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About Toastie

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    LEGO, electronics, micro controllers, lasers, making things work


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  1. Toastie

    Themes LEGO should discontinue

    More than one year and 24 pages later ... Time for an intermediate result/executive summary: There are as many themes LEGO should discontinue as there are posters Some posters gang-up and ... then ... break up again ... to gang up again SW sucks SW does not suck Space [though] is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space TLG has not the faintest idea of what they are doing. Chances are, they exist only in a bubble filled with Danish ice cream - in a parallel universe not heard of - but with direct wormhole-type connections from their ice cream buried production plants into every LEGO store on Earth It is currently up-to debate, how big the LEGO store on Mars really is. It may be mind-bogglingly big though. I love this place I think this is essentially it. In about a year, I'll try to shoot another summary. All the best! Thorsten
  2. Toastie

    Lego is dropping behind dragon designs

    How much is the estimated price using BL parts? Just the sort of not so expensive ones? It looks to me to be so much more expensive that it seems to me as comparing a tube of mustard with a car of mustang - or am I wrong? Best Thorsten
  3. Toastie

    [MOC] Santa Fe Union Terminal

    I can see that ... but I think it also depends. I live in Northrhine Westfalia (NRW) - area about 34000 km2. Rhode Island is about a 10th of that. When travelling in NRW I always use public transportation. I believe it also depends on the infrastructure provided ... Thank you very much for the directions! I will certainly visit the Museum! And then enjoy the ice cream ... looking very much forward to do so. All the best, Thorsten
  4. Toastie

    Themes LEGO should discontinue

    I sure do understand your perspective - but here you are saying, want it is, don't you? The "super niche" is throwing enough money at TLG so that they do continue to make them. However, we were also discussing here and elsewhere on EB how much TLG has become a "big" company, with all that fallout. As I don't believe, not a second, that TLG is the oh so caring for the poor and willing-to-lose-money-in-favor-of-a-few-good-friends type company, you have proven that the "super niche" is all but that. It must be a major product. Money wise that is. Otherwise, economics does not make any sense. I don't believe that they make sand crawlers to make a couple of weirdos happy. Or do I miss something? Because of economic success, right? Not because of not liking in-house space themes. See, I don't like SUVs because I believe they are a very funny means to get one person from point A to point B - in a city. They do make them, regardless of any reasonable argument, other than: Me want comfort and me want safety and me want fun. Because they are economically super successful and sell like crazy. Over and out. As the say: Beam me up Scotty, there is no intelligent life on Earth All the best - and may the rich become wise ... Thorsten
  5. Toastie

    Older Than Dirt!

    @Fugazi Thank you very much!!! I like the newspaper (top version) the most. For me, there is nothing better to begin the day with reading our daily newspaper. The "news" are always several hours outdated - but somebody actually thought about what they wrote. It slows down this crazy world a bit. Most of the things that I am interested in, don't need updates by the minute. Same thing with the weekly newspaper, which arrives Sundays about 9:30 am ... Thank you very much again! All the best Thorsten @dr_spock: Thank you very much!!! Have a very nice day, Thorsten
  6. Toastie

    Themes LEGO should discontinue

    Phew, that photograph is ... strange indeed. At least to me. However: Collecting means just that: Get them all. The entire motivation to collect - and have them all - is to have them all. Complete. I will never get it, but that is not up to me. I do things other people will never get. So when it is a collection, it is that. The creativity is then something other than what you and I feel as such. With regard to the doing it over and over again, there is another thing though. I learned that here on EB, can't find the thread nor the message. Star Wars is appealing to kids, adults, people older than dirt. Lets focus on the younger: They may want a Falcon. Or whatever appearing in whatever Episode. Old sets are not available anymore - and maybe since years or decades ... so TLG re-releases them - improved. I can see that for sure. All the best, Thorsten
  7. Toastie

    Older Than Dirt!

    What??? Last post: May 12, 2018??? OK then: exactly 60 (EDIT: 51) min and I will turn 58 (my daughters are visiting ... and something is weird ... they run around and ... are busy with something ...). Began building with LEGO at age 3; my parents got me 323, the push along steam train. I have seen 4.5V, 12V, 9V, System, Technic, Code Pilot, all the Control Centers, Mindstorms (RCX, Scout, MicroScout, Spybotics, NXT, EV3 ...) and the bad years ... when it became all crappy ... and now PF, PuP, Spike ... And never ever had any doubt that LEGO will be what I will do when I retire. 9 more years ... I do it now, sometimes on a day-to-day basis, sometimes with months of ... just looking at it. My home office is my LEGO layout. Every single day I take the stairs and believe to be in heaven. Rock on, folks. Thorsten
  8. Toastie

    Is LEGO making way too many vehicles?

    @LegoDW The second one is my favorite - it reminds me much of SoCal. The waves are - funny - it is such a nice set. Best Thorsten
  9. Toastie

    [MOC] Santa Fe Union Terminal

    Wow. Simply beyond belief. The upcoming ASMS conference in early summer this year is in Houston - I'll be there. How is public transportation nowadays? For sure I will visit the museum. What is the LaKings Confectionery? All the best, Thorsten
  10. COOO OOOOOOO OOOOO OO OOL. Now that you and @Maple clarified that - every very early summer, around June 1st, a good part of my research group (about 10 people, depending on funds acquired) and I are traveling to the ASMS conference in the US. As there are about 7500 people attending, it is always in fairly "large" cities, with enough hotel capacity; Philadelphia, Boston, San Diego, Houston, San Antonio, Denver, Seattle, and so forth. We usually rent a house big enough and a bit away from the conference, and then take a day off shopping. Yes, a good number of major malls have such a store. +5 kg in my luggage upon return ... There are differences though, aren't there? When we lived in SoCal, the store in South Coast Plaza was considerably smaller than the one in Downtown Disney. That was a nice one. Or are they all the same, nowadays? What about warehouse sized BL Stores? Also in walking distance? Hah! The Billund LEGO store though is >gigantic<. I mean - this is where LEGO came to birth ... I believe they are showing that off a bit. All the best Thorsten
  11. @Brandon Pea Wow! Are these malls with shops that have LEGO or are these official LEGO Stores? I was talking about the latter ... Best, Thorsten
  12. Hee hee - OK, here we go: 8 min walk to the train station, 35 min train-ride (train comes every 30 min; I don't like cars with only one person inside ...) + 7 min walk to the LEGO store in Cologne = 50 min 8 min + 45 min train-ride (trains come every 20 min) + 15 min walk to the LEGO store in Essen = 1h 8 min 8 min + 20 + 30 + 10 min train/tram ride + 15 min walk to the one in Oberhausen = 1h 23 min And here it comes: 15 min bus ride + 15 min walk to the BL Store "FigsBricks" (10793) in Mettmann - they have about 11,500 lots on average in one very nicely organized warehouse - just returned from a trip today - 1.7 kg of 2xX plates in blue, light blue, white, sand-stone in need for my layout ... (was by car = 10 min) Ahh one more: Each year we go on vacation to Denmark for one or two weeks; the island Fanoe that is. Beautiful, relaxed place, wonderful people. And it is a 1h 20 min drive by car to Billund. Nice place. They have a cool store there as well Yes, I do consider myself >very< fortunate - it is close to LEGO heaven, I believe ... Best Thorsten
  13. Well - remember Blues Brothers? Jake: How much for the little girl? The women? How much for the women? Customer: What? Jake: Your women. I want to buy your women. The little girl, your daughters. Sell them to me. Sell me your children! Customer: Matre d'! Matre d'! (it is a wonderful scene) Make Jake TLG and Customer BO (etc.). Market consolidation is one way to get competition out of the way. And you can always advertise it as: How they can service the BL marketplace better ... In the mass spectrometry market I happen to hang out a bit, some 30 years ago there were literally hundreds of companies of all sizes and largely diverse portfolios. Now we are down to six (giants). And some individual small businesses not causing any harm. As a result, we have 6 major technologies, which are essentially only three - more things to come I believe. Creativity is suffering quite a bit though. But it is as it is. The difference is: They just tell us what is going on: "X has been acquired by us. It makes us stronger. And you get everything from one place." Of course big companies have to do it that way - in a global market. They need to remain competitive. And grow. Nothing wrong here; just let people know. Best Thorsten
  14. Well, I like to challenge that (these - whatever they are called - are cool) First of, I believe I got that part from the beginning - and this is not what I am shooting at. It's not about what a BL seller asks for. Clearly, other dynamics is more or less directing these numbers. It is more about the "appearance" to the public. Yes TLG owns the marketplace. So far this place seems to be "free" with regard to "what do I ask for - as shop owner - here on the market place" as compared to the >exact same< item at "Karstadt" (they are now Galleria Kaufhof Karstadt) - plus this market place is owned by the folks running Karstadt. I find that a little bizarre. And I was just a little concerned about a customer visiting S&H and then BL (OK, there are not that many. But hey, they play hardball so lets keep it that way: We do as well). The customer may and does not want to grasp the entire dynamics behind all that. It just looks "bad" and if I were TLG, I would take measures to alleviate this situation. See, TLG takes down Tony's instructions because of shaky legal "necessities", which can easily be handled in different way, on a shop to shop basis present on TLGs(!) market place. Much more work, but so much nicer to the world - and >not< as if were from The Dark Side. There is nothing that can TLG tell to >not< do it that way. They decide on how to handle this and not any higher authorities. In addition to all that legal crap, there is marketing. Particularly when you can make the decisions at your very own discretion. I have sometimes the impression that some people believe any legal stuff was derived from first principles, which are also holding the universe together. Most of this legal stuff we are talking about is made by TLG. And lastly: I simply don't buy 49.99 for an electronic device that cost maybe €2 (max!) in manufacturing. Oh, I know: Development, programming, version control, stocking, and what not and so forth. Make it €7.99 (which it will never ever be - we work with companies making electronics for us: On a one-piece basis. Custom. It is cheap; China before Corona that is). In that case asking for 49.99 comes at least into reach - provided they have to distribute all these devices into the stores. Well, they do ship all the other boxes as well - so that would bring down that number again. It remains a rip-off. Another example - I have posted it somewhere on EB earlier. But I am beginning to sense a pattern here (i.e., the pricing for electronic devices at S&H): The 10V DC wall wart power supply, which they still do sell or better have on the S&H website ( For one: 10V is a joke. Every single LEGO device depending on a charger (e.g., the rechargeable PF LiPo, not available anymore; the LiPo's for the NXT' and EV3's etc.) can be charged with 9V or 12V power supplies, to say the least. That is OK; if they want to shit around, and customers don't know better: That is capitalism/marketing/"smart". But: 29.99 for a wall wart, which costs on any other Karstadt and the like stores around the globe at max. €/$10, AND knowing that they are shitting around anyways, is at best "cheap". And makes them look very very very greedy. Again. That is what I was aiming at. And: The difference between: "Tony is using BBB wheels: Out with it because of legal issues" is not that far away from: "€16.49 is violating any fair trade market rules (uhmm - we made for our market place) because ... uhmm ... the development costs were insane: We have to introduce punitive duties accounting to - uhmm - €34. I believe there are rather recent examples on the global market illustrating that And finally: This very educated discussion is all fun to me. I am really enjoying it. And never forget: I will buy LEGO as long as they exist. All the very best, Thorsten
  15. Very true. And sure: When you root-out everything the remaining "clean" soil can be newly worked over. However, as they say, you reap what you sow. To me, BL has lost a lot of its luster. It becomes more and more a "clean" TLG place. For people who like that all is good, maybe even better than before. I'm much more into digging in the dirt for cool things. For sure BL has still a lot of very good offers - but again I do see some - interesting things: BL is now TLG - at least this is what I understood and all the legal actions imply. Now, last week, I have ordered two new Technic Hubs (4I/O BL's# bb0961c01) for €22 each. TLG doesn't even show them on their S&H site. And I simply don't want to know what they will charge in the future; it must be waaaayyyy above €60. Just for comparison: TLG wants €49.99 for the Hub (2I/O, BL's# bb0892c01), which you get brand new on BL for €16. Of course this is OK, it is the free market, sure. But it makes TLG look like very, very, very greedy. Particularly because one offer comes from the website of the company and the other from a website the company owns; where the company goes berserk with regard to regulations, which "must be" invoked. Is that legally OK? It must be, but it looks - bad. On the Ghostbuster's bad scale that is (just as a refresher: "There's something very important I forgot to tell you." "What." "Don't cross the streams." "Why?" "It would be bad." "I'm fuzzy in all good-bad things. What do you mean, 'bad'?" "Try to imagine, all life as you know is stoppin' instantaneously and every molecule in your body is exploding at the speed of light." "Total protonic reversal." "That's bad. Ok. An important safety tip. Thanks Egon!") Best Thorsten