Aanchir

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  1. Aanchir

    Lego City 2021 Rumours, information and discussion

    They mention on the FAQ page that they chose to focus exclusively on the City theme for the pilot project because it offers a wide variety of minifigs, buildings, and vehicles. Its reliable popularity among both adults and kids probably also makes it a useful reference point for figuring out how to make this service appeal to both of those age groups. Presumably, if this proves successful, then LEGO will explore the possibility of similar custom set offers in other themes as well as in other countries. But keeping the focus narrow in the very beginning will probably help them pinpoint opportunities to improve on the user interface, supply chain, etc, without introducing too many confounding variables that could make the sales data or user feedback more difficult to interpret.
  2. Aanchir

    Lego City 2021 Rumours, information and discussion

    Maybe! Although I wouldn't expect them to be from any waves later than the second half of 2021. And it's also totally possible that both of those builds and the birthday party might've been designed specifically for this set, since they are smaller than they would typically be in a dedicated fire or police station set, and don't seem to require any exclusive elements besides a sticker sheet.
  3. Aanchir

    Lego City 2021 Rumours, information and discussion

    I was just looking into this new "design your own City set" thing a bit more and I found this Hoth Bricks article which helps clear up what building and vehicle options are available (beyond what can be seen on the parts of the site visible outside of Denmark). So far, there are nine vehicle options: The armored bank truck from 60198 Cargo Train The armored police truck from 60140 Bulldozer Break-In The pickup truck from 60148 ATV Race Team The helicopter from 60183 Heavy Cargo Transport The police motorcycle from 60141 Police Station The crane, ice cream trike, and sports car from 60200 Capital City The fire off-road vehicle from 60215 Fire Station (but without the "light and sound" brick from the original set) And six building options: The bank from 60140 Bulldozer Break-In The bus station from 60200 Capital City The security gate from 60169 Cargo Terminal A brand-new fire station design A brand-new police station design A brand-new birthday party design Honestly, the three new building options surprised me. I would've expected all of the building designs to be pulled from other sets like the ones we saw in the promotional images. It also surprises to me that you aren't locked to a specific number of vehicles, buildings, figures, and animals — instead it's got some sort of values assigned to them internally so that you can choose to have more vehicles in exchange for fewer buildings, more minifigs in exchange for fewer vehicles, etc. The example of a set they designed seems quite a bit larger than the ones in the promotional images, as well — with five minifigs, two buildings, and four vehicles. It'd be interesting to see an analysis of just how varied the range of options is and which options fill up the status bar most/least quickly.
  4. Aanchir

    Lego City 2021 Rumours, information and discussion

    Sort of a side note, but has anybody else felt a bit weird about how widely the term "facade" gets thrown around to describe LEGO buildings these days? Don't get me wrong, it's a totally appropriate term for describing structures that are extremely narrow, like the ones in Airjitzu Battle Grounds, Cloud Cuckoo Palace, Harley Quinn Cannonball Attack, or Police Dog Unit . What makes them "facades" is not just the open back, but the lack of pretty much any useful interior space. They function not as settings in their own right, but as props or backdrops to define a larger scene outside themselves. But lately it feels like I've been increasingly seeing people referring to ANY open-backed/dollhouse-style buildings as "facades", even ones that are 8–12 studs deep with full ceilings and side walls (like Diagon Alley, Elf Club House, Townhouse Pet Shop & Café, etc). And I feel like using it that broadly strips the term of its usefulness in making that much more important distinction between "a building" and "a backdrop shaped like the front of a building". I realize that for adults with full "tabletowns" (especially ones intended for display in the center of the room rather than on shelves along the sides), any sort of set without a back wall might be inconvenient or frustrating. But there are a lot of reasons that a dollhouse style can be better for many sets. Most notably, it lets you view interior scenes from more or less "eye level", which is accurate to how we would typically perceive these scenes in real life, on stage, or in cinema. It's much rarer to observe any sort of interior scene from a top-down perspective outside of video games… unless you're Ceiling Cat. Also, to keep things in perspective, open-backed, dollhouse-style buildings were overwhelmingly the norm in classic themes like Town, Castle, Pirates, Space, Trains, etc. There were a few of these sets that included a hinge so that you could easily open them up for interior access from behind or close them for finished walls on all four sides, but most sets just omitted the back wall entirely and kept the depth of the buildings narrow enough to ensure builders could reach in from behind to rearrange their occupants or furnishings. Sets like the Modular Buildings were — and remain — a departure from that norm. Does anybody else feel this way?
  5. Aanchir

    Lego City 2021 Rumours, information and discussion

    Keep in mind that Danish LEGO prices in general tend to be some of the highest in the world. So while this might seem absurdly expensive from the perspective of those of us who are used to living in countries where LEGO is cheaper, it's not nearly as exorbitant compared to the price of other sets in Denmark. For reference, the Ski Resort set is around 90 USD in the United States and 80 EUR in Germany, but it's 749 DKK in Denmark — which is equivalent to about 120 USD or 100 EUR under current conversion rates. By comparison, 649 DKK is a more typical price in Denmark for sets that cost around 70 USD/EUR in the United States or Germany like 4 Privet Drive, Mia's House, Friendship Bus, or Heartlake City Airplane. Obviously, it's only realistic to expect SOME kind of surcharge for any "on demand" service like this, since the packing process can't be automated or done in huge batches like with more standardized products. But truthfully, this seems like a much more efficient way of handling that sort of thing compared to previous attempts at "on demand" ordering like LEGO Factory or LEGO Design by Me (which had to be sorted and packed by hand, and couldn't offer any guarantee that the models and instruction manuals people received would would meet the same quality standards as regular sets). It'll definitely be interesting to see how this program goes and whether it might pave the way for similar services like this in the future! But it's certainly far from guaranteed, which is probably why LEGO chose to roll it out on such a limited (i.e. Denmark-exclusive) basis before deciding whether it's ready for a wider release.
  6. Aanchir

    Is LEGO using the 18+ rating wrong?

    Well, I disagree about the Sesame Street set not being very complicated. New Elementary wrote a review of it that goes into a lot of detail about the building techniques, which include various SNOT techniques and even full stud reversals. Even before LEGO rolled out the new 18+ branding for their "adult" sets, it would have certainly gotten at least a 14+ age recommedation like the Temple of Airjitzu had, if not higher. You're right that as a show aimed primarily at toddlers and preschoolers, it's a little counter-intuitive that the first LEGO set based on that license would be an adult-targeted item like this. But I wouldn't be surprised if LEGO ended up releasing Sesame Street sets with a 4+ age rating in the future to cater the series' typical viewing audience. Conversely, this particular set is more of a nostalgia item for adults who grew up watching Sesame Street (or whose kids did). That decision was presumably driven by a combination of factors including the original LEGO Ideas project's level of complexity, the age breakdown of the project's supporters, and the nostalgic value which supporters often expressed in comments, blog posts, and social media posts about the project. If LEGO had downgraded it to a 4+ or even 6+ age range, it would have been a vast departure from the spirit of what people had supported. As for the Elf Club House, you're right that it could probably be enjoyed by kids as well as adults. But then, the Winter Village sets have always been recommended for ages 12 and up. I think by that age, most builders are perfectly capable of deciding for themselves whether they are capable enough to build sets recommended for older builders, so I don't think raising the recommended age range is too likely to dissuade many of those TFOL buyers. The designers of the Elf Tree House also appear to have continued the tradition of breaking the instructions into two booklets, so that younger builders can work on the smaller models in the first booklet while their older family members can work on the larger and more detailed ones in the second booklet. In that respect, these sets were already expected to be fun and accessible to builders younger than the age marked on the package. I suppose next year we'll be able to determine how well this decision went for them based on whether they continue to use 18+ branding on big Ideas sets or Winter Village sets. But I doubt it'll have a huge negative impact on the potential buying audience. In the very least, I can definitely see the logic in having a particular unified packaging style for "premium" products, whether or not the decision to mark them all as "18+" ends up paying off in the long term.
  7. Aanchir

    Lego themes that we would like to happen

    Even if that were to happen, I doubt LEGO would just jump straight into the deep end of the pool, so to speak. There are quite a few 18+ brands that they would probably be interested in as a potential license before going as far as a series like Fallout. Plus, if they were to start licensing more "adult" brands, I think they would most likely start with more nostalgic ones that will appeal to several generations of adults — as was the case with The Simpsons, Ghostbusters, Doctor Who, James Bond, etc. Not only would that sort of nostalgic focus help to maximize the potential buying audience, it could help defuse any controversy resulting from those licensing decisions. Like it or not, the newer something is — whether it's movies, music, games, TV, or something else entirely, the more suspicious older generations tend to be of it, and the more likely it is to elicit panicked "Think of the children!" reactions. For instance, it's much rarer today to find people as fearful of jazz, rock and roll, and hip-hop as it would've been when those genres were newer and less widespread outside of their respective subcultures. To put it another way: critics of older media are often seen as enemies of culture or tradition, whereas critics of newer media are seen as their defenders. It's a frustrating and often unreasonable double standard, but it's still a reality that LEGO has to reckon with.
  8. Hey y'all! Been a while since I checked out this topic! Something I realized recently after helping my brother to build the Bowser's Castle set is that some recent parts like the 8x8x2/3 rounded square plate, 6x6x2/3 rounded square plate, and 3x3 round plate with cutout could be great for building castle towers, Forestman tree forts, and so forth with a sort of semi-rounded shape (something I've been trying to manage in MOCs with for some time). They match up neatly with the curvature of other useful rounded pieces from recent years like the 2x2x5 quarter cylinder panel, 3x3x5 quarter cylinder panel with twin arches , and 2x2 macaroni tile which I'd previously tried experimenting with in MOCs. The new 3x3 plate with cutout in particular is great for locking the top of curved corner walls together. Currently, they mostly appear in bright primary colors which might look out-of-place as the main color of a building, but each has at least one more subdued color option like Dark Orange, Reddish Brown, or Black. Unfortunately, the BrickLink prices of these parts (especially in those more subdued colors) are still pretty high. But I suspect we'll see lower aftermarket prices and more recolors for all of them over time, especially given how extensively the Super Mario theme uses them.
  9. Dang, that's a lot of road plates! I was so intrigued that I went ahead and checked out your progress pics on your city on Instagram to get a sense of just how big your layout is to need that many. I dunno if I've ever seen a city that big made by a solo builder… mind you, I don't tend to look up pictures of people's tabletowns online usually, so most of the town layouts I've seen are at conventions, so the size of those layouts might be limited by how much a builder is able to transport from their home to the exhibit hall. That said, how many people who have that many are really going to have a city that size and still be interested in expanding it further? Because if you've already got as many roads in your cty as it room for, it won't really impact you much whether LEGO replaces their current road system or not… Yeah, that's also the sort of thing I've been mentioning when I bring up multi-lane roadways. Because the actual road markings in the new system are in the form of decorated tiles that you can rearrange to your heart's content, it wouldn't be hard at all to make those just by using multiple road segments side-by-side, or even with a median of any width you like in between. Probably for a lot of the reasons I've mentioned before, and also for a lot of the same reasons builders have for using MILS bases. Not to mention the likelihood that they'll be more widely available in the long run. After all, the new road system is going to be showing up in several of next year's City sets, and probably in even more sets in the years to come. So if those road segments end up showing up in sets you end up buying for other reasons, you might as well put them to use — even if only in the parts of your layout like bridges, hills, or construction sites where full-size road baseplates might be less convenient.
  10. Aanchir

    Modular Building Sets - Rumours and Discussion

    That may be true, but I also think Moe's Tavern not becoming a set could just as easily be because The Simpsons was a very small, short-lived theme with few sets, so it was easy for the designers to come up with enough family-friendly locations for however many sets they saw demand for before ever needing to resort to more controversial options like Moe's Tavern. Plus, it's much easier to keep a futuristic fantasy setting like Mos Eisley Cantina recognizable and playable without portraying any realistic-looking alcoholic beverages than it would be with Moe's Tavern. With the modular buildings, LEGO has an even wider range of potential settings to choose from before needing to consider less family-friendly options than they did with The Simpsons. So I don't think they'd need to push the envelope any further than they have previously. Plus, nothing's stopping them from finding kid-friendly equivalents for more adult settings or scenarios, just like they did with the cookie smuggling and the pool hall in the Detective's Office set. For example, an arcade makes a pretty good substitute for a casino, and it's not uncommon for video game developers to make that same conversion when localizing games with casino-inspired locations or minigames to countries with tighter regulations on simulated gambling. All you'd need to do is furnish it with coin-op arcade machines instead of slot machines or roulette tables and non-wager-based card games or tabletop games in place of casino card games. Most of my own attempts at MOCing an arcade for modular buildings have been more focused on the sorts of video arcade machines that were around when I was growing up, but even if you prefer for the modular buildings to stick to an earlier setting, there are also plenty of early 20th century arcade machines to choose from, like pinball machines, fortune teller machines, target shooting machines, Skee-Ball machines, slot-car racing tracks, strength-tester machines, etc. Using machines like this in place of casino games works especially well given that they had a similar sort of sinister reputation in the early 20th century, but are now nowhere near as controversial.
  11. Aanchir

    Lego City 2021 Rumours, information and discussion

    Both of those sets were released as part of the Town subtheme, which tends to include larger sets like those pretty often (60200 and 60204 in 2018, 60132 in 2016, 60097 in 2015, 60026 in 2013, 4207 in 2012, etc). So I don't feel like that's indicative of any sort of major change in strategy. Likewise, it's been pretty common for years for summer waves to focus on more than one major subtheme (Arctic and Trains in 2018 and 2014, Coast Guard and Jungle Explorers in 2017, Volcano Explorers and Airport in 2016, Deep Sea Explorers and Space in 2015, Cargo and Coast Guard in 2013, etc). 2021 certainly has some great new stuff going for it, but it still seems to stick to a pretty consistent subtheme-based strategy. The Town Center, Skate Park, and Modern Family House are all part of the "My City" range which effectively seems to be an evolution of the Town subtheme, and the Criminal Hideout is almost certainly going to be part of next year's Police subtheme, as other criminal hideout sets have been in the past. Certainly it's unusual for the biggest Police set of a particular year not to be a police station, but the same was true of fire stations up until last year when the Downtown Fire Brigade set occupied that slot. What we have been seeing recently are some surprising changes in when particular subthemes happen to show up. In the past, larger Town sets tended to show up in the summer wave, so the number of medium and large My City sets rumored for the first half of the year is a departure from that norm (probably motivated at least partly by a desire to give the new road system a "grand entrance" right off the bat). Also, from 2006 to 2018, subthemes like Construction, Mining, or Demolition tended to show up on more or less a three year rotation, but there's no indication yet of a full subtheme in that family next year. That said, it's possible that the next wave of sets in that category might have gotten pushed back to the summer in order to push the My City sets ahead to the beginning of the year (especially since that way it could include some sort of highway or bridge construction set as a follow-up to the new road system's initial debut). Other than that, though, City stuff still seems to be organized into subthemes pretty much the same way as we're used to.
  12. I'm super confused by this reply. Yes, MILS would allow you to fix a lot of the problems I mentioned. That's because MILS was created by AFOLs to compensate for the implicit limitations of traditional road layouts. The new road system does essentially the same thing, but without being so heavily parts-intensive or geared towards highly advanced builders. And if you've already been "floating" your road baseplates over studs like this so you can line them up with MILS bases, then you should be able to do the same thing just as easily (if not moreso) with the new road elements. After all, that's what I'd already been suggesting to people who were worried about the new road system being incompatible with existing road baseplates or modular buildings. I'm just… not seeing the issue. The new road system is compatible with older baseplates in all the same ways that MILS is, but it's a lot more cost-effective and kid-friendly since the default road height is just two plates tall rather than six.
  13. I can sort of understand why LEGO hasn't introduced a newer equivalent of those hulls… after all, part of LEGO's financial plight in the 90s and 2000s stemmed from how many parts they were introducing like that which they weren't really getting much use out of even back then. So that probably gives them a lot of incentive to try and get as much use as they can out of existing pieces, rather than introducing a second family of hull pieces. Additionally, LEGO also has a lot more parts like curved slopes, wedges, SNOT brackets, hinges, domes, etc. for building brick-built hulls at that sort of scale than they did back in the Classic Pirates days. I mean, just look at how they built the hull of this year's Creator Pirate Ship or this year's version of Destiny's Bounty). However, having tried to come up with a brick-built equivalent of those 12-wide hulls myself (with the desired end goal of trying to come up with a modernized Cross Bone Clipper sort of like the Barracuda Bay version of BSB), I recognize it's hard to achieve quite that same streamlined form factor using existing bricks. So I can definitely also relate to your frustration. Wish I had a better answer than that!
  14. I mean, we're talking about a system that we haven't really seen innovated on or implemented in new or creative ways since 2005. And even THAT was pretty much a low point for its creative potential. Plus, it's been eight years since nearly all themes stopped using baseplates in general, switching instead to standard-thickness plates that offer fundamentally greater versatility and creative building potential. If anything, it kind of surprises me that a similar evolution for LEGO's road system didn't come SOONER. And anyhow, is a road system that's only suited to building flat grids of two-lane streets with predefined road markings and lane widths — no bridges, inclines, additional lanes, curbside parking, medians, subway tunnels, sewers, traffic circles, oblique-angle curves, bike lanes, speed bumps, etc — really "not broke"? 'Cuz, comparatively, the new road system seems like it would be great for building most of that stuff, even without any new molds beyond the ones we've seen. Curves are the only thing from that list that's noticeably missing from the new system, and it would presumably only take one additional new mold to correct that. None of this is to say that there won't be anything to dislike about the new road system — I'm going to need better pics and potentially hands-on experience before I can more thoroughly appraise where it might fall short of its ideal potential, and I'm sure everybody's bound to have their own "pet peeves" in the long run, just as with road baseplates. But regardless, it's not really hard to think of reasons that LEGO might be interested in moving on from a system that hasn't really shown any new potential in over a decade.
  15. I’m with you there. I think a lot of people assume random online complaints from our communities impact LEGO’s decision-making process way more than they actually do. At least when it comes to sets and themes that aren’t primarily aimed at adults to begin with. I mean, let’s be real: most of LEGO’s current themes would look nothing like their current forms if their designs were somehow contingent on overwhelming, vocal AFOL approval! Usually the sharpest community reactions say more about our weakness at prognosticating what LEGO will or won’t do than anything else.