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BOLO... ripped off sets

Be sure to check the security seals on your sets before purchasing them. I live in Central Va and in the last week I've been made aware (I was victim of one) where 5 sets had all of the figures removed and then returned to the store. Even some of the CMF packs have been hit and refilled with random parts. These thieves are doing a pretty good job of resealing the sets to avoid suspicion. A close inspection will reveal their entry methods. Keep your eyes open...

Comments

  • Bricklover18Bricklover18 PA, USAMember Posts: 658
    I've noticed that the retailers near me have put more cameras in the lego aisle to try to stop this
  • jedivalkyriejedivalkyrie Member Posts: 115
    Earlier this year, I bought several Marvel and DC sets on clearance.  In the store, I inspected the seals and boxes, everything looked perfect.  Got home and opened each to find no minifigs and a mix of miscellaneous parts from other sets.  The thieves are very good at opening the boxes, removing the desired items and returning them for refund.  I got to the point where I'd take the set to customer service and open the box there so they knew I wasn't playing silly buggers. I even found a Star Destroyer in the same state.  Sad, but true.
  • pharmjodpharmjod 1,170 miles to Wall Drug, USAMember Posts: 2,242
    When you report finding stuff like this, please list at least what state you are in and if possible city or geographic region. So far in KY I haven't run across this but I would sure like to know if and when it starts becomming a problem in my area. Sorry for all of you that have gotten burned.
    madforLEGOBuriedinBricks77ncaachampsdatsunrobbie
  • BrickDancerBrickDancer Dunes of TatooineMember Posts: 3,639
    A few years ago when still buying for resell, I was picking up lots of sets from Walmart that were on discount. Put them all in the closet for a couple years to ripen.

    But about a year or so ago when brick linking the SDCC Batmobile, I had to raid the 1 of the 2 Police Chase set In the closet since it had so many of the needed pieces. Luckily I picked the right one and discovered it had been opened and partially built already. Almost all pieces were there, so no loss really. But boy was that a close call, I could easily have sold that to someone else without a clue that it was compromised.
  • jedivalkyriejedivalkyrie Member Posts: 115
    edited August 2015
    The Marvel ones were all in Jackson TN and Brownsville TN, at Wal Mart.  Star Destroyer was in Milan TN at Wal Mart.

    As a side note, I had an inkling something was up, the box contents rattled more than a factory sealed box does due to the loose parts.
    pharmjod77ncaachamps
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO USMember Posts: 8,198
    I've noticed that the retailers near me have put more cameras in the lego aisle to try to stop this
    That is great, but this stuff tends to happen outside of the store (or Im guessing at least not in the LEGO aisle). This is also a reason why I tend to not buy LEGO from brick and mortars anymore though apparently people have found tampered boxes via Amazon as well (though unclear if that is Amazon stock or a 3rd parties).
    Again this goes back to the whole why can't LEGO invest in some proper boxing and security tape to thwart this, but that is just tilting at windmills at this point I think.
  • sonsofscevasonsofsceva 1904 World's FairMember Posts: 507
    edited August 2015
    I found a rainforest animal set the other day that 'rattled' with wood scraps inside at a WalMart (St. Louis)
  • RonyarRonyar Member Posts: 335
    This is why I weigh sets if I am thinking of reselling them.   Most times I have more than one of a given set (one to keep, other to sell) and can compare.  If they are close (within an ounce on my not exact scale) I usually don't stress.  Any difference larger than that and I end up opening them both.  I still get sets on clearance from brick and mortar stores, so I try to be cautious.  Holding/shaking two boxes of the same set and trying to notice difference also helps.   I do wish there was more Lego was willing to do to stop this type of thing!
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,098
    At some point it would be nice if Lego actually did something to make its packaging more tamper proof. I feel for the retailers who really are ill equipped to understand and inspect the packaging nuances of hundreds of different manufacturers.  I struggle to think of another toy or collectible type item that has packaging that is so easy to circumvent without clearly notable indicators of said activity 
  • scoiltreasascoiltreasa Ireland Member Posts: 1,325
    Hate seeing  this. In my local  Smyths toys  yesterday.  Saw two of the death stroke  sets ripped open  minifigures  removed and a ninjago  minifigures  display  with  the  end popped  out  and minifigures  taken.  Worse  my local store will not sell the sets as  damaged. They got thrown  out in the bin instead!
  • pharmjodpharmjod 1,170 miles to Wall Drug, USAMember Posts: 2,242
    Let's go Dumpster diving :)
    scoiltreasaPitfall69SumoLegoKevin_HyattJackad7GoldchainsMr_Cross
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO USMember Posts: 8,198
    edited August 2015
    dougts said:
    At some point it would be nice if Lego actually did something to make its packaging more tamper proof. I feel for the retailers who really are ill equipped to understand and inspect the packaging nuances of hundreds of different manufacturers.  I struggle to think of another toy or collectible type item that has packaging that is so easy to circumvent without clearly notable indicators of said activity 
    Agreed. I also understand that there is no fool proof way, aside from making a set box transparent, of ensuring that no one can do such an act. However, IMO it is about deterrence, and LEGO frankly has no such deterrence for their product IMO.
    Not when you have 4 flimsy little stickers on the box to hold the box closed. Use that security tape with the printed LEGO logo that leaves the logo on the box if you move the tape. Heck just use bigger pieces of the tape with stronger glue which would like increase the likelihood of tearing the box art up showing that someone tampered with it. I think others have also said such an action would add maybe a nickel to the cost of a set. I can live with that to know the product Im buying is the product I am buying.
  • ryjayryjay Member Posts: 867
    How bout we just have a no return policy on all legos everywhere they are sold?  No returns,  no exchanges, all sales final...any damage, take it to the manufacturer.
    Jackad7Mr_Cross
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO USMember Posts: 8,198
    ryjay said:
    How bout we just have a no return policy on all legos everywhere they are sold?  No returns,  no exchanges, all sales final...any damage, take it to the manufacturer.
    Well I understand why stores cannot do that, there are legitimate folks who need to return a set that they did not want for their child, or their kid got two and they would rather get anotherset for the one, etc.

  • ryjayryjay Member Posts: 867
    ^Nope, no returns, those aren't legit reasons.  So you get two, re-gift one later.  And what are you doing anyway buying stuff you never really wanted? :)  New LEGO policy world wide-NO MORE RETURNS....EVER!!!   Got to admit, it is going to be cheaper then the cost of pilfer proof packaging that we all will pay each and every time we buy.

    Seriously, I've always felt consumers who return items, raise the  cost to buyers who don't return.  Maybe what they could do....stores or manufacturers....is add $1 for return insurance.  If you think you may return the item pay $1 for that right.  Don't pay the buck, you waive your right to return.  And then if an item is returned, future buyers must be made aware that it was a returned item placed back on the shelf, regardless of the reason it was returned.
  • pharmjodpharmjod 1,170 miles to Wall Drug, USAMember Posts: 2,242
    Since a no return policy will never happen at any reputable retailer (nor should there be any such policy) it really would be nice if LEGO would just acknowledge they have a problem and take some steps to fix it.
    madforLEGOscotty12waynegggmonkey76KingAlanIdougtsMr_Crosssonsofsceva
  • SmartsoundSmartsound LA, CAMember Posts: 1
    Hello. I am a newbie. Just trying to find a discussion about Chinese knock off/ imatation sets. I just came about these recently. I noticed some people wondered why people were buying them. Mostly very large original sets. Came in around $200 to $300. Lots of people purchased these sets in large quantities, sat on them, and then released them on a huge mark up price. People paid because they were the only game in town. I have seen the Carolsell around $3888 and a tow truck model around $850. WAY out of mine and others price range. Then they are shocked when people bought a Chinese knock off for $170. So if you really need a set for your kid, it's a no brainer. He isn't going to know the difference. It's a shame that there are so many greedy people.
  • KingAlanIKingAlanI Rochester, NYMember Posts: 1,479
    @Smartsound knockoff sets are a different issue, there are plenty of other threads for those, this is about people taking parts from legitimate sets and recirculating them as complete.

    I see it now and again and haven't had any trouble doing returns if I get stuck with a compromised set. While returns are prone to underhanded activity it might be good for business by lowering the purchase risk for honest customers.
    Even if returns aren't generally allowed, they are for defective products.
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,098
    Hello. I am a newbie. Just trying to find a discussion about Chinese knock off/ imatation sets. I just came about these recently. I noticed some people wondered why people were buying them. Mostly very large original sets. Came in around $200 to $300. Lots of people purchased these sets in large quantities, sat on them, and then released them on a huge mark up price. People paid because they were the only game in town. I have seen the Carolsell around $3888 and a tow truck model around $850. WAY out of mine and others price range. Then they are shocked when people bought a Chinese knock off for $170. So if you really need a set for your kid, it's a no brainer. He isn't going to know the difference. It's a shame that there are so many greedy people.
    This is not the thread you are looking for

    but this is: http://bricksetforum.com/discussion/16099/lego-fight-against-chinese-counterfeit-lego#latest
    sid3windr
  • HanzoHanzo VAMember Posts: 411
    ryjay said:
    ^Nope, no returns, those aren't legit reasons.  So you get two, re-gift one later.  And what are you doing anyway buying stuff you never really wanted? :)  New LEGO policy world wide-NO MORE RETURNS....EVER!!!   Got to admit, it is going to be cheaper then the cost of pilfer proof packaging that we all will pay each and every time we buy.

    Seriously, I've always felt consumers who return items, raise the  cost to buyers who don't return.  Maybe what they could do....stores or manufacturers....is add $1 for return insurance.  If you think you may return the item pay $1 for that right.  Don't pay the buck, you waive your right to return.  And then if an item is returned, future buyers must be made aware that it was a returned item placed back on the shelf, regardless of the reason it was returned.

    We need to jump back to reality here.  The old return an item with missing stuff or something else in the box is not new, rare, or unique to Lego, it happens with a lot of items.  You take that risk when you buy an item off the shelf.  If you are planning to keep the item sealed and never inspect it don't buy it off the shelf of a big box retailer. If you do plan on building it the risk is gone since you can go back to the store and let them know what happened should you be missing pieces or the box is full of the wrong thing.

    As far as the packaging, I can't see them changing unless it was economically sensible. You'd have to have retailers press on them hard to make a change.  
    sonsofsceva
  • sonsofscevasonsofsceva 1904 World's FairMember Posts: 507
    If it only costs them the occasional service call and some free VIP points, it won't be enough to expend the financial commitment for a new system. But having said that, putting the number that is on one set of stickers on both instead and several times at that, would make it a little easier to spot re-tapes. My other problem with the tapes is that they are inconsistent. Sometimes they have all sorts of wrinkles in them, and they often unstick if they are just sitting on a shelf doing nothing.
  • TheFewTheFew EnglandMember Posts: 828
    Wow i never knew this was an issue! Time to be more vigilant!
  • datsunrobbiedatsunrobbie West Haven , CTMember Posts: 954
    Some older sets I have found, like #6425 and #2554, were glued shut, and opening them without leaving visible evidence would be a much greater challenge than just cutting and replacing a couple of stickers. Either glue is more expensive than stickers, or perhaps people complained that the could not open the box without damaging it.
  • 77ncaachamps77ncaachamps Aspiring Time Traveler Stuck in the WestMember Posts: 1,979
    Some older sets I have found, like #6425 and #2554, were glued shut, and opening them without leaving visible evidence would be a much greater challenge than just cutting and replacing a couple of stickers. Either glue is more expensive than stickers, or perhaps people complained that the could not open the box without damaging it.
    I've thought about it that too. Resealing is possible if carefully opened, so if there was a full box tearaway strip, I think that would be harder to "fake", right?
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