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The Search for the Greatest Castle Set of All Time: Vote Now

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Postby Robin Hood » Thu Jun 10, 2010 1:39 am

And just to keep things interesting, as the nominations close, #6193 Castle Building Set/Creator Castle - Nominated by Frank_Lloyd_Knight. Let's get the debating juices flowing.

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Re: The Search for the Greatest Castle Set of All Time

Postby Frank_Lloyd_Knight » Thu Jun 10, 2010 1:44 am

Bluesecrets wrote:Time does not mean something is the best.

I agree with you. If there were an actual poll for the set which best defines the entire genre, I would probably consider either #6086 Black Knight's castle, or #6074 Black Falcon's Fortress. I only meant to point out that time does seems to have affected perspective. If Lego tried to introduce a yellow castle today, people would think TLG weren't playing with a full deck. But if Lego's first foray into a castle concept had been a dark, sinister fortress with evil witches and skeleton armies in 1978, parents would have thought it inappropriate for their children. And if the yellow castle hadn't found some sort of profitable niche, I imagine that there wouldn't be a castle line today at all. All I meant to say is that if you are interested in Lego castles, you shouldn't disparage the very first beginnings without considering the context. If you were into Lego castles in 1980, Yellow Castle was the best thing around. (not to get into the whole Wheetabix discussion)
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Postby Robin Hood » Thu Jun 10, 2010 6:02 am

And with #6041 Armor Shop - Nominated by Advocate of 6041 as our 17th and final nomination, the Search is now closed for nominations. Voting will begin shortly to narrow down the nominees. Stay tuned for details on that.

Many thanks to all the nominators.

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Re: The Search for the Greatest Castle Set of All Time

Postby davee123 » Thu Jun 10, 2010 6:50 pm

The whole "Wanted" category was difficult to comment on. If you're going for "The Greatest Of All Time", then it's hardly fair to compare (say) a 37-year-old's nostalgia value for 375 to a 22-year-old's nostalgia for 6090 (for example). Suffice to say that large sets almost always universally score much higher than small sets, and sets that were part of a larger lineup and/or subtheme often do even better. Hence, I tried to give each large castle pretty much an equal score in that category, regardless of when the set was released.

As for the classic yellow castle's color scheme? Yeah, it's true that back then, they didn't make many gray bricks. Supposedly (as we've heard rumored), green and gray bricks were strayed away from because they tempted kids to make war-like constructions, and LEGO wanted to veer away from that. Hardly stopped any kids that I know of, who just went ahead and built kaleidoscope-style tanks and guns, but it was a supposed reason nonetheless. And again, there's no denying that when LEGO finally went ahead and started allowing more gray bricks, their castles followed suit, and looked that much more amazing.

But as I touched on a couple times in my above critiques, detail level was also something that got better with time in set design. The first few castles were all pretty boring design-wise. Iconic, sure, but lacking in unique design features. 375, 6080, 6073, and 6061 were all pretty much just crenellated walls with towers. 6040 had a little something extra with the protruding chimney, but that was about it. It wasn't until 1986 when castles really started becoming more detailed-- probably reaching their peak with 6086 in 1992. For the first time, there were sloped roofs, half-timber walls, living quarters, wells, and other great bits of detailing. It didn't make the earlier castles any worse, it just means that the later castles were just-that-much-better from a design perspective.

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Postby Robin Hood » Fri Jun 11, 2010 3:26 am

Alrighty, we now have our voting system in place.

Just a basic poll here: Image

Not much, but it should do the trick to get us through the first round of voting. If for some reason anyone would rather not use this poll, you may email or PM me (rimerume@gmail.com).

The first round of voting will go for one week. On Midnight, June 17th, it will close.

So get out there and vote!

And feel free to continue debating the various merits of each set. It's your chance to change people's minds.

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Re: The Search for the Greatest Castle Set of All Time: Vote Now

Postby Ye Olde Republic » Tue Jun 15, 2010 11:58 pm

Interesting. You'd think that all the nominees would have at least one vote each if the all the nominators really thought their set was, indeed, the greatest castle set of all time. ;)
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Re: The Search for the Greatest Castle Set of All Time: Vote Now

Postby Frank_Lloyd_Knight » Wed Jun 16, 2010 12:11 am

Ye Olde Republic wrote:Interesting. You'd think that all the nominees would have at least one vote each if the all the nominators really thought their set was, indeed, the greatest castle set of all time. ;)


Nominating a set just means you threw it into the mix for consideration. I nominated #6193 because I thought inexpensive sets and sets for younger children were under-represented in the array of choices. I actually voted for the Black Falcon Fortress. I'm very interested to know who the person was who did vote for #6193 and what their reasoning was.
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Re: The Search for the Greatest Castle Set of All Time: Vote Now

Postby Frank_Lloyd_Knight » Wed Jun 16, 2010 12:23 am

I'm surprised seeing how the poll is turning out. I wholeheartedly agree with MMV being one of the best (if not THE best) Lego sets ever sold. I just sort of assumed that the "Greatest Castle Set" might have a castle in it!
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Re: The Search for the Greatest Castle Set of All Time: Vote Now

Postby davee123 » Wed Jun 16, 2010 5:32 pm

Frank_Lloyd_Knight wrote:I'm surprised seeing how the poll is turning out.


Me too-- I would've thought that 375 would be doing better (from all the old-schoolers out there), and that 6086 would be doing worse, considering it's black color scheme and raised baseplate. But regardless, I *am* pleasantly surprised that the top 5 scoring sets from my own personal guesses happen to match the top 5 in the poll. At least that's some consolation.

Frank_Lloyd_Knight wrote:I just sort of assumed that the "Greatest Castle Set" might have a castle in it!


Yeah, I think if LEGO had given more attention to peasant buildings from the get-go, 10193 probably wouldn't be doing quite as well in the poll. But the peasantry has gotten so little attention over the years, it admittedly does make 10193 all the the more rabidly appealing!

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Postby Robin Hood » Thu Jun 17, 2010 3:02 am

With just over one day left to vote for the first round, I thought I'd just give you guys a quick update.

At a hundred and six votes, the five leaders are:

#10193 Medieval Market Village - Nominated by Ye Olde Republic

#6086 Black Knight's Castle - Nominated by Aliencat

#6080 King's Castle - Nominated by Athos

#6067 Guarded Inn - Nominated by Jojo

#6074 Black Falcon's Fortress - Nominated by Blueandwhite

Unless some serious voting happens to change this, these will be our finalists. So if you haven't already voted, do it now!

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Last edited by Robin Hood on Sat Jun 19, 2010 2:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Robin Hood » Fri Jun 18, 2010 6:53 am

So as of now, the first round of voting is over and done with. I'll get the final nominees figured out here quickly, and post them for your consideration tomorrow. Thanks to all who voted in the first round.

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Re:

Postby Blueandwhite » Fri Jun 18, 2010 10:52 am

For the final poll, I suggest running it on the forums instead of using a separate site. This would ensure that CC members are voting in the poll and help avoid any attempted cheating. I'm actually in agreement with all of the top five, but I would really like to see the final poll open exclusively to CC members.
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Re: The Search for the Greatest Castle Set of All Time: Vote Now

Postby Bluesecrets » Fri Jun 18, 2010 12:50 pm

For the final poll, I suggest running it on the forums instead of using a separate site. This would ensure that CC members are voting in the poll and help avoid any attempted cheating. I'm actually in agreement with all of the top five, but I would really like to see the final poll open exclusively to CC members.


He had no choice but to run it on the other site for the first round. This forum only allows polls that have 10 choices. There were over 10 nominated sets. He wanted to run it here, he just could not.
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Postby Robin Hood » Sat Jun 19, 2010 2:20 am

Alright, we have our final five nominees. You all probably guessed them already, but here they are.

With 9 votes, or 7.4% of them, is:

#6074 Black Falcon's Fortress - Nominated by Blueandwhite
Image

Since there hasn't been a nomination for it yet, I'll put forward what I consider to be the greatest set. For me, that set is unequivocally 6074.

Released in 1986 (yes, it is that old), the Black Falcon's Fortress was one of the most affordable mid-sized castles LEGO has ever produced. At 6 figures and 435 pieces, this was a fantastic deal. Consider that most of the large castles (6080, 6085, 6086, 6090) were priced at far more than ten cents a brick, whereas the BFF was priced at a fantastic 0.08 cents a brick. Those bricks were useful too! Consider that the BFF had more grey corner wall pannels than any other castle set and that for 35 dollars you got six figures and two horses. A basic complement of bricks helped round out the set making it very good for MOCing (49 grey 1x1s, 69 grey 2x2s, an assortment of grey and green plates and black roof bricks were a great start for anybody's castle needs).

The real value in 6074 has always been in the MOCing potential straight out of the box. At $35 a set, a collector who managed to grab 3 or 4 of this set was certain to have a fantastic time building for less than $200. For the more ambitious, this set often became the foundation of grandiose dreams. Dr. Carney for example in is FAQs shared that he purchased 28 copies of 6074! Personally I own a dozen copies of this amazing set and if I had had the means when it was available I would have loved to purchase a dozen more. Some sets may be bigger more colourful or feature more play features, but no other set offers the pure building pleasure of 6074. For the price of one large castle, you could get yourself 2 6074s! That's a real deal.


With 12 votes, 9.8% is:

#6067 Guarded Inn - Nominated by Jojo
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This was a first in many respects. It was the first halftimbered house, the first civilian building in Lego's military Castle world, the first to come with a female mediaeval minifig again – and it was the first spot of colour in a grey-grown environment after the classic Yellow-Castle-era. And it was and still is simply a beauty. It incorporates all the classic Lego colours with its prominent red framework fillings, the blue door, the yellow windows and shutters, it's built on some green baseplates with colourful flowers, comes with a white steed, and has of course the black roof and the grey castle wall. All of that was assembled to a shape that really pleases the eye.
Within, peaceful life takes place. Although different factions are included in this set, there is no fighting, the Falcon knight is a guest in this inn which is obviously run by the Lions faction.
We should also mention the many unique parts this set comes with, namely the famous inn-sign and the red framework panels, but also the never too common maiden's hat and the white and blue goblets, also new elements in its time. Even some of the seemingly unspectacular black roof pieces were quite rare then and still are to this day.

So great is this set, so legendary was its status with the FOLs around the world, that the mighty Lego company itself named it a "Legend" and made it the first set to enjoy a re-release. Good choice, we say!


With 20 votes, 16.4% is:

#6080 King's Castle - Nominated by Athos
Image

The castle that set the standard for all castles thereafter. 26 years of castle all based on the design of this one castle. The stronghold of the longest running and largest castle faction. 12 figures, 4 horses, a count that has not been equaled. Shields enough for all. Modular so you can add on to make a super castle. Plus you get that really snazzy black door piece.

With 22 votes, 18% is:

#6086 Black Knight's Castle - Nominated by Aliencat
Image

I must admit part of it is nostalgia, I was 8 when this set was released, just the age group that kind of set was targeted at, and I really wanted it but never had it as a kid. As a result it was the first older set I bought when I emerged from my dark ages, so in a way it's the set that started my AFOL Castle fandom.

Why do I think this set is superior to other, perhaps more popular castles like 6080? I think 6086's architectural style is much cooler as a whole. 6080 is basically a square built out of prefab wall elements with admittedly a lot of cool details all over, but 6086 definitely has a more inventive layout with more intricate architecture, from round towers, to buttresses supporting the tower, to that cool tudor part in the back. The raised baseplate with ramp and pit also allow for a dungeon, a well, and a cool defendable slope up into the castle.

I also always really liked the black colour of it, sure it's less realistic than a stone-gray castle, but I always thought it looks formidable and menacing.


With 27 votes, 22.1% is:

#10193 Medieval Market Village - Nominated by Ye Olde Republic
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This set is all about the details. Sure, it' is chock full of small parts that give it an extraordinarily high piece count but...it has an extraordinarily high piece count! This set has perhaps the best price per piece ration of any set with minifigs in it.
Not all castle sets need to be a castle and this is a huge set that proves just that. Aside from new and/or rare parts like brown cows and freshly caught fish, this set shows just about anything that may have been important in the daily life of medieval villagers. There is a blacksmith's shop, an inn and a marketplace.There is also a blacksmith, an inn keeper, a farmer's wife there to sell the products of their land, some peasants and a very weary traveller. Maybe the most hilarious characters are the king's two tax collectors!


BUT! Ignore those numbers, cause the voting isn't over yet! The second round of voting for the final nominees commences at once, and closes on Midnight, Friday June 25.

In order to have your vote uninfluenced by the count, and to keep it in suspense, votes will be PM'd or emailed to me! Those wanting to email me, send it to rimerume@gmail.com. Now everyone consider carefully which you want, and send the vote my way.

Nominators! Now is your final chance to sway the vote your way. Feel free to add to what you already said. You can still change people's minds. You want your set to win, don't you?

Everyone else! Not sure if your favoured set is going to win? Well this is also your last chance to sway the masses. Want to add to the argument? Then go ahead and post it. Want to point out the error in the other's ways, post it! Come on people, this is, after all, the Search for the Greatest Castle Set of All Time.

Dan :wink:
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Re: The Search for the Greatest Castle Set of All Time: Vote Now

Postby Balamorgineas » Wed Jun 23, 2010 1:13 am

My best choice would be Black falcons fortress. It was my favorite castle set before mainly because it was the first set I bought with my own money and it is one of the only sets that I was more excited about after I had it for a few years than before I assembled it the first time.

This nostalgic liking was strengthened greatly after I read the nomination by Blueandwhite. I agree with most of what Blueandwhite says especially the part about being able to buy 2 BFFs for the same price as 1 big castle, I found this very true and that was one of the many factors that went into buying BFF as opposed to other sets.

Also I always loved how it can open out into a wall. This is a very playable feature and it opens up lots of extra building ideas such as extending the wall, building houses and fields of crops to go into the wall even building a little town where the soldiers have wives and cute little children, as well as lots of shops thriving on all the business the military is bringing.

I think a good set should target kids more than AFOLs, after all that is what they are designed for. Children want to play and build with Lego. Things like rare pieces and over used architecture don't matter as much to kids. So since Black Falcons Fortress does what a great set is supposed to, its affordable and great fun to play with, I think it is worthy to be the greatest Castle set of all time!

Thank you,
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