JoshWedin wrote:Unfortunately, they discontinued it. I can't remember all the reasons that they gave, but I know that one was the difficulty of remaking the elements because many of them aren't in the current production runs.
The reason I got from Jamie Berard was that not enough AFOLs were buying them. I expect AFOLs bought the first few, because LEGO ultimately released 11 "Legends" from 2001-2004, and if they did poorly, I expect we'd never have seen them in 2003 or 2004. Roughly in order (I think):
2001 Guarded Inn
2001 Club car
2002 Black Seas Barracuda
2002 Black Falcon's Fortress
2002 Pizza to Go
2002 Breezeway Cafe
2003 USS Constellation
2003 Main Street
2004 Hot Rod
2004 Century Skyway
LEGO took a lot of flak for not reproducing the sets accurately, which in some cases would have cost them a lot more money:
- Guarded Inn wall panels had different mold injection point
- None of the minifigs had solid-studded heads
- Metroliner didn't include pigtail element
- USS Constellation didn't contain squared-off 1x1 windows
- Black Faclon's Fortress torsos had incorrect crest printing (used the shield print, not torso print)
- Main street didn't include long 2x14 tile/bricks
- Century Skyway and Hot Rod used new colors
So, some people refused to buy the Legends version because they didn't accurately reflect the originals (this was one reason I didn't stock up on more Black Falcon's Fortress legends).
Other people weren't interested because they already owned the original set, and weren't interested in getting (essentially) a second copy.
At the same time, many fans (mostly in Europe, IIRC) were disappointed that LEGO was spending its time releasing old sets when they could just come up with NEW sets in a similar style (like, say, if LEGO came out with a new BlackTron 1 ship next year).
However, in looking at my former comment (that they probably did well, then faltered), I have to say I wouldn't be surprised to learn that the reason why was the choice of sets. IMHO, the USS Constellation, Main Street, Hot Rod, Century Skyway, and Pizza to Go were poor choices to sell to hobbyists. Hobbyists that are looking to get the retired sets generally fall into two categories:
1) Collectors. These people buy ONE of each set they like so that they can say they have it. If they already own the original, they're not too likely to buy another copy.
2) Vintage Part Hoarders. They want stuff that hasn't been made in 20 years, and want TONS of them. Often, they're army-builders. These people will buy TONS of copies, as long as the vintage parts they're after are faithfully reproduced.
So... in looking at vintage castle sets, army builders would go NUTS for them. Same with people who hoard castle walls. Metroliner and Club Car? I'm no train-head, but I know train fans wanted lots of copies of the Club Car at least. And the minifigs from Black Seas Barracuda were (I believe) also sought after, even though they're not quite as hot-ticket items as the old bluecoat or redcoat imperial guards.
Anyway, makes me wonder what the success rates of the individual Legend sets were...