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About Aanchir

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    Color Encyclopedia
  • Birthday 03/29/1991

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  1. Wow! It's kind of amusing to see a model that has a "set-like" look in terms of parts and colors despite being way more gruesome than a set would ever be. A good example of how bright colors aren't ALWAYS "kid-friendly". It's also neat how even with a lot of the same exterior design language as the original 3-in-1 castle, you made it much more ominous-looking via features like the gnarled, leafless trees, the large black torches on the balcony that overlooks the water, and the lack of the cheerful flowers from the official models. So while the official models evoke a picturesque countryside setting, this MOC feels more like it's set in some dreary and forbidding marsh. Ironically, I was just thinking recently about how odd it is that the Black Falcons have been portrayed as a more or less "neutral" faction in recent sets, when catalogs and magazines from the 80s (like the spring 1984 issue of Bricks and Pieces or the summer 1984 issue of "De LEGO Krant") typically portrayed them as a shady or villainous faction. Your MOC definitely calls to mind that old-school characterization! And I love that final image with the reanimated skeleton in pursuit of the prisoner! It really brings the setting to life (no pun intended)!
  2. Aanchir

    [Moc] Black Falcons last Kingdom

    This is awesome! As large and monochrome as the walls are, the slightly uneven/rusticated stonework helps keep them from feeling too plain/repetitive. The large size also means that this could be a much better companion piece to models like the IDEAS Medieval Blacksmith which would look much too large compared to any "official" castle sets or MOCs of similar size. I also love the variegated brickwork on the keep (which I'm really glad you made — not enough LEGO castles even bother to include a keep!) and the chimney of the beautiful reimagining of the blacksmith shop set from 1986. I feel like a lot of modern builders tend to avoid using Bright Red for bricks these days due to all the other colors available, but you really demonstrated how beautiful it can with newer colors like Dark Red to complement it! It creates a beautiful balance between that old-school stylized look and more modern levels of detail. Now, as far as my personal preference goes, I wish there were an accessible interior of some sort — even if unfurnished, it'd be something else nice that you could add to over time. But I also understand that for a larger layout, those interiors would not likely be especially visible or within reach anyhow, so I can't blame you for focusing on the exterior appearance. All in all, it is definitely an awesome centerpiece to a medieval kingdom, and I'm glad to hear you intend to continue adding more models to it over time!
  3. Aanchir

    Unpopular Opinions about LEGO

    Funnily enough, I think this was a somewhat more popular opinion back in the early days of the Modular Buildings series, when they were considered something of an "anomaly" with their massive size, sparse interior decorations, and lack of an open back wall for ease of access. I am definitely a fan of the Modular Buildings myself, but it does frustrate me that they sometimes seem to have warped people's expectations of buildings in other themes, to the point that buildings in other themes like City, Friends, Creator, and even licensed themes are treated like they're fundamentally flawed or "cheapened" by not being fully enclosed. I think this perception misses the point of an open backed structure. Not only does omitting a model's back wall reduce its cost and allow for easy access to the interior for play, but it also allows a "minifig's eye view" of the building's interiors. Viewing the interiors from the sides makes those scenes more immersive for both play scenarios and displays, like you're actually there. And in TV- or movie-based licensed themes, it is generally a more faithful way of recreating the actual appearance of those scenes on-screen than a more impersonal top-down perspective. So I think which style of building is a better fit depends heavily on what sort of set or theme it's being used in, and what function it's meant to have within that set or theme. It might be somewhat inconvenient for people who want to create unified layouts with buildings from multiple themes, but I feel that's better than abandoning the practical strengths of either style of building for the sake of "consistency". I strongly agree with this. I loved the Fright Knights sets as a kid, along with the Dragon Masters sets before them. In general, the fantasy elements in these subthemes made them much more compelling to me than earlier subthemes that focused solely on knights and battles. After all, most of the medieval stories I was familiar with, like Lloyd Alexander's Prydain Chronicles or the tales of King Arthur and his knights, were packed with plenty of fantasy elements in their own right! The modular style of Night Lord's Castle (like the Ninja, Knights' Kingdom, and Harry Potter sets that followed it) was also EXTREMELY fun, and I still wish more modern LEGO castles included rooms/modules can be rearranged vertically as well as horizontally. Obviously, these sets had a lot of weaknesses too, but I attribute that more to the general set design standards of their time than the themes themselves. It's sort of like how I have a lot of affection for the Forestmen subtheme (which was a bit before my time), in spite of how dated their tree and foliage designs tend to feel by modern standards. It's not the fault of the subtheme itself that it came out at a time when curved elements, plant elements, and "earth tones" were so limited, and SNOT techniques and hinges tended to be used so sparingly. The concept itself (Robin Hood inspired tree forts and hideouts populated by a fun-loving and rambunctious band of outlaws) still feels strong today, much like Fright Knights' concept (stylized gothic horror-inspired castles packed with traps and secret passages, fanciful fairy-tale flying machines, and spooky character archetypes like witches and vampires).
  4. Aanchir

    Lego City 2021 Rumours, information and discussion

    The old (printed) ones from the 90s didn't, but LEGO began introducing co-injected/marbled ones in 2009, and began introducing additional color combinations in 2017 when they introduced the updated version of the mold (which also has a more curved beak). It's a cool technique, especially since it colors the front of the bird and not just the sides, but sometimes the colors can look a bit "muddy" where they run together. I'd be interested to see LEGO come up with a further update of the parrot mold that uses the same multi-shot molding technique that LEGO has been using for a lot of recent animal and minifig components. This technique is less "random" than co-injection, and allows specific plastic colors to be used for specific parts of the animal. A good example of a bird mold already using this technique is Pepper the parakeet from LEGO Friends. Pepper is molded in two colors of plastic: Flame Yellowish Orange for her beak, feet, and wingtips; and Bright Reddish Violet for the rest of her feathers. Pepper's mold has also been used with different color combinations and printing for many other birds in the Friends, Elves, and Disney themes, and even the LEGO Ideas Steamboat Willie set! Of course, if LEGO did update the parrot mold, I'd also like them to include printed eyes on the new version, as is increasingly the norm with other LEGO animals (including other birds like ducks, songbirds, and eagles). Compared to other modern LEGO animals, the parrot's recessed eyes make it feel almost more like a statue than a living creature.
  5. Aanchir

    Latest news about Lego animal moulds

    Tiger cubs (and other big cat cubs) feel like a very real possibility now that LEGO has introduced a lion cub mold!
  6. Aanchir

    Old monkey vs new monkey

    I'm not really surprised by that, to be honest — unlike actual minifigs, it's normal for animals in non-licensed themes to resemble the actual skin or fur color of their real-life counterparts. "Fleshie" colors are also used for the furless/featherless portions of the LEGO ostrich (24689pb01c01), LEGO chimpanzee (95327pb01/95327pb02), LEGO mouse (35757c01pb01), and older versions of the LEGO pig (87621pb01/87621pb02/87621pb03). Also, since it hasn't been mentioned yet in this thread, there are actually TWO colors/patterns for the new monkey. The version pictured at the top of this thread (Sand Yellow/Dark Tan one with a Light Nougat face), which appears in 30570, 60300, and 60302, is the more common of the two. But there's also a Brick Yellow/Tan version with a Dark Stone Grey/Dark Bluish Gray face in 60304 — which, needless to say, doesn't match "human" skin tones in either licensed OR non-licensed themes!
  7. Aanchir

    Latest news about Lego animal moulds

    I think the minifig monkeys are more fitting for Flower Fruit Mountain since they are somewhat anthropomorphized (narratively speaking). They are Sun Wukong's siblings/peers, and treat him as a monkey just like them in spite of his supernatural origins and more human-like gait, posture, and behaviors. Needless to say, it would be odd if the Sun Wukong minifigure looked entirely unlike the other monkeys from his origin story! So I think it was a good choice to give the other monkeys shorter legs, but still the same general "body plan". As awesome as that sort of thing would be, I imagine that creating a series with portrayals of this many real-world people would be quite an ordeal, even compared to some of the licensed CMF series (which typically include figures licensed from a single parent company). While the likenesses of figures from the 19th century and earlier would likely be "fair game", the same would certainly not be true of living people like David Attenborough. And even creating figures based on 20th/21st century conservationists would likely require seeking permission and/or a licensing agreement from their surviving family members. Legal matters aside, it would be in poor taste not to seek permission for or provide any sort of compensation for the use of those people's likenesses!
  8. Aanchir

    Old monkey vs new monkey

    I certainly have a lot of nostalgia for the old monkey, but the new one is a much better scale relative to minifigures and other animals (such as cats, dogs, pigs, parrots, etc). Other than being on all fours, the old monkey was close to the size of a full-grown minifig! While the lack of articulation is certainly a bummer, it seems to be pretty much an unavoidable side effect of how much the size has been reduced. I am also generally a big fan of printed animal faces in LEGO, since it helps them feel more "alive" like minifigs (or other modern LEGO animals), and less like dead-eyed statues. And I think the designers made a good call by using an anti-stud instead of a clip for the feet (so it can be secured to a flat surface without needing some extra part to clip it to). From a set design standpoint, the new monkey's smaller size and simpler single-piece design seem to make it a lot more affordable, which enables the designers to include multiple monkeys even in very small sets like 60300 — something we never saw with the old design. Given that there were no monkeys in either the 2015 Pirates range or the Pirates of Barracuda Bay set, I feel like anything that boosts the likelihood of seeing monkeys in future pirate-related sets is a Good Thing. For MOC purposes, the new monkey is better scaled to "hitch a ride" atop a minifig or another mid-size animal, although just as with LEGO parrots, you'd likely need to rig up some kind of neck bracket or backpack assembly to get them to perch on a pirate's shoulder the way they often would in movies. Likewise, just think of how much easier it will be to build a "cage" that an exotic animal merchant could use to hold the new monkey before the pirates arrive to heroically liberate it (and "liberate" some of that merchant's wealth in the process)!
  9. Aanchir

    Unpopular Opinions about LEGO

    I understand this point, but I'm not sure if it's the best comparison. It's entirely possible to discuss/acknowledge LGBTQ+ identities without the topic of sex ever coming up… particularly since that umbrella encompasses stuff like gender identity and romantic attraction that are largely independent of a person's sexual orientation or behavior. For instance, there are plenty of trans and nonbinary folks who are asexual or demisexual, and also plenty of asexual and demisexual folks who identify as gay, lesbian, bi, etc. on the basis of romantic (rather than sexual) attraction. I definitely understand your point about staff positions being a thankless task a lot of the time, though. I greatly respect and appreciate a lot of the work that I know you personally have been doing to keep flagrantly homophobic and transphobic comments in check. And I don't envy that responsibility one bit. It's stressful enough reading hateful or intolerant comments. I doubt I could handle the pressure of having to figure out the best way to deal with them that won't inflame matters further, and knowing that the worst offenders you crack down on will likely blame YOU for whatever repercussions they brought upon themselves. I do share the frustration that @Lira_Bricks expressed about threads like the "Everyone is Awesome" topic and review getting locked in response to a persistent flood of hateful or antagonistic comments. Because unfortunately, this approach sends a message to homophobes and transphobes that they can effectively silence the LGBTQ+ related discussions that make them so uncomfortable just by posting intolerant "flamebait", and then treating the ensuing "flame wars" as an inevitable outcome of mentioning/discussing those topics in the first place. But I also realize it's not an easy problem to solve. For comparison, Huw and his moderation team from Brickset have been made well aware of this issue in the past, and have worked to improve their moderation strategies so that LGBTQ+ voices aren't silenced. But even they had to close commenting on their news articles for the "Everyone is Awesome" announcement and review due to the Sisyphean burden of playing whack-a-mole with a never-ending onslaught of intolerant comments. I can't imagine things are much easier here on Eurobricks. I guess what I'm saying is, thank you for the hard work you do, and please continue to do your best, even if you can't always achieve the outcomes that other members expect of you. Eurobricks has definitely become a much safer and more accepting place to discuss these sorts of topics than it was a decade or so ago, and I'm sure it will improve further as we all continue to move towards a better understanding of diverse perspectives of LGBTQ+ users like myself (and the aspects of this site and the AFOL community more broadly that can be alienating to some of us). It is probably not going to be an easy or immediate process, but I promise that even the little things we do to make the community more welcoming (whether as ordinary members like me or moderators like y'all) make a genuine difference. I feel like that's more of a marketing decision than anything else — static home/office display pieces with a monotonous building process are naturally expected to appeal more to adults than to kids (even the "Everyone is Awesome" set designer originally intended it as a decoration for his own workspace), and LEGO has found the 18+ branding very effective at grabbing the attention of those sorts of adult buyers. You can sort of compare this to the way that a lot of the earliest LEGO Architecture skyscrapers like 21000 Sears Tower, 21001 John Hancock Center, and 21002 Empire State Building had a 10+ target age in spite of their low piece counts and utterly simplistic studs-up builds. It's less about the complexity of the build or appropriateness of the subject matter than about communicating that "this is not a playset". I agree, though, that it ended up having some unfortunate connotations in the context of this set, and that it might be better for future Pride-related sets to opt for an 8+, 10+, or 12+ target age like a lot of the Chinese Festival sets, Brick Sketches, or LEGO Architecture skylines. I mean, I think it goes without saying that the opinions people bring up in a topic for "unpopular opinions about LEGO" are likely to be divisive. If they weren't, then this probably wouldn't be the right topic for them in the first place! Moreover, avoiding topics because they're "politically loaded" can be a bit of a slippery slope. I've seen loads of people complain that sets or themes featuring female knights/warriors, firefighters, construction workers, or scientists are pandering to a "political agenda", but that doesn't mean that discussions of the roles we'd like to see female LEGO characters in should be off the table entirely. It also goes without saying that military conflicts and policing tend to be extremely "politically loaded" topic, especially among people who have had extremely negative experiences related to those topics in real life. But that shouldn't prevent AFOLs from discussing that sort of stuff when it happens to overlap with the sorts of LEGO sets or MOCs that interest them. Even the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has been HEAVILY politicized in the media and in various segments of society. But it would be extremely frustrating not to be able to talk about it, given the ways that it's impacted stuff like our LEGO shopping habits, ability to plan in-person conventions/meetings with fellow LEGO fans, and even the availability of certain sets or themes. As such, I think there has to be a certain amount of room for these sorts of discussions on an adult-targeted forum like this, even if they sometimes make us uncomfortable or lead to disagreements. And that's ESPECIALLY true of a topic like this that's meant as a place to discuss topics we've disagreed with other LEGO fans about in the past. On that note: I still feel strongly that there's a lot more room for LGBTQ+ representation in LEGO than what we've seen, even if a lot of AFOLs tend to object to that sort of thing on various grounds any time I bring it up. Recently, the Disney Channel TV series "The Owl House" has provided some great examples of the sorts of kid-friendly LGBTQ+ representation that would be fairly easy to implement in "play themes" like City, Friends, Ninjago, etc. For starters, the show features a 14-year-old bisexual main character (Luz Noceda) with a same-sex romantic interest. Another major recurring character, Willow Park, has two dads. And in the latest episode, the show introduced a nonbinary supporting character (Raine Whispers) who uses they/them pronouns and is played by a nonbinary voice actor. None of these aspects of the characters are presented as any more "shocking" or "subversive" than the more normative portrayals of characters' identities, romantic interests, or their families in shows like the LEGO Ninjago or LEGO Friends animated series. So I don't think adding more of this sort of diversity would be any more "confusing" or "creatively stifling" than the more normative sorts of character traits that already tend to be the status quo in those themes. And certainly, it might be off-putting to parents who have homophobic or transphobic prejudices of their own… but if a company as profit-driven (and with as much aversion to "stirring the pot") as Disney is willing to take that chance, I can't imagine why it'd be beyond the bounds of reason for LEGO to do the same.
  10. Aanchir

    Lego City 2021 Rumours, information and discussion

    I mean, they do still use just one set of molds for alligators and crocodiles, and also one set of molds for all "big cat" species (with unique head sculpts only for the "male" lion and the sabretooth). For that matter, they are arguably taking great creative liberties by using the current deer mold as a "reindeer" in the Winter Village Collection, since its long neck and pointed muzzle more closely resemble that of a Eurasian red deer or American white-tailed deer than a reindeer. Real-life reindeer/caribou have short necks and flat/rounded muzzles — more like Sven from Frozen than a typical greeting-card portrayal of "Santa's reindeer". And even mini-doll themes (which tend to get considerably more species- or breed-specific with some of their molds) share molds between vastly different breeds and species pretty frequently: Namaarii's "Serlot" (a large fictional wildcat inspired by species like the serval, ocelot, and caracal) from Raya and the Last Dragon shares a mold that has been used in the Friends and Elves themes for both foxes and huskies. Bruno the bloodhound from Cinderella and Max the Old English sheepdog from The Little Mermaid share a mold with numerous dogs from LEGO Friends, including Cookie the dalmatian, Dash the terrier, and several other dogs of various unspecified breeds. Diablo the raven from Sleeping Beauty uses the same mold as Pepper the parakeet from LEGO Friends, which is in turn simply a dual-molded version of the one used for Elvis the eagle, Java the macaw, Violet the songbird, and Goldie the yellow warbler before the theme's 2018 reboot. I'm sure LEGO wouldn't be willing to use the same mold for ALL long-legged wading birds (such as storks, ibises, herons, spoonbills and egrets). But that's mostly just common sense — after all, imagine how ludicrous it would be if they used the flamingo mold from Minifigures Series 19 for all those different species, just because it happened to fall within that same general category! That said, I do think they'd probably be okay with having one shared mold for long-legged wading birds with long, straight bills (like herons, egrets, storks, and cranes), and only introduce separate molds for those like ibises and spoonbills that have more specific bill shapes. And even some of those other "specific molds" you mention could potentially be used for more varied species in the future as well. For example, it would not be a HUGE stretch to imagine the skunk mold being repurposed for other musteloid species with long, bushy tails (like raccoons, red pandas, wolverines martens and minks), or even for squirrels (especially large species like the Malabar Giant Squirrel). Some of those possibilities wouldn't be ideal, maybe… but neither was reusing the German Shepherd mold for dalmatians in past City sets! And that's something I'd be thrilled to see future LEGO City fire sets remedy, especially now that the Labrador Retriever mold exists. That's still not a perfect shape for a Dalmatian, but certainly closer than any other dog breed the City theme has had previously!
  11. Aanchir

    Modular Building Sets - Rumours and Discussion

    For my part, I don't have much preference between sets with one property or multiple properties per "lot". I think which is suitable for a given set depends mostly on whether the contents of a particular type of property take up enough space to justify devoting the entire baseplate to it. And in fact, when one property IS able to justify an entire 32-stud-wide lot on its own, it's often because it's a property that is implicitly multi-purpose. For example, the Fire Brigade set, like a real firehouse, includes both the living quarters for the firefighters AND the garage where their truck and other work equipment are kept. Likewise, the Grand Emporium is a department store, so it effectively functions as a clothing store, jeweler, toy store, and housewares store all in one! The Palace Cinema dedicates one floor to the movie theater itself, and another to smaller areas where business is conducted like the ticket window and concession stand. And of course, the Town Hall includes multiple offices, an auditorium, and a conference room. There are certainly several possibilities we haven't seen as Modular Building sets yet that would genuinely be large enough, magnificent enough, and varied enough on their own to justify dedicating an entire 32-stud-wide lot to them — for example, a museum/library (though the latter might feel a bit repetitive so soon after the Bookshop), hospital, school, train station, opera house, embassy, or luxury hotel (as opposed to the smaller hotel in the Cafe Corner set). In fact, I'd go so far as to say it'd be hard to depict these sorts of subjects at a Modular Building standard of quality if they DIDN'T occupy a 32-stud-wide lot on their own. At the same time, there are also loads of unexplored possibilities that would likely be more fitting as part of a shared lot with other properties (or as a subsection of another, larger property) — for instance, a hardware store, sporting goods store, record store, bike shop, antique shop, pawn shop, arcade, bowling alley, Chinese restaurant, Italian restaurant, ice cream parlor, deli, daycare center, post office, art gallery, or pharmacy. I feel like a lot of these options would end up feeling monotonous or repetitive compared to other Modular Building sets if they occupied two or three stories of an entire 32-stud-wide lot all on their own. And honestly? I think I'd be pretty happy with future Modular Building sets that explore options from either of these categories, as long as they portray the subject matter in question with the level of cleverness, intricacy, and artfulness that we've come to expect. On another note: I know some people's preference for "single-purpose" or "multi-purpose" Modular Building sets is more about aesthetics (for example, disliking structures with a narrow facade like the donut shop and police annex from this year's Police Station set) than about what actually goes on inside them. But I think it's important to recognize that as a separate distinction. After all, the Cafe Corner, Green Grocer, Corner Garage, and Parisian Restaurant are all multi-purpose buildings, but the properties are stacked on top of each other rather than arranged side-by-side, so the same design language appears across the entire width of their respective lots. Likewise, even though the Brick Bank's neo-classical style is interrupted on the right side by the narrower building that includes the laundromat and bank manager's office, that still gives the main bank building about as much "frontage" as a building like the Fire Brigade that isn't built on a street corner. So I think there are a lot of ways for designers to give a Modular Building an imposing and visually consistent facade even if the lot in question IS divided into multiple properties. And likewise, there are plenty of ways for them to horizontally break up a single property's facade, such as the Police Station's annex, or the bay windows on the right side of the Green Grocer's upstairs apartments. Yeah, I think a corner building is probably a pretty safe bet. Even if we can't be sure that LEGO will always continue to follow a strict pattern with these releases, I don't think they'd want to risk creating a greater sense of repetition by making corner buildings LESS frequent. I also don't think that the Spring Lantern Festival set or Daily Bugle set are any more likely to end up changing the plans for the main Modular Buildings Collection than the Ninjago City sets — which feature the same connections between buildings and between floors of each building, but also their own independent set of standards for the placement of sidewalks, elevated walkways, and canals. That said, I don't think it'd be unlikely at all to continue seeing more Modular Building style sets from other themes like Super Heroes or the Chinese Festival sets in future years, especially now that LEGO has shown that they're willing to do so and not worried about those sets cannibalizing sales of the main collection. Even Ideas projects in a Modular Building style (whether based on a pop-culture property, based on a real place, or wholly original) might have a better shot at approval these days than in the past… at least as long as they clearly stand out enough from the main collection to clearly be "their own thing" that happens to be compatible, rather than just a fan-made addition to the main collection like many of the Modular Building proposals that have been turned down in the past.
  12. Aanchir

    AFOL Passion Survey

    Finished! I don't know how useful my answers will actually be, but I definitely felt like they asked a lot of genuinely good questions. Hopefully this can give them some useful insights about how many different ways AFOLs enjoy LEGO or enjoy being part of a community of LEGO fans, and how to better cater to those varied perspectives and varied roles that LEGO plays in our lives.
  13. Aanchir

    Unpopular Opinions about LEGO

    For my part, I have a lot less affection for the plain smiley faces even on nostalgic grounds, since I've worn glasses since the second grade, and the plain smiley faces don't allow for even features as basic and race-neutral/gender-neutral as that! Also, I like the more varied mix-and-match opportunities that having different facial details allows for, especially when designing sigfigs or minifigure representations of friends and family (something I've greatly enjoyed doing since my childhood). I agree with this to an extent, and that's as a builder with a preference for non-licensed themes. I do think your comment about the quality of the sets themselves is a bit harsh since I don't think it's fair to attribute some of the weaknesses of older sets (like the lack of interior details in a lot of older Castle sets, or the wildly inconsistent facial graphics in the Wild West sets) to the themes themselves, when has more to do with the design standards of the time they were released. For comparison, the LEGO Star Wars theme first came out when I was a kid, and I was an avid collector of it for those first few years. And in hindsight, a lot of the sets back then like 7134 A-Wing Fighter, 7144 Slave I, and 7190 Millennium Falcon were pretty terrible compared to their newer counterparts! But that says less about the LEGO Star Wars theme's own merits than the limitations of the parts palette and design philosophy of sets from the late 90s and early 2000s. That said, I do think that a lot of fans of play themes from the late 80s and early 90s (like Town, Pirates, Castle, and Pirates) not only revere them as staples of the LEGO brand for their time, but also as timeless "staple themes" that no other theme could hope to match in significance, importance, or creative potential. Part of why this bothers me is that it seems like a disservice to later "play themes" like LEGO Friends and LEGO Ninjago that have not only gone on to achieved similar levels of success and longevity, but have done so by appealing to tastes/interests that were already popular among kids of the 80s and 90s, but weren't as effectively represented in the sets of that time. But that perspective is sometimes coupled with disdain/disregard for any sets or themes that AREN'T focused on minifig-scale playsets, such as Technic, Bionicle, Mindstorms, Boost, Architecture, Classic, BrickHeadz, Dots, Art, Super Mario, or "sculptural" models like the 18+ landmark, classic car, and botanical series! I can't tell you how many times I've seen the announcement/reveal of these sorts of sets met with social media comments like "Nobody wants this garbage — bring back Castle/Space/Pirates!", "C'mon, LEGO, give us actual minifigs!", or "Ugh, this doesn't even look like LEGO" — as if minifigs and minifig-scale playsets are the be-all and end-all of the LEGO brand, and the only sort of LEGO characters or sets anybody could ever want, need, or enjoy. And that feels particularly narrow-minded when you consider that the LEGO brick predates the LEGO minifigure by around 40 years!
  14. TBH, I hardly ever see anybody claim that the cost of new molds makes bringing back a particular individual mold "virtually impossible". Perhaps that's what you feel is implied when people argue against bringing back a retired mold for cost reasons, but I don't think anybody believes new molds cost more than LEGO can afford — just that it's a high enough price for LEGO to be a little picky about which sets and/or parts can justify that sort of investment.
  15. Aanchir

    Future Castle Sets?

    They're sometimes also just Easter eggs or shout-outs to unrelated stuff that a particular set's graphic designer happens to be interested in, like the Bionicle mask as a constellation on the star chart sticker in set 76389. Regardless of the intent, I don't see any reason to think a graphic design choice in the Harry Potter theme would be meant as a "hint" about unrelated future sets or themes. Yeah, I think the performance of the Medieval Blacksmith set alone seems to have shown enough demand for more AFOL-targeted medieval sets in the future. Even if LEGO is reluctant to do that sort of thing as an annual series like the Modular Building, Winter Village, or classic car sets, it wouldn't surprise me if they started dabbling in more sporadic releases like they have with the Fairground Collection sets. In interviews about the Medieval Blacksmith set, the designer Wes Talbott has certainly seemed enthusiastic about and open to the possibility that it could pave the way for future medieval buildings in a similar format! Granted, even actual LEGO designers are not immune to wishful thinking about possibilities that might never actually come to fruition (such as licensing agreements that they don't necessarily have any say in), but I don't think this particular possibility would be very far-fetched at all. Certainly even if "Castle" as a theme has not really been active lately, castles and medieval inspired buildings more broadly have demonstrated lasting appeal, including "generic" ones like the Medieval Blacksmith and Castle in the Forest that aren't tied to a licensed or in-house IP. LEGO's current strategy with their "Adults Welcome" initiative also shows a lot more openness to pushing that category in new directions (like the Botanical Collection, the Adidas sneaker, LEGO Art mosaics, the "Everyone is Awesome" set, the Nintendo Entertainment System, etc) than what we'd seen under the earlier "Creator Expert" branding. If LEGO is more willing to take chances on "stand-alone" adult products now (even outside the Ideas theme), that could also potentially apply to historical, fantasy, or sci-fi exclusives, which LEGO previously seemed reluctant to release except as tie-ins with other current or recent themes aimed at a younger audience. I think new minifigures would be pretty much inevitable for those sorts of sets as long as they're actually minifigure scale. Adult-targeted exclusives might sometimes have a limited budget for new molds, but new printed elements tend to quite common in minifig-scale exclusives these days (even ones that include sticker sheets as well). I think printed flags/banners would be pretty likely as well, unless the set in question has a whole lot of OTHER new printed elements eating up its budget. As for new factions? That's a little more uncertain, since there are any number of "old-school" factions that the designers might prefer to focus on for nostalgia reasons, much like they did with the Black Falcons in the Medieval Blacksmith set. But I do think that compared to the CMFs, larger adult-targeted exclusives would have more incentive to "flesh out" whatever factions they happen to focus on by portraying multiple figures and/or accessories tied to that faction, especially reusing the same printed torsos, shields, flags, etc. several times within the same set (or multiple sets) offers a better return on investment than keeping faction-specific prints or recolors limited to one figure each for novelty's sake.