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Is Super Heroes The New Star Wars?

Farmer_JohnFarmer_John USA - 4,035 Miles from 62 West Wallaby St., Wigan, Lancashire, UKMember Posts: 2,404
Lego Star Wars sets have been the flagship for TLG for many year now, and have really bolstered TLG's bottom line. I have to admit that our kids were really into the SW sets and have quite a few between them. However, it seems that now the Super Hero themed sets are of more interest to them and have basically supplanted the SW sets as their favorite sets and the minifigures of choice.

Personally, I also like the Super Hero sets better than the SW set because I grew up reading the Marvel comic books (oh, how I wish I still had those!). It may be that the upcoming release of the UCS Tumbler also signals a shift in TLG's priorities. As a side note, I think releasing a UCS Tumbler is a BRILLIANT move by TLG and hopefully leads to other UCS Super Hero sets.

Sure...the upcoming SW movie will certainly renew the interest in the SW themed sets, but it just seems that the basic SW sets are just getting tiresome, repetitive or just plain weird. I mean...Darth Revan?

With the meager dollars, pounds, euros, etc. available for Lego sets, are others focusing more on SH or SW?


  • vwong19vwong19 San DiegoMember Posts: 1,188
    I wouldn't mind if Super Heroes get more focus, but maybe put them as equals. Stars Wars has gotten stale, but who knows with the new trilogy starting up. Super Heroes is still fresh and has so much to draw from with it long history and mainstream appeal now.
  • BrickDancerBrickDancer Dunes of TatooineMember Posts: 3,639
    I'm making it a strong point to be complete on the SH figs, currently 99% with just the Toy Fair Pair still missing. But with SW, I have >80% completion of figs but do not feel a desire to go back all the way to complete it with the Yellow face era and having absolutely every variation when some are so minor that is almost not noticeable.

    But when it comes to the sets, SH is still very weak. Even more so when you compare it against the large library of System scale SW and not even close on the UCS level. Considering SH only has 4 large sets (2 Arkhams, Batmobile and Tumbler).

    In the long run, I don't believe the SH line has enough source material to ever catch up to SW on the set/vehicle building aspect. But TLG is doing a smashing job on the SH figs all around.
  • vwong19vwong19 San DiegoMember Posts: 1,188
    @BrickDancer‌ - do you collect pre Super Heroes themes also? I am going back on some that I am missing, but Spider-Man and Batman civilians are not really worth looking at.
  • BrickDancerBrickDancer Dunes of TatooineMember Posts: 3,639
    Yes I do. I refer to them as Classic Batman and Classic Spider-man. They are placed in their own display cases separately from the rest of the Superhero line. Batman series only had 2 civilians, dark flesh and light flesh guards. It's the Spider-man line that has the excessive civilians (not counting MJ, Osborne or Aunt May) with the Jewel thief, train conductor, etc. The aren't the prettiest, but they come cheap so no biggie to add them.
  • BuriedinBricksBuriedinBricks USAMember Posts: 1,367
    I agree with @BrickDancer regarding the SH sets. Most have not been that impressive so far. I think that's the one thing Star Wars has to its advantage. So many of its vehicles are just so ingrained in sci-fi culture, there will always be demand for them.
  • ShibShib UKMember Posts: 5,421
    I think it's probably just a case of there being more mainstream superhero source material at the minute. Once Star Wars Rebels and the new films are in full swing the balance will probably flip again.

    In the long run, I don't believe the SH line has enough source material to ever catch up to SW on the set/vehicle building aspect. But TLG is doing a smashing job on the SH figs all around.

    I half disagree with you on this. Don't forget how long a lot of the superheroes have been in comics. There is a near endless supply of possibilities in that. However I think the issue is that there is not enough mainstream source material. For example, I can't imagine TLG doing a set based on the Arrow Jet without it appearing in a high grossing film/tv series. Since the TV show Arrow is going for the gritty realism style I doubt they'd use the Arrow jet - except as the name of the queen family private jet as a wink to the audience, added to the 15 age rating (in the UK) for the show, seems pretty unlikely.
    However TLG prefer to focus on the current stuff with SH so as long as Marvel keep on their game (and DC up theirs cinematically) I'm sure that there will be continued material to draw on.
    What will show an interesting move is if TLG start doing stuff obviously based on previous SH films, e.g the 90s batman films, the 60s Batman TV show (not just as SDCC exclusives or something that might be like the juniors line) or even the Toby McGuire Spiderman films then they really might be starting to see it as a mainstay theme like Star Wars.
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,977
    No. I do not think it is the new Star Wars in regard to importance of them or in sales.

    While it does not apply to everyone, I do think one of the issues with Super Heroes is that for some parents the movies are geared to an older age kid.
    While my younger son has watched Star Wars, and several of the HP movies, I have only been willing to let him watch one Super Hero movie. I think there is the potential for more kids to miss out on the very item (movie) being used to drive sales.

    Now, if you mean, do I think Super Heroes has staying power as a theme, yes I do, simply because of the movie marketing machine behind it.
    When that machine dies, though, or when the movies stop being blockbusters, then the theme dies as well.
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    ^ My kids are in the same boat, without seeing any of the films they're not that interested in SH although they do know the core characters from cartoons etc.

    Getting SH on a par with SW is very sensible from LEGOs point of view as it significantly reduces its reliance on SW and the risk that poses.
  • monkey_roomonkey_roo Member Posts: 1,407
    I am not sure it is the 'next or new' Star Wars as I doubt anything ever could be, but it certainly has the potential to be a mainstay in Lego's production line.

    With Marvel now part of Disney, Super Heroes will become part of every child's childhood. Last week i caught my 3 year old watching the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse in an episode where all the characters became super heroes, Iron Man, Thor etc. so i belive that as long as Disney push their end then it will become bigger and more mainstream and target at all ages. And as they do that, DC will have to respond to keep up. The films will be around for another decade at least, by which time they will be part of the pop culture fabric.

    It would be nicer to see better sets, i.e. not just bits of buildings and token vehicles, but more iconic stuff, but the Super Heroes brand is about the characters so i guess it is right they are front and center and Lego are doing a bang up job with their figures there. Where as with Star Wars the ships are as important as the people, can anyone say Falcon or X-Wing, but Lego are also doing a good job there as well.

    Either way i see Lego pushing sets out for both brands for the next 10 years at least, probably longer. And aside from the impact to my wallet, i'm happy about that :)
  • ShibShib UKMember Posts: 5,421
    ^ To add to this, if anyone is unaware the upcoming Disney film Big Hero 6 is a Marvel comic, and the next Disney infinity game has a strong link with the Marvel franchise...Disney are definitely playing it well.
  • hoyatableshoyatables Northern Virginia, USAMember Posts: 873
    A few thoughts:

    - Star Wars is partly treading water until the new trilogy, which makes sense. And we are all somewhat disillusioned by the retreads that for many are the third or fourth pass at the same ship, vehicle, or character. But there have been some remarkably great and new recent sets (Ewok Village) that show there is still potential, even in the original trilogy.

    - I just do not see a "risk" from Star Wars. Especially with the new trilogy on its way. LEGO will keep making money hand over fist on that one.

    - For Superheroes, what LEGO really needs to take a stab at is another big playset (other than Arkham). The Justice League Satellite / Hall of Justice or some sort of Marvel equivalent. That would really lend well to the combination of figures and action that define the genre. More UCS is nice in concept but I'm not sure that outside of a few key things like the Batmobile there is really the source material to inspire it.
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    ^ The 'risk' is they lose the licence and the impact that would have. Not likely, but with a strong long term licence sitting alongside SW if it did happen the impact would be less severe. It both reduces the threat and strengthens LEGOs hand in contract negotiations.
  • Farmer_JohnFarmer_John USA - 4,035 Miles from 62 West Wallaby St., Wigan, Lancashire, UKMember Posts: 2,404
    ^Because both SW and now Marvel are part of Disney, I would expect the licensing risk to be the same. However, DC is another matter...and Lego Batman sells (even to me). To your point though, TLG does kill off themes once they cease to be profitable (Toy Story and PotC come to mind, and they're both Disney).

    Maybe the minifigures are the least in our house. The SW minifigures used to travel everywhere with the kids; now it's the SH minifigures. Even my older (teenager) kids are wanting to have complete sets of the SH minifigures. I don't remember them ever trying to collect all of anything when they were focused on SW.

    It's not that they don't like SW; I just haven't heard any interest in picking up SW sets in at least a year (I know I've certainly lost interest in the regular-sized SW sets). It's all about Batman and the Avengers these days.
  • GeddesGeddes Member Posts: 574
    All we need is a who shot first scenario in avengers 2 ultron or vision, maybe captain america bangs his head on the quinjet getting out.
  • XefanXefan Member Posts: 1,149
    edited July 2014
    I like a lot of the Super Heroes minifigs, but the problem I have with the sets are, like many of the Lord of the Rings/Hobbit sets mostly made up of fiddly litle bits - a bit of building here, a small vehicle there.

    I like big chunky builds, which is why I like the modulars, why, to me, Orthanc was the stand out set of the LotR series, and why I love the UCS Star Wars sets.

    The Tumbler is a positive new direction for SH in this respect (though it's not my cup of tea, it's just a big lump of black bits just as the SSD is a big lump of grey bricks), I'm hoping we see more of this - a UCS HeliCarrier, or X-Men Mansion or something would be awesome.

    I can't really view SH as supplanting Star Wars until it has quite the range and scale of sets that Star Wars has, until there's a whole bunch more UCS, a lot more bigger sets that are semi-UCS like the Death Star and Ewok Village, and so on.
  • prevereprevere North of Bellville, East of Heartlake, South of Bricksburg, West of Ninjago City Member Posts: 2,922
    SH is bigger than LOTR, HP or POTC, but not quite at the level of Star Wars. The fundamental problem is the lack of vehicles and playset opportunities.
  • EddieDoesntMindEddieDoesntMind Member Posts: 329
    @BrickDancer‌, ooh, could you possibly fancy a picture?

    I feel that the Super Heroes theme is still only 3 years old now, while Star Wars has been around since 1999. It can still be kinda hard to make comparisons now. ;)
  • BrickDancerBrickDancer Dunes of TatooineMember Posts: 3,639
    Here you go @eddiedoesntmind!

  • BrickDancerBrickDancer Dunes of TatooineMember Posts: 3,639
    It didn't attach. One more try!
  • BrickDancerBrickDancer Dunes of TatooineMember Posts: 3,639
    Here's Spidey, but the case size didn't allow the other civilians to be included
  • SMCSMC UKMember Posts: 2,064
    edited July 2014
    I do think SH sets are weak because of the builds, star wars has ships which really helps the line also it will get to a point where people say not batman again, but if it was not for the new SW films I would say that at the moment SH is bigger
  • prevereprevere North of Bellville, East of Heartlake, South of Bricksburg, West of Ninjago City Member Posts: 2,922

    Here's Spidey, but the case size didn't allow the other civilians to be included

    Still no new Peter Parker from the newly launched Super Hero series from 2012 and on. Tons of sets and figs but no Peter. Strange.
  • brickupdatebrickupdate Member Posts: 1,020
    Since Disney owns both Marvel and Lucasfilm, and based on the CULTURAL impact of super heroes recently, I think that the real answer is that these will BOTH be anchor franchises. A few reasons:

    1. Disney has been aggressive about offering "ways in" to each franchise of characters for younger and younger kids. Likewise, they offer more for adult fans. So they are looking at the entire lifecycle of fandom, not products to market.

    2. Star Wars is about to become bigger than it ever has been. Not just because of a new movie - but because the Rebels TV show is about getting at the younger viewers (separate from the movies) and that Disney is not just going to "create 3 new movies," they are going to create movies beyond that; they will likely create a theme park; they will keep pushing this franchise in new and compelling ways.

    3. What Marvel did with the movies relaunched super heroes in a way that we will feel effects from for 30-50 years. Kids are growing up with it, and there is an effect to that. My 4 year old sees Spiderman everywhere. Likewise - super heroes is a UNIVERSE of well-established characters who can be re-hashed again and again.

    4. There are good insights in this thread about rehashes of SW vehicles getting old; about lack of vehicles in the super hero universe, etc. BUT... I think LEGO is getting more sophisticated, and Disney is getting more sophisticated. I think we can expect both to continue to create stuff for us to buy without any fear! :) Can I imagine a $49 Hall of Justice AND a $300 Hall of Justice. Yep.

    So I can see BOTH of these franchises occupying a huge part of LEGO for the next 5 - 10 years.
  • GeddesGeddes Member Posts: 574
    Its surely only a matter of time before lego make a big marvel set, maybe they are hand picking the location of the playset or vehicle. As it will be the first one. They had more experience with dc/batman
  • graphitegraphite USMember Posts: 3,270
    prevere said:

    Still no new Peter Parker from the newly launched Super Hero series from 2012 and on. Tons of sets and figs but no Peter. Strange.

    Well they still have about 1000 spiderman sets that they'll make over the next 10 years so I'm sure he'll be included soon enough.

  • prevereprevere North of Bellville, East of Heartlake, South of Bricksburg, West of Ninjago City Member Posts: 2,922
  • GIR3691GIR3691 Member Posts: 672
    Disney owns most of the licenses including Star Wars, so I'd say they are the new Star Wars.
  • vadangvadang Member Posts: 47
    I am some what new but so far I like the larger sets of the SW sets, but like the minifigs of the SH sets. I guess SW has the advantage of having big star ships, so I hope they make some larger SH sets besides the UCS tumbler.
  • DrmnezDrmnez USA, Planet earth Member Posts: 859
    I love SH mf. Personally I wouldn't mind them stopping production to save money lol. It is true that the SH sets most no good. TLG should just make SH an ongoing CMF because I'm sure most collectors want the MFs.
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