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Monthly Mini Model Build (MMMB) Program Is Ending

DadsAFOLDadsAFOL USAMember Posts: 614
Sad news to report, but the LBR monthly in-store build for kids is coming to an end with the December 2014 gingerbread house as the grand finale. Apparently the program became a victim of its own success, drawing crowds of hundreds of kids to stores that only hold about 50 people at a time. I imagine that this isn't the shopping experience that LBR is trying to promote, and I wouldn't be surprised if people (especially us here in America) over the 6 years began to treat it as an entitlement - showing up every month to get the freebie and never spending a dollar in the store. So the MMMB program is being phased out. Rumor is that 2015 will bring something more "activity-based" for kids, most likely available for an extended period to spread out the crowds. I think we will see details emerge by the beginning of December when the January calendar is published.

The first store mini build in December 2008 was a very simple snowman #MMMB001 that only had 11 pieces. Seems no one managed a scan of the official instructions, but there is a recreation here if you want to build your own. There have been 81 models over the 6 years, with an occasional double month and a couple of months where Europe and North America had different models in a given month. You can view the Brickset MMMB category to see them all.
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Comments

  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,592
    I'm not surprised. And to be honest I think having "free play", available all the time, is better than having to queue and then getting rammed into a small space (with the possibility of not getting in at all).
  • SirKevbagsSirKevbags Fairy Land Member Posts: 4,030
    Well as a regular visitor this is a disappointment. Although considering we lost the Club meetings in the UK this isn't that much of a surprise.

    I can only speak for the Leeds store but it never felt rammed and because of the brilliant staff it was always very much an event. A decision made by the number crunchers most likely because unless they are all lying to me the troops on the ground really enjoyed it.
    Craigster10
  • dannyrwwdannyrww WisconsinMember Posts: 1,330
    :(
  • dannyrwwdannyrww WisconsinMember Posts: 1,330
    This has been a big monthly family event for my family since the Lego store came to Milwaukee. We have all of the builds they have made on display at our home.
    RomanticWarrior
  • Poisso3Poisso3 Member Posts: 196
    We only started doing the monthly builds last year and I know my daughter will be saddened to hear that there will no longer be any more starting next year. I am not surprised for the same reasons listed above. Our location in StL was crazy; long line and parents/kids who could not follow directions. We never would build in the store because of the number of people inside the store was overwhelming.

    I hope whatever replaces it here in Germany is just as fun for the kids but not as crazy. ; )
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,592
    edited November 2014
    Also a quick look on BL shows that there are at least 300-400 of them for sale, brand new, sometimes at $10-20 each. I don't know if reselling of them has had an affect on the decision, but it does seem a bit off that some people are collecting them just to resell.
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    And in fairness people regularly put them up as trade fodder here.
  • legogallegogal USMember Posts: 755
    edited November 2014
    Very sad to hear this! My favorite was the pink flamingo of August 2013. It was my Mom's favorite decorating theme, and she would have been 90 that month, but passed away that May.

    Could they keep on making them and just sell one set each month like a regular stocked item in the stores and online for 5US each? That way there would not be a huge resellers' opportunity and those of us who adore these sets could more easily get them. No reason to make them a freebie; just make them more accessible. We all need little gift or party favor sets at one time or another, and these are flat out wonderful and have made many depressed folks smile. Especially our non-AFOL friends.

    @cheshirecat‌: I don't think that you meant to denigrate or knock these sets, but it could be interpreted that way. If they sometimes are traded to folks who want them more, what is wrong with that? Just about every set is traded, and we all like different sets. I am sure that there are some of them that you have built and probably display somewhere? Which one was your favorite? Granted a few of them were not that exciting, but that were still very cool little builds, and lots of families loved this event.
    LegoKip
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    Nope, no denigration intended and yes I've had both the pirate and the owl on display at various times - rather I was pointing out that the difference between taking freebies meant for kids from LEGO, keeping them sealed and trading them here is little different from doing the same and selling them on ebay. (Although I know they were often given out to AFOLs after the event and sometimes in numbers).
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,592
    legogal said:


    Could they keep on making them and just sell one set each month like a regular stocked item in the stores and online for 5US each?

    I'm not sure it would be cost effective to make these into proper sets for sale but only have them available for a month.

    I also wonder if there is a labelling problem again (like grab bags but not quite as extreme). As each one would need certification that it could be sold as a toy.
  • prevereprevere North of Bellville, East of Heartlake, South of Bricksburg, West of Ninjago City Member Posts: 2,876
    It was also frustrating this was off-limits for AFOLs. No kid. No dice. (At least at my store).

    And it was offered in a short window of time for a couple hours for just one day. If they just had these as sealed polys available for say, $4, to everyone (with limits) that would have solved the issue, rather than canceling the whole thing.
  • mr_bennmr_benn United KingdomMember Posts: 832
    Until the Lego Movie, I regularly was able to pick up these sets days after the events by just asking nicely in store when I was getting other stuff... ever since then though the Watford store has always run out on the day! Some great little sets though - have to agree with @legogal that the flamingo was one of the best!
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,592
    tamamahm said:

    I don't thinks that was the point, though. I think the point was to provide an activity for kids and families to get them in store.

    I reckon that was the original intention too, but it probably wasn't working. There is no point getting people in store if there are not increased sales due to the promo (and they probably measure it on the day).
    tamamahm said:


    I see their reason as yet another way to remove discounts and freebies and reseller avenues.

    Or to stop doing something they no longer feel is worth the cost. If they do not get increased sales on the day, then they probably deem that a failure.
    tamamahm said:


    Overall, though, the result of all these removal of items, is that I am buying far fewer sets than past years and being very choosy.

    I'm sure many of us feel the same way, yet their overall sales seem to be up. No doubt it is just not on the day of the promotion though.

  • oldtodd33oldtodd33 Denver 4800 miles to BillundMember Posts: 2,407
    They might have done better if they hadn't put the event at dinner time and on a school night when homework takes priority.
    margot
  • Gooker1Gooker1 Member Posts: 590
    I can totally understand them going away with this project. It became a hassle w/ the stores and the malls. Too many people crammed into a store where only a very small % of families actually buying anything. They would just take the freebie and call it a day.

    Plus I know regular shoppers would find it too crazy to even go into the store if they saw that many kids running around unattended. Not all families are like that, but I've seen some nightmares there.

    It sucks for those that truly enjoyed the builds w/ their kids and what not, but that small % of people isn't enough to keep this up.
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,941
    oldtodd33 said:

    They might have done better if they hadn't put the event at dinner time and on a school night when homework takes priority.

    Huh? The event was always packed, despite it being a school night. The issue was never lack of people attending.


    CCC, yes, I can also state many of the same points you made... as said, that was my cynical response, so my focus was on that. ;-) I presume here are many reasons they are stopping it, but I honestly would not be surprised that some are due to the elements I mentioned.

    Yes, their overall sales are up, so really they do not need the promos. The reality is they are out of the recession that hit, so moved away from discounts, BUT they are doing it more excessively than many companies have. At the point they have been successful with that, but the other high end toy company I follow did raise the prices excessively in an area or two and seems to have gotten hit by that.






  • margotmargot Member Posts: 2,310
    mr_benn said:

    Until the Lego Movie,

    As much as I loved the Lego Movie and am glad that TLG is doing well, I really wish that Lego was not getting so overwhelmingly popular.

    Matthewpharmjodklatu003
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,941
    margot said:

    mr_benn said:

    Until the Lego Movie,

    As much as I loved the Lego Movie and am glad that TLG is doing well, I really wish that Lego was not getting so overwhelmingly popular.

    I don't mind the popularity, what I do mind is that they have the market cornered and as such they can basically set whatever rules/restrictions they want.
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    They don't have the production capacity to even come cmose to meeting demand. Removing discounts makes complete sense. Its helping supply not just making them money.
    jasor
  • Kevin_HyattKevin_Hyatt UKMember Posts: 778
    We loved going to these when we could and have a fair few on display around the house.

    It was getting increasingly chaotic month by month though. The shop would be packed to the rafters and the staff, understandably, stressed.

    Shame to see it go though.
  • nychromastonenychromastone The Empire StateMember Posts: 154
    My LEGO purchases are rarely on Tuesdays and tend to be during the end of the week. Tuesday is the slowest day of the week for retail in general. So, it was probably the only day they could pull off the event. My son, nephew and I will miss it for sure. Thanks LEGO =]

  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,941
    Now, what would be a nice model... have a family activity, and have the set available to buy for a cheap price. That might alleviate some of the congestion, but the models would still be available.

    They don't have the production capacity to even come cmose to meeting demand. Removing discounts makes complete sense. Its helping supply not just making them money.

    Eh. Would a company really want to have less people buying, even if production capacity can't meet demand?

    I really do think this has far more to do with
    (a) being out of the recession, which caused all retailers to back off large discounts

    (b) that they can command the price they are charging. There is no reasons for them to have discounts to entice consumers, because they have the consumers at this point

    (c) tightening loopholes and coupons that can make the sets cheaper than they want sold or that can be exploited by resellers. They have been in a serious mode of tightening all loopholes and discounts since last August, and I don't think that is simply due to supply in most cases. For example, in the case of Barnes and Noble, the coupon already removed exclusives. What Lego was left to buy? It was mainly sets that did not have a run on them, and that would not create a demand issue, because the sets are very much available at others stores.
    The issue comes in with sets that are in demand, which are really just the new sets, and a simple exclusion on such sets would work just as easily if the issue was one of supply.






  • CM4SCM4S United StatesMember Posts: 1,288
    Dang, that sucks. I've never been to one of these.
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UKMember Posts: 3,403
    Can't remember whether it was someone in the Manchester or Sheffield store that told me, but they said that these days they never have any spare after the evening, and they gave the impression that it was always crazy-busy. If it's the same almost world-wide (and of course there will be exceptions), then they would be fools not to consider how to respond to that.

    Who knows what activity they have planned to replace it? Obviously it wouldn't be good if they just didn't do anything, but it sounds like something will replace it.
  • BumblepantsBumblepants Sofia BG/Dallas TXMember Posts: 5,709
    A friend told me he would wait in line for 1-2 hours while his family shopped. So he did work on his computer or read a book standing there so they could get a spot. Based on that report I never bothered trying to go to one. Too much hassle.
  • oldtodd33oldtodd33 Denver 4800 miles to BillundMember Posts: 2,407
    @tamamahm From what I've heard the store I would go to isn't that busy. Maybe the store YOU go to is different. They aren't all the same, you know.
  • prevereprevere North of Bellville, East of Heartlake, South of Bricksburg, West of Ninjago City Member Posts: 2,876
    Whatever they replace it with, if it doesn't include some free bricks to take home, you'll get a 90% drop in engagement from the customers.
  • emilewskiemilewski CT, USAMember Posts: 475
    I don't think this played into this decision primarily but I learned recently that a lot of effort and time goes into this process on the back-end. The model is created months ahead of time, then need to be sent to Denmark for approval, there is some back and forth involved, then all the pieces pulled and sent to all the stores beforehand, etc. Months of planning and logistics for each build that lasts a few hours. It sounds like a very inefficient process and if the customer experience is lacking as well as mentioned above, then it makes sense to replace it with something else.
    sgarrahy
  • LegoKipLegoKip A cottage by the sea, California, US Member Posts: 259
    :(
    bobabricks
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,592
    prevere said:

    Whatever they replace it with, if it doesn't include some free bricks to take home, you'll get a 90% drop in engagement from the customers.

    But then "customers" that don't want to pay for anything are probably the ones they want rid of.

    I wonder how long the printed versions of the Club magazines have got left.
  • husky96husky96 Member Posts: 46
    Thanks for the news CCC. My kid is going to be upset, but as long as they have another event for kids to be hands-on and get a little something to keep them engaged, it'll be fine. My store in Seattle was always packed and I know the security folks at the mall would always have to move people who were blocking entrances to other stores.
  • MatthewMatthew Cheshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 3,734
    tamamahm said:

    They don't have the production capacity to even come cmose to meeting demand. Removing discounts makes complete sense. Its helping supply not just making them money.

    Eh. Would a company really want to have less people buying, even if production capacity can't meet demand?
    It's a fundamental rule of business, if demand is greater than capacity, either increase capacity or reduce demand. What better way to do that than raising prices.
    goshe7
  • legogallegogal USMember Posts: 755
    I don't think that we will ever know the real reasons for the monthly kids' build cancellation.
    I was wondering who buys the keychains as they seem to stay at the cashier for a long time. If one could overcome the legal obstacles if any, could it work to put a new monthly build polybag in the keychain holder and see how it does? Would parents buy it for their kids and would adults buy it for fun? Who knows.
    I can't get excited about keychains because they make we wish that I could buy that minifig without a hole in the head and after being ruined by being a keychain. Any ideas on this?
  • pharmjodpharmjod 1,170 miles to Wall Drug, USAMember Posts: 2,873
    A little bummed but oh well. There isn't a LEGO store in KY (yet... fingers crossed for one eventually) but I will be honest the MMB was something I was looking forward to doing with my little girl when she got older if we ever do get a LEGO store. I guess since I never went to one I don't really know what I am missing regardless.
  • sgarrahysgarrahy Member Posts: 26
    edited November 2014
    The builds ranged from decent to excellent and the staff at Annapolis did a great job getting kids in to build. I'm confident there are better ways to run events for kids as the lines and crowds were a bit much. We always got in and got out those nights. The club meetings are a lot more fun for my son and a better time to browse and shop at the end.
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,941
    oldtodd33 said:

    @tamamahm From what I've heard the store I would go to isn't that busy. Maybe the store YOU go to is different. They aren't all the same, you know.

    No, no stores are going to be the same, but as a whole I do not think this monthly promo suffered from lack of people attending, but bordered on the opposite.
  • dannyrwwdannyrww WisconsinMember Posts: 1,330
    OK.... now there is a thread linked to an article saying they will continue just not be advertised. No official word from Lego either way. I guess I'll keep showing up on first Tuesdays unless they tell us not to.
  • margotmargot Member Posts: 2,310
    edited December 2014
    Manager at the store in Chicago (Water Tower) said that MMB's will absolutely continue. I think he's seen the schedule of them for the year. And their store, since it's a tourist destination, is actually not all that busy for these events.
    dannyrww
  • bgl_84bgl_84 Member Posts: 3
    ^ concur with above. Saw this up yesterday at my store.
    dannyrwwsklambLegoKipbluemodernnychromastone
  • dannyrwwdannyrww WisconsinMember Posts: 1,330
    Awesome.
  • starfire2starfire2 Phoenix AZMember Posts: 1,298
    My local Lego store had the same model up.
  • MorkManMorkMan Phoenix, Arizona, USAMember Posts: 855
    @bgl_84‌ What the heck is that thing supposed to be? An alien of some kind?
  • LegoKipLegoKip A cottage by the sea, California, US Member Posts: 259
    @MorkMan‌ Why, an alien with his dog, of course. (See January Calendar thread.)
  • DadsAFOLDadsAFOL USAMember Posts: 614
    I concede defeat and will no longer report "news". :)
  • husky96husky96 Member Posts: 46
    Here in Washington state, I also saw the alien and pet for January after spending a lot of money over the weekend.
  • TarDomoTarDomo FinlandMember Posts: 515
    So the MMMB is going to continue anyway?
  • TelcontarTelcontar Member Posts: 4
    ^According to TheBrickFan,

    I can safely say that the Monthly Mini Build events will continue to be held on the first Tuesday of every month as usual! To create a more “premium experience,” as it was told by a close source, and to keep the crowds manageable, the Mini Builds will NOT be advertised on future LEGO Store Calendars, website, or on the door decal.

    http://www.thebrickfan.com/will-the-lego-monthly-mini-builds-be-continuing-in-2015/
  • dfurndfurn Member Posts: 191
    So Thebrickfan obviously has not seen the January calendar.
    dannyrwwhusky96
  • ChgoMattChgoMatt USAMember Posts: 108
    Introducing the NEW Online Registration Program for the LEGO Store Monthly Mini Model Build!

    http://www.thebrickfan.com/new-lego-monthly-mini-build-program-changes/


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