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Why Did LEGO Deem It Necessary To Create "Realistic" Versions Of Friends And Elves?
When I first saw the Elves sets here on Brickset I thought that they were cool and that I would probably buy some of them. Then images of the sets packaged were released and I was taken aback by the "realistic" (for want of a better word) versions of these new characters. I just didn't think the artwork was very good and definitely not "LEGO-ey". After watching the snippets of animation available on Brickset today, like many others I was not impressed by it.
This got me wondering why Lego isn't using the actual minidoll versions for the cartoon the way they use minifigure versions of the characters in Ninjago and Legends of Chima. They didn't create "realistic" versions of four differently colored ninjas for boys to relate to and Thundercats already existed so they didn't create "real" versions of Laval and co. I remember thinking the same thing when I first saw the "realistic" versions of the original Friends girls to promote that line.
I believe it would have tied the Elves sets and the cartoon together better using the LEGO style of animation and humor found in Ninjago than the more conventional. As some have also mentioned, you wouldn't really know it was a LEGO creation just by watching the Elves cartoon unless you already knew it was a LEGO creation.