Lego David

Licensed Themes VS Original Themes

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I don't like the fact that we get way to many UCS sets for themes such as Star Wars but never something similar for Original Themes. And to be honest, I don't really like the UCS Millenium Falcon. It lacks the interior playability of the normal sized sets. I feel like most of those UCS sets are just made as big as they are not actually be accurate to the movie, but just to be big. The UCS SnowSpeeder looks ugly in my opinion. The normal scale sets work, but the UCS ones are way to oversized just to cash on the UCS Star Wars fans. (This may be an unpopular opinion though).

Edited by Lego David

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^ See: 3723, 3724, Modular Buildings, 10193, 10210, 10223, 10228, Winter Village, Fairgrounds, 70810, 70751, 70620 (and arguably 70618), 70840.  Those are all D2Cs based on original, in-house ideas that don't attempt to model any specific real-world or licensed subject.  Thanks to the UCS line, Star Wars does get a disproportionate number of D2Cs compared to other themes, but it's not accurate to say that we never get a D2C for an original theme.

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I think part of the issue is due directly to nostalgia.  I grew up in a time where there were no licensed themes (other than maybe Shell or Exxon for Town), so original themes will always appeal to the child inside of me.

Kids today who are growing up with many licensed themes may feel differently when they reach my age.

That said, as a fan of Star Wars, I was ecstatic when the first Star Wars sets first came out.  However, after having seen the nth version of the x-wing (or y-wing or slave I or millennium falcon) for sale, i will admit to having Star Wars fatigue.  I love Star Wars, but not enough to care about how the new x-wing is different than the slightly older x-wing and how that compares to the x-wing slightly older than that one.  I know there are fans for whom these differences matter a lot, I am just saying that the nuances of the repeated Star Wars sets are lost on me.

I do want to thank TLG though.  Recently, I got to do something I haven't done since I was a child: build some classic space sets and explore the carpeted terrain of another nameless planetary body.

Spoiler

46143048684_8fe3c23c4c_b.jpg

 

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14 hours ago, Lego David said:

I don't like the fact that we get way to many UCS sets for themes such as Star Wars but never something similar for Original Themes. And to be honest, I don't really like the UCS Millenium Falcon. It lacks the interior playability of the normal sized sets. I feel like most of those UCS sets are just made as big as they are not actually be accurate to the movie, but just to be big. The UCS SnowSpeeder looks ugly in my opinion. The normal scale sets work, but the UCS ones are way to oversized just to cash on the UCS Star Wars fans. (This may be an unpopular opinion though).

Too many UCS? There are usually two and occasionally just one per year. How is that too many? As noted above, there are plenty of big sets in other themes. They just aren't UCS as UCS is Star Wars only.

If you think they are too big and lack playability, then don't buy them. Buy the models designed for play instead.

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I like both, but personally, I love original themes. The original themes are less predictable than licensed themes (sense licensed models have to be based on stuff from the source material). Original themes also allow for more unique ideas that you wouldn't see in movies or anything like that, like underground mining with monsters (Power Miners and Rock Raiders), a retro style alien invasion (Alien Invasion), or even things that are inspired by various pop culture genres (Agents with Spy fiction and Exo-Force with Anime and Manga).

Licensed themes have some great models, parts, and minifigures (and they're very profitable), but the Original themes I feel are a lot more creative overall (the non original themes can have creative builds for example).

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On 1/28/2019 at 2:13 PM, Lego David said:

I don't like the fact that we get way to many UCS sets for themes such as Star Wars but never something similar for Original Themes. And to be honest, I don't really like the UCS Millenium Falcon. It lacks the interior playability of the normal sized sets. I feel like most of those UCS sets are just made as big as they are not actually be accurate to the movie, but just to be big. The UCS SnowSpeeder looks ugly in my opinion. The normal scale sets work, but the UCS ones are way to oversized just to cash on the UCS Star Wars fans. (This may be an unpopular opinion though).

I always thought that the UCS sets were meant more for display than play, I mean can you imagine a child swooshing the Millennium Falcon around the room, I guess that's just me though. I figure the smaller ones are for play, which there is no shortage of. 

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5 hours ago, Johnny1360 said:

I always thought that the UCS sets were meant more for display than play, I mean can you imagine a child swooshing the Millennium Falcon around the room, I guess that's just me though. I figure the smaller ones are for play, which there is no shortage of. 

 

I'd like to see a child try to swoosh the UCS MF around a room.

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8 hours ago, Saint_Miroku said:

I like both, but personally, I love original themes. The original themes are less predictable than licensed themes (sense licensed models have to be based on stuff from the source material). Original themes also allow for more unique ideas that you wouldn't see in movies or anything like that, like underground mining with monsters (Power Miners and Rock Raiders), a retro style alien invasion (Alien Invasion), or even things that are inspired by various pop culture genres (Agents with Spy fiction and Exo-Force with Anime and Manga).

Licensed themes have some great models, parts, and minifigures (and they're very profitable), but the Original themes I feel are a lot more creative overall (the non original themes can have creative builds for example).

I 100% agree with you. Original Themes allow for things that you would most likely never see in a movie. Licensed Themes are not bad in essence, but the fact that LEGO has focused more on them than on original themes in the past few years is bad (at least in my opinion). Now, we are only left with Ninjago as the last Action/Adventrue theme. If they continue as they do now, Original Themes in the true sense of the word will probably not be even a thing in a few years. And everything we used to love about LEGO, the fact that they gave us things that we have never seen before and will never again (seriosly, has anyone seen something similar to Bionicle?), will be gone unless something happens. You could argue if you want, but that won't change my opinion.

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7 minutes ago, Lego David said:

I 100% agree with you. Original Themes allow for things that you would most likely never see in a movie. Licensed Themes are not bad in essence, but the fact that LEGO has focused more on them than on original themes in the past few years is bad (at least in my opinion). Now, we are only left with Ninjago as the last Action/Adventrue theme. If they continue as they do now, Original Themes in the true sense of the word will probably not be even a thing in a few years. And everything we used to love about LEGO, the fact that they gave us things that we have never seen before and will never again (seriosly, has anyone seen something similar to Bionicle?), will be gone unless something happens. You could argue if you want, but that won't change my opinion.

2

I don't believe Ninjago is the LAST Action/Adventrue theme, just the LATEST Action/Adventrue theme.

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Just now, MAB said:

I don't believe Ninjago is the LAST Action/Adventrue theme, just the LATEST Action/Adventrue theme.

Well it's the only one we have at this point in time.

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2 hours ago, Lego David said:

Well it's the only one we have at this point in time.

Yes, but last suggests that there will never be another.

Why would they put out a new action / adventure theme right now, when it would be up against the action / adventure packed Lego Movie 2? Wait a little while and there will be another action/adventure theme along.

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12 hours ago, Saint_Miroku said:

The original themes are less predictable than licensed themes (sense licensed models have to be based on stuff from the source material). Original themes also allow for more unique ideas that you wouldn't see in movies or anything like that, like underground mining with monsters (Power Miners and Rock Raiders), a retro style alien invasion (Alien Invasion), or even things that are inspired by various pop culture genres (Agents with Spy fiction and Exo-Force with Anime and Manga).

Exactly, especially regarding one's expectations between the two, as I find in-house properties to be much more exciting to anticipate. :thumbup: :smug:

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Also, Action and Adventure is a designation made up by fans, TLG uses another term that, so far as they are concerned, is occupied quiet well by current themes.

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I don't understand why people seem to worry so much about something that may or may not happen in the future, as far as LEGO themes are concerned anyway. Surely there will be many more original action adventure themes in the future, either before or after Ninjago finishes its run. Seems pointless to make an issue out of it. 

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On 1/28/2019 at 2:29 PM, icm said:

^ See: 3723, 3724, Modular Buildings, 10193, 10210, 10223, 10228, Winter Village, Fairgrounds, 70810, 70751, 70620 (and arguably 70618), 70840.  Those are all D2Cs based on original, in-house ideas that don't attempt to model any specific real-world or licensed subject.  Thanks to the UCS line, Star Wars does get a disproportionate number of D2Cs compared to other themes, but it's not accurate to say that we never get a D2C for an original theme.

Yeah, up until last year, the only official definition of "Ultimate Collector Series" was "any D2C LEGO Star Wars set". As of last year they've split the branding up a bit by using "Master Builder Series" for more playset-type D2C sets (Ewok Village, Assault on Hoth, Betrayal at Cloud City, etc) going forward and reserving "Ultimate Collector Series" for the more model-style ones (R2-D2, Red Five X-Wing Starfighter, Super Star Destroyer, etc). But even then, most other D2C sets are analogous to one of those two categories.

So the typical answer to "why aren't there UCS sets for other themes" is "because UCS is a subtheme of LEGO Star Wars, and the many non-Star Wars D2C sets like the Kingdoms Joust, Medieval Market Village, Haunted House, Temple of Airjitzu, and Roller Coaster are basically the same thing with different branding".

20 hours ago, Saint_Miroku said:

I like both, but personally, I love original themes. The original themes are less predictable than licensed themes (sense licensed models have to be based on stuff from the source material).

It varies. For instance, a lot of LEGO Batman sets and other non-movie-based Super Heroes sets are entirely original designs created by LEGO and then sent to DC Comics for their stamp of approval. Certainly there are some colors and motifs that any Bat-vehicle is supposed to have, and this is informed by non-LEGO Bat-vehicles of the past, but the same can be said of how LEGO City fire engines and police cars are beholden to the expectations kids around the world have about how fire engines and police cars are supposed to look, or how LEGO pirate ships, castles, and spaceships are obligated to meet certain expectations kids have of those things.

Most sets and characters from themes that are co-produced by LEGO and an outside media partner, like Mixels, Unikitty, LEGO Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles/LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures, and The LEGO Movie and its sequels/spin-offs are also originated by LEGO designers via a back-and-forth process that simultaneously tailors to the needs of the media they appear in and the needs of the subject as a building toy.

In some cases, LEGO has even influenced media that isn't their own via their licensing agreements — the Kryptomites in DC Super Hero Girls were an idea pitched to DC by LEGO as a type of adversary kids related well to in play scenarios (compare with other small, mischievous baddies like the rock monsters from LEGO Power Miners or goblins from LEGO Elves), and which was subsequently incorporated into the DC Super Hero Girls cartoon.

Frankly, a lot of the complaints fans of historic themes have about ways LEGO Elves, Disney, Minecraft, Ninjago, Nexo Knights, and The LEGO Movie sets fail to meet their demands for historic sets (too colorful, too cartoonish, too high-tech, too simplistic, etc) could just as easily be held against many LEGO Batman, LEGO Spider-Man, LEGO Disney, or LEGO as ways they deviate from the media they're inspired by.

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14 hours ago, Digger of Bricks said:

Exactly, especially regarding one's expectations between the two, as I find in-house properties to be much more exciting to anticipate. :thumbup: :smug:

Third on this! These stuff really do have funky ideas that I dig!

Now, just adding to this discussion - Where does this leave The Lego Movie & The Lego Movie 2? They are an original Lego event.

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19 hours ago, Aanchir said:

It varies. For instance, a lot of LEGO Batman sets and other non-movie-based Super Heroes sets are entirely original designs created by LEGO and then sent to DC Comics for their stamp of approval. Certainly there are some colors and motifs that any Bat-vehicle is supposed to have, and this is informed by non-LEGO Bat-vehicles of the past, but the same can be said of how LEGO City fire engines and police cars are beholden to the expectations kids around the world have about how fire engines and police cars are supposed to look, or how LEGO pirate ships, castles, and spaceships are obligated to meet certain expectations kids have of those things.

Most sets and characters from themes that are co-produced by LEGO and an outside media partner, like Mixels, Unikitty, LEGO Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles/LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures, and The LEGO Movie and its sequels/spin-offs are also originated by LEGO designers via a back-and-forth process that simultaneously tailors to the needs of the media they appear in and the needs of the subject as a building toy.

In some cases, LEGO has even influenced media that isn't their own via their licensing agreements — the Kryptomites in DC Super Hero Girls were an idea pitched to DC by LEGO as a type of adversary kids related well to in play scenarios (compare with other small, mischievous baddies like the rock monsters from LEGO Power Miners or goblins from LEGO Elves), and which was subsequently incorporated into the DC Super Hero Girls cartoon.

How do you know all this?

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59 minutes ago, danth said:

How do you know all this?

Reading interviews with and posts by LEGO designers, watching behind-the-scenes/designer videos, and speaking with designers firsthand is a big part of it. My main career ambition for a long time has been to become a LEGO designer, so I have spent a lot of time trying to learn more about what they actually do and what skills and responsibilities are required of them. It's not some kind of big secret that LEGO designers working on the licensed themes often make up their own stuff — in fact, it's something fans of licensed themes have often joked about and/or criticized, as in the case of 76008 (which had basically no counterpart in the movie that inspired it), or the downright absurd Hulk-sized vehicles in 76078.

This article specifically talks about the designers of the DC Super Hero Girls sets having originated the idea of the Kryptomites. Marcos Bessa's website brings up how he came up with the original designs of Wonder Woman's jet from 76026 and all three vehicles from 76054.  The "Making of the Movie" books for the LEGO Batman and LEGO Ninjago Movies have lots of insights into the co-creation process of the movie sets, and you can also find some assorted behind-the-scenes insights in the notes on some of Brickset's Featured BrickLists.

There's lots of stuff out there, and I'm sorry I don't really have any sort of unified reference source for this stuff that I can point you to — perhaps I should get better about bookmarking interviews that I learn interesting stuff from. But suffice to say, it's not just stuff I'm making up or getting from some secret confidential source I'm purposely withholding.

Edited by Aanchir

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On 2/6/2019 at 6:37 PM, Lego David said:

Well it's the only one we have at this point in time.

Well, now you don't have to go nuts on Ninjago being the "last" (which definitely isn't). If you didn't notice, we now got a new original theme called "Hidden Side".

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5 hours ago, JJ Tong (zfogshooterz) said:

Well, now you don't have to go nuts on Ninjago being the "last" (which definitely isn't). If you didn't notice, we now got a new original theme called "Hidden Side".

I posted that before "Hidden Side" was reveled. And at this point we don't know much about it.

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1 hour ago, Lego David said:

I posted that before "Hidden Side" was reveled. And at this point we don't know much about it.

That's why I said "now you don't have to".

Well, I'm not sure whether this (below) constitutes "don't know much about it".....

Still, it's an original theme!

147078-parenting-news-lego-hidden-side-s

147078-parenting-news-lego-hidden-side-s

 

Edited by JJ Tong (zfogshooterz)

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22 hours ago, JJ Tong (zfogshooterz) said:

That's why I said "now you don't have to".

Well, I'm not sure whether this (below) constitutes "don't know much about it".....

Still, it's an original theme!

 

 

We don't know much about it because we don't have any official pictures of the sets yet, the main thing we know is that it will be integrated with an app.

Edited by Peppermint_M
No need to quote images on the same page.

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4 minutes ago, Lego David said:

We don't know much about it because we don't have any official pictures of the sets yet, the main thing we know is that it will be integrated with an app.

We have at least 1 picture of each set for the 2019 wave now. And so far it looks like a nice original addition theme beside City or Creator.

It's nice that the theme can easily be used as City extension theme as the transform features and minifig monster parts are additions, and normal versions of the minifig heads/hair seem to be included.

Edited by TeriXeri

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