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Collectable Minifigures: Feeling the Packets


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Poll: Collectable Minifigures: Feeling the Packets (283 member(s) have cast votes)

Is it OK to feel the packets?

  1. Yes (212 votes [74.91%])

    Percentage of vote: 74.91%

  2. Yes but not for army building (63 votes [22.26%])

    Percentage of vote: 22.26%

  3. No (8 votes [2.83%])

    Percentage of vote: 2.83%

Is opening the packets too far?

  1. Yes (227 votes [95.38%])

    Percentage of vote: 95.38%

  2. No (11 votes [4.62%])

    Percentage of vote: 4.62%

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#26 Weil

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 12:34 AM

I've seen kids feeling the bags. If anything I think kids are more likely to do it because it's more socially acceptable for them where as you look like a bit of a plonker as an adult standing there feeling all the lego bags. I don't have a problem with it.

Saying that I don't normally feel the packets. That's because I normally only buy them if I'm shopping with my girlfriend as we see them, then we get one each and part of the excitement is finding out what we've got. If there's a figure I want in particular I normally just get it off ebay normally for about £3 including p&p. The extra pound seems preferable to having to try and hunt down it in the packets and risk spending money on figures I don't want.

Edited by Weil, 28 October 2011 - 01:08 AM.

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#27 SilentMode

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 12:57 AM

I will feel the bags if I have time, and if I'm collecting a particular figure I will take whatever's available... first because I don't usually hit up several stores in one day, and secondly because (in some cases) I get it wrong anyway. It was embarrassing trying to get gorillas from stores and ending up with pilots, tennis players or racing drivers.

But if there happens to be someone else looking for a specific figure, I'll help them out.
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#28 K-Nut

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 01:48 AM

Remember, if TLG did not want us feeling packets, they would put them in battery boxes. :laugh:
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#29 Zeya

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 01:56 AM

View PostK-nut, on 28 October 2011 - 01:48 AM, said:

Remember, if TLG did not want us feeling packets, they would put them in battery boxes. :laugh:

They do: in Japan. They're in those little hard bubble things in a vending machine.  :laugh:

I will say that identifying through the bag feels a little wrong. But it's kind of like driving a turbocharged sports car while your coworker had a hybrid electric. Kind of the same feel anyway. There are worse things in life. (Megabloks.)

#30 lightningtiger

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 02:02 AM

Well I feel the bags so I find what ones my son doesn't have in his collection....though sometimes I just do a random bag pick. :wink:
Also I always check carrots, tomatoes and apples for their freshness, so I see nothing wrong with feeling the bags at all. :classic:

#31 Bearded Castle Guy

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 03:55 AM

I fail to see an issue with feeling the bags to find the ones I want, to make them truly blind (random) they could've designed the package differently including using a box.  These sets will be purchased at some point.  I'd prefer to get the ones I want verus the ones I wish one of to have a 'full set'...

#32 Laura Takayama

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 05:28 AM

I always check the bags, have since series 1, and I'm pretty darn good at it (I've only ever made a mistake 3 times, but that was with series 1 & 2, and in the series 1 case I got 2 Forestmen instead of Tribal Hunters, but I was after either of those, so I was OK with that)...  I do "army build", however, there are always at least 3 minifigs from any given series that I want to get, and I've committed myself to a strict budget of no more than $20 per week on collectable minifigs and/or impulse sets (i.e. PQ Scarab attack), which means that I can get 6 CM per week MAX.  This means that, for example, for series 5, I'm going after Zookeepers, Mobsters, Evil Dwarves, Gladiators and Royal Guards, with the occasional pick for Cleopatra (love her head and hair, plus I needed at least one for a queen of the undead) and the lizard suit guy (Lizardmen!)... Now, I go through the box sequentially, and this means that, on average, I hit my 6-fig limit when I have a Zookeeper, maybe 1 Mobster an evil dwarf or two, a gladiator or two and a Royal Guard or two, leaving the rest un-checked, and giving any hypothetical kid an entire WEEK to grab any that I didn't pick up during my weekly foray.

Furthermore, I've actually helped people complete their sets/find a figure they wanted, even when they were looking for figs I was (such as the Kimono Girl for series 4)... But that's just the way I roll... Of course, it helps that I tend to go after figures that seem to be somewhat less popular for some reason (i.e. Series 2 adventurers... I got a ton of those guys, Series 3 Samurai and series 4 Kimono Girls and Sailors... hey, I have a ship in the works that needs a crew).  :wink:
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#33 fred67

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 05:52 AM

View PostMrlegoninja, on 28 October 2011 - 12:22 AM, said:

I enjoy collecting as much as the next guy. But there's a difference. If a kid is looking for something, they should be able to obtain it.
Why shouldn't an adult be able to get it?  Don't get me wrong... when I'm trying to get a bunch of a particular figure and there's a kid there looking for the same one, I'll give it to him, but on the whole, I feel like my desire for the minifigures is just as valid as anyone else's, kid or not.

Quote

I still don't understand the concept of Army building. I am content with just one whole set of figures. Can someone please explain (An army builder) why they do this.

I don't understand how you can't understand... if you want a baseball team, you need 9; if you want a "unit" of soldiers to make a vignette of a battle, you need... how ever many is in a unit.  If you're going to make a large scale MOC, you might need more.  If I'm making an Elven stronghold MOC, I can't do it with just one.  It may be true that I don't understand why anyone would want an army of mad scientists, but I don't question it.

Quote

And there's a difference between feeling for only one set (Which I think is okay), and feeling for an army or reselling

Define "army."  I have like 15 elves and maybe 10 dwarves... but I didn't raid every box in town day after day until I got them, it took months (for the elves) and a couple of months for the dwarves, and often it boils down to that while feeling for the ones I don't have to complete my collection, I'd say "oh, another dwarf; cool." and keep it.

Quote

How would you like it if you walked into the store, with your piggy bank full of mere coins and bills, ready to pay for your favorite toy, when you see an old man (Old is very... :laugh: ) taking all the minifigures.
About the same way I feel about it now.  How often have I been the guy picking through the bags that have already been picked over?  It's a lesson in life - you don't always get what you want exactly when you want it.  I don't feel crushed because I'm mature enough to know better; I'm mature enough to know better because I've experienced real life, where you don't always get what you want (unlike, it seems, most kids today).

Quote

But as an adult, it changes. You feel the right to hoard. I neither did do it as a kid, nor do I hoard as an adult.

I guess I don't get what you mean by "hoarding."  Out of 80 figures released, I have two (mostly) or three (sometimes) of each (all for myself), a few extras I got because I DO pick randomly sometimes, especially when they first come out, and there are two figures in particular that I've collected a lot of... but nothing like the people getting 300 Spartans for... I don't know what, but if that's what they wanted, then fine.  I've also collected a handful of ones that I give away (does that make me a hoarder?), including the monster ones (the vampire and witch) that I gave away to kids last Halloween, and the Karate guys that I gave away to people at my son's martial arts academy, and I've got a bunch of graduates now so that I can give them to people when they graduate... I honestly do not feel the least bit bad about it.

Quote

Edit: I want to add that I have nothing against collecting maybe 2-6 of on figure. I bought 3 hazmat guys. But more than that I think is unacceptable.

So you have nothing against people collecting up to a subjective number of your choosing, and after that it's unacceptable?  Noted.

Edited by fred67, 28 October 2011 - 05:56 AM.


#34 Jedi master Brick

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 06:31 AM

View PostK-nut, on 28 October 2011 - 01:48 AM, said:

Remember, if TLG did not want us feeling packets, they would put them in battery boxes. :laugh:
That would be a waste of money.
To be honest I can see where some people are coming from about not wanting to get doubles but army builders can make it quite hard.  At the toy store I got to to get my minifigures it was only possible to get a S3 elf after S4 came out and the boxes got moved upstairs because all the army builders took them earlier.

Edited by Jedi master Brick, 28 October 2011 - 06:32 AM.

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#35 Solitary Dark

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 06:59 AM

Where I am (West London - Heathrow area) there has never been any shortage of stock of CMF's so I've been able to accumulate 'small' armies of some figures, but I've done it over time. I have three Gladiators, but not the first 3 out of the first box I came across.

As someone who goes through a number of local stores once or twice a week I can also honestly say that if I'd wanted to complete any series I would have easily been able to, for every series except 1, simply because there was stock on the shelf for at least 3 months.

What I've noticed is the number of parents who wont buy a CMF for their kid, because of the randomness - I hear - 'I know you want the lizard man, but I've bought you three already and you didnt get him, I'm not buying another one' Trust me the bag fingerer they were previously looking at slightly oddly becomes a lot more useful when he passes them a newly discovered lizard man.

I'm all for bag checking, just remember the kids (I usually buy one for me and one each for the kids - except elves!)

#36 Dervish

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 09:34 AM

Definately yes to the poll.
I think it is very OK to feel the packets.
The comparison to the apples etc limbs a LOT. A totally diffirent thing, that i think, almost everyone does.

I got the 1&2 series via the barcodes, 3 with the bump codes, tried 4 with the bump codes and ended up with lots of doubles etc. Started to learn the feel method on 4, and HOARDED series 5 (bought a full box+ then some, by feeling in diffirent stores, to have full sets).
I'm still missing 2 figs (cheerleader+robin hood) from the 1st series, as the vanished FAST from the stores i then visited for them. And stil kept buying some randoms every now and then, also for our son, got the figs he most wanted.

Got a full opened set of 2nd, 3rd and 4th series, 6 full sets of unopened series 5 and one opened.
I'm definately not a reseller of the figs (have sold like 5 or 6 of the pre 4th series figs, none after that), and not an army builder.
I'm just addicted.

For series 6, will order 2 full boxes atleast and then fill up to full sets by feeling individual packets.

EDIT:
(sorry for several edits, lotsa typos)
And Yes, I have made "interesting" sounds in the stores when feeling the packets, and getting the ones I wanted. Some employees might look after me feeling them, some don't mind, a few guards have looked at me doing it.. but NONE have said anything to me to stop it. I have even had an employee bring me unopened boxes from their own warehouse outside the store, for me to feel them to get the few that I'm missing.
What I once noticed in a supermarket when going to get the figs of #5. There were 2 or 3 packets in the box, slit open behind the crease in the bags, random parts STOLEN and there wasn't eny full figs+acc left. Even the employees thought that the bags have failed when i took the box to them and reported it.
Yeah, sure the bags have failed when someone had felt them . .

Edited by Dervish, 28 October 2011 - 09:42 AM.


#37 AngryChair

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 10:42 AM

I went feeling for Cleopatra last night (actually not a bad name for a band).  I know I didn't get it but i found at least 6 'Sherlock Holmes' figures which if I went with the 'pot luck' method would have made this man one angry individual!

As mentioned in another post I will continue to do the bag feeling with no remorse as at the end of the day I'm the customer.  I actually found a couple of opened bags and the contents dumped in the box which I feel is too far.

On a different side though, how do you buy a whole unopened box..?  May do this for the next 2 waves

#38 Roger Rabbit

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 11:46 AM

View PostAngryChair, on 28 October 2011 - 10:42 AM, said:

Feeling for Cleopatra last night (actually not a bad name for a band)..
Love it!!  :laugh:

#39 Jedi master Brick

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 12:14 PM

As people mentioned some people open the packets, before buying.   That is way to far.  I am sure most people agree on here but I added another question to see if any people disagree.  Boxes are great.  You are going to get all the minifigures and it is cheaper than buying an equal number of packets.
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#40 Brickmamba

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 12:42 PM

View PostJedi master Brick, on 27 October 2011 - 08:42 PM, said:

A kid is less likely to finger the packets

you be surprised how many kids want specific figures for various reasons, I've seen kids feeling packets and i have also found figures for kids and afol alike, until TLG decided to use transparent packets this is going to be the way it is
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#41 SilentMode

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 01:32 PM

Wanted to add that thankfully I've never seen opened minfigure packs in a shop, but I have seen opened boxes of sets. Either is definitely going too far. Condemn!
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#42 Aanchir

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 01:38 PM

View PostSilentMode, on 28 October 2011 - 01:32 PM, said:

Wanted to add that thankfully I've never seen opened minfigure packs in a shop, but I have seen opened boxes of sets. Either is definitely going too far. Condemn!
I've seen opened minifigure packets in stores, unfortunately. :sad:

#43 AngryChair

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 04:07 PM

So if you want to buy an unopened box do you go to the retailer and order one and are they any cheaper than buying as singles..?

#44 Darkdragon

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 04:10 PM

View PostJedi master Brick, on 27 October 2011 - 06:02 PM, said:

*Would you finger an apple or other products before you by them

Yes. But I wouldn't taste-test  :laugh:

The only time I think it is totally wrong is when it's a reseller snatching all the "most wanted" figures. If it's for collection or army building then not as bad (though army builders make it frustrating for the rest of us).

#45 Dervish

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 05:50 PM

View PostAngryChair, on 28 October 2011 - 04:07 PM, said:

So if you want to buy an unopened box do you go to the retailer and order one and are they any cheaper than buying as singles..?

Just ask the people in the store about buying a full unopened box. It's up to them if it's cheaper this way or gettin them one by one. I got a small discount of the full box, but it was in a small REAL toy store, no toys'r'us or any of that big megablocks corp. crap..

#46 tedbeard

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 07:13 PM

View PostMrlegoninja, on 28 October 2011 - 12:22 AM, said:

I still don't understand the concept of Army building. I am content with just one whole set of figures. Can someone please explain (An army builder) why they do this.
Not sure I qualify as an "army builder" but I do try to collect some "armies" and I have met some fellow AFOLs who have gigantic armies.

Some figs represent characters that belong in units. The Spartans, Royal Guards, Romans all belong in groups just as the Pirate Redcoats or the Castle guys. It seems logical and reasonable to me to want to see an appropriate number massed together for the correct effect. I have assembled units of medieval soldiers, Royal Marines, Roman Legionnaires, WWII "Commonwealth" infantry and soon (I hope) the RCMP Musical Ride (based on the Royal Guards torsos).

Not sure I see why someone would want to create "armies" of mimes or even Gladiators but at the same time I am always amused when I see such armies on a BrickWars table or public display. The absurdist humour always wins me over at first.

What I don't get is the crazy numbers. I aim for between 20-100 figs in my various "armies". This is primarily a compromise made necessary by a limited budget but going past that number makes me personally feel a little odd and selfish and serves little purpose beyond the impulse to say "look mine is bigger!" Although I admit my first thought was "I need 300 Spartans!" the financial reality allowed me to suppress that particular impulse.


But then there are lots of "collectors" in any hobby for whom "completeness" is not the sole measure of their collection. Having the most of something is a collecting impulse as well. Funny thing is I cannot understand the need to have complete sets of the "collectible" minifigs. I get them to create units or add characters to things I have built or plan to build or might build. The idea of buying minifigs simply to have them makes no more sense to me than the impulse to have and display 500 stormtroopers on parade. I do not have a "complete" collection of an CM series and probably never will just as I will never have a full Legion of Romans.

Wow, that was probably spectacularly unhelpful but I thought I'd share anyway.  :laugh:
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#47 Brickdoctor

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 07:22 PM

I don't think there's anyone here who thinks opening the packets isn't going too far. Unless you're going to buy it no matter what's inside, you shouldn't be opening the packets. (and even then, I would question the necessity of doing so, since if you've already decided to buy it no matter what, you can surely wait to pay and step out of the store)

I'm not too sure about stores like Target or TRU, but I do know that in the LEGO Brand Store near me, everybody feels, and those who don't quickly learn how to. The employees and adults alike all feel to help the kids get what they want. The parents don't really care if people like me are feeling all the packets, because more often then not, I'll find something that they want and I don't, and I'll be giving them tips on what to feel for.

#48 Masked Builder

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 07:55 PM

View PostBrickdoctor, on 28 October 2011 - 07:22 PM, said:

I'm not too sure about stores like Target or TRU, but I do know that in the LEGO Brand Store near me, everybody feels, and those who don't quickly learn how to. The employees and adults alike all feel to help the kids get what they want. The parents don't really care if people like me are feeling all the packets, because more often then not, I'll find something that they want and I don't, and I'll be giving them tips on what to feel for.
Target and TRU have more square footage to employee but at my TRU they do notice me feeling them and sometimes even ask if I know which ones I'm getting.  And I've helped several moms and kids get the ones they want.  At the LEGO brand store I went to and started feeling the packets, the emplooyes told the guy who walked up next to me to not to as it wasn't fair for the little kiddies.  I managed to get the one I wanted before they noticed thankfully.

#49 Joebot

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 08:46 PM

View PostMasked Builder, on 28 October 2011 - 07:55 PM, said:

At the LEGO brand store I went to and started feeling the packets, the emplooyes told the guy who walked up next to me to not to as it wasn't fair for the little kiddies.  I managed to get the one I wanted before they noticed thankfully.

Dang, that sucks. At the Lego brand store near me (Schaumburg, IL), there's an employee there who always helps me feel the packets to find the figures I'm looking for. He's astonishingly good at it too.

As for the original question, I feel like we have this ridiculous debate every time TLC releases a new series, like it's some great moral dilemma that we're all wrestling with.

#50 Darth Nihilus

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 08:47 PM

View PostAanchir, on 28 October 2011 - 01:38 PM, said:

I've seen opened minifigure packets in stores, unfortunately. :sad:
Seconded. Yesterday I went to Walmart (Yes, I am a Walmart kind of guy. :grin: ) and found that someone had taken a knife to most of the packets. Whoever does that stuff shouldn't be allowed inside places with Collectable Minifigs. :hmpf:
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