nerdsforprez

MOCs vs Official Sets

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Lego official sets are paint by numbers. MOC is actually painting a picture.

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Just now, nerdsforprez said:

Sure, but not to an extent that I think the comparison of TLG builders to MOCers really carries any value.  In other words, apples and oranges.  

But I would like to hear from some of our more popular MOCers out there.  What we are discussing here is internal versus external motivators. If building for a market, one is building for external motivators as their primary motivator.  Not internal.  I am just very doubtful that is the case.  Of course I think external motivators are present, and there is likely a trace of it, but I don't think it is a main focus.  What is there externally motivating about MOCing?  Money?  No - that has been well established.  Even by incredibly popular MOCers out there like @Sariel.  Attention? Popularity?  I guess that could be a small part of it.  But honestly, I think that any popularity or recognition received by AFOLs who design awesome MOCs is a byproduct, not a focus on their work.  At least in a major sense. 

No, I think MOCers mostly build for internally motivating reasons.  Whereas builders for TLG for build with externally motivating reasons as their primary motivator.  It is a job for them.  We all know what comes with that.  Deadlines, constraints, etc.  In fact, we have all heard some rendition of "the best way to kill the pleasure of a hobby is to do it for your everyday job."   Sure, there is some internal motivation for TLG designers.  They likely still move their job.  Not saying there isn't some internal motivation.  I just don't think it is the primary motivator as it is with MOCers......and I don't even think they can be compared in that aspect in any meaningful way.  Don't get me wrong.  Of course one can compare them..... just IMO I don't seen any comparative value in doing so....

 

I'm not a popular one, and I can't really say what my motivations were when I was into this hobby. One thing is sure, I set up many constrains for myself, many of them were similar to TLG's constrains. For example playability, sturdiness, parts availibility, buldiability and building experience, etc. Designing with constrains was always motivating for me. Apart from that, pretty much any designing process is motivating by itself but one can't remove oneself from the world, so yep, popularity and comparing my models to others were also strong motivation.
 

For the comparison thing: why wouldn't be MOCing and professional design comparable? The end result is a model of something. To me it's pretty exact thing to compare. The problem is the double standard by AFOLs that many have already mentioned.

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Just now, Gimmick said:

 I therefore find it fair to discuss objective flaws without directly attacking the designer. Especially when you look at some B-models from TLG-designers. :)
 

Absolutely.  I agree 100%.  But for the record, I never advocated for attacking the designer. 

In fact, and again here, I probably am sounding like a broken record, but I just don't see the value in comparing the two.  All of us, the very best among us, in really any enterprise will increase in errors as whatever we are producing is done  at a mass-scale.  As things are produced at a mass scale things get lost in the sauce.  Really really good people at what they do can make really, really stupid errors when producing for masses, or when you have to do it day in and day out year after year.  Even folks who bleed excellence have off-days or make errors in the face of constraints they have no control over.  

Yea, I find it much more productive to examine the process of how errors occur (in Lego sets) rather than just one simple factor, or by just focusing on the builder.  A systems approach - if you will - rather than a just focusing on the builder. 

5 minutes ago, Lipko said:

I'm not a popular one, and I can't really say what my motivations were when I was into this hobby. One thing is sure, I set up many constrains for myself, many of them were similar to TLG's constrains. For example playability, sturdiness, parts availibility, buldiability and building experience, etc. Designing with constrains was always motivating for me. Apart from that, pretty much any designing process is motivating by itself but one can't remove oneself from the world, so yep, popularity and comparing my models to others were also strong motivation.
 

For the comparison thing: why wouldn't be MOCing and professional design comparable? The end result is a model of something. To me it's pretty exact thing to compare. The problem is the double standard by AFOLs that many have already mentioned.

I gotta get going... so sorry for the terse response, but I am not saying MOCers dont have constraints.  I am simply saying you can't compare the two enterprises; really on ANY vein. At least not with any value I see.  

Take the element of constraints.  You prove my point exactly.  It is not that MOCers don't have constraints it is that they are not the same as TLG designers. 

TLG designers have market constraints.  MOCers are SELF-IMPOSED.  Very, very different.  You build with constraints.  Great.  but YOU get to chose what those are.  No one else. 

TLG designers have externally imposed constraints.  Constraints they don't want. 

Very different entities here....

 

 

 

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14 minutes ago, nerdsforprez said:

Very different entities here....

I think we are not talking about the same thing, that's the problem. I understand your point, because it's clear, and I agree with it. But I'm only looking at the model and I only care about the "product" and don't care about the story behind it.

That being said, I don't think MOCs in general (even the highly praised MOCs) are on the same level regarding quality as TLG models. MOCs are only better (again, in my opinion in general) regarding looks. Even the best MOCs have tons of solutions I would never ever accept in my models. And many of them are merely a shelf model, which IMHO ruins one half of what Lego is about (you know: "construction TOY"*).

Another thing: compare Creator Expert set quality to Technic set quality. As if they were not produced by the same company. So there would be plenty of room for improvement from Technic.

 

*I know there are shelf models by definition (microscale models, statues, etc.), we are talking about Technic models, which main feature is "function".

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, nerdsforprez said:

What is there externally motivating about MOCing?  Money?  No - that has been well established.  Even by incredibly popular MOCers out there like @Sariel.  Attention? Popularity?  I guess that could be a small part of it.  But honestly, I think that any popularity or recognition received by AFOLs who design awesome MOCs is a byproduct, not a focus on their work. 

OK, I'll chime in. Personally, I don't have any external motivation for building MOCs. I keep doing it for 13 years straight now because of a purely internal motivation: I like building mechanical stuff, I enjoy solving unexpected problems, and I suppose I'm sort of a car nut who's fascinated by all kinds of vehicles (I'm also fond of scale models and that translates into building with LEGO). Building things that I can't drive, like dioramas, just doesn't have that appeal to me. I guess part of my motivation is seeing that I can improve on my old creations, so I have some sense of progress rather than doing the same thing over and over - but that sense may be subjective and to somebody else I may very well be a weirdo who just keeps building tanks. In any case, it keeps me going.

As for money or popularity, I can't say these things motivate me. Sure, it's nice to get some money off YouTube, but it can be a draining experience as many videos fail to succeed and in a way the time that you're not spending on making videos is the time you're not making money. Popularity among AFOLs is certainly nice, but it has its drawbacks (try being asked the same question 3 times a day for years, even though you answered it countless times already; also, some people hate you simply for being "popular") and let's be honest, this is a niche hobby and a prominent AFOL is still just a regular guy outside of our little community. There are gaming, beauty, lifestyle etc. influencers who are incomparably more popular, recognized on the streets, who work with popular brands and become celebrities. It's safe to say that none of these things is going to happen to me - and I'm fine with it. So I would take this whole "popularity" thing with a huge grain of salt. At best I'm a nerd recognizable to a group of similar nerds, no offense.

That being said, I know there are people who can pretty much live off MOCing, for example by designing C-models and selling instructions for them. Probably just a handful of people can do this at a level that makes them financially independent, but still. I've never tried that, I get easily frustrated by limitations imposed by designing a C-model. And then there are people like Nathan Sawaya who blend our hobby with art and thus gain popularity, but I think they're not, strictly speaking, AFOLs. They're primarily artists who just use LEGO pieces as a medium. Which is why Nathan's works are very different from what AFOLs usually build - I would even say his builds are often very simple from our point of view because he doesn't care about complexity or building techniques, he cares about expressing something through his builds.

The point being, popularity and money can surely be efficient motivators but they don't work on everyone. Trust me when I say that I'm way too lazy to build 200+ MOCs in 13 years just to get some popularity - if that was my only drive, I would have quit within months. Instead, I'm motivated by imagining how my MOC is going to work and look when finished and then I'm just trying to get there. And I like sharing ideas. If I come up with something that can be useful to others in their MOCs, I'll share it for free 10 times out of 10. It feels good to share something that others may use, as opposed to sharing complete MOC instructions - I feel discouraged about sharing complete instructions because they don't inspire creativity. A gearbox design can inspire you to build you own MOC, a complete instructions will just help you assembly what I've designed, which feels unoriginal and not much different from assembling Ikea furniture. Not to mention there is Lepin waiting to profit from MOCs.

One last thing that I've noticed over many years in this community is that there are really two kinds of builders: there are those who build to enjoy building and those who build to show off. You know what I'm talking about. There's a kind of builders who need to top everything - the primary goal of their MOC is to be the biggest, the most complex, the fastest etc. I know I'm not that kind because I'm equally happy to build a 100-pieces model with a single motor as to build some giant super-complex truck. To be honest, I might even enjoy the simpler MOCs more simply because they are less of a trouble to build. And I enjoy a silly build from time to time, like a walking spaceship or a mecha-hamster. The "show off" builders, on the other hand, are always deadly serious about their creations, they put enormous amount of effort in them and have enormous expectations as to the response. And I'm not saying there's something wrong with it, but in my experience these builders don't last long - after a while they get frustrated when their MOCs fail to achieve the kind of success they were expecting and they often quit the hobby entirely. I've seen it happen quite a bunch of times. There are even people who want their first MOC to be #1 right away - it doesn't matter that they have no experience with MOCs, their goal is to top everything right from the start. And while there are many incredibly talented new builders and many impressive debuts, I have usually seen people with that approach grow increasingly frustrated and eventually give up, sometimes after years of working on that first MOC. Again, I'm not saying that's wrong, I'm just saying that it doesn't work for me. I'm not going to try to build the tallest crane or the biggest truck because I think it's futile - there is always going to be someone with more money, more time, more working space who will easily top anything I do. I actually have a principle of never calling my MOCs like "fastest", "biggest", "best" etc. when publishing them because, again, that's too relative. I might build a MOC that's the fastest MOC I've ever built, but that's just relevant to me - someone else will surely top it sooner or later. Instead, I simply say what I've built and leave judging to the viewers - in fact, I sometimes express dislike in my own creations. That's another thing about the "show off" builders in my experience - they will never publish a MOC they're unhappy about. But like I said, I'm not judging. We certainly wouldn't see many amazing creations if people didn't want to show off. It's just a pity that some talented builders quit this hobby entirely because they've followed that path.

 

Edited by Sariel

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When I see mocs using obvious questionable building methods to achieve their goal, I tend to not take them seriously, while many will say "This is better than anything LEGO can do" or "This should be an official set, you should be working for LEGO"

I look at everything through a different set of glasses than most people do, but that's just me...

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4 hours ago, MinusAndy said:

Lego official sets are paint by numbers. MOC is actually painting a picture.

Wouldn't using MOC instructions be paint by numbers too?  :pir-classic:

 

 

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It’s not a moc if you’re using instructions to build someone else’s ideas so yeah it would be!

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8 minutes ago, MinusAndy said:

It’s not a moc if you’re using instructions to build someone else’s ideas so yeah it would be!

I guess then it's called a SEC - Someone Else's Creation! (Saying the abbreviation out loud could create some funny confusion: "Hey, do you have any MOCs?" "No, but I have lots of SECs!" :devil_laugh:)

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5 hours ago, MinusAndy said:

Lego official sets are paint by numbers. MOC is actually painting a picture.

I somewhat agree with this. I feel that official sets seem to use the best logical clever thought out solutions where MOCs that I have seen will use the quickest(or illegal) solution just so the designer can move on to the next part.

My main issue is people hyping up models to be better than official sets, then you get convinced to drop 25 or 30 euro on their instructions only to find out that the MOC is actually poorly designed.

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28 minutes ago, Pdaitabird said:

I guess then it's called a SEC - Someone Else's Creation! (Saying the abbreviation out loud could create some funny confusion: "Hey, do you have any MOCs?" "No, but I have lots of SECs!" :devil_laugh:)

:head_back:

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2 hours ago, Pdaitabird said:

I guess then it's called a SEC - Someone Else's Creation! (Saying the abbreviation out loud could create some funny confusion: "Hey, do you have any MOCs?" "No, but I have lots of SECs!" :devil_laugh:)

Lol

We have NMOC for that. Not My Own Creation :sweet:

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, brunojj1 said:

@Lipko This was the situation yesterday, but things are rapidly changing. Conservative or not, the empire is falling. As Held der Steine, a renowned expert in Germany, has said: TLC think they are doing so great. Neutral observers think otherwise regarding the wasted potential: imagine driving a 6-speed car in 3d speed, rev counter in the red area, thinking „Yeah, I´m driving at breathtaking speed!“ In the meanwhile you don´t realize you´re being easily overtaken on the other lane. Btw.: the market for MOCers isn´t that small and new opportunities are on the horizon. Competition is good, let the consumers worldwide decide who delivers the better toy to play, the more accurate replica or whatever. 

+1

I am English but I also speak German.

I got back into Lego right around the time held der steine got out of Lego (!)

Interesting to hear your opinion, as a very respected MOCer, on this subject.

On 6/30/2019 at 8:27 PM, Didumos69 said:

out of the box building experiences or building techniques shared by MOCers on this forum.

I've built a couple of your MOCs, as you know in probably more detail than you needed.

If anyone in the forum gets to measure his own work up against TLG... I believe it's you.

You're a stickler for legal connections, legal builds, and everything else that TLG is constrained by. Nonetheless you took the same pieces in Rocky and built something TLG couldn't have done.

Greyhound is a different case... It is too hard on the front universal joints and rear bevel gears to be sold by TLG, but idgas: the whole build is genuinely fun and the model is awesome to play with and it got right under my skin to mod and play with.

Both instructions include steps to get pieces into places that normally you'd think wasn't possible, and when you realise what's going on there's a real buzz in how it's done. Thanks again for that, D.

Edited by amorti

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8 hours ago, amorti said:

+1

I am English but I also speak German.

I got back into Lego right around the time held der steine got out of Lego (!)

Interesting to hear your opinion, as a very respected MOCer, on this subject.

I know the older "HdS" videos as well and the and the criticism that they are wasting so much potential was largely related to the fact that he is missing models as addition to existing things (trailers for trucks etc) and that he does not understand why some sub-themes like tractors are not always available. So he basically sees the potential for a more constant and complete world of models.

My 2 cents:

I don't see the basis for this argument, since there is no way to know for sure how this completely different product strategy will end. TLG does fine at the moment, "much wasted potential" would imply even more profit.. as I said, not sure how anyone could garanty that.

Just sum up the models of the last couple of years and add trailers, machines etc. for every truck, tractor, crane... would be very heavy catalog. ;)

If companies like Cada continue to improve TLG has to and will react to it, which basically means: customers will win ;)

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On 5/5/2020 at 1:40 PM, Sariel said:

...I feel discouraged about sharing complete instructions because they don't inspire creativity. A gearbox design can inspire you to build you own MOC, a complete instructions will just help you assembly what I've designed, which feels unoriginal and not much different from assembling Ikea furniture.

Please allow me to give a different perspective on this. I view building the creations of others, whether from TLG or a MOC, as an opportunity to share design techniques and ideas, and one which will in turn help to grow the popularity of Lego. I don't yet have the skill to create a MOC in a time frame that wouldn't either exhaust or frustrate, but thanks to those that create and share instructions (TLG & MOC's) I'm able to not only able to see the techniques required to create a model, but can express my own creativity by modifying these builds to suit my preferences. At this point, it takes me the same time to do this as it probably would for a proficient builder to complete an entire MOC to the same standard, but that's OK, because there's a lot to learn, and for me this is still an enjoyable challenge that I otherwise wouldn't get to experience.

In my view, some of the greatest creations we see are born from a collaboration of thoughts and idea's. It affords those who aren't necessarily one of the few top tier, all-round builders to be able to contribute in their area of strength. We see this when TLG release a flagship model, and the community here collectively dissects and improves it. 42056 serves as just one example of a set that, in it's official guise, was considered by many to be underwhelming, but the result of the community working on the same basic foundation created something quite impressive, and this was accessible to everyone. Though understandable, it's a shame we don't see this same collaboration as often with MOC's, and TLG working to improve them (Lego Ideas) is even rarer.

Both TLG designs & MOC's are not equal, although both are equally capable of both impressing and disappointing. Both have their place in the world, and both help to make it a little better as a result. Generally, TLG have a more consistent and balanced approach to building, resulting in a more predictable model, whereas MOCS, as a collective, have a lot more freedom to be focused and uncompromising. With MOC's, a specific parameter can be assigned priority above all else, such as looks, functions or RC performance, and the requirements to achieve these parameters can be varied, such as the cost, size, use of illegal pieces or connections. We each have preferences concerning these, and this means that while the official releases may not resonate with them, with the vast amount of MOC's, it should be possible to find one that does so perfectly. Whether you have the time, patience, money and luck to do this, is another matter. 

To attempt to discuss which is 'better' out of MOC's & official sets, then we may as well be discussing which is better; tomato sauce or mayonnaise. There's no wrong answer.

 

...unless of course you picked tomato sauce. :sick:

 

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Posted (edited)

Alternate builds are my favorite type of MOCs to see, it's amazing what people can come up with, and also can serve as great inspiration to people with just 1 set or smaller collection.

So , the answer on the official question MOCs vs Set, I choose the middle ground, and choose Alternate builds, but I will lean towards original first-hand Mocs and not copying someone else's ready-made instruction or model picture already so it's a slippery slope.

 

Edited by TeriXeri

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MOCs, MODs and ABs are all good. My MOCs are usually a combination of all three. I did something like that with the ice cream truck by turning it into an ice cream stand. I showed it on here. I plan to show my modifications to the Police Station and Tuning Workshop once I get the parts I ordered from Bricklink. 

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