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About kbalage

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  1. It really depends. What I've learned through my years of reviewing is that every set has fans and haters. And even if I think something is "not good enough", there are a lot of people who really love that set and don't understand why I'm so picky. And for that same set, there are people who think I'm way too lenient on this build. People have different expectations and different levels of experience. What doesn't make you happy might make someone else happy, and that shouldn't be held against them either.
  2. You're complaining about the January-March sets that are usually smaller and mostly targeting kids. How many more "functional" sets we got last year in the same period? 42152 Firefighter Aircraft had some tricks but the 42181 VTOL will have at least as many if not more.
  3. I guess you didn't build many City or Speed Champions sets lately, this is the exact setup you will find in them :)
  4. The average target audience of this set is a 9 year old kid who will be pumped to be able to put a minifig in that seat.
  5. To be honest, LEGO's own B models didn't always meet their standards. There were some great models, without a doubt, but some really felt forced and boring. Rebrickable offers something more - you don't have a single B model, you can choose from a wide selection. If you are not a rookie then you can find designers you know and trust, so I totally see the site as something to rely on.
  6. I don't think TLG wants to buy Rebrickable because it wouldn't offer them similar value to Bricklink. Not much has changed there since the acquisition btw, actually less than I'd like - for example, it still takes forever for the inventory of a new set to be uploaded, even though they have the option to provide it "in house".
  7. kbalage

    LEGO #21344 - Orient Express

    @ElGreco I suggest to follow the modification of @Train of Thought Creations, based on further testing my solution was not bulletproof. He posted it a few days ago in this topic.
  8. Give me a hint how you would do that :) In the top view the driving wheel is practically invisible, from the side you can't really see all gears so you cannot put arrows around them.
  9. The header seems to be driven by that small wheel behind it, so it only works when that one touches the ground.
  10. Adults drive, kids go scouting :)
  11. There is a good reason why most RC vehicles today still use dedicated controllers instead of touchscreens. Without tactile feedback, precise motion control isn't possible, and you have to look occasionally at the screen to see where the virtual buttons and sliders are, so you're not watching the vehicle you're controlling. LEGO offers a separate train controller, they could do the same thing with a PS4/Xbox style controller easily. It's one thing to offer advanced features with smart devices, but you also have to cater to the needs of the user. This (or lack thereof) is clear to see with the Control+ profiles - they've released several vehicles over the years, but haven't bothered to add the ability to swap the throttle and steering controls. This is clearly not a cost issue, but an ignorance of user feedback and understanding how people actually use their products.
  12. It will be 6 years soon, as we turn to 2024. The first 2 sets with the PU system (and the app) were the 76112 App-Controlled Batmobile and the 60197 Passenger Train, both introduced in 2018. Actually Boost was released in 2017, and WeDo 2.0 in 2016, both sharing the same connectors, although the WeDo 2.0 hub was never made compatible with the Powered Up app. But I wouldn't expect any sudden changes, certainly not next year. Hopefully the folks at TLG will take the time to release a mature, fully tested and working system so we don't have to participate in an endless beta program next time.
  13. I don't think you need to remove smart features to add simple abilities that doesn't require coding. Even Powered Up had something similar planned, but as far as I know it never happened. A few years ago we talked to the developers about default behaviors that would be hard-coded into the firmware, similar to how the train motor, City hub and the remote work together out of the box. If you add a configuration possibility to these behaviors through an app, but the functionality can be used afterwards without a smart device, then you can have the best of both worlds. Throw in a physical remote, hard switches and buttons, and we're done.
  14. kbalage

    LEGO #21344 - Orient Express

    I did a few more tests with different track pieces, tried to put the train on a difficult wave pattern. It went well forwards, but in reverse the resistance was too high and the motor with the whole assembly above it was pushed upwards, even with the 1:1 gearing. This is something that needs to be considered, I think the vertical bracing with the Technic beam that @Train of Thought Creations implemented or something similar will be really necessary for a reliable solution.
  15. Most companies don't do exclusive deals. Mercedes has licensing partnership with Playmobil, Cobi, and a whole bunch of other toy manufacturers.