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Train stuff on Ideas getting approved? Forget it!

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On 3/3/2022 at 4:40 PM, Dr Snotson said:

Let me bring some light to the dark magnet chapter. One swallowed magnet is no problem as long as it has found its way to the stomach. But imagine if a child swallowes two or more magnets step by step and these magnets travel down the road.

Yes, I also really do see the point. However, there must be more to it. Swallowing powerful - call them Neodymium - magnets by the numbers is for sure a serious health issue. They come in sizes 3x3x3 mm3 and even less. Swallowing an old-type not encapsulated train coupler is one kind of task. Just for fun, I put one of them in my mouth (I'm old and have tons of them) and then tried to imagine, how it would feel to swallow one. That experience should teach any human, as well as non-human being, from the very basal gene responses of "good/bad" - do not do this ever again.

So my thoughts are: Did you see in your career more than one LEGO coupler in a children's stomach, or did you see small (the ones I was referring to, I do use these to "grab" metallic small ferromagnetic items from hard-to-get-to places) powerful magnets on the X-rays or whatever diagnostics was used? I simply cannot believe that this actually physically works: Swallow one classic LEGO train coupler and then try another one.

But this is a weird world, so maybe it happened.

Best,
Thorsten   

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Posted (edited)
On 2/22/2022 at 10:46 PM, Karle said:

And that is why, when asked if I build Lego trains, I tell them No I build trains with Legos.  I have a Dream that one day Lego will come out with the couplers without the bumpers.  On that day I can finally quit circumcising mine.

You mean Buffers not bumpers!

 

Such things are universal on locomotives, wagons and loco hauled coaching stock throughout Europe (the spiritual home of Lego) and as such having them along with the coupler is entirely reasonable (and prototypical) for many builds.

 

Granted having a stand alone coupler would be useful for American or Multiple unit / high speed builds, but as the latter are fixed formation trains a technic based coupling solution might well be possible.

Edited by Phil-B259

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3 hours ago, Phil-B259 said:

You mean Buffers not bumpers!

 

Such things are universal on locomotives, wagons and loco hauled coaching stock throughout Europe (the spiritual home of Lego) and as such having them along with the coupler is entirely reasonable (and prototypical) for many builds.

 

Granted having a stand alone coupler would be useful for American or Multiple unit / high speed builds, but as the latter are fixed formation trains a technic based coupling solution might well be possible.

Stand alone couplers are also useful as buffers are not always round, and narrow gauge railways often have one central buffer because of the shorter radius curves they encounter.

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15 hours ago, Toastie said:

Yes, I also really do see the point. However, there must be more to it. Swallowing powerful - call them Neodymium - magnets by the numbers is for sure a serious health issue. They come in sizes 3x3x3 mm3 and even less. Swallowing an old-type not encapsulated train coupler is one kind of task. Just for fun, I put one of them in my mouth (I'm old and have tons of them) and then tried to imagine, how it would feel to swallow one. That experience should teach any human, as well as non-human being, from the very basal gene responses of "good/bad" - do not do this ever again.

So my thoughts are: Did you see in your career more than one LEGO coupler in a children's stomach, or did you see small (the ones I was referring to, I do use these to "grab" metallic small ferromagnetic items from hard-to-get-to places) powerful magnets on the X-rays or whatever diagnostics was used? I simply cannot believe that this actually physically works: Swallow one classic LEGO train coupler and then try another one.

But this is a weird world, so maybe it happened.

Best,
Thorsten   

Children ALWAYS put things in their mouths, heck, I know adults who still chew on pens. As you've discovered, magnets do not taste great, so they are less likely to be deliberately swallowed, but one hiccup and down it goes. Swallowing a single magnet is probably safe, it is swallowing multiple magnets as noted above (and even then, if they stay together through the system you can get lucky). The very real hazard is when two loose magnets find each other between different twists of the intestine. High power magnets are a bigger risk, but it can happen with lower power magnets too. Here's a link discussing the event that triggered Lego to abandon magnets.

 

 

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On 3/2/2022 at 10:29 AM, zephyr1934 said:

I can't find the information quickly, but at least at the time Lego seemed to be motivated by safety regardless of regulation- even without government regulations they did not want a headline that their product proved fatal.

These days there are third party suppliers for the adult market though

Interesting, Lifelite put up warnings on the Studly couplers they sell.  Covering their butts and/or avoiding a stop-sale order from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission?

Caution:
Not for children.
Keep out of reach of any child.
Do not swallow or ingest. Magnets can pinch skin.
Handle with care.

 

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, dr_spock said:

Interesting, Lifelite put up warnings on the Studly couplers they sell.  Covering their butts and/or avoiding a stop-sale order from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission?

Caution:
Not for children.
Keep out of reach of any child.
Do not swallow or ingest. Magnets can pinch skin.
Handle with care.

 

Yeah, that's probably the intent. But whether or not that works out for them (as a more niche product largely aimed at adult collectors and not marketed so much as a standalone "toy", that might be enough to pass muster), Lego probably couldn't get away with something like that as easily. Heck, even if Lego did put all the warnings and age restrictions they'd need to legally sell sets with smaller magnets (which in and of itself might have a negative impact on the sales of a product category that's become increasingly niche), I'm not sure it'd be worth the PR liability if a kid DID get seriously injured by misusing them. Lego's overall reputation for safety is very important to them which is probably a big part of why they're so proactive about potential safety risks, even when the results (like magnets encased in bulky plastic parts or battery boxes with screws instead of easy-open latches) are less convenient for adult fans.

Edited by Lyichir

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, Toastie said:

Yes, I also really do see the point. However, there must be more to it. Swallowing powerful - call them Neodymium - magnets by the numbers is for sure a serious health issue. They come in sizes 3x3x3 mm3 and even less. Swallowing an old-type not encapsulated train coupler is one kind of task. Just for fun, I put one of them in my mouth (I'm old and have tons of them) and then tried to imagine, how it would feel to swallow one. That experience should teach any human, as well as non-human being, from the very basal gene responses of "good/bad" - do not do this ever again.

So my thoughts are: Did you see in your career more than one LEGO coupler in a children's stomach, or did you see small (the ones I was referring to, I do use these to "grab" metallic small ferromagnetic items from hard-to-get-to places) powerful magnets on the X-rays or whatever diagnostics was used? I simply cannot believe that this actually physically works: Swallow one classic LEGO train coupler and then try another one.

But this is a weird world, so maybe it happened.

Best,
Thorsten   

It is always a good idea to start such a diskussion with: "Believe me!" They swallow almost everything. Swallowing an old loose TLC magnet from an old TLC buffer/holder is not a really challenging task for a toddler because of their drop like form and - what is way more important - neutral taste. That is why there is a golden rule: "If there is one foreign body, check for other foreign bodies." 

Edited by Dr Snotson

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But it is interesting that while LEGO designates sets for certain age categories they don't really seem to differentiate between parts and age levels apart from Duplo < 5 yo and maybe tech > 9 yo.

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You know, i wish lego would have accepted my Great Northern S2(bnsf owns it in real life) moc, but because of the marketing disaster of the Santa Fe Superchief set(a deal with bnsf) they turned it down, even though i made a bunch of compromises to keep price down and used 100% legal techniques

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On 3/6/2022 at 9:28 PM, GreatNorthernFan2584 said:

You know, i wish lego would have accepted my Great Northern S2(bnsf owns it in real life) moc, but because of the marketing disaster of the Santa Fe Superchief set(a deal with bnsf) they turned it down, even though i made a bunch of compromises to keep price down and used 100% legal techniques

What's the story here? That would have been in my dark ages

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9 hours ago, CastleRail said:

What's the story here? That would have been in my dark ages

The Santa Fe (and a couple of carriage sets) was released in the early 2000s, but I think it may have been rereleased. The Great Northern was an Ideas submission in a similar (but updated) style to the Santa Fe that achieved support, but unfortunately it didn't pass review.

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On 3/6/2022 at 9:28 PM, GreatNorthernFan2584 said:

because of the marketing disaster of the Santa Fe Superchief set(a deal with bnsf)

What was the marketing disaster - I thought it was a success? the 10020 Super Chief, 10022 & 10025 Sant Fe Cars and the 10133 BNSF loco have a very high resale price.  

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31 minutes ago, M_slug357 said:

der ist aber abgelaufen...

Or in English: "That one is however expired."...

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11 hours ago, Tube Map Central said:

Maybe it's because this one is better.

Well, it is abgelaufen :pir-skel: (abgelaufen, Farbseuche - German seems to be becoming attractive - from verbs in weird tense to simple but new nouns :pir-laugh:).

However, this whole IDEAS thing is not necessarily about "better", it is about more votes. OK, there is one more thing: It is about more votes exceeding 10k so that TLG can securely select the one/many sets from the list of >10k votes, which will most likely make the maximum profit for them. Again, it is not about "better", as better resembles an individual or projected taste. Revenue, though, is a taste, which is actually not a taste but a fact, many in a corporate universe do like.

Best,
Thorsten.

 

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14 hours ago, Toastie said:

However, this whole IDEAS thing is not necessarily about "better", it is about more votes. OK, there is one more thing: It is about more votes exceeding 10k so that TLG can securely select the one/many sets from the list of >10k votes, which will most likely make the maximum profit for them. Again, it is not about "better", as better resembles an individual or projected taste. Revenue, though, is a taste, which is actually not a taste but a fact, many in a corporate universe do like.

Indeed, there are many before/after comparisons for the Ideas sets that went into production. Some changed very little between submission and production, others saw huge changes. A big part is finding the "thing" and weaving the story. No matter what it is, Lego will throw its designers at anything that is accepted to proceed, and even then, it is not guaranteed to go all the way to a set. Anyways, it is almost impossible to get to 10k with any submission, there are just too many ideas and not enough votes. Then if you do get to 10k with a train, well, don't worry, you won't be selected. But if a 10k train ever does succeed, I won't be surprised if having a tie in to pop culture helps it across the finish line.

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The logical conclusion for Ideas is for people to send in a photograph depicting their favourite IP, or random object, and then people vote on whether they would like Lego designers to turn it into a set. No bricks or renders necessary.

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On 3/6/2022 at 9:28 PM, GreatNorthernFan2584 said:

because of the marketing disaster of the Santa Fe Superchief set(a deal with bnsf) 

I had a look at this myself and found

Exploring Marketing Research - Barry J. Babin, William G. Zikmund - Google Books

"Interviewing respondents face-to-face allows the investigator to show them new product samples. sketches of proposed advertising or other visual aids. When Lego Group wanted to introduce new train model sets for its famous building bricks. the company targeted adults who build complex models with its product. The company invited adults who were swapping ideas at the Lego website to visit the New York office, where they viewed ideas and provided their opinions. The respondents wound up rejecting an the company's ideas, but they suggested something different: the Santa Fe Super Chief set, which sold out within two weeks of introduction due only to enthusiastic word of mouth." Telephone interviews could not have yielded such rich results."

I don't see where the idea of it being a marketing disaster came from - maybe a problem with the licance?
 

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3 hours ago, Tube Map Central said:

The logical conclusion for Ideas

Exactly.

I believe the mechanics "behind" Ideas is exactly what you said - very nicely and cleverly camouflaged with this "reach 10k" excitement. You may also call that something else. The not so much involved really believe in 10k = coming to real.

Example: In my universities' hometown (Wuppertal) there is one of these rather unique types of public transportation (Schwebebahn - https://schwebebahn.de/en). These folks are really excited ... set it all up ... chances are below zero that this will get approved. Monorail (upside down at least) = train with no IP/license other than local excitement = ZERO.

It is what it is.

Best,
Thorsten 

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13 hours ago, Toastie said:

Exactly.

I believe the mechanics "behind" Ideas is exactly what you said - very nicely and cleverly camouflaged with this "reach 10k" excitement. You may also call that something else. The not so much involved really believe in 10k = coming to real.

Example: In my universities' hometown (Wuppertal) there is one of these rather unique types of public transportation (Schwebebahn - https://schwebebahn.de/en). These folks are really excited ... set it all up ... chances are below zero that this will get approved. Monorail (upside down at least) = train with no IP/license other than local excitement = ZERO.

It is what it is.

Best,
Thorsten 

Hey, that's not fair. I went quite a bit out of the way just to visit the Schwebebahn. Interesting view as you go along the river. But that's me, a train guy. As for a LEGO set though, yeah, they will be disappointed most likely.

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5 minutes ago, Feuer Zug said:

Hey, that's not fair.

No, it is definitely not fair - I know at least three people in my family who would buy the set regardless of price: My younger daughter, my son-in-law, and me :pir_laugh2:.

But nice that you could make it to Wuppertal! Yes, it is quite the view and ride. Plus, it is a very effective means of public transportation - above a river - given that you want to ride along the "main axis" of the city. As Wuppertal does not exist since long (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wuppertal), it was also a very effective means of connecting te former cities Elberfeld and Barmen. I also believe that the two historical cars (https://schwebebahn.de/en/kaiserwagen), which are used as tourist attraction - 2 h ride from one end to the other and back, with coffee and stuff - will soon be in action again. I believe they needed new wheel sets - and there are not that many companies out there making such wheel.

All the best,
Thorsten

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15 hours ago, Dav1d said:

I had a look at this myself and found

Exploring Marketing Research - Barry J. Babin, William G. Zikmund - Google Books

"Interviewing respondents face-to-face allows the investigator to show them new product samples. sketches of proposed advertising or other visual aids. When Lego Group wanted to introduce new train model sets for its famous building bricks. the company targeted adults who build complex models with its product. The company invited adults who were swapping ideas at the Lego website to visit the New York office, where they viewed ideas and provided their opinions. The respondents wound up rejecting an the company's ideas, but they suggested something different: the Santa Fe Super Chief set, which sold out within two weeks of introduction due only to enthusiastic word of mouth." Telephone interviews could not have yielded such rich results."

I don't see where the idea of it being a marketing disaster came from - maybe a problem with the licance?
 

I don't think the Santa Fe was a disaster, when the engine came out there were no cars and it was a limited edition with 10k individually numbered sets. Probably a cross between today's Bricklink exclusive sets and Ideas. Anyway, that's what sucked me into the hobby. Obviously I am not a typical customer, but I do remember saying to myself, "wow, that is cool. Good thing they don't make any cars or that could get expensive." Then six months later they introduced cars and I did say to myself, this is expensive but what the heck (my sense of "expensive" has since grown). The 10k limited run of the locomotive then turned into a non-limited edition. It was then followed up with a freight locomotive (BNSF) and a freight car (TTX). All of these incremental steps were branches that indicate it was successful up to the given point.

The disaster was probably the hobby train. But that was at least partially Lego's fault. I had nothing to do with the program but I know a lot of the people who contributed to it. Lego resisted a lot of their requests and only gave them a very constrained pallet. The biggest issue being that they wanted a rare color but Lego only offered them a palette of red, white and black. While it did have a lot of great train parts (windows, doors, wheels, etc.), it was one of two sets that launched the next phase of Lego Factory + online Pick A Brick. So every rare element in the set was now available individually online, which was the first time you could do that (well, there were service packs that offered specific elements). So with no rare colors and all rare parts available individually, why would a bricklinker want to buy the set? While it did come with instructions for the crocodile, the rest of the builds were only available online, which created yet another barrier in the age before tablet computers, smart phones, etc. It was probably Lego's first experiment with purely electronic instructions, something they still haven't adopted as an exclusive option. So sales weren't great. Then the magnet thing happened. So a mediocre set with a bunch of magnets was canceled and blown out at 50% off.

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