Comments on: collect 'em all - what are the odds?
http://ask.metafilter.com/39378/collect-em-all-what-are-the-odds/
Comments on Ask MetaFilter post collect 'em all - what are the odds?Fri, 02 Jun 2006 09:25:19 -0800Fri, 02 Jun 2006 09:25:19 -0800en-ushttp://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss60Question: collect 'em all - what are the odds?
http://ask.metafilter.com/39378/collect-em-all-what-are-the-odds
4 different models of a toy are sold in identical, sealed boxes. Assuming the 4 different models are produced/sold/distributed in equal numbers, etc..., what are the chances of buying only 4 boxes, chosen at random (at different times, even), and getting all 4 different toys? <br /><br /> It happened to me. When I got the last one I felt like I had won the lottery. Seems like the chances would be pretty slim - I know this is probably about as basic as probability questions go, but I'm no mathematician. And if you're interested, the toys in question were Gary Baseman's collectible vinyl Fire Water Bunny series: <img src="http://static.zoovy.com/img/ningyoushi/W550-H300-Bffffff/basemanfwbset_large.jpg">post:ask.metafilter.com,2006:site.39378Fri, 02 Jun 2006 09:24:14 -0800ab3oddsprobabilitytoysGaryBasemanBy: agregoli
http://ask.metafilter.com/39378/collect-em-all-what-are-the-odds#607978
Is there any way to tell if an employee who sold them to you/packed them for shipment could tell what was in each box? You could have been the recipient of some kindness to a collector...comment:ask.metafilter.com,2006:site.39378-607978Fri, 02 Jun 2006 09:25:19 -0800agregoliBy: kcm
http://ask.metafilter.com/39378/collect-em-all-what-are-the-odds#607981
4/4 * 3/4 * 2/4 * 1/4 = 9.375%.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2006:site.39378-607981Fri, 02 Jun 2006 09:27:56 -0800kcmBy: Armitage Shanks
http://ask.metafilter.com/39378/collect-em-all-what-are-the-odds#607991
Looking at it another way, you could rephrase the problem as: given a four digit number where all the digits are 1, 2, 3, or 4, what percentage of numbers have one of each digit?<br>
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There are 4*4*4*4=256 combinations in total, and 4*3*2*1=24 combinations where the digits are unique, so the odds are 24/256 = 0.09375, or approximately 1 in 10.<br>
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On preview: what kcm said.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2006:site.39378-607991Fri, 02 Jun 2006 09:34:33 -0800Armitage ShanksBy: louigi
http://ask.metafilter.com/39378/collect-em-all-what-are-the-odds#608006
It's actually slightly higher than kcm or Armitage Shanks suggest, though so slightly that it's probably negligible. It's slightly higher because if you bought model A, then there's one less model A for sale so you're slightly less likely to buy it next time, increasing the chances you get a new one.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2006:site.39378-608006Fri, 02 Jun 2006 09:46:24 -0800louigiBy: ab3
http://ask.metafilter.com/39378/collect-em-all-what-are-the-odds#608007
see? i knew it was easy. and btw, agregoli, the toys come in opaque mylar bags inside the identical boxes - and i chose each box myself, at random from a stack of maybe 30 or 40 on a shelf. so human assistance wasn't a factor.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2006:site.39378-608007Fri, 02 Jun 2006 09:46:47 -0800ab3By: agregoli
http://ask.metafilter.com/39378/collect-em-all-what-are-the-odds#608011
Alright, just checking. That would definitely skew the statistics a bit if someone did it for you.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2006:site.39378-608011Fri, 02 Jun 2006 09:49:08 -0800agregoliBy: griffey
http://ask.metafilter.com/39378/collect-em-all-what-are-the-odds#608024
I'd just like to chime in that I approve of the toy choice. I have the "naked" version sitting on my desk right now.<br>
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:-)<br>
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On topic, 10% isn't that terrible a chance, overall. Intuitively I'd have thought it was less than that.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2006:site.39378-608024Fri, 02 Jun 2006 10:03:55 -0800griffeyBy: Big Fat Tycoon
http://ask.metafilter.com/39378/collect-em-all-what-are-the-odds#608134
Just curious: why would you buy the toys without knowing the contents were, with the possibility that you'd get a duplicate?comment:ask.metafilter.com,2006:site.39378-608134Fri, 02 Jun 2006 11:53:00 -0800Big Fat TycoonBy: agregoli
http://ask.metafilter.com/39378/collect-em-all-what-are-the-odds#608137
They seem to do this all the time with collectables, and I don't understand it either - you're just out of luck if you get two. Seems endlessly frustrating.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2006:site.39378-608137Fri, 02 Jun 2006 11:59:42 -0800agregoliBy: vacapinta
http://ask.metafilter.com/39378/collect-em-all-what-are-the-odds#608182
I guess the follow-on question would be: <br>
<br>
How many does the "average" person who wants all four, end up actually buying?comment:ask.metafilter.com,2006:site.39378-608182Fri, 02 Jun 2006 12:36:46 -0800vacapintaBy: ab3
http://ask.metafilter.com/39378/collect-em-all-what-are-the-odds#608229
Big Fat Tycoon - <br>
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um.. because you want the toys?comment:ask.metafilter.com,2006:site.39378-608229Fri, 02 Jun 2006 13:41:33 -0800ab3By: IndigoRain
http://ask.metafilter.com/39378/collect-em-all-what-are-the-odds#608736
There are several sellers online that will open the box so you can choose which ones you want...I've seen the option to buy them opened or unopened. I don't know that they have those particular figurines you pictured though. Or, check eBay.comment:ask.metafilter.com,2006:site.39378-608736Sat, 03 Jun 2006 07:41:45 -0800IndigoRain