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About Breakspear

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    Medieval Blacksmith

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    Castle and historical themes; Pirates; Collectable Minifigures


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    New Zealand

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  1. Breakspear

    LEGO Ninjago 2024 Rumours and Discussion

    Temple looks nice! Love the interesting minifigure selection. Always keen to get new heads prints with monocles.
  2. Breakspear

    2025 Castle Theme [wishlist/speculation]

    In terms of 'what next' for Castle in 2025-2026, I think a farming set or a tournament set are the most obvious choices. Either would work well alongside the LKC and Mediaeval Town Square. A tournament set would give wide scope to bring back old factions, or introduce new ones. Over the longer term (once the LKC has retired) there is the possibility of TLG releasing some sort black castle (a homage to 6085 or 6086). On current trends, this feels like a near certainty to me. A more radical idea would be for TLG to create a large scale (i.e. 2000+ pieces) version of the Sea Serpent (i.e. a medieval cog made to similar proportions to 70618 Destiny's Bounty). I'd rate this as a low likelihood at present, but something I'd love to see happen. TLG knows ships sell well, and such a set would, I think, have broad appeal with Castle and Pirates fans. In terms of factions: the most obvious gap in the current wave of redux factions is the Black Knights. In the immediate future, this could be most easily achieved via a Tournament set (see above) or via a CMF series (akin to the S25 Vampire Knight). A CMF figure seems like the more logical choice to me, as a high parts budget will be required in order to furnish the new plumes, shields and other printed accessories required to match past glories (e.g. 6009).
  3. Cool list! I love so many of these. I can easily imagine TLG producing a Female Pirate Captain (Pirate Queen?). "Pirate Fairy" is nice and whimsical - I can definitely see the designers having fun with that one. As additional ideas for costume figures, may I suggest "Monkey Costume Fan" or "Parrot Costume Fan" (Red Macaw). I wonder what historical or pop culture references TLG could include in a potential Pirates Series? Perhaps a "Gentlemen Pirate" with a long wig (alluding to Stede Bonnet) or a "Sea Cook" with a wooden leg Inspired by R.L Stevenson's Long-John Silver? Like @panda1, I hope that TLG does give us another Islander CMF figure one day. I'm optimistic they could do a female gender swap of the CMF from the Series 11 "Island Warrior" without it proving controversial.
  4. I think a Pirates series and a Castle series are possible. 'Wild West' too (with the usual caveats). These all provide scope for TLG to include 3-4 'redux' characters from classic themes, with the remaining 8-9 figures comprised of whimsical costume figures and riffs on pop culture tropes. Plus, they are potentially cheap(er) for TLG to produce, as it would be able to leverage its existing moulids for these themes. I can certainly see them doing a 'Global Cultures' series - they have done some of these already (e.g. Lederhosen Guy, Geisha, Bagpiper, Royal Guard, Mariarchi, Flamenco Dancer etc), so no reason for them not to do more. A historical focused series would be logical (history/mythology figures are a staple of unlicensed CMF series). This could go in a few different directions: Classical history and/or mythology: one or more series inspired by ancient civilizations )e.g. Egypt, India, China, Greece and Rome). This would include a mix of mythology (Odin, Zeus, Anubis, Sphinx etc) and reality (e.g. Pretorian Guard, Ancient Thespian, Philosopher, Sculptor, Princess, Terracotta Warrior, Maharajah). A fun history idea I'd like to see would be a 'Trojan Horse' inspired figure: a Hellenic Warrior with gold helmet, shield and sword, wearing a printed horse costume piece (in the style of the 18 CMF Cowboy and Horse Suit Minifigure). 'Famous people from history' - in the vein of the Abe Lincoln and William Shakespeare mini-figures previously released. This would focus on leaders, artists, musicians and thinkers from the pre-1900's (e.g. Louis XIV, Elizabeth I, Napoleon, Nefertiti, Aristotle, Da Vinci, Mozart etc). Of these, I think the 'classical history + mythology' option would give designers the greatest scope for creativity/whimsy in their designs.
  5. I'm supportive of letting the kids play with the big, adult-focused Castle sets too. I've had great fun sharing my Castle Lego with my daughter since age 5, with minimal mishaps. She mainly enjoys customising the Black Falcon knights to make kick-megablocks fantasy 'warrior queen' type heroines! (e.g. adding golden golden helmet, armor and wings from the CMF Flying Warrior). The Lion Knights Castle seems pretty play-friendly for kids: great doll-house style design and not too much fine detail to knock off. In terms of permanent loss/damage, I think in the worst case you might end up with a broken shield or two, but as long as you're ok with that, go for it!. You can order a few spares on PAB, which limits the risk.
  6. Breakspear

    2025 Castle Theme [wishlist/speculation]

    i think its very do-able, although I think the chances of it actually happening are pretty low. Duplo, Creator, Classic, Technic, CMFs, Icons, Architecture, Art and DreamZzz are all easily capable of accommodating Castle-themed sets/imagery. City and Friends are more challenging, but also do-able under the guise of theme park, fair, theatre, museum, 'grand hotel' type sets. I agree with the OP that the primary audience for any such multi-theme Castle wave would be to introduce Castle to child fans of the existing themes (i..e not adult Castle collectors). Nevertheless, TLG could reasonably hope to pick up a few AFOL sales as well, given the absolute lack of small-mid range Castle sets currently on shelves (not including GWPs). A couple of other thoughts: Of the above mentioned existing themes, which is most suitable to host the largest number of Castle sets? For 2024 Space collection, the largest number of sets were released under the City theme (7 sets). This is followed by Technic (4), Friends (2) and other themes having only a single set each. Plus a couple of poly-bags. This approach makes sense, as Space has existed as an established sub-theme of City for many years. Castle lacks this advantage of a natural 'home' theme to provide the backbone of the wave. Unlike Space/Sci-Fi imagery, medieval or castle-adjacent imagery gets used a lot more regularly across TLG's contemporary retail offering. This includes recent Creator and ICONs and IDEAS releases, as well major licensed themes (Disney, Harry Potter, LoTR and now, D&D). Does this make a 2025-2026 Castle wave more likely (because there is evidently an established audience for it) or less likely (because that demand is already being served)?
  7. Breakspear

    71046 CMF series 26: Space themed!

    If true, that would be disappointing. I was expecting it to be a removable accessory, like the recent reindeer antlers,. I had hoped to use it to make some custom robot figures. I agree, the Vampire Knight figure set a high bar for CMF quality, which the retro figures in this series (M-Tron, Blacktron and Ice Planet) struggle to match. Including trans neon elements (in particular, visors) for these would better capture the retro-remake aesthetic and would take these figures from 'good' to 'great'. The Orion figure has certainly lost some of its lustre in the latest photos. Is it using the hobbit hairpiece? My personal favorites of the series are the Retro Space Girl and the Robo-Cook.
  8. *Controversial opinion incoming* I can't believe I'm writing in defense of stickers, but here goes. I have found the recent debate around TLG’s production cost management system (allocating a limited number of slots per set) quite instructive. It’s something I was only vaguely aware of previously. What I was aware of is that TLG almost bankrupted itself in the 2000's due to the uncontrolled expansion of its parts inventory. With that in mind... …rather than see the inclusion of stickers in the MTS as an inherent downgrade (which has been my own default mindset to date) it might be more productive to 'flip the script' and treat them an optional bonus. The designer didn't have to include stickers. He clearly used up his full allocation of production slots on new minifigure prints, the goat re-colour, the queen’s shield print, other parts re-colours etc. Presumably, he could have stopped there. But he didn't. He choose to make intelligent use of a single sheet of 10(?) stickers (which requires just one production slot) to imbue the set with heaps of extra detail which would otherwise simply not appear. [If all the stickers were printed parts, they would require between 10-20 slots - I'm still a little vague on whether one printed part = one production slot or two]. As consumers/collectors, if forced to choose between the option of stickers or or nothing (i.e. blank bricks), I suspect many of us would choose stickers every time (even if - in our heart of hearts - we'd still prefer prints). [To be clear, it’s totally valid to: a) have a personal preference for prints over stickers (I still do); b) question whether the production slot allocation for this specific set was appropriate given its target demographic; c) question TLG's consumer pricing strategy and the overall value for money of the set; d) question TLG's overall approach to setting production budgets.] These are such great points. Of course a single set cannot satisfy all needs/tastes simultaneously. Yet without a diverse wave to cater to a range of interests - and with zero certainty over if, or how long, TLG will continue producing new Castle sets - the expectations placed on each one-off set are always sky-high. I agree the level of criticism aimed at individual sets might decrease if there were regular waves of sets at varying price points/levels of complexity/quality. In addition, I also think it would be helpful if TLG introduced a more transparent classification system to help buyers better identify the sets that were designed to cater to their particular wants/needs. The current age rating system for Lego Castle sets is broken, and the only clear distinction in consumer segmentation is whether something is released under Creator 3-in-1 or ICONs. ICONS and IDEAs are a complete grab bag of concepts, united only by black box packaging (mostly) and the 18+ rating. A more sophisticated system might look something like how TLG markets its Star Wars sets: There is the Ultimate Collector Series (mid-large size, high price, high fidelity, high complexity sets designed for display), the Master Builder Series (Mid-large size, high price, high complexity sets, designed for play) and a range of age-appropriate children’s sets. (Mid-small size, low price, low complexity, low fidelity sets, designed for play). Greater transparency over target audience of a set might reduce the volume of spurious complaints (e.g critique's that a play set has poor displayability, or that a display set too large/too expensive/lacks play features etc) and help us to judge sets more fairly on their own merits.
  9. Breakspear

    21348 Lego Ideas Dungeons & Dragons and D&D CMF

    Thanks for the hyperlinks, that was super helpful! Also, glad to hear the good news that the bodies won't include flesh-tone printing, allowing them to support a wider range of customization.
  10. Breakspear

    Ninja Castle Subtheme return potential

    You're right - I got carried away in my earlier comment and ended up conflating 'return of Lego Ninja sub-theme' with my desire to see more samurai-inspired sets in general. The latter can be achieved through licensed sets, the former, not so much. Putting discussions of licensing aside, I think there are two three possible avenues for a limited revival of the Ninja theme: a fan designed, non-licensed, IDEAS a set (like the Medieval Blacksmith, or the Viking Village) LEGO notices that the Viking Village is enjoying strong sales and decides to develop more ICON sets for other famous warrior cultures, of which the Japanese Samurai would be a strong contender. In doing so, it might choose to draw on its own Ninja-IP as part of the development of the set Lego decides to make some Samurai/ninja inspired Creator 3-in-1 sets, which include references the Ninja sub-theme (as per TeriXeri's idea above). I agree, as a Castle-sub theme, Ninja has an extremely very low profile (unlike say - Wolfpack), and lacks sets of sufficiently 'classic' status to justify a modern, nostalgia-fueled remake (e.g. like Eldorado Fortress). This is a major impediment. As such, i believe any future set would probably be marketed primarily on the global appeal of Japanese samurai/ninja imagery, rather than the appeal of the Ninja sub-theme itself. Again, I see parallels with the recent Viking Village set here. While these are fair points, I believe LEGO is becoming more adventurous in the regard. For example, LEGO will soon be offering medieval/fantasy sets across multiple themes simultaneously (Creator, ICONS (Castle/Vikings) Harry Potter, LoTR and soon, D&D). So never say never! Good point re opportunity to deliver a new set using mostly existing parts - great way to keep costs down. Regarding incorporating more classic Ninja elements into Ninjago - yeah that's certainly possible. The concept art from the early days of the theme drew more heavily on traditional Japanese style motifs. However, those influences have been less evident lately. Would love this to come back.
  11. Breakspear

    Ninja Castle Subtheme return potential

    i think you're right. A one-off Icons set is very possible - either as a revival of a past Lego IP (as was done with the Viking Village), or though licensing some a popular film, tv show or video game. However it happens, I'd love Lego to give us more traditional samurai/japan inspired minifigures then just the occasional CMF.
  12. Breakspear

    21348 Lego Ideas Dungeons & Dragons and D&D CMF

    I hope so too! I see lots of potential to leverage this into a whole line of fantasy inspired diorama/vignette sets, which could have broad appeal. The customizable nature of Lego minifigures lends itself well to the adventure/hero building themes of D&D. The main impediment would be risk of competing with LEGO LoTR or classic Castle sets.
  13. I tend to agree - the name "Medieval Town Square" does imply a more urban setting = fewer animals roaming around. I think this set suffers from a slight crisis of identity in that 50% of buildings appear urban/detailed while 50% are simple/rustic. Then again, the buildings in the original Medieval Village Market were 100% urban, but surrounded by farm animals, so.... Agreed! I'd love to see some colour swaps with a slightly warmer palette: less dark red and green, and more shades of orange, nougat, browns and tan. Perhaps also a tiled cheese-slope roof or two in the style of the LKC. I agree, I would personally rather pay more for delivery of the full prelim concept than have a cut down version with key aspects removed. Thanks for reminding me about the visible stickers in LKC! That restores my hope. I was in shock at the large number of stickers visible in the leaked images.
  14. First impressions: I like it! Admittedly, my interest in this set has always been tied to the minifigures and so far I like what I'm seeing. I love that TLG chose to focus on civilians (7/8) rather then new military factions. I can only see one definite reuse of an existing torso (the blue/green farmer torso from LKC). However there are five new, unique torso prints and two (the crook and the guard) which are indeterminate. On that basis, the set easily surpasses my minimum success criteria of 50% of figures having new torso prints (I can even see a little bit of leg printing - yay!). There seems to be good diversity in the new prints: the tax collector looks particularly interesting, but the other new artisans/peasant figures also all seem to have unique designs (I was expecting to get a few repeats of a new 'generic peasant' torso). I'm very happy TLG have resisted the urge to give us another copy of the blacksmith/miller/barista brown leather apron fig, or make gratuitous re-use of CMF parts (a la the poor troubadour in LKC). I'm excited to learn about the factions of the guard and the crook. The latter has strong wolfpack vibes - but does it carry the wolf insignia? Again, the fact that TLG didn't just take the easy route and make the crook a red/green forestman gives me reason to hope. As for the buildings - while I agree with some of the critiques, as a group I think they look OK. I'm super curious to see how they pair with the LKC in terms of size/scale/complimentary colours etc. The apparent non-appearance of the much-anticipated 'shieldwright' workshop is curious, but perhaps it will be explained by the interiors. I note from the side of the box that the 'Guarded Inn' building is hinged, and can fully close-up, just like LKC. No idea if the other cluster of buildings has the same feature, but I suspect it has. Bring on the the high-res high-res photos!
  15. I’m so excited for the minifigures, but it’s hard to know what to expect! I imagine the designs will be heavily influenced by the style of figs in the original Medieval Market Village (10193). A remake of the generic tan/brown peasant torso seems almost certain. I’m not expecting much in the way of additional leg, arm, or dress printing., although it remains an outside possibility. In terms of how many figs might be repeats from other recent sets (such as LKC): I think my benchmark for success would be 50% new figs and 50% repeats. Anything over 50% new fig designs would be fabulous. As this set seems intended to pair directly with the LKC, I wonder if this might encourage TLG to limit the number of duplicate figures across the two sets? The designers of the new Eldorado Fortress certainly took that approach when considering compatibility with with PoBB.