RedBrick1

LEGO #21344 - Orient Express

Recommended Posts

26 minutes ago, Phil-B259 said:

There will be a large number of people who couldn't care less about railways and especially couldn't give a toss about Lego trains but who would potentially be attracted by the set specifically because of the IP tie in! That could be because they liked the films, liked the book, have travelled on it, want to travel it in future, like the 1930s period in terms of decor / fashion etc

So there are more OE enthusiasts in the world than people who like Lego trains? I beg to differ.

42 minutes ago, Phil-B259 said:

Therefore the its quite likely that the rights owners to the 'Orient Express' IP will have not only charged a hefty fee, they will also have wanted far more involvement in the venture

Exactly this is the problem with licenced models. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Bensch55 said:

Then just rename it. Or decline it, like all the other train mocs that got into the review phase.

Okay, but have you considered that LEGO might have had reasons for approving this particular project despite rejecting other train projects? LEGO's choices to accept or reject a project are largely a matter on how much market potential they see for that sort of set, with or without a license. And that judgment is derived from various factors beyond just qualifying for review, such as how quickly a project garners support, how much "buzz" LEGO sees about it on social media, what specific audience demographics it seems to appeal to, etc.

Obviously, we can't know for sure which specific factors went into approving the Orient Express. But I'm sure one factor is that it had a lot of appeal not only among train enthusiasts, but also film, TV, and literature buffs who were aware of this train's illustrious reputation in the sphere of popular culture. I'm not sure any other real-world train is as much of a household name as the Orient Express in this regard.

If we suppose LEGO approved it on those grounds, then it would have been foolhardy to release a set of it with a different name. And releasing it as a generic, non-branded model would probably have also meant making even more substantial changes to the project than the actual set ended up doing, so as to avoid legal trouble with the Orient Express company. I'm not sure that the project creator would've approved of such extreme changes either, considering that he was drawn to this train in particular for his proposal as a film enthusiast himself!

In short, I get that you would have been much happier with a generic, unlicensed vintage train instead of this set. But it should be obvious that there are a lot of people out there (including the project creator) who were enthusiastic about this project specifically because it's the Orient Express and not a generic train.

 

Anyhow, who in your mind would be any happier or better off if LEGO had rejected this project? It's not like that would somehow guarantee you a different adult-targeted train set in its place. It might have just as easily meant no new adult-targeted train set in 2023, plus yet another letdown for LEGO Ideas creators and project supporters with a passion for trains.

Moreover, even if you don't care for this set, just consider that if it does well, it could definitely motivate the LEGO Ideas team to approve other LEGO train projects in the future (much like how they've approved so many TV sitcom related or space exploration related projects after the earlier successes of sets within that category). Seeing a lot of buyers willing to drop $300 on a LEGO train could even motivate LEGO to invest more heavily in the adult-targeted train sets that they develop in-house.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Aanchir said:

new adult-targeted train set in 2023

Why does it have to be adult-targeted? 

5 minutes ago, Aanchir said:

you would have been much happier with a generic, unlicensed vintage train

How do you come to that conclusion? I'm not saying Lego can't have licences, I said that in this case the licence produced an objectively worse set that is too expensive for what it is.

13 minutes ago, Aanchir said:

Seeing a lot of buyers willing to drop $300 on a LEGO train

I really don't want to encourage Lego to drop more "trains" without motorization for that amount of money.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, Aanchir said:

even if you don't care for this set, just consider that if it does well, it could definitely motivate the LEGO Ideas team to approve other LEGO train projects in the future

My concern here is that the opposite is likely true - this set will do poorly, and TLG will conclude that "people just don't want trains", rather than understanding that people want trains that can be motorized.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, Bensch55 said:

Why does it have to be adult-targeted?

I thought this conversation was spurred by disappointments with the licensor-driven design considerations of the Orient Express set? I feel like a KFOL-targeted steam train would probably be more of a downgrade in most of those areas than an upgrade. Plus, we just got two kid-targeted (and motorized) train sets in City last year and one in Harry Potter this year, so I figured a lot of the high hopes for this set were based on the expectations of greater complexity and detail than those sets have offered.

31 minutes ago, Bensch55 said:

How do you come to that conclusion? I'm not saying Lego can't have licences, I said that in this case the licence produced an objectively worse set that is too expensive for what it is.

I never meant to imply otherwise. But I think in this specific case, you've made it clear that you would prefer a non-licensed model over a licensed one (with all the design changes that licensing entailed). The point I was making is that a lot of people supported or showed interest in the Ideas set because it's the Orient Express, not just because it's a nice steam locomotive. Even the original project summary played up the Orient Express's outstanding reputation. So for LEGO to approve the project and then create a set that avoids any direct ties to the real life Orient Express would not be very faithful at all to that aspect of the project!

30 minutes ago, iragm said:

My concern here is that the opposite is likely true - this set will do poorly, and TLG will conclude that "people just don't want trains", rather than understanding that people want trains that can be motorized.

I dunno, maybe I'm just more optimistic. But so far I've seen a lot of enthusiasm for this set even from people who don't otherwise tend to care much about LEGO trains (and who have barely even commented on the lack of motorization). And since several LEGO train fans are already coming up with their own motorization options, it would surprise me if the lack of "official" motorization instructions ends up being too huge a drawback within these dedicated LEGO train enthusiast circles.

Edited by Aanchir

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Bensch55 said:

So there are more OE enthusiasts in the world than people who like Lego trains?

 

Not so much 'Orient express enthusiasts' but rather people who like the Orient express because of what it represents.

If you ask what most non-railway people what do they associate the words "Orient Express with they will most probably cite murders, luxury travel, films books, 1930s decor, 1930s fashion, etc

the railway element is very minor and is effectively secondary to the prime interest.

Please remember that Lego is marketing this set at the general population at large NOT just lego train enthusiasts - and the general population at large really couldn't care less what train enthusiasts think 

And yes, these sorts of folk DO outnumber the people who like model trains once you step away from forums like this!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Regarding LEGO Ideas trains that are not approved.

Could atleast some be, due to LEGO NOT getting IP's OK, to do the trains or loco's. Or even not finding how to get the OK, for that IDEAS real locomotive?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Aanchir said:

LEGO's choices to accept or reject a project are largely a matter on how much market potential they see for that sort of set, with or without a license. And that judgment is derived from various factors beyond just qualifying for review, such as how quickly a project garners support, how much "buzz" LEGO sees about it on social media, what specific audience demographics it seems to appeal to, etc.

This.

This is the core of the matter. Very nicely phrased!

TLG is a for-profit, globally operating enterprise and not a small business toy manufacturer located in Denmark. It may have been that more than half a century ago. Why licenses? Read @Aanchir nice summary. Why this locomotive? It was about the carriage induced look and feel, and the loco is just a "thing" pretending to pull the carriages. The audience this set is primarily targeted at is certainly not the train heads. It is aimed at folks willing to shell out $300 for the OE feeling. And thus a Duplo-like loco is good enough.

Absolutely fine with me! Saves me $300 - well, $160, as Santa spent $140 on the Steampunk Station with elevated train and carriage.

Conclusion: All is where it belongs :pir-huzzah2:

Best,
Thorsten

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Toastie said:

And thus a Duplo-like loco is good enough.

Calling something like the locomotive in this set "Duplo-like" is honestly bizarre to me. It's a more complex, detailed build than the vast majority of train sets through the years. I guess you mean because it isn't motorized? But calling it "Duplo-like" for that reason is like calling a modular building set "Duplo-like" because it mostly involves stacking bricks—so vague and generalized as to be completely meaningless.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Lyichir said:

Calling something like the locomotive in this set "Duplo-like" is honestly bizarre to me. It's a more complex, detailed build than the vast majority of train sets through the years. I guess you mean because it isn't motorized? But calling it "Duplo-like" for that reason is like calling a modular building set "Duplo-like" because it mostly involves stacking bricks—so vague and generalized as to be completely meaningless.

Same here. The locomotive isn't perfect but has a lot of nicely designed features about it. It's actually not much shorter than the Emerald Night. It just looks tiny compared to its coaches, while the Emerald Night looks huge compared to its coach. From the pictures I've seen, the Emerald Night looks tiny when coupled up to the coaches, especially it's tender.

Also, as I've discussed previously, the engine's length is still well within scale compared to the length of the coaches. We're all just used to tiny lego coaches ala the Emerald Night. 


 

Edited by and_ampersand_and

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Phil-B259 said:

And yes, these sorts of folk DO outnumber the people who like model trains once you step away from forums like this!

To be honest, in the 24 years I got to live on this world now I never heard anyone mention this train once. I barely knew of its existance before the Lego set. So please forgive me but before you can back this statement with any numbers, I highly doubt it (the outcry about the set also implies that most supporters were backing the locomotive, rather than the concept of the OE)

Quote

Calling something like the locomotive in this set "Duplo-like" is honestly bizarre to me

This is mostly about the new connection rod pieces, they are pretty thick and weirdly shaped, similar to some duplo pieces.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Bensch55 said:

To be honest, in the 24 years I got to live on this world now I never heard anyone mention this train once. I barely knew of its existance before the Lego set. So please forgive me but before you can back this statement with any numbers, I highly doubt it (the outcry about the set also implies that most supporters were backing the locomotive, rather than the concept of the OE)

This is mostly about the new connection rod pieces, they are pretty thick and weirdly shaped, similar to some duplo pieces.

Back when Emerald Night came out, people were all upset it DIDN'T have special molded side rods. Now that we have them, people don't want them? I wouldn't blame LEGO if they give up making steamers entirely, as this is ridiculous!

Edited by Murdoch17

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Lyichir said:

is honestly bizarre to me

OK. Let's clear that up.

6 minutes ago, and_ampersand_and said:

Same here.

And here as well.

You have heard of the concept of exaggeration, I am sure of. Yes, it is not a DUPLO train, not even like, as the bricks are smaller and more diverse, and I do apologize for the "bizarrness" this phrasing created. Although ... Duplo bricks and pieces do also get more diverse ... OK, forget it.

My first LEGO train was LEGO's #323; a push along train not even running on track, as there was no track, back in 1965. Since then, I am in love with trains. Both in real world and in brick world. 

From 1965 to 2023 there is naturally some time for evolution. On my layout there are 4.5V trains; 12V trains; 9V trains - the "BNSF", "Maersk"; I built Ben Beneke's BR23 from LEGO bricks only, motorized it, do run the Crocodile, pimped and PUp equipped, and operate all LEGO diesel "shunters" of the 9V and PF variety - and do enjoy all of them very, very much. The HR was the last train in that line, as it was just "reinvented" afterward - same for the cargo trains. There are also some MOCs cruising around, well, all TLG trains got some (serious) treatment. I also do look at stuff people create - here on EB and elsewhere.

And then I do look at the OE steam locomotive. 58 years of evolution in the brick world. $300 as price tag: The shape and color of the side and main rods. Every Technic model has a new fancy mold - not the trains. Oh, sure - there is a hole missing in the connecting rod, and apparently that got patented. Then I look at the trains on my layout.

All not the point: I >do< get that this set is not aimed at train fans, but at OE universe, for obvious reasons. I do get that some people may find the loco design slick and nice, because there is space for motorization, which in turn was turned down by TLG's QC. I am also aware of the fact that the "train" theme is a niche in LEGO world. I just don't like the praise for essentially (I am sorry, this is my personal view, others do voice here as well) - nothing - loco development wise.

So: I stand correct: This locomotive is not DUPLO like.

Regards,
Thorsten

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, Bensch55 said:

To be honest, in the 24 years I got to live on this world now I never heard anyone mention this train once.

Where do you live?

If you say 'Orient Express' to most folk they will be thinking of the VOSE - or The Venice Simplon Orient Express has been running as a luxury train from Paris to Venice since 1982 and in its time has regulatory topped polls as one of the most spectacular / romantic train trips you can do in Europe and very much a 'once in a lifetime' thing for many. Its well advertised and well known by lots of folk who have ZERO interest in trains.

Now granted this is a totally separate company and has nothing to do with to the Orient Express group behind the Lego collaboration* - but I doubt the general public care in the slightest about that. If you say 'Orient Express to a member of the public then most folk will be thinking of the VOSE

* VOSE = https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venice-Simplon_Orient_Express

And with respect to the VOSE its very much about a luxury experience - not the fact its a train which matters! If you do a goggle search what comes up is not pages of railway related stuff but rather pages form luxury travel providers offering trips on the VOSE... 

 

Edited by Phil-B259

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, Murdoch17 said:

have special molded side rods

Didn't the ones with three holes exist for long?

Best,
Thorsten

 

6 minutes ago, Phil-B259 said:

Where do you live?

Maybe ask: How long do you live? Stuff like a >luxury< OE whatever resort and experience may not be on the hot boilerplate for younger people? Well maybe for some, but certainly not the average.

When I was 24 years old, believe me, "luxury" + "holidays on a train" was not once, not only once under my horizon.

Regards,
Thorsten

Edited by Toastie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, Bensch55 said:

To be honest, in the 24 years I got to live on this world now I never heard anyone mention this train once. I barely knew of its existance before the Lego set. So please forgive me but before you can back this statement with any numbers, I highly doubt it (the outcry about the set also implies that most supporters were backing the locomotive, rather than the concept of the OE) 

I mean, there was a movie of Agatha Christie's "Murder on the Orient Express" as recently as 2017. It's an extremely iconic mystery story, and practically every mystery story set on a train in any book, TV show, or video game ends up alluding to it in some way. I would not consider myself an "Orient Express fan" or anything like that, and I've never even read Agatha Christie's original novel, but it's had an ENORMOUS impact on the pop culture landscape. And that's just one of several pop culture properties in which the Orient Express features prominently. It's certainly far more well known outside of train enthusiast circles than the Super Chief, which LEGO made into a set over 20 years ago.

Moreover, just about every LEGO Ideas set has gotten a lot of complaints about changes LEGO made to final design, and yet many have proven extremely popular in spite of that. One such example, the Ship in a Bottle, even sold well enough to be re-released over a year after it first retired, despite some intense criticism of LEGO's changes to both the bottle and the ship itself when it was first revealed.

So I think it's a mistake to equate these sorts of inevitable complaints about design changes with a set's sales potential. But just about any time that fans get to see the original prototype or sketch model of a set, whether it's fan designed or developed in-house by LEGO designers, a segment of the fanbase will end up lamenting "what could have been", regardless of whether the prototype would have actually made a better or more appealing set in practice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Toastie said:

 

When I was 24 years old, believe me, "luxury" + "holidays on a train" was not once, not only once under my horizon.

Oh don't get me wrong - with a Paris - Venice ticket costing in the region of £4000 per cabin its not exactly a cheap way to travel (hence why it tends to be viewed as a 'once in a lifetime' trip for most folk and only the very wealthy can use it more than once).

However that in itself adds a certain mystique around the brand plus makes those who are able to afford it feel special. Those are the vibes which Lego and the Orient Express are seeking to exploit  - particularly the OE group who will be trying to grab a slice of that market which the VOSE have been cultivating so successfully and for Lego who can effectively say to folks 'OK you might not have been able to go on it yet but you can at least imagine....)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, Murdoch17 said:

I wouldn't blame LEGO if they give up making steamers entirely, as this is ridiculous!

Well, if you compare it to the rods they managed to make in the 12V era.. the new ones do stink a bit in comparison. 
 

Quote

Where do you live?

Austria.

And as glamorous as the OE might be, I still can’t believe that the percentage of people that are interested in it outnumbers the amount of people who have a general interest in any kind of train (and/or Lego-trains). 
The provided links are also mostly from trip/holiday advisors that put out articles about any kind of attraction, so it doesn‘t really proof a point of its popularity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, RedBrick1 said:

Further spacing out the pilot wheels is a great-looking mod. How much extension was needed to add the rear bogie? Are those larger drivers?

It only took 2 extra studs to add the rear bogie, but thats also because of the larger XL drivers. The pilot wheels mod was actually really easy and fits underneath the original locomotive as well
Sbq9zKb.pngNejT4Gj.png

Edited by something_fabulous

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Bensch55 said:

Austria.

Ha! Hahaha! You have to change the country form "-" to "Austria". Here is to feeling good :pir-huzzah2:

Austria - we never get any points from you guys in the ESC - and lost recently in a soccer game, didn't we?

(OK: I could not care less about soccer - and the ESC)

Best wishes,
Thorsten

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Bensch55 said:

Austria.

And as glamorous as the OE might be, I still can’t believe that the percentage of people that are interested in it outnumbers the amount of people who have a general interest in any kind of train (and/or Lego-trains). 
The provided links are also mostly from trip/holiday advisors that put out articles about any kind of attraction, so it doesn‘t really proof a point of its popularity.

Ta - surprised you haven't have heard much about it, though I guess as the VOSE doesn't normally go that way exposure would be less.

However the point about those links I put was precisely that they were mostly touristy / holiday ones!

You type Orient Express / Venice Simpson Orient Express into any search engine and the majority of results are all about booking holidays / taking trips on the train - virtually none of them are about technical or railway enthusiast aspects!

If the railway angle was the most important aspect of the Orient Express then that would be the thing which brings up the most results - but it isn't!

That should tell you just how low interest in railways is in the general population - and Lego know that!

 

Interestingly trying the same exercise for the 'Super Chief' mainly brings up links relating to motorcycles.....

 

*I have since deleted them because the computer I'm using didn't post them properly rather than anything sinster.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, and_ampersand_and said:

It's a brand new mold for this set.

Ever looked up this Bricklink store?

Yes, 3-D printed - and even that makes the difference.

But again: Fine with me!!!

Best,
Thorsten

16 minutes ago, Phil-B259 said:

However that in itself adds a certain mystique around the brand plus makes those who are able to afford it feel special. Those are the vibes which Lego and the Orient Express are seeking to exploit

Yes, of course! And that is entirely OK! I have absolutely no problems with that. It is a smart move!

But the loco sucks.

Spoiler

Don't take me seriously. I like to irritate - as John Clesse does. Not that I want to live up to his genius - none whatsoever - but I love Monty Python. You know, in class you need to ignite "something" to get on the radar of  minus 40 years old students ;)

Best,
Thorsten

BTW:

I love this place, I love these discussions!

Have all a good night! (I am on GMT +1)

Thorsten

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.