Jump to content


Western Theme Discussion


93 replies to this topic

#1 Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates

    Posts: 281
    Joined: 22-February 09
    Member: 5372
    Country: United States

Posted 29 June 2010 - 10:17 PM

Petition for Western to return!

Hello! I'd like to make a thread dedicated specifically to a theme a lot of us hold dearly that even seems to be growing in popularity recently (possibly in conjunction with the recent release of the popular Western video game 'Red Dead Redemption'). So, what is there to say?

The Theme

For a theme that only ran one year (edit: Actually, two years! Thanks to Norro for the correction), this theme managed to cover a lot of ground with quite a few sets. Introduced in 1996, the Western line featured four different 'factions' - which is pretty unique compared to LEGO's usual two-opposing-sides style - each with sets dedicated to them. You had the cowboys/civilians, the US Army, the bandits, and the native Americans. Interestingly, aside perhaps from the bandits, there were no dedicated "good" or "bad" groups. This is especially noticeable when you realize LEGO never released a set that featured both native American and cowboy minifigs in it, taking a very deliberate step away from the traditional "Cowboys and Indians" setup. In fact, the native American sets were released under a separate subtheme of the main Western theme. These sets were all made in 1996 and 1997, but three sets from the Western theme were reissued in 2002.

The Sets

http://brickset.com/.../?theme=Western
http://peeron.com/in.../SYSTEM/Western

I'm not going to list them all out here, since there are two resources above that list them all out for me! The sets cover all your staples of the American spaghetti western, though: the town (3 buildings across 2 sets), the fort, the gold mine, the native American village (4 tepees across 3 sets), and associated set pieces. Price points and set sizes were generously balanced, with the central iconic sets being Fort Legoredo and Rapid River Village, originally introduced at $85 and $60 respectively, with a good number of mid-sized, small-sized, and promo sets to go with. The sets' obvious weak point is the price per piece, which tended to range rather high due to most sets having larger prefabricated pieces and baseplates.

The Minifigs

The Western sets introduced 16 new minifigs, not counting the variations some of them had, like the three separate configurations of the Cavalry Lieutenant fig. These sets were very generous with their minifig numbers, with an average of ~4 figs per set. Notable sets in this regard are Rapid River Village, which featured 7 minifigs at a $60 price point; Fort Legoredo with 10 figs at $85, and the supplemental Frontier patrol: 3 soldiers (and a horse) for $6. Interestingly, only the native American minifigs featured new molds, as cowboy hats and bandanas had been around for a while. They did all come with a plethora of new accessories, though, such as the revolver, rifle, gold-plated horn, printed dynamite and TNT tiles, large barrel, tree stump, feathers (2 styles), snake, and more.

MOCS

This theme has been kept alive by some amazing MOCS built by members of various LEGO communities, and I'd like to recognize a few of my personal favorites here as an example of the potential of the theme!

Tombclone Saloon by I Scream Clone
Posted Image

Colorado Springs, 1899 by Profound Whatever
Posted Image

Wells, Fargo & Co. Overland Express and Assay Office by Ɲ.
Posted Image

Stagecoach by Sir Nadroj
Posted Image

Mark Twain sternwheel river boat by Henrik Hoexbroe
Posted Image

Pif Paf City by Kris Kelvin
Posted Image

Riding out on a horse in a star spangled rodeo... by SlyOwl
Posted Image

Of course, these are just a few of many, many excellent Western-themed MOCs out there!

Useful Links:

Eurobricks Western MOC index
Eurobricks Western Themes Review Index
Flickr Old West Group
MOCPages American Old West Group

Edited by I Scream Clone, 29 November 2010 - 11:14 AM.


#2 Blondie-Wan

Blondie-Wan

  • Honest as Abe


    Posts: 1792
    Joined: 17-April 09
    Member: 5831
    Country: USA

Posted 29 June 2010 - 11:18 PM

View PostCarbohydrates, on 29 June 2010 - 10:17 PM, said:

Hello! I'd like to make a thread dedicated specifically to a theme a lot of us hold dearly that even seems to be growing in popularity recently (possibly in conjunction with the recent release of the popular Western video game 'Red Dead Redemption'). So, what is there to say?

The Theme

For a theme that only ran one year

Goodness, I hadn't realized the theme's original run was so short; I'm amazed the theme had so many sets in such a short time.

This theme came along during my dark ages, but fortunately I was coming out of them just in time to score at least one of the reissues, Sheriff's Lock-Up. I enjoyed putting and having that one together quite a bit, and I've been looking forward to rebuilding it sometime and also doing some Western MOCs when time permits.

The reissue of Rapid River Village remained on my Shop at Home wishlist for several years after it was gone (I've found discontinued sets will stay there as long as you don't remove them, even years after they're gone); for the longest time I wasn't able to bring myself to remove it, though I eventually did did so during a bit of housecleaning to make my wishlist a little more useable.
:cry_sad:

Edited by Blondie-Wan, 29 June 2010 - 11:23 PM.


#3 Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates

    Posts: 281
    Joined: 22-February 09
    Member: 5372
    Country: United States

Posted 29 June 2010 - 11:28 PM

View PostBlondie-Wan, on 29 June 2010 - 11:18 PM, said:

Goodness, I hadn't realized the theme's original run was so short; I'm amazed the theme had so many sets in such a short time.

This theme came along during my dark ages, but fortunately I was coming out of them just in time to score at least one of the reissues, Sheriff's Lock-Up. I enjoyed putting and having that one together quite a bit, and I've been looking forward to rebuilding it sometime and also doing some Western MOCs when time permits.
Yeah, they covered a lot of ground in a short period of time, which may be part of why the series didn't continue - where do you go from there? I could see having a stagecoach set, maybe a couple more buildings for the town, but what big, iconic locales could you introduce for a second run? Perhaps a train robbery with a station, train, tracks, and bandits on horseback. Actually, that would be amazing. Now I'm sad they didn't do that.

Sheriff's Lock-Up was one of only three Western sets I ever had, the others being the covered wagon and a smaller supplemental native American set. I always wanted Gold City Junction, which my neighbor had. Luckily, I've got one coming in the mail to me now, since I am on a bit of a Western kick these days!

#4 Blackicep8ntball

Blackicep8ntball

    Posts: 259
    Joined: 17-April 10
    Member: 10302

Posted 29 June 2010 - 11:34 PM

The Western sets were some of my favorites; between my brothers and I, we collected most of them. Fort Legorado was definitely a favorite. The exploding walls that Lego introduced with these sets was quite a novelty at the time. I wouldn't mind seeing a renewed western them with the same quality that the first round had back in the day.

Thanks for the post and for sorting out those Western MOCs... I hadn't seen any of those and they were definitely worthy of being displayed.  :thumbup:

#5 Blondie-Wan

Blondie-Wan

  • Honest as Abe


    Posts: 1792
    Joined: 17-April 09
    Member: 5831
    Country: USA

Posted 29 June 2010 - 11:44 PM

View PostCarbohydrates, on 29 June 2010 - 11:28 PM, said:

Sheriff's Lock-Up was one of only three Western sets I ever had, the others being the covered wagon and a smaller supplemental native American set. I always wanted Gold City Junction, which my neighbor had. Luckily, I've got one coming in the mail to me now, since I am on a bit of a Western kick these days!

I've been wanting to revisit this theme for a while now myself. It's too bad I only have one of the actual sets, but I do have some additional thematic material from elsewhere - additional cowboy hats from three copies of one of the old accessory sets (remember those?), plus horses, barrels, wagon wheels, revolvers, etc. from lots of different sets from various other themes, plus gunslingers and  tribal hunters from the new collectible minifigs line. I figure all this plus a bunch of basic bricks (which make up the bulk of most creations anyway, after all) will be just enough to get by with, at least for a while (though I still yearn for some of those sets I missed)...

#6 Mac-K

Mac-K

    Posts: 82
    Joined: 11-January 10
    Member: 9014
    Country: U.S.A

Posted 30 June 2010 - 12:27 AM

I'm with Blondie-Wan, it seems amazing that the Western theme only lasted a year. Really, really too bad. The mid to late 90's were a time that I lingered in the gray area between a Dark Age and keeping one foot in a fading Lego hobby. Unquestionably, the Wild West theme was the one theme to keep me interested in Lego. I remember finding Bandit's Secret Hideout in a Reny's one afternoon, and being totally stunned. That set got so much playtime, it's not even funny. I'm also really happy that I picked up Fort Legoredo when they brought it back in 2002.

I agree with you, Carbohydrates, Gold City Junction was the one set that nagged at me the most, as well. I'm happy to hear that you're finally obtaining it. :thumbup: I've often thought about looking it up sometime on Bricklink and completing the Western collection. Honestly, now seems like a good time considering the lack of current themes interesting me.

Thanks for making this topic, Carbohydrates. :classic:

#7 Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates

    Posts: 281
    Joined: 22-February 09
    Member: 5372
    Country: United States

Posted 30 June 2010 - 11:05 PM

View PostMac-K, on 30 June 2010 - 12:27 AM, said:

I agree with you, Carbohydrates, Gold City Junction was the one set that nagged at me the most, as well. I'm happy to hear that you're finally obtaining it. :thumbup: I've often thought about looking it up sometime on Bricklink and completing the Western collection. Honestly, now seems like a good time considering the lack of current themes interesting me.

Thanks for making this topic, Carbohydrates. :classic:
Now really is a good time. If you buy used and don't care about the box, you can get most of the Western sets for only slightly more than they sold for new. I personally wanted the original box and instructions, so I paid a bit more, but I still feel the prices are reasonable for 14 years-old sets.

#8 Norro

Norro

  • Writer & Director and Old Grey fetishist


    Posts: 3505
    Joined: 30-April 05
    Member: 315
    Country: Ireland

Posted 01 July 2010 - 05:04 AM

View PostCarbohydrates, on 29 June 2010 - 10:17 PM, said:

For a theme that only ran one year, this theme managed to cover a lot of ground with quite a few sets. Introduced in 1996, the Western line featured four different 'factions' - which is pretty unique compared to LEGO's usual two-opposing-sides style.

Actually it ran for two years (and into a third if you count the old style rolling release availability). And the two distinct years featured 2 factions in each (in my eyes), sticking to Lego's normal MO...
Might want to fact check a few elements if you are creating a database, especially with such reliable and easily accessible references already developed.

God Bless,

Nathan
Posted Image

#9 Shroffy123

Shroffy123

    Posts: 309
    Joined: 03-May 10
    Member: 10502
    Country: USA

Posted 01 July 2010 - 05:18 AM

I remember this was the last theme I collect as a child before I gave all my legos to my younger relatives.

#10 Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates

    Posts: 281
    Joined: 22-February 09
    Member: 5372
    Country: United States

Posted 01 July 2010 - 05:20 AM

View PostNorro, on 01 July 2010 - 05:04 AM, said:

Actually it ran for two years (and into a third if you count the old style rolling release availability). And the two distinct years featured 2 factions in each (in my eyes), sticking to Lego's normal MO...
Might want to fact check a few elements if you are creating a database, especially with such reliable and easily accessible references already developed.

God Bless,

Nathan
I'm not creating a database, I just wanted to create a thread in which to discuss the Western theme with a summary of information to kick off the discussion. Seems it worked, seeing as it elicited this response from you, though I happily stand corrected about the production years!

However, I wouldn't agree with the claim that the two distinct years featured two distinct factions. The 1996 sets featured bandits, the US army, and the townspeople (and their sheriff). The 1997 sets were almost entirely native American, but there were also a few small ($10 and under) sets with bandits and the army. Besides, I would still argue that the inclusion of native Americans still breaks LEGO's typical one-on-one arrangement, considering their lack of direct interaction with the rest of the Western theme.

Of course, this is turning to opinions and semantics, but it makes for nice discussion! :classic:

#11 Brickstarrunner

Brickstarrunner

    Posts: 122
    Joined: 27-September 09
    Member: 7596
    Country: USA

Posted 02 July 2010 - 11:10 PM

I am really, REALLY surprised that NO ONE, and I mean, NO ONE has ever brought up...

Red Dead Redemtion, a full, living, breathing world set in the last few years of the Wild West, where the Old West was making its transition into the Modern World.

Its a free roaming game, which means you can do anything, anywhere, at anytime!

Your actions will control your life style too. Make good decisions, and your fame will increase. Make bad decisions, and your fame will dramaticaly decrease.

Why am I showing you this? Well, I fear that the community is losing its touch on the Old West, so I thought I would kick start it again with a, if you will excuse me, a KA-BOOM

Literaly, not only will the game inspire you to create more Wild West MOCs, but it is also very beautiful to look at. In fact, I will show you some pics to give you some inspiration of what I mean "Beautiful".

Quote

I know it is against the rules to have pictures past the [insert number]x[insert number] scale, but trust me, you WANT to see the detail of the pictures

Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image

Trust me, it WILL inspire you to make more Wild West MOCs

Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image
.
"Hmmm, twitcha-twitchy-twitchy-twitch.........Twitcha-twitch! TWITCHA-TWITCH!"

- Pinkie Pie, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic


#12 Dr Rod

Dr Rod

  • Rod Zombie


    Posts: 317
    Joined: 24-January 10
    Member: 9252
    Country: Nocturnus

Posted 03 July 2010 - 04:04 AM

Howdy Strangers,

I am sitting here building Boulder Cliff Canyon and this is significant because ... it is the last western set to add to my collection :).

I was pretty stoked when I found out Lego had made western sets and it is probably now my favourite theme.

I'll be taking a complete layout of the official sets to Canberra (Australia) for Brick Expo in a month (http://www.brickexpo.com.au/) so drop by if you are nearby.

DrRod
AKA: Intrastella on Flickr
Guilds of Historica: Nocturnus Alchemist
Posted Image

#13 Blondie-Wan

Blondie-Wan

  • Honest as Abe


    Posts: 1792
    Joined: 17-April 09
    Member: 5831
    Country: USA

Posted 03 July 2010 - 04:22 AM

Coolness, Dr Rod, congratulations. And welcome to Eurobricks!

#14 Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates

    Posts: 281
    Joined: 22-February 09
    Member: 5372
    Country: United States

Posted 03 July 2010 - 06:50 AM

View PostBrickstarrunner, on 02 July 2010 - 11:10 PM, said:

I am really, REALLY surprised that NO ONE, and I mean, NO ONE has ever brought up...

Red Dead Redemtion
Red Dead Redemption is indeed fantastic, and I mentioned it in the second sentence of this thread - it's what's gotten me back into Western building, that's for sure:

View PostCarbohydrates, on 29 June 2010 - 10:17 PM, said:

Hello! I'd like to make a thread dedicated specifically to a theme a lot of us hold dearly that even seems to be growing in popularity recently (possibly in conjunction with the recent release of the popular Western video game 'Red Dead Redemption').

Also, I received my Gold City Junction today and had a smile on my face the whole time I was building it. What a great set!

Edited by Carbohydrates, 03 July 2010 - 06:51 AM.


#15 Raven Brickroft

Raven Brickroft

    Posts: 307
    Joined: 21-October 08
    Member: 4193
    Country: Philippines

Posted 03 July 2010 - 07:13 AM

I really feel that we'll get a remake of this theme. Yep. I really do...  :wink:

Posted Image

Raven Ashcroft, 18 years old male human Rogue

Level 2
Power: 8 (2+6)
Health: 8/8 (7+1)
Gold: 10Equipment: Hollow Dagger (WP: 6, hollow)
Inventory: Main Gauche (WP: 3), Wrench (WP:3, target’s level -1, throwing weapon), Potion, Water Bomb, Lightning Bomb, Venom, Deadly Venom


#16 Richie

Richie

    Posts: 655
    Joined: 15-July 08
    Member: 3527
    Country: The Netherlands

Posted 03 July 2010 - 01:15 PM

I don't know why TLG discontinued the Western theme. The theme seems succesful to me. It's full of action (and nowadays TLG only wants to have action sets...), the buildings were fairly detailed and I think they did sell well.

I consider collecting Western sets, but many of them have stickers. What's the overall quality of stickers in Western sets?

It's multifunctionomical.

Posted Image

Flickr


#17 Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates

    Posts: 281
    Joined: 22-February 09
    Member: 5372
    Country: United States

Posted 03 July 2010 - 08:08 PM

View PostRichie, on 03 July 2010 - 01:15 PM, said:

I don't know why TLG discontinued the Western theme. The theme seems succesful to me. It's full of action (and nowadays TLG only wants to have action sets...), the buildings were fairly detailed and I think they did sell well.

I consider collecting Western sets, but many of them have stickers. What's the overall quality of stickers in Western sets?
Pretty great, honestly. I bought my Gold City Junction used and the stickers were already applied. For 14 years of age, they show no fading or peeling. The print is detailed and clean. The only downside is that there are a couple that cover multiple pieces, the General Store and Bank stickers.

I agree with you, by the way. They have to have been reasonably popular or three of the sets wouldn't have been chosen for reissue in 2002, alongside such popular sets as the Pizzeria and the Black Seas Barracuda.

I've been going back and forth on whether I want to pick up the two Western-themed Toy Story sets. They don't match at all as-is, with Round-Up's larger scale and cartoony visage, and the train obviously looks far more like a toy train than a real one, but they feel like a nice tribute to the old Western sets and I've almost bought them out of obligation! Nice parts selection in Round-Up, too.

#18 Blondie-Wan

Blondie-Wan

  • Honest as Abe


    Posts: 1792
    Joined: 17-April 09
    Member: 5831
    Country: USA

Posted 05 July 2010 - 11:53 AM

I do plan to get those two myself, though for me it's simply because I love Toy Story; any applicability those sets have to filling out my Old West is just a bonus. That said, they do offer some nice opportunities in that area. I do think the train in particular would look great in a LEGO Wild West layout as-is (it's not as though the rest of it wouldn't also look like a bunch of toys, after all  :wink: ), but of course it can also be easily modified to something more suited to taste if needed.

I already mentioned the current Collectible Minifigures gunslinger and tribal hunter, who are great additions to anyone trying to fill out a western parts pack. I hope later series include a few more suitable additions...

#19 Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates

    Posts: 281
    Joined: 22-February 09
    Member: 5372
    Country: United States

Posted 05 July 2010 - 07:26 PM

View PostBlondie-Wan, on 05 July 2010 - 11:53 AM, said:

I already mentioned the current Collectible Minifigures gunslinger and tribal hunter, who are great additions to anyone trying to fill out a western parts pack. I hope later series include a few more suitable additions...
I'm already planning on using the Mariachi's poncho to make some Man With No Name-style cowboys.

#20 Blondie-Wan

Blondie-Wan

  • Honest as Abe


    Posts: 1792
    Joined: 17-April 09
    Member: 5831
    Country: USA

Posted 05 July 2010 - 11:26 PM

View PostCarbohydrates, on 05 July 2010 - 07:26 PM, said:

I'm already planning on using the Mariachi's poncho to make some Man With No Name-style cowboys.

I was thinking much the same! Honestly, the gunslinger actually really makes me think of Clint Eastwood's iconic spaghetti western persona.

#21 Dr Rod

Dr Rod

  • Rod Zombie


    Posts: 317
    Joined: 24-January 10
    Member: 9252
    Country: Nocturnus

Posted 14 July 2010 - 06:39 AM

View PostRichie, on 03 July 2010 - 01:15 PM, said:

I don't know why TLG discontinued the Western theme. The theme seems succesful to me. It's full of action (and nowadays TLG only wants to have action sets...), the buildings were fairly detailed and I think they did sell well.

I consider collecting Western sets, but many of them have stickers. What's the overall quality of stickers in Western sets?

Mine were bought second hand through e-bay and in pretty much perfect condition, no peeling. I can't be sure how long they had been applied but they seems OK.

I also recently bought set 365 through brickling and all stickers are OK bar one that had one corner peeling. A little bit of glue fixed that.

Dr Rod
AKA: Intrastella on Flickr
Guilds of Historica: Nocturnus Alchemist
Posted Image

#22 Klaus-Dieter

Klaus-Dieter

  • 4-Wide Kerfuffler


    Posts: 3086
    Joined: 11-May 07
    Member: 1588
    Country: Germany

Posted 23 July 2010 - 07:41 PM

I regrettably have got bad news for all us Western fans:

In 2011, there very likely won't be a new Western theme   :cry_sad:
since
1. there very likely will be a Pirates of the Caribbean license and so there will be already two historical themes in 2011 (Kingdoms and Pirates of the Caribbean (=pirates)). Another historical theme is consequenlty very unlikely.
and
2. according to Cutty's information in this topic, in the Minifigures Series 3 there'll be a tribal chief. Indian and cowboy of series one are no problem for a new Western theme since you need many and many different of them. But a tribal chief is something very special. And since there'll be already one as an exclusive minifigure in 2011, we for sure won't get Indians in 2011 - and so very likely even no Western theme at all.

What do you think?


Klaus-Dieter

Edited by Klaus-Dieter, 23 July 2010 - 07:42 PM.


#23 Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates

    Posts: 281
    Joined: 22-February 09
    Member: 5372
    Country: United States

Posted 23 July 2010 - 07:51 PM

Honestly, I'm not sure the odds are great for a Western comeback. Red Dead Redemption puts the idea on the map, but I'm just not sure the market's there for it. It has one of the smaller followings among Historic themes, sadly.

#24 Fires-storm

Fires-storm

  • Modern Wright Brother


    Posts: 807
    Joined: 20-January 10
    Member: 9182
    Country: United States

Posted 24 July 2010 - 12:06 AM

When I found this set line, I was so inspired by it I even wrote stories! However, I was only ever able to get two sets, a choice which I regret to this day :cry_sad: But thanks to Red Dead redemption I do believe I am going to try to get my hands on Fort Legorado! And trust me, you will be seeing far more wild west from me in the future, I reckon. :laugh:
If you cannot win the battle, win the war.

#25 Blondie-Wan

Blondie-Wan

  • Honest as Abe


    Posts: 1792
    Joined: 17-April 09
    Member: 5831
    Country: USA

Posted 25 July 2010 - 05:08 PM

View PostKlaus-Dieter, on 23 July 2010 - 07:41 PM, said:

I regrettably have got bad news for all us Western fans:

In 2011, there very likely won't be a new Western theme   :cry_sad:
since
1. there very likely will be a Pirates of the Caribbean license and so there will be already two historical themes in 2011 (Kingdoms and Pirates of the Caribbean (=pirates)). Another historical theme is consequenlty very unlikely.
and
2. according to Cutty's information in this topic, in the Minifigures Series 3 there'll be a tribal chief. Indian and cowboy of series one are no problem for a new Western theme since you need many and many different of them. But a tribal chief is something very special. And since there'll be already one as an exclusive minifigure in 2011, we for sure won't get Indians in 2011 - and so very likely even no Western theme at all.

What do you think?


Klaus-Dieter

Oh, I'm quite sure you're right about West not returning next year - but that certainly doesn't mean it'll never come back. I think there's a reasonable chance it'll return someday - perhaps in two years, perhaps in five, perhaps in ten, perhaps longer, but at any rate I don't think we've seen the last official Western set we'll ever get from TLG. I just think we'll have to wait a while.



Reply to this topic



  


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users