Series 3 minifigs have no barcodes, but DO have raised bumps!

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Series 3 Minifigures Code 1

This is massive news... barcodes may have gone but news broke overnight (GMT) at fbtb that there IS still a way to find out what's in the pack before you open it, thanks to some 'raised bumps' along the seam.

Not having seen (or felt!) a pack I don't know how obvious these are but you can read more, see photos of them, and grab a cheat-sheet over at fbtb. Thanks DrDave for alerting me to this and fbtb forum member 'that guy' for discovering. As Ace at fbtb says, 'the LEGO community thanks you', but I suspect the LEGO company is not so happy now that its plans for the packs to remain 'blind' have been thwarted. I wonder if they'll make another change on future series' packs.

Now, who's going to come up with the first Android or iPhone app to indentify these? Is it even possible?

Meanwhile, eBay is flooded with the figs and some sellers are now shipping internationally. If you're in Europe and need to be the first on the block with them, check the set details page or the eBay search tool and get bidding!

80 comments on this article

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By in Belgium,

That's great news, especially after hearing the content is inbalanced. Buying a sealed box wasn't a really good solution to dived them between mates. And now the figs can stay sealed, thats how I like them in my collection.

Thanks 'That guy'

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By in Canada,

This is fantastic news! I am going to check and see if my Wal-Mart has them later today.

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By in United States,

Does anyone know how much they are at TRU yet? Series 2 never made it to target, and I had to choke down $3 a fig. (This week might be the week to try for TRU though, with their BOGO 1/2 off.)

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By in United States,

Saw this on FBTB last night, and I was super excited! Hope they get to Target soon!! :O

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By in United Kingdom,

Alli can say is thank you lego for putting these bumps on the packs didn't want to spent lots of cash on 6 unwanted figures.

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By in United States,

And just like that, every elf bowman disappeared from the Northwestern States... :o)

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By in United States,

Is this LEGO's attempt to get people more interested in Braille?

I was looking forward to truly blind-packed figures, collecting 'em, trading 'em with my friends... but now that there's a system I'm sure I'll cheat again this go-round as well.

I had the same thought as Huw - what will they do for CMFs4 and beyond now that their new code is broken after three days of incredibly limited availability? Are we shooting ourselves in the foot by using the cheat system? Will CMFs4 truly be blind, with no thought given to box assortments leading to a box full of 60 of the same figure (highly unlikely, that, but with no outward markings, the assortments won't be as evenly packed - you can guarantee that)?

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By in United Kingdom,

great news! i'll still buy two full boxes if i can, as i have want to collect full sealed box and a few sets to split amongst my friends as i have done with the 1st two series, but this is fantastic news for those out there who don't want to have to increase expenditure to get the figs they want...

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By in United Kingdom,

I'd love to trade them with other people but don't know any other adults that collect Lego or children for that matter, my little boy is 3 so are his friends so they play with Duplo at the moment.

I remeber as a kid trading football and transformers stickers it was great thrill. Would love to feel that again.

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By in Canada,

@ brixton: The chance of Wal-Mart having them is very very slim. This coming from a person who went to Wal-Mart in late September 2010 in search of Series 2 , and came back empty handed.

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By in United States,

If i may pose a double entendre - "A pox on Lego"

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By in United States,

*sigh*....I love the series 3 figs....but i really wish that there was absolutely NO way to tell what was in each pack....I used to collect trading cards when i was younger, and i loved the thrill of opening up a pack of cards and not knowing what i was going to get, then as i smelled the fresh cards i'd nearly have to change my pants because i got somehting amazing, and i'd love for this to happen with legos....but alas, it has not :/

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By in United States,

@ kazooie_pack - Agreed! This is bad news. Of course we should remember that people could still sort of tell what was in the bag by fondling them. ... Hey anyone friends with a TSA agent at their local airport?

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By in United States,

Can someone post a REALLY good picture of the barcode(sku) on the package. It would be nice to be able to find out if any of our local stores will be getting them soon. Cheers.

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By in United States,

A good idea, is to take a piece of paper, put it over the bumps, and wipe it with the side of a pencil. this will show EXACTLY where the dots are, and you can tell exactly which ones your getting, even if they're very similar.

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By in United Kingdom,

I tell you, if Series 4 requires you to heat the packet to a certain temperature to reveal what minifigure is inside it, people will still find this out within 24hrs of the first box being seen in a shop!

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By in United States,

Rats. I was hoping they would actually be RANDOM this time!! Now I probably won't get any fishermen OR elves. :(

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By in United States,

Wow, that's amazing someone figured out the 'bumps'. Unreal man. But I agree with a few above...I kinda' like the random nature of getting a few bags and not knowing what we'll get. The extra's we use for Moc's and mod's or like my son gives them to his friends or cousins to trade or gifts. And the ones we missed that I really wanted...I just go on eBay or BrickLink to cherry pick those. Like 'yellowcastle' says...there goes all those Elven bowmen.

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By in Canada,

hopefully lego is reading this and is removing the bumps so only about 220,000 boxes have the bumps.

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By in United States,

R4-G9-I think they are all produced and on their way from China or in the warehouse already.

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By in United States,

Like many others, I'm torn here. The downside now is that you can't simply buy a random assortment out of a new box with an certain expected chance to get a particular figure(i.e. 5+% for the Elf, etc). However, I believe many people relied on their smartphone barcode apps and that a portion of those people won't likely migrate to the dimple screening technique. And for those of us used to reading the barcodes on Series 1 and 2, I suspect the dimple screening will be an easy enough transition. Lastly, this will probably reduce the number of instances where people just buy whole boxes, leaving more on the shelves, even if they're light on elves and fisherman.

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By in United States,

If Lego wants to keep what's inside the bags a secret and still ensure that every box has the same or similar distributions, they're going to have to implement an identification method that requires machinery only they have access to. As this illustrates, if there is way to identify what's inside the bag without opening, feeling, or x-raying, somebody somewhere somehow will find out how to do it.

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By in United States,

@Brickmatt, All they would have to do is seal them up one at a time, put them into marked bins and add them by hand with no indentifiable marks at all. They can do it if they want, Im sure they knew this method would be figured out as well, its just a little less obvious.

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By in United States,

Excellent... maybe now I'll have a chance at finding a Samurai, Elf, and Blactron Space Villain without having to desperately feel for their parts or having to risk buying the mediocre minifigures.

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By in United States,

I don't see what everyone sees in the elves or fishermen. Anyway, this is good for me since I really don't have the money to spend on figures I don't want that will be worth next to nothing anywhere eventually. In fact, this may be even easier than reading the barcodes.

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By in United States,

I just figured out why Lego puts some system of idenification on the bags! Its so they can have the same amount of 1 type of minifig in every box. They do that so everyone has the same chance of getting 1 type of minifig in all the boxes (I'm glad they're being fair about this). They must use some kind of machine (x-ray or something) to find the imbedded dots in the factory. They might not be visible to the eye, but they are detectable by touch.

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By in United States,

are the dimples black like in the pictures or are they clear??

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By in United States,

READ THIS - Me and my family went to one of my nearest Fred Meyers, and got 12 minifigs. Only 4-5 of those minifigures were the right ones. We DID use the dots cheat sheet, but those dots a re REEEEAAAAALLLLYYYYY hard to read. You have to have VERY good vision to find the right ones. Plus, some of the dots are situated inside some debossed letters, so those are even harder to see.

Mostly just saying, THE DOTS ARE NOT EASIER THAN THE BARCODES. It took us over an hour to find 12 minifigs we wanted with 3 people working!!! Repeat: THE DOTS ARE NOT EASIER TO READ THAN THE BARCODES.

@ minifever: the dots are the same green as the bag, they are just debossed circles, really hard to read.
@ minifig051: the dots are can not be felt. you have to have light shining on the bag to see them.

P.S. Snowboarder is a girl!!! And the snowboard has blue and pink snowflakes, with one pink flower...

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By in United States,

These figures look awesome!

@ Huw - Just wanted to let you know that I checked out some news posts on FBTB and noticed that Lego is giving out white Boba Fetts to loyal Shop@Home customers. I hope I get one. :-)

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By in United States,

if someone sees these in the northern va area let me know so i can buy them

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By in United States,

@ MiniFever - ditto

@ Dino boys - thanks for the headsup and/or clarification on the dots/spots/dimples. Perhaps this might just be a useful tool to separate packs you've already bought once you get home?

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By in United States,

Nothing in Chicago land area Targets yet. :( Buuut, there's the buy one get one 50% off on LEGO Harry Potter, Prince of Persia, and Hero Factory. :)

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By in United States,

@yellowcastle I would just buy lots of packs at first, and if there were any missing I would go back and use the dots.

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By in United States,

@Superbrick I think that will indeed be the better strategy for Series 3.
Saw this yesterday though, and I have to say, "That Guy" you are a genius! Thank you!
I wonder what TLG will come up with next if they do plan on changing it...little electronics fused to the inside of the package ( :-) )?

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By in United States,

Does TLG stand for The Lego Group? Also does anyone know what color series 4 is?

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By in Canada,

^ orange i think.

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By in United States,

It's a miracle!

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By in Australia,

Pure evil. The AFOLs cracked it again. Remarkable work, that guy!

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By in United States,

I thought that the dots were bigger, and not microscopic-small... Dx Well, at least TLG heard our complaints and made it so that we could actually get the minifigs we want...

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By in United States,

Does anyone have the weights of the figures + their packaging up yet anywhere?

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By in Canada,

@I Like Lego, I hate to say it but, at my Walmart, they had many boxes, a whole shelf of Series 2, I got only 10, but then I heard London Drugs had them and I was the first one there so I picked up the rest of my collection, and a few Spartans. So there will be a high chance Walmart will be getting these for the holidays! :)

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By in United States,

Very true. I checked many walmarts in So cal, I found a lot of them had minifigures. They had about 2-4 boxes, only one set out at a time but by calling and asking, I heard many places had 200+ figs, thats over 2 boxes. They will definately be at wal mart, but I imagine it might be like series 2. First seen in Lego Stores and TRU, then later make their way to target/walmart.

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By in United States,

@Sword2211: Yes, TLG means the LEGO group.

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By in Australia,

I hear several people complaining about the dots, and that it will now not be a mystery when they pick up their figures, the answer is simple, DON'T USE THE DOTS, and it will be a surprise! Cant wait for these to hit Australia! I want a fisherman and the snowboarder and the samurai and an elf.

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By in United States,

anyone have an actual UPC bar code from a series 3 package. would like a copy so that way all we would have to do is go up to a worker at a store and have them look it up for us.

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By in United States,

@ TC I agree with you some what, I was actually looking forward to random packages SO I MYSELF would not be tempted to hoard. And so now I am torn about the dots, the problem with not using the dots is that someone that has already used the dots might take all the elfts, so if you try at random, you may never get the complete collection

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By in Canada,

@ brankel5566: Having the Series 3 'figs for the holiday season is going to be a disaster. People will go into Wal-Mart searching fro Christmas gifts, and when they find the Series 3 'figs, they'll buy up tons of them, seeing ho cheap they are.

And since the holiday season is the time when people buy the most gifts, hopefully, it won't be lose-lose for both of us. But for me, I think I'm not going to get to the 'figs on time. For Series 2, my Wal-Mart got only 3 boxes... for the entire year. For Series 1 they had 5 (I think), and they didn't restock.

And Toys"R"us is a wast of time, how am I going to beat the TRU staff to the 'figs?

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By in United States,

@sword2211 - the packets 4 series 4 are orange, based on the preliminary pictures.
@yellowcastle - do you know if there are any 2011 sets in tysons corner yet?

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By in Canada,

i live no where near anything since i live out in a country, even far away from little towns....so i can`t wait cause in 42 hrs (mon. morning)i`m staying like 15 min away from the LEGO store in Orlando !!I have my copy of the dots printed and ready to go.I also have a piece of paper so I can find the grooves using a pencil.

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By in United States,

Good luck with that. I thought the only places that had them were the Fred Meyer stores in WA, OR, ID, and Alaska? I don't think they have been made available to the rest of the general public.

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By in United States,

just a random question...does anyone know wat an AFOL is?

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By in Canada,

^ adult fan of lego, tfol teen fan of lego, kfol kid fan of lego

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By in United States,

Hey, now that there is a way of identify the series 3 aome one needs to update the column on the side of the front page that says. Want to know what's in the packet before you buy? And put the dot identifiers there for series 3!!!

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By in United States,

@Dino Boys: It says "raised bumps" so I thought you can feel them. By "light shining on the bag" you mean when you hold them up to a bright light you can faintly see them, right? Its a good thing I have good eyesight.

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By in Germany,

Excuse me: Are those dots black or clear? I couldn't understand what yellowcastle said...

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By in United States,

They are the same color as the packaging. The person who discovered the bumps put black marks on where they are.

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By in Germany,

@starfire: Oh please. That'll make EVERYTHING more difficult...

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By in United States,

So could you bring a marker and identification sheet to find them?

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By in United States,

@ R4-G9.....thanks. then, based on wat u said, im a tfol

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By in United Kingdom,

Ah, the perks of living near a city big enough to get 'figs, but small enough to only have competition with civilians that have no idea about the dots. (though i live on the opposite side of the country, just anticipating. :D )

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By in United States,

@crazyawesomeyeah - yes, and an AFOL and his money are soon parted.

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By in Australia,

Why doesn't the set details page for Series 3 have the two news articles under the "News" tab?

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By in United States,

Dino Boys post is very correct about the dots being hard to read and sometimes hiding in the imprinted letters at the bottom of the package. In fact I think the dots page probably needs some updates. It is good as it stands now, but I think some of the dots are missing. While I have opened most of my packs to play with and can’t be much help with the update, I have saved several to give away as X-mas gifts. Two notables that I have a few of and can compare them to each other are the Hula Girl and Baseball Player.

Hula Girl:
In the case of the Hula Girl there is actually a 4th dot above and slightly to the right of the dot on the right hand side of the pack (sort of the opposite of the Snow Boarder dots where the top dot is to the left of the bottom dot). This 4th dot however is often obscured by the number that is also stamped into the pack’s bottom seam. Which brings up another interesting point--the 4th dot is not always obscured because it is not always at the same height on the package—the dots can be higher or lower on the package. The dot sometime appears above, in or below the stamped number. As another example of dot height, the left most dot on one of the packages appears so near the bottom of the package I find myself wondering if sometimes the dot is actually off the package and on the top of someone else’s.

Baseball Player:
This one is a little simpler to explain. The upper left dot at least on the packs I have, does not seem to be a single dot, instead it seems to be a cluster of 4 small dots in a plus shape.

Conclusion and solution:
Even with updates to the sheet, the dots could be very difficult to use. For instance there are also artifact dots that are not really dots. My recommendation (and this is how I did it before we knew about the dots) is to simply feel the packs, or use the dots and then verify by feeling the pack. I was nearly 100% accurate on the packs I opened—I only missed one and I think I mislabeled it rather than misidentifying it in the first place. Continued…

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By in United States,

Looks like there is a limit on post length--here is the rest:
Here is how I Identified the packs by feel:
Hula Girl: Maracas are the best identifier, but be careful it might be the Rapper’s microphone. You can tell the difference because the microphone has a ridge on it, but this is hard to feel so it is best to feel around the pack if you find hair it is the Hula Girl, if you find a hat or boom box it is the Rapper.
Gorilla: Banana—make sure it is not a visor.
Baseball Player: Bat—if you find the baseball hat you know you have a Baseball player or a Rapper.
Tennis Player: Racquet (Duh).
Elf: Bow or Shield—These are actually hard to find in the pack however. They often blend in with the other pieces.
Rapper: Boom Box—if you find the hat it might be a Baseball player or if you find the microphone it might be the Hula Girl.
Indian Chief: easiest one look for the head dress—it is a big “V” shaped piece you can not miss it!
Alien: His head—if you find a light saber blade or gun it may be the cyborg verify by looking for the alien head or the cyborg helmet or legs.
Pilot: Back pack—it is a big square piece and you can feel the part that goes around the neck.
Mummy: Scorpion again one of the easiest to find.
Fisherman: This has lots—look for the rope, fish, pole, beard or cap. While there is a lot, these are sometimes hard to feel.
Samurai: shoulder guards—these tend to move around easily in the pack however so they may be hard to find. You can also identify his helmet by the notch on the front of it.
Snow Boarder: Snow board (Duh).
Race Car Driver: Is the only one with hair and a helmet. If you find the right kind of visor you know you either have a Race Car Driver or Cyborg.
Cyborg: Generally here if I found any of following—visor, light saber blade, helmet or gun I would look for the legs. The Cyborg is the only one that has one round leg.
Sumo: The trophy--It is oddly easy to identify—small flat thing with a round end.
Hope this helps—happy hunting!!!!!!

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By in United Kingdom,

not sure if anyones asked this but are the dots read, i mean which way do you hold the packet? top (left) to bottom (right) or other way around? Does that make sense?

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By in United States,

@ kmcmaster - Thanks! I think your hints will prove very helpful for me. :-)

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By in United States,

SIGHTINGS!!! I WANT MORE SIGHTINGS!!
Where are these figures? anyone seen there anywhere else?! I want to get a feel for how these figs are moving through the states! Does anyone know if LEGOLAND has them yet?

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By in United States,

That's kinda ridonkulous. I mean, i aint blind!!

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By in Taiwan,

@kmcmaster - Thanks for the added info on the Hula Girl's Braille code. I have a little girl here so that is one that I need to get right, or Santa's gonna look bad.

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By in Canada,

@I Like Lego I agree! By the way, if you live in a province with London Drugs, they kept on restocking, 2 boxes at a time! The first time they had it in stock, I was lucky to dig through a fresh box, and a few weeks ago they restocked on two boxes again, so I pick a few more spartans up! I just went today, and they just won't sell! They've been sitting there for like a week and no one touched it! I guess the craze is over by now, and its all on the Series 3. Good luck for series 3! :) I also asked for an empty minifigure box as well!

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By in Australia,

@ Hob - Do you mean to ask if the dot display on the crib sheet shows the front or the back of the pack? I'm pretty sure it's the back.

@ yys4u - Headed around to my stores on the weekend and no Series 3 here but I was lucky enough to find the remainder of the Series 2 figs I was after and spares of the weightlifter and surfer at Target. Woot!

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By in United States,

Good. Because the barcodes weren't that good. It takes you too long, and somebody's going to go, "Hey, that guy has a cheat sheet!" Or, "That's unfair! We don't have cheat sheets!" But for these bumps, you just run your finger...swish! "Oh, it's the alien! I want this one!" Done. Of course, you can't let anyone see THIS "cheat sheet"...

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By in United Kingdom,

@BooMakuta!, yes, its a case of my printer and my local Argos not allowing you to use the cheat sheets...plus, is TLC trying to tell everybody they know morse code? Now they have a bunker, a time machine and speak to each other in morse code...i think legos going to war with the Megablocks (more like neverblocks)....

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By in United States,

@BooMakuta!: I think it's harder than "just run your finger".

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By in United States,

@cjg - that's possibly the only way than just "decoding" it.

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By in United States,

@cjg - you have a point. Still, the bumps will be faster than "Hmmm...thick, medium, thick, thick, thin..." The barcodes would be way slower than the bumps. I hope Series 4 has raised bumps too.

@kmcmaster - the bags are sometimes quite thick. Perhaps if you pressed down on it very hard, but then you might risk accidentally misshaping a part. Also, there is the figure's stand to think about. Sometimes, this stand will cover several parts, misleading you. As the bags are pretty thick, it might be hard to move the stand aside.

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By in United States,

Hey BooMakuta, trust me you do not have to press very hard—a light touch is all that is needed. Also with the exception of the Elf, I found the pieces I mentioned were generally the ones that did not blend in with the stand or were still identifiable while sitting on the stand. One other thing you have to remember about the dots is that I gave 2 clear examples of inaccuracies in the dots sheet—I actually suspect there are others, but can’t prove it. So the dots are a good predictor, but I would not trust them completely. Once you identify them via the dots, I would double check by feeling the pieces in the pack. Think of it as a process of elimination. You don’t necessarily have to find the piece I mentioned first. For instance if you find a helmet or hair (which are easy to find) then you have eliminated several possibilities. You just generally need to find one other piece at that point to identify which figure you have.

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