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Why so few animals?


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#1 A2L

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 01:29 PM

In my opinion, the animals released by the TLG over the years are very few, though the numbers have gone higher in the last few years, compared to previous years. Does anyone know how decisions are taken about which animals to release? Duplo has lots more of them. Does TLG believe that kids (main target group) stop liking animals once they grow beyond 5 years. I have been asking quite a few kids and most of them say that they love to see more animals. They say that once they transition from Duplo to grown up themes, they miss the animals.

Of course being an AFOL, I just love to collect animals. But I'd like to know from you guys if you feel the same way or most AFOLs don't care much about animals.

#2 spzero

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 02:51 PM

I agree, tho I have far too many snakes!! theres loads same with rats/mice/spiders, but others are just too rare/expensive I have quite a few horses, cows, birds and a couple of the pigs, polar bears, dragons fish, scorpions, ostrich's, dinos etc.

I think we need a City Zoo. to bring down prices or a Noah's Ark :wink:

but even if you have 10 horses it is still very little, drive past any farm with horses you can often see 5 - 10 in one field and as for cows pigs sheep many farms will have hundreds and then they are all in the same pose.

at least new horses are coming.

#3 jonwil

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 03:34 PM

You guys are lucky, I wish I had more of the "cool"/"rare" animals like the dolphin, manta ray, clam, crab, starfish, camel, cow, goat, hedgehog, ostrich, rabbit etc
I am fortunate enough to own both the dark grey AND light grey elephants though along with the ant, the monkey and several extremely rare colors of scorpion. (the trans-neon-green in particular is quite hard to get from what I can see)

And yes I want to see more animals like a sheep and a lion and a tiger and a giraffe and a squid and some more options for bugs (and I want the animals that already exist like the cow and goat and rabbit to be used in sets that are less expensive/easier to get)

I have too many snakes and spiders and rats and wish they didn't appear in so many sets (or that if they do, they appear in more interesting colors)

#4 A2L

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 04:08 PM

View Postspzero, on 11 March 2012 - 02:51 PM, said:

I agree, tho I have far too many snakes!! theres loads same with rats/mice/spiders, but others are just too rare/expensive.

jonwil said:

And yes I want to see more animals like a sheep and a lion and a tiger and a giraffe and a squid and some more options for bugs (and I want the animals that already exist like the cow and goat and rabbit to be used in sets that are less expensive/easier to get)

Totally agree. Even if TLG goes slow in introducing new animals, it will be nice if the existing animals are introduced in more affordable and common sets so that more of us (and kids) can enjoy them.

If they can put "too many" spiders, snakes, bats, rats and frogs in sets and that too the old designs, why not the dolphins or saw sharks or manta rays that are great but not seen anymore? Or even the new goats, hens and cows? Does anyone know if it is a production or business decision?

On the bright side, it is happening with horses.

spzero said:


I think we need a City Zoo. to bring down prices or a Noah's Ark :wink:


That would be great. And the same animals can be distributed individually in other sets too.

#5 cimddwc

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 04:55 PM

Well, there will be no religious thing like Noah's Ark, but a zoo would certainly be nice.

And being a city builder, I want pigeons! Maybe even in two variations (head up and down), and available in packs of at least 50, for a realistic city. :)

#6 Sid Sidious

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 05:31 PM

I think molds of some animals that haven't been seen in years (like the dolphin, elephant, and saw shark) have been retired.  It's also more expensive to mold and assemble animals with multiple parts, like the horse.  This is why most animals in sets are the single mold ones like the snake and spider.

#7 purpleparadox

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 05:52 PM

I think that the lack of animals is because TLG believes most of their consumers don't want animals. They think that people only want huge vehicles, evil skeletons, and flick-fire missiles. That also explains why most of the animals are snakes, rats, scorpions, and mice. They could be seen as "evil" in the adventures of little kids.

Personally, I would be thrilled to see more animals, in a zoo theme. (Right after they make a new Nightwing fig. I still like some action, too. :tongue: )

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#8 davee123

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 05:53 PM

View PostA2L, on 11 March 2012 - 01:29 PM, said:

Duplo has lots more of them. Does TLG believe that kids (main target group) stop liking animals once they grow beyond 5 years. I have been asking quite a few kids and most of them say that they love to see more animals. They say that once they transition from Duplo to grown up themes, they miss the animals.

Well, the question isn't really "would you like to see more animals?", because the answer to that would undoubtedly be "yes". I think the question is more along the lines of: "Would you prefer to buy a set that has a giraffe, or one that has a robot?"  Or, "Would you like this set that has a hippo, or would you like this one that has a velocoraptor?"

Essentially, there are only so many things that LEGO's going to focus on at a given time, and they'll almost always opt to produce the thing that will earn them the most money. And they've effectively proven that their target audience is young boys, and that young boys will prefer dragons, dinosaurs, spaceships, dinosaurs, trucks, airplanes, castles, and so forth when compared to, say, zoo or farm animals.

I think younger kids don't have as strong of a preference towards the same conflict-based themes, and generally their parents are the ones that often make the purchasing decisions. So, younger kids' themes will probably get a tendency towards more animals.

That said, however, LEGO has since been changing a lot of its product habits. New molds come out much more frequently now, and there's a MUCH wider product variety. Plus, now that we're seeing the Friends lineup (where girls often prefer animals moreso than boys, I believe), I think we may start seeing a lot more variety in animals.

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#9 Nagyzee

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 06:21 PM

I think the main problem nowadays isn't so much with the lack of variety in animals but more like with their availability.

Several animals are commanding quite high prices on Bricklink for example simply because they were only available in more expensive sets, and not because how much it cost TLG to make them. Just for an example I don't think a camel is 5-7 times more expensive to produce than a horse.

I understand though that when an animal mould is new they are restricting it to bigger sets as it's a selling point. But after the novelty factor wears out / the sets they came in are getting phased out they could very well make them available on lego.com's PAB for example.

#10 Suspsy

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 06:47 PM

Again I repeat my deep desire for a City zoo series. Give us a whole bunch of the current critters, especially the elephant, plus all-new giraffe, lion, tiger, and say, zebra. Or rhino.

#11 JackJonespaw

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 07:19 PM

Well, the Friends sets include a whole bunch of new animals, but smaller critters, like spider, snakes, and mice (oh, my!) have much bigger quantities.

#12 Hrw-Amen

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 07:55 PM

A zoo for CITY would be good but if they wanted to keep the action theme for boys then why not do a bush type set/sets, that could involve trappers and be like the Dion one but with tigers, lions, and hippos instead of raptors.

I have a few smaller animals, dogs, cats etc. Actually I don't have many rats? (Just 2?) What sets were they in, I must have missed that theme. I appear to have someow managed to get hold of lots of Harry Potter owls somehow, but I am not sure how as I m not collecting the Harry Potter themes. But there we go.

#13 Piranha

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 11:24 PM

A zoo would work, also a new safari type action theme would also be nice. :classic:

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#14 brickmack

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 03:37 AM

View Postpurpleparadox, on 11 March 2012 - 05:52 PM, said:

I think that the lack of animals is because TLG believes most of their consumers don't want animals. They think that people only want huge vehicles, evil skeletons, and flick-fire missiles. That also explains why most of the animals are snakes, rats, scorpions, and mice. They could be seen as "evil" in the adventures of little kids.

Personally, I would be thrilled to see more animals, in a zoo theme. (Right after they make a new Nightwing fig. I still like some action, too. :tongue: )
Mice as evil? Gross maybe, but not evil. The rest I agree with though. TLG seems to be under the odd impression that those things are the only ways to get kids to like it. Anyway, that's a different topic...

Some new animals would be nice, but I doubt we will get a lot at once in a zoo theme.From what I've read, it costs TLG a lot to make a new mould, so any sets with a new one are likely to be more expensive. Therefore, a theme/set full of many new moulds would probably cost a lot more than normal, which makes people less likely to buy them, so TLG won't profit much. Whick means they won't do it. I'm sure we will continue to get a steady stream of new animals though.

Also, I just looked and it seems I have more horses than I have room for. Odd...

#15 muscleman

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 03:49 AM

totally agree!! We need animals!! A Zoo or a circus will be a great theme!

#16 jonwil

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 04:20 AM

View Postbrickmack, on 12 March 2012 - 03:37 AM, said:

Some new animals would be nice, but I doubt we will get a lot at once in a zoo theme.From what I've read, it costs TLG a lot to make a new mould, so any sets with a new one are likely to be more expensive. Therefore, a theme/set full of many new moulds would probably cost a lot more than normal, which makes people less likely to buy them, so TLG won't profit much. Whick means they won't do it. I'm sure we will continue to get a steady stream of new animals though.
The new Dino theme got no less than 5 new dinosaurs, many of which are composed of multiple molds. I cant tell from Bricklink exactly how many molds were introduced for the Dino theme but I am sure its just as many if not more than would be needed for new animals in a Zoo or Safari theme.

#17 A2L

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 11:04 AM

View PostSid Sidious, on 11 March 2012 - 05:31 PM, said:

I think molds of some animals that haven't been seen in years (like the dolphin, elephant, and saw shark) have been retired.  It's also more expensive to mold and assemble animals with multiple parts, like the horse.  This is why most animals in sets are the single mold ones like the snake and spider.

A quick check showed that the monkey and shark have been around for many years! Wish they had kept the dolphin too.

View Postdavee123, on 11 March 2012 - 05:53 PM, said:

Essentially, there are only so many things that LEGO's going to focus on at a given time, and they'll almost always opt to produce the thing that will earn them the most money. And they've effectively proven that their target audience is young boys, and that young boys will prefer dragons, dinosaurs, spaceships, dinosaurs, trucks, airplanes, castles, and so forth when compared to, say, zoo or farm animals.

Oh have they proved that? Completely missed it. Any threads/links on this?  Thanks!

But again I feel TLG has not put animals out of focus at all and they do consider them as money earners. Why else will TLG put the best animals in only a few (sometimes just 1) expensive/exclusive sets? Take the goat or the reddish brown cow in MMV or camel in PoP. They never appeared again. So IMHO TLG says that if you love animals, go ahead and buy the expensive set and then only you can get them!

View PostNagyzee, on 11 March 2012 - 06:21 PM, said:

I understand though that when an animal mould is new they are restricting it to bigger sets as it's a selling point. But after the novelty factor wears out / the sets they came in are getting phased out they could very well make them available on lego.com's PAB for example.

+1  :thumbup:  Or even as animal packs! They can pack the ostrich, camel and of course the ever available snakes, scorpions and spiders as desert animals pack!

View PostHrw-Amen, on 11 March 2012 - 07:55 PM, said:

A zoo for CITY would be good but if they wanted to keep the action theme for boys then why not do a bush type set/sets, that could involve trappers and be like the Dion one but with tigers, lions, and hippos instead of raptors.

+1. Or even a new African or Indian jungle expedition themed set! The animals don't have to come in zoo or farm sets only.

As for a zoo set, does TLG really want to make it? If you look at it TLG already has croc, bear, snakes, monkey, birds, ostrich, chimp, elephant, dolphin, polar bear  (not considering current availability of course! Then take the last 3 out). Not at all difficult to make a zoo by adding just 2/3 more new animals.

Other than new animals I just hope for 2 things:
1. Newer animals in smaller/affordable sets
2. Animal packs (existing animals) just like battle packs

Till then Brick on!

#18 AndyC

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 11:48 AM

View PostSid Sidious, on 11 March 2012 - 05:31 PM, said:

I think molds of some animals that haven't been seen in years (like the dolphin, elephant, and saw shark) have been retired.
The dolphin and elephant, maybe, but the sawfish was seen as recently as 2010 in the Imperial Flagship so I'm not sure that's actually retired. It's probably more a case of there not being many sets suitable to use it in than anything else.

It'd be nice to see some more animals, although I think you'd really need some kind of Zoo or Safari theme to justify a significant number of new molds in any one go.
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#19 Mr. Elijah Timms

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 01:47 PM

Everyone's calling for the Zoo line, and yes, it would be astounding, but ask yourself this... if TLG wouldn't even spring for some new molds in the PET SHOP modular set, then what makes us think they'll launch an entire subtheme based on new animal molds?

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#20 purpleparadox

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 02:08 PM

View Postbrickmack, on 12 March 2012 - 03:37 AM, said:

Mice as evil? Gross maybe, but not evil. The rest I agree with though. TLG seems to be under the odd impression that those things are the only ways to get kids to like it. Anyway, that's a different topic...

Some new animals would be nice, but I doubt we will get a lot at once in a zoo theme.From what I've read, it costs TLG a lot to make a new mould, so any sets with a new one are likely to be more expensive. Therefore, a theme/set full of many new moulds would probably cost a lot more than normal, which makes people less likely to buy them, so TLG won't profit much. Whick means they won't do it. I'm sure we will continue to get a steady stream of new animals though.

Also, I just looked and it seems I have more horses than I have room for. Odd...
Yes, when I was listing animals that could be "evil", mice seemed gross-ish but "evil" was too strong of a word for mice, I think.

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#21 Yucca Patrol

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 02:08 PM

View PostMr. Elijah Timms, on 12 March 2012 - 01:47 PM, said:

....what makes us think they'll launch an entire subtheme based on new animal molds?

The new Dino theme with all the new dinosaur molds?

Edited by Yucca Patrol, 12 March 2012 - 02:10 PM.


#22 vexorian

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 02:21 PM

Because city is now a boys theme. And boys "like mastery and action" So cops and flick fire are a priority over animals. If you want other things, go with LEGO friends as it is made for girls and thus is the only theme that has details and animals. Let us thank their marketing research department for all of this.

#23 A2L

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 06:51 PM

View Postvexorian, on 12 March 2012 - 02:21 PM, said:

Because city is now a boys theme. And boys "like mastery and action" So cops and flick fire are a priority over animals. If you want other things, go with LEGO friends as it is made for girls and thus is the only theme that has details and animals. Let us thank their marketing research department for all of this.

Yes, let us thank wholeheartedly thank their marketing research department for introducing the lovely bear in a city set and hope they follow it up with many more.

#24 CallMePie

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 07:26 PM

View Postvexorian, on 12 March 2012 - 02:21 PM, said:

Because city is now a boys theme. And boys "like mastery and action" So cops and flick fire are a priority over animals. If you want other things, go with LEGO friends as it is made for girls and thus is the only theme that has details and animals. Let us thank their marketing research department for all of this.

Mill Village Raid.

A zoo theme has potential and TLG would have to be blind to simply ignore the possibility on account of 'it's not violent enough'.

The new horse mold is just begging for zebra printing... :grin:
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#25 sharky

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 09:01 PM

Maybe Lego City will eventually cycle back to a Farm theme sometime in the future and we'll get more farm animals at least.  I'm sure it's only a matter of time until they come back to it.

Not having been collecting as an AFOL for a great length of time I find myself looking back to where I have managed to pick up the animals I do have.  

Camel, Ostrich: Prince of Persia sets
Owls, Pig, Frog: Harry Potter sets
Chickens, Goat, Pig: Mill Village Raid
Pig, Dog: small boxed farmer set
Dog: Police set
Shark: World Racer set
Cat: Winter Village Toy Shop
Horses: Castle and Prince of Persia sets.
Snakes: Prince of Persia, Harry Potter, CMF, World Racer sets
Scorpion: CMF
Rat: Castle, Harry Potter sets
Spiders: Castle, Harry Potter sets
Fish: CMF, Castle, Super Hereos, City

That's all of the ones I have been able to pick up so far.



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