London Toy Fair Report, part 1

Posted by ,

LavalI'm back home after an exhausting day at the show, and a quick trip to the brand store at Shepherd's Bush afterwards. The weather in the UK is absolutely appalling still but luckily not bad enough today to disrupt transport.

As I said earlier, the exterior of the LEGO stand was much plainer than in previous years and there wasn't much to photograph around it. However, this guy, Laval, and Cragger, were in the foyer.

I met up with 'Big' Pete and Gary Davis, Ambassador of the Brickish Association, and we were taken round the stand by Nigel Warway from LEGO. Part of the reason for the escort is to ensure that we didn't surreptitiously take any photographs. However we did take notes (at least Pete did), and also Pete had his phone voice recorder going throughout so we should get some useful nuggets of information from that once he's transcribed it later.

So let's go through the themes one at a time and I'll recall what I can about the sets. First, it should be noted that the show is targeted at normal retailers, so LEGO exclusives and other 'power' items are never on show.

Creator

There are three sets being released in August:

  • 31012, Family House, £60 I believe, modern design two-storey house, white with tan window frames. Dark red and brown 33 degree roof, 2 minifigs, small car. Alternate models are a villa and a small factory
  • 31011, Aviation Adventures, price t.b.a., yellow, white and blue single prop plane, alternate models are a helicopter and a speedboat. The lady showing them to us was stating how a minifig can be put in each model, but the set doesn't actually come with one.
  • 31010, Treehouse, price t.b.a., a very nice looking set: a 16 x 32 baseplate, tree, white treehouse, 1 minifig.

Technic

Four sets are to be released, again in August:

  • 42001, Mini Off-Roader, a very small model but with full suspension, orange body.
  • 42005, Monster Truck, large wheels, hefty tyres, red body, full suspension. Not to my taste but it looked quite cool.
  • 42008, Service Truck, £100, absolutely fantastic rescue vehicle, the sort you might see rescuing a lorry from the motorway. Green body, red highlights. Power functions, with motorised lift and outriggers.
  • 42009, Mobile Crane Mk II, £150. A ten wheeled monster of a mobile crane which looks superb. Said to be the largest Technic model ever in terms of number of pieces. It's equipped with Power Functions, including one of the new style motors, which look as if they operate all aspects of the crane's movement. I've gone off large Technic models a bit lately, but this is one I will definitely be getting.

Mindstorms

Mindstorms EV3 was being demonstrated, and very good it looked too. I won't write anything about it here, I'm not an expert and all that's known about it can be read elsewhere.

Minifigures

Series 11 is out in September. They, and series 10, were not on display. I don't know the full details but it seems there is going to be one 'golden figure' in each box and kids are encouraged to 'hunt the gold figure'. This is obviously very bad news for everyone except LEGO's marketing department. I think this will start in series 11. I suspect Gary or Pete can recall more about this and if so I'll update this article.

Part 2 will cover Legends of Chima, City, Ninjago and The Lone Ranger. Come back for more later...

34 comments on this article

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

@Huw, what's the bet that 'hunt the golden minifigure' becomes 'watch the adult pack searcher?'

Gravatar
By in United States,

@Goldfish: Yeah. I hope it isn't just a golden variant of one of the figures from series 10 or 11. Like if there was a golden cyclops because then you would never know.
@Huw: Great article to keep us informed for those of us (me) who cant be there.

Gravatar
By in United States,

What kind of 'golden minifigure' will it be? Like a fig that is golden that is the same in every series or different golden fig per series?

Gravatar
By in Ireland,

Crane sounds awesome and hefty price tag. hopefully it will perform.

Gravatar
By in United States,

i said they should do something like the "golden figure" from day one, glad they are catching on. ;)

Gravatar
By in Canada,

Ugh, that's awful news. I loved you had pretty much an equal chance at getting each figure. Now it's going to be after-market paradise and artificial price gouging...

Gravatar
By in Czech Republic,

Isnt service truck supposed to have pneumatic functions like preliminary picture said?Price tag is quite big for only power functions.And that hefty tyres for monster truck, arent they new?Or they are these http://www.bricklink.com/catalogItem.asp?P=56908c01 ?Thanks for reply and thanks for info.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

CMF Golden 'chase' Figures. Amazing for TLG, Living nightmare for collectors and kids. :(

Gravatar
By in United States,

I'm really interested from what iv seen the Batman board game. I'm not a huge Lego games fan but.......it is batman so what the heck I'll get it. I am bummed no actual batman sets. I'm still looking for ones based off Arkham asylum or City. I would love a modular Arkham city.But I'm getting off track. Interested in what the next wave of Ninjago will bring to.

Gravatar
By in United States,

Nice report Huw! The Creator sets sound nice. Are there any LotR sets there? If so, please report on those soon! :-)

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,


That golden figure idea is going to be so annoying, like previous comments have said if it's the same as one of the 16 it will be even worse! I'm guessing a lot more whole boxes will get sold this way. I still think they should have stopped at series 10.
Thanks for the info Huw!! Looking forward to part 2!! :-)

Gravatar
By in United States,

I know why they do it, but I do not agree with this kind of marketing that revolves around getting people to buy an excess amount of a product than they would have, if they knew what they were buying. I was already disapointed in the blind packaging but there are ways around that. I know other companies do this kind of thing, but I was hoping Lego would not go this far.

Of course people will most likely find a way to identify these and the vast majority of them will wind up in the hands of adult collectors and resellers, who pick through boxes early in the morning, while the child collectors will wind up getting their parents to buy them 20 extra repeats of a figure they do not care about in the hope of getting this golden figure.

As long as the golden figure is just a recolored version of one of the 16, I can just ignore it. If it counts as one of the 16, I can ignore collectable minifigures completely.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

That answers my golden minifigure question, I will simply by a box :-)

Gravatar
By in Canada,

@Ondr4H, yes, I believe it does feature pneumatics, so I imagine the motor just powers the compressor.

Gravatar
By in United States,

Let me also point out that the golden minifigure scheme will also be likely to increase the amount of people opening packages in the store, and in turn cause store owners to become more strict about allowing people to freely have access to the figures. Imagine how happy the people at Lego marketing would be if you had to go to the front desk at your local toy store and tell them how many minifigures you wanted to buy so they can randomly give them to you.

Gravatar
By in United States,

Good news: I'm pretty much the only one who gives a crap about the Minifigures in my local Target.
Bad news: They put them on display andnot in the box D:

Now if it's recolored versionsof the regular figs I won't hunt them.

@xcrossx, I agree with you.

Gravatar
By in Canada,

Was there any 2013 Lord of the Rings sets there?

Gravatar
By in Canada,

Pfft! Adding Chase figures is the death of happy collecting. Hopefully it starts in Series 11, so I can get 100% complete series 1 through 10, and then maybe reconsider my collecting habits. The first Ten is a nice number.

But yeah. Chase figures = bad. Bad for everyone.

This just refreshes my desire for LEGO to release full sets of Minifigures in a non-blind, single-purchase set for VIP members through brand stores. Keep blind packs for the kids who like blind stuff, and sell me a full set, because that's what I want, dag-nabbit.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

The golden Minifigures sound intriguing, other than that, I am not particularly interested in anything from this selection (except maybe the smaller Technic models).

Gravatar
By in United States,

LEGO should do something extravagant like a valuable metal minifigure in a pack, like 20 worldwide. Maybe gold plated, but that would cost a fortune to produce and sell for $2.99 :P
Like LEGO did with the sterling silver Bionicle Kranas.

Everything sounds awesome so far. Definably getting that house set and mobile crane.

Gravatar
By in United States,

If this 'Golden Minifigure' is un-identafiable by feeling, this is so not good...

Gravatar
By in France,

^ If it's identifiable by feeling it's even worse because I predict resellers will take them out of all boxes they will find and kids won't have any ...

Gravatar
By in New Zealand,

The Golden ticket, oops, I mean minifig - that is a disappointing development. Will I have the willpower to not get sucked in...?

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

^^^ what? Making a unique winning ticket pack searchable is plain awful in anybody's book other than the adult businessman. Remember in Charlie and the chocolate factory, it was the mean kids parents who pack searched. The nice kid just got lucky!

Gravatar
By in United States,

@Everyone- Turn your eyes away from the phrase "Golden Minifig". Now, before you lose it. AHHHHH! GOLDEN MINIFIG!!!!! MUST... HAVE..... NOW!!!!!!!!!

Gravatar
By in United States,

@legomaniac- That wouldn't work, because then any guy off the street with a metal detector could find one.

Gravatar
By in United States,

I'm kind of surprised they haven't introduced a "golden figure"-type minifig until now...

Gravatar
By in United States,

I hear that the golden minifigure is limited to 5000, worldwide!

Gravatar
By in United States,

/\ There is supposed to be 1 in every box so there is way more than 5000 boxes.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

What a horrible idea. First they started mucking around the distribution of the figs within the box to create 'commons' and 'uncommons' and now they finally went for it and introduced a rare too. I buy the figs for the variety of prints and parts produced and so far i've not missed one but i'll not get into hunting down 1/box ultra-rares. What next, holofoil rares signed by the designer? I know why Lego have done it, I just dont like it one bit.

Gravatar
By in Denmark,

Oh no... as if it wasn't enough MF-hunting already!

Gravatar
By in Australia,

Minifigs: the Gathering

Gravatar
By in United States,

is it just me, or does anyone else feel the packages for pieces?

Commenting has ended on this article.

Related articles

Return to home page »