Gandalf Departs...

Posted by ,
Gandalf Arrives

After only just one day, Argos has stopped selling the LotR sets. They are still listed at the site but they won't be available now until 21st July.

I suspect the 'Brickset effect' has occurred again. The sequence of events was probably as follows:

- Argos list them on Sunday, and make them available immediately, in error.
- Someone from LEGO UK reads Brickset on Monday morning, checks Argos for themselves then calls their head office and asks for them to be removed.
- Argos remove the sets from sale on Monday afternoon.

LEGO fan sites are effective 'eyes and ears' for the LEGO marketing team: we (as a community) do the hard work sniffing out when online retailers list products, when they publish photos and when they start selling new sets. All LEGO has to do is read Brickset - and other sites like it - and pounce on the offending retailer when they read about something they don't like.

I wonder if I can block certain content from visitors with IP addresses registered to LEGO... :-)

If there's a lesson for AFOLs to learn from this, and the removal of the summer Star Wars sets from shop.LEGO.com after a couple of days at the beginning of June, it's read Brickset regularly, and act immediately!

(Thanks to LostInTranslation for the news).

45 comments on this article

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

I just saw this on Argos. you are good here. I got my two LOTR sets Monday morning. Thanks for the update.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Ugh! I'd reserved them for collection today! Wonder if they'll honour the reservation...

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Maybe information of early sales with the potential to trigger a TLG reaction might be kept to the forum? That way, the Lego UK employees at least have to read through all the threads?

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

^ The whole point of the news section of the site is to report this sort of thing... besides how were we, on Sunday, to know that they weren't supposed to be selling them from July 1st?

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,


Lego have to be one of the most pathetically annoying companies ever!!!! Great products though! ;-)

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

I've got 'Gandalf Arives' on Reserve for today....I wonder if they'll let me have it??!!
Managed to get 'Attack on Weathertop' yesterday and 'Shelob' on Sunday (at least I got 3 of the 4 Hobbits so far and Gollum) so not a bad result.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

I do wish Lego would stop doing this. They get money from the fans because they're good and popular.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Just got 4 smaller sets without problems. Yay!!!
If your argos has those new fancy touch screens just search for "LEGO LORD" and the sets will come up on the screen for you to buy.
If you still have those old style stock checkers here are the catalogue numbers:
Gandalf Arrives 907/6420 £11.99
Shelob Attacks 907/6437 £19.99
Uruk-Hai Army 907/6444 £29.99
The Orc Forge 907/6451 £39.99
Attack on Weathertop 907/6468 £49.99
The Mines of Moria 907/6475 £69.99
The Battle of Helms Deep 907/6482 £99.99

There was no Attack on Weathertop, Mines of Moria, Battle of Helms Deep in stock in Manchester :(

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

I think even before Argos made the products unavailable that the Brickset effect had emptied most of the stock in the branches! Glad i got two sets anyway - thanks Brickset!

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Why cannot LEGO release themes world wide at the same time, and tell retailers if they release them before the agreed date they will remove them as official resellers. It seems to be a free-for-all. The USA having to buy from the UK, and the UK having to buy from Spain - it's all madness.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

So much for my (and a lot of others) reservations! The one thing about Lego I hate is how stingy they are on UK product availability.

Gravatar
By in United States,

^You know, you guys are getting a lot of things before us this year. We don't get summer SW sets until August. Different countries get different things first.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

No problems for me, just picked up the two I reserved yesterday and tried the codes that bricknation provided above ^^^^ got the Urak Hai army too!

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Another lucky break for me after the Fire Station discount... I picked up two LOTR sets last night.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Also just picked up both the sets I reserved last night and managed to get three others using the codes bricknation provided (Many thanks Bricknation, much appreciated). The self payment machine still has a release date of 1st July on it.

So it looks like any reservations will be honoured.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

I'm really glad I reserved what ever I could when it came up on the Argos web site and all I need to get now is helms deep and the mine. For those wondering about reservations, I picked up weather top this morning from the Chatham branch. I did fear they wouldn't honour my reservation but it all went fine.

Gravatar
By in Australia,

I'm just glad that they are here in AU. It's no fare that Aussies always get them last. I wanted Attack on Weathertop. Target is selling minifigs for $3.80 or somthing like that

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Managed to get them! Even though they took about 10 minutes to go and find them all! thanks!

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Thank god, I got the 2 cheapest set today!

Gravatar
By in United States,

Huw, given that Lego may be reading Brickshelf to find out about these type of things, I think you need to start speaking in code. For example:

A good day for Lego fans if you love Lord of the
Rings:
Gandalf Arrives and the other sets are traveling
overseas as we speak and
soon will be arriving in the UK!

No need to lose patience. You will be able to
open your LOTR Lego sets soon enough, so please
wait for the release date.

(clever, eh?)

Gravatar
By in United States,

While I feel the frustration of many over the fact that Lego seems to use BrickSet (and other sites) to find unauthorized early releases...

...isn't the complaining and griping getting just a bit over-the-top on this?

If we are to be peeved with anyone it should be the retailers that cannot honor (or enforce) the terms they made with Lego to avoid early releases.

Some of us seem to be getting our expectations a wee bit misaligned with reality and the fact that these stores have no one to blame but themselves for the early release 'n jerk tactics that we see...

Just my 2-cents for the day.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Absolutely no evidence to back up this claim. It could have been a simple coding error or even a member of Argos staff noticing these orders were shipping early, but of course, these explanations don't increase your over inflated ego.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Yep the Brickset effect worked again :) Cool I got hold of Shelob Attacks and last minute yesterday reserved Gandalf arrives,glad I did now :D Tho really want Attack On Wearhertop. After all sets had been reserved before this news it says sets would be in early next week. Possibly best bunch of themed sets to be released all at once :)

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

It is strange that they do this. I mean they're going to sell them anyway, why does it matter of they do so a few days early?

By the way, does anyone know when Monster Fighters will be available to buy in-store? I know they've been up on the website for a while, but I always prefer to actually buy it in the shop.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

I thought some Argos brances had monster fighters now,

Gravatar
By in United States,

Why does Lego ship product to stores early and then expect them to wait to sell it until a specified date? This happened to me over in the states once at a Wall-mart, where I had an Indy IV set at the checkout and they refused to sell it to me. I attempt to use logic to figure things out, but the way Lego handles product distribution confuses me to no end.

I have all of the LOTR sets over here, and they are worth the wait. I also find this especially odd since LOTR was created in England in the first place, so it would seem to me that the UK would be one of the best places to sell Lego LOTR first. The logic of this move escapes me...

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Argos now has the sets of the lotr relisted for free home delivery

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

There is a standard business explanation for the sets having a specific release date, and TLGs expectation that retailers keep to these. Often retailers will commit to buying a theme from Lego - for example star wars 2012 release one, and will be given a commitment from TLG that they will have a specified amount of time to sell those sets before a new wave is released. Retailers know the amounts they can expect to sell and would base their buying commitment on this, however if a new range is released in other stores a month earlier they will potentially struggle to sell the older stock if newer stuff is available elsewhere. Therefore an agreement they have with TLG is potentially breached. These sort of agreements are standard practice across lots of retail sectors and are nothing new. For example ten years ago the internet was flooded with these sort of discussions about TY beanies and stores releasing those before the specified date....

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Just got a text from argos to say that i can collect my 'Weathertop' set in store today!

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

I just got a text to say i can collect Orc Forge, Uruk Hai Army and Weathertop! I'm really excited! It's like being a kid again.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

anyone got whether top yet?

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Just picked up my weathertop from Argos! :D Ordered it earlier in the week but wasn't expecting it to turn up. On the computer screens it says that Helms Deep and the Mines of Moria can be ordered in store to arrive by the weekend... though didn't test it, i've spent enough this week already!!

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

epic!! managed to get my self the mines moria set in argos! =)

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

I think the reason Argos can't sell the sets until the 21st (aside from the fact their not supposed to) is that they simply don't have them yet.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

I had some reservations for today, I'm assuming they're moot now?

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Wouldn't it be easier if LEGO just released them at Argos early, rather than pulling them now? Judging by the comments above, people are paying the prices they set, and LEGO are gaining sales, so rather than remove them and delay the release date, why not allow Argos to stock them at the minute, rather than wait till the 21st July? Both Argos and LEGO gain sales, and collectors and builders alike are happy. Everybody wins.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

The 3 reservations I placed on Monday all arrived today.
I've just been to pick them up. It is a strange system but I'm happy!

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

@aquafreak125: Your reservations won't be moot, because my reserved sets came in today at my local branch, so Argos will still honour your reservations :)

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

^ Ah awesome, thanks bud! :)

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

I've reserved the 'mines of moria' set and need to collect today. Spent so much on these sets already, but so tempted to go get it

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

I just picked up my Shelob, Orc Forge and Uruk-Hai Army from Argos..i pre-ordered Weathertop as well but the box (all 4 set boxes actually) were crushed all over. They brought out replacements for them all but the alternate Weathertop was as damaged as the 1st one so i left that for now. I will have to wait until they are on general release after the 21st and pick that one up.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Managed to get the Gandalf Arrives set, though unfortunately the others weren't in stock. Thank you Bricknation for the information.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Managed to pick Uruk Hai Army, Shelob Attacks, and Gandalf Arrives thanks to the reservation I made on Sunday. UHA box was slightly dented but aside from that boxes were fine.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

All of my boxes were in mint condition when I received them

Commenting has ended on this article.

Return to home page »