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Some Questions about the future of LEGO and Castle

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Some Questions about the future of LEGO and Castle

Postby Glencaer » Tue Sep 20, 2005 6:14 pm

Hello CC,
As your Ambassador to LEGO - I have been asked to get some feedback and ideas from you and communicate them to LEGO. Keep in mind that your answers won't be affecting the immeadiate future, and they may not affect anything at all. But I think its really fun to think about these issues anyway. The sky is the limit! Anything you want - list it!

Just reply to this post and I'll put it together for Jake or just point him to this thread.

-Lenny

1. What do you think LEGO would never do that you’d love to see?

2. What types of themes/concepts should LEGO stay away from?

3. Are there any community projects/products that you’d like to see turn into a LEGO set?

4. Are there any projects/products that we should stay away from?

5. What types of products/themes/concepts do you think are missing from the assortment over the years?

6. Are there things we’re missing in general? On box? In the instructions? In the box materials?

11/22/05 - Unsticky LAH
Last edited by Glencaer on Tue Nov 22, 2005 7:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Some Questions about the future of LEGO and Castle

Postby Formendacil » Tue Sep 20, 2005 6:21 pm

Glencaer wrote:1. What do you think LEGO would never do that you’d love to see?


A church. I'd love to see a LEGO model of a really big, old, European church. Figs would be nice too, but I'd settle for a model.

2. What types of themes/concepts should LEGO stay away from?


Sadly for my last answer, I must say that anything with an overt religious or modern conflict tone should be avoided.

3. Are there any community projects/products that you’d like to see turn into a LEGO set?


Ulmaris Castle? :lol:

Seriously, a bunch of sets using the Classic-Castle City Standard would be awesome.

4. Are there any projects/products that we should stay away from?


Umm... dunno.... Maybe Trains... :wink:

5. What types of products/themes/concepts do you think are missing from the assortment over the years?


I think that LEGO is missing a Roman theme. No need to make it all boringly historical. "Barbarian Invasion" or "Gladiator Circus" or "Slave Uprising" could easily make it "mass-appealing". Actually, anything from ancient times would be nice. The closest we've gotten were those Egyptian temples with the Adventurers- and they were really cool. More along those lines would be awesome.

6. Are there things we’re missing in general? On box? In the instructions? In the box materials?


Missing?

TLG puts so much paper in those sets you end up with more paper than plastic. Cutting back is what you're missing out on. Simpler boxes, simpler instructions (no background graphics needed), and less extraneous paper inside would be a great improvement.

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Postby architect » Tue Sep 20, 2005 6:48 pm

1. I would like to see small castle fan committee (the ambassadors and a few community leaders :wink: ) to review or give input on new concepts and sets. Input could be used to create a great castle accessory pack (existing pieces in new colors), large scale minifigure pack (ie: Town Community Workers), Legend input, and rerelease of old pieces. At BrickFest Paal said that molds could possibly be made in the future cheaply if fans were willing to pay for it (or maybe buy enough product to make it worthwhile). How many pitchforks or old abs broadswords would we have to buy to make that a reality? :D

2. Avoid lines with large storylines, knights kingdom accessories such as swords and helmets, lead characters (unless popular ones which have already been made like Robin Hood in the 80's), lines without generic soldiers (soldiers with smiley heads and generic armor such as plate mail), trading cards, games, comics, large bulky pieces and poops, juniorization, poor sub-models. Do not reinvent the wheel. Work with basic bricks and plates and be inspired from old castle lines and the community to create a great castle line.

3. There are quite a number of excellent custom sets and mocs by people such as Jon Furman, James Brink, etc which would make excellent Castle Sets. A fan created idea book would also be great.

4. Video games and story books should be avoided. Classic Castle apparel would be very cool. Space got a hat, can we?

5. Civilian sets are missing. Houses, shops, docks, a church, market, etc would be wonderful. Castle is about the entire medieval lifestyle, not just action. Farms are missing. Animals such as cows, deer, oxen, pigs, sheep, chickens, turtles. Foliage in fall colors such as orange, light yellow, dark red, etc. Civilian headgear needs to be improved. Instead of making 5 new castle visors, 5 new medieval caps (based on historical illustrations) should have been made. One new hat type per year would be nice (especially for female figures since they only have one castle hat).

6. Yes. Boxes should have the appropriate size for the size of the set. Bricks should be crammed inside like they were in the 80's-90's. This should also help the boxes not be crushed as much in shipping. Plus smaller boxes mean more fit on limited shelving now allotted to LEGO by many retailers. Boxes should be yellow and pictures should be photographed with the old 1984-1990 "hills and sun" backgrounds. This would be even less time consuming than editing in photoshop backgrounds and it would look less computer generated. Flip top lids with plastic inserts showing figures and the sets bricks should be included for large and mid sized sets.

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Re: Some Questions about the future of LEGO and Castle

Postby Bruce N H » Tue Sep 20, 2005 7:21 pm

Cool! This is the benefit of having a CC'er as an Ambassador. :)

1. What do you think LEGO would never do that you’d love to see?

Like Michael said above, a religious-themed set like a gothic cathedral.
Personally I'd love to see WWII-era military sets, but am sure we'll never get these.
Oh, I forgot to add the obvious. I'd love to see them return to the old gray.

2. What types of themes/concepts should LEGO stay away from?

Probably the WWII-era military sets. :(

3. Are there any community projects/products that you’d like to see turn into a LEGO set?

Oh, gosh, there are so many great fan MOCs that would be awesome as follow-ups to the Blacksmith Shop and Santa Fe Cars sets. For instance, Jon Furman's modular castle or any of Pierre Normandin's town vehicles seem perfectly made for sets.

4. Are there any projects/products that we should stay away from?

Things with imposed story lines. To me, LEGO is all about "Just imagine ...". My first sets were all about little white and red spacemen (Classic Space sets from the late '70's). I could choose myself whether these were two opposing factions or allies. I could decide whether they were exploring the moon or were in a distant galaxy. It was all about encouraging my imagination. Also, when you have a pre-imposed story with pre-set characters, you end up with stacks of specific characters (for instance, I've got a pile of Luke Skywalkers and Harry Potters), rather than more generic minifigs who could fit multiple situations.

5. What types of products/themes/concepts do you think are missing from the assortment over the years?

Looking specifically at Castle, in recent years you are missing civilian sets--shops, inns, farms, etc.

A theme I would love to see is something like "world cultures". Small sets from different cultures showing figures with different cultural dress, larger sets with landmarks like the Eiffel Tower etc. Think, for instance, of the "Small World" ride at Disneyland.

A cow. After the horse this would be the next most important molded creature that could be used in multiple different lines (Castle, Town, Trains, the now defunct Wild West, etc). This could be essentially the same body mold as the horse with a different head piece, with a clip to attach the horn piece.

6. Are there things we’re missing in general? On box? In the instructions? In the box materials?

Older boxes had more photos of alternate models, while newer boxes tend to show more photos of the "official" model showing how some "action" feature works. Personally I much prefer the older boxes in this way.

Bruce
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Postby babyjawa » Tue Sep 20, 2005 8:08 pm

2. What do you think LEGO would never do that you’d love to see?
LOTR sets

2. What types of themes/concepts should LEGO stay away from?
trains and town

3. Are there any community projects/products that you’d like to see turn into a LEGO set? I would like to see all MOCs to be able to be a lego set

4. Are there any projects/products that we should stay away from?
town and train

5. What types of products/themes/concepts do you think are missing from the assortment over the years?
Romans, Trojans, and Greek themes

6. Are there things we’re missing in general? On box? In the instructions? In the box materials? Some more weapons like a bow without the arrow connected to it, etc.[/img]
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Postby lemon_squeezer2 » Tue Sep 20, 2005 8:18 pm

1. What do you think LEGO would never do that you’d love to see?
I have to echo Bruce's thoughts here. Having a military theme would be pretty cool. The first thing that pops into my mind would be WWI or the American Civil War. WWII would be neat, but that would just be to recent and controversial.

2. What types of themes/concepts should LEGO stay away from?
Juniorization for one. I think that topic has been brought up enough here, so I won't go into too much detail. Storylines (like KKII) are disappointing, but they make money. At least trim it down a bit and use storylines to supplement themes - not drive them.

3. Are there any community projects/products that you’d like to see turn into a LEGO set?
As far as community themes go, I too would like to see the CCC standard. That would be cool. Keep things simple, detailed, and realistic.

4. Are there any projects/products that we should stay away from?
This means current projects - right? Most lego products are AWESOME. Their only problem is that they are not designed to their full potential. Look at the designer, Racing, and Train sets. They are awesome looking and packed with good pieces. Take the other lines (Vikings for instance) and bring their design to the same level. The protosype for the longboat for instance was pure awesomeness, but the final product was only "good".

5. What types of products/themes/concepts do you think are missing from the assortment over the years?
Again, I'm echoing comments that have been already made. Looking just at castle, tone down the action and produce more examples of medieval life. If you really wanted to do something awesome, you could open up a new theme in the path of the "classic" sets of the 80s' incorperating the aformentioned CCC standard. That would be overkill perhaps (We already have Vikings and KKII), but it is something to consider in the future...
In general, I also would love to see something Roman or Greek. You have already made the first step with Vikings - just don't have giant monsters attacking this time :wink:

6. Are there things we’re missing in general? On box? In the instructions? In the box materials?
There is too much material. All one needs are the instructions and perhaps an advertising slip or something. Additionally, there are too many steps in the instructions that lead to more paper being used. I see sets with 50 steps that could very reasonably be trimmed down to 30. Don't be afraid to "cram" it a little too. You can put more than one step per page.[/b]
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Re: Some Questions about the future of LEGO and Castle

Postby footsteps » Tue Sep 20, 2005 8:29 pm

1. What do you think LEGO would never do that you’d love to see?
Large themed minifig packs similar to the 30-fig "Community Workers" set -- castle (of course), train, HP, SW, space, Alpha/underwater, adventurers, etc.

2. What types of themes/concepts should LEGO stay away from?
Modern conflicts.

3. Are there any community projects/products that you’d like to see turn into a LEGO set?
Vignettes! There are some awesome ideas out there, and the sets would be small and managable. Some ideas are even modular.

4. Are there any projects/products that we should stay away from?
Not so much licensing.

5. What types of products/themes/concepts do you think are missing from the assortment over the years?
Minifig pirate theme is needed back. The Town/World City theme-line needs fewer emergency buildings/vehicles, more everyday things -- houses, vehicles, etc.

6. Are there things we’re missing in general? On box? In the instructions? In the box materials?
As has been said already, there is too much packaging. Also, have more alternates displayed on the boxes to highlight the mix of pieces in the set.

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Re: Some Questions about the future of LEGO and Castle

Postby Recluce » Tue Sep 20, 2005 8:40 pm

1. What do you think LEGO would never do that you’d love to see?

A Roman theme. There really haven't been many themes from a truly ancient era, and the greeks would be cool too.

2. What types of themes/concepts should LEGO stay away from?

Religious based themes. So far, so good, on that one.

3. Are there any community projects/products that you’d like to see turn into a LEGO set?

A mini scale creator/assortment set. Mini scale is up and coming, and can work with all the genres. A box with "themes" and several different models would be cool.

4. Are there any projects/products that we should stay away from?

All of this "Girl" lego, with the belleville and clickits. I know you say its selling well in Europe, but I think its just not "LEGO" enough. Are buildable jewelry really opening up the minds and enriching the learning experience? I don't think so, i let my cat eat my clickits whenever I get some in a grab bag. Keeps him away from the real LEGO.

5. What types of products/themes/concepts do you think are missing from the assortment over the years?

Like the Romans above, any ancient world theme. Also, some more "historically based" medieval weapons. The brim helmet was cool, so some other accessories in a similar vein would be nice.

6. Are there things we’re missing in general? On box? In the instructions? In the box materials?

I liked having the plastic trays in the larger sets. Made it easier when building.
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Re: Some Questions about the future of LEGO and Castle

Postby Lord_Of_The_LEGO » Tue Sep 20, 2005 10:45 pm

Glencaer wrote:1. What do you think LEGO would never do that you’d love to see?

Ultimate Castle Set. A $200 set with 250+ pieces including plenty of normal bricks , arches, chains (for drawbridge), plates, slopes and a few special pieces in light gray, dark gray, brown and black. Several green baseplates are a must. In other words: the Death Star II of castle.

Glencaer wrote:2. What types of themes/concepts should LEGO stay away from?

War toys and religious themes.

Glencaer wrote:3. Are there any community projects/products that you’d like to see turn into a LEGO set?

I second Mike's call: ULMARIS CASTLE (see #1) 8)

Glencaer wrote:4. Are there any projects/products that we should stay away from?

Bionicle and anything to do with huge mega-figs.

Glencaer wrote:5. What types of products/themes/concepts do you think are missing from the assortment over the years?

Army builders and FEMALE FIGURES! I would also like to see more themes based upon actual cultures like Ninjas and Vikings. Note I said based upon. I, personally, don't mind if my Romans are battling monsters. 8)

Glencaer wrote:6. Are there things we’re missing in general? On box? In the instructions? In the box materials?

Get rid of the comics, and trim the size of the boxes.
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Postby Graynar » Tue Sep 20, 2005 10:59 pm

1. What do you think LEGO would never do that you’d love to see?
A realistic Castle theme-no power ranger knights, no dragons, (you know) :wink:

2. What types of themes/concepts should LEGO stay away from? ditto to what footsteps said.

3. Are there any community projects/products that you’d like to see turn into a LEGO set? Ulmaris castle please!

4. Are there any projects/products that we should stay away from? Umm,too many differen't colors in newer sets.

5. What types of products/themes/concepts do you think are missing from the assortment over the years? To quote Nate, a huge 200+ dollar castle set.

6. Are there things we’re missing in general? On box? In the instructions? In the box materials?
Smaller boxes, and trays as mentioned above.

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Postby E of Alshire » Tue Sep 20, 2005 11:30 pm

1. What do you think LEGO would never do that you’d love to see?
A castle building pack, with two small armies and enough peices for the builder to build whatever he wants, including houses.

2. What types of themes/concepts should LEGO stay away from?
Any licensing deals with anyone. I would love to see more lego-developed themes [classic pirates, for example].

3. Are there any community projects/products that you’d like to see turn into a LEGO set?
As said before, the Classic-Castle standard buildings.

4. Are there any projects/products that we should stay away from?
Again, story-oriented themes.

5. What types of products/themes/concepts do you think are missing from the assortment over the years?

in recent years you are missing civilian sets

Ditto on what he said.

6. Are there things we’re missing in general? On box? In the instructions? In the box materials?

Older boxes had more photos of alternate models, while newer boxes tend to show more photos of the "official" model showing how some "action" feature works. Personally I much prefer the older boxes in this way.


Other than that, I think Lego needs to cut down on the stuff-game cards, comics- and cram it full of peices.
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Postby Bloody Jay » Wed Sep 21, 2005 12:08 am

1. What do you think LEGO would never do that you’d love to see?

A 'religions of the world' theme with temples from all faiths. That would definitely make a cool exclusives line. I'd also love to see dark green plate bulk packs and WWII collector-style models (not fig-scale).

2. What types of themes/concepts should LEGO stay away from?

Fads, put simply. Create a lasting product and you'll create a lasting fanbase. The card games in boxes, 'collectable' figures, etc. usually don't work for the kids or the adults.

3. Are there any community projects/products that you’d like to see turn into a LEGO set?

Not really - a lot of them wouldn't be economical for LEGO or the consumers due to sheer piece counts. On that note, I think a vignettes line would be incredible - you could really produce some masterpieces that way, while still producing a popular product at a minimum of cost.

4. Are there any projects/products that we should stay away from?

Anything in the vein of KK2:1.

5. What types of products/themes/concepts do you think are missing from the assortment over the years?

Romans and Greeks. As long as you produce a few of the Roman infantry and some toga torsos, AFOLs will gobble up the sets. Also, I think that what Castle had going for it way back when was great - no, not the old grays! I mean connecting sets. This allows a consumer to create their own 'individual' castle, without spending a lot of money on one set.

6. Are there things we’re missing in general? On box? In the instructions? In the box materials?

Like someone else said, no more cards. It's pointless.
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Postby Elven Warrior » Wed Sep 21, 2005 1:49 am

1. What do you think Lego would never do that you'd love to see?

Let's see, I have so much to say about this, where do I start? I realize that I will be repeating other posts, so bear with me. Basically, Lego needs to get rid of all licensed products, new "prebuilt" pieces, and silly storylines. They should go back to the old style and elaborate on old Castle themes. Unfortunately, never going to happen!

2. What types of themes/concepts should Lego stay away from?

I already answered this in #1.

3. Are there any community projects that should be turned into a Lego set?

I'm not too familiar with the community projects but the stuff created for CCC is a very good idea because of modularity.

4. Are there any projects we should stay away from?

All of your projects that I've seen are as good as or better than what Lego is coming up with nowadays, so no.

5. What themes are missing?

No specific opinion on this, because I would just like to see Lego go back to the style of the 80s and early 90s Castle sets.
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Postby plums_deify » Wed Sep 21, 2005 3:20 am

1. What do you think LEGO would never do that you’d love to see?

I’d love to see an expanded Egyptian theme. Tan has proven to be a popular building color, and what was released barely touched the possibilities of an Egyptian theme.

2. What types of themes/concepts should LEGO stay away from?

From what I’ve seen, the Sports themes, while providing a few extra things here and there, are generally unusable for other themes, not mention just not enlightening to play with. Nor do the sets allow for interesting sub-models. And please—why all the stickers?

3. Are there any community projects/products that you’d like to see turn into a LEGO set?
Many talented builders have created limited sets for the fans. Dan Siskind’s Blacksmith Shop was an excellent beginning to a fan-created theme. I’d love to see sets created in a CCC standard, with many pieces to help facilitate creativity in what could be nothing but a blank castle wall.
In addition, a joke was played on Castle Fans a few years ago for April Fools’. It was a castle themed creator tub. That would be a fantastic set—basic bricks, mini-figs, and some basic weapons.

4. Are there any projects/products that we should stay away from?

Sports. They’re just taking up space at the stores I go to.

5. What types of products/themes/concepts do you think are missing from the assortment over the years?

More of a generic space theme. Star Wars is limited. Also, differing colors for Horses. A tan horse, or a grey horse, or a speckled paint or Appaloosa would be phenomenal. Cows would be excellent, as well.

6. Are there things we’re missing in general? On box? In the instructions? In the box materials?

You’re missing quite a bit, but you’re slowly returning. You were missing the basics of a good LEGO set—a large assortment of basic bricks. As far as the box, the classic yellow boxes with the pictures were just fine. I, too, find too much paper cluttering up the insides.
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Re: Some Questions about the future of LEGO and Castle

Postby BreadMan » Wed Sep 21, 2005 3:57 am

1. What do you think LEGO would never do that you’d love to see?

I always thought it would be cool if someone made a feature film based on a lego product line (read: but not KK2!). Not, you know, animated minifigs but an actual live action movie with lego factions, balck falcons, royal knights, etc.
2. What types of themes/concepts should LEGO stay away from?

As many mention above, things that have limited scope. Lego is meant to be backward compatible, everything made today should be able to integrate with everything made in the past 50 years. Stuff that is too focused and doesn't leave room for expansion, it could be pieces, colors, or entire themes, is useless and kills the imaginative drive. Storm trooper helmets can only ever really be used for storm troopers, for example.
3. Are there any community projects/products that you’d like to see turn into a LEGO set?

Like many have already said, modular stuff is something that is big in the community and would make some great product lines.
4. Are there any projects/products that we should stay away from?

Stop trying to use stuff in castle that is not castle. We keep seeing all these parts from bionicle, juniorized stuff, etc, that keeps showing up in castle sets that don't really have any place. Look at the King's Siege Tower versus the original prototype: someone decided "hey, we've got this mold for this giant shield that is pretty much useless, can we slap it on something and make it look like it was intentional?"
If you mean *community* projects you should stay away from, I might point out that I still have yet to see what's so great about the "bonktrons."
5. What types of products/themes/concepts do you think are missing from the assortment over the years?

There's a difference between a lot of the best MOCs I see and official sets, and I want to say its that the MOCs are more "complete." MOC makers always seem to go that extra step to fill in cracks, stock up on accessories, figs, etc where official sets always seem to have a loose, disjointed feeling that was not so present back in the day.
Like others I'd like to see more historical type stuff, but there's room for fantasy too. IMHO KK2 was a decent idea just a poor execution. Nobody wants purple armor for their figs, but on the other hand we have the shadow knight helm which is awesome. I'm using shadow knight helms for about half my black knights now. Nobody likes KK2 swords, but I can see other fantasy sword designs that could catch on.
Speaking of KK2 though, we've got all these new shields and faction logos, why not do separate lines for some of the rainbow knights? I'd love to see a Santis faction with bear shields, banners, etc.
Its hard to think of any new themes, pretty much everything I thought could be done when I was a kid (arabian, medieval asia, etc) has been done now.
6. Are there things we’re missing in general? On box? In the instructions? In the box materials?

Hard for me to say, haven't bought a boxed set in a long time. I agree that having a lot of alternate building ideas was great back in the day, though, and it definitley seems to be lacking on the newer boxes I've seen.
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