Friday, July 13, 2012

LEGO Super Heroes minifigures for 2013 - SDCC 2012

Pictures are starting to surface of what LEGO minifigures we can expect to come out in 2013. Of all the news I've been looking forward to out of San Diego Comic Con, this easily tops my list. And the line-up does not dissapoint.

FBTB again gives us the goods, with several great photos and apparently the official product shots.

For Marvel, it appears we'll be getting at least another Spider-man, Nick Fury, Venom, Nova, J. Jonah Jameson, Dr. Doom, and The Beetle.

For DC, Mister Freeze, Aquaman, Batman (white suit), Bane (movie), Commissioner Gordon (movie), Robin with a hood, Scarecrow, Joker in an orange jumpsuit, the Penguin and what appears to be Harley Quinn in a nurse's outfit. A guard and two other versions of Batman (black with wings and the movie suit in gray on black) were not on display, apparently.

These all look great and I'm glad to see they will be giving us some more variations on the main characters that keep showing up in sets. I imagine the white-suited Batman goes into some sort of arctic-like set that includes Freeze and Penguin, while Joker in an orange jump suit and Harley give me hope that Arkham Asylum is in the pipeline.

Venom looks absolutely great for minifig scale, as do most of the other Marvel figs. I will say I'm a little sad to not see any of the X-men here. However, I have a feeling these are not the only characters we'll be getting in 2013. I hope this reveal is aimed more at giving us a taste of what's to come in the next wave.


While we're on the subject of Super Hero figs, I hope you'll listen to a brief rant. 

I think massive conventions are cool and I get that companies want to use them to promote their products. Having the "must have" exclusive available at a show makes great sense, since it generates a ton of buzz for your product and even attracts coverage.

I hate it from the standpoint of being a collector though.

For those that don't know, LEGO is giving away four SDCC-exclusive minifigures this week. Con attendees can enter a raffle to win either The Phoenix, Bizarro, Shazam, or Spider-Man in his black suit. All of these figs are great and will be in high demand...which means the prices on them will be at well over $100 from the moment they hit ebay. Some have already gone for above the $200 mark.

LEGO did exclusives last year as well. Green Lantern, Iron Man, Superman, and Batman were all exclusive figs. While the Superman on the promo has been released at retail, Green Lantern, Iron Man with the mask painted on the head, and that torso variant of Batman have not been. A year later, each of those still sell for over $100 regularly, IF you can find them.

Unofficial word is that these are limited to somewhere between 1,000 and 1,500 figs. So, you have to be able to afford to go to Comic Con, stand in line to scan your badge to enter the raffle once, and then win the raffle to get one of the four figs. Or, you can just spend a fortune on ebay for each of them.

I can understand the need to do promos, but these con exclusives are just terrible. They shut out a huge portion of the fan base that just can't afford to go to these shows or justify the insane aftermarket prices. At least with stuff like the TC-14 and Hulk from earlier this year you were picking up some sets as well by making a $75 or $50 purchase.

I would argue that this actually could end up hurting sales for LEGO in the long run. There are many AFOLs that are completists out there. I was hoping to actually collect all of the Super Heroes minifigures and the sets, with the goal of having everything. If getting them all requires me to spend upwards of $700 on just a few exclusive figures, it's just not going to happen.

I'm more likely to skip the occasional set at retail, especially if there's a figure I'm not too excited about in the current line-up. (I'm looking at you Nova and Beetle) I'm positive there are many other fans of this line that feel the same way.

Much of this probably sounds like I'm just grouchy about not getting a shiny new toy, and I fully admit that's part of the problem. LEGO is a hobby for me and I don't have unlimited cash to spend on the things I want. It's annoying to see these shiny little guys waved in front of your face and then be certain there's no way you'll ever own them.

I can take steps to get a promo I want, if there's a way to recoup the initial investment. I got my Lex promo by ordering the DS version of LEGO Batman 2 and then re-selling it right away. After fees, he ended up costing me about $3. I did the same thing with the TC-14 and Hulk figs. These guys change the game though and I hope LEGO seriously rethinks this approach or at least makes them available outside of just one or two events that are unavailable to most of the world.

/sorry about the rant folks. Just needed to vent a little.

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