LEGO pledges to stop launching regional exclusives

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Chinese New Year's Eve Dinner

Chinese New Year's Eve Dinner

©2019 LEGO Group

LEGO has just release this statement. It's great news:

It has become apparent to us at the LEGO Group that you are dissatisfied with the recent launches of regional exclusive products. We’ve received a lot of feedback on the LEGO festival products to mark the Chinese New Year (80101 Chinese New Year's Eve Dinner and 80102 Dragon Dance), the LEGO The Movie 2 Brickheadz (41634 Emmet, 41635 Wyldstyle,n 41636 Benny & 41637 Sweet Mayhem) in the US as well as 75227 Darth Vader Bust.

Because of this feedback and concerns from you, our dedicated and most loyal fans, we have decided that regional exclusives launched after May 1, 2019 will become widely available via LEGO Brand Retail stores and LEGO Shop at Home after a limited period of time (3-6 months) of the initial launch.

In the following areas we will still be launching products, which will have a certain limitation to availability and production runs:

  • Pilot projects, such as Forma, to check out markets and opportunities without being able to make them widely available.
  • Gift With Purchase campaigns through LEGO Shop at Home and LEGO Brand Retail.
  • Products only sold in certain experiences (for example LEGOLAND, LEGO House & LEGO Brand Retail stores).
  • Special Event Sets (Comic Cons, LEGO Inside Tour).

93 comments on this article

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By in United Kingdom,

yay

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By in Netherlands,

Fantastic news!

Now to get them to re-release the Chinese sets :)

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By in United States,

Oh thank god. This is a very, very good move. Was really worried over the last couple months as it seemed like they were moving more and more towards regionally exclusive sets, so I'm extremely happy that they've seen the light.

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By in United States,

Now they’re talking sense.

I find it funny that it’s addressed “dedicated and most loyal fans,” but some of the people said they were so mad they’d buy the Lepin knockoffs. Now that’s loyalty ;-)

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By in United States,

Sooo... does this mean the Darth Vader bust will be available at the lego store???

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By in United States,

Sweet! Now hopefully they will release the Chinese sets here!

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By in United States,

This is great! It's rare to see any major company so up-front like this.

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By in United States,

I'm just glad they 1. care enough to listen to the feedback, 2. actually acted on it, and 3. did it as swiftly (relatively speaking for a large company) as they did.

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By in United States,

Good.
They should also stop the one-in-the-entire-box minifigs in the collectable series'.

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By in United States,

This is great IF they release these sets here. Really these have been the only sets I have seen released this year that I want. ??

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By in United States,

Back in the 70s and 80s there were even Technic/Expert Builder sets that were regional. Glad those days are gone.

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By in United Kingdom,

And there was much rejoicing!

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By in United States,

Mr.Yolo ; the article said "after May 1st", so this doesn't include the Vader bust.

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By in United States,

Sounds like this is how the future will go, any product launched before May 1, 2019, will stay regional (i.e. the Chinese sets).

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By in United States,

Hopefully, just in time for the Dragon Boat Race set! I was wondering how I was going to get a copy....

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By in Croatia,

I was hoping comic con exclusives will become available to all LEGO fans, not only people who want earn money on Ebay... :(

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By in France,

This is great news but I wish they’d re release the Chinese New Year sets here!

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By in United Kingdom,

I'm guessing that anything before 1 May they'll have already planned production runs etc for.

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By in Italy,

Finally!

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By in Canada,

Laughing at this because I was in Asia at the time of this set's release and I saw nothing but scalpers hoarding the Chinese New Year sets all day long. Scalpers get rekt.

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By in United Kingdom,

Like @legoman1234 I would be more impressed if they stopped doing Comic Con exclusives as I imagine they get as much if not more 'feedback and concern' about them.

I wouldn't hold my breath for that though.

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By in United Kingdom,

Will be interesting to see where the 80103 Dragon Boat Race fits into this. It's released after May 1st, but presumably the production run was planned before this (welcome) change of heart.

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By in United States,

April Fools! Seriously, it's still April, and thus I'm still skeptical.

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By in United Kingdom,

Nice they are doing this but I got them on the secondary market. Really annoyed in one breathe but pleased in another. I want the dragon boat race to go with it so hopefully I’ll get that here!

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By in United Kingdom,

Celebration :) Thank god for this, I was and still am, annoyed by TLM2 Brickheadz and SW Darth Vader Bust but now we have a chance to get sets like these in the future though I wish they would release those brickheadz, Chinese sets now but nvm.

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By in United States,

Nice to hear. Now I hope that they follow through with enough stock to meet the demand and stop feeding the scalpers.

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By in United States,

Awesome!!!!

Although I’m not sure if I have enough money to spare for those lol

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By in United States,

Sweet, we all know the Chinese sets started this and it is great to have it addressed and we can all give our money to LEGO and not the government.

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By in United States,

@iso3200: The problem with that is unlike with these regional exclusives (which are produced in high enough quantity for retail, albeit initially only for some regions), Comic-Con exclusives are produced in very limited quantities for those conventions with much less production time allotted to them than regular retail sets. If they stopped making those exclusive, the result would most likely either be making them available more widely in exceptionally limited quantities (which would doubtless result in just as many complaints when they sell out in a matter of minutes), or just stopping making those kinds of figs at all (resulting in a situation where nobody gains anything but con attendees lose out on the opportunity to get figures who might be too minor or obscure to ever see in regular Lego sets).

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By in Italy,

In times of global economy and e-commerce, going regional was a pretty awkward strategy for TLG. I'm sure someone in the board recently woke up out of a Lepin set invasion nightmare and yelled "Have we completely gone nuts?"

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By in United States,

I just wish they would have stopped all regional (meaning all Legoland and Lego House exclusives too). They should all be made available via their website(s) so those of us that can't travel thousands of miles to get something could still enjoy it (and they are making the money not some scalper). Also con figures stop that madness please. Or at least give us the option to buy those figures in different packaging or something.

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By in United Kingdom,

That's just good business sense!!! They were throwing thousands of £/$/€ down the toilet for these regional exclusives!!! Now release those Chinese New Years set I've been holding out for!!! ????????

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By in Ireland,

Am I the only one who thinks this is sad?
LEGO gives in to jealous/entitled fans. How dare the Mothership release a set and not sell it in my local store! Don't tell me I actually have to make an effort to get my hands on this set!
Tsk...

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By in United Kingdom,

I do think no matter what country or culture the set is inspired by we should all be able to pick them up,
Restricting certain lego sets to specific countries is not cool, so i might get the boat race and carnival dragon now the Rule has been lifted..

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By in United Kingdom,

they need to release the LM2 Brickheadz worldwide......could even do it for the DVD/Bluray release if they wanted to

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By in Netherlands,

Great call, this was really frustrating and a delay is reasonable and like many above, please re-release the Chinese sets (and Brickheadz) :-)

edit: maybe the overload in Bricks&Pieces orders made them realise there was a lot of demand? So it might speed up their service as well.

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By in Belgium,

But still Comic Con sets only available in the USA, I suppose, because nowhere else in this world Comic Cons are being organized... Shame on you Lego! I've been complaining about this for many years, but I guess they won't change a thing for those 'Special Event Sets'...

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By in France,

finally some common sense from a global company with a global market.

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By in United Kingdom,

Great for the loyal fans.. but I bet places like Target and Walmart are not happy. Easy money for them..

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By in United States,

Great news!

It's funny that the Vader bust is mentioned specifically, as that was technically a convention exclusive. I can't imagine that Lego will start making all convention exclusives available on [email protected] afterward.

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By in United States,

So the current two sets released in China won't be available? Color me sad. Bitter sweet news nonetheless!

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By in Romania,

Great news ! I totally didn't expecting a vendor to AGREE to sell to a passionate buyer some products he is already selling to 1.5 other billion people. I am so thankful ....

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By in United Kingdom,

Bravo LEGO for listening to the fans and taking action. While Comic Con exclusives aren't covered by this it's a good start....

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By in United States,

The Chinese New Year was almost 2 months ago. The sets were released to go along with the celebration. Unless TLG Officially says that they are going to make more CNY sets for the masses; I wouldn't hold your breath. The Vader Bust technically was an event exclusive, so it should be excluded from the post May 1st mandate.

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By in Netherlands,

Good news, even though this still means the Lepin version of the Chinese exclusives for me. :-/

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By in United Kingdom,

Woo and, indeed, yay!

Although I wonder if there were many or even any more regional exclusives planned...

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By in Netherlands,

This is a great move of TLG and a very sensible one. I was hoping for this for a long time, although I wonder if it's just too late for fans outside the US to get the Darth Vader Bust, fingers crossed!

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By in United Kingdom,

Wow! Major company listens to their customers. Makes a change.
Well done, Lego.

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By in Poland,

This should be beneficial for both the customer and the company. More markets = more sales = more profit. Everyone wins! :))

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By in United States,

Why does China of all places get exclusives?

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By in United States,

I felt a great disturbance in the Lego market its as if millions of re-sellers cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced i feel something amazing has happened

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By in United States,

“LEGO to Allow Fans to Give Them Money For Things They Sell”

Fixed the headline for you.

Amazing that LEGO needed overwhelming fan outcry in order to make such a difficult business decision. :/

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By in United States,

So I wonder if this means that ALL of the Chinese New Years sets will be available worldwide soon. We’re in the 3-6 month time span for the originals right now. Let’s see if LEGO puts their money where their mouth is (or products in this case). This whole announcement would be better if they stated an end the Target RedCard promo fiascos.

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By in Netherlands,

Thanks Lego, no import fees and shipping costs for 80103!

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By in Australia,

If only Hasbro and Mattel would do the same. It’s not all about the U.S.

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By in Australia,

Gosh, it's almost as if it's a good decision to sell popular products in a wide market, to make as much money as possible.

Who'd have ever thought that? Y'know, aside from EVERYONE.

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By in Canada,

I am a Lego Loyalists that EXTREMELY disappointed that I could not get these Lego sets.
The Company should release these sets on Lego.com for all the very dedicated and extremely disappointed Lego Collectors.
All Lego enthusiasts and collectors spend a ton of money on their collections, and are the Backbone of spreading the word that Lego is the one and only.
Most of these Lego sell for up to 5 times their release Price by Greedy Scalpers, and I refuse to succumb to them.

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By in United Kingdom,

It's strange, I didn't see this level of moaning when US only sets were released.
I think it's kind of special that certain sets are only available in certain parts of the world.

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By in Netherlands,

It's not special, it just encourages scalpers.

I spoke to fans from Asia Pacific region and they had a lot of trouble obtaining the sets. Some had to pull favors from store employees. So, sets completely failed to provide a special incentive just for the region and instead created a secondary market.

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By in United States,

YAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!

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By in Canada,

A good first step.
But we need to continue to put pressure on LEGO to put an end to things like American convention exclusives (like Comic Con and Star Wars Celebration).

One thing is to have exclusives on their own branded parks and stores. Those are things that are available for quite a while and not just a few days in one random convention. I would have loved the Darth Vader bust...but there's no way I would ever waste money travelling to the US just to get a set because I couldn't give less of a sh*t about gatherings of people playing dress up.

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By in Netherlands,

Good on them. Now how about a rerelease of those Brickheadz...?

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By in Japan,

I still dreaming that LEGO would start some kind of "Nostalgia" series again re-releasing some classic sets from classic themes like Pirates/Castle/Space. Some of my favorite sets are vintage, released when I was too young to purchase by myself, or they weren't released at all on my country (Brazil) at the time, or I was deeply in my dark ages... Now Is hard to find them, and when I do, the prices are absurdly expensive...

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By in Japan,

@Sammael , at least here in Japan, they are using a policy of allowing the purchasing of just ONE set of each for the Chinese Special ones.
I was able to get the Dinner Table and the Dancing Dragon one. But I remember seeing a LOT of Chinese tourists families bending the rule by each adult member buying one of each set...

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By in New Zealand,

Now they just need to stop their regional pricing disparity and then it's a genuinely open and fair worldwide business.

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By in Australia,

I would have been all over the LM2 BrickHeadz if they had been sold here in Australia (even just at the Dreamworld LEGO store) but I am not going to pay up just to get one on eBay or whatever.

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By in Australia,

@Kazashimo

"It's strange, I didn't see this level of moaning when US only sets were released."

Then you're not paying enough attention to fans from other parts of the world. We here in Australia get practically *nothing*. These Asia-Pacific sets are the first time in history that Australia has gotten something the rest of the world hasn't.

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By in Singapore,

They should have also include sets that are sold only at the Lego House.

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By in United States,

@Lyichir:
SDCC minifigs aren't just "bonus" minifigs for those who attend. Releasing a minifig at SDCC makes it considerably less likely that the same character will ever be released in a retail set, so more than just being locked out of an easy chance to add another variant to their collection, hardcore fans may find that SDCC actively screws them out of the chance to get a favorite character at all. A lot of people were rightfully worried that Saturn Girl could have been released as an SDCC exclusive, making it all but impossible for most fans to complete the core trio of the Legion of Superheroes (then again, _nobody_ has been able to fill that void).

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By in United States,

In my opinion, this is a great series of decisions!

I disagree with this: "Products only sold in certain experiences (for example LEGOLAND, LEGO House & LEGO Brand Retail stores)" One I may never go to anything but the LEGO store (been to the Concord Mills one twice, and plan to revisit it this summer), and I for sure probably won't ever make it to Denmark to visit the Lego House, and for most people living in the US, I'm sure it's just as unfeasible. And I see Legoland exclusives (40166, 40306) all the time from third parties for not more than a comparable standard set would cost.

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By in United States,

People were paying an arm and a leg for those Chinese sets. Thank goodness that the AFOL community wrote in letters about the problem.

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By in United Kingdom,

For Comic-Con minifigures, they could do what they did in the past for LOTR and The Hobbit. Exclusive packaging but common figures. Or just put a slightly different head print in to make it exclusive, but keep other parts the same.

If not, they feed the Chinese clones.

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By in United Kingdom,

I don't really understand the reasoning of the wait here. For example, does it really matter to a Chinese customer if 'their' holiday sets were released in the West at the same time? Or vice versa. Why do they need to be temporary exclusives? LEGO pretends to want to stop reselling, yet protects resellers like this. There will still be surges in demand for time protected items.

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By in United Kingdom,

Very good news and fair to be honest. This has been a huge annoyance from the beginning. Finally those awesome exclusive in reach for everybody and no more ridiculous prices for resells.

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By in Netherlands,

@ccc there can be simple logistic reasons for the wait, producing enough stock. Or there can be commercial reasons (having a deal with a big American chain like Target for exclusivity) or simply advertising it as exclusive. Compared to having to buy from Lepin or scalpers this is a good compromise. And now we all know that sets will eventually become available, it's a personal choice to overpay for having it early.

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By in United Kingdom,

Excellent! I genuinely didn’t think Lego cared after reading Huws interview with Lego and their reasons for not releasing the Chinese New Year sets worldwide and the LM2 Brickheadz release made no sense, but they’re actually listening, woot !

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By in Germany,

I rarely comment, but... YAY-YAY-YAY!!!

If the region-exclusive sets weren't that great, I wouldn't care. But they were great, and it really sucked that I couldn't buy them.

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By in Russian Federation,

Cool. Now make LEGO Shop Online available worldwide! Buying through resellers sucks

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By in United Kingdom,

About time.

There are (for some reason) usually space sets years ago that only came out in the US, the fantastic Space Police 3 line was only available online so most people didn't know meaning the line died quick, luckily in Derby UK a store called Toy Planet actually stocked them unfortunately at a marked up price.

It's stupid doing stuff like this because all it does is help scalpers and does not benefit the brand AT ALL, repeat there is NO upside to making anything exclusive to a certain place.

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By in United States,

Would be nice if Lego sold ALL their sets through shop.lego.com so that scalpers like Toywiz.com can't buy all of the sets available for shipping, like they have done with #30452.

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By in United Kingdom,

wonderful news can we all petition for the Chinese sets to get re-released :)

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By in Australia,

Just because the sets are available everywhere, doesn't necessarily mean there going to be enough for everyone.

Chinese sets mostly sold out in 1 day in Australia and even the free sets like Diagon Alley were gone from online store in couple hours.

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By in Canada,

zero chance this actually happens. ZERO!!! They will continue to have exclusives with retail outlets, it's just how retail works. Note. not a word on the Target (USA) exclusive Bean There Donut That set. Or exclusive sets for TRU Canada. Next up will be Amazon exclusive sets.

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By in United Kingdom,

Fantastic News!!

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By in Greece,

It was about time. An absurd move came to an end.

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By in United States,

@Purple Dave: Can I get a citation on "Releasing a minifig at SDCC makes it considerably less likely that the same character will ever be released in a retail set"? Because the way I see it, several Comic-Con exclusive figures like Apocalypseburg Unikitty, Cutesykitty/Cheerykitty, Spider-Man, Green Arrow, SDCC/NYCC 2011 Batman, NYCC 2011 Superman, and Shazam have since had comparable figs released in regular sets with only slight cosmetic updates.

And a lot of the MOST unique convention-exclusive minifigures like Deadpool Duck, Phoenix, Spider-Woman, Black Suit Superman, Batman of Zur-En-Arrh, All New Captain America, Steve Rogers Captain America, Arsenal, Vixen, Black Lightning, and Atom were probably never on the short list to appear in sets anyway, since there have been hardly any sets based on their respective comics or TV series.

It's bizarre to imagine that the SDCC minifigures are the only reason that a lot of these characters haven't appeared in subsequent sets, when many characters who are just as important if not more so (Professor X, Rogue, Kingpin, The Lizard, Ironheart, Wally West, Kid Flash, Static, Huntress, etc) have yet to appear as minifigures AT ALL, despite not having any previous LEGO incarnations that might rule them out.

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By in Australia,

I too wish they would retroactively release these exclusives.

I've also noticed on shop.lego.com that there are distinct differences between stock in Australia and the US. The Harry Potter Brickheadz was listed as retired here after about six weeks, but still on sale in the States. Unfortunately LEGO won't post to the forwarding service setup by Australia Post.

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By in United States,

Well it took ya long enough ya dorks! LOL I'm glad to hear this. I've had to ship way too many US exclusives to friends overseas, and International shipping is a headache. Did you know Costa Rican Addresses are literally directions to their houses? It was a pain. LOL

I'm glad lego is figuring out that people of all regions like Lego, even if its targeted to a different market, at least make it available on Shop At Home. It all comes from the same point of Manufacturing right? All lego was doing with this move was fueling the secondary market, and losing out on their own revenue. Glad to see they wisened up. :P

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By in United States,

@Aanchir:
It's just an obvious logic leap. They release a certain number of DC and Marvel superhero sets each year. They release a certain number of new characters each year. There are _thousands_ of unreleased characters. Any character that gets released to SDCC probably ranks as less urgent because "we've already done that character". And just to clarify, I'm only counting the superhero characters. Azog and Bard aren't even exclusive versions of those characters (Azog also wasn't announced, and was distributed through a completely different method at SDCC). The two Unikitty exclusives ended up just having exclusive faces, but aren't otherwise distinct from what's been released in retail sets. However, lets look at those superheroes:

DC has had twelve minifigs released through SDCC and three through NYCC. NYCC Superman appears to be the _ONLY_ Comic-Con superhero minifig that has ever shown up in a retail set, and the other two NYCC minifigs were repeats of the first two SDCC minifigs. 2011 Batman is probably the least critical of the DC offerings at this point. In retail sets, they've released one really good Batman Begins Batman, and two mediocre Dark Knight/Dark Knight Rises Batmen, so it still does matter that this was the only really great version of Batman from The Dark Knight. Movie Green Lantern ended up being the only version of that character for a few years. For all the many versions of Batman they've done (and the odd fact that almost no two sets besides the MoS trio feature identical versions of Superman), we're unlikely to ever see any retail versions of Batman of Zur-En-Arrh or "I got better" Superman. Arsenal, The Atom, Vixen, and Black Lightning are all based on the CW shows, and none of them have shown up in retail sets. Since that covers the last four years, it seems pretty likely that they're just going to relegate any CW characters to SDCC. The only CW character that _has_ appeared at retail is Green Arrow who now has three minifigs and has appeared four times (including SDCC). And then there's Bizarro, whose only other appearance so far has been in the Mighty Micros line while Lex Luthor has a whopping six different minifigs. Oh, and Captain Marvel, who, even though he just got his own movie, is only making a token retail appearance in a non-movie set that won't be out until around the time the movie hits home video. So, if you notice, about 2/3 of the DC SDCC minifigs have been directly tied to movies or TV shows, of which only the Dark Knight trilogy has seen any retail action.

For Marvel, let's just start off by saying I really don't understand the point of the 2013 Spiderman. I'm not really sure about Captain America, as it looks like there are tons of comic book versions of the Steve Rogers character. Sam Wilson at least makes sense, but that's probably all you're ever going to see of that character, just as Secret Wars Spiderman will probably never show up again. Besides several versions of Wolverine and Magneto, all we've seen of the X-Men are two retail characters and SDCC Jean Grey, so they haven't exactly been racing to fill out that roster given how the MCU dominates the Marvel offerings, and Disney pretty much laid a blanket ban on any licensing of the X-Men film series. Sheriff Deadpool and Deadpool Duck are special cases, since they already did one legit Deadpool minifig, and it's highly doubtful they'll ever touch the character again in a retail set until people have had a chance to forget the Ryan Reynolds movies for about a decade or several. And don't hold your breath for Spider-Woman or the Collector. Well, unless the Collector ends up being a major villain in an upcoming MCU film, at which point he may show up again. But where DC seems to be focused on the CW fare, Marvel looks like it may end up doing a fan-infuriating run of Deadpool variants. If that's the case, I guess it doesn't really matter for Marvel, since that means they've chosen to focus on a single character that they just won't be allowed to put in retail sets anyways. And I will hate

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By in United States,

Got cut off, I guess. That should end with "And I will hate them for it."

@Mana-Ramp-Matoran:
That's nothing. Several years ago I did a trade with someone in rural Arizona or New Mexico. His address was expressed in terms of global coordinates (minutes and seconds North by minutes and seconds West).

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By in Australia,

Perfect. Stupid brickheadz are now widely available (after 6 months meaning a year by the time Australians get it) and meanwhile the actual sets I want will remain Lego store exclusives!

Undoubtedly the great City doughnut shop opening will be limited to Lego stores and charged at a wonderful price of at least $200, meaning I will miss out same as Capital City last year!

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By in Netherlands,

Although there is no official reaction from lego (yet). But i guess that the 80103 dragon boat set is excluded from this. The worldwide release is valid for exclusives released AFTER May 1st. The 80103 is released ON May 1st.
The Dragon Boat set is probably produced at the same time as the Chinese New Year sets.

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