By "classic" I have minifig "boys" themes with a traditional price point-structure in mind, i.e. Mixels and CMF do not qualify as classic themes.
Although some of the above sets are clasified as sub-themes on Brickset, I consider them as stand-alone themes with their own unique design and story.
In addtion we had a minidoll "girls" theme:
For the sake of completeness we had the following Big Bang themes:
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adventurers seems to be the one that hasn't been done in a while.
I honestly think girl-oriented themes are where there's the most obvious room for growth right now. Currently there are girl-oriented fantasy and modern-day themes, but no girl-oriented sci-fi theme, so that could be a nice thing to introduce. Not sure what would be ideal there because I'm not that keyed into what trends are popular with girls these days. Dystopian sci-fi like "The Hunger Games" certainly seems to be popular with teenage girls and young women, but most of those series are rather bleak, which could make it hard to craft an original kids' toyline with lots of shelf appeal within that genre.
And in any case, it might be better to launch a new girl-oriented theme as a character-driven "big bang" theme, since that's been a reliable approach for Friends and Elves. Other than that, I have no idea what sort of new themes the next few years might call for.
Or something like "Lego City 3020", with flying cars, etc. An I, Robot/BTTF2 future-world.
I just want more spaceships.
The big problem with this approach for me is that a Big Bang theme is made as such by promotional approach rather than by the content of the theme so it's difficult to say what will or won't be considered as such until a cartoon or the like is confirmed.
I guess they have to evaluate whether putting effort into one year and done themes is viable these days, when they are up against both increased numbers of licensed sets and increased numbers of Big Bang sets.
Do they really need to do series like Galaxy Squad or Ultra-Agents, if they are going up against Nexo Knights, Ninjago, yearly sub-themes of City (be it arctic, deep sea, volcano, etc).
Otherwise, an adventurey/ explorer theme would be great but these always seem to get sucked into licences as they lend themselves so well to it (persia, potc, Indiana etc).
With Nexo Knights presumably occupying the "Castle" slot for the next few years, perhaps the time is right for a Western revival. Westerns may not be as popular with kids as they used to be, but I think it's still far from impossible for a Western theme to succeed even if only for one wave like the latest Pirates theme.
Chima was really nothing like Ninjago, and it did pretty well.
Maybe they can dust off Johnny Thunder and add in a time-travelling element - TimeCruisers 2020...
(Good thought above - notice that the CMF 'Native American' figures are referred to as 'Tribal' - which is the most neutral term you can possibly use.)
In general, I hear more people arguing against political correctness in LEGO than for it. Any set with "holiday" in the title results in an insane amount of wailing and moaning, never mind that LEGO uses both "Christmas" and "Holiday" in set names extensively. Any news about steps LEGO takes towards inclusivity is treated as PC nonsense, even if it's something like a wheelchair that genuinely never existed before in a form modern minifigures could use, or something like dark-skinned female minifigures which are still stupidly scarce even in licensed themes. I've even seen AFOLs whine about fantasy themes like Ninjago or Nexo Knights being too politically correct by daring to present one female character as an equally skilled fighter to her four or five male co-stars. It's quite ridiculous, honestly!
Also, from what I've seen, the "How to Train Your Dragon" movies are immensely popular on Tumblr, a site whose culture I frequently see derided for being overly politically correct. Those movies, need I remind you, are about vikings. I don't see how sets about Vikings, Romans, or ancient Egyptians would be any more controversial than sets about medieval Europe.
as well as some nice catapults and dragons.
The realities of globalization mean that it genuinely does matter how things will be perceived by people of different backgrounds. But that doesn't mean people whose backgrounds make certain things seem offensive are just looking for stuff to be offended about. Consider what an uproar there'd be if a minifigure of the Dutch Christmas character "Zwarte Piet" were released in the US. Or if a toy using swastikas in the original eastern spiritual sense were released in Germany. Even if the context might not have been considered offensive originally, releasing those in countries with a different history with those symbols changes the context.
Personally, I think it's ridiculous window dressing arm-waving that obfuscates genuine issues.
However, Lego is an easy target. Is there any reason to identify Native American figures as 'tribal'? Is there any reason for Lego to end their decades long partnership with Shell? Is there a reason why there are no military figures?
(And the obvious exceptions to some 'rules' noted by Lego - Indiana Jones Nazis, Deadpool, the non-branded DC sets that HAPPEN to have all of Suicide Squad characters, etc.)
There is an obvious worry that it would negatively impact sales and the company's philosophy. Whether reasonable or unreasonable, it is a reality that Lego tries very hard to manage.
And then you have a window-licker reference hit the market, and you have vultures ready to pounce.
I happen to think that the traditional Barbie Doll is just about the worst toy for young girls. So Mattel does the best they can do to still serve the market, but also address critics. And ounce of prevention is better than trying to spin out a PR nightmare.
I'd rather take articles claiming that Lego is 'pandering' to girls - as they sell billions of dollars worth of sets to afforesaid girls - than having to end a longstanding partnership with a company that produces the raw material that my product is made from.
But I agree most of the PC nonsense being mentioned is just that - nonsense. A wild west theme can certainly return, just ss it existed, with "tribals," the cavarly, and a bunch of cowboys. So long as a set isn't about pushing a group of natives off of land or giving them diseased blankets, it will be just fine.
I presume Jestro and the Lava Monsters are done for now? Hopefully we move on to new areas of the Realm, water or swamp based.
I don't think it has mass appeal. The Vikings sets were somewhat limited in their release. And judging by sales, the demand didn't warrant a second run of the theme.
I think Lego is playing it safe, and I don't blame them. Modern warfare ban aside, can you imagine the reaction to a Vietnam set?
Obviously, there are probably reasons for both of those things, and I agree in most other cases it's more a Hollywood problem than a LEGO Group problem. But I think when people get excited about racial diversity in new licensed sets — or upset about a lack of it — it's worthwhile to at least listen instead of acting as though it shouldn't matter or is entirely out of the LEGO Group's hands.
I'm not saying that there aren't potential pitfalls, but I don't see any reason to think the risk of an outcry is great enough for the LEGO Group to want to avoid historical themes entirely — not when they've jumped head-first into so many other controversial themes in spite of a sizable and inevitable outcry.
While I think it would be generous to consider Tia Dalma a major character in the series as a whole, I am disappointed she wasn't included in any sets. That said, she could realistically be in only a couple sets; her shack in Dead Man's Chest, or the Black Pearl in At World's End. There were no action scenes in the shack, so that had no chance of becoming a set, and it makes more sense for the Black Pearl to be based on Dead Man's Chest so the more important Davy Jones could be included.
Overall, I don't think it's really fair to criticize LEGO for the omission of either character when there were only four sets based on the first three films.