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putting lego pieces into pick a brick container that are not on the wall

for the past two years that i have been going to the lego stores in New Jersey, i see the stores promote new themes with a bin of pieces from those sets. some of these pieces i see in them are rare for me to get or i never even see on the lego shop pick a brick so i add them to the cup you would usually get from the wall.

At the one store i go to in paramus NJ never say anything when im grabbing a few from there and buy them but when i went to the other lego store in Elizabeth when i was taking a few pieces an employee told me i can only put pieces in the cup from the wall. i understand they have some of these set up for kids to play with when going to the store and i have seen others take pieces and do the same but i didnt know it wasnt allowed, i was wondering if anyone knows for sure you cant take pieces from those "promotion bins" i guess you can call them and i was also wondering what do they even do with those pieces once they are done promoting them and move on to the next theme?

Comments

  • coolpixcoolpix Member Posts: 357
    Not long ago, they used to put these pieces on "Grab Bags" and you could buy these bags full of mixed parts for about $7.99 if my mind serves me well. Now I don't know what they do with them.

    When Friends just came out, they had just dismantled one of those bins filled with pieces with the new colors, and I happened to be at the store on a Wednesday night near closing time filling some PAB cups when the store manager came to me and asked me if I wanted to get PAB cups filled with those parts, and I ended up getting two full cups filled with bright pink, dark purple, azure, light pink and lime green parts.
    murphquake
  • Zeldafanatic15Zeldafanatic15 Member Posts: 106
    I'm not exactly sure what you mean by promotional bin. Are you strictly speaking about taking pieces out of the play bins, like for instance, when they had a bin for kids to make a LOTR sword. Your store sounds like they are very lenient, but those aren't meant to be there for pick a brick, same with the build a minifigure display.
  • UmbratinkerUmbratinker Member Posts: 16
    i guess they are called play bins, i just called them promotional bins since at the stores i went to they seem to change out the pieces when they want to promote a theme like in may they had stuff from iron man and last week i saw they had some stuff from the airport theme.
  • LegobrandonCPLegobrandonCP CanadaMember Posts: 1,912
    coolpix said:

    Not long ago, they used to put these pieces on "Grab Bags" and you could buy these bags full of mixed parts for about $7.99 if my mind serves me well. Now I don't know what they do with them.

    Regarding Grab Bags, I was told by an employer that now, instead of putting the extra parts into bag and sold to customers, they will simply throw them in the trash. No, they do not donate or keep the parts in the back, they just dump them. So wasteful and sad, in my opinion.

    Sorry for going off topic OP, just felt like I needed to share that info.
  • UmbratinkerUmbratinker Member Posts: 16
    i cant believe they really throw them out now, i mean the last time i saw a grab bag was a year ago, that doesnt make sense when people are willing to buy them and all they have to do is put them in those plastic bags and put them on a shelf.
  • graphitegraphite USMember Posts: 3,262

    Regarding Grab Bags, I was told by an employer that now, instead of putting the extra parts into bag and sold to customers, they will simply throw them in the trash. No, they do not donate or keep the parts in the back, they just dump them. So wasteful and sad, in my opinion.

    Sorry for going off topic OP, just felt like I needed to share that info.

    In the US, what used to be grab bag parts is supposed to be sent back in and is used by the LUG/event coordinator when parts are requested for "play" events. Our LUG has gotten a few boxes sent to us for event purposes and fits the type of stuff that would have been in grab bags. Mostly the standard bricks and random bits you find on the walls in the colors most commonly seen there plus some random dismantled sets.
  • coolpixcoolpix Member Posts: 357
    edited October 2013

    Regarding Grab Bags, I was told by an employer that now, instead of putting the extra parts into bag and sold to customers, they will simply throw them in the trash. No, they do not donate or keep the parts in the back, they just dump them. So wasteful and sad, in my opinion.

    It is really sad. However, I've worked as a Store Manager for GamesStop in the past, and every now and then, corporate would request us to throw magazines, game guides and certain games on the trash, specially PC games, or games returned as defective (most of "defective returns" were actually in perfect shape), and after shrinking them from the stock, we would leave them in a box near the store's back door to be thrown away.

    If some employee decided to grab those and take them away, we would not stop them from doing so, since the product was not part of the store's inventory anymore. I imagine, if they are indeed throwing such parts away, someone if getting them before they actually go into the dumpster.

  • GIR3691GIR3691 Member Posts: 664
    graphite said:

    Our LUG has gotten a few boxes sent to us for event purposes and fits the type of stuff that would have been in grab bags. Mostly the standard bricks and random bits you find on the walls in the colors most commonly seen there plus some random dismantled sets.

    Same here.
  • SirKevbagsSirKevbags Fairy Land Member Posts: 4,030
    I understand that at some UK stores the staff are given them to take home and wash before they are given to local community groups.
  • princedravenprincedraven Essex, UKMember Posts: 3,768

    i was wondering if anyone knows for sure you cant take pieces from those "promotion bins" i guess you can call them and i was also wondering what do they even do with those pieces once they are done promoting them and move on to the next theme?

    To answer your question, no, you should not be taking pieces from the 'play bins' to fill up PAB cups. PAB cups should be filled with elements from the wall. Sounds like paramus were either just turning a blind eye or didn't know how to tell you that you shouldn't be doing that.
    The play bricks are for the children to use to build using those pieces.
    The pieces from these areas (and models that are broken down) do not just go in the bin, and I have first hand experience of them being passed to children centres etc.

    Hope that helps :-)
    SirKevbagsPhoneboothchromedigimadforLEGO
  • margotmargot Member Posts: 2,310

    for the past two years that i have been going to the lego stores in New Jersey, i see the stores promote new themes with a bin of pieces from those sets.

    When do they the monthly themed Lego kid's clubs (Sat am before store opens) they open several new sets for parts so I imagine this might be a source of what you have been finding.
    Since these are new sets there is a good chance you could buy the elements online at the Bricks and Pieces selection.

  • prevereprevere North of Bellville, East of Heartlake, South of Bricksburg, West of Ninjago City Member Posts: 2,896
    At my Brand Store in the midwest, I was told by an employee that nearly all the window display models are destroyed. Very strict rules about that.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,554
    The models are destroyed, or the bricks in the models are destroyed?
  • chromedigichromedigi Member Posts: 344
    When I asked at my local stores a while back about the demise of Grab Bags, I was told that they had been ordered to send the parts back to corporate, apparently to be "recycled," whatever that meant.
  • graphitegraphite USMember Posts: 3,262
    ^ That "recycling" as far as I know is by providing them to groups using them for community events.
  • mrseatlemrseatle Member Posts: 410
    Based on my experiences in "Loss Prevention", I estimate about 80% goes to the trash compactor, the rest goes to theiving employees or charity. Dark Side of Retail... The stuff (in some cases) is technically still property of The Lego Group, (and often) costs cents on the dollar. I've seen some situations where it actually cost them to give it away, so it is cheaper to toss it.

    But yeah, those bins are not for use with pick a brick wall. Have seen many people sneak parts and minifigs in. Most have their kids with them too. And since they are usually sneaking it in, i assume they know it is wrong. The Sales Associate is always polite and ignores it.
  • murphquakemurphquake Member Posts: 651
    TLG cited concerns with grab bags based on changes in US toy safety & labeling laws. Play brick is not supposed to be mixed with other products (PAB wall elements should not be in play brick, nor should any minifig parts or accessories, especially those from Build A Minifig) When the playbrick is changed for a new theme or new bricks are received apparently the stores have been told to throw it out, as shipping dozens of stores worth of random product back to ??(CT?) for ?? just doesn't seem like it's worth the trouble. Donating used brick to charities is not acceptable as they can not guarantee it's clean & sanitary, what pieces are present & age appropriate, and the general quality standards TLG has upheld for so long. All of this makes sense to me from a viewpoint of protecting both TLG & the consumer, even if it does make me miss grab bags, especially as many were from returned opened sets that couldn't be resold, but otherwise had pristine and interesting pieces.
  • Poisso3Poisso3 Member Posts: 196
    I talked to one of the workers at my local Lego Store and he actually complained to me about kids stealing the bricks that are in the play bins. I've never thought to ask what happens to the bricks when they change them out. I think I'll do that the next time I go.

    As for adding those pieces to the pick a brick bucket, I wouldn't see where it was a problem considering you are still paying for the bricks...unlike the kids I was told about who are just openly stealing them.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,554
    Poisso3 said:


    As for adding those pieces to the pick a brick bucket, I wouldn't see where it was a problem considering you are still paying for the bricks...unlike the kids I was told about who are just openly stealing them.

    You are paying for them, but you should not be able to buy them that way. Same with minifig parts from the BAM stations. They get cross if you try filling up a cup with those too (I've seen it done).
  • Poisso3Poisso3 Member Posts: 196
    CCC said:

    Poisso3 said:


    As for adding those pieces to the pick a brick bucket, I wouldn't see where it was a problem considering you are still paying for the bricks...unlike the kids I was told about who are just openly stealing them.

    You are paying for them, but you should not be able to buy them that way. Same with minifig parts from the BAM stations. They get cross if you try filling up a cup with those too (I've seen it done).
    Not that I would, nor let my children do so, but I did have the thought after I posted what I did of people putting minifigure parts in their bucket. I wonder how often that actually happens...

    Also, I am not advacating that one should use the play bins as additional PaB areas. Paying for the bricks are better than walking out with out paying for them.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,554
    I saw a kid put a couple of handfuls of minifig parts into a cup a couple of weeks back, the rest of which was bricks from the PAB wall. I wasn't in store long enough to see if he managed to buy it. I have seen someone try to buy an entire cup full of minifig parts, and that was refused.

    Mind you, I have also seen a kid put handfuls of parts into his pockets too. Right in front of a store worker.
  • UmbratinkerUmbratinker Member Posts: 16
    whenever I stop at the lego store and I see they changed out the parts in the play bin I always like to go through it to see what new parts are in there, I mean the legos on the wall never really seem to change out too much and I guess I get this fun feeling looking through them finding cool pieces. for example two weeks ago when I went to the lego store I found a white bicycle which I though was really cool which I added to my PAB cup, and also some galaxy squad stuff like these little alien worms or the green egg shaped pods.

    some pieces like that are awesome to find and I have searched on the lego shop pick a brick website and have not them on there. its difficult not to buy pieces like that, especially since most of you say they have to throw them out since it would cost more to give away or to send back to factory for recycle.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,554
    ^ Or they could have been played with by a kid at the play bin. That is what they are there for.
    princedravenbeemo
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,667
    It is a crying shame that LEGO sits there and talks about ending discounts and all sorts of other things, but then tells their stores to chuck out the parts for complete sets in the trash. I mean they cannot give them away in a raffle or something? It is just so bizarre that they have to trash them.
    I hope they are at least throwing them in a recycle bin or something and not becoming more landfill (That is if LEGO can be recycled).
    Heck you would think LEGO would want them back if anything to reduce and reuse the plastic itself if they could do it, it would save them a bit of money at least.
    TheLoneTensor
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,554


    I hope they are at least throwing them in a recycle bin or something and not becoming more landfill (That is if LEGO can be recycled).
    Heck you would think LEGO would want them back if anything to reduce and reuse the plastic itself if they could do it, it would save them a bit of money at least.

    Maybe it varies from country to country, but as noted above they do get donated to children's centres in the UK.

    Recycling is not always an option and doesn't necessarily save money. First you have the problem with transportation. Transportation costs of small amounts from lots of places will likely be more than the raw ABS is worth. It is possible to melt and reuse ABS, but there is a problem with the dye. Even if they used the mixed lego for new black lego, it still would not be the same as real lego black. Unless you are advocating sorting of recyced lego into the individual colours, which again is probably going to cost more than it is worth.
  • LegoMom1LegoMom1 Member Posts: 652

    coolpix said:

    Not long ago, they used to put these pieces on "Grab Bags" and you could buy these bags full of mixed parts for about $7.99 if my mind serves me well. Now I don't know what they do with them.

    Regarding Grab Bags, I was told by an employer that now, instead of putting the extra parts into bag and sold to customers, they will simply throw them in the trash. No, they do not donate or keep the parts in the back, they just dump them. So wasteful and sad, in my opinion.

    Sorry for going off topic OP, just felt like I needed to share that info.
    If this is true, I can just see the future thread topic now. "How many AFOLs have gone dumpster diving for Lego, and what was your best find?" ;)

  • Wil348Wil348 Member Posts: 240
    As people have said, the UK stores do clean them and send them to children's centers which I think is a very kind and generous thing to do.

    I absolutely detest the US way of doing it though, throwing out perfectly good LEGO when an employee could just give the pieces a wash (a 15 minute task at the most) and then give them to children's centers or even charities.

  • UmbratinkerUmbratinker Member Posts: 16
    Wil348 said:

    As people have said, the UK stores do clean them and send them to children's centers which I think is a very kind and generous thing to do.

    is it only the UK stores that do that or all the Europe lego stores?

  • Wil348Wil348 Member Posts: 240

    Wil348 said:

    As people have said, the UK stores do clean them and send them to children's centers which I think is a very kind and generous thing to do.

    is it only the UK stores that do that or all the Europe lego stores?

    I'm actually not sure about that, I'll have to check. However I believe the European stores are run on the same frequency as the UK stores, as the UK is part of Europe, so they might do.

  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,554
    I don't see why they need clearing out anyway. Just leave them in the bins as parts will disappear through natural wastage (ie. kids nicking them).
  • margotmargot Member Posts: 2,310
    You know, I just remembered that my son was really unhappy about making a club build and not being allowed to take it home. But they did allow us to buy it as PAB. So sometimes it is allowed.
  • Wil348Wil348 Member Posts: 240
    edited October 2013
    CCC said:

    I don't see why they need clearing out anyway. Just leave them in the bins as parts will disappear through natural wastage (ie. kids nicking them).

    But there is a slight problem there. If the bricks are left there for a long period of time, they could collect a very high number of germs, and this could potentially make children very sick.

    Plus it would be better to wash them and hive them away to playgroups, as that would be giving unneeded bricks a use.

    Think of it like recycling the bricks, but not melting them. The thought of melting LEGO fills me with horror, but then again, I'm sure any other FOL would feel the same way!

  • AleyditaAleydita BelgiumMember Posts: 865
    Surely they need to clean the bricks regularly anyway?
  • LegoBrickSteveLegoBrickSteve Member Posts: 43
    All this side-talk about what happens to display parts aside; I would like to comment on the original post RE: putting LEGO pieces into pick a brick container that are not on the wall

    Are you serious?

    How could you honestly not know better?

    LEGO Stores have a Pick-A-Brick Wall and make it pretty obvious what the rules are and that those are the designated pieces meant for those cups and that promotion.

    The custom minifigure build areas have their own packaging and rules as well. What on earth would make you think it is ok to just go around the store and stuff whatever you want into a Pick-A-Brick Cup?

    Abusing the system like that is going to cause places like the LEGO Store to be less fun to shop at because they’ll be forced to eliminate features like Pick-A-Brick all together because people get greedy and refuse to use common sense.

    Don’t ruin it for everybody else. Just because they don’t have a sign posted specifically telling you not to do something doesn’t mean that you should. Play by the rules like everyone else and stick to what’s on the wall like a mature consumer and not some pickpocket. Sneaking pieces that aren’t on the wall is tantamount to stealing. Bottom line.
    PaperballparkSarahIsabellaCanuck26
  • nonexnonex Member Posts: 15
    Surely the original post answers it's own question.

    i was wondering if anyone knows for sure you cant take pieces from those [bins]

    I know exactly who would know that - the employees of the store. Seeing as they have already given you an answer why bother coming to a forum to ask for a second opinion? The bricks are property of LEGO and LEGO representatives are the only ones in the position to give you permission to take them.

    That said, I'm sure if you asked nicely, under the right circumstances some employees may make an exception.

    Canuck26
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