Lego David

Unpopular Opinions about LEGO

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1 hour ago, Darkdragon said:

As a person who actually grew up in this time period, I have to say your assumption is wayyyyyy off here.  For one thing, many people didn't have more than a couple sets and some brick buckets. We had no choice but to rebuild.  PLUS, building actual models (with a knife and glue and paint) was infinitely cheaper, more detailed, and more fun to display.  LEGO was a creative and building toy. This info is coming from my experience as a youth in that time period as well as people that I knew, even the "rich kids" I knew never displayed lego sets in any sort of semi-permanent fashion, that's simply not what the toy was about.

I had a couple sets and bucket of bricks too. I don't recall building anything to display. LEGO figures didn't come out until later in the dark ages. Had to pretend there were people in the vehicles. The LEGO disapppeared during a move and I got in scale plastic model kits instead.  Plastic cement and enamel paint were much more aromatic back in the 70s.  :pir-huzzah1:

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On 5/12/2022 at 2:25 PM, Peppermint_M said:

Then TLG goes and spoils it all by turning to focus on big fancy sets to show. 

:shrug_oh_well:

So it goes.

 

Do they though? They released 933 sets in 2021. I didn’t look through all of them but I’d wager a small minority were big & fancy. 

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I also had just a bucket of lego in the 70s. A lot of my MOCs back then (never called them that at the time) were partly display models as they were buildings for railway tracks. I thought nothing of writing on my bricks too. If I needed a sign, I just wrote it on with a marker pen. It was that and really bad red and blue spaceships for Star Wars and Battlestar Galactica, to be played with using other toy brands, totally out of scale but who cares.

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2 hours ago, Vindicare said:

Do they though? They released 933 sets in 2021. I didn’t look through all of them but I’d wager a small minority were big & fancy. 

Yes, but they are the ones that get the most Oxygen of attention, the kinds that are marketed the hardest and to a demographic that will get them in for shelf decoration and not purely creative building.

I am with Danth, people who never ever try to create their own things are really missing out, but the main selling point on the big sets is never a couple of pages of ideas or alternate builds. 

It is like painting by numbers: Super relaxing and fun too, but on the other hand even simply splatting and streaking paints across paper can feed the creative urge people never knew they had. 

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I'm not sure MOCing and displaying are the only two options here, nor are they binary.

I have never made a MOC in the conventional sense (disclaimer: I made one terrible MOC when I was about twelve) - that is, I have never built a fully-formed model of my own design with the intention of displaying it/taking photos of it/whatever. In the same token, I'm not a displayer of sets. Right now, I have three sets actually built up, one of them a set I only built within the past week. Everyone Is Awesome, which I've had on my shelf for just under a year, is easily the longest I've ever kept a set built up in my life.

My enjoyment of Lego comes from making stop-motion films using the medium (though I've not completed one for nearly a decade - time flies!). So I MOC to the extent that I make custom sets for my films - which for 95% of the time is going to be a single backdrop wall or some trees on a baseplate, or something to that effect. Even on the rare occasion that I make something with more detail than that, it's very illusory, designed to look good from the specific angle I'll be filming from but far from being a complete model. This is MOCing in the technical sense, but it's also I feel distinct from the sort of MOCing that many forum users go for, where they end up with actual models to take photos of/display/share.

I also know that MOCing like that is not really for me. A finished MOC and a finished set feel the same to me: a model which is nothing unless I can turn it into a story. The difference is that a MOC is more work, and limited by techniques I know of. A set, on the other hand, is easier for me to build - following instructions, without needing to make up the plans - and often exposes me to new techniques I can adapt when making sets for my films.

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9 hours ago, Peppermint_M said:

Yes, but they are the ones that get the most Oxygen of attention, the kinds that are marketed the hardest and to a demographic that will get them in for shelf decoration and not purely creative building.

I am with Danth, people who never ever try to create their own things are really missing out, but the main selling point on the big sets is never a couple of pages of ideas or alternate builds. 

It is like painting by numbers: Super relaxing and fun too, but on the other hand even simply splatting and streaking paints across paper can feed the creative urge people never knew they had. 

That pretty much goes without saying though. As an AFOL site we won’t give much air time to 4+(although the Farm is garnering a decent amount of attention) or the smaller sets. I suppose it does happen elsewhere but I’m only here & on Instagram. Outside of the “influencer” types, the ones I follow showcase all kinds of sets that they buy. 

As someone who doesn’t MOC to any great degree I don’t feel like I’m missing out. I’ve made a small handful of things for my town to add details, but I build Modulars as they’re meant to be & plop them in town. I get my creativity’s worth from making scenes throughout town that are fun to look at. You could say people who don’t MOC aren’t using the bricks to their full potential I reckon. 

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5 hours ago, Alexandrina said:

I'm not sure MOCing and displaying are the only two options here, nor are they binary.

I have never made a MOC in the conventional sense (disclaimer: I made one terrible MOC when I was about twelve) - that is, I have never built a fully-formed model of my own design with the intention of displaying it/taking photos of it/whatever. In the same token, I'm not a displayer of sets. Right now, I have three sets actually built up, one of them a set I only built within the past week. Everyone Is Awesome, which I've had on my shelf for just under a year, is easily the longest I've ever kept a set built up in my life.

My enjoyment of Lego comes from making stop-motion films using the medium (though I've not completed one for nearly a decade - time flies!). So I MOC to the extent that I make custom sets for my films - which for 95% of the time is going to be a single backdrop wall or some trees on a baseplate, or something to that effect. Even on the rare occasion that I make something with more detail than that, it's very illusory, designed to look good from the specific angle I'll be filming from but far from being a complete model. This is MOCing in the technical sense, but it's also I feel distinct from the sort of MOCing that many forum users go for, where they end up with actual models to take photos of/display/share.

I also know that MOCing like that is not really for me. A finished MOC and a finished set feel the same to me: a model which is nothing unless I can turn it into a story. The difference is that a MOC is more work, and limited by techniques I know of. A set, on the other hand, is easier for me to build - following instructions, without needing to make up the plans - and often exposes me to new techniques I can adapt when making sets for my films.

Everything you are talking about IS creating/MOCing so I don't know why you try to argue that it isn't. That makes no sense to me. "My Own Creation" doesn't mean "a giant build for posting on IDEAS and/or conventions, but it can be those. It doesn't mean "building a car with 4 wheels and 6 bricks" but it can. It is simply making anything without using another person's instructions, thus building a small background for a brickfilm is MOCing, building a 20 foot diarama of Bag End is MOCing. Building a set by following the instructions, building something from the LEGO Ideas book, or buying instructions on eBay and building that is not MOCing.  

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Posted (edited)

It is really, really nice to read about the experiences from experienced - and very nice and polite - people. As almost always on EB. Thank you all very much (again)

And there is no doubt - none - that the quality and intensity of joy when MOCing is not any different from the joy of displaying, after building by exactly following instructions. It just depends on your personal perspective ("what I want"), your personal situation (the "how much" limitation) and many more - personal - factors.

I was more looking into what TLG is (actively, with some effort) trying to "transport" - the brick with sheer endless combinations of attaching them = creativity and the interpretation of the result; e.g. three bricks stacked with some offset throwing a shadow of a dinosaur. Look at the current catalog, their "what we do and why" shiny internet pages (of the company, not shop@home ;) But they never really talk about the "build once and put on a shelf" with any comparable impetus and motivation as they do regarding "create" activities.

My unpopular opinion was absolutely not addressed at individuals or individual interpretations of how to use or love the brick, it was more on how TLG "transports" the idea of the brick - "officially" via ads and promotions and "implicitly" via ... sales numbers ;)

All the best,
Thorsten

Edited by Toastie

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1 minute ago, Toastie said:

My unpopular opinion was absolutely not addressed at individuals or individual interpretations of how to use the brick, it was more how TLG "transports" the idea of the brick - "officially" via ads and promotions and "implicitly" via ... sales numbers ;)

They are advertising a LOT more in the past few years as sets meant to display rather than creatively rebuild - at least for the adult lines which is most of the ads I see because I am an adult :laugh: A lot of the ads seem to be coming from "display this in your office without embarrassment and let people know you like LEGO without being called strange for playing with toys" - that's how I am interpreting the advertisements (for the most part).

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1 minute ago, Darkdragon said:

They are advertising a LOT more in the past few years as sets meant to display rather than creatively rebuild - at least for the adult lines which is most of the ads I see because I am an adult :laugh: A lot of the ads seem to be coming from "display this in your office without embarrassment and let people know you like LEGO without being called strange for playing with toys" - that's how I am interpreting the advertisements (for the most part).

Absolutely!!! - But also go to their "official" website. Where their CXOs (X = random letter ;)) lay out the true history and philosophy of the company. :pir-huzzah2:

It is not even a disparity - it is a >very< clever pitch. They are smart - otherwise, the sales numbers were different ;)

Best,
Thorsten 

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16 hours ago, Darkdragon said:

Everything you are talking about IS creating/MOCing so I don't know why you try to argue that it isn't. That makes no sense to me.

I mean, I very specifically said in my comment that it is MOCing - while also drawing a distinction between it and the more conventional MOCing. Perhaps it's my interpretation, but it seems to me that when people say "people should MOC more" they're not saying "people should stick a few trees on a baseplate". If I made a solid wall of 2x4 bricks and posted it as a MOC, it would rightly get ignored. Stuff like this is MOCing in the literal sense of the term but does not really fall into the MOCing community - and that is the point I was trying to make. I'd also add that it's only through personal preference that I make my own sets for films - there are people out there who buy sets from Lego, or download other people's instructions, and just use those as-is for their backdrop. They're not buying the sets for display in the way that often gets disparaged here, but nor are they MOCing.

Not to mention the existence of kids who will just play with their sets straight out of the box. This isn't even new - I was exactly this sort of kid. When I got a new set, I'd build it, play with it for a bit exactly as it was presented, then dismantle it. Never put on display, and no original creativity on my end applied to the Lego.

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Maybe not unpopular opinion, but lego local pricing is weird as it can be... It killed my joy for lego for second time.

I live in Czech republic, but we have some of worst prices among neighborhood countries.

For example sets, that cost 139 euro in Germany, cost here 3890 CZK which is roughly 157 euro. They are totally out ouf touch, Germans with better income have cheaper sets than here...

Im furious, when Im checking prices. Just give us German prices for f sake. 

I can easily go to Poland, which is cheaper of all. But Im not interested in wasting my time for another bricks.

 

We have here joke, that lego bricks are made of gold. Thats why lego is so pricier here.

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@Ondra Your comments about weird pricing hit close to home. The differences between nations in Europe that are on the Euro is even crazy. I lived near the German and Belgian border for some time and often checked prices in both nations. Now that I live in the United States, I see the Euro to dollar to Pound numbers and scratch my head. They don't make sense given the exchange rates or logistics costs. I dare not even ask what the Australians think.

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Posted (edited)
34 minutes ago, Feuer Zug said:

Now that I live in the United States, I see the Euro to dollar to Pound numbers and scratch my head. They don't make sense given the exchange rates or logistics costs. I dare not even ask what the Australians think.

I've seen multiple explanations given but none make sense at this point anymore .

I see things mentioned like :

  • priced for discount (by that logic City sets in US should have like 50% discount ? since they are also discounted in Europe and cost less) (2022 : €20 Stuntz City set $35 in US)
  • priced because it will sell anyway (so Movie Licenses are somehow selling better in Europe/Eurozone so they can price it higher?) Star Wars pricing has gotten a little better in Europe but JW is still priced higher in Euro, but there have been cases of $20 sets for €30 in both SW and Harry Potter)
  • exchange rate / VAT (doesn't make any sense with given currencies and dollar/euro almost equal) (Before 2022, Prices between Germany and Netherlands prices could vary €5-20, far more then a few % , Blacksmith was €170 before this year in Netherlands / €150 in Germany, and then there's Finland which on Euro as well and still has higher prices)

At this point people just name some weird "facts" out of thin air.

That said, I've kinda given up trying to find explanation for pricing as it can vary so much per theme.

Edited by TeriXeri

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Posted (edited)

The only thing I can think of that might explain cheaper prices in the US is that people are generally poorer in the US than Europe. The middle class has been destroyed. Income disparity is higher than it's ever been and the American dream of buying your own home is basically a joke now to most young people. People are struggling to pay of student debt and scrape by.

Obviously this doesn't explain things like Stuntz sets being more expensive in the US.

When I saw how big and elaborate and expensive the first Monkie Kid sets were I was like "Damn, Chinese families must be doing okay."

Edited by danth

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2 hours ago, danth said:

The only thing I can think of that might explain cheaper prices in the US is that people are generally poorer in the US than Europe. The middle class has been destroyed. Income disparity is higher than it's ever been and the American dream of buying your own home is basically a joke now to most young people. People are struggling to pay of student debt and scrape by.

Obviously this doesn't explain things like Stuntz sets being more expensive in the US.

When I saw how big and elaborate and expensive the first Monkie Kid sets were I was like "Damn, Chinese families must be doing okay."

Ninjago compared to Monkie kid, looks like poor man's job.

When I first saw these sets, I was baffled how elaborate these sets can be... And I had same view, Asia buyers are probably very rich...

Not my cup of tee, but some mechs looks awesome...

 

I can say these poor market/rich market doesnt make sense either. We are post communist country, and we are still past western countries... But we have prices on par with Denmark... As I said worse prices than Germany...

But Poland, have best prices probably from any European country. These sets looks like they are on permanent sale...

 

Lego just wants maximize profits, probably from strong markets. I dont know better explanations. Its funny thinking in times of Amazon.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Ondra said:

Lego just wants maximize profits, probably from strong markets. I dont know better explanations.

Actually, I believe this describes it most accurately.

#Sets sold in price ranges, resolved by theme, probe the market (price-wise) = there you go. It will depend on so many things. Essentially - as far as I see it - it simply comes down to what people are willing to pay for what set/theme/in general in a country/region. I bet TLG does market analyses all over the place and tests the waters in various different countries over and over again - and that database is worth a lot.

I simply don't believe in the income/captita number as price maker - after all, TLG is everything else but a charity organization. The thing is that some people buy stuff, although they barely can afford it.

The product of sets sold and price is what I (in my simple mind) would look for. And then carefully maximize it. Begin with comparably low prices. Watch the numbers. Then do an increase. Watch the numbers - do it again, and again and then maybe along with a press release telling people that due to a shortage of the black color for the - as @allanp calls them - 18+ cereal boxes :pir-huzzah2: on Alpha Centauri - it had to be a 15% increase - and watch the numbers. Actually watch the gradient of #sets sold times price as function of many variables.  

And all the senseless pricing may actually begin to make sense. Well. That is what we call capitalism. So may people study business in every aspect - and thanks to Google and all the social networks running on ads and sales ... well, yes, sure. Maybe they talk to each other - who knows. Maybe you can buy a product from Google telling you a lot about - people in different countries; what they like, do ... you know, the modern "works".

Here's another one: What I would do, when I would be in that power play position (TLG - The LEGO Gods) - I'd also make these apparently low level but very well-thought-out catalogs with at least 25% overpriced numbers adjusted by country, of course. And then I'd make deals with other power outlets - on Amazon, power retailers and so on, and let them reduce the price by 20% without much ado. You know, one thing that always works: I - got - a - fantastic - deal. It wasn't the 700$/€/put-your-curreny-here. It was - believe it or not ONLY 590!!! I saved 110!!! So I can buy other sets I also want so much ... FOR FREE! And I would also get many of my 25% overpriced sets sold - because some people want it from the Gods directly. Maybe they announced it as LIMITED SET - whoa. Frenzy.

Oh well. Yes. Capitalism is one thing. The folks propelling it is another ...

Best,
Thorsten 

Edited by Toastie

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8 hours ago, danth said:

When I saw how big and elaborate and expensive the first Monkie Kid sets were I was like "Damn, Chinese families must be doing okay."

Not Monkie Kid, but a similar thought on the Chinese New Year sets - these are the best sets that Lego currently produces. Spring Lantern Festival is far and away *the* best set Lego have made in years. I love it. But the cynic in me says there's a reason they put their best designers on that line and the prices are so keen for your return.

When I saw that I thought, "Dayum, Lego *really* want to get a foothold in the Chinese market.

 

Which brings us to here:

5 hours ago, Ondra said:

Lego just wants maximize profits, probably from strong markets.

As much as I can praise their toy for being timeless and educational. As much as I'd praise their customer service for being above and beyond most companies - it boils down to this quote.

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7 hours ago, Toastie said:

 

Here's another one: What I would do, when I would be in that power play position (TLG - The LEGO Gods) - I'd also make these apparently low level but very well-thought-out catalogs with at least 25% overpriced numbers adjusted by country, of course. And then I'd make deals with other power outlets - on Amazon, power retailers and so on, and let them reduce the price by 20% without much ado. You know, one thing that always works: I - got - a - fantastic - deal. It wasn't the 700$/€/put-your-curreny-here. It was - believe it or not ONLY 590!!! I saved 110!!! So I can buy other sets I also want so much ... FOR FREE! And I would also get many of my 25% overpriced sets sold - because some people want it from the Gods directly. Maybe they announced it as LIMITED SET - whoa. Frenzy

Well there it is, pretty well sums it up, lol, the secret is out.

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17 hours ago, danth said:

The only thing I can think of that might explain cheaper prices in the US is that people are generally poorer in the US than Europe. The middle class has been destroyed. Income disparity is higher than it's ever been and the American dream of buying your own home is basically a joke now to most young people. People are struggling to pay of student debt and scrape by.

I doubt LEGO care about average incomes or what poor people earn. The incomes that matter are those of the people that buy LEGO. The speed that the recent BDP sets sold show that there are still plenty of people on incomes that can pay relatively high prices. 

I think they price to the local market, looking at local competition and sales outlets, which are different in different places. They will price to maximise income for a relatively fixed amount of product. They could sell more (to poorer people) if they lowered the price, but that would mean lower sales prices to all, plus becoming less of a premium brand.

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Posted (edited)

I hope, that I'm not treading too much of the old ground here, but here are my assumed-to-be unpopular opinions: 

 

– I don't like the negative spaces in feminine torsos. They don't blend against vast majority of backgrounds, and just feel odd when you stop to think about them. 

 

– People emphasise minifigures way too much when grading sets. (Especially Star Wars fans.)

 

– 95% (if not more) of official sets are not display worthy due to understandable compromises, but can be good parts packs or modified to look good. Good MOCs/SECs also look great as display items.

 

– LEGO has never been neglecting Star Wars prequel trilogy fans. (Although I agree that they should make some more PT UCS sets.) It has however been slim pickings for ST fans for the last two years. 

 

– People whine too much about things that they could easily modify in their sets. Almost as if they've forgotten what the main function of LEGO is. 

 

– The superhero themes have went downhill ever since their emphasis moved from comic inspired sets to sets inspired by the film adaptations.

 

– The May The 4th promos that were small dioramas were much more interesting than the exclusive minifigures.

 

– LEGO leans too much towards America. (But this is just me being salty that Finland, a country right across the pond from Denmark doesn’t get a LEGO store with a pick a brick wall or all of the same promotions as people who are literally at the another side of the world get.)

 

– Bonus popular/unpopular opinion combo: LEGO should bring back LoTR, but it shouldn’t last any longer than it did the last time, since their shorter licensed themes tend to have higher quality builds and minifigs than the evergreen ones.

 

Edited by Pasta Dish

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Posted (edited)

After reading a review of the new Ferrari Technic set, I have an unpopular opinion to share...

That set has a printed UCS-style plaque, and you know what? I think the stickered ones look MUCH better. Printing on a big 8x16 tile like that, the molding mark in the center and the "dimples" caused by the anti-studs on the back are clearly visible through the print. Whereas applying a big sticker across the whole surface of the print covers up those little imperfections in the part surface much better. I've never had trouble with a large rectangular sticker of that sort so I've never quite understood the distaste most AFOLs seem to have for them, and now seeing the alternative I feel like it's that much more obvious that the sticker was preferable.

Maybe in the future Lego could find a way to split the difference—perhaps a pre-applied sticker like on the Lego Mario sets could get around the issues with printing on that part while humoring sticker-phobic AFOLs.

Edited by Lyichir

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5 hours ago, Lyichir said:

and now seeing the alternative I feel like it's that much more obvious that the sticker was preferable.

Obvious or not - just let time, light, and oxygen "work" on the stickers. Yes, prints will degrade as well, but if done appropriately, much slower than the adhesives used to affix a tiny polymer film onto an ABS surface.

And furthermore - it depends :pir-wink:. For one, there is the application finesse. It appears as if you managed that. And even that depends; putting on a sticker of the size "a" on a flat plate of size "a+" is one thing. Putting them across more than one plate/brick is another.

So yes, maybe it is a good idea to decide individually. Generally, and to be quite honest, I never put up any stickers; too much light/temperature changes in my attic, way too much peeling observed (from past = 10+ years stickering). Never had/have issues with prints. 

Just my personal observation.

Best,
Thorsten

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6 hours ago, Lyichir said:

I've never had trouble with a large rectangular sticker of that sort so I've never quite understood the distaste most AFOLs seem to have for them, and now seeing the alternative I feel like it's that much more obvious that the sticker was preferable.
 

How aligned to you like them? I like mine not only straight but also aligned so there are equal gaps at the edges both left/right and top/bottom. It is a pain to have to spray and slide if you want them perfectly aligned. If prints aren't aligned it is not so noticeable but with stickers it is as you see the edges of the sticker.

Whereas I'm not bothered by moulding marks.

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On 5/20/2022 at 9:28 PM, Pasta Dish said:

I hope, that I'm not treading too much of the old ground here, but here are my assumed-to-be unpopular opinions: 

 

 

– People whine too much about things that they could easily modify in their sets. Almost as if they've forgotten what the main function of LEGO is. 

 

 

I think you did this thread a lot of justice :pir-laugh:

 

anyway: this. When I was a kid it was the coolest thing to put more stuff in my Millenium Falcon. A bed, a "shuttle", a toilet. And any gap was modified of course.

I never understood many of those influencers and other AFOLs keeping their sets EXACTLY the way their instructions tells them WHILE complaining. All sets are Lego making compromises to the market. They aren't holy. Isn't it the coolest thing that you can individualize them, make them better, change it over time, upgrade to modern standards..

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