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LEGO Stickers

clundsbergclundsberg Member Posts: 44
edited April 2012 in Collecting
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I know many (if not seemingly the majority) of people on here are sticker haters. I just want to make a few statements and try to understand if this is purely an adult thing.

After building set 7948 Outpost Attack (now on sale at Target for $15 - target is having a big sale on Legos) I can totally see how annoying some stickers can be. After all they *used* to print bricks on these castle pieces and that made them seem more quality. So did they do stickers so that you could choose to NOT put them on and make the pieces more useable in rebuilds or is this a cheap out? Again, I get the annoyance.

Is this any reason to be a full-on sticker hater though? Some of the more quality stickers with the clear base actually enhance the product and fit perfectly on the plates or bricks, I love these! The police helicopter came with bi-lingual stickers. I thought that was pretty neat! Maybe it's because I grew up building models where you had to delicately attach decals after soaking them in water (now *that's* a pain) or maybe it's because as a kid we used to collect stickers and have books full of garbage Pail kids, scratch n sniff and oil stickers that changed colours when you pressed upon them. Who didn't like those secret stickers that transformers weilded letting you know if they were a spy or not?

I guess my point is that Legos, according to the ages printed on the box, are meant to be a building toy for kids and kids love stickers (last time I checked the polls among household 6 year olds) BUT I do think Lego can improve upon them and make them fun again. Why not bring back those cool hologram stickers back like 6899 - Nebula Outpost? Or give us lenticular stickers? Some sets even had magnetic stickers. Better yet, why not make scratch n sniff stickers so that my Lego semi-truck can actually smell like diesel :)

ok - I can sleep at night now
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Comments

  • collect_thatcollect_that Kidderminster, EnglandMember Posts: 1,327
    edited April 2011
    I HATE stickers, it doesn't put me off buying a set and if I can get away with using them I will. Being a perfectionist I always try my best to line them up accordingly and if a set is going in to my Town layout stickers are always applied. But also as a collector I prefer to keep a fresh set of stickers un-applied!

    Does anyone know how I can get replica stickers for sets instead of buying of ebay. OR find someone who can print my stickers on to bricks??
  • MatthewMatthew Cheshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 3,714
    Lego Customer Service.
    I always buy a duplicate sheet for every set I buy.
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    ^ How much does a duplicate sheet usually cost?
  • TalasAntaresTalasAntares Member Posts: 124
    I'm not a "purist" collector, but I don't use any stickers with my Lego anymore...I keep them in a bag with the set instructions, that way if I would ever (unlikely) decide to sell the set it would at least be complete.
    Back when I was younger I would actually make my own stickers out of adhesive labels, and some bricks in my collection still show the residue from these.
  • MatthewMatthew Cheshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 3,714
    @brickmatic
    Usually under 50p, and depending on who you speak to on the phone, sometimes they give them out for free!
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    ^ Thanks!
  • CrackseedCrackseed Member Posts: 90
    I have a sticker related question to pose to all of you folks - while I don't like how many we have to use now, I understand why they do stickers and it does give us alot more variety on the pieces. Still, the reason I hate stickers is because of how irritating applying them gets, and more importantly - I always suffer from perfectionist syndrome which inevitably gets spoiled because fingerprints show.

    Any of you have suggestions on how to avoid that? I always wash my hands before I go to apply the stickers, but like with my recent Galactic Enforcer build - a big sticker goes on the sloping black pieces near the cockpit and sure enough, on the edge of the sticker you can see the light fingerprint outline from where the adhesive picked it up - despite me cleaning my hands thoroughly. I mean hell I'm actually pondering using gloves so I can avoid that as I find it just looks ugly :\
  • GalactusGalactus NLMember Posts: 260
    ^ @Crackseed, you can read this topic for some tips: http://www.bricksetforum.com/discussion/229/stickers-ugh/
  • CrackseedCrackseed Member Posts: 90
    Ooo, thank you Galactus - I hadn't noticed that :)
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,336
    Back in the good old days (before the first stickers were introduced in the early 1970s... TLG came out with a pack of 7 or 8 printed 1x6 and 1x8 bricks... one for each country. Here is an image of a Dutch 1958 glued LEGO display model (also seen in Chapter 33 - LEGO Printed, Papered and Painted Parts of my LEGO CD) that shows the Dutch printed bricks....

    Cheers,
    Gary Istok

    image
  • indy1973indy1973 Member Posts: 70
    edited April 2011
    "Sigaretten"? Cigarette signs on a toy? Yup, those were the Good Old Days! ;)
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,336
    They had TOBAK, TABAK, TABAC, TABACCHI, TUPAKKAA and SIGARETTEN depending on the continental European language (with TUPAKKAA (Finnish) being the rarest). Ironically only USA/Canada, Britain and Australia did NOT have a tobacco related named beam.

    The coolest named beam of all was a double sided sign (red embossed signage) for the 308 Fire Station Set of 1958-62 (not found in Brickset DB)... those for the Belgian version of the 308 set had BRANDWEER (Flemish) on one side, and POMPIERS (French) on the other side of the white 1x8 brick. I'm still trying to determine the existence of a double sided Swiss 308 sign... which should read FEUERWEHR (German) and POMPIERS.

    The UK 308 signs has FIRE STATION.
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,336
    As has been stated before... using stickers is great if you're going to leave the model assembled FOREVER... and I can understand the frustration with trying to reuse them.

    But my all time favorite sticker is from Spider Man's Doc Ock's Hideout... the sticker sheet for the 1x4x5 windows... which turn a large blank gray window into "sash" windows... a very pleasing design... that is great for Georgian or Neo-Classic architecture.

    http://www.bricklink.com/catalogItemPic.asp?P=4856stk01

    These 7 stickers produce some nice "18 over 18" sash windows. It's just too bad that they weren't produced in other common window colours (red, white... etc.).

    Here's an example of a nice Georgian mansion with these type of windows...
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sash_window

    And the nice thing with window stickers is that you need not remove them when disassembling the model.
  • CrackseedCrackseed Member Posts: 90
    I think when you're looking at a set where the printed pieces may be very much a one-on situation, it makes sense. I think the more aggravating problem with stickers is some of the pieces you need to place them on OR the sticker shape itself. A set like the Alien Conquest Tripod Invader would not look anywhere as awesome without said stickers - and those stickers are awesome to apply versus the god awful stickers for the ARC-170. I'm going to have to order yet another sheet because those window decals do NOT play nice at all. I just wish they'd try to use printed bricks for some items instead of just automatically going to stickers everytime :\
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,727
    Why are stickers horrible ? Well, where to begin ?

    OK, for starters, there's little worse than a sticker which fits over multiple pieces - you can't use the pieces for anything else, you can't ever fully dissassemble the set, and the join between the adjacent pieces means the stickers often don't lie flat. Is there anything more anti-lego in literally sticking pieces together so they can't be pulled apart and reused ? It's sacrilege.
  • wagnerml2wagnerml2 Belleville, IllinoisMember Posts: 1,376
    I have never really been a pure sticker hater until I recently built my first copy of the Maersk train. a total pain from the size, number of and multi-brick stickers. I usually use a Xacto knife to remove stickers and replace if they don't stick straight the first time. I mangled so many stickers in this set that I had to call Lego for a replacement sheet.

    While I understand many who like the felxibility of using ALL their bricks and elements in MOCs, but I usually find that the few bricks and elements you lose with stickers are worth the satisfaction of having the final model decorated appropriately. However, the Maersk Train was a nightmare.

    Stickers have ALWAYS been a part of lego. I go back to my 1980 idea book which had a GREAT sticker sheet. The stickers on the original yellow castle were great too. However, while TLG could never TOTALLY get away from stickers, I would like to see them getting back to the old printed bricks, even if it meant an extra dollar or two on the particular sets that use printed bricks heavily.
  • CrackseedCrackseed Member Posts: 90
    Why are stickers horrible ? Well, where to begin ?

    OK, for starters, there's little worse than a sticker which fits over multiple pieces - you can't use the pieces for anything else, you can't ever fully dissassemble the set, and the join between the adjacent pieces means the stickers often don't lie flat. Is there anything more anti-lego in literally sticking pieces together so they can't be pulled apart and reused ? It's sacrilege.
    Well thankfully the amount of times they use multi-piece stickers is VERY rare. I think the only set I own that even uses that is the Exo Force Defense Tank. But I would say they need to NEVER do that again for sure. It's just bad design IMO.
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,727
    edited May 2011
    STAMPS (Stickers Across Multiple Pieces, I think) are a longstanding complaint of the LEGO community, but I get the feeling that LEGO have been listening to the complaints. A few years ago this practice was occurring with abandon, but now LEGO are thankfully adopting the practice much more rarely....
  • vynsanevynsane Member Posts: 179
    edited May 2011
    ^ I think this has been addressed, I've not seen any STAMPs in any of the modern sets I've bought. The only one I have that had this was the Sopwith Camel set from 2001. While I agree that practice is annoying, it's nary a concern anymore.

    I can see both sides of the issue - sticker sheets can be bent, stickers can be hard/annoying to apply (especially on transparent pieces - having air bubbles, dust or hairs underneath them is especially grating). They're not as elegant looking as printing. They're hard to remove/reuse (it can be done, but it's difficult).

    Printed pieces can only be used in certain cases where the printing works. The printing can fade, especially on slopes that have rough textures. They aren't as varied as stickers because of the expense/time it takes to create them.

    I think the best solution, which TLG should really look into, would be to print vinyl cling stickers - they wouldn't permanently mar the pieces they're used on, could be removed and reapplied as many times as desired, and look just as good as stickers.

    There's actually a small business that someone created when their child was frustrated by the stickers in their brick construction sets - "BrickStix"

    http://www.brickstix.com/

    They're rather generic, but it's a cool idea. I wonder if they're making any money off it.
  • CrackseedCrackseed Member Posts: 90
    Actually that's my only other main complaint about sticker sheets is the way they get packed. With my ARC-170, I had to actually ask them for a replacement sheet straight away because the stickers were so badly bent 3 of them had creases and would not apply properly. They need to start packing the manual/stickers together [seriously - put the sticker sheet in the manual] and then a small piece of cardboard to keep it all straight in the box with a thin wrapping to avoid these issues. It's aggravating to have to wait the week+ for replacement process to kick in so you can finish your set.
  • vynsanevynsane Member Posts: 179
    ^ They've actually started packing the instructions and sticker sheets in a ziplock-style bag with a rigid cardboard backing in many newer sets. The first one I received with this treatment was 10213 'Shuttle Adventure' but it's been cropping up in other sets, even smaller ones.
  • CrackseedCrackseed Member Posts: 90
    Hooray. None of the AC sets that I've unboxed have had this, so I wasn't aware of that :)
  • wagnerml2wagnerml2 Belleville, IllinoisMember Posts: 1,376
    @vynsane - The Maersk train uses STAMP stickers on the front nose of the locomotive. While there would be no other way to get the art on the bricks (priting might be too confusing), they could have made the set even better by printing on the bricks in other areas of the train that weren't STAMP related.
  • dmm32552dmm32552 Member Posts: 47
    The worst stickers I ever had to apply were on the Flying Wing from Indiana Jones. Absolutely TERRIBLE. If you don't apply them perfectly (which is a very difficult task), it looks like garbage.
  • vynsanevynsane Member Posts: 179
    edited May 2011
    ^^ Ah, I stand corrected. I wouldn't have otherwise known about the STAMPs on the Maersk train as I'm not anticipating having the expendable income to acquire one ;)
  • pizzathehutpizzathehut Member Posts: 1
    Hey vynsane! I'm from BrickStix, thanks for the shoutout! The themes we started with are rather broad, but we have some in the works for the older audience. Stay tuned! We'll be at BrickWorld Chicago this June, if anyone will be there to check us out. We appreciate the feedback. Thanks!
  • clundsbergclundsberg Member Posts: 44
    The one STAMP issue I've had was with the helicopter from the TV Reporter (Outback series) so I do agree that it's rare and while I too have had some bend stickers, that more a packaging issue which is sounds like they are fixing. Any time I've had a sticker offset, I found that applying enough pressure with my finger can actually move it into place. I do like the concept of a vinyl decal and as I said before I wish the stickers had a more intricate function like the hologram ones did.
  • trypticontrypticon Member Posts: 61
    The only set I have personally put the stickers onto was the Grand Carousel, and only on the pieces reaching from the base to the top. I refused to put them on the gold plate decorations around the top of the model in order to avoid getting any of them off center slightly and ruining the look of the carousel while running.

    But the stickers I did place onto it did end up connecting two pieces for life each time they were applied. It really would have been nice to have had them printed on instead of stuck on, but I don't see Lego stamping a piece with a reflective print such as the one the stickers provide.

    I much rather prefer the printed pieces over the stickers, if for no other reason than the printed pieces usually had the printing centered, while applying a sticker always runs the chance that there may be some misallignment, which may result in a torn sticker if when I try to fix it.
  • vynsanevynsane Member Posts: 179
    @pizzathehut - Hi! No problem, I like the concept very much and look forward to your future offerings!
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,336
    Stickers and STAMPS do have their place in the world of LEGO. But starting in 1955, when the first printed LEGO bricks (named beams) came out, these highly collectible bricks were a great way to enhance your LEGO town. By the early 1970s LEGO stickers were introduced, and by 1975, the LEGO printed bricks were mainly history.

    That's too bad, because you can take apart and rebuild your models with named beams, without the fuss that are required for reusing LEGO stickers.

    Below are 5 sets of named beams, which were sold in LEGO parts pack #226 from the mid 1950s until 1965. They are 1960s French (upper left), 1960s Italian (upper right), 1950s German (middle left), 1960s German (middle right), and 1950s Danish (bottom). These images are from my Unofficial LEGO Sets/Parts Collectors Guide - Chapter 33 - Printed and Painted LEGO Elements.... as is the 2nd image... a vast array of many of the named beams produced from 1955-75.
  • jwsmartjwsmart Member Posts: 298
    @clundsberg - I remember the magnetic stickers being a very poor substitute for the actual magnets. They were also a bit thick, so the edges began to wear a long time before any of the printed pieces started wearing out.
  • clundsbergclundsberg Member Posts: 44
    @jwsmart - I was a bit older when I received those magnet sticker sets so I haven't experienced any edge fraying. I don't doubt it though. For me they were also on very thin Lego pieces, so the magnet app worked well. Getting a few light scratches on th ehologram ones just from storage though, so unfortunately they dulled a little. I still like them though.
  • WillhornerWillhorner Member Posts: 36
    edited February 2012
    I've seen a lot of comments regarding the dislike for TLGs move to more stickers and less sprinted pieces in their sets. I've never been a fan of stickers, so I've always scanned in the sticker sheets with my sets and printed micro dry decals on waterslide paper then applied those to the set, coated it with gloss or satin krylon, then use the piece as normal, making it look almost exactly like printed brick. Does anyone else go to all this trouble? or anything similar?
  • bluelion3bluelion3 Member Posts: 156
    I don't even use them. I think it must be hereditary. My two year old son received a free Mega-Bloks set that had stickers. My wife put the stickers on the set, but my son was upset and pulled all of the stickers off it!
  • TalasAntaresTalasAntares Member Posts: 124
    I don't use stickers either...just personal preference.
  • JasenJasen Member Posts: 283
    I just keep all my stickers in a bag. I've never used them. Don't really see the need to. :)
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,825
    I buy a further five or six copies of the stickers for each of the sets that use them. I apply one to complete the intended look of the model and put the rest for away for each of the next five decades!!
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,825
    ^ And just following up, for the licensed sets of which are too old (and expensive) to obtain multiples, I began to go down the same road as @Willhorner and purchased the waterslide paper. It wasn't until I'd scanned in the sheets from set numbers 10019, 7191 and 10129 (which use a transparent backing) did I realise just how much hard work it was going to be to 'mask' the transparent part of the scan. There's probably a button to click in Photoshop that will do it automatically? Have you come across this problem @Willhorner ?
  • macmonmacmon Member Posts: 80
    Because prices keep adjusting up and then they still place stickers.
  • WillhornerWillhorner Member Posts: 36
    I cheat. I scan the sheet for archive, then i pull the stickers and apply them to a piece of paper that is a color not in the stickers. then scan that paper and set that color to transparent.
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,825
    ^ I'm not sure I can bring myself to tamper with $100 sticker sheets. Good idea though.
  • chakinochakino Member Posts: 159
    where do u buy additional sticker sheets and how much are they normally ?
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,825
    ^ If they're licensed, I buy through Bricklink. If not, then from TLG Customer Services. Bricklink can be anything from $0.30 - $100. TLG - between $0.20 - $2.

    For obvious reasons, for those at $100, I only have one spare of each set.
  • WillhornerWillhorner Member Posts: 36
    if your willing to cut them out i can produce waterslide sheets for considerably less than that with a good scan.
    Right now for the 9 or 10 people i build with i actually make the printed brick itself. we all hit the lego store and buy the sets, then order dupes of the parts that need stickers on bricklnk. I apply the decals and coat them and bring them completed "printed" bricks.
    Hadn't really though about doing it larger scale, but If there is enough interest i can produce either waterslide sheets or sets of bricks for specific sets.(i'll need either scans, or scans an bricks) for a small amount (5 or 6 bucks above cost of bricks). but it would need to be very clear that i'm not selling the decals or the bricks, just the use of the printer to produce them (i wouldn't want to cross any legal boundaries).
  • MatthewMatthew Cheshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 3,714
    Would you be able to print and apply torso decals @Willhorner?
  • WillhornerWillhorner Member Posts: 36
    edited August 2011
    well... sure, but there are a number of people who do that already. The best I've seen is
    http://www.fineclonier.com/
    he has even written a book on the subject. The minifig customization community is very active on their forums. great stuff!
  • achillespdxachillespdx Member Posts: 106
    ^Where do you get your water slide paper from? What brand, type, etc? And do you use inkjet or laser? I'm working on a light-rail vehicle that is going to need graphics applied to it and I don't know what to use yet.

    Thanks!
  • WillhornerWillhorner Member Posts: 36
    micro mark. Thinnest , highest quality paper I've found.

    I dont use either inkjet or laser. I have a Micro dry printer. Its water fast, and allows me to print white and metallic.
  • achillespdxachillespdx Member Posts: 106
    ^I just wikipedia'd MicroDry... holy crap, I want one! Sounds awesome!
  • woogwoog Member Posts: 1
    Hiya all,

    I only sarted buying LEGO sets for my children (okay... more myself) this year, we have purchased over 50 sets, I do not agree the stickers over printing, but I definitely like the sets to have the stickers on them, so have used them all up.

    Wish I had read this forum before, as I would have scanned them first...

    So my question to all of you experts is how do I get doubles (replacement) stickers sheets for all these recent sets. What would be the best way to approach Lego without having to fill in a form for each set...?

    Is there a fan site which holds scans of all the stickers, or even better is there a third party who creates copies of original sticker sheets?
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