koraldon

BREAKING: The Orient Express Train approved in LEGO Ideas

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Reflecting a bit, I think it's a pity that Lego doesn't maintain more of an "open line" to the AFOL community. I know they do internal focus groups, etc., but I think a lot of these subgroups - pirates, trains, castle, space, etc. - are composed largely of very reasonable, grounded, often-articulate people who would be quite capable of relaying ideas, thoughts, and concerns that, frankly, I don't think Lego always hears.

The Hogwarts Express could have satisfied almost all comers - an 8w set would have still offered a high part count for Lego's bottom line, would have actually been minifigure (ish) scale, would have had plenty of room for interior detail, would have run on standard track, and still would have been a very impressive shelf display. That lineup of goals isn't unachievable - you see MOCers on these forums hit that bullseye between form, function, and play pretty much every day.

But, for whatever reason, Lego decided that some of those objectives shouldn't be prioritized, and now the set is borderline notorious. And I could easily see this one going the same way. Yet if they would just do even the *slightest* degree of community outreach, those flaws could be avoided. And it's a shame that they won't. Because therein lies my chief frustration with Lego: the fact that every announced set is a crapshoot as to whether or not they'll even come close to hitting the mark. And when it comes to these $300+ mega-sets, most of us cannot afford to be charitable and 'support our theme' when Lego blows it.

Edited by LordsofMedieval

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5 hours ago, LordsofMedieval said:

 - The whole post-

Couldn't agree more. When I think about Lego's 

-product line-up 

-logic and continuity between series/themes (or even within) 

-long-term view and especially "predictability" 

-product descriptions 

I think it's all just... Random. 

I was building a 9v layout with many of my childhood sets (will make a separate thread when time allows) and in the classic "everything was better back then"-mindset, the different train sets bring me so much joy. It's not like train fans have unreasonably high demands that came completely out of the blue - no, trains have already been an integral part of Lego's products when other themes were only in the coming (or: coming&going). Even the 9v world, which is already a considerable step backward in terms of native automatisation and lineup (which is hard to admit as a 9v kid), offered SO much. Separate cars (clubcar/santa fe), the beautiful container terminal 4555, different level crossings, the great train station, something as particular as a train wash... It's been all there already, so I do not hold a grudge against anyone or think it's unreasonable when anyone is very disappointed for something like the hogwarts express that just goes diametrically against everything that would usually make a train set's appeal. But I'm just rephrasing what every fan in this forum has already said at least once. :-) 

In terms of the orient express, this could be everything, or, and yes I'd be really disappointed, nothing. 

Many of you guys' arguments pro/con whether it will be a "hogwarts express abomination" make a lot of sense. Both ways.

What frustrates me the most is that whatever it'll be, this is yet again something that doesn't make sense - the crocodile just made the impression that there could be an "icons" train related series but then no, RANDOM, the next train set (hopefully) is released in the ideas theme. While I am more than happy for the designer and the fans' possibility to somehow contribute, this doesn't fit together. And I can imagine hearing the lego managers say "yeah whatever, let's just do it, who cares for any continuity".

I can just personally hope that it will be a worthy train set and something similar to the EN, which is so ridiculously expensive on the second hand market it's just not fun to look anymore. 

However I must really say it's generally very nice to see how the ideas selection instantly IGNITED this forum! 

Wishing you all a happy weekend. 

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Lego does have contact with the AfoL community through the Ambassador Network. Also, a lot of set designers are or were AfoLs and read posts on various forums.

On top of that they spend a lot of time and money on market research. The release hundreds of sets every year and yes, sometimes they get it wrong, but most of the time they know what they're doing.

I've said it on this forum before. LEGO Train builders are a niche hobby within a niche hobby. There really aren't that many train enthousiasts. If LEGO thought they'd sell more level crossings than X-wings or cops & robbers sets they'd make them.

To make matters worse, trains are way more regional than cars. The Crocodile was a very European set. Unless you're into trains as an American, you wouldn't have seen one. Similar with the BNSF and Santa Fe, very American trains that wouldn't be popular in Europe. A Harley Davidson, Ferrari or Mustang has a much wider appeal.

Model trains outside of Lego are losing ground. Look at who visits your local model train show: mostly men over 50 if not over 70.

So, sad as it is, I don't see Lego selling more train sets any time soon (but I'd happily be proven wrong).

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17 minutes ago, Duq said:

So, sad as it is, I don't see Lego selling more train sets any time soon

Yes. Your entire post - as you said before.

But it is always good to reiterate on a forum, as things tend to be buried - sooner than later.

It is what it is. Looking from an above perspective.

Best wishes - and thank you for bringing this up (again).

Thorsten 

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LEGO some times recruits AFOLs to participate in their focus groups through the LAN.

 

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At this point, Lego probably hasn't decided if it will be a broad gauge display piece or an L gauge operable set. Some of the ideas sets come out the other side looking very much like the submission others come out completely different. If you know a lego ambassador, try to get your suggestions in (there's a very small chance the comments might reach the right person).

Given the fact that they now have extremely large train wheels, I would suspect something similar to the jumbo HP set.

However, it would be great if they anticipated the segment of AFOL's who know how to use R88 and above and made the build so that it was not too hard to regauge it to L-gauge. Yeah, that is too much to ask of a modern set, but I can dream

 

19 hours ago, Duq said:

Model trains outside of Lego are losing ground. Look at who visits your local model train show: mostly men over 50 if not over 70.

In the age of the LTC (2000-2010) lego recognized that AFOL trains were a loss leader- (i) AFOL's will buy a ton of lego to landscape behind/under/around the train and (ii) the moving trains are part of the glue that makes a large public display pop. I think some of that thinking remains, but it has been augmented by, (iii) if the train parts are available the train builders will make great MOCs so we don't need to worry about it any more. As a result, we don't get nice AFOL sets but they keep making train parts.

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8 hours ago, zephyr1934 said:

In the age of the LTC (2000-2010) lego recognized that AFOL trains were a loss leader- (i) AFOL's will buy a ton of lego to landscape behind/under/around the train and (ii) the moving trains are part of the glue that makes a large public display pop. I think some of that thinking remains, but it has been augmented by, (iii) if the train parts are available the train builders will make great MOCs so we don't need to worry about it any more. As a result, we don't get nice AFOL sets but they keep making train parts.

All very true.

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On 10/29/2022 at 3:08 PM, Duq said:

LEGO Train builders are a niche hobby within a niche hobby... trains are way more regional than cars. The Crocodile was a very European set. Unless you're into trains as an American, you wouldn't have seen one. Similar with the BNSF and Santa Fe, very American trains that wouldn't be popular in Europe.

Model trains outside of Lego are losing ground. Look at who visits your local model train show: mostly men over 50 if not over 70.

I agree that the train designs are regional. Having now lived on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, I see the lack of options for European trains in America. I recently did a display at a show and people were quite interested in all my German locomotives and rolling stock. Even more than the motorized 6-wide Hogwart's Express. The kids were enthralled by the ICE 3 blasting around the layout while my DB Class 185 hauled intermodal containers around.

A lot of the people were older men at the show, but a few younger ones attended.

22 hours ago, zephyr1934 said:

In the age of the LTC (2000-2010) lego recognized that AFOL trains were a loss leader- (i) AFOL's will buy a ton of lego to landscape behind/under/around the train and (ii) the moving trains are part of the glue that makes a large public display pop. I think some of that thinking remains, but it has been augmented by, (iii) if the train parts are available the train builders will make great MOCs so we don't need to worry about it any more. As a result, we don't get nice AFOL sets but they keep making train parts.

I'd like LEGO to recognize that again, as well as offering us better options to build terrain without having to resort to massive PAB / BAP / Bricklink orders. Even a trains parts pack would be appreciated.

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A very interesting discussion about the viability of TRAIN as a theme for LEGO. Being new to the hobby I don't have too much to add to the discussion. However from what I have seen so far of the AFOL TRAIN scene is that most Train specific parts that LEGO produces are not used besides a few such as 55423c01 and the other sizes of both flanged and non flanged wheels. The magnetic couplers which are no longer separable and the plastic independent wheels for wagons are not readily used either as options such as wheel bearing sets and 3rd couplers exists. I may be very wrong however most Train AFOL's strive for accuracy in their models drives them to purchase 3rd party parts. The train parts that LEGO produces are more for their cargo and passenger train releases every couple years or so.

That being said. I do remember when the EM was released and my brother was peering over at the screen over my shoulder and told me that I should buy it. I didn't and now somewhat regret that a little. My thinking is along the same lines as most I beleive. If the Orient Express is L-Gauge and not a kin to the Hogwarts express I definitely might consider buying it. However the cost of such a model is most likely going to be around 250 and up and therefore I may instead rather invest in another piece of rolling stock which fits the current layout that I am working towards.

cheers,

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That's the big question, what form factor will the Orient Express take? For me, I'll be an easy pass if it isn't L-gauge compatible. I'm not looking for a bunch of big display pieces that can't even sit on the tracks and be close to the same scale as everything else.

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Same for me. If it is not 6-8 wide, then I'll skip it. There are so many alternatives to spend my money that I don't care anymore if Lego screws it up.

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43 minutes ago, legotownlinz said:

There are so many alternatives to spend my money that I don't care anymore if Lego screws it up

Yeah - pretty much arrived at the same conclusion - I am almost tempted to say that my interest in TLGs more recent stuff has reached minuszerodegrees (nice website btw).

Pulling the plug on Mindstorms the LEGO way was another push into that direction.

As a side effect, I am saving a lot of money ...

Best,
Thorsten

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On 10/29/2022 at 8:22 PM, dr_spock said:

LEGO some times recruits AFOLs to participate in their focus groups through the LAN.

 

Yes—not trains but I know several adult Bionicle fans were consulted during development of the 2015 reboot. Of course, that sort of thing tends to be under strict NDA, and is probably far easier for Lego to orchestrate for a non-licensed theme where they alone are responsible for who has access than for a licensed theme like Harry Potter, where the licenseholder might be involved in setting embargoes and such.

For the Orient Express I don't see reason to worry about AFOL consultation though, since as an Ideas set the fan designer will be directly involved at multiple steps in the process. That's not to say compromises won't ever come up or that the final product will be to every fan's liking, but it won't be because of a lack of AFOL involvement.

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10 hours ago, legotownlinz said:

Same for me. If it is not 6-8 wide, then I'll skip it. There are so many alternatives to spend my money that I don't care anymore if Lego screws it up.

Speaks for me as well. It's become an IMMENSELY expensive hobby. 

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2 hours ago, Shiva said:

9wide could work too.

You can make 'anything' work on the current tracks, but consistency would be nice. IF (and I don't know what they are planning to do) TLG decides to make this a 10 or 12 wide model, Train AFOLs won't be very interested since very few of them are interested in static models only. 

Furthermore, it would be the second train (in a row) that misses the ball for train AFOLs.

This makes me think: TLG said that the swiss crocodile would be used as in indicator if they would continue with a more 'grown up' train line-up. What if that locomotive actually sold very well, but TLG has determined that most costumers used it for display? If that's the case, I understand (but I don't endorse) their decision to make large scale models with a higher brick count (and price). It makes designing them easier.

As for me: I don't care what TLG does. There many other options. 
 

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23 hours ago, legotownlinz said:

Same for me. If it is not 6-8 wide, then I'll skip it. There are so many alternatives to spend my money that I don't care anymore if Lego screws it up.

I'll do the same

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8 hours ago, *thomas* said:

Furthermore, it would be the second train (in a row) that misses the ball for train AFOLs.

*second train in a row that's not actually a train set. Trains are not immobile

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1 hour ago, Sunil766 said:

*second train in a row that's not actually a train set. Trains are not immobile

You obviously never heard about the Danish IC4 or trains in general from AnsaldoBreda 😁

 

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4 hours ago, dtomsen said:

You obviously never heard about the Danish IC4 or trains in general from AnsaldoBreda 😁

 

A FYRA would've been interesting... ;) 

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And whats with these non city train sets from lego, when its only one wagon in set and second is not available for purchase standalone.

 

Any train, looks better at least with two wagons.

Perfect offender was horizon express, because buying two sets guaranteed whole train.I heard it was flop, I dont get it. Maersk was good too, because its freight train and two wagons are already included. Even Crocodile locomotive, because was standalone.

But hey, these were mobile sets so it makes sense even more.

 

My point of view on these statue sets are, that they are complete bollocks . Train enthusiast love trains rolling, I never heard of someone who buy train sets without any means to run once a while. And lego trains are even niche market that will suffer from these statue sets, sets that are 120 cm long ...

I dont know trains are dead, city trains are only producing high speed units. And one measly freight locomotive in 4 years span. Steam trains in 6 studs widely available are only hogwarts express.

Ok I get it, they trying to reinvent wheel, but there is no need to reinvent something that already lego sees as niche market .

Mocing sets are pricier, so I buying instead of trains Speed Championships cars. 

I love lego trains, but I dont have any power to like it like I used before.

Edited by Ondra

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On 11/4/2022 at 11:54 PM, *thomas* said:

A FYRA would've been interesting... ;) 

That is the Dutch-Belgian AnsaldoBreda debacle, apparently the Danish did not do their research either?! Now the Dutch have a new public traffic disaster: electric buses from BYD (some Chinese company). They suffer from a lot of issues including just breaking down at the highways.

Here is some Google Translated info on the Fyra: https://www-nicospilt-com.translate.goog/index_fyra.htm?_x_tr_sl=nl&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en&_x_tr_pto=wapp 

Livery is quite nice I think and even the design of the locomotive isn't too bad, a hint of Shinkansen.

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Nevertheless, I'm looking forward to see in which form this Orient Express Train will appear 🤔👍. I've never liked the Crocodile mainly because I'm not an electric train enthousiast but more a 🚂 and diesel guy.

It will cost a fortune, I'm sure about that. But this set will be bought by steamengine and exclusive LEGO-set lovers. Partly as an investment, no doubt.

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On 11/7/2022 at 8:00 PM, JopieK said:

That is the Dutch-Belgian AnsaldoBreda debacle, apparently the Danish did not do their research either?! Now the Dutch have a new public traffic disaster: electric buses from BYD (some Chinese company). They suffer from a lot of issues including just breaking down at the highways.

Here is some Google Translated info on the Fyra: https://www-nicospilt-com.translate.goog/index_fyra.htm?_x_tr_sl=nl&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en&_x_tr_pto=wapp 

Livery is quite nice I think and even the design of the locomotive isn't too bad, a hint of Shinkansen.

Love me some Lego Trains, but also love electric vehicles. Very sad to read that the BYD buses aren't doing well, BYD have been very successful with electric and hybrids cars. I was hoping they would be successful with their buses too. Shame.

On 11/4/2022 at 3:53 AM, legotownlinz said:

Same for me. If it is not 6-8 wide, then I'll skip it. There are so many alternatives to spend my money that I don't care anymore if Lego screws it up.

Same for me - I'll skip if this isn't 6-8 wide.

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