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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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#51 Masked Builder

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 09:48 PM

View PostJoebot, on 28 October 2011 - 08:46 PM, said:

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.
Yeah but it was the only time I was buying Minifigs at the store so I don't know about now.  I don't live near it.

View Postdarthnihilius, on 28 October 2011 - 08:47 PM, said:

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:
Yeah I saw one open fig at TRU.  Almost bought him. :tongue:
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#52 lisqr

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 10:26 PM

I've seen someone buying all TRU stock, taking them home, spend the time fingering and return the unwanted like 5 boxes. I think that's a bit too far.

(Although he inspired me to do the same, except I only bought 25 and got 15 unique ones and returned the rest. )

I've also seen someone grabbing all elves in a store for the intention of selling them on bricklink. I think that's a bit too far as well.

#53 Mrlegoninja

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 11:33 PM

View Postfred67, on 28 October 2011 - 05:52 AM, said:

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.



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.



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.


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).



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.



So you have nothing against people collecting up to a subjective number of your choosing, and after that it's unacceptable?  Noted.
I'm trying to be as objective as I can.

Lego is a child's toy. Sometimes I question the fact that I am and adult and I like collecting this toy. But I always know its fine to be an adult and like this toy. You say that you are more mature than children. I agree. Most adults are. But a truly mature adult wouldn't take them because he knows kids want them too. And as a child's toy, kids have more of a right for them then us.

Maybe I should have been more specific. Lego you can build and rebuild and rebuild again and again. Slowly your collection will grow, and you'll have pieces to MOC with. I don't see why you think that a MOC needs several minifigures to be great. Look at Derfel Cardarn. He makes huge, great MOCs that don't have so many figs. Sure, maybe 10 is ok. But the 300 spartan guy or more than 10, is IMHO totally unacceptable.

You say that you give them out. I totally think that's fine. In fact, I did that with the caveman when my son had to do a presentation to his class. But for reselling or army building is not acceptable.

This is all in my opinion. If youhave different views, that's fine; I have no problem with it. I see no reason to argue about this.
Thanks.

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#54 Peppermint_M

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 12:19 PM

Yes I do figure out what is in each packet before buying! Here is my count.

The first two series I bought a box online, this trapped me into dropping a large sum of money and being stuck with all these figures I didn't want a lot of, thus keeping me from buying them in shops as I had already spent so much!

For series three I went to the shops, armed with a dot code sheet, I helped a large group of children disperse by finding the exact one they wanted and then picked out my own, over the following weeks I bought a few more on occasion, to complete the collection and get more of those which I wanted (up to 5, I like squads of five).

Series 4? Again, I went and figured out each I was getting by checking for certain parts, once again I do not have much more than 5 of any one figure.

Series 5 was the first break. I wasn't aware they were getting to shops yet when I went to a town with my sister, one we don't often visit. Popping into a WH Smiths to check if a magazine I wanted was out yet, I spied a display full of them, so I grabbed a handful and bought them. After opening and checking what I had (at home) I then completed my collection by checking the bags.

Just the other day, a colleague of my father's (we work in the sam building, me and my dad) mentioned that my ability to find the specific figures had come up in conversation. He asked if I would be able to find two aerobics instructor figures for his girls. When I went into the city, I found one in the Lego Shop (The staff joked that it was pretty hard to find and wished me luck) ans a second in John Lewis, they were kept in a box, so it was easy to sort what I had checked already from the ones that needed checking.

There is nothing wrong with finding the ones you want, but it is a little mean to take all of one figure from the box.

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#55 vexorian

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 12:36 PM

The clerks at the only store brand that brings CM here are generally very accepting of feeling the contents and using bar codes and encourage everyone to do it. It helps that they are small stores and they are seldom full of people so it is not wasting anybody's time.

What is really wrong is the blind packaging. If I didn't feel the contents of bags in series 4 I would have bought a lot more of them and no, that wouldn't really mean more sales for the store because CMs would have sold out anyway. In other words, kids would have had less chances to find the minifigs.

#56 Masked Builder

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 12:58 PM

View Postvexorian, on 29 October 2011 - 12:36 PM, said:

What is really wrong is the blind packaging. If I didn't feel the contents of bags in series 4 I would have bought a lot more of them and no, that wouldn't really mean more sales for the store because CMs would have sold out anyway. In other words, kids would have had less chances to find the minifigs.
The blind packaging is what is keeping people from buying all of one type of fig in a box.  Sure I've go into a store and bought all of the sat Hazmat guys.  But I did send half of them to a friend so it's not that bad.
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#57 Dervish

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 01:28 PM

View Postvexorian, on 29 October 2011 - 12:36 PM, said:

What is really wrong is the blind packaging. If I didn't feel the contents of bags in series 4 I would have bought a lot more of them and no, that wouldn't really mean more sales for the store because CMs would have sold out anyway. In other words, kids would have had less chances to find the minifigs.

Nothing wrong with blind packaking.
After all, they ARE collectibles.
I can't remember that any of the NHL/Baseball etc cards would have been in a non-blind packs back in the days..

We just have found a "loophole" to get the figs we want, but ofcourse, lego uses blind packing because it pumps up the sales as not everyone can or a willing to feel around.

#58 Lyichir

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 02:24 PM

View PostDervish, on 29 October 2011 - 01:28 PM, said:

Nothing wrong with blind packaking.
After all, they ARE collectibles.
I can't remember that any of the NHL/Baseball etc cards would have been in a non-blind packs back in the days..

We just have found a "loophole" to get the figs we want, but ofcourse, lego uses blind packing because it pumps up the sales as not everyone can or a willing to feel around.

LEGO has said that the blind packaging is a means to produce figs that otherwise might not sell as well among the target age range. After all, if a kid gets a fig they didn't want specifically they're not going to flat-out reject it. I'm certain that if not for blind packaging we might not see figs like the Space Woman or the Cheerleader, who probably aren't as popular among the 5- to 12-year-old boys who make up LEGO's main market.

#59 SpiderSpaceman

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 03:14 PM

^ I like the cut of your jib.

no of course it's not wrong - until maybe series 7.  I'm a little worried about the structural integrity of the flower stalk, but i'm guessing they've likely taken proper consideration and gone the way of the ringmaster's whip

#60 Peanuts

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 05:03 PM

View PostSpiderSpaceman, on 29 October 2011 - 03:14 PM, said:

gone the way of the ringmaster's whip
What did they do with the ringmaster's whip? I must have forgotten. :wacko:

When I feel, I'm also very careful not to damage the content, of course. I own a Samurai whose armor is slightly bent, therefore showing a white line on it, I hope you understand what I mean. Anyway, it would be inresponsible to damage the parts while feeling. You're right, I'll have to be extra-careful while feeling series 7 figs. :sceptic:

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#61 Blondie-Wan

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 05:50 PM

View PostPeanuts, on 29 October 2011 - 05:03 PM, said:

What did they do with the ringmaster's whip? I must have forgotten. :wacko:

I think the other poster was referring to it being made of a softer material. Many of the parts are made of similar material, of course.

View PostPeanuts, on 29 October 2011 - 05:03 PM, said:

When I feel, I'm also very careful not to damage the content, of course. I own a Samurai whose armor is slightly bent, therefore showing a white line on it, I hope you understand what I mean. Anyway, it would be inresponsible to damage the parts while feeling. You're right, I'll have to be extra-careful while feeling series 7 figs. :sceptic:

Ugh, that's unfortunate. I do try to be careful when feeling packets myself.

#62 Rumble Strike

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 06:01 PM

I think it's totally acceptable to feel the packets.  For Series 4 I got the full 16 with no duplicates except a second surfer girl for my friend at work.  (I get her one minifig per series, the pink one!).

Series 5 I've not been so successful.  That's just the way it goes.
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#63 soccerkid6

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 06:18 PM

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

A kid is less likely to finger the packets

Actually when I was in Walmart, the last time I bought minifigs. There was a kid there, about 6 or 7 and he was feeling them. I actually ended up helping him get the ones he wanted.

I don't know about army builders, because where I live, I don't think I have ever run into that problem. I always feel the packets so I don't get the ones I don't want. But I usually only buy 3 or 4 at a time. And help my little brothers get the ones they want. For example in series 5, one of my little brothers got the Gladiator, Lizard suit guy, and the other one got 2 eskimos, a lumberjack, and 2 gangsters. I got 4 evil dwarves, and an eskimo.

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#64 TheLegoDr

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 09:56 PM

There is nothing wrong with feeling packets. The blind packaging is a great marketing ploy because people will buy multiples of figures either thinking they have the one they want or just random purchasing. You at least have the opportunity to "feel" the package to an extent to know what that particular figure is. Lego is still selling multiple figures by people feeling or not feeling, so it should not matter to them any. If they didn't want people to feel, they wouldn't be in a pliable poly bag and instead would be in mini-boxes. Oh boy, did I just give them an idea? In this world, you either buy randomly, feel the package and get what you want, or you buy on bricklink/ebay for the figure you want from someone else that marked up the price. It seems like a no-brainer to me. Feeling is not a problem, it is the people that are cutting open the bags and leaving the figures they don't want loose in the store for someone to steal or just simply damaging a product in the store.

For the people saying it isn't fair to little kids, I can understand that viewpoint since it is a "child's" toy, but like Barbie, Lego expects adult fans to remain fans of the toy for the future either for themselves or their children. So an adult buying multiple figures for their collection vs a child only wanting a certain figure isn't much different than children that want to army build vs adults who only want one certain figure. It's a product that consumers want and will purchase no matter the age.

So I say feel away. And be nice about it, help others if they need it.
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#65 mo123567

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Posted 30 October 2011 - 06:30 PM

View PostMrlegoninja, on 28 October 2011 - 11:33 PM, said:

I'm trying to be as objective as I can.

Lego is a child's toy. Sometimes I question the fact that I am and adult and I like collecting this toy. But I always know its fine to be an adult and like this toy. You say that you are more mature than children. I agree. Most adults are. But a truly mature adult wouldn't take them because he knows kids want them too. And as a child's toy, kids have more of a right for them then us.

Maybe I should have been more specific. Lego you can build and rebuild and rebuild again and again. Slowly your collection will grow, and you'll have pieces to MOC with. I don't see why you think that a MOC needs several minifigures to be great. Look at Derfel Cardarn. He makes huge, great MOCs that don't have so many figs. Sure, maybe 10 is ok. But the 300 spartan guy or more than 10, is IMHO totally unacceptable.

You say that you give them out. I totally think that's fine. In fact, I did that with the caveman when my son had to do a presentation to his class. But for reselling or army building is not acceptable.

This is all in my opinion. If youhave different views, that's fine; I have no problem with it. I see no reason to argue about this.
Thanks.

I personally believe that purchasing what you want from a retailer is completely acceptable. If it wasn't acceptable they would not allow it. It's not up to you, me or anyone else to judge a person's reason for buying minifigures. They don't even have to justify it with needing them for a MOC. If someone wants to buy 300 spartans just to set them up and look at them, they can. If someone wants to buy 300 spartans simply to melt them down into a big lump of plastic, they can. If LEGO or any retailer wants to take measures to limit army building, they can.

My opinion is that LEGO should take measures to increase production of more popular figures but I'm sure they do what they do for their own reasons. Still, I do not mind if a kid doesn't always get what they want. Any kid who always gets what they want will probably become spoiled and miss a valueble life lesson. I don't always get what I want either.

#66 Mrlegoninja

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 12:41 AM

View Postmo123567, on 30 October 2011 - 06:30 PM, said:

I personally believe that purchasing what you want from a retailer is completely acceptable. If it wasn't acceptable they would not allow it. It's not up to you, me or anyone else to judge a person's reason for buying minifigures. They don't even have to justify it with needing them for a MOC. If someone wants to buy 300 spartans just to set them up and look at them, they can. If someone wants to buy 300 spartans simply to melt them down into a big lump of plastic, they can. If LEGO or any retailer wants to take measures to limit army building, they can.

My opinion is that LEGO should take measures to increase production of more popular figures but I'm sure they do what they do for their own reasons. Still, I do not mind if a kid doesn't always get what they want. Any kid who always gets what they want will probably become spoiled and miss a valueble life lesson. I don't always get what I want either.
Although I think its a disgrace, yes, I agree. I'm not one to decide what's right or wrong, it's just my opinion, and I'd never buy
like that. Neither can I stop this, nor can I tell others to change.
Yet I still stand by the fact that this is a child's toy, and they have a bigger right to lego than adults.

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#67 vexorian

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 12:52 AM

View PostMasked Builder, on 29 October 2011 - 12:58 PM, said:

The blind packaging is what is keeping people from buying all of one type of fig in a box.
It does not.

If I have the money I should be able to do that, and I am actually, I feel the contents and buy all the figs I could get. The ones that end up having trouble are the kids who got less money and less access to information.

Quote

Sure I've go into a store and bought all of the sat Hazmat guys.
Yes, exactly.

Quote

Nothing wrong with blind packaking.
After all, they ARE collectibles.

I can't remember that any of the NHL/Baseball etc cards would have been in a non-blind packs back in the days..
It is a fraud. Back when minifigs were 2 USD, it was worth to go through the blind packaging, but now with the insane prices, the random game is just not worth playing.

Quote

LEGO has said that the blind packaging is a means to produce figs that otherwise might not sell as well among the target age range.

They could just produce minifigs that will sell well. If not for the blind packaging, they could just include two cheerleaders per box. The kids would get all the zombies they want and the AFOLs would directly buy the cheerleaders.

If a minifig won't sell well overall then they should focus on making more demanded minifigs. Instead of using the blind packaging to make people get figures they did not want.

#68 wokajablocka

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 02:26 AM

I dont care if people are looking for the final figs they are after but I do disagree with people trying to get armies together and buying all they figs they can find. I makes it much harder for others to collect the whole set.
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#69 Legoist

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 12:38 PM

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

*It stops kids getting the favourite minifigure

A reasonable concern. Not that I buy many minifigures in general, but still I've purposefully never bought more than 2 of the same figure from the same shop on any given day.

I think people (KFOL and AFOL alike) have wildly different opinions on which are the "best" minifigs in a series, so things tend to even out in the end. "Army builders" could be very unfair when there is one key minifigure in a given series that attracts all of them.

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

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

I do this all the time, and I think everyone should (not with naked fingers... in European shops there are often thin plastic gloves exactly for such purpose! or at least some of the plasic bags can be used for that), because it keeps the quality of the merchandize under check and improves competition between sellers in providing fresh products and maintaining healthy conditions. :sweet:

#70 Mr Benn

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 03:22 PM

As for 'saving them for the kiddies', I was in the Lego shop in Liverpool this morning and there was a kid who must have been 7-8 feeling the packs to get the ones he wanted - sounds like he found 2 Royal Guards - the very nice chap in the shop actually asked if he had the ones he wanted the kid's mum was saying how he could always find any fig he wanted!

It's their smaller, more sensitive fingers - we should all be sending kids out to feel the bags for us ;-)

Edited by Mr Benn, 31 October 2011 - 03:22 PM.


#71 Darkdragon

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 04:33 PM

View Postvexorian, on 31 October 2011 - 12:52 AM, said:

It is a fraud. Back when minifigs were 2 USD, it was worth to go through the blind packaging, but now with the insane prices, the random game is just not worth playing.

I do not consider $3US an insane price at all. Sure, I liked it better at $2US with the extra bonus parts. $3US with accessories and a stand is not bad at all and is keeping with the average price you pay per figure in a set.

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#72 Lyichir

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 06:02 PM

View Postvexorian, on 31 October 2011 - 12:52 AM, said:

They could just produce minifigs that will sell well. If not for the blind packaging, they could just include two cheerleaders per box. The kids would get all the zombies they want and the AFOLs would directly buy the cheerleaders.

If a minifig won't sell well overall then they should focus on making more demanded minifigs. Instead of using the blind packaging to make people get figures they did not want.
But if they did that, there would be far less variety in the collectable figs. First of all, AFOLs are not a big enough market for LEGO that they can produce figs kids don't want and assume that AFOLs will pick up the slack. So many of the more unique yet less popular figs (such as the crash test dummy) would go unproduced. What would we be left with? A series of figs featuring plenty of army building figs, sure, but we fans who like the quirkier, more niche figs would be left out in the cold.

As an aside, think about themes that don't use blind packaging; specifically, City. City releases new fire stations and police departments on nearly a yearly basis. People complain about any repetition in the collectable figs already, and it would become far worse if LEGO had to tailor each series according to what types of figs consistently sold best. So it's not a fraud; it's a business strategy tailored toward those fans among us who appreciate variety.

#73 Aanchir

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 06:22 PM

View PostLyichir, on 31 October 2011 - 06:02 PM, said:

But if they did that, there would be far less variety in the collectable figs. First of all, AFOLs are not a big enough market for LEGO that they can produce figs kids don't want and assume that AFOLs will pick up the slack. So many of the more unique yet less popular figs (such as the crash test dummy) would go unproduced. What would we be left with? A series of figs featuring plenty of army building figs, sure, but we fans who like the quirkier, more niche figs would be left out in the cold.

As an aside, think about themes that don't use blind packaging; specifically, City. City releases new fire stations and police departments on nearly a yearly basis. People complain about any repetition in the collectable figs already, and it would become far worse if LEGO had to tailor each series according to what types of figs consistently sold best. So it's not a fraud; it's a business strategy tailored toward those fans among us who appreciate variety.
Also related to the whole "variety" thing is that a lot of people criticize the City theme and in fact many other themes as well for focusing primarily on vehicles and not on locations. The reason for this is that vehicles tend to sell better. Town builders, of course, hate it, because they end up with a town packed to the brim with great vehicle designs but with a huge shortage of well-designed buildings.

The same would happen in the collectible minifigures, I'm sure. Female figs are already fewer proportionally than male figs, but it would become so much worse if demand were responsible for deciding how plentiful the figs are. If there weren't blind packaging, for instance, there might not have been enough demand to even release the Hula Dancer fig. Yet I know a lot of people really like this fig.

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#74 Dorothy Vader

Dorothy Vader

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    Country: UK

Posted 31 October 2011 - 07:13 PM

Feeling-out the minifigure is perfectly acceptable in my view. Having just read through this thread it seems that both child and adult fans of LEGO do this, and its a great when fans help each other out to feel-out the figures they'd like, when staff get involved, and when a child comes over and you help them find the one they want.

I really don't care if some fans only want a complete set, or if they want to army-build the more popular figures. If I've earnt my money I want to know what its being spent on, be it armies of 33 Spartans, Elves, or Dwarves, or a solitary Cleopatra. Its all part of the fun, so good hunting everyone!

#75 tkf

tkf

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 10:27 PM

IMO it is normal to feel packages, it will be better if there were barcodes like in 1-2 series. Most people will buy packs without feeling or trying to determine what is inside, but lego will help fans to get the desired figs.
I am not as good in feeling the packs, my fingers seems to be not so sensitive as needed. So when going to toy shop with my gf, she helps me to find which figure is inside.
Sometimes i bought a random packages, to have a surprise :)
So i think it is nothing wrong with feeling, and it will be great if lego returns the barcodes for series 6 and 7.

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