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Lego City vs Lego Town


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#1 Chri5kng

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 04:28 AM

Hi guys

Without a doubt since 2005, Lego brand new City is without a doubt a true upgrade to Town with more detail design for both vehicles, mini-figures and most of all the building yet some noticeable flaws still remain.  What I don't get is the lack of non-emergency buildings and road as part of the play-set that you would get in most town building set?.  Having a connection of road is what make Lego City a true city yet it seem like design is ever so lacking.  Better Lego yet worst design team?  It seem in this day and age, creators seem to be less creative and imaginative then in the 80's and 90's, or is it just me?

Why don't TLG not re-created all of those Town sets such as Airport, Villa, etc... and update it to fit in with the modern City theme?  This would require less development and increase in sale.  It just seem silly to have all these cool design wasted.  I'm sure many of you guys (including myself) would love to have that old town Police Station in new bricks mold to fit with City, am I right?

#2 twenty6twelve

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 05:02 AM

Hi there Chri5kng,

Quote

What I don't get is the lack of non-emergency buildings and road...
It is an unfortunate fact that has been discussed several times on this forum that emergency-themed sets sell the best with the theme's target age group - young boys aged 6 - 12. While, as in eveything, there are exceptions, on the whole "most" young boys in that age group prefer playing with fire, police and rescue themed sets rather than say, postal delivery, grocery stores or townhouses. While it is true that adult fans often adore the more 'mundane,' we make up a very small percentage of the market and are generally (again, there are exceptions) not taken into a great deal of consideration in the design of this theme.

In addition, while the City theme is primarily composed of rescue and construction subthemes, there are several others: 2006's and 2010's airports, 2009-2010's wonderful Farm subtheme, 2007 and 2011's harbors, 2010's house, the traffic subtheme with such highlights as the City Corner and City Garage, just to name a few. They aren't the highlights of the range, but there are many exceptions. Look around on Brickset for more greats, past and present.

The Creator subtheme is home to several great "family" style homes, with lots of classic bricks, just like the Town sets of yesteryear. Additionally, especially for the adult fan, the Advanced Models line (which will be renamed Creator Expert in 2013) is home to the outstanding Modular Buildings series, arguably some of the best sets Lego have ever produced, and heartily desired by many who grew up with the Town themes. One look at any of those, and I have to wholeheartedly disagree with your comment:

Quote

It seem in this day and age, creators seem to be less creative and imaginative...

I beg to differ. I am a classic Town fan, born and bred, but do you believe that this set:
Posted Image10185 Green Grocer, circa 2008,

is any less creative or imaginative than this grocery store model from idea book 6000, circa 1980?
Posted Image

It really is comparing apples and oranges here. If you aren't satisfied with Lego's current offerings, that's fine. Everyone has their own tastes and preferences - but I hardly see how modern Lego designers have been anything less than brilliant given that they are, in the ultimate scheme of things, a toy business designed to sell toys to small children (while handily managing to sell quite a bit to adults as well! :wink: )

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#3 lightningtiger

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 05:46 AM

Well we have had two airports, a Toys-R-Us store, two hospitals (though the 2006 was a horror), a bank, a bike repair shop, a service station, a parking garage, a garage and a pizza bar...yes, we could have more but Lego's research shows fire and police action stuff sells better and it's only us AFOL's wanting more. :wink:
Classic town has that old school simple open back buildings and 4 wide vehicles, yet now with city.....more detailing and bigger vehicles......more realism coming though but still it has that old Lego feel to them. :classic:
Simple if you want shops, houses, etc., do what I do......MOC build them. :grin:

#4 Chri5kng

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 06:50 AM

Sixoh

What I meant when I said Lego design was getting worst was not in it aesthetic appeal but rather it play design.  The two theme you speak off is modular and creators which isn't exactly fair when you compare the green grocer (which I love) to a classic grocery toy set.  modular does not have any real play ability because the back is not accessible and in order to play on each floor, you have to take each floor of which defeat the purpose of it.  Now even though the aesthetic appeal is there, it still just another 3 story building.  I hope you understand what I'm trying to say?  Lego well I feel is less creative in its "play" design than before.  Obviously we are talking about the town/city theme and not other themes.   And even within the city theme itself, I feel like some of the early sets are better than the later set.  You also notice that recently there been less of those non-emergency set that lightningtiger mentioned.

#5 lightningtiger

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 07:13 AM

Again I'll say it, MOC or modify a set to your liking that's what Lego is for. :wink:

#6 bootz

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 03:24 PM

As LT said, you can always mod a set or just MOC. If you think the Green Grocer is lacking in playability then build it without the back. I personally love the modular series and I probably would have even loved it when I was younger and actually played with my Legos. I would have killed for the town I have now when I was little, even without the ease of play of the open back buildings I had back then.

I do agree though, I would love to see more sets like City Corner, with more small shops to fill out my town. The modulars are great, but they're expensive and require more pieces to MOC than a classic town style building.

#7 PsyKater

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 04:10 PM

Yeah..... two points:

1) You guys do not get his point. Of course you con MOC and MOD as long as you live and of course this is what LEGO is for. But some collectors are talking about product design.  You can be fan of the base product (bricks) or of the specific products (sets). The same can be said for IKEA or Porsche. Chri5kng is discussing about product design. So it does not help that he can MOC or MOD, the product design is still getting worse in his eyes.

2) This is a rather subjective topic. It can be discussed till no end. That's why you have to ask if it is really neccessary to discuss. Plus: It has been discussed already several times. And to start a topic simply to rant is not known as top quality posting.

====

On Topic:

There is really an overload of emergency sets. But this has some kind always been. Other sets do exist now as well - but only for short time. Compared to the early 90ies the lack of other sets is not as big as it might feel. (Think of all that garbage trucks, construction site sets, mining sets, the bank, 4207...)
Nevertheless the 1980s were full of different sets which was really nice. Maybe TLG does not dare to offer such a broad range today. Kids may loose interest in LEGO faster than yesterday's.

Comparing Town and City might work, but Creator is on another topic. And even there you have to distinguish between Creator and Creator Expert.
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#8 Chri5kng

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 06:20 PM

View PostPsyKater, on 27 November 2012 - 04:10 PM, said:

Yeah..... two points:

1) You guys do not get his point. Of course you con MOC and MOD as long as you live and of course this is what LEGO is for. But some collectors are talking about product design.  You can be fan of the base product (bricks) or of the specific products (sets). The same can be said for IKEA or Porsche. Chri5kng is discussing about product design. So it does not help that he can MOC or MOD, the product design is still getting worse in his eyes.

2) This is a rather subjective topic. It can be discussed till no end. That's why you have to ask if it is really neccessary to discuss. Plus: It has been discussed already several times. And to start a topic simply to rant is not known as top quality posting.

====

On Topic:

There is really an overload of emergency sets. But this has some kind always been. Other sets do exist now as well - but only for short time. Compared to the early 90ies the lack of other sets is not as big as it might feel. (Think of all that garbage trucks, construction site sets, mining sets, the bank, 4207...)
Nevertheless the 1980s were full of different sets which was really nice. Maybe TLG does not dare to offer such a broad range today. Kids may loose interest in LEGO faster than yesterday's.

Comparing Town and City might work, but Creator is on another topic. And even there you have to distinguish between Creator and Creator Expert.

Thank you for understanding what I'm trying to say.  I don't think kids can change that much and I remember when I was a kid, my cousin parents used to buy him a lot of these discontinue Lego Town set that weren't always emergency sets.  Unless it is suggested that kids in this generation is not as smart as their yester years, it just hard to understand why those same design is not taken further but instead is somewhat obsolete?

#9 1974

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 07:16 PM

View Postsixoh, on 27 November 2012 - 05:02 AM, said:

It is an unfortunate fact that has been discussed several times on this forum that emergency-themed sets sell the best with the theme's target age group - young boys aged 6 - 12

Yeah, we keep hearing that. Must be some quite different boys who play with Playmobil then

Oh, wait - it's not :sceptic:

Maybe city/fire/construction sells because that is the only type of (City) LEGO that actually is for sale. How about that idea TLG?

Let's go a wee bit back .. back to 1983 :

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Just look at that diversity! :classic:  .. look at the accesory sets as well .. there's even a yellow castle to boot :laugh:

And NO, times have not changed that much. Nor have kids. I used to be a kid, I got kids, I know kids and I've worked with kids. They'd dig it all

I really think TLG is missing the boat here

#10 soundwave_sw

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 08:07 PM

I agree with some of the above ideas and thoughts.  The vehichles hae evolved into better designs and better scales.  I am very excited about the new fire truck ladder piece.  I am not a big fan of the large <insert that tiresome argument> airplane pieces but at least the aircraft are closer to a believable size.  I realize that the target audience is 6-10 year boys,  but is it just me, or does anyone else notice that the hardest sets to find are the non emergency town/city sets?   It seems like they are first to sell out.  I too would appreciate more variety to collect and use to build up my own city. Having said all that,  I do appreciate the Modulars and how they are geared toward the older builder.  As long as the keep coming out with those, I'll turn a blind eye everytime a new Police/Fire set comes out.   I must say that I do like the fact that some of the 2013 Fire sets actually have buildings on fire and other fires to be put out.
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#11 twenty6twelve

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 08:34 PM

View PostChri5kng, on 27 November 2012 - 06:50 AM, said:

What I meant when I said Lego design was getting worst was not in it aesthetic appeal but rather it play design [...] Lego well I feel is less creative in its "play" design than before.  

I understand your point better now that you've defined your meaning more thoroughly. From your initial post, I had been under the impression that you felt that Lego set designers were less creative than they had been some decades ago, and that you were merely missing the absence of the non-emergency themed sets from Lego's current offerings. Therefore, I had been attempting to point out that such variety still does exist, albeit in other themes.

Now that I understand that your comments are chiefly regarding playability in the design of sets, I can better understand your longing for days gone by. As I mentioned,

Quote

It really is comparing apples and oranges here.
I did not intend to imply to compare the Modular series with the City line, rather than to showcase that designers are still creative in their output.

Make no mistake. I've always been a classic Town fan. One of the first sets I received as a child was a secondhand 1981's 6382 Fire Station, featuring the debut of the rolling garage doors, and from then on I asked for any Town series set I could find. As this was my favorite theme as a child, it was therefore what I played with. I love the classic aesthetics of the sets of Town's past, and there will always be a soft spot in my heart for it. As an adult, my desire to 'play' with Lego is not as strong as my desire to 'create' with it, and thusly my wants are satisfied by offerings from other themes. Despite that I do completely understand the playability angle as I was once a child Town fan, who was dismayed as the original theme descended into Town Jr. and then into nothingness in the early 2000's.

I spent 13 years of my life sharing my home with a daycare and subsequently spending that time with the young children there. In all that came and went, many of them enjoyed Lego toys, but among those of who were in the modern City theme's target audience, I can't recall a one who didn't prefer the antics of policemen and firemen to shops and services. Recently, working for a large superstore chain, I have assisted several children and parents to "find the Lego aisle," and the few children who were not after a fire truck were usually looking for Star Wars or Ninjago. I'm therefore inclined to mostly believe Lego's statement that fire and police sets are what sells nine times out of ten.

1974 said:

Yeah, we keep hearing that. Must be some quite different boys who play with Playmobil then

Here in the United States, Playmobil presently has very little to no retail presence, at least that I have observed. While I have no doubts that a return of great diversity to the City theme specifically would sell (which, for the record, is a change I would heartily welcome), I'm inclined to believe that such sets won't sell as well as the traditional 'hero' roles that rescue sets fill, and thusly Lego, as a business, probably has little interest in a product that would sell less than another.

I sincerely hope that none of my comments and reasoning have come across as hostile or insulting.

#12 Chri5kng

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 08:34 PM

1974

I read your post on the new 2013 lineup and I 100% agree.  Those picture hurt because they also include road that make it feel like a city.  I know Lego sell road still but at $15 it just so mighty expensive.  But those set don't really interest me, these are the set from town that need a makeover for city!



1. Metro Park & Service Tower (so unique and so creative and lot of play ability like most town set)
http://www.brickset....ail/?Set=6394-1
2. Victory Lap Raceway http://www.brickset....ail/?Set=6395-1
3. Airport Shuttle (OMG) http://www.brickset....ail/?Set=6399-1
4. The most well design police station ever! http://www.brickset....ail/?Set=6398-1
5. Beautiful airport http://www.brickset....ail/?Set=6597-1

This is just to name a few


Soundwave

That what I dislike.  There is less work on the city line than ever before because of the friends, creator, and modular line.  They are all "city" theme as well.  Modular are model.  Creator are model.  That should not be an excuse for the lack of house and other non-emergency set missing in Lego city.

#13 lightningtiger

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 08:52 PM

Okay, so there is a lot of dribbling going on here about city vs town and about the detail in the builds, etc., please remember that these are not designed for us adults but for the average nine year old boy or girl......they want to built it fast as possible so they can play with it, break it down and make some oddball looking ship/plane/tank thingy.
We can talk about this until we are blue in the face, there will always people on both sides of the fence attacking and defending what is their favourite/best theme in their eyes. I love both the town and city themes for different reasons, town for being childlike and a reminder of more simple times and city for idea of fusing town with reality (well they try anyway).
To say no excuse for houses or non-police/fire sets, it's the police and fire sets that sell and make money......I have 25 Cuusoo projects running, 24 of are non police/fire....I have yet to hit a 100 on any of them perhaps such things are a hard sell ?

#14 Chri5kng

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 09:09 PM

View Postlightningtiger, on 27 November 2012 - 08:52 PM, said:

Okay, so there is a lot of dribbling going on here about city vs town and about the detail in the builds, etc., please remember that these are not designed for us adults but for the average nine year old boy or girl......they want to built it fast as possible so they can play with it, break it down and make some oddball looking ship/plane/tank thingy.
We can talk about this until we are blue in the face, there will always people on both sides of the fence attacking and defending what is their favourite/best theme in their eyes. I love both the town and city themes for different reasons, town for being childlike and a reminder of more simple times and city for idea of fusing town with reality (well they try anyway).
To say no excuse for houses or non-police/fire sets, it's the police and fire sets that sell and make money......I have 25 Cuusoo projects running, 24 of are non police/fire....I have yet to hit a 100 on any of them perhaps such things are a hard sell ?

View Postlightningtiger, on 27 November 2012 - 08:52 PM, said:

Okay, so there is a lot of dribbling going on here about city vs town and about the detail in the builds, etc., please remember that these are not designed for us adults but for the average nine year old boy or girl......they want to built it fast as possible so they can play with it, break it down and make some oddball looking ship/plane/tank thingy.
We can talk about this until we are blue in the face, there will always people on both sides of the fence attacking and defending what is their favourite/best theme in their eyes. I love both the town and city themes for different reasons, town for being childlike and a reminder of more simple times and city for idea of fusing town with reality (well they try anyway).
To say no excuse for houses or non-police/fire sets, it's the police and fire sets that sell and make money......I have 25 Cuusoo projects running, 24 of are non police/fire....I have yet to hit a 100 on any of them perhaps such things are a hard sell ?

I don't disagree with you because as a child I love all things police and that love has not faded....though I don't like real like police just toys.   They should never stop making police and fire fighter sets because it sell and it awesome.  What I would like is to walk to a retail store and see several large city set maybe in 2013 one day that has all the major component to start a real Lego city.  This would include the following.

Train station with working train and track (recent train offering is really bad compare to earlier ones) something like the airport shuttle http://www.brickset....ail/?Set=6399-1 would be such a nice central piece to start.  Follow by police, firefighter, general hospital, a more realistic looking garage (not the 2012), town hall (not modular) follow by other sets would be amazing!  

But with the amount of effort put into friends, modular, and creators, this won't be happening.

Edited by Chri5kng, 27 November 2012 - 09:09 PM.


#15 lightningtiger

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 09:24 PM

Okay, so also wrote in the 2013 City set topic.....why there though ?......you would like a bank and an airport.....
2009 saw a farm, bike shop/pizza bar and repair garage.
2010 saw an airport, lighting repair truck, fuel tanker, house, and TRU shop/truck.
2011 saw a bank
2012 saw a parking garage with fuel pumps/car wash and medical centre of sorts.
It varies from year to year but perhaps the second half releases might be more your cup of tea......then again there is always 2014 to look forward to. :wink:

#16 Ricecracker

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 09:27 PM

This is bordering on being a wishlist. If that's the intent, please keep it to the Ideas for City Sets topic.

#17 Hrw-Amen

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 09:29 PM

Well I do of course find that there are many more police or fire sets and of course I understand why. But they do make several sets that are not related to these even amongst general service utility vehicles. Sometimes these are hard to find and have to be ordered directly from them which is OK nowadays with good internet access.

What annoys me though with the layouts is the lack of ability to buy straight or curved roads alone. Why do i have to get a junction or cross road with every set? The real world is not built like that regardless of whether I am 8 or 48. I would like the ability to add proper straight or curved roads, be able to buy a set that was cheaper and had the section I want, or the same price but have two straights or whatever. OK we do need junctions but not every twenty meters or so.

#18 lightningtiger

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 09:36 PM

Ah, the road plate issue....yes, yes......answer is make more money....you need more straight road plates hence you buy those that come with an extra cross intersection....everyone needs heaps of those right ? :laugh:
I do agree with 'Ricecracker' on that this topic seems to be more a wish list than a chat about the differences between town and city designs......it must be human not to stay on target (topic) ? :wink:

Edited by lightningtiger, 27 November 2012 - 09:36 PM.


#19 Ricecracker

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 09:49 PM

View Postlightningtiger, on 27 November 2012 - 09:36 PM, said:

...it must be human not to stay on target (topic) ? :wink:
I believe in you guys.

#20 Martin_B

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 10:26 PM

I've been in the Dark Ages until quite recently, but a quick look through the City range throws up some really cool and attention-grabbing vehicles that give the old four-stud stuff of my youth a run for their money. Yes, realism has improved a little, but I'd agree that there's less of an emphasis on 'non-emergency' sets and buildings in general. How can you expect to build your city if there aren't many shops and houses?!

I suppose that Lego is fundamentally geared towards both "retail sets" and "MOCs" but there are still fewer of those restaurants, shops, private homes and other buildings than there were in, say, the 80s. Yes, you could make MOC buildings to fill in the gaps between those fire and police stations, but what bricks are you going to use? A kid in the 6-12 age range isn't going to go onto after-market places like Bricklink for that, so I'm sorry to say that TLG is forgetting a potential market niche at the monent, unless market research has told them otherwise.

Of course, there are some nice buildings in the Creator range, but why is that a separate range/theme? The modulars are I think superb too - I just built the GE and think it's a wonderfully designed, good value-for-money set...except I'm an AFOL and Modular stuff is aimed at AFOLs (it took me an entire evening to build with patience I never had as a child). Where's the cheaper, smaller and easy-to-build equivalent in the City range to cater for a younger market? Or, to put it another way: where's the incentive for the next generation of AFOLs? The reason why I think so many of us love the Modular and Creator sets is because we grew up with a type of youngster-orientated range, which doesn't really feature as prominently any more.

Edited by Martin_B, 27 November 2012 - 10:28 PM.


#21 Chri5kng

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 11:24 PM

View PostMartin_B, on 27 November 2012 - 10:26 PM, said:

I've been in the Dark Ages until quite recently, but a quick look through the City range throws up some really cool and attention-grabbing vehicles that give the old four-stud stuff of my youth a run for their money. Yes, realism has improved a little, but I'd agree that there's less of an emphasis on 'non-emergency' sets and buildings in general. How can you expect to build your city if there aren't many shops and houses?!

I suppose that Lego is fundamentally geared towards both "retail sets" and "MOCs" but there are still fewer of those restaurants, shops, private homes and other buildings than there were in, say, the 80s. Yes, you could make MOC buildings to fill in the gaps between those fire and police stations, but what bricks are you going to use? A kid in the 6-12 age range isn't going to go onto after-market places like Bricklink for that, so I'm sorry to say that TLG is forgetting a potential market niche at the monent, unless market research has told them otherwise.

Of course, there are some nice buildings in the Creator range, but why is that a separate range/theme? The modulars are I think superb too - I just built the GE and think it's a wonderfully designed, good value-for-money set...except I'm an AFOL and Modular stuff is aimed at AFOLs (it took me an entire evening to build with patience I never had as a child). Where's the cheaper, smaller and easy-to-build equivalent in the City range to cater for a younger market? Or, to put it another way: where's the incentive for the next generation of AFOLs? The reason why I think so many of us love the Modular and Creator sets is because we grew up with a type of youngster-orientated range, which doesn't really feature as prominently any more.

Exactly my point!  You also make a good point regarding future AFOL.  Kids now a day won't get the same chances and opportunity most of you guys got to experience as a kid, and that is really sad.  

One problem I don't understand is why did Lego discontinue all the set since 2005?  If they aren't going to make another set to replace them why discontinue them?  You can say to buy it from re-seller (which goes against my moral) but as what I see now is police and fire station, and the new fire station is inferior to the 7945 fire station release a few years ago.  I don't know if the 2013 fire station is better than the recent one but still feel like the same old fire station in different configuration.  I have no problem with City but all the good set are gone.  All the set that would bring your city to life such as the famous town plan are no longer purchasable.  Why make a new police station almost every other year instead of a new hospital, theme park (would be so awesome though), plaza, mansion, etc..?

Make no sense to me.  I know kids love police so if they could make a ford model crown Victoria it would sell well.  Grant I keep forgetting most of you guys are from the UK or europe, which I do apologize.

Edited by Chri5kng, 27 November 2012 - 11:28 PM.


#22 lightningtiger

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 12:26 AM

Well I'm an Australian, but I do realise a Ford Crown Victoria would be a police car. :wink:
And now I say what kid's really want in all sets.....MINIFIG'S.......that's number one and everything else is number two. :wink:

#23 Chri5kng

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 12:51 AM

View Postlightningtiger, on 28 November 2012 - 12:26 AM, said:

Well I'm an Australian, but I do realise a Ford Crown Victoria would be a police car. :wink:
And now I say what kid's really want in all sets.....MINIFIG'S.......that's number one and everything else is number two. :wink:

Even if I were to agree with your points, we are getting less mini fig's per set than ever before so it just seem to be getting worst.

#24 lightningtiger

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 01:03 AM

View PostChri5kng, on 28 November 2012 - 12:51 AM, said:

Even if I were to agree with your points, we are getting less mini fig's per set than ever before so it just seem to be getting worst.
Really, lets test that theory......
Posted Image
4 Minifigs.
Posted Image
I count 5 minifigs.
So older sets had more minifigs ? :wink:

#25 Chri5kng

Chri5kng

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    Joined: 19-November 12
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Posted 28 November 2012 - 01:21 AM

View Postlightningtiger, on 28 November 2012 - 01:03 AM, said:

Really, lets test that theory......

4 Minifigs.

I count 5 minifigs.
So older sets had more minifigs ? :wink:

I think the 2013 fire station is a remake of the old 1994 fire station http://www.brickset....ail/?Set=6571-1 -  (how do you post image on here?) they look exactly the same but without the baseplate on the new one.  Also price of newer set are more expensive then old set even old City set.

Edited by Ricecracker, 28 November 2012 - 01:40 AM.
Please don't quote images




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