Mazin, on 16 November 2012 - 08:09 PM, said:
Oh absolutely. I like the way they did Ninjago villains very much! Those snakes are fantastic. Their design and the whole Ninjago idea would very well even outside Lego franchise - like if those were Hasbro or Tyco toys
But I would not entirely agree with catching consumers by surprise... they did at same cases of course... but still examples of Harry Potter, Indy, Batman or Prince of Persia seem to work as "following the herd" all the way
Of course. I wasn't really discussing licensed themes when I said TLG didn't like following the herd. Of course, even with licensed themes, TLG has an incentive to take risks with new ideas, as they've done successfully with the Harry Potter theme and unsuccessfully with the Prince of Persia and Speed Racer themes. If they wait too long to snatch up a license, they risk it falling into the hands of a competitor, which can be a bad thing if that movie franchise proves to have staying power.
I would say that in the 80s they were much more into making pure childish themes, coming straight from kid's dreams and imagination, yound person's "fairy tale vision" of the world
Knights, Pirates, Space and big world around ( Town ) were the most fascinating things for a 6 or 10 year old. Well, perhaps Cowboys and Dinosaurs too...
This is true. But of course those toys were existing within a different environment. These days, an idea like that is easy for competitors to copy (I recall reading in Brickjournal about how the LEGO Space theme had to be rushed to production when a member of the design team left LEGO to work with a competitor, and that was back in the infancy of themed LEGO sets), and thus to stand out on store shelves, designers have to make sure that their themes aren't just the basic archetypes.
It should also of course be noted that the media environment kids grow up in plays a role in what kids want... I personally feel that factoid-intensive franchises like Pokemon had a strong influence on BIONICLE, since because of those it became clear that kids at that time actually enjoyed
learning lots of obscure terms and character names. I'd argue that BIONICLE went a bit too far in this direction, in that over time the confusing names and heavy amount of story info started to scare away potential fans, but it's still a good example of how the marketing of LEGO themes can be based on what kids come to expect of the things they enjoy.
Anyway, back on the subject of competitors, I think they are also a big reason why LEGO themes tend to cycle in and out more regularly today than they once did. Think about it-- the longer TLG keeps one theme on store shelves, the more time they give competitors to come up with their own spin on things. For instance, Ninjago could theoretically keep going for much longer, but then it would be only a matter of time before other toy companies decided that Ninja toys were hip again. And kids have short attention spans-- they won't necessarily care if something was fairly unique when it was new if what they see in toy stores is a bunch of sameness.
I think that modern Lego television series are as much an effect of giving them more story and character, as the evolution of modern animation technics... the old way of animation used for TMNT, G.I.Joe or Transformers would not work well with Lego minigifigures.
Well can't know that for sure because TLG has never tried that but digital animation gave Lego a great opportunity
Another good point. You can even see how the animation of LEGO Minifigures has improved since the early days of LEGO video games, when minifigures often had disproportionate bodies, cartoony eyes, and stiff movement. I imagine a lot of these problems would have been much worse in the days when hand-drawn animation was the only option.
Edited by Aanchir, 16 November 2012 - 08:58 PM.