Robert8

LEGO Collectable Minifigures Series 21. Rumors and discussion

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I’d be ok if the quality decreased as long as the characters are unique. Not every figure needs printing on every available surface and two new accessories to be good. 
 

With decreased amount of new parts and printing, the price could be more reasonable which I see as ideal. 

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On 10/10/2020 at 8:28 PM, Robert8 said:

That why I think as well, which worries me. 

They cant raise the price any higher. And they are not willing to keep the cost of making 16 figures.

At this rate, we might be reaching the end of the regular CMFs series soon because what are they going to do next? They cant go any lower than 12 figures, right? It would be ridiculous to have waves of 8 minifigures

But I dont how the CMFs are becoming more and more expensive for them to produce?

I guess they will just use less and less special cmf moulds (like for example the Dragon guy guits headgear and tail) until there are only firefighter and drone-guy cmfs left, which include moulds which would have been released anyways... to the point at wich they became so boring nobody buys them anymore.

I doubt they got much more expensive At all. Simpsons 1 sold for 2,50€ with tons of dual moulded arms and exclusive head moulds for each character worthless for any non-Simpsons-theme. On top of that it had licence costs. These days we have just a bit more dual moulding and printed arms from time to time with most moulds being reused for other themes for 4€ even without licence. It is just maximising profit at a degree that reached pure greed. 

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Ok.. so can anyone explain the whole power ranger in the last series? Will there be more? What is the purpose? Do you guys like the idea? I love it 😌.. but I am curious if anyone knows more about this? I hope they have another Ranger in this upcoming series 

34E1AE65-BD80-402C-B83E-33AA8AB8173B.jpeg

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1 hour ago, Arctic122189 said:

Ok.. so can anyone explain the whole power ranger in the last series? Will there be more? What is the purpose? Do you guys like the idea? I love it 😌.. but I am curious if anyone knows more about this? I hope they have another Ranger in this upcoming series 

*image snip*

No one can say for certain, but it stands to reason that they probably do intend to do a full sentai eventually. I was 11 or so when MMPR started, but wasn't particularly enamored with it. Still ended up with LEGO red ranger, though. :laugh: 

Edited by K_Tiger

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On 10/9/2020 at 1:52 PM, Itaria No Shintaku said:

My truth, you have yours.

$5 / 4€ per bag is the limit.

If they cannot rise the price, they can however decrease the new molds (hence the costs).

12 figs per series = smaller investment, same earnings.

Smaller investment, yes. But will it be the same earnings? From what I have seen, less stores are taking the CMFs and when they do, they are taking less of them. I wonder if this is LEGO's response to them not selling as well (if that is the case). If they go from 16 to 12, and each collector aims to get one full set (I know, a massive assumption) then they need to increase the number of collectors by 33% to sell the same number.

If they aim to sell the same number of CMFs overall per series, but go from 16 to 12, then I imagine even more will be left on the shelves than normal, unless they come up with some really popular army builders (not necessarily soldiers, just ones where people want multiples).

 

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It is also possible that is has something to do with the pandemic, a lot of people myself included will normally feel the bags in the shops and buy the figs we want. Some figs that are army-builders (in my case unusually those with animals) we end up buying a lot of. Now however this is not possible to most people so we must buy the figs online and there the army-builds or rare figs cost a lot so we end up buying a lot fewer then we normally would :shrug_oh_well:
I would not surprise me if CMF are one of the few Lego products that ended up selling less in 2020..

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Me, I had no problems feeling up the bags for S20, for HP S2 and for the Mario blind bags. None of the retailers I was buying from had any issue with it or told me to stop (and yes I did wash my hands first)

 

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1 hour ago, jonwil said:

Me, I had no problems feeling up the bags for S20, for HP S2 and for the Mario blind bags. None of the retailers I was buying from had any issue with it or told me to stop (and yes I did wash my hands first)

 

Did you wash them afterwards too? That is probably even more important.

 

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22 hours ago, MAB said:

Smaller investment, yes. But will it be the same earnings? From what I have seen, less stores are taking the CMFs and when they do, they are taking less of them. I wonder if this is LEGO's response to them not selling as well (if that is the case). If they go from 16 to 12, and each collector aims to get one full set (I know, a massive assumption) then they need to increase the number of collectors by 33% to sell the same number.

If they aim to sell the same number of CMFs overall per series, but go from 16 to 12, then I imagine even more will be left on the shelves than normal, unless they come up with some really popular army builders (not necessarily soldiers, just ones where people want multiples).

 

A massive assumtion indeed. I would have agreed with that a few years back, but the price increase changed that as well as the pathetic production quality of some serieses after moving the production to China, which made a lot of people buy them at all and pretty much killed the completionist-motivation for those who came back when the quality level went back to an acceptable level. Regional ones like Team GB and "die Mannschaft" as well as this stupid Mr. Gold buried the completionism of many more. New completionists are unlikely now at series 21. It's not like joining in at series 10 and getting the few serieses that came before. Maybe this could be fixed with a new label starting from 1 again?

In my personal opinion the selection of figures gets less interesting, too. There was always a neutral figure out of 16 i got for completion from series 1 diver on... that was fine for that price. 19 and 20 had 4 and 6 I don't really want... and Carebear was the first figure I really dislike and would not have for free. It might be arrogant but it seems to me that my taste is pretty much the taste of the average customer at my place... i can still buy full boxes back to series 18 at local stores and they consisting completely of the leftover ones I don't like. With the new price and the experience of not getting anything they like children and parents seem to have stopped buying them at all pretty much. The days when collectors buy 2 complete series as well as additional ones and the rest is sold to people grabing a bag or two without feeling for it seem to be over.

Putting 12 relly interesting and well done characters in every box could indeed push sales. It gets cheaper to complete serieses so people will maybe buy them all again instead of the few outstanding ones. If there are 9 Vikings per box army builders are happy as well as collectors and children who would like to get at least one

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20 hours ago, Gorilla94 said:

Putting 12 relly interesting and well done characters in every box could indeed push sales. It gets cheaper to complete serieses so people will maybe buy them all again instead of the few outstanding ones. If there are 9 Vikings per box army builders are happy as well as collectors and children who would like to get at least one

Unfortunately, I don't think this will be the case. They haven't managed to put 12 interesting characters in a series of 16 for some time. I cannot see them being able to do it now with just 12 per series. Although I prefer the unlicensed series, I think they are almost at an end now, as there are just too many boring, repeats or unusable characters (at least for me). I no longer collect them all, so having them just to complete a collection is not an issue.

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18 minutes ago, MAB said:

there are just too many boring, repeats or unusable characters (at least for me)

They probably test them on kids and choose the figs that they like, so much like the yearly police-station set, a fig that is a repeat of a 5-10 year old one is not a cons to them :shrug_oh_well:

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4 hours ago, MAB said:

Unfortunately, I don't think this will be the case. They haven't managed to put 12 interesting characters in a series of 16 for some time. I cannot see them being able to do it now with just 12 per series. Although I prefer the unlicensed series, I think they are almost at an end now, as there are just too many boring, repeats or unusable characters (at least for me). I no longer collect them all, so having them just to complete a collection is not an issue.

I share that concern and I don't believe Lego is able to do that, too. But I also don't think Lego is completely insane planing a cmf-series with the goal in mind how they can make it as nonappealing as possible towards customers. I trust Lego enough to be at least aware of if a figure is just a cheap filler reusing/ntroducing a mould that would have been made anyways for a City set, eben when the ones making these decisions are ignorant enough to assume someone is going to buy stuff like that for 4€ anyways. As long as the money was arriving at Lego it worked fine and there was no reason to improve something. Lego now feels that it does not work because stores stop ordering cmfs. Getting rid of some of those cheap fillers seems to be a decision even a buisnessman without much understanding of the product could come up with. I think this is one further step to the end of the numbered cmf-lines, too. When Lego wants to make even more profit they will start replacing the few good figures in thw reduced 12-figure-cmfs with carebears and modern Firefighters :/ I hope we get at least Zeus and Hades before the cmfs are over. At least I can make my own generic centaur now with the Harry Potter-Legpiece.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Roebuck said:

They probably test them on kids and choose the figs that they like, so much like the yearly police-station set, a fig that is a repeat of a 5-10 year old one is not a cons to them :shrug_oh_well:

I am pretty sure they do. That is part of the problem. Children aren't really the customer group for a 4€-minifigure. Sure: if I put Kids in a room and let them play they will have fun with a Series 19-surfer. You can swoosh him in his own, which is an advantage over other characters. I am not sure how he competes with a knight (to play with the knight you need a second fighter or a horse or anything to interact with so the type of testing would be relevant, too). But will they spend their pocket money on the surfer - or better: on the option of getting him thanks to blindbags? I read some guides on how much pocket money children should get... the "I love firefighters!"-age kid would have serious problems getting a series 19-firefighter without feeling for it. At this pricepoint you have to convince the parents. Most parents don't see any difference between the series 19 Firefighter with printed stripe on her arms and the 0,50€ to 1€-Firefighter-minifigures on every flea market in a good condition. If the child is really into that theme, they will already have a city set containing similar figures. Special figures - the kind of "wow, stuff like this exists in Lego form?" - makes these parents more likely to buy them for a kid. Donald Duck, Shakespeare, Caesar...

In regards of the cmf-theme i think it is nearly impossible to overestimate the relevance of TFOLs and AFOLs. In fact the only times I saw children and parents buying cmfs at a store was when I was offering to feel for a certain figure while searching for my own. 

 

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29 minutes ago, Gorilla94 said:

Lego now feels that it does not work because stores stop ordering cmfs. Getting rid of some of those cheap fillers seems to be a decision even a buisnessman without much understanding of the product could come up with.

I also think the licensed ones played a role too. For many of the licensed sets, the characters are you-only-need-one. Whether you are a series collector, a fan of the theme, or whatever, very few people army build with licensed characters (Although I got about 30 Homers as I wanted the heads, and the body parts were easy to sell as they are good for generic office workers). Unbought series of TLM2, Batman2, Simpsons2, Disney2, ... sitting on shelves indicated that either the demand was not there or production was too high. And because of this, retailers then think that ALL CMFs are bad sellers, not just those ones. The licensed ones are good for the fans of that theme, good for collectors that collect them all anyway, but not so good for general LEGO fans.

I started to lose interest about the time the licenses started. Partly getting out of the habit of buying them. Partly as the unlicensed series was coming once every year it did not feel like there was a need to find them all quickly. Partly that they were repeating too much. Partly they were becoming too City. Partly the lack of interesting ones.

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I agree that the unlicensed series seem to be at a point that something is not working. I think Lego can make them more appealing by once more including multiple figures that are not based on City. I would be surprised if those were not at least as popular with kids.

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The regular series have been getting the short end of the stick for a while now

They are $5, just like the licensed series, without paying a licensing fee

So, where does that extra money go??? They have just as much pieces and new moulds as the licensed series and most of the minifigures are now city, with pieces and prints that are reused in City or Monkey Kids sets or promo sets or keychains. So why are those still $5???

 

But instead of fixing the price, they prefer to produce less minifigures and keep the same unfair price :look:

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On 10/17/2020 at 8:05 AM, Robert8 said:

The regular series have been getting the short end of the stick for a while now

They are $5, just like the licensed series, without paying a licensing fee

So, where does that extra money go??? They have just as much pieces and new moulds as the licensed series and most of the minifigures are now city, with pieces and prints that are reused in City or Monkey Kids sets or promo sets or keychains. So why are those still $5???

 

But instead of fixing the price, they prefer to produce less minifigures and keep the same unfair price :look:

 

TL:DR TLG getting greedy. 

 

I've been a fan of collecting the cmfs for some time now. Missed the first few series, collected all up until the licenced ones started-I think disney series. I literally had no care for any of the disney cartoon superhero characters, and one of them, I'd never even seen before, let alone its fig was bland and uninteresting. Was nice getting Donald, daisy, micky and Minnie, and the chipmunks. I got all the simpsons figs because simpsons fan, and they pulled them off nicely. 

 

But I see the prices rising 'apparantly' because of licenced themed cmfs. But those price rises stay with the non licenced ones, for the same level of unlicensed figs as before, but often with less interesting 'filler' cmfs. (at this point I literally don't understand a filler cmf. They have an opportunity to make something special, and they chuck a firefighter in or a policeman/woman/generic city fig that can be found in some city set/ etc. Why?!) 

The price rising to £4 per fig has now doubled the cost of getting a full series. That s**t gets expensive really fast, that's without the ones you want multiples of! £64 for a full series, that has around 5 or 6 of them as fillers that you don't actually care about? That's just over 1/3rd the cost of the full series wasted on figs you don't really care about. 

Now they're pumping out licenced ones about as equal as unlicenced series. 

But has the price dropped? I think it only ever dropped back down once, and we were fooled into thinking they'd drop it back down after every licence to unlicensed. But that was it. It crept and crept. 

They'll blame it on licence, production costs increasing, small profit margins, economy, inflation... Everything other than greed. But I'm seeing this more and more now. And not just with cmfs. 

 

The pattern of TLG's greed is becoming a lot clearer now, I am concerned to say. 

It's literally like they've become star struck sith their own success and can't get enough of it. 

Look at how many multiple thousand piece sets are available now. All at the same time. How many sets available that are over £130 (or $160ish). People are spending, and buying it so they're filling the 'demand'. (it's not a demand, it's literally a created demand. They make it, make it look enticing, so people will then want it. The need/want for it wasn't there before it (any given set) was designed so there was no demand for it before its inception). 

So many factors have assisted with providing TLG's success outside of the company (like the Internet, more 'disposable' income, easier to get loans etc), as well as marketing items towards adults. Everyone says lego is a kids toy. And it is. But what kid can realistically afford these £130+ sets? They can't. It's the parents that buy them. Tap into the market of parents willing to fork out that kind of money on their kid, bring them into the lego fan fold, and you just increased your ability to scrape an adults pockets a lot cleaner than when you were scraping them just for the kids purchases. But now you've also tapped into the realm of making them fight with themselves and justifying something that *they* feel an attachment to. A lot harder than saying 'no' to a child. 

I've had barracuda Bay in my shopping basket for ages, but I can't bring myself to pull the trigger. Why? Because I want it for nostalgia reasons. Its an excellent set. Its excellent value. The box colours/design hits me right in the nostalgia feels. Is this set for kids? It's lego, of course. But adults like me who grew up with pirates, wanting to get something to scratch that itch of going back to their childhood with a new set from a well known theme are the target, because we find it harder to say no. We're the easy food. But what next? There'll be another set. Either a star wars set. Or a Harry Potter set... The new rumoured HP wave list comes in at $810 if its true, and that's immense. 'oh but it's variety, you don't have to get it all'. You know as well as I do, there are people that will scrimp and save and go without, or perhaps get into debt, just to get it. TLG doesn't care where your money comes from. As long as it ends up in their pocket. 

So back to cmfs. Similar thing happens to games workshop figures. It's seen as a luxury. The moment you question them raising prices and pricing people out of it, they get slammed and shoved 'it's a luxury, if you can't afford it, don't get it, simple as!' in their face. GW increase their prices. Instead of lowering them to sell more, they risk the 'raise the price more and hope same amount of people buy them, or the increase in price outweighs the amount of people we priced out' method. 

It appears TLG are doing the same. Instead of reducing the price back to reasonable, they've hit market cap at what's seen as maximum price potential before it seriously affects sales, and keeping it at that maximum price cap, and so reducing the amount of figs in a series. If there's less to collect, you're more likely to buy the whole series. Still giving TLG maximum profit margin. 

Imagine (i know they're not £5 (not far from it)... This is hypothetical) 16x£5=£80 a set. People aren't going to be spending that. Not on unlicensed. And only really once on a licenced (little requirement to army build). 

Let's hypothetically say they get a £1 net profit (20%) per fig. So that would be £16np per set. 

Oh, but let's drop the price and keep 16 figs a series. £4 a fig, £64. £12.80np.

What about 12 figs at £5? £60 a set. £12 np, BUT with the design/production costs of 4 figs removed, which outweigh the +£0.80 16 figs would gain them. Then not only that, 12 is a lesser total to collect all of, so fans are more likely to fork out to collect them all. And if you're talking true numbers (such as 4.99 instead of 5), then it'd actually fall into the £50 bracket. Which *appears* less than 60. Which it is, but entirely negligibly irrelevant. Hence the age old trick of .99 instead of rounding up. 

 

Sure, they're a business, I'm glad they're doing good. But f me, if it doesn't feel like they're squeezing the life out of us now for every penny we can muster available to give straight to them and no one else. 

TLG is starting to show symmetry with The Lego Movie (1) and the clutch that Lord business had on the world of TLM, how it was in every aspect of its inhabitants lives... 

 

(edit: yes, I also acknowledge its possible coronavirus has part blame, but I think TLG had already started reaching the peak price/market squeeze potential, cv just sped up this realisation. I myself would have likely gone out and bought at least some of the most recent unlicenced cmfs, like the power ranger and a few others, but despite my reasons being different for not wanting to go out into the shops and feel for them, cv has impacted people to not going out and getting them one way or another a lot more than if it wasn't around. I'll continue in my daily life without those few figs no different than had I ended up with them. Except with more money left in my pockets.) 

 

Second edit*

This is all just my opinion and view, expressed on my experiences of seeing these prices and amount of extremely large set availability simultaneously to other large sets, and the world we live in today compared to what it was and how its changing. 

Your opinions and views may differ, and you're welcome to :) 

Edited by Fuppylodders

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I'm obviously in the minority, but I'm happy to pay $5 if the quality is there.  If lego is having any issue with the unlicensed CMF I think its driven by making boring generic figures.  Just look at Harry Potter series 2 versus Series 20, the quality and creativity difference is astounding. (Although, don't get me wrong, HP S2 has some duds as well).  

The rumored cost of the new Harry Potter wave is scary though.  Hoping for some duds there to protect my pocket book.

Edited by Lacdaran

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This is obviously speculation but I think there is some price point problems.  The new HP series has sold out on the first day in neighboring towns, but in our town, the retailer marked up the CMFs to $6 each.  There's a full box, untouched, sitting on the shelf.  And the neighboring towns are almost an hour away, so it's unlikely that people are making that drive just for CMFs.

There are some good points made in this thread.  I wonder why the licensed and unlicensed themes are both $5?  And why does the unlicensed themes, which theoretically make more money due to lower costs, always seem to include a 'throw-away' city-clone themed figure like the firefighter?

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On 10/18/2020 at 1:41 PM, Fuppylodders said:

The price rising to £4 per fig has now doubled the cost of getting a full series. That s**t gets expensive really fast, that's without the ones you want multiples of! £64 for a full series, that has around 5 or 6 of them as fillers that you don't actually care about? That's just over 1/3rd the cost of the full series wasted on figs you don't really care about.

Are they £4 a bag now? I've not actually bought a single one from Series 20 at retail. I've only bought parts on BL. And all my Disney 2, TLM2, Batman 2, and S19 were bought at 50% off or under. If not 50% off, I don't buy them.

 

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2 hours ago, MAB said:

Are they £4 a bag now? I've not actually bought a single one from Series 20 at retail. I've only bought parts on BL. And all my Disney 2, TLM2, Batman 2, and S19 were bought at 50% off or under. If not 50% off, I don't buy them.

 

My bad, seems they're 3.50...coukd have sworn I've bought some at £4 :def_shrug: probably marked up I guess... :facepalm:

Lucky you're able to find them at discount. If I don't go to a TLG store, I'm lucky to find them at all around here, let alone at discount. And now there's so few boxes put out that they don't make it to discount. 

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