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About Slegengr

  • Birthday 02/11/1991

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  • What is favorite LEGO theme? (we need this info to prevent spam)
  • Which LEGO set did you recently purchase or build?
    10320 Eldorado Fortress, 910001 Castle in the Forest, 10210 Imperial Flagship

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Illinois, USA
  • Interests
    LEGO MOCing, LEGO collecting
    Favorite LEGO Theme: Castle

    Non-LEGO: blacksmithing, woodworking, clay sculpting, music (piano, violin, ocarina, bagpipes), pets (bearded dragons, axolotls, leopard geckos, cats, dogs), outdoors and nature, raising livestock, farming


  • Country
    Mitgardia, GoH
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  1. @-DoNe- What great updates for on of my favorite childhood themes! I like what you have done mixing classic pieces and styling with a more modern and much sturdier-looking design. I really like how solid and heavy the machines look in comparison to the originals, especially the update to the lower cockpit. I have an extensive Rock Raiders collection with at least one of each of the standard-release sets (missing all Kabaya at this time...) plus a few extras of each vehicle, so I mostly build MOCs in the classic style with pieces available at the time the theme was released, but I recently started into updating classic sets (focusing on Adventurers right now) and these builds are wonderful inspiration when I get back to the Rock Raiders theme! P.S. You may find R.R. Slugger's YouTube channel interesting if you like the Rock Raiders theme enough to make such nice updates! Check it out if you like. I'm not affiliated, just a fan of both his channel and the Rock Raiders theme as well as your work now!
  2. Slegengr

    [ENTRY] Sloop Windy (Mini Set)

    @Marooned Marin Nice work and interesting to see how well it did after a bit of collaborative effort/suggestions for improvement and your marvelous rework! It was interesting to watch the boat race in the mini set category; the wind must have slackened a bit near the end allowing the paddled outrigger to pull ahead and that shark-pulled tub to almost catch up! Being limited to 5 votes each is necessary for the contest, but it would have been interesting to see everyone's thoughts on all the builds he or she liked instead of just the top 5 that received votes. I know there are many builds in this contest that I really liked but did not receive one of my votes.
  3. Slegengr

    Is It Possible To Reintroduce Old Sets?

    Indeed, that triangle is the optimization that all manufacturers and design engineers have to take into account. Judging by the quality of LEGO pieces, tolerances of the molds are obviously very tight which is going to make them more expensive than molds for most other plastic toys that do not have or maybe need such tight tolerances. I wonder how long TLG's molds last before degradation from use makes them too imprecise to pass quality assurance? It would be interesting to know about how many new molds TLG buys each year on a regular basis.
  4. Slegengr

    Is It Possible To Reintroduce Old Sets?

    Thanks for confirmation. The full-depth discussion is precisely why I prefer forums way ahead of social media formats. I'm mostly disappointed here that the user that I may have dissuaded from the conversation with my multiple quotes and long posts may actually be a manufacturing engineer with very useful insight into the discussion at hand. I think a merge of the two options is the best path: Make mostly new themes based on similar open-story concepts to the classic themes (particularly Space, Pirates, Castle, Aquazone, Adventurers, etc.) with some references to the original themes (same/similar iconography, some updated main characters, etc.) while also making the occasional classic set remake to really hit the nostalgia. New, updated themes can draw new interest while references to the classics can keep or rekindle interest in adults with nostalgia. Maybe this is heavily impacted by my own nostalgia from being a child through what seems to be referred to as TLG's golden age (around 1985 to 2000).
  5. Slegengr

    Is It Possible To Reintroduce Old Sets?

    Yes, it is not an unusual size but a baseplate still seems an unlikely inclusion in a current mid-size set based on observable trends in available sets. To all, sorry for previous long posts; I did not mean to derail or end discussion here. Often I forget that even discussion forums are impacted heavily today by social media trends toward only short posts.
  6. Slegengr

    Is It Possible To Reintroduce Old Sets?

    I'm aware that baseplates are vacuum molded and cut to size from a larger sheet. Unique sizes still require special production runs (and related market research) and different tooling/automation. I'm not sure I understand your point here? Though baseplates are still produced, TLG seems to have a current philosophy opposed to their inclusion in sets, especially middle-sized sets such as 6267 Lagoon Lock-Up. The use of rectangular, rounded, and wedge plates instead seems to me a better option as it lends far more to the modular concept. See the new 10320 Eldorado Fortress for example. Not only is the original raised baseplate replaced with a brick-built mimic, the use of individual plates at the base instead of baseplates allow for the design to be modularly rearrangeable. My assumption is that one significant reason TLG does not seem to have interest in reproducing original sets is that some included baseplates that TLG is not interested in including in current production.
  7. Slegengr

    Is It Possible To Reintroduce Old Sets?

    Special limited reproductions could be viable within controlled circumstances, but I still think the best option is to make new designs with references to the original and make them available on TLG's Bricks and Pieces service where individual parts can be ordered. It seems to work well enough as they did with the new Black Falcon and Lion Knight torsos and legs. Since resources are always limited, though, there will never be a system where everyone can get everything they would like...
  8. Slegengr

    Is It Possible To Reintroduce Old Sets?

    @Mylenium You are a professional manufacturing engineer? I would be very interested to know more related to icm's questions and general manufacturing insight, especially if you have mold-specific experience. I must admit that your previous claim about molds being cheap lead me to a different conclusion about your experience. Maybe I missed significant nuance in what you were trying to say. Though this discussion seems to have taken a slight turn into mold quality and costs specifically, it is a discussion in which I am very interested. One specific question that comes to mind: Was your earlier point about TLG's " self-motivated propaganda" about molds being expensive related to the fact that molds are not as expensive as they used to be and therefore should not be a significant hinderance to TLG's design considerations or that TLG faces the same design decisions as other toy manufacturers when it comes to molds? ...or maybe some other point that I am missing? It seems clear to me that there are a lot of viable options for producing molds today that were not available 20 years ago, but I still think that the cost is relative to profitability of the product made with the mold. I also still firmly believe that experience shows that TLG's products are of better quality than competitors, which directly implies more thorough part design and manufacturing tolerances, which in turn mean higher costs than companies that cut corners.
  9. Slegengr

    Is It Possible To Reintroduce Old Sets?

    I think I understand what you are saying here and agree with most of the points with some nuance to the discussion. A quick point: I do not think design tolerances really should change much whether or not a part is intended to be mid-structure or at the top. Each connection should be viable on its own. A baseplate or large plate does not care whether it is connecting to a tile or a brick; the stud tolerances need to be viable enough for either connection. Most of this is not just fanboy discussion of LEGO PR talking points. The market shows what people believe, and LEGO still has the largest volume share at the higher price than most (all?) competitors. If they did not prioritize quality assurance, the product quality would show this lack, and the market decline would follow. I very highly doubt that a significant portion of LEGO's multi-billion dollar revenue is due to fanboy positions without real-world justification. Now, I also agree that a reasonable measure of doubt of a company's claims about their own products is a good thing. I apply this to all companies and products. In TLG's case, the quality assurance seems to speak for itself with the market agreeing, rather than it just being my personal opinion. I've had some competitor products and have read many reviews from other builders. It still seems to me that there is no competitor very close to the same level of design refinement and quality assurance as TLG. (Though I will mention it, I don't intend to redirect discussion into my extreme dislike as a design engineer for any company that directly steals designs that TLG spent time and money to do the research and development; competition is fine as long as the competing brand offers their own designs, both at set and part level; this is a real problem that likely will not go away, but I still dislike it nonetheless) When it comes to discussion, yes, it is best to back up points with evidence from MOCs and reviews and I am always interested in hopes and dreams about future sets. Probably the best way to be more effective with these discussions is to have them directly with TLG rather than debating it with other hobbyists that don't have full data at their disposal about what TLG can/cannot or should/should not do. I have about 30 years of continual experience with LEGO products, but I don't document or share much of this online, so my arguments can be taken as unproven and are essentially only anecdotal, not true evidence. Then again, this is a thread of discussions about opinions, so sharing of opinions (no matter how wrong they are :) is acceptable. For myself, I try to never just repeat or internalize propaganda but rather try to base all of my discussion/opinions on direct experiences (even though I will never be able to cover all the nuances through text alone...).
  10. Slegengr

    Is It Possible To Reintroduce Old Sets?

    "Harm" is a relative term here. It would certainly impact the secondary market. If all designs were available through TLG at similar pricing to TLG's Bricks and Pieces plus an up-charge for limited production manufacturing, these parts could still be cheaper than secondary market prices, sometimes significantly. This would demotivate a potentially significant portion of the secondary market since sales and pricing would not be high enough to justify time spent sorting old parts for resale. I speculate that almost all sales would shift to the primary market (TLG) since you could order parts in new condition and source all desired parts through the same store. In general, I think the impact on market is harder to predict and of less consequence. The more significant reason TLG does not (and should not?) keep old designs in continual production is the difficulty in maintaining reasonable production coupled with unpredictable marketing. Another thing to note is that companies regularly refresh logos and marketing, sometimes reverting back to "retro" or old designs again. This helps keep the marketing fresh and tends to generate interest in the brand (unless too much change occurs and loses the connection to the brand image). This same idea applies to TLG: new designs, sometimes with references to old designs, are likely to draw and keep interest better than producing the same dated product over and over again. Though I am sure that LEGO has self-motivated propaganda to justify their costs, this seems absolutely not true to me with regard to mold cost (in general; to get specific, I would need in-depth data I do not have but TLG would have). I am quite confident that LEGO molds are more expensive than those produced by many toy manufacturers. There is a reason why no competitors (as far as I know; I do not have exhaustive data) produce a product close to the same quality: they don't fully understand the depth of design tolerances TLG applies and they likely don't want to risk as much cost on just the mold for the parts. I think what is being missed by most in this discussion is just how expensive tolerances are, especially when we are talking about the small scale of LEGO pieces. Smaller tolerance equals higher cost. If you think molds are "cheap", try to get a quote yourself. Though manufacturing methods have improved and new methods are available today, you would be foolish to assume that this means that these manufacturing methods are cheap. Another major complication in this discussion is that costing for a manufacturer is always relative. Base cost is not the only factor; profitable return from the use of the tooling or part is what is significant. For a random example, if you buy a mold for $1 and sell 3 parts made from that mold for $0.30 each, net profit is a loss of $0.10. If you buy a mold for $1000 and sell 10,000 parts made from that mold for $0.30, net profit is $2000. I think this is generally understood, but it is a crucial element in TLG's decisions for new molds. This is exactly why they repeat the use of molds as often as possible, and also the reason why they tend to release molds for some licensed product parts through CMF or other outlets to retain rights to the design/mold and be able to use the part in more than the limited licensed applications in order to increase likelihood of recovering costs in design and production of the part through increased volume (necessarily at a profit, of course; increased production volume at a loss is obviously an increased net loss). Also keep in mind that molds are only one small piece in the costs of design and production, so I am sure TLG does not allot excessive or unlimited funding for this at the start of design. Nobody intentionally degrades quality in the hopes of producing cheaper molds? How familiar are you with manufacturing? Of course, it is never the intentional degradation of product quality, but wider tolerances result in cheaper production and degraded quality and are absolutely a viable and often-applied decision that companies make. This is the exact reason why TLG molds are sure to be more expensive than most other toy company molds: they claim tighter tolerances and the product shows this clearly. If this was all smoke and mirrors, so to speak, there surely would be competitors stealing significant market share and TLG would not be viewed as the premium product like they are today. Free market will always tend to prove the concepts and discussion points here, and relative market shares and prices people are willing to pay show clearly that TLG is the best in the market when it comes to quality, and, again, quality comes from tighter tolerances which drive up costs of molds (the one specific aspect being discussed here). It is an entirely different discussion on how many molds (new or old) TLG should/could produce in the year, and simply a discussion we do not really have enough data to narrow down conclusively. TLG surely keeps marketing and costing data and makes the final decision from that data as they are the one with all the risk in this decision. For background, I do not have extensive training in manufacturing, but I work as an engineer corresponding regularly with manufacturers, so I feel I have sufficient experience to make the claims and share the insights above. CMF lines are a great way to merge new and old, though I also hope to see more of this in sets as well, such as the classic remakes. As you mentioned and as fits my general ideology, the merge between classic and new is a good choice. The discussions on this thread are directly related to research and development. Without new experiments and some lines potentially netting a monetary loss, companies really could not exist in general. Risks must be taken and TLG would have the most data available to make their own decisions on what risks to take. Some have flopped, but they must be doing something right in order to be the leading toy manufacturer in the world. Molds are indeed a complex subject. I agree with your points here, especially the ones directly relevant to the original question on this thread about reproducing old sets. ...and, of course, due to the number of times I mentioned the same thought, I agree that modern set remakes are a much better/safer choice than reproduction of original sets. Agreed, the market agrees with the premium status of LEGO products. I only have experience with clone brands from 1990's to 2000's (some of which were terrible experiences!), but I have not yet found compelling enough reason to consider clone brands since LEGO still maintains their quality assurance (not without issues or hiccups here and there, but this is nearly a guarantee with any product and brand; TLG seems to stay on top of these issues fairly well). I think there is a lot of misunderstanding in the general discussions surrounding this topic since most people do not seem to have much understanding of the manufacturing processes or realize the marketing surrounding these products. My interactions and general experiences as a design engineer working with manufacturers match your points quite well. Can people outside the manufacturing/engineering work fields understand tolerance stacking? I know I did not really understand it until I learned it in my engineering schooling, and even then really learned it when I saw issues I caused by not understanding it while working as a design engineer. The point on action figures is certainly a valid one, as is the general joining/mate faces point. LEGO has to have more precise tolerances since there are so many more connection points as intended. I think what you are saying here about necessary clutch force could be accurate in some application, but I don't think TLG applies this thinking with their design/manufacturing philosophy as shown in the quality of their parts, especially when it comes to tolerance stacking as icm mentioned above. Every stud/anti-stud is a single connection point, along with other types, and must have tight enough tolerances to work independently. If they lowered the quality assurance of larger parts by widening tolerances, there would be failing connections at some point. Consider baseplates for an example: every stud is a viable connection to a single piece (like a 1x1 brick) and repeated connections on-off-on-off have a very low failure rate as evidence of the quality assurance from tighter tolerances in production. Working as a design engineer has widened my realization of the depth of intent needed for good design, and, though I would be thrilled to be a LEGO engineer/designer, I am quite glad to not be working in such small scale with tolerances. I design elements of large structures where 1/16" tolerances are acceptable for most parts and assemblies in almost all cases.
  11. Slegengr

    Is It Possible To Reintroduce Old Sets?

    Though there could be ways to theoretically make it work from a primary-market and manufacturing perspective, this is still not an easy task. As a consumer, most seem to assume that LEGO could just print money by reprinting retired parts that are expensive on the secondary market. The challenge is in predicting profitability limits on how many to run at once to make it justifiable. I am quite certain that the manufacturing lines are not as simple as a home paper printer, where you just print this or that sheet on demand. There is setup time needed for a production line that makes small production runs not cost effective. As you mentioned, if they got preorders of sufficient quantities, they could justify it, but that is a big IF and it still faces the issue seen with the secondary market considerations as MAB mentioned below. It still seems like the Pick-a-Brick method with current-production parts and average 1 month delivery time (essentially preorders) will work best for TLG and fits the consumer needs fairly well. If every past print was an option, not only would it directly harm the secondary market but it would also give so many options that most consumers would be overloaded. Try randomly searching for a good torso for a personal interest by skimming through all printed torsos on BrickLink right now... without a theme reference or very extensive and accurate search terms, it takes a long time to skim thousands of prints to find what you want. Most of the old printings would likely be missed and never get enough preorders to justify a production run. This means that, as my general stance indicates, the current methods are likely the best with a secondary open market and new releases of redesigned classics as well as new designs. This is certainly an important aspect that TLG needs to consider (and likely are considering). There is no perfect solution since demand is not completely predictable. Secondary markets exist for a reason and TLG is in the unique position of owning one of the largest secondary markets (BrickLink) for their products. They draw interest, collect market data, and bring monetary return directly from the secondary market and thus far seem to have handled such a unique position well enough in my opinion. The only thing I'd like to see is more steady release of new sets or modern remakes in the "evergreen?" classic themes like Space, Castle, and Pirates to keep alive the imaginative play concept of the brand instead of the profit-hungry pop-culture-heavy path into mostly licensed themes. Are open-ended imaginative themes really in such low demand these days? They could be, but it seems a shame if TLG does not continue to push their original intents to encourage these concepts to continue. Alternate build ideas and non-movie-or-story-specific themes seem closer to the original company ideals.
  12. Slegengr

    Is It Possible To Reintroduce Old Sets?

    I agree that a significant element of the secondary prices is tied to collecting originals, but I also think that there is a market for sets that people would like to buy as adults that they dreamed of getting as a child, regardless of the exact form. I still think the modern remakes of sets are the best course for almost all considerations, since they have less impact on the collector's market, hit heavily with nostalgia, and can still be nice new sets with appeal to children. Today's market is definitely more complicated now that people are buying LEGO sets as an investment. This seems to be the case with Benny's Space Squad: many people likely bought the set for nostalgia while children were also likely interested, but some people likely bought the set out for a while in hopes of investment when supply ran out and demand (especially to nostalgic adults) was still high. This does put TLG in a position that is hard to predict, though I am quite confident that there is enough demand for the classic themes that at least small releases or 3-5 set waves could do well, maybe even every few years. This could all be a view limited by my personal nostalgia for the classics and near-complete disinterest in all the licensed themes (though I do understand why pop-culture connections increase sales). If LEGO would reproduce original sets, it is always likely to frustrate the secondary market investors, since sets with high enough demand to be worth reproducing are the sets with high secondary market prices due to the rarity/collector-aspect/investment cycle. This is something I don't think TLG takes lightly, especially now that they own BrickLink and have direct source of secondary market information. The case with the Taj Mahal seems likely to be repeated if they reproduce other large retired sets like the ones you mentioned. As I stated previously and as you mentioned, modern remakes seem a much better course for profitability, interest to AFOL's, and interest to children, so I still do not really want to see classic sets reproduced nearly exact to the original, even if TLG would bring back or refabricate retired molds to make the originals as historically exact as possible. Nostalgia is such a funny thing: starve it and the demand skyrockets; feed it too much and main-stream modernity might kill interest; I'm sure this is a delicate balance that TLG has to take into account, but I still hope they can see that a few nice modern remakes of Space, Pirates, and Castle (or even new sets with similar classic appeal merged with modern parts/techniques) are in demand enough to produce instead of having almost none. I also hope that they don't continue wrapping the whole nostalgia package into primarily large, 18+ sets or GWP. I'm really curious how sets like the Forest Hideout GWP would have faired financially if they are sold like typical sets. This might be discussion for a different thread, though. Interesting, I did not even know this set existed. It's definitely a case of a set remake without parts from discontinued molds.
  13. Slegengr

    Is It Possible To Reintroduce Old Sets?

    Hoo, boy... though I touched on it earlier, the GWP discussion is a long one that goes a different direction than intended in this thread (though still an interesting discussion to be had, just probably elsewhere). Yes, that is what I think: many sets from the 80's and 90's have critical pieces/molds that have been discontinued. Though there are sometimes similar modern counterparts, the differences are enough that they justify (in my opinion) a complete modernized remake with reasonable faithfulness to the original (the Forest Hideout mentioned above is a perfect example).
  14. Slegengr

    Is It Possible To Reintroduce Old Sets?

    I was in the middle of responding to your message when you submitted this response, so hopefully I can be forgiven for a double-post... Though I would be thrilled with reproductions of classic sets, I think I understand the marketing behind not doing so. Thankfully, I bought into the second-hand market for classic themes heavily during what is now likely historically the peak time: 2010-2015. Second-hand availability was good with online sales methods while pricing was reasonable due to relatively niche interest. I bought many second-hand collections through eBay and sorted out classic sets, especially Castle and some Pirates with a little Space, sourced the few missing pieces through BrickLink, and made great progress towards completing a collection of my childhood dreams, often in multiples of many Castle sets. Through 2020-2022, the value of these sets has doubled according to BrickLink average sales prices. The Icons sets are the perfect idea, in my opinion, due to reasons mentioned above. I am taking this opportunity to revel in the improvements with new pieces while having the similar nostalgia and being able to share my childhood with my nephews through these sets. One of my most favorite interests in the LEGO hobby is redesigning my own versions of updated classic sets, which I plan to do extensively over the coming years to share these sets with my nephews.
  15. Slegengr

    Is It Possible To Reintroduce Old Sets?

    I don't know all the details, but the Legends sets were in the Shop-At-Home catalogs in the USA, so they had advertising. The marketing was likely still less than it could have been! My older brothers bought 2 of the Legends Black Falcon's Fortress and 2 of the Guarded Inn while my mother ordered the Black Seas Barracuda that I and my brother earned through summer work. The concept was great for me having a chance at sets I had missed being too young or not born at time of release. I don't recall the switched hair pieces; do you have any more details on that? The gray-scale box was a mistake for sure, in my opinion. It seems like TLG in general does not understand their market information properly and consistently bungles the concepts. Maybe I am just missing the insider information as a consumer, but it seems like TLG could make a lot of money off more nostalgia connections, especially right now when people in their 30's/40' who lived through LEGO's "Golden Era" may have children to introduce to LEGO and would love the nostalgia connection. Does TLG really not understand the meaning behind second-hand prices on old sets? They certainly seemed to understand with the Eldorado Fortress remake: price matched the BrickLink average sales price for the original almost exactly... The concept of competing with themselves is sometimes a valid one, but I don't know that comparing classic reproductions/nostalgia to Star Wars is quite the same thing. Classic Space and Star Wars, though both "Space" are really not at all in the same market, in my opinion.