TheAbsoluteSt8

"Golden Age of Lego"

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I just noticed something. On the 1960 list of spare parts packs there is a green 2x1 brick. Did they make those in green at the time?

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I pretty much agree with all of the above. I wouldn't mind so much if they fixed the colours of some part ranges - so windows for example, you could have only white (for plastic PVC style frames) or reddish brown (for wooden frames), but you get all styles in those colours. But of course then they have a red train that needs this style in red, and a spaceship that needs another in grey and something else that needs blue ones and something needs green in another style and so on.

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2 hours ago, Collector245 said:

I just noticed something. On the 1960 list of spare parts packs there is a green 2x1 brick. Did they make those in green at the time?

No, those are just there to show that the 700E 10x20 thick baseplates come in all of those other colors besides gray.

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For me the golden age of Lego is now, where we have the most parts and colors available!

Set-wise i would pick the years between 2008 and 2013, when there were Indiana Jones, Pirates of the Caribbean and Lord of the Rings on the shelves. Unfortunately i was in my dark ages back then :cry3:

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5 hours ago, Yperio_Bricks said:

For me the golden age of Lego is now, where we have the most parts and colors available!

Set-wise i would pick the years between 2008 and 2013, when there were Indiana Jones, Pirates of the Caribbean and Lord of the Rings on the shelves. Unfortunately i was in my dark ages back then :cry3:

It's not too late. I believe that most of those sets are available on Bricklink and Ebay. My first sets as a kid were from the late 80s and when I later in life wanted earlier stuff like Classic Space I've found most of the sets I want on the secondary market.

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30 minutes ago, SpacePolice89 said:

It's not too late. I believe that most of those sets are available on Bricklink and Ebay. My first sets as a kid were from the late 80s and when I later in life wanted earlier stuff like Classic Space I've found most of the sets I want on the secondary market.

The problem is not the availability but more the price that is asked for those. 

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51 minutes ago, SpacePolice89 said:

It's not too late. I believe that most of those sets are available on Bricklink and Ebay. My first sets as a kid were from the late 80s and when I later in life wanted earlier stuff like Classic Space I've found most of the sets I want on the secondary market.

I am no collector. I would build the sets once and then use the parts for mocs. I would never pay the insane prices and none of my € will find its way into the pockets of resellers. I missed out on many of the sets and themes i like. It's okay, i move on. Maybe a miracle happens and Lego releases some LOTR or POTC playsets some day in the future, like they did with Indiana Jones this year. Fingers crossed!

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13 hours ago, Yperio_Bricks said:

I am no collector. I would build the sets once and then use the parts for mocs. I would never pay the insane prices and none of my € will find its way into the pockets of resellers. I missed out on many of the sets and themes i like. It's okay, i move on. Maybe a miracle happens and Lego releases some LOTR or POTC playsets some day in the future, like they did with Indiana Jones this year. Fingers crossed!

I agree that the prices are sometimes insane. I buy mostly older stuff and there the prices vary a lot, I have a list of sets that I want and when I find one for the right price I buy it. Sometimes though I have to have a set right away and then I might pay more. I mostly build dioramas where I use both original sets and my own mocs. I often make good deals at garage sales and local websites that sells random stuff, most of the time those people don't know anything about the value of specific Lego sets and only regard them as old toys they want to get a couple of bucks for. You should try local garage sales and thrift stores, they tend to have a lot of sets from around 2010 and the prices are usually very low.

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On 8/9/2019 at 3:03 PM, Mister Phes said:

For me that was the 80's through to mid 90's.

Definitely not for me.  Far too much reliance on licencing and pandering to social trends at the expense of original ideas and innovation.

But licensing and "pandering" is bringing in customers who'd otherwise keep their money but are instead joining the fun, why is that a bad thing? It is often at least somewhat original so ....

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8 hours ago, Horation said:

But licensing and "pandering" is bringing in customers who'd otherwise keep their money but are instead joining the fun, why is that a bad thing? It is often at least somewhat original so ....

And losing others like me. They should at least release a full wave of sets for one of the original themes every year. Nowadays I mostly buy pre 1999 sets from Bricklink and occasionally a new set from Lego.com like the new Galaxy Explorer.

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17 minutes ago, SpacePolice89 said:

And losing others like me. They should at least release a full wave of sets for one of the original themes every year. Nowadays I mostly buy pre 1999 sets from Bricklink and occasionally a new set from Lego.com like the new Galaxy Explorer.

What do you mean by original themes? As I don't think things like Town Plan, or the old pre-minifigs Legoland theme, or the Homemaker theme and so on would sell so well these days.

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13 minutes ago, SpacePolice89 said:

And losing others like me. They should at least release a full wave of sets for one of the original themes every year. Nowadays I mostly buy pre 1999 sets from Bricklink and occasionally a new set from Lego.com like the new Galaxy Explorer.

Lets take Adventurers and Indiana Jones for example. The thing is, if there would be Adventurers sets on the shelves or Indiana Jones sets, the reaction of the majority of customers would be completely different. For every nostalgic AFOL there are a thousand regular customers who have never heard of Adventurers but know Indiana Jones and have seen one or more of the movies. Then there is all the other Indiana Jones merch and video games etc.

Every one (well, not everyone but you know what i mean) in the world knows Star Wars and can relate to the movies and shows, books, comics, video games, theme parks, etc. while Classic Space and the other space themes are basically only known to people who grew up with them or to AFOLs who later learned about them.

Don't get me wrong, i am not against classic themes, but we as AFOLs are just a minority, living in a bubble, while the vast majority of customers lives in othe bubbles where Lego lagacy and folklore is irrelevant. So from a business perspective licenses make a lot of sense.

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3 minutes ago, Yperio_Bricks said:

Every one (well, not everyone but you know what i mean) in the world knows Star Wars and can relate to the movies and shows, books, comics, video games, theme parks, etc. while Classic Space and the other space themes are basically only known to people who grew up with them or to AFOLs who later learned about them.

It is not so bad for castle, but for Space there is also the issue that kids like to see designs that are based on more modern views of futuristic ships rather than what was seen as futuristic 40 years ago. I liked the Space themes of the 2010s - Galaxy Squad, Alien Conquest. They were fun designs and new stories not constrained by Classic Space.

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23 minutes ago, Yperio_Bricks said:

Every one (well, not everyone but you know what i mean) in the world knows Star Wars and can relate to the movies and shows, books, comics, video games, theme parks, etc. while Classic Space and the other space themes are basically only known to people who grew up with them or to AFOLs who later learned about them.

This, before the internet got big (or at least affordable after the expensive Dial-Up of early days), pretty much most LEGO advertising I saw here was by visiting actual toy stores, picking up paper catalog (those were not mailed to you here), or buying a set and finding a mini leaflet or mini catalog (larger sets) inside. And the yearly toy catalogs from retailers mailed out around the December season)

And even if not actively looking things up (for me during 2001 to 2016), I did not follow LEGO at all, despite the internet being available. So most of the products known are because of database websites like Brickset/Bricklink and others.

Meanwhile, licensed franchises, especially something big like Star Wars, Batman, Spider-Man etc, had a much wider range, even before that.

Edited by TeriXeri

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11 hours ago, Horation said:

But licensing and "pandering" is bringing in customers who'd otherwise keep their money but are instead joining the fun, why is that a bad thing? It is often at least somewhat original so ....

From the perspective of a manufacturer, attracting new customers is desirable for increasing profits.

From the perspective of a consumer who is only interested in classic LEGO themes, it provides very little benefit at all.

 

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3 hours ago, MAB said:

What do you mean by original themes? As I don't think things like Town Plan, or the old pre-minifigs Legoland theme, or the Homemaker theme and so on would sell so well these days.

Are you intentionally misunderstanding here? Or am I totally confused?

I think it's obvious he didn't mean City/Town, which still has sets released every year. And definitely not Homemaker.

Think Castle or Pirates or Space.

@SpacePolice89 is that what you meant?

3 hours ago, Yperio_Bricks said:

For every nostalgic AFOL there are a thousand regular customers who have never heard of Adventurers but know Indiana Jones and have seen one or more of the movies.

Yeah but Creator sets exists and they must sell because Lego keeps making them. Same with City and any other Lego set that isn't backed by a movie or some license.

So non-licensed sets and original themes can exist at the same time. Lego can keep old fans and sell to people who only care about licenses.

3 hours ago, MAB said:

It is not so bad for castle, but for Space there is also the issue that kids like to see designs that are based on more modern views of futuristic ships rather than what was seen as futuristic 40 years ago.

Can people stop saying this? It's objectively false. Star Wars designs are literally 40 years old. Even the updated X-Wing from the sequels was from the original 40 year old concept art. And Lego keeps cranking out sets for those same designs, so apparently "kids" like them.

Almost all new sci-fi spaceship designs (from video games and movies like Lightyear) use the same design language as the original SW movies too. So what "modern view of futuristic ships" are we even talking about that kids are supposed to like?

Edited by danth

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I think I might agree with some people who say it was from 78 up until around 99, though there will always be some bias based on when someone grew up with Lego, which for me was the early 00s and I had a lot of older sets from my older siblings. Everything seemed to have changed around that time, with Lego picking up licenses for the first time which has affected original themes since, curved pieces (especially slopes and wedges which were extremely prevalent back then), phasing out and replacing colours, Bionicle and its impact on the brand. Aesthetically it has become increasingly detailed since then and less "blocky."

Lego kind of overhauled the whole thing after some 20 years of evolution, almost like a reset. Someone younger than me might say the golden age was up to 2010 or something, which is still quite new to me since I had lost interest in Lego back then, but I guess it is pretty subjective.

That's not to say I don't like modern Lego, it has just as much creativity and diversity as before.

Edited by Autumn

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24 minutes ago, danth said:

Can people stop saying this? It's [in your opinion- aka subjectively] false. Star Wars designs are literally 40 years old. Even the updated X-Wing from the sequels was from the original 40 year old concept art. And Lego keeps cranking out sets for those same designs, so apparently "kids" like them.

Almost all new sci-fi spaceship designs (from video games and movies like Lightyear) use the same design language as the original SW movies too. So what "modern view of futuristic ships" are we even talking about that kids are supposed to like?

Is it though? Sure, spaceships haven't changed as much as one might expect, but modern designs are curvier and look a little more like the space shuttle than say, ships from Star wars do (which were directly based upon ww2 vehicles and more often than not BUILT using ww2 model kits). Modern ships are much sleeker and generally aren't limited by what was in a tv show production studio's storage room...

29 minutes ago, danth said:

Yeah but Creator sets exists and they must sell because Lego keeps making them. Same with City and any other Lego set that isn't backed by a movie or some license.

So non-licensed sets and original themes can exist at the same time. Lego can keep old fans and sell to people who only care about licenses.

Isn't that literally what they are doing with their icons range?

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19 minutes ago, Autumn said:

I think I might agree with some people who say it was from 78 up until around 99, though there will always be some bias based on when someone grew up with Lego, which for me was the early 00s and I had a lot of older sets from my older siblings. Everything seemed to have changed around that time, with Lego picking up licenses for the first time which has affected original themes since, curved pieces (especially slopes and wedges which were extremely prevalent back then), phasing out and replacing colours, Bionicle and its impact on the brand. Aesthetically it has become increasingly detailed since then and less "blocky."

Yeah! I grew up during the late 90s and early 2000s and I remember Lego being a bit different. For example, the town related sets. The explorers related sets were, while they were still under town, they were marketed as subsidiaries of the town theme as opposed to being under the town theme outright. This kinda allowed us to see them as being different areas and lands that took place in the same universe as Town and were canon to Town. Such themes were Space Port (1999, 2011-present), Arctic (2000-2004, 2014-present), Divers (1997-1998, 2015-present), Outback (replaced by Jungle), Extreme Team (which is now Stuntz) and my two personal favorites......Res Q (1998-1999) and Paradisa (1992-1997). Sadly Paradisa was replaced by the Friends theme and Space has turned from realistic space flight programs to something you'd see in science fiction. So you can say that I'm one of those who bases the golden age on the sets I grew up with. 

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1 hour ago, Horation said:

[in your opinion- aka subjectively]

Nope, objectively, SW designs are 40 years old*, and objectively, Lego is still making them. 100% fact.

And that single fact defeats any argument that Lego can't make sets that use old designs.

But also, nobody who wants to see Space return is asking for "old designs". Throwbacks sets are cool, but Space sets have always been updated. Look at Galaxy Squad. Those were new designs.

*Obviously I don't mean all of them, just the main ones from the original trilogy that also got rehashed in the sequel trilogy.

1 hour ago, Horation said:

Isn't that literally what they are doing with their icons range? 

We were talking about entire waves of a theme, so not really. But if they keep doing Icons sets, and maybe do more of them than just a couple a year, then that would be almost as good.

Edited by danth

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I think the spirit of the essay quoted below applies as well to Lego as to science fiction. The Golden Age of Lego was in the past - whenever you thought it was. The Golden Age of Lego is in the future - whenever other people will think it is.

Personally, I think we've been in a new Golden Age of Lego since about 2014.

Isaac Asimov, "Golden Age Ahead", 1979:

1979

Were the stories of your golden age really golden? Have you reread them lately?

I have reread the stories of my own golden age and found the results spotty indeed. Some of the stories I slavered over as a teenager turned out to be impenetrable and embarrassing when I tackled them again. A few ("Tumithak of the Corridors" for one) held up very well, in my opinion.

It was clear to me, though, that the general average of writing forty years ago was much lower than the general average later. That, in fact, seems to me to have been a general rule. Magazine science fiction over the last half-century has steadily risen above and away from its pulpish origins.

That means me, too. I imagine that many people who drooled over "Nightfall," The Foundation Trilogy, and I, Robot in their teens find some of the gloss gone when they reread them in their thirties. (Fortunately for myself, a substantial number do not—and there are always new teenagers entering the field and ready to be dazzled.)

"Golden Age Ahead"

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1 hour ago, danth said:

Nope, objectively, SW designs are 40 years old*, and objectively, Lego is still making them. 100% fact.

And that single fact defeats any argument that Lego can't make sets that use old designs.

But also, nobody who wants to see Space return is asking for "old designs". Throwbacks sets are cool, but Space sets have always been updated. Look at Galaxy Squad. Those were new designs.

*Obviously I don't mean all of them, just the main ones from the original trilogy that also got rehashed in the sequel trilogy.

We were talking about entire waves of a theme, so not really. But if they keep doing Icons sets, and maybe do more of them than just a couple a year, then that would be almost as good.

 Are you intentionally misunderstanding me? 

You replied to this post:

6 hours ago, MAB said:

It is not so bad for castle, but for Space there is also the issue that kids like to see designs that are based on more modern views of futuristic ships rather than what was seen as futuristic 40 years ago. I liked the Space themes of the 2010s - Galaxy Squad, Alien Conquest. They were fun designs and new stories not constrained by Classic Space.

By saying it (the post above) is objectively false, aka that futuristic designs nowadays are the same as those from 40 years ago, never was Star Wars mentioned in that post, and when I replied to you I mentioned spaceship designs in general as well as Star Wars.

But instead of replying to my arguments, you decided to claim that your original post wasn't saying what it was saying. That your post was only talking about Star Wars ships even though the comment you quoted clearly implied all ships. It is MASSIVELY SUBJECTIVE to pretend that Star Wars is the only futuristic spaceship range. When you look at every range of futuristic ships everywhere, they have OBJECTIVELY changed, they are OBJECTIVELY containing more curves, and look a little less like ww2 planes than their predecessors (including some newer star wars designs, ex : lucrehulk batteship, naboo starfighters and naboo royal ships as examples).

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What I mean is, saying that 40 year old space ship designs aren't popular with kids, in the context of what kinds of Lego sets will sell or won't sell, doesn't make any sense, because it is objectively true that SW space ship designs are 40 years old, and it is objectively true that Lego keeps releasing sets with those 40 year old designs.

So is Lego losing money on SW sets? Are they not selling? Or are they not selling to kids, and we all need to admit that SW sets are mainly for adults? Or does the age of a design not matter? Choose your own answer.

I admit I totally missed this part of MAB's post:

Quote

I liked the Space themes of the 2010s - Galaxy Squad, Alien Conquest. They were fun designs and new stories not constrained by Classic Space. 

I'm not sure what he was trying to say now. Wouldn't a new Space theme also have new designs and stories? How can Classic Space even constrain a story when it didn't have a story?

Maybe he meant if Classic Space itself returned as a theme, with only Classic Space style minifigs and designs, but I'm not sure anyone considers that even a remote possibility. It'd be great if we could get a new Space theme that wasn't limited to one good faction and one evil faction. Then you could have a new factions (with new helmet designs or whatever) intermingled with various throwback figures.

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