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Dear LEGO: Please DON'T make a ____ theme

Open message to The LEGO Company. We make no guarantee that anyone from LEGO will actually read them, let alone respond!

Postby Dunechaser » Wed Jun 18, 2008 10:04 pm

Great discussion. Despite the clear lack of consensus, I think it's worth passing this on to LEGO, and I'll do so tonight.

Keep the great conversation going! :)
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Postby LORD DOOM » Wed Jun 18, 2008 10:27 pm

Dear Lego, Please don't make a Teletubbies theme.
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Postby Count Blacktron » Wed Jun 18, 2008 10:39 pm

Before I speak of any single theme license issues let me just state that for me LEGO has always been about infinite diversity in infinite combinations. Growing up I had many toys from movies, comics and TV shows. You name it I probably had it; grandma spoiled me. But more than any of those I loved my LEGO. Why? Because I almost always built my own designs more frequently than the instuctions. I created and it was of my own mind. The minifigures became characters from my own imagination. I breathed life into them. And after a time, licensed toys became too many and too expensive in the 1980s for me to continue collecting, so instead I used my own LEGO collection create those worlds. Once I realized I could replicate the Thundercats with my LEGO, I never looked at another toy again with as much enthusiasm as I had/have for LEGO.

To me that's what LEGO is: creativity, individuality, imagination and story building. IMHO it has diluted somewhat in those terms as more focus has gone into licensed themes. Movie tie-in products suggest that the RIGHT way to play with your LEGO is to build the model and interact within the limits of a 2 to 3 hour storyline. And then move on to the next movie tie-in or sell it on Ebay? Where is the heartfelt connection if we just dilute our imaginations into mass-culture?

Do I think LEGO is trying to resist this slide? Yes I do, their current themes of Space, Town, Castle and all in between the timelines do foster individual fan/child involvement on more than a superficial level. I think LEGO is trying to walk a fine line between being a MOC (My Own Creation) toy and a movie tie-in product in order to maintain profit, image and visibility. Playmobil doesn't pander to Hollywood, but I think they are likely to disappear if the wishes of children stray farther from interactive manipulative play into video games.

Star Wars is unique in that we can hate licensed themes, but secretly we all love to build and swoosh the ships. It is one of the few and magical perfect fits, but I'm sure that will slow down as all the great sets seem to cost as much as Wii's, Power Wheels and college tuition now. For me I have to say that for all my useless Harry Potter figures, I am distressed that LEGO has abandoned the license. But I do have enough imagination and creativity (and parts) to continue it on my own. But that's the real magic isn't it? Continue the story on your own. Do I have to own the newest and latest movie toys? No, and either do my kids. I prefer them to have only enough of what they need to make what they feel it should look like, and if they need help constructing a Temple of Doom they know I have some experience with this sort of thing.

LEGO, please continue to imaginate (imagine + create) your own themes and designs. Pepper the shelves with occasional tie-in products. Carry on the timelines of historical (Castle), present (City/Town) and future (Space) and beyond.

And while you are at it LEGO, more bulk brick Buckets and Tubs please. I miss the old 2000 piece style assorted bricks and the useful storage tubs.
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Postby Athos » Wed Jun 18, 2008 11:11 pm

Count Blacktron wrote: let me just state that for me LEGO has always been about infinite diversity in infinite combinations.


Ooooh, lets have a Star Trek license... :lol:

Steve
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Postby Brick Builder » Thu Jun 19, 2008 6:07 am

Athos wrote:
Count Blacktron wrote: let me just state that for me LEGO has always been about infinite diversity in infinite combinations.


Ooooh, lets have a Star Trek license... :lol:

Steve


That would be nice but MEGA BLOKS has alll ready done it. :(
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Postby Peppermint Pig » Thu Jun 19, 2008 9:09 am

Brick Builder wrote:
Athos wrote:
Count Blacktron wrote: let me just state that for me LEGO has always been about infinite diversity in infinite combinations.


Ooooh, lets have a Star Trek license... :lol:

Steve


That would be nice but MEGA BLOKS has alll ready done it. :(


Though Lego would almost certainly do it better. Some classic Star Trek would be great: From small to large: Micro Ships, Away Team, Scout Ship, Bridge of Enterprise, Klingon ship (model-ish), Enterprise (model-ish).
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Postby Voran_the_Scholar » Thu Jun 19, 2008 10:54 pm

Peppermint Pig wrote:
Brick Builder wrote:
Athos wrote:
Count Blacktron wrote: let me just state that for me LEGO has always been about infinite diversity in infinite combinations.


Ooooh, lets have a Star Trek license... :lol:

Steve


That would be nice but MEGA BLOKS has alll ready done it. :(


Though Lego would almost certainly do it better. Some classic Star Trek would be great: From small to large: Micro Ships, Away Team, Scout Ship, Bridge of Enterprise, Klingon ship (model-ish), Enterprise (model-ish).


To boldly go where no (real) plastic construction block producing company has gone before!

God bless.

Tom
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Postby Blue Head » Thu Jun 19, 2008 11:00 pm

LORD DOOM wrote:Dear Lego, Please don't make a Teletubbies theme.


Now how would that turn out... I wouldn't buy any.

blue <><
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Postby Voran_the_Scholar » Thu Jun 19, 2008 11:17 pm

Blue Head wrote:
LORD DOOM wrote:Dear Lego, Please don't make a Teletubbies theme.


Now how would that turn out... I wouldn't buy any.

blue <><


I saw the show once. I was kidsitting for someone in our church while she led a Bible study. (The easiest job ever. He just sat in front of his massive plasma TV all night.) And I thought: "This is the stupidest show I've ever seen in my life." Do they even air that show anymore?

If TLC made a Teletubbies theme, I'd switch to Megablocks.

God bless.

Tom
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Postby Blue Head » Thu Jun 19, 2008 11:32 pm

Voran_the_Scholar wrote:If TLC made a Teletubbies theme, I'd switch to Megablocks.


Agreed.
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Postby porschecm2 » Fri Jun 20, 2008 5:00 pm

This thread started out very interesting, but it seems to be to be (mostly) devolving into another "Lego should make a ____ theme!"

It's far more interesting when we're discussing the pros and cons of licenses in general, not whether or not Lego should make a (Star Trek/Nintendo/TinTin) theme.

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Postby Peppermint Pig » Sun Jun 22, 2008 7:11 pm

Lego has said many contradictory things about its interest in Licenses, and ends up doing them anyways. Do our opinions matter? Not as much as whether or not the sets sell... but if Lego makes enough bad decisions, I certainly hope they take more time to listen to what the fans are asking for.

I believe Licenses have become a distraction, and they take away from the time Lego could spend improving their original themes.
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Postby porschecm2 » Mon Jun 23, 2008 3:37 am

Peppermint Pig wrote:Do our opinions matter? Not as much as whether or not the sets sell...


This actually reminds me of another opinion I've had for quite some time. That is, that whatever the line is--licensed or not, if it's selling really well, I'm all for it.

This of course, is not to say that I'd approve of a line that really compromised Lego's integrity, but as far as I can recall, the only line that totally compromised Lego's core identity was Galidor.

But if a line is selling well, that means Lego is making money, and if Lego's making money, they're making more bricks, and more sets, and that's always good. This is why I'm not a huge Bionicle hater anymore. I used to severely dislike it, but then I realized it was a huge money maker for Lego. It and Star Wars are what pulled Lego out of that huge slump in the early 2000's. While Bionicle is not my cup of tea, it does occasionally render helpful pieces, and it's good for the company.

Plus, being a parts monkey, any line that renders useful/fun/innovative pieces is also a good thing in my book, no matter how stupid the actual line is. Spongebob, anyone?

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Postby Tower of Iron Will » Mon Jun 23, 2008 2:55 pm

Star Wars used to be a big hit with me until they went fleshy. Now I have little interest in movie tie-ins except for the specialized parts. I have a recurring worst nightmare that Castle will go fleshy (shudder).

I can see why Stars Wars has been so popular due to the depth of that "universe" of ideas within it. 6 all-time movies spread out over how many years?

The only beef I have with Licensed LEGO is the concern it would take away from the traditional Castle, Town, Space, etc, and the horror that is fleshies.
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Postby Athos » Mon Jun 23, 2008 4:25 pm

I think one of the reasons Star Wars is such a hit, is that the original movies were such a hit 30 years ago. Now, when adults are shopping for gifts for children, they remember that nostalgia for their own Star Wars toys, plus they also recall their fond memories of Lego. Take those two together and you've got a juggernaut.

What all the other licenses lack is a similar nostalgia. Harry Potter, SpongeBob and Avatar lack any such nostalgia, because they're pretty new. And while Speedracer and Indy have some nostalgia (though Indy's has been hurt by the latest movie), its nothing compared to the Star Wars fandom. I think this is also why the new trilogy stuff didn't sell as well.

Even though I'm pretty much over Star Wars, I can't think of any similarly potent combination that Star Wars and Lego. Though I think with the new stuff from Clone Wars, sales will slip.

Steve
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