jdubbs

Eurobricks Knights
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About jdubbs

  • Birthday June 20

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  1. It's not the one pictured in the video you linked to, but Barneius' version is similar, and I've heard nothing but good things about it: https://rebrickable.com/mocs/MOC-22018/barneius/bomber-twin-ion-engine-bomber/
  2. Yes, retailer exclusives (which all signs say the Resistance IT-whatever either is, or was intended to be, pre-COVID) are subsidized by those retailer partners, who have some say in selecting/developing the exclusives they carry. This happens with Amazon, with Target, with Walmart, with TRU (RIP) and so on. Saying "Disney is to blame because they co-financed a GE set instead of a JFO set" is no different than saying "Amazon is to blame because they co-financed the Razor Crest" or "Target is to blame because they co-financed a TIE Pilot Helmet". If you're gonna blame Disney, you gotta blame all these other guys too. Which translates to: "none of LEGO's largest resellers saw a market for a JFO set, so LEGO didn't either." Disney no doubt threw a bunch of money at Hasbro to produce toys for Galaxy's Edge too (they produced not one, but three GE sets). Hasbro still managed to put out JFO toys.
  3. My point was never that Lego/Disney/Lucasfilm could do no wrong. My point was that this "Disney is to blame" explanation — a tired, played-out trope that makes very little sense in this case — has virtually no tangible evidence to support it.... even if you are somehow nimble enough to do the mental gymnastics required to connect Rinzler's comments about his cancelled book to LEGO's lack of a Fallen Order set. Look at what has come before, in terms of LEGO's support for non-movie media. Bare minimum support for previous video games (2 battle packs for Battlefront; 1 for Battlefront 2 — a game that was widely panned upon release, hardly instilling LEGO with confidence about JFO). Bare minimum support for Resistance (2 mid-range sets). Abortive support for Rebels half-way into its run. Support for The Mandalorian that lagged well behind other licensees like Hasbro, Funko, etc. Given all that, did anyone here really expect LEGO to embrace Fallen Order with a large-scale set like the Mantis? I'm not saying it wouldn't have been nice, but it would have taken a major shift in LEGO's approach to secondary media and a big leap of faith that this game would be substantially better than the last, to do anything larger than a Battle Pack at this point. It's just not what LEGO does. They pick safe sets that are sure-sellers, based predominantly on movies currently playing in cinemas, or failing that, the OT. They do this over and over and over again. It's not because Disney has it in for EA, or hates prequel fans, or dictates to LEGO, YOU MUST DO THIS. It's because that's what has worked for LEGO in the past, and that's what they'll continue to do, until it doesn't. I am not arguing that "companies can't make mistakes" (of course they do) or "companies aren't risk-averse" (or course they are). I am arguing that the company most likely to be playing it safe, the company most likely to have made the mistakes in these cases, is LEGO... not Disney. You can speculate about "rival factions" and "corporate sabotage" all you want, but logic — backed up by the precedents set by LEGO — makes a much stronger case for LEGO's own decisions being at work here.
  4. There is a vast difference between cancelling a behind-the-scenes book detailing the ups and downs (and apparently there were a fair number of "downs") of a movie being produced and telling a licensee like LEGO that they can't produce merchandise to support one of Disney's flagship properties. Especially when Hasbro was clearly given no such edict. Is there some amount of corporate drama? I"m sure. Is it harder for for licensees to deal with Lucasfilm post-Disney? I actually know this to be true, first-hand. But actively sabotaging one licensee's products over another's? Saying "yes" to Hasbro but "no" to LEGO? When there is no conceivable business reason to do so, even if you try to imagine some kind of nefarious corporate politics at play? This kind of thinking is so illogical it borders on paranoia. Disney is a corporation, whose guiding principle is to make money. LEGO selling Disney-licensed products makes Disney more money. There is no business reason for Disney to actively thwart LEGO's ability to make money for them. It's not simplistic; it is simple. If you want to blame someone for LEGO ignoring Fallen Order, blame LEGO. The far more plausible explanation is that LEGO just didn't foresee it being the hit that it became, and chose not to support it with sets. (Bear in mind they barely supported Mandalorian out of the gate either, and have never thrown much money at video game tie-ins in the past... a battle pack or so, long after games are released, is the norm). And while I love the Making Of books that Rinzler wrote this far, you also need to take what Rinzler said with a healthy dose of salt. He's made no secret of the fact that he was unhappy his book was shelved, so it's entirely possible some of this is just sour grapes.
  5. Of course, because Disney sabotaging the success of its products makes perfect sense. When in doubt, fall back on that old chestnut, “Blame Disney”.
  6. When I said "this may be a sign of things to come" I meant more long-term — like a few years down the line. So maybe after releasing another set or two like this one, if they do well, they might transition from $15 BPs to something more like the $30 501st. I doubt they would do it based on the success of just one set. But who knows... we could also get a CMF next year and they discontinue the BPs outright. Hasbro's and LEGO's licensees were just renegotiated, after all. Anything's possible. From what I saw the Mandalorian BP inventory was constrained well before COVID, I assume because as one of only two Mandalorian sets available at the time (the other was also hard to find in some markets) it was just a very popular set. (It should be noted that the Praetorian Guards and Inferno Squad BPs were equally hard to find when they first came out, too... so some of it might just be retailers not ordering enough of these sets when they launch).
  7. The cost of including minifigs in sets goes down the more the figs (or their parts) can be reused. So, including 3 identical stormtroopers is less expensive than including a stormtrooper, a snow trooper, and a biker scout, for instance. This is partly how the Harry Potter sets manage to have so many figs in them, for the same price... they often reuse the same Gryffindor torsos, or unprinted legs, on multiple figs in a set (I also suspect licensing fees are lower, but that's another matter). If there's one thing you can be sure of, it's that prices will go up. If LEGO can find a way to sell us $30 battle packs rather than $15 battle packs, they will do so. Even if they sell half as many, the margins on one $30 set are higher than two $15 sets... the baseline costs of printing, packaging, distribution all get cut in half (give or take). The point of Battle Packs is to sell figs. They are essentially an end-run around Hasbro's edict that LEGO cannot sell minifigs individually. (Side note: take that restriction away... would we still get battle packs? Probably not...) The army building aspect appeals to a lot of AFOLs (some more than others) but I would not agree it's the "point" of LEGO producing these sets. More a means to an end. If there's one thing I've learned on this forum, it's that there will be disgruntled AFOLs, always, no matter what.
  8. I'm not so sure they would keep the $15 battle packs. I think if this set proves successful (which in all likelihood it will be), it could easily pave the way for sets like this to replace the Battle Packs altogether... for better or worse. Leaves room for Microfighters to (inevitably) creep up to the $15 price point, with duels covering the $20-25 spot.
  9. When you express an opinion ("we were never getting X") and try to support it with fact-based or anecdotal evidence, that is by definition is "making an argument". The counter-argument: 3+1 BPs are common enough (as you yourself pointed out in the examples you cited) that it was entirely possible to see these same four 501st figs (3 regular + 1 airborne) in a $15 BP. But beyond all this, I think what some people are overlooking is that a lot of kids don't actually care about getting multiples of the same fig. To them, there's more value in getting a pack of 4 different figs, or 2+1`+1, which I think is a large part of the reason why this mix is so common, even though it costs LEGO more money than doing a set with 3 or 4 identical figs. A kid only has two hands. Stormtrooper goes in one, and Han Solo goes in the other. What's a kid supposed to do with three more stormtroopers? Yes, for those of us building scenes and buying tons and tons of sets, this may seem exasperating, but to a 5, 6, 7 year old... they only need one. All that said, I do think LEGO is "testing the waters" with this $30 glorified BP... and strongly suspect this is a sign of things to come,
  10. I am reluctant to wade into this debate because it seems utterly, completely pointless, but your logic here escapes me. You start by listing not one, not two, but SIX examples of battle packs where we got 3-4 of the same figure — hardly what anyone would call an aberration, or even uncommon — and then proceed to claim we were "never" getting 3-4 501st figs in a $15 battle pack. The premise of your argument literally disproves your conclusion.
  11. We’re all only as reliable as the information we’re fed. And we all get fed bogus info — some of which looks really credible — over and over. You’re right that the more experienced people will scrutinize these reports and verify if possible. But that doesn’t stop bad info from getting passed on by good people . Case in point: in December there was a set list circulating that sounded entirely plausible and realistic — Sith Star Destroyer, Resistance B-Wing, TIE Whisper, etc. — that made it into IG/ blog posts and YouTube videos from many of the sources you consider to be the most reliable. It was discussed here at length in part because it was reported by these hitherto-trustworthy sources. None of which made it any less bogus. And then even when the EU Toy Fairs started in January with all the actual sets on (private) display, proving this set list was fake, it still took weeks and weeks to get people here to let go of that fake list, because “it came from so-and-so, who is reliable and put it on IG/a website/YouTube, and so I believe it, regardless of your facts to the contrary”. I’m not saying to ignore or disbelieve people who bring you these reports. Just be aware that the vast majority of the people reporting these “leaks” are getting them second- or third-hand, or by data mining retail computer systems, or by scraping info off websites, or via semi-anonymous sources, or by repeating each other in a never-ending game of Telephone. All of which are subject to mistakes and misinformation and outright misdirection.
  12. It's still a rumor, wherever it was first published. Whatever the source (I don't honestly pay much attention to the Instagrammers and YouTubers because half of them are more concerned with being "First!" than with verifying the info they receive and publish), everyone's been wrong before. Myself included. But my point was, even if Renown had been super-precise in sharing the info he had, it would have taken on a life of its own, just as the Imperial Shuttle rumor did. That's the nature of rumors. Every year there is more misinformation about what's coming than actual, accurate reports. Certain people get their jollies writing elaborate set lists, set descriptions, "eyewitness" reports, etc. to see how far people will run with it on places like this. Unless you're willing to ignore everything except what LEGO publishes on their website, you're going to spend a lot of time scrutinizing and debunking bogus info. You can be upset that you're not getting all the info you want exactly how you want it and when you want it, or you can accept that sometimes getting to the facts is like peeling an onion. Lots of layers to peel back, maybe a few tears, but eventually you get there.
  13. Which is no different than what happened when Landino or Ninja or MandR or whomever said outright "the next UCS might be an Imperial Shuttle". It might be, it might not. Being specific about it didn't stop people here from talking about it for dozens and dozens of posts, many of which assumed the rumor — despite being explicitly identified as such — to be fact.
  14. I'm not contradicting myself. I'm saying that (all) new molds cost money — more than reusing an existing mold — and the fact that there haven't been new molds of a certain type in Star Wars D2C sets in the past doesn't mean there can't be, ever. People love to look at what's come before and dream up new "rules" for what can and cannot happen in the future... deciding that because they haven't seen new minifig molds in a Star Wars D2C thus far, it must therefore be because LEGO (or, if you really want to get wackadoo, Disney) won't let them. While that might conceivably be the case (well, not the Disney part), it's just as likely that it hasn't happened yet because it hasn't needed to happen yet. Are new minifig molds expensive? No doubt. But they also appear in lots and lots of Star Wars sets, at all price points — from the $40 Pasana Speeder to the $160 Millennium Falcon — so if you're trying to say that the development costs are so incredibly, prohibitively high that they can't be included in a $200+ set, well, I don't see much evidence to support that. And, while there may be special costs associated with minifig molds, there are other costs specific to molds like canopies, such as needing to actually be compatible with System (interlocking with a bazillion different other parts, versus slipping over a torso neck), having to work in translucent plastics, etc. Finally, if you actually tally the new molds the Star Wars line got each of the last 3-4 years — admittedly, with the exception of 2020 — it's been more than other comparable lines like Marvel or DC Superheroes... so I don't think Star Wars fans have the best standing to cry poverty in this regard. He didn't hint at a Cantina set. He hinted at a Cantina minifig. A fig that could show up in any number of different ways... A polybag gift-with-purchase. An exclusive pack-in for a DK book, or a video game. A $40 Cantina bar set. A $350 Cantina D2C. A ComicCon exclusive clamshell minifig. Hell, even a CMF.
  15. The initial tooling costs may be more, yes. But my point is they both affect the set’s budget. And a hairpiece can easily be reused dozens of times over, juatifying that expense over years and years, versus a specialized part like the Slave 1 canopy which has, to date, only been used in one other set I believe? If that? Just because something hasn’t happened before doesn’t mean it can’t happen ever. It just means it hasn’t happened yet.