Why would you ever buy LEGO at full price from the LEGO store?

Double VIP points.

Free Gift with Purchase over $AU120

Free Shipping on purchases of $AU200.

This is what I was hearing from the shop.LEGO.com banner ads as October 2016 got underway. Should these statements affect whether or not I go to the online LEGO store? I sat down to work out a solution to this conundrum, and who knows, it might just influence my behaviour in the future…

[Editors note: the principles of calculating the best value time to purchase from shop.LEGO.com, or your local LEGO store are consistant, however individual thresholds for shipping and the value of special offers vary between markets. You should always make your own decisions regarding your own money.  The LEGO Group is sure to release something else that you wish to buy in the future, so don’t worry if you can’t spend all of your money at once. Now read on…]

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Conscious that I had not place a shop.LEGO.com order for some time, the LEGO Group offered this bonus gift with purchase over $120.  My will crumbled instantly.

The shop.LEGO.com promotion for October, if ordering from Australia, was the London bus set (40220).  Initially revealed around the same time of the ‘Big Ben’ Creator set, it instantly appealed to me.  Decidedly smaller than minifigure scale, it reminded me almost instantly of the sets available in my childhood.  In those days, many ‘LEGOLand’ vehicles were 4 studs wide, whether they were a go-cart, family car, a fire truck, and earthmover or a semi-trailer. This is a set that I was terribly keen to get my hands on.

And it got me thinking: What should encourage me to make a purchase from shop.LEGO.com, when many of my local major retailers regularly offer 20% purchase price? Continue reading

Living with DiverCITY: changing depictions of gender roles with LEGO minifigures in the post-Friends era.

This post has been a while coming.  It’s a bit long. It may take a while to read…best get a drink.

Sorry about that!

 

When I was a boy, and we rode dinosaurs to school, life was a little more simple than it is today. When the first LEGO mini figures were introduced, they were people.  Not really men or women, just people.  Their faces all looked the same: depicting the now classic smiley face.  The only attempts to define gender, in terms of appearance, came in the form of the hair piece they had on if they were not wearing a hat!  In that first year there were four ‘female’ mini figures released: they had hair with pigtails. If they were wearing a hat, you could quite happily identify that knight, policeman or astronaut as male or female as you should choose.

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The designers have only attempted to define the gender of one of these minifigures.

Two of these ‘people with hair, defining their gender as female’ came  as the only figure in their sets, along with vehicles: one an ambulance (606) and one a ‘Red Cross’ car(623). Another worked at the service station (376) and the final one came with a home (377). There was also a female passenger with a railway carriage. in 1979, the first classic ‘male’ minifigure hair appeared. In this first year, printed torsos were still a year or two away, and defining your minifigure’s identity came down to the sticker that you placed on the torso piece.

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Reboots, Reissues and Rampant Speculation

The recent unveiling of a new LEGO Death Star has led to much discussion about  sets being reissued, and the effect that such reissued may have have on speculative resale values.  Reissues of LEGO sets are not new, and have been occurring for years.

Today, I am going to look at some of the recent reissues, and address some of the controversy that has arisen.  This article does not constitute investment advice, and I am not qualified to offer you any.  Talk of future sets should be considered to be a figment of my wild imagination, and nothing more.  If any of it comes to pass, it’s through good luck rather than inside information.

Some times sets get re-released because of an update in pieces, colour palette or building techniques.  Sometimes it’s because of a reinvigoration of theme. Sometimes, however, the whole theme’s source material gets rebooted, leaving the  sets ripe for a reissue. So why is it $AU30 more expensive for an equivalent set, on sale in parallel with the original sets.

Continue reading