LEGO Magnet sets to be glued [News]

LEGO Pharoah's Quest Magnets Glue

With the release of the new Pharoah’s Quest sets, many people bought the magnets, as they are an easy way to get the more desirable minifigs. However, the magnet figs were glued to their bases.

When asked for an explanation, LEGO said that all magnet figs will be glued from now on. There was a contractual issue with the magnets in the licensed themes and they had to be glued. In order to make things more efficient in production, the decision was made to glue all magnet figs rather than run two seperate magnet lines (glued and unglued). This has caused a lot of consternation in the community.

What I would like to know is how you feel about it and why. Does this bother you or do you feel that it is a non-issue? Let us know in the comments and the information will be forwarded on to LEGO.

55 comments on “LEGO Magnet sets to be glued [News]

  1. LouisK.

    This does bother me. Magnet sets were my source of minifigs. Compared to Bricklink and eBay you could get “rare” and cool minifigs for a good price.
    Even though the quality is slightly worse about the half of my Star Wars minifig collection consists of magnets.
    I just miss the old days of 3341 or 3342…

  2. Foamrider

    LEGO does more than most corporations would for a small though important part of it’s fanbase. To me this should be a non-issue, as it’s not if they just decided they wanted to ruin our fun on a whim one morning. They just want to make production more efficient, and turn a profit more easily.

  3. Benjamin P

    I really dislike this news. I bought a Star Wars minifig pack once because I really wanted a Boba Fett, but could not afford a Slave I. (And as a bonus Slave Leia and a Red Guard came with it!) This is a big inconvenience for anyone that likes expanding their minifig collection at a fairly cheap rate.

  4. duckingham

    I’m very disappointed in the decision. Did LEGO do any market research to find out what people buying the magnets did with them? I have serious doubts that very many of the minifigs ended up on refrigerators. C’mon! The point of LEGO toys is to play with them — not to use them to hold your kid’s art project up! The kid (and me) would rather have the minifig, than to see his pretty picture stay up. And the side effect of getting the minfigs was the bonus of getting 3 magnets that you didn’t mind slapping up on the fridge. It was very win-win.

    Now I have zero plans to purchase any glued magnet sets. If this ends up meaning that LEGO will produce more minfig sets as a result … that I could go for. But not this glued silliness.

  5. Mainman

    I have a feeling Lego will see a drop in magnet sales for this decision. I was never overly excited about magnet sets, but I did buy a couple. I certainly won’t anymore.

    I’ve never understood some of the weird stipulations of licensed lines. I’ve heard the ‘action figure’ argument about Starwars figs, but honestly, how likely are kids to use a minifig stormtrooper to chase a GIJoe-size han solo action figure? If they have no option, maybe, but then if they have no option (i.e. parents won’t buy it for them) than the sales argument is moot anyway. If the policy is geared toward collectors, we already know a starwars fanatic who has to have the ‘whole line’ will not put that minifig in place of a Hasbro figure or vice-versa.

  6. Sebeus

    well, they won’t see me buying magnets anymore, by gluying them they became a lot less usefull, I hope TLC doesn’t forget to mention the issue on this product because I would feel deceived

  7. Sarah

    I understand why Lego did this. I know I avoided buying some expensive sets to get mini figures from the magnets. I wish they went back to making the mini figure themselves a magnet then gluing. I’d hate to think someone ruins the magnets trying to get them off the stand.

    This is another reason why I am grateful for this blog. I had heard rumors that this was happening but I am glad now that for confirmation, before I went to go buy some magnets!

    At least, for the mummies, there is a battle pack set!

  8. Starwars4J

    To me it’s entirely a non-issue. Why? I wasn’t buying the magnet packs anyway. While it has come a small way, the use of cheap chinese plastic and printing turned me off from them from the time they first started using it. Ruining the magnet packs any more won’t affect me because…well they already lost me there. Yes they may see their sales of larger sets go up a little because of it, but they’ll see people buy maybe one extra big set, instead of 10 magnet sets that would normally have raked in far more cash for them (especially considering the low cost of making them compared to the full sets).

    They screwed up either way. Now if they were to close down their chinese factories or have them raise their standard to equal that of the rest of the production (which itself is somewhat lacking these days) and went back to unglued magnet packs, I could see it being a huge cash cow for them. Unfortunately I don’t see them doing this ever.

  9. wunztwice

    Well, to be honest I was very unhappy with the quality of the figures in the magnet packs anyways, so this doesn’t really affect me…I wasn’t buying them anyways.

  10. worker201

    I’m currently not buying much Lego at all, certainly not any minifig magnets. And believe it or not, the ones I bought in the past actually are attached to my refrigerator. So I guess it’s a non-issue for me. But I certainly would like to know exactly why it’s not a non-issue for TLG. I cannot imagine any argument which I couldn’t counter by saying “Big deal, quit being such a whiny brat.” If you can snare the I-want-Lego-on-my-refrigerator market and the I-want-Lego-minifigs market simultaneously with one single product, why not? Lego gets more sales, licensees can demand more money, both brands are positively enhanced, and everyone walks away happy. So again, how exactly does the board justify this?

  11. polywen

    Imagine you are Lucas Arts. You sell a license to Lego for Star Wars construction toys, AND you sell a license to Hasbro for action figures. Hasbro wouldn’t be very happy if they felt Lego was encroaching on their action figure license. Lucas Arts’ action figure license would be devalued if it wasn’t protected. So, Hasbro and Lucas are acting in their own interests as they ought to. This is just how it shakes out. I’m positive Lego would rather not glue the magnets, but that they are bowing to pressure from the license holders. Remember, they did give us all those un-glued magnets for so long.

  12. Ikewb

    This is a issue. For a reason it’s because many people view this blog now that they’re glued, they won’t be buying it just for a magnet, and many people only get the magnet sets because that’s a good sore of minifigs without buying the sets. And a lot of people get the magnets. Once they realize that it’s glued people won’t but them and then the magnets will be like the lego key-chains that nobody buys, and this might affect lego a little bit.

  13. icepick

    I think it’s lame, but I think LEGO is honestly doing the best thing. It’s what I’d do. Soooo yeah. In that regard to me this is a non-issue. It’s just suck-it-up time. :(

  14. IanxIntrospect

    In my opinion, if they’re going to glue the magnets they should at least sell some of the cooler figures alone, because some of us want those figures but don’t have the money to buy the expensive sets they come in. Furthermore, I know there are a lot of people that like to stock up on figures to make armies with. I personally tend to only buy new LEGO sets for the new figures and pieces. I really want those Anubi and mummies as well as the kophesh’s, but I have a very tight budget.

  15. worker201

    @polywen – Yeah, that’s a great example of one of those “Big deal, quit being such a whiny brat” excuses. If Hasbro honestly thinks that a 1.5″ figure is a serious threat to its license for 3.75″ figures, then they have a fundamentally flawed business model, which TLG should not be punished for.

  16. polywen

    @worker201- Except, that isn’t an excuse. That’s the state of things. You can like it or not. Your scenario where everyone is happy simply isn’t true. If Hasbro and Lucas are not happy, then not everyone is happy. If Lucas doesn’t respect Hasbro’s concerns, then Hasbro won’t pay for the action figure license. If TLG, doesn’t respect Lucas’ request to not sell loose figure as magnets, TLG risks jeopardizing a lucrative licensing deal. We may not care what Hasbro thinks, but Lucas and TLG do. Business are supposed to zealously protect their business interests. This does not indicate a flawed business model. Of course people are entitled to whine, for all the good it will do.

  17. fortyinred

    Yeah this news is really disappointing. I personally don’t use minifigs save for parts, but I can see how those of you who employ them would be upset. What good is a lego magnet that is just a magnet?

  18. gigahound

    Some people should read the statement again, because Polywen has it correct, this is a licensing issue. Hasbro has an exclusive license for Star Wars action figures. The definition of “action figure” extends to Lego minifigs and so Lego is forbidden to sell Star Wars figures in any way that they can be considered “just” an action figure. Within sets is ok, but by themselves or in figure packs is forbidden. Magnets apparently are not enough of a “set” to be excluded.

    The “efficiency” that is mentioned is just a production issue. Lego apparently considered selling glued Star Wars figs, and also unglued normal figs, but decided against two lines of magnets.

  19. polywen

    To be clear, I wish they weren’t glued either. But it is a done deal. I suppose if you really want to protest, don’t buy Hasbro stuff.

  20. sinfanti

    In the end business issues always boil down to money. If people were buying magnets to get figures that could be removed from magnets, this change will probably result in a large drop in magnet sales. Then TLG will have to reassess whether this product line is really still profitable for them. If you don’t like this, simply stop buying magnets. Remember that you vote with your dollars (euro, pounds, yen, etc.)

  21. BippityBricks

    I wish that Lego would think about things other than productional ease. I remember listening to Will at BrickCon talk about how important it was for things to be playable- well gluing stuff just because it is easy seems to me to go completely against this idea. And isn’t the whole idea of lego to build things- well you can’t really BUILD anything with something glued together, magnet or otherwise. I definetly do NOT like this.

  22. Morgan19

    I honestly don’t care what the rationale or reasoning behind gluing them; since this change makes them near-worthless to me as a product, I won’t be buying any glued magnets, period.

  23. fallentomato

    If they are going back to gluing the magnets, why not go back to to old style magnets that actually have the magnets inside the minifig? those bases look stupid and are now misleading.

  24. Catsy

    I don’t take it personally, it simply renders the magnets worthless to me. I’ve got enough crap on my refrigerator. Minifig parts I can use.

  25. notenoughbricks

    Disappointing this news is. I learned about this at the LEGO Store last week when I wanted to purchase the Pharoah’s Quest magnet set. I wanted the Anubis fig but have no desire to purchase the $100 set. I settled on the Key Chain but this still doesn’t help out my LEGO building collection. The Key Chain will be attached to the zipper of my Classic Space Logo bag so it is useful.

    Glued magnet figs are no longer figs, they are purely magnets and as a result I will not be buying anymore magnet figs in the future! Maybe LEGO will change their minds about their own lines (such as Pharoah’s Quest) and go back to making detachable LEGO minifig magnets. Much like LEGO’s take on LEGO Universe being a mistake (already marked down 50% in LEGO Stores) maybe they’ll admit this magnet idea is a mistake and change what they can and are allowed to change without upsetting Lucas and Hasbro.

  26. polywen

    Don’t forget, there is still the LEGO® Pharaoh’s Quest Skeleton Mummy Battle Pack:

    $14.99. 3 Figures plus accessories. Hopefully, Lego will release one that includes the Anubis headed figure and others. This might be the alternative for us to get the non licensed minifigs. The best we can do is lobby Lego to release more of those.

  27. Dr. Legostar

    I think this is flat out ridiculous. I get gluing them together for key chains but where is the purpose of gluing the magnets together? Any of them? What kind of problem could there be with them not being glued together for licensed themes? “Oh, we don’t want people taking apart the magnets of our licensed characters!” What’s next? Glued together minifigs in the licensed sets? Gluing these together goes against everything LEGO stands for, and obviously I’m very upset about the whole thing. If they want to do this then they just need to also sell more of the “battle packs” from various themes so that we can get some of the minifigures without having to buy the huge sets.

    On a completely separate note, I wonder if the melting temperature for the glue they’re using is lower than that of the LEGO bricks themselves.

  28. ahill22584

    Lego is ment to be put together and taken apart. That is the whole purpose of the medium. If I wanted glued toys, I would buy Monogram hobby models. I am a big fan of the magnets for the minifigures. This news is very disappointing. Looks like I won’t be buying any magnet sets in the future and I subject no one else does until Lego realizes their mistake.

  29. polywen

    @Dr. Legostar You said “What kind of problem could there be with them not being glued together for licensed themes?” and “What’s next? Glued together minifigs in the licensed sets?” If you read through the thread, you would already know the answers to these questions. First, Lego doesn’t have a problem, the License owners have a problem with them not being glued. Second, Lego pays for a License for “construction toys.” So long as the figures are part of a construction set, it is within Lego’s license to not glue the figures. So that is a ridiculous conclusion, given the facts.

    @ahill22584 – The magnets should no longer be considered a Lego construction toy. They are now magnets. Secondly, while you should absolutely vote your displeasure with your dollars by not buying them, remember that Lego was forced to do this. It isn’t “their” mistake.

  30. polywen

    @worker201 – Lego has a license for construction toys. Obviously, the toy companies draw a distinction there.

  31. Josh Post author

    Just a heads up, I will be tabulating the results of this discussion in a couple of days. I plan to send LEGO a list of how many were bothered and how many didn’t really care, along with summaries of the concerns, ideas, and complaints.

    As for the whole discussion about the relationship between Lucas, LEGO, and Hasbro, its a rather fruitless (and pointless) debate in my opinion. None of us have copies of the contracts in question, so its all speculation.

  32. MasterOdin

    I with they would not glue the minifigures together, but I can understand why. Lego is a company and they have to make money to keep going. They would prefer that people purchase the sets to get the minifigures and other things, but you don’t have to do that if you can just purchase the (cheaper) magnet sets.

    What I would like to see Lego do is bring out the minifigure magnet sets after those sets have been discontinued. That way, people who want the figures right away can purchase the sets and those who are willing to wait can still get the minifigures.

  33. Fraslund

    There is no way I would ever buy a magnet set that was glued. This was a great way to get more rare minifigs but looks like that is out the window. Too bad.

  34. Creative Anarchy

    I’d love to believe TLG is a victim in all of this but the scent of BS coming off this announcement is too strong. Farroh’s Quest isn’t a licenced product so why is it the first for glue-down figures? Why is it that the magnet that set features minifigs that are obviously going to be extrordinarilly popular and are only otherwise available in a $100 set is the first magnet set to be glued down? Why can’t there be separeate production lines for licenced and unlicenced figures? A Chinese labor costs just too high to have a kid with a glue brush sit at the end of the licenced products line and make magnets that suck? Given that it will make ALL of the difference in magnet sales why is TLG being obstinate here? I think it’s shadey marketting and bad business analysis.

  35. Will Will

    I’ll never buy another magnet set again. Let’s face it, I only bought a couple for the rare minifigs.

    It’s clear LEGO group is trying to jack-up sales on their more expensive sets to get the rare minifigs. Bogus. Lame.

    I’ve already given up on Lego Star Wars because prices continuously soar. I’m tempted to stop buying LEGO altogether for a while now… We’ll see how that holds out.

  36. CorporateGoon

    I was able to gently pry the Anubis figures off the magnet set with a thin flat screwdriver and a rubber mallet. While the rear legs were slightly scuffed, they were still functional. Most mocs don’t focus on the rear legs of the little figs anyway.

    The arms, legs, hands, and heads are all removable for anyone interested in using figs for parts. Personally, I find that practice barbaric. Unfortunately, the torso is still glued to the legbase, so I am unable to impale any figs in my mocs.

    I wouldn’t recommend anyone buy these, but they are what they are, and this is what they will be. Cheap chinese plastic and glue.

  37. miniflea

    Catsy- the legs and torso are glued, and the head, headgear, and accessories held in the hand (as well as the map tiles on this particular set) are NOT glued and can be removed.

    I have not yet read all the comments, but here is my take. I’ve worked for a while as a sales associate at a Lego store in the US (will not say which one) and in my experience the sole reason 99% of people buy magnet sets are because they can be removed and used as regular minifigures. I cannot begin to tell you the sheer number of times people have bought magnet sets only after being assured that they are regular minifigs and not glued together.

    That’s right, you all have it right from the horse’s mouth from someone on the front lines, who deals with customers and not just fans daily: people only buy magnet sets because they want figs without buying the whole set.

    Perhaps Lego knows this and has no choice. Perhaps they are vaguely aware but don’t think it will significantly impact sales. Perhaps they are totally clueless. It IS possible, despite how obvious it may seem to anyone reading this blog.

  38. Gumbo

    It is a law now that small parts with Magnets must be glued or permanently bound into the part they are a part of. This is so little kids won’t eat the magnets and have them meet up in a kids intestine. Simple rule not a choice.

  39. Catsy

    It is a law now that small parts with Magnets must be glued or permanently bound into the part they are a part of. This is so little kids won’t eat the magnets and have them meet up in a kids intestine. Simple rule not a choice.

    This is completely irrelevant. The old magnet sets complied with this sort of law by embedding the magnets in another element. That’s not the issue–the issue is the gluing of the minifigs themselves to the element that contains the magnet.

  40. Catsy

    I decided to take one for the team, and picked up one of the Pharaoh’s Quest magnet sets. The figs are not especially difficult to remove from the magnets, although I get the impression there’s some variation in the flow of the glue during production that can result in more or less difficulty. There was some minor scuffing on Jake and Anubis, and a little breakage on the back of one foot for Amset-Ra.

    The accessories, head, headpieces, arms, hands, and legs are all removable–the only place where the fig is glued is between the torso and hips, and between the backs of the feet and the studs on the magnet.

    Photo here:

  41. Catsy

    Oh, it’s worth mentioning that Amset-Ra uses the same torso and legs as the mummies that come in the cheap impulse sets, so really all you need is the head and headpiece if it comes down to that–and you still get a pair of arms and hands.

    Sadly, the Anubis Guards remain unique to these magnets and the pyramid set. Lego really needs to release a battle pack that has these guys.

  42. drdavewatford

    Hasbro must be pretty insecure about their business to kick up a fuss about this – it’s not as if LEGO are meaningfully stepping on their toes with these products which are nothing like what Hasbro sells. That having been said, I can understand why LEGO have decided to bow to the pressure, although I’m less sympathetic about their decision to glue ALL the magnet sets (licensed and non-licensed) from now on to effectively make their lives easier, sorry – “ensure a more consistent customer experience”).

    The solution ? More battlepacks containing more and varied minifigs. More expensive than a magnet set, of course, but not astronomically so. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it, Hasbro.

  43. CorporateGoon

    Catsy, the Amset-Ra in the large set is actually printed on dark tan, with additional jewels and printing. I’m not sure why the magnet guy is on the same torso and legs as the generic grey mummies. I’d say because the dark tan is more rare, but then the Amset-Ra keychain is also in the dark tan, as is the professor guy.

  44. polywen

    In the interest of keeping the facts straight, the Pharaoh’s Quest Battlepack is the exact SAME price as the magnet sets. Creating a different production line to just make non glued magnets effectively doubles the production cost of the magnet sets. Double the facilities, double the manpower, double the cost to make. So it isn’t as trivial as just making their lives easier.

  45. Catsy

    Catsy, the Amset-Ra in the large set is actually printed on dark tan, with additional jewels and printing.

    Yeah, I realized that late last night, thanks for the correction.

    In the interest of keeping the facts straight, the Pharaoh’s Quest Battlepack is the exact SAME price as the magnet sets.

    I don’t see how this is relevant. They contain completely different figs.

  46. polywen

    It is relevant to drdavewatford’s comment that the Battle Packs were more expensive then the Magnet sets. While yes, the first one released doesn’t contain the same figures as the PQ first magnet set, hopefully they will release a set like that. I am trying to lobby for it.

  47. Brickwares

    This will KILL the magnet sales, full stop. Apart from AFOLs, I can guarantee you parents are only buying these to get their kids minfigs (I almost said “cheaply” but the magnet packs are certainly not cheap).

    Between this and their handling of the collectible minifigs, things are not pointing in a good direction for TLG lately.

  48. Ramone

    I buy lots of magnet figs and this is really unfortunate. What’s with all the apologists? Who cares if Hasbro’s in kerfuffle–they make more money on Star Wars than ANY other line. They are not hurting. The magnet sets never come with accessories and are more of a specialty product. You might as well say that Hasbro is pissed about Sideshow Collectibles or Gentle Giant statues–it’s a poor argument (and I suspect an inaccurate one). This is all about Lego looking to bring costs down without bringing the price down.

    I’m done with the magnets. I’ll get my figs off the other brick sites, secondhand.

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