Aanchir

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  1. There's definitely some new parts added to the Brickset database last week from Star Wars, Frozen 2, and Overwatch that could be quite promising for historic uses: 1x1 pyramids in Medium Stone Grey/Light Bluish Gray: https://brickset.com/parts/6258381/pyramid-ridged-tile-1x1x2-3 The LEGO Elves diamond element unprinted in Tr. Yellow: https://brickset.com/parts/6271209/diamond-w-3-2-shaft The 1x6x7 arched door/window piece from the Disney theme in Brick Yellow/Tan, and a new window pane for it in Transparent (both unprinted AND with gold lattice printing): https://brickset.com/parts/6273864/wall-1x6x7-w-arch https://brickset.com/parts/6278080/glass-for-frame-1x6x7-w-bow https://brickset.com/parts/6274713/glass-for-frame-1x6x7-w-bow-no-1 A new hood element (no longer tied/gathered around the front of the neck) in the Star Wars sets: https://brickset.com/parts/design-59276 A 3x3x5 curved wall panel with a two module radius and two tree branches extending from the sides: https://brickset.com/parts/design-59276 I threw together some quick illustrations of how it could be used together with existing curved panels to build large trees or a Forestman tree fortress in these tweets: https://twitter.com/SkyeBarnick/status/1180972016800849922 https://twitter.com/SkyeBarnick/status/1181009967702298625 Dinosaur tail elements with a printed white birch bark pattern: https://brickset.com/parts/6274726/neck-tail-link-ø7-84-ø6-47-no-1 Minifig shoulder bag/satchel in Medium Nougat/Medium Dark Flesh: https://brickset.com/parts/6274726/neck-tail-link-ø7-84-ø6-47-no-1 The 1x2 gold ingot tile in Brick Yellow/Tan: https://brickset.com/parts/6271228/gold-ingot …and more variety in other cool and versatile new recolors for me to list! You can browse the full batch of newly-added parts here: https://brickset.com/parts/new-06-10-2019
  2. Aanchir

    LEGO Ninjago 2020

    I wouldn't be surprised if the design being kind of a "middle ground" were intentional, so that it could feel appropriate for both Season 3 inspired sets (like the Thunder Raider) and Season 4 inspired sets (like the Jungle Raider). One way or another, I wouldn't expect it to be meant as a re-imagining of one particular suit, nor tied to sets based on one particular season, any more than the previous Legacy suits were.
  3. I just gave those two sets a look on BrickLink and found some other stats that might be worth mentioning in this case. The new version of the set weighs about 26% more than the old version as a complete package, or about 22% more when you deduct the weight of the box and instructions. The reason for the instructions being so much heavier is probably that the new version is aimed at ages 5+, and the old version at ages 6+, so the manuals require slightly more clarity. From a US standpoint, the 2016 version would cost $64 after adjusting for inflation, and the overall weight difference brings that up to $80.72. So while it's definitely less affordable, it certainly doesn't seem like an arbitrary price hike. And anyhow, even in my childhood back in the 90s, $80 was hardly out of the ordinary for the biggest set in a particular theme! All that said, your post implies the sets ought to be priced similarly based on their play value. And that's admittedly trickier to quantify. But there's a lot of differences between the contents of the sets in terms of features even if they depict the same building. On the most basic level, the new version has three stories instead of two. It also has double doors instead of a single door. Within the castle, it has a bed with a hinge so a figure can lie down underneath the top blanket, a throne, an opening dresser, a telescope, a painter's easel, a sculpted bust, a birdhouse (with bird), and a chest with a (presumably plot relevant) sword. Outside, it has a pier with cat and seafood stall, a rowboat, a streetlight, and a baked goods stall. The old version had some stuff that the new version lacked: two fireplaces, a grandfather clock with secret compartment, a slide, two fountains, lots of flowers/balloons, three Snowgies, and an outdoor dining table with a huge cake and two chairs. Even so, I feel like the new set considerably outweighs the old in terms of overall play value, simply by virtue of depicting more interior and exterior scenes, including a vehicle. Perhaps if both market stalls and the boat were removed then I could expect the two sets to be priced similarly, but as is I think the price discrepancy seems about in proportion to the two sets' contents, even in terms of play value.
  4. It's true that there's a big difference in how long sets used to remain available, but honestly I feel like that's something that LEGO can't do so much about since it largely comes down to pressure and insights from retailers. Most of the time, major retailers don't want to continue using up shelf space or warehouse space on sets that all the most enthusiastic buyers have already had more than a couple years to buy. Those older sets tend to sell far more slowly than stuff that is new to ALL buyers, even those who were dedicated fans/collectors in the years prior. In fact, one reason the company barely avoided bankruptcy in 2003 was that a lot of stores had to cut down on how many new products they were stocking due to all the unsold 2002 products clogging their shelves But overall my point there was more about how the 90s in particular seemed like an surprising example to cite for when the Town theme was at its peak. The trends during that decade were in a lot of ways marked by a considerable decline in a lot of the stuff people today feel is missing from City, and a rise in edgy, over-the-top, action- and exploration-oriented stuff like Divers, Xtreme Team, Outback, Res-Q, Space Port, and Arctic. Fun as they were for me as a kid, those themes are far closer to the type of newer City subthemes/categories I tend to see a lot of complaints about, such as Swamp Police, Sky Police, Arctic Expedition, or Mars Expedition. Towards the end of the decade, even in more mundane subthemes, you were seeing weird and regrettable designs like 6435 and 6565 that look about as unrealistic/inauthentic as many Jack Stone/4 Juniors sets of the early 2000s! If the initial post and title of this topic had referred the 80s I suppose I could understand the nostalgic sentiment a bit more, since during that decade the Town range did have far more of the types of sets that today's City range is overtly lacking, like houses. Naturally, I'm more than prepared to expect a certain amount of 80s LEGO nostalgia within the AFOL community at this point, and there's no denying a lot of the stuff back then before I was born was foundational to a lot of what makes the LEGO brand popular today! But having grown up in the 90s, I couldn't help becoming aware as I got older that so many of the sets I was enjoying were highly controversial among the fledgling AFOL community, and in hindsight a lot of the flaws or oddities of that period of LEGO history DO strike me as desperate attempts to break free of the brand's reputation for being quaint and traditional, often in a misguided or hamfisted manner. I see your point to an extent, but I'm surprised by some of the examples you picked. The 2013 fire station honestly doesn't seem tremendously unrealistic to me, particularly compared to some of today's most avant-garde designs for real-life fire stations! When I was first skimming through your post I wondered if you'd made a typo and actually were referring to 60110, which strikes me as a lot more "toy-like" with how open and spread out its contents are to allow access for play. What's more, this year's also strikes me as a highly realistic example from a modern, urban standpoint, and I feel like it's far more relevant an example in a thread about current trends in LEGO City. Your example of a 90s police station definitely does seem pretty realistic, and did to me as a kid based on my expectations of how police stations should look (i.e. an imposing, glass-covered office building that could accommodate a fleet of vehicles). 7498 is admittedly a lot more cartoonish with its elevated jail cells! Of course, concessions often understandably have to be made in LEGO police station designs since a lot of the time a jail building in real life tends to be far removed from the local police precinct, and the iconic exterior-facing barred windows and doors have generally fallen out of favor in real life in much the same way as grey and white prison stripes. But you're right that 7498 is among the less believable LEGO police station designs. That said, I also feel like comparing favorite examples of a particular type of set from Classic Town with least favorite examples of the same type of set from modern City can lend a distorted sense of how varied both those themes/eras can be in terms of quality. After all, some really bizarre fire station designs like in 6554, 6464, and 6389 were as much a part of the Town theme as the more traditional designs from the 80s. And City police and fire stations have likewise had loads of variation compared to the few you chose for your comparisons! I find that 60141 and 60215 feel pretty realistic portrayals of urban police or fire stations, 4440 is a great rendition of a rural police station/sheriff's office and 60130 expertly echoes the iconic Alcatraz Island prison at a more condensed scale. I definitely think there's a lot of room for improvement with the design of many different types of LEGO City buildings, police and fire stations included. But at the same time, I don't think looking backwards towards the design principles of 80s or early 90s Town sets is the solution there, considering how outdated some of those architectural styles are becoming even by real life standards, along with some of the drawbacks of those designs in terms of how accessible the interiors were for play or how much room they had for interior details. And I guess in general, "forward, not back" sums up a lot of my feelings on where LEGO has the most room for improvement. Making stuff more like it was in the past certainly can help alleviate some perceived design missteps. But by contrast, introducing improvements or innovations that were no more typical of past sets than current ones tends to do a lot more to open up (or at least demonstrate) entirely new creative possibilities for the LEGO system. So, for example, I know a lot of LEGO fans are nostalgic for 80s and 90s Castle, Pirates, and Space sets that had raised baseplates, but I honestly think there's a lot more exciting new potential that could be unlocked by making heavier use of brick-built terrain, and potentially introducing new elements for such purposes that are more versatile than a singular pre-shaped baseplate could ever achieve. We've seen some really cool examples for certain over the past decade or so, but I think there's even more to be gained if designers push those sorts of techniques even further. Likewise, I know there were people who feel bummed about the use of stickers to add irregular stone colors or textures to fort or castle walls, as opposed to printed ones like in the 80s and 90s. But I think it's much more exciting to see LEGO employ brick-built solutions to create those sorts of variations without the same reliance on printed OR stickered decorations. Some great examples of this include the stonework in 9471, 70410, and 70594. I think there are bound to be a lot more ways that LEGO can replace details that used to be represented by predetermined prints or stickers with brick-built details that can be more easily modified or adapted at the discretion of the builder! LEGO also has done some great stuff with wooden log textures since they first introduced the palisade bricks and panels in the Wild West theme in the 90s, but I still feel like they have yet to create any building in any theme that really believably evokes the "log cabin" style of construction (despite several log cabin sets in the Creator theme). I don't think trying to come up with improved techniques for that style of building construction would be a bad thing to hope for. And there's a lot of love and nostalgia for road plates among AFOLs, but I feel like their basic 32x32 grid layout, lack of connection points underneath, flat shape (which makes creating believable inclined roads a chore) add up to a lot of frustrating customizations, which have often motivated advanced builders to spend a whole bunch of time and money on custom brick-built roads. I'd love to see LEGO attempt some type of middle ground: a road system with more of the kind of versatility and sturdiness, and customization potential as their rail system for LEGO trains! Can you imagine the possibilities? Back in the mid-2000s, when LEGO was still in the process of recovering from their brush with the spectre of bankruptcy, I definitely understand how it would have made sense to try and recapture their audience by focusing on bringing back beloved attributes of their brand and design philosophy that they had lost over the years. Now that they're on a much stronger footing and have once again cemented LEGO's reputation as a childhood favorite toy, I realize they have the resources to take greater risks. But I believe the risks with the best payoff for them now are going to be entirely new ideas and innovations that push LEGO creativity and quality standards into new and uncharted territory. Sorry for the tangent! I just had a lot of thoughts about this! It's always fun discussing this kind of stuff! I definitely agree about this, although I wonder if the lack of international standardization is a concern there? I definitely remember seeing a several complaints about the Hidden Side schoolbus from fans outside of North America saying it looks way too American and nothing like school buses would look in whichever country the commenters were from. Even with that in mind, though, I'd think that American-style school buses would be at least familiar enough from movies, tv shows, books, etc that it would be at least as familiar to buyers in Europe and Asia as a lot of the other more American-centric vehicle designs that have showed up periodically in LEGO City. So I think it would probably still be a moderately realistic hope for the future.
  5. If I felt like I could without that point being misunderstood or trivialized than I would. But when I spend as much time on posts as I have today, it's because the discussion has brought a lot of thoughts to mind, thoughts that can't just be summed up with "I agree" or "I disagree". Plus, just imagine how much more annoying all of these kinds of disagreements would be if it were just a bunch of people saying "no, YOU'RE wrong!" back and forth without making any kind of case for themselves! It probably doesn't help that after becoming less active here and in other contentious LEGO-related discussions as of late, I'm out of practice… rambling is an easy habit to fall back into and I promise I'll try harder to keep things concise. But how easy that is might vary depending on the discussion. I don't really expect to change anyone's mind about what they want to see in LEGO City or other themes, because that's all just personal opinion and doesn't need any sort of justification one way or another. But by explaining my own perspective I can hopefully at least help you and others understand that I have actual reasons for feeling differently, and that it's not just me embracing whatever LEGO does without any independent thoughts, desires, or preferences of my own! Space is a big favorite of mine as well! I was super into NASA and space exploration as a kid, so I was a big fan of the Launch Command sets. I'm really impressed with how some of the more recent City Space sets (and City sets in general) have caught up more with current tech like autonomous or remote-operated drones/rovers! Back in the 90s we only used to see that type of stuff in sci-fi themes like Space or Alpha Team, despite them being an increasingly big part of the world we live in, and being a big part of space exploration even in my childhood! Arctic was never one I was quite so passionate about, but Arctic and Jungle related sets have definitely become a lot more interesting to me since they began introducing more of an emphasis on animals (whether modern or prehistoric)! It reminds me a lot of what I loved about the Divers sets as a kid. I know a lot of City fans for a long time have desired a Zoo subtheme, but the biggest obstacle to that has remained how expensive it would be to introduce so many new animal molds all at once, let alone to release them at a reasonable price with multiple specialized animals per set! Even a full wave of any of LEGO's dinosaur themes has rarely included enough different species to believably populate a modern-day zoo. But I think that the exploration based City sets are probably going to be very helpful in making a LEGO City zoo possible (at least for MOCists) by introducing animals at a more moderate pace, one biome at a time!
  6. Aanchir

    What Exactly is Minifig Scale?

    I definitely get the feeling that efficiency is a motivating factor for some of the scale oddities in LEGO. With buildings, castles, and ships in particular, a major goal often seems to be diminishing repetition. Even if bathrooms and bedrooms have become more common in sets lately (and yet still far from standard in buildings that realistically should have them), hardly any sets include more than one, not even buildings that really ought to have several like schools, hospitals, or hotels! Most LEGO locomotives from the pre-minifigure era all the way to modern LEGO City only pull two to four carriages as packaged. Why bother? Not only would that add more weight for any motors to pull, but a lot of real-life passenger and freight trains have several identical or near-identical cars that wouldn't offer a very surprising or varied building experience. Plus, in this case, buyers can simply buy multiples of the same set to add additional length to their trains, not to mention add more length in track to accommodate them! And as grateful as I am that LEGO City commercial jets are big enough to allow an aisle that passengers and flight attendants can use (as opposed to Town jets which often required everybody to board by hinging open the entire top and side of the plane), the interiors are generally only one or two seats wide, whereas real wide-body aircraft can reach as high as nine or ten seats wide! But what benefit would that have in a minifig-scale playset? Even if LEGO could afford to make their planes that big and customers could afford to buy them, there's no way that the set could be kept affordable if it contained enough minifigure passengers not to leave a plane that size looking nearly empty! In a less modern-day example, real-life warships and pirate ships would frequently have multiple rows of cannons, but Metalbeard's Sea Cow is the only LEGO ship I can think of that even attempts the appearance of this — not even the USS Constellation set, which predated the minifigure, bothered including more than one row of cannons! Likewise, in the second castle illustration above, it feels almost like the illustrator squished down the distance between the top of the gate and the top of the wall, because that was space that they simply didn't need. This speaks to a lot of the overall philosophy in a lot of these sorts of models. Scale down or diminish in number those parts of the model that would be either be repetitive to build and play with, or would cramp/close off other playable spaces. Seeing those images above and thinking about scale in this respect, I can't help but be reminded of how content-aware scaling works in web design or image editing. Detail is preserved but any big spaces between the discernable details are trimmed down as needed. But I've long recognized that this is a considerable factor in why some LEGO Friends sets seem to be a much larger scale than their Town or City equivalents, despite the size of the figures being fairly similar. For example, 41015 Dolphin Cruiser appears to represent about the same class of vessel as the beloved 4011 Cabin Cruiser from my own childhood, bit is much larger not because of the figure proportions, but because there is a much greater emphasis on interior detail than most Town or City boats and ships. Likewise, 41311 Heartlake Pizzeria has a much larger overall floor plan than the classic 6350 Pizza to Go or the more modern pizzeria in 60026 Town Square. That quirk speaks to another consideration in terms of how much a subject's scale can be reduced for minifigures — how many details will the buyer or customer actually care about if they're not there? It's quite possible a lot of City fans would much rather pay $30 for a sparsely furnished cabin cruiser than $70 for one with a fully equipped living space. Or that they might rather pay $120 for a coast guard ship and headquarters packaged together than pay $60 for a more detailed rescue center and $90 for a more detailed rescue boat, as in this year's LEGO Friends Sea Life Rescue range. And that doesn't pertain only to girl-oriented vs. boy-oriented sets; not by a longshot. Castles in story-driven themes — both licensed ones like Harry Potter or Disney and non-licensed ones like Nexo Knights or Elves — tend to have a much greater emphasis on details like places to eat, sleep, train, and bathe than in more traditional, open-ended themes like Castle and Kingdoms. I suspect that having named figures with established personalities, interests, and motivations helps humanize them enough that kids have a greater interest in role-playing parts of their lives outside of armed combat. On the other hand, when the figures merely represent generic archetypes like "king", "knight", or "soldier", kids tend to focus more strictly on the scenarios and scenes they most closely associate with those archetypes, like a throne room, a siege, or a dungeon escape, and the other parts of life in that setting fall by the wayside.
  7. Aanchir

    Which Themes Deserve a Reboot?

    I think it's a little unfair to treat the designers like they're strictly or needlessly constraining themselves when there have been so many recent sets like Underwater Robot, Futuristic Flyer, Mythical Creatures, Modular Winter Vacation, Tree House Treasures, Mighty Dinosaurs, and Robo Explorer in which some or all of the models are based on fantasy, historic, or sci-fi subject matter. Even going back further there have been plenty of other sets inspired by fantasy creatures, robots/mechs, etc. It may not be throwbacks to classic themes, but it's not just modern day City/Town stuff either. Even so, the reality is that a lot of the other sorts of subject matter in the Creator 3-in-1 theme like modern day vehicles, houses/shops, real-world animals, etc. have been very popular, and a lot of people express genuine disappointment when they feel like one or more of those things is being neglected. So even if there's no "outstanding obligation" to always have sets in these categories, there is still plenty of incentive for Creator 3-in-1 designers to maintain categories that have continued to drive so much of the theme's popularity. The 2013 set you listed was also a great vehicle! It seems like a big part of your frustration is just with how the sets are categorized… but on the whole, that's not something that is advertised on the boxes or even something that a lot of fans tend to notice or pay attention to (after all, it took until this month for Brickset to even acknowledge it as a subtheme, even though it's been around since 2012!) Honestly, if I were you, I wouldn't worry so much about the categorization, since LEGO's definitely proven they can wow us as much or more with sets in the Great Vehicles or Town subthemes as they can in a more dedicated subtheme like Emergency, Airport, etc. It seems like it'd make more sense to hope for LEGO to make more garage, towing, and vehicle maintenance sets with your preferred color scheme, whether they come as part of a bigger wave or as more stand-alone sets that aren't all released simultaneously. After all, the latter is more like how the vast majority of sets were released back in the classic Town era! Big waves of a single subtheme only really started to take hold in Town/City sets in the early 2000s. So if you feel like you'd like the City theme's offerings to become more like that, then sets in your preferred categories being designed and released independently of one another might honestly be a better way to achieve that goal then wanting LEGO to create full subthemes around those categories. Definitely wouldn't be surprised to see another wave of Cargo sets, since in the past it's usually alternated with more passenger-focused Airport waves in much the same way that Construction has with Mining! Really? I feel like the Demolition sets were really excellent designs! I feel similarly with the recent harvester (although it's a different style of harvester than the old one from the Farm subtheme). I agree it's not a fair comparison, but not in the sense that one is clearly better than the other, but rather that it doesn't even make sense to compare them on a 1:1 basis, as if they're aiming to hit the same targets in the first place! In either of those cases, I feel like the biggest difference between the sets you feel so disappointed in and their predecessors is size. But in that regard, I feel like the smaller designs are almost certainly an improvement in the grand scheme of things. Compared to current City stuff, sets like 7249, 7344 , and 7685 look ludicrously oversized, almost as much so as the exaggerated vehicle designs in themes like Dino Attack, Agents, or Ninjago! Certainly heavy equipment like dump trucks and bulldozers can get up to much larger sizes than many people imagine them, but it's hard to imagine them dwarfing the size of most of the LEGO City buildings of their time if they're working on constructing buildings at that very scale! What's more, these oversized designs blatantly expose the minifigure's fundamentally stunted proportions, with the operator of 7685 looking like he's a child in a booster seat compared to the size of the windows and doors that surround him. The size of the vehicles in the Demolition sets are much more reasonable, as they need to be given the presence of the building remnants that are included to contextualize them. I am generally not in agreement with people who oppose 6-stud-wide or 8-stud-wide City vehicles on principle, as I think it's valuable to have a wide enough range of sizes to visually differentiate between, say, a compact car, a mid-size sedan, an SUV, and a long-haul cargo truck. I also think it has done a lot to boost the standard of detail of LEGO vehicles, since back in the 90s when I was growing up the almost universal 4-wide standard resulted in a lot of cars and trucks beginning to feel very samey, particularly given the tendency towards using prefab 4x7 and 4x10 chassis plates for the vast majority of them. But I think there is still a point at which a LEGO vehicle can feel "too large" for a theme as grounded as City. For standard highway vehicles like trucks and buses, I think 8 studs is usually a good point at which to draw the line. Whereas for heavy construction equivalent, I think twice that (16 studs wide) is the most that should be needed in the vast majority of contexts. Beyond that point, the benefits of making them even bigger begin to dwindle compared to the costs of how out-of-place they'd look next to most other LEGO City sets. Can't say that I can agree with your friend's quote about LEGO in general being better during that period, but that's a far bigger discussion! In the very least, LEGO Ninjago, one of my favorite themes, has improved by leaps and bounds since back then, as most plainly evidenced by the recent Legacy and Spinjitzu subthemes, but also many of the standout designs from the most recent wave. LEGO Friends has likewise improved drastically since 2012, though in fairness it was still in its infancy back then. Even Creator 3-in-1 has many designs from back then (particularly creature and vehicle sets) that have been far surpassed by more recent ones. I do think 2012 was a turning point for a lot of themes, but I would more likely consider the quality of sets from 2012 onward a step above those from earlier. It definitely was a year of great advances in all sorts of themes from City to Hero Factory to Technic to Star Wars, as well as the origin of some themes like Friends and Super Heroes that are now among the most persistently popular of the past decade. But I think I'll leave it at that, since even if your friend's statement was something of a generalization, I understand you were mainly quoting it in reference to City sets. I'd definitely love to see another Harbour subtheme! We've gotten some great civilian boats and ships in Great Vehicles and Coast Guard sets, but I have to admit it's a bit of a bummer that we only got one full wave of Harbour sets, particularly since it could potentially take turns with new Coast Guard subthemes to keep that line from feeling stale or repetitive. Overall, though, even in my childhood LEGO had a sort of a funny relationship with Harbour-related sets. Around when I began collecting LEGO, they launched the Sail & Fly Marina set, and three years earlier they'd introduced the Launch & Load Seaport and Intercoastal Seaport sets. So I was familiar with those sets from posters and leaflets. Even so, all the subsequent port/harbour sets we saw in the Town theme tended to be emergency services related, and subsequent civilian boat sets tended to be small enough that these days modernized versions could easily be imagined at $10/$20/$30 Great Vehicles price points — even some of the floating ones released as part of the then-separate Boats theme! It felt even stranger as an adult to realize that those sets of the early 90s were the FIRST time that LEGO had made any full-size harbour or marina playsets in the Town theme! I can't really think of much explanation for why the subtheme never really caught on in the long term. Certainly Denmark has an intensely close relationship with its harbours, and I can't think of any of LEGO's major markets where either toy boats or real boats are considered particularly obscure or uninteresting. Maybe it's just that LEGO boats don't have the "swooshability" factor of aircraft sets or the "zoomability" factor of wheeled vehicle sets? But you'd think floating hulls should at least partly compensate for that… Regardless, LEGO has managed to wow me time and time again with boat, ship, and harbour sets in other themes like Friends, Ultra Agents, The LEGO Ninjago Movie, and now even Hidden Side! And we've honestly seen some impressive innovation in boat and ship sets even in other City categories, like this year's Diving Yacht set, 2016's Ferry and Fire Boat sets, or 2015's Deep Sea Exploration Vessel set. So if they DO end up reviving the Harbour subtheme, I have high hopes that they could far surpass the standard of quality we saw from it in 2007 or 2011! Fingers crossed!
  8. I feel like a lot of people tend to forget that the amount of representation given to categories people find lacking in today's City range were honestly also lacking back in the 90s. Naturally, it's easy in hindsight to remember the standout sets of that era (I have great nostalgia for them, as that was MY childhood!), but also easy to forget that a lot of those remarkable sets were the EXCEPTION for that time, not the norm. I mean, people complain that we only get a new City hospital or medical care facility every six years or so. But there were NO LEGO Town hospital or medical care facilities in the 90s! In fact, the only two in the entire history of Classic Town were 6364 from 1980 and 6380 from 1987. Houses were extremely common in the Town theme in the 80s, a far cry from City which has only really had one aside from prisoner hideouts. But not so much in the 90s. There was 6592 in 1990, 6552 in 1993, and 1854 (a Denmark-exclusive promotional set) and 1857 (an airline promo) in 1996. Better variety than the City theme, certainly… but keep in mind that unlike back then, the City theme has had Creator 3-in-1 theme (with numerous house sets) to complement it for nearly its entire duration, whereas the nearest equivalent to that theme in the 90s was Basic/FreeStyle, which tended towards basic brick assortments at a preschool building level. How about Harbour? Well, there were two commercial harbours (6541 and 6542) in 1991 and one recreational harbour (6543) in 1994. But that was it for the entire history of the classic Town theme, really. aside from Police and Coast Guard sets. Those two commercial harbours were also the only two sets with cargo ships. Restaurants? Not an impressive track record there either. 6376 and 6399 in 1990 and 6350 in 1994 were the main three examples over that decade, aside from the promotional McDonalds set in the later Town Jr. era. City's doing way better in this regard, with a donut shop, burger shack, coffeeshop, hot dog kiosk, and two pizzerias in just the past decade! Shops? In the 90s Town range, it was mostly just gas stations, convenience stores, and mechanics. City has not only those, but also sporting goods stores, auto dealerships, toy stores, newsstands, and bike shops. Big improvement there! Airports? The 90s had just two: 6396 in 1990 and 6597 in 1994. Certainly not any better than City's track record over the past decade in that regard. Garbage/recycle trucks? Again, just two in the 90s (6564 and 6568). Banks? Only one in a 90s Town set: 6566 from 1997. And only one other in the Town theme prior to the 90s: 1490 from 1988. City has had as many banks as the entire Classic Town theme in just the past nine years! Buses and bus stations? There were ZERO in 90s Town sets, with the only example of either in the entire Classic Town theme being 379 from 1979. City has that beat by leaps and bounds! Hotels? Only one in the entire history of the Town theme: 6390 from 1980. Museums? ZERO in the entire history of the Town theme! And the only sets depicting science-related careers during that period were in space– or arctic-related subthemes. When you consider those, I hardly see how there can be said to be more jobs on display in the 90s than in today's City range. In fact, I can't think of a single job/career depicted in 90s Town sets that isn't depicted in the current City range. Overall, the Town theme in the 90s was pretty lacking in civilian stuff, and largely dominated by racing, construction, fire, and police sets. If the City theme today seems any more dominated by a few categories, it's only because the theme as a whole has grown, and the most popular subthemes among kids make up a lot of that growth. But even so, the variety of sets in the LEGO City theme is honestly a lot stronger in my eyes than it was back in the 90s! I don't feel like either mainstream trends in kids' entertainment OR trends in LEGO themes really support this notion that kids can no longer enjoy non-conflict-driven play. It also seems like a remarkably boy-centric perspective, considering how many sets and themes geared towards play scenarios that aren't conflict driven are either designed for or popular with girls. Does the popularity of non-conflict-driven sets in themes like Creator, Friends, Speed Champions, Elves, Unikitty, The LEGO Movies, Technic, and even the City theme itself not count for anything? After all, I can't think of any City subthemes besides Police that are especially conflict-driven unless you extend the definition of "conflict" to comprise any examples of solving problems or overcoming obstacles. For that matter, where were all the non-conflict-driven themes in the 90s (the period this topic relates to)? Because overall, I remember a considerable emphasis on conflict-driven play and storytelling in themes/subthemes like Space, Castle, Pirates, Western, Aquazone, Ninja, Adventurers, Time Cruisers, Cyber-Slam/Competition, Throwbots, etc. Beyond that, the 90s is when LEGO Town and Duplo police sets started to introduce prison escapees and smugglers for the police to seek out and catch! Hardly the pinnacle of non-conflict-driven design philosophy. It's not "flack", it's discussion. You have an opinion on what's best for the City theme, but so do other people, and they have every right to disagree or find fault with your perspective as you do with theirs. You can't expect to jump into a discussion where people have already shared conflicting perspectives and expect your perspective to be universally agreed upon. And anyhow, do you really think you're being individually singled out because people reply to your posts with their own contrary perspectives? Because from what I've seen, that is normal any time anybody shares an opinion on this site — including me! And it's not just this site, either. I've posted threads in AFOLs of Facebook and other online LEGO fan communities asking fellow AFOLs relatively harmless questions like whether they have any LEGO characters they "ship" (i.e. think would make a cute couple), whether they would like to see more LGBTQ+ representation in LEGO sets, or even just sharing fun little bits of LEGO-related news like the LEGO Friends character redesigns or LEGO-related satire articles. And yet, even such threads often devolve into massive and heated debates. In this day and age, even something as basic as writing a positive review of a set often results in hateful comments about the reviewer being a shill or the designer hating LEGO fans or some other such nonsense. I'm not saying this is something we have to be OK with. It genuinely sucks that negativity so easily reaches a boiling point in this fandom. It has often driven me away from remaining active in certain communities, at least temporarily. But unfortunately, aside from creating and enforcing rules against hateful or discriminatory content, slander/libel, personal attacks, and/or discussion about politics and religion, there's not really much that can be done about negativity and disagreement on a more general level.
  9. Aanchir

    Themes LEGO should discontinue

    Who are you to say nobody wanted them? I've seen plenty of enthusiasm for them on sites like Facebook, not only from parents whose kids enjoy those brands, but even from some of my AFOL friends who regularly attend events like BrickFair. And "unnecessary" is an absurd reason to think a kids' toyline shouldn't exist. ANY new theme can be considered "unnecessary" by virtue of the LEGO Group and their target audience having done just fine BEFORE that theme existed. That doesn't somehow mean that LEGO should stop making new themes entirely… If they do turn out to be 4+ themes aimed at very young kids, that just makes it all the sillier for AFOLs to complain about them. Imagine if I started saying Duplo should be discontinued because it's a huge, costly theme I have no personal interest in! What part of an opinion that ridiculously self-centered and narrow-minded would have any value to anybody?
  10. Thanks @Clone OPatra for at least ATTEMPTING to get things back on topic. None of the stuff I brought up about the gender ratios in the minifigures series were meant to result in out-of-control tangents and disputes about whether feminism is good or bad or … honestly, I feel like there used to be a time when that kind of thing LEGO fans generally saw as a legitimate thing to care about. Sadly, there's an increasingly widespread delusion that gender, sexuality, race, and so forth are uniquely "political" or "divisive" on some level that is incompatible with a wholesome children's toy, even if somehow implicitly political topics like world history, warfare, policing, economics, etc. are not held to the same standard. And unfortunately it seems that's still just as prevalent here on Eurobricks as it is in wider society, if not more so. Certainly a lot of people I encounter in real life would not say anything near as gleefully hateful and sexist in a public space as a lot of what I'm seeing here, and I think your description of the tone of the conversation prior to your post is maybe a little more generous than some of these comments deserve… To clarify, in that section you quoted I was talking about characters who don't have a gender at all or have a non-binary gender, not characters who can be "either male or female". Those are fine too, but when I cited those minifigure examples I was referring to characters who are NEITHER male nor female, but something in between, some combination of the two, or no gender at all. Human figures with nonbinary gender identities would be GREAT to see, but I don't know if there is a respectful and unambiguous way to portray that in the Minifigures theme where there is not much in terms of narrative framework other than short bios, let alone whether buyers would respond well to that in a world where many parents are even less likely to educate their kids about nonbinary gender identities than other types of LGBT identity, and many people even stubbornly reject the possibility of real people being anything other than strictly male or strictly female. On a side note, I'm with @Karalora in feeling frustrated that you keep referring to the "monkey" as non-gender specific when that figure depicts a specifically MALE archetype, the Monkey King. Even if you believe figures like this, the Forestman, the Vampire, the Monster, the Detective, the Egyptian Queen, the Jungle Boy, the Grandma Visitor, the Roman Emperor, and the Fly Monster are meant to represent non-specific "genericized" versions of the historic, literary, or folkloric figures that clearly inspired them (Sun Wukong, Robin Hood, Dracula, Frankenstein's Monster, Sherlock Holmes, Tarzan, Little Red Riding Hood, Julius Caesar, and André Delambre, respectively), they still retain most of the distinctive character traits of the individuals that inspired them, including their gender. It seems bizarre and potentially even disrespectful to treat this minifigure differently from the rest of those just because he is not human or not based on an archetype as familiar to many Westerners. Sorry, but it's hard to take this post seriously if you've actually been reading this topic. Just a few pages earlier people were getting downright incensed at me for disagreeing with other people's downright petty complaints that this series was somehow a letdown for including a pretty standard number of modern-day minifigs, or claims that some of those figures were pointless/unnecessary. Now I make posts mildly talking about how it's nice that the gender ratios have gotten better than the early series, how I would like that to continue, and why I think the genders of minifigures actually matter, and I'm the one "injecting negativity into something we all claim to enjoy"? I'm not the one here who spends my time gleefully hoping for themes or minifigures series I have no interest in to stop existing or ranting about how terrible they are and how terribly LEGO is failing its fans. But I guess "not agreeing with trash-talk about sets that seem just fine to me" or "speaking positively about trends I've enjoyed seeing in minifigure design and think are important" passes for "injecting negativity" these days. Err… no? Not even close? Like, to name just a few I'm familiar with Zero (introduced as a supporting character in Mega Man X in 1993 and headlining his own series Mega Man Zero from 2002–2005) Cloud Strife (the main protagonist of Final Fantasy 7 from 1995) Lucas (the main protagonist of Mother 3 from 2006 Isaac (the protagonist of Golden Sun from 2001) and Matthew (Isaac's son from the game's second sequel Golden Sun: Dark Dawn in 2010) Sissel (the protagonist of Ghost Trick from 2010, though there's a twist ending that subverts that later on) Shulk (the protagonist of Xenoblade Chronicles from 2010) And that's without touching on the many who originated before Duke Nukem but have continued to star in numerous games since, like Simon Belmont and some of his family members from subsequent Castlevania games or Link from The Legend of Zelda games. Honestly, it's easy not to care about representation if you don't have to deal with people insisting for your whole life that a certain facet of your identity makes you "inferior", "broken", or "subordinate", which is unfortunately still the case for many LGBT people; racial minorities (I cannot speak for all countries, but in the United States that primarily entails the mostly nonwhite races); disabled people; autistic people; people with chronic or mental illnesses, etc. For these groups, having people like yourself in toys and media who are presented as normal people living their lives, or even as heroic figures, is a big deal! This is extremely well documented, with many people who have achieved great success in various fields citing characters from pop culture who served as role models. And even for people who DON'T share those identities, enjoying diverse, inclusive, toys and media that represents those identities positively makes it easier to avoid forming prejudices against them. This has been studied There's no reason that representation needs to be a big deal to everyone, but it definitely is for a lot of people. You don't necessarily need to understand how or why it matters to those people to accept that it has real value to them. Yikes… this is a horrendously vile, hateful comment, and it makes it hard to believe you're any more decent a person than the hateful language you seem willing to throw around so flippantly. Comments like this are a disgrace to this site and the AFOL community and make me question whether I'm a fool for expecting to have civilized discussions on sites like this one.
  11. Good catch! I miscounted, then. That said, I think the fact that this series IS showing a shift towards greater gender parity is just as noteworthy or perhaps even more so than if it hadn't! I suppose either way I'm just surprised I didn't see anybody else bring it up before I did. Hoping this becomes a trend going forward! Obviously I don't expect EVERY series to have a perfect male/female split, especially with some characters who might have nonbinary genders or no gender at all (like the Series 9 Battle Mech, Series 11, Evil Mech, Series 13 Alien Trooper and Series 14 Plant Monster, which use non-gendered pronouns like "they/them" or "it" in their official LEGO.com descriptions). But I would like the overall trend to shift towards some kind of equilibrium, where certain series might have more male than female characters or vice versa, but there's no general trend or tendency one way or the other. So breaking free of the current trend in which all blind bag series except the non-Minifigures-branded Unikitty blind bags are majority-male is the first step to reaching that outcome. Yeah, no. I'm not at all just assuming women in real life OR LEGO have to have lipstick or eyelashes or printed curves. I have no trouble acknowledging that minifigures like But I am making common-sense inferences about which figures were designed to be seen as male or female. If I find out later that I interpreted the characters' gender wrongly, I correct my thinking accordingly. It's no trouble for me to acknowledge that the Heavy Metal, Samurai X, Cruz Ramirez, and Miss Fritter figures are female characters, nor that the Lightning McQueen, Fangtom, Chewbacca, and Ice Cream Cone figures are male characters, despite no obvious visual coding (mustaches, lipstick, etc) hinting at their gender identity. Because in those cases we have other hints or indicators like what pronouns are used for them in supporting media that let us know how they are intended to be perceived. Gender does not somehow stop existing because it can't be inferred with 100% accuracy from a visual assessment. And many people, even people with progressive views about gender, DO use still use traditional gender signifiers like lipstick, eye shadow, beards, mustaches, or clothing and hairstyles traditionally considered masculine or feminine to express their gender identity and what it means to them. Symbols like that do not stop having meaning just because their meaning is flexible depending on how they are used and by whom. It annoys me to no end how people always default to the "minifigs are whatever you want them to be!" cliche as if that makes the intent of the designs wholly insignificant on any level. What's more, I know you're not serious about the idea that figures' intended gender doesn't matter, because on MULTIPLE occasions on this very forum you've objected to the idea of introducing, wanting, or even caring about female knight minifigures in official sets on the basis of "historical accuracy". If you really believed that the intended gender of a minifigure was entirely insignificant, then introducing "female" knight minifigures shouldn't make a lick of difference. Am I to believe the designers' intent only matters to you when it makes it easier to mock people who care about diversity/representation in toys and media? Just spare me the obvious concern trolling. Achieving gender equality is the entire point of feminism, contrary to your persistent straw man arguments that feminism today is simply about female supremacy, manufactured outrage, or hating men masculinity. That's the same nonsense that opponents of feminist movements have spouted for as long as those movements have existed. I do not intend to debate something as basic as this, so please don't waste your time. Big mood… even worse that I can barely even MENTION things like gender or race or sexuality on Eurobricks (or for that matter, in most online LEGO communities) without the conversation devolving into anti-"political correctness" screeds mocking people for even caring about stuff like that. I made one comment about wishing for gender parity in the collectible minifigures here, and all of a sudden everyone and their brother is coming out of the woodwork to say that thinking LEGO minifigures can even have specific genders makes me the REAL sexist. Agreed. It is possible to both acknowledge fans' limitless potential to use LEGO figures, sets, and parts however they see fit, AND to acknowledge that the intent behind the designs DOES matter in terms of ensuring the full range of LEGO figures, sets, and parts can appeal as much as possible to as many buyers as possible. If the unlimited power of imagination outweighed all else, then there would have never been any need to design any non-basic parts or parts with any sort of specific printing. But needless to say the existence of sets, themes, figures, and parts that we relate to on some level — whether it's because they connect to our interests, our favorite colors/animals/foods, our genders, our races, our sexualities, our nationalities, our life experiences, or other aspects of our identities — has had a big role in shaping most of our interests in LEGO as a brand, hobby, and experience.
  12. No, I'm just saying that people today (especially kids) tend to be more keenly aware of more archetypes of the present day than archetypes of yesteryear. Why do you think that from the very beginning, themes like Castle and Pirates have typically focused on exciting conflicts from the very beginning, rather than civilian life? It's because that's the part that kids tend to hear stories about and want to tell their own stories about. And believe me, the lack of emphasis on the more everyday parts of people's lives in Castle sets has been a major point of frustration for me for a long time. Castles with horses, but no stables; with soldiers but no barracks; with a king and queen but no royal bedchamber; with a throne room but no great hall; etc. But at the same time, I understand that a lot of kids wouldn't feel the same disappointment that I do about NOT seeing that stuff, considering how many of them besides the most hungry for knowledge even wonder a whole lot about the more mundane parts of pre-modern life to begin with. A salesperson, farmer, writer, artist, janitor, teacher or chef in ancient Rome, ancient Egypt, ancient China, or even the medieval era might be hard to really visualize in your head if you haven't gone out of your way to learn about how people dressed for different kinds of jobs back then. But it's no trouble for even young kids to picture how people with all those types of jobs might look or dress in real life, because they're all around us. Even for building my own historic creations, it's often hard finding detailed info about that sort of "everyday" stuff from bygone eras, let alone committing it to memory! Particularly when so many visual depictions of this era in pop culture are inaccurate depictions created much later which try to force that stuff to conform to contemporary people's preconceived notions about society. The many blatantly whitewashed depictions of ancient Mediterranean cultures like the Romans, Greeks, Egyptians, and Judeans created by artists working in the Renaissance or later are great evidence of that. As are the buckle-wearing, tall-hatted mainstream depictions of the Pilgrims who colonized America, despite that being far more recent history than much of the history of Europe and Asia! I definitely would love to see a lot of this type of stuff going forward! Particularly some of the female historic archetypes. With all the bickering there's been about this series not having enough for people with different interests or tastes, it's surprising that gender ratios in this series haven't come up. It's at 6 or 7 female characters and 9 or 10 male characters, depending on the gender of the bounty hunter (if they have one — for all I know they could be a robot or alien without any gender signifiers underneath that helmet). In that regard stuff has definitely improved from the early series, but it's still frustrating that the LEGO Movie 2 and Unikitty series have been the only blind bag series to be more than 40% female. If the bounty hunter isn't female, then that means that both Disney Series 2 and Series 19 have reverted to having no more than six female characters in a series, regardless of how many characters there were in total. And that's means a whole lot of potential character designs we're not seeing REGARDLESS of what genre or era of history they come from. Side note, but I do think there's probably room for more Native American figures if LEGO were interested in pursuing that. Besides medicine man/woman (which is a great suggestion) I also can imagine possibilities for: minifigs of non-infant Native American children a wider range of Aztec, Inuit, and Mohawk inspired minifigures like the Aztec Warrior, Ice Fisherman, and Mohawk Warrior some minifigs inspired by other tribes like the Inca of Peru or the Puebloan peoples of southwestern United States …and so on Unfortunately, Native Americans are a profound example of just how many parts of history have been erased or misrepresented in the mainstream consciousness to the point that a lot of people wouldn't even be able to differentiate many of these societies from one another. The Wild West theme demonstrated an intense carelessness in this regard, combining tepees and buffalo fur headdresses that were used by the Plains peoples with totem poles used by the Pacific Northwest peoples, all in an Southwestern desert setting where if anything you'd expect to see the Puebloan peoples. I think that the Collectible Minifigures have done a MUCH better job with cultural sensitivity for the most part, even if they don't provide as heavy an emphasis on Native American life as a dedicated theme like the Wild West sets of the 90s did. But sadly, I'm kind of doubtful that we'll a full theme like that but with more respectful representation any time soon, given how much the Western genre and "Cowboys and Indians" play have diminished over the years, and how even today a lot of global society's image of Native American culture is informed by those outdated and disrespectful Hollywood stereotypes.
  13. I don't see what's odd about it. As I brought up earlier, modern day figures making up a hefty portion of each non-themed series has been pretty normal from the start. Of the ordinary numbered series, ten of the 18 so far have had eight or more modern-day figs (including ALL the first five series). And when I say "modern day", I'm strictly excluding categories like historic/fantasy, sci-fi, horror, costume, and "object" (the last of which would include stuff like the Lawn Gnome, Statue of Liberty, Gingerbread Man, Clockwork Robot, Lady Robot, and Gargoyle, which represent toys, foods, or statues rather than "people"). It's possible part of this has to do with the popularity of modern-day sets, but I think both factors might also owe themselves to the fact that people in general tend to have a profound awareness of the modern day, whereas awareness of certain historical time periods or sci-fi tropes might depend on a person's passions, interests, and cultural background. As an example, most people have a general idea of what a modern-day farmer or sea captain should look like, but not a lot of people would have as clear an image in their head of what an Ancient Roman, Ancient Egyptian, or Ancient Greek farmer or artist would look like or wear. Likewise a generalized sense of what soldiers, pirates, conquistadors, or indigenous peoples of the Americas might have dressed like during the Age of Exploration is fairly easy to envision, but not so much how carpenters or lumberjacks would have dressed during that time. So all in all I suspect there's just a lot more stuff LEGO can DO with modern day figures than with a lot of historical genres without venturing too far outside of what buyers will be able to recognize and relate to. I don't think it's any kind of worrying trend among modern kids or modern LEGO designers or whatnot. Even in the early days of the minifigure it was pretty normal for sets from modern-day themes like Town, Trains, and Boats to far outnumber sets from historic themes like Castle or Pirates. So I don't think it's all that surprising to see the same trend today. There will probably always be a place for historic themes (and truthfully, the Ghost Knight in this series is definitely one of my favorites!), but I don't think that can be expected to rise to the point of all genres getting the same amount of representation in sets/minifigs that modern-day realism does.
  14. I mean I shared some thoughts for fun historic figures earlier today, but all in all as long as we continue to get lots of surprising new variety, I'm not picky about what form it takes. There's nothing wrong with anybody talking about what figures they think are worthy of being future CMFs, but it's just plain obnoxious when people can't express those wishes without disparaging entirely legitimate figures as though they're unworthy, just because they don't fit with a theme they collect. When a series has lots of figures I'm not interested in, it's no big deal for me to skip those figures or skip the series entirely. I don't see why other people have to accuse those types of figs they don't care for — whether it's licensed figures, costume figures, or now just modern-day figures in general — of somehow violating the theme's entire purpose. But see, that's exactly the reason why I think it's silly to complain about the "City-ish" Series 19 figs as if they could just be neatly squeezed into the City theme. Even if City has a really extensive scope, it hasn't had any sets or subthemes in its entire history where an online gamer, a person taking a bath, a dogsitter/dog park worker, an elderly retiree with a flamingo lawn ornament, a rugby player, or a casual robotics enthusiast would be an obvious fit. The entire notion that "City" type figures are a waste of a slot in the series is predicated on the hypothetical notion that City sets could be specifically designed with these figures in mind, even if they never have been before! But by that same argument, the same could have been done with the Castle and Space figures in the years those themes were active. It's a ludicrous proposal one way or another. And no, I would NOT be there telling people they were "wrong" for wanting Forestmen or Elves in Castle, or for wanting civilians in Space Police, even if I can understand that there are probably reasons why in a lot of cases we haven't gotten those things. I would love to see that type of stuff as much as anyone! I even spent a lot of time both with LDD and with physical bricks back when the CMFs were still new, trying to design my OWN Space civilian vehicles, Blacktron vehicles, elf castles, etc. to fill what I saw as omissions in those themes. I even bought extra copies of Rench's torso from the Raid VPR set to try and make some Blacktron forces, though I never finished many MOCs like that to my satisfaction. Throwbacks like that are a delight for me, and a big part of why I loved the Easter Egg laden Space Police 3 sets so much! You need to let go of this mentality that when I get frustrated with other people's ridiculous criticisms of current sets/themes it somehow means I'm some grump who hates all the older sets/themes other people are nostalgic for and wants fans of those themes to suffer. I just don't have as much trouble being hopeful for fun throwbacks or re-imaginings of classic themes without feeling a need to lash out against any set that doesn't bring all those hopes to fruition. After all, the whole point of this hobby is having fun, not complaining about how everything sucks if I don't get my way. And see, THAT is exactly the kind of mean-spiritedness that I felt was worth calling out. Decent people don't go out of their way to laugh at or make fun of other people for being happy or excited about something that you think is unnecessary or disappointing. Why is it that you act as though I'm the one trying to spoil people's fun and enjoyment by defending figures like that as stuff that people might reasonably find fun or enjoyable? Nothing I've said in this thread has been at all negative towards the kind of fantasy, sci-fi, or historic themes and figures that a lot of people here are hoping for, I'm just explaining why it doesn't make sense to take that to extremes and treat more modern-day figs as if they're against the "point" of the theme on principle. I don't believe I ever have, no. Generally I might explain why I think something like that hasn't happened yet, or what might need to change to make it easier to bring back, but there's nothing wrong with wanting any of that sort of stuff as long as you don't get nasty or dismissive towards other themes and the people who enjoy them. I'm not trying to "prove him wrong" or anything like that. But he was literally just sharing how nice it was that we all have opinions, so I don't see why I'm unwelcome to share ones that conflict with his. I certainly feel like molded pepperoni could have been nice, but I'm not really disappointed by the pizza's flatness, and on the contrary I like how it leaves the door open for future recolors that feature entirely different pizza toppings, instead of this mold staying specifically limited to a pizza slice with these toppings. So far I really LOVE the ghost knight figure, the Johnny Thunder redesign, the mountain biker, the rainbow bear, and the fox suit girl (a lot of my family members went to a college that had vixens as a mascot, so I will almost certainly end up picking up multiples of that one as gifts)! The Monkey King figure isn't one I'm all that passionate about or interested in, but it DOES raise my curiosity whether other more Asian-inspired figures might become more viable now that LEGO is growing their business over there. I can't say I see much that I have obvious gripes about at the moment. I mean, I guess I would have preferred if the Bounty Hunter used the Blacktron 2 logo since I feel like it's a little more distinctive than Blacktron 1's Sierpinski triangle, and it would make them match other Blacktron throwback figures like Rench or the Space Villain a little better (I had the same frustration with the Evil Mech). But that's a pretty minor concern all in all, and it's possible that other details of the figure might make up for that. Another minor frustration is that I'm not sure the "dog poo" piece is all that necessary, since I feel like sets so far have made decent use of the existing 1x1 swirl/finial piece for that purpose. Of course, this one could also be useful for some of the same stuff that finial's been used for in the past, like soft serve ice cream, but in this case the piece ORIGINATING as dog poop might dampen some folks' enthusiasm for seeing it on a chocolate ice cream cone! As usual there are a few modern-day figs who I don't have so much interest in as a complete figure (since after all, I tend to be partial to fantasy and sci-fi themes), but who offer parts that could be useful for improving or updating my sigfig. In this case, I'd love to get my hands on that dogsitter's denim shorts and the robotics enthusiast's white laptop! To be honest, though, I don't want to go too in depth about what I like/dislike about this series until we have clearer pics and/or reviews. Right now there's a lot of details that are either not shown or difficult to make out, like the backs of the figures, the title of the online gamer's video game, details of the Bounty Hunter's head and torso, etc. And anyway, as you can see, I get even more rambly when I'm talking about my own opinions than when talking about other people's… which is part of why I'm wary about delving too deep into my own personal opinions when I've already lost half an hour or more responding to other people's posts…
  15. I think that's what a lot of AFOLs want the purpose of the Collectible Minifigures to be. That doesn't mean it's the theme's actual purpose as far as LEGO is concerned. After all, if it were, why would they bother releasing CMFs of so many common/conventional archetypes (like a spaceman, skateboarder, nurse, diver, traffic cop, witch, etc) in the very first year of the theme? As far as I can tell, from the designers' perspectice the "point" is just to make figures that buyers will think are cool/unique/surprising. Sometimes that means archetypes that you wouldn't expect to see in sets, while other times it means familiar archetypes like skateboarders or race car drivers but with new, eye-catching designs that push the level of detail and uniqueness farther than usual. I often find myself having to make the same point about LEGO Ideas, since a lot of people sem to have convinced themselves that licensed projects were never meant to be part of that theme's intent. Frankly, if that were the case, the development team could have made a rule against proposing 3rd party IP projects from the get-go, and certainly wouldn't have been obligated to start APPROVING projects based on third-party properties like the Shinkai submarine, Hayabusa space probe, or Minecraft. So it stands to reason that the creators of LEGO Cuusoo/LEGO Ideas were simply looking for concept builds of what fans might like to help develop into future LEGO products, whether the subject matter in question came from real life, pre-existing works of fiction, or the builder's imagination. Obviously, there's no problem having particular preferences for these themes in either case. There are definitely minifigures and minifigures series as well as Ideas sets that I myself have been largely indifferent to. But I think it's important to be careful about internalizing those preferences (e.g. "these types of sets are what I prefer, and these others are not") rather than projecting them onto the LEGO designers (e.g. "these types of sets are the point of this theme/the point of the LEGO brand, and these others are not"). @AdmiralRaddus That sounds like an AWESOME idea for a future minifig! Some other historic ideas that I think might be fun to see might include a female knight (in the spirit of Joan of Arc and similar folk heroines), a medieval squire, a medieval astrologer/astronomer/stargazer (inspired by developments that were going on in the Islamic world during that time), a "Friar Tuck" inspired Forestmen figure with long robe and tonsure, an "Age of Exploration" era cartographer, etc. I think with a lot of superheroes one of the big obstacles to putting them in sets is that their concept, powers, etc. wouldn't really be all that conducive to a bigger model or play scenario. Not all heroes or villains have a distinctive concept and design language that translates well to iconic vehicles, machines, or lairs. A "Spider-Mech" might be a stretch as far as comic book accuracy is concerned, but it's easy to visualize what a mech or headquarters used by Spider-Man might plausibly look like. But it's hard to imagine creating a toy of a "Ventriloquist-mobile" or a "Metamorpho secret lair" that makes any kind of conceptual sense even on a tongue-in-cheek level. So for many of these sorts of characters, I think there's a lot of reason to think they might make more sense as collectible minifigures than as part of a larger playset. That's not to say I have any characters I'm super passionate about that I'd like to see in such a series, but I can definitely imagine LEGO coming up with 16 or more DC superhero minifigures that make more sense as individual figures than as part of a playset. Bear in mind that my perspective might be informed by having greatly enjoyed the LEGO Batman Movie and LEGO Ninjago Movie series, whereas I haven't bothered trying to obtain a "complete set" of any of the non-themed series in years. Even so, I don't know that "unfair to those whom LEGO hasn't anything else to offer" is a really credible concern. LEGO has had loads of stuff to offer people of all kinds of interests in recent years, but they're never going to be able to cater to EVERY possible interest at any given time. And anyhow, even before licensed or themed series were a thing, I remember a lot of people complaining JUST as bitterly about previous series being disappointing due to having too many types of figures they don't care about and not enough they do. I can understand having a preference for non-licensed fantasy and sci-fi stuff — after all, that sums up many of my favorite themes to collect! But when people are acting like the number of modern day figures in Series 19 is a huge disappointment, even though 50% or more of MOST of the early series can just as easily be grouped together as "modern day", it's easy to feel like people are setting themselves up for disappointment by holding the Minifigures theme to expectations it has never reliably met.