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REVIEW: 8396 Soldier's Arsenal


29 replies to this topic  – Started by WhiteFang , Jan 28 2009 02:48 AM

Poll: On a scale of 1 to 5 (57 member(s) have cast votes)

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  3. 3 - Average (6 votes [10.53%])

    Percentage of vote: 10.53%

  4. 4 - Above Average (19 votes [33.33%])

    Percentage of vote: 33.33%

  5. 5 - Outstanding (32 votes [56.14%])

    Percentage of vote: 56.14%

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#1 WhiteFang

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 02:48 AM

Hello to all Eurobricks members and avid Pirates' Fans,

For more than a decade of long wait, TLG has finally heeded our voice in the far oceans. Yes, the Pirates are once again re-appearing in retail stores and shelves after what seems like an eternity without them. Now new fans the world over can share the joy of building the latest Pirates LEGO sets. This is a golden opportunity for others and myself to collect this amazing theme that we all have such fond memories of from when we were children or younger AFOLs. I missed mine in my childhood and none of my pirate sets and minifigs are bought by my parents or me. In fact, the classic pirates’ minifigs are given to me as a gift from my friends’ collections.

Nevertheless, I am very pleased to embark this very new theme of Pirates. Please pardon for my inadequate Pirates’ knowledge if I have written my content or used wrong terms throughout my course of Pirates’ reviews.

Name: Soldier's Arsenal
Theme: LEGO System / Pirates
Year: 2009
Pieces: 17
Minifigs: 1
Price: USD$3.50, GBP 1.95, SGD$6.90
Resources: Brickset, Peeron


An image of a 8396, Soldier's Arsenal
Posted Image

The proud Imperial Soldier, backbone of the Imperial Royal Navy. These brave soldiers whom charge at the front with their wide assortment of weapons arsenal give them various measures to launch a forward offensive against those brutal pirates.

This is the one of the most affordable Pirate’s set to begin with, to build your Imperial Soldiers. Most of us will refer 8396 as an Impulse set or an Army Building set. This set enable avid pirate collectors to expand the strength of their armies by buying multiple sets with minimum low cost and inclusive of many useful weapons accessories that allowed collectors to customise according to their standards.


Mini Instruction Manual
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This is the overview of the 8396 instruction manual. For all impulse sets, the steps required are usually less than 7 moves to complete the entire process. It is simple and ideal for very young children to have basic building experience, related to System sets.  


Imperial Soldier's weapons and accessories assortments
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In this review, I have mentioned this phrase, “wide assortment of weapons arsenal”. True enough, this is the first distinct attribute. Firstly, how do I justify this set weapon’ capabilities? Take a look at its affordable price of USD$3.50 and compare with its minifigs’ accessories. I am able to acquire 2 x cutlass, 2 x brown flintlock pistols and 1 x brown musket. There is an Imperial Soldier’s shako, backpack and 2 x blue epaulette for my soldiers’ apparel.


The proud Imperial Solder
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The second distinct attribute, is this fully armed brave Imperial Soldier. From the top to the bottom, this soldier is fully equipped for battle. The shako with red feather and gold badge, matching with its blue epaulette that represents his soldier’s identity and wearing the soldier’s jacket that has blue fringe, white vest and straps pattern. This is the sheer beauty of the Imperial Soldier’s combat effectiveness.


Imperial Soldier's back
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At the back of the minifig, the torso is printed with a small backpack. This is a nice addition to its current detailed design of the soldier.


Comparison against former companies
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The true blue Classic Pirate’s Imperial Soldier on the left, and the new Imperial Soldiers’ regiment on the right. Taking a clear comparison on these 2 minifigs, without taking the age of these minifigs, the differences are pretty obvious, but yet it is able to retain the classic appearance in the current release. One of the nicest touch added in the new minifig, is the addition of red feather and gold badge on the shako. The new torso is much brighter in colors. I am sure the navy must have hired a new tailor to design the new batch of conscripts. The new soldier looks much masculine compared with its former friendly counterpart.


Accessories differences
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The shako’s difference has been mentioned above. One of the differences in terms of colors is the musket. Apparently, the newer musket design has a lighter tone of brown compared against the darker tone which was used in the earlier Classic Pirates’ sets.


Soldier's weapon rack
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As you can see, the weapons’ rack is very simple to construct. It is used as a holder for the soldier to place their backpack, cutlass and musket when is not used. The rack could be used for the soldiers to place it inside the barracks or used multiple racks together to form an armory for storage.


3rd Patrol reporting for duty, Sir!
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Marching on...
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One of the best impulse sets ever released from TLG in recent years. I have to mention it again, that the resurrection of Pirates’ theme is indeed a dream come true for many Classic Pirates’ collectors and the creation of these Imperial Soldiers’ sets serve as one of the best approach for many collectors and army builders out there. More importantly, this set offers many useful parts and minifigs’ accessories that allow us to hoard in our bins for future add-ons and customisation. This shall be one of my highest ever rated impulse sets given.  :thumbup:

Summary review
Playability: 9.5/10 (Soldiers' are highly needed in order to integrate with the rest of the sets.)
Design: 10/10 (Weapon Rack is extremely simple but the minifigs and accessories are the main attraction of this set. )
Price: 9.5/10 (Price is affordable to obtain a soldier plus a wide range of accessories.)
Overall: 9.7/10 (One of the best impulse sets of all time and defintely an essential one for those whom are keen to build an army of Imperial Solders.)

I gave it a "5" based on my Review Score Card. :pir-wink: What about yours?

Credits: A special thanks to Eurobricks Fellow and Academy Teacher, svelte_corps for rendering his kind assistance to edit some of these images to much better format than before. Thanks.  

Hope everyone of you enjoyed reading this simple review of mine. Comments and Critics are strongly welcomed.
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My name is Wilhalm Bloodaxe and I am back to be part of the Ragnarök Now Redux.

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Inventory: One potion, a Greatsword (WP: 3) and a Shield (SP: 2)


#2 Lego12

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 03:23 AM

Great review WhiteFang. I have a lot of these sets and I would give this a "5" as well. Great set, great review. Thanks!
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#3 Mister Phes

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 03:30 AM

This looks to be a mighty fine review!  We shall have to buy frontpage rights.


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#4 prateek

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 03:30 AM

good review. i like the new soldiers and that there are a lot of accesories. i rated above average :pir-classic:

#5 Zorro

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 03:32 AM

Fantastic review from our "inhouse review expert"!

View PostMister Phes, on Jan 28 2009, 04:30 AM, said:

This looks to be a mighty fine review!  We shall have to buy frontpage rights.
I already bought them a week ago :pir-wink: .
The article is standing ready into the backlog, with thanks to Erdie.

#6 Erdbeereis

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 03:44 AM

Excellent review Fangy!

I love this set. It's a great army building set, especially with all of the weapons and 2 epaulettes. The new soldier design is fabulous in my opinion and I've been building an army of them.

Your review's article is ready, it should be published soon! :pir-classic:

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#7 WhiteFang

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 03:54 AM

Guys, thanks for all of your kind words. It's my pleasure to write a review for the Pirate theme. I really can't wait for the rest of the Pirate sets to arrive in my country. For now, these impulse sets are a great start to my new Pirate theme collection.  :pir-blush:

View PostErdbeereis, on Jan 28 2009, 11:44 AM, said:

Your review's article is ready, it should be published soon! :pir-classic:
Aww, thanks Erdy! That's very fast. Of course, the Classic Pirate's management is very efficient in their work under Mister Phes and Zorro's leadership.  :thumbup:

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My name is Wilhalm Bloodaxe and I am back to be part of the Ragnarök Now Redux.

Lord Kenneth Valise, Level 1 Knight, 28yrs old human
Power: 4 Health: 10/10 Gold: 10
Inventory: One potion, a Greatsword (WP: 3) and a Shield (SP: 2)


#8 Svelte

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 03:56 AM

I especially like the comparison shot, never having owned any of the old Pirates. Mr Mustachio there does look impressive! :wub:

The only thing I don't like about the new Imperials is that the red on the Shako looks like a blob of nail varnish dropped over the gold :pir-sceptic: I guess it's like the Castle sets, though - I've yet to open a set with all the shields or horse bardings correctly printed.

The part selection is great, with the backpack, navy blue plates and weapons. I look forward to these becoming available (and discounted!) in Australia to army build.

Thanks for the review (and new title? :wink:) WhiteFang!

#9 WhiteFang

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 04:11 AM

View Postsvelte_corps, on Jan 28 2009, 11:56 AM, said:

I especially like the comparison shot, never having owned any of the old Pirates. Mr Mustachio there does look impressive! :wub:
I don't own any of the Classic Pirates sets too.  :pir-cry_sad: These minifigs are a gift to me taken from their childhood collection and I do cherish these classics especially when I never have a chance to build them from MISB.

View Postsvelte_corps, on Jan 28 2009, 11:56 AM, said:

The only thing I don't like about the new Imperials is that the red on the Shako looks like a blob of nail varnish dropped over the gold :pir-sceptic: I guess it's like the Castle sets, though - I've yet to open a set with all the shields or horse bardings correctly printed.
You have mentioned a very important point which I have overlooked from my review earlier. If you have taken a closer look on the shako, the red feather seemed to be fading and some of the paint seemed to be worn off. I did not scratch it or played with it. I opened the second set and realised that the shako did not suffer from the worn off paint. In a way, it does look like nail varnish but I don't think it makes a big difference in my collection, except for the worn off paint. That is very annoying to me.

View Postsvelte_corps, on Jan 28 2009, 11:56 AM, said:

Thanks for the review (and new title? :wink:) WhiteFang!
No problem, svelte_corps. You have my thanks too, for helping me with the image editing. It seemed you have found out whom gave you a title upgrade.  :pir-tongue:

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My name is Wilhalm Bloodaxe and I am back to be part of the Ragnarök Now Redux.

Lord Kenneth Valise, Level 1 Knight, 28yrs old human
Power: 4 Health: 10/10 Gold: 10
Inventory: One potion, a Greatsword (WP: 3) and a Shield (SP: 2)


#10 Thee Pirate

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 09:59 AM

Very nice review. I voted 5. It's an outstanding Army builder.

I've purchased 9 copies so far, with plans to buy many more.

I just need to order some new heads off of Bricklink so I have a better variety :pir-grin:
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#11 Capt. Kirk

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 02:37 PM

Very nice review WhiteFang and it's an outstanding Army builder set... so let's buy it like madness...  :pir-laugh:

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#12 Bonaparte

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 11:10 PM

Another very good review of my favorite new pirate set. I like the good insight given in the review and also the comparison picture with the original Imperial Guards.

Personally I bought a bunch of these impulse sets to be used as English marines. That is my way of combining the "new" and "old" figs (as I'm using the old ones as English infantry). This set is almost perfect, lots of accessories and 2 blue epaulets. I just love the new shako's with the red plume and the emblem on them.

There's only one "bad" thing about this set: the head of the soldier. When using this set as an army builder (or regiment builder) you'll have to replace the head by something more neutral (the classic smiley head) or it will look stupid. But besides this the set is perfect!

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#13 WhiteFang

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 01:47 AM

View PostBonaparte, on Feb 8 2009, 07:10 AM, said:

There's only one "bad" thing about this set: the head of the soldier. When using this set as an army builder (or regiment builder) you'll have to replace the head by something more neutral (the classic smiley head) or it will look stupid. But besides this the set is perfect!
Bonaparte, how many sets did you open so far to realise this? You have made an absolute correct point. I did not note that, because I have opened three sets so far, and I am waiting for more Pirate sets to appear before I start building these. I don't really like viewing its heads with multiple soldiers. Either we have to change and give them more variety or give them a classic smiley head. I will try that later.

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My name is Wilhalm Bloodaxe and I am back to be part of the Ragnarök Now Redux.

Lord Kenneth Valise, Level 1 Knight, 28yrs old human
Power: 4 Health: 10/10 Gold: 10
Inventory: One potion, a Greatsword (WP: 3) and a Shield (SP: 2)


#14 Erdbeereis

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 02:37 AM

View PostWhiteFang, on Feb 9 2009, 07:47 PM, said:

Bonaparte, how many sets did you open so far to realise this? You have made an absolute correct point. I did not note that, because I have opened three sets so far, and I am waiting for more Pirate sets to appear before I start building these. I don't really like viewing its heads with multiple soldiers. Either we have to change and give them more variety or give them a classic smiley head. I will try that later.
When I use multiples of soldiers in a MOC, I just go through my minifig heads and pick some different ones out. :pir-classic:
I always like choosing some of everything.

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#15 Commodore Hornbricker

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 01:55 AM

An absolute 5!  I have over 100 of these and counting.  Now we just need bluecoats.
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#16 Legoist

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 08:16 AM

Thanks for your review! Before reading this, I didn't know that the set included 5 weapons, I though it only had 3, and it does make a difference.

My vote is 4/5 for the following reasons:

+ top grade on the design of the minifig itself, particularly the hat and the double-print torso
+ good assortment of accessories

These 2 are simply what is really required from an impulse set. If the minifig is cool and the accessories useful, then the set is already a success.

So why not 5/5?

- the added bricks are useless, they are way too ordinary and add almost nothing to anyone's collection; should better be fewer but more specialized (this is a pet peeve of mine for many other impulse sets)
- the face of the minifig is too specific

The last feature is actually GOOD if you buy only 1-2 of these impulse sets, but it's BAD if you buy impulse sets in large quantities... another pet peeves of mine with impulse sets! I'd prefer them to have a generic "classic" face without features, it would be much better for those who like buying at least a bunch of copies of the same impulse set. An alternative would be to have several impulse sets for each theme (in this case, 3-4 different impulse sets with imperial soldiers) but that's clearly more costly for TLG. Another - pretty wacky - alternative would be to RANDOMIZE the minifig head, but this causes new production challenges, and many people would dislike this a lot.

#17 Zorro

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 10:45 AM

I just bought another load of 20 of them, and I am proud to say I am building an army with them.

#18 Ratshot

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 10:58 PM

Nice review, I picked up two about a week and a half ago, and was very impressed with them :thumbup:

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#19 Zorbas

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 04:20 PM

Thanks for another splendid review WhiteFang!

Now, this is the impulse set that i love! :pir-wub:
When the new pirate line was released, the first set that i wanted to get in order to become familiar with the new line was this.
The minifig is absolutely great! :pir-wub: . The new colours really capture the eye and those small printed (yes!) details, such as the torso's backside and the shako's feather and emblem are simply superb!
Another great advantage are the three weapons included and the backpack! (Not including of course the extra parts because if i include them in my view for the set i'll may sound as if i won the lottery! :pir-tongue: )
The small stand for the weapons adds also this little something in terms of the set not being too plain. I personally like these small structures in an impulse set even if sometimes look a bit simple. :thumbup:

Overall: 5/5 from me. A must buy (along with the Cannon Battle), and perhaps the best introduction for anyone who wants to enter the new pirate line environment!

Thanks for one more time WhiteFang! The 5/5 goes of course for your review!
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#20 WhiteFang

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 04:34 PM

Thanks Erdbeereis and Classic Pirate staff for featuring my review in Classic Pirates. I just realised it, few moments ago.  :pir-blush:

View PostLegoist, on Mar 5 2009, 04:16 PM, said:

Thanks for your review! Before reading this, I didn't know that the set included 5 weapons, I though it only had 3, and it does make a difference.
It does make a huge difference, and glad this review has assured you.

View PostLegoist, on Mar 5 2009, 04:16 PM, said:

The last feature is actually GOOD if you buy only 1-2 of these impulse sets, but it's BAD if you buy impulse sets in large quantities... another pet peeves of mine with impulse sets! I'd prefer them to have a generic "classic" face without features, it would be much better for those who like buying at least a bunch of copies of the same impulse set. An alternative would be to have several impulse sets for each theme (in this case, 3-4 different impulse sets with imperial soldiers) but that's clearly more costly for TLG. Another - pretty wacky - alternative would be to RANDOMIZE the minifig head, but this causes new production challenges, and many people would dislike this a lot.
I couldn't want a random lucky draw pick for very impulse set that I bought. It's create excitement for many, but I prefer mine to be consitent. On the other hand, I strongly agreed that a generic face will be better than the current design. It appeared to be a little wierd, with that same expression staring at me, when they are arranged in a group. A classic smiley face actually does the job pretty well.  :pir-tongue:

View PostZorbas, on Mar 8 2009, 12:20 AM, said:

Overall: 5/5 from me. A must buy (along with the Cannon Battle), and perhaps the best introduction for anyone who wants to enter the new pirate line environment!
Indeed! Glad to know you have enjoyed reading this review. By the way, I agreed with your statement. As I am not a Pirate collector by nature, due to the lack of Classic Pirates set during my childhood. In fact, these impulse sets were my opening stage into this very new exciting theme. With the basic elements of Imperial Soldiers added to each fleet, I am sure it's will be as exciting of building an army, similar to castle theme as well.

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My name is Wilhalm Bloodaxe and I am back to be part of the Ragnarök Now Redux.

Lord Kenneth Valise, Level 1 Knight, 28yrs old human
Power: 4 Health: 10/10 Gold: 10
Inventory: One potion, a Greatsword (WP: 3) and a Shield (SP: 2)


#21 Captain Fortune

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 02:16 AM

The simplicity of this set is the key of its perfection.

Love it.

#22 Nightshroud99

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 02:22 AM

View PostCaptain Fortune, on 17 April 2012 - 02:16 AM, said:

The simplicity of this set is the key of its perfection.

Love it.

Bumping a dead thread just to say this?  :pirate_sad2:
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#23 Erdbeereis

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 05:07 AM

View PostCaptain Fortune, on 17 April 2012 - 02:16 AM, said:

The simplicity of this set is the key of its perfection.

Love it.
Please avoid bumping threads without adding content. Thanks! :pir-classic:

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#24 Lorentzen

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 07:41 AM

May I ask why we should avoid this? Not to be an idiot towards the mods or anything, but why?

This is a forum, where people come to share their opinion, and if somebody hasn't seen a topic, they are interested in, when it was first created, they have no choice but to bump it. Just my opinion

Edited by Lorentzen, 17 April 2012 - 07:42 AM.

Read my article on the classic LEGO Town House here
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#25 Erdbeereis

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 04:47 PM

View PostLorentzen, on 17 April 2012 - 07:41 AM, said:

May I ask why we should avoid this? Not to be an idiot towards the mods or anything, but why?

This is a forum, where people come to share their opinion, and if somebody hasn't seen a topic, they are interested in, when it was first created, they have no choice but to bump it. Just my opinion
Don't worry, you're not an idiot. :pir-classic:  It's just our policy to avoid bumping certain types of topic with posts that don't really contribute much to the discussion. Here's a great post from Sinner that explains it a bit better. Section 3 is particularly valid in this case.


View PostSinner, on 18 July 2010 - 03:16 AM, said:

I'm revisiting this old topic to remind people of our stance on this!  :grin: In summary;


1. Eurobricks is site about LEGO and as long as I am here, that will remain its focus. For that reason posting in an old LEGO topic is always better than posting in an old community topic. The entire community forum is just here so people can share off-topic interests and get to know each other better. For that reason Community topics date really fast so as a rough guideline anything older than a month is dubious. But as always, it does depend on the details. Topics like EB Members' titles archive are obviously different, as are ones like Car Talk if you've posted in them in the past.

2. Sales topics are a special example. People often bump there for purely selfish reasons and this is just not acceptable. When one topic is bumped up, the rest are bumped down. With settings of 40 topics per page there are topics in that forum covering about 15 days. Thus if someone posts a topic in there it'll be reasonably viewable for 2 weeks, so there really is no need to bump. If no one wants the items it's better to just accept it rather than being selfish and sabotage someone else's chance. What is classed as bumping in a sales topic? Well the ones in the link above are blatant examples but several "updates" in a row without any posts from other members is much the same. Ultimately the best way to tell is simple; ask yourself why are you posting. If it's really to add something you should be OK, but if you have any doubts, or if little or no interest has been shown in your post, then you probably shouldn't post the update. There are other ways to sell LEGO after all.

3. LEGO reviews don't date. Thus if you have something relevant to say then feel free to post in a topic, but if it's more than a few months old please make sure it's good.... and if it's been a few years it better be really good! For example, if you liked the review or set and want to say so you probably shouldn't. If you've got an answer to a question (such as "Does anyone have pictures of the alternate model?) then by all means post! What you shouldn't do is ask questions to the original poster; he/she may not even visit EB any more.

4. LEGO MOCs do date, but once again if you have something important to add then it's OK. It may sound lame, but knowing the original poster or being a long term member really makes the difference here.

5. LEGO or site issue topics are almost always OK to post in. For example, the Brickshelf topic or the I'm in Outline view and don't know how to get out will always be relevant.

6. Who you are and how often you do it is a major factor as well. Do it three times in a day and you'll probably annoy someone, especially if you're a new member. Do it once a month and you'll probably get away with it, even if it's for a lame reason.


In short, it's all common sense and it's hard to make clear rules about it. Feel free to consider these them if you want!  :tongue:

One thing that I need to emphasise is why reviving old threads can be a bad thing. Here's a few;


1. People come and go and times and opinions change. Quoting someone, asking a question, or just assuming something based on past posts can annoy members and cause offense.

2. There's only room for so many recent topics and each bumped one bumps out another. (This is especially in the BSTF forum.) This makes it hard to find the real new topics and can cause silly topic bumping wars and make a mess of everything. This is really annoying for people who don't have much time and find that the "new" topic they opened is really something they read last year that was bumped so someone could say "that's Kool!".

3. Some topics are just silly to post in. For example, Happy Birthday HappyOwl! isn't too relevant now...


If you have any further questions please ask away! :sweet:

I hope that clears things up; let me know if you have any other questions. :pir-classic:

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