Lego David

Story-Driven Castle Themes?

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39 minutes ago, DaleDVM said:

@LEGODavid... If the LEGO company was to receive hundreds/thousands of emails about upset fans in the next few days, yes they would pay attention.  It can't be just a couple of fans.  It needs to be a lot of fans.  And unlike many other themes castle does have a big following.  Unfortunately, most LEGO castle fans are tuned out right now because of the lack of sets.  Spread the word everyone!

If you think that your creative castle ideas are going to get them to release a new castle theme they have already discounted you are deluding yourself.  First off, any new ideas that you have for castle aren't likely to be all that new.  There are decades of sets and there is really only so much you can do with castles and medieval sets.  But more importantly, if you do think of something totally new it is doubtful anyone would recognize it as castle anyway.  Nexo knights was new.  And... most castle fans hated it.  

A bright pink castle is not castle.  The yellow castle would not be castle either... if it wasn't the first castle set and had nostalgia value.  Nobody would be happy with a yellow castle released today if it wasn't for the original set.  

i agree that a bright pink castle cannot be used for knight, but it is ok if other people think that, have you seen arkratha, lego could build it, i think it would be really cool https://worldbuilder.tongal.com/world/41752046-34f4-4bf8-9c26-90228dfa1c62?page=1

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34 minutes ago, DaleDVM said:

@LEGODavid... If the LEGO company was to receive hundreds/thousands of emails about upset fans in the next few days, yes they would pay attention.  It can't be just a couple of fans.  It needs to be a lot of fans.  And unlike many other themes castle does have a big following.  Unfortunately, most LEGO castle fans are tuned out right now because of the lack of sets.  Spread the word everyone!

The same thing happened with Bionicle back in 2010 when that theme was originally cancelled. LEGO received tons of angry emails and petitions from fans to continue the line, but that didn't change their decision. Eventually, we did get Bionicle back for a brief time in 2015-2016, but honestly, that was probably more of an experiment than anything else, as it offered the Bionicle fans very little of what they loved about the original line. 

Probably the same thing would happen if Castle fans were to suddenly rally together and spam LEGO with emails and petitions. Either they just wouldn't care at all, or best case scenario they release a lazy one-off Castle wave just to make people shut up, and obviously that would still live a lot of people disappointed. 

44 minutes ago, DaleDVM said:

If you think that your creative castle ideas are going to get them to release a new castle theme they have already discounted you are deluding yourself.  First off, any new ideas that you have for castle aren't likely to be all that new.  There are decades of sets and there is really only so much you can do with castles and medieval sets.  But more importantly, if you do think of something totally new it is doubtful anyone would recognize it as castle anyway.  Nexo knights was new.  And... most castle fans hated it. 

Yes, there are decades worth of sets that barely changed much with the exception of introducing new factions. Castle has barely even scratched the surface of what can be done with it, and its up to us to explore new ways to re-invent the theme. Nexo Knights took the "New" aspect a bit too extreme, to the point that it didn't feel like an actual Castle theme. However, something in between Nexo Knights and Traditional Castle has the potential to work wonders if done right. 

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3 minutes ago, Lego David said:

Yes, there are decades worth of sets that barely changed much with the exception of introducing new factions. Castle has barely even scratched the surface of what can be done with it, and its up to us to explore new ways to re-invent the theme. Nexo Knights took the "New" aspect a bit too extreme, to the point that it didn't feel like an actual Castle theme. However, something in between Nexo Knights and Traditional Castle has the potential to work wonders if done right. 

quite quite, arkratha on wolrdbuilder does that, one has a basic storyline and the other has a complete storyline https://worldbuilder.tongal.com/world/41752046-34f4-4bf8-9c26-90228dfa1c62?page=1

https://worldbuilder.tongal.com/world/b552179f-590d-4e8a-a7c8-6673f40e489d

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1 hour ago, DaleDVM said:

A bright pink castle is not castle

Why not? 

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1 minute ago, Alexandrina said:

Why not? 

it does not fit in with other castle, light pink would not be inaccarute, but it is ok if you think bright pink is ok for a knight theme

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6 hours ago, Alexandrina said:

Why not? 

As you like to say it's not historically accurate and would not fit well in a castle setting.  

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6 hours ago, zoth33 said:

As you like to say it's not historically accurate and would not fit well in a castle setting.  

But pink castles can and do really exist. Suffolk Pink has been used since the 14th century, and while I don't know of any castles in that colour that doesn't mean it can't happen.

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18 hours ago, Alexandrina said:

But pink castles can and do really exist. Suffolk Pink has been used since the 14th century, and while I don't know of any castles in that colour that doesn't mean it can't happen.

Yeah looked that up.  They look more like manor's than castles.  But I was just playing devil's advocate.  

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You get pink sandstones.

The ruins of Exeter castle are the local pink sandstone. There is also Drumlanrig castle in scotland in a pink stone.

 

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52 minutes ago, The_Cook said:

You get pink sandstones.

The ruins of Exeter castle are the local pink sandstone. There is also Drumlanrig castle in scotland in a pink stone.

 

light pink is ok, bright pink would look weird but it is ok if you think it is ok

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Personally, I'm "anti-story" when it comes to Castle. 

I started collecting the theme in the late 80s when characters/minifigs may have had different heraldry, but remained nameless and "generic". 

I preferred this. Because it let me build the stories.  

But I'm no dope. I appreciate the advantages of branded, or "story-driven" themes/waves. And understand that some folks prefer them. 

We're all entitled to our preferences. I don't judge others for theirs.  

That said, if The LEGO Group did go the story route with a new Castle theme, I'd hope they steer in a direction that could potentially serve multiple masters. 

I'd propose something like a G-rated Game Of Thrones. A story/theme featuring different, feuding factions (or houses); all lightheartedly duking it out for the kingdom's crown.  

Adult hobbyists would enjoy new shield designs, original prints, updated weapon molds, etc...  And kids could sink their teeth into a serialized adventure story brimming with over the top characters and hilarious plot twists that older fans could just as easily ignore in favor of enjoying the sets separately, and on their own merit. 

This approach would also (hopefully) encourage color schemes that aren't overly bright and boisterous. 

I guess my point it is, given my druthers as a Castle-loving AHOL, I'd like something with new/revitalized factions that isn't too-Junior.

But don't see why a competent LEGO design and creative team couldn't put together an updated theme that embraces the narrative success of Ninjago for kids, but stays neutral enough in tone and set composition to give patient, and long-suffering adult Castle fans something to get excited about again.  

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On 4/1/2021 at 2:54 PM, BlackGloveBricks said:

Personally, I'm "anti-story" when it comes to Castle. 

I started collecting the theme in the late 80s when characters/minifigs may have had different heraldry, but remained nameless and "generic".  

I preferred this. Because it let me build the stories.   

But I'm no dope. I appreciate the advantages of branded, or "story-driven" themes/waves. And understand that some folks prefer them. 

We're all entitled to our preferences. I don't judge others for theirs.  

That said, if The LEGO Group did go the story route with a new Castle theme, I'd hope they steer in a direction that could potentially serve multiple masters. 

I'd propose something like a G-rated Game Of Thrones. A story/theme featuring different, feuding factions (or houses); all lightheartedly duking it out for the kingdom's crown.   

Adult hobbyists would enjoy new shield designs, original prints, updated weapon molds, etc...  And kids could sink their teeth into a serialized adventure story brimming with over the top characters and hilarious plot twists that older fans could just as easily ignore in favor of enjoying the sets separately, and on their own merit. 

This approach would also (hopefully) encourage color schemes that aren't overly bright and boisterous.  

I guess my point it is, given my druthers as a Castle-loving AHOL, I'd like something with new/revitalized factions that isn't too-Junior. 

But don't see why a competent LEGO design and creative team couldn't put together an updated theme that embraces the narrative success of Ninjago for kids, but stays neutral enough in tone and set composition to give patient, and long-suffering adult Castle fans something to get excited about again.  

You raise some good points. It's certainly not hard to include unnamed "army builder" characters even in a theme that also include named characters. I mean, even themes like Ninjago have a lot of "army builder" characters along those lines, albeit usually only on the "enemy" side.

For instance, the "Secrets of the Forbidden Spinjitzu" sets introduced two enemy factions: the Pyro Vipers and Blizzard Samurai. And while there were a couple of "unique" characters representing the leader and second-in-command for each of these factions, there were also plenty of nameless soldiers identified only by their rank/armament (Pyro Whippers, Pyro Slayers, Pyro Destroyers, Blizzard Warriors, Blizzard Sword Masters, and Blizzard Archers). For that matter, even a lot of Ninjago enemy minifigures that ARE named in the sets themselves appear only as generic footsoldiers/"crowd filler" in the television series and other story media.

To its credit, Nexo Knights also had quite a few unnamed "army builder" figures on BOTH sides — Royal Soldiers, Royal Guards, and Squirebots on the side of the heroes, and Ash Attackers, Crust Smashers, Flame Throwers, Gargoyles, Stone Stompers, etc. on the side of the villains. So I think that's a good indication that LEGO sees the value of this sort of approach for Castle themes — even wildly non-traditional ones!

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Posted (edited)
On 4/1/2021 at 9:54 PM, BlackGloveBricks said:

Personally, I'm "anti-story" when it comes to Castle. 

I started collecting the theme in the late 80s when characters/minifigs may have had different heraldry, but remained nameless and "generic". 

I preferred this. Because it let me build the stories.

Technically speaking, nobody is forced to follow the pre-existing storyline. The story is more of a "guideline" than anything else. Kids can enjoy the TV Series, but there's nothing stopping them from creating their own stories within the context of a pre-existing world or with pre-existing characters. On top of that, not all the kids who got the sets have necessarily also seen the TV Series (I've come across several kids who told me this). 

And let's be fair here, even back in the day LEGO themes weren't entirely "anti-story" either, as several lines from the late 80's and 90's still had some sort of storyline more or less. Pirates, for example, had a story told through a full 36-page comic book. 

 

Edited by Lego David

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12 hours ago, Lego David said:

And let's be fair here, even back in the day LEGO themes weren't entirely "anti-story" either, as several lines from the late 80's and 90's still had some sort of storyline more or less. Pirates, for example, had a story told through a full 36-page comic book.

Yep! Not to mention the Fabuland theme, which had named characters, storybook-style instructions, and even a stop-motion animated series on videocassette!

Honestly, I get the impression that the lack of tie-in media or storylines for a lot of early LEGO themes was largely due to LEGO's lack of experience/proficiency with media tie-ins, rather than any sort of fundamental opposition to story-driven toys.

After all, the Jim Spaceborn brand provides a clear indication that LEGO's ambitions for media content back in the 80s far exceeded their actual output. Before they shuttered their in-house publishing wing in 1987, bringing the Jim Spaceborn comics to a premature end, LEGO and their partners at the Advance advertising agency (which has been involved with their marketing and branding decisions since 1976) planned for the character to star not only in comics, but also in an animated movie, animated series, and computer game!

Ultimately, it would be many more years before LEGO was able to successfully break into categories like computer games and animated movies. But stuff like the Pirates comics and storybooks in the late 80s and early 90s demonstrate pretty clearly that their embrace of story-driven media tie-ins didn't die with the closure of the LEGO Publishing division. And in the grand scheme of things, shifting towards partnerships with established publishers (rather than trying to manage everything in-house) might very well be what actually made it possible for them to achieve greater success with later media tie-ins than with the Jim Spaceborn comics and other publications of that era.

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15 hours ago, Aanchir said:

After all, the Jim Spaceborn brand provides a clear indication that LEGO's ambitions for media content back in the 80s far exceeded their actual output. Before they shuttered their in-house publishing wing in 1987, bringing the Jim Spaceborn comics to a premature end, LEGO and their partners at the Advance advertising agency (which has been involved with their marketing and branding decisions since 1976) planned for the character to star not only in comics, but also in an animated movie, animated series, and computer game!

I am not very familiar with those Jim Spaceborn comics... could you please share a link to it? I would really like to take a look at those comics.

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10 hours ago, Lego David said:

I am not very familiar with those Jim Spaceborn comics... could you please share a link to it? I would really like to take a look at those comics.

Here's the best resource on them that I know! It includes scans of the two Jim Spaceborn comic books that were released, as well as the the unreleased picture book "Trapped in Space" (which predates the Jim Spaceborn comics and had a lot of influence on them), the manuscript and layouts for the unpublished third comic book, and a couple magazine interviews with the author and illustrator Frank Madsen.

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