Miller

What do you miss from older sets?

34 posts in this topic

I really miss the old boxes with the lid you lifted to see all the bricks inside through the clear plastic :D

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I totally understand the sentimental feeling, and I must admit I also get that "warm fuzzy" sensation as WhiteFang called it whenever I think of 80's and 90's LEGO. But it's precisely those huge boxes with lids, plastic windows and 10+ minifigs per set that almost drove LEGO out of business just about a decade ago. So there's always a dark side to the story, I guess.

To be honest, I don't think there's many things that can really compare to the excitement of checking out the "coolest" elements, on display in the little plastic clear openings on the box, and then gazing at both sides of the lid for all the different ideas of what you could build with this set... But I accept that those times are behind us and I think that LEGO has moved on in a very good direction - I really consider what's been coming out in the last 5 years as being some of LEGO's best ever production. Personally, I'd never swap a Cafè Corner or even a Pet Shop ( :tongue: ) for any fancy old lid-covered box.

I could say I miss 9V or the Monorail, but I've already got enough of both. Plus, I really see the benefits of the PF system and am inclined to agree that it's not a bad development at all. Speaking of trains functionality, I do wish we had the endless possibilities for layout control that the 12V system presented LEGO fans with, but I realize that if this were to be implemented nowadays, the price would be astronomical. Other than that, I don't miss the disproportionate designs of old days, or the limited amount of bricks, and I must say I'm actually quite fond of the plethora of expressions which the minifig has now gained over the years. Not that I don't love the smiley face, but it's just a nice change - once again, presenting LEGO fans with endless possibilities and signaling a move in the right direction.

All in all, while I did love the sets I grew up with, I think the product that LEGO has to offer nowadays is substantially improved - so no, there's nothing I really miss that much from older sets. :sweet:

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I too miss the old box design and their alternative pictures. I also miss the little catalogues you used to get in them too.

At least now I can afford to buy the sets rather than just dream about owning them!

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Definitely the alternate models. I drew so much inspiration as a child by looking at the alternate models on the backs of the boxes, as well as in the official Lego idea books. The only sets that seem to encourage alternate models today are the Creator sets, and even they just do them as "official" alternates rather than ones that involve the builder's own imagination.

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I miss the large number of minifigures. For example, the Metroliner compared to current trains. I also miss the small packs of 6 minifigures. It would be good to see these again, albeit without police, fire, etc.

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I too miss the old box, especially the setting sun (yellow background) for the castle lines. I also miss the little catalog booklet that comes in with every medium-large set purchase.

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Alternative models on box art or instructions. I remember well a long mobile crane built from combination of 855 mobile crane and xxx yellow forklift. The pictures would be more like teasers to stimulate creativity. Similarly the train artwork would often show alternative combinations of rolling stock, driving the "mummy I want to make that layout" (only to take it apart again!)

The old ideas books were also a great way to stimulate creativity when there were limited models. Nowadays there are so many fantastic models that I guess people are happier to buy build and play than trying to assemble alternatives.

Some of the various Lego club magazines clearly replicated that in mid 80's and now we have mocpages Flickr and endless rebrick sites, that creativity is easily stimulated through alternative means, and the market for publishing a book or doing extra builds and artworks probably outweigh any potential profit. Sill nice to dream of old days!

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I miss alternate models from the back of the box too. I also don't like the fact that there are so many licenced series these days (this year in particular)

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Having alternative ideas in the box was good although not all of them were that brilliant they did get you interested in thinking for yourself about what you could make. Very often when I am at my local store I hear parents complaining that LEGO nowadays can only be used to make the thing on the front of the box. I think this is partly down to this lack of ideas leaflet.

The one thing I do miss though for MOCing is being able to buy a box of bits all in the same colour. I remember (Must have been around 1990?) being able to go into my local store and purchase a box that contained just blue, or black or whatever colour bricks I was after. OK, I know we have PAB and online nowadays, but hardly anyone except the few and far between LEGO stores have a PAB and whilst ordering online either from Shop at Home or Bricklink is good and in many ways much better, it is not the same as going down the local toy shop and picking up an actual box there and then. Also you don't seem to be able to buy boxes of 33 degree roof tiles nowadays, just the 45 degree ones and only in red, I am sure I used to be able to get them in blue when I was a kid?

Edited by Hrw-Amen

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See thru boxes

Printed instruction for all alternate models

Universal Technic sets [was excellent for multiple models, spare parts etc.]

Technic Supercars with gearboxes like 8880, 8466, 8448 etc.

Pneumatics [they are now reintroducing it though]

Studded beams [somehow can't like studless beams]

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The small catalogs that came in sets.

The small "battle packs" for every theme.

Most of all, when you could by a pack for a particular theme, i.e. Castle, with a horse, some spears, swords, etc.

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Reasonable Prices. :laugh: Seriously though, I miss the boxes as you've said and the raised baseplates. I also miss the classical feeling of them.

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I definitely miss the Max Figures. The 4-Junior figures. Those were beast! :sarcasm_smug:

In all seriousness, I miss baseplates (especially in smaller sets), and like everyone else, the alternate building ideas. :sweet:

Edited by just2good

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I miss those type of boxes too, they were very cool, especially for Pirate theme ships like the Caribbean Clipper. :wub: I also miss having Monorail sets, but maybe one day TLG will decide to create new sets with a new system involving PF. Cypress trees I miss dearly. One other thing I miss would be those accessory packs for various themes like City (Trees & Flowers), Castle (Swords, Helmets) and others. However the discovery of BL has filled those gaps for me.

:classic:

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I miss old 4 wide vehicles and base plates.

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There are so many that have been mentioned that I miss dearly. From The view ports on boxes, to alternative models, to mini catalogs. What I really miss are the prices of road plates before current ones release. And like many, I miss how they were packaged: two of the same... Straight with straight, curve with curve, etc. Same goes for train track default_classic.gif

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Having alternative ideas in the box was good although not all of them were that brilliant they did get you interested in thinking for yourself about what you could make. Very often when I am at my local store I hear parents complaining that LEGO nowadays can only be used to make the thing on the front of the box. I think this is partly down to this lack of ideas leaflet.

I think this is down to the fact that modern sets have a lot more detail, which means smaller pieces etc. that can mean its difficult to make something new unless you have a large number of sets to build up enough bricks to give you that flexibility.

In 'the old days' most things were pretty blocky and made from basic bricks. That lack of finesse also meant that you could fairly easily reuse the bricks from a set to make almost anything else, as the common, core parts list was smaller

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One thing that irks me is the randomly coloured "filler" bricks, ie. the bricks you don't see at the end of building. Sure, you can't see them, but if you do try to build something else (with your imagination, you've still got one I hope) you end up with useless blue parts sticking out the sides. The old sets used a conforming set of colours across the board.

Baseplates are also a point of contention. They've really disappeared from the medium sized sets, and the big ones seldom have any either. While I wish baseplates never existed (ie. baseplates with connections underneath, like a plate instead), the newer sets don't fit with the baseplated variety.

Oh, and cypress trees!

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...

Oh, and cypress trees!

Totally forgot about the plant variety. I miss cypresses and the fruit trees (which they started using them again in 2009 and stopped in 2010). I also miss the half bushes, as those made the bushes seem more elaborate, the red full bushes, and the white/green trees.

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But it's precisely those huge boxes with lids, plastic windows and 10+ minifigs per set that almost drove LEGO out of business just about a decade ago.

Those boxes were still there in 2002? And I thought the complete ignorance of their basic themes (city, castle, pirates, technic), too many strange new themes that were not able to sell and many very stubborn and ignorant decisions were the reason for their almost fail. I might be wrong, though.

What I miss? Somehow LEGO was discovered by investors, geeks etc a couple of years ago. Everyone started hunting minifigs, mainly from SW and other licenced themes. TLC noticed that and dang - now I can go out, spend 15€ and come home with Batman, Catwoman and a few boring pieces. A few years before I got 4 Indy, 4 HP figures for less. I think prices are not too reasonable anymore, up to a point were I feel slightly cheated and start losing interest in new sets.

What I also miss? A great space theme about exploration. I admit it's difficult to have this on the shelves with SW, but I think it can be done.

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I too miss many of the features mentioned above - specifically the presentation of the sets. For example, I rarely keep boxes from todays kits, with the exception of the 5 digit exclusives / UCS sets, but I kept all of my 63xx boxes (ones I had since the 80's, plus ones I pick up on BL today) as there was something really special about the flip lids, blister displays, cardboard inserts etc.

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I miss baseplates the most.

I also miss alternative models on the instructions. I have heard several reasons given as to why they're not on there, which all make sense - but it's a real shame. Those parts really get your mind going as to how else the parts can be used.

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Aside from baseplates and cypress trees I don't miss any of this stuff. I'm quite happy with the way things have progressed. Prices could be lower to allow me to buy more but there's really no nostalgia here. I prefer to look ahead rather than back. I'm sure Lego would rather people do that too. And while the odd piece may make a comeback or a set has a nod to an old model I think that's enough.

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Those boxes were still there in 2002?

Even if they were not, their legacy in terms of financial overburdening definitely was. What I generally meant was that LEGO was wasting money without actually considering what they're doing. K-nut mentioned wanting to have decently priced sets again; well yeah don't we all - but then again one just needs to look at what some of the big sets from the 90s era were actually selling for originally to get a good example of how little LEGO were actually aware what their productions costs really were.

And yeah, as you said, once they lost their way with crappy new sets and themes and once their sales got significantly reduced, that almost ran them into the ground.

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I really miss the moon base plates.

As a side note I was surprised to find that my Lego 8654 Scuderia Ferrari Truck from 2005 has full instructions for an alternate build of a garage with tow truck.

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