Robert8

LEGO IDEAS - The Medieval Blacksmith

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1 hour ago, Mikado said:

Great set, not as great as the original, but will be fun to try to change it to make it look more like the one we voted on.

Also I'm curious, why is so many obsessed with goats?

Because the one you voted on had a goat :wink:. They're just disappointed that it doesn't have one. The goat has only been in one set in the past so fans were hoping to see a return.

1 hour ago, Mikado said:

If you use the money on goats instead of this set you get like 5-6 of them! 

If they were making the goat again then builders could get them direct from Lego for a few bucks instead of that outrageous $45 to $113 that bricklinkers are listing them at.

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2 hours ago, notpennysboat said:

I don't reconize a piece, the dark grey one at the bottom of the spear, also in black in the kitchen and on the doors. 4 is a good number for the sword piece from last year.

I just found the piece number on Brickset, 66909 Weapon Hilt Symmetric, and the sets it appears, it will be all new to me.

Yeah, that one just came out last year in the Monkie Kid sets, so it's still very uncommon (and black ones are new for this year, having previously only appeared in this year's Chinese festival sets).

Although it is somewhat similar to the lightsaber hilt piece, one significant advantage it has is that the "bar" portion is wide enough that pieces like 49563 can attach to it securely by both clips.

And I agree, it's always very exciting to see all the new uses LEGO finds for existing pieces. The Ninjago City sets like the recently revealed gardens are utterly awash with clever stuff like that — one that especially caught me by surprise in that set is that one of the buildings used the black butcher knife recolor (which also appears as one of the utensils in this set's kitchen) as roof shingles!

The construction of the bellows to stoke the fire and the oil lamp upstairs by the writing desk are also very impressive, especially since they only requires a few relatively basic pieces, and yet still feel very authentic. And on a side note, I'm beginning to realize how many of the features in and around the house (like the oil lamp, butcher knife, cooking pots, lanterns, wall sconces, door handles, and maybe even the chair frames) are colored Black or Titanium Metallic to suggest that they were wrought from iron right downstairs in the blacksmith shop! After noticing that, I'm going to have to look a lot more closely at the various pictures and re-watch the designer video to see how many other examples of the blacksmith's handiwork are scattered about!

Edited by Aanchir

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5 hours ago, Aanchir said:

Since the set description only refers to it as a dog and not a husky, couldn't it be intended to represent a different Spitz breed? After all, several Spitz breeds existed in Scandinavia during the Middle Ages, and they also spread to other parts of Europe via Viking expeditions. A few of these ancestral "Viking" breeds like the Norwegian Elkhound and Swedish Vallhund have similar coat colors to Siberian Huskies, although the Swedish Vallhund generally has shorter legs, giving rise to theories that it may be related to the Welsh Corgi.

The much more blatant/surprising historical inaccuracy in this set is the squash patch. Pumpkins and squash are New World produce, and while Europe, Africa, and Asia do have their own gourd species like the calabash, they do not resemble the gourds in this set. It's true that writers of historical fiction or medieval fantasy take liberties with this sort of stuff all the time — for example, the Hobbits of the Shire cultivate both potatoes and "pipe-weed" (i.e. tobacco) in Tolkien's Middle-Earth stories. However, it still feels like a somewhat unusual oversight, and leaves me wondering whether the designers considered including other sorts of produce like cabbages, carrots, or calabash before opting for a squash patch.

Anyway, I'm disappointed but not surprised that the Brickset story about the official announcement of this set ended up getting locked because people were getting into arguments about the "historical inaccuracy" of including a female knight. I find it kind of telling that female knights, pirates, samurai, etc. tend to be such a consistent source of controversy whenever new historic sets or themes get announced, despite their existence being so well documented (even if it wasn't the norm for their time period).

Some of the newly (or at least, more clearly) revealed details that I'm most impressed by are the bearskin rug (in the earlier leaks of the box, I couldn't tell what that black patch was supposed to represent, and my best guess was either ashes from the fireplace or spilled ink from the writing desk), the metalworking tools like the bellows and grindstone, the covered woodpile, the light brick function, and the clearer views of the roof construction (inside and out).

It's hard to tell quite how many of these details had counterparts in the original project, since the builder included so few interior photos, and most were not from especially helpful angles. In any case, these furnishings definitely give the set some of the sort of "lived-in" quality that I've long yearned to see in the Castle theme, and greatly appreciated seeing in more recent themes like Friends, Elves, or sometimes even Nexo Knights and Ninjago. It's easy to envision the full and fulfilling lives of the set's humble denizens, from the long hours spent at their daytime trades to the rewarding evenings dining on vegetables and wild game!

I definitely appreciate that the set makes full use of the top floor/attic space, since it was unclear whether the original project did — although regrettably, the peaked roof seems to have forced Wes to replace the four-poster bed with a more conventional wooden bedframe. I'm still longing for SOME future Castle set to include a four-poster bed, since like the medieval banquet hall, it strikes me as a very iconic feature of medieval castles!

On an amusing note, I also just noticed that one of the lifestyle photos includes some tabletop gaming dice among the non-LEGO props — which probably reflects both an audience that LEGO expects the set to resonate with and one of the interests that motivated Wes and Austin's enthusiasm for this set. After all, quite a few of the non-LEGO projects in Wes's creative portfolio (from both before and after he began working in Billund) are D&D related, including illustrations of characters from his various role-playing campaigns with friends.

I agree and as far as the female knight, this is not a historical set based on a specific person in time and history.   It's a classic lego castle based set, but classic lego castle has had fantasy elements in them, ie dragons, wizards, skeletons, trolls, etc.  So you could see it as a more fantasy based set which in a lot of fantasy there are female knights.  And this being a gripe with people then why not just switch it out with a male head if you don't like it that is what makes lego great you can change the things you don't like.  I've been doing that since I was a kid.  And here we are still on the goat thing it's actually mind boggling the amount of people that can't fathom not getting a goat.  The interior is great though, really liking the whole set more and more now.  

 

4 hours ago, Maple said:

I don't buy 'the mold broke' as an excuse.

The goat could have (and SHOULD HAVE) been included in the Jurassic Park set, the Mikey Mouse boat, this set, and a few others. Why is it LEGO can make a new dog mold every year? Why is it that LEGO made at least three Friends animals that are exclusive to those three sets, but not a goat that can be included in several themes?
 

Molds break it happens and sometimes they just don't make a new one.  What is  there not to buy.  Molds break like the old sword mold so they made a different sword.  I'm sure they will make another goat give it time.  It's not high on their priority list right now most likely.  They haven't made a sheep either but I'm not going make a big deal about it because it's really not that important right now.  

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9 hours ago, Lira_Bricks said:

I didn't know they had huskies in the medieval times. Why not a goat? That would make this set really interesting for people who do not want to pay 50 euro for one on Bricklink...

I think that I would have been OK with it if the designer had a beloved husky or something.  As it is, I don't dislike huskies, but it feels like a missed opportunity to either include a dog mold more common to medieval europe or to go full Nordic and include many more northern aspects.  I also would argue that the mold is a husky since it has been used repeatedly as such in dogsled teams in Arctic sets. 

7 hours ago, Robert8 said:

Agree

They gave Sesame Street 5 new molds. And here they could reintroduce the goat mold?? 

Sesame street: $120 US / 1367 pcs ($0.088/pc) with 5 minifigs, 5 new molds, 2 birds, 10 new printed pieces and more recolors than I can count for a licensed set.  Medieval Blacksmith: $150 / 2164 pcs ($0.069/pc), 4 minifigs, no new molds, 1 dog, 1 horse, four new prints if you include the horse (I'm assuming that it and the blacksmith torso are new), one recolor (horse) for an unlicensed set.  Barracuda Bay: $200 US / 2545 pcs ($0.79/pc and this includes huge hull pieces) with 8 minifigs (9 with skeleton), no new molds, 1 parrot, 1 pig, at least 5 new prints, at least one recolor for an unlicensed set.  I would agree that the designers chose not to make a new goat mold.  I would have loved to have seen a black or brown chicken, a new goat, or one of the new dogs.  At PoBB prices, that would make the set $171 US, or at Sesame Street prices $190, which it seems this is hitting in the Netherlands already.

6 hours ago, danth said:

So Lego should include confounding and out of place additions in sets, at the opportunity cost of better options, and we're expected to pay for them and not complain, and that's fine because we can just remove them? That's seriously your take?

In that case Lego should start including Classic Space minfigs in all their Star Wars sets. I don't care if SW fans don't want them, I'll buy their unwanted minifgs cheap on Bricklink!

Ooooh!  Oooh!  Count me in!  Let's release a classic space guy and maybe a Blacktron guy with every space set and a classic castle and forestman guy with every Harry Potter set!  Anyone who doesn't want it can just give them to me! :laugh:

5 hours ago, Aanchir said:

The much more blatant/surprising historical inaccuracy in this set is the squash patch. Pumpkins and squash are New World produce, and while Europe, Africa, and Asia do have their own gourd species like the calabash, they do not resemble the gourds in this set. It's true that writers of historical fiction or medieval fantasy take liberties with this sort of stuff all the time — for example, the Hobbits of the Shire cultivate both potatoes and "pipe-weed" (i.e. tobacco marijuana) in Tolkien's Middle-Earth stories.

Anyway, I'm disappointed but not surprised that the Brickset story about the official announcement of this set ended up getting locked because people were getting into arguments about the "historical inaccuracy" of including a female knight. I find it kind of telling that female knights, pirates, samurai, etc. tend to be such a consistent source of controversy whenever new historic sets or themes get announced, despite their existence being so well documented (even if it wasn't the norm for their time period).

Fixed that for you. :laugh:  In all seriousness, though, I will at least deal with the squash since they said in the video that it was an homage to the designer.  I'm more than fine with anachronisms done for a purpose. 

The heated arguments about the historical inaccuracy of female knights strikes me as nonsensical.  This is a fantasy world.  There are orcs and wizards in sets.  Why should a woman not be a knight?  Did people get mad about Macy (I think that was her name, I didn't really follow Nexo) in the Nexo Knights?  This whole set screams fantasy medieval by design anyway.  Sure, maybe a Husky exists in a fantasy world, too, but I'm less concerned with the breed of dog than the missed opportunity there in one direction or the other as I stated above.  My only real disappointment is the civilian female mini is that she's so generic.  No new prints, no cool dresses or skirts if they wanted to go that direction, no new hair, no real 'story'.  Is she the blacksmith's daughter?  Is she his wife?  What's her story?  Her clothes don't scream anything other than generic and she has a bow and arrow.... but what?  I think this was another missed opportunity to do something really fun like put a small wolfpack brooch on her shirt or maybe a forestman stag print on a belt buckle or something to indicate that maybe there's more to her than meets the eye and a nod to another classic castle theme.  I really like the female black falcon knight and think she's spot on.

5 hours ago, Aanchir said:

Designer Mark Stafford has confirmed on Reddit that the goat mold from the Mill Village Raid set is no longer usable, unfortunately. He'd intended to use one in the Jurassic Park T. Rex Rampage set before learning of this. LEGO could certainly introduce a new goat mold at some point, but so far all the sets and themes that have had the budget to introduce new molds have directed that budget towards other parts (including other animal molds in themes like City, Jurassic World, or the Collectible Minifigures).

Whenever LEGO does decide to introduce a new goat mold, it would be interesting if it had removable horns like the LEGO cow so that it could be used for a wider variety of breeds and species. That might make it easier for LEGO to include it in a wider range of sets and themes, such as collectible minifigures inspired by different historical or geographic settings.

Thanks for providing the Reddit reference.   I had not seen that before.  I love the idea of the removable horns on the goat.  If the colors are chosen carefully enough, I would think that the long cattle horns could be used for making anteolpe or gazelle or something with a recolor or new prints.  I also think that we are definitely missing sheep.

And, @koalayummies, the cows with ridiculous horns made me fall off the chair laughing!  How absolutely hysterical.  Thank you for a much needed laugh!

Overall, now that I see the second (or first for Europe) floor and size, I think that I may pick up a copy of this set.  Probably not the multiple copies I had been planning on originally, but I am leaning toward it being good enough to pick up a copy.  And I will definitely be on B&P to pick up some of those tan horses and black falcon torsos!

Edited by Grover

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Ouch on the confirmed price :pir-huzzah1:, I dont like it at all, I do like the set and the designers passion and the overall construction, details plus features, but watching the video makes me feel more strange than before, I will buy it, eventually, but feel like its priced as a licensed set (SW), with the size/piece count  respect MMV or KJ they had like 1500 pieces as average, and cost well, less and gave us more animals, minifigures and decent detail. I really cant understand how only 4 figs, a horse and dog, I mean they did a good job on recoloring the horse and print two new falcon torsos but for its price not so happy and dont want to make a negativity towards a very pretty set and more importantly after so many years without castle yet the price I feel unfair somehow(I had to take it out).  Probably will cost like $200-$230 in Guatemala. :pir-look:

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You know, a funny thing about "the goat mold is no longer available" thing...well, the goat mold wasn't available for the Village Raid set either -- they had to make it from nothing! And that was for a $100 set. You'd think they could remake a new one now easier than they could then, since they must have at least the CAD design already.

But anyway, I personally don't care much about the goat. I just think it's funny excuse to say the mold is broken or whatever.

Edited by danth

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1 hour ago, zoth33 said:

They haven't made a sheep either but I'm not going make a big deal about it because it's really not that important right now.  

There is a Friends sheep which is exactly my point. Can get a panda bear, sheep, sleuth and llama, but not a new goat?

 

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Upon rewatching the designer video, I also noticed that the shop is stocked with wrought iron in both bar form (black "gold ingots", stored in a 3x4x2 crate to the right of the table where the blacksmith keeps his latest projects) and rod form (black "lightsaber blades", stored in a barrel to the left of the same table). The sheer amount of care the designers took to ensure they included every detail a medieval blacksmith would need for his work is staggering, and it makes me hope that when this set is released, the instruction manual will include margin notes explaining each of these details.

After all, one of the exciting features of many LEGO Ideas sets for me is the written material which separates their instruction manuals from the more straightforward pictorial instruction manuals of most other themes. Sometimes, this is just for added flavor or entertainment — for example, the character bios in the Barracuda Bay instructions, the short story about Pete and Yve in the Exo-Suit instructions, or the movie quotes in the Ecto-1 instructions. But in other cases it can be genuinely informative, like explanations of the role/purpose of each stage of the Saturn V rocket, or the designer and fan interviews at the beginning of all Ideas manuals.

This set seems like a great example of a place where BOTH possibilities could really shine — maybe a short story or comic in the front introducing the characters (with or without names) and the business they have here at the blacksmith shop, and then margin notes throughout providing real-world historical info about the art of blacksmithing and how that is represented by different parts of the build!

1 hour ago, Niku said:

Ouch on the confirmed price :pir-huzzah1:, I dont like it at all, I do like the set and the designers passion and the overall construction, details plus features, but watching the video makes me feel more strange than before, I will buy it, eventually, but feel like its priced as a licensed set (SW), with the size/piece count  respect MMV or KJ they had like 1500 pieces as average, and cost well, less and gave us more animals, minifigures and decent detail.

Some of this is just inflation (MMV would cost around $120 and KJ would cost around $135 if they came out today, judging from the current value of the US dollar). But more importantly, this set is quite a bit more detailed than either Medieval Market Village or Kingdoms Joust. Note that both Medieval Market Village and Kingdoms Joust were 12+ sets, not 18+, and they used far fewer SNOT techniques, hinges, or mottled colors and textures than this set does. All their roofs were built from standard slope pieces, and all their floors or foundations were just a single plate thick. So regardless of their size and charm, they were closer to the building level of "Creator 3-in-1" than "Creator Expert".

And remember, even the year that Medieval Market Village first came out, that year's Modular Building (Fire Brigade) had a 50% higher price — even though it had far fewer minifigures or animals. This set is much closer to the Fire Brigade's level of complexity than it is to Medieval Market Village's, even though it's not quite as large (nor as expensive, after adjusting for inflation). So although this is considerably more expensive than previous Castle exclusives, that seems to be pretty much in line with its higher level of detail.

Plenty of people in this very thread have mentioned the elaborate detail of the original project as a major reason they supported it, so needless to say, LEGO had a strong incentive to maintain as much of that complexity as they could without any structural defects.

48 minutes ago, danth said:

You know, a funny thing about "the goat mold is no longer available" thing...well, the goat mold wasn't available for the original set either -- they had to make it from nothing! And that was for a $100 set. You'd think they could remake a new one now easier than they could then, since they must have at least the CAD design already.

But anyway, I personally don't care much about the goat. I just think it's funny excuse to say the mold is broken or whatever.

Mill Village Raid only cost $70, not $100, and it was aimed at a 7+ age range, not 18+. So chances are, it would have been produced and sold in MUCH greater quantities than an expensive AFOL-targeted exclusive. This is something that designers have discussed before in reference to which sets can offset the cost of new molds and which sets can't.

For reference, set designer Mark Stafford mentioned in this comment back in 2012 (in response to people questioning why LEGO could justify the cost of rarely-used molds like narrow-gauge train/minecart tracks, but couldn't bring back monorail tracks): "there are just not enough AFOLs to justify the new molds. AFOL sets like the Emerald Knight number in the tens of thousands of units, Ninjago mid range sets are over a million sets produced."

While it's doubtful that a Kingdoms set towards the end of the theme's life would have been produced or sold in quite the same quantities as similar-sized Ninjago sets would be at around the peak of that theme's popularity, and the number of adult LEGO buyers has risen a lot over the past decade, some of these factors still apply here. The KFOL audience remains much larger than the AFOL audience, and $70 sets still tend to sell in much larger quantities than $150 sets.

And remember, Mark's the one who was trying to bring back the goat for the Jurassic Park T. Rex set up until he learned that the mold was no longer usable! So if he could have pushed for a replacement mold for an AFOL-targeted set like that, there's no reason to think he wouldn't have done so, let alone that he'd go on Reddit outside of working hours to do pro bono PR work for whichever of his higher-ups ended up getting in the way of that decision.

So you're right that LEGO could introduce a new goat mold just as easily today as they could in 2011. It'd just need to be introduced in a moderately affordable set aimed at a KFOL audience, like it was back then. Not a $150 18+ set like this one. That's the key distinction in situations like this one.

Edited by Aanchir

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32 minutes ago, Aanchir said:

...let alone that he'd go on Reddit. <period

Period. There should be a period there right? :laugh:

Sorry I couldn't resist.

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33 minutes ago, Aanchir said:

Upon rewatching the designer video, I also noticed that the shop is stocked with wrought iron in both bar form (black "gold ingots", stored in a 3x4x2 crate to the right of the table where the blacksmith keeps his latest projects) and rod form (black "lightsaber blades", stored in a barrel to the left of the same table). The sheer amount of care the designers took to ensure they included every detail a medieval blacksmith would need for his work is staggering, and it makes me hope that when this set is released, the instruction manual will include margin notes explaining each of these details.

After all, one of the exciting features of many LEGO Ideas sets for me is the written material which separates their instruction manuals from the more straightforward pictorial instruction manuals of most other themes. Sometimes, this is just for added flavor or entertainment — for example, the character bios in the Barracuda Bay instructions, the short story about Pete and Yve in the Exo-Suit instructions, or the movie quotes in the Ecto-1 instructions. But in other cases it can be genuinely informative, like explanations of the role/purpose of each stage of the Saturn V rocket, or the designer and fan interviews at the beginning of all Ideas manuals.

You can see the first few pages of the manual already. Looks like it has plenty of information!

 

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15 minutes ago, Modal said:

You can see the first few pages of the manual already. Looks like it has plenty of information!

Oh, thank you! Hadn't seen that video yet, and you're right, it definitely looks promising. It's surprisingly satisfying to see how smoothly the timbers and roof segments fit together after the walls are constructed. I know some people dislike build videos or overly detailed reviews because they feel like it "spoils" the experience, but seeing this one honestly makes me even more enthusiastic than before to get this set myself so I can experience that construction process firsthand!

Also, spotted yet another cool kitchen detail I'd missed in previous pics/videos (the butter churn). Honestly, I'm amazed that the designers managed to pack in so many details that I find at least one neat feature I missed pretty much every time I look!

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On 1/16/2021 at 10:48 PM, Grover said:

Let's hope we start getting some medieval sets with animals.  We really need a sheep!

:thumbup:

14 hours ago, Lira_Bricks said:

 Why not a goat? That would make this set really interesting for people who do not want to pay 50 euro for one on Bricklink...

It would definitely be a good sales-point and a fan service, hopefully next time :shrug_oh_well:

11 hours ago, Robert8 said:

They gave Sesame Street 5 new molds. And here they could reintroduce the goat mold?? 

Strange indeed :def_shrug:

10 hours ago, koalayummies said:

Here's hoping for an all goat 'battlepack'. :pir-huzzah1:

:pir-huzzah2:
 

10 hours ago, Aanchir said:

Since the set description only refers to it as a dog and not a husky, couldn't it be intended to represent a different Spitz breed? After all, several Spitz breeds existed in Scandinavia during the Middle Ages, and they also spread to other parts of Europe via Viking expeditions. A few of these ancestral "Viking" breeds like the Norwegian Elkhound and Swedish Vallhund have similar coat colors to Siberian Huskies, although the Swedish Vallhund generally has shorter legs, giving rise to theories that it may be related to the Welsh Corgi.

8 hours ago, danth said:

The Norwegian Elkhound you mentioned, that breed just might be look close enough to a husky to make sense. A while back I looked up medieval dogs to see if any looked like huskies, but didn't find that one. For now I'm considering that to be the answer; maybe the designers will comment on it eventually?

It is stupid that it is called elkhound in English since we do not have elk in Norway, however we have moose than in Norwegian is called "elg", so this always confuse people that translate and do not know a lot about animals and we get this silly mistakes. Basically it is a moosehound and it is rather similar to a husky, so I do not mind that it is included in the set. However we should have gotten it in addition to the other more interesting animals not a substitute for them. The horse is great, but when the description brags about animals included and the second is the rather common husky and the third is a frog I would say that is pushing it a lot *huh*

I like the look of the set and the minifigs especially the female ones so I will buy it eventually even it it is rather disappoint in the animal department :shrug_oh_well:

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I just bricklinked a couple of CMF tournament knights to switch out the Black Falcons into my MMV & KJ sets. :classic:

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Man I though the 160 price tag here in Greece was bad but some of you guys have it much worse.

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13 hours ago, Deivit said:

Damn, that is even worse....

 

I guess it will have to do with earnings indeed, the minimum (average) wage is a bit higher in the Netherlands I believe, as well as the VAT.
Strange that this never has been an issue, all prices were exactly the same (for example barracuda bay 199,99), but since this year (January sets) there are price differences.  
I agree the set looks good for 120 - 130, not sure if I'm getting it for 170. Maybe will have to look for a german willing to ship and buy multiples from germany.

Yeah, not fun. Altho, sometimes there are places that do sell a bit cheaper than LEGO's price.

12 hours ago, Mikado said:

Great set, not as great as the original, but will be fun to try to change it to make it look more like the one we voted on. Already ordered black and dark blue roof tiles to get rid of the blue color :sadnew:

€185 in Norway.

lekekassen no, might have it cheaper someday?

The swedish offshoot toyspace se, there I have bought some for a little bit cheaper. Even a few Ideas sets.

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10 hours ago, Grover said:

f female knights strikes me as nonsensical.  This is a fantasy world.  There are orcs and wizards in sets.  Why should a woman not be a knight?  Did people get mad about Macy (I think that was her name, I didn't really follow Nexo) in the Nexo Knights?  This whole set screams fantasy medieval by design anyway.  Sure, maybe a Husky exists in a fantasy world, too, but I'm less concerned with the breed of dog than the missed opportunity there in one direction or the other as I stated above.  My only real disappointment is the civilian female mini is that she's so generic.  No new prints, no cool dresses or skirts if they wanted to go that direction, no new hair, no real 'story'.  Is she the blacksmith's daughter?  Is she his wife?  What's her story?  Her clothes don't scream anything other than generic and she has a bow and arrow.... but what?  I think this was another missed opportunity to do something really fun like put a small wolfpack brooch on her shirt or maybe a forestman stag print on a belt buckle or something to indicate that maybe there's more to her than meets the eye and a nod to another classic castle theme.  I really like the female black falcon knight and think she's spot on.

i agree, if it was historical, a female knight would not make sense, butl nook at the house the roof is like from a fantasy book it looks like a fantasy set so it is ok if there is a knight like that. I also think it would have been good to put something like that on the minifigure of the archer

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The Review embaro has lifted, so I'm eager to share a summary of my thoughts on the new set!  (Full review at brickarchitect.com).

Brick_Architect-review_21325_LEGO_Mediev

#21325 Medieval Blacksmith - box and finished model.

 

As has been discussed at length, many folks see the final version as a bit of a letdown, as it is smaller and less "mature" in aesthetic compared to the original LEGO IDEAS submission.  While this is true, I am happy to report that it really is a nice model, apart from some quibbles that I have with the roof coloration, and annoyance with structural choices on the third floor.

The ground floor in particular is excellent, with an absolutely brilliant play feature: you press on the brick-built bellows to make the light brick activate in the forge!  I also enjoyed nods to classic Castle, including the Black Falcon logos, and nod to the classic Forestmen theme in the tree.

JB2A0627-300x300.jpg JB2A0623-300x300.jpg JB2A0630-300x300.jpg

The tiny details are the best thing about this set.

 

Now, I don't think it's a "perfect" set, but it really is a nice way to revisit classic Castle themes with modern building techniques. It earned out "Recommended" 4/5 Star Rating (with caveats...). Available February 1.

 

Sincerely,
—Tom Alphin, brickarchitect.com

 

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3 hours ago, henrysunset said:

As has been discussed at length, many folks see the final version as a bit of a letdown, as it is smaller and less "mature" in aesthetic compared to the original LEGO IDEAS submission.  While this is true, I am happy to report that it really is a nice model, apart from some quibbles that I have with the roof coloration, and annoyance with structural choices on the third floor.

I am a little puzzled that you're this bothered by the roof color because I feel like it's not unusual for slate roof shingles to look this vivid under certain lighting and weather conditions. For example, this roof uses slate from the Penrhyn Quarry in Wales, which has been a source of roofing slate since medieval times. Here's a photo of an Australian church that had its roof re-shingled using Welsh slate. And here's one of houses in Wales (albeit not medieval ones) roofed with natural slate.

Frankly, the shade of blue in some of these photos actually comes close to looking almost like Medium Blue or Dark Azur — certainly Earth Blue would be too dark to properly evoke this appearance, while Sand Blue would be too desaturated. So while LEGO's color choice might be a little idealistic (it's doubtful that any natural slate roof could look this vivid at all times), I don't feel like it's less "mature" or realistic than the roof of the original project. After all, even LEGO Friends sets aimed at five- or six-year-old kids often have Earth Blue roofs!

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36 minutes ago, Aanchir said:

I am a little puzzled that you're this bothered by the roof color

Compare it to the original, which was dark blue tiles along with the darker beams. The final model is way brighter, with a brighter shade of blue added in as well as the green. The final model almost looks like something out of a magical/fantasy world. Reminds me of Elven buildings from The Hobbit or LotR. Which isn't bad, but for a medieval building, many prefer the original roof coloring.

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So i can't seem to understand the issue with AFOL's and their critiques. It doesnt have a goat, its not exactly historically accurate, maybe its a husky, has a possibly female knight... I thought the whole point of being an ADULT FAN OF LEGO was to be a fan of a child's toy that may sometimes create more challenging builds. An AFOL (at least in my book because i am one) collects and plays with legos because it reminds him of simpler times and captures the nostaglia of what it was like to be an 8 year old opening black falcons fortress or some other set. Just because they make the builds more challenging and more engaging doesnt mean they can't take liberties for what is all intents and purposes a child's set, with building techniques and challenges for 18+ or older. It isnt like the movies where a 12 or 14 year old can't buy it cause its 18+.

I do understand the questions and i value some of the valid points people bring up, but I'm going to feel like its 1987 and Christmas when i get this, regardless of the "disappointments".

Case in point the 2000 Blacksmith shop #3739 was so cool and awesome when it came out. If i was going to give it the 40 year old scholars critique of it, man it wouldn't hold up well with that level of eagle eye i mean a gold trumpet...(though to be fair they did a good job...almost like this set!)

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20 hours ago, Maple said:

There is a Friends sheep which is exactly my point. Can get a panda bear, sheep, sleuth and llama, but not a new goat?

 

It's going to take time look how long it was to get a new sting ray.  There seems to be a wildlife group of sets in city coming this year, maybe we will get some new animals in those sets.  They might still have that partnership with national geographic so there might be something there too.  

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3 hours ago, Aanchir said:

I am a little puzzled that you're this bothered by the roof color because I feel like it's not unusual for slate roof shingles to look this vivid under certain lighting and weather conditions. For example, this roof uses slate from the Penrhyn Quarry in Wales, which has been a source of roofing slate since medieval times. Here's a photo of an Australian church that had its roof re-shingled using Welsh slate. And here's one of houses in Wales (albeit not medieval ones) roofed with natural slate.

Frankly, the shade of blue in some of these photos actually comes close to looking almost like Medium Blue or Dark Azur — certainly Earth Blue would be too dark to properly evoke this appearance, while Sand Blue would be too desaturated. So while LEGO's color choice might be a little idealistic (it's doubtful that any natural slate roof could look this vivid at all times), I don't feel like it's less "mature" or realistic than the roof of the original project. After all, even LEGO Friends sets aimed at five- or six-year-old kids often have Earth Blue roofs!

Thanks for those links.  Everyone needs to really look at some of those pictures of real slate roofing.  Regular blue may be a bit "bright" but it is closer than the "too dark" dark blue.  I think the mix of regular blue and dark blue works as well as you can get in Lego to replicate that look of natural slate roofing.  Apparently most people just don't know what that actually looks like.  I think it is really funny that the "dark/gothic fantasy" appearance of the original submission is considered more realistic than the final product that better matches real slate roofing.

 

Overall, from the leak picture I thought this was a good parts pack.  From in depth reviews I think this looks like a fantastic parts pack.  Anyone wanting to build medieval styled buildings (in any setting from actual medieval times to "pirate era" port towns to modern day legacy buildings) should be jumping for joy at this set.  I actually like the roof building technique better than the original submission.  I value stability as much as appearance in a Lego build.  Anything that "looks amazing" but is also really fragile is a fail in my book.  The final version hits that perfect balance between looking amazing and being solidly built.

Minor nitpicks (like the lack of goats) aside, this is by far and away the best Castle themed civilian structure ever released by Lego.  Any Castle fan that isn't planning on buying at least one of these for any reason other than financial inability is being really silly.

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3 hours ago, natesroom said:

So i can't seem to understand the issue with AFOL's and their critiques.

 

As a reviewer, it's my job to highlight the very best and worst aspects of every set that I cover—even the good (and great) sets!  Focusing on the highlights and lowlights is the most efficient way that I've found to help readers decide whether a set is a good match for their collection or not.  My job isn't to encourage folks to buy every set, but rather to make sure that they love each of the sets they decide to buy.  (If reviewers do their job well, fans who only buy a couple sets a year based on extensive research should feel like every set they buy is one of their favorites!)  Even serious AFOLs have limited time, space, and budget; I'm here to help!

As a more casual fan of LEGO, I would have probably just built the set, modified the roof a bit to match my preferences, and loved the finished product!

---tom

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10 hours ago, henrysunset said:

As a reviewer, it's my job to highlight the very best and worst aspects of every set that I cover—even the good (and great) sets!  Focusing on the highlights and lowlights is the most efficient way that I've found to help readers decide whether a set is a good match for their collection or not.  My job isn't to encourage folks to buy every set, but rather to make sure that they love each of the sets they decide to buy.  (If reviewers do their job well, fans who only buy a couple sets a year based on extensive research should feel like every set they buy is one of their favorites!)  Even serious AFOLs have limited time, space, and budget; I'm here to help!

As a more casual fan of LEGO, I would have probably just built the set, modified the roof a bit to match my preferences, and loved the finished product!

---tom

I would like to thank you for your review.  I usually don't like it when people post links here to external websites with reviews (and I still prefer people post them here), but I took the time to read yours and found it was one of the best reviews I have ever read on Lego products.  The vast majority of Lego reviews I read are gushingly positive as if TLG can do no wrong.  I get tired of these and especially when I have people rail against me when I even hint at an opinion other than any given Lego set is the best thing ever made.  You stated the parts of the set that you did and did not like, giving well thought out and well described reasons for each, which is refreshing.  Keep up your honest and extensive reviews.

Edited by Grover

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The issue isn't "an opinion other than any given Lego set [is] the best thing ever made", it's the people who use their anonymous forum accounts to grade every set that comes out as though they're judges at the Olympics, and expect Lego to release either 10,000-piece MOCs or big grey walls as retail sets. Ironically, many of those same posts come from people who wouldn't dream of posting any kind of negative comments on the 10,000 piece MOC posts on Eurobricks.

Edited by Mr. President

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