGal2011 Member Posts: 534
    "By packaging them like traditional action figures, the minifigures would cost more and you would still have people pilfering the cases for the most desired ones. This will not solve the issue. In fact, I think that would make things worse. At least with the blind packaging, the pilferers would have to work at it a little. I see this with Star wars action figures and Hot Wheels. It's a big problem."

    And on top of that, the minifigures are already too high priced as it is and all the extra packaging that might need unique solutions to each figure(plus coming up with the design for the packaging) compared to simple small sealable bag that just need a printing change from series to series would cause the prices to skyrocket.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,444
    ^Yes...and they are already making them in China to cut costs as it is.
  • jadeirenejadeirene US, CaliforniaMember Posts: 475



    And on top of that, the minifigures are already too high priced as it is and all the extra packaging that might need unique solutions to each figure(plus coming up with the design for the packaging) compared to simple small sealable bag that just need a printing change from series to series would cause the prices to skyrocket.

    There wouldn't need to be unique packaging for each figure. All they would have to do is have clear polybag packaging (or at least a small clear window) to see the figure inside. I'm not advocating having the easily identifiable packaging, but there shouldn't be any additional costs due that type of packaging.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    Pitfall69 said:

    ^Yes...and they are already making them in China to cut costs as it is.

    Just curious, but do we know this for a fact, or are we just guessing?

    Has TLG actually come out and said, "yes, these are made in China".

    It strikes me as rather odd to allow anyone in China to know how to make minifigs, why teach them that?
  • khmellymelkhmellymel United KingdomMember Posts: 1,304
    ^ I believe all my packages say, "Designed by LEGO Group in Denmark, Parts Manufactured in China" or something like that... I'll go have a check...
  • CoolsplashCoolsplash Member Posts: 935
    @LegoFanTexas, TLG will never confirm if they are making parts or mini figures in China :P but we have seen many mini figures and some parts introduced which are made in China. One example is the Wonder women from the Superman set. Then another example is the Loki head piece which came in a separate plastic packet :P

    For Collectible mini figures, I just either get 30-40 random packs from people I usually buy LEGO from and let my son feel and open them up 5-10 every sitting. The look on my son's face is worth a million dollars when he is feeling for his favorite characters and when he does pull out something he really wants, the excitement is out of this world.

    LEGO should keep on packing the CMF's in these plastic packets for future. The surprise and fun factor should last forever.
  • wagnerml2wagnerml2 Belleville, IllinoisMember Posts: 1,376
    CCC said:

    All that matters is that this inside information is available. If you are allowed to feel packs in store, then you can either use it to your advantage, or ignore it at your disadvantage, or refuse to buy from that store. You cannot complain other people use it if you use it, no matter whether your intentions are somehow good and their intentions are somehow bad.

    My above statement could be applied to CMFs. It could also be applied to people posting about sales on the shopping threads. Is it fair to get the minifigs you want, leaving others empty handed if they wanted the same ones? Is it fair to buy all the cheap sets in a sale, leaving others without? Other people (non-Lego fans) may have come across them randomly in store and bought them if they were a good deal, whereas those with inside information go and clear the shelves as soon as they know about it.

    @CCC - There is a distinction here, I think. In my original post a year ago, my fristration was that leaving a pile of picked over packs of CMF did not leave a person the same chances of getting one of the random things. As a result, I was buying upwards of 100 packs without completeing a set. Therefore, I just quit buying packs from that outlet. Bottom line is that if the product is being sold as a blind-luck-of-the-draw product, but it isn't, it leaves the buyer unhappy.

    In an sale situation, it is clear to all what is for sale and how many are left. If you get there, you buy them. People are not left with boxes that have no chance of containing what they think they can or should contain.

    Either way, my original point was that there is no right answer. People can feel up packs if they like. THe ultimate loser is the retailer who ends up with piles of picked over packs that don't sell nearly as quickly than they wold if people knew that hadn't been picked over.


  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,444

    Pitfall69 said:

    ^Yes...and they are already making them in China to cut costs as it is.

    Just curious, but do we know this for a fact, or are we just guessing?

    Has TLG actually come out and said, "yes, these are made in China".

    It strikes me as rather odd to allow anyone in China to know how to make minifigs, why teach them that?

    ^ I believe all my packages say, "Designed by LEGO Group in Denmark, Parts Manufactured in China" or something like that... I'll go have a check...

    Awhile back, Brickset did a comparison between minifigures made in China and minifigures made in Denmark. Under close inspection it is clear what components were made in China or Denmark. Even the printing was inferior. I have no doubt that the CMF's are made in China.

    Back on topic. I agree there is no solution that will be accepted by either side. I'm sure all of this was discussed at TLG and this was what they came up with.

  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,098
    There are usually just a few that I want out of each series and I don't army build so I don't see a problem in feeling the packages. Lego could just solve the problem by releasing each series as a purchasable set. Baseball cards do the same thing. Then you could sell off the ones you don't want. I don't see Lego packaging them any different in the future unless retailers push them to do so.
  • ptericpteric Member Posts: 156
    simple: Search for your own set, Don't search to sell!
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