peterab, on 17 October 2012 - 08:34 AM, said:
TLG making more small add on sets won't help this though. The large retailers only want to stock quick selling items. Even though expansion track packs are available from LEGO most retailers don't stock them for very long after they are released. Pretty much the same situation that made the Santa Fe coaches sell really badly. I was actively looking for them while they were available, but never saw them in a shop.
I was thinking it would be nice if the low end city train was a full train, without track. Kind of like 3225
, but with no motor. Though the contents should be revised, e.g., take next revision of the city passenger train that already has no doors and make sure the set keeps the train baseplates, couplers, bogies, etc. so that AFOLs will also see benefit in the set.
This set could sell at TRU, target, or ??? Like the Horizon Express, the purchaser will not appreciate the need for track and propulsion until after it is built. Then have a few on-line only supplements. The on-line version supplements could be S@H exclusive or also available from the big box retailer's web site too (depending on what the retailer wanted). The last page of the instructions could mention the availability of the supplement (e.g., as is found in Maersk and the Emerald Night for the PF components- note that these sets could be found on store shelves but the PF components are generally only available on-line and it seems to work). They could go one step further and even print that on the side of the box, "works great with ___ available on-line". Then Grandparents can get the train and parents can get the supplements or vice versa.
1) a PF power pack, e.g., an update of K5300
(note that this set is really a bundle of three existing sets).
2) a basic oval track set, an update of K4516
(again, really just a bundle of three existing sets)
3) at least one more complicated track set that includes switches, e.g., K4515
, and K4531
(all just combinations of multiple track packs).
I think having the supplements as one click items would greatly help the newcomer (or the gift giver who doesn't know). I don't think the supplements have to be on the shelves, they will do the job just fine on line (or perhaps a half page in the lego holiday catalog too).
Still keep the larger city train(s) as all in one. But move the lowest end train to a cheaper entry point, aim the main set design at kids, but again, keep the train parts interesting enough that AFOLs will see sufficient reuse to buy the set too.
Hrw-Amen, on 17 October 2012 - 07:29 PM, said:
Lots of people nowadays do not look upon LEGO as a construction toy but more of a model, when i have been in my local toy shop i have more than once heard adult complaining that when they were young you could build anything from LEGO but now all you can do is built the set. Well i guess that just shows a lack of imagination.
What i would like to see though to make it easier to build you own stuff is a set that has train wheels and buffers and maybe a baseplate of cowcatcher or some other train stuff, just like you get the ones that have wheels or roof bricks or doors. whilst they would not be wagon sets in themselves they would demonstrate that these could be built with normal bricks and these one or two other parts in this box. It may then inspire more people to build their own. it would also get over the issue of it being a European or American train as people would take the basic wheels and what have you and build in the style they like or are familiar with.
I think that perception is accurate. There are many many specialized parts. I remember when inverted slopes were revolutionary. Much beyond the headlight bricks and jumper plates of the first generation of space, the sets became more model like. I look at my son's basket of lego and I can't build anything out of it (well, okay, I can to wimsical combinations of weird pieces, but...).
To sell to kids and parents, Lego is producing sets that look more like the real objects. Lots of snot work in even the city sets at the cost of strength and stability. But they look good on the box and that's what makes the sale. (Whatever loss of quality Lego may have taken, the competition has similarly slipped- the Walmart effect- how do you turn a profit if the price point is so low?)
I think the Creator line was meant to be a throwback to the old style of building. So I am a little weary of the fact that the Horizon Express is being labeled a Creator set. The first Creator sets didn't have any minifigs. Then they added simple ones to give a focal pont to the houses, now it looks like Creator will lose its distinction of classic brick building styles. Which is too bad, since the Creator sets really symbolized, "building/rebuilding" rather than a model. The Horizon Express has a single model you can build with it (or three single models if you count each car separately), which doesn't fit the Creator theme. I hope the non-Expert Creator stays true to its roots.
The thing that really drives me crazy though, is the fact that the brick buckets have 12 colors in them. Up to a certain age, kids don't care about colors, but then it becomes important. Make a bucket only red and blue, at least then I can build a one color model, e.g., blue cat or a red house. The only folks who can really make use of the multiple colors are the resellers. I think they should still have all the colors distributed across the buckets, but limit each bucket to just two or three colors. So the small box would be yellow and blue, medium red and black, large tan and gray, etc.. Then shuffle the combinations around every year. Yeah, this paragraph is drifting off topic, but it probably has the same roots as the "if you want straight track you also have to pay for this track you don't want."