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Alternate/Inspirational Models

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Postby supernova » Tue Jun 12, 2007 5:06 pm

I would prefer lego to include the alternate models on the boxes/instructions. They usually look great, and are great inspiration sometimes :)

I would go a step further and suggest lego provide instructions for these alternate models, either through the lego website (e.g. certain star wars and exoforce sets have alternate models available online) or in the instructions booklet.

We can all hope :P
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Postby DARKspawn » Tue Jun 12, 2007 9:23 pm

Big thumbs up for alternative models from me. I liked how they included them in the Viking line, a good example is 7020 - the alternative model is better than the original in my opinion (sorry can't find pic).

Alternative models were what got me into MOCing as a kid, it would be sad if LEGO didn't encourage experimentation with their own product :(
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Postby Athos » Wed Jun 13, 2007 12:02 am

I liked the alternate models. I would usually try and make them myself. I'd also try to pose my figures and set in a manner identical to that on the cover of the box. Personally, what I miss more than the alternate models is the opening flaps with the clear plastic thing that held the exciting special pieces.

I think Steve Witt addressed why they aren't included on the box anymore. Here is the fbtb post:

http://www.fbtbforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=20462

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Postby supernova » Wed Jun 13, 2007 12:05 am

Athos wrote:Personally, what I miss more than the alternate models is the opening flaps with the clear plastic thing that held the exciting special pieces.


Woah Steve, that's 80s man! :)
I personally think the transparent panel that shows the "special" pieces is really cool (especially the old school castle sets), but if its a trade-off between that and say more parts I think I'll go for more parts. But if Lego does do that again that would be classic 8)
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Postby Saaz » Sat Jun 16, 2007 5:10 pm

I've always been a big fan of the alternate models. I have a huge stack of flattened boxes that I'm saving partially because of the alternate models on them. (And partially because... I don't know, maybe I just don't like to throw away anything with the Lego logo on it.

The FBTB thread brings up a couple good points: Evidently the alternate models on the box confuse some people, and TLG thinks they won't help sway a borderline buyer as much as showing off the features of the main model. They also mention putting alternates in the instructions, as a compromise.

But I'm still in favor of having alternates on the back of the box. I think even from Lego's marketing point of view, the pros might outweigh the cons. You're showing off one of the best things about Lego, the flexibility. And I think they do help sway marginal buyers. I've always flipped a box over in the store to check out the alternates, and they do influence me. (Both in terms of the general "OMG cool!", and getting a better idea of what parts are in the set.)
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Postby Astuanaks » Sat Jul 21, 2007 9:56 am

I would like to keep the alternatives, although I must admit that I have never built one myself.
When I was a child, I liked looking at the alternatives to see more of the included pieces. Seeing some other things one could build with a set increased the set's desirability. ("Mom, look what else I could build with this!").

With all the information currently available on the internet, I know exaclty what to expect from a set. Also, I more or less know where and how I will use the parts.
So my personal conclusion would be that the alternatives are more interesting for children than for adults.

On the other hand, I have seen some alternatives which looked a little uninspired, which is unfortunate.

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Postby Traveler » Sun Jul 22, 2007 7:26 pm

The first big castle set I ever got was Dungeon Master's Castle, also called Black Knight's castle. I found the included alternate models inspiring, because they showed something completely different from a castle being made from the same pieces, namely a medieval village with a tower and three houses/shops. I've managed to locate a picture here, the alternate I spoke of is in the top right-hand corner. I find this kind of packaging more appealing as well, but then again I am an 80's child. :wink:
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Postby oleth » Sun Aug 26, 2007 9:13 am

When I was a kid I always looked at the alternative models but to be honest I never built one of them (especially for the smaller sets). Back then the "wow! look what you an build with lego" factor was mainly achieved when seeing the Idea books.

But I think it adds value to the product as it triggered my imagination in order to build something else, which I did even if it looked crappy.
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Postby natepc » Sun Sep 09, 2007 10:58 pm

I always did enjoy the alternate models, although I don't think that I ever tried to build them. LEGO still has some, the first wave of the Exo-Force (great robots, stupid hair) had not only some flip open boxes (no clear plastic though) but some alternate and combination models, instructions on the website. I was glad to see them, and I really wouldn't mind seeing them again. No, in fact I would be really pleased. No more dumbing down, I say! Dear Lego, make us think, but make the kids think more still.

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Postby greendragon420 » Fri Sep 21, 2007 6:11 pm

yes alt models rock! id also like to see instructions for the pics on the back. i still build old sets and try to see what i can come up with from just those pieces not sure if there is a thread for such an idea but there should be pick a set then post pics of what we can make .
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Postby jokkna » Mon Nov 12, 2007 8:17 pm

I have only one thing to say:Ég sakna þeirra(I miss them) they were actually what brought me into being a HUGE lego fan so bring them back lego. :D
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Postby evilnailman » Tue Nov 13, 2007 9:00 am

Alternate models are great, a good way to extend the life of a set for a young child, as well as stimulating the building skills by making it without instructions.

I think a lot of the problems with the more modern sets and lack of alternates stems from the set design. Back in the day, sets were built more with generic bricks and it could be a new toy every day. Now sets are built more with plates, curved and special pieces, quite often with pieces that are designed with only a few specific sets in mind. This limits the general playability of the LEGO as opposed to the sets.

The larger variety of brick types lends itself more to adult building - SNOT, greebling etc. It must be easier for a young kid to build a house or whatever out of a pile of bricks than a heap of clips and bars and bionicle/technic pieces.

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Postby Bruce N H » Tue Nov 13, 2007 3:10 pm

Hey,

Just dipping back into this thread with a few thoughts.

--I was actually saddened by some of what Steve Witt said in that FBTB thread. It seems to me, at times, that LEGO forgets what they're supposed to be about.* In that thread Steve implies that it's about collecting a TIE Interceptor model, not about building. Pardon me, but if I wanted a simple SW model as a toy, Hasbro or Kenner or whoever builds more accurate ones. I've complained before about set 7241, Fire Car, that says "Designed for easy building and instant play" on the box! Blast it, the building is the play! If I simply wanted a fire truck to roll around, I had a great Tonka Truck when I was young that was much better for that use.

--When I was a kid, it was alternate models that sparked my imagination and got me into MOCing. My first set with figs was:
Image
but I had much more fun building one of the alternates:
Image
and then working out modifications for both that and the original design so that the rocket could actually launch (if you look at the pics, the bracket holding the rocket in place is in the middle, so if you want to launch and have it fly around, you have to break the front and back halves from the launcher, then put them together so the rocket can fly).

--Alternate models are, in my mind, more for the kids than the AFOLs. The average AFOL has a fairly large collection, so if they want to MOC they can do so easily. A kid, though, will have a small number of sets (at least at first), so to get building they need to know that a single set affords them great play opportunities.

--On instructions for alt models, I'd say no. Part of the fun was trying to figure out how they did that - I still do this when I get a new set if there are alternate models. This is great for stimulating the imagination and all of the educational developmental issues that LEGO always holds forth as being so important.

Anyway, bring back alternate models!

Bruce

*Usual caveats - there are some great things out there that go the other way - Creator/Designer lines, XPods, Pick-a-Brick, Factory
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Postby Athos » Tue Nov 13, 2007 4:56 pm

Bruce N H wrote:--On instructions for alt models, I'd say no. Part of the fun was trying to figure out how they did that - I still do this when I get a new set if there are alternate models. This is great for stimulating the imagination and all of the educational developmental issues that LEGO always holds forth as being so important.


But its also horribly frustrating if, no matter how hard you try, you just can't figure out how they did something. Especially to a ten year old... :D

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Postby Tanotrooper » Tue Nov 13, 2007 5:26 pm

I remember I got the largest of the egypt adventurers line for some occasion. I wanted to make the alternate model (some sort of giant truck), but couldnt figure out at all how it was supposed to be made (7 year old, mind)

For larger sets, they should put in instructions. Alternate models on!

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