May The 4th Be With Review

Reviewing new sets and books is par for the course at The Holo-Brick Archives, and we often cover LEGO Star Wars orientated events, but the opportunity to provide critique on a promotion like May The 4th Be With You only comes… well… once a year. And with this year’s promotion done and dusted we’re looking back at how it went.

Maintaining its usual tight-lipped approach to the promotion, LEGO began sharing its intentions a few days earlier when circulars were emailed out to signed-up members of the VIP Rewards program.

Holding their cards close to their chest is pretty normal for LEGO, and in this day and age of transport crunches and distribution woes, it was a safe bet that the full promotion wouldn’t be evenly spread across all its regions.

Free with purchases over US$40 / CA$50 / UK£40 / DE€40

Free with purchases over US$70 / CA$90 / UK£70 / DE€70 / AU$149

Free with purchases over US$160 / CA$200 / UK£160 / DE€160 / AU$229

It was Australia and New Zealand who missed out, with 30495 AT-ST absent from the gift with purchase (GWP) list. Not being able to enjoy the full GWP program is pretty normal for these two far away countries, but it is usually the higher value GWP items that arrive too late for the promotion, so few complaints were heard.

The last-minute addition of two exclusive prints to the VIP Rewards center caused a variety of elation, confusion and irritation; because everyone likes a nice surprise even when it’s a footnote of an offer, it wasn’t immediately accessible in the rewards center, and the limited edition print needed a good chunk of VIP points t secure.

Sadly the prints weren’t available at the start of the promotion, and only the United States and Canada had them on May 1st – albeit a few hours late. Most of Europe got them early on May 2nd, Australia and New Zealand could order them late on the 2nd but the United Kingdom had to wait until May 3rd due to even longer delays in the prints reaching the distribution center.

When fans learned of the number of VIP points they had to spend (US$30/CA$35/UK£20/DE€23/AU$40) for the so-called limited edition print, they were largely put off – especially since the image was included in the 10 point DLC reward.

The only real bug in the ointment was the list of sets that were part of the double VIP point offer. Of the 46 sets, 16 were retired (and unavailable), only 40 were listed for purchase and of that only half were in stock globally.

Some shoppers found that they were placed in the automatic queuing system and unable to pay for the items that were already in their cart. Normally during periods of high traffic the queueing system injects itself when popular items – like this year’s UCS 75341 Luke Skywalker’s Landspeeder – are being added into the cart. This change in the process did cause a few pulses to quicken – and a few disparaging comments to appear on social media.

While in some regions, the May The 4th Be With You promotion, which started on May 1st, kicked off a few minutes before midnight and those shoppers who were quick to get their orders in found that the included GWP was from the previous cycle. A quick refresh a few minutes later resolved the issue.

With sets purchased, it was time to sit back and wait for order statuses to change to the heartwarming “In Warehouse” thus securing the desired stock and avoiding the dreaded backorder notification. For some fans, this was delayed a day or two by public holidays in Australia and the United Kingdom, though this isn’t the fault of any of the May The 4th Be With You stakeholders.

At least not until Star Wars Day becomes the international holiday it deserves to be!

Ignoring the comments of LEGO Star Wars fans who voiced their annoyance that (while only rumored and never confirmed) 30625 Luke Skywalker with Blue Milk was not a GWP, complained that the free gifts were too expensive or declared that no one wanted the UCS Landspeeder – and considering stocks of the new sets and the GWPs lasted until May 5th and the LEGO shopping portal’s web servers didn’t falter once – the execution and delivery of MT4BWY 2022 was the best yet and goes to show that 50% of fans will be satisfied, 50% of fans will complain and 50% of fans will find fault regardless.

What was your experience like? Did you get everything you wanted or did you have a few hiccups? Share your thoughts with The Holo-Brick Archives community.

Entertainment Earth

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