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About AmperZand

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    In a LEGO castle far, far away...

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  1. AmperZand

    Monochrome Madness

    Weirdly cool! I am not into monochromes myself but can see the appeal. Did you assemble them for the purpose of taking and posting these pictures (nothing wrong with that) or do you have them on display permanently?
  2. Thank you very much, @Aurore I am glad the reddish brown tendrils are understood to be prehensile roots. That was my intention. The peapod beast now has a place with my other carnivorous plant monsters in my display collection. They are next to my snake-men as I imagine both inhabiting tropical rain forests. About the flail, yes, I did have to cut part of the nunchaku to make it fit. Cutting parts is not something I like having to do but as the cut is hidden inside the morning star head and I have a spare nunchaku, I thought it would be worthwhile. If anyone is wondering, I am aware that LEGO already does these flails; I have one in my display collection. Thanks for your support on the light tan beard for the viking. While the official orange beard is fine, the other one looks better, and I have both in my display collection along with the viking below and the two previous CMF vikings.
  3. With regards to there being no homosexual minifigures in any sets, this minifigure could of course be any sexual orientation that you wish to ascribe or none, but... And this one is most definitely saphic. No doubt about it: This one is also homosexual (and in this version, a yellowy): To your point about keeping it yellow, I do agree. LEGO trying to be inclusive through fleshies (and no yellowies) or other attempts at representativeness would court far more bad PR than good.
  4. MOCs of the Series 20 Collectible Minifigures with some non-MOCs (the viking with the spear and the turtle are as sold by LEGO) and a minifigure that has benefited from some S20 nunchaku. You can't see them well in the picture, but the knight with the flail's arms are the same colours as his tabard. Questions? Concerns? Knightly conundrums? (@Aurore, The plant monster in the middle is the one I was referring to in the other thread.)
  5. Indeed which is why I did not say that. Totally agree. There is no scenario in which LEGO could switch all minifigures to natural skin tones and it not wind up being an ongoing PR nightmare for the company. Logistics and marketing costs might also be higher if LEGO had different selections of minifigures in each territory.
  6. In the absence of market research data on LEGO's consumers which I do not have, I used national splits by race as a proxy for LEGO's consumer base. We have a broad idea of which territories are LEGO's biggest and fastest growing. To your second point, that would be a commercial decision based on sales, PR and target markets/segments. Unfortunately, business decisions are often harsh. To the extent that LEGO's designers either know through market research or suspect that kids project their race on ostensibly 'neutral' minifigures, I suspect that the designers do not think of those minifigures as race neutral. It is not a matter of yellow minifigures = light skin, rather it is an overall representation that encompasses skin colour, hair style/colour (which has been discussed in this thread) and subject. To your second point, throughout this thread, there has been insufficient consideration given to the fact that LEGO, as a commercial organisation, is constrained in what it can do. If LEGO stopped producing yellowies and went to natural skin tones for all minifigures, not just licensed ones, there would be challenges beyond those already discussed in this thread, e.g. the skin colour of cops and robbers. What if LEGO's market research found that kids in LEGO's key markets strongly preferred minifigures that looked Caucasian or East Asian? How would the company meet that demand while not appearing - or even being - racist? There may be business reasons for LEGO persisting with yellowies (beyond brand recognition that I brought up on page 1). LEGO might not have the luxury of being able to choose.
  7. Maybe I am missing something, but aren't Ethiopian burger bar owners, Jewish police chiefs and armoured car drivers of Japanese descent counter-stereotypical in all but Ethiopia, Israel and Japan respectively? I have been to two of those countries, and even there, those occupations were not especially defining or common. The vast majority of minifigures are bought by or for kids. Unsurprisingly, I do not have empirical data on how kids think of yellow minifigures. I could hazard a guess - and yes, it is just conjecture - that most either do not think of minifigures in racial terms or project their own racial identifiers on their yellow minifigures. I am further going to speculate that given LEGO's largest territories are probably the US, UK, Germany and elsewhere in Europe and most people in each of those countries/region are Caucasian, if kids are projecting themselves on yellow minifigures, that most yellow minifigures are thought of as Caucasian. It seems likely that LEGO's fastest growing market is China and therefore East Asian is the fastest growing projected race. Whether or not LEGO itself has undertaken research on how kids think of yellow minifigures, I have no idea. But even if it has not, I would be very surprised if its designers do not think of yellow minifigures as mostly Caucasian with some East Asian, not because the designers themselves are Caucasian or East Asian, but because those are the profiles of the main target demographics. LEGO is first and foremost a business and as such needs to meet consumer demand if it is to prosper.
  8. AmperZand

    Centaurs of the universe

    Thanks for your kind words. The novel use of bricks, i.e. using them in MOCs to represent things or function in a way other than LEGO intended, is well known in the AFOL community. There is a regular feature on it in Blocks Magazine for example. What is not as high profile is the use of minifigure parts not as LEGO planned. It's very easy to fall into the trap of only seeing minifigure parts one way - I make that mistake myself all the time! In the case of the blue centaur bodies, to stop myself making that error, I immediately put the upper body, i.e. the troll part, out of my mind. I tried not to look at images of it and only ordered the equine part. It helped to see the horse part in its own right and therefore its potential. The dark brown hair used for the one in the front isn't painted. It's LEGO printing. It's actually Aquaman's hairpiece: Link to it on BrickLink. I had no trouble not thinking of it as Aquaman's. The Aquaman in my display collection has shortish, blonde hair. When I saw the images of the HP centaur, I immediately thought the Jason Momoa Aquaman hair would go better with it than the black hair it comes with. I realise that LEGO's HP centaur was made to resemble those in the film, but I am not particularly interested in HP and was just seeking to create cool, generic centaurs. Please feel free to pinch the idea. If you wouldn't mind giving me credit and linking to this thread if you post any pictures, I would be grateful. Not at all. Thanks for your help. Thanks for saying so. Appreciated. Sorry for not having responded to your reply in the other thread. I wanted to link to a picture of my latest MOC minifigures of CMF S20. There is one amongst them I think you would like. But I have not been able to create them all yet. One S20 CMF that I ordered online has taken over 3 weeks through the domestic postal system and still not arrived. Even allowing for delays due to the pandemic, that seems too long and I have resigned myself to the fact it has been lost/stolen. I will create the MOCs, post a picture and reply to your post as soon as I can.
  9. Completely agree. All minifigures representing people should be yellow, licensed or not. That is not for reasons of ethnic neutrality but because it is characteristic of the LEGO brand. Fleshies are a betrayal of the brand. Of course, LEGO can do what it likes with its brand; it has the absolute right in all legal jurisdictions to do so. But that does not mean it should. There are many toy brands with realistic flesh tones (e.g. Playmobil) but only one, LEGO, is characteristically bright yellow. Anything other than yellow dilutes the brand, making LEGO less LEGO-like and more like other toys.
  10. I remember being thrilled when BrickForge came out with its centaur body and rushed to order some from the US. I had wanted to add LEGO centaurs to my collection for years. Fast forward a good long time and LEGO has finally graced us with centaur equine parts of its own: the smaller, blue one from Trolls, and the very recently released HP one. Below are all the centaurs from my display collection. I think I am right in saying that there are no other moulded centaur parts without cutting horses, so this represents all the uncut possibilities. The blue ones may seem odd but there is precedent. At least two Disney films have had blue or bluish-violet centaurs. Special thanks @Exetrius for correctly identifying the shade of the Trolls' centaur's body as medium blue back when it had not yet been released and the only pictures made it not obvious. Even though it is officially medium blue, it is not a perfect match. LEGO seems to be slipping in its colour consistency. Questions? Comments? Chironic concerns?
  11. I really try to avoid cutting parts but when I do, I use a pair of super-sharp Japanese cutters and then shave off the last few microns with a scalpel. The best person to ask though is @Wardancer who does outstanding customisation including cutting.
  12. AmperZand

    [MOC] Canton Du Valais

    Great chalet! The texturing is excellent. I spent a summer in a chalet near Sion in Valais, albeit a long time ago, and can attest to how well you have captured the look and feel of the place. You do need a cow though. And as a yellowist, I feel I have to point out that the minifigures should not have been fleshy
  13. If, like me, you want to make an informed purchasing decision, it was a lot better than now. You could save yourself the huge amount of time required to feel packets. For S1 and S2, I learnt the bar codes of the ones I wanted, went into shops and quickly got them. I did get funny looks from shop staff when I told them I could read bar codes, but that is balanced by the funny looks I got up to S19 from other shoppers as I stood there feeling packets. I suspect that the vast majority of purchases are made by those who are happy to buy blind, i.e. kids or adults buying for kids. Of the rest, I suspect that most AFOLs prefer to know exactly what they are getting. I reckon that the proportion of buyers who are AFOLs who in an ideal world would hope to get blindly a mix of popular and unpopular CMFs (e.g. in boxed packaging, not bags) is very small.
  14. I wish LEGO did the same thing for future series as it did for S1 and S2, that is, have a non-obvious identifier on the backs of the packets. That way, if you want to know what’s inside, you can. But if you prefer it to be a secret, you can still buy them blind.
  15. AmperZand

    The temple of the sun god Verose

    Nice MOC! I particularly like the minifigure that I assume is Heron. His hair and beard combo really works 👍