Eurobricks Knights
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Everything posted by Mylenium

  1. Mylenium

    VIDIYO - Universal Music 2021

    The writing was probably on the wall already with retailers not ordering restocks of series 1 and the sets, so it doesn't really take much mind-reading that Bandmates series 2 would be a tough sell. I'm hoping it will still come out in some form, but chasing it to get a complete line-up might become tricky. Mylenium
  2. Mylenium

    VIDIYO - Universal Music 2021

    Most retailers seem to have cancelled their orders, so it will be difficult to even get it. Likely this may only be available at official LEGO stores even. Mylenium
  3. Mylenium

    VIDIYO - Universal Music 2021

    Was about to post the same info. VIDIYO is dead as a duck, apparently... Mylenium
  4. Probably a moot point, as most likely not even a million packages of many sets are produced. ;-) If you check it against the annual reports' sales figures and do the math you can easily deduce that for many sets the numbers are much, much lower... Mylenium
  5. But then again their are employee/ employer rating systems in most countries and most governments officially retain statistics about average salaries. It's not hard to find out that e.g. a technical engineer makes around anywhere from 3500 to 7500 Euro a month here in Germany, which for all intents and purposes could include someone constructing molds for LEGO. ;-) As @Toastie said, you land in a ball park. Now apply that to a "standard corporate structure" with all its organizational levels and you can make a very reasonable prediction about personnel cost. Sure, it's never 100% exact, but it's not that it would be too hard too figure out, either. And LEGO isn't exactly known for paying some positions too generously, so the margin of error e.g. for their sales department is probably easy to compare to any current similar position at any other company and that data is often available. Point in case: It would be quite a bit of research, but it is very likely you would end up with a number that is within the usual 3 to 5% tolerances of such estimates, give or take some exceptions for extremely well-paid people in higher functions. Mylenium
  6. No offense, but that just sounds like yet another of your usual defensive posts. A small 40 million Euro company we worked for in the past didn't think much about having some custom molds made, so why on any level should this be even worth a consideration for LEGO? It's really not about sacrificing one for the other. You just do what you need on the given situation and plan the budget for it. Sure, even a 6 billion company can't churn out molds at whim without thinking about long-term integration, cost recovery and so on, but it's not like they have to take it to the CEO to ask for a budget every time they want to make something new. They surely have some leeway there and one or two extra molds won't break their back. That's even more likely since they have in-house people in salaried positions doing this stuff whereas many smaller companies in fact incur higher costs because they have to outsource the construction and actual production of the molds. So for what it's worth, this argument is dead in the water as far as I'm concerned. It just doesn't make any sense on so many levels, technically and economically. In the end, molds are just a means to an end in LEGO's core business and just like a carpenter has to invest in his tools, they have to invest in molds and materials or else there wouldn't even be a business. Mylenium The original intention of Ideas was to only allow existing parts, anyway, so this is sort of a high-level complaint, to be honest. In a way this principle already has been massively diluted with way too many sets being based on third-party IPs for my taste and that is kind of the point. So for argument's sake, asking for even more custom molds or prints goes against the spirit of Ideas as I understand it. In fact one should be glad that we live in times where due to technical advancements it is even possible they do custom minifigs for these sets and integrate new parts during the polishing phase... Mylenium
  7. Probably a more complex issue since the cylinder and head cone don't have orientation nudges for the machines and you are entering a dangerous territory of getting smudges with complex curved prints. Then again there should of course nothing be stopping them to create new molds and adapt/ build a custom printing machine. It's even more of a non-argument when you consider how Jangbricks regularly ends up with terrible printing on his R2-D2s, anyway. There's a clear need for improvement there either way. The way I see it they are mostly afraid of not getting it right and possibly having lower throughput due to the longer drying times required to avoid the aforementioned smearing issues, but from a strict engineering standpoint it should be possible, even if such a dedicated printing machine/ robot would be pretty costly. Mylenium
  8. No need to get yourself worked up. A 10 x 10 cm block with standard mounts for something like a standard plate or brick costs around 7000 Euro, a prototype mold of same around 1500 to 3000 Euro for a 10000 pieces test run. That's numbers you can easily research at OEM manufacturers/ contract-for-hire companies. And no, those aren't anything different from what LEGO uses and fulfill the same quality standards. Sure, every ejector pin, nudge, sprue clipper, reservoir, cooling loop and so on is gonna cost you extra and of course you have to develop the mold, but it's not like in the olden days where a tool maker would carve on this for weeks on end by hand with minimal support from a few machines and the mold would cost you end up with a 200000 Euro investment. These days you're pretty much in the 15000 to 30000 Euro range for everything, with the latter already being a complex multi-part mold. Of course this scales with size, but even a large 70 cm block is probably gonna cost you around 50000 Euro most of the time. Think of it: How else would anyone be able to cost-efficiently produce parts for household appliances, custom industrial machine parts, car accessories and so on? We'd be stuck with dated designs for everything because molds for different designs would be unaffordable and the old ones had to recoup their cost for forever. You have to take it back to a rational level and just because LEGO make a whole song and dance about their complex mold-making process, the underlying technologies and metrics are no different. And that is really the point: Given that they produce most parts by hundreds and thousands or even millions, even an expensive mold is/ should be peanuts to a company that makes 6 billion a year. It's insofar even ridiculous to get defensive about the matter, as even their regular molds need constant maintenance and replacement from time to time. Or do you really want to argue that a standard 2 x 4 brick in 2021 is still being produced on a worn out mold from the 1970s? Point in case: Outside adding new molds every year, keeping the standard molds in shape already needs to be figured into their budget as normal operating cost. This isn't anything unusual. Any such company has the same cost factors, including the Chinese knock-off manufacturers. Well, not meaning to be snarky, but ultimately it becomes a simple question of: Why not? LEGO can spout BS about having lost the original mold for the much coveted goat for instance, but beyond cost considerations for rebuilding the molds it's probably simply a matter of that they really don't want to for other reasons. Maybe they owe royalties to the original designer, maybe they can't see the sales prospects of a set to stuff in their millions of goats they'd have to produce, maybe something else. It's also an observable strategy, at least for the last few years, that LEGO want to protect their IP by registering designs, so generic designs that have long fallen out of any patent or trademark protection are less likely to reappear. In fact my impression sometimes is that they are even pushing out parts just so they can introduce a new, slightly different design to register. In any case, certainly the cost of mold-making is just one aspect here and rather likely not even the most important one... Mylenium
  9. Mylenium

    REVIEW: 43114 Punk Pirate Ship

    I disagree. It's the one of the "real" VIDIYO sets I can't quite convince myself to buy. Would love to have the minifigs, but I really dislike those big ship bow pieces and how flat the ship is overall. It just doesn't have enough bulk and asking 70 Euro for that is just ridiculous. Even if you take discounts into account it feels massively overpriced for what little it offers. Mylenium
  10. Market Street uses an old type gate and balcony fence and the Green Grocer uses a stair piece that no longer is produced. At least those are the two things I remember most off-hand. Outside that the usual gag applies - LEGO haven't done some pieces in certain colors for ages and that alone would be a hinderance to re-issuing Modulars. Unless they can find an excuse to produce parts in million lots and use them in other sets, too, they're not going to do it, which is kind of the point rather than the cost of molds... Mylenium
  11. Agree with what the others said. Too many reasons against it and if you really want just the buildings, you an always find ways from rebricking them to buying a cheap knock-off. Not really in 2021. I really think we should do away with the myth that molds cost an arm and a leg in the age of CAD, CNC milling and electro erosion. If molds were really that expensive, we wouldn't get a slew of new Ninjago pieces or minifig stuff every release cycle and series like VIDIYO or Trolls with their tons of new molds would be completely unfeasible. At the end of the day it probably really boils down to actual production numbers and in case of Modular Buildings that's what breaks the camel's back, not bringing back that exotic gate mold for Market Street... Mylenium
  12. Mylenium

    REVIEW: 43112 Robo HipHop Car

    Here's my alternate take on the model if someone is interested: Brickset also just released their review and weren't that impressed. Mylenium
  13. Mylenium

    REVIEW: 43112 Robo HipHop Car

    I tend to disagree. It would be great if LEGO actually had bothered to e.g. produce all car parts in gold, but as it turned out they clearly didn't and this feels like a lame compromise. At the end of the day this feels like a slightly larger Speed Champions car with some extras, not the cool robot pimp ride I would have expected. Mylenium
  14. Standard answer: You are creating a derivative art and if you really create a movie, the level of creation is high enough so you can claim art copyrights on your own works and fair use rules in most countries on this planet. As long as you don't imply any direct connection or endorsement from LEGO you should be safe as per their own fair use rules. Mylenium
  15. Well, if there is so much cheap surplus supply, then LEGO need to manage their resources better. Those sets are pretty popular here in Europe/ Germany, but can be a pain to even obtain. So I guess this may simply be a case of LEGO having a wrong concept of demand in certain regions and underestimating the regional competition from cheaper alternative manufacturers. I for one would have been glad if I could have bought the sets for those reduced prices. Since they are sold exclusively via LEGO stores in these parts prices never drop and chasing those sets is an expensive hobby... Mylenium
  16. Mylenium

    Lego declining drastically?

    Not really to blame on LEGO, but the complicated retail market here in Germany. Too many products competing for shelf space in relatively small stores. That and several retail chains have gone down the drain in recent years, either going bankrupt or massively reducing the number of their physical stores. This of course would affect physical availability of product. Other than that LEGO are just suffering from the same old issues that also affects product availability: Convoluted internal logistics, weird release dates, not enough production capacity, lousy web shop, questionable "exclusive" releases in their own stores and with select retail partners and so on. You could find any number of additional reasons, but suffice it to say that indeed buying some LEGO sets at times feels like more work than it possibly should have to be... Mylenium
  17. Mylenium

    LEGOcon - 26th June announcement

    Indeed that's the point. Nobody needs another lighting set with hair-thin wiring that tangles up and can't be controlled. That and of course we really need "good" lighting with controls for brightness and color (temperature) as opposed to those overly bright, cheap kits you can buy currently. Mylenium
  18. Mylenium

    Help Requested on Building Technique

    This perhaps? Mylenium
  19. Well, in most 3D programs you would simply enable global illumination and tweak the materials accordingly, but I honestly have no clue on how to modify Eyesight/ Cycles material presets. It should be possible, though, given that it's all XML and you can export node setups from Blender... Mylenium
  20. Yes, you would have to create an emissive material, but that in itself would not really "glow". Just not how optics work. "Glows" are either based on haze/ fog surrounding an object or lens artifacts. So even if you had the material, some post processing would have to happen. As for your PS issue, simply work smarter: Create an RGB matte or custom pass based on your model, meaning either assign a distinct color to your glowing parts that you don't use otherwise and can easily extract using color range selections or channel operations or create a duplicate of your model in glorious black & white (or for that matter other contrasting colors) from which selections and mattes can be gathered. You know, compositing how we used to do it 25 years ago... Mylenium
  21. Mylenium

    [REVIEW] 41683 - Forest Horseback Riding Center

    Again a bit too much on the steep price side to be worthwhile, especially since outside the horses it doesn't offer anything special. Mylenium
  22. Mylenium

    [REVIEW] 41693 - Surfer Beachfront

    I like how it looks, but the price is insane, especially when you consider that it's mostly built from panels and those dang elongated bricks instead of conventional pieces. Just doesn't feel right in terms of what value you get for your money. Mylenium
  23. Mylenium

    Lego's chemistry?

    Outside generic info that is too obvious to escape public attention like what @deraven linked to I doubt you will ever find exact info on what LEGO actually use. At the very least you will have to do some deep, deep digging on the B2B web sites of BASF, DuPont etc. to find out what their standard products are and what additives are recommended. At the end of the day it's likely that LEGO are using the same stuff that everyone uses and don't have a specific custom ABS mix or anything like that. Mylenium
  24. I don't think you can do this easily in Interestingly you could do it in LPub 3D by manipulating the camera and scene scale properties in the script. Anyway, as a long-time 3D artist here's a trick for you: Place some other objects around the model at known distances. We used to sometimes place invisible cubes around stuff to get "fit to viewport" functions to cooperate (back in the olden days, when redrawing a screen took several seconds and you couldn't swoosh around in OpenGL). In your case you could likely place some 1x1 tiles or round studs at fixed positions in each of your models to force the automatic camera calculations to produce an equal zoom and FOV. With your large models the should appear merely as easily removable pixel dots or disappear entirely upon rendering. Mylenium
  25. Mylenium

    Brick-built Animals VS Molded Animals

    Pretty much depends on the scale of the scene, what the animals are and how big they are. I for instance can't quite understand why LEGO isn't using this little guy more and producing it in all colors. Same for the "rare" seagulls and some others. Larger animals are okay to be built from bricks and can look quite nice, though when looking at the Fluffy triple-headed dog from one of the new Harry Potter sets I'm not too sure about that. So I guess it's still a matter of how well they have been designed. Mylenium