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LEGO still needs a hardware store, and they have the tools and equipment to do it now.
Yes... Nothing says fun to kids like pretending to have to go to a hardware store.
I suspect there are far more kids that would prefer to play with a school than a hardware store... All pretty moot anyway, since I am not sure $150-$200 modular sets are particularly targeted at most kids anyway.
At their age, though, not a chance. They would rather read a book, play a video game, build Lego, etc. I am quite sure that is not weird. Even my son has little interest in going to Home Depot at his age. All of them enjoy school, though.
I just find it funny, that a place (school)that kids go every day, a place that many kids enjoy, a place that is the topic of many books (HP ), a place that is part of many kids pretend play, and an actual building in a Lego line, is alluded to as a not fun set.
On the flip, I really can not name a time I have seen a hardware store come up in pretend play....
As said, though, it is moot, since this line is not geared at younger kids.
A hardware store geared towards AFOLs works fine, and historically I could see it.
Realistically, though, police or detective does seem to make logical sense, with Fire Brigade gone. I personally would prefer a detective agency, if done well, so I would like to see those rumors correct. I would say post office, is also missing from this Main street set-up, but I do think like City Hall that is a bit utilitarian. A medical building is missing as well. I could actually see that at some point. Of course, I would love to see another combo building like the Pet Shop. Perhaps a small post office on one side and a doctor's office on the other.
I like the detective agency idea...but I don't think that would sell as well.
When I think "LEGO City hardware store" I think more of a downtown hardware store like TrueValue or Ace rather than a hardware superstore like Home Depot or Lowes. And for goods on sale, I would think more of power tools, hand tools, pipes, and lumber than large appliances like ride-on lawnmowers (though a push mower would be a nice thing to display in the store window).
I have a small list of buildings that I would want released. Not in any order of preference:
Bike/ Motorcycle Shop
I think we are thinking in terms of present day, but in the 50's there were tons of Mom and Pop stores that were in the city. General Stores and other mercantile shops and even cobblers.
Of course, if you have a bank, you really need a police or detective agency. ;-)
In fact, bring back vikings ... Noggin the Nog.
Still at least Parsley the lion won't be in court on sex charges...
I know it has quite a big following here in the UK and on a holiday in Japan about 6 years ago I remember seeing a lot of vending machines with Moomin branded drinks in - which I found very surprising.
Lego based on it would only really sell for nostalgia value, I could be wrong but I don't think that any TV networks in the UK currently show Moomin, so I don't think theres much kiddy appeal.
As for in the UK? I could not say . . . . . .
I'd love Adventures of Tintin LEGO sets, though I don't know whether that's ever likely to happen. I grew up with both the cartoon on Nickelodeon and the comic books. I was disappointed when the LEGO Group didn't pick up a license for that to tie in with the film in 2011. But there's still a chance with the sequels, assuming those do in fact move forward and it doesn't get mired in development hell.
Any of these franchises would be far more well-known in Europe than they are in America, but Tintin would probably stand the greatest chance of being well-known enough for a LEGO theme on account of the movies, provided the sets are released to tie in with a new film release. There might be some concerns about subject matter (considering that Haddock's alcoholism is one of the series most enduring running jokes), but really it's not much worse than other series like Indiana Jones and Pirates of the Caribbean in that respect.
Asterix is a series of French comics about a village of Gauls (ancient peoples who occupy what is now France) defending their home against Roman invaders. The Gauls have a magic potion that gives them super strength and speed. Much slapstick Roman-bashing ensues. My uncle (who's around your age) was a fan when he was a kid... not sure quite how he was introduced to it. I got my first Asterix comics as gifts from him if I'm not mistaken.
Moomins are Scandinavian characters I have no familiarity with other than what I've read on Wikipedia.