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Collectable Minfigures: Worth the Hype?

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#1 Derek


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Posted 11 September 2010 - 05:08 AM

I would like to start off saying that the Collectable Figure line was a brillant idea by Lego.

With so much demand for them, it's almost hard not to want them- they're awesome. But I managed to get a full set through Target after what was a classic wild goose chase and I found myself wondering if they were really worth all of the obsession.

I have easily spent $80-90 on them, between S@H and Target, which is pretty steep considering what you are getting- just minifigures. The figures are fantastically designed, however, the physical plastic quality is not the top-notch ABS we have grown to love Lego for.  

It was fun searching for the packs everywhere and opening them, but when I had them all lined up on my table, I seriously found myself almost thinking "Now what?"

What do you think?


P.S.- I created a seperate topic because I'm not strictly discussing the figures themselves, which I felt was what the existing threads are for.

View PostIgnited_Impulse, on 20 September 2010 - 01:51 AM, said:

Dude, you've got a Final Fantasy sig and you're on a lego forum....arguing about elves. Try not to think you're some cool guy because you don't play D&D
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#2 RileyC


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Posted 11 September 2010 - 05:50 AM

Yeah this is exactly how I feel about them too. That is why Im really not sure if I want the second series. They are really nice minifigs with great prints and awesome new moulds. However as a sort of purist I like to keep my sets together so I wouldn't really use the pieces to create other figs. The quality is my main gripe with them. I am paying $5 NZ for just one which is really expensive and the sub par quality makes it even worse. The amount of money it takes to get a complete set of them I could've used to buy a great star wars set instead which is much more appealing to me.

I may just get the second series for the sake of it but with the rumour they will take off the small barcodes in the 3rd series I probably wont waste my money trying to guess what bag contains what without a cheat sheet.

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#3 The Green Brick Giant

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 06:18 AM

I stopped caring after Lego screwed up the first series and megabloksers screwed up the second. I want about six from both and its not worth it anymore to even go out looking for the. People buy 100+ and dont let the children get like 5.

#4 Peppermint_M


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Posted 11 September 2010 - 08:15 AM

Seeing as to me, Minifigs are the icing on the cake of a fantastic MOC, and I am known to eat chunks of fondent icing (flavoured with peppermint dontcha know) well, I love the collectable Minifigs (buying a box of each series, who'ed've  thought that!). They are a great way to provide minifigs with parts and themes TLG would otherwise never make.

Another great bonus is they cause creativity. As a child is much more likely to be bought a £1.99 minifig over a £5 set, they will then take it home and use their brick collection to make the minifig a MOC (because a lego man has to have something to be part of!). Seeing as these days many children seem to just build a set, following the instructions and needing the instructions, not stretching their mind to create something original. The core value of Lego.

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#5 Cecilie


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Posted 11 September 2010 - 08:36 AM

View PostPeppermint_M, on 11 September 2010 - 08:15 AM, said:

Another great bonus is they cause creativity.

Exactly! For me, these were exactly what I needed to get started with some MOCing. I had only recently come out of my dark ages when these showed up, and had been struggling to find anything I wanted to MOC that was on a small enough scale for me to be able to manage. But seeing the figs made me want to give them all a home, and now I've made 32 vigs, one for each of them! And the ideas just keep on coming now! :sweet:
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#6 Aanchir


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Posted 11 September 2010 - 02:56 PM

I can't say for certain whether the collectible minifigures are worth the hype. That's a personal matter-- I myself think they're awesome, but like you I have a hard time seeing a "need" for the whole collection.

But as with any LEGO purchase, I think the hype should not feed into your financial decisions, unless you intend to resell. In my opinion there's no pressure to actively hunt out any particular figs-- you can seek out whichever fig suits your fancy, and you can invest as much as you feel it's worth to get your hands on those particular figs.

LEGO's been surprisingly upfront about this-- there are very few places where they actively suggest that you "collect all 16", and they don't create artificial value for any of them-- rather, they market all the figs about equally without treating any as "better" or "more valuable" than the others.

Of course, being LEGO, the "now what?" should be obvious. Find the most creative way you can use them, and make them worth the money you spent on them. Whether it be custom figs, vignettes, or something entirely different, the minifigures released so far are versatile, and it's up to the buyer to decide how they want to use them. Hope you can find inspiration in that regard!

#7 CP5670


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Posted 11 September 2010 - 06:23 PM

I had more or less decided to pass on these minifigs before they were released. The only one I got was the spaceman, and it was from Bricklink. He's cool, but the quality is lousy and I wouldn't want any more of them, even if there wasn't all the hassle involved in acquiring specific ones.

However, I'm not really a big minifig collector in general. I tend to prefer well-designed sets over well-designed minifigs.

Edited by CP5670, 11 September 2010 - 06:29 PM.

#8 fenrir


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Posted 11 September 2010 - 06:28 PM

I rather spend my money on sets instead of the coll. minifigs.

The only one I realy couldn't resist was the Spartan.
And that's the only one I've got.

#9 dr_spock


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Posted 11 September 2010 - 06:38 PM

I guess it depends if they are of value to you or not.  I buy them for MOCs as they provide a variety of characters.

#10 Brickdoctor


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Posted 11 September 2010 - 06:56 PM

It really depends on your interests. I'm a Star Wars guy, so I only pick up a few of the ones I really want: Caveman, Pharaoh, and Spartan. For me, those have been totally worth it. As a builder who wants the most out of his LEGO, I think the value decreases when you don't know what 'fig you're getting, but $2 is not bad for one minifg, when you consider that $3 only gets you one 'fig and a ten-piece accessory build.

#11 Legoist


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Posted 11 September 2010 - 07:59 PM

I've always thought they were not worth the hype since the start.

I stayed away from them, until I heard about the barcode method. So I used it to get 7 of them from Series 2, which I thought I had some good use for (basically just to add some cool variations into the civilian population). I might still get a couple from Series 1 using the same method, but apparently Series 1 is nowhere to be found anymore, so farewell.

I think they're barely worth 2e each when you can use the barcode method to just get the ones you want.

#12 Fugazi


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Posted 11 September 2010 - 09:09 PM

Like with everything Lego, beauty is in the eye of the beholder! :wink:

For me, the interest stems from the huge variety of prints and accessories these minifigs add to the available range. How many times have we heard AFOL complain about the lack of torsoe variety in Lego City, especially of the civilian kind? With the collectible minifigs, we get plenty of generic torsoe prints, plus specific ones that we never even dreamed about! How many years would it take for TLC to release that kind of minifig variety in regular sets, not to mention that some themes will likely never even happen (zombies? mimes? prehistory?) Not to mention the new exclusive hair pieces, accessories, cloth elements...

For MOCers, especially those who aren't quite ready to go the way of customisation when they need that special minifig, there's certainly plenty to celebrate! I'm not overly happy with the marketing of the collectible minifigs, but the product is certainly worth the hype IMO.
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#13 fred67


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Posted 11 September 2010 - 09:32 PM

Yeah... it's the variety and the ideas they spark, the little vignettes to suit each one... I love them (so far).  I might start getting tired of them after a few more releases, but right now the injection of variety into the LEGO world was a great thing, IMO.

#14 brickzone


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Posted 11 September 2010 - 09:45 PM

It's really a question where one can only give one's own opinion - mine is that they are worth the hype. But then I probably am influenced by them having been pretty easy to get here in Ireland (Series 1 were around until about 2/3 weeks ago just before series 2 came out!)

I consider €2.50 in some ways yes pricy in absolute terms for a Lego minifig, but relative to prices for "cool" existing minifigs (especially new desirable ones), probably quite ordinary. As regards Lego purchasing, it certainly seems better value to buy the whole collection than to buy say the Hoth Wampa Cave (€40 in Argos. Tesco for some reason have it at a frightening €58 - maybe a fake price for them to do a price cut later?).

I guess I might be a bit cheesed off about them if I couldn't afford to buy them all and get some extras too, and I suppose for a lot of people, they maybe can't do that. The same goes for availability.

The American price seems amazing value.

Edited by brickzone, 11 September 2010 - 09:45 PM.

#15 charlieboy


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Posted 11 September 2010 - 10:10 PM

I'd have to say they are a must have,for me anyway. Ive got complete sets of both series purely for display, ive also bought more for mocs etc...... The forestman from the first series being my most collected figure,on ten now and still counting. Obviously they are no longer identical, be silly having so many of him the same in one moc!

I'll defo get all future sets,whilst not all the figs appeal to me, i'd still have to have complete sets :wacko:

Edited by charlieboy, 12 September 2010 - 09:16 AM.

#16 fred67


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Posted 11 September 2010 - 10:38 PM

View Postcharlieboy, on 11 September 2010 - 10:10 PM, said:

Obviously they are no longer identical, be silly having so many of him the same in one moc!

This is a good point... my son has done martial arts for 7 years (he's only 11 now), so since I got a random order of 16 from S@H, and had extra Martial Arts guys, I gave him one (he likes some LEGO, but isn't as into it as I am).  I also switched with a female head and gave it to my wife (she does martial arts, also).   So you can switch them up to make them suitable as gifts (if they aren't already suitable out of the package).

Now I will still have one extra, and I think I'll give it to my son to give to his instructor, although I might change the hair to be more like his.

So that's another thing... sometimes you can find things that match with people and, even if they are not LEGO fans, will get a kick out of getting one... There's not a LOT of options there, but there's some - surfer guy, lifeguard, nurse, martial arts guy, skier, cops.. I don't know any ringmasters, pop stars, mimes, or mariachi singers, but some of you might.

I work in a television production studio and, a few years ago, I gave an impulse studios set to a director, and he thought it was cool and kept it on his desk - a lot of people where I work have shelves filled with stuff like that.  I've got a lot of LEGO on display in my office.

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Edited by fred67, 11 September 2010 - 10:40 PM.

#17 peterab


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Posted 12 September 2010 - 12:36 AM

The zombies & cheerleaders are awesome. Being a town collector many of the others will be useful. Ninjas and forestmen fill gaps due to my dark age.

The spaceman and robot don't really excite me as far as usefullness, but one of each is interesting.

I'm don't have an army builder mentality, but I do like these enough to want at least one of each, and will probably be able to find a use for them in my town. I do wonder what anyone will do with 300 spartans in a few years time though.

View Postfred67, on 11 September 2010 - 10:38 PM, said:

So that's another thing... sometimes you can find things that match with people and, even if they are not LEGO fans, will get a kick out of getting one... There's not a LOT of options there, but there's some - surfer guy, lifeguard, nurse, martial arts guy, skier, cops.. I don't know any ringmasters, pop stars, mimes, or mariachi singers, but some of you might.

I think a lot of the more specific figures can be widely useful too. The ringmaster torso for instance could be re-purposed as a fox hunt. The vampire and mime torsos strike me as appropriate to a goth nightclub. It just takes a bit more mix and matching. The Spartan and Pharaoh legs will be usefull as skirts.

#18 lightningtiger


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Posted 12 September 2010 - 12:55 AM

Both series are worth it for sure, my son loves comming up with different combos of people out of these figures.....so I say roll on series 2....etc.,.
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#19 Sandy


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Posted 12 September 2010 - 11:59 AM

Unless you're a MOCer or a "gotta catch 'em all"-type of collector, then I agree there's not much insentive to get all the collectable minifigs, but for someone like me who creates her own stuff instead of just collecting sets, these figs are a treasure trove.

I'm now building one of the biggest MOCs I've ever created, and as I made the minifigs for it, I couldn't help but to utilize the wonderfully unique parts that the collectable series offers.

So yeah, it's all about the perspective you have on your LEGO hobby.

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#20 natelite


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Posted 12 September 2010 - 12:18 PM

hype or no hype, you can't argue that these are way too cheap. take magnet sets for e.g. $15 for 3 = $5 each. battlepacks = $15 for 5 or $3 each. or pick your own minifigure $10 for 3 or $3.33 each for awful selection of parts. or impulse sets at $3.99 each. which is exactly why even when TRU, borders priced it at $2.99 they still sell out quickly.

as for those who think US has it for an awesome price, bear in mind it's not much cheaper than EU with the exchange rate at 1.27/28. and unlike the EU, US has limited stock. are you prepared to spend all that gas money to hunt down one?  :tongue: that is assuming you can find one for $1.99, which is by now an imaginary price for all intent and purpose. lego stores are sold out. S@H, well, unless you are buying a whole other bunch of things, you need to pay shipping of $5.95 minimum. TRU sells for $2.99. target has it for $1.99 but only 2 box max each store. and still no where else to be found.

i think even after the hype (maybe in 1-2 years time), these things will still sell for at least $5 each.

#21 fred67


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Posted 12 September 2010 - 03:27 PM

View Postnatelite, on 12 September 2010 - 12:18 PM, said:

. and unlike the EU, US has limited stock. are you prepared to spend all that gas money to hunt down one?  :tongue: that is assuming you can find one for $1.99, which is by now an imaginary price for all intent and purpose.

Good point... Most places in Europe tend to be more compact, too, with better public transit (note the words "tend to").  I've probably driven 100 miles looking for figures that simply weren't there.  No... I didn't hop in my car and just start driving like a crazed LEGO fanatic... I take my son to his martial arts class, then I have an hour, and I'll go look at a Target... nothing, then another one... nothing.  Then I go back, pick my son up and go home.  The next day I do the same thing, but it's a TRU, nothing.  The next day, another TRU (he goes 4 or 5 days a week, depending).  Then while going somewhere else, I happen to driving a certain way and divert to try another Target... nothing.  They all (the Targets) have shelf space, but no figures.

I think LEGO is an expensive hobby, and while I may not buy sets right off, and I wait for sales, I don't complain about the prices because I know we have it pretty good here.  In fact, while I may complain occasionally about TLG short stocking the U.S., I also know we get more of a variety of sets than most places.  The list of things we don't get is pretty short.

But to go back on topic, as most people have pointed out, it depends on what you like about LEGO... I like a lot of different things, and I plan on having a city scape on my train layout where a lot of these figures will be really cool, and even the out of the ordinary ones will make great little vignettes.  I really love these things for inspiring me to make little scenes, and they make great gifts, too.

Unfortunately, still, I have yet to see a SINGLE collectible minifigure for sale in a B&M store.  None.  Zero.  All the ones I've gotten, I've gotten from BL (and one shipment from S@H).

#22 FelixTheCat


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Posted 13 September 2010 - 10:20 AM

I'd all but given up on finding any series 1. Every shop in town had sold out within days and there was only a couple I really wanted. The only reason I have them now is because my lovely wife was treating the 4 year old to a new toy at TRU and she happened to turn around while at the counter and saw a boxfull underneath the closed checkout next to her. Pure fluke.  She had a crying baby and couldn't be stuffed finding the ones I wanted so she bought the whole box which was presented to me as a fathers day present. I suspect ulterior motive however cause she's the big town collector and I think she was excited by the variety that the collection would give to her town. The main benefit of a boxfull is that rather than looking for series 2 I may just be able to swap an entire set of series 1 with a set of 2 from someone who missed out on the series 1.  

As for the hype, definately not worth it. It repulses me to see that people are asking up to $20 on ebay for zombies and cheerleaders. The whole ebay reselling thing shits me to tears. Everytime theres a good sale at Myer the big ticket items pop up on ebay at MORE than RRP and people buy it (eg cargo train, RRP $299 ,on sale for $229, with Myer card discount I paid $189, couple of days after sale ebay is flooded with cargo trains Buy it now from $299 to $349). We've learned pretty quick that if theres a decent sale coming up you need to be there when they open on the first day to have any hope of getting the good bargains. I've seen the resellers clear an entire shelf of heavily discounted lego.

#23 BearHeart


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Posted 13 September 2010 - 03:37 PM

I've been lucky in that for both Series 1 and Series 2 I managed to 'stumble' across them at my local store. I wasn't looking for them because I wasn't expecting them to be out on sale yet but both times I wondered thorugh the LEGO isle and was surpised to see the minifigs out for sale already.

I picked up multiple copies of only the figures I was intersted in (maybe 4 or 5 figures per series). I'm into fantasy/history MOCs with a touch of sci-fi so only a few of the figs appealed to me. And yes, their quality is not up to par with regular LEGO sets but if you mix up the parts and create your own figs (like I do) the quality issue is not as noticable.

#24 takuto20


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Posted 14 September 2010 - 07:25 AM

I think they would be worth the hype if they were not made of cheap plastic.

#25 Scop


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Posted 15 September 2010 - 05:11 AM

I think especially the spartan from series 2 is overhyped. Yes, he looks really nice and there has never been before a warrior from ancient greece. And yes, everything from cape to shield and helmet is beautiful. But I don´t know, I have twelve of them standing on my desk and when I read about the hype here, I got in that Hype, too. Now I own another 44 still sealed Spartans and don´t really know what to do with them...

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