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  1. nesquik

    Modular Building Sets - Rumours and Discussion

    It's not a strange choice at all, for several reasons. Regardless what anyone says, this line of product is designed to work indepently. The feature of being able to connect buildings to one-another is just that - a feature. There are no patterns or hints or clues in the models. There is no obligation to please so-called 'hardcore' fans or collectors. Thus far, the buildings have either had a front-facing 'flat' facade or corner design. These are as much marketing features as they are architectural ones; the design process for any LEGO product involves multiple stages of briefing and testing. An inverted building is actually overdue, because with more modular buildings being on sale than at any time, the company will wish to offer more benefits to the features. These products mean different things to different people, and there will be many, many people who will purchase the 2017 building as their very first 'mature', or advanced, LEGO product. I've found that there are increasingly more families purchasing this buildings who anticipate new ideas each year, and they ask year round what we're releasing next. The rumoured price isn't an issue. Fans often look back to Town Hall, but that was a poor seller not because of the price, but because customers couldn't associate with the architecture. Big difference. With the greater focus on narrative and detail these days, an inverted building would really shake up the product line.
  2. nesquik

    2016 Lego trains

    Winter Train is arriving October, and is an entirely new design. No Fairground set this year, sorry!
  3. nesquik

    LEGO VIP program questions for you!

    1) I signed up to become a VIP when I came out of my Dark Ages, around 2007. It was the first time I had visited the LEGO website in years, so a free membership sounded good. I don't make much use of the program today as, other than the points scheme, there are very few incentives. 'Early Access' has no effect on me as I have the patience to wait two weeks for the general sale. 2) £5 back for every £100 spent. It's something, but other brand loyalty schemes are far more rewarding. 3) None at all. 4) (a) Move away from a points-to-money scheme. I'll be frank; I think this will be an outdated mode of 'loyalty' for as long as competing retailers price their products at least £5 - or thereabouts - less than TLG. It's a placebo that saving up points and then spending them all in one transaction actually saves you any money, because you would have saved the same amount of money across different purchases anyway. VIP members who spend over a specific threshold should instead be offered a choice of gift every quarter of the year. Not only is this more valuable than £5 back, but it... (b) ... is tailored to a fan's interests. I only purchase Creator Expert, City and Star Wars sets, so early access on products from other themes isn't relevant to me. I would rather receive an email thanking me for my custom, and asking me to choose between two gifts of different themes. © Send out more regular newsletters via email that include exclusive content, such as designer interviews, facts, trivia etc. (d) Introduce 'Wallet' (digital VIP card) support for iOS/Android, and make the registration process simpler. 5) I don't expect to be treated any differently to other fans; just because I'm older and purchase a lot of LEGO doesn't give me a sense of entitlement. However I would like to see more regular discount mornings, where members can visit the store an hour before it opens to everyone else. They're great! As far as support goes, I think the company is doing a great job.
  4. nesquik

    Fairground Sets - Rumours and Discussion

    Big Ben is replacing SOH. The 'Mixer' is being retired, and in its place... well, cue the organs!.
  5. If you could be a bit more specific (image perhaps), that would be really helpful
  6. nesquik

    2016 Lego trains

    I've followed this thread for some time, and there does seem to be a common belief that LEGO trains themselves don't sell well, or not enough to warrant an additional Exclusive release. This simply isn't true. If the company does have a problem - and I know this first hand - it largely comes down to merchandising. City trains are incredibly popular around the holiday seasons; these are the times when children have saved up enough money to get one, their parents are kind enough to purchase one as a treat, or the parents have a responsibility to purchase "the first train set". Regardless what the motivation is, they are important products for many families and open a whole new level of expandability within City. More so than any other model, there is also the legacy factor - a parent had a train set when they were younger, and now they want their child to have one. Also, the product is complete with everything you need to get going (important for Christmas day!). What's not to like? Then, you have Exclusive (or Creator Expert) trains, which are sold in a product line that continues to be ambiguous for many fans. We take it for granted now that these models are gauged in difficulty by having an 'Expert' label, but it was not so long ago that these products had very little visual impact on a store shelf. Even so, the models continue to appear in different scales to one-another and the pricing is mostly higher-end for a variety of reasons. If this isn't confusing enough, the customer then discovers that the train requires a motor, battery box, I.R receiver and controller on top of the model itself, which takes the price up considerably. So this is when merchandising becomes very important; if the product can be appreciated for either play or display purposes, you broaden your audience dramatically. But it's not so easy when components many fans expect for compatibility are missing... It's a huge hurdle, but the lack of Exclusive train releases does not mean that the company is abandoning this sub-theme. Rather, timing is absolutely crucial. Three City trains have been released in almost two years to appeal to different markets, so customers are already spoilt for choice. All I can suggest is, try to relax and keep in mind that the company is well aware of its train hobbyists. The past three years in particular have seen unprecedented growth, and it's only natural that the Exclusive line-up has been experimented with
  7. nesquik

    2016 Lego trains

    I don't think that type of reference is necessary... BOT, Normally I wouldn't give away Exclusive details, but I believe the train community deserves some good news for a change. It's all but confirmed that there will be a Christmas train in Q4. It features lots and lots of presents/gifts and some minifigures. From what I could tell it's not a re-release of the 'previous' Christmas train, but that's all I know for now. Please take this with a grain of salt, as plans can (and do) easily change throughout the year.
  8. nesquik

    2016 Lego trains

    How would you guys feel about a Creator Christmas train this year?...
  9. nesquik

    2016 City Sets - Rumours and Discussion

    The volcano sets aren't my cup of tea, but I think they will attract the (target) young audience because of the cool vehicles and danger involved. On a positive note, I think it's great that TLG are continuing this exploration sub-theme in City. The sets definitely leave a lot to the child's imagination whilst also tackling responsibility. In the future I'd love to see some more animal-orientated ideas, such as jungle research. Yes, even LEGO City surely has it's own David Attenborough
  10. nesquik

    Is LEGO's Themes Declining?

    It's important to bear in mind how you're viewing the LEGO brand. We're all AFOLs (to varying degrees), and therefore only a small selection of product lines are actually primarily targeted towards adults. You can be subjective and say that "nothing new" is being designed. Well, there's a reason for that; you don't tamper with a working formulae. I work in a LEGO brand retail store and we are briefed regularly on how the company expects to hit certain targets. What where the top 4 selling themes last year? City, Friends, Creator, Technic; all in-house product lines. Not many people would believe this given the coverage of licensed themes, but the company are aware that these evergreen lines are important to the continued success of LEGO because they feature ideas that can be positively recycled. This is why we have a new fire station, police station, train set and more every 2-3 years - so that a new generation of children can enjoy the products and not miss out on staple additions to the system. You should also avoid judging how well a product/theme sells just by viewing inventory at your local stores, which seems to be a bad habit here on these forums ("I think Palace Cinema is poor. It's not a Jamie design. It's not selling very well and will be retired soon." ..???). The rate at which a product sells depends on many, many factors; the distribution method, the store, its locale, the time of year, the type of customer. The beauty of LEGO is that you can make whatever you want, so why not devise your own theme and share it with us?
  11. nesquik

    10253 Big Ben

    They could use this part, though the studs may pose a problem;
  12. nesquik

    10253 Big Ben

    Most likely to avoid copyright infringement.
  13. nesquik

    What got you into lego trains!

    The first LEGO train I owned was 4559 Cargo Railway, which I got for Christmas around '99. But the reason I wanted a LEGO train was that one of my cousins owned 4565 Freight Crane and Railway which, being young at the time, was an utterly cool looking train set. Of course looking at it now coming up to my thirties, it has nowhere near the same impact on me from a design perspective, but I would love to own it today just for sentimental purposes. Opening 4559 on Christmas day was an experience I'll never forget, because after years of owning BRIO and Hornby trains, this was the first product that genuinely felt like a 'real' train set. That must sound strange, but I think LEGO fit the perfect balance between the two other systems, as you could make the scene as realistic as you wanted, but still had the option to build and tear it down as you wished with large pieces. I didn't care how ridiculous the carriages were, and instead just imagined this was a train of the future. One reason that it took me so long to get a LEGO train was that they were so hard to find - and it didn't help that I had my heart set on trains that couldn't be found anywhere. The store inventories in the late '90s were a shambles; we (my family) could travel between three different toy shops of an afternoon, and each would have completely different sets. So, begrudgingly, I settled for 4559 because the store we bought it from was desperate to get rid of it! A feature I do miss is the ability to open up the front box 'flap' so that you can see much of the contents and additional artwork. It also served as a way to reuse the packaging, because you removed the contents with the box laid flat, and the flap closed. After millennium, I added 4532 Manual Level Crossing to the layout - and yes, even that was about three years old at the time! But I was ever so excited to have one. I look back and feel totally fortunate that I grew up with LEGO in the early '90s, while continuing to grow my collection up to around 2001. I miss the sheer variety of train sets that were available then, and the lovely silver packaging they had. I completely understand that there is little marketable opportunity for producing so many of these add-on products, but as a child it was like heaven. Also, although there was a steady decline in design quality towards the end of the decade, it's incredibly refreshing to remember just how few licensed themes there were back then.