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Discontinuation of “Grab Bags” in LEGO Brand Retail


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#1 Bricksan

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 10:06 AM

Kevin Hinkle the North America Community Coordinator has posted an announcement via the Ambassador site about the discontinuation of Grab Bags in Brand stores not just in North America but globally.

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Hello and good evening folks,

I wanted to take a moment to address some of the rumors going around and provide a bit of clarity. This decision was not taken lightly, however, due to a continued focus on LEGO quality standards, as well as increasing toy industry legislation, we can no longer sell grab bags in our LEGO brand retail stores. We understand that this decision may not be warmly embraced by some members of the LEGO fan community, please understand that we are constantly re-evaluating our product assortment and are dedicated to providing the best quality of products as possible for all our consumers. This change will affect all LEGO brand retail stores globally.

We are currently exploring various opportunities with the brand retail team to address excess LEGO elements collected at the store level. We believe the elements can be put to great use as another form of fan community support. Although I don’t have any specific details to share at this time, we appreciate your patience as the LEGO community team continues to work with the appropriate parties during this transition to form a new solution.

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#2 purpleparadox

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 01:50 PM

Dissapointing, but not infuriating. :shrug_oh_well: Hmm...I wonder what their "new solution" will be?

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#3 just2good

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 02:29 PM

Dang it, I never got to pick one up! I see them all the time at my LEGO store. I am going to day, I hope they still have 'em.

#4 Jackattack7

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 02:31 PM

View Postpurpleparadox, on 30 September 2012 - 01:50 PM, said:

Dissapointing, but not infuriating. :shrug_oh_well: Hmm...I wonder what their "new solution" will be?

Hopefully more mini sets like the rock band or fireman battle pack.
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#5 Hey Joe

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 02:38 PM

Could someone explain what a 'grab bag' is exactly? I've never been to a real Lego shop. Also, why would this cause legal problems? Thanks
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#6 ShaydDeGrai

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 03:19 PM

I for one will miss them.  Ever since discovering these things, I've made it a habit to clean out the entire stock on hand whenever I visit my 'local' store. Usually it's just three or four bags, but still, I leave the bin empty.   Not only were they a good buy with a much wider array of parts than the pick-a-brick wall, it kinda reminded me of the good old days of opening up a pack of bubble gum cards.  You never knew what you were going to get.  Most of the time they were just duplicates of things you already had, but then there was the unexpected discover of something rare or novel.

I can understand the issue of selling "used" parts in the store being a quality control concern, but now I wonder what's going to happen to all those parts from broken down display models and customer returns.  I seems a shame to see them end up in a recycle bin when they have so much fun left in them.


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#7 Multiverse

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 05:27 PM

I'm sorry to hear this. I've heard so many good things of grab bags, yet I never came across one that seemed worth the money. I was hoping I might one day get one of those that contained parts of a previously showcased set.

#8 brickbuilder711

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 05:29 PM

I am assuming that used LEGO will no longer be allowed to be a means of profit for the company. I fully understand that; I like my product to be new (even though believe it or not, those in grab bags look quite new themselves). This is not to say I am happy with the move.

I would like to propose a solution. This should be an opportunity for AFOL/frequent clientele to interact better with the store employees/managers. I know the manager of Sawgrass, and I am sure lots of members communicate with their staff. If there is still a profit motive, we can ask to "Secretly" fill Pick-A-Brick cups with bag material or get a bulk discount as a club. But as I said, this leftover material may not be permitted to serve for profit. We may be able to get the stuff given away instead of thrown away, like a sandwich at Starbucks at the end of the day. I would definitely like this to be a means of discussion for us to benefit since we are LEGO's brothers and sisters essentially.

Edited by brickbuilder711, 30 September 2012 - 05:29 PM.

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#9 Flipz

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 05:44 PM

View Postbrickbuilder711, on 30 September 2012 - 05:29 PM, said:

I am assuming that used LEGO will no longer be allowed to be a means of profit for the company. I fully understand that; I like my product to be new (even though believe it or not, those in grab bags look quite new themselves). This is not to say I am happy with the move.

I would like to propose a solution. This should be an opportunity for AFOL/frequent clientele to interact better with the store employees/managers. I know the manager of Sawgrass, and I am sure lots of members communicate with their staff. If there is still a profit motive, we can ask to "Secretly" fill Pick-A-Brick cups with bag material or get a bulk discount as a club. But as I said, this leftover material may not be permitted to serve for profit. We may be able to get the stuff given away instead of thrown away, like a sandwich at Starbucks at the end of the day. I would definitely like this to be a means of discussion for us to benefit since we are LEGO's brothers and sisters essentially.

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#10 RaincloudDustbin

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 06:01 PM

View Postbjtpro, on 30 September 2012 - 02:38 PM, said:

Could someone explain what a 'grab bag' is exactly? I've never been to a real Lego shop. Also, why would this cause legal problems? Thanks
Basically, they are bags of Lego which consist of parts from displays and damaged sets or leftover stock from TLS. There are a whole range of parts you can discover in them. :sweet:
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#11 Stefano

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 06:10 PM

View PostTeardropTrashcan, on 30 September 2012 - 06:01 PM, said:

Basically, they are bags of Lego which consist of parts from displays and damaged sets or leftover stock from TLS. There are a whole range of parts you can discover in them. :sweet:
So is/was this a USA exclusive ? because i have been a few times to the Lego Store in Cologne, Germany and i have never seen something like that :S or i have just overlooked it

#12 RaincloudDustbin

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 07:50 PM

View PostStefano, on 30 September 2012 - 06:10 PM, said:

So is/was this a USA exclusive ? because i have been a few times to the Lego Store in Cologne, Germany and i have never seen something like that :S or i have just overlooked it
Don't know. Haven't ever seen them here in UK but it says it will affect stores globally.
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#13 TheBoyWonder

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 08:48 PM

I saw them at Lego Shop Stratford in UK.
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#14 Bricksan

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 09:13 PM

Grab Bags was a global thing in Brand Stores.
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#15 Ferrik

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 10:28 PM

It's a shame that there will no longer be Grab Bags... But I've never used one so I wouldn't really know.  :devil:
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#16 Aanchir

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 10:50 PM

A lot of people at Brickfair seemed to be fans of the grab bags, and I guess they were cheap enough that I can understand that, but personally they never appealed to me. Most of the time when I saw them they had such a random mishmash of parts that I'd be lucky to find immediate uses for half of them (On multiple occasions I saw ones that contained treasure chests but no lids or vice-versa). But then again, I'm not much of a MOCist, and I can understand how some people would embrace the challenge unconventional parts might provide.

So yeah. I don't really care about whether these stay or go, because they were always hit-and-miss in my experience. But I'm sure a lot of people will feel differently.

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#17 dr_spock

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 01:39 AM

Where do the bricks for grab bag come from?  Are they returns or store displays?

#18 Cara

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 03:05 AM

View Postdr_spock, on 01 October 2012 - 01:39 AM, said:

Where do the bricks for grab bag come from?  Are they returns or store displays?

They can be broken box sets, returns, store displays, left overs from the monthly mini build, excess brick wall pieces, lego that the kids played with at the play stations. However due to licensing all the licensed minifigs should be removed (didn't always happen).

I wonder when this goes into effect, if there will be a few last bags.

It sounds like the lego is going to be donated to community events or some such. I always wanted them to put it in one bin of the brick wall, oh well  :cry_sad:
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#19 Darkdragon

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 03:20 AM

The grab bags I've been able to get so far were all broken down display sets (rather than PAB parts) and well worth the cost. I am really going to miss getting these at the store  :cry_sad: However, I'm sure the Community Team has something great planned. They'd never leave us AFOLs high and dry.

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#20 Canticleer blues

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 03:53 AM

Prompted by the discussion of this over on Brickset, I went over to my local Lego store yesterday and asked the manager there about it.  He said he'd heard rumors that someone in one of the stores found a hazardous material in one of their bags, which was then reported to the company and led to the precautionary shutdown of the grab bags.  Apparently not even the managers are happy about this, as the grab bags brought in a lot of money for the stores.  As to what they're going to do with the leftover pieces now, there's no instructions from the company yet so it depends on the store; my store will be putting them in the play area.  

It's a curious situation, isn't it?  Personally I'm just waiting to see what TLG's next steps are.

Edited by Canticleer blues, 01 October 2012 - 03:54 AM.

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#21 mostlytechnic

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 12:35 PM

View PostCara, on 01 October 2012 - 03:05 AM, said:

They can be broken box sets, returns, store displays, left overs from the monthly mini build, excess brick wall pieces, lego that the kids played with at the play stations. However due to licensing all the licensed minifigs should be removed (didn't always happen).



The last couple bags I got were fantastic - had lots of the dark orange from the town hall PLUS a bunch of Super Heroes figs :) The figs alone were worth several times what I paid for the bags. Heck, even the store manager told me I was getting a great deal when he saw me buying them (I'm in the store enough that he recognizes me, and I got lucky and was there about 30 minutes after they put the bags out, so I got them)

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#22 kibosh

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 01:36 PM

Total bummer.  Last time I bought a bunch of these, I got the better part of a Maersk train in them.  Awesome part selection for an awesome price.  These will be sorely missed by this AFOL.  :cry_sad:
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#23 TheLegoDr

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 04:33 PM

That stinks. I never bought any, but I've never been to a Brand store either. My first trip will be later this month, and now I guess I won't be able to look for them. I was always excited to grab some after reading what can be included. Hopefully TLG will come up with a good solution for everyone, although I could picture the pieces getting donated to hospitals or other needed venues, or in their own play area.
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#24 Hodge

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 09:18 PM

That's too bad. I've bought a few, but of late (at least at my closest LEGO store), they seemed to mostly consist of old parts off the brick wall, not from actual sets that had been taken apart, so they've been much less interesting.

#25 Ricecracker

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 11:45 PM

View PostCara, on 01 October 2012 - 03:05 AM, said:

I wonder when this goes into effect, if there will be a few last bags.
From what I've heard, it was effective immediately.



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