Black Knight

Eurobricks Citizen
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    10277 Crocodile Locomotive

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  1. Black Knight

    LEGO Trains 2022

    TLG is just a cold, soulless machine. It neither hates anything, nor can it put it's heart and soul into something. It is just speculating on where the most profit will come from and then proceed to do that. Please don't be so dumb and fall for their ads and videos about how much they care for YOU. That is all advertising. They just want your money. That is fine, that is how business works, but please see it, for what it is. The market for model trains is dwarfed by what TLG does: Märklin has a turnover of 110.000.000 € p.a., TLG has over €! Comparing the EBit would be even worse. Why would anyone at TLG even consider to pick up those breadcrumbs? I consider 10277 already as a huge fan service. TLG probably fired some manager who approved this, because that Star-Wars set they did not make because of the Crocodile would have made soooo much more profit.
  2. @michaelgaleIs it on purpose that you can only pre-order R56 tracks at JB-Spielwaren, while the R104 are in the shop but cannot be (pre-) ordered. JB-Spielwaren unfortunately do not answer on their mail-address for FX-Tracks.
  3. Black Knight

    LEGO Trains 2022

    Well, this is not about TLG customers being rational, this is about TLG being rational. With the current alienation of people (in the west) of cultivated assets, the compassion with those creatures rises and legislation follows with laws for circus animals, not-killing-male-chickens, required-space-for-pigs and so forth. Many people obviously are very emotional about these things, much more than plastic in distant oceans and pollution in distant countries. Therefore I do not expect TLG to produce anything with wild circus animals anymore. The latest circus set (with wild animals) I could find was DUPLO 10503 and 10504, both being from 2013. I personally would buy a circus train from LEGO, this is not about my moral standards; I just expect TLG to follow society's current moral standards. Imagine Greenpeace (or whoever) to protest outside LEGO stores because of the depiction of animal cruelty: That would be a nightmare for TLG much like with the 42113 Osprey. Btw.: The LEGO Idea book 7777 had a very cool circus train.
  4. Black Knight

    LEGO Trains 2022

    Dude. By current (western) moral standards, a circus with real wild animals is out of the question for TLG. Heck this is even forbidden in quite many countries from Denmark to Mexico. Maybe they could do some Around the World in Eighty Days theme and visit the elephants in their natural habitat. But no loading on the train wagons, it's verboten!
  5. Black Knight

    LEGO Trains 2022

    I totally agree and would prefer more quality for a higher price. But I am not sure, if this would be beneficial to BB: Their brand is nothing like the LEGO brand and so they cannot demand the same. Their sets have a much, much lower volume while at the same time, they need to pay a third party for their bricks. I'd guess that BB currently is probing the market with higher quality bricks in their 8w locomotives, to see if your claim is right. The HdS also claimed in one video, that the BB "Pro" sets would have higher quality bricks; maybe they can actually demand better bricks from their supplier for a higher price or maybe they just now -- that they are big enough -- can.
  6. Black Knight

    LEGO Trains 2022

    @AndreMWI suppose you should have actually watched his videos. Bricked4You is e.g. totally happy with the BB VT100 (8w). He would probably be pretty pissed, if you refer to his channel as "documenting BB problems". For my personal impression of BB: They are continually getting better. If you bought some old model from them some years ago, you'd be pretty underwhelmed with the brick quality (primarily clamping force of e.g. headlights and scratches). As they are using much more advanced building techniques than TLG and sometimes rely on the clamping force of that one knob -- that will lead to disaster, if you want to play with those models. Their most recent bricks are pretty decent and have a slightly higher clamping force than LEGO, so the handling of the models has much improved. They still do not have XL-wheels, so some of their 6w steam locomotives still are lacking. But as there are people that build 8w steam locos with L-wheels, ymmv. All in all: If you want a box-shaped locomotive or waggon or a building, their quality problem is of no concern. If you want a steam locomotive, there is no place else, you could buy one from. The one thing that people often forget when looking at BB: Whats is the alternative? What are you comparing their stuff to? Sure you can buy an old LEGO Emerald with one waggon for 500+ EUR instead. Sure you can MOC something in 100+ hours and 300+ EUR instead. Sure you can buy a MK, Kazi, LEGO or even Duplo play-train instead. Sure current TLG instructions are easier to follow. Sure you can buy some PDF instructions for 10 EUR and pay 300+ EUR on Bricklink. But BB is the only company that sells model trains from bricks for decent money. If you want something for your 3 year old to play with, if you have large amounts of time and money, if you prefer "fantasy" trains, if you are an inexperienced builder: You will find something better elsewhere.
  7. Well, your online shop tells me that tracks "can’t be shipped to your address". But I'd guess that the package from Canada will not arrive in Germany on time for Christmas anyway. Bummer.
  8. Oh my. JB-Spielwaren has the R72 as EOL / none left.
  9. Black Knight

    LEGO Trains 2022

    Well, no; actually it's the other way round: Large companies have LESS overhead as they take advantage of economies of scale. And we actually do know how much of the money you pay for a LEGO set will land in Kristiansen's pocket: In 2020 TLG had a business volume of 5.9 billion EUR. And they made a revenue of 1.7 billion EUR. So for every Euro/Dollar/etc. you pay, 29 cents go directly to Kristiansen. 29%! No way any of the other brick manufacturers has an EBIT margin as mindboggingly high as that of TLG. Heck, not even Apple has an operating profit margin this high. TLG does not avoid magnets (or whatever) because they cannot, but because they do not want to. Maybe else they would have to move some of their production to low-cost countries or fire some quality control engineers to get to the same profitability.
  10. Black Knight

    LEGO Trains 2022

    Well, at least we can wait for MOCs "40518 in 6w". Maybe I'll treat myself with a "40518 in 8w" (aka MK 12002).
  11. Black Knight

    LEGO Trains 2021

    No. If those morals were a reasonable buying decision, no one would buy the Kiddicraft-clone either. They are just a posteriori rationalizations for an already existing choice. TLG is not just the biggest toy maker in the world because some other players in the market makes bad instructions. They get bought for the brand. Look around, there are so many people here that would never even consider another brand -- irrespective of quality, instructions or support. They want the LEGO brand because of the associated prestige. People with money will buy a Porsche, even though a Fiat might do what they need in a car. COBI prices are a bad example: They have much higher manufacturing costs than TLG (prints, less scaling effects, no Chinese factory); they cater solely for a niche market were TLG is not a competitor; and foremost, their tiny manufacturing capacity was hit by this huge COVID-triggered demand. Don't get me wrong, I very much like LEGO. But -- to get back to the original point: LEGO is neither a brick manufacturer nor a set vendor for us, it is a premium brand, that's their primary asset.
  12. Black Knight

    LEGO Trains 2021

    The company BlueBrixx apparently tried this -- with them as intermediary I suppose -- several years ago but it was declined by TLG. And from a business perspective rightly so: For TLG its most valuable asset is its LEGO brand value. You can simply demand a lot more money if you have LEGO printed on the box. Companies like Mattel, Shantou City Golds Precision Technology or COBI have similar brick quality, but can only demand a fraction of what TLG does. With TLG's current mindboggingly EBIT, they would be idiots to even consider such a proposal. Unless TLG is much less profitable than today, one could hope for something like that to succeed. Bummer; but that's cold, hard business.
  13. Are you sure about that? The FAQ explicitly mentions third party power supplies. I'd rather guess that this is more a convenience and/or lack-of-know-how question -- as is with 9V trains.
  14. O.k. the 12V might not kill the TLG train motor. But you can bring other 9V components to field via Michael's power-wheel or motor and we will find something that will not tolerate the 12V. It's a good idea to have the ability to switch between 9V and 12V, but it is imho a suboptimal design decision to put this "administrative" and potentially dangerous feature -- that you will only use occasionally if at all -- next to the "play" interface. I'd rather see buttons like "light on/off" or "make sound" on top, but this if course depends on what the regulator actually can do (aside from 9V compatibility mode). The 9V wall adaptor might just not work if the electronics rely on the 12V rail -- or maybe the wall adapter doesn't even have 12V; the norm for digital model railroad power supplies seems to be ~20V these days.
  15. Very interesting indeed. The most interesting stuff is more about what those buttons actually do or more broadly: Whats inside this box. E.g. I suspect that you can switch between some LEGO-9V-compatibility mode and Michaels 12V-mode for his upcoming motors. This might be an interesting button for your kids to spontaneously obsolete your old LEGO 9V motors by pressing that 12V-mode button... ;)