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Castle Factions and Speculation

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Castle Factions and Speculation

Postby Hob Took » Sun Jul 13, 2008 1:55 am

Okay so the first series of new castle sets came out in 2007. This included the 7090 Crossbow Attack, 7009, Final Joust, 7091 Knight's Catapult Defense, 7092 Skeletons Prisoner Carriage, 7093 Skeleton Tower, and the 7094 Knig's Castle Siege. The factions of this first series of sets are obvious, the Crownies and the Skeletons. Reaching the end of 2007 LEGO released the Skeleton Ship Attack and introduced for the first time the Dwarves and the Trolls (Orcs, Goblins, whatever you want to call them) in 7036, Dwarves' Mine. So entering 2008 there are four factions, Crownies, Skeletons, Dwarves, and Trolls.

LEGO then increases the number of Troll and Dwarf sets by releasing a second series of sets; (this does not include impulse sets) 7037 Tower Raid, 7038 Troll Assult Wagon, 7040 Dwarves' Mine Defender, 7041 Battle Wheel, and 7048 Troll Warship. In all these sets there are no skeletons, 8 Crownies, 2 Dwarves, and a total of 17 Troll minifigs. Now the first series of sets are still out and probably will be for several more months, but there seem to be several changes that are occuring in the Castle relm. For one, no more skeletons. Two, a very limited number of Dwarf minfigs. Three, Large number of Troll figs.

Now you're probably asking where all this is going, and it started while I was looking again at the advent calendar. In it there are a few civilian figs which, at least to me, suggest a possible civilian line. We also have the very likely elf line coming out soon. I am wondering how this will affect the rest of the Castle factions. I know we would all like for all of these possibly 6 factions to be successful, but how can Castle in general be successful when it is split into so many factions at one time? Will LEGO take out skeletons altogether and replace them with Trolls? Take away the Crownies to make room for the Elves? Even make a civilian line at all? It was just a rather long thought I had. Anyone have any comments?

-Hob Took

P.S. I don't know if I should be happy for 300 to be my longest post ever, or sad for those who have to read it? :?
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Postby Sibley » Sun Jul 13, 2008 3:38 am

While many people would agree with you that there are currently four factions, I'm inclined to include the Dwarves as part of the Crown Knights faction. The architectural style of the Dwarves' Mine is nearly identical to the King's Castle, just with the addition of industrial elements. Likewise the Dwarves' Mine Defender is similar to the Knights' Catapult Defense. And of course there's the similarity of the shield designs and reuse of the crown belt torso.

Regarding the Skeletons, my guess is that they were phased out because, unlike their successors, they are completely dark and evil. As an adult I think they're awesome and I love them but if I had young kids I would think three or four times before letting them have Skellies. The trolls, on the other hand, have a cartoonish, silly side that I think makes them more child-friendly. I've heard that sets like the Skeleton Tower were not great sellers and went on clearance in a lot of stores.

So what do I see happening next year? My guess is that we'll see Elves early in the year, featuring Trolls as enemies, and a couple more Troll sets featuring Elves in some and Crownies/Dwarves in others. Perhaps later in the year, a new enemy will arrive. My hope, as I've stated numerous times before, is that it is some sort of human enemy, for the following reasons. For consistency with the series so far, they would have to be minifigs; I'd rather not get another cheesy molded head; and I miss the red vs. blue flavor of the classic days. And if we're really lucky, some civilian sets will show up around the same time as the new enemy.

So that's my guess. Three to four factions through 2009, with Skeletons falling by the wayside and Dwarves being part of the Crown faction. For 2010, the Castle line will be phased out and we'll get Pirates for a few years.

P.S. If there is anyone out there who doesn't think Elves are on the horizon I advise you to read this comment.
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Postby Robin Hood » Mon Jul 14, 2008 5:32 am

Sibley wrote:Regarding the Skeletons, my guess is that they were phased out because, unlike their successors, they are completely dark and evil. As an adult I think they're awesome and I love them but if I had young kids I would think three or four times before letting them have Skellies. The trolls, on the other hand, have a cartoonish, silly side that I think makes them more child-friendly. I've heard that sets like the Skeleton Tower were not great sellers and went on clearance in a lot of stores.


Personally, I think the reason Skellies were phased out after the first year was two-fold. First, Skellies just aren't that interesting of an idea. There's been so many Skeleton armies in so many Fantasy things, that any uniqueness just wasn't there. Plus, Lego has been releasing Skeletons with so many sets, for so long that AFOLs have plenty, and I believe that half of the new Castle line was designed for AFOLs. Add to that the fact that they just had the Alpha Team line with a whole bunch of skeleton faced bad guys gives the skellies that much less uniqueness. Reason two is the fact that next year Lego released the Dwarf mine. They suddenly discovered that trolls are way cooler, and way more likely to attract people. I mean really, compare Clancy to some random skeleton. No competiton. They still kept the crown knights around in 08 sets because the dwarf to crown knight balance isn't as one-sided as the skellie to troll one.

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Postby natelite » Mon Jul 14, 2008 11:51 pm

i think you're wrong. lego caters to 7-12 yo not afols. they said that countless times already that they don't deliberately target afols since Afols only make up around 10% of their sales.

however, to appease both afols and the target age group, i think lego should remove crown knights and design a new hero faction. don't get me wrong, i like crown knights but having a new faction caters to afols who are not into fantasy. and having only one hero faction dulls the collection value for the kids. (why collect them all when every year is the same?) you gotta keep recycling so that they will need to collect every set every year since its a different army.

they don't have to come up with a new background story either. it'll just be like the police sets from the city theme. we had black/white police for one year, then blue/white police the next. i think there was even a green/white police theme once too.

they can probably remove the crown and perhaps use spades or clubs, etc just recycle the emblems from the classic castle 6075 or any of the newer classic castles like the lion or axe (6080/1) or dragon (6086).

i think the red/white maltese cross will be popular with the heaps of crusader fans. the blue/yellow lion is also popular with the anglo-saxon fans. blue/red dragon as well, etc. so many possibilities.

i wonder how popular though is the new castle theme. i am currently in sydney and to be honest, i hardly see the retail shops carrying the castle themes. on the other hand, i see mission mars and exoforce are quite popular and seem to sell well. that's beside the obvious licenced themes: star wars, indy jones and batman.
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Postby timber_wolf899 » Tue Jul 15, 2008 11:37 am

wouldnt spades be more fitting for evil?

good post tho. I'd love to see a faction using green in its color scheme. <a human faction that is.>
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Postby WARork » Tue Jul 15, 2008 11:55 am

are you sure that castle ends at 2010? :?
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Postby Sibley » Tue Jul 15, 2008 5:03 pm

WARork wrote:are you sure that castle ends at 2010? :?

Of course not. Like the title of the thread says, my post is speculation. But as Ben E. (architect) pointed out in another thread, Castle has historically undergone major thematic changes every three or four years. So I suspect that the Castle line will either end or change drastically in 2010 or 2011.
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Postby Heir of Black Falcon » Tue Jul 15, 2008 5:50 pm

MY guess would be change over end in 2010. AS far as I remember it has been around in one form or another.... even the dark years of kk2... The only stop of castle runs was 2000 to kk2 in 2004 but you still had castle and semi-related sets during this time with had HP, Legends etc going at the time so Castle never completely has died off from what I can tell. I doubt it will in 2010. It seems to be doing fairly well so far and my guess is if elves come out with a decent enemy faction or even just troll/orc forces it will do fine in 2009.

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Postby Robin Hood » Tue Jul 15, 2008 7:56 pm

natelite wrote:however, to appease both afols and the target age group, i think lego should remove crown knights and design a new hero faction. don't get me wrong, i like crown knights but having a new faction caters to afols who are not into fantasy. and having only one hero faction dulls the collection value for the kids. (why collect them all when every year is the same?) you gotta keep recycling so that they will need to collect every set every year since its a different army.


Appease both AFOLs and the kids? I'm confused. How exactly do the crown knights not please both groups? I can't say I have ever heard a complaint about them either way. As to making a new faction for non-fantasy people, I don't get that either. I mean, crown Knights by themselves aren't any more fantasyish than other faction. It's only their enemies that are fantasyish. And why collect them all when every year is the same? Two words: Big Armies. The more sets with the same faction, the more people can increase their army size. Something every kid wants. To be sure in a year or two Lego will have to release something different, just because things get boring.

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Postby Heir of Black Falcon » Tue Jul 15, 2008 8:07 pm

I do not look at the crownies as fantasy based really. They can be really anything how they come from TLC. That said I would like to see another human faction, though once more do not care if it is historic looking or fantasy looking. Having another that could be baddies or just plan middle of the road, all for themselvesish is fine with me. I'd think a human verse elf year would be cool with some trolls, dwarves, crownies and skellies in the mix for good measure.

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Postby natelite » Wed Jul 16, 2008 1:11 am

Robin Hood wrote: Appease both AFOLs and the kids? I'm confused. How exactly do the crown knights not please both groups? I can't say I have ever heard a complaint about them either way. As to making a new faction for non-fantasy people, I don't get that either. I mean, crown Knights by themselves aren't any more fantasyish than other faction. It's only their enemies that are fantasyish. And why collect them all when every year is the same? Two words: Big Armies. The more sets with the same faction, the more people can increase their army size. Something every kid wants. To be sure in a year or two Lego will have to release something different, just because things get boring.

Dan :wink:


afols (or non-fantasy fans) do not like the skeleton or troll factions...they mainly collect only the crown knights. what is the point of collecting only crown knights? you need other human knights/factions to battle with.

what i was suggesting was to remove crown knights entirely and create a new faction. or perhaps just change the costume from blue/royal blue and crown insignia to something else. this will give the non-fantasy fans something else to collect. for eg, classic castle sets vary the hero/villian factions almost every year. you have the lion knights, crusaders (lion/axe), the black falcons, forestmen, black knights, etc
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Postby Robin Hood » Wed Jul 16, 2008 6:35 am

natelite wrote:afols (or non-fantasy fans) do not like the skeleton or troll factions...they mainly collect only the crown knights. what is the point of collecting only crown knights? you need other human knights/factions to battle with.

what i was suggesting was to remove crown knights entirely and create a new faction. or perhaps just change the costume from blue/royal blue and crown insignia to something else. this will give the non-fantasy fans something else to collect. for eg, classic castle sets vary the hero/villian factions almost every year. you have the lion knights, crusaders (lion/axe), the black falcons, forestmen, black knights, etc


We don't like the skeletons or trolls? This is news to me. I must be seriously out of the loop, because it seems to me that, (trolls especially) we can't get enough of these. And I can think of several good reasons to collect crown knights. :wink:

I understand your point in wanting more than one human faction. We can always use those, but why get rid of the crownies? It can't hurt to have em around.

I think I understand your point better, but I still don't understand how we AFOLs don't like trolls.

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Postby WARork » Wed Jul 16, 2008 6:51 am

Heir of Black Falcon wrote:MY guess would be change over end in 2010. AS far as I remember it has been around in one form or another.... even the dark years of kk2... The only stop of castle runs was 2000 to kk2 in 2004 but you still had castle and semi-related sets during this time with had HP, Legends etc going at the time so Castle never completely has died off from what I can tell. I doubt it will in 2010. It seems to be doing fairly well so far and my guess is if elves come out with a decent enemy faction or even just troll/orc forces it will do fine in 2009.

R

in 2009 they must keep orcs and crownies :cry: or i will never get a faction :roll:
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Postby natelite » Wed Jul 16, 2008 7:04 am

Robin Hood wrote: We don't like the skeletons or trolls? This is news to me. I must be seriously out of the loop, because it seems to me that, (trolls especially) we can't get enough of these. And I can think of several good reasons to collect crown knights. :wink:

I understand your point in wanting more than one human faction. We can always use those, but why get rid of the crownies? It can't hurt to have em around.

I think I understand your point better, but I still don't understand how we AFOLs don't like trolls.

Dan :wink:


we? i wouldn't be so brave as to presume to speak for all.

if you haven't heard of some afols who are not into fantasy you probably just haven't visited enough fan sites. there are some who are into the classic castle settings, which is H vs H knights: such as crusaders vs black falcons, or royal knights vs black knights, etc. they are mostly into the medieval settings rather than fantasy, orcs, ogre type combat.

look in the castle moc forum and you'll probably come across more such instances.

My point on recycling -- if crown knights are always going to be available, there's no collector value, no urgency to go out and collect every single set because you can always get them later. If crown knights are phased out (say in 2009 or 2010), and replaced with a new faction - what this means is that more people will collect crown knights before they go out of stock. Also, it provides incentive for people with crown knights to go out and buy a new faction. It's simple economics. Would you rather have 100 crown knights and 100 black knights or would you rather have 200 crown knights?
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Postby WARork » Wed Jul 16, 2008 8:11 am

i do like 200crownies :roll: then some other faction :evil:
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