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The Latest World City Sets


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#26 snefroe

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Posted 08 April 2005 - 03:40 PM

well i guess every set should have enough basic parts that allow you to build whatever you want to build and enough specialised parts to add something extra to your model...

the problem with TLC and imagination is this: TLC seems to think that children only want sets that are action-based, like police/firefighting themes. As if the imagination of a child is limited to only traditional stories that are closely linked to these themes, like police catching thieves, firefighters putting out fires... with just a little more incentives, like a school, garage, hospital,... TLC would find that children create stories that are a lot richer/creative than the one dimensional stuff TLC is producing for them.

#27 Mister Phes

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Posted 08 April 2005 - 04:10 PM

Doesn't LEGO employ market researchers, child psychologists and pediatrician to find out what appeals to children the most?

#28 snefroe

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Posted 08 April 2005 - 05:04 PM

yes they do. that's why it's so amazing that they stick to their strategy... especially when other toy companies come up with opposite research conclusions and other strategies... besides, they used to have a lot more diversity in their city theme when i was young. i don't think the new generation is that much different from mine... so i don't know why they're producing the same themes year after year... right now, some shops are still trying to sell the police theme of last year, next to this years' sets... must be confusing for people who are not really informed about TLC's products...

#29 Darth_Ewok

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Posted 08 April 2005 - 05:15 PM

TheBrickster, on Apr 8 2005, 05:01 AM, said:

Way too many police sets.  I feel that my city is becoming a police state!
I feel the exact same way. in the very very small town I have there must be at least 2 policemen for every citizen!

#30 xwingyoda

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Posted 08 April 2005 - 07:49 PM

We have a fire and crime spree :-D

What kind of city is this - Lego's version of Orwell :-D  Its not 1984 anymore :-D

We need life: restaurants, cafes, shops, beach houses, marinas, boats....

#31 Jipay

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Posted 08 April 2005 - 08:12 PM

Well i like my FN version of my city  :-D Reminds me of vichy in some ways  :'(
I wander when we will have shops. Housing is not mainly my problems because we can build houses on our own, but shops are different because of accessories

#32 TheBrickster

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Posted 08 April 2005 - 10:22 PM

What I miss most is just buying a set and building a variety of other models. The newer sets sometimes don't even show pictures of alternate models on the back of the box, but rather a picture of a fig or of a vehicle as part of the normal model.  Why? specialized pieces in numerous colors make it difficult.

Lego has become models instead of bricks. I love the detail of the models but it does limit what you can build.

Some time ago on another message, I had asked if anyone purchased a set recently that had a 2x4 standard brick?  Most of the responses were, "I got one in set A", "a couple in set B". - but what can you buld with just a few standard bricks, a wall?  

In all of Lego designers' efforts to create awesome models, we lost a great deal of "build-ability" in sets, the one thing that made Lego the unique company they are.  I won't even get started with Bionicle and Knight's Kingdom.

If any of you remember Universal Building Sets, these were great and provided endless hours of fun and new models.  Now I spend my time building big models with pages of instructions. Some of the fun and the creativity has been sacrificed.

#33 xwingyoda

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Posted 08 April 2005 - 10:23 PM

jipay, on Apr 8 2005, 08:12 PM, said:

Well i like my FN version of my city  :-D Reminds me of vichy in some ways  :'(
Jipay,

I'm sure you have to do a little bit of explaining there ;)  Very nice humour, easily understandable for a Frenchie, but for others....
Guys remember our last presidential election *wacko*

EDIT: those policemen do have black uniforms *wacko*

#34 Mister Phes

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Posted 09 April 2005 - 03:08 AM

By these responses I'm getting the impression LEGO needs to establish an equilibrium between the number of common and specialist pieces in order to gain maximum enjoyment from their sets.

#35 Cyclonis

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Posted 09 April 2005 - 03:54 AM

but i don't like how on the boxes, there are pictures of kids playing with them. They are trying to make it look older, but it just looks un-profecional. And it makes me look bad when i buy it.

#36 Mister Phes

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Posted 09 April 2005 - 07:40 AM

Back in the good old days they didn't have kiddies on the boxes!  Only the sets and the various alternative models ye could create.

#37 xwingyoda

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Posted 09 April 2005 - 09:11 AM

Cyclonis,

What I also dislike about the new sets is that crappy "quick build": the packaging really sucks - one plastic thingy for every big part of the set with its own mini instruction manuel. What on Earth is that :'(

Arg, a little Yoda wisdom for you: never look bad when buying sets, be proud of your hobby (especially there is nothing to be ashamed of) ;)

mister_phes,

You're definitly right, TLC needs to put a lot of alternative models isntead of that stupid kid playing. This is another aspect of my former crtiticism.
Lego is all about imagination, how does one embodies his visions on the set.

Also, TLC really needs an "equilibrium between the number of common and specialist pieces" ;)

#38 Mister Phes

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Posted 09 April 2005 - 09:23 AM

I am learning so much about about the wants of others, and this isn't even a Pirate thread!

I just hope if LEGO were to produce a more mature Pirate theme they'd cater for what the consumers WANT and not blindly put out whatever they assume is best - which is probably what they'll end up doing anyway.

#39 snefroe

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Posted 09 April 2005 - 09:51 AM

Cyclonis, on Apr 9 2005, 03:54 AM, said:

but i don't like how on the boxes, there are pictures of kids playing with them. They are trying to make it look older, but it just looks un-profecional. And it makes me look bad when i buy it.
i had a pick a brick the other day and the bags were for free ... 1 for every CHILD. Suddenly, I became a father of four :P  the company should at least try and be a bit more diplomatic about Lego being for children, especially if you mention the Afols in your financial reports...

sure the boxes didn't show children in the old days, but the catalogues did.

#40 snefroe

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Posted 09 April 2005 - 10:13 AM

xwingyoda, on Apr 9 2005, 09:11 AM, said:

Cyclonis,

What I also dislike about the new sets is that crappy "quick build": the packaging really sucks - one plastic thingy for every big part of the set with its own mini instruction manuel. What on Earth is that :'(

Arg, a little Yoda wisdom for you: never look bad when buying sets, be proud of your hobby (especially there is nothing to be ashamed of) ;)

mister_phes,

You're definitly right, TLC needs to put a lot of alternative models isntead of that stupid kid playing. This is another aspect of my former crtiticism.
Lego is all about imagination, how does one embodies his visions on the set.

Also, TLC really needs an "equilibrium between the number of common and specialist pieces" ;)
Master Yoda, you interpret "imagination" in a limited way. to you, "imagination" is creating models. for many children "imagination" means "storytelling", they build a model that is just a part of the storytelling, they don't see it as an isolated element, to them, the model is a part of the story. their focus is not on building many models, but creating many stories. that's also why TLC is using fewer but larger pieces: it allows young children to focus more on the story, than on building the model, so they "won't waste quality time on building the model, when they should be telling a story..." the "basic" sets, by the way, show many alternative models in the booklet...

it seems to me that whatever topic we start, we always end up at the same point: children and adults are not the same audience, therefore need different products. TLC hasn't found the product (yet?) that satisfies both... we're very often refering to the old days, but WE were children back then. we looked at lego in a different way.

#41 Mister Phes

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Posted 09 April 2005 - 10:16 AM

Not on the Pirates pages!  There were no children to be seen there!  I recall there were children on the Duplo pages though.  However that's somewhat justified.

Besides back in those days the sets we speak of have an age range from 7-12.  To my knowledge there was no such thing as an AFOL back in those days.  There probably were, except without the Internet is wasn't as easy for them to connect with each other globally.  Although in recent times it seems more common for someone to become re-interested in a toy they played with when they were younger, than it was 15-20 years ago.

#42 snefroe

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Posted 09 April 2005 - 11:20 AM

mister_phes, on Apr 9 2005, 10:16 AM, said:

Not on the Pirates pages!  There were no children to be seen there!  I recall there were children on the Duplo pages though.  However that's somewhat justified.

Besides back in those days the sets we speak of have an age range from 7-12.  To my knowledge there was no such thing as an AFOL back in those days.  There probably were, except without the Internet is wasn't as easy for them to connect with each other globally.  Although in recent times it seems more common for someone to become re-interested in a toy they played with when they were younger, than it was 15-20 years ago.
well, you don't see any human on the pirate pages :P
also: 1) most children undergo changes in their approach to playing with lego. they start with storytelling and evolve to building models. by the time they get to the old pirates, they're probably spending much more time on building good models for their stories.
2) the concepts of "afols" and "children" are problematic. you can easily be an "Afol" at 14. in my book, an afol is some one who first of all enjoys building models, and doesn't necessarily tells stories to support the models...
3) you're right, the internet turned a few individuals into groups... and the star wars line allowed adults to relive their younger days...

#43 xwingyoda

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Posted 09 April 2005 - 12:42 PM

snefroe1, on Apr 9 2005, 10:13 AM, said:

Master Yoda, you interpret "imagination" in a limited way. to you, "imagination" is creating models. for many children "imagination" means "storytelling", they build a model that is just a part of the storytelling, they don't see it as an isolated element, to them, the model is a part of the story. their focus is not on building many models, but creating many stories. that's also why TLC is using fewer but larger pieces: it allows young children to focus more on the story, than on building the model, so they "won't waste quality time on building the model, when they should be telling a story..." the "basic" sets, by the way, show many alternative models in the booklet...
What are kids doing these days *wacko*

I remember as a kid I bought sets and I totally redesigned everything for my own storytellings. "Imagination" for me was both building designs and story ;)

Nowadays, kids are living in a sort of virtual reality where everything is done for them (maybe to compensate for lack of imagination...). It seems as they buy sets not for the fun of building them but to play with them in the way that TLC tells them to do - a firestation is just a fire station so you have to put firemen in action when necessary. They would probably not create something different from the original design (and it is not only due to the emergence of special pieces).

In that aspect, I'm happy to have kept my inside child mind ;)

#44 TheBrickster

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Posted 09 April 2005 - 05:36 PM

xwingyoda, on Apr 9 2005, 09:11 AM, said:

TLC needs to put a lot of alternative models isntead of that stupid kid playing.
I don't mind having a child on the box, but what I'd rather see are those alternate models, but with limited "standard" pieces and use of specialized pieces in numerous colors, alternates are difficult to make.

Someone else brought up a point re. how AFOL view Lego vs. children, but I do think Lego has gotten away from marketing to the imagination vs. providing an image from a movie or an action-figure. The majority of sets seem to be models vs. building sets (with some exceptions). - and I'm sure technology has been a big contributor to this but Lego and other companies are taking the imagination out of children and replacing it with a quick image from a movie and hours in front of the television.

The hours of building and using one's imagination is diminishing.

#45 Jipay

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Posted 09 April 2005 - 08:51 PM

mister_phes, on Apr 9 2005, 07:40 AM, said:

Back in the good old days they didn't have kiddies on the boxes!  Only the sets and the various alternative models ye could create.
Back in the good old days there were children playing with the models on every single set : yellow castle and space sets had them  :)

#46 Mister Phes

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Posted 10 April 2005 - 11:49 AM

I'll even admit the older Pirate Sets had pictures of children under the flap a the front.  But as soon as it became Lego System those horrible little children were no more and only pictures of the sets were displayed.

#47 Bloody Jay

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Posted 10 April 2005 - 02:52 PM

I think models can be PART of a story.  That's how I played with LEGO when I was a toddler - I'd build things, and give them a backstory.  I think the storytelling capacity of things such as KK2 and Alpha Team is very limited.  However, lines like City and the new Star Wars are HUGE steps in the right direction.  All of them are great for alternate models.  As for the lack of alternates on the boxes, I think that's good - it leaves more up to the imagination.

#48 Mister Phes

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Posted 10 April 2005 - 03:49 PM

I remember back in the days of Pirate Lego there was a simple story.  Governor Broadside's mission was to keep Captain Roger and his Lego Pirate crew in order.  Then several years later Admiral Woodhouse came along and thought Broadside was a fool the way he dealt with Pirates.  And that was as in deapth as the story ever got, unless of course you got the Lady Bird Books or the comic book series...

#49 snefroe

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Posted 10 April 2005 - 06:40 PM

i think the new city line has great potential for another line of city sets. TLC could easily produce a few cars, based on the model of the police transport car. i'm also looking for some continuity in these city sets. we've had too many too different city lines in the last few years, even though the themes were very often similar. you can't build loyalty for city sets if you're constantly changing the style of these sets...

i'm also puzzled by the XXL crane... even though it's a great set, it's not really city compatible. same thing with the mining truck we're going to recieve in june. That kind of truck is usually used in mine pits... not really in the middle of cities...

#50 Bloody Jay

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Posted 10 April 2005 - 10:45 PM

I agree about the number of City lines, snefroe.  However, I believe there were two reasons for changing from World City to City.  One - the color change.  Two - the number of juniorized pieces in World City; they were infamous for it.  I therefore think they'll stick with City.




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