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Bring back the polybag! Please.

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Bring back the polybag! Please.

Postby Heir of Black Falcon » Thu May 21, 2009 7:24 am

Could not find a complete post on this topic on Dear Lego so here one is.

So I am a fan of the small Lego sets from castle (OK in truth most sized castle sets, anyways). Always have been. Siege cart, king's oarsmen, knights' arsenal, duel defender, etc. some great little sets. You get some pieces and they include minifig or two. I like the minifig sets/battlepacks as well. A nice way to add some people to an army or some creation.

While I enjoy them it seems their prices keep rising. I think the knight and troll warrior were more than I paid for the mounted black knight new. It may just be the constant inflation over the years and that is fine but maybe we could drop the price a little with other methods that will not cost TLC. While many of these small sets of the old days did come out in boxes I think perhaps a useful cost cutting solution may be a return of the polybag.

So I did a brief look here to see comments on the polybag-

search.php?keywords=polybag&terms=all&author=&fid%5B%5D=12&sc=1&sf=all&sk=t&sd=d&sr=posts&st=0&ch=300&t=0&submit=Search

Seems a great deal of us would like them back. Here are some of the main comments that caught my attention.

Packaging, as has been mentioned here before, adds a great deal to these sets. Assembly of the minifigs does as well. Why not bring back the polybag. Keep the minifigs disassembled and post the directions printed on the back of the bag or something so even less as no papers for instructions needed. You could get away with simply a bag and what everyone really wants.... the Lego-goodness inside. Cut costs all round for consumer and TLC and I'd imagine less environmental impact with waste materials and energy in production and transport weight cut down.

From what I can tell the last castle polybag set was KKII. Did these sell poorly? Seems like the minifig ones were popular from what I have heard. Are there some hidden costs I am missing? Do these polybag sets end up damaged in transport more often or on the shelf?

Some ideas I had of past sets for polybags.
Small boats, siege engines (catapults, a TLC special), individual minifigs like the knight, good wizard, troll warrior etc. maybe a farmer with a cow or something, knight on horseback. What about even larger small sets in polybags, like the crossbow attack, maybe even sets as big as the dwarf mine defender or the knight’s catapult defence

So what do you think? Would love to here CCers ideas and concepts on polybags pros and cons.

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Re: Bring back the polybag! Please.

Postby RichardAM » Thu May 21, 2009 9:54 am

I remember when the Impulse sets were announced and subsequently revealed there was many wondering if they'd be polybaged. For many of these sets it is odd that they're boxed, but maybe this isn't so much an issue of cost as it is marketing?

Perhaps these bagged sets are less desirable to the consumer for whatever reason?
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Re: Bring back the polybag! Please.

Postby architect » Thu May 21, 2009 12:30 pm

I think that parents feels they are getting more for their money with boxed sets. In reality roughly the same amount of pieces are available in either option. It may be worth it to TLG to spend a bit more on making boxes if they can sell more small sets.

Many of the North American classic polybag sets were sold in small boxes in Europe. Either way I would just like to see more of these sets for the classic themes.

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Re: Bring back the polybag! Please.

Postby Username » Thu May 21, 2009 7:06 pm

I heart polybags! I have a bag full of sealed polybag sets. I wish they would make a comeback.
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Re: Bring back the polybag! Please.

Postby Seikfreid » Thu May 21, 2009 11:53 pm

I think TLG may be attempting to reduce waste, as cardboard is recyclable where plastic is not. Also, pieces probably got damaged more easily in polybags than in boxes.
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Re: Bring back the polybag! Please.

Postby architect » Fri May 22, 2009 1:23 am

Seikfreid wrote:I think TLG may be attempting to reduce waste, as cardboard is recyclable where plastic is not. Also, pieces probably got damaged more easily in polybags than in boxes.


The Lego bricks are bagged in plastic inside of the impulse sets. So either way non-recycled plastic is used. Plus you have to factor in the expense and environmental factors of printing high quality boxes. I think TLG's decision is much more sales related based on retailer and customer (parents) feedback than being environmentally friendly.

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Re: Bring back the polybag! Please.

Postby Blue Moon Knight » Fri May 22, 2009 2:46 am

architect wrote:
Seikfreid wrote:I think TLG may be attempting to reduce waste, as cardboard is recyclable where plastic is not. Also, pieces probably got damaged more easily in polybags than in boxes.


The Lego bricks are bagged in plastic inside of the impulse sets. So either way non-recycled plastic is used. Plus you have to factor in the expense and environmental factors of printing high quality boxes. I think TLG's decision is much more sales related based on retailer and customer (parents) feedback than being environmentally friendly.

Ben


I agree with Architect. I doubt TLC is doing this for the safety of the environment. Though I'm pretty sure plastic is recycleable, it's just that it can only be recycled around five times before it becomes completely useless.
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Re: Bring back the polybag! Please.

Postby Heir of Black Falcon » Fri May 22, 2009 5:56 am

Some good points. I guess sales of polybags would determine their use but I wonder what the difference would really be. It would be odd to think that the average parent would not appreciate paying less for the same set not matter the wrapping. If that is the reason TLC could easily market polybags into a better light- same for less, same Lego value for less money, etc. I wonder if it is just not custom that keeps the boxes the mainstay...

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Re: Bring back the polybag! Please.

Postby JoshWedin » Fri May 22, 2009 7:34 pm

As for me, I couldn't care less what the sets come in. I just want small sets.

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Re: Bring back the polybag! Please.

Postby Sir Dano » Fri May 22, 2009 9:31 pm

JoshWedin wrote:As for me, I couldn't care less what the sets come in. I just want small sets.

Josh

Agreed. Being a person with a very small LEGO budget, I am very much in favour of smaller sets. :wink:
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Re: Bring back the polybag! Please.

Postby Heir of Black Falcon » Sun May 24, 2009 5:55 am

Fair enough. I am just thinking the polybag should/could keep the prices down, and while I do buy small sets I would buy more of them if they were less expensive.

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Re: Bring back the polybag! Please.

Postby Attli35 » Mon May 25, 2009 7:02 pm

Seikfreid wrote:I think TLG may be attempting to reduce waste, as cardboard is recyclable where plastic is not. Also, pieces probably got damaged more easily in polybags than in boxes.

I used to work in a Recycling Plant, everything plastic is recyclable. The problem comes from mixing different types of plastic together. for instance you cannot mix ABS with Nylon. Look at the numbers on the bottom of a Super-Size cup and you will see a number. Say you have one with a 4 ( these are polystyrenes/propolenes ). It can be mixed with a 1,2,3, or 4 but not a 5,6,7,8, or 9. It might be the other way around. Only worked there a month. The noxious fumes and the pay were horrible.



I prefer boxes that have very little wasted space inside. Not boxes filled with half Lego and half empty space.
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Re: Bring back the polybag! Please.

Postby rogue27 » Tue May 26, 2009 12:35 pm

I don't like the polybags, but I do miss the small sets.

When I was younger, there was always a pegboard in the lego aisle with a good assortment of $2-$6 boxed sets hanging alongside the medium and large sets which were on shelves. These were great for me to spend my allowance on, and resulted in me collecting dozens of small sets in the 80s. Space ships, moon buggies, race cars, sports cars, trucks, vans, police motorcycles, minifig packs, ballistas, boats, knights, tournament tents, horse-drawn carts, etc. They also had those multi-set bonus packs which were awesome and usually included really great sets (the two forestmen carts were in bonus packs.)

Anyway, I agree. A few more sets in the $4 - $10 (today's cheap set prices) range would be great. At least one more per product line. Current LEGO sets are priced so that kids cannot buy much for themselves, so they do not develop an interest in begging parents to buy the bigger ones.
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Re: Bring back the polybag! Please.

Postby Papy.G » Fri Feb 19, 2010 4:08 pm

I never saw polybaged sets (France), so I don't really know what to think about their desirability in shops.

I think it would be better ecology-wise, to still get polybags in plastic, if polybag is to be back, or boxed sets filled with paper bags, just to avoid recycling material's pollution (lots of people just throw the cardboard box after building, and with the plastic bag inside, even in selective sorting bins).
The marketing point of view is that Lego is reknown, and has to stand still with its status (kind of honour code). What do you think a little boy and his parents (non-AFOLs adults) will say if the Legos impulse were in bags just like lollipops, alongside with cardboard boxed Playmobils?
I think the better way to go is to give custommers the choice, the cardboard to show the built set, and for collectors, or those who prefer cardboard boxed, and the polybag, to give little less expensive products, and show raw parts.
So the said little boy will see the model on the box, dream about it, then lurk at those parts through the polybag and grow even more desire to get the set, and if his parents are little short on money or say it is too expensive, he will have a joker in his game:"Wow! Look, Mum, it's just the same, less expensive without the box!"
The bag is said to be seen as a cheap product, and the box as a nicer one, no matter the price (at least at first glance). When you decide to buy something, the first thing you have to do is picking it in the shelf, before paying.
I loved display boxes, and although TLC makes some nowadays, I always think it's not enough, the bad side of it is recycling issue.

Sorry for these lots of french-sounding neologisms, I don't know the specialized vocabulary needed here. If someone has courage for correcting (by PM i.e.), I'll be happy to learn, thanks.
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Re: Bring back the polybag! Please.

Postby Ye Olde Republic » Sat Feb 20, 2010 1:35 am

I understand the move away from the polybags. TLG can put the products into a box that is more than four times the size it really needs to be so that it's more impressive on the retailers shelves. The ironic part is that when the set if finally built, we have a tendency to think, "This, came in that box?"
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