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(More excited about the DC sets tbh).
On topic though, the pirate ship doesn't look too bad but not sure about the others. Only prelim though.
Treasure Island makes me nostalgic for the 90s Pirates sets I enjoyed as a kid, what with that beautiful brick-built skull.
No sense whining about the sails and minifigures, as they're almost certainly going to change in the final product (much like the skull-patterned wings for Hawkman and Space Batman in the Justice League sets).
I know some people dislike them, but I'm loving the brick-built palm trees. Now, granted, the old-school articulated palm trees were fantastic, but these have plenty of benefits of their own. They have connection points up and down the trunk so things like monkeys, minifigures, and (as seen in one set) frogs can climb them, and they're definitely a lot less specialized than the one-piece trunks used in the 4+ Pirates sets and even the 2009 Pirates theme.
I don't plan on collecting these sets, but I see a lot to love, and I'm sure that many people will also warm up to them once we have finalized pictures.
In the meantime, the Elves theme looks brilliant and I am tremendously excited to collect it — it has met and exceeded all of my expectations!
I love the bulldozer being a more appropriate scale than the last, but at the same time, it looks a bit junior-ized, as well as many of the other sets shown. That worries me along with LEGOs increasing lack of QA on their parts and stickers, the poor job of sealing boxes-which allow thieves to pilfer the product, their growth of production and distribution of their product (again with poor QA), increasing prices, lock out of exclusive sales in the US and now the seemly increasing lack of detail in their sets.
These signs point to what occurred in the late 90's if they are not careful IMO.
As for the pirate sets, have to agree with @aanchir.
On a different note, though, I can honestly say I've never been more excited about any Lego sets than I am for the Elves sets. Look at all the colors! And those mini dolls are the first I actually like. And foliage parts in shades of purple? My life is complete.
At any rate, still something the OCD collector in me will have to buy a few of each set of; albeit begrudglingly along the way...
Pirates has lots of lady pirates without printed curves. Good job. (@tamamahm)
"Let it go, let it goooooo" Frozen for Lego. That will cause some serious squeeing!
I also like the new 3 in1 Creator building continuing the store theme.
I am not sure that the female pirates are done in those pictures. They look like placeholders, but yes, I did notice immediately what 'feels' like more females both in pirates, but also city. I am not a city fan, but the swamp sets look sweet, and feel like more females than the norm.
...(off topic, but) how is it that no one has once mentioned the porta potty set yet?
The photos seem to have been taken down. Oh well, at least we got a that nice little preview.
The company that takes these pics down are the same ones that allow them to get leaked in the first place....
I doubt if these are real. Just look at the poor clothing of the soldiers. Overall the minifigs are poor. So I think it's one big fake.
And if not, I won't buy!
If they waited for the design, then waited for the parts, then made the catalogue, then waited for the retailers to put their orders in... it would mean the final product would be sitting around and not being sold ie not making money (this is my limited understanding of the process). To make the most money, they want the shortest time between design, manufacturing and sales.
I'm guessing LEGO is a reputable enough brand that retailers know what they're getting and know it will sell, so as mentioned above, it's just to give the retailers a rough idea of the size and content of the set.
Also, I noticed the Juniors pirate set wasn't among the images at the link that had compiled all the images. As expected, it wasn't anything impressive; a peg-leg pirate in a boat (2551), a shark, and a small "island" with a bit of wall, treasure, and a skeleton.
I'm not saying I'm thrilled with all the sets. But not because they look cheap or juniorized, certainly.
Let me ask this: What would you rather have? A #6285 or this new ship coming out?
Id rather have the Black Seas Barracuda.
Heck I'd rather have the #6243 Brickbeards bounty and #6242 Soldier fort, which is a really stripped down version of #6276 Eldorado Fortress, than what appears to be the new 'fort' coming out.
Will I buy the ship? Probably as I am collecting them, but I'm not really awestruck with these as apparently some people are, sorry.
Do I applaud them for releasing a new Pirate line? Sure, but the sets are just sorely lacking IMO in design and creativity and it just appears the designers 'phoned it in' with many of them, including for some of the SW and City sets as well.
But for Pirate, considering they did PoTC you think they could do these a bit better. It just looks like they threw them together just in time to get them out.(and yes I am aware they are not the final photos but you cannot hide what appears to be lack of creativity in the sets basics)
I'm just theorizing here of course, but it seems like Lego releases so many sets now that they can't/don't put the amount of effort necessary into making any one set great (there are some exceptions, of course). The net result is that instead of having a lesser number of sets that are great, we have a greater number of sets that are crappy.
I guess the benefit here (to me at least) is that I can spend less time/money building with Lego, and can spend more time doing other stuff (with a tad more money in my pocket).
Usually when I hear the term "juniorized", people are using it to refer to big, specialized parts like wall panels that they feel should have been replaced with smaller and less specialized parts, so that was the reason for my confusion. I don't personally think that wall panels like that are juniorized, but it seems to be a common refrain every time a new LEGO Castle set comes out — too many wall panels, not enough creative brickwork.
As long as people are buying sets no matter what just simply because it is a Lego product this will never stop.
There is a reason quality and effort have gone down hill the last two years.
The sets sell out with little effort.
I mean give me a break. 687 sets in 1 year? I have been to restaurants that have a vast menu where much of the food is simply mediocre at best. There are a few standout dishes, but generally nothing is stellar. I have also been to restaurants where their menu is anemic by comparison to the others with the gigantic menu. However, I have often found that the quality of every dish I try at those with a more focused menu tends to be much higher than those at the other restaurants. I know personally I would be much happier if LEGO took all those passionate designers and told them we are going to make between 300-400 sets this year and we are going to try to make each and every one special. Or, at a minimum make even the mediocre / average sets pretty special and make the good ones exceptional.
I think LEGO does a pretty good job at making the great, larger sets. It really is the middling sized sets that seem to be lacking anymore. Only time will tell if LEGO is actually making decisions that will ultimately have a negative effect on business.
That skull on #70411 brings up lots of nostalgia for #6248 Volcano Island from my own childhood. I know that skull design was used on several sets, and I loved it. I never entirely felt that any later brick-built skulls like it were quite able to measure up... until this one. It's a huge improvement over #6241 Loot Island, one of the few 2009 Pirates sets I own personally.
The foundation of #70410 Soldiers' Outpost looks really beautiful and detailed, as do the walls. Sadly, the raft doesn't measure up to the one in #6240 Kraken Attackin' (nor does the name). But the addition of a tattered sail is nice.
The pirate ship in #70143 seems to have all the essentials of a LEGO pirate ship and then some. Its piece count leads me to believe that it might boast some considerable interior detail as well, since it's a far higher piece count than #6243 Brickbeard's Bounty.
#70412 Soldiers' Fort has an exciting shape that looks like it wraps around a harbor. It's not as big as #6242 but it's still classy-looking with its very vertical build. I feel like it could result in some exciting play scenarios. The new palm trees look great, and I just noticed they're attached to some of the sets via Mixels ball cups — clever!
And of course, #70409 is a brilliantly executed concept for an impulse set. Even if you put #6239 Cannon Battle and #8397 Pirate Survival (the two sets that best fit this set's play scenario) together, I don't think you'd come up with something nearly this elegant.
Overall, I think there's a lot to love about these sets. No, they're not new subject matter for the Pirates theme, but I think they're well-executed. The biggest disappointment for me, looking at these sets in more detail? Well, the raft in #70410, but besides that... no monkeys! There's even a banana in #70411, mercilessly teasing all the monkeys that can't have it because they don't come in this wave. I hope that might change in the final sets, and we'll get at least one monkey.
Along the lines of what VaderX stated, people will vote with their wallets. I'll be voting with mine (not that it'll mean much).
Nothing inherently wrong or bad about the lineup. Just somewhat uninspired I guess
Granted, the 2013 Castle sets didn't have quite so much of an excuse for their back-to-basics approach than this theme did, since less time had passed between Kingdoms and Castle than between 2009 Pirates and 2015 Pirates. But honestly, some of the criticisms of the 2013 Castle sets are part of why I'm puzzled about the criticisms for these Pirates sets, since as I mentioned, a lot of the biggest criticisms seemed to be centered around the number of prefab wall panels in #70404 King's Castle (which was, in and of itself, not extraordinary for a LEGO Castle theme).
On the flip, Treasure Island and Soldier's Outpost would be fun together and provide playability for a 4-7 year old.
I am wondering if they are focusing the sets at a younger age, and thus are going with the lower price points and smaller sets. Sets better for that age range to build. They may have data to indicate that older kids are not going for pirates.
What I would want or my son would want would be that larger island at a $60 price tag, with a cool bridge and special features. Perhaps a larger fort, with a prison and cool features (not unlike the size of the last fort or bigger) With the mid-price range missing, they are missing something in terms of playability.
Looking at the past pirate sets, I think it was the bases on the older sets that really did lend to the pirate theme, though, in creating some larger looking sets. Those looked fun. Without those bases, it seems harder to get the scope they used to have.
I will say, though, Loot island is analogous to Treasure Island. Loot Island is one of my very top sets for great price point and a ton of playability. The 'island' part of Loot Island we have had a ton of usage out of, and is currently being used to create a mermaid island. Because of that I'm having a hard time getting behind Treasure island, despite it having many similar features.
I'm mainly with doubts on this one, while I'm disappointed in the line for what I know my son would have wanted, overall the line is not inherently good/bad, but just missing those mid-range sets. Soldier's fort is my exception. That one is just looking like a hot mess to me in the prelim pics.
From my casual observations, the store exclusives tend to be right in the middle of the part count or price range. Here's hoping... But with sets this small, a mid-sized exclusive set would be pretty tiny as well, probably something around 200 pieces to fit in with these 5 new sets. :(