I think, before going any further, it may be a good idea to attempt to prioritize our objective for this project. In my opinion, I think what prompted this discussion in the first place is that we feel Lego has forsaken its fine Castle tradition by the release of castle-ionicle; and we, as fans of castles in the old sense, want to prolong the old tradition so it doesn’t get replaced by the new stuffs. I hope I am right, therefore, to assume that our no. 1 priority in coming up with our custom theme is to do it as if TLG would, if it were to do a new theme for its traditional castle line. If you agree with me, then perhaps there are the followings we have to consider:
1. It must be easily accessible to as many people as possible, because one of our goals is to attract new members to our community in order to keep castle alive, which is why free distribution of the designs is one thing we should seriously consider. Perhaps another thing we can do is to have a part list of the different bricks used in each designs, so if people think the design is cool, they can check their collection first to see if they have the necessary bricks (if not, buy them from the internet) and then build the sets accordingly. I’m not in favour of building from existing sets because it may hinder creativity.
2. It must be done as if done by Lego, meaning not only in its design, but also market-wise. This is why we shouldn’t each work on our own themes individually, but should collaborate our efforts into making something that is bigger and grander than what anyone of us will be able to manage on our own. We want it to feel not as if it is an individual set, but a new series that is compatible and comparable to that of the forestmen or the dragon knights, with its own unique style and characteristics.
This is because, in my opinion, it is the only way to give a feeling that Lego castle is not just having its life painfully prolonged by a handful of individual fans, but that it is actually healthily growing and expanding, full of energy and able to attract new blood from the internet community!
3. The look of the theme must be easily replicat-able by using existing bricks, as well as be able to fit in with existing Lego castle series. This is why I’m a bit hesitant to go into something like the Romans, because not only may it be difficult to replicate their unique architecture with existing Lego bricks (think of their elaborate pillars, columns, and chariots), but it may also be difficult to picture them fighting a group of Falcon knights or a witch. The Vikings, on the other hand, have a certain degree of fantasy about them which makes them easily compatible with existing lines (in my opinion, of course).
In my opinion, the best thing about such a project is that, whether Lego actually revives its Castle line or not, WE as a castle community will be doing our part in prolonging the castle tradition and showing people who have only seen bionicles what Lego castle, during its golden age in the 80s and 90s, is all about. With luck, we may be able to entice them to join our community and share our passion. The key, I believe, is to replicate Lego’s strategy towards castle in the 80s and 90s by coming out with different and interesting themes to give the feeling that the world of castle is expanding (this is why we've had so many discussions about different factions in this forum, because we like varieties). With luck, of course, we may even be able to gather enough interest for TLG to take notice, and maybe even produce castle sets once more in the future. But at this point this shouldn’t really be something we should think about or bet on.
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