Shopping at LEGO or Amazon?
Please use our links: LEGO.comAmazon
As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Should Lego sell individual Star Wars, Lord of the Rings Minifigures.

noir77noir77 Member Posts: 2
Who else thinks that Lego should start selling individual minifigures of it's themed licences (i.e. Star Wars, Lord of the Rings/Hobbit). They can still be 'blind bagged' in the same way as the normal Lego mini-figure series, but it would be a fantastic way to get individual figures, without having to buy the big sets. The Mini-figure magnets used to be a great way to do this, until Lego bizarrely decided to glue them on.

Comments

  • Bosstone100Bosstone100 USAMember Posts: 1,431
    Seems like part of the licensing agreements that individual minifigures not be sold outside of sets.
    FollowsClosely
  • DiggydoesDiggydoes Cologne/GermanyMember Posts: 1,079
    Besides the licensing agreements (especially for SW) the minifigures are the main selling point for sets,so selling the figures seperate would cut lego in their own business so it will never happen (with licensed themes)!
  • BumblepantsBumblepants DFW/BGMember Posts: 7,436
    Then no one would by the $80 set with the exclusive minifig in it. They want you and me to buy sets, not $3 bags
  • kezkez United KingdomMember Posts: 831
    NO they shouldn't be sold separately because it would be unfair to lego because if these figures were in sets and if they were sold separately the sets wouldn't really be selling
  • GothamConstructionCoGothamConstructionCo Colchester UKMember Posts: 794
    edited October 2012
    Minifigures help sell the sets as evident with the new wave of superheroes. The new sets are aren't that great but are bought because of the minifigs.

    TLG know by throwing in sought after figures they will sell the bigger sets which won't be the case if you can by minifigs individually.
  • prof1515prof1515 EarthMember Posts: 1,550
    Points have already been brought up regarding the license and regarding the negative impact that selling individual figures would have on the sales of regular sets but I thought I'd add that Lego is keenly aware of these things which is why you see unrelated figures in sets they suspect consumers might otherwise pass on. They've been aware of this since before they even acquired the Star Wars license in the late 90s. Look back at how they distributed figures in sets and you'll see that they often put the more unique ones in big sets or distributed them so that there was no one set that allowed you to acquire each figure. That way they ensured multiple purchases by those seeking the full array of figures rather than simply a single purchase that would cost less. Lego is a business and there is no conceivable benefit to them in offering the Star Wars figures in such a manner even if it were feasible within the bounds of their licensing agreement.
  • RennyRenny USAMember Posts: 1,145
    edited October 2012
    I think there is a licensing issue that Lego cannot sell Star Wars mini figures individually since they would be infringing on the action figure type market which they do not own the rights to. By including them in sets they are part of a building toy. I believe this issue popped up on that dark bucket cuuso project which consisted of nothing but stormtroopers.
  • bluemoosebluemoose Member Posts: 1,716
    edited October 2012
    The license they have from Lucasfilm explicitly forbids them from selling individual Star Wars minifigs; individual figs count as 'action figures' according to Lucasfilm's licensing agreements & Hasbro has the 'action figs' license. Lego have got into trouble with Lucasfilm on a couple of occasions when they've tried to be clever & get around the license terms; specifically these ...
    http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=3341-1
    ... and the unglued magnet sets; in both cases Hasbro complained to Lucasfilm, who then had to step in & tell Lego 'no'. Lego are only allowed to sell figs as novelty items (e.g. glued fridge magnets) and figs in building sets.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,479
    It would also mean the price of bricks - the real Lego - would go up.
  • BoiseStateBoiseState Member Posts: 804
    They sold the 3 packs years ago.. Something like Vader, Palpatine, and Fett? And then a good guy pack.
  • berniebondberniebond AustriaMember Posts: 137
    On a related matter: is there going to be an Elrond Minifigure in a Hobbit/LOTR Set, or do I have to lay out for the poly?
  • y2joshy2josh Member Posts: 1,996
    I'm assuming there'll be a Third Age Elrond at some point, and hopefully one that doesn't look so goofy.
  • prof1515prof1515 EarthMember Posts: 1,550
    edited October 2012

    They sold the 3 packs years ago.. Something like Vader, Palpatine, and Fett? And then a good guy pack.

    That was in 2000, there were four of them ( #3340, #3341, #3342 and #3343 ; Palpatine and Vader included Maul while Fett was with Jedi Luke and Han), they weren't available in stores (my first order from [email protected] in a decade was to obtain the four sets) and they prompted Lucasfilm to put an end to it.

  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,404
    ^ Wow, $5 for those three figs in each pack? What a bargin! :)

    I can see why they stopped that. Honestly, that is probably for the best, given that we don't want to see TLG return to 2000 for any reason.
  • prof1515prof1515 EarthMember Posts: 1,550
    Not only was it a bargain but that version of Han Solo was only available in that set and at the time it was the only way to get Palpatine or the yellow-marked battle droid.
  • CapnRex101CapnRex101 United KingdomAdministrator Posts: 2,357
    Simply put, yes they should, but no hey can't. Licensing with Hasbro means that Star Wars and Lord of the Rings toys cannot be produced with just figures, but there must be a construction element to the product. Battle Packs in the Star Wars theme are a reaction to this very issue, allowing Minifigures to be collected at relatively low prices.
  • y2joshy2josh Member Posts: 1,996
    prof1515 said:

    Not only was it a bargain but that version of Han Solo was only available in that set and at the time it was the only way to get Palpatine or the yellow-marked battle droid.

    I believe that Han also showed up in the hideous Cloud City set.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,454
    I bought a few of those sets back in the day. I still have mine. I thought the stands that say Star Wars on them were pretty neat.
  • prof1515prof1515 EarthMember Posts: 1,550
    y2josh said:

    prof1515 said:

    Not only was it a bargain but that version of Han Solo was only available in that set and at the time it was the only way to get Palpatine or the yellow-marked battle droid.

    I believe that Han also showed up in the hideous Cloud City set.
    Yeah, my mistake. Forgot that the Han in the Cloud City used the same legs.
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,732
    All the arguments about not selling the figures separately because it impacts set sales make perfect sense, but I think the licensing issue is the main driver behund the lack of standalone Star Wars minifigures. Why otherwise would LEGO have persisted in selling a variety of unglued magnet sets until having their knuckles rapped by Lucas ?
  • y2joshy2josh Member Posts: 1,996
    Am I the only one that finds it insane that Hasbro would even care if they released standalone minifigs? I understand the LEGO competing against themselves bit, but the Hasbro action figures and the LEGO minifigs aren't interchangable. It's not like someone who wants the action figures is going to say, "Thank goodness I got this Emperor Palpatine minifig. Now I don't have to get the Hasbro version."
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,479
    y2josh said:

    Am I the only one that finds it insane that Hasbro would even care if they released standalone minifigs? I understand the LEGO competing against themselves bit, but the Hasbro action figures and the LEGO minifigs aren't interchangable. It's not like someone who wants the action figures is going to say, "Thank goodness I got this Emperor Palpatine minifig. Now I don't have to get the Hasbro version."


    In bluemoose's response above: in both cases Hasbro complained to Lucasfilm, who then had to step in & tell Lego 'no'.

    In that case, I'd say they are bothered. After all they are SW action figures, just on a different scale.

    When I was a kid it was before minifigs were common, and way before licensed ones. I used to make vehicles and ships out of lego for my Kenner SW action figures. If Lego made minifigs then, I probably wouldn't have bothered with the Kenner ones.
  • bluemoosebluemoose Member Posts: 1,716
    edited November 2012
    y2josh said:

    ... if they released standalone minifigs?

    Lego have released standalone figs - chrome Vader, white Boba, ripped Maul, TC-14, etc - but these were all give away promotional items & never sold by Lego.

    Also, when Lego store employees broke up SW sets to go into grab bags, they were always supposed to remove all the licensed SW minifigs and dispose of them separately; this was also due to the license constraints. Agreed, it's all a bit mad, but welcome to the world of IPR protection, licensing & all that jazz.
  • BanditBandit Member Posts: 889
    ^^^ When you're paying millions of dollars in licensing fees, and it's a huge percentage of your business, yes, it's a big deal and you care. :)
  • y2joshy2josh Member Posts: 1,996
    I suppose I was more wondering if anyone in the history of ever has said, 'I really want that Slave Leia action figure, but this LEGO minifig is exactly the same, so there's really no reason for me to have both.'
    jamiew
  • BanditBandit Member Posts: 889
    I doubt hardcore nerdy collectors like us have, but I'm sure that would come into play with little kids who couldn't care less, or parents/relatives buying for kids. It would definitely have a negative effect on hasbro's bottom line.
    jamiew
  • richoricho Member Posts: 3,830
    I would say definitely no.
    1) minifigures help sell the sets, why would they undermine this strategy?
    2) Lego is primarily a construction toy, not an action figure, and if they move too much towards that, it changes the make up of the brand.
    3) contractually I imagine other companies have the rights to individual action figures.

    richo
  • mustnapmustnap Member Posts: 18
    sorry to revive such an old thread. I am seeing that Lego now sells individual Star Wars minifig - in polybags. Has something changed that they now sell it individually in polybags?
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,479
    I doubt it. This is a minor character in a promotional bag. Also Lego haven't sold it, TRU have. It could well be that they messed up.
  • binaryeyebinaryeye USMember Posts: 1,790
    mustnap said:

    I am seeing that Lego now sells individual Star Wars minifig - in polybags. Has something changed that they now sell it individually in polybags?

    Those are promotional items. They can't be bought individually except on the secondary market.
  • mountebankmountebank Member Posts: 1,237
    edited February 2014
    Although it's possible "They can't be bought individually" they can certainly be bought in pairs.
    alexwillegomatt
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,937
    edited February 2014
    Nothing says they can't sell some character figs that aren't/won't ever appear in sets. For example, they could (assuming they legally can) sell Galadriel, Faramir, Eowyn, etc. in their own little blister packs. I could see Lego charging $10 for each of them and them selling like hotcakes, aaaand fueling the purchase of the sets to get the other figures.
  • rancorbaitrancorbait Manitoba CanadaMember Posts: 1,842

    in their own little blister packs.

    Damn, I'd hate to have one of those! ;o)

    Lets go from a reseller's point of view. So, you have some expensive sets, with some very desirable figures, will you make more selling just the figures? Or the entire set? People 'have to have' those figures, and will very likely buy the set to get them.
Sign In or Register to comment.

Shopping at LEGO.com or Amazon?

Please use our links: LEGO.com Amazon

Recent discussions Categories Privacy Policy Brickset.com

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. Sign in or register to get started.

Brickset.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, the Amazon.com.ca, Inc. Associates Program and the Amazon EU Associates Programme, which are affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.