Lego David

Are Minifigures Overrated?

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Ok, so first off, I don't have anything against minifigures. But I can't help but notice how much value has been put on them in the past few years... People buy whole sets just for the minifigures, and don't care about the builds of the sets at all. A lot of those minifugures end up being sold on Bricklink or ebay for almost as much as the price of the original set they came in. And oddly enough when I see people talk about the new sets, the first thing they always talk about is the minifigures. And a lot of the new sets seem to exchange the quality of the sets for better quality minifigures. The CMF have continued to grow in price up to the point where they cost 5$ in my country, making them inaffordable. Ok, don't get me wrong. It's not that I don't like the minifigures, it's just I feel like people put way too much value on them. Seriosly, any licensed minifigure I search on Bricklink always costs 10$ at least, unless it was very common during production. I'd rather spend that amount on a full set that might have two or even more minifigures than on one single one. Minifigures are nothing but accesories that come with the sets, and suddenly they are treated like they are worth more than the sets themselfs... 

What do you think about this?

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No.

Plus I disagree with your $10 statement. There are plenty of licensed minifigures that appear in one set only (so are not very common in production) that cost under $10.

 

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2 hours ago, MAB said:

No.

Plus I disagree with your $10 statement. There are plenty of licensed minifigures that appear in one set only (so are not very common in production) that cost under $10

Under 10$ but still not worth for a single minifigure. 

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I am not a minifig fan. I do understand how they can enhance "play" for children, but that isn't something I need or value. They also allow a consistent scaling of constructs. I do value that, however, as a piece in itself, I do not place much value on them. I have one minifig on display, it is Batman standing on the roof of a firehouse. With that exception, my mini-figs are in a couple of drawers on my lego storage area. I just don't value them much.

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24 minutes ago, Lego David said:

Under 10$ but still not worth for a single minifigure. 

That is highly subjective. I don't mind paying $10+ for a minifigure if I think it is worth that to me.  I remember paying about $16 for Grima from LOTR. I didn't have the Orthanc set at the time and wanted the figure, as he was the only LOTR figure I didn't have at the time. While I could have bought lot of cheaper figures instead, they were not the ones I wanted. Was it worth it? Yes. I preferred to have that one than ten generic City figures. Alternatively, I could have bought this for the same price:

60012-1.jpg?201302101125

What had the better value? For me, Grima did. For a kid, I imagine most would go with the set above.

Plus this is not only limited to licensed minifigures. For example, for an Anubis guard from PQ, you are looking at $30 or so for a new one.  Lobster from Atlantis, probably closer to $40.

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I agree with you Lego David. But, those who collect them make the values go up. Plus if you resell your sets at some point in the future, those minifigures are necessary.

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9 hours ago, Lego David said:

People buy whole sets just for the minifigures, and don't care about the builds of the sets at all.

Yeah, sure. I'm exactly the opposite. I don't much care for minifigs at all and always wish the monetary (and idealistic) value LEGO apparently sees in them would rather be another 5 or 10 bucks worth of buildable parts.

9 hours ago, Lego David said:

A lot of those minifugures end up being sold on Bricklink or ebay for almost as much as the price of the original set they came in.

Sure, why not? I have no qualms with that as long as it helps me financing my next sets. It's not as easy as you make it sound, though. Many minifig collectors are rather hypocritical. They wan't the figures rather desperately to have a complete collection to boast about, but are not willing to pay as much. I've been laughed at many times for asking what I consider a "fair" price, that usually being the lowest average Bricklink price or even below that. If nothing else, that's the sad part about that minifig craziness - by firing out so many minifigs, LEGO keep feeding a very weird market and you have to put up with a lot of this nonsense that otherwise wouldn't even be relevant.

Mylenium

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I am not a huge Minifigure fan but I do like to have them around to complete a build, like driving a vehicle. For someone who isn't really into the whole collecting thing though I am guilty of having quite a few of them around 1000.

Over rated, I don't really think so, after all that is the only thing some are interested in and care nothing for the builds. The beauty of the whole thing is, a person can choose to sell all their minifigs making the bricks much cheaper for any given set or you can buy sets sans figs for a significantly lower price.

I have also noticed that people often value their minifigures for much more than they can actually be sold for, unless you just want to sit on them until the right buyer comes along. So I would say Minifigures are not over rated more so over valued. 

Personally I think many sets would be incomplete without them. 

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5 hours ago, 1963maniac said:

I agree with you Lego David. But, those who collect them make the values go up. Plus if you resell your sets at some point in the future, those minifigures are necessary.

Yet we see a lot of sets for sale as 'complete' LESS min figures

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30 minutes ago, LucyCol said:

Yet we see a lot of sets for sale as 'complete' LESS min figures

Right- and that's basically putting together people like MAB and Mylenium so they're both happy.  :wink:

I'm middle of the road on this since I'm not a completionist; I like minifigs just fine, but I don't buy a (higher-priced) set just for a particular minifig nor will I purchase them individually for a crazy mark-up, but there are a few that I've purchased and I do pick up a good portion of the CMF line.

My kids are far more into minifigs, though.  The problem they have is that they're pretty willing to buy a set (or ask me for it, obviously!) to get a specific minifig they want, but then they are annoyed with the huge number of duplicates of common figs they end up with which have basically no resale value themselves.  An example would be Minecraft- they have 20 Steve and Alex figs, because at least one of those is always included with every set.  Tough for Lego, though, since they'd get beat up on the other side of this discussion if they didn't include the main characters in the various themes in enough sets.

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13 hours ago, Lego David said:

People buy whole sets just for the minifigures, and don't care about the builds of the sets at all. I feel like people put way too much value on them.

But I feel like this is a “he/she isn’t buying/using Lego sets for the same reasons that I’m buying/using Lego sets” Some will buy sets for minifigures. Others will buy for parts. Some will buy for the set as a whole. 

Like others, I also like minifigures I wouldn’t say they were over rated. A modular building for example, doesn’t HAVE to have minifigures. It can still be a good set without them. But having them there adds a little life to the set. I’m sure many kids like creating stories with them or just adding them to their overall Lego city.

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Posted (edited)

I don't collect CMF, not because they are bad or overrated , but because of the silly "random" bag aspect of it.

However I do LOVE the minifigure focused sets but also for their parts.

  • City - Fun in the xxxx 
  • Starter style sets (includes Benny's space squad) - 3-4 figures
  • Impulse small boxed sets (1-2 minifig) 
  • Magazines (mostly 1 minifig/accesoires, sometimes a vehicle build)

Then there's other sets that have figures in them that play a factor for me 

  • LEGO LUDO game (2018) 16 minifigs 
  • 2018 Bigger Building Thinking sets - Generic smiley face minifigs and many accesoires/hairpieces.
  • LEGO sets that fall outside City or Creator themes, like Wedding/Birthday/Seasonal/Pencil Pot.

 

Figures DID also play a big factor in collecting the Nexo Knight magazines/books beside the actual sets for me however, as I went all-in on that theme after a 15 year dark age. 

 

I do think themes having a background media/story increases the market/desire for specific figures, I wanted all the characters from Nexo Knights myself, and most of the main figures from TLM2. 

While I can see other people desire Star Wars, Superhero or Friends/Elves characters more.

CMF being random/rare has another play in the market.

Edited by TeriXeri

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59 minutes ago, deraven said:

Tough for Lego, though, since they'd get beat up on the other side of this discussion if they didn't include the main characters in the various themes in enough sets.

Not sure if that's really an argument. I for instance have like four or five Emmets from TLM2, though I basically merely bought three sets, a polybag and a magazine. The level of redundancy is already extremely high since despite slightly different face prints they otherwise look the same. I've also complained about the ever same, identical-looking Emmas, Olivias and Andreas in LEGO Friends sets more than I would have liked. LEGO are certainly going overboard with including the same figs in every set at times. Therefore it seems to me they need to be smarter about their distribution across different sets or at least provide more diverse and distinct variations of the same figures to provide more incentive to get and enjoy them. In your Minecraft example I'm pretty sure they could at least have offered some alternate prints based on custom texture packs and mods for instance, I would imagine.

Mylenium

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Mylenium said:

Not sure if that's really an argument. I for instance have like four or five Emmets from TLM2, though I basically merely bought three sets, a polybag and a magazine. The level of redundancy is already extremely high since despite slightly different face prints they otherwise look the same. I've also complained about the ever same, identical-looking Emmas, Olivias and Andreas in LEGO Friends sets more than I would have liked. LEGO are certainly going overboard with including the same figs in every set at times. Therefore it seems to me they need to be smarter about their distribution across different sets or at least provide more diverse and distinct variations of the same figures to provide more incentive to get and enjoy them.

 

Now I also do have 3 of nearly identical Emmet and Rex, at least the Rex from the Dream House is distinct and very unique, and with the helmet on could be any sci-fi or racer.

Also have cases of duplicate Nexo Knights from the same year, despite all being different sets, but that's just me going all in the theme.

However I must say, that at least Nexo Knights had Ultimate or Battlesuit variants as seperate sets if only targeting those, but the regular knights were very spread out and unevenly spread across sets.

Hidden Side does that again with the 3 characters/dog across the sets, slight variants but basicly the same 2-3 everywhere, it's a shame because the other people/monster versions in those sets are very well done and varied.

Minecraft did this in the Extreme, not that I have any sets but I did watch reviews regularly.

 

I also must say that there's also been the case of LEGO putting basicly the full team of Ninjas+Wu in 1 big set this year with the Monastery, great for a standalone set. 

 

 I know I can always swap parts around,however I do agree on the themes with named characters some either repeat too often, or sometimes unique versions are placed strategicly in only the biggest sets.

Edited by TeriXeri

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Overrated no, overpriced yes. 

I bought an old used star wars set the other day because it had the right parts for a moc.  Then i sold the general grievous minifig that came with it for 9 euro because its rare. Its just demand vs availability on the markets. You should try it yourself and make a profit. It doesnt have to be a negative thing. On the other hand i also missed a lot of the early CMF series, but i wouldn't spend all my money on getting those now. I just hope to see nice new series coming up in the future. That giraffe suit guy for example, i picked up a few from my local shop fast just to be sure. This time next year it might already be difficult to find and prices might start to go up fast...

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, AE bricks said:

On the other hand i also missed a lot of the early CMF series, but i wouldn't spend all my money on getting those now. I just hope to see nice new series coming up in the future. That giraffe suit guy for example, i picked up a few from my local shop fast just to be sure. This time next year it might already be difficult to find and prices might start to go up fast...

CMF might be great when money does the talking (reselling/rarity), but the random bag element still irks me as a home-collector for personal use. 

But then again, I guess that's always been the point of "collectible" series. Foil trading cards/soccer/football/baseball cards act similar,

Except cards cannot be felt like bricks, so people who are able to feel are at an advantage over areas with little of them sold in stores.

Edited by TeriXeri

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1 minute ago, TeriXeri said:

CMF might be great when money does the talking (reselling/rarity), but the random bag element still irks me as a home-collector for personal use. 

Yupp, agree. Though I don't collect minifigures, I would occasionally be willing to splash some cash on a select few figures for their whimsy and fun factor to feed my inner child, but digging through the bags always puts me off and I leave it be for good as I'm not inclined to buy them from those scalpers that un- and repack them, either.

Mylenium

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3 minutes ago, TeriXeri said:

CMF might be great when money does the talking (reselling/rarity), but the random bag element still irks me as a home-collector for personal use. 

Sound like a great opportunity to try your "guess whats in the bag" skills. The giraffe suit guy like i said is almost impossible to get wrong if you just feel the parts through the bag. Finding Rex in the same series is more of a challenge but still there are a few websites out there providing instructions on what to look for, or feel i should say :wink:

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, Mylenium said:

Yupp, agree. Though I don't collect minifigures, I would occasionally be willing to splash some cash on a select few figures for their whimsy and fun factor to feed my inner child, but digging through the bags always puts me off and I leave it be for good as I'm not inclined to buy them from those scalpers that un- and repack them, either.

Mylenium

The only time I got LEGO blind bags was 10 of both seasons 5x Nexo Knight shield tiles, for like big discount less then half retail price, so that's 100 shield tiles.

Now I never got all the different ones, but it was still much cheaper compared to CMF series, and Nexo Knights was a theme that got me back into LEGO after 15 years.

6 minutes ago, AE bricks said:

Sound like a great opportunity to try your "guess whats in the bag" skills. 

If only there were any shops nearby actually selling it...

Edited by TeriXeri

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Neither is the minifigure without the set, nor the set without the minifigure, in my book. For example, a nice X-wing build without a Rebel pilot minifigure seems incomplete, and it doesn't feel any more complete with a construction worker in the cockpit instead.  On the other hand, a Rebel pilot minifigure without an X-wing to sit in isn't much fun either, and it doesn't help to put the Rebel pilot at the wheel of a mini dump truck.  However, I can appreciate the perspectives of people who care only about the minifigures and not about the build, or only about the build and not about the minifigures.  I appreciate the fact that large numbers of people fall into both camps, because that is what allows the secondary market of parts and minifigures to thrive and make it possible to build a detailed custom X-wing and crew it with a Rebel pilot minifigure.

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25 minutes ago, icm said:

For example, a nice X-wing build without a Rebel pilot minifigure seems incomplete

Hehe, it's not that I wouldn't want a pilot, but I don't need a mechanic and a bomb loading crew to go with it. :wink: In the end, to me at least, it's often that I feel I'm paying for extraneaous minifigures that have nothing to do with the main model, which I guess would be most people's who are not too much into minifigs main peeve. They are not opposed to the occasional minifig that makes sense in the given context of a set, but they may not like being flooded with them and LEGO thus unnecessarily inflating the price. I also think sometimes it's a bit misguided in that LEGO perhaps are trying too hard to maintain the illusion of a "play set" by stuffing it with minifigures, when a lot of them clearly aren't...

Mylenium

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Exactly how I feel about it as well, the recent Captain America set springs instantly to mind. Comes with Capt. America a small crappy motorcycle and 4 outriders, turns a $12 set into a $20 set.

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I believe the minifigs are very over rated and have developed into a cult like fascination for some. I build technic and supporting building infrastructure. The only minifigs I have any use for are workers/supervisors/operators, merely to establish scale and illustrate actions. I've bought over 1/2 dozen City mining team 60184 just to get similar figures for industrial settings.

By the way they are cheaper (4 minifigs for 9.99) than building them at 3/$10 from the store bin.:classic:

Ed

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