lightningtiger, on 25 October 2012 - 01:13 AM, said:
Right, healthy.....so this from 1998 is better than what we are going to see next year ?
The late 90's saw Lego over simplify their designs to point of boredom, at least next years sets have realistic styling, playability and parts for modifying or MOC'ing.
I guess it can not be said too much how we all might be getting tired of seeing fire and police sets all the time, but it is MARKETING.....it's what a bunch of people think-tanking toy ideas and going with what they think will make the most MONEY. Note - Chima will have a similar operating rip-cord toy to the Haspro Bay-Wheels.....toy companies all go with the flow and re-hash after re-hash to make even more money.
That's enough off-topic from me.....back to modifying one of my MOC's.
I agree the late 90s were probably the weakest point in design for LEGO Town, and for that matter, a lot of themes. It's funny, looking back, how themes loved for their unique design aesthetics and color schemes were also subject to lots of large, overspecialized parts. Examples that jump to mind are Rock Raiders, Insectoids, and for that matter even many sets from Adventurers.
I think what 1974 was talking about, though, was the diversity of content of sets, which was also apparent both within the City theme (there were lots of different buildings, even if they all had the same bizarre architecture, and lots of different vehicles, even if they all had the same hideous hood/headlight/grille slopes) and outside it (while the themes I mentioned above had some lackluster sets, people generally agree that the concepts they represented were fresh, imaginative, and generally unprecedented).
The early 2000s perhaps saw some continuation of this trend (Alpha Team, Knights' Kingdom II, and other themes were creative, but certainly used more than their fair share of large shaping elements), but in general most themes gradually worked their way back towards greater complexity throughout that period while keeping their creativity. I think part of the reason the early 2000s aren't appreciated by today's Town/City buffs is that even with steadily-increasing complexity, it took until the end of World City and the beginning of LEGO City for realism
to begin returning (I'll always remember City Center as the theme that had a "police ATV" that was unmistakeably some type of sci-fi tank and a cop who was unmistakeably the Terminator). And in fact, the 2005-2007 period started to see a return to glory in many themes-- to this day I think it was a mistake that I stopped collecting the Knights' Kingdom II model sets right in 2005 when they actually started to show some attractive designs.
Today I agree that there's a lot of diversity in vehicles, but less diversity in buildings. And I hope that changes in time, though sets like 2011's bank, this year's clinic, and next year's museum move things in a great direction, even if many of them have an action-packed "emergency response" theme tying them together.
Edited by Aanchir, 25 October 2012 - 11:42 PM.