Aanchir

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  • Birthday 03/29/1991

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  1. Aanchir

    Licensed Themes VS Original Themes

    This. I think a lot of people like to assume LEGO would do much, much better if they just made more of the sets they liked and fewer of the ones they didn't, but that will obviously vary from person to person. And one person's idea of what qualifies as "overpriced" will be different from another person's. Like, I take it you thought things were better in 2011–2012? But back then, a $10 Ninjago spinner set only had between 19 and 26 pieces, and a $20 spinner two-pack had between 57 and 73 pieces. This year a $10 Ninjago spinner set has 97 to 117 pieces, and a $20 two-pack has between 208 and 227 pieces. Back in 2012, the Epic Dragon Battle set had 915 pieces for $120, this year the Ultra Dragon set has 951 pieces for $85. In the first wave of 2011, the Spinjitzu Dojo set had 373 pieces for $50 and Garmadon's Dark Fortress had 518 pieces for $70. This year, the Monastery of Spinjitzu has 1070 pieces for $80. That's all without adjusting any of those older prices for inflation. And you think TODAY'S sets are overpriced cash-grabs?
  2. Aanchir

    Licensed Themes VS Original Themes

    Yeah, definitely! I buy licensed sets on occasion, but besides the LEGO Movie themes, I generally don't tend to collect them with any kind of regularity. I used to be an avid LEGO Star Wars collector but that stopped probably around a dozen years ago, and since then I've only gotten a few Star Wars sets (mostly buildable figures). That said, I feel like it'd be pretty arrogant to dismiss anything I don't personally like/want as "garbage". There are lots of sets and themes (licensed and non-licensed alike) that I have no interest in whatsoever, but that I still think are cleverly designed… just as there have been ad campaigns that clearly aren't aimed at me that I still find cool or impressive in their own right. I've also learned that a lot of the time, ad campaigns that seemed forgettable or even slightly cringeworthy to me as a kid (such as the Toa Inika commercial with its decidedly non-Bionicle-looking bunkers and chain link fences) were in fact important and memorable to many other people, even those who enjoyed the same sets and themes I did. One of the things I love about the direction LEGO has come is that it feels like its audience is becoming steadily more diverse, not just in terms of demographics but also interests. It brings a whole lot more perspectives to the AFOL community than there used to be back when stuff like Bionicle or Ninjago was typically spoken of with the same degree of scorn and derision as Jack Stone, Galidor, or Clikits. But with that diversification there has to be an understanding that not everybody is going to enjoy the same things for the same reasons, and that often even the sets and themes I like most aren't strictly designed or marketed with customers like me in mind. Honestly, if any LEGO set is ever upsetting enough to you to engender feelings as strong as hate, then I think you might be taking this hobby quite a bit too seriously and might need to take some time to evaluate whether you'd be happier not paying so much attention to LEGO news and discussion to begin with. I mean, these are toys we're talking about.
  3. Aanchir

    Lack of original themes

    I’m not talking about anything specific in terms of design, since the idea of Friends sets being dumbed down is mostly imaginary to begin with. One example I can recall was a person comparing a Friends set and a similar-sized City set a store had shelves together, with the Friends set having fewer, bigger, more specialized pieces and marketed as “easy to build”. The reason? The Friends set was actually a Friends-branded Juniors set. A lot of these misconceptions can stem from those sorts of uneven comparisons.
  4. Aanchir

    Licensed Themes VS Original Themes

    If your youngest brother loved Nexo Knights, which only came out three years ago and has been gone for less than a year, it seems downright ridiculous to generalize “new sets” as “trash”. That would be like saying that new music is trash because a radio station played three new songs you loved and then one you hated. And of those Ninjago commercials you shared, it’s laughable that you think the second one showed less effort. Much bigger shooting location, several child actors filmed in live action, and effects that had to be spliced together with real-time, live action footage? Having worked on toy photography at Hasbro, I can tell you in a heartbeat that lifestyle shoots with several real models on camera at once tend to involve much more time, planning, editing, and reshoots than shots of the toy by itself or with a solitary hand model manipulating it. And my colleagues working in video assured me that their work is the same way: bigger shoots with more people means much greater complexity.
  5. Aanchir

    Lack of original themes

    How do three or four licensed Technic vehicle sets out of over a dozen sets per year equate to the theme being “mostly based on” those sets? Over 40 percent of Creator Expert sets since 2000 have been based directly on real non-LEGO vehicles, brands, and/or landmarks, and I never see anybody treating Creator Expert in its entirety as a licensed theme. I suspect the reason LEGO hasn’t done this is that their girl-targeted sets have had to fight against misconceptions that they’re “dumbed down” compared to boy-targeted ones, so they’ve had to put an even bigger emphasis on their value as a building experience than the City theme. Believe it or not, most LEGO fans are not expected to keep buying LEGO sets indefinitely, whether new or old ones. After all, most LEGO fans are kids, and it’s not at all unusual for even many of us here on Eurobricks to have moved on from LEGO before regaining interest later in life. That’s why a big part of LEGO’s business has always revolved around enticing new customers instead of pandering to the existing audience, which will inevitably dwindle as people go through any number of changes in their lives. And AFOLs like us are a much smaller factor in LEGO’s success than their popularity with kids. LEGO has definitely increased the number of sets aimed at us as the company and its product range as a whole have grown, but they’re not going to make more sets to keep us happy (whether licensed or non-licensed) at the expense of having enough sets to keep their popularity among kids strong. So far, there’s no reason to think LEGO is on the brink of disaster. While their growth has stalled, both their revenues and profits as of 2017 are around 200% higher than in 2009 when they were making better decisions by your standards: 2009 revenue: 11.7 billion DKK 2009 net profit: 2.2 billion DKK 2017 revenue: 35.0 billion DKK 2017 net profit: 7.8 billion DKK I haven’t adjusted for inflation, mind you, but the inflation rate of the Danish krone from 2009 to 2019 was only 13.32%. If it were even close to 200%, then LEGO would have way bigger problems than their number of licensed sets/themes!
  6. Aanchir

    Licensed Themes VS Original Themes

    Well, for starters, “all those UCS sets” only amounts to one or two Star Wars sets out of dozens each year. While teen and adult targeted sets are often priced higher than kid-targeted ones (though not always… Architecture skews older but is usually not priced all that high), they are usually a small fraction of the total number of sets produced per year, and produced in much smaller numbers than a more affordable priced City, Friends, or Ninjago set will usually tend to be. The number of these adult-targeted sets has increased not because LEGO is focusing on adults at the expense of kids, but because the variety of sets and LEGO’s production capacity for them in general has increased, meaning even that small fraction of sets aimed at older builders now accounts for a larger number. It also seems like a lot of the time, AFOLs think of all adult-targeted sets as something that AFOLs like us are expected to enjoy separately from kids. I think many of us would be surprised how many of these sets are enjoyed together by parents and kids as a bonding activity. Several of the latest Winter Village sets are even designed with two separate manuals: one with smaller or easier builds for kids to construct while their parents work on the main, more “expert” level build. But in other cases the whole building experience is a team effort, with parents chipping in on parts that might be too difficult or repetitive for a younger builder to enjoy alone. As a Ninjago fan it warmed my heart to see lots of Facebook and Twitter posts about parents and kids working together to build huge, advanced sets like the Temple of Airjitzu or Ninjago City! As for Overwatch specifically, I also suspect there’s some bias in terms of thinking of it as a more “adult” license than we’re used to. LEGO has made licensed sets for plenty of Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Marvel superhero movies with a PG-13 rating, so why is a fairly small video game licensed theme with an equivalent “T” rating so strange?
  7. The equal distribution does not surprise me, considering that's how it's been with all the other 20-to-collect movie series (TLBM, TLNM, and TLBM S2). I don't know why anybody was expecting a chase figure in this one. While Unikitty isn't technically a minifigure, note that the packaging on this series doesn't in fact even use the word "Minifigures". It just has The LEGO Movie 2 branding and list contents of "1 LEGO character" rather than "1 LEGO minifigure". To be honest, I don't see any problem with Unikitty's inclusion. After all, she was a very popular character in the original LEGO Movie. And it's always felt a little pretentious and trivial to me the way a lot of LEGO fans seem to get hung up on which characters in any given theme do or don't count as minifigures, as if that has any bearing on how valuable/important/interesting they are. I do wish that Unikitty used the new style of neck attachment, and am pretty surprised that she doesn't, considering that the ones in other LEGO Movie 2 sets do. It's also a bit of a bummer that she doesn't have more distinctive colors or patterns, but at the same time I understand why LEGO probably went with this approach, since so many of the Unikitties in the other LEGO Movie 2 sets are themselves much more specific variants, and it's nice to have an easy way for kids who missed out on the original LEGO Movie sets to get her in this more classic look. Perhaps she might have felt a little more unique if she were in a sitting pose (which does not appear in other LEGO Movie 2 sets), or came with an alternate facial expression. But overall I think this series looks very impressive! Like the LEGO Movie theme as a whole it has a nice balance between more colorful, cheerful, feminine-coded designs and gritty, aggressive, masculine-coded ones. Compared to the original LEGO Movie series, this seems to include a wider range of the LEGO Movie universe's major characters. The first series simply had new versions of Emmet, Lucy, President Business, and Bad Cop, whereas this one also adds Benny, Unikitty, and a second version of Lucy. But like that previous series, it also finds room for about 6 minifigures who seem as though they could have just as easily shown up in a non-branded series: Giraffe Guy, Watermelon Dude, Crayon Girl, Candy Rapper, Kitty Pop, and Hula Lula. This series will also go a long way to helping builders populate Apocalypseburg with its humorous re-imaginings of more mild-mannered secondary characters from The LEGO Movie. From a storytelling standpoint, Flashback Lucy is quite interesting as she gives us some new insight into just why Lucy hated the song "Everything as Awesome" so much and went through so many different phases to try and reinvent her identity. I think that and her colorful, fashionable design help elevate her to my favorite minifigure from this series. Gone Golfin' President Business is a funny and highly detailed character redesign as well, and the golf club will be very welcome in future sets and MOCs. The Wizard of Oz characters also bring forth a lot of nostalgia for me, since I really loved those books as a child. I suspect my brother and I will just be buying a whole series of these (pre-identified) online as we have for the LEGO Batman Movie and LEGO Ninjago Movie series, since that tends to be cheaper and easier than buying on impulse at brick-and-mortar stores. I'm in no rush, though. There are plenty of other LEGO Movie 2 sets and LEGO Ninjago sets I'm excited to get this year! Thanks for the review WhiteFang!
  8. Aanchir

    Licensed Themes VS Original Themes

    I feel like the impact of licensing fees often seems overstated. I wouldn't be surprised if a bigger factor in the extra cost associated with many licensed sets has more to do with the number of unique molds, printed elements, and recolors needed to accurately re-create their characters. Like, certainly, Jurassic World sets are typically very expensive for their size and piece counts, but so were the non-licensed Dino sets in 2012, so I'd sooner attribute the high prices to the highly specialized and detailed dinosaur elements the two themes have in common, than royalties associated with the Jurassic World license which only pertain to that theme. Additionally, there usually seems to be a much bigger difference in value between a Star Wars set with lots of big and highly specialized elements and one without (like, say, Rancor Pit vs. Duel on Geonosis) than between a Star Wars set and a Ninjago set that both use mostly small, cheap, basic elements (like Cloud-Rider Swoop Bikes vs. Street Race of Snake Jaguar). I'm not sure I agree that the focus on licensed themes has been way too much. Certainly the number of licenses has increased, but most individual IPs don't get a whole bunch of different sets per year like LEGO Star Wars does. If anything, this helps to diversify risk so that LEGO doesn't find themselves in serious financial trouble should one or more of their usual licenses have a particularly weak year (as was the case in 2003, when Star Wars, Spider-Man, and Harry Potter sales all plummeted due to having no new movies out to support them). When you look at what themes typically get the most sets associated with them, the ones that most reliably lead the pack besides Star Wars are non-licensed ones like City, Friends, Ninjago, and Duplo. And in the LEGO Group's annual and interim results, the best-selling themes tend to be pretty similar. In last year's interim results, "the top-performing themes were LEGO Technic, LEGO Ninjago, LEGO Creator and LEGO Classic. LEGO City and LEGO Star Wars also continue to be amongst the Group’s biggest themes." In both 2015 and 2016, the LEGO Group's strongest years, their top-selling themes overall (in no particular order) were Duplo, Ninjago, City, Star Wars, and Friends. This isn't to say that their licensed sets and themes don't do well, but most of them tend to be engineered for smaller-scale, flash-in-the-pan success built on movie brands that already have a lot of hype built up around them. When new movies for a particular IP like Indiana Jones, Harry Potter, Toy Story, Cars, etc. stop coming out, LEGO seems to have no trouble retiring those themes and shifting their focus to other IPs with more immediate relevance. I suspect this is a big part of why Super Heroes and Disney have become such a stable presence lately: they each encompass a wide range of different movie and television IPs that LEGO can rotate between depending on which have the most hype and attention surrounding them at any given time. On a similar note to what I stated above… I don't know that it's realistic to assume that LEGO lost any money on the licenses in question, because they were not all that heavily invested in them to begin with. Prince of Persia, The Lone Ranger, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, and Angry Birds each had only around 6 sets (excluding polybags). When you look at some of LEGO's big failures like Galidor or Explore, they were often tremendously expensive endeavors with unearned expectations of becoming a major hit. What's more, of the licenses you mention, Cars 2, The Angry Birds Movie, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, etc. were pretty major box office successes. Whether or not they're good or well-reviewed movies, they were obviously ones that lots and lots of people were paying attention to and interested in seeing. I suspect all of these movies made a lot of money not only on ticket sales but also on merchandise. Over the years, LEGO has gotten very good when it comes to minimizing risk, even when that leaves AFOLs a bit disappointed (like many recent waves of LEGO Castle and LEGO Pirates launches being about as low-key as some of the riskier movie licenses you and others have named). And as for why LEGO used Fantastic Beasts as an incentive to bring back Harry Potter… again, that's the kind of risk management LEGO tends to engage in with most of their licenses: LEGO Star Wars was released shortly ahead of The Phantom Menace LEGO Indiana Jones was released shortly ahead of Kingdom of the Crystal Skull LEGO Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was released shortly ahead of the 2014 movie New waves of LEGO Harry Potter have ALWAYS been launched just ahead of a new Wizarding World movie and retired when there are no new Wizarding World movies in theaters. Now, does that mean LEGO doesn't think people care about these brands when there AREN'T movies coming soon or recently released? Of course not. People don't suddenly stop caring about Star Wars or Harry Potter or Batman or Spider-Man when they don't have new movies to look forward to. But as LEGO found out in 2003, licensed toys typically don't sell nearly as well when there's not any new movie being heavily promoted to keep people talking about that particular brand. Because kids' interests can be fickle, and even if kids continue to enjoy Harry Potter in non-movie years, the actual purchasing decisions of that demographic can shift a lot more rapidly based on whatever the media and their peers happen to be most excited about or devoting the most attention to at any given time. TV commercials for kids' toys in general often tend to be extremely cheesy and cringeworthy from an adult standpoint. That doesn't mean they're not effective. And I think it should go without saying that whether something on TV (whether an ad or a TV show) can be "taken seriously" hardly has any bearing on whether kids enjoy or pay attention to it. I suspect a lot of the shows during which the most toy commercials air would seem just as stupid to you as the commercials themselves. Granted, I recognize that there might be a lot of difference between the marketing and sales landscape in Germany than in the United States. But I suspect that even in your country, "seriousness" tends to be a much bigger concern among adults than kids.
  9. Aanchir

    The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part

    Err… not really. The Last Jedi and The LEGO Batman Movie alike have been extremely popular not only critically and in the box office but also on home media… the last of which you usually wouldn’t see if the only reason for their box office success was people not having any way to anticipate how good or bad the movie would be. The LEGO Batman Movie also has a very high audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, which you wouldn’t expect if people who bought tickets sound up hating it. And it’s pretty well established at this point that a substantial portion of The Last Jedi’s low Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic audience scores and general divisiveness on social media was substantially fueled of organized, bad-faith trolling and bot activity by radical conservative, alt-right, and anti-feminist movements. More scientifically conducted audience polls found that viewers generally rated the movie very highly after seeing it in theaters: https://deadline.com/2017/12/star-wars-the-last-jedi-rotten-tomatoes-metacritic-imdb-users-cinemascore-posttrak-1202228837/ https://www.newsweek.com/black-panther-reviews-fanboys-rotten-tomatoes-boycott-798445?amp=1 https://qz.com/1410761/the-last-jedi-haters-were-manipulated-by-bots-and-trolls-study/ Additionally, if any of this were simply a matter of lowered expectations or even of viewer fatigue alone, we wouldn’t have expected the extremely positive critical consensus for the previous movies (indicating that critics, at least, enjoyed them) to turn into weaker critical reviews of Solo and The LEGO Ninjago Movie. I think both movies show signs of fatigue not just on the part of audiences, but also the studios producing them. Both movies experienced higher than anticipated turnover rates among their writers and directors, and that seems to have fed into some of the films’ narrative weaknesses. Ordinarily, perhaps the amount of production time the movies had might have been sufficient, but when you have to squeeze in reshoots or rewrite or cut major scenes after a change in writers or directors, a lot of the time, effort, and money already spent on production winds up going to waste, and the result is a film that can feel like it was churned our more quickly with less time to refine its weaker points.
  10. Aanchir

    Licensed Themes VS Original Themes

    While I tend to prefer non-licensed themes like @Lyichir above, I’m not so sure I’d agree with this generalization. There are quite a lot of licensed sets that are quite distinctive even without figures or graphics… most Star Wars ships and speeders or Bat-vehicles, for example. And even with the sets that are more generic at face value, I can think of a lot of times I’ve read comments from people about how they intend to buy a set from some license they don’t care about (say, a SHIELD truck, a Black Panther jet, or a Bat-Mech of some sort), ditch any branded figures or stickers, and use it for their Agents or Space or Castle or Pirates layouts. The set’s genericness, in those cases, is in fact a big part of what makes it more palatable to those AFOLs than it would normally be by virtue of its licensed branding. And as often as some folks like to moan about a particular licensed or even non-licensed set like https://brickset.com/sets/76103-1/Corvus-Glaive-Thresher-Attack or https://brickset.com/sets/70591-1/Kryptarium-Prison-Breakout being “just a facade” or “just a wall” or “just a gate”, quite a few classic non-licensed Castle or Pirates sets could more or less be described in the same way. If anything, disappointment with these sets tends to stem from how there aren’t many iconic blockbuster movie or action cartoon scenes that can possibly look as impressive at these sorts of price points as the source material does on-screen, so the sets at those price points typically wind up being extremely condensed versions of their subjects.
  11. Aanchir

    The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part

    I don't think this is all that apt a comparison, since The LEGO Batman Movie and The LEGO Ninjago Movie are spin-offs rather than sequels. Warner Bros. is currently approaching these films from the "expanded universe" model than a normal, sequential series model (much like Star Wars has been trying to do with their anthology films). Now, both the LEGO Movie spin-offs and the Star Wars anthology films have recently had experiences with the consequences of having too many movies in too short a time, but the nice thing about this approach is that at any time if it turns out the spin-offs/anthology films are more trouble than they're worth, they can commit to fewer of them going forward, or stop doing them entirely and go back to the more traditional approach of only doing numbered sequels. But overall, the perception of the LEGO Movie and its sequels/spin-offs steadily declining in quality is far from universal even within the LEGO fan community. I've heard several AFOLs attest to preferring The LEGO Ninjago Movie over The LEGO Batman Movie, and others even attest to preferring The LEGO Batman Movie over The LEGO Movie. The LEGO Batman Movie was also a rousing success both with critics and in the box office, so ultimately it's only The LEGO Ninjago Movie that seems to have been a considerable disappointment. Extrapolating any kind of trend from the under-performance of just one movie seems premature to say the least.
  12. Aanchir

    Happy 30th Anniversary PIRATES!

    Right now the City and Spider-Man themes have three $10/€10 4+ sets with two figures each (60206, 60212, and 76133) the Ninjago theme has one at the same price with two figures, a suit of samurai armor, and a minifig-sized training dummy (70680), and The LEGO Movie 2 also has one with three brick-built characters (70822). Overall, though, when comparing to the number of smaller sets back in the days of classic Pirates, you have to keep in mind that nowadays LEGO puts a considerably bigger emphasis on building than they did back then. Even most polybags these days have 30 or more pieces, aside from Duplo or single figure packs. I also feel as though even those $10/€10 sets you mention with only one figure are still a pretty decent value in their own right. As a Ninjago fan I'm especially impressed with the new Spinjitzu sets, which at $10 for a single pack have 105 pieces on average, including maybe one of the most versatile spinner designs yet plus a brand-new minifigure and loads of useful building elements and accessories. I can see why sets like those might be disappointing to army/navy builders, but I've never really been able to find much fun in army building. The idea that identical characters like the classic spacemen in Benny's Space Squad are an open book that can be anybody you want them to be seems fine in principle, but if you're buying up numerous copies of those same characters how are you even supposed to keep track of which identity you've assigned to them? It feels like at that point, you're basically relegated to thinking of them not as people with individual identities, but as interchangeable units who only have their shared objectives to motivate them and guide their interactions. Maybe army building is just more of a boy thing, like staging medieval battles in front of sparsely-furnished castles instead of focusing on the lives people live inside of them. IDK. But whatever the faults of the latest Pirates line, I don't think offering substantial numbers of characters and animals at low price points was one of them. 70409 had a pirate, a soldier, and a fish for $12.99. 70410 had two soldiers, a pirate, a crab, a fish, and an octopus for $20. 70411 had two pirates, a soldier, a crocodile, and a parrot for $20. Oh, and all three sets had full-size firing cannons, not to mention the larger two adding a catapult and a mortar, respectively. Not to mention, you could get every set except the chess set and not wind up with any duplicate figures! Overall, I think their value compares very favorably with classic Pirates sets. I think the bigger weaknesses of that wave were the small overall number of sets and the lack of any medium-sized playsets to occupy a price point somewhere between the Soldier's Fort and Brick Bounty. But if a future Pirates wave can fix those issues, then I think it would have no trouble measuring up to the classics.
  13. Aanchir

    Modern Pirate TV Series - Black Sails & Crossbones

    Has anybody here checked out any pirate-related TV shows that are more aimed at the same 7–12 audience as a lot of LEGO themes? I know those tend to be more fantastical than a lot of y'all's tastes, but I think that how well shows like that do could be a much better forecast of the future of pirate-related LEGO sets than grittier and more adult-targeted movies and shows. One I've recently heard of and seen toys for is called Zak Storm, which seems to be sort of a science-fantasy show with some time travel elements, but mostly focusing on seafaring adventures in the Bermuda Triangle. It's apparently done well enough to get a second season this year, but I haven't heard much in the way of online hype for it in the animation circles I frequent so I dunno whether it's any good or how long it's likely to last.
  14. Rock Raiders was unmistakably set in outer space in the tie-in media like the computer game and picture books. It was set on the alien Planet U, where the crew of the LMS Explorer was stranded after their ship was damaged in an asteroid field and pulled through a wormhole. The miners were sent down from orbit to the planet's surface to mine energy crystals that could help them repair and fuel their ship for the journey home. Besides the Rock, Ice, and Lava Monsters, other alien species on Planet U included giant yellow spiders, giant green and purple scorpions, six-legged Rockwhales, and the crystal-eating Slimy Slugs. While none of the sets themselves were set in "deep space", and I generally wouldn't describe Rock Raiders as a Space theme any more than themes like Bionicle or Hero Factory, I do think it stands out from the rest of the examples you mention in that it is officially set on an alien planet, and its protagonists are clearly identified as space travelers. Power Miners, on the other hand, was unmistakably set on Earth, albeit an obviously fictionalized version of it. In response to a huge surge in earthquakes on the Earth's surface, a team of miners was sent down to investigate the cause of the earthquakes and put a stop to them. The cause turns out to be the rumbling bodies of rock monsters after devouring multicolored energy crystals. Aquazone was definitely a little more ambiguous. It could have been in space, it could have been on earth, or it could have been some parallel world like in Bionicle, Legends of Chima, or Ninjago that is not even in the same universe as Earth. It doesn't help that up until the 2000s, a lot of LEGO media and marketing material was not taken all too seriously as far as storytelling goes, so the "official" story would often vary from country to country or even from one media format to another within the same country. Ultimately, though, the decision to give it its own discrete branding and release it at the same time as various Space sets leads me to think that the designers wanted people to think of it as its own thing and not as part of LEGO Space.
  15. Aanchir

    Are G2 sets rare all a sudden?

    In general, the aftermarket often doesn't reflect how well things sold on the primary market. In fact, sometimes it's exactly the opposite. A lot of early Bionicle sets sold like hotcakes, and today a lot of BrickLink sellers basically think of many of those sets and parts as next to worthless because the sheer number of them out there vastly exceeds the number of people still interested in buying them. Likewise, 3315 Olivia's House (literally the best-selling set of 2012) is available used on BrickLink for way less than its original RRP of $74.99. But when you look at the Avatar: The Last Airbender sets from 2006, which were generally a flop, those tend to be listed for WAY higher prices than they cost originally. Because not a lot of people bought them back then, not a lot were made, and not a lot of people are selling them now. Additionally, it's worth noting that with themes aimed primarily at kids, the aftermarket price on used copies can sometimes drop if you wait long enough for the kids who bought them to "grow out of them". But even then you're most likely to find the best deals on people selling their collections in bulk lots rather than selling the sets individually.