David Thomsen

Future Pirates Speculation

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18 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.

I don't think the 2015 wave had the best set designs but what do you mean by "Soldiers Outpost didn't even had a place outside to put minifigs" ?

They fit... just...

Soldier's Outpost.jpeg

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3 hours ago, Mister Phes said:

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.

DreamWorks Dragons covers the How to Train Your Dragon movies and spin-off media, which as of right now includes three animated movies, four animated shorts and an eight season/118 episode animated series. The series is about a fantasy Viking society that does battle with but eventually makes peace with the numerous dragon species that inhabit their world. It's a really neat series! I haven't done a great job keeping up with it (I only watched the first film and some of the shorts this year, and still haven't watched the other films or the animated series), but a lot of my friends are big fans.

Spirit Riding Free is a animated series on Netflix and a spin-off of the 2002 DreamWorks movie Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron. I definitely understand not having heard of this series — I hadn't either until I saw other toys with that brand while browsing the toy department at Target one time.

3 hours ago, Mister Phes said:

You seem to have a lot more than me!

Wow! :pir-laugh: I'm sure having a twin brother growing up helped with that, as did having an AFOL parent (my dad, though his preference has always been for town and trains sets). That said, as a kid I also didn't quite appreciate just how wealthy my family was. Looking back at what some of the sets I owned back then actually cost, and just how many there were, it seems painfully obvious that I was probably in a much better position to become a die-hard LEGO enthusiast than a lot of my peers…

I think that this benefit of hindsight is probably also part of why I tend not to be so caught up in nostalgia or wanting sets from my childhood to be re-released… as an adult, I still have a fair amount of disposable income, but I've become well aware of how much money and space this hobby entails. I feel like modern sets/themes generally tend to offer both a better value for money and better designs that utilize their contents to greater effect (in terms of detail, building experience, and playability) than ones from my childhood did.

One favorite set of mine during my early childhood was 6195 Neptune Discovery Lab. But that set cost $89 even back then — the equivalent of $149.58 in today's money — for just 508 pieces (weighing 1077 grams) and four minifigures! Mind you, that high price is understandable for a set that contained two uniquely-printed raised baseplates, chrome/metalized accessory pieces, magnets, a pre-assembled crane bucket, a fancy box with window and front flap, and numerous other parts with rare printing, molding, or colors.

Even so, I feel like there are many newer sets like 60200 Capital City, 60229 Rocket Transport and Assembly, 70425 Newbury Haunted High School, 70677 Land Bounty, 70839 The Rexcelsior!, and 41375 Heartlake City Amusement Pier that offer a way better building, play, display, and parts value for between $120 and $150. And I have little doubt that's possible BECAUSE they don't have to cover all the extraneous costs associated with those 90s gimmicks.

1 hour ago, Balkcuga said:

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

Truth be told, this is definitely one of those things about newer sets that I've gotten used to and even come to appreciate — their efficient use of space. A lot of older sets had a LOT of baseplate space without anything built on it. And while this gave you space to play with the minifigures and sometimes had printed details so it wasn't entirely featureless, I don't find it that hard to use my imagination (or build my own extensions to the model) to serve as the scene surrounding the actual structure's foundation.

And sets using compact foundations like that isn't even a new phenomenon! Classic Castle and Pirates sets like 6061, 6041, 6067, 6074, 6035, 6259, 6248, etc. were likewise built on plates only about as big as the foundation of their structural elements required, without a lot of empty or unused space surrounding the structural elements. Additionally, I think it bears mentioning that Soldier's Outpost was specifically designed to link up with the pier in 70412 Soldier's Fort, which would naturally give your minifigures a little more brick-built space to play around in!

Larger baseplates, when they did appear in classic sets, generally came at a cost premium — just compare the price and piece count of 6260 to 6258 or 6265 to 6248— so I suspect a major reason that fewer of them appear in today's sets is to alleviate "sticker shock. After all, today's families often have less disposable income than many families in the 80s and 90s, and think of even sets at today's prices as expensive compared to many competing toy brands.

And I felt like there was a lot to like about the naturalistic, brick-built, three-dimensional landscaping in some of those 2015 Pirates sets compared to how islands, coasts, and jetties had been depicted in previous Pirates sets. In a lot of ways it reminded me of the really detailed landscaping techniques in sets like 9476 The Orc Forge, which I wouldn't have previously expected to see in sets with a 5+ or 6+ target age. I guess that's just another way that even today LEGO continues to surprise me with improvements over design standards I've come to take for granted.

Stuff like that helps me avoid feeling too downtrodden when themes I'm passionate about like Bionicle, Hero Factory, and Elves get discontinued. Since I tend to perceive the general trends in LEGO design as positive ones, it's easier for me to remain optimistic that there will always be sets and themes going forward that's just as exciting and impressive to me as the sets and themes I've enjoyed in the past. Especially given LEGO's persistent tendency of repeatedly circling back to concepts they've explored in the past!

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2 hours ago, Mister Phes said:

I don't think the 2015 wave had the best set designs but what do you mean by "Soldiers Outpost didn't even had a place outside to put minifigs" ?

They fit... just...

Soldier's Outpost.jpeg

Oh, sorry i meant Soldier Fort.The remake from 2009.But this one is meh too.

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7 hours ago, gedren_y said:

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.

You're absolutely right. I know I have been ignoring this important point, and I'm not entirely sure why. Maybe being the oldest in a family that didn't get much LEGO passed down had something to do with that bias. But, just the other day I saw a library display put together by kids from donated LEGO parts, and the 1996 Pirate sets were very well represented (I was just a tiny bit irrationally jealous, truth be told!) alongside Star Wars and Ninjago. If you add up all the years that Pirate/Pirates of the Caribbean sets were available in stores (not just years when new sets were introduced), there's over 15 years worth of Pirates floating round in the greater LEGO ecosystem. That goes a long way to explain why LEGO Pirates have such a great presence in media and theme parks when it's been such a long time since we've had new sets. 

 

7 hours ago, Aanchir said:

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's a great analysis. I know the original basic Playmobil pirate ship mold was used from the 1970s through the 1990swith some minor retooling.

 

3 hours ago, Aanchir said:

And I felt like there was a lot to like about the naturalistic, brick-built, three-dimensional landscaping in some of those 2015 Pirates sets compared to how islands, coasts, and jetties had been depicted in previous Pirates sets. In a lot of ways it reminded me of the really detailed landscaping techniques in sets like 9476 The Orc Forge, which I wouldn't have previously expected to see in sets with a 5+ or 6+ target age. I guess that's just another way that even today LEGO continues to surprise me with improvements over design standards I've come to take for granted.

Stuff like that helps me avoid feeling too downtrodden when themes I'm passionate about like Bionicle, Hero Factory, and Elves get discontinued. Since I tend to perceive the general trends in LEGO design as positive ones, it's easier for me to remain optimistic that there will always be sets and themes going forward that's just as exciting and impressive to me as the sets and themes I've enjoyed in the past. Especially given LEGO's persistent tendency of repeatedly circling back to concepts they've explored in the past!

That's true too. I adore the aesthetic and nostalgia of the original Pirate line, and anyone who wants to take my Pirate sets will have to beat me in a cutlass duel first. :pir_laugh2: But honestly I've had more fun building the 2016 Ninjago Sky Pirates stuff than I ever did on any of the classic sets. (Though the 1995 sets come pretty close.) And while it feels like it's been forever since 2015, these gap years have actually been pretty decent in their Pirates adjacent offerings: Ninjago, Ship in a Bottle, LEGO Dimensions Goonies, Mixels, Pirates of the Caribbean, the various Metalbeards, Angry Birds and Minecraft pirate ships, Pirate tree house, Pirate roller coaster, the Friends Pier, Isle of Peril...can't complain too much. 

TC

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4 hours ago, TalonCard said:

But honestly I've had more fun building the 2016 Ninjago Sky Pirates stuff than I ever did on any of the classic sets.

TRAITOR!!! :pir-oh3:

13 hours ago, gedren_y said:

All this discussion about when sets came out completely ignores the common practice of passing toys down to younger children

Nobody ever passed pirate sets down to me. :pir-bawling:

At best my younger sister passed her unwanted Paradisa sets up to.

8 hours ago, Balkcuga said:

Oh, sorry i meant Soldier Fort.The remake from 2009.But this one is meh too. 

I didn't think the 2009 Soldier's Fort was all that bad - it certainly was breaking any new ground, but did provide a decent update to the original Imperial Guard style.

Plus there is plenty of room for mini-figures outside.

LEGO 6242 - Soldier's Fort.JPG

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I do not think the 2009 and 2015 waves was bad at all!
2009 pros:

  • had 2 small army-builder sets with redcoats and one of them had a cannon as well
  • a fair amount of animals
  • a god selection a different sets
  • a advent calendar, probably my all time AC favourite so far with plenty of good parts
  • a lot of small boats
  • gave us the fantastic Imperial Flagship the year after

Cons:

  • not the old palm tree mould
  • flags soft plastic (unsure if this is a con, but they look "cheaper" than the solid ones)
  • could have been a more even ratio between soldiers and pirates (Imperial Flagship gave us more soldiers so no worries)
  • loot island had some big simple parts

2015 pros:

  • a even ratio between soldiers and pirates
  • very much like that several of the sets can combine to a bigger one
  • had a chess set that was good for army building
  • a small army-builder set with a bluecoat and a cannon
  •  a lot of different figs even a fighting bluecoat female

cons:

  • the blucoats with hair should had a hat included
  • not enough animals even the monkey is missing
  • palm tree here also
  • a small wave with no big bluecoat set the year after

 

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On ‎7‎/‎24‎/‎2019 at 9:56 PM, x105Black said:

 

Squarely between Pirates and Castle.  While I understand why it couldn't work then, I could see it working today.  Much better than trying to combine either of them with Space...

Oh, Europa. What could have been...
Every time I see that shot, I get excited and immediately  filled with hollow disappointment.
I would buy the living daylights out of Europa 1700 right now, both to fuel my Castle and Pirate needs. I finally have the disposable income I dreamt of in 1990, but TLC does not wish to part me from my $$$. Army builders of old red and blue coats (yellow and green factions??), Castle/Tudor style civilian buildings, cannons galore (and maybe mortars/howitzers?), Cavalry!!, ramparts and palisades, town folk builder packs, trades(wo)men packs to go with the buildings (think small packs with figs, tools,product and some tiles or flags to hang outside)?

But if TLC gave me what I want... what would happen to the poor souls of the secondary market? Right now the thrill of the hunt is keeping the flame of desire nice and hot. Maybe if I had my wish it would snuff it, since just buying X redcoats would just be a click or three away. Maybe I'd end up with a Waterlooo, Ligny or Zaragoza of my very own.

To be very clear I did not buy the 2009 wave of pirates in large part because I can not stand the new Redcoats. I have acquired a fair amount of the Pirates on the secondary market to diversify my crews.
The 2008 recession also did not help TLC in selling that wave as I along with many others had lost our jobs. Granted it was still on the shelves when I found work again but it needed to be so much better than it was for me to consider diverting funds to it. I was largely in my own Dark age and spared Lego a glance or two when passing by.

The 2015 wave passed me by as I was struggling financially again and was more concerned with putting food on the table. That revamp of the Bluecoat is okay I guess, I still have not become desperate enough to add them to my ranks. But I might if the supply of old Bluecoats completely dries up, whereas I will pad print or waterslide my own old Redcoats before buying the '09 revamp.

I do own a Legends Redbeard's Runner and 2 Armada Flagships. Obviously I feel that Legends has a place, albeit maybe only as an online DTC. Of course with low run numbers, costs increase and therefore the price. Bricklink did a neat thing with it's AFOL line, X thousand sets need to be committed to be purchased prior to production. There might not be 20,000 people willing to buy a re-release of Eldorado or IMPT in Texas but maybe worldwide we would exceed that. (numbers completely pulled out of my brick bin) It might not be worthwhile for TLC to re-release the sets and produce 100,000 to stock every Lego Store on the off chance that one of us will wander in and buy it on a whim but purely online shipped from one location like BnP might work nicely. Then all you need to slap into the Lego Stores would be signage or a kiosk pointing curious walk ins at the online only offers. Bring back the old catalogs and add a page or two about the DTC offers. If you do not need to supply all the million and one retail outlets worldwide, maybe the financial threshold of production/distribution with be lowered enough that a smaller volume does not inflate cost to the point of pricing out the few(er) buyers. It's frankly the only realistic model I could see TLC serving the AFOL community. In the case of a DTC Europa 1700, TLC would be able to combine both castle and pirate buyers to an extent and hopefully skew the numbers enough to make it more profitable than a pure theme of either aimed at AFOLs.

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I read a lot of wishful thinking. For a theme coming close to Europa 1700 to be produced by LEGO today, it would need the 'big bang' treatment. I don't see that happening in the current environment. I still think the next Pirates type theme will be minidolls, thanks to the retiring of Elves, the newest Friends sets, and the preexisting story from the Friends TV show. It might not be the very next minidolls theme, but I can see it slotted in there sometime in the future.

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1 hour ago, gedren_y said:

I read a lot of wishful thinking. For a theme coming close to Europa 1700 to be produced by LEGO today, it would need the 'big bang' treatment.

Wishful thinking? On my part, absolutely.
If you are talking about a theme that's sold in retail stores.. I agree with you completely. There would need to be a popular resurgence of Napoleonic themes in popular media. A Game of Thrones without the rated R stigma that (possibly) kept TLC from capitalizing on the wave of fantasy pseudo medieval excitement. 
I'm not convinced that is required for a online DTC theme.

I bought some Elves sets for myself and plenty for my Daughter. I'll buy minidoll pirate sets for myself as well. Just means I'll continue to rob what parts I want and pass along the mini dolls and "girly" colored refuse to my Girl. The girl focused sets seemed to have a lot more ornamentation too, so I welcome the opportunity for more gold "scrollwork" pieces. I just hope they don't recolor all the Piratey bits into "girly" colors needlessly. Not everything needs to be a shade of pink to attract girls..!

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1 hour ago, gedren_y said:

For a theme coming close to Europa 1700 to be produced by LEGO today, it would need the 'big bang' treatment.

What is the 'big bang' treatmeant?

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6 minutes ago, Mister Phes said:

What is the 'big bang' treatmeant?

Those are themes that get paired with major media; TV show, video game, clothing line, and other human scale products. Ninjago being the most successful of the in-house media properties.

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On 7/27/2019 at 1:46 AM, Roebuck said:

Cons:

  • not the old palm tree mould
  • flags soft plastic (unsure if this is a con, but they look "cheaper" than the solid ones)

I actually quite liked the soft plastic flags. The original "solid" large plastic flags had a tendency to break, especially the early versions of the pieces. It was quite sad to have such a large, iconic, and rarer piece snap soon after you got it. (I had several that ended up taped to their flagpoles.) The intended effect of a ragged black Pirate flag was also undercut by being printed on a large white piece. I thought the fabric flags from 96-97 were an improvement (albeit one that had its own flaws), but the soft plastic ones seemed to me to be the best solution. They're somewhat transparent, like real flags, and have their own shape with none of the odd white chunkiness of the older flags.

(That being said, when they went back to the old style for 2015 I loved it specifically because it called back to the 1989 sets, lol.)

The lack of a decent palm tree in both recent incarnations is annoying.  Creator and Ninjago have both had really nice brick-built palm trees; it's a shame they were haven't yet been used in a regular Pirate set.

TC

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On 7/26/2019 at 5:42 PM, Balkcuga said:

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

I imagine you will have a different feeling about / connection with them than an AFOL that had them as a kid at the time of release. For nostalgia, it is more than just having the set. It is seeing them on the shelves, it is seeing them in catalogues and longing for the sets for birthdays / Christmas, it is remembering the adverts on TV, it is going to your friends' houses and playing with them there and so on. 

Personally, I was too old to buy them at the time they were released and so have no nostalgia for the original sets. I think Imperial Flagship is way better than anything that ever came out of classic pirates. If I was ten years younger and had grown up with the Black Seas Barracuda, I would probably see it in a different light.

 

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2 hours ago, TalonCard said:

I actually quite liked the soft plastic flags.

Many including myself did not think highly of them, so what is the appeal of the soft plastic flags?

I note how they went back to the solid flags for the 2015 wave...

22 hours ago, gedren_y said:

Those are themes that get paired with major media; TV show, video game, clothing line, and other human scale products. Ninjago being the most successful of the in-house media properties.

Thanks for the education! :thumbup:

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, Mister Phes said:

Many including myself did not think highly of them, so what is the appeal of the soft plastic flags?

I note how they went back to the solid flags for the 2015 wave...

Phes, I literally listed my reasons for liking them right after I made that statement. Did you not read any of that? I mean, I don't want to come across as rude, but that's a weird response.

I think the solid flags were an intentional throwback; the Ninjago Sky Pirate flags went back to soft plastic.

TC

Edited by TalonCard

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2 minutes ago, TalonCard said:

Phes, I literally listed my reasons for liking them right after I made that statement. Did you not read any of that?

I read it but after the first sentence it doesn't seem to have registered.

This may be an indication I'm overworking myself and can no longer concentrate,

Uh oh...  :pir_wacko:

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2 minutes ago, Roebuck said:

This years OUT OF THE VAULT set could very well be 10210 Imperial Flagship:
https://brickset.com/article/39251

Out of the Vault sets somewhat contradict the discussion we had last week regarding how past re-released have had poor sales performance and the LEGO Group would not be re-releasing sets in the future.

But maybe that was only in reference to sets originally released last century.

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On 7/26/2019 at 7:16 PM, Mister Phes said:

I don't think the 2015 wave had the best set designs but what do you mean by "Soldiers Outpost didn't even had a place outside to put minifigs" ?

They fit... just...

Soldier's Outpost.jpeg

IMHO, the 2015 had some very good builds. They look better than many of the classic wave and 2009 wave. The ship was a downer, that's for sure, but overall, the structures were quite good. I have some of the classic sets, including BSB, but often 'we' AFOLs attribute greatness to sets from the past based on pure nostalgia and not the actual build.

I hope LEGO will give us a new wave, and not just one big set. TBH, I find it more amusing collecting a few 'cheap' sets than spending all my money on one big set.

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46 minutes ago, Mister Phes said:

Out of the Vault sets somewhat contradict the discussion we had last week regarding how past re-released have had poor sales performance and the LEGO Group would not be re-releasing sets in the future.

But maybe that was only in reference to sets originally released last century.

Yes, but it seems that out of the vault focus mainly on sets released within the last 10-12 years that;

  • have a very high value in the secondary marked
  • have mostly parts that still are in production
  • look good even in today's standard
  • most Afols that have come out of the dark ages since then has missed out on (there are a lot more afols now then 10-12 years ago)

So that do not apply to the sets of the -80 and -90..

To me the theme is of little use since I have bought most of the sets I want from that period, but for people late to the party I guess it is great :shrug_oh_well:

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3 hours ago, Roebuck said:

This years OUT OF THE VAULT set could very well be 10210 Imperial Flagship:

I have it so no matter to me, but it could be some kind of 30 years celebration I guess:shrug_oh_well:

I have one too but I guess I'd buy a second if they re-released it. Though I'd really, really prefer a new ship (for a different faction). If I have to, I'll customize it myself.
Shame that stuff like Eldorado is too difficult to re-release without completely reworking the set to get around the baseplate and retired parts. At least in out-of-the-vault context.
Judging by the Taj Mahal TLC is trying to keep the sets as close as possible to the original. IIRC the only added piece was the brick separator.

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Both Pirates 2009 and Pirates 2015 were good lines, to me. 2009 had the overall better sets, but 2015 had the overall better minifigures. Only really big letdown from either wave was the 2015 ship.

I'm not really interested in a straight re-release of any of the "classic" Pirates sets, as the parts, colours and minifigs are simply too dated compared to modern standards. I would, however, absolutely love to see them do an updated, re-imagined version of some of the more iconic sets from the time to take advantage of the parts, colours and building details of today.

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21 hours ago, Masked Mini said:

Though I'd really, really prefer a new ship (for a different faction).

Yes for the blue-coats this time if it has to be a ship :wink:

21 hours ago, Masked Mini said:

Shame that stuff like Eldorado is too difficult to re-release

It would be like re-release a car from 1989, who would buy that except a few collectors of retro stuff :sceptic: It looks great to be from -89, but really outdated from today's standards..

16 minutes ago, Hive said:

Both Pirates 2009 and Pirates 2015 were good lines, to me. 2009 had the overall better sets, but 2015 had the overall better minifigures.

I agree :thumbup:

17 minutes ago, Hive said:

I'm not really interested in a straight re-release of any of the "classic" Pirates sets, as the parts, colours and minifigs are simply too dated compared to modern standards. I would, however, absolutely love to see them do an updated, re-imagined version of some of the more iconic sets from the time to take advantage of the parts, colours and building details of today.

I concur! A new elderado fortress with over 2000+ brikcs would be better than a new ship.. The best would probably be a combination of eldorado fortress and Lego mill village raid in a fortified port with civilians, animals and food items where soldiers and pirates alike could go ashore and the crew could spend their gold and the ships could get supply's :sweet:

 

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Posted (edited)
23 hours ago, Roebuck said:

Yes, but it seems that out of the vault focus mainly on sets released within the last 10-12 years that;

  • have a very high value in the secondary marked
  • have mostly parts that still are in production
  • look good even in today's standard
  • most Afols that have come out of the dark ages since then has missed out on (there are a lot more afols now then 10-12 years ago)

So that do not apply to the sets of the -80 and -90..

To me the theme is of little use since I have bought most of the sets I want from that period, but for people late to the party I guess it is great :shrug_oh_well:

Yeah, which would suggest that an Imperial Flagship is more likely to happen than a pre-2000 ship.

Although personally, I'd prefer something similar in design, size and style but different to the original.

 

Edited by MAB

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They could kill a lot of birds with one stone by re-releasing the same Imperial Flagship model, but use the flag and minifigures from the 2015 Bluecoats. :laugh: Although, this sounds like a lot of speculation. Is this Out of the Vault series a regular thing, or just something they've done recently with a couple of sets?

TC

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