Friends Advent calendar: cancelled?

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Friends Advent Calendar

We've heard from a LEGO retailer that the 3316 Friends Advent calendar has been 'cancelled at the production stage' along with the game 3867, Mayan Mystica.

If true, it's a real shame as I was looking forward to opening three windows a day in December!

73 comments on this article

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By in United States,

Dang! I wanted the brown weed pieces on the snowman. Any other sets that those come in (in brown) ?

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By in United Kingdom,

Does anyone know why and how accurate the source is?

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By in Germany,

What?! Is this the first time such a thing has happened? I mean, sets being cancelled from production?

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By in United Kingdom,

How bizarre! I have never heard of a set being cancelled so late in the development period!

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By in Germany,

@CapnRex: Development?! We have a set picture! It's already finished!

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By in United Kingdom,

@Alemas - The set is classed as 'in development' until it is officially advertised by Lego I believe, as they are allowed to make any changes they want until they begin advertising. Lego frequently disclose images of sets and then go on to change them slightly right up until their release.

Surely they will not replace it with another Advent Calendar at this late stage?

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By in Canada,

That's a bummer. My daughter was looking forward to it. The Friends Advent.

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By in Canada,

(?)... hmm, seemed like money in the pocket for Lego unless the Friends theme isn't selling as well as we'd like to think. It has a big summer line and a big enough market to sustain sales, but clearly there's reasonable motive for Lego to pull the plug on something so far into developement. If it won't sell, Lego won't make it, although I personally don't see anything wrong with it.

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By in United Kingdom,

Good, the friends line isn't really lego anyway. I don't mind it i just wouldn't buy any of it i guess because i'm a boy. I'm sure lots of girls like the friends theme.

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By in United Kingdom,

^ I'm male, and I rather like Friends...

Anyway, I do think this is very strange. I wasn't planning on getting it, but it did have a lot of nice parts. I wonder why this happened? I really hope they don't do this with any other sets.

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By in United States,

This seems like a bad omen for the Friends line.
too bad, my daughter really likes them. (me too)

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By in United Kingdom,

Awwwwwwwwww, that's a shame!!

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By in United Kingdom,

^ lol, says the guy who told Huw and Dr Dave to wash their hands after building a Friends set in Manchester!
I actually did kind of want the Friends Advent calendar though it was a bit lame that it only had two figures. I hope it's not really cancelled...

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By in United States,

I was going to make some guess on the sales being low since the Friends sets at my Target are gathering dust. However, I usually check Amazon to back up my stats and friends are rather popular. That being said, I know the advent calendars are hugely discounted after Christmas and looking at the unique piece color and shapes in the Friends Advent Calendar, I would guess the business case doesn't work out for TLG. Selling a niche advent calendar (I got 6 SW Ad Cal at Target for 75% off last year) for a discount rate is very risky when you need to ramp up production to make a lot of unique parts. Just a guess...

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By in United Kingdom,

Gutted. My daughter will not be happy

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By in United States,

This is lame. My girlfriend was excited. Last year when we both opened up the advent calendars together, she had City and I had Star Wars. While it was fun, it could have been ten times more fun if the advent calendar was friends.

Why would they stop it? My guess is because Star Wars Advent calendar didn't do that well. I still see sets in every store that I go to.

This is all around lame.

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By in United Kingdom,

I was so excited to find out about the friends advent calendar. After seeing pictures I can see how the city calendar looks better but I was still looking forward to getting this for my little girl and me. Looks like I will be making her an advent calendar this year. I did think it was a little strange having 3 calendars.

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By in United States,

You've GOT to be joking :/
This one is way better then the city one IMO, it has rare pieces, rare colors, and if 30$ would be worth the money. I'm not sure I'm going to believe it until Lego themselves announces it, and not a realtor. As Ypres said it seems like "money in the pocket for Lego".

EDIT: Ok the City calender has some nice pieces too, but it looks more depressing then fun. Lots of (Well maybe not lots) of house and lives are lost during the Christmas season. Friends at least has Christmas colors and stuff.

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By in United Kingdom,

^^^ In that case why would they cancel Friends instead of Star Wars V2?

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By in Switzerland,

I think it is rather odd to cancel the game. I do not know if they really sell well (they seem to be discounted at Amazon all time), but the only reason to cancel a game should be bad gameplay. And there have been not-so-great games already, so why cancel it? It is not like TLG will cancel their whole game series.

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By in United States,

Everyone seems to be talking about the Advent Calendar, but I find it much more perplexing as to why they'd cancel Maya Mystika... Unlike the calendar, I can't see any reason for it, as the game doesn't seem to have any terribly difficult to manufacture parts....

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By in United Kingdom,

Maybe cancelled for one retailer means exclusive for another?

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By in United States,

Have they even posted a picture of Maya Mystica yet???

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By in United States,

Well, I wasn't really planning on buying either of those, so I'm not disappointed. I am interested though, as to why they're doing this. Curious.

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By in United States,

^^ If you search for "Lego Maya Mystica", you can see some images. Like all the games, there are no new pieces, so no major loss, but now that I see it, I definitely do want to do an authentic map layout of a real Maya city and temple as a micro-scale "Architecture"-theme set similar to that...! Thanks for the inspiration, Lego!! =)

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By in United States,

very sad if this is true.
My daughters were really excited about the advent calendar.

I hope this is a false rumor

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By in Canada,

Does this possibly mean that Friends isn't selling very well?

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By in Taiwan,

Very disappointed about the Friends advent calendar. I was ready to buy this for certain.

The game, on the other hand, doesn't surprise me. Lego seems to have released a lot of games in the recent past and as Mickitat pointed out, they are frequently getting good discounts on Amazon. Perhaps they realized that market is saturated.

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By in Canada,

This is quite a disappointment.

My daughter had a lot of fun opening the SW calendar with me last year. Each morning before work we would open up a door and build the set.

She's into Friends now and I was looking forward to surprising her with a calendar of her own. I really hope they re-think this one.

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By in United States,

I'm not sure what to think.
On one side, I found this set lame. There were only two minifigs.
On the other side, it was nice that there was something potentially that would appeal to girls more.
I would not be surprised if someone did the calculation and saw that a Ninjago set would sell better.

It is possible that after the first sales of Friends, that things have slowed down. It could be that after all the hullaballoo, they are rethinking the direction they are going. I don't know. It does seem strange, though.

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By in United Kingdom,

Maybe they saw it clashing with the city lego calender. It would make sense as te city line seems very popular with women and they might have seen it affect the sales of that. I cant say im dissapointed it didnt seem worth the money. There were no real sets in it.

@Matthew I think its cause they know that the star wars calander will sell. No matter how rubbish it is (and its very rubbish). So wont shoot the golden goose

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By in United Kingdom,

I hope this isn't a final decision; I was actually looking forward to the Friends advent calendar. It was very early in the year to release/leak the information, however.

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By in United States,

If true, I don't think we can take this as a sign that Friends isn't doing well. There's a whole second wave planned for August! If that gets canceled, then yes, all the Friends-haters can gloat. I'd have to assume that the Advent Calendar just didn't do well at Toy Fair - as we've all seen, the Advent Calendars are pretty over-priced and over-produced, meaning languishing on shelves even at clearance price. Perhaps after, what, 8 years of recession retailers are starting to realize they can't do business as usual and are starting to hedge their bets against risky ventures?

Unfortunately, I think it was the wrong bet - this would have been the first Advent Calendar I would have ever bought - my daughter was excited for it. Go figure...

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By in Israel,

Too bad :(

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By in United States,

Have to add my disappointment if this is true. This year we would have bought all 3 calendars, Star Wars for my son, Friends for my daughter, and City for me. I really hope this is a false rumor, but usually Brickset's news is fairly accurate so I fear it is not.

If this is true, I agree with vynsane that the blame is likely on the retailers. They're the ones who decide whether or not to order the set. If one or two decided to pass, then that could easily result in LEGO deciding not to make the set.

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By in United Kingdom,

At this stage surely with so many sets made and ready to be distributed, why not just release what you have and hope for the best?

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By in United States,

If this is the case, I'm sorry. I enjoy the Friends sets and was looking forward to an Advent Calendar I would actually open for myself. But now I'm wondering, did they figure a different kind of Advent Calendar would do better? Perhaps LotR, or Ninjago? I'm still sorry I've missed the previous Castle calendars, the city ones have been overpriced and dull, and while my partner liked the Star Wars set last year, even she would admit it was pretty weak. But Lego will not damage itself by putting out too many Calendar choices. City and Star Wars are sacrosant, but why ditch the only calendar that's aimed right for the little girls? Unless they have something else planned?

Or maybe this particular version of the Friends Calendar is being canceled, and they're doing something else based on the sale data they have for the line at this point?

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By in United States,

@alorian - They couldn't do another calendar at this point. These sets take years to design, produce, and package. That's why everyone is so surprised at this possible cancellation. The design is done, this had to be ready for production. It's very rare for something to get cancelled so late in the game with so much invested in it already.

We can only hope that this gets pulled out again in the future if this is true. As for Friends sales, they may have slowed but all Toy sales slow this time of year, only to pick up again in the fall. I'm still seeing plenty of moms and kids looking at Friends, so I don't think that this line will have much to worry about come Christmas. I only stopped buying because we've already bought everything that is available.

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By in Bolivia,

Hmnn,

Although I would glady dance on Friends' grave and start saying that LEGO should try again with such nice aesthetic sets but using with real minifigs this time... I can't help but wonder if the news is legit. It sounds quite unprecedented for a set's production to be cancelled if we even have high res pics of it. And since it is a retailer saying this, it sounds like the typical white lie the clerks would tell you when they do not yet have a set you are looking for.

If it was cancelled I wonder why. It is such an extreme measure that I doubt it is for a reason as mundane as low sales.

Edit : If Mayan Mystica was cancelled as well, then we are not talking about a reason that is exclusive to Friends, I think.

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By in United States,

Reading all of the posts again, I am positive that they just decided that the demand for more board games and more advent calendars have both simply reached a certain saturation point in the market. Ten games and two calendars are probably about enough to fill the basic demand, and if people want to get a game or a calendar, they will simply buy one of the other ones that is already available, I think. Simply put, those two categories, "games" and "calendars", are probably just maxed out on profitability for right now! It is good that they are being calculating with it, and not hurting themselves by overloading the market! They will almost certainly produce some fun new games every year *forever*, and some beautiful new Friends sets every year *forever*, though not as many as they did at first, obviously!

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By in United States,

^^^^ And responding to Alorian's post... Yes, a Lord of the Rings Advent Calendar or even a Superheroes Advent Calendar (or more likely, one for DC, and one for Marvel!) would sell a **bazillion** units (edit: more like a **katrillion**!), especially if it had a lot of lesser-known supporting characters that might not otherwise get made... But then that would also carve deeply into the sales numbers of all the expensive sets in those themes that are already on the shelves and selling well. I think that is the reason why they don't usually do Advent Calendars with licensed themes. Although Star Wars is obviously one exception here, because Star Wars fans will buy more and more until they go into the poor-house. It's a good question... So as a slightly off-topic, would they or could they really make a Lord of the Rings Advent Calendar or even a Superheroes Advent Calendar (or again, one for DC, and one for Marvel!) Would that be a wise business decision for TLG for the future, I mean?

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By in United Kingdom,

To be honest if anything I was surprised that one of this year's advent calenders wasn't a Ninjago one the way they are pushing that theme to the hilt.

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By in United States,

The onliest thing I really wanted out of the set was the series 2 skier accessories.

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By in United States,

To be honest I don't think it's really getting canceled. If it was a retailer they probably misunderstood or something. There is nothing but disappointed comments here, so obviously the market must also be there. And why not cancel the SW one if it did so poorly last year? It really makes no sense, which leads me to think that it's a miscommunication between the retailer and Lego.

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By in United States,

I Don't Care! But lets hope the Star wars advent calendar doesn't share the same fate.

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By in United States,

AS vexorian said I would "gladly dance on the friends grave" friends never seemed like a good idea because by the time they just came out with the first wave the second wave was done allready...(not good buisness move Lego). But it is strange of pulling production this late. I am guessing one of two things is going to happen.....1.they have had an idea for another calender and have left it a secret until now (LOTR,Ninjago,DC,Marvel) Or 2. A little lie that goes around the stores and or myth. (I hope the second one isnt true). I would much rather have another advent calender and bury friends than see friends continue. (sorry friends fans)

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By in United States,

My daughter really wanted that calendar :( gonna be a sad Xmas for her. I hope it's just a rumor

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By in United States,

@itsaturkey - you could be right that the reporting retail employee was mistaken - perhaps it's been reserved as an 'exclusive' by one retailer, and the employee saw it was unavailable for order and jumped to an incorrect conclusion. Usually exclusives aren't shown at Toy Fair, but it could have been a short deal made after the fact, since February was still too early to determine long-term viability of the Friends line. Given the popularity of the line, it's not inconceivable that a retailer would try to box out others on a special item.

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By in United Kingdom,

My source, an actual shop owner rather than an employee, said he received an email from LEGO that stated this, presumably because retailers that had ordered them will now not be receiving them.

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By in United Kingdom,

^It seems foolish to cancel it when some will already have been produced, might as well sell those I would have thought! I bet if this does turn out to be true, some sets will sneak out of the factory and become a collectors item.

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By in United States,

@tmgm
The second wave of every theme is already done when the first wave is released. By the time they have the marketing data from the first wave in sufficient quantities, it is already time to release the second wave. LEGO can't design and produce an entire wave in a few weeks.

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By in United States,

@Huw, well, that does sound quite a bit more reliable, unfortunately. Who's got two thumbs and is gonna have a disappointed little 6y/o girl on his hands come Christmas? This guy. (Imagine I'm pointing towards myself with two thumbs right now.)

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By in United States,

friends sets are sold out a lot in my walmart my granddaughter and i love them.. i was planing on getting all 3 calenders

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By in United States,

That could just mean the calender has become a retailer-exclusive set not available to small shops. Guess we'll find out soon enough.

But there is little doubt Friends is successful - my local LEGO stores can barely keep the medium sized sets on the shelves and the sets are continually best-seller ranked on Amazon.com.

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By in Denmark,

Ah. FRIENDS are selling well. This is entirely an "upgrading income" matter. During Christmastime LEGO make 50 % of their sales.

My guess is that FRIENDS are just not selling enough to compete with CITY and STARWARS, and smaller toystores got limits on just how many calendars they are able to display - so instead of challenging the safe-sales shelf-space they cut out the least likely to sell. Christmas time is time to sell plenty for LARGE PACKAGE LEGO SETS, and the calendars take up a lot of space for the salesprice!

As for the Mayan I guess the HEROICA market is saturated and LEGO would rather go for upgrading to a new concept to boost sales to a new level, than keep spinning on similar variations!

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By in United States,

Huw - Still, I'm a bit skeptical. I know it's probably true, but I would like to hear directly from Lego.

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By in Sweden,

I know that Maya Mystica is cancelled but I havent heard anything about the Friends advent calendar. But it doesnt suprise me if it was as it seems like Lego currently have a problem delivering friends at all.

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By in Canada,

Well I can say right now, our dealer order has not had the Advent cancelled off it, so crossing my fingers.

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By in United States,

I had no idea Friends had so many detractors.

As a 26 year old male, my girlfriend got me Olivia's house for our anniversary and I loved it. Where else do you plan on getting these ridiculous new colors? They simply inspire creativity.

I was really looking forward to this calendar, its a shame. I would stay up til midnight every December night last year to open my Star Wars advent. And I realize this statement requires that I surrender my testicles, but I like Friends a whole lot more than Star Wars.

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By in Anonymous Proxy,

^ouch, and who exactly do you have to surrender them to? Is that one of the moderators extra responsibilities...holder of the testes?

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By in United States,

If Friends isn't selling well, I believe it's because the retailers put the Friends sets in a different section than the rest of the lego. They should put them with the other lego sets.

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By in United States,

^^^^ @BrickMommy, other parents, etc, and to everyone in general,

Remember, 99% of Lego fans do not look at all the message boards like we do, so they do not see the new sets until they get the official printed catalog in the mail, or it's announced on TV, or until they actually see it on the shelves.

Every time you're in the Lego section at the store and you hear a kid say "Ooh, this one is brand new" like he has obviously never seen it before, you know that he hasn't been hovering on message boards for months like us!! =)

Also, the early pictures are all inherently preliminary, and in this age of "Just-In-Time Manufacturing", they can cancel a set with a wave of the hand, especially if it contains no new parts. They will probably do this again in the future...!

So the moral is *****DO NOT RISK promising your kids sets months in advance... JUST SURPRISE THEM!!!!*****

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By in Sweden,

^^Lego Friends is actually doing pretty well. So well that Lego can't keep up it seems. Here in Sweden retailers has not been able to restock since early april. And the latest word from Lego is that they won't be able to deliver any Lego Freinds until august...

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By in United States,

What if they wanted to make some winter themed Friends sets and are pulling these to make them?

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By in United Kingdom,

I didn't even know that there was going to be a friends calender. Personally I respect LEGO in mostly all of it's actions; I don't really mind friends, they are just expanding their market but would never buy anything from it. Looking at this though, there's some nice peices, I wouldn't get one in the build up to christymas but if I saw one ridicolously cheap after woulds, I might get it. For parts.

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By in United States,

@mmillers: I'm a friends fan too. got 4 (all of? the) polybags, the bunny, piano, and lab $10 sets, and the treehouse. That's not to say that I don't also think that the girls are largely way too barbie in tastes and activities, but the sets really are as fun to build as any other theme's, and the colors make me drool. (I also like the floral and kitchen small accessory packs.)

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By in United States,

The Friends Advent Calendars were technically cancelled, but they have already been made, so they will be selling in both the European and US markets (I don't know about other markets). It was on the Ambassador Forums and I heard it from Kevin Hinkle himself last weekend. So not to fret, they will be available!

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By in United Kingdom,

That's great news, thanks @Model Gal! :-)

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By in United States,

Good. My sister and coughcoughprobablymecoughcough were going to get one, so it's nice to see it'll be available after all.

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By in United States,

@Model Gal: did he say why they were cancelled?

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By in United States,

No he didn't say why, but Kevin did say that the Friends line in general is very successful with the target of girls who don't play with LEGO -- they can't keep them on the shelves.

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