Bublehead

Eurobricks Citizen
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About Bublehead

  • Birthday 03/01/1962

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    Daroth36

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Phoenix Az
  • Interests
    Technic, RC, technology/computers, pinball

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  • Country
    USA

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  1. I think the demographic has actually changed. Back when Technic came out, I was a 15 year old teenager, and DEEPLY engrossed in all things technical, be it electronic, mechanical, or some combination of the two. We did not have smart phones, IPads, the internet, or Cd roms. Music came on vinyl records or 8 track tapes and my spare time was taken up by playing physical games like pinball, billiards, bowling, foosball, or air hockey. I didn’t check my phone every 15 seconds, and had way more time to play with Lego. Today, 15 year old kids have all that and more, so their time to play with Lego has more competition. This is not lost on TLG, so they have to try new things to capture the attention of kids and parents. For us old folks, this means change. And change is something that we don’t like (in Cartman’s Newt voice- “Mostly”) So I think it is kind of unfair to compare what Lego did in the past to what Lego is doing now because the playing field has changed. It may be the same 15-year-old kid but it is not the same 15-year-old lifestyle.
  2. I love panels, flat 3x11 or 5x11 because they allow large flat constructions (without studs) without having to stack a gagillion beams together. The “figure it out” angle of instructions, however, not missing that as much. I get where you are coming from, but the “Where Waldo?” aspect of finding where they just stuck a single element in a step gets frustrating.
  3. Now that could be the first Technic Lego Ideas set that has any chance at all of becoming a “real boy” to quote Pinocchio
  4. The last real Technic set that I just had to have was the 8258 Crane Truck. Since then, only the Cargo plane, Arocs, the formentioned 42008 Service Truck and the Wheeled Loader 42030 have been what I considered classic Technic sets. With the Heavy Lift Helicopter and Claas tractor rounding out the best of the lot. The rest has been pretty much the same but different. The Mack truck has been a bright spot, and the Extremem Adventure interesting but a little weird. The Air Race Jet is a fun build, but not very realistic from proportions standpoint. The BWE was a great parts pack, interesting build but it didn’t excite me. The Unimog was good, but was really eclipsed by the Arocs. The 42070 was a disaster, but the build was neat, and I liked the gearing, if nothing else. The Logging Truck was an Air tech claw rig rehash in my mind, as was the 41999 a rehash of the crawler. The Hovercraft was a good parts pack, but otherwise uninteresting. The ocean explorer was a neat boat on dry land model, and more interesting than the Racing yacht. I gravitate to sets 1000+ pieces and up, the smaller sets only get bought as parts donors or time wasters waiting on bigger sets. I have built almost every flagship set from 1977 till now, and the Rough Terrain Crane looks like what I consider a flagship set and I am eagerly awaiting its arrival. The Chiron and the Porsche were nice display models, but I am still disappointed by the flaws in both sets. The new parts from 2018 are the stars of this year, the rotary catch and the 20z clutch gear being the major additions that will give us some nice engineering challenges to incorporate into MOCs. The new pneumatic valve will also be interesting as well. The PU platform makes me nervous, since we have yet to see anything that equivocates PF flexibility and stackability. I hope they don’t just adopt the we-do brick with two built in motors and 2 external ports and call it good enough for Technic. I would really like to see some advancement in PF technology that goes where 3rd party suppliers have gone, but I am not holding my breath. So where is Technic heading? Hopefully they pull it back on Theme and make it more function than form. The UCS type display sets are fine, but hopefully not the growing trend in the Theme, but as @Jim pointed out, Porsche was in top 10 sales so if the Chiron does any where near as good, look for another supercar in 2020, if not 2019.
  5. @andythenorth, agreed, some of the smaller sets are fantastic. I really liked the 42008 Service Truck from 2013. The build was great and the functions all worked well. It satisfied me better than the the 911 once I was finished. It takes a really well designed set to pull off all the functions in that scale. But I almost passed on buying the set because of its diminutive size, and am I glad I didn’t. The Claas tractor was also a very satisfying build, even with all its minor faults. I didn’t think all of its functions were going to be enough to keep me interested in the build but I was pleasantly surprised after putting it together, and it has become a favorite model of that year. So that is why I am less critical of a set until after I have put it together, at which point I let the criticism flow if it is warranted, or the praise if it is worthy. There are only a couple of reasons I ever pass on a Technic model... Does it have an element or part that can not be found on any other model? And If it is under 500 pieces, it better be cooler than snowman poop.
  6. @agrof, point taken. The complete motto is “only the best is good enough for the children”, not AFOLs But what you argue is not false. As a matter of fact, I think TLG has strayed a little bit away from this in the quality of the latest Technic designs, but not the quality of parts. The original motto story was because of the lack of layers of varnish on the ducks, not whether the Duck was the best quality design for a pull toy. But if we hold them to their own high standard, do we do it by not purchasing the bad products, or by posting in forums like these, or both? I purchase the sets, to keep TLG in business, then criticize the quality of the sets once I have built them on here so they hear about it. I don’t think a truly critical review of a set can occur unless you have built it, and by then you are way past purchasing it, unless you have a massive collection and budget to buy all the pieces and assemble it from loose parts or you have a secret or not so secret connection that gets you the sets to review (right @Jim? ) So however people want to view TLG’s decisions, the good, the bad, and the ugly... It doesn’t matter to me as long as they keep making quality ABS injected plastic molded parts that fit together better than any other toy on the market. If they stop doing that, then that is when I stop buying Lego.
  7. @Erik Leppen, yes, we all want sets that work, but are we not also too close to the subject to see this from a different perspective? We as enthusiasts of Technic know a saggy suspension when we see one, but does the casual automotive enthusiast who buys a Chiron going to know that? And for a display model, as long as the wheels move left and right when they turn the steering wheel, do they care the turning radius is 2+ meters? And when they turn the wheels, does it matter that it takes three crankshafts to make all the pistons move, especially if you can’t see them? And do they care about how nifty the new rotary catch makes the transmission work? Do they care that the speed key is needed to play with the rear spoiler? The answers are mostly, no, they don’t care, and so TLG put in just enough time and effort to meet the needs of the average target market. We know this is not AFOLs for the Chiron, it is car buffs and automotive gear heads. So that should not be a surprise. The Rough terrain crane however should definitely cater to us, the Technic fan base. We have yet to see how the functionality of that set works but it better be more refined and functions work more flawlessly than the mass marketed Chiron.
  8. When we talk about functions and how lame they seem to be, we need to understand that functionality in technic Lego is the product of good engineering, good building techniques, good parts, and LOTS of time. And here time equals testing and refinement. So there are multiple fronts that could be the root cause. Trying to sort that out is somebody’s job at TLG, not mine. And all the discussion in the world is not going to help them figure it out if all we ever do is say “the functions suck” or “the functions are lame”. When I build my models I hope that I am using good engineering, good building techniques, good parts, and an adequate amount of testing and refinement. It took me eight months to design, engineer, build, and refine my model amusement ride. My functions all work pretty flawlessly, within the bounds of the quality of the parts. That doesn’t just happen, it takes a lot of skill, experience, budget, and lots of unlimited time. Time is the one thing we all seem to have or we make concessions to get in order to enjoy our hobby. Can you imagine what it is like to live under the thumb of your employer and have to create while being on the clock? And I would like to acknowledge all the people who are doing builds for commission, and that you probably know what it is like.
  9. Bublehead

    Discussion Etiquette

    @MAB, interesting point, I see that it is your opinion that the issue is we need to accept every post as an opinion instead of identifying what is an opinion and what is not when we state something. That is how we should interpret all posts, but that is missing my point of implied expertise. People make statements that we should take as an opinion, yet they are not offered as opinion, they are offered as unmitigatable, unarguable facts. This leads into heated discourses and debates where both sides dig in and we get the back and forth that hallmarks the decline of a rational exchange of ideas, and so much for civility and decorum. At least that is my observation and opinion on the subject. And so far, I would consider this a civil discussion because we are communicating and understanding each other, even if our opinions differ. Since the whole idea of a forum is the communication and sharing of thoughts, ideas, opinions, beliefs, preferences, likes, dislikes, etc... we are naturally bound for a bumpy ride. The reason for me starting this thread was to'open the dialog on the subject of civility and etiquette when we post, how we achieve it, and what could we all do better at to keep our discussions lively, but respectful of everyone, especially when two parties get locked into the back and forth that would be better handled by PM, not aired out in a public forum. Just my opinion.
  10. Bublehead

    Discussion Etiquette

    Totally agree @RohanBeckett
  11. I am sometimes branded as a drinker of the TLG koolaid for my support of Technic, but if not me, who, and if not now when do we throw our unbridled support behind them? Once we have to start looking for another manufacturer because TLG went under? Or cancelled the Technic theme? (Unlikely but still a possibility) I may be an unbridled supporter but that doesn’t mean I am not critical. The direction of PU concerns me from a Technic point of view. And no Technic Ideas set yet is a big mistake in my book. The Technicolor Nightmare is concerning, but not a big issue, where as the lack of all panels in all colors to me is a shortcoming that definitely needs addressed. Stickers are to be avoided, but why not partner with a major Label maker (Avery) and put out customizable blank sticker sheets with templates for all the major panel shapes? Wouldn’t that appeal to both kids and AFOLs?
  12. @andythenorth, I think we are all guilty of over emphasizing something , some of us even pulled it off in their first topic post
  13. @Jim Do you think they (TLG) pick and choose what they do to so that it meets both the requirements, kids and AFOLS? So a bigger set but one that appeals to kids? More colors, but ones that test well with kids, etc...?
  14. Bublehead

    Discussion Etiquette

    @Erik Leppen, I agree, stating “my opinion is X” is better than stating it like “X is truth” and “Not X” is blasphemy. We tend to move things into rigid “Coke” v.s. “Pepsi” categories and then baton down the hatches for World War III. This becomes a game of who can convince who and no real discourse is actually had. Our biggest problem is we all think we are an “expert” at this and that our viewpoint is the only way to look at things. I know if I thought about it, I fall in this category as well, and in the future will try and qualify my statements more thoroughly and not rely on anything but actual published facts and anecdotes from trusted sources, and will include them when I can or identify when I speak from personal experience. This phenomenon is what I call implied expertise. It comes from us hearing or reading or seeing something from a trusted source and then trying to proselytize to others. We feel we are right and justified in our beliefs because we heard it from “the source” and we need not validate when or where or by who we heard it from. We become an “expert” in the subject and no amount of discussion is going to change our minds. And so we get the back and forth as the combatants wage war on the forums and everyone gets tired of it and moves on to other things. My hope is, most of us can see the big picture, realize we are not all experts, that we identify our sources and back up our opinions with provable facts, or simply state when something is YOUR opinion, and not a fact. That we keep it light hearted and funny and constructive, not dark and bleak and gloomy and destructive. These forums exist to enhance our hobby, not tear it down.
  15. I think we provide the voice of the AFOLs in the Technic community, but they (the TLG designers) have a very limited way of allowing those voices to be influential. They made the sets bigger (a nod to us) but that required appealing to a larger fan base to make it potentially profitable, so we get a Bugatti Chiron that appeals to a bigger market (auto enthusiasts) that normally would not drop $350 on a non licensed piece of intellectual property but would drop it to “own” a Chiron, the only way an average person will ever get to own one. Yes it has flaws that the AFOLs think are rookie mistakes, but they may have had to live with it in order to keep the cost in line with the market. Who knows what other unseen market forces drive the decisions on the sets they release. And who knows what actually green lights a particular design over another. These are the known “unkownables” that we try and pry out of TLG every time we get a chance. After 40+ years at this hobby, I can testify that TLG has never answered these unknowables to any level of satisfaction, and they continue to be the enigma machine we are all trying to decode.