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Grab Bags

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  • leemcgleemcg Member Posts: 607
    Some great value in grab bags at Westfield Stratford today, if those are the pieces you're after.

    Several bags rammed full of 1x1 round plates in lime and transparent blue (and some with lots of barrels in as well as the little plates).
  • sidersddsidersdd USAMember Posts: 2,432
    Word on the street is that grab bags will no longer be offered at stores:
    http://www.bricklink.com/message.asp?ID=668130
  • LegobrandonCPLegobrandonCP CanadaMember Posts: 1,909
    And I haven't even gotten myself a single grab bag yet. Shame they are discontinuing it, but then again, my store never has any interesting pieces.
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,128
    ^^ confirmed. Have seen the memo to stores myself
  • Penkid11Penkid11 Member Posts: 779
    And then... LittleToki's heart sank...
  • LegobrandonCPLegobrandonCP CanadaMember Posts: 1,909
    ^ LOL
  • aimlesspursuitsaimlesspursuits USMember Posts: 207
    I found out that my local store wouldn't be selling grab bags today as well. Made me kinda sad too.
  • littletokilittletoki Member Posts: 517
    @Penkid11 ~ lol.

    I think I OD'd on grab bags! And now I have a ton of odd parts (that I'm giving away). So this is actually a good thing for my credit card.

    And my house. Piles of grab bag Lego everywhere!!
  • ACWWGal2011ACWWGal2011 Member Posts: 534
    \
    sidersdd said:

    Word on the street is that grab bags will no longer be offered at stores:
    http://www.bricklink.com/message.asp?ID=668130

    WHAT????????????? If that is true, lego stores are in for some major hate from some people. I've been dying to go to the lego store again for at least 5 months now(none around us. It's a vacation only thing). #1 reason? grab bags with a close #2 reason of checking the BAM bin for series 1 clowns.

    we were thinking about a vacation in a couple months and hitting the lego store also, but unless the policy changes, i doubt i'll be going.
  • meyerc13meyerc13 Member Posts: 227
    Sometimes I wonder what LEGO is thinking. Living 100 miles from the closest store, and 300 miles from the next closest store, I can assure you that I don't make the trip to a LEGO store to buy sets. I can buy those online or from dozens of retailers for less than I'd pay at the LEGO store (the 5-10% VIP rewards rarely beat sale prices and coupons at other retailers).

    The main reason I make the trip to LEGO stores is for Pick-a-brick and grab bags. Lately, the pick-a-brick hasn't been that great.

    I don't understand the supposed reasoning. Product labeling requirements? If that's true, how do they get away with the pick-a-brick wall? There aren't any labels on that.

    The irony is that I rarely buy grab bags. It's the potential of grab bags that draws me to the store, not necessarily the actual purchase of the bags.

    LEGO, you've now cut my reasons for visiting your store in half. Not a great move. On top of the new pricing for MBA, this is twice in a month I've been majorly disappointed by LEGO.
  • ACWWGal2011ACWWGal2011 Member Posts: 534
    meyerc13 said:

    Sometimes I wonder what LEGO is thinking. Living 100 miles from the closest store, and 300 miles from the next closest store, I can assure you that I don't make the trip to a LEGO store to buy sets. I can buy those online or from dozens of retailers for less than I'd pay at the LEGO store (the 5-10% VIP rewards rarely beat sale prices and coupons at other retailers).

    The main reason I make the trip to LEGO stores is for Pick-a-brick and grab bags. Lately, the pick-a-brick hasn't been that great.

    I don't understand the supposed reasoning. Product labeling requirements? If that's true, how do they get away with the pick-a-brick wall? There aren't any labels on that.

    The irony is that I rarely buy grab bags. It's the potential of grab bags that draws me to the store, not necessarily the actual purchase of the bags.

    LEGO, you've now cut my reasons for visiting your store in half. Not a great move. On top of the new pricing for MBA, this is twice in a month I've been majorly disappointed by LEGO.

    The one we go to on vacation is, depending on factors, between 5 and 6 hours away. Last couple trips were mainly grab bag buys but i also got about 3 or 4 BAM kits between the 2 runs, a few CMF packs, and a few small sets. Main draw wasn't any single factor, it was a combo of factors.

    Main draw at the moment for me with the lego store is grab bags since set prices are getting outta control.

    And my reason for going is now gone.
  • CurvedRoadPlateCurvedRoadPlate Member Posts: 256
    They had been used for excess pick a brick and damaged/returned sets. What are the stores going to do with this now? Discard it? Use it in the in store play areas?
    This is unfortunate news, I have found some great parts in grab bags in the past that I may not have bought the sets for.
  • ACWWGal2011ACWWGal2011 Member Posts: 534

    They had been used for excess pick a brick and damaged/returned sets. What are the stores going to do with this now? Discard it? Use it in the in store play areas?
    This is unfortunate news, I have found some great parts in grab bags in the past that I may not have bought the sets for.

    That's what my mother was wondering.

    I too have gotten parts in the bag that were really great. Like the 3X4 lego minifigure plate that i've been wanting one of(not ready to take my CMF's off display. Getting close with a few though) or a couple of the joint pieces from herofactory.

    And it's not just damaged/returned sets. It's also for sets on display. Plus i've heard of excess BAM stuff being in there also(mostly accessories)

    Dropped an email to lego to see if they can confirm this.
  • LegobrandonCPLegobrandonCP CanadaMember Posts: 1,909
    Confirmed at the Vancouver store. I had a nice chat with one of the employees and asked him about grab bags. He said LEGO thought the bags were not up to standards with the brand so they will stop selling them.

    So now the parts will either go in the bin [:((((((((] or be donated to the local children's hospital/charity.
  • ACWWGal2011ACWWGal2011 Member Posts: 534
    My response from lego:

    "Thanks for getting in touch with us.

    Sherrie, unfortunately due to a continued focus on LEGO® quality standards, we will no longer sell grab bags in our stores. We understand that the grab bags are very special to many of our LEGO fans but I assure you that this decision was made to make sure that we keep the quality that you and our many fans deserve. Sherrie, we have many fun and exciting products and promotions that make the LEGO Store a very exciting place to visit including build your own minifigure station, master builder stations, as well as great displays highlighting the many creative possibilities that our LEGO bricks and products provide.

    Sherrie, thank you so much for providing us with your feedback as it means a lot to us to hear about how we're doing from some of our biggest fans. I will also make sure your questions and comments reach the appropriate team.
    "

    My response back:

    Sounds like whoever decided on this doesn't know there head from their caboose in the terms of "quality of lego products". Except for when the bags are dumping grounds for large numbers of panes or doors with no frames or vice versa, certain minifigure accessories, or 1x1 round plates, i've NEVER heard anyone say anything negative about lego grab bags and have never heard of or experienced quality problems.

    But on the other hand, complaints regarding sets(mostly part quality problems) are skyrocketing online.

    As far as lego stores, i doubt i'm going to return anytime soon. The last 2 times i went the thing that drew me in to the store were grab bags which lead to be buying a few other things while i was there. Up until last night when i heard about this, i WAS looking foward(for over 5 months) to going back again one day. Now with the PAB wall being a hit or miss case on parts and the grab bags gone, i have no reason to return.

    I am not the only person that's not planning on returning. I'm not the only one that lives 3+ hours from a lego store and some people make their lego store visits with the main goal of grab bags since they can usually get lego sets cheaper elsewhere.
  • JdawgJdawg St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada Member Posts: 83
    This is not what I want to hear the day before I am planned to visit a Lego store. I have 3 stores that are all about 2 hours from my house. 2 in Toronto, 1 in Troy MI. I am smack in the middle. Well this may be the last time i visit a Lego Brand store. PAB better have some sweet parts. Only good thing is the Winter Cottage is $30 cheaper in Troy.
  • PhoneboothPhonebooth USMember Posts: 1,422
    Sounds like Lego pulled the grab bags because of the inconsistent 'quality' of pieces inside. That is, some people were unhappy with getting 500 yellow cups, while others were thrilled with getting partial in-store displays.

    Naturally, what likely happened is that someone (many) complained, and POOF - bye bye grab bags.
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    edited September 2012
    I don't like that they discontinued grab bags. I'm really curious what happens to the parts that would have gone to grab bags now. You know, they could have taken the middle road and removed grab bags from display shelves. That way if you wanted a grab bag, you could ask for one. It would be like an off-menu item. The store could focus on selling sets while keeping people who like grab bags happy.
  • LegobrandonCPLegobrandonCP CanadaMember Posts: 1,909
    ^ The employee told me it will now go in the trash. My heart sank when I head that. :( He said another possibility would be to donate the extra parts to charities and hospitals.
  • SirKevbagsSirKevbags Fairy Land Member Posts: 4,030
    I like the donation angle.
  • MatthewMatthew Cheshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 3,734
    ^ Yes, but what hospital is going to want 500 yellow cups?
  • ereiamjhereiamjh Member Posts: 182
    Surely part of the fun of grab bags is working out what to do with all the multiple specialist bits. Although maybe I'm biased because I was already planning to make a cinema before I got loads of chairs. I'm still trying to work out what to do with all my little grey (tyreless) wheels though.
  • ACWWGal2011ACWWGal2011 Member Posts: 534

    Sounds like Lego pulled the grab bags because of the inconsistent 'quality' of pieces inside. That is, some people were unhappy with getting 500 yellow cups, while others were thrilled with getting partial in-store displays.

    Naturally, what likely happened is that someone (many) complained, and POOF - bye bye grab bags.

    Lego definatly over-reacted in that case. Wouldn't a more logical thing to do is just put in a store wide policy that lego grab bags can't contain an excess number of a single element and if there's to many of a single element either bag them and let people know they can buy them for X amount a piece or send them to lego for recycling? If there was a case of individual items for sale, i'd most likely(pending what they have at that time) be interested. Problem solved.
    Jdawg said:

    This is not what I want to hear the day before I am planned to visit a Lego store. I have 3 stores that are all about 2 hours from my house. 2 in Toronto, 1 in Troy MI. I am smack in the middle. Well this may be the last time i visit a Lego Brand store. PAB better have some sweet parts. Only good thing is the Winter Cottage is $30 cheaper in Troy.

    Your not along. I may not be going super soon and the closest one further then 2 hours, but we WERE planning on an out of state mini vacation. Now if i'm asked where i want to go, i'll put my vote into a different part of the state then i live in since my main motive for outta state is destroyed.
  • CurvedRoadPlateCurvedRoadPlate Member Posts: 256
    Another possibility is time. Lego may have looked at the amount of time employees spent sorting and assembling grab bags and decided that its not the best use of employees hours.
  • ACWWGal2011ACWWGal2011 Member Posts: 534

    Another possibility is time. Lego may have looked at the amount of time employees spent sorting and assembling grab bags and decided that its not the best use of employees hours.

    taking into account that each bag brings in 7.99 each and they were extremelly popular, i think it was well worth their time.
  • JosephJoseph Member Posts: 651

    He said another possibility would be to donate the extra parts to charities and hospitals.

    Boosting AFOL happiness counts as charity ... right? :-)

  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,128
    we also have to remember that we are still a pretty small minority of LEGO store customers. Most "average" customers I see in the store have ZERO idea grab bags ever existed to begin with, and they likely would have never bought them anyway. Grab bags, and to a lesser extent the PAB wall, are both generally targeted towards and patronized by AFOLs, resellers, and other hard core LEGO buyers. I know in my store, 95% of all grab bags were purchased by a total of 3 people.

    This is a hit to those obsessed with LEGO like us, and it sucks, but the vast majority of LEGO store frequenters won't even notice.
  • beabea Member Posts: 227
    They do have a point about the quality. The ones in my local store always looked like a dumping ground full of useless pieces the few times I saw them. I picked up one for the heck of it and now I have exactly what was mentioned above: a zillion 1x1 plates, window panes with no frames and 2x4 bricks in random colours.

    However, I will say that despite this, the bags did draw me into the store. I always hoped I'd find something good.
  • aimlesspursuitsaimlesspursuits USMember Posts: 207
    edited September 2012
    I too think they should just keep them behind the counter and only sell them when asked for by the customer. That'd make me happy since most of what I buy from the Lego store are grab bags. I usually wait for Target and WM clearance for purchasing current sets. If they aren't going to sell the grab bags I think the donation angle would be nice of them. I don't like the thought of perfectly usable Lego going into the trash.
  • MinifigsMeMinifigsMe Member Posts: 2,844
    Is this confirmed in the UK? I bought a couple in the new sheffield store a couple of days ago and chatted to them about the next set breakdown time. no mention of them stopping this, they just said to come at the beginning the month for exciting grab bags...finally I have a local store and a new addiction and TLG are taking it away!
  • ACWWGal2011ACWWGal2011 Member Posts: 534

    I too think they should just keep them behind the counter and only sell them when asked for by the customer. That'd make me happy since most of what I buy from the Lego store are grab bags. I usually wait for Target and WM clearance for purchasing current sets. If they aren't going to sell the grab bags I think the donation angle would be nice of them. I don't like the thought of perfectly usable Lego going into the trash.

    That's how they do it at the majority of lego stores i think. I've been to one about 5 or 6 times and i never remember seeing bags sitting out.
  • MrKevinHinkleMrKevinHinkle Member Posts: 33
    Hello and good evening folks,

    I wanted to take a quick moment to address some of the rumors and provide a bit of clarity. This decision was not taken lightly, however, due to a continued focus on LEGO quality standards, as well as increasing toy industry legislation, we can no longer sell grab bags in our LEGO brand retail stores. We understand that this decision may not be warmly embraced by some members of the LEGO fan community, please understand that we are constantly re-evaluating our product assortment and are dedicated to providing the best quality of products as possible for all our consumers.

    We are currently exploring various opportunities with the brand retail team to address excess LEGO elements collected at the store level. We believe the elements can be put to great use as another form of fan community support. Although I don't have any specific details to share at this time, we appreciate your patience as the LEGO community team continues to work with the appropriate parties during this transition to form a new solution.

    Wishing everyone a great weekend.
    Regards,

    Kevin Hinkle
    NA Community Coordinator
    LEGO Systems, Inc.
    rocaoSi_UKNZ
  • ACWWGal2011ACWWGal2011 Member Posts: 534
    edited September 2012
    Got a response to the letter i sent back:

    "I'm truly sorry to read your concerns of our Brand stores eliminating the grab bag feature. I went ahead and sent you three minifiures from series 8 that should arrive to you in 3-8 business days. I know this can serve little to no compensation for you concerns. I will forward your comments to the appropriate department."

    Still hate them and still most likely not returning to the store but can't complain on free legos.
  • DadsAFOLDadsAFOL USAMember Posts: 615
    Kevinhink said:

    We believe the elements can be put to great use as another form of fan community support.

    Which means, if you haven't joined a LUG, you should. Sounds like what used
    to go into grab bags might get "donated" to local LUGs for free. We'll have
    to wait and see what they announce.
  • doodlebirddoodlebird Austin. Texas. Member Posts: 85
    thanks, kevin! looking forward to what y'all have worked up. you know you can always count on your AFOL community for help when/if it's needed.
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    edited September 2012
    Funny, as I was reading I was thinking if they really don't want to sell grab bags and they have excess parts they should offer them to LUGs because like @Matthew said what use is a couple thousand of a specialized part to a hospital? Then I read the post by @Kevinhink and figured they thought of this idea too and what they were referring to as "another form of fan community support." And then I read @DadsAFOL thinking the same thing. It's great to read out your thought process through the thread!
    ereiamjh said:

    I'm still trying to work out what to do with all my little grey (tyreless) wheels though.

    Ski lift or aerial tramway (cable car for you Brits). Tireless wheels should make great sheave wheels for the sheave train on the towers.

    http://www.skilifts.org/old/images/glossary/sheavewheel.jpg
    http://www.skilifts.org/old/images/glossary/sheavetrain.jpg
    http://www.skilifts.org/old/images/glossary/tower.jpg
  • meyerc13meyerc13 Member Posts: 227
    I still don't understand the explanation here. How can 'increasing toy industry legislation' apply to grab bags, which could be labelled however LEGO wants to label them, but not apply to pick-a-brick which isn't labelled at all?

    I'm sorry, but I call BS on that. Or, if it is true, we better all be concerned because if grab bags are gone, then pick-a-brick must be next.
  • ACWWGal2011ACWWGal2011 Member Posts: 534
    meyerc13 said:

    I still don't understand the explanation here. How can 'increasing toy industry legislation' apply to grab bags, which could be labelled however LEGO wants to label them, but not apply to pick-a-brick which isn't labelled at all?

    I'm sorry, but I call BS on that. Or, if it is true, we better all be concerned because if grab bags are gone, then pick-a-brick must be next.

    Could be that, unlike grab bags, the lego store can be 100% sure on what's in each PAB cubicle and what stock they have in the back.

    And if the PAB wall could be next, we might as well say "bye bye lego stores" since PAB, Grab bags, and BAM are the 3 things that give that special something to lego B&M stores compared to just being a store that sells lego sets.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409

    ^ The employee told me it will now go in the trash. My heart sank when I head that. :( He said another possibility would be to donate the extra parts to charities and hospitals.

    Trash? That is Eco-Friendly? What on Earth?

    Someone at Lego has their head up their you-know-what!
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,243
    Kevinhink said:

    Hello and good evening folks....

    Thanks for taking the time to provide some additional explanation, Kevin.

    As Ambassador to Brickset I'll collate some of the reaction to this decision and feed it back via LEGO's Ambassador Forum; it's hard to believe that anyone at all within the AFOL community will welcome this development, particularly as some of the reasons given are a little hard to swallow, to put it politely.

    The possibility that the excess elements might be put to use as a form of fan community support is intriguing, opening as it does a number of possibilities. Any further information you can provide going forward would be very welcome...

  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,328

    ...
    My response back:

    Sounds like whoever decided on this doesn't know there head from their caboose in the terms of "quality of lego products". Except for when the bags are dumping grounds for large numbers of panes or doors with no frames or vice versa, certain minifigure accessories, or 1x1 round plates, i've NEVER heard anyone say anything negative about lego grab bags and have never heard of or experienced quality problems.

    Umm, if there have been complaints about grab bags being dumping grounds for certain parts then those ARE complaints, so how can you say 'never heard anyone say anything negative'??.. You JUST said negative things about them.

    I have gotten these grab bags and I can say I'm not really blown over by them.. most of the time they are random parts and not much better than a PAB selection to be honest, heck, many times I have seen grab bags with only random parts from P-A-B walls..As for mini-figures, I asked about the whole mini-figure thing and I was told that the stores were NOT supposed to be putting figures in grab bags, but apparently some stores did, perhaps the refusal of LEGO stores to adhere to corp policy is one of the reasons for this, as some figures are licensed that wound up in these and that is a no-no from what I understand from LEGO.

    As for those complaining that PAB is a contradiction to those saying it does not meet quality standards.
    On a PAB wall you KNOW what you are getting out of the bin.. in a grab bag it could have anything.

    I will still go to a LEGO store because the PAB wall has ALWAYS been the draw for me, and many others.. as well as usually having any LEGO set you want, OR they can get it for you.
    If you really are not going to a LEGO store anymore just because they do not have the grab bags, then fine.. Don't, just makes it easier for me and people that want to go to the store for things like double points and other giveaways IMO.

    Got a response to the letter i sent back:

    "I'm truly sorry to read your concerns of our Brand stores eliminating the grab bag feature. I went ahead and sent you three minifiures from series 8 that should arrive to you in 3-8 business days. I know this can serve little to no compensation for you concerns. I will forward your comments to the appropriate department."

    Still hate them and still most likely not returning to the store but can't complain on free legos.

    You 'Hate' them? For this?! Wow... Also I find it sadly humorous that you 'hate' them but will not turn down 'free LEGO'.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    I will still go to a LEGO store because the PAB wall has ALWAYS been the draw for me, and many others.. as well as usually having any LEGO set you want, OR they can get it for you.
    Just to toss the question out there...

    Will you be so kind in your post when the PAB wall goes away? :)
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    I will still go to a LEGO store because the PAB wall has ALWAYS been the draw for me, and many others.. as well as usually having any LEGO set you want, OR they can get it for you.
    Just to toss the question out there...

    Will you be so kind in your post when the PAB wall goes away? :)
  • ACWWGal2011ACWWGal2011 Member Posts: 534
    Umm, if there have been complaints about grab bags being dumping grounds for certain parts then those ARE complaints, so how can you say 'never heard anyone say anything negative'??.. You JUST said negative things about them.
    By negative, i mean compared to lego sets. I should of said that. I've never heard of busted part or deformed part complaints in GB's.

    Grab bags are hit and miss with what items are in it. Giving enough time and patience, you can find some pretty nice stuff in them.

    When it comes to grab bags, you still can know to an extent what's in the bag since there's the clear panels.

    Thing with the PAB wall is that it's a hit or miss for a lot of people. Variety is a problem for some while it sounds like you are one of the lucky ones with a really good wall.

    and i'm not going to turn down free legos when i'm giving the chance to.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409

    When it comes to grab bags, you still can know to an extent what's in the bag since there's the clear panels.

    Window? Bah, just open them and look inside, that is generally what I do. Never got a complaint from the store employees.
  • ACWWGal2011ACWWGal2011 Member Posts: 534

    When it comes to grab bags, you still can know to an extent what's in the bag since there's the clear panels.

    Window? Bah, just open them and look inside, that is generally what I do. Never got a complaint from the store employees.
    not all stores have the bags unsecured. The ones at the store i went to were stapled.
  • CurvedRoadPlateCurvedRoadPlate Member Posts: 256
    I did get a broken plate in a grab bag once, but the other awesome finds I've gotten in grab bags more than made up for it. Grab bags have introduced me to unique elements and parts from product lines I would not have normally bought. They were like a sampler of the current parts out there.
    I will miss the randomness of the grab bag system.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,328

    I will still go to a LEGO store because the PAB wall has ALWAYS been the draw for me, and many others.. as well as usually having any LEGO set you want, OR they can get it for you.
    Just to toss the question out there...

    Will you be so kind in your post when the PAB wall goes away? :)

    Sure, because last I checked there are still other perks to go to a LEGO store.
    I will not be getting online and saying how much I hate LEGO Company if they get rid of the PAB walls in stores.

    To each their own I guess, but I do not see why Grab bags going away draw this much ire.

  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    ^ If there was an actual good reason for it, I don't think people would mind, but I think the opinion is that it is one of those corporate decisions made, because someone has to justify their job and existence, and for no other good reason.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,328
    ^--But of course people are assuming that there is some evil dept deep within the bowels of TLG that apparently do nothing but spoil the fun of its customers... There is a reason for this, and there could be regulations on this type of stuff that people just do not know about.. That being said, there are LEGO reps that are on here (as evidenced by the note above) and Id like to think they do not make their decisions lightly about business and sales (after all, they did sell these, not given them away). So I'd like to think that this was done because of something else, otherwise I'm sure LEGO would have no issues continuing to sell random parts to people in bags.
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