I have a couple of Black Knights-era sets, plus King Leo's Castle, and there are a lot of things I like about both. BURPs and raised baseplates are two things I've grown to dislike but I now appreciate how they can add an extra something to the aesthetics.
The 'Fright Knights' were rubbish IMO, although there were a lot of things I didn't like about TLG's output during the mid- to late 90s. GCSEs were only a couple of years away at the time, and the Dark Ages duly ensued. I'm not sure where my KLC set came from, since it was available during that time! Presumably my family saw it in a charity shop and bought it for me while I was away at uni or something. It's a mystery!
I had to look up the Kingdoms II line, but I honestly don't know what was going on with that. I can see why so many people were disappointed with it. The original Ninjas on the other hand...yeah, I would've dug that had I been paying attention at the time.
I love the look of the Lion Knights/Crusaders and Black Falcons and always did. The BFs are not necessarily 'bad' guys like the Black Knights were, although I like both. I kinda dig the moral ambiguity between the Falcons and the Lions...there's potential for some nice nuanced rivalries. Plus, the Black Knight castle buildings had so many black elements they lost detail when viewed in dim light or from a distance. If I were to do some MOCs as a tribute to that era (not a bad idea, thinking about it...) I'd use the darker shade of grey instead of black.
If I had to point at one thing that gave me a sentimental attachment to pre-1993 Castle, it would have to be *that* siege scene in the 1985 Ideas Book 200 (it's the last scan on this page). I've wanted to recreate a scene like that involving the Lions. Falcons and/or Black Knights since forever!
My thoughts on the evolution of LEGO Castle
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