Bruce N H wrote:Hmm, guess I missed this thread when it first came out. Probably because I was busy with the CCC at the time. Anyway, just wanted to throw in my little rant. I really think that this corresponds to a philosophic shift at the company. I've ranted a lot about this in terms of 'just imagine' vs 'play on'. I think there are some at LEGO, probably in marketing, who do not believe in LEGO as a box of blocks for imaginative building, but rather think that the whole point is to get to the designed toy, with all sorts of cool action features. As such, the box art tends to focus on all of the cool features of the official design - how trap doors open or whatever. Alternate models go to the old fashioned notion that we're supposed to be creative. I love the alternate models. That's how I first learned how to MOC, back when I was a kid. I saw the pics on the back of my first minifig set (Rocket Launcher), and tried to recreate them. In the process, I had to figure out for myself how to put things together. Ultimately I'd come up with my own original, although related, design. Also, looking at alternate models is, for me, like looking at a Peeron inventory. I get a much better feel for the actual parts that are in the box if I can see them put together in multiple ways. Since I buy sets for the parts, not the design, anymore, alternate models are (were) a great help to me in this.
Forestboy wrote:I'm also disappointing how Lego has gone down the "Collect them all!" path. We have collect-able minifigs, collect all the Disney Brand minifigs (see catalogs), collect all the Atlantis keys. I'm starting to wonder if all Lego cares about is making super sheek looking sets, and getting the most money or having low price per piece ratios and expensive flair.
nanuck95 wrote:Forestboy wrote:I'm also disappointing how Lego has gone down the "Collect them all!" path. We have collect-able minifigs, collect all the Disney Brand minifigs (see catalogs), collect all the Atlantis keys. I'm starting to wonder if all Lego cares about is making super sheek looking sets, and getting the most money or having low price per piece ratios and expensive flair.
I would tend to agree with you to an extent, it does seem like they've been milking themes like Star Wars to the point where it's getting a little silly (how many times have they re-released the same sets over and over?) But you also have to remember is Lego is a profit seeking company, not a charity. I know that's probably not what you meant, but if Lego is able to make cool products and convince people through marketing why they need to buy it, then more power to them.
I think sometimes it's easy to have a sense of entitlement that we as the customer are entitled to great prices, cool new pieces, great piece-to-part-ratios, etc because Lego wouldn't exist without us. The reality is they really don't owe us anything beyond selling their product. If people didn't like Lego products, they wouldn't buy them and it would be the end of the story. If Star Wars wasn't selling like crazy, they wouldn't be making the same sets into newer, better, versions, over and over again.
Just from what I've seen and experienced from joining the FOL community the last couple years, Lego is somewhat of a unique company in that they really do care and reach out to their fan base to try to cater to them as much as possible, while still remaining a profitable company. I don't know all the ins and outs, but just the fact that we get prizes donated for CCC is pretty cool, which is something Lego doesn't have to do. As far as set design, just look at the MMV or Armada Flagship and you'll see that we've still been getting some very high quality sets recently.
Anyway, I'm not privy to all the inside information, this is mostly just my observations, but from my perspective, it seems like there is a pretty good relationship between the company and the customer and we have it pretty good, all things considering.
Edit: Didn't mean to totally derail the thread, sorry. I think seeing alternate s come back is a cool idea, and I'd love to see it because it is kind of fun to see what other ideas you could use the bricks for. Even if it's not on the box, use some of the extra pages in the back of the instructions for alternate s. I do really like that the instructions include the inventory now.
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