LEGO's narratives and characters
Posted 25 July 2010 - 04:50 PM
For something like, say, the earlier Adventurers sets, just how did people learn all the character names and relationships - Dr. Kilroy, Lord Sinister, and so on? Was all this stuff in older LEGO Club magazines? The sets themselves usually don't have a ton of information, and while I know some set boxes and instructions have directed kids and other fans online to learn more about these LEGO worlds since at least as early as the early 2000s (IIRC, Alpha Team sets are some of the first I can remember seeing this sort of thing for, and more recent sci-fi action themes like Exo-Force seem to use it extensively), I didn't think it was done much in the '90s, when most of the Adventurers stuff was done. Am I wrong? And what are some of the other LEGO themes / subthemes with their own fairly richly developed internal mythologies, and how have these narratives been imparted to LEGO's core customers (i.e., children) over the years?
Posted 25 July 2010 - 09:27 PM
There are no red lights in a car chase!
Posted 25 July 2010 - 09:52 PM
The one theme that has always been a mystery to me while others seem to be experts in it is Lego Space. I had no clue there was such an inter-connected story between all those factions and I still wonder where that story came from.
Posted 26 July 2010 - 01:09 AM
As you said, Alpha Team is the first theme I remember with distinct and well-developed characters (by Lego standards, anyway).
Actually, there wasn't much of a story with those. You can pick up bits and pieces of it from the above sources, but TLG mostly left it to your imagination. SP3's universe is a lot more developed than any of the old Space themes.
Posted 26 July 2010 - 02:20 AM
Another way to find out about the sets and themes were from catalogues and tv commercials. Finally, boxes for medium - large sized sets often had a lift up panel with a paragraph or two about the set or theme.
I think the official Lego site went live around 1996 or so, and it has been much easier to find information regarding products since then.
Note: I'll see about scanning a couple pages from some of my magazine issues as soon as possible and posting them here.
Posted 26 July 2010 - 04:33 AM
The way I learned the stories and character names was from the catalogs mostly, not the magazines. Quite often in the later '90s, there would be a blurb explaining what was going on in the line, and also there would be little pictures of the figures with their names. This was true for Adventurers, Res-Q, X-Treme team, and others.
I for one did like to follow LEGO's own stories, even if sometimes the continuity was not too great. For example, in the desert Adventurers line had the guy in the top hat named Sam Sinister and the guy with the monocle named Baron von Baron. Then for the Orient Expedition wave, they gave the guy with the monocle a top hat and called him Doctor Sinister. It made me confused.
For earlier Castle themes, like Black Knights, Dragon Masters, etc. there were blurbs on the poster advertisements explaining the factions (sort of). Those I never found to be too well-developed though, which was ok, since there aren't too many unique stories for knights anyway.
I only cared for LEGO's given stories and names for some themes, though. For Ninja, LEGO's own story was much too confusing and muddled for me to bother with, so I split the different figures into the factions that I wanted and made up the story my own way. I called one black horse Soot, and the other one Shang, after Disney's Mulan.
Posted 26 July 2010 - 09:21 PM
The front cover:
Random page from the comic:
Posted 27 July 2010 - 10:13 AM
On Bricklink I learned that their (English) names are Bill and Mary, but where does that info comes from? My edition of 6000 has very little text and none of it relates to the characters by name. Were the names mentioned in another edition of the same book?
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Posted 28 July 2010 - 06:23 PM
Everyone, thanks for your posts (and in particular, ZO6, thanks for those scans!). I'd like to return to this topic sometime...
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