astral brick

Seriously, how did this happen?

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I read this amazingly detailed review

https://www.eurobricks.com/forum/index.php?/forums/topic/180256-review-75290-mos-eisley-cantina/

I respect the passion that shines through the thread, but I can't help thinking about the first lines

"...Pieces: 3187
Minifigures: 21
Price: USD 349.99 / EUR 349.99 / GBP 319.99..."

Now, seriously, did we lose Space theme for this?

A tan shack with low roofs, a four-legged toy, a small flying car, an unbelievable price in relation to the number of pieces. But I forgot, there are the minifigures. People in denial who justify everything, while they should be the first ones to be outraged to have their money taken out of their pockets, forgetting that if you really love something you should be the fiercest critic of it, rather than turning a blind eye.

There are adults (set labelled 18+) happy to pay a good amount of money in order to play with tiny sci-fi figurines that maybe shot first or perhaps not, but apparently there isn't a market willing to buy new editions of the original design Space models that contributed to make the history of the company.

A glorious past purposely allowed to be forgotten instead of being celebrated.    

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8 hours ago, astral brick said:

There are adults (set labelled 18+) happy to pay a good amount of money in order to play with tiny sci-fi figurines that maybe shot first or perhaps not, but apparently there isn't a market willing to buy new editions of the original design Space models that contributed to make the history of the company.

I think the problem is that nostalgia is a dangerous thing. The original space themes were great (ok, I was born too late for classic space but I have a huge soft spot for Exploriens), but they were of their time. An exact reproduction of the old sets would feature too many basic bricks to look good next to the rest of Lego's current lineup, and be criticised for lacking advanced building techniques.  And if one of the vintage space themes was rebooted with all modern techniques, it would be criticised for not staying true to the spirit of the original. So Lego can't really win.

70816 Benny's spaceship was a great love letter to the fans, the Exo-Suit Ideas set was stunning, and the classic space logo does keep popping up on minifigures, so I don't think the old sets are completely forgotten yet.

I would also point out something that I think a lot of people lose sight of these days - Lego isn't a plastic model kit like you get from Airfix or Revell. Lego isn't something where you have to follow the instructions and build what's pictured on the box (though it's perfectly fine to do that if that's what you want). Lego is about bricks that can be assembled in any way you want to build whatever you want. If Lego doesn't make the set you want, then design it yourself. It's entirely possible. That's the magic of Lego!

Edited by NathanR

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8 hours ago, astral brick said:

Now, seriously, did we lose Space theme for this?

In my view, no. I think we lost Space because of competing action based themes such as Ninjago sell better than Alien Conquest, Galaxy Squad, and so on. Kids have moved on from when Classic Space was futuristic and cool.

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46 minutes ago, MAB said:

In my view, no. I think we lost Space because of competing action based themes such as Ninjago sell better than Alien Conquest, Galaxy Squad, and so on. Kids have moved on from when Classic Space was futuristic and cool.

I feel like modern space is taking over...

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We may have lost the Space theme, but LEGO is still making some Space sets.

There were some nice spaceships from The Lego Movie and The Lego Movie 2.  The latest wave of Creator 3-in-1 sets has a nice exploration rover. 

 

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Hi there. I understand where you are coming from. Times changed. Even if we bring back classic space, the people who will appreciate them more are those people who loved them first -- the adults reliving those nostalgic memories.

That time had passed, and I moved on. I wasn't happy with so many licensed sets taking over as well.  I also wanted classic space to come back.... but I had come to terms with it. As already mentioned, TLG still continue making space sets, just not under 1 theme. From time to time, we'll get references to classic space, and even new minifigures that calls back the classic space era.

I do think there could be  a future where licensed theme like Star Wars co-exists with Classic Space but at the current state, TLG appears to be more interested in exploring other themes that breaks the mould of 'classic' themes: Ninjago instead of classic ninjas, futuristic cross-over castle theme like NEXO Knights, and modern-times chinese folklore like Monkie Kid. Even City is starting to look more and more story driven instead of the blank canvass that they used to be. 

As some people might say, it is what it is.

Did we lose space because of Star Wars? Probably not. Maybe it contributed in some way but I believe It is a mix of a lot of different factors.

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1 hour ago, NathanR said:

I would also point out something that I think a lot of people lose sight of these days - Lego isn't a plastic model kit like you get from Airfix or Revell. Lego isn't something where you have to follow the instructions and build what's pictured on the box (though it's perfectly fine to do that if that's what you want). Lego is about bricks that can be assembled in any way you want to build whatever you want. If Lego doesn't make the set you want, then design it yourself. It's entirely possible. That's the magic of Lego!

This is extremely valid. I will often buy Lego sets with the pure intention of breaking them down for parts. If I see a set that has some good minifig pieces and interesting parts to use, I’ll get them, never build the actual model and put whatever I don’t immediately use into an ever expanding pool of parts for later use.

 

Also don’t forget with renewed space exploration going on ( Three launces in a week from different countries all going for Mars) there’s going to be sets reflecting this as there is a newer interest in space. The most recent City Space set was fantastic, and the new creator 3-1 is also decent. Classic Space will always be that: Classic.

1 hour ago, NathanR said:

I think the problem is that nostalgia is a dangerous thing. The original space themes were great (ok, I was born too late for classic space but I have a huge soft spot for Exploriens), but they were of their time. An exact reproduction of the old sets would feature too many basic bricks to look good next to the rest of Lego's current lineup, and be criticised for lacking advanced building techniques.  And if one of the vintage space themes was rebooted with all modern techniques, it would be criticised for not staying true to the spirit of the original. So Lego can't really win.

Again, direct hit. My only desire from the classic sets is the return of shaped base plates. The old moon craters were fantastic and served as good foundations for building, display and play.

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24 minutes ago, makoy said:

Hi there. I understand where you are coming from. Times changed. Even if we bring back classic space, the people who will appreciate them more are those people who loved them first -- the adults reliving those nostalgic memories.

That time had passed, and I moved on. I wasn't happy with so many licensed sets taking over as well.  I also wanted classic space to come back.... but I had come to terms with it. As already mentioned, TLG still continue making space sets, just not under 1 theme. From time to time, we'll get references to classic space, and even new minifigures that calls back the classic space era.



I do think there could be  a future where licensed theme like Star Wars co-exists with Classic Space but at the current state, TLG appears to be more interested in exploring other themes that breaks the mould of 'classic' themes: Ninjago instead of classic ninjas, futuristic cross-over castle theme like NEXO Knights, and modern-times chinese folklore like Monkie Kid. Even City is starting to look more and more story driven instead of the blank canvass that they used to be. 

As some people might say, it is what it is.

Did we lose space because of Star Wars? Probably not. Maybe it contributed in some way but I believe It is a mix of a lot of different factors.

Every day a theme has to be gone. Even the popular LOTR. New themes are always taking over.

Except that Star Wars and Technic has existed for a long time and they're still selling well.

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1 hour ago, NathanR said:

 And if one of the vintage space themes was rebooted with all modern techniques, it would be criticised for not staying true to the spirit of the original.

I disagree and what annoys me most is to see that they dont even want to give it a serious chance. They release expensive sets over and over, about every miniscule aspect of SW, but they dont want (to overlap scifi themes)/cannot (due to some license agreement) make a modern version of at least one of their classic spaceship. Let's imagine a Ucs version of a Galaxy Explorer, built with modern techniques. I think it would sell very well, but we will never know until they try it.

Instead we have a 349 usd/eur space pub.  

 

50 minutes ago, makoy said:

Hi there. I understand where you are coming from. Times changed. Even if we bring back classic space, the people who will appreciate them more are those people who loved them first -- the adults reliving those nostalgic memories.

Id est enough people to justify at least one Ucs reboot of some classic spaceship. Moreover, who said that nowadays children or teens wont appreciate some modern version of a Space set? Aren't they tired of having the same SW models repeated every year with small variations?

50 minutes ago, makoy said:

That time had passed, and I moved on. I wasn't happy with so many licensed sets taking over as well.  I also wanted classic space to come back.... but I had come to terms with it.

I didnt give up hope, yet.

50 minutes ago, makoy said:

As already mentioned, TLG still continue making space sets, just not under 1 theme. From time to time, we'll get references to classic space, and even new minifigures that calls back the classic space era.

Not nearly enough in my opinion. The fact they didnt even celebrate Space 40th anniversary with a proper set was a scandal.

50 minutes ago, makoy said:

As some people might say, it is what it is.

It is what it is until people try to change it.

50 minutes ago, makoy said:

Did we lose space because of Star Wars? Probably not. Maybe it contributed in some way but I believe It is a mix of a lot of different factors.

What relevant factors do you consider aside Sw?

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41 minutes ago, Glassjaw said:

Classic Space will always be that: Classic.

Shouldn't a classic be always available on the shelves being a classic? Isn't it the whole point of its nature?

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See, the problem is defining something as classic and deriving expectations from that. "Classic" is not an essential aspect of the nature of anything, it is a label applied retroactively after something has been appreciated for years.  Just like happiness is a by product of living well and cannot be successfully pursued as an independent goal, and commercial success is ideally a by product of making good products rather than seeking to maximize share prices, classic status is always an earned by product of ongoing success rather than a status that is declared by fiat.

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1 hour ago, astral brick said:

Shouldn't a classic be always available on the shelves being a classic? Isn't it the whole point of its nature?

Not really. Here it is classic as in typical of its day, rather than outstanding or high quality.

 

 

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1 hour ago, MAB said:

Not really. Here it is classic as in typical of its day, rather than outstanding or high quality.

And now all the modern space ones are high quality.

 

2 hours ago, icm said:

See, the problem is defining something as classic and deriving expectations from that. "Classic" is not an essential aspect of the nature of anything, it is a label applied retroactively after something has been appreciated for years.  Just like happiness is a by product of living well and cannot be successfully pursued as an independent goal, and commercial success is ideally a by product of making good products rather than seeking to maximize share prices, classic status is always an earned by product of ongoing success rather than a status that is declared by fiat.

The closest Classic Space set that we got were the 70816 and 70841. I certainly enjoyed those sets a lot! Let's just hope we get more sets like that!

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I understand your sadness, as it's not easy I'm sure to see your corner of Lego history being ignored, even as Lego prospers. And I will say that the Ideas Exo Suit is one of my favourite sets.

But I think the Cantina may not be the best target for criticism here. Yes, it's outrageously expensive for what it is, and I'll almost certainly never buy it. An absolute cash grab. But it is a really iconic moment in cinema/popular culture. George Lucas captured lightning in a bottle here, with believable aliens, a real hollywood star (Ford), a classic actor (Guinness), a genius composer, fun silly dialogue and so on. Star Wars itself is a glorious past.

Edited by Retro

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Yes, nostalgia is dangerous. People who want new, non-licensed, sci-fi Space sets are just suffering from a serious case of nostalgia.

Instead, let's just keep buying the same sets from a 40-year old movie, over and over again, forever...

Edited by danth

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I always find this sort of criticism a little odd because it simultaneously complains about mass cultural nostalgia, while longing for a far more niche, less widespread but no more valid form of nostalgia. The number of kids who enjoyed Classic Space in the 80s are a fraction of the number of kids who enjoyed Star Wars when it came out, and an even smaller fraction of the number of kids who enjoyed it in the many intervening years on video and DVD. By any measure, Lego is catering to a lot more people with sets like this than they would be by releasing new Classic Space sets.

Now, you might argue that Classic Space deserves special treatment because it's a key part of Lego's own history. But at this point, Star Wars is an even bigger part. Lego Star Wars has been around for twenty years at this point, through bad times and good alike. Classic Space is practically a blip in Lego's history compared to that. So while it'll always occupy a special role as Lego's FIRST space theme, today Star Wars has done much, much more to shape Lego's position in the toy industry at present.

I get the same sort of thing from my fellow Bionicle fans, who feel spurned because Bionicle is no longer around and to them, as a theme that occupied a special place in their childhoods and saved Lego from bankruptcy, they think it deserves better. But it's not about what a theme "deserves" so much as about what is working with the kids of today. And currently action figures just aren't experiencing the same demand as they were back then. It's sad and a little bittersweet, but Lego didn't get to where they are now by prioritizing their own corporate history above the interests and passions of their core audience.

I have little doubt that Lego will reexplore Space as a genre at some point. I'll probably be super-excited to buy some sets when they do! But they're not about to jettison a top-selling theme just to appease a few older fans.

Edited by Lyichir

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As someone who has never played with the old gray and blue classic space sets and found them weird and outdated looking whenever I'd see what seemed like ancient catalogues in my childhood, I now a see a lot of qualities those sets had that Lego doesn't have anymore, which is exactly why I don't spend nearly as much on Lego as I could.

The baseplates were gorgeous for the time and I can't even imagine how awesome a modern rendition would be. Even simple baseplates that allowed you to physically connect different parts of your settlement felt priceless, felt like you're creating a Lego world, instead of just plopping the models on the floor or a sad mat with an image of a world you cannot have.

The unusual colors and designs really awaken the sense of wonder and creativity. And the different factions that showed up really spiced things up, each with it's own interesting and unique color scheme, encouraging you to collect them all and marvel at the wonder of a distant advanced civilization sprawling out in front of you.

The story and the look of your base and fleet were always whatever you want them to be!

Star Wars looks great, but doesn't have most of that. The characters and the story are well known and unless you've never seen a movie in your life mashing up one famous ship with another or changing character roles will always feel wrong.

And the comment that Lego is about bricks that can be assembled in any way you want to build whatever you want has never been less valid.

Lego sets use to come with alternate ideas right there on the box. And boy oh boy did I mash up my space and castle and pirate sets as a kid. You got one more? Time to combine them! Tried that combination? Here's another one. How about a megaship/fortress!?

The bricks were conducive to playing and creating. You had chunkier parts to make a rough shell or outline and then smaller, but not too small, parts for finer detail and embellishment.

I used to play so much I'd eventually create stuff that looks better than what I bought, or at least as good.

I can't do that today, at all! I have a collection of some 20,000 Lego bricks that only has a few handfuls of actual bricks. The number of small and specialized parts is overwhelming! And it's overwhelming for me, a 40+ yo with 35 years of Lego experience.

Any MOC I can make today is 'meh' at best and those that excel at it are true artists who have put countless hours in their craft.

And that's why my perception of Lego has completely changed over the years from something that felt amazing to play with to something that's a bit of a pain to build, but looks awesome on the shelf.

Edited by Merlo

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11 hours ago, Retro said:

I understand your sadness, as it's not easy I'm sure to see your corner of Lego history being ignored, even as Lego prospers.

Exactly, they prosper, so why dont give it a chance to 1 model?

11 hours ago, Retro said:

But I think the Cantina may not be the best target for criticism here. Yes, it's outrageously expensive for what it is,

Stop here please. Anyway the set is not really the point of this thread, their aforementioned politics is.

 

 

10 hours ago, danth said:

Instead, let's just keep buying the same sets from a 40-year old movie, over and over again, forever...

Well said!

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4 hours ago, Merlo said:

I can't do that today, at all! I have a collection of some 20,000 Lego bricks that only has a few handfuls of actual bricks. The number of small and specialized parts is overwhelming! And it's overwhelming for me, a 40+ yo with 35 years of Lego experience.

Any MOC I can make today is 'meh' at best and those that excel at it are true artists who have put countless hours in their craft.

And that's why my perception of Lego has completely changed over the years from something that felt amazing to play with to something that's a bit of a pain to build, but looks awesome on the shelf.

You have probably lost imagination compared to when you were a child, both in thinking what something could be or used for but also in being critical in what you have built. As a kid I used to think some of my creations were great but if I looked back at them as an adult would probably think they are a bit crap.

 

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46 minutes ago, MAB said:

You have probably lost imagination compared to when you were a child, both in thinking what something could be or used for but also in being critical in what you have built. As a kid I used to think some of my creations were great but if I looked back at them as an adult would probably think they are a bit crap.

 

I wanted to address these points as well, but the post was too long as it is.

I don't feel my creations were great for today's standards at all and they weren't any good for the standards of the time either. Only after quite a few years of practice did they start looking good and I was quite an "old kid" by then. I could theoretically do the same today as well, just like any half-decent MOC-er has, but I find today it would require a much greater effort which I'm not willing to put in as there is far too many different/small/advanced parts and techniques that they brought forward.

And, to be frank, I don't have that joy of playing/creating problem with older sets. I can buy a set I've never had or perhaps even seen as it came out during my dark ages and still fool around with it. Nowadays those sets are in the age 6-8 group :)

 

 

 

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28 minutes ago, Merlo said:

I could theoretically do the same today as well, just like any half-decent MOC-er has, but I find today it would require a much greater effort which I'm not willing to put in as there is far too many different/small/advanced parts and techniques that they brought forward.

There are many more small and new parts these days, and that allows people to spend a huge amount of time getting even a small part of a MOC to look just right, whereas when there were so few possible parts to choose from you could have just accepted a less good looking model as it was all that was available. The thing is, if you only want to build with the older parts, that is still possible, you just need to bricklink the parts or order them in bulk via lego.com rather than buy new sets.

My kids get new sets and they still break them up and build their own creations, just like I used to as a kid.

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13 hours ago, Lyichir said:

Now, you might argue that Classic Space deserves special treatment because it's a key part of Lego's own history. But at this point, Star Wars is an even bigger part.

With a relevant difference, original design vs copy.

13 hours ago, Lyichir said:

Lego Star Wars has been around for twenty years at this point, through bad times and good alike. Classic Space is practically a blip in Lego's history compared to that. So while it'll always occupy a special role as Lego's FIRST space theme,

Until when? There is no more generational turnover for Space.

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6 hours ago, Merlo said:

Star Wars looks great, but doesn't have most of that. The characters and the story are well known and unless you've never seen a movie in your life mashing up one famous ship with another or changing character roles will always feel wrong.

Yes, apparently people need a "story", thought by others obviously, or a cartoon or a movie, they are too lazy to use their own imagination. 

6 hours ago, Merlo said:

Lego sets use to come with alternate ideas right there on the box.

All gone unfortunately.

 

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3 hours ago, astral brick said:

Yes, apparently people need a "story", thought by others obviously, or a cartoon or a movie, they are too lazy to use their own imagination. 

If Classic Space fans are so much more imaginative than kids today, then why do they need new sets? Their imagination should allow them to design new ones based on today's parts and there have been numerous Classic Space print figures to populate them recently.

Liking Star Wars is no more lazy than liking Classic Space.

 

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