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This is my personal view and I might be wrong but to me it feels like Technic is losing some of it's focus, it almost feels like the "old days", when technic lost it's focus and the sets that are being released are not hitting the mark.

More and more I am seeing posts about how "bad" specific sets are, that sets are being pulled after being announced / released and generally the sets are not being well received, mostly by the AFOL community.

1. Has Technic taken a step back / wrong turn?
2. Is the level of MOC's we see, now so good that almost anything TLG release is seen as "second rate"?
3. Do you feel that the "fun" has gone? I can remember buying sets and loving the technical details / features, seeing how they work and the way they have been built and designed.


 

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It's just a bussiness, and statics shows, that it is going pretty well for lego group.

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1. The practical elimination of B-models and retirement of PF are definitely steps backward in my book. The serious focus on cars, cars, cars is also a problem.

2. I see sets and MOCs as two different groups, so I wouldn't even compare them.

3. Moving all B-model manuals to digital only has sapped some of the fun out of building. Nothing is as satisfying as opening up a manual and getting started.

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53 minutes ago, Maaboo35 said:

The serious focus on cars, cars, cars is also a problem

No exactly cars, but something licensed, for display (so that everyone wants to buy) , not so much caring about functionality and quality at all.

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I supoose that Lego moves itself where the money is, It is bad for some of us but the opposite for the ones who keep buying and Lego.

 

 

 

 

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Powered up is weird pricier system when your model for hefty amount of euros, can be useless when they stop updating they mobile app. So these sets are easy pass.

Lego technic is starting doing mostly showcase models and this is problem for me.

And when they try something technical, these sets always hits limits of bricks. So these sets are again pass for me.

 

I think technic lost its charm when they go full studless, I dont know I will buy for sure 8880 rather than these new supercars.

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3 hours ago, TangersTechnic said:

More and more I am seeing posts about how "bad" specific sets are, that sets are being pulled after being announced / released and generally the sets are not being well received, mostly by the AFOL community.

The sets are not well received by a small portion of the LEGO target audience. The most vocal part of that audience. The same people who complain a lot, yet they buy the set anyway :tongue: 

We as AFOLs say a model is flowed and Technic is losing its focus and blabla, but the sales figures will state otherwise. Technic is evolving. Whether you think that's a good or bad thing is a very personal opinion, but I don't think Technic has ever been more popular than the last couple of years/decade.

I am perfectly happy when I see a cool construction set every year and possibly a construction flag ship every other year or so. Big red, Liebherr (although this one is debatable from a Technic point of view), CAT, etc. 

"the supercars are always the same". Well, then you can skip the supercars. You don't need to like every set that comes out. It's as easy as that.

1 hour ago, Jurss said:

No exactly cars, but something licensed, for display (so that everyone wants to buy) , not so much caring about functionality and quality at all.

The license thing is indeed bugging me a bit. But a licensed set sells. And from what I understood, it's sometimes difficult to circumvent a license, so a license is mandatory. 

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1 hour ago, Jurss said:

No exactly cars, but something licensed, for display (so that everyone wants to buy) , not so much caring about functionality and quality at all.

I don't think licensing is the problem in and of itself. Some truly great sets have been licensed (8110, 42030, 42043, 42053, 42055, 42081 and so on). But yes, your other points have merit.

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1 hour ago, Ondra said:

Lego technic is starting doing mostly showcase models and this is problem for me.

And when they try something technical, these sets always hits limits of bricks. So these sets are again pass for me.

Mmmh no, 42128 is a good example of medium-sized multi functional set, and it is also a showcase model.

New Technic sets are more and more similar to scale models with some function, so they have more appeal in my opinion.

What I noticed recently is that there is less emphasis to the introduction of new big sets. No "designer videos", no presentation videos, or very limited to cars (they did it for the Sian, the Ferrari, the McLaren, but nothing for the D11T of the BMW bike for example). 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Jim said:

Whether you think that's a good or bad thing is a very personal opinion, but I don't think Technic has ever been more popular than the last couple of years/decade.

Popular isn't the same as good. Edit: I don't mean to say you say otherwise :) /edit

Popular means TLC makes things that sell, meaning they make what the public thinks it wants. Good means TLC makes things it itself thinks would support their view of how it should be and what children should learn etc. As they're a business, they do the first. It's understandable in the capitalist society, as it's basically the only way to stay market leader, but it's not what I would like.

But "it's popular" it not an argument for any quality standard. In fact, it's often the opposite, because actual high-quality stuff doesn't tend to be popular with the general public. (This is not toy-specific)

Also, I think this very personal opinion is the topic of this thread :)

1 hour ago, Jim said:

The same people who complain a lot, yet they buy the set anyway :tongue: 

Please don't generalize ;I complain a lot, but I don't buy many sets (why would I buy sets I complain about). In fact I buy more 18+ and creator expert sets lately than Technic, and I likely will buy the Botanical collection's upcoming orchid set as well :)

 

1 hour ago, Jim said:

"the supercars are always the same". Well, then you can skip the supercars. You don't need to like every set that comes out.

That would be no problem at all, if all those car sets wouldn't be taking the place of other cool, actually technical sets that could be. The tow truck is basically the only good large set of 2021. Compare that to the year 2003 (around a time frame often considered to be the worst years of the TLC company) and according to Brickset (Technic | 2003 | Brickset: LEGO set guide and database) that year had 5 new technic sets, none of which were cars (or any other "fast things"). All 5 sets were actual technical vehicles with all kinds of functions, meaning that 2003 had more cool sets than 2021. And I'm not even picking a year that anyone would consider a great year.

I get that they sell cars. I also get that people buy cars. I get that they sell cars made of studless parts, as that's a cheap way of making relatively big-scale cars. What I don't get is that they call this Technic. Let's call it Racers already, as that's what it is, and then add some actual (non-motorized, medium-size, affordable) Technic sets for the non-car people, such as 42121. The Ford Mustang and Aston Martin creator sets had more functions than many Technic cars and these aren't called Technic.

Edited by Erik Leppen

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16 minutes ago, Erik Leppen said:

Also, I think this very personal opinion is the topic of this thread :)

The question was "Technic is losing some of it's focus, it almost feels like the "old days", when technic lost it's focus and the sets that are being released are not hitting the mark."

So to answer this question we first need to know what "not hitting the mark" entails.

But I will simply answer the questions;

1. Has Technic taken a step back / wrong turn?
Absolutely not. Technic has evolved and it's getting better and better. The possibilities are endless nowadays. I do think the sets are good enough and TLG hasn't taken a wrong turn. And if you don't like the sets, at least you can enjoy the plethora of new parts.

2. Is the level of MOC's we see, now so good that almost anything TLG release is seen as "second rate"?
The MOCs would not exist if it weren't for step 1. Besides that, MOCs aren't limited by the constraints TLG needs to work with. Of course, a lot of MOCs are far more awesome then some of the official sets, but I find it easy to judge if you are not a TLG designer. 

3. Do you feel that the "fun" has gone? I can remember buying sets and loving the technical details / features, seeing how they work and the way they have been built and designed.
I have recently built the CAT and I rated it 11 on a scale to 10. Absolute blast to build. So, no the fun hasn't gone. It's still there, but you need to ignore the simple licensed-money-grab-racer-movie-style sets.

 

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See how much we moan about re-hashing of old stuff in latest years. Also - we're a bit limited in the types of vehicles that are Technic-worthy AND catch the eyes. Cars and other zoom-zooms work great there.

Cranes will always have appeal for kids. So they'll always sell, and we'll always moan about - sheesh, another crane.
Everything with ARM-LIKE-movements /diggers, excavators, bobcats, telehandlers/ will also sell. But after that - what can be scaled down and retain Technic features besides cars with engines and steering?
Tell me you can impress 100 kids with the 42064 ship besides it's size...

Military support vehicles like bridge laying tanks can be interesting, but we know the Osprey situation. Roadworks machinery can be interesting too, but would need a big scale. Airport support vehicles get a model a 5-7 years yet they too can be interesting.

Parts budget gets undercut as we want sleeker models. The good and cheap sets with 100000 pneumatic parts are long gone anyways.

To get good Technic experience you need lots of parts to make the mechanisms properly. Also add the mark-up of the need to cover EVERYTHING in panels these days and here we are.

Great shells covering kinda outdated chassis and FFS no adjustable suspension in the recent 10 years. Why no adjustable suspension anywhere? It takes like 4 worm gears...

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Posted (edited)

Speaking as someone who would like to be drawn back into buying more Technic models, I would agree that Lego Technic is missing the mark a bit. On the positive side, I bought the Ducati Panigale bike and loved it. Same for the Lamborghini Sian. Both were well-designed, satisfying to build, and very functional, and the Ducati at least was very well-priced. But then there are sets like the recalled gear-shredding Osprey, the flimsy Ferrari 488, and the 1-wheel-drive McLaren Senna that could have and should have appealed but just didn't. Looking at the 2022 models, both the large BMW bike and the (also recalled) McLaren F1 car struck me as must-have sets on first viewing, but then quickly lost their appeal as reviews and closer inspection revealed their significant flaws (being flimsy and sticker-reliant for the bike, and lack of functionality & authenticity for the F1 car). I would like to see more in the intermediate size range - more products between the kid-targeted pullback models and the super-expensive premium sets. This year's ATV fits that category, but for me was letdown by a poor colour scheme and messy stickers (the recoloured blue version shown on Brickset was far superior). More generally, the trend towards low-function licensed display sets seems like a step away from what Technic has traditionally represented, and I just find the present line-up to be very underwhelming. Still, if TLG nail the next Ferrari supercar then they'll probably still manage to empty my wallet there.

Edited by BrickMonkeyMOCs

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Posted (edited)

Interesting discussion. Like mentioned previously, this is both because of money and also AFOLs are more vocal part of the user base/community, but we don't have (I think we don't) the number of actual sales for each set and also sales don't necessarily represent what the kids would actual want to have in sets they could afford - they are getting what their parents can afford and what's there on the shelves. So it's more about the business decisions and marketing/what's available than actual general consumer base shaping how the product line evolves.

First thing to note in this discussion is that it's a unique niche where we have a single manufacturer being reviewed constantly by more popular channels. Regardless of how objective the review is, we don't get to see competitor's products in videos from youtubers like Sariel or Racing Brick etc, which IMO in general is a weird situation on the market. We both don't get commentary/criticism/suggestions for CADA sets from those reviewers (In general, it does happen though from time to time), which could end up helping CADA to realise their shortcomings and improve to compete, as well as show stuff that CADA does better when they do, and more importantly show the choice to a viewer. Competition is a good thing for the market and the client.

Second thing is that I agree that licensed cars seem to sell well, when Lego does licensed sport car pull-backs instead of making models at such scale, but I'd love this trend to take a turn such as Speed Champions did - streamline the scale and release multiple cars at specific scale each season, improve the inventory of the suspension/engine/body panel parts for a specific scale. Make each set cost the same as Speed Champions' double pack/twice as a single Speed Champions car. And maybe cut it off from the Technic brand or just make a Technic sub-brand for it. But separate it from Technic release schedule so it doesn't interfere with what we might expect from Technic (for example few licensed cars taking slots that could've been taken by medium-sized Technic forklifts/dozers etc).

Third thing is that RC is something that is double-edged sword - it's cool to have a model that is motorised, but for AFOLs it will end up eventually on a shelf and it's suspended in a situation where you either have those expensive components gathering dust on a shelf or you need to tear down those models to re-use the motor functions. I feel like there's no rationale for some of the models having motorisation if you don't have place for example to race your RC cars.

I feel like Technic didn't really change that much other than focusing on licensed sets, but it was like that for a long time where the bigger sets would have the functionality that MOCs tend to have in a lot smaller scale/package. It's just product line segmentation to make sure that more expensive products get more features/functions/interesting parts, so it's similar to how you buy a laptop/notebook where there's always this "add $100 more and you'll get the slightly better config) at each price point.

Anyway, rather than arguing whether Technic gone bad, I'd focus on pointing out what's actually bad as is, regardless of whether it's changed from the past or not.

Edited by SaperPL

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1 hour ago, mpj said:

What I noticed recently is that there is less emphasis to the introduction of new big sets. No "designer videos", no presentation videos, or very limited to cars (they did it for the Sian, the Ferrari, the McLaren, but nothing for the D11T of the BMW bike for example). 

Yeah, that's also a point. Less buzz creates less excitement.

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3 hours ago, Jim said:

The sets are not well received by a small portion of the LEGO target audience. The most vocal part of that audience. The same people who complain a lot, yet they buy the set anyway :tongue: 

We as AFOLs say a model is flowed and Technic is losing its focus and blabla, but the sales figures will state otherwise. Technic is evolving. Whether you think that's a good or bad thing is a very personal opinion, but I don't think Technic has ever been more popular than the last couple of years/decade.

I am perfectly happy when I see a cool construction set every year and possibly a construction flag ship every other year or so. Big red, Liebherr (although this one is debatable from a Technic point of view), CAT, etc. 

"the supercars are always the same". Well, then you can skip the supercars. You don't need to like every set that comes out. It's as easy as that.

The license thing is indeed bugging me a bit. But a licensed set sells. And from what I understood, it's sometimes difficult to circumvent a license, so a license is mandatory. 

I cannot agree more on this. I don't like super cars, so I don't have any (neither in Lego or real ones :pir-murder:), and I do not intend to have any. 

On the other side, I am happy that Lego is being more and more popular: it ensures that we can keep playing with it and bulding cool things. That has nothing to do with how "good" or "bad" the official sets are. And, at the end, yes, Lego was intended to be something with what you could build something, put it down to pieces, and build a completely different thing. If the company is not having that anymore  in mind -and is looking more to sets for display- should not be that dramatic: no one is preventing us to keep puting down into pieces the sets we buy and building cool things, no?

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Posted (edited)

Technic goes up and down, up and down. As someone who has seen it happen a few times I get a sense it's gonna be back up again soon from and adult fan perspective. The Ferrari will be a good indication of how soon. If it's a real leap forward we can be more hopeful for the next golden age being just around the corner. If it's just a repackaged red Sian, well we might have to wait a few more years. But there's still some good stuff about right now, like last years tow truck, and a couple of this summer's novelties sound like they are going to be great. So let's not lose all hope just yet. 

Edited by allanp

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Posted (edited)

Parts-wise I think the direction is good, it's almost like they are actually listening to AFOLs.
Sets-wise, I don't know. I haven't bought sets since years, but from reviews I see some not very good tendencies. Like faulty/non-working out-of-the-box solutions, some dirty solutions (it's like they don't care about part-count optimizing any more and settle at okay-ish solutions, like beam stacking for example). But the quality is still very high, just not as high as it's used to be.
Comparing with MOCs, it's pretty hard to judge since I cannot afford to build many NMOCs, and reviews tend to be very biased and "cautious". The one MOC I built and the others I looked deeper into were somewhat disappointing. The building quality (structure, playability, reliability and building experience) is only at the level of TLG set quality in case of only a few MOCs (okay, I'm not very active in the last few years).

Edited by Lipko

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4 minutes ago, Lipko said:

Parts-wise I think the direction is good, it's almost like they are actually listening to AFOLs.
Sets-wise, I don't know. I haven't bought sets since years, but from reviews I see some not very good tendencies. Like faulty/non-working out-of-the-box solutions, some dirty solutions (it's like they don't care about part-count optimizing any more and settle at okay-ish solutions, like beam stacking for example). But the quality is still very high, just not as high as it's used to be.
Comparing with MOCs, it's pretty hard to judge since I cannot afford to build many NMOCs, and reviews tend to be very biased and "cautious". The one MOC I built and the others I looked deeper into were somewhat disappointing. The building quality (structure, playability, reliability and building experience) is only at the level of TLG set quality in case of only a few MOCs (okay, I'm not very active in the last few years).

This is indeed reflects (more or less) how I feel about it. Well spoken.

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8 hours ago, Jim said:

The sets are not well received by a small portion of the LEGO target audience. The most vocal part of that audience. The same people who complain a lot, yet they buy the set anyway :tongue: 

I didn't, I bought only two Technic sets last year, the hovercraft and the tow truck, and the hovercraft mostly on a whim and because it has a B-model. (Okay, I bought also the excavator from last year's release, but did so this year.)

Anyway, many good thoughts here, and mine are mostly that it is what it is. I'm going to buy the good sets and leave the bad ones (in my opinion anyway) on the shelf. Last couple of years have been pretty easy on my wallet.

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6 minutes ago, howitzer said:

I didn't, I bought only two Technic sets last year, the hovercraft and the tow truck, and the hovercraft mostly on a whim and because it has a B-model. (Okay, I bought also the excavator from last year's release, but did so this year.)

Anyway, many good thoughts here, and mine are mostly that it is what it is. I'm going to buy the good sets and leave the bad ones (in my opinion anyway) on the shelf. Last couple of years have been pretty easy on my wallet.

Since I won’t be doing reviews anymore, we will see which sets actually make the cut to be added to my collection. Buying sets will now affect my wallet :tongue: :laugh: 

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11 hours ago, Maaboo35 said:

1. The practical elimination of B-models and retirement of PF are definitely steps backward in my book. The serious focus on cars, cars, cars is also a problem.

3. Moving all B-model manuals to digital only has sapped some of the fun out of building. Nothing is as satisfying as opening up a manual and getting started.

Agreed, the B-models are sometimes even better than the A-models, at least for small/medium size sets.

I also agree with the focus on cars as I'm not a huge car nut, especially not for supercars. I prefer cars the likes of Land Rover Defender and Mercedes Geländewagen, SUVs and similar.
I don't buy very many sets though and few of the large ones, the last large one I bought was the 42055 BWE.

That said, while I agree that it's nice to build from a physical paper manual, I understand why they cut out B-model manuals for the sake of the environment, although I don't know how much that does compared to the additional power usage of having to use a pc/tablet for the instructions or if this is a lot of power in the first place.

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, TangersTechnic said:

1. Has Technic taken a step back / wrong turn?

2. Is the level of MOC's we see, now so good that almost anything TLG release is seen as "second rate"?
3. Do you feel that the "fun" has gone? I can remember buying sets and loving the technical details / features, seeing how they work and the way they have been built and designed.


 

1. I doubt it, they're still producing and we're still buying. But no doubt some people are are finding it all a bit familiar - if you need something new then more on, nothing wrong with that. I moved on to Lego Technic from elsewhere when that started to pale.

2. I doubt it. Some MOCs are very good and highly detailed and some just would not cut the mustard for a commercial Lego release, and bear in mind that some MOCs use "illegal" connections and techniques. A tiny vocal minority will critise any Lego release, and do not seem to understand that Lego produces toys, not scale reproductions, not RC hobby products, just catch-all toys.

3. Not for me, and not for the people I meet at meet-ups and shows.

A big problem for some is that if Lego produced a fully featured, fully RC controllable model but used sytem parts to produce a smooth fully contoured body those people would cry "...to many sytem parts, it's not Technic...". Considering that many System builds (have to) use Technic for mechanical features, why the fuss about crossover? My view is that Mindstorms, Boost et-al should all be classed as "Technic" and most such distinctions should be removed by Lego. My last build (during lock-down) was a mash-up of Technic / Ninjago / Monkey King / Roller Coaster with Mindstorms control (to be didplayed at shows this year). My current build contains Technic / Monorail / Disney / Monkey King / who knows what, and, for some strange reason, I enjoy it. Yee haa.

PS. If jaded with off the shelf Lego take a look at Lego Robot Wars.

Edited by hollielucas

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Thanks for all the comments and feedback.

I think the "middle ground" of $75 to $150 sets is where I feel we have a missing gap, I used to love sets in this space but of late, I am buying more of the lower end sets as the value of the more expensive sets is not great.

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20 hours ago, TangersTechnic said:

I can remember buying sets and loving the technical details / features, seeing how they work and the way they have been built and designed.

When I bought 42042 after a LEGO absence of 30 years I was amazed at the gears and elements and how everything worked because I didn’t really understand it. But after a while paying with it modifying it getting used to all the parts and what they can do and building a couple other sets the ‘mystery’ disappeared.

I think it is that lack of mystery more than anything that makes us MOC builders apathetic towards new sets.

so I do not think Technic has lost its way. It’s just different than before and our views have just changed as our knowledge has changed...and well, Yea I agree there are too many cars!

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