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Too Many One-and-Dones

hans_olohans_olo Member Posts: 5
edited May 2011 in Everything else LEGO
Has anyone else noticed a slew of One-and-Done themes? Prince of Persia, World Racers, Toy Story and Pharoh's Quest so far... If Lego isn't going to expand on these themes and realese poor launch sets, then why promote the theme at all?

Comments

  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,284
    Pharaoh's Quest hasn't been discontinued, and if Disney/Pixar release another Toy Story in the future while LEGO still holds a Disney license, I'm quite sure we'll see a re-introduction.

    Nevertheless, your point is taken and the answer is: yes, we have noticed it. And the reason is because it has become a part of TLG's product development strategy to develop a large number of themes and let their individual success determine their longevity. With their increasing production capacity and overall growth, it's a natural and logical approach to expansion. I think the more interesting and questionable ventures have been in non "core" products like LEGO games and LEGO Universe. The former has been wildly popular and has seen even more expansion in 2011, and the latter, as we all know, has failed quite miserably.

    As for your second question -- "why promote the theme at all?" -- TLG is going to give each theme a fair shot at succeeding, and regardless, the incremental promotional expense does not seem that large for each theme; it's not as if they are marketing each theme in drastically different ways such that the overhead is high.
  • wander099wander099 Member Posts: 114
    I'm not surprised that there are some themes that only get a short run. If a theme is not well-received, why would LEGO continue it? That said, I think their time and resources might be better spent making a smaller number of themes and making them better quality. I was very disappointed with the Pharaoh's Quest sets. And I know LEGO could have done a better job.
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,112
    the overlap too. Pharoah's quest and the Prince of persia are so closely related, they may as well just be one theme. in retrospect, does it really pay to go after a low-end short lived license like PoP? Now you've got PotC, and also the standard Pirates theme - although that one is probably on hiatus for awhile now.
  • wander099wander099 Member Posts: 114
    I wouldn't consider the two themes to be so closely related that they could be combined, but I think Pharaoh's Quest could have waited another year so it appeared more original. That would have given more time for designing too, so it might have been better.

    I am curious to see how Alien Conquest does and whether we'll see any new sets in the future or if this will be it. It seems over-priced to me and I don't find many of the sets appealing, but I thought Ninjago would be a flop and it seems it has been well-received (I even bought one of the sets and plan to buy another!).
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,112
    sometimes it's hard to tell what will work and what won't - I'm not a kid anymore after all. I look at Ninjago and most of the Atlantis stuff and go "yech, no thanks", same with Alien Conquest. But I guess what appeals to me is quite different. I don't care much about playability, but want sets that include a lot of basic parts that can be used to create other things, so obviously the modulars and creator sets are generally appealing, while the themed playsets, with their over abundance of specialized parts and lack of building blocks generally don't. Kids probably want the exact opposite.
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,284
    edited May 2011
    Prince of Persia and Pirates of The Caribbean are just part of the Disney portfolio that LEGO got access to when they started their licensing agreement in 2010, so there wasn't a need for additional pursuance. And saying that Pharaoh's Quest (based on Egyptian history and culture) and Prince of Persia (based on Middle-Eastern history and culture) are closely related is being a quite a bit dismissive.
  • Halberd777Halberd777 Member Posts: 32
    ^
    I for one think that Pharoah's Quest is more of a spin-off of the old adventurers.

    What I find interesting is that Pharoah's Quest, Indiana Jones, and the Adventurers theme are all alike. I wonder if the popularity of Indiana Jones spun Pharoah's Quest as an Idea from Lego that maybe they would bring back the Adventurers theme if Pharoah's quest takes off.
  • CrackseedCrackseed Member Posts: 90
    Pharaoh's Quest at least has some great new minifigs going for it and TLG's take on their architecture, etc is great. I frankly am glad they decided to make a non-licensed theme versus maintaining the lackluster PoP theme. Cheaper to acquire sets for MOC fodder or mini-fig collecting, etc :)

    And just to contribute to the overall discussion, I'm actually a big fan of Ninjago - I think it's great they have another Ninja themed set, especially after missing out on the awesome that was the original Ninja stuff. Nevermind Alien Conquest IMO, is the coolest stuff in years [in this AFOL's humble opinion of course] so I look forward to seeing what else they do.

    Personally I just want Space to follow City and become a standard theme with all the sub-factions working like how City does with each Space faction getting new releases every year instead of being one faction per 1-2 years with a couple waves of new products.
  • AETerryAETerry Member Posts: 48
    edited May 2011
    ^
    I for one think that Pharoah's Quest is more of a spin-off of the old adventurers.

    What I find interesting is that Pharoah's Quest, Indiana Jones, and the Adventurers theme are all alike. I wonder if the popularity of Indiana Jones spun Pharoah's Quest as an Idea from Lego that maybe they would bring back the Adventurers theme if Pharoah's quest takes off.
    I very much so agree with that feeling. All three to me are related.

    Space Police which finished a run last year of 2010 was merely the third installment of that theme or sub-theme of Space.

    Jump to Castle, and I see the Forestmen, Wolfpack and even Dark Forest all being a very similiar sub-theme.

    Some themes I like very much over others. And others like Prince of Persia were only given a few sets as the movie itself wasn't very well recieved, which also effected the toys. Not many wanted to buy toys from a movie that wasn't well liked, so why continue it?

    And Star Wars has been here for a very long time. But I'm sure LEGO will have other ideas, other Liscense Names they work with. I'm slightly surprised no one mentioned the Speed Racer sets.

    Long as LEGO succeeds in making liscense agreements and as long as we have movies, cartoons, ect successful enough, I'm sure we'll see more sets. As well as LEGO continuing every few years to put out a new Emergency (Fire, Police, Hospital), ect for the new generation of Lego Fans entering the field.

    In a way, that "One-and-Dones" may put a huge collectabilty factor to the sets. But that's something only time will reveal. As you get huge monster hit successes like Harry Potter and long time classics around for ever like Star Wars.

  • jwsmartjwsmart Member Posts: 298
    edited May 2011
    I would rather have them test a whole bunch of different themes and see how they do, rather than not take any risks.

    Not taking risks means more police & fire stations, less sphinxes (what exactly is the plural of sphinx?) that turn into giant monsters, less hovercraft races and less all-green minifigures.

    These one off themes tend to be a great source of unique pieces, and clever sets that wouldn't exist in any other context.
  • YpresYpres Member Posts: 200
    Well the stores seem to want to stock new stuff. Unless they're high selling themes like Atlantis and Starwars they'd rather have something else.

    Ninjago took off! Probably going to have a third run too....
  • LuciusMalfoy7LuciusMalfoy7 Member Posts: 107
    edited May 2011
    ^
    In a way, that "One-and-Dones" may put a huge collectabilty factor to the sets. But that's something only time will reveal. As you get huge monster hit successes like Harry Potter and long time classics around for ever like Star Wars.
    I wouldn't be so sure about Harry Potter's longtime success. What with the end of the films, the tie-in isn't a shoe-in for a 2012 pickup. Which would be a shame, of course.
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,218
    What's wrong with "one and dones" ? I think it's great that we're getting some variety, rather than just annual refreshes. A mixture of enduring themes which run every year such as City or reappear every few years such as Pirates, plus some licensed short runs to add novelty and variety, would seem to be the perfect combination.
  • LuciusMalfoy7LuciusMalfoy7 Member Posts: 107
    @drdavewatford - For me, collecting LEGO comes in waves of obsession. I'm obsessed with one or two themes and try to collect them all. This is also, I think, the notion of a lot of kids. But what happens if your theme gets discontinued? Suddenly, you're at a loss for what to collect next and your collection is rendered next to useless.
  • HobomanHoboman Member Posts: 9
    From my point of view different themes seem to have different focus targets. Ninjago, for example, was targeted at the same game market as Bakugan or Beyblade. Thus most of the sets reflect a minimal effort to do anything other then support the spinner tops. They even did a tv cartoon to support it. Sad to say it was just a couple of episodes, but still.

    My point is, how can you look at that theme and compair it to one designed to take advantage of a movie and it's limited popularity window such as PoP? Different focus means different time lines and support efforts over time. "One and Dones" seve a particular focus and I believe are never ment to "last".

    Of course that is just my point of view.
  • whizzardwhizzard Member Posts: 102
    Ninjago has been incredibly well received, and after the cartoon has allowed TLG the scope to really expand upon the theme with the Blacksmith shop, the Fire Temple and all of the dragons coming in Wave 3 from next month onwards (probably earlier in TRU). I foresee further expansion of that theme still on the back of the 10+ cartoon series that's scheduled for the end of the year.
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    It seems that with many of these short-lived themes the idea is to ride the crest of the popularity of the theme, not to build an enduring and iconic theme. I think it is understandable because it is harder to create something iconic and timeless than it is to create something very popular but transient.
  • beets665beets665 Member Posts: 106
    over the last year i have noticed this that lego have gone mad promoting sets getting them into the shops making the sets look good then nothing to follow up

    i can really see this happening with the cars sets sadly but i have got to say out of all of the 1 run sets the cars set has to be 1 of the worse
  • whizzardwhizzard Member Posts: 102
    over the last year i have noticed this that lego have gone mad promoting sets getting them into the shops making the sets look good then nothing to follow up

    i can really see this happening with the cars sets sadly but i have got to say out of all of the 1 run sets the cars set has to be 1 of the worse
    Agree. Cost of the sets is astronomical . My local TRU has a massive Cars display as you walk in - as much as we think - the shelves had been decimated. Like it or not - popular Disney franchises sell!
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,284
    edited June 2011
    I actually liked the look of the toy story and cars sets and can think of worse themes that rightfully had single runs :p
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,218
    ^ Fully agree - the Cars sets are pretty good IMHO, and many of the sets are at lower price points than I'd have expected. Look at 8200 Radiator Springs Lightning McQueen, for instance - same UK RRP as some of the Racers sets but licensed and printed parts rather than stickers, so actually a pretty good deal I reckon....
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,169
    I just want the Cars line 2 Spy jet coming out for parts.. nice little black 'private jet' look set...
  • bahnstormerbahnstormer Member Posts: 180
    the toy story series is finished, i would expect there to be a few more cars films - the merchandising income for pixar disney on this franchise outstrips the dvd sales income...
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,284
    ^ There are no current plans for a 4th Toy story film, but considering that Toy Story 3 grossed over 1 billion globally and was Pixar's most successful film, I would not be surprised if they go back to the well at some point in the future.
  • whizzardwhizzard Member Posts: 102
    ^ There are no current plans for a 4th Toy story film, but considering that Toy Story 3 grossed over 1 billion globally and was Pixar's most successful film, I would not be surprised if they go back to the well at some point in the future.
    Wouldn't rule it out - even if it takes a few years. I mean look at the gap between TS2 and 3, and also Cars -> Cars 2 and also next year's Monster's Inc 2 for that matter.
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,112
    edited June 2011
    one of the things I loved about Pixar for so long was that they didn't just churn out the easy money sequels - outside of TS2, each new Pixar film was unique and often innovative. I didn't even mind so much the return to TS3 after such a long gap really, but now with Cars 2 coming out (this must be entirely a merchandise vehicle, as the 1st movie is probably the worst Pixar film to date), and now Monsters 2 (don't really mind - that is still one of my favorites, and it's been a long time).

    It seems sadly that Pixar must be running out of good ideas, or else the Disney assimilation is complete and they are now into full-on "milk every last nickel" mode. I guess the only thing left is the direct-to-DVD sequel dreck that has no value outside of the word "Disney" on the box, and thus will sell a zillion copies and tons of merchandise on that feature alone.
  • wander099wander099 Member Posts: 114
    ^ I agree. I saw a lot of Pixar movies when I was younger and I really liked how each one was different and there have been a couple of more recent original movies (ex. Wall-E and Kung Fu Panda). However, they do seem to be going the sequel route. I mean Cars looked terrible the first time (didn't actually watch) and now it looks worse. And Kung Fu Panda 2 sounds pretty much like a quick re-write of the first one and animated action alone isn't enough to get me to cough up the money for a ticket at box office prices.

    I really hope that this is not the beginning of a pattern with Pixar, but my hope is probably misplaced. Easy money is found in sequels for popular franchises. It is just sad to see a previously creative company go that way. And I think it will lose them their adult fans. I'll go see POTC, James Bond, etc. as long as the action is at least good and the story is acceptable, but I won't go see rehashes of the same animated movies.
  • davee123davee123 USAMember Posts: 804
    So... what themes would you consider to be One-And-Dones? I might posit:

    1999 - Rock Raiders
    2000 - Mickey Mouse
    2001 - Life on Mars
    2001 - Dinosaurs
    2002 - Galidor
    2005 - Vikings?
    2005 - Dino Attack/Dino 2010
    2006 - Avatar
    2007 - Aqua Raiders
    2009 - Pirates?
    2010 - Pharaoh's Quest
    2010 - Prince of Persia?
    2010 - Toy Story?
    2010 - World Racers

    Prior to 1999, it was more subtheme based (so subthemes were expected to last only for the year of their release).

    DaveE
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    Whoa, pirates? That was a revival of an old theme. It wasn't just similar in concept. The old and new versions look pretty much the same save for modern improvements like facial expressions. And I suspect the only reason it didn't go past a year is to make way for POTC.
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,284
    edited June 2011
    Don't forget 2008 Speed Racer tied-in to the box office flop

    Also, @wander099, Kung Fu Panda is Dreamworks :P
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Member Posts: 4,401
    Let's not defame Pixar with that panda crap! :o)
  • mrfootballmrfootball Member Posts: 84
    I haven't bought a single Pharoah's Quest set or Prince of Persia, however as they go on sale, I'm taking another look at them for their good potential as Modded Indiana Jones sets.
  • StormsworderStormsworder Member Posts: 107
    The new Pirates weren't a patch on the old ones (no pun intended). The only really good sets were the pirate ship and the larger pirate hide-out. They should have another go at Pirates, even if it is only another "one-and-done" range.

    I didn't like the new Aquaraiders either. Those giant squid and giant crabs and other things wasted too much of the piece-counts when more could have been done to extend the main models. Maybe they should have sold the sea creatures separately.
  • wander099wander099 Member Posts: 114
    @rocao, oops. I could have sworn it was pixar, but I didn't bother to double check.
  • LuciusMalfoy7LuciusMalfoy7 Member Posts: 107
    I know this is getting off-topic, but I promise I'll make a LEGO-related comment as well! IMHO, Cars is amazing, Bug's Life is probably the weakest of the great line. People will be pleased to hear that in between Cars 2 and Monsters, Inc. 2 they'll be releasing an original fairytale, Brave!

    On-topic, I know a way to fix the Disney Pixar problem: make it one theme! Just do what Star Wars and Harry Potter does and make sets from every movie. This would ensure that they could, if they wanted, focus on the current movie (Pixar does make a new one every year) but they could focus on old ones without the theme becoming a one-and-done. It would then allow for more variety, and sets for some of the older movies.
  • Halberd777Halberd777 Member Posts: 32
    Well technically Viking's could not be considered a one year run it had two years. I actually am quite suprised nothing ever came from that run either it seemed quite popular. It had good brick built creatures including dragons. Which Ninjago ripped from it.

    I am still kind of angry that ninjago has gotten so popular when it pulls from elements that have been done before that did not go very far. Ninja done before and Vikings provides Dragons before. I guess ultimately the success comes from what are popular with todays kids bakugan style with a tech ninja style.
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