A look back at the "Vikings" Theme

icey117icey117 DenmarkMember Posts: 506
edited August 2013 in Collecting
My darkage ended 2 years after the last of the Viking-sets was removed from the shelves. But being a Dane (from Scandianavia) I love Vikings... well, the romantic perception of them at least (as I like gladiators and all other such masculine stuff). I was lucky to buy the large Viking-ship secondhand from some that have had it gathering dust on a shelf for 6 years. And I got the dragon from another Viking-set and I just won the small Viking boat in a good ebay-deal. The rest of the sets are a bit... less Viking'isch, or totally overpriced.

Quick thoughts about the theme:

Vikings really rock... but the theme but has a few flaws... to my taste:

1) The minifigures are well printed but a bit too colourful and the swords are not fitting - I guess that was how LEGO designed them back then. Alot has happened since (evidence 1 and 2)
2) The combination with mythology creatures is a great idea. But the monters is a bit too much BIONICLE to me... specially the faces, claws etc. It's a personal opinion I know, but I prefer the Atlantis/Aqua Raider monsters... which are a bit more brick-build in their expressions.
3) The shooting functions are fun... gotta admit that! But it does make it a bit childish. And it crashes with the authenticity and feel of the theme.


Do anyone know if Vikings sold well? How did it go world wide? Was it as success? Was it WorldWide at all?

Does people outside Scandinavia like Vikings?

Would such a theme stand a chance if LEGO made an updated version of it...

What do you think?


  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,799
    I'd love a new Viking range, but then I am from York. The CMF Viking is well sought after, so I reckon they'd be a hit again.
  • TheOneVeyronianTheOneVeyronian Help me, I'm inside the M25! (UK)Member Posts: 1,359
    edited July 2013
    I remember that line well, when it was released here in the UK 8 years ago (even though I was about 11 at the time). But despite me being a Londoner, I loved the range.

    In the UK there were 2 waves of the Vikings theme, which must indicate that the first wave must have done well enough to warrant a second wave, albeit the second wave had only 2 sets. What I especially loved was the first appearance of the dragon wing (19x11 size I think), they were specialised, but not so specialised that they were restricted to dragons (the parts were also used in sets like UCS Batmobile). Even to this day, there is a Vikings-themed land in Legoland Windsor, with wild boat ride, which is still popular.

    But I think I loved the theme for the sea monsters mostly. And the fact I do have an interest in Scandinavia :-)

    Aftermarket? Not entirely sure, but I picked up a complete Ofnir Dragon set a few months ago for £18. But anything with dragons is going to command a premium.

    So that answers another question: If Lego updated it, they should keep the Norse mythology side of it, since Lego dragons are insanely popular.

    And now this has reminded me of a time where vast Lego sets were a bit cheaper. The Viking Fortress, well over 1000 parts for £50. Now, it's a stretch to find 1000 part sets for £80.

    That's all my 2 pence.
  • yys4uyys4u USA SoCalMember Posts: 1,092
    I love the theme and only have one set from it, #7020. I didn't like this set as much as the ships and sets with Dragons, but it had a good amount of figures for a good price, and the shooting function is awesome! I've been watching the big viking ship on ebay for some time( #7018 )and have been trying to pick it up at the right price. I started trying to get this ship after watching the show Vikings on the history channel :)
  • FenrisAkashiFenrisAkashi Member Posts: 242
    Love the theme, got one set cheap on ebay during a mini-emergence from my dark ages years ago but lost in a number of moves. Makes me sad as I loved the dragons from this range quite a bit.
  • graphitegraphite USMember Posts: 3,241
    More Viking's and you can recreate the short scene from Thor where the ice guys freeze the Viking village and you can use a bunch of the trans blue BURPs from the Batman Mr Freeze "Artic" set.
  • T_LarsT_Lars USAMember Posts: 104
    I liked the idea of the theme, being an American of mostly Scandinavian decent, but you hit the nail on the head about the mythical beasts looking too "BIONICLE". I just couldn't get past that. I really hope Lego does another Viking theme and soon, with better looking ships, meaner looking monsters, and perhaps some sort of a village set.
  • TheOneVeyronianTheOneVeyronian Help me, I'm inside the M25! (UK)Member Posts: 1,359
    If Lego did re-release Vikings, I think the monsters would be better. They'd probably make them in the style of either Ninjago or Fantasy Era, neither of which look Bionicle-y.

    Okay, while most of the beasts did look too Bionicle (the poseability of the legs of the Nidhogg dragon was, to be frank, terrible because of it), I don't think ALL the beasts looked Bionicle-y. The serpent from the viking ship set immediately springs to mind as that one hardly uses Bionicle parts (two I think, for the neck/head connection) and the poseability came from System ratchet joints. I really liked the design of the wolf in the Fenris Wolf set too, but that one used Technic and droid arms. But it worked - just.

    Of course, as a young AFOL without a proper 'dark age', I was one who grew up in the Bionicle 'craze', so I say all of the above as a Bionicle fan of sorts. I think back then Lego thought the best way of offering poseability to the dragons was to go down a compromised mix of System and Bionicle, and AFOL's will notice this. It's kinda weird to combine two entirely different building systems, but sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

    Other than that, more Vikings please Lego. With utilisation of a few new moulds for smaller dragons (maybe like the Eagle piece from LotR), it would look great.

    But somehow I don't think it's going to happen anytime soon, but who knows?
  • HardradaHardrada Member Posts: 439
    edited July 2013
    #7018 is the only set I remember drooling at during my dark ages (that spanned about 15 years). I saw it in a supermarket and I thought it looked cool. It almost brought me back to Lego. In the end the Troll Warship did.:)

    My favourites from the theme are the figures, the #7018 ship, the small boat set and the sea serpent from #7018. My dislikes:
    - I don't like the other monsters (dragons and wolf) at all.
    - A Vikings theme centred around siege weapons is a very odd combination in my opinion. Play factor, I know. But still.
    - The fort doesn't really strike me as Viking in style either.
    - The horned helmets. Oh well, that one is inevitable.
  • DevastatorDevastator Member Posts: 66
    Yeah I "discovered" the Vikings line about 6 months ago... Too bad. It's hard to develope an opinion with just pictures of the box art. It would be nice if we had some good quality images of the sets here at brickset. I can't even tell if the fort is dark brown or reddish brown from google images! If it were released today, I'd be tempted to add to the buy list, as long as they stayed true to the historical and mythological roots and didn't go too cartoony. I think that MMV or MVR type sets to pillage would be great as well.
  • 3fim23fim2 canadaMember Posts: 14
    im canadian and i only discovered this theme when i got the book of lego minifigures. i am extreamly disapointed when they didnt even have vikings in the lego movie. so i added my own creations to lego ideas. since i dont have any lego viking sets i used the ldd lego didgital designer.
  • FauchFauch FranceMember Posts: 2,293

    the theme looks interesting. one of the most striking thing imo are the war machines, I dunno if they are out of place, but they look imposing. if castle war machines could look that impressive... most of them look rather cheap.

    also, I was considering getting the fort, but I feared it may be too similar to my fort legoredo.

  • ccjwprongsccjwprongs UKMember Posts: 84
    Absolutely loved this theme. #7018 is one of my favourites to this day. I rather enjoyed the monster designs; the wolf in particular had some nice part usage. It's all in boxes now but one day I'll put it all back together... and to echo @TheOneVeyronian, the prices were a steal.

    I seem to remember getting #7018 on some kind of discount too, and that was already a bargain at the RRP... at least comparatively. But alas, you never know how good you have it until you don't have it anymore (i.e. until they jack the prices up). :disappointed: 
  • icey117icey117 DenmarkMember Posts: 506
    I missed out on the entire theme while being in the Dark Age. BUT I managed to get the #7018 Vikingship second hand for 200 NOK (that's USD 25). It has been build and left on a shelf to gather dust. No colour fading... such a great purchase!
  • LusiferSamLusiferSam MontanaMember Posts: 480
    I'd loved the Viking theme.  It was one of the few bright spots in an era of some real junk (1999-2006 saw a crappy sets produced in my opinion).  As many have said the swords were awful, those terrible techno-fantasy swords of KK2 (I replaced all of mine with normal Castle swords).  I don't mind the monsters construction, but do feel if these had been produced two year later they would have been less Bionicleish. 

    My single biggest complaint is how they were released.  Originally Lego wasn't going to release these in the US.  The justification was "they wouldn't sell well enough in US."  After months complaints (and insults) Lego gave TRU  an exclusive deal to sell these in the US.  I would get 7018 and 7015 this way.  If I remember correctly just before Christmas Lego finally put them on [email protected] USA.  I believe I got the rest that way.  They were a huge seller for TRU.  After the missteps in '04 this was huge slap in the face. 

    I love the Viking Ship. It's easily one of best sets of its period and definitely the best set of that year.  Most of the other sets are also good too.  While I like the fortress I personally like the prototype better. 

    I think Vikings showed that Lego was heading in a better direction then what they had been, because with in two years Lego was putting out some truly great sets.  I'd love to see them revisit this theme.  I'm not sure they could top 7018, but many of the other could be topped.

    7019.jpg 269.7K
  • 3fim23fim2 canadaMember Posts: 14
    I have made a few leg sets and submitted them to the Lego ideas forum
  • icey117icey117 DenmarkMember Posts: 506

    I have to admit that I ONLY bought the two Viking boats (#7016 + #7018). I was tempted to get the #7019 Fortress ... and later I found that #7020 is the best "Shooting set" Lego has released and the Dragon from #7017 is a worthy challenger for Hobbit Smaug (if you want it brick build).

    If LEGO would return to Vikings and make a less Technic it would be a best seller in Europe for sure. But  since the sets brickwise has gotten quite smaller (Compare pirates 1989 -> 2009 -> 2015) I fear that a new Viking line might be... too cute!
  • DedgeckoDedgecko Seattle, WAMember Posts: 799
    Considering the success of how to train your dragon, and that themes are always redone every few years by TLG, a new Viking series is inevitable.  
  • icey117icey117 DenmarkMember Posts: 506
    Someone somewhere in this forum mentioned that TLC had thoughts of another viking theme. Though I doubt any theme suggestion is left unconsidered by TLC, it might become!
  • Peter1975Peter1975 DeventerMember Posts: 165

    Does people outside Scandinavia like Vikings?

    I know I like them. When they where for sale, back then I did'nt bought them. Later on, I had the luck that someone sold his entire Lego collection. I bought it!! All the viking sets including box and description and over 26 pirates sets. So. that was a great day. I remember the fun of building these sets. And during time, I collect a lot of extra minifigs, so the boats (I got 2) are filled!

    Would such a theme stand a chance if LEGO made an updated version of it... 

    I don't know, but I wil buy it for sure!

  • ShibShib UKMember Posts: 5,216
    There is currently a TV series about Vikings that seems to be pretty popular, not as much as Game of Thrones but I regularly get told I should watch it. I've not seen any of it, but I suspect its too mature for Lego to base stuff on, but it does at least show a cultural interest.

    I'd be fairly happy to see a return of Vikings, fantasy type Castle themes are my favourite non licenced themes, and given that Hobbit/LOTR is over it does leave a space for something like that.

    Incidentally the rumour was for a fantasy era type castle/vikings theme. so may or may not be vikings. Personally I'd love it if TLG started a historical theme rotation - e.g 1 year of romans, followed by 1 year of Castle/Kingdoms, followed by 1 year of ancient Egyptians, followed by 1 year of vikings, set in a repeating cycle. It's not unreasonable to think something like that could happen what with all the moulds introduced from the CMFs, but I don't actually expect it. I suppose Pirates would also fit into that cycle if they wanted too.
  • FauchFauch FranceMember Posts: 2,293

    aren't vikings popular? north mythology could be awesome, ice giants, valkyries, well, thor and loki are already in marvel so that may pose problem.

  • ShibShib UKMember Posts: 5,216
    Just found the thread on Eurobricks that I think was the original source of the rumour, seems to be more Castle than Vikings. 

  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,799
    Peter1975 said:

    Does people outside Scandinavia like Vikings?

    Yes. They are quite popular in the UK with kids and adults, but then we have a lot of shared history. The Vikings were not confined to Scandinavia.

    Much like Romans were not confined to Rome and ancient Greeks were not confined to Greece.

    Plus these are not really historical but mythological and so have been present in western culture for some time. In English, four of the days of the week are named after Norse gods.

  • pharmjodpharmjod 1,170 miles to Wall Drug, USAMember Posts: 2,876
    Playmobil has had some nice historic themes. LEGO could definitely do the same.
  • ShibShib UKMember Posts: 5,216
    I try to avoid looking at playmobil now, its to much of a temptation to start buying stuff I don't really want just because LEGO should make an equivalent!
  • icey117icey117 DenmarkMember Posts: 506
    @Ship : True.. you should really watch the TV series Vikings. It's very true to history storyline, persons, designwise are quite close to how it was. (no horns on helmets, no huge axes etc).

    But taking about Vikings you have quite some different versions of the theme:

    1) Historic version (see the TV series).
    2) "Romantic" version (cartoonish with huge axes etc.)
    3) Mythology version (beasts and monsters).
    4) Marvel version (americanised vikings).

    I like them all... 
  • FauchFauch FranceMember Posts: 2,293
    what's the point if they don't have horns and massive axes?
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 11,919
    I don't know if anyone remembers the kiosk display at Toys 'r' Us, but it was more impressive than the usual.

  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 11,919
    Just noticed the head came off the serpent!
  • icey117icey117 DenmarkMember Posts: 506
    @Fauch Guess you're American? ;-)
  • icey117icey117 DenmarkMember Posts: 506
    According til archeology they didn't have horns - but they did find helmets with birds(!). They drunk mjød (beer) from horns, and held them to their heads when they were drunk. The british (well reasoned) demonising of the vikings, who raided their homes, drew horns on them.
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,099
    edited June 2015
    @CCC I didn't know you were from Jorvik (York)?  I remember in a 1990 visit getting sick to my stomach at the Jorvik Viking Center from the artificial latrine smells... :smiley: 

    I think a Viking series would be great.... they could even do a Beowolf subset to the series.... with the monsters Grendel and Grendel's mother.

    Even a Ragnarök/Asgard subset of sets.

    Another interesting set would be a Stave Church set (TLG has done church sets before) with log bricks... maybe introducing a few new ones to get more of a log "system".

    But yes.... less Bionicle-ly for the mythological creatures!  :)
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,799
    Istokg said:
    @CCC I didn't know you were from Jorvik (York)?  I remember in a 1990 visit getting sick to my stomach at the Jorvik Viking Center from the artificial latrine smells... :smiley: 

    Those smells have only improved (in that they have got worse) with increases in technology.
  • FauchFauch FranceMember Posts: 2,293
    icey117 said:
    @Fauch Guess you're American? ;-)


    what are the birds helmets? like dwarf helmets in fantasy era or like crossbowmen helmet in might and magic heroes 6? (which would be rather weird)

  • OldfanOldfan Chicagoland, IL, USAMember Posts: 621
    I think that Vikings would sell just fine, if there were no other Castle or fantasy themes competing for the business. IIRC, the Knight Kingdom II line was discontinued a year before Vikings came out, and the Castle Fantasy series didn't start until the first year of Vikings was through (I could be wrong). Nevertheless, I feel that Vikings would cannibalize too much on any co-existing Castle (and maybe Pirates) series. That said, I'll buy Vikings sets again in a heartbeat, especially since the brick-build dragons will look so much better using the more modern bricks and techniques that were not available 7 years ago.
  • T_LarsT_Lars USAMember Posts: 104
    ^Just taking a look now, it seems Vikings were sold along side Knights Kingdom II. Does anyone have any information on how well the theme did sales wise? I'd hope they out sold KKII since most of that theme was the epitome of juniorization.
  • binaryeyebinaryeye USMember Posts: 1,734
    SumoLego said:
    I don't know if anyone remembers the kiosk display at Toys 'r' Us, but it was more impressive than the usual.
    I thought the "Only at TRU!" placards might be laziness, but the database indicates the entire line had limited availability in North America. Was it exclusive to TRU in the US? I imagine something like that wouldn't go over too well these days.
  • LusiferSamLusiferSam MontanaMember Posts: 480
    Oldfan said:
    IIRC, the Knight Kingdom II line was discontinued a year before Vikings came out, and the Castle Fantasy series didn't start until the first year of Vikings was through (I could be wrong).
    Knight Kingdom II line ran from 2004-2006.  The Vikings were raiding square in the middle of the that.  That's the main reason the Viking's swords were the KKII swords.

    binaryeye said:
    I thought the "Only at TRU!" placards might be laziness, but the database indicates the entire line had limited availability in North America. Was it exclusive to TRU in the US? I imagine something like that wouldn't go over too well these days.
    Clearly nobody read what I wrote early.  Yes, these were a TRU exclusive in the US.  Not even [email protected] had them at first (they would get them months later).  It didn't go over well back in the day.  There was real nastiness on LUGNET about this.
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 11,919
    Advertisements never lie!

    (But it was a TRU exclusive.)
  • CrownieCrownie WA StateMember Posts: 228
    edited June 2015
    Strange, I only bought one Viking set - #7017 and I could've sworn I bought it at Shopko... (But count me in for a new Vikings theme with less Technic too. I certainly did have a fondness for the lone set I was able to purchase.)
  • icey117icey117 DenmarkMember Posts: 506
    This is a elder Viking MOC but it really rocks:

    Check more images here:
  • 3fim23fim2 canadaMember Posts: 14
    anybody know of some cool predesigns of this theme?
  • sklambsklamb speaker of American EnglishMember Posts: 481
    @icey117--clever way of suggesting thatched roofs! Don't see why Vikings wouldn't be reasonably popular in the US, what with Hagar the Horrible, Lief Ericson and Vinland, HTTYD, and the many people descended from Scandanavians...I'd love to see a larger version of the Viking longboat, myself. (I'm a ship collector!)
  • LEGO_Dad77LEGO_Dad77 Northeastern CaliforniaMember Posts: 243
    Yet aNOTHER awesome theme I completely missed out on.

    Damn you Dark Ages!! Damn youuuuuu!!!
  • KingAlanIKingAlanI Rochester, NYMember Posts: 1,875
    The sets look like they had lots of potential, might've drawn me out of my dark age if I had seen them in the US, castle caught my eye even when I wasn't active with LEGO.
  • LEGO_Dad77LEGO_Dad77 Northeastern CaliforniaMember Posts: 243
    This is as close as I've ever gotten to owning a Vikings set.... pre-Vikings theme of course. :D

  • korkor Member Posts: 392
    I loved the Viking theme! I remember TRU had just put them on the shelves and was doing a buy 2 get 1 free. My wife and I filled up 2 shopping carts with Vikings and a bunch of other themes. I believe that's the last time TRU ran that kind of sale :(
  • piratemania7piratemania7 New EnglandMember Posts: 2,062
    ^how long ago was this?
  • LegopantsLegopants GermanyMember Posts: 1,985
    @LEGO_Dad77 - The "Vikings" longboat has got to be my favourite set of the theme, and it's HUGE as you can see.  

  • ricecakericecake Maryland, USAMember Posts: 879
    This is as close as I've ever gotten to owning a Vikings set.... pre-Vikings theme of course. :D

    Similar to you, the only one I have that is close is #6018. I was able to get my mom to buy it for me because we were studying Vikings in school and I convinced her it would help me with that :)
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