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About davee123

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    Rant Summarizer
  • Birthday 10/31/76

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  1. For the upcoming BrickFair New England event, we had been discussing the possibility of having a Duplo train layout for the younger kids, but we realized that unfortunately there's an auto-power-off feature on the trains that turns them off after a couple of minutes. Does anyone know how to disable the shutoff and keep the trains running longer? DaveE
  2. I would hope it would require being "official", only because creating new variants is incredibly easy (with VAST possibilities), and it'd be hard to prove that you did or didn't just create the un-official figures for the record. You likely wouldn't have documented all of your odd variants, even if you "had" them (and they might have been disassembled), so I'm not sure how anyone could trust that they weren't made just for the sake of breaking the record. A quick off-the-cuff calculation shows at least 72 sextillion possible combinations, not including many print variants, neckwear combinations, headgear accessories, or footwear. Granted, even if they had to be official, it'd be difficult to make sure each was an "official" figure or variant. You could likely invent variants and they'd never know. Even LEGO hobbyists might not notice if you said something like "Fireman keychain - LEGOLAND 1985" or "Baron Von Baron variant with red strap - Shell promo 2541". Chances are slim that people would make sure that the text matched a physical minifig and that the text matched up with an official figure. You'd need to have some reliable 3rd party submit some verification along with the documentation! DaveE
  3. 10,000 is pretty small potatoes if they're not unique. I've documented at least 6,500 in my collection, and I've probably got closer to 8,000-9,000. My wife's collection from when we merged is largely undocumented, and would boost mine up -- I'd guess another 2,000 or so minifigs from her-- we might even 10,000 if you count skeletons, R2-D2s, Belville, DUPLO, Scala, etc. And we could probably MAKE them all unique given all the possible combinations of heads, bodies, and so forth. It probably wouldn't even be all that hard to do. But I know we're nowhere close to whoever would hold the record. We have a big collection and all-- bigger than most AFOLs-- but it's that small percentage of AFOLs who are over-the-top who can still put our collection to shame by a LARGE margin numerically. I would guess that you've got army builders out there with 50,000 or even 100,000 minifigures-- just lots of repeats of the same ones. Some people LOVE collecting soldiers, and probably have gobs and gobs of Stormtroopers, Crown Knights, Redcoats, Orcs, etc. However, if you go with "official" minifigs that have been released by LEGO in sets (not counting things like business-card figs, etc), then 5,000 is pretty substantial. Heck, I think BrickLink only lists just shy of 8,900 minifigures, which means there probably haven't actually been 10,000 unique "official" figures yet! DaveE
  4. Yeah, that's exactly why I was saying that it might not be a good system to implement universally at BL, since it might drive unrealistic expectations. But regardless, it'd occasionally help me in choosing someone, which is why I started record keeping. I won't personally hold it against someone if they break their trend, but if someone's consistently slow, and someone else is consistently fast, statistics will point me in a certain direction. DaveE
  5. I counted minutes mostly because I was curious. I happened to have the data in my email, so I checked, and saved the info. I had the timestamps from when orders were placed, when they were invoiced, and when I paid via PayPal. I didn't always have an email regarding when orders were shipped, but I started grabbing that from BrickLink when possible, just so I'd have that data. In the end, this is exactly the type of metric that I wanted, I just don't have nearly enough data points. Personally, I'd love to see this data maintained for sellers and buyers for when I AM in a hurry. If I have a choice between 47 BrickLink stores, and I need to make sure that the parts arrive before the end of the week, it's difficult to send a message to ALL of them asking if they can make my deadline, and then sit around waiting for them to reply, only to THEN submit my order. Sometimes, I want to know not only who's reliable, but also who's got a good record for turnaround time. Ever since I started doing this, I've decided it's probably a good idea for me personally, just in case I want to use that data later to make such a determination. Also, it sets expectations, which is a good thing. For the one self-admitted "slow" seller, I had no idea if "slow" meant 1 week for an invoice, or 3 days for an invoice. Did it mean shipping would happen after 5 days or 15 days? When should I start worrying? Etc. I can't say whether or not it would be a good metric for BrickLink to enact on all sellers, or even voluntarily-- it might be regarded as too invasive-- plus, when you DO have a busy period, it may be misleading or discouraging. If you're 2 days slower than your average, will your buyer get angry due to certain expectations? Etc. But regardless, as a buyer, it's definitely something I'd like to use when evaluating potential sellers, even if it's flawed at a broader level. DaveE
  6. Normal? Probably not. But it happens sometimes. I actually took some stats recently. For the last 10 bricklink orders with 10 different sellers, here's what my stats were: Time to invoice (them), time to mark as paid (not including time for Paypal/bank to process), time to mark as shipped (includes time to process payment). All times approximate to the nearest 10 minutes: Seller 1: 270 min, 20 min, 1040 min Seller 2: 150 min, 10 min, 290 min Seller 3: 3360 min, 40 min, 9700 min (this seller explicitly stated in their splash page that they were slow) Seller 4: 30 min, 20 min, 1190 min Seller 5: 10 min, 10 min, 860 min Seller 6: 410 min, 180 min, 240 min Seller 7: 1270 min, 10 min, 840 min Seller 8: 10 min, 930 min, 5570 min Seller 9: 40 min, 40 min, 6420 min Seller 10: 10 min, 590 min, 210 min Average: 9 hours, 16 minutes to invoice, 3 hours, 5 minutes to pay, 1 day, 19 hours, 56 minutes to mark as shipped. Most often, I think the ones who took longer to ship were waiting for payment to process through Paypal, which can take a few days. In your case, if it's been a few weeks since you marked as "paid", the payment's probably gone through, and it's something else going on. It could be that they shipped and forgot to mark it that way, or that they're busy, or that they found out they were missing something and are trying to correct the order before sending out. Or whatever. Check their splash page for any special considerations (sometimes people might take vacations or otherwise without notifying buyers, etc). If it's been more than a few days since your payment completed, and everything else is normal, send them a ping. Do that every couple of days until you get a response. The BrickLink website requires that it's been at least a week before doing anything drastic, but I'd probably wait a bit longer than a week just in case there's really a valid problem. (Once I actually tracked down a seller's phone number and called them, after they didn't reply to my messages!) Try and give the seller the benefit of the doubt! DaveE
  7. Well, there's no legal problem as far as I'm aware, but there's similarly no legal problem with me selling my Event Support brick per se. But it DOES put my LUG's status as an RLUG in jeopardy, and if enough clubs do it, may make the entire program incur more restrictions or less benefit. If you're allowed to give free brick to someone else who can then sell them, then I don't think there's anything to prevent me from "giving" my free brick to someone else with free brick (who then gives theirs to me), and then we can both re-sell. It's certainly more forgivable if one or both of us are charitable organizations, but it's still muddy water. Basically, I'd try and refrain from it as much as possible. If you're going to give away your LEGO to a charity, the idea should be to give it to a charity who will use the bricks themselves rather than sell them for their cause. Or at least, such would be my stance unless I hear differently from the LEGO Company. If this type of thing happens here-and-there, it's probably fine. But the more it surfaces, the more at risk these programs get. However, in THIS case, we still don't really know how the elements got to the donator. It could be that they work for LEGO, and weren't any obligation not to sell them, or that they received the bags without any such restrictions. We don't really know. DaveE
  8. Eh, I'd doubt it. If a game was in development, but then got cancelled, it never would have gotten as far as having elements molded for it. They'll only do runs on the parts once they know that it's going to be slated for production. Also, there are additional hints that the 1st bag was never intended for production, since it has a mix of both large and small elements (the small 1x2 cheese elements). Usually bags will have roughly similar sized elements, which I believe is due to their weighing methods. Bags with lots of small parts need more precise scales, and thus get weighed together in baggies, as opposed to larger elements that don't need such fine granularity. The pictured bag has some small parts and large parts, which is indicative of being a non-production bag. There's also a lot of repeated elements that seem... large. 1x8x2 arches, corner panel walls, and those orange 2x6 SNOT doodads. My guess is the two bags don't have anything to do with each other. The 1st bag seems to be roughly circa 2012 or so, given when the elements were in production. The 2x6 modified plates are 2012 or afterwards, and almost everything seems to have been in production in 2011 or 2012, except for the 4x4 round plate corners, which were in 2010. The 2nd bag has to be 2010, since that's when the set came out, which is probably about 2 years prior to the 1st bag. DaveE
  9. That second bag is from 3851 Atlantis Treasure. Inventory here: http://www.bricklink.com/catalogItemInv.asp?G=3851 DaveE
  10. I don't know formally, but this matches the style of a lot of the "bonus" bags that appear to be made from excess elements at LEGO. The contents are typically a bunch of repeated elements-- a bunch of blue 2x2 45 degree slopes (for instance), but no 1x2 or 2x4 45 degree slopes. Hundreds of left wings, but no matching right wings, etc. Back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, we would see large boxes filled with similar breakdowns, which LEGO provided at events, or as rewards/incentives for various initiatives. They would occasionally give these out for free (or low cost) to events that were looking to incorporate LEGO in some way. My college (for instance) received about 6 cases of these back in the early 1990s, just because they asked. Early BrickFest events would get similar boxes of these through the Potomic Mills store for free-build brick. Internally, I've heard this kind of thing referred to as "play table brick". The guess is that this comes from the "end" of the packing cycles at LEGO. When a bunch of molded elements are extra, and won't fit in their bins, or if a bin is very close to running out (or even simply being retired), they dump them into big bins. They could throw them out (and it's likely that they used to do this quite a lot, given what I've heard), but instead, they just put them in big "random LEGO parts" boxes so that they can give them out. I believe that some of these elements are now making it into these small, sealed baggies like the one you have. I've received a bunch of these baggies, as well as large "extra brick" boxes (although it was never for me personally in those cases). Depending on how they were obtained, it's questionable that you were able to purchase the bag. For any such extra brick that I've received, it's come with very explicit instructions NOT to sell them. If these were given to an AFOL who sold them, they may have violated LEGO's conditions by selling it. However, as noted, you're in Denmark, where anything's possible. Sometimes, LEGO doesn't explicitly state such conditions, and it could be that the conditions were made clear, or have other reason to be ignored. DaveE
  11. Well, LEGO has occasionally offered snow-globes with LEGO figures inside. The figures were typical ABS plastic, with printing on them, and all the ones I've seen have been in pretty good condition, even after many years. I think the big thing is probably exposure to "living stuff". Snow-globes are kept sealed, with no way in or out-- so you're not likely to get algae or mold, assuming that you start with clean, distilled water. But if you've got a large container like a fish tank, it's probably got a very big opening where "stuff" can get in, and muck up the water. It's likely to grow mold, and gradually muck up the water over time (same with living fish, obviously). If you do that, you're more likely to get a layer of slimy stuff on your LEGO, which might make it look faded or dull. It may affect the clutch power of the bricks, too, if you ever wanted to reclaim them for future MOCs, although I'm not really sure on whether or not ABS would absorb and retain any water. It might, but it might not. Hard to say. DaveE
  12. A few minor nitpicks: * Ole actually worked with all his sons, not just Gotdfred. Godtfred was increasingly involved in the management of the company, and bought out his siblings around 1960, when he decided to stop making wooden toys (after the fire that destroyed the wooden toys division). Some of them has protested that making wooden toys was really the core of the company, and went into business for themselves under the name "Bilofix", with the money they got from Godtfred. * The Great Depression was actually what *caused* them to go into making toys. Sales of normal carpentry jobs were low, so they focused on smaller-ticket items like stepladders, stools, ironing boards, and... (in 1932) ... toys! * LEGO didn't really improve on the design of the Kiddicraft bricks until 1958-- for the first 9-or-so years, the Automatic Binding Bricks were essentially the exact same as Kiddicraft bricks. The only differences were that they were made metric, and the studs were made more flat on the top, but that's really about it. * Godtfred didn't really come up with the idea of a "system" of play for LEGO. The buyer he talked with was bemoaning the fact that nobody was really making "systems" of toys, and he (the buyer) was convinced that the idea would make toys be much more appealing. Godtfred was intrigued by the idea, and wondered if it could be applied to any of LEGO's lineup of toys, and realized that the building bricks were a great candidate. DaveE
  13. The earliest versions had stickers instead of printed torsos, so it didn't actually matter-- the torsos were just blank, so they didn't need the neck printing. As for whether there was some interim period where they didn't have marks, but WERE printed, that's a good question. I assume they've always had the neck-marks if they had printing (except for the newest stuff)-- but I could be wrong. I wouldn't be totally surprised if there was a manual process involved in the early torso printings, considering they did manual work for other things like filling the plastic flip-up trays (and supposedly adding on the heads?). DaveE
  14. I noticed this for the first time in tiles, not minifig torsos in 2003 from 4486. I got a few copies of the set, and while building them fresh out of the box, there were hairline cracks visible in the short-end of 1x2 tiles, when they were attached to hollow-studs. When they were sitting idle, there were no cracks, and I believe when attached to solid-studs instead of hollow ones, they similarly did not show cracks. Around that timeframe is when I first recall hearing of the issue via FBTB, although it hadn't happened to me in minifigs as of yet. Some people seemed to complain that it happened to them a LOT, and others it had never happened to at all. The suspicion was that possibly certain distribution chains went through extreme heat/cold/humidity/whatever, to account for the discrepancy, but we never found out anything terribly interesting. LEGO's suppliers in China use a different plastic-- we were explicitly told that they were required to do things differently in China, where the plastic had to be sourced from within the country. But in different discussions with different people, LEGO simultaneously said that the plastic used in China was from the same company. Hence, the guess is that the supplier operates in at least both China and Europe, with two different plastic types and qualities. Additionally, we heard that while LEGO used to only use a single source for their plastic, that they were concerned that this might create larger costs if that one supplier was more expensive. Hence, they began sourcing from MULTIPLE (possibly just 2, but maybe more) different plastic suppliers, in order to be competitive. We also know that the technique for molding has changed-- they supposedly now add the dyes when a part is molded, as opposed to before when the raw ABS granulate was purchased pre-colored. I think we heard about that in about 2007 (and it likely started earlier), which makes sense considering the internal re-structuring that started in earnest around 2005 (Jorgen essentially explicitly said that they intentionally lowered quality across the board, without much detail as to how). I believe this has been raised with LEGO many times already, although I don't think we've seen it get addressed. My advice wouldn't be to go through the ambassador network. They probably already know, and have discussed it on various occasions. Instead, call LEGO directly, or send them an email. (That's what we've been advised to do in the past to address quality concerns). DaveE
  15. Pretty sure that's not true. You can show that it's not the case by looking at the un-printed torsos from years past. Older torsos came in various types, so you can show which torsos were made before roughly 1997 (ish) when they switched to the new "X" bottom torso design. Take a look at any of the old torso designs that are unprinted, and you'll notice that they don't have rectangles on the necks. And obviously, that's because they weren't printed, so there was no need to tell which side was forwards and backwards. If the printing was required to make the heads have additional friction, they would've printed those blank torsos as well. That being said, if you have an official source that says otherwise, please share. DaveE