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The fall of LEGO


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#21 Darksquirrel

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 08:26 PM

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It's...it's bright yellow. The drawbridge is red, and I don't know which faction is which. To me, the new castles are so much prettier. But, opinion is opinion (And I was really just hankering to use that GIF). How come you prefer the old ones? I sure loved playing with my old castle sets too, but if I had to pick between these two, I'd take the newer one for sure. :)


they have more useful pieces like the baseplate ,theres more minifigures and i like how simple they look.Althouh i realy like the architecture of the new vampire castle which has certain renaissance kind of feel.
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#22 Oufy

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 09:31 PM

they have more useful pieces like the baseplate ,theres more minifigures and i like how simple they look


...but it's yellow... :blink:

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#23 Dr. Dood von Doodstormer

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 10:57 PM

I think it's a bit unfair to use the Yellow Castle, the holy grail of all castle builders, as an example of a bad old set since it was released in, like, the 60s. When Lego had like 8 colors to choose from. In fact, any new/old comparisons, if you're basing them solely on first impressions, would be completely unfair to the limits the older sets were working with. It's like comparing Pacman to Crysis 2, obviously the new one will look better.

However it does serve as an excellent example of how they haven't really changed for the worse. They had 8 colors and a limited selection of parts, and with it they created a set beloved in the community as one of the great classics.

Now they have billions of parts and colors and yet they still make great stuff. Seriously, looking at the comparison Grom made I can't really choose a "worse" set. One created something great with a limited selection, the other took advantage of the newer selection and made something just as great. They haven't been "ruined" by adding a bunch of weird variations of wedges and panels, they're just giving you even more parts to use to make even better things.

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#24 Fire-fox

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 03:03 AM

they have more useful pieces like the baseplate ,theres more minifigures and i like how simple they look.

The baseplate is probably the only thing that the two don't have in common. Other than that, the newer one incorporates use of bricks (which is what the old one was almost completely composed of), slopes, windows, small features (flags, torches, flags), etc. Looking at it, there are way more useful pieces in the new one than the old. There are more minifigures, yes, but there are still 8 minifigs in the new one which have more diverse accessories and cooler prints (and the king rides a much better looking horse mold). I'd say the only accessory that I would really want from the old one are those bad-arse visors. It's all good if you like the old one better for nostalgia's sake, and no one will disrespect that that is your personal opinion, but there's no denying that the new one has more features, a good design, and better figs. It's simply the progression that Lego has made in the past 5 decades.

I think it's a bit unfair to use the Yellow Castle, the holy grail of all castle builders, as an example of a bad old set since it was released in, like, the 60s. When Lego had like 8 colors to choose from. In fact, any new/old comparisons, if you're basing them solely on first impressions, would be completely unfair to the limits the older sets were working with. It's like comparing Pacman to Crysis 2, obviously the new one will look better.

However it does serve as an excellent example of how they haven't really changed for the worse. They had 8 colors and a limited selection of parts, and with it they created a set beloved in the community as one of the great classics.

Now they have billions of parts and colors and yet they still make great stuff. Seriously, looking at the comparison Grom made I can't really choose a "worse" set. One created something great with a limited selection, the other took advantage of the newer selection and made something just as great. They haven't been "ruined" by adding a bunch of weird variations of wedges and panels, they're just giving you even more parts to use to make even better things.

I don't think Grom was conveying the idea that the old sets are bad, but simply the new sets are better. It's simply the factor of time has allowed Lego to evolve into something more. I think the old castle sets are cool, but I'd much rather buy one of the newer castle ones because they have years-worth of new bricks and fresh ideas put into them. Now, if we lived in the 1960s, then of course I'd want to get that old castle set, but since we have better sets available, I'd rather buy one of the better looking ones.

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#25 O'Mulriain

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 05:50 PM

Well, I for one enjoy the expansive pallet of colors that LEGO has developed for their pieces over the years. In addition there are numerous pieces that have been designed and put into production since the early 2000's that are critical for a passel of amazing building techniques. Between these two points LEGO enthusiasts can create models exponentially more realistic than would ever have been possible previously.
In terms of the actual sets, I like what LEGO has been doing. Space sets and planes are swooshable, castles and buildings are solid and light relative to their solid-bricked predecessors, cars are as fun as they've always been (they just look better now ;)), and ships are designed with more thought than ever before (the Queen Anne's Revenge really amazed me).
Contrary to the popular opinion here on SSLF I wish LEGO would go all skin tone for their minifigs. Yellow is reminisce from the days when "they only had 8 colors to choose from". If they're not making sunshine yellow castles with bright red drawbridges why should their figures still be that way? It also gets a little complicated if I want to make a minifigure with yellow pants (never happened before and likely never will, but the point is out there).
I hope my last paragraph isn't received with too much backlash from the local internet populous, but everyone's entitled to their own opinion. :D
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#26 Saber-Scorpion

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 10:50 PM

Contrary to the popular opinion here on SSLF I wish LEGO would go all skin tone for their minifigs. Yellow is reminisce from the days when "they only had 8 colors to choose from". If they're not making sunshine yellow castles with bright red drawbridges why should their figures still be that way? It also gets a little complicated if I want to make a minifigure with yellow pants (never happened before and likely never will, but the point is out there).
I hope my last paragraph isn't received with too much backlash from the local internet populous, but everyone's entitled to their own opinion. :D

Personally, I view LEGO minifigs as relatives of the common smiley face. That is to say, naturally yellow: :) See?

To me, the yellow "skin" is just part of the cartoony, silly LEGO style. Flesh tone may be more realistic, but LEGO isn't meant to be that realistic. It's kind of like minifig customizers who pack on ridiculous amounts of detail, with molded body armor and knee accessories, even going so far as to replace classic LEGO arms with custom-molded ones featuring elbows. At that point, you may as well be customizing action figures. The silly cartoony disproportionate look is part of the appeal of the LEGO minifig. :lego_smile:

Anyway, as for the discussion about castles: Yes, it's rather unfair to use the classic yellow LEGO castle as an example of a "bad" castle. If you want to see a "bad" LEGO castle, it might serve better to look at sets that came out around the late 90's and very early 2000's. Those were some of the lowest points in the quality of LEGO set design. For example, there's King Leo's Castle from 2000:

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It cost $90 and had only 529 pieces. LEGO had a lot more parts and colors to work with at this point, but they didn't use them all that well. The whole set is multi-colored and made from large, ugly parts with a low level of detail.

Now compare it to the Kingdoms castle set from 2010 that Grom posted:
Spoiler

This one cost $100 and had 933 pieces.

-Scorp

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#27 O'Mulriain

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 04:37 AM

Personally, I view LEGO minifigs as relatives of the common smiley face. That is to say, naturally yellow: :) See?

To me, the yellow "skin" is just part of the cartoony, silly LEGO style. Flesh tone may be more realistic, but LEGO isn't meant to be that realistic. It's kind of like minifig customizers who pack on ridiculous amounts of detail, with molded body armor and knee accessories, even going so far as to replace classic LEGO arms with custom-molded ones featuring elbows. At that point, you may as well be customizing action figures. The silly cartoony disproportionate look is part of the appeal of the LEGO minifig. :lego_smile:

Of course I'm quite certain LEGO never will go entirely skin tone for the very same reasons that you mentioned, and I do support most every decision that they make (I'll never understand their thinking on those horrible Clone Wars figures though), but I myself find minifigures look better, and remain plenty cartoony, with regular (which is to say human) skin color.
However I couldn't agree with you more about the extremes that people take their minifig customization to. Reminds me of an old article I read on MCN (may it rest in peace, that was a great website) many years back.
Anyways based on that wonderful comparison that Scorp made between those two official LEGO castles I would definitely say LEGO isn't currently in a state of downfall, but is rather at a high point in a relatively uneven road of quality that they've been paving with their sets for the past 50 plus years. The MOCs out there are always getting better though, and that for most of us older people (not to say that I'm all that old, being a TFOL as opposed to an AFOL) is where it matters, utilizing the pieces contained in LEGO sets for constructions of our own design.
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#28 Darksquirrel

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 08:01 PM

Personally, I view LEGO minifigs as relatives of the common smiley face. That is to say, naturally yellow: :) See?

To me, the yellow "skin" is just part of the cartoony, silly LEGO style. Flesh tone may be more realistic, but LEGO isn't meant to be that realistic. It's kind of like minifig customizers who pack on ridiculous amounts of detail, with molded body armor and knee accessories, even going so far as to replace classic LEGO arms with custom-molded ones featuring elbows. At that point, you may as well be customizing action figures. The silly cartoony disproportionate look is part of the appeal of the LEGO minifig. :lego_smile:

Anyway, as for the discussion about castles: Yes, it's rather unfair to use the classic yellow LEGO castle as an example of a "bad" castle. If you want to see a "bad" LEGO castle, it might serve better to look at sets that came out around the late 90's and very early 2000's. Those were some of the lowest points in the quality of LEGO set design. For example, there's King Leo's Castle from 2000:

Posted Image
It cost $90 and had only 529 pieces. LEGO had a lot more parts and colors to work with at this point, but they didn't use them all that well. The whole set is multi-colored and made from large, ugly parts with a low level of detail.

Now compare it to the Kingdoms castle set from 2010 that Grom posted:

Spoiler

This one cost $100 and had 933 pieces.


Most of the old castles have very similar architecture (but use different pieces) ,which is why i like the new vampyre castle because the style is very different.Helms deep i dont like personaly because its basicaly a big wall with a little building behind it ,and thats why i dont think we should use it for comparison.
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#29 Oufy

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 08:32 PM

and thats why i dont think we should use it for comparison.

Then it's a good thing we're not using Helm's Deep for comparison.

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#30 Ambad

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 12:36 AM

There's no question that set design has, for the most part, improved over the year. Likewise, parts and color selection have grown equally, providing us with more possibilities now than ever.

My only real gripe is how the quality of the bricks themselves has suffered since Lego exported production to Mexico and then China. Both dimensional consistency and color matching have been a little slack lately. Personally, I have some Lego that has less grip than some of my old Mega-Bloks, and some identical parts that grip a lot harder than Lego should. My friend Jason (Doctor Mobius on flickr) built a giant spider coated in hundreds (possibly thousands) of levers he got off the Pick-a-brick wall. Every time the spider was moved to a new display area in his house, or to a convention or public display, countless "hairs" would fall off. I usually got roped in to putting them all back on, with a tub full of extra levers, because some would inevitably get lost. Some of those lever bases literally would not grip a stud, and would fall off if turned upside down. Others simply would not fit onto a stud without cracking, and then having the same problem as lever bases that were too loose.

A few months back, I was helping another friend of mine sort a bunch of Lego he'd bought in bulk lots (can't remember if it was Pick-a-brick wall or stuff he got from our LUGbulk order), and as we were stacking 4x8 dark bley plates in groups of twenty, with overhang on the ends to make them easier to separate later, we noticed that each stack was not precisely the same height. We compared, and found that in a stack only 20 plates high, the difference between the tallest and shortest stacks was over a plate and a half. That may not seem like much, but imagine you built a micropolis skyscraper using some of these plates as the base? Your whole tower would be leaning!

Speaking of leaning, the early waves of collectible figs coming out of China? Some of them had one leg longer than the other! They actually could not stand unless connected to their base!

Color-wise, there have been numerous comparisons out there showing the differences one encounters over the lifetime of a color's production run. However, I've started noticing color variation within the same set, or within the same bucket at the Pick-a-brick wall. Anybody get some of those pink 1x2 slopes one the wall within the last two years? There were four shades of pink in that bin, all "close enough" within Lego's recent lapse in quality control. I have a 1x4 brick that is supposed to be dark bley, but is almost exactly halfway between light and dark bleys. And don't even get me started on all the trouble Lego has had keeping reddish-brown and dark red even close to consistent. Seriously, check out this section of the Hill Valley Clock Tower from Back to the Future that a member of PortLUG built, and see all the color variances of dark red and reddish brown. This is probably the only case in which I've ever seen the color variations being used as an advantage, and it showed when the finished product displayed at the most recent show we did at Guardian Games (note the presence of my mini-fig scaled Clap Traps on the front steps).

All in all, Lego may have increased their color pallet and parts variety, but they have made up for it in poorer quality control. We're fast approaching Fifty Shades of Bley.

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#31 Saber-Scorpion

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 12:42 AM

We're fast approaching Fifty Shades of Bley.

Noooooooooooooo you did not just make that joke. I was going to upvote your post until I saw that joke. Now I can't. :P

PS: That hairy spider friggin' rules. Those lever pieces have always had a tendency to come apart and fall off though, even before the decline in quality control.

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#32 Spider-Man

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 08:27 PM

Most of the old castles have very similar architecture (but use different pieces), which is why I like the new vampire castle: because the style is very different. Helms Deep I don't like personally because it's basically a big wall with a little building behind it, and that's why I don't think we should use it for comparison.

You should also keep in mind that Helms Deep isn't a castle so much as a fortress. An awesome fortress that I should really get but am still contemplating not doing so for sake of other sets...

#33 V. Mawdryn

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 10:21 PM

I don't think it has been in a decline, but I was certainly pissed off when themes based on real-life franchises had their minifigs revamped and made them more realistic by adding flesh-colored skin to the minifigs. I don't think legos are supposed to be realistic at all, with those freaky clipper hands and blocks everywhere.

Does anyone else remove the flesh-colored heads from minifigs and replace them with your average yellow lego heads?
I used to do that, except in case of aliens, figs that are supposed to have weird-colored skin, or african figs like Lando Calrissian.
A yellow Lando Calrissian would look silly IMO.

Edited by V. Mawdryn, 18 August 2012 - 10:22 PM.


#34 Spider-Man

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 10:49 PM

I don't think it has been in a decline, but I was certainly pissed off when themes based on real-life franchises had their minifigs revamped and made them more realistic by adding flesh-colored skin to the minifigs. I don't think legos are supposed to be realistic at all, with those freaky clipper hands and blocks everywhere.

Does anyone else remove the flesh-colored heads from minifigs and replace them with your average yellow lego heads?
I used to do that, except in case of aliens, figs that are supposed to have weird-colored skin, or african figs like Lando Calrissian.
A yellow Lando Calrissian would look silly IMO.

I agree overall... for the Avengers sets, I'm replacing them. LotR, on the other hand, if I ever get any more sets, I think I'll leave them peachy. Same with what HP I own. It's a matter of finding balance, because if I'm going to own peach heads I might as well use them for something.




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