Aanchir

Eurobricks Archdukes
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About Aanchir

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  • Birthday 03/29/91

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  1. See, I don't think it's at all "obvious" that LEGO thinks traditional castles are a risk. In fact, I see no reason to believe it at all. To me it seems like fans of traditional castles are making that assumption because they can't imagine LEGO not having traditional castle sets UNLESS they perceived them as a risk. But in truth, LEGO willingly takes risks all the time to avoid stagnation. That sort of risk-taking is an inherent attribute of media-heavy "Big Bang" product lines like Nexo Knights. According to Brick by Brick (pp263–264): "A Big Bang is also a big bet. LEGO launches a Big Bang about every other year, and when it does, nearly every unit within the company, from manufacturing to logistics, marketing, IT, and beyond, goes all out to get behind the line and deliver a hit. If the Big Bang is a big bust, à la LEGO Universe, it lets much of the air out of the company's earnings." Suffice to say, that's the OPPOSITE of playing it safe. It's taking a measured risk in hopes of a substantial payout. The idea that LEGO would only ever take this kind of risk in order to breathe new life into a floundering product category is silly. After all, Chima was just as risky as Nexo Knights, yet wasn't positioned to rejuvenate any existing category. And the ninja product category had been vacant for over a decade before Ninjago launched. There's also the fact that LEGO doesn't have any kind of mandate to keep ailing product categories alive. If LEGO thought Castle was fundamentally no longer "cool" enough to be a safe investment, they wouldn't pour far more massive amounts of money and years of development time into trying to MAKE it cool. They'd drop it like a warm turd and start exploring entirely separate options. And what's this about Nexo Knights not having any artistic value or being nice to look at? Whether you like how it looks or not, understand that a person could say the exact same thing about ANY theme without being right or wrong, because that kind of thing is purely subjective. So the idea that looks can't be a valid motivation for the Nexo Knights designers is garbage. They are working just as hard to make cool-looking sets as Castle designers ever have. Their idea of what looks cool just happens to be different than yours. You're welcome to like or dislike Nexo Knights as vocally as you like, but please stop projecting your dislike onto the people making it and assuming they would only ever make a theme as crazy and non-traditional as that out of desperation or a lack of better options.
  2. Yep. It was originally used for the 2015 Skyra figure in Lavender with Light Nougat ears and gold wings. Really cool to see it reused since it's the only Elves hair piece from the first year that hasn't been recolored or reused before.
  3. The new Minecraft set 21137 The Mountain Cave has a golden apple, which could be of great interest to builders who want to make scenes from Greek mythology. Also it's got a slime which could serve as a gelatinous cube for D&D fans! Otherwise, like other Minecraft sets, its main interest to historic builders would probably just be as a parts pack for earth-tone bricks.
  4. Nexo Knights may not be the first sci-fi/fantasy mashup LEGO has done, but it IS the first one to be a specific offshoot of the LEGO Castle theme. That's what I mean by "something they hadn't tried before". Granted, early in its development Knights' Kingdom II had more sci-fi elements, but the final products and story were pretty much just heavily stylized medieval fantasy. And frankly, launching a whole portfolio of original media like books, a TV show, and a free app is hardly "playing it safe". It's a much bigger investment, and that means a much bigger risk if it doesn't pan out. Let's not forget that the Galidor theme was basically the LEGO Group's biggest failure in part because its hopes were riding on the expected popularity of the TV show. Obviously, LEGO Is much better at adequately planning and testing a new media-driven property today than they were back in that era of reckless innovation, but even so, that planning and testing to make sure all goes well doesn't come cheap. It's a much different situation than a theme like Star Wars or Super Heroes where LEGO usually doesn't have to play a leading role in developing the corresponding media (although with spinoffs like The Freemaker Adventures they're dabbling in more of that these days). LEGO might be capable of creating new interest in a genre, but generally they don't want to have to depend on that. Even the classic themes were pretty much universally based on types of play and storytelling that kids were already interested in. It's much better business to create toys based on a premise kids already think is cool than to spend extra money convincing kids of WHY a particular premise is cool. Not sure whether that's really pertinent to this discussion, though — as I keep saying, there's no reason to doubt today's kids think knights and castles are cool, nor any reason to think LEGO doubts that. After all, why would they bother trying to create a new "big bang" IP using ingredients that weren't already popular on their own? There's a reason Nexo Knights is futuristic knights and castles rather than futuristic tax lawyers and office buildings, and it's not because LEGO has any sort of mandate to have a "knights and castles" theme at all times. It's because they know they can count on knights and castles being something kids know, like, and understand.
  5. A few things. First of all, when Nexo Knights came out, the 2013 Castle sets had already been discontinued for a full year. The fact that the website started to direct people towards a more current product at that point had more to do with the IMMEDIATE future than the foreseeable future. It's not as though LEGO kept their Bionicle or Pirates sites running the whole time those themes were off the shelves. Second, LEGO themes in no way require a TV series or movies to stay relevant. LEGO City, one of the most successful themes year after year, has very little media support in the grand scheme of things. Generally, supplementary media is something LEGO does because it's a tool they have to make themes MORE successful, not because those themes can't be successful without it. Think of it like how LEGO puts short comic books in the Super Heroes sets. It's not like kids wouldn't buy the sets without those comic books. But as long as LEGO can afford to include them, they're a great way to give kids a stronger connection to the sets and theme. LEGO already has a considerable number of products and initiatives aimed at AFOLs, all things considered. But AFOLs only make up a small fraction of LEGO fans, not nearly enough to support even a one-year, five– or six-set theme on their own. And the more you divide that category up the smaller it gets. Adults who are interested in castles? Sure, that might be a big enough audience to support a big exclusive set every few years. We got the MMV and Kingdoms Joust and Tower of Orthanc and Disney Castle, after all, along with several more kid-oriented castles in between. But adults who are interested in castles, but not Disney castles, and not Elves castles, and not Nexo Knights castles, and not Minecraft castles? That audience becomes smaller and smaller with each qualifier you add. To an extent, the same goes for kids. It's obvious that LEGO knows and responds to how much kids like castle/medieval imagery and subject matter. As has been brought up in one of the other topics, there have been a veritable GLUT of sets with castles or dragons lately. In 2010 when the Kingdoms theme debuted, there were four sets containing castles or fortresses (King's Castle, Hogwarts Castle, and Battle of Alamut). Last year there were eight or nine between the Elves, Nexo Knights, Angry Birds, Disney, and Minecraft themes. Dragons are also very much in vogue. Perhaps they're not the kind of castles and dragons AFOLs grew up with, but the number of kids who are not only picky about castles and dragons, but picky in the same ways that AFOLs are, probably makes up a very small part of the audience for those types of sets. None of this is to say that a more traditional Castle theme couldn't be just as appealing to kids. Just that it wouldn't be inherently MORE appealing to kids. LEGO can afford to pick and choose what type of "Castle" sets they want to release in any given year, and choosing to go with a more futuristic take for a few years is not any sort of value statement on more traditional Castle sets one way or the other. It just means that the designers wanted to try something they hadn't tried before and decided that 2016 was as good a time as any to do it.
  6. I can't really see new Fabuland head molds being introduced through Juniors, which usually seems to reserve new molds for building elements like walls or vehicle parts. There are the Chima head molds but some of those might be too intense for an idyllic slice-of-life setting. Also, on the Inside Tour a couple years ago I was told Fabuland was somewhat popular in Europe but never really caught on in the US. I have a feeling that if LEGO wanted to launch a new Juniors-specific IP today they'd start from scratch instead of trying to adapt a theme originally designed for a totally different generation of kids to a modern audience.
  7. The Creator 3-in-1 sets are separate from the Creator Expert sets, but for what it's worth, the Modular Family Villa seems at least as big as Apple Tree House, and substantially bigger than the Beach House. What it lacks in depth it makes up in height and width. According to Brickset it has a net weight and piece count of 1.44kg/728 pieces compared to Beach House's 1.13kg/522 pieces or Apple Tree House's 1.27kg/539 pieces.
  8. Gorgeous! The indoor scene on the left looks extremely warm and cozy, the nature scene in the middle is brimming with life, and the Rivendell scene on the right is so ornate and spacious! Even the uneven terrain has a restless energy to it. A lot of Castle builds (including official ones) often feel kind of stark and sterile to me, so it's really great to see a build that packs such a wide range of feelings and sensations into one continuous display!
  9. Are certain Creator Expert sets or series more popular in different parts of the world? How has designing Creator Expert sets changed since some of the earliest sets around 2007? Do you have more freedom to introduce things like recolors and printed bricks than you used to? Around how many of each Creator Expert set are produced compared to more kid-targeted themes like City, Ninjago, or Creator 3-in-1? What kind of focus testing do Creator Expert sets go through during the design process? Do you test them with adults, teens, or both? Men, women, or both? Do the results of this kind of tests often result in design changes? What's your favorite feedback you've received on a set you worked on? How does fan feedback to previous Creator Expert sets influence your work? Is there anything you ever wanted to include in a Creator Expert set but couldn't? How long does it take to bring a Creator Expert set from initial concept to store shelves? How many different Creator Expert sets are being developed at any one time? LEGO design tends to be a very behind-the-scenes process, but the Design videos for Creator Expert and other direct-to-consumer sets give fans a peek behind the veil. Does it ever feel intimidating to show off a set you worked on on camera?
  10. $55. In Bionicle terms, roughly comparable in price to https://brickset.com/sets/8942-1/Jetrax-T6.
  11. This is epic! I love the colors and shaping. I'd have never thought of using all those colors of Vahki eyestalks together like this. Great work!
  12. A big part of the idea of themes like Nexo Knights is to appeal to older kids by delivering a toy that feels totally new to them, like nothing they or anyone they know has played with before. A traditional medieval fantasy couldn't fulfill that goal when actual Middle Earth sets had been available less than two years prior. Plus, it'd be downright unimaginative to give up on ever even trying a "future castle" theme just because it might mean 2–3 years without the sort of Castle sets the company had already been doing for decades. Nexo wasn't just created on a whim — it was an idea the designers had been positing for years that they finally saw a chance to bring to fruition. Not because classic castles were bad or uninteresting somehow, but just because it's nice (and good for business) to try something different every now and then instead of getting stuck in a rut.
  13. I don't necessarily agree that competing products are a reliable indicator of what lines hold promise for LEGO. After all, most of these competing brands are much smaller than LEGO and don't have as much global reach. So sometimes something that can be profitable for one of those brands might not be so profitable for LEGO. That said, I have never seen any reason to doubt that Castle themes have a future. Just because Nexo Knights is a twist on traditional Castle themes doesn't mean that LEGO doesn't think Castle themes can survive without that sort of twist. It's not even aimed at the same audience as most Castle themes. If anything, it's just an attempt to leverage the timeless appeal of LEGO knights and castles to create a new "big bang" IP that fills the void Legends of Chima left behind.
  14. Like most Hero Factory parts, resellers didn't really care enough about it to stockpile it in great numbers. Then in 2015, the super-limited-release Bat-Pod set was revealed. At that point there were few sets still available that contained the part, and all of a sudden there was a surge in demand for that part on BrickLink that couldn't be satisfied due to the number of people trying to build the Bat-Pod for themselves. Although the Bat-Pod used Titanium Metallic (Pearl Dark Grey), the demand for Black and Silver Metallic (Flat Silver) also spiked due to the number of people who either didn't know or didn't care which color was correct for the set. I'm grateful that I acquired so many of this part when I could, as it's a very valuable part for MOCing.
  15. I'm gonna go ahead and guess that Crusty is a crab villain (crustacean). Also don't forget that there's also still a minifigures series, a D2C set, and probably some store exclusive sets. Koko isn't listed among these figures either, so she'll probably be in one of those. Overall I like that there's a wide range of prices and that there seem to be a lot of options for getting the main characters. It's also pretty great that the Destiny's Bounty, like Temple of Airjitzu before it, includes the full ninja team, although it's peculiar that it doesn't come with any villain figs — perhaps it will contain brick-built villains/monsters? As far as story is concerned I am glad to learn that the movie will have Spinjitzu; I hope it will also have elemental powers. I'm a bit unsure what to think of a "Temple of the Ultimate Ultimate Weapon" since the LEGO Movie universe already had an ultimate weapon, the Kragle. A new ultimate weapon runs the risk of either falling short of that standard or feeling like arbitrary escalation. But of course, seeing as with a name that vague it could be literally anything, I won't make assumptions about how it will end up being handled. Ed and Edna minifigures are a nice surprise, whether or not they match the show versions. In general these sets seem to be better about including civilian characters than typical Ninjago sets.