David Thomsen

Future Pirates Speculation

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Just now, Itaria No Shintaku said:

Maybe.... because they did not sell well?

Yes, that's how their sales were assessed as a failure but not the reasons behind it.

@Aanchir, has provided this useful article by a former LEGO Ambassador which states the reasons they failed were because:

  • Children preferred  the newer-looking, more complex sets with strong storylines and characters.
  • Hobbyists often skipped them because they already owned a copy
  • or because the re-release wasn't quite a perfect copy.

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Just now, Mister Phes said:

Yes, that's how their sales were assessed as a failure but not the reasons behind it.

@Aanchir, has provided this useful article by a former LEGO Ambassador which states the reasons they failed were because:

  • Children preferred  the newer-looking, more complex sets with strong storylines and characters.
  • Hobbyists often skipped them because they already owned a copy
  • or because the re-release wasn't quite a perfect copy.

I'm trying to find any references to data that could exclude thatt all these are just personal opinions of the a post on a social network.
To no avail.
Have you got this data?
Can you post it here?
Thanks

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2 minutes ago, Itaria No Shintaku said:

Have you got this data?

No, I don't personally have that data so you'll have to contact the author, David Eaton for further clarification.

Hey, I apologise if I upset you because I challenged what the information shared. It was never my intent to provoke you, I was just attempting to illustrate my point but I was in a rush to get somewhere so I perhaps didn't communicate it in the best way.

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4 minutes ago, Mister Phes said:

No, I don't personally have that data so you'll have to contact the author, David Eaton for further clarification.

Hey, I apologise if I upset you because I challenged what the information shared. It was never my intent to provoke you, I was just attempting to illustrate my point but I was in a rush to get somewhere so I perhaps didn't communicate it in the best way.

Actually the city sets have no storyline and characters are unnamed vs Captain Brickbeard, Captain Redbeard and so on.
Pirates were even given a comic book (which I have) which has some story.
The re-releases were good copies of the original ones. The collectors, back then, were few and not interested.

Today there's LEGO-mania all over the world. Way more than it used to be, because LEGO was able to morph into a geek subculture item.

Thus, re-releasing old sets today would be an entirely different story than doing it in the early 2000's when LEGO was swimming in bad waters.

On the other hand, re-releasing small sets would be a bad move. These are nostalgia items for adults.
We already know that kids wouldn't want that.

However I accept any apologize and apologize myself if I sounded somehow rash or rude.

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1 hour ago, Itaria No Shintaku said:

Today there's LEGO-mania all over the world. Way more than it used to be, because LEGO was able to morph into a geek subculture item.

Thus, re-releasing old sets today would be an entirely different story than doing it in the early 2000's when LEGO was swimming in bad waters.

I'm not so sure that the case for re-releases like the LEGO Legends would be that much stronger today. Many AFOLs who have joined the AFOL community more recently have not been attracted to the hobby by some nostalgia for LEGO themes of the 1980s and early 1990s, but rather for entirely different reasons. Some are hooked by the appeal of licensed sets based on non-LEGO entertainment media they're passionate about. Others might not have had any significant experiences with LEGO growing up, but are drawn in by the appeal of newer themes like LEGO City, Friends, Creator, or Ninjago that they are introduced to via their kids.

And still others grew up on sets of the late 90s and beyond: stuff that many AFOLs at the time have scoffed at or dismissed as kiddie stuff like Rock Raiders, Bionicle, Alpha Team, Exo-Force, Power Miners, Hero Factory, and even Ninjago! After all, a kid who was 10 years old when LEGO Ninjago first came out in January 2011 is 18 years old now. So while there are far more adult LEGO fans today than in the early 2000s, they are not unified by some shared nostalgia for an imagined LEGO "golden age" in the 1980s like so many of the early AFOL communities of the late 90s and early 2000s were.

Even to an AFOL like me who was born in 1991, the appeal of stuff like Classic Space mostly stand out as kitschy, retro nods to the company's past. A reissue of actual Classic Space, Classic Castle, or Classic Pirates sets (other than as a small, quirky gift-with-purchase or impulse set like these two) would have pretty much zero appeal to me. I've had years to seek out some of the bigger sets from those themes if I thought of them as some kind of timeless masterpiece or "holy grail". But even today I can't imagine any of that stuff earning a place on my wish list when there are newer sets with more detail, sophistication, and originality occupying much of my wish list.

For that matter, most of the sets from my OWN childhood that I have the fondest memories of are either the ones that I already have or the ones I've long since made peace with not owning. And in either case, I don't harbor any illusions that they somehow surpass the kind of stuff I have to choose from today. It's not that sets like 6376 Breezeway Café, 4563 Load 'n' Haul Railroad, 6989 Mega Core Magnetizer, or 6278 Enchanted Island don't awaken feelings of charm and nostalgia in me even today. But it's not enough that I'd prefer them over sets of comparable size and price like 41379 Heartlake City Restaurant, 60198 Cargo Train, 70677 Land Bounty, or 70678 Castle of the Forsaken Emperor all these years later.

 

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Posted (edited)

LEGO Legends being store exclusive didn't help when something like the internet was still small or expensive, and LEGO physical stores were even lower in number back then. (My country only just now getting it's first 2 official stores around winter 2019/2020)

Timing must have played a big role.

However even so, I don't think releasing 100% copy of the traditional 90s pirates should happen either, but maybe sets in a similar style of "classic" but with unique designs to keep the old sets' value/memories as is.

 

Edited by TeriXeri

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Then they should make a story out of Pirates (Movie, book, short animation movies like City) and adding a backstory.With backstory i mean how Captain got his crew and ship, and making sets in chronological order.First set how he recruits crew, attacking Port Royal, they get crushed by Redcoats and only the Captain and few others survive on a island, then they expand the island and it looks like Rock Island Refuge... just a example.

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This is just speculation, but I still think that the next Pirates type theme will be minidolls, based on the current direction of the Friends theme. I see it being a theme to take the place of Elves.

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I can kinda see it happening, though personally I think the next girl-targeted fantasy theme is more likely to go in a sci-fi direction.

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4 hours ago, TeriXeri said:

However even so, I don't think releasing 100% copy of the traditional 90s pirates should happen either, but maybe sets in a similar style of "classic" but with unique designs to keep the old sets' value/memories as is. 

That's pretty much what happened with the 2009 and 2015 releases only modern colours and building techniques were incorporated.

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On 7/24/2019 at 9:55 AM, Itaria No Shintaku said:

Ihttps://www.playmobil.it/isola-del-tesoro-fortificata/6679.html

This is a new set from 2019. Why if Playmobil is still selling pirates and knights, LEGO is failing after that?
 

I think part of it may be that Playmobil simply doesn't have sheer number of popular licenses LEGO does (though it's certainly trying now), so there's more of a place for a traditional play theme like Pirates in their lineup. Also, if anyone really wants LEGO Pirate models, they're easy enough to make even when LEGO isn't selling them, which isn't true of Playmobil playsets. (Things like large Pirate ships are harder, true. It would be nice if sails, flags and boat hulls were available directly from LEGO during breaks between Pirates.)

Regarding potential future Pirate sets, it's always amazing to me that Pirates continues to be a huge presence in the LEGOLAND theme parks, even though it's been some years since the 2015 line. I know that LEGOLAND is owned by a completely different company now, but it must be strange to work in the gift shops in, say, the new Pirate hotel in Florida that's opening this year, and have to explain why they don't actually have any Pirate LEGO sets for sale, have never sold any, and probably won't have any for a long time.

 

23 hours ago, kelceycoe said:

Because the file name had 671 so I assumed that was the number. But I cannot find an idea book by that number so I officially have no clue about the original source of Europa.

 

What file name are you talking about?

TC

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A dedicated Pirates theme would be fantastic, but even Pirates fans are divided on what that should look like.  Blue Coats or Red Coats?  Islanders or the Armada?  Should it be Classic or something new?

The same thing exists with almost any theme, though.

The interesting thing about Pirates is that it is really just part of a bigger general categorization of aquatic themes, and they can all have useful parts.

Themes like the 2019 Friends, or anything from Aquazone and Atlantis to Deep Sea City and Hidden Side can fall under this umbrella.  And they work off of each other.

This torso from Paradisa worked well for a pirate when I was younger:

s-l300.jpg

And this one from a City People Pack is a modern one that works well:

973pb2734c01.jpg

I tend to look more at the individual pieces than the sets nowadays, but some sets have a really good value.  A dedicated Pirates theme would, of course, bring the best value, but that may be a while.

In the meantime, I will look at sets like this one and wish Friends had minifigures:

41378_alt2.jpg

When it comes to actual Pirates, however, my best guess is that we will see a Redcoats Pirates theme as the next iteration.  We will likely continue to see several other aquatic themed sets first, though.

And maybe Friends doesn't always need their treasure chests to be lavender in every set.

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10 hours ago, Aanchir said:

I'm not so sure that the case for re-releases like the LEGO Legends would be that much stronger today. Many AFOLs who have joined the AFOL community more recently have not been attracted to the hobby by some nostalgia for LEGO themes of the 1980s and early 1990s, but rather for entirely different reasons. Some are hooked by the appeal of licensed sets based on non-LEGO entertainment media they're passionate about. Others might not have had any significant experiences with LEGO growing up, but are drawn in by the appeal of newer themes like LEGO City, Friends, Creator, or Ninjago that they are introduced to via their kids.

And still others grew up on sets of the late 90s and beyond: stuff that many AFOLs at the time have scoffed at or dismissed as kiddie stuff like Rock Raiders, Bionicle, Alpha Team, Exo-Force, Power Miners, Hero Factory, and even Ninjago! After all, a kid who was 10 years old when LEGO Ninjago first came out in January 2011 is 18 years old now. So while there are far more adult LEGO fans today than in the early 2000s, they are not unified by some shared nostalgia for an imagined LEGO "golden age" in the 1980s like so many of the early AFOL communities of the late 90s and early 2000s were.

Even to an AFOL like me who was born in 1991, the appeal of stuff like Classic Space mostly stand out as kitschy, retro nods to the company's past. A reissue of actual Classic Space, Classic Castle, or Classic Pirates sets (other than as a small, quirky gift-with-purchase or impulse set like these two) would have pretty much zero appeal to me. I've had years to seek out some of the bigger sets from those themes if I thought of them as some kind of timeless masterpiece or "holy grail". But even today I can't imagine any of that stuff earning a place on my wish list when there are newer sets with more detail, sophistication, and originality occupying much of my wish list.

For that matter, most of the sets from my OWN childhood that I have the fondest memories of are either the ones that I already have or the ones I've long since made peace with not owning. And in either case, I don't harbor any illusions that they somehow surpass the kind of stuff I have to choose from today. It's not that sets like 6376 Breezeway Café, 4563 Load 'n' Haul Railroad, 6989 Mega Core Magnetizer, or 6278 Enchanted Island don't awaken feelings of charm and nostalgia in me even today. But it's not enough that I'd prefer them over sets of comparable size and price like 41379 Heartlake City Restaurant, 60198 Cargo Train, 70677 Land Bounty, or 70678 Castle of the Forsaken Emperor all these years later.

 

I don't understand: if you are born in 1991, you are not an old-age AFOL, you are not even 30.
It's quite obvious that you won't have appeal in classic castle or classic space, that weren't the set out when you were old enough to play with LEGO (1997).

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2 hours ago, x105Black said:

A dedicated Pirates theme would be fantastic, but even Pirates fans are divided on what that should look like.  [...] When it comes to actual Pirates, however, my best guess is that we will see a Redcoats Pirates theme as the next iteration

Please, no!  Not more red coats... or blue coats!  They've already been done twice!  Explore new possibilities!

I'm sure army builders of red and blue coats would strongly disagree with me. :pir-grin:

 

4 hours ago, TalonCard said:

I think part of it may be that Playmobil simply doesn't have sheer number of popular licenses LEGO does (though it's certainly trying now), so there's more of a place for a traditional play theme like Pirates in their lineup.

This is a good point.  Looking at he Playmobil website Ghostbusters is the only major licence.  There seems to be regional sporting team teams depending on the country, like NHL for the USA site and FC Bayern for the German site.

1 hour ago, Itaria No Shintaku said:

It's quite obvious that you won't have appeal in classic castle or classic space, that weren't the set out when you were old enough to play with LEGO (1997). 

It is possible to develop an interest in something long after it was released even if the person was not yet born at the time.

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2 hours ago, Mister Phes said:

 

It is possible to develop an interest in something long after it was released even if the person was not yet born at the time.

Quite rare, but possible.
But you'll side with me that you are influenced by the toys of your childhood. So I may be oriented towards that feeling nostalgia for those products while @Aanchir will always have more emotional connection with, say, the ones that came up with Star Wars and Harry Potter. In my childhood I didn't even remotely think about LEGO branded themes.

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1 hour ago, Itaria No Shintaku said:

But you'll side with me that you are influenced by the toys of your childhood.

Yes, I am personally, however I cannot speak @Aanchir or anyone else.  LEGO has continued releasing products since her birth to the present day so it's plausible for her to become interested in LEGO through a modern theme, then discover past themes, which then become her favourite theme.

Actually, we've had a lot of younger members in the past who were born too late to enjoy LEGO Pirates as children, but thanks to the Internet, providing exposure to sets through forums, social media and the secondary market, those people have developed a deep passion for pirates.

1 hour ago, Itaria No Shintaku said:

 @Aanchir will always have more emotional connection with, say, the ones that came up with Star Wars and Harry Potter. In my childhood I didn't even remotely think about LEGO branded themes. 

That's making the assumption she had LEGO when she was a child.  I didn't discover LEGO Pirates until I was 11 and then went into my "Dark Age" two years later, so that was a small window of interest.

If she was born in 1991 then she would have been 6 when the last pirate sets were released.  Given the age range on the smaller sets were 5-12 it is possible she had some.  As a side note, she would have been 10-11 when the sets were released during 2001-2002. :pir-classic:

But I don't like to assume what people have emotional connections to, I prefer when they tell me themselves.

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3 hours ago, Itaria No Shintaku said:

Quite rare, but possible.
But you'll side with me that you are influenced by the toys of your childhood. So I may be oriented towards that feeling nostalgia for those products while @Aanchir will always have more emotional connection with, say, the ones that came up with Star Wars and Harry Potter. In my childhood I didn't even remotely think about LEGO branded themes.

Well, i'm a teen now and Pirates is my favourite theme.

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All this discussion about when sets came out completely ignores the common practice of passing toys down to younger children. For some kids, their first experience with LEGO was not with new sets.

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6 hours ago, Itaria No Shintaku said:

I don't understand: if you are born in 1991, you are not an old-age AFOL, you are not even 30.
It's quite obvious that you won't have appeal in classic castle or classic space, that weren't the set out when you were old enough to play with LEGO (1997).

 

1 hour ago, Mister Phes said:

That's making the assumption she had LEGO when she was a child.  I didn't discover LEGO Pirates until I was 11 and then went into my "Dark Age" two years later, so that was a small window of interest.

If she was born in 1991 then she would have been 6 when the last pirate sets were released.  Given the age range on the smaller sets were 5-12 it is possible she had some.  As a side note, she would have been 10-11 when the sets were released during 2001-2002. :pir-classic:

But I don't like to assume what people have emotional connections to, I prefer when they tell me themselves.

For what it's worth, I was playing with LEGO as early as 1994/1995… I was a really quick learner as a kid, and that extended to LEGO as well as to stuff like reading and math. My brother and I even dressed up as an Imperial Guard and King Kahuka for Halloween 1994, and at some young age I remember having a Pirate-themed birthday party with a "volcano cake" that my parents decorated with LEGO Pirates minifigs and palm trees, so it's not as though I had no fond or nostalgic childhood memories of the Pirates theme!

Some of the Pirates sets my brother and I owned included 1788, 6236, 6244, 6246, 6247, 6248, 6254, 6262, 6263, 6268, and 6280. These sets were definitely one of many LEGO themes I enjoyed thoroughly in the 90s, which also included Dragon Masters, Spyrius, Paradisa, Launch Command, Aquazone, Wild West, Time Cruisers, Exploriens, Adventurers, Ninja, Cyber-Slam, Throwbots, etc. And I never actually ended up having a "dark age", either!

But I agree, I'm not an "old-age" AFOL. My point is that as the AFOL community has grown, the percentage of AFOLs who grew up with sets of the 1980s has gotten smaller. There are many AFOLs like me who grew up on sets of the 1990s or 2000s (I mean, there are some AFOLs at this point who are a decade younger than I am). There are also many who DID grow up in the 70s or 80s, but did not have those same formative experiences with classic LEGO themes, but have instead been drawn into the hobby for other reasons, like the appeal of licensed sets based on lifelong favorite movies, comics, TV shows, and automotive brands.

So while the AFOL community as a whole has grown a lot since the early 2000s, I don't feel like the number of AFOLs who would be intensely excited for re-releases of 80s sets has grown at nearly the same rate.

9 hours ago, TalonCard said:

I think part of it may be that Playmobil simply doesn't have sheer number of popular licenses LEGO does (though it's certainly trying now), so there's more of a place for a traditional play theme like Pirates in their lineup. Also, if anyone really wants LEGO Pirate models, they're easy enough to make even when LEGO isn't selling them, which isn't true of Playmobil playsets. (Things like large Pirate ships are harder, true. It would be nice if sails, flags and boat hulls were available directly from LEGO during breaks between Pirates.)

I think there's also more to it than that. Playmobil gets their money's worth out of molds by continuing to produce the same sets and themes (or variations on the same themes) year after year. As an example, the Playmobil Pirates sets 6678, 6679, 6682, 6683, and 6684 all came out in 2015, just like the latest LEGO Pirates wave, but unlike those LEGO sets, the Playmobil ones are still being sold today. The Playmobil Pirates set 7373 came out even earlier in 2014, and the sets 7006 and 7363 came out in 2012!

By comparison, since LEGO is a building toy, most of their molds can be repurposed across different sets and themes, and so there's no requirement that they continue producing the same sets/themes just to offset the costs of producing those molds in the first place. And LEGO has found over the years that new products tend to drive the most sales in any given year, whereas products kept around from previous years usually end up resulting in diminishing returns.

What's more, for the most part, retailers hate having to continue stocking shelves with products from years past that fewer and fewer shoppers will be excited by. After all, it means less shelf space to devote to new, exciting products that buyers haven't seen before. So LEGO has a compelling interest in NOT selling the same sets for years on end if they can avoid it.

That doesn't mean that LEGO couldn't have an ongoing Pirates theme… but if they did, it would almost certainly need to be both for different reasons than Playmobil, and with a very different business model (new sets every year and most sets retiring after one or two years on shelves, instead of the same sets appearing for years on end with only occasional smaller sets coming out to supplement them).

4 hours ago, Mister Phes said:

This is a good point.  Looking at he Playmobil website Ghostbusters is the only major licence.  There seems to be regional sporting team teams depending on the country, like NHL for the USA site and FC Bayern for the German site.

Do Spirit: Riding Free and DreamWorks Dragons not count as "major licenses"? I mean, Playmobil has more than a dozen sets for each of those, and the latter tied in with a major movie release earlier this year. Playmobil also recently announced the acquisition of a Scooby-Doo license.

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Just now, Aanchir said:

Do Spirit: Riding Free and DreamWorks Dragons not count as "major licenses"?

I have no idea what either of these are.  So perhaps they do count as major licences, I'm just not familiar with either of them which is why I overlooked them.

1 minute ago, Aanchir said:

so it's not as though I had no fond or nostalgic childhood memories of the Pirates theme!

You seem to have a lot more than me!

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1 minute ago, Itaria No Shintaku said:

1980's pirates?

Of course, 1989 - 1996.Not crappy 2015 wave.I have two sets from '89.Eldorado and Shipwreck Island.

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8 minutes ago, Balkcuga said:

Of course, 1989 - 1996.Not crappy 2015 wave.I have two sets from '89.Eldorado and Shipwreck Island.

Interesting opinions. The 2015 wasn't that crappy in my opinion.

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Just now, Itaria No Shintaku said:

Interesting opinions. The 2015 wasn't that crappy in my opinion.

It had weird sets.Soldiers Outpost didn't even had a place outside to put minifigs.It was a strange wave.

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6 minutes ago, Balkcuga said:

It had weird sets.Soldiers Outpost didn't even had a place outside to put minifigs.It was a strange wave.

1989's pirates have the shirt only in front, not behind. It's stranger.
As I said. Opinions. :)

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