1/10/11

Question - Are the Series 3 Dot Codes Being Rotated?


One of our readers recently recounted her frustrations with the dot codes on the Series 3 Collectible Minifigures. After opening a pack and comparing the dots to various 'cheat sheets' there didn't appear to be a match. The reader raised the question if TLG might be changing the codes from batch to batch?

Unlike the bar codes which would be difficult to change (it's part of the pack print), the dots could be rotated from batch to batch to throw people off track. TLG would only need to know the batch number and the specific dot codes for that batch to keep track of inventory. The nature of the dots would be easy to change as well.

I thought this was an interesting question to be elevated to the collective problem solving capabilities of the community. If anyone has any insight or thoughts on this, please let us know in the comments.

9 comments:

  1. The solution for the community is to refuse to purchase these figures until Lego backs down and packages them in bags which allow determination of the contents (ie, clear panels on the bags). As long as the community continues to buy them and refuses to speak out harshly in opposition to this Lego has no motivation to take the community into consideration.

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  2. Very good article UD!

    I honestly think it is very cool that LEGO has blind packaging on the collectable minifigures. It makes it a lot of fun going through the packs because you are never 100% sure what you'll get.

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  3. I'm happy to have them blind. I'll spend the money to get a set, including picking up strays in the secondary market. A few repeats are great for MOCing.

    To me, the advantage to blind is that the dud pieces don't end up on the shelf, leaving the retailer to wait for those to sell before restocking. If people knew the pieces, the Elves (for example) would be gone and the set never restocked as those last race car drivers (or choose your favorite dud) linger on the shelves. I think ultimately the blind packaging means I can get a set cheaper because the supply will be more plentiful.

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  4. That's why I always use the feeling it out method to confirm what the bumps indicate

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  5. It's an interesting dilemma. On one hand I could see the fun in not knowing which fig is in the pack. On the other hand by my fifth Sumo Wrestler, the thrill is gone.

    The reading of bar codes and dots is really a compensating behavior for some consumers ("I don't want to guess what's inside, I want my Zombies, Spartans, and Elves now!").

    I wonder if there is a 'both/and' type of solution? Loving the conversation so far...

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  6. In the collectible minifigs I feel that there should be away to find the right figure. I don't feel like I'm cheating when I use barcodes, because the blind packaging is a marketing gimmick. I don't think its "fun" not to know what you get especially since I am going to pay 4 bucks a pop for a single cheap quality figure. I love TLG but I feel with the Minifigs and the NinjaGo spinner sets that it's a total scam.

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  7. @ Daniel: I have to agree with you on the pricing. Especially since the much more desired ones are much lower in quantity; due to production costs or what have you. Not just that but the prices have increased since last; and it is possible for them to increase more. However; I feel that blind packaging is some what of lego's way of spreading out. As Blind packaging is how several designer toy companies package their goods; i.e.: Kid Robot's Dunny.
    On the other hand; the NinjaGo spinner cost is partially due to the fact it does have a heavy metal ring in the middle; similar to beyblades. The printed parts just add to the price. Some of the cost most likely also comes from all of the ads and promotional items they created for it.So for me; I just see the NinjaGo spinners as a way of Lego getting their money back essentially. I'm also guessing that it is possible for them to make price decreases IF they explore new methods of metal casting.
    -Apples

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  8. On a side note: (sorry don't know how to edit my comments here)
    I believe TLG originally did intend for these to be blind boxed; however to keep costs down they had to use polybags instead of the boxes that you see with blind box companies.
    And to be honest; if TLG had originally done this system instead of the barcode system; there would not be as much complaining. I feel TLG has simply spoiled it's customers over the years honestly; and once they were forced to stop: the customers got angry.
    I'm guessing Lego knows about the secondary market and partially expects people who really do want a specific figure to go there to get it. And to be honest; I could see Lego doing what most Designer toy companies do and producing a "special" set that is only available for a very limited time that has less variations or is only a single minifig. With the way Lego has been handling things recently; it does seem to be getting there after all.
    And for those who don't know; many of the designer toy companies who produce blind box toys have prices on them that range from 6-8 USD each. Some even reach 10 USD now. The reasoning for this is production costs; they have to pay the artists etc. Lego on the other hand has been able to keep their production costs low enough that they can sell it for a relatively cheap price in comparison to designer toy companies.
    -Apples

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  9. Might be of interest...
    Got boxes of Series 3, from France, and there's no DOTS at all.
    Engraved at the back of each bags is "334B0", maybe a new batch with no identification from TLC.

    Irokois77

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