Chri5kng

One set to rule them all?

18 posts in this topic

Hi guys

If you had to choose one Lego set with the most play-ability, which one would you choose? I ask this because I wonder would a child have more play-ability with the Death Star vs multiple other sets that would equal to the same price? On that same note, price wise would the death star be a better deal then having a bundle of the following set: City: police station, forest police station, city garage, & creator hillside house & lighthouse island?

They both come out to be similar price.

Scenario #2

Same price of $400

Lego Star Wars Death Star (24 minifigs) vs Lego Friends summer riding camp, Olivia's house, Heartlake stables, Heartlake vet, city park cafe, adventure camper, Emma's horse trailer, Butterfly beauty shop, Olivia's tree house & Andrea's Stage (20 minifigs)?

If it was for your child (girl or boy), which option would you choose, and if you can give your reasoning.

Thanks!

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All I can say is that my 4 year old spent more time playing with my Death Star than most of his other sets combined.

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If I had a child, and he was a boy, I would definitely go for the Death Star, its a great set for kids and adults alike, I'm sure your kid would love it!

If my child was a girl, I'd go for the Friends sets, since I think a girl would enjoy them more then Star Wars.

Edited by Grimmbeard

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All I can say is that my 4 year old spent more time playing with my Death Star than most of his other sets combined.

All I can say is that my 4 year old spent more time playing with my Death Star than most of his other sets combined.

Do you regret getting the other sets?

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I wonder would a child have more play-ability with the Death Star vs multiple other sets that would equal to the same price?

This really depends on the child. If your kid is a Star Wars fanatic who will spend hours and days reenacting OT Star Wars, then you betcha that Death Star is a great choice. If the interest in Star Wars pales after a little while, it's going to be a very expensive Lego doorstop. Personally, if I was buying Lego for the kids, I wouldn't go with Death Star. I'd go the multiple set option because you have a better range of possible activities.

If it was for your child (girl or boy), which option would you choose, and if you can give your reasoning.

If I was spending that much on Lego for my 11YO daughter, I would actually mix and match a few different themes. I'd go with the Friends Riding Camp, Olivia's House, and Park City Cafe. Then the Ninjago ultimate dragon battle. Round it out with an X-Wing or a Monster Fighters set. Do I still have money left? More small Friends and Great Vehicles sets, then. Overall, cohesive play isn't as much of a factor as building a variety of things - I know she wants to build that big dragon, but she'd probably like an iconic Star Wars ship too, and the Friends sets give options for a pretty good variety of building and play.

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This really depends on the child. If your kid is a Star Wars fanatic who will spend hours and days reenacting OT Star Wars, then you betcha that Death Star is a great choice. If the interest in Star Wars pales after a little while, it's going to be a very expensive Lego doorstop. Personally, if I was buying Lego for the kids, I wouldn't go with Death Star. I'd go the multiple set option because you have a better range of possible activities.

If I was spending that much on Lego for my 11YO daughter, I would actually mix and match a few different themes. I'd go with the Friends Riding Camp, Olivia's House, and Park City Cafe. Then the Ninjago ultimate dragon battle. Round it out with an X-Wing or a Monster Fighters set. Do I still have money left? More small Friends and Great Vehicles sets, then. Overall, cohesive play isn't as much of a factor as building a variety of things - I know she wants to build that big dragon, but she'd probably like an iconic Star Wars ship too, and the Friends sets give options for a pretty good variety of building and play.

Thanks for the comment. However in the long run it would cost you more money and you don't really have a main theme, am I right? I don't see how reenacting star wars scene not get boring after a while? Do you have the Death Star and if so how would you rate it from an adult point of view?

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I don't have the Death Star. I could never afford it. Every AFOL I know who has it says it is just about the greatest set ever. It's a bit like the MMV, nobody ever says anything bad about it. My point here, which maybe I didn't make properly, is that spending $400 on a single Lego set for a child is a massive gamble.

To be honest, I just plain wouldn't buy my kids $400 worth of Lego in one go (if I had the money in the first place). I'd rather use some of it for Lego and some for books, games, clothes, and other things. But if I did have that money dedicated to Lego, I'd like to give the child some options. In my parenting experience, the kids don't necessarily want to have a main theme. They want this set from this theme and that one from the other. Both my daughters, ages 11 and 4, mix and match Lego themes in a single play session and don't much care what the original concept of the theme was. Olivia builds robots and goes off to do battle with Lucius Malfoy, hang out with the CMF Skater Girl, and ride the Ninjago Ice Dragon into the sunset. Elizabeth Swann spends her time on the patio of the Seaside House. Then they all have tea with a herd of My Little Ponies.

But this is just my kids. YMMV.

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I don't have the Death Star. I could never afford it. Every AFOL I know who has it says it is just about the greatest set ever. It's a bit like the MMV, nobody ever says anything bad about it. My point here, which maybe I didn't make properly, is that spending $400 on a single Lego set for a child is a massive gamble.

To be honest, I just plain wouldn't buy my kids $400 worth of Lego in one go (if I had the money in the first place). I'd rather use some of it for Lego and some for books, games, clothes, and other things. But if I did have that money dedicated to Lego, I'd like to give the child some options. In my parenting experience, the kids don't necessarily want to have a main theme. They want this set from this theme and that one from the other. Both my daughters, ages 11 and 4, mix and match Lego themes in a single play session and don't much care what the original concept of the theme was. Olivia builds robots and goes off to do battle with Lucius Malfoy, hang out with the CMF Skater Girl, and ride the Ninjago Ice Dragon into the sunset. Elizabeth Swann spends her time on the patio of the Seaside House. Then they all have tea with a herd of My Little Ponies.

But this is just my kids. YMMV.

Your kid is YMMV, I like that very much, quite funny too. You have a sense of humor! So I guess my question to you is this, why don't you have the Death Star? I'm sure you have tons of other Lego set that together would equal or exceed the $400 price point if I'm not wrong?

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I currently don't have a Death Star, though the set has been on my "wants list" for as long as I've been back into Legos. The major obstacle for me is that there is so much else I can check off my wants list in place of the Death Star that it's hard to consider it economic. Over the years, I've been collecting Star Wars, Harry Potter, and LOTR and each time a wave of sets come out I plan what I have to buy. Some waves are light on the Star Wars side, but then heavy on the Harry Potter or vice versa - the point is that I always have something to buy (and other things aside from Legos). The Death Star is one item I can check off my list or I can buy several other sets and be able to check multiple items off my list. Being able to clear an entire wave of sets against a Death Star is a tough call - though with the first Star Wars wave of '13 looking alittle slim, now might be a good time for the Death Star for me.

Going back to your original question, I would have to choose the multiple set option. Granted, Legos are one of the best toys and learning devices out there, but putting all your eggs in one basket can be a tough call. What if the child grows out of Star Wars? Would a non-licensed theme have a better chance at keeping their attention over the years? Are you prepared for the time when something on the Death Star breaks or becomes damaged and might need to be replaced?

I would also add in that the price-per-brick count on the Death Star is pretty attractive for a licensed set, but there alot better deals out there on the non-licensed sets. Hope that helps.

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My son is 4 and has no interest in anything but city sets...could be because that's my main interest, but I digress...he loves anything police and fire so death star wouldn't be good for him. Like others have said it really depends on the kid

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I really can't speak to the "play" factor very well, but from all I heard the Death Star is a great set in that regard (mine mostly gathers dust, but I have no kids). Still, I've heard good things about the City and Friends sets you mention as well, so I doubt a child would be disappointed in any case (lord knows when _I_ was that age I'd be over the moon to get any _one_ of the kits you're considering).

As a former professor with a background in both engineering and psychology, as well as a one-time researcher into child cognitive development and constructive (as opposed to instructive) learning, I will mention one other factor you might want to consider. Research (in some cases actually done with LEGO-based experiments) has suggested that the process/discipline of following a graphical instruction book to build something big enough such that the finished product really doesn't resemble its constituent parts is very beneficial. Children who get exposed to "building big" from a plan at a young age tend to score higher in spacial reasoning tests, have longer attention spans, and generally perform better in visualization, math and science by the time they get to high school. Likewise, some have found a correlation that the bigger the build (more parts, more instructions to follow, and most importantly, longer time between starting with a pile of parts to producing a finished model) the more benefit the child's brain realizes from the experience.

If you trust the research (and I assure you _all_ researchers have _some_ sort of agenda so take everything with a grain of salt), this latter result would argue that the Death Star is a "better" cognitive development experience for your child than several small kits of net equal price because, during the building process, the brain works harder and gratification is delayed longer, than it would with several smaller kits. That longer process of going from many, many generic small pieces to something big and specific, combined with "reward" of the finished product is suspected to imprint strongly on the brain with long term positive effects. I wouldn't expect one kit to turn your kid into a rocket scientist, but everyone's got to come from somewhere and it's never too early to start. The trick is just not to over do it with a task beyond the child's physical and mental abilities as this will just build up a negative association with problem solving and lead to frustration (this is where building with parental assistance can be a very good thing).

Of course, if you're planning on building it yourself and giving it your kid as an assembled play set, I'm afraid the research says you won't get the same cognitive benefit. There's benefits to be had, certainly, but once you hit puberty, your brain just doesn't seem to work the same way. They see the same thing with learning foreign languages, kids can pick them up with simple immersion, the rest of us have to work at it.

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The joys of the brain's plasticity.

I think the Death Star is great for play value, but I don't play with my LEGOs very often and I just recently got into Star Wars in general. I don't own one and I don't plan on buying it. I agree that I can check off a lot of other sets I would want more. However, a large set like that certainly will have some benefits. The one downside (and most children won't mind) are the majority of the minifigures are different/more detailed now than they were when the Death Star was released.

My daughter just turned 3, but she has been playing with LEGO almost all of her life. She has tons of Duplo that she barely touches and would rather play with my sets. So we bought her the majority of the Friends line. She likes the colors and the minidolls for playability, but she still prefers playing with Shelob from LOTR. And she is really into hospital related themes, so most of the City line doesn't work with Police/Fire, but for other kids I'm sure they provide a lot of playability.

I remember as a child (which had much different sets than are available now), I loved castle/pirates the most, but out of City/Town theme, I had enjoyed the Riding Stables and a hospital. I think I had a lot of Police sets too, but I mostly MOCed from an early age for houses and other stores.

So maximum playability probably is a little bit from every theme.

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Probably the most playable sets are the City/Town sets... as not everyone is into space sets.

The most interesting of the Town sets was the 810 Town Plan set of 1961-66:

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Lego Historian

Thanks for the picture. That probably the biggest play set ever but way before my time and I would not have been interested. Nonetheless wish we had these size play set nowadays because that a real city in one package.

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Lego Historian

Thanks for the picture. That probably the biggest play set ever but way before my time and I would not have been interested. Nonetheless wish we had these size play set nowadays because that a real city in one package.

Thanks Chri5kng.... unfortunately one of the side effects of switching from the classic LEGO scale (door = 3 bricks tall) to the Minifig scale (door = 5 or 6 bricks tall)... is that the price of equal types of sets has not doubled (2x2) but since we're dealing in 3 dimensions... it would have increased "exponentially".... (2x2x2).

So costs (and number of parts) for a similar type set would likely be about 7 or 8 times as much. And that's why the new 2008 Town Plan set only came with 3 buildings (and no roadway or roadboard).

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Thanks Chri5kng.... unfortunately one of the side effects of switching from the classic LEGO scale (door = 3 bricks tall) to the Minifig scale (door = 5 or 6 bricks tall)... is that the price of equal types of sets has not doubled (2x2) but since we're dealing in 3 dimensions... it would have increased "exponentially".... (2x2x2).

So costs (and number of parts) for a similar type set would likely be about 7 or 8 times as much. And that's why the new 2008 Town Plan set only came with 3 buildings (and no roadway or roadboard).

I completely understand but I can't help but wonder how much more money it would take for Lego to include road in their set? Surely it wouldn't cost an arm and a leg more? I know the quality is day and night compare to 20 years ago but the price differences is also night and day as well.

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I have a 4.5 yr old son. He is a crazy Star Wars fanatic, especially the OT. He loves Lego. That being said, as much as he would love a set like the Death Star or the Malevolence, my observations are that he does better with multiple smaller sets. Here are the reasons

1) Most kids under 5 have trouble building a set with 100pcs let alone the death star. While this may seem trival because you plan on putting it together, be prepared to deal with repair jobs on a daily basis.

2) My son likes a wide variety of characters so the multiple set option can fulfill this requirement. The downside is that certain main characters like Vader are hard to come by in smaller sets.

3) Smaller sets like ships are easier for them to handle and have more playability.

4) My son uses his extra pieces and builds bases for the mini figs anyways so he is happier building a base to park his ships. then again, the reverse is also possible.

5) Kids tend to look at quantity as being more important than size. Show a kid 100 pennies vs. 8 quarters and I am sure most of them will pick the pennies. I think the same holds with toys.

As for the City Lego option, well I know my son wouldn't complain, but he would prefer Star Wars or Ninjago or LOTR if given the choice over City. That's a matter of his personal preference though. That being said, I know for a fact that there are a lot of playability things built into the City themed buildings (like the police station).

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