Lego David

Hidden Side VS Monster Fighters

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I like MF for the ghost figs.  Using one's imagination is more future-proof than software which can be fleeting (LEGO® Universe...)

 

 

 

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I’d have to say MF as well. The story of the theme, collecting all the crystals, was a nice touch. The minifigs(both sides) are excellent. The mix of the good guys makes the team more fun.  Vampyre’s Castle & Haunted House are two amazing sets that are going to be hard to beat. 

HS has its charm, I quite like the head/parts swapping to make the city folk possessed. I don’t care much for the phone side of things(both app & in theme story). The sets are fun, though. I think they’re just different enough that it’s really difficult to compare them equally. 

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To be fair, I don't know if Monster Fighters was a popular line back in its day. It just got discontinued when I got out of my dark ages, so I just missed it (and missed picking up some really good special offers too...). The theme was very classic Hollywood monsters and I have my doubts if that was a popular thing in general back then. After all, universal made quite a belly-flop with their monster-universe too.:wink:

Personally I like their aesthetics a lot and would get definitely several sets if they would be released today. As for Hidden Side, it is quite charming, but having it limited pretty much only to ghosts and ghostly possessions feels quite... ermm limiting to me.:wink: The sets and characters fit nicely into Lego City though, so thats something. The augumented reality-aspect is a nice idea, in paper, but seems to lack depth of gameplay and the hardware requirements seem indeed quite steep. Its visually certainly ambitious, but maybe came a couple years too early. I think a more subtle and more broadly accessible way of using AR would have been the path to take.

Edited by Littleworlds

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On 10/24/2019 at 11:54 AM, Littleworlds said:

Personally I like their aesthetics a lot and would get definitely several sets if they would be released today.

Why wouldn't you get them now from Bricklink or eBay? 

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3 hours ago, Lego David said:

Why wouldn't you get them now from Bricklink or eBay? 

Prices usually get up to quite silly levels so I actually never looked!

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1 hour ago, Littleworlds said:

Prices usually get up to quite silly levels so I actually never looked!

Not really. Yes, they tend to go up for some themes, but not Monster Fighters  You can find them for less than their original retail price on Bricklink 

Plus, you can't judge if you haven't even looked...:wink:

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20 minutes ago, Lego David said:

Not really. Yes, they tend to go up for some themes, but not Monster Fighters  You can find them for less than their original retail price on Bricklink 

Plus, you can't judge if you haven't even looked...:wink:

Oh! Good to know! :classic:

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Monster Fighters is my favorite Lego series. Hidden Side is really good, but in my opinion it doesn't compare. MF was focusing way more on being scary (those zombie minifigs were terrifying) and it also had a Halloween theme. Hidden Side tries to be more modern, and I can see why some people would like that, but it just doesn't work for me. Also MF's story was really good. I'm not 100% sure if HS has a story tho.
So I'd pick MF any day, but thats mostly because I really like Halloween-themed stuff

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Hidden Side has better sets overall but Monster Fighters had better monster minifigures overall.

Though I do appreciate that Hidden Side's civilian figures can be used for town/city seamlessly. And Monster Fighters Haunted House is the best set of both themes by far, and one of my favorite LEGO sets of all time.

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2 hours ago, Hive said:

Hidden Side has better sets overall

I respectfully disagree with that. The Monster Fighter sets are overall better. For example, compare the MF Ghost Train with the HS Ghost Train. They both retailed for 80$, yet the MF Ghost Train is far more interesting than the HS one. 

 

Edited by Lego David

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1 hour ago, Lego David said:

I respectfully disagree with that. The Monster Fighter sets are overall better. For example, compare the MF Ghost Train with the HS Ghost Train. They both retailed for 80$, yet the MF Ghost Train is far more interesting than the HS one. 

 

To each his own. I like that many of the Hidden Side sets can - with little or no modifications - go straight into a city/town setup. The Monster Fighters sets... not so much.

I'm not into trains at all, so it wouldn't be fair of me to pass judgement on either of those - but I see good and bad in both of those sets.

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Power Min-wait wrong discussion.

It's hard for me as while I much prefer steampunk vehicles and corny monsters  from MF the idea of transforming regular City hallmarks into freaky possessed freaks of nature is SO appealing to me (also Skelly-Fuego) So I'd probably say the both have their place, (A cop-out answer, I know) though I would 100% prefer if these themes were switched around. Nowadays EVERY. SINGLE. ORIGINAL. THEME. is set in bustling, modernized, regular city. Sure Friends is slightly more vibrant and Ninjago has more asian architecture but they all are functionally the same so a theme like MF would provide a breath of fresh air today and Hidden Side was back in 2012 would feel a lot more unique

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23 hours ago, Renny The Spaceman said:

Nowadays EVERY. SINGLE. ORIGINAL. THEME. is set in bustling, modernized, regular city. Sure Friends is slightly more vibrant and Ninjago has more asian architecture but they all are functionally the same so a theme like MF would provide a breath of fresh air today and Hidden Side was back in 2012 would feel a lot more unique

I couldn't agree with you more on this point... :thumbup: ...I mean, I know modernity can make these playthemes more easily relatable to kids, but why couldn't they've at least set them back a couple of decades for a more "vintage" vibe? For instance, wouldn't it've been cooler if Hidden Side instead went with either an '60s or '80s setting, evocative of Scooby-Doo or Stranger Things? :shrug_oh_well:

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1 hour ago, Digger of Bricks said:

I couldn't agree with you more on this point... :thumbup: ...I mean, I know modernity can make these playthemes more easily relatable to kids, but why couldn't they've at least set them back a couple of decades for a more "vintage" vibe? For instance, wouldn't it've been cooler if Hidden Side instead went with either an '60s or '80s setting, evocative of Scooby-Doo or Stranger Things? :shrug_oh_well:

Well, they wouldn't have been able to properly integrate the AR gimmick if that was the case... And testing the AR was pretty much one of the main reasons they created this line.

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13 minutes ago, Lego David said:

Well, they wouldn't have been able to properly integrate the AR gimmick if that was the case... And testing the AR was pretty much one of the main reasons they created this line.

Perhaps, though will every AR-based playtheme have to incorporate smartphones into its narrative premise? Will that hold true for "Leaf" too? :shrug_confused:

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On 10/3/2019 at 2:10 AM, Lego David said:

I don't know if Hidden Side is going to age very well (especially with the app gimmick that would be completely useless as soon as the theme retires).

The physical play features on the sets that are majorly possessed are already more fun to play with than the app anyway. The only thing built into the sets are the bright color flip faces that are just for scanning, but they're not reaaaally hurting anything when they go useless.. just a waste for little mini features.  then the phone using kids in the set end up kinda silly without corresponding to the player on the phone, but that's just a tiny tile and they've put plenty of big gun anti ghost vehicles and devices that make a respectable arsenal ignoring "phones reveal and capture the ghosts"

 

 

I really like all the waterfront sets: the boat, seafood diner, and lighthouse are absolutely my jam.

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On 1/20/2020 at 10:02 AM, Digger of Bricks said:

For instance, wouldn't it've been cooler if Hidden Side instead went with either an '60s or '80s setting, evocative of Scooby-Doo or Stranger Things? :shrug_oh_well:

nnn..nn.nooo?

folks throw the "it's a sucky kinda modern that will age poorly" around, but why can't something to just be of its time again? 

also I don't see a lot of it being time tied except the clothes? which are even just a variation on fashions going 20-30 yrs strong in some subcultures

The waterfront sets I mentioned are all a little bit past their days of newness - I don't see any of the others representing anything brand new either. all stuff that could be established decades ago, besides again the anti ghost tech, which is not based on reality and could be even seen as retrofuturistic

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5 hours ago, SpiderSpaceman said:

folks throw the "it's a sucky kinda modern that will age poorly" around, but why can't something to just be of its time again? 

also I don't see a lot of it being time tied except the clothes? which are even just a variation on fashions going 20-30 yrs strong in some subcultures

Honestly, I'm not really concerned about such an approach "aging poorly" as much as it's just that I'd rather want to see a playtheme that differs from City and Friends in more than just its style and vibe, offering figures that'd be even less likely to fit within City's modern context. Given the choice, I'd earnestly take a "spooky" theme that's set anywhere during the first half of the 20th Century rather than the latter half; but, as a compromise, I'd probably settle for a Hidden Side that'd instead been set during the '60s or '80s, as it'd feel "modern enough" without being so just to offer something to fans of Historical Themes that City could never offer.

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12 hours ago, Digger of Bricks said:

Honestly, I'm not really concerned about such an approach "aging poorly" as much as it's just that I'd rather want to see a playtheme that differs from City and Friends in more than just its style and vibe, offering figures that'd be even less likely to fit within City's modern context. Given the choice, I'd earnestly take a "spooky" theme that's set anywhere during the first half of the 20th Century rather than the latter half; but, as a compromise, I'd probably settle for a Hidden Side that'd instead been set during the '60s or '80s, as it'd feel "modern enough" without being so just to offer something to fans of Historical Themes that City could never offer.

Apart from the smartphones, what exactly is it about the theme that doesn't fit with a '80s aesthetic? Most of Newbury is rather dated and in fact even decaying —things like old abandoned subways, quaint little train stations, greasy spoon diners and a high school building that to be honest looks like it could be eighty to a hundred years old. None of those subjects really feel like the slick, pristine subject matter we get in the City theme, even if they are modern enough to share things like the Octan or railway logo. If anything, the more modern setting provides justification for the level of dilapidation present in the town, which might not really feel as natural during a booming time period like the 1960s.

Really the only thing that firmly establishes the theme as more modern than that is the protagonists, who quite reasonably are meant to be relatable to modern kids. It's a very different scenario than a show like Stranger Things, which is aimed at older audiences including people nostalgic for that time period. Kids generally don't get that sense of nostalgia for a time period they never knew firsthand, and older time periods such as medieval times have a very different appeal (one of escapism and adventure) that a time period as recent as thirty to forty years ago doesn't really provide.

Beyond the protagonists, it's not like the other figs would even look that out of place in an older time period. The school set, for instance, features formal outfits for the adults that wouldn't have changed much in the past fifty years, while the kids wear things like varsity jackets or basketball jerseys that likewise aren't exactly a modern invention. The diner set features an extremely retro waitress fig and a disheveled looking chef, neither of whom seem particularly modern. The train set features relatively classic looking uniforms for the railroad workers, though the gender equity between the two figs offered might be atypical of older time periods (which if anything is yet another reason why a modern time period is a better choice). And so on and so forth throughout the rest of the theme. There's a lot of retro appeal there if you cut the cell phones out of the equation.

Edited by Lyichir

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On 10/3/2019 at 6:06 AM, Another Brick In The Wall said:

Somebody correct me if I am wrong, I believe the Monster Fighters Haunted House started as CuuSoo project. 

I've never heard this and I used to manage a Lego Monsters Web site with archived articles with facts from the designer. But there definitely have been many MOCs of Haunted Houses and even Castles way before this set, just no hard facts that connects the set to being someone else's CUUSOO project, just a developer's design.

 

Why are we comparing/contrasting between only MF and HS? Why not 2002's Studio Monsters and Scooby Doo?

 

I had a lot of issues with MF when it came out. But overall I enjoyed them (after all, I own ALL of them including most of the accessories, books, clocks, keychains, etc)

 

However, even after buying the HS Juice Bar and HS Lab, I'm not impressed. Clearly a "Stranger Things" ripoff... and a bad one. Not just because its young, stupid hipster rich kids (which ironically might actually sell better thanks to Ghostbusters: Afterlife) but its cheap citizen-to-spirit transformations and transformative buildings. (Don't get me wrong, I love Stranger Things as much as the next person, probably more for its nostalgia and horror elements, but even the creators are growing tired of it and let's be honest, do we really want it to become the next TWD where people outgrew that fad quicky?). And I'm not upset with the direction of GB: Afterlife having kids play with the equipment... not quite Stranger Things and definitely not some cheesy sissy-megablocks HS with kids "busting ghosts" using their expensive Mom&Dad-purchased cellphones.) Yes, they may be more detailed, but they are also based on the present, not the Gothic eras MFers were based, when they didn't have as many accessories (although I love the grandfather clock and Halloween accessory set since it expanded the cemetery and gave us the witch that presumably caused the female MFer's scar, I absolutely hate the VooDoo doctor being replaced by another Zombie Driver and to this day, hate that we didin't get some kind of medieval knight wall plague or statue, we only got the helmet in a trunk in the attic). And like many people already said, MF had the better minifigures and HS had more detailed sets, although I think the high school was too involved, the HS ghost train is lackluster to the MF ghost train, the HS light house is less involved (but a worthy purchase) than SD's light house, and the Amusement Park is best replaced by Jokerland. I am impressed with a possessed pizza delivery boy from HS magazine (he'll fit nicely in front of my Ghostbusters Firehouse with my Pizza truck and hotdog stand and slimer lol). The "subway" (why god why) is a joke yet the tree, echoing sentiments from 2002 Studio's Werewolf and 2012's MF werewolf set, strangely isn't bad. The school bus is an oversized joke - reminds me of a Fischer-Price bus I used to own as a kid) and the shrimp shack isn't as impressive as first thought. The shrimp boat pairs well... and better... with the lighthouse.

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14 minutes ago, kelceycoe said:

Why are we comparing/contrasting between only MF and HS? Why not 2002's Studio Monsters and Scooby Doo?

Probably because those themes have more in common with each other than with MF and HS since they feature people in costumes rather than actual supernatural antagonists. Perhaps we should create a Studios vs. SD thread?

17 minutes ago, kelceycoe said:

Clearly a "Stranger Things" ripoff... and a bad one. Not just because its young, stupid hipster rich kids (which ironically might actually sell better thanks to Ghostbusters: Afterlife) but its cheap citizen-to-spirit transformations and transformative buildings.

OK boomer. :laugh: I’d argue that the transformation features are HS’s biggest strength, not its weakness. They’re creative and fun, and they’re what sets the theme apart from not only things like Stranger Things and Ghostbusters, but also Lego’s other spooky themes. If you think they’re bad just because they feature millennial kids and don’t make you nostalgic like Stranger Things does, you have to remember that unlike that show, these are aimed at todays kids, not you. I agree that the concept of kids busting ghosts with smartphones is silly and dated, but that doesn’t diminish the good set design. I think most of the sets look better than a lot of the stuff in City and other themes. 

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4 hours ago, kelceycoe said:

I've never heard this and I used to manage a Lego Monsters Web site with archived articles with facts from the designer. But there definitely have been many MOCs of Haunted Houses and even Castles way before this set, just no hard facts that connects the set to being someone else's CUUSOO project, just a developer's design.

 

Why are we comparing/contrasting between only MF and HS? Why not 2002's Studio Monsters and Scooby Doo?

 

I had a lot of issues with MF when it came out. But overall I enjoyed them (after all, I own ALL of them including most of the accessories, books, clocks, keychains, etc)

 

However, even after buying the HS Juice Bar and HS Lab, I'm not impressed. Clearly a "Stranger Things" ripoff... and a bad one. Not just because its young, stupid hipster rich kids (which ironically might actually sell better thanks to Ghostbusters: Afterlife) but its cheap citizen-to-spirit transformations and transformative buildings. (Don't get me wrong, I love Stranger Things as much as the next person, probably more for its nostalgia and horror elements, but even the creators are growing tired of it and let's be honest, do we really want it to become the next TWD where people outgrew that fad quicky?). And I'm not upset with the direction of GB: Afterlife having kids play with the equipment... not quite Stranger Things and definitely not some cheesy sissy-megablocks HS with kids "busting ghosts" using their expensive Mom&Dad-purchased cellphones.) Yes, they may be more detailed, but they are also based on the present, not the Gothic eras MFers were based, when they didn't have as many accessories (although I love the grandfather clock and Halloween accessory set since it expanded the cemetery and gave us the witch that presumably caused the female MFer's scar, I absolutely hate the VooDoo doctor being replaced by another Zombie Driver and to this day, hate that we didin't get some kind of medieval knight wall plague or statue, we only got the helmet in a trunk in the attic). And like many people already said, MF had the better minifigures and HS had more detailed sets, although I think the high school was too involved, the HS ghost train is lackluster to the MF ghost train, the HS light house is less involved (but a worthy purchase) than SD's light house, and the Amusement Park is best replaced by Jokerland. I am impressed with a possessed pizza delivery boy from HS magazine (he'll fit nicely in front of my Ghostbusters Firehouse with my Pizza truck and hotdog stand and slimer lol). The "subway" (why god why) is a joke yet the tree, echoing sentiments from 2002 Studio's Werewolf and 2012's MF werewolf set, strangely isn't bad. The school bus is an oversized joke - reminds me of a Fischer-Price bus I used to own as a kid) and the shrimp shack isn't as impressive as first thought. The shrimp boat pairs well... and better... with the lighthouse.

That’s a lot of dissent based on the two smallest sets...the school bus is a fantastic set, & sized according. Likewise, the Shrimp Shack is appropriately sized, it is a shack after all. It’s meant to be a small, waterfront business & it pulls it off great. 

As to the Haunted House, it was being accused of being “stolen” from a MOC that is similar to the set(I mean, it’s a cliche haunted house, of course it’s going to be similar to others). Perhaps that’s where’s the CuuSoo thing came from. 

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9 hours ago, kelceycoe said:

However, even after buying the HS Juice Bar and HS Lab, I'm not impressed. Clearly a "Stranger Things" ripoff... and a bad one.

I personally am not against LEGO taking inspiration from other IP's as long as they add their own creative twist on it. After all, couldn't someone say the same thing about LEGO Adventurers by calling it a "Indiana Jones rip-off?"

Though you can clearly see that LEGO took inspiration from Ghostbusters, Stranger Things and Scooby-Doo with this line, there are still enough original concepts to make it different from those three IP's. 

And to be fair, I would much rather have LEGO make their own themes inspired by a certain IP rather than just make licensed sets based on that IP. 

Edited by Lego David

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I vote for Monster fighters. HH is one of the best Lego sets ever and VC is also great. 

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On 2/3/2020 at 6:13 AM, Lego David said:

I personally am not against LEGO taking inspiration from other IP's as long as they add their own creative twist on it. After all, couldn't someone say the same thing about LEGO Adventurers by calling it a "Indiana Jones rip-off?"

Though you can clearly see that LEGO took inspiration from Ghostbusters, Stranger Things and Scooby-Doo with this line, there are still enough original concepts to make it different from those three IP's. 

And to be fair, I would much rather have LEGO make their own themes inspired by a certain IP rather than just make licensed sets based on that IP. 

True. I mean the HH is based on a mashup of the house from Addams Family & Munsters.

Not to mention...

Zombie set from White Zombie

Other sets from both Monster themes are obvious except the original Frankenstein castle which smashes up Dr. Frank with Jekyll/Hyde.

Igor appears in the Vampire's Crypt as a hunchback despite he was Dr Frank's assistant and not hunched back in the Universal film if I recall.

Now Van Helsing also appears in this set as the Vampire slayer but younger.

Remsfield did not appear in this set. Hilariously, Remsfield was the actual name given to the Zombie Driver on the MF early mockup box arts... as was also the name Dracula.

Frank's Bride was actually in the form of Lord Vampire's wife.

The Monster Butler is based on Lurch if I recall from the early box art... but its obvious anyway. 

The Monster Rocker is likely based on those older monster mashup cartoons, I think Groovin Ghoulies but could have been something else. There really were not many animated monster rally musical cartoons (Mad Monster Party did not put the Monster with the guitar). To note, the old Beetlejuice show actually gave its monster a guitar.

Edited by kelceycoe
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