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Future Castle Sets?

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Posted (edited)

This set is just so good, very multi-build and moddable.

I don't have a whole lot of "Classic" Castle parts (beside NEXO Knights and other City/Creator sets), and Ninjago Season 13 (Skull Sorcerer Dungeon subtheme for rocks and such), but this is basic enough to customize as it doesn't really use specialized huge pieces.

I do like the green "rock" parts as well, can be used to give a bit of a classic Raised Baseplate look to custom builds.

But yeah, even the mega-build looks amazing, and I'm sure there's enough leftover to make something interesting.

Edited by TeriXeri

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The XL castle looks great but i would definitely put some metal bars where the drain is that hole is too big and would be too easy for intruders to get in.  I'm really going to consider getting 3 now.  

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3 hours ago, eldiano said:

I would only change the “market, the windmill to face the inside of the castle lolol It’s the super castle we need!!!

Then you'd have stairs on the outer side of the wall, lol.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, bearkisser said:

Skip to about 20:20.

Thank you! I actually just revisited this topic specifically to ask if anybody had seen photos/videos of the castle segments combined with one another. I wish this builder raised the camera up to show what it looks like from a slightly higher angle, but I'm sure the longer this set is on shelves, the more people there will be who combine the different builds and record them to share online.

I'm not sure this particular arrangement of the segments is the one I would prefer, as the B-model's tower ends up overshadowing the A-model's living quarters in a way that leaves that corner feeling a little cramped. But after building the main structures of each model on on stud.io, I'm not sure whether there's any arrangement using just one of each build that would really give all the structures more room to "breathe". Unless, of course, you also add custom segments of your own to create a little more space between the "official" builds.

For reference:

  • The A-model's "gatehouse" segment and B-model's "watchtower" segment terminate in a vertical structure on both sides.
     
  • The A-model's "smithy and living quarters" segment and C model's "town/market" segment terminate in a horizontal wall on the right side and a vertical structure on the left side.
     
  • The A-model's "watchtower and dungeon" segment is the only one that terminates in a horizontal wall on both sides.

 

1 hour ago, zoth33 said:

The XL castle looks great but i would definitely put some metal bars where the drain is that hole is too big and would be too easy for intruders to get in.  I'm really going to consider getting 3 now.  

I suspect that the "drain" is meant to be a watergate (an entrance/exit for "friendly" boaters carrying supplies and trade goods to or from the castle), so for it to retain that function as an entrance/exit, any bars over the entrance would have to be able to open and close. But that probably wouldn't be too difficult to manage.

It's a bit of a shame the set didn't include TWO copies of the barred door piece used for the A-model's dungeon, since those would have been about the right size to attach to the watergate using a couple of clips on either side. That would not only be an improvement from a security standpoint, but also a somewhat less repetitive way to reuse the barred door piece in the C-model than simply having yet another dungeon/jail at the base of the tower.

Edited by Aanchir

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Another cool video I saw I wanted to share. This guy used the spare parts from the set for the market build to make a dragon theme inn moc. Skip to about 4:25

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Thanks for the videos @bearkisser they are exactly what I was looking for.  XL castle looks great.   Only problem now is I really want three copies of the set which may be a critical hit that my wallet won't survive.

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On 6/5/2021 at 3:53 PM, TeriXeri said:

This set is just so good, very multi-build and moddable.

I don't have a whole lot of "Classic" Castle parts (beside NEXO Knights and other City/Creator sets), and Ninjago Season 13 (Skull Sorcerer Dungeon subtheme for rocks and such), but this is basic enough to customize as it doesn't really use specialized huge pieces.

I do like the green "rock" parts as well, can be used to give a bit of a classic Raised Baseplate look to custom builds.

But yeah, even the mega-build looks amazing, and I'm sure there's enough leftover to make something interesting.

It's just amazing that you finally have a set that hits it home for you!!!!

On 6/5/2021 at 7:10 PM, Corydoras said:

Then you'd have stairs on the outer side of the wall, lol.

whoops, didn't think of that hahaha, I'm sure I can modify it internally lolol

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On 6/6/2021 at 10:19 AM, Aanchir said:

Thank you! I actually just revisited this topic specifically to ask if anybody had seen photos/videos of the castle segments combined with one another. I wish this builder raised the camera up to show what it looks like from a slightly higher angle, but I'm sure the longer this set is on shelves, the more people there will be who combine the different builds and record them to share online.

I'm not sure this particular arrangement of the segments is the one I would prefer, as the B-model's tower ends up overshadowing the A-model's living quarters in a way that leaves that corner feeling a little cramped. But after building the main structures of each model on on stud.io, I'm not sure whether there's any arrangement using just one of each build that would really give all the structures more room to "breathe". Unless, of course, you also add custom segments of your own to create a little more space between the "official" builds.

For reference:

  • The A-model's "gatehouse" segment and B-model's "watchtower" segment terminate in a vertical structure on both sides.
     
  • The A-model's "smithy and living quarters" segment and C model's "town/market" segment terminate in a horizontal wall on the right side and a vertical structure on the left side.
     
  • The A-model's "watchtower and dungeon" segment is the only one that terminates in a horizontal wall on both sides.

 

I suspect that the "drain" is meant to be a watergate (an entrance/exit for "friendly" boaters carrying supplies and trade goods to or from the castle), so for it to retain that function as an entrance/exit, any bars over the entrance would have to be able to open and close. But that probably wouldn't be too difficult to manage.

It's a bit of a shame the set didn't include TWO copies of the barred door piece used for the A-model's dungeon, since those would have been about the right size to attach to the watergate using a couple of clips on either side. That would not only be an improvement from a security standpoint, but also a somewhat less repetitive way to reuse the barred door piece in the C-model than simply having yet another dungeon/jail at the base of the tower.

Hi guys, I wrote up on a topic for the MOD of 31120 on this forum, hope it helps others, and also looking for ways to improve. 

 

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Posted (edited)

I must say having built the castle, I quite like it. I was so starved for anything castle themed after all this time. My main reservation from the pre-release images was how colorful it looked (the new water, the flags, the tree and the mushrooms, all the brick-built birds). Pirates of Barracuda Bay turned out amazing despite this, and I feel will be my favorite set for some time to come. The Ideas Pirate Ship, however, didn't sit well with me. It looks great from afar, love the hull and the colour scheme, but up close it's just a mess of studs and it goes for a level of detail impossible to achieve with such a low brick count, which makes it look pixelated and like a solid B model in all but shaping (which is top notch).

The execution here is undoubtedly superior. It looks fine as is, and matches my taste even better if I simply remove the red and white flags at the front. With them the castle catches the eye more so I see why they're included.

The play features are great, the opening mechanic has been my favorite since forever, the yellow/brown/blue parts are wonderful accents, halving this gives you two smaller playsets, I think this is just a top notch build in general. The modular nature of it all is something I always cherished and I'd be tempted to make a mega-castle (I think Lego should give us multiple set combining options such as that more often!) but I don't find the B and C models that attractive. I think they're perfectly fine, but just lack that final 20% polish that would make me feel perfectly happy looking at them, which is the same problem I have with the Pirate Ship. I feel the price and level of detail on this are spot on too. It's not ridiculously expensive, yet feels substantial enough when built, detailed enough to be a display piece and more than interesting enough for play.

Speaking of which, some stuff that doesn't float my boat:

-the dragon is a cool idea, but doesn't look smooth at that scale (cool to have as a play feature, ofc)

-the green/olive ground at the bottom of the castle lacks detail

As you can see, this is a common theme with all my posts... I'd rather have a less detailed, but elegant version, than a suggestion of detail you can't pull off at the scale.

-same is true for the included vegetation, but to a lesser extent, obviously

-the shield in the front rotates constantly, I wonder if there was really no other solution

-not an inspired choice of minifigures, but I guess they didn't want to make new ones just for this

-I would have loved more interior stuff. Not even detailed stuff, like what we got in the set, but just hints that someone is living/working there. This is purely because I feel the castle exterior makes for a great display set, and the interior makes it a great playset, and as such it would profit more from small make-believe touches than a few detailed rooms and the rest empty. But I do remember how empty the sets of old were, so this is definitely something.

Honestly, If Lego would drop another set or two in the Castle theme that looks as good as this, I'd buy it in a heartbeat. Don't even need castles, give me a small outpost, an inn, a blacksmith, whatever, at half the piece count or less, that's fine by me!

 

Edited by Merlo
pressed x+enter and accidentally submitted

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On 6/9/2021 at 10:01 AM, Merlo said:

-the shield in the front rotates constantly, I wonder if there was really no other solution

They could have used a brick with an axle hole instead of a brick with a pin hole + halfpin.

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On 6/9/2021 at 6:01 PM, Merlo said:

 

-the shield in the front rotates constantly, I wonder if there was really no other solution

 

 I managed to fix the loose coat of arms, I swapped the two round bricks with two palisade bricks, topped them up with a pyramid tile, they lock in the crest securely and no more movements.

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Posted (edited)
On 6/9/2021 at 10:01 AM, Merlo said:

Honestly, If Lego would drop another set or two in the Castle theme that looks as good as this, I'd buy it in a heartbeat. Don't even need castles, give me a small outpost, an inn, a blacksmith, whatever, at half the piece count or less, that's fine by me!

I see Harry Potter went the modular approach of expandable (including some smaller sets), and I really wish a more Classic Castle type of wave/theme went that route as well.

3in1 Castle related stuff wouldn't be bad but I don't think they would ever be a lot of figs or horses that way.

Also Battle Packs or Minifig packs again to bolster at least some new collections. I know Pirates waves were scarce too with 2009 2015 and 2020, I just hope we won't have to wait another 5 years for another Castle faction or Pirate Blue/Redcoat type of figs (and I dislike CMF style including of such figs, but I can see how it works for 1-off colors/prints)

Right now, while I'm happy with the 2020/2021 Pirate/Castle sets for sure, however, right now the Castle isn't sold outside of LEGO.com in my country yet :shrug_oh_well:

But I doubt it'll stay exclusive (hope not), the Pirate Ship wasn't directly widely sold last year, but eventually got some 25-30% off.

 

It's not that the set isn't worth it at full price, but when planning multiple castles it makes a big difference with a discount.

Edited by TeriXeri

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, TeriXeri said:

I see Harry Potter went the modular approach of expandable (including some smaller sets), and I really wish a more Classic Castle type of wave/theme went that route as well.

3in1 Castle related stuff wouldn't be bad but I don't think they would ever be a lot of figs or horses that way.

Also Battle Packs or Minifig packs again to bolster at least some new collections. I know Pirates waves were scarce too with 2009 2015 and 2020, I just hope we won't have to wait another 5 years for another Castle faction or Pirate Blue/Redcoat type of figs (and I dislike CMF style including of such figs, but I can see how it works for 1-off colors/prints)

Right now, while I'm happy with the 2020/2021 Pirate/Castle sets for sure, however, right now the Castle isn't sold outside of LEGO.com in my country yet :shrug_oh_well:

But I doubt it'll stay exclusive (hope not), the Pirate Ship wasn't directly widely sold last year, but eventually got some 25-30% off.

 

It's not that the set isn't worth it at full price, but when planning multiple castles it makes a big difference with a discount.

I agree, one key take away from the harry potter sets is that they are "inspired" by locations based on the fictional hogwarts castle, great hall, the bathroom, etc that makes it compelling to keep them in some order, where as I feel a modular castle would truly allow us to unleash unlimited combos through the castle.  I can see a prison styled room, throne room, castle wall, dungeon, treasure room, gate room, target practice, market, just imagine all these individual sets sold in a way we could completely mix them up as we see fit!!! 

31120 is somewhat close, it still has a design, but they could really let us go at it if they allow us to combine smaller sets into bigger sets ala harry potter 2021 wave.

Pirates could severely be done the same way, pirate cave, pirate dock, pirate cliff, pirate hang out and likewise with the imperials and stuff!! 

one can dream haha

Edited by eldiano

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3 hours ago, TeriXeri said:

I see Harry Potter went the modular approach of expandable (including some smaller sets), and I really wish a more Classic Castle type of wave/theme went that route as well.

I don't think it would be too unlikely for a future Castle wave to take that approach. After all, the 2013 Castle wave did that to a certain extent, with the Gatehouse Raid set that could connect to the main King's Castle. That particular wave just didn't really have room for further expansions beyond that, since the other three sets portrayed either non-castle vehicles and scenery or an "enemy" castle/tower with an entirely different color scheme.

That said, one exciting feature that the Creator 3-in-1 Medieval Castle has that the 2010/2013 King's Castle sets (and even many of the recent Harry Potter sets) lack is that it includes not only separate modular segments, but hinges. This greatly expands a castle set's customization options — first and foremost, by allowing not only for customizable layouts, but also ones that break away from a strict rectangular grid.

Furthermore, hinges makes it much easier to create a wide variety of layouts with a fully-enclosed curtain wall, whereas more rigid segments are hard to form an enclosed loop from unless the modules are arranged in a way that the modules on opposite sides from each other (left+right, front+back) add up to the same overall length. And of course, a modular segment with a hinge at any point along its length isn't strictly limited to use as a "straight segment" or a "corner segment" — it can effectively be used as either.

On 6/9/2021 at 4:01 AM, Merlo said:

I would have loved more interior stuff. Not even detailed stuff, like what we got in the set, but just hints that someone is living/working there. This is purely because I feel the castle exterior makes for a great display set, and the interior makes it a great playset, and as such it would profit more from small make-believe touches than a few detailed rooms and the rest empty. But I do remember how empty the sets of old were, so this is definitely something. 

Yeah, as much as I love the amount of "livable" detail that is included in some castles from themes like Nexo Knights or Elves, and would love to see generic medieval castle sets that include this level of detail, I'm fairly satisfied with the amount of interior detail in 31120. After all, a lot of the sorts "missing" interior details that I would be most excited to see, (like a banquet hall, kitchen, royal bedchamber, or stable) would be difficult to fit into spaces as small as the roughly 4x5 stud floor space in 31120's vacant rooms.

The only things I can think of that would easily fit in these spaces would be:

  1. A "barracks" with storage for weapons/armor, and maybe  a single bed
  2. A pantry/larder/buttery for storage of food and drinks
  3. A study or wizard/astrologer's workshop, with a reading/writing desk, and maybe some bookshelves or research equipment.

That said, possibilities 1 and 2 would feel somewhat redundant in the A- and C- models, since the shops in those models already include ways of storing/displaying armor, weapons, food, and beverage casks, built using about the same techniques you'd likely need to effectively fit them in these smaller rooms. And possibility 3 is already included in the B-model.

In any case, though, Creator 3-in-1 sets tend to be some of the EASIEST to customize, especially ones like this that are specifically designed using a format that makes them so easy to expand upon. And I suppose that makes it a little easier for me to be "forgiving" of some of this set's omissions than with some Castle sets of the past, including ones from my own childhood.

I've already started playing around on Stud.io with possible "alternate models" for this set focusing on stuff that'd be especially important to me, like a banquet hall or a keep with a fancy bedroom. If I end up finishing any of these models to my satisfaction, I'll definitely share them on Eurobricks for anybody else who wants to try recreating them, or even modifying them to suit their own tastes! But I'm also enthusiastic to see other Eurobricks members' attempts at creating additional modular segments that can be combined with the official ones!

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Is there an understanding why "real" Castle theme was cancelled 7 (or 8) years ago in the first place? It seemed pretty popular, at least I had that impression. I think that question is crucial for making any predictions regarding its return. 
I'm one of those who dream about the new fantasy era like theme with orcs and goblins. Sure, it can be seen as a competitor to HP (but is it, really?). Creator set is something that has sparked my hope once again!
 

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5 hours ago, MaceWindu said:

Is there an understanding why "real" Castle theme was cancelled 7 (or 8) years ago in the first place? It seemed pretty popular, at least I had that impression. I think that question is crucial for making any predictions regarding its return. 
I'm one of those who dream about the new fantasy era like theme with orcs and goblins. Sure, it can be seen as a competitor to HP (but is it, really?). Creator set is something that has sparked my hope once again!
 

Lego for some reason thinks pirates and Castle are not great for kids, they cancelled the Castle theme to incorporate more of a kid friendly product with Nexo Knights, Space + Castle, iddk, Like Ninjago and Monkey I’m scratching my head on it, I mean they put out great sets and pieces but still, maybe we are the only ones who want a castle theme.  

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17 hours ago, eldiano said:

Lego for some reason thinks pirates and Castle are not great for kids, they cancelled the Castle theme to incorporate more of a kid friendly product with Nexo Knights, Space + Castle, iddk, Like Ninjago and Monkey I’m scratching my head on it, I mean they put out great sets and pieces but still, maybe we are the only ones who want a castle theme.  

I disagree with your assumption that Nexo Knights was introduced because LEGO thought that it would be more "kid-friendly" than Castle. For one thing, Nexo Knights sets in general (much like Ninjago, Legends of Chima, and Monkie Kid sets) had a higher target age range than Castle/Kingdoms sets of the previous decade. If anything, Nexo Knights was intended to appeal to an older "tween" audience.

Additionally, you seem to be suggesting that Nexo Knights theme was created as a "replacement" for LEGO Castle — but based on when it came out, what age range it was aimed at, and its "big bang" style media and design strategies, it's more realistic to say that it was created as a "replacement" for LEGO Legends of Chima, which had concluded the previous year.

And perhaps most importantly, LEGO doesn't base high-profile themes like this on stuff that they don't think kids actually like. It's not like Ninjago, Legends of Chima, or Monkie Kid were created for kids with no interest in ninjas, jungle animals, or Sun Wukong. If LEGO truly believed that kids no longer cared about medieval knights and castles, they wouldn't have chosen to make a futuristic "big bang" theme inspired by medieval knights and castles in the first place — they'd have opted for a mashup of concepts that DID still seem to be popular or trendy among kids.
 

All in all, I don't think there's any doubt that castles remain popular among kids, and I'm pretty sure LEGO recognizes this. Even in lieu of a "proper" or "traditional" LEGO Castle theme, castles themselves have remained a mainstay in the LEGO product portfolio, across a varied range of themes including Classic, Creator, Elves, Hidden Side, Nexo Knights, Ninjago, Disney, Harry Potter, Minecraft, and Super Mario. That said, I also suspect that a lot of these castle-loving kids are not as particular as AFOLs about only wanting castles, knights, dragons, etc. in a context that meets all of our benchmarks for a "traditional" Castle theme.

I mean, speaking from my own experience, I was ENAMORED with the concept of robots in my early childhood, and probably would have loved themes like Exo-Force and Ninjago with an emphasis on anime-inspired humanoid mechs, or themes like Bionicle and Hero Factory with an emphasis on mechanical heroes, villains, and creatures. But since themes like those didn't exist yet in the 90s, those interests instead drew me towards whatever themes managed to push a lot of the same buttons: the giant robots in Space themes like Spyrius, Roboforce, and Life on Mars; the animal-shaped vehicles in themes like Aquasharks, Stingrays, and Insectoids; and the competitive "battle machines" in the Cyber-Slam theme.

So I suspect some kids today who are into castles, dragons/fantasy creatures, magic, swordfighting, fairy tales, heroic legends, etc. would currently gravitate towards themes like Ninjago, Harry Potter, or Disney — whichever happens to resonate most strongly with them, even if a theme that's not presently on shelves like Castle or Elves might be closer to what they'd consider "ideal". 

After all, even many of us AFOLs are quite used to buying sets or themes that aren't a perfect reflection of our personal preferences, and then modifying them or creating MOCs from their pieces in order to bring them closer to whatever those tastes happen to be.

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22 hours ago, Aanchir said:

Additionally, you seem to be suggesting that Nexo Knights theme was created as a "replacement" for LEGO Castle — but based on when it came out, what age range it was aimed at, and its "big bang" style media and design strategies, it's more realistic to say that it was created as a "replacement" for LEGO Legends of Chima, which had concluded the previous year.

My personal suspicion is that it was actually an in-house version of Star Wars. I base this purely on my experience of building Clay’s Falcon Fighter Blaster: a starfighter that dramatically switches its wings into attack position, piloted by a knight with powers and a laser sword, and copiloted by his trusty droid sidekick. 

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1 hour ago, morthaur said:

My personal suspicion is that it was actually an in-house version of Star Wars. I base this purely on my experience of building Clay’s Falcon Fighter Blaster: a starfighter that dramatically switches its wings into attack position, piloted by a knight with powers and a laser sword, and copiloted by his trusty droid sidekick. 

I wouldn't be surprised if some of the sets (like many Space and sci-fi sets before them) were influenced by Star Wars. But I don't think Nexo Knights in general was meant as an in-house version of Star Wars, besides on the very general level of being a story- and character-driven IP that uses various media tie-ins to foster passionate fan engagement. And that description applies to pretty much all "big bang" themes — and even more so to Bionicle, which served as sort of a template for the sort of fan engagement a theme can hope to achieve using that sort of approach. In fact, Bionicle was created with this sort of multimedia "expanded universe" style storytelling approach in the first place as a direct response to the LEGO Star Wars theme's then-recent success.

I can think of quite a few other starfighter or jet fighter sets that have transforming wing functions similar to Clay's Falcon Fighter Blaster, especially in other recent "big bang" themes:

And while the robot co-pilots/gunners are certainly reminiscent of the support role that droids play on a lot of Star Wars starfighters, I feel like that's mostly a side effect of their primary intended function as a futuristic, high-tech analogue of a medieval squire. Collectively, the ones that are designed to accompany the knights themselves are even referred to as Squirebots. Clay's characterization is also somewhat reminiscent of Luke Skywalker, especially after he begins training in wizardry in later story arcs, and learned that his mother was one of the villains working in league with Jestro. But the same can be said for Lloyd Garmadon in LEGO Ninjago — the writers have even compared his relationship to his villainous father Lord Garmadon to Luke and Vader's strained father-son relationship in Star Wars, and acknowledged that as an influence.

So all in all, I think a lot of the similarities you're observing have less to do with the Nexo Knights theme in particular than with the more general impact that Star Wars has had on sci-fi design trends and on popular action-adventure storytelling. It's sort of like what Terry Pratchett said about the lasting influence of J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-Earth stories on the fantasy genre:

“J.R.R. Tolkien has become a sort of mountain, appearing in all subsequent fantasy in the way that Mt. Fuji appears so often in Japanese prints. Sometimes it’s big and up close. Sometimes it’s a shape on the horizon. Sometimes it’s not there at all, which means that the artist either has made a deliberate decision against the mountain, which is interesting in itself, or is in fact standing on Mt. Fuji.”

And that actually brings this back around to LEGO Castle pretty nicely, since as we've seen, that is one of the first things LEGO would need to think about when developing a new Castle theme, and something even we fans have discussed extensively about what the next new Castle theme should be like: How much should it draw on real medieval history, compared to Tolkien-influenced high fantasy storytelling?

No matter what route a particular designer or builder opts for, they are making a specific decision influenced by how they happen to feel about that type of design and storytelling. And even if they don't base their medieval fantasy creations on Tolkien's work specifically, chances are that whatever influences they DO turn to will bear at least some of the fingerprints of Tolkien's work, in part because it's shaped so many of the general expectations writers and their audiences have for what sort of beings a medieval fantasy world should be populated with.

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2 hours ago, morthaur said:

My personal suspicion is that it was actually an in-house version of Star Wars. I base this purely on my experience of building Clay’s Falcon Fighter Blaster: a starfighter that dramatically switches its wings into attack position, piloted by a knight with powers and a laser sword, and copiloted by his trusty droid sidekick. 

I just thought Nexo knights took away from the Medieval elements and went full fantasy, it was obvious so they could do their own games, apps, shows to compete with other in house lines I think

 

Aanchir I had a ramble agreeing to what your are saying but the website on my ipad crashed hehe, I speak from raising my kids versus what I had growing up and they love the entire ingenuity behind lego right now, my oldest twin prefers Mario sets, he’s used to building and using a table for the manual the whole lego life app makes sense to them where as I get mad because there’s no visible manual I can look at it haha.  

I just see patterns, my experience with toys is that I collect high end action figures, 1/18 model cars, 1/6 hot toys, high end robots and the lot and usually when a product line is not popular a company moves to the next big thing, that’s what I see with Lego, otherwise we would have season waves with Castle and Pirates for example.  But listening to designer videos I am hurt by what I took away from it, they know it’s a niched community, yes adults like buying sets to do what ever they want to, you and I do for example for me it’s a dream come true, I grew up with 3.99 starter sets and the fact that I can buy sets that retail for more than 30.00 is a dream come true but they know it’s a limited deal since everyone who wants one will get it and then just sits there on the shelves, it’s the same way with the black seas barracuda, it was gone for 2 months now i always see the same stock everywhere at Legoland and a disney store.

But to confirm my suspicions I see it on Bricks and pieces, I could legit buy all the mini figures there one brick at a time, where popular lines it’s not allowed to.

That’s what I take away from it, I was shocked then went from kingdoms to Castle to nexo but just before kingdoms it was still castle for going back close to 6 years and different lines.  

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On 6/10/2021 at 10:29 PM, MaceWindu said:

Is there an understanding why "real" Castle theme was cancelled 7 (or 8) years ago in the first place? It seemed pretty popular, at least I had that impression. I think that question is crucial for making any predictions regarding its return. 
I'm one of those who dream about the new fantasy era like theme with orcs and goblins. Sure, it can be seen as a competitor to HP (but is it, really?). Creator set is something that has sparked my hope once again!
 

I think it has something to do with the 2013 Castle wave not selling very well. That wave in particular is held in very low regard by most Castle fans, due to it being mostly an inferior re-trend of the much beloved Kingdoms wave. With that in mind, why should people buy your sets if they are just the same thing you gave them just two years prior, but with a blue color scheme instead of red? On top of that, by 2013, LEGO was undergoing some changes with their product releases, as at that point they decided to stop production of all one-off original themes that didn't have any media tie-in. In the late 2000's and early 2010's they seemed to have no problems with releasing multiple one-off original themes at the same time, but after the arrival of Ninjago on the scene, they realized that it would be more profitable to just put all their resources into single, high budget "Big Bang" themes instead of doing more smaller ones at one time. I do believe Castle was caught somewhere in there. 

On top of that, according to LEGO designers, Castle and Pirates seem to suffer from quote on quote "only the largest Castle or Pirate ship sets selling, and everything else being left to warm the shelves"  as in, they don't have any faith in a fully fledged Castle or Pirate theme selling very well except for the flagship set. This could explain their recent decision make Castle and Pirates as single big sets as part of the Creator 3 in 1 line. 

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12 hours ago, Lego David said:

On top of that, according to LEGO designers, Castle and Pirates seem to suffer from quote on quote "only the largest Castle or Pirate ship sets selling, and everything else being left to warm the shelves"  as in, they don't have any faith in a fully fledged Castle or Pirate theme selling very well except for the flagship set. This could explain their recent decision make Castle and Pirates as single big sets as part of the Creator 3 in 1 line. 

I think that this is true because in my experience they surprisingly devalue or cheapen out on the small sets. Examples being 200-230 Piece small sets with 3 figures they are trying to sell for 39.99. When i was buying them i could buy a 6 mini-figure set for 14.99. So why spend 40 bucks for a set when i  can just spend 100-150 for a 1400-1800 piece set with 7 or 8 figures of a non themed line.

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19 hours ago, Lego David said:

On top of that, according to LEGO designers, Castle and Pirates seem to suffer from quote on quote "only the largest Castle or Pirate ship sets selling, and everything else being left to warm the shelves"

That's odd if true. Castle and Pirates are themes that are great for play as you can recombine elements of different sets, especially of many small sets into one bigger set.

Compare that to, say, Star Wars... A huge Millennium Falcon? Yes please. Half a dozen other ships from the universe? Sure, why not. Yet there are so many small sets of stuff I can't even remember was in the movies, that's how little importance it had. It's kinda difficult to play with a dozen unknown crafts that aren't even color coded like Lego Space factions were. And good luck merging a dozen of those small sets into a Millennium Falcon :)

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Posted (edited)

It's a shame smaller sets Castle/Pirates fell to the wayside, but LEGO seemed to have caused it themselves.

Smaller sets introduce kids and fans to themes easier, and more frequently, but if a set is too small like a 4+, it doesn't really allow alternate builds that much either.

Even outside the whole licensed vs non-licensed , there so many themes have multiple sets reserved for 4+, which I don't think is needed when there are actually a lot of set reviews where people build/play with 5+ or higher sets with kids as young as 3.

Also even within a theme like 3in1, while not having 4+ sets,  there's a lot of spread, between brick built animals, microscale and minifig "themes" in a very limited amount of sets per year.

 

Nexo Knights had sets of all sizes, but also was an in-house licensed theme, with a lot of books/magazines beside just bricks, and an app-game/TV show, I don't consider it a traditional contiuation of the Castle/Space lines. 

Currently Ninjago seems to go a more "subtheme" type of direction as well, with, going from Fire&Ice, to video games, dungeons and dragons, then islanders and now aquazone in a ninjago-fied way, but also LEGACY does allow to keep some roots in the former years.

 

Overall there are more sets then ever before, but that also means more competition.

Harry Potter sets rebooted in 2018 , but the current sets are not at all based on any new movies, unlike Star Wars making a lot of sets based on either the recent trilogy, or Disney+ series.

HP obviously is popular, it's all over social media, and the forum here is one of the most active, it has advent calendars, minifig packs, CMF series, "UCS" type of sets and since 2018 isn't what I consider long ago yet, but I will never see it as a Castle replacement (Even Lord of the Rings would be many times closer).

 

With that said, I wonder what the future holds, but right now, LEGO seems to be at a trend of adding more licenses, more large licensed sets, more 4+ sets.

A lot happened in the last couple years,  LEGO Movie 2,  the start of the 18+ line, Hidden Side came and went, Monkie Kid appeared, Ninjago got Legacy sets, Xtra  , City Road rework, and I don't think it ended there so I'm still somewhat optimistic.

Subjects like non-city Trains, Castle, Pirates and non-NASA Space look to be scattered along a few releases, mainly focused around IDEAS , or 3in1, but overall I think in terms of larger sets, they have been very good (Barracuda Bay was my favorite 2020 set, 31120 my favorite 2021 set)

Edited by TeriXeri

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1 hour ago, TeriXeri said:

Overall there are more sets then ever before, but that also means more competition.

This is another problem I have with LEGO's current strategy. They release so many sets, yet most of them don't stand out that much. Every time I go to a LEGO Store, I see dozens upon dozens of sets to choose from, yet nothing particularly stands out to me as something I really need or want. 

I'd say LEGO has been suffering from a quantity over quality issue lately (at least with their normal retail sets, that is). 

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