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Element Review: Plumes

Discussion of official LEGO Castle Theme sets and products

Element Review: Plumes

Postby architect » Tue Oct 02, 2007 3:24 am


Plumes have been an important part of LEGO Castle since the theme was introduced in 1978. This article will document the three evolutions of plumes, their colors, and frequency that plumes appeared in sets.

Please post your thoughts about the article and castle plumes.

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Last edited by architect on Sun Oct 07, 2007 8:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Gumby » Tue Oct 02, 2007 4:39 am

Nice article, Ben - I learned a few new things actually. So the visor with grill and feather really exists in blue? Anybody have one here?

I definitely miss the plumes and hope they come up with something cool for upcoming sets. Fortunately I already have a decent supply and I don't see myself adding many more knights (that require plumes) to my army.
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Postby LORD DOOM » Tue Oct 02, 2007 5:25 am

Plumes, ahh yes. They are like the icing on the gigantic double cherry fudge cake that is LEGO©.

No, a knight doesn't need a plume to protect his head. But what would any sporting event be without jerseys and a mascot?

I guess what I'm trying to say is that without plume's LEGO© Castle feels like it's lacking something.

No knight in my armies would be caught dead without one. ;) Well maybe dead, but that's because it would've been stolen already by somebody in need of a plume considering the dramatic shortage of them.

I wish Lego would bring them back or at least give us new ones to work with.

Besides feathers, the dragon plumes were especially neat too! In my humble opinion.

Ben this was a great article, I learned some interesting facts about plumes that I didn't know, but you made me miss them being in my new LEGO© sets even more than I did before, and that was a lot.
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Postby PunkRockCowboy » Tue Oct 02, 2007 7:52 am

Plumes rule. Too bad I only have red and white and one blue.
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Postby Brickzone » Tue Oct 02, 2007 9:28 am

Plumes are the business. It's hard to get second-hand sets with the right plumes (and you certainly don't get the spares). I was fortunate to get a bunch of assorted plumes in a minifig accessories lot for not too much. Also one or two sets I got were perfect - like Black Knights Castle.

However, I still have gaps that I don't really want to shell out for individually; I'm missing large white plumes for a couple of Admirals, and I'm missing one or two small plumes for Forestmen. I'll be rather happy when I've got these sorted :)

To be honest, the old plumes are not perfectly suited to the style of the new knights, and neither do the dragon plumes work perfectly - I've tried various colours, some are better than others, but none are "just right". What Lego would really need to have done would be to devise new plumes, or use a new colour for the old plume sprues.
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Postby Paradosis » Tue Oct 02, 2007 9:35 am

Good article, thanks :) I'll have to admit that I didn't know most of what you had said about the time before tri-plume, mid-80's period.
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Postby MarioDAlessio » Tue Oct 02, 2007 11:33 am

Thanks for this very well researched article

It was interesting how you noted;

In 1990, LEGO found new ways to save money. Instead of including several different color plumes in Forestmen and Knight sets, they used just one sprue wheel in most new sets.

Although my favorite castle theme is Knight's Kingdom 1 those horns I feel are the least inspiring.

The nostalgic it me would love if it, if LEGO redid a new version of set 6009 in 2008 with pointed visor and new style plume (but this time also with barding) like they did in 1992 when they introduced the new dragon plume style.

Whatever the style selected for 2008 the less ornate small feathers are always useful for non knights like the Forestmen.

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Postby Blueandwhite » Tue Oct 02, 2007 12:24 pm

I guess my only issue is that with so many new colours, the old plumes simply don't fit well with the newer figs. We just don't have dark blue or red plumes to match the likes of the Crownies or Scorpion guys. I think the plume shapes themselves are more than adequate. The colours need some tweeking though.

Still, if LEGO were going to invest in a new mold, I would actually prefer a new visor instead. The pointed visor we've got is nice, but it tends to get repetitive in large groups. The jellybean visors were a nice idea, but they ended up being far too large (and futuristic) for many fans. Plumes can add variety to your Knights, but so could a few different visors.
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Postby jokkna » Tue Oct 02, 2007 1:20 pm

i miss the old plumes, does anybody know how the new plumes will look? :D
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Postby Tower of Iron Will » Tue Oct 02, 2007 3:15 pm

I find the article very interesting, as it showed that my memory is correct. I didn't think of the first helmet (yellow castle helms) as having a plume; I thought they were part of the helmet. Mine never broke, thankfully. :)

The 1984 style plumes were and are very cool. They define the early Lion, Falcon, Forestmen, and Dragon factions. I wish they never stopped making them. I guess I'll count myself lucky to have been buying these when available.

I would also like to know what the new plumes will be like, I would hope they'll be around the same size as the older ones.
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Postby Kev » Tue Oct 02, 2007 3:33 pm

Since Lego has ruled out any issuance of plumes in the future, I, for one, am looking forward to Blasterman or one of the other injection-mold parts people taking a classic sprue and having it replicated to make new plumes!
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Postby Paradosis » Tue Oct 02, 2007 3:58 pm

I was under the impression that there might be plumes in the future, just not like the old ones. Here's what Matthew Ashton said in an article about the 2007 Castle line:

We have had several production, packing, and cost issues with the plumes that meant we were not able to add them to the sets. I am trying to solve this for the future as we need to find a new solution to this, but I am afraid to say that the old plumes will not be appearing in any future retail products. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news…
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Postby Norro » Tue Oct 02, 2007 5:20 pm

One of Lego's best elements. Detailed, but still useful in a shocking variety of settings. The old 'spares' concept was great as well. RIP.

God Bless,

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Postby Spongey » Tue Oct 02, 2007 10:55 pm

Thanks for taking the time to write the article, Ben. I hadn't even realized that the little adornment in 375 was a plume, but now it's pretty obvious. I got all of my plumes in pirate sets, and now use them for my castle armies. I agree that they give that little something extra to mounted knights, and I really hope that LEGO brings some form of plumes back in the near future.
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Postby sidewinderl » Wed Oct 03, 2007 12:18 am

The new castle line is so great because it's "old and improved" so-to-speak..."new and improved" worries me in a KK2 sorta way...

Kev wrote:Since Lego has ruled out any issuance of plumes in the future, I, for one, am looking forward to Blasterman or one of the other injection-mold parts people taking a classic sprue and having it replicated to make new plumes!

Not sure I'm looking forward to paying for it though! At least it would probably mean more color options...
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