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Posted (edited)

Ok,... it's been quiet for a while now and I was thinking something terrible...  If I remember correctly I saw an interview with a LEGO designer that had to do with the Crocodile Locomotive.  He said that if LEGO was seeing proof that trains were still a hot item, i.e. they would sell enough copies of the Crocodile, they would consider making different models and try that.  Kind of like how the Modular Buildings started off.  So when the Crocodile came out, I did my part, and bought two copies of it on opening day.  Besides the fact that there is a little issue with the gears inside not turning smoothly; I still love the model and it's still proudly on one of my office shelves at home...

But the Crocodile was launched in 2020, and retired towards the end of 2021, so maybe 1.5 years of running time.  Did Lego think that was enough; because a) You guys are awesome, we sold a ton of them. We have a different model ready, so we're making room for the next one...  Or is it b) You guys sucked, we told you to buy this so that we would come with another one.  It was so bad that we pulled the Crocodile from the shelf, and now we're not giving you another model anymore...

I'm not really a positive person, like to think of myself as a realist;... so I'm now starting to think that "we all" are falling into the b) category according to Lego ???  The feeling is not leaving me alone that we might not have done well enough with the Crocodile, and that the comments we're making about the gaps in the body, the gears not working smooth, and the drive rods being too "Duplo looking" (I think that too, so I got some awesome ones from @zephyr1934)that Lego thought "that's enough, we gave them a train, and now they're ripping it apart.  We're ending it here"....

I want to be very wrong here, but am I the only one that thinks that Lego tried, wanted to see the reaction, but didn't think it was worth more ?

What do you guys think ?...

Edited by Wimmer

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1 minute ago, Wimmer said:

Ok,... it's been quiet for a while now and I was thinking something terrible...  If I remember correctly I saw an interview with a LEGO designer that had to do with the Crocodile Locomotive.  He said that if LEGO was seeing proof that trains were still a hot item, i.e. they would sell enough copies of the Crocodile, they would consider making different models and try that.  Kind of like how the Modular Buildings started off.  So when the Crocodile came out, I did my part, and bought two copies of it on opening day.  Besides the fact that there is a little issue with the gears inside not turning smoothly; I still love the model and it's still proudly on one of my office shelves at home...

But the Crocodile was launched in 2020, and retired towards the end of 2021, so maybe 1.5 years of running time.  Did Lego think that was enough; because a) You guys are awesome, we sold a ton of them. We have a different model ready, so we're making room for the next one...  Or is it b) You guys sucked, we told you to buy this so that we would come with another one.  It was so bad that we pulled the Crocodile from the shelf, and now we're not giving you another model anymore...

I'm not really a positive person, like to think of myself as a realist;... so I'm now starting to think that "we all" are falling into the b) category according to Lego ???  The feeling is not leaving me alone that we might not have done well enough with the Crocodile, and that the comments we're making about the gaps in the body, the gears not working smooth, and the drive rods being too "Duplo looking" (I think that too, so I got some awesome ones from @Zephyr!), that Lego thought "that's enough, we gave them a train, and now they're ripping it apart.  We're ending it here"....

I want to be very wrong here, but am I the only one that thinks that Lego tried, wanted to see the reaction, but didn't think it was worth more ?

What do you guys think ?...

I don't think Lego bases their decisions on whether or not to make sets on specific criticism or feedback, so much as they do on the actual hard sales numbers. It's possible that the Crocodile Locomotive simply didn't sell well enough to merit more standalone trains for adult buyers. But it's also possible that it did sell well enough to give it another go, they do in fact have more planned, and they are simply waiting for a year without City trains to release another standalone train set of that sort so that its sales aren't cannibalized by the option with broader appeal to both kids AND adults.

That's not to say that they won't take some of the critiques of the Crocodile Locomotive set into consideration when and if they DO release a follow-up. But generally when it comes to the choice whether or not to release something at all, it's derived more from the broader level of concrete support a model gets rather than just the most vocal praise or criticism in organized AFOL circles.

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Posted (edited)

Creator Expert trains are dull, they cause an unavoidable sense of guilt when crashing them. 

And Lego trains are for crashing.  

In totally totally totally unrelated news I'll shortly be selling a mostly complete TGV twin-pack, a partially complete Maersk set, and a very incomplete Emerald Night engine. :pir-classic:

Edited by andythenorth

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9 minutes ago, Lyichir said:

I don't think Lego bases their decisions on whether or not to make sets on specific criticism or feedback, so much as they do on the actual hard sales numbers. It's possible that the Crocodile Locomotive simply didn't sell well enough to merit more standalone trains for adult buyers. But it's also possible that it did sell well enough to give it another go, they do in fact have more planned, and they are simply waiting for a year without City trains to release another standalone train set of that sort so that its sales aren't cannibalized by the option with broader appeal to both kids AND adults.

That's not to say that they won't take some of the critiques of the Crocodile Locomotive set into consideration when and if they DO release a follow-up. But generally when it comes to the choice whether or not to release something at all, it's derived more from the broader level of concrete support a model gets rather than just the most vocal praise or criticism in organized AFOL circles.

I'm not saying I don't believe you, but I see in your answer that you say "they do in fact have more planned"...  Where did you get that information from ?... That turns this older, grumpier realist in an optimist after all if that's true... :wink:

And I want to believe as well,... I'm doing my thing again with buying track from @michaelgale, and I love what I'm getting at home from him, can't wait for the Points to get released !...  :sweet:

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1 minute ago, Wimmer said:

I'm not saying I don't believe you, but I see in your answer that you say "they do in fact have more planned"...  Where did you get that information from ?

He has no such information, he's speaking in hypotheticals.

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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, Lyichir said:

Lego thought "that's enough, we gave them a train, and now they're ripping it apart.  We're ending it here"

I do share @Lyichir's assessment. Just visit the Technic forum, any introduction of any new Technic flagship. They not only criticize it, they simply sink it. There is a model number, a second later there is a corresponding "improvement thread/threat" - with quite some bold statements. And when I count the number of folks tearing it apart, I usually end up in the low 20s. Do you believe, this makes a difference to TLG? 20? No.  

I believe, from all what TLG is doing nowadays, it is sales, sales, sales, and more importantly, profit. The return of investment number. See, the TLG designers are not blind. They do see the gap, for sure. They know how to fill it - beautifully. But: The money folks tell them: Just cut the number of bricks. And then "hand it over" to us. We feel so smart and advanced, when we figured out, how to fill that gap - and thus live the LEGO way. We are better than they ...

No, I believe, there is a plan behind leaving a gap. But the plan does not affect sales. And the folks in charge of running the profit margins look at profit margins.

They also do that regularly with not-tiling any floor in any building (OK, not true, but on average) - they want you to do get extra tiles. Applicable only to those, who care about flooring ;)

Best
Thorsten 

Edited by Toastie

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17 minutes ago, Toastie said:

They also do that regularly with not-tiling any floor in any building (OK, not true, but on average) - they want you to do get extra tiles. Applicable only to those, who care about flooring ;) 

I think it's reductive to act like anybody who cares about flooring would want every floor to be tiled. Even in series like the Modular Buildings, LEGO uses tiles very deliberately to represent specific types of real-world detail, such as tile flooring, decorative carpets, and pre-cast paving stones.

But many types of flooring in real life, and some of those (like floor-length carpeting, terrazzo, or unpolished concrete) can be more accurately represented by a studded texture without the regularly-spaced seams you'd get with tiled LEGO surfaces. If you strip away the choice between tiled and studded flooring by turning the former into a universal default, you also strip away that meaning behind that choice.

It's kind of like my stance on neoclassical vs. modernist LEGO train stations. One isn't implicitly "better" than the other, they just represent different types of real-world subject matter. Likewise, a tiled LEGO floor isn't always preferable to a studded one — only in cases where tiling the floor helps to represent the details of the particular type of flooring being depicted.

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@Wimmer even if that was the case, LEGO normally spend 1 to 2 years designing/testing a set - 2023 would therefore be 1 year of sales + 2 years to develop/produce. 

Plus if the rumoured HP Hogwarts Express is true (take with a pinch of salt) then undoubtedly this being released this year as the 'flagship' HP set would make more financial sense, and leaving the CE train till next year when there isn't any major train releases.

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21 hours ago, Aanchir said:

I think it's reductive to act like anybody who cares about flooring would want every floor to be tiled.

Oh so true. Did you catch the ";)" ? Everything I am saying here is in my humble opinion. I don't know anything about right or wrong - as you don't. Reductive or not, your assessment. Over-interpretation is another - all fine we me.

21 hours ago, Aanchir said:

But many types of flooring in real life, and some of those (like floor-length carpeting, terrazzo, or unpolished concrete) can be more accurately represented by a studded texture without the regularly-spaced seams

Sure. I am just comparing, by visual inspection and actual experience, what one can do with tiles of any kind vs a green/gray/whatever color 16x16 studded plate. It requires a some degree of imagination to see some sort of texture in such a surface - which is maybe one "idea" of LEGO: Interpretation and imagination. Also perfectly fine with me.

Best,
Thorsten

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1 hour ago, Matt Dawson said:

@Wimmer even if that was the case, LEGO normally spend 1 to 2 years designing/testing a set - 2023 would therefore be 1 year of sales + 2 years to develop/produce. 

Plus if the rumoured HP Hogwarts Express is true (take with a pinch of salt) then undoubtedly this being released this year as the 'flagship' HP set would make more financial sense, and leaving the CE train till next year when there isn't any major train releases.

Yeah, I don't think a gap between releases is reason to think LEGO has given up on those sorts of premium/exclusive train sets. Look how long a gap there was between the release of Ninjago City Docks and Ninjago City Gardens, or between

And if you count licensed train exclusives like the Disney Train or (rumored) Hogwarts Express, then the interval between those sorts of train sets in recent years has been roughly the same as the interval between Creator Expert trains like the Emerald Night, Maersk Train, and Horizon Express around a decade ago.

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38 minutes ago, Aanchir said:

Yeah, I don't think a gap between releases is reason to think LEGO has given up on those sorts of premium/exclusive train sets. Look how long a gap there was between the release of Ninjago City Docks and Ninjago City Gardens, or between

And if you count licensed train exclusives like the Disney Train or (rumored) Hogwarts Express, then the interval between those sorts of train sets in recent years has been roughly the same as the interval between Creator Expert trains like the Emerald Night, Maersk Train, and Horizon Express around a decade ago.

But while the number of 18+ sets has increased in recent years, the number of train sets hasn't. 

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…But what about that new Hasbro collab that  brings us a brick-built Transformers’ model?

Could a TLG/Mattel crossover happen soon…?

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2 hours ago, LEGOTrainBuilderSG said:

Looks better than the 2022 Train sets! Haha. 

Nope! Also the Passenger train this year looks great!

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On 5/14/2022 at 3:01 AM, Polarlicht said:

Nope! Also the Passenger train this year looks great!

Also the Cargo Train this year looks great!

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Has anybody heard anything further about the rumoured expert-level Hogwarts Express?

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