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Why does there have to be fighting in every set?

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Postby LORD DOOM » Wed Apr 16, 2008 10:41 am

darthsantkuyl wrote:
Emperor James wrote:nothing non-military in the middle ages was interesting. sure there were lots and lots of peasant farmers but lego isnt going to make sets of them because theyre boring.


exactly 600 years from now do you think that kids would be interested in playing with a figure like Joe or bob down the street who are working at Walmart etc. it's just not that interesting to kids.


NOT THAT INTERESTING TO YOU! I can't wait to get my hands on a MSIB "BOB DOWN THE STREET WORKING AT WALMART" set!
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Postby Karalora » Sat Nov 15, 2008 4:43 pm

Bumping this because I just had a great idea for a civilian-based Castle set that would still include an element of conflict and capitalize on an ongoing fantasy trend.

How about a peasant village under assault from a vampire? The vampire legend acquired its legs (wings?) in the medieval era. So we could have a small village with some livestock, a marauding vampire, and the terrified peasants trying to defend themselves with...wait for it...pitchforks! And torches, of course.

The vampire minifig from the Studios line is probably way too corny to use, plus his clothes are the wrong era, so we'd need a new vampire design. But wouldn't something like this be cool?
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Postby CastleLord » Sat Nov 15, 2008 4:51 pm

Karalora wrote:Bumping this because I just had a great idea for a civilian-based Castle set that would still include an element of conflict and capitalize on an ongoing fantasy trend.

How about a peasant village under assault from a vampire? The vampire legend acquired its legs (wings?) in the medieval era. So we could have a small village with some livestock, a marauding vampire, and the terrified peasants trying to defend themselves with...wait for it...pitchforks! And torches, of course.

The vampire minifig from the Studios line is probably way too corny to use, plus his clothes are the wrong era, so we'd need a new vampire design. But wouldn't something like this be cool?


That would be really cool! :D

and your idea reminded me of the Van Helsing movie.

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Postby DNL » Sat Nov 15, 2008 6:31 pm

Yes, that would be nice, But I don't really think vampires fit in this fantasy line.

That would be really cool! :D

and your idea reminded me of the Van Helsing movie.

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You mean the Junior Dracula series?
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Postby CastleLord » Sat Nov 15, 2008 8:12 pm

DNL wrote:You mean the Junior Dracula series?


No no i mean the movie Van Helsing from 2003.

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Postby Hewkiril » Sat Nov 15, 2008 8:44 pm

I would love a vampire attack set for Castle - too bad they couldn't make and release one within the week, so they could piggyback off Twilight!
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Postby TheMaster » Sun Nov 16, 2008 3:42 am

If there is an attacking Vampire this set wouldn't be Civilian
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Postby Formendacil » Sun Nov 16, 2008 3:54 am

TheMaster wrote:If there is an attacking Vampire this set wouldn't be Civilian


Depending on how you're defining 'civilian,' I can see how this might be considered the case, but personally I'm not sure I agree. A vampire, after all, need not be dressed in armour or any uniform; thus, a civilian. Who would a vampire most likely prey on? Well, you could make it soldiers if you wanted, which would tie into the theme nicely, but if I were a vampire, I think I'd go after the unsuspecting peasants, and peasants are civilians.

Now, the set you come up with as a result could well be: 2 soldiers save peasant from a vampire attack in a generic stone/wood building, but this would still be an increase in the amount of civilian stuff in our Castle sets: another peasant and a fig with, presumably, a generically useful non-military torso and wig.
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Postby TheMaster » Sun Nov 16, 2008 5:37 am

I agree with your point. Although it would still be a set with conflict because the Vampire would be attacking and killing peasants.
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Postby Robin Hood » Sun Nov 16, 2008 6:34 am

TheMaster wrote:I agree with your point. Although it would still be a set with conflict because the Vampire would be attacking and killing peasants.


Having conflict has absolutely nothing to do with something being, or not being civilian. The word civilian means: a person who is not on active duty with a military, naval, police, or fire fighting organization. And last I checked, vampires are usually not in any of these, and even if they are, they're off duty when sucking blood. Just so we're all clear, conflict and the being or not being civilian are two different things.

But yes, a vampire's presence would include conflict, which is perhaps the most common idea in sets. Regardless of how serious it may be, conflict is probably one of the biggest, if not the biggest, general themes in sets. The simple fact is, conflict sells. Just look at just about every line. Castle has conflict between the knights and the trolls/skeletons. Pirates has conflict between pirates and the Imperials. The agents sets have conflict between the agents and the Dr. Inferno's crew. Star Wars is pretty much completely conflict between good guys and bad, some of whom switch sides as the episodes change. Basically, in the mind of the average consumer (a 6-12 year old boy) a Lego set is more fun to play with if there is an element of conflict, even if its only between Spongebob and Squidworth, or between firefighters and fire.

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Postby Handar » Sun Nov 16, 2008 3:31 pm

To pick up on what Robin Hood said, it's important to distinguish between a set that has conflict and a set that is militarily based. I'm going to push what he said a little further, however, and argue that conflict is nearly essential to a good set.

That might seem like a grand claim, but hear me out first. The goal of every set, I think, is to encourage play; that seems pretty uncontroversial. Play is largely acting out a story (or, if you prefer, creating and acting out a story). But, as I learned way back in elementary school, a story necessarily involves conflict. That conflict can take many forms, e.g. human vs human, human vs himself or herself, human vs nature (and a couple more that I would remember if I actually did a good job of learning this way back in elementary school), but a story rests on conflict. Because play is essentially acting out a story and stories necessarily involve conflict, a set will need to involve conflict if it's going to do its job well.

I think that this is why LEGO has focused on fire fighters and police officers in the Town series; both have built in sources of conflict, i.e. fire and criminals respectively. But even the new civilian sets can be seen as having an element of conflict. In the contruction sets, the workers are trying to control the world around them by building something. Similarly, the farm sets are, at least in a way, focused on human control of the land. In both of these, we see a form of conflict between humans and nature. It would be interesting to see how children play with these sets. I'm going to propose that if they can't find a source of conflict within them, then they're not going to be able to tell a good story and they'll quickly grow tired of the sets.

To quickly sum this all up, conflict is a necessary part of a story because it's the driving force behind the story. Sets are meant to allow children to act out stories; I think this is fundamentally what play is. Thus, a set needs to include an element of conflict.
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Postby Karalora » Sun Nov 16, 2008 4:40 pm

DNL wrote:Yes, that would be nice, But I don't really think vampires fit in this fantasy line.


Animated skeletons fit, why not other varieties of undead? Vlad the Impaler himself (the original inspiration for Count Dracula) was a medieval Count.
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Postby Sir Dano » Sun Nov 16, 2008 5:04 pm

I actually had an idea for a set, that could fit into the civilian thing. I'd like to see a set the same size as Tower Raid, that is an inn being attacked by a couple of trolls and being defended by a knight with an innkeeper and his daughter. (In a bonus twist, they could have the daughter wielding a pitchfork and helping the knight. ;) and the orcs could have bandit-ish clothing with cowls to make it less military. )
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Postby Karalora » Sun Nov 16, 2008 5:09 pm

That sounds like an excellent idea for a set to bridge the gap between the military sets and the civilian sets.
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Postby Tower of Iron Will » Sun Nov 16, 2008 6:48 pm

Karalora wrote:Bumping this because I just had a great idea for a civilian-based Castle set that would still include an element of conflict and capitalize on an ongoing fantasy trend.
How about a peasant village under assault from a vampire? The vampire legend acquired its legs (wings?) in the medieval era. So we could have a small village with some livestock, a marauding vampire, and the terrified peasants trying to defend themselves with...wait for it...pitchforks! And torches, of course.
The vampire minifig from the Studios line is probably way too corny to use, plus his clothes are the wrong era, so we'd need a new vampire design. But wouldn't something like this be cool?


This would be very cool. The Vampire could reside in a small keep with a graveyard on the side. Or, the Vampire could use an abandoned church for a home. I do agree that the Studios figure version would look a little wierd, so a reinvent would be needed. There are plenty of versions in movies and fantasy game to choose for a reference. If it was me, I would pick Strahd von Zarovich as a model. :twisted:
Nice idea, K.
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