Inevitable (but unannounced?) Price Rises

Happy New Year everybody, if I haven’t said it to you before.

Some of us have been very excited about sightings of the new LEGO Movie minifigures appearing at LEGO stores. I haven’t been keeping a close eye on things – namely because there have been way too many people leaking spoilers across the Internet – so it was a huge surprise to find them in stock at the Shepherds Bush store. I now have a full set after having bought just 32 packs, and just like the other collectibles there are hits and misses.

Unfortunately The LEGO Movie minifigures come with a sting in the tail: they’re retailing at GBP 2.49 rather than the GBP 1.99 we’ve been used to for a while.  I remember there being some kind of price increase in other parts of the world for the official series, but while I guess it makes sense for The LEGO Movie minifigures, I’m very concerned that future series, including a rumoured Series 12, will follow suit as standard.

And follow suit it just might, as it was also revealed that PAB cups and Build-A-Mini station figures had also increased in price. Large PAB cups are now GBP 11.99 and small ones GBP 6.99 (a GBP 0.99 increase for both), while a pack of three minifigures from the Build-A-Mini station will cost GBP 4.99 (up from GBP 3.50).

Though I’m more interested in parts than sets, I’m actually not surprised about the PAB wall, as I’d certainly expected there would be an increase at some point. However, I would certainly hope the price increase will be reflective of better parts than usual being available in general, and not just a hike for the heck of it. The Build-A-Mini stations, for example, have been greatly suffering in both the Shepherds Bush and Stratford stores (although some interesting and unusual parts have been showing up).

What disturbs me about these increases, if anything, is that they were kept very quiet. I first heard about them on the Brickset forum, but as far as I’m aware there hasn’t been any kind of announcement (like there was when they stopped doing grab bags). Additionally, these increases seem to have only affected the EU.

What do you make of this news?