Jim

Limited Technic Reviews

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Hi all,

Since you haven't seen many Eurobricks Technic reviews lately, I felt the urge to give some insights into the reason why. 

The reason you haven't seen reviews for the Control+ sets is very straightforward. We have simply not been offered the opportunity to review these sets. I haven't got a clue as to why we haven't been offered these sets. Maybe it's because I do mostly written reviews and both Control+ sets are better off with videos instead of pictures. Maybe it's because I said that "only the most profitable is good enough" in one of my latest reviews (for the pullback racers). Maybe my latest reviews haven't been satisfying enough. Who knows?!

The most likely reason is that our stats have been diminishing lately. While TLG always said that stats are not the most important thing when it comes to reviews, I highly doubt TLG isn't simply choosing fan media with the highest potential view count (and why wouldn't they?!). The diminishing view count is partially caused by TLG sending sets out to more fan media, so people are not waiting for a Eurobricks review anymore. Another more important reason is that when reviewers get their set, most of the time it's already available in retail stores. This isn't helping reviewers at all. I am still not sure why TLG isn't sending the sets earlier to reviewers. I know TLG wants the set to be available when the embargo lifts but sending review sets that late simply doesn't help anyone. Maybe I should add the stats of the generic discussion topic to the review stats, just to show that Eurobricks still generates a lot of interest. When I search for a Technic review on Google, most of the time, Eurobricks is at the top of the list.

As much as I love writing reviews, it does feel a bit useless reviewing stuff that has been discussed for pages and pages (and on Facebook for example) already. This takes away a large part of the fun of writing a review. Back in the days, people were staying up till midnight, so they could read a review with lots of new information. If you look at the views of the 42056 - Porsche GT3 RS review, they went through the roof. Unfortunately, time has changed.

So, part of me is very disappointed that we are not considered important enough anymore. Another part of me is disappointed that I didn't get the change to review a cool set like the Liebherr. On the other hand; I know how much time it takes to review a set like the Liebherr and you really need to be motivated to deliver a great review. I also like the idea of getting the Liebherr and enjoy the build without the pressure of delivering a review. LEGO is supposed to be fun after all.

Therefore, I am contemplating switching to a review format where I focus on the pictures instead of providing lots of information. Or maybe I will let someone else do the official reviews and I will create a picture review when I get my hands on the set. I need to think about it.

Hopefully, we will be offered new Technic reviews sets in the future.

 

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I’m pretty disappointed with Lego’s publicity standards recently. They are, as you said, sticking with the high subscriber and view channels. They aren’t caring for custom builds, lego ideas or otherwise, and letting their salesperson side show. They are a large company that should care for its fan base, not use it to sell to those who don’t understand. This has been happening everywhere. If you don’t have a massive fan base, most people don’t care. Thankfully most people on this site do care. I hope LEGO can see the light, not the profit of larger sets.

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This is a big shame. Technic sets always look better in real life than they do in pictures, except Jims pictures somehow did manage to capture how good a set looked in real life. your Technic photography was unique in that regard. I do remember when you would receive sets very early and could release reviews before the sets release date. Hopefully with the fall of a certain copycat company that won't be named those days might return eventually.

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I noticed the same trend of TLG neglecting the reviewers and sending the sets way too late to have any effect. It's sad, it seems unless you have 100k subscribers on a given social platfrom, you are not worthy, no matter how detailed and crisp clean your review (and photos) are.

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I for one strongly enjoy your reviews, They tend to ben in-depth in a way other reviewers are not due to the fact that they're presented in a video format.
Sad to hear things going this way...

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I enjoy reading the longer reviews with high quality pictures, videos are very nice to have but not a must. Perhaps TLG should do trial runs with certain forum members before production, as most of the sets get criticized (usually rightfully so). However, almost immediately followed by improvement suggestions and proof of concepts and enhanced building instructions: Bugatti, Porsche, Liebherr just to name a few :)

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I hope TLG will realise soon that there are several ways to promote a set and YouTube is not the only way to go. I'm doing video reviews myself but I always enjoyed reading Jim's detailed written reviews and couldn't watch those gorgeous photos without being envious. As it was mentioned previously googling any Technic set + "review" from the past few years will always bring the Eurobricks review topic on the top of the list. This is the result of some hard work and dedication and it shows the popularity of the written reviews, this should be definitely respected. 

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I, for one, have enjoyed Jim's reviews a lot, and not least because the written format. Videos are nice sometimes at showing certain functions etc., but I personally enjoy reading and looking at pictures much more at my own pace, than watching a video at pace someone else decided. Something else that makes Jim's reviews stand out is also the analysis on how a given set fits in the bigger picture of Lego sets, for example his thoughts in the 42082 RTC review concerning parts count were something I found very interesting. TLG not giving out sets for reviewing (or giving them out too late) is of course very disappointing, but I'm not one of those who have to get new sets as soon as possible so I don't mind review being late that much either. And of course those photos are stellar, so I hope we'll be seeing them also in the future :)

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6 minutes ago, Catalinanmb said:

Or it might be because in the recent years it took you Jim months after receiving the sets to publish some reviews...

Care to give me some examples?

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I prefer Jim's pictorial reviews to video reviews. They're well-written, knowledgeable and objective. And the photography is godly :wub_drool:

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Hi !

4 hours ago, Jim said:

We have simply not been offered the opportunity to review these sets. I haven't got a clue as to why we haven't been offered these sets. Maybe it's because I do mostly written reviews and both Control+ sets are better off with videos instead of pictures. Maybe it's because I said that "only the most profitable is good enough" in one of my latest reviews (for the pullback racers). Maybe my latest reviews haven't been satisfying enough. Who knows?!

 

My best advise would be that you ask directly to Lego.

4 hours ago, Jim said:

The most likely reason is that our stats have been diminishing lately. While TLG always said that stats are not the most important thing when it comes to reviews, I highly doubt TLG isn't simply choosing fan media with the highest potential view count (and why wouldn't they?!).

I am not sure view count is the key factor here. For example, I am being selected by Lego, and I don't think my reviews have views that are even close to the most popular reviews.
But if you ask me, I am deeply convinced that view count is not related to the quality of the review.

4 hours ago, Jim said:

Another more important reason is that when reviewers get their set, most of the time it's already available in retail stores. This isn't helping reviewers at all. I am still not sure why TLG isn't sending the sets earlier to reviewers. I know TLG wants the set to be available when the embargo lifts but sending review sets that late simply doesn't help anyone.

When I got selected to publish a review, I always got the set before embargo. Sometimes just by a few days, but still before.

4 hours ago, Jim said:

On the other hand; I know how much time it takes to review a set like the Liebherr and you really need to be motivated to deliver a great review. I also like the idea of getting the Liebherr and enjoy the build without the pressure of delivering a review. LEGO is supposed to be fun after all.

Totally.
Technic reviews are very long to do. Building the model (which tend to be bigger and bigger), analyzing it, doing photos, doing video, doing all the writing to explain the qualities and flaws of the model regarding aesthetics, mechanisms, playability, etc. It really takes a lot of time, and sometimes it can be a bit overhelming. Especially when lots of models are released at the same time (January, August).

In any case, I think you should discuss all of this with your Ambassador and with TLG.

 

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That's just sad. Your reviews have been a part of the reason i became a forum member (and i've always been part of the "stay up till midnight"-crowd)
There are very little reviews that convey the feeling of building and understanding a model as good as yours.

As you're describing and picturing the model during the building one gets to know the model well enough to be able to discuss it with members already owning it.
(The only increase in detail being @grum64's projects)

 

5 hours ago, Jim said:

I am contemplating switching to a review format where I focus on the pictures

As the next best thing, i would enjoy those too :-)

 

I really hope you can sort this out with LEGO. With the designer interviews by @Sariel, there seem to be more communication channels open than before, maybe they'll hear it this way...

Edited by schraubedrin

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@Anio I am the Ambassador :laugh:

I have kindly sent Kim a PM on the LAN, saying that we still love to do reviews. I got the Land Rover.

Maybe I should ask him why we were excluded from reviewing the Control+ sets.

About the embargo date; I did get most of the sets before embargo date, but only a couple of days (like you). I simply cannot produce a decent review in a coupe of days. I do need two weeks, at least.

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Jim, your text reviews were far better and certainly reaching a bigger audience than certain video reviews that LEGO continue to support. Can think of several examples!

Problem with requested reviews is that you probably do not feel the same engagement and have the same energy to do them for all the complete line of sets, and some may take longer or even be left behind. At certain point it all becomes a mess and I know what I'm talking about... But this happens to almost everyone, so we still didn't nail the reason to get excluded.

The beauty of great AFOL reviews (text, video, or both) is that it all started to happen naturally and spontaneously, until LEGO inner layers took notice of it.
It worked fine for some time, but suddenly they tried to scale the whole thing beyond reasonable limits. Then there is no more Community Engagement managing it, but Product Line Marketing Heads getting in charge, and that's when it all turned to be managed into a business logic, which is far from the AFOL's logic, intentions, and availability...

Finally you have several reviewers that try to do it for living, which brings an unexpected twist and another variable to this logic, regardless it makes sense or not, it is sustainable for themselves and for the overall community / ecosystem.

At certain point I decided to exclude myself for many reasons. Now I'm getting back but prefer not to receive the sets in advance, which is clearly not effective for the majority and still struggling tor the rest - not an hobby for sure!. Better to work at my own pace and according to the constrains my personal life permit for the moment. It's all a matter of perspective.

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9 minutes ago, Jim said:

@Anio I am the Ambassador :laugh:

Drats ! I'd have sworn that it was Whitefang. Oo

Conchas raised some good points.

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30 minutes ago, Catalinanmb said:

 

Frontpage promotion was late. Not the review. And I didn’t even write that one. Blakbird did an outstanding job on the review and schematics. 

29 minutes ago, Anio said:

Drats ! I'd have sworn that it was Whitefang. Oo

Conchas raised some good points.

LoL :laugh: 

Conchas definitely has good points!

 

@Conchas spot on mate! 
 

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When i decided to went out from my 25 years  dark age, i started to search reviews and i found yours... 

I read your  42030 and 42043 reviews many times before keep the decision, and.. . I bought both!

Hope you continue to make it, even outside the official lego channels, because yours, are absolutely the best. The mix between magnificent photos and accurate descriptions is the better way to understand which is the best set for every taste. 

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2 minutes ago, Catalinanmb said:

I got the Bugatti later than everyone

else. I was in Billund at the time and I got the set after my visit, while others got it before the event. 

I was late with the Claas! You found a valid one :thumbup: 

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1 hour ago, Catalinanmb said:

Or it might be because in the recent years it took you Jim months after receiving the sets to publish some reviews...

Goodness. Have some tact and at least get your facts straight before throwing barbs at folks.  

8 minutes ago, Jim said:

I got the Bugatti later than everyone

else. I was in Billund at the time and I got the set after my visit, while others got it before the event. 

I was late with the Claas! You found a valid one :thumbup: 

Lol....one late review out of dozens aint that bad. Certainly not enough to cause a policy change for TLG. 

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Whatever format you choose Jim, you have my support. I love your reviews, they provide tons of very useful information. Almost all my LEGO purchases have been somewhat based on your opinions (although sometimes I disagree with you :grin:).

I also think TLG should send sets earlier for review, but I do get it that ultimately it's all business. And posting a video on youtube with a couple of minutes that shows all the functions of a model generates more interest (and potencial buyers) than a fully thorough review that took hours of work to write and requires a genuine interest in LEGO and time to read (which most people don't seem to have on this day and age).

My point is, I'd love for you to continue to do your reviews in the same way you have for years, but I surely won't dislike it if you choose to do more picture oriented ones.

BTW, I'm still waiting on 42053 :sweet:

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WHen I’m interested in purchasing an older set (I think sets mature over time somehow) I always look for eurobricks review to peruse. A good written review with photos like yours are very intimate and satisfying and, well they make me want to buy sets. I wasn’t that interested in the landrover right now, but you photos are changing my mind!

videos are great but I’ll always enjoy a written review with great photos more  :thumbup:

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2 hours ago, nerdsforprez said:

Goodness. Have some tact and at least get your facts straight before throwing barbs at folks.  

Lol....one late review out of dozens aint that bad. Certainly not enough to cause a policy change for TLG. 

While Catalinanmb could have been a bit more civil, he does raise a valid point and not just for one review. I remember 1 or 2 years ago where Jim outsourced some of the sets he recieved from Lego for review to others, because he didn't have time. And while you can counter alot of the linked reviews except one from Catalinanmb, the linked reviews all show a pattern in the first sentence: 

First of all, my apologies for bringing you this review so late.

Let me be clear, I really like Jim's reviews and he is very thorough with great photo's, but in my experience his reviews always came after the reviews of other people's like Sariel. And sure, Sariel's style of reviews is different, but he does all of them, does them well and does them fast at or before release. And Jim has valid reasons to need 1-2 weeks and also personal life is more important, but it could be that it is one of the reasons why Lego isn't sending sets atm. They are a business after all: if the same provided set can create more buzz at release elsewhere, they will send it elsewhere.

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