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Should Lego put an end to blind bag minifigures?

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Comments

  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 13,448
    klinton said:
    ...an anal collector...
    There's a collector for everything.  We're talking about collecting things relating to Uranus.  The planet.
    KungFuKennygmonkey76M1J0Esid3windr
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 13,448
    Baby_Yoda said:
    You can't 'feel' a poker machine to make it spit out a thousand dollars.
    You've clearly never been to a casino in Iowa on a Tuesday at 11:00am.
    Fizyxgmonkey76M1J0EBumblepantsBaby_Yodaandhedavetheoxygenmancody6268
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,932
    I would presume that with a CMF bag you are getting something deemed the same value no matter what is in the pack, by a single manufacturer. Lootboxes, many times (if I understand correctly), are something put together by a third party (and with multiple items by different manufacturers) and the value may not be the same as the cost of the collection of items.

    Am I presuming correctly?

    gmonkey76
  • blokey9blokey9 MelbourneMember Posts: 133
    curious said:
    klinton said:
    curious said:
    They are exactly the same as lootboxes, and I remember a lot of people laughing at how silly it would be to regulate those. Your opinion is not shared by lawmakers lootboxes are gambling under Belgium law and soon EU law, and rightly viewed as such. Its cringeworthy to try to deny it, its what they are. That doesn't mean they need to stop, they just need to stop being gross. If you want to be taken seriously then its time to talk about how far these regulations should go, because they are not going stop because you think its funny.
    Oh, I agree that lootboxes and their ilk are indeed gambling. The regulations are justified and should extend beyond the handful of European countries that have embraced this stance. 

    Blind packaged toys - everything from Kinder Eggs, to Cracker Jacks, to hockey cards, to Lego Minifigs - are another matter entirely. They're aimed at kids who really don't give a rat's ass what they get. Half of the appeal to them is the surprise. Parents are actually buying it for the surprise. If the marketing style doesn't appeal to you as an anal collector...that's completely irrelevant. You were never the intended audience, and it's a pity that your life is so tragically impacted by children's playthings. 
    Thats a weird thing to say for someone posting on this forum lol.

    Lootboxes are being regulated because they are so prevalent in games aimed at children, from mobile games to fornite. It never would have made it to lawmakers if this was just about adult customers getting screwed. Things aimed at children like blind pack toys are exactly what they are looking at.

    i'm guessing you don't want to hear about the Lego retailer selling mystery boxes each month. for $50 you get a box. it may contain 1 set or multiple sets, you won't know until you open the box.
  • KungFuKennyKungFuKenny Deep in the Heart of TexasMember Posts: 1,537
    edited August 2019
    SumoLego said:
    klinton said:
    ...an anal collector...
    There's a collector for everything.  We're talking about collecting things relating to Uranus.  The planet.
    The horrors of blind bag minifigs are nothing compared to the noxious gasses found on Uranus
    Fizyxgmonkey76M1J0Ecatwrangler
  • klintonklinton CanadaMember Posts: 1,189
    I would presume that with a CMF bag you are getting something deemed the same value no matter what is in the pack, by a single manufacturer. Lootboxes, many times (if I understand correctly), are something put together by a third party (and with multiple items by different manufacturers) and the value may not be the same as the cost of the collection of items.

    Am I presuming correctly?

    No, no. The lootboxes in question (being subject to government regulation in European countries) are video game microtransactions. You spend X amount of the game's premium currency for the chance to win in game items, like new skins for characters or weapons. 

    Subscription boxes are something else entirely. 
    madforLEGOPyrobugBaby_Yodagmonkey76dmcc0SumoLego
  • ShibShib UKMember Posts: 5,356
    Just read this article which give some good context on why computer game loot boxes are such a big issue - 

    https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2019-08-14-this-apex-legends-axe-costs-about-gbp112-in-loot-boxes

    With the games loot boxes better content is often deliberately held behind higher pay walls, which in itself is misleading and the limited times can be very restrictive - obviously CMF series only last a certain length of time, but unless local stock is particularly bad then you normally get more than a couple of weeks to pick them up. 
  • BobflipBobflip Member Posts: 554

    More on topic - LEGO will continue to make them as long as they're sufficiently profitable. And while they're profitable, they can help fund less profitable lines such as Ideas and licensed themes which may be of more interest to AFOL community.

    So, even if you don't like them, you might still feel the indirect benefits!


    KungFuKennyBumblepantsFizyxgmonkey76
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,302
    Panini stickers would be fun - this packet contains sticker numbers 7, 36, 45, 192 and 243.
    klintonPJ76ukdmcc0SumoLego
  • devilheaddevilhead Member Posts: 282
    Who doesn't like a good Panini?  Very tasty.
    KungFuKennygmonkey76SumoLego
  • mattytreksmattytreks San Diego, CAMember Posts: 196
    I'm glad LEGO did away with the regional garbage. No different than SDCC promo figures or 'chase' figures in the previous CMF series. This would not instill anyone to do anything less that profiteer on such figures, then claim it is for the benefit of others that they gouge on the prices. Try not to call it a chase figure, but if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck...

    It would not be 'fun' for many people, it would be another irritant to many that I doubt LEGO wants.

    IMO people that endorse what would appear to be such a bad idea are welcome to fly that same kite.
    Ahh...so you think of SDCC promo figures -- and literally any other LEGO item that is not easily and readily available to every single mass-market consumer on Earth -- as "garbage"?  Do I have that right?

    I should disclose: you're chatting with one of the very biggest fans of SDCC exclusives out there...but I won't take that personally :)

    I've previously shared my thoughts on this very topic in this post, but am happy to oblige this audience, as well.  The post I linked to above is directed more towards people wanting "regional exclusive" items but not having access to them, whereas you don't necessarily want them but are just flat-out opposed to their very existence, whatsoever.

    Just as it is undeniable that a certain subset of LEGO collectors like to think of themselves as brand "purists" in that there must be absolutely, positively no exclusives of any kind at all, it is also undeniable there are a significant number of more progressive collectors in the world who are not only not opposed to exclusives and are not attempting to profiteer, but enjoy the pursuit and collection of these more limited items.

    Clearly we are on opposing sides of the fence here, so let us jut agree to disagree, and go fly our respective kites in the park :)
    klinton
  • SteveGSteveG TNMember Posts: 33
    For the record, I used to own a comic book store back in the heyday of variant covers, limited print runs and at the beginning of Magic The Gathering. I've been on all sides of this discussion. I get that some people feel left out when they don't get an opportunity to get the items that they want, especially at regular retail. But I also get that limited product is good for collecting in general. 

    We saw what happened when the comic book industry tried to do all the things and increased print runs to astronomical numbers so that everyone could have 3, or 10, of every issue. It killed the industry in just a couple of years. I think that what Lego is doing is great for them and collecting in general. But I also know that I won't participate in certain aspects of it and I won't let that ruin my day either. 

    Just this morning I got an email about an exclusive Funko Pop that was being released today, I even had it in my cart ready to buy, then realized that I didn't really want it, I was just caught up in the limited run, get it now, hype. I'll probably regret not getting it in a couple of years when it goes from $15 to $300, but, meh. 

    KungFuKennyBaby_YodajnscoelhoSumoLegoFarmer_John
  • LyichirLyichir United StatesMember Posts: 890
    edited August 2019
    There's one big reason that I would hesitate to call for the end of blind-bagged minifigures, and that's that in many ways the blind-packaged business model facilitates the amount of variety we can get from them. With blind packaging, reliable "crowd pleasers" can drive demand for a series of figs while still allowing more niche or unusual figures to be sold alongside them, in similar quantities. AFOLs might occasionally deride less popular figures like the crash test dummy from Series 1, but personally I much prefer that we continue to get a few oddball figs like that instead of just obvious archetypes or "army builders" that might move more units on their own but aren't always that much different from the kinds of figures that already have a place in larger sets and themes.
    gmonkey76Mr_Crosscatwrangler
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,932
    edited August 2019
    I'm glad LEGO did away with the regional garbage. No different than SDCC promo figures or 'chase' figures in the previous CMF series. This would not instill anyone to do anything less that profiteer on such figures, then claim it is for the benefit of others that they gouge on the prices. Try not to call it a chase figure, but if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck...

    It would not be 'fun' for many people, it would be another irritant to many that I doubt LEGO wants.

    IMO people that endorse what would appear to be such a bad idea are welcome to fly that same kite.
    Ahh...so you think of SDCC promo figures -- and literally any other LEGO item that is not easily and readily available to every single mass-market consumer on Earth -- as "garbage"?  Do I have that right?

    No, 100% wrong. I am glad LEGO got rid of the shoddy idea that promotes such regional distributions. Why would I call LEGO garbage?!
    As for the rest.. Well... I said my piece already. Want to label me a 'purist'? So be it.
  • donutboydonutboy U.K.Member Posts: 762
    Jeez, I can't afford to buy all of the Lego that I want anyway, so if I miss out on a few minifigures - whatever dude.
    klintonKungFuKenny
  • cody6268cody6268 Member Posts: 291
    Personally, I don't like blind bag toys as a concept, but the line is selling quite well, and LEGO has no real reason to discontinue it.  I do wish they'd return to having a code on the bag that helps determine just what's in there. I hate buying a bunch of stuff, with nothing I want in those lines. Typically, what non-LEGO blind bag stuff I've bought was because it was in a bin at the grocery store for 75% off or the like. 
    datsunrobbie
  • KungFuKennyKungFuKenny Deep in the Heart of TexasMember Posts: 1,537
    edited August 2019
    With the exception of chase figures it is remarkably easy to just buy the figs you want.  I will tack on a CMF or 2 whenever I am making a BrickLink order - just requires keeping track of your wanted figs.  That way I am taking advantage of the shipping I am already paying.  eBay is an option, especially if you are ok piecing together a collection from smaller lots  and have the patience to wait and pounce on the sellers trying to get rid of excess figs from that case they “invested” in...
    Gibbo1959
  • SteveGSteveG TNMember Posts: 33
    With the exception of chase figures it is remarkably easy to just buy the figs you want.  I will tack on a CMF or 2 whenever I am making a BrickLink order - just requires keeping track of your wanted figs.  That way I am taking advantage of the shipping I am already paying.  eBay is an option, especially if you are ok piecing together a collection from smaller lots  and have the patience to wait and pounce on the sellers trying to get rid of excess figs from that case they “invested” in...

    This is what I do. I have a big list (to me) on Bricklink and add a couple figs to an order when I can. Some day I'll have all the ones that I want. Maybe. 

    KungFuKenny
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,302
    Lyichir said:
    There's one big reason that I would hesitate to call for the end of blind-bagged minifigures, and that's that in many ways the blind-packaged business model facilitates the amount of variety we can get from them. With blind packaging, reliable "crowd pleasers" can drive demand for a series of figs while still allowing more niche or unusual figures to be sold alongside them, in similar quantities. AFOLs might occasionally deride less popular figures like the crash test dummy from Series 1, but personally I much prefer that we continue to get a few oddball figs like that instead of just obvious archetypes or "army builders" that might move more units on their own but aren't always that much different from the kinds of figures that already have a place in larger sets and themes.
    I loved the crash test dummy at the time. It was something we would never get in a regular set, and that is what is great about the cmf series. It is also why I don't like getting City style figures that commonly appear in regular sets but do like getting the plumber, carpenter, etc that rarely come in City.

    And try buying a new crash test dummy now - you are looking at about £10/$10. I know as I sold my spares a while back.
    jnscoelhoFizyxcatwrangler
  • datsunrobbiedatsunrobbie West Haven , CTMember Posts: 1,608
    Most of the blind-bag minifigures I have came from the 2 for $5 sales at Toys R Us. For the most recent Disney series I've been a bit frustrated because the bags are filled with air, making it more difficult for me to figure them out by feel, but I'll be heading over to Best Buy tomorrow to try once again, as they are clearing them out for $2.99.

    As for other blind-bag toys, my grandson was absolutely enchanted by these for a couple of years, thanks to You Tube videos, especially Kinder eggs. Since Kinder eggs were unavailable in the US, I was picking up lots of similar toys on clearance at Target and Walmart, typically for $0.25 each. Then I started finding them at Savers, bags full of opened Shopkins and such. I'd load them into plastic Easter eggs and he'd have just as much fun opening those up as brand new ones. 
    Toc13Fizyx
  • RoobotRoobot USAMember Posts: 24
    With the exception of chase figures it is remarkably easy to just buy the figs you want.  I will tack on a CMF or 2 whenever I am making a BrickLink order - just requires keeping track of your wanted figs.  That way I am taking advantage of the shipping I am already paying.  eBay is an option, especially if you are ok piecing together a collection from smaller lots  and have the patience to wait and pounce on the sellers trying to get rid of excess figs from that case they “invested” in...
    No offense but your perspective may be a bit warped here.  Maybe you, as an experienced and savvy collector find that easy, but that is not what most people would consider “remarkably easy”.

    I overheard a coworker last year who really wanted to get his young daughter a Dobby from Harry Potter for Christmas as that was her favorite character. But he was really frustrated by the blind bags. I told him about bricklink, but even so he’d have to sign up, learn how it works (it can be confusing at first because it’s not like a normal online retail site, and it’s not quite like eBay either), and then look through different stores’ inventory while manually checking inconsistently worded store policy pages to try and figure out shipping costs.  And often you can’t just check out and be done; you have to wait and watch for an invoice, then go back in and pay later.

    ”Remarkably easy” would be grabbing it in the store and checking out, or buying it in two minutes on Amazon or LEGO.com.
    BOBJACK_JACKBOBcatwrangler
  • 560Heliport560Heliport Twin Cities, MN, USAMember Posts: 2,082
    I like the CMFs. I would like it better if we could just get a complete set, but LEGO has been doing the blind-bag thing for almost ten years now, so it must work! I typically try to feel for whichever figs I most want out of a series, then when I get home, I see how well I did, and try again next time. When the price went from $2.99 to $3.99, I spent more time feeling bags rather than just grabbing a dozen, but it coincided with various friends' children entering their Dark Ages, so I had fewer places to "dispose" of duplicates. I never minded some duplicates, anyway, because they're good for spare parts. Now if they'd just do a Star Wars CMF series... I'd buy a box (or two!).
  • klintonklinton CanadaMember Posts: 1,189
    edited August 2019
    Roobot said:
    No offense but your perspective may be a bit warped here.  Maybe you, as an experienced and savvy collector find that easy, but that is not what most people would consider “remarkably easy”....
    Do you people even read what you write before hitting 'post' this claptrap? I mean, seriously, go back and reread what you've written. This reads like the entitled tantrum rantings of a spoiled child. "Checking out a new retail website from the comfort of your home is tooo haaaaard!" 

    Dude, parents have had to hunt alternative buying opportunities for 'must have' Christmas gifts since Cabbage Patch dolls, long before the internet (with it's eBay and Bricklink "click and order" convenience) existed. I'm quite certain your friend is entirely capable of searching the word "Dobby" on Bricklink and selecting the best option for them from among the dozens of offerings that would pop up. Unless, of course, they're like yourself. Then I can see where this might be an insurmountable hurdle. 

    The thing is, chances are the new Dobby figure with his new molding and fancy printed accessories wouldn't even exist without the CMF line. The marketing model for the CMF series" and the sales projections thereof are what allow for the extravagance of the CMF figures, and the release of figures that would otherwise never see production. So, if you had your way, there would have been nothing for your friend to track down for his daughter anyhow. So your entire point is not only whiny AF, it's completely moot. 

    I really need to stop opening this thread. This whole whiny discussion just sinks to new lows every time I look. :p 
  • Farmer_JohnFarmer_John USA - 4,035 Miles from 62 West Wallaby St., Wigan, Lancashire, UKMember Posts: 2,404
    What really bothers me is when people just open bags in the store to find the figure they're looking for. I come across open bags frequently and it's annoying. That's what led to TRU - before they closed their doors - putting 4-6 in a sealed container that could only be opened by a cashier. Ruins the fun of searching for everyone.
    SumoLego560HeliportFizyxAyliffemadforLEGOklintonBaby_Yodagmonkey76catwrangler
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 13,448
    devilhead said:
    Who doesn't like a good Panini?  Very tasty.
    That's a panini, not Panini.  Unless you eat Panini stickers, which - whatever - people eat flower petals.
    KungFuKennyFizyxgmonkey76cody6268
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,302
    Roobot said:
    With the exception of chase figures it is remarkably easy to just buy the figs you want.  I will tack on a CMF or 2 whenever I am making a BrickLink order - just requires keeping track of your wanted figs.  That way I am taking advantage of the shipping I am already paying.  eBay is an option, especially if you are ok piecing together a collection from smaller lots  and have the patience to wait and pounce on the sellers trying to get rid of excess figs from that case they “invested” in...
    No offense but your perspective may be a bit warped here.  Maybe you, as an experienced and savvy collector find that easy, but that is not what most people would consider “remarkably easy”.

    I overheard a coworker last year who really wanted to get his young daughter a Dobby from Harry Potter for Christmas as that was her favorite character. But he was really frustrated by the blind bags. I told him about bricklink, but even so he’d have to sign up, learn how it works (it can be confusing at first because it’s not like a normal online retail site, and it’s not quite like eBay either), and then look through different stores’ inventory while manually checking inconsistently worded store policy pages to try and figure out shipping costs.  And often you can’t just check out and be done; you have to wait and watch for an invoice, then go back in and pay later.

    ”Remarkably easy” would be grabbing it in the store and checking out, or buying it in two minutes on Amazon or LEGO.com.
    Why didn't he just use eBay then?
    KungFuKennybgl_84stluxklintonSumoLegoBaby_YodaBOBJACK_JACKBOB
  • jnscoelhojnscoelho PortugalMember Posts: 555
    Why didn't he just ask his friend who is into LEGO and seems to be fine using BrickLink? Or, better yet, why didn't the friend offered to get the figure for him?
    KungFuKennyklintonSumoLegostluxGibbo1959BOBJACK_JACKBOB
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 13,448
    jnscoelho said:
    Why didn't he just ask his friend who is into LEGO and seems to be fine using BrickLink?
    I think someone was reaching for an example to illustrate a silly position.
    Baby_YodaKungFuKennyGibbo1959BOBJACK_JACKBOB
  • jnscoelhojnscoelho PortugalMember Posts: 555
    I understood that 😉
    I'll start using a specific font for sarcasm. 
    Gibbo1959SumoLego
  • Gibbo1959Gibbo1959 Northumbria UKMember Posts: 381
    jnscoelho said:
    Why didn't he just ask his friend who is into LEGO and seems to be fine using BrickLink? Or, better yet, why didn't the friend offered to get the figure for him?
    Saved me asking the exact same question! Interesting debate though so good job OP!
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 13,448
    jnscoelho said:
    I understood that 😉
    I'll start using a specific font for sarcasm. 
    Yes, I doubled-down on your sarcasm.  Or compounded it?  Amplified it.
  • RoobotRoobot USAMember Posts: 24
    jnscoelho said:
    Why didn't he just ask his friend who is into LEGO and seems to be fine using BrickLink? Or, better yet, why didn't the friend offered to get the figure for him?
    You guys are really making too much of this.  It wasn’t a friend, it was a co-worker from the next aisle who I had talked to maybe twice before.  He was just an average parent who didn’t know about bricklink, so I let him know that was probably the best way to get that specific figure without playing the blind bag game or paying inflated eBay prices.

    I’ve used bricklink many times.  I very glad it exists and I appreciate the hardworking sellers.  But that doesn’t change the fact that it does take more time and effort compared to if you were theoretically able to buy specific CMFs retail.  My entire point was that those of us on this forum don’t necessarily represent the typical consumer who doesn’t even know bricklink exists.  I don’t think pointing this out is “silly” or “whining”.

    The OP of this thread asked for opinions on the CMF model and I gave mine.  Clearly it’s the minority opinion around here. OK.

    klinton said:

    The thing is, chances are the new Dobby figure with his new molding and fancy printed accessories wouldn't even exist without the CMF line.
    I do concede this is an interesting theory and a good point if true.  Has anyone from LEGO ever said anything to this effect?  It would be interesting to know what the CMF line would look like under other sales models.
    Baby_Yoda
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,302
    edited August 2019
    BL prices are often inflated similar to those on ebay. BL fees are 3%, eBay 10% and charged on postage too so you might expect ebay to be slightly higher. However the sellers on eBay are no worse than those on BL.
  • BobflipBobflip Member Posts: 554
    I see @Roobot's point to be honest - although Bricklink is straightforward (particularly if you know a bit about Lego already), a significant portion of the population prefer to use something that they already know - like eBay, Amazon, or a high street store. 


    andheBrickchapBaby_Yoda
  • benbacardibenbacardi EnglandMember Posts: 654
    I think Brickowl offers a much more streamlined experience, and more of a natural feel to buying there than Bricklink, particularly to novices. It isn't as comprehensive, though - or as powerful, once you've learnt all of Bricklink's idiosyncrasies!

    Back on topic, though - I love the blind bags, and so do my children. We have a lot of fun feeling for the ones we want, and even get a little kick out of the anticipation that we may have felt wrongly, no matter how confident we are, as we open them! My wife, who isn't a Lego fan, is surprisingly good at feeling them and I think she secretly enjoys it too. 

    If the higher profit margin they make on these allow them to invest in new moulds and other lines that wouldn't exist without them, then that's just the cherry on the cake. My main interest has always been Minifigures, rather than sets, though - so the CMF line and the people packs are always my favourite (but shh, don't tell Wall•E). 
    andhebandit778catwrangler
  • OdeinoichusOdeinoichus CanadaMember Posts: 359

    I love Blind Bag Minifigures. They bump up my set count without me needing to spend 150$ or more CND a month. I wouldn't have such a high set number if I didn't own 300+ Minifigures from CMF Series.

    I mean honestly, who doesn't love buying tons and tons of LEGO Minifigures and watching their set count sky rocket past that 10K mark? And all for the low, low price of a fiver.

    I'll start hating on them when LEGO starts charging 15$ a piece for them.

    And in case you're wondering... yes... I am partly serious, but I'll leave it up to you to determine just how serious I'm being and how factious I'm being. ;)

    Baby_YodaToc13
  • donutboydonutboy U.K.Member Posts: 762

    I love Blind Bag Minifigures. They bump up my set count without me needing to spend 150$ or more CND a month. I wouldn't have such a high set number if I didn't own 300+ Minifigures from CMF Series.

    I mean honestly, who doesn't love buying tons and tons of LEGO Minifigures and watching their set count sky rocket past that 10K mark? And all for the low, low price of a fiver.

    I'll start hating on them when LEGO starts charging 15$ a piece for them.

    And in case you're wondering... yes... I am partly serious, but I'll leave it up to you to determine just how serious I'm being and how factious I'm being. ;)

    Oddball.
    Baby_Yoda
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