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Why not something more like Classic Space??

wagnerml2wagnerml2 Belleville, IllinoisMember Posts: 1,376
I will preface this rant by stating that I am going to be 41 years old next month. At the risk of sounding like my father lecturing about the econmy, I have wondered about the direction of the non-licensed sets.

Specifically, space. First of all, Galaxy Squad does not appeal to me, nor does it seem to apeal to my 9 year old son. Lego seems to have gotten to the point where every theme has opposing forces (cops v robbers, aliens v humans, etc). In good ol' classic space you had exploration and building at the core. Now don't get me wrong, my classic space bases were always being attacked and invaded, but the models themselves focused on much more than the "us vs them" part of the theme. It seems that TLG thinks that kids are hung up on this type of struggle and, to me, it sacrifices designs and imagination in favor of the "battles" you can create.

Also, I am not one to say that there shouldn't be weapons or conflict in lego themes, I always had it in my imagination growing up, but thats what it was....imagination. I would like to see TLG take a swing at a theme like classic space that allows for some conflict, but would focus on exploration. I realize that the Mars sets were along this line, but even they were not what I was looking for.

I love the advanced building tecniques and specialized pieces and minifigures of today, but I wish my son had the same iaginatve experience with Lego as I had when I was his age. I'm not sure if this really makes my point or not...it just seems there is something missing from the experience.

Comments

  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,099
    I completely agree. I personally find the Classic Space sets quite charming. Their focus on exploration rather than war is refreshing in today's violent world. There also seems to be an increasing demand for classic space sets on ebay as I see prices rising. So yeah, I would love to see Lego release a new Creator based line that focused on lunar bases and exploration vessels rather than battling aliens and space bugs.
  • binaryeyebinaryeye USMember Posts: 1,789
    For me, it's not the conflict that's a problem. What I don't like is that the conflict is always a clearly-defined good vs. bad. The world is not such a black and white place. While I realize LEGO is a toy, I feel it is more educational in nature and thus should be held to higher standards in this context.
  • graphitegraphite USMember Posts: 3,274
    ^ This would be nice. There were multiple variants of the original space line and you could choose any one of them to be good or bad if you wanted. I never had much of the space stuff growing up except a few of the ~$10 sets and one bigger Blacktron set. At that time I never really thought of Blacktron as "the bad guy" but it fits that in the typical "good guys wear white" outlook on good/bad. That is what was nice about those sets only having one side. You could decide who was good, bad or even have neither be bad.
  • wagnerml2wagnerml2 Belleville, IllinoisMember Posts: 1,376
    Other than my original Yellow Castle, the Classic Space was what I had. I had nearly every set from 1979 to 1985 before I went into a dark age. Just had hours and hours of fun. I know that the models are simplistic by today's standards, but they were solid and clean builds. It would just be a great theme (or type of theme) to revive.
  • oldtodd33oldtodd33 Denver 4800 miles to BillundMember Posts: 2,641
    I understand what you're saying and I agree to a point. But, just after Classic Space we had M-Tron. If you remember them, then you remember their foes, Blacktron. So the whole us vs. them has been around for a while. When Lego makes a theme set like this, it is almost like doubling their sales because the kids want both kinds. Good and bad, not just good. Although I think Lego could survive well enough if they don't make the "them" part of the theme.

    Don't take this personally because I have children also. I don't think kids these days have the imagination we did growing up. I think there are so many choices for personal entertainment for them that they don't delve very deeply into any one thing enough to truly enjoy it or know enough about it. I realize I just made myself sound like a jaded old man just like I hated when I was young, but I really think that. If you look at my father in-law and what he had to play with when he was young ( a yo-yo and marbles ), the lifestyles are worlds apart.

    I will also agree that when I was young, my city had a lot of accidents in it. Wow, I'm so old that Lego didn't even have a space theme.....or castle......or technic........or train...........
    madforLEGOwagnerml2jasor
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 10,645
    mathew said:

    I completely agree. I personally find the Classic Space sets quite charming. Their focus on exploration rather than war is refreshing in today's violent world. There also seems to be an increasing demand for classic space sets on ebay as I see prices rising. So yeah, I would love to see Lego release a new Creator based line that focused on lunar bases and exploration vessels rather than battling aliens and space bugs.

    I dunno about increasing value. A few years ago you could get most classic space on the cheap (I know because I sold most of mine back then)
    I love Classic space, but do not have the room for that, castle and City/Train/Town

    I also love the basic design, no need for ADHD color schemes or special parts.
    I miss classic space and Blacktron I, when the baddies were baddies (even though they were smiling)
  • graphitegraphite USMember Posts: 3,274

    when the baddies were baddies (even though they were smiling)

    Whats the point in being bad if it doesn't make you happy? =)
    kylejohnson11jasormadforLEGO
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,475
    So who are the goodies and who are the baddies in Galaxy Squad?

    Is it the insects attacking earth, or humans attacking their planet and them defending themselves?

    Surely the kids decide this. My kids often have a small army of the bright pink S6 intergalactic girls as baddies. The S6 classic alien is normally a goodie. In AC, the aliens were often used as goodies too.
  • wagnerml2wagnerml2 Belleville, IllinoisMember Posts: 1,376
    @oldtodd33 - I agree 1000%. And by the way, your father in law was lucky. All my grandfather had to play with was a rock, a stick and a dead squirrel.
    DiggydoesandhePlauge
  • dragonhawkdragonhawk USMember Posts: 633
    edited March 2013
    CCC said:

    So who are the goodies and who are the baddies in Galaxy Squad?

    Is it the insects attacking earth, or humans attacking their planet and them defending themselves?

    Surely the kids decide this. My kids often have a small army of the bright pink S6 intergalactic girls as baddies. The S6 classic alien is normally a goodie. In AC, the aliens were often used as goodies too.

    At the end of the Monster Fighters comics, you can see earth surrounded by hundreds of insectoids alien. It is clear which side is taking the initiative.


    In my classic space settings (man that was long time ago), my Star Fleet Voyager (or some variation of it) responded to distress signal from my Solar Power Transporter (or some variation of it). Apparently they discovered an ancient Transformers site and somehow it turned the blue lego robot against the rest of Transporter crews.

    I miss the pictures of set variations at the back of the box. I remember spending hours building those without instructions. That was the best way to develop problem solving skills
    wagnerml2
  • DiggydoesDiggydoes Cologne/GermanyMember Posts: 1,079
    wagnerml2 said:

    @oldtodd33 - I agree 1000%. And by the way, your father in law was lucky. All my grandfather had to play with was a rock, a stick and a dead squirrel.

    I'm pretty sure that Squirrel had some Flick-fire missiles hidden somewhere ;)
    krklintFurrysaurus
  • wagnerml2wagnerml2 Belleville, IllinoisMember Posts: 1,376
    ^ Agreed. Between the alternate models and the ideas in the idea book from 1980, i had literally years of building.
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,099

    mathew said:

    I completely agree. I personally find the Classic Space sets quite charming. Their focus on exploration rather than war is refreshing in today's violent world. There also seems to be an increasing demand for classic space sets on ebay as I see prices rising. So yeah, I would love to see Lego release a new Creator based line that focused on lunar bases and exploration vessels rather than battling aliens and space bugs.

    I dunno about increasing value. A few years ago you could get most classic space on the cheap (I know because I sold most of mine back then)
    I love Classic space, but do not have the room for that, castle and City/Train/Town
    Most of the classic space sets have jumped in price a good 20-40% over the past year. I should of picked up a few when I first came out of my dark age. I've personally grown bored with the current themed sets and prefer the classic ones. It's probably nostalgia, but they just strike me as being more pure Lego than anything produced today including the modulars.
  • beabea Member Posts: 227
    I definitely miss the alternate builds on the back of the box. It provided me with hours of entertainment (or frustration) trying to reproduce those myself. I wish they still did this.
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,331
    I was at my lego prime at the end of classic space and the start of futuron and then blacktron 1. Because ofmy older brothers I had most all of the classic space but they weren't half as good. The exploration thing was fine, it was a time when space exploration was popular, but then when blacktron came out it got a whole lot better. Same with castle, yellow castle was ok and all but imo it peaked with the kings castle and black knights fortress.

    I agree with the imagination side of things but more blame the more set specific pieces of today than the good/bad split. Even more than that I blame the quality of today's lego sets. Especially as a child, it is so much harder to create something that lives up to today's high standard of set design.

    A boxy old grey castle made out of bits of kings castle and fortress just doesnt cut it anymore where as before it would have been an improvement on the original boxy old grey kings castle.

    Whilst teenagers can no doubt take a couple of helms deep and a weathertop and make something better those a bit younger find it that much harder and probably in many cases get bored never having experienced the thrill of a top rate moc.

    I do see a danger for lego becoming more of a build and display toy akin to an airfix or Tamya than a build and rebuild construction toy.
  • LegoBrickSteveLegoBrickSteve Member Posts: 43

    I miss the pictures of set variations at the back of the box. I remember spending hours building those without instructions. That was the best way to develop problem solving skills
    Amen.

    Those pictures made me SO much more excited to get home and tear into the set I was holding in my hands. It demonstrated the 'possibility of LEGO' to me, and I understood it at a young age.

    The interesting, and fortunate, side effect of this was that as my hobby developed, my father fell into it as well. He would take a look at those alternative builds and decide himself that we needed at least one more of each set.

    I was a lucky little Castle-junkie growing up, as my father insisted we eventually needed at least 2 of each set: 1 to build as per the instructions, and another to mokey 'round with.

    I like to live my this motto as an AFOL to this day...

    StuBoy
  • StormsworderStormsworder Member Posts: 107
    I would love to see sets made like Classic Space but utilising the kinds of pieces Lego has at its disposal now. Things like Galaxy Squad are just far too specific, and their models are over-specialised. The Space Police 3 sets such as Galactic Enforcer and that SP3 base were the only things in recent years which came close to imitating classic space sets. The Alien Conquest mothership and tripod were good as novelty items, but the rest of that theme just felt too much like another Town/City emergency service team.
  • LegoBrickSteveLegoBrickSteve Member Posts: 43
    Loved the tripod! It had such a cool, 1950's monster-movie vibe to it. I couldn't help but pick up of a few of those to 'invade' my LEGO city.

    The alien aspects of the theme were fantastic, but the rival alien hunters (I forget what they were actually labeled) were glorified police sets, in my opinion.
    StuBoy
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,290
    edited March 2013

    I miss the pictures of set variations at the back of the box. I remember spending hours building those without instructions. That was the best way to develop problem solving skills

    My first LEGO set was #733 Universal Building Set. My parents bought it on clearance, and I guess it was an opened box, because it had no instructions. I actually didn't even know that it was supposed to come with instructions until I came out of my dark ages in 1999 and saw instruction scans on Brickshelf.

    I spent countless hours figuring out how to build each model pictured on the box and was able to do so, including getting the gears to work correctly. Fond memories indeed!
  • CapnRex101CapnRex101 United KingdomAdministrator Posts: 2,357
    I think that conflict is something which will almost always find its way into toys nowadays, but I completely agree with @binaryeye, I wish it was not so black and white as well, an enormous series featuring different factions of human and alien forces would be brilliant.

    I see no reason why you could not simply have perhaps six groups. A few groups of human astronauts of different colours and factions, some aliens of different species and maybe some robots too. Some aliens could be allied with the humans as they explore, while others might try to stop them or ask them to join the battle against the robots. Why not allow children to make their own decisions about who is on what side and play with their sets in whatever way they wish? Be that with simple exploration of alien landscapes, encountering friendly and unfriendly aliens along the way, or an all out war between the allied human groups and allied aliens against them.

    Don't get me wrong, I love Lego in its current form as it is all I have known while I have been collecting. However it is my opinion that perhaps if Lego were to put the creativity back into their unlicensed sets they would be more popular, perhaps popular enough to challenge the licensed themes (most of which I love) dominating the market at the moment.
  • GIR3691GIR3691 Member Posts: 674
    I think they have to compete with video games. Galaxy Squad is a great theme, but I would also like to see a neo-Classic Space. They need to stick missiles on everything for play value. Non-battling space must not test well.
  • tmgm528tmgm528 Member Posts: 457
    I honestly think that Lego does not do that because of the sets like that in the 90's they did quite awful. They stayed safe and did not do space for a few years and they brought back this good guy vs bad guy. It obviously sells well or else they would stop doing it. I would like to see a set from the "bad guy" prospective on mars mission. "People have invaded our planet with weapons! We must stop them." perhaps the aliens are the good guys?
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,986
    edited March 2013
    Specifically, space. First of all, Galaxy Squad does not appeal to me, nor does it seem to apeal to my 9 year old son. Lego seems to have gotten to the point where every theme has opposing forces (cops v robbers, aliens v humans, etc). In good ol' classic space you had exploration and building at the core. Now don't get me wrong, my classic space bases were always being attacked and invaded, but the models themselves focused on much more than the "us vs them" part of the theme. It seems that TLG thinks that kids are hung up on this type of struggle and, to me, it sacrifices designs and imagination in favor of the "battles" you can create.

    Well, my 6 year old does not care for Galaxy Squad and I do not either. The exception is the summer set that is $99. That one is pretty cool looking.

    There is a fundamental issue of any line dealing with exploration, not just space. I've mentioned before that a line like Playmobil Egyptian all of my kids loved. None of my kids wanted Lego Pharoah's quest. The difference was the former, while it did have battle, also really had that exploration element. Pharoah's quest completely turned off my girls, and my son did not have interest, because all of the fun exploration aspect of the theme wasn't there.

    One of my son's all time favorites was MBA 7-9, which focused on story-building, and as such had all of these fun hidden features, and wasn't simply a fighting/vehicle theme. I haven't been able to find anything else even remotely similar in the lines.

    If one looks at the themes out there they are either vehicle focused or battle focused, and without that exploration element. I assume they have done their own research that shows that vehicle/battle sells. At the same time, I really do wish there was more variety in this, because it would not just appeal to more girls a bit more, it would also appeal to my son.

    Don't take this personally because I have children also. I don't think kids these days have the imagination we did growing up. I think there are so many choices for personal entertainment for them that they don't delve very deeply into any one thing enough to truly enjoy it or know enough about it. I realize I just made myself sound like a jaded old man just like I hated when I was young, but I really think that. If you look at my father in-law and what he had to play with when he was young ( a yo-yo and marbles ), the lifestyles are worlds apart.


    One thing to keep in mind, though, is imagination has different aspects. Imagination can be related to going deep into an area, and creating. Imagination can be related not going deep into the mechanics and creating, but using the items as the exist to create highly imaginative play scenarios.
    Both take a bunch of creativity.

    At the same time, I understand the point. Again... MBA 7-9. It wasn't vehicle and it wasn't fighting based. It was a wonderful story, with details and features that drew my son in. More than that, though, there were directions for other builds. These gave my sons that launching point for his own creations. This aspect really is missing from almost all Lego these days. MBA is one of the only series I've seen this remotely done well in. I think there are a few in the creator line that have secondary builds. Because of that aspect, though, of MBA, I really could see that creativity/imagination on the building side come out, and not just the creativity/imagination on the playing side.
  • wagnerml2wagnerml2 Belleville, IllinoisMember Posts: 1,376
    edited March 2013
    tmgm528 said:

    I honestly think that Lego does not do that because of the sets like that in the 90's they did quite awful. They stayed safe and did not do space for a few years and they brought back this good guy vs bad guy. It obviously sells well or else they would stop doing it. I would like to see a set from the "bad guy" prospective on mars mission. "People have invaded our planet with weapons! We must stop them." perhaps the aliens are the good guys?

    I think everything sold poorly in the 90s because the 90s sets were bad. Really bad.
  • Lego_Lord_MayorcaLego_Lord_Mayorca H-Town, USAMember Posts: 614
    wagnerml2 said:


    I think everything sold poorly in the 90s because the 90s sets were bad. Really bad.

    You MUST be joking. You have to be joking. The decade that gave us #8880 Super Car? #6542 Launch and Load Seaport? #6086 Black Knights' Castle? The Airport Monorail? The first Lego X-Wing Starfighter??? Lego Mindstorms? I could go on for a long time, listing all the great sets that came out from 1990 to 1999. Was there a serious downturn and a crop of mostly pathetic sets? Sure, several themes and Lego in general started nosediving starting in 1997, but it was by no means the majority of the decade.

    For me, the 90s defined Lego sets and the "System" that is sadly no longer with us. Full admission: I grew up on Lego during the 1990s, so yes, you can call me out as biased in favor of them. But from your opening post, I can most assuredly call you out on nostalgia filtering your perspective on the sets of the "Classic" Space line. Even as a kid in the mid-90s, I looked at catalogs of Lego Space sets from before 1987 and winced at how primitive they were. You can imagine my shock to discover the huge adult fanbase online for these sets like they were the be-all, end-all of Lego set design. Blech.

    Say what you will about Galaxy Squad right now, but it is still miles ahead of anything from the early and mid 1980s.

    T_Lars
  • SirKevbagsSirKevbags Fairy Land Member Posts: 4,027
    I have to agree about #6542 I had my BNIB version out yesterday and was very tempted to start ripping open bags!
  • LegoBrickSteveLegoBrickSteve Member Posts: 43
    The 90's were full of great sets and more so, it was a decade of transition and growth for LEGO. The product evolved a lot in those ten years, and a lot of what we enjoy today is due to the trial and error (and success) of the themes and sets that came out during that period.

  • CoolsplashCoolsplash Member Posts: 935
    Must say, I like this thread, thanks @wagnerml2. And I totally agree with you about the Classic space sets. I was able to buy all of those back in those days (mainly as my elder brother was collecting it) but I still have them stored safe and sound. My dark ages lasted over 15 years mainly with lack of Lego sets here. My son keeps tabs on all the Lego progress with help of Brickset and he was disappointed with the Galaxy Squad theme as he was expecting TLG to launch a theme where he can play using the Galaxy petrol CMF :P

    Classic space theme is still the best in my eyes due to the exploration and overall building experience. Same with Castle theme and then City. So we hope TLG launces a Space theme with added exploration flavor.
  • StormsworderStormsworder Member Posts: 107
    Some of the space or sci-fi non-licenced theme sets of recent years seem more like Zoids. You can move some of the pieces around and swap bits between models but they're basically just designed with one model in mind and no real scope for much alternative building.
  • AanchirAanchir United StatesMember Posts: 2,989
    edited March 2013

    Some of the space or sci-fi non-licenced theme sets of recent years seem more like Zoids. You can move some of the pieces around and swap bits between models but they're basically just designed with one model in mind and no real scope for much alternative building.

    I wholeheartedly disagree. I had a blast building with my Atlantis and Space Police sets a couple years back. I used almost all of them to build Rise of the Dread Colossus for a Eurobricks building contest, and it's still one of my most impressive non-BIONICLE, non-Hero Factory MOCs (I displayed it at Brickfair Virginia for the past two years). Previously, I had just as much fun building with Power Miners sets, though I didn't produce anything with those that I considered worth photographing for posterity. And before that I got loads of inspiration from the Agents theme — though I didn't limit myself to Agents parts, I built a motorcycle, helicopter, and car based on the theme's aesthetic (check the folder for more pics if you're interested; there are a lot of hidden functions to fit the spirit of the theme).

    I haven't bought many sci-fi themes since Atlantis, largely because in 2011 I got into both Ninjago and Hero Factory, which have eaten up a lot of my budget. But even those have served as the foundation for a number of MOCs I'm quite proud of. Overall, sci-fi themes today may use a lot of specialized parts, but almost invariably those parts are designed with a certain amount of versatility in mind, unlike the parts of, say, Exploriens and UFO, two themes I loved during my childhood. In fact, specialized pieces have been a part of LEGO Space themes for decades — specialized, angular windscreens, engines, and support columns have long been the order of the day. I don't see how modern LEGO themes are any worse in that regard.
  • wagnerml2wagnerml2 Belleville, IllinoisMember Posts: 1,376
    @Lego_Lord_Mayorca - Oh, I will admit that Nostalgia clouds my judgment. And I will also say that there were a FEW Iconic sets of the 90's, but look at sets like the following : #2880 , #6486, #6548, #6500, #6545, #6155, #1793.

    The majority of the sets this decade seem lazy to me. And, if I'm not mistaken, Lego did extremely poorly from a financial perspective this decade until the SW License brought them out of their own Dark Age.

    Today's sets are light years ahead from a design perspective, but the specalized pieces and some of the thematic approaches take away some of the imagination that made lego so special to me when I was young.

    I'll apologize and keep my 90's bias to myself :)
  • AanchirAanchir United StatesMember Posts: 2,989
    wagnerml2 said:

    @Lego_Lord_Mayorca - Oh, I will admit that Nostalgia clouds my judgment. And I will also say that there were a FEW Iconic sets of the 90's, but look at sets like the following : #2880 , #6486, #6548, #6500, #6545, #6155, #1793.

    The majority of the sets this decade seem lazy to me. And, if I'm not mistaken, Lego did extremely poorly from a financial perspective this decade until the SW License brought them out of their own Dark Age.

    Today's sets are light years ahead from a design perspective, but the specalized pieces and some of the thematic approaches take away some of the imagination that made lego so special to me when I was young.

    I'll apologize and keep my 90's bias to myself :)

    Hey, I agree the mid- to late 90s were a pretty bad time for LEGO design in a lot of respects, but don't go dissing Aquasharks. That theme was brilliant. Sure, there were some parts that could be considered "juniorized", but not that much more than a typical Space Police I set. Aquazone as a whole dominates many of my memories of LEGO building and play from my childhood, and while later iterations like Hydronauts and Stingrays were weaker in some respects, as a whole I have a feeling that Aquazone helped shape my preference for detailed LEGO IPs versus less story-driven themes.
    BJ21
  • sonsofscevasonsofsceva 1904 World's FairMember Posts: 542
    edited March 2013
    This may be a good time for a space exploration series. If you follow that news, there are two space mining companies in progress to create drilling drones for asteroids. Another guy is committed to creating a space fueling facility on the moon. So, we are, in the private sector, perhaps on the cusp of the next stage of exploratory space interest.
  • Lego_Lord_MayorcaLego_Lord_Mayorca H-Town, USAMember Posts: 614
    wagnerml2 said:

    @Lego_Lord_Mayorca - Oh, I will admit that Nostalgia clouds my judgment. And I will also say that there were a FEW Iconic sets of the 90's, but look at sets like the following : #2880 , #6486, #6548, #6500, #6545, #6155, #1793.

    The majority of the sets this decade seem lazy to me. And, if I'm not mistaken, Lego did extremely poorly from a financial perspective this decade until the SW License brought them out of their own Dark Age.

    Today's sets are light years ahead from a design perspective, but the specalized pieces and some of the thematic approaches take away some of the imagination that made lego so special to me when I was young.

    I'll apologize and keep my 90's bias to myself :)

    Fair enough, man. I'm with @Aanchir on the Aquanauts/Aquasharks. The Aquazone theme was my favorite one in 1995, and those sets are still awesome. Before getting any proper space bases, the Neptune Discovery Lab was the crown jewel of my sci-fi collection.

    I do take issue with some of the examples you cited. #2880 was a promo item, i.e. a polybag, so you can never expect much from those, regardless of decade. One of those was never released under mysterious circumstances, and the rest, yes, are terrible examples of Town's rapid decline starting in 1997. Those printed head-lights are still the most abominable thing Lego has ever done in my eyes. Now, Space Station Zenon is just a random piece of Lego WTF-ery. If you were into Unitron, you went for the Monorail Transport Base, not that little clump of random bricks.
  • bogeymanukbogeymanuk Member Posts: 30
    I would have to echo what has been said already, the alternative build images were so inspirational. I would build a set and then nearly straight away tear it down and try to recreate the other builds on the box and from there create ones of my own.
    My nephew has a lot of star wars and a few other lego items and he enjoys building them but once they're done they sit on a shelf. I remember my lego wasn't sat made up on a shelf it was in plastic tubs ready to be tipped out on the floor in a big pile for whatever tickled my fancy, a castle, a spaceship, play guns, houses, cars, aeroplanes, anything really. Ive never really lost that imaginative drive inspired by those images, the first thing I thought after I made the Haunted House was wow, the second one was what can I make out of all those bricks!
  • AanchirAanchir United StatesMember Posts: 2,989

    I would have to echo what has been said already, the alternative build images were so inspirational. I would build a set and then nearly straight away tear it down and try to recreate the other builds on the box and from there create ones of my own.
    My nephew has a lot of star wars and a few other lego items and he enjoys building them but once they're done they sit on a shelf. I remember my lego wasn't sat made up on a shelf it was in plastic tubs ready to be tipped out on the floor in a big pile for whatever tickled my fancy, a castle, a spaceship, play guns, houses, cars, aeroplanes, anything really. Ive never really lost that imaginative drive inspired by those images, the first thing I thought after I made the Haunted House was wow, the second one was what can I make out of all those bricks!

    In my opinion, alternative build images were quite nice, but I can see why they did away with them. It could naturally be frustrating for a kid or a parent if they like the alternative build image or even prefer it to the main model but can't figure out how to assemble it. After all, if it's right there on the box it could very easily be an incentive for buying the set, which would make the disappointment of not knowing how to assemble it all the more crushing. Also, removing alternate build images frees up box space to show off the set's features, though some sets need this extra space more than others.
  • wagnerml2wagnerml2 Belleville, IllinoisMember Posts: 1,376
    ^^ Ahhh. but such was the beauty of the alternate builds. They actually made you think and figure it out. I remember completing the first alternate build on the back of my Galaxy Explorer. A great feeling of accomplishment. Somewhere, my mom has a photo of me holding it as I was so proud.
    dragonhawk
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 10,645
    edited March 2013
    What is silly is that the alternative builds could have been also added into the instructions, as TECHNIC Did/does and train instruction books used to have in the 80's.

    I just think that LEGO space (and other themes) from the 70's, 80's and 90's forced kids to use their imagination, heck I'm pretty sure that the first run of LEGO SW also had alternate builds so i think this is a relatively recent fad of not showing such models.
    Now today, if you do not placate to the lowest common denominator you are in trouble.
    That is why I feel that although the LEGO of the 80's and early 90's was not technologically advanced as it is now, it made you have to find solutions to the problem of a build, and IMO made it easier to get something built. Now LEGO just pumps out another new piece to account for a demand but it also seems to me to drives inventory up to insane levels where it is almost easier to build something in a LEGO CAD program and not with physical parts IMO
  • AanchirAanchir United StatesMember Posts: 2,989

    What is silly is that the alternative builds could have been also added into the instructions, as TECHNIC Did/does and train instruction books used to have in the 80's.

    I just think that LEGO space (and other themes) from the 70's, 80's and 90's forced kids to use their imagination, heck I'm pretty sure that the first run of LEGO SW also had alternate builds so i think this is a relatively recent fad of not showing such models.
    Now today, if you do not placate to the lowest common denominator you are in trouble.
    That is why I feel that although the LEGO of the 80's and early 90's was not technologically advanced as it is now, it made you have to find solutions to the problem of a build, and IMO made it easier to get something built. Now LEGO just pumps out another new piece to account for a demand but it also seems to me to drives inventory up to insane levels where it is almost easier to build something in a LEGO CAD program and not with physical parts IMO

    Including alternate builds in the instructions requires that every one of them meet the same strict specifications that TLG has for the main models of sets, and honestly in a lot of older alternate models I don't see that. Several are creative in their use of parts, but they have terrible fragility, disorganized color schemes, or other design problems.

    Also, here's the real question: do those old sets force kids to use their imagination, or simply prevent less creative kids from enjoying the sets to the same degree? Making sets appeal to kids of wider creative capacity in a sense democratizes the LEGO experience. Kids who are naturally creatively-inclined, with the mathematical know-how and visualization skills to produce amazing models of their own, are not restricted in any way from doing that, and will probably do that even if they're not being "forced" to. But kids with less of a creative inclination will probably become frustrated with the toy if it's trying to force them to do something they simply cannot do. In a controlled setting, forcing a kid to do something might perhaps push them to rise to the challenge. But this isn't a controlled setting-- this is a kid who probably has dozens of other toys to play with that are more user-friendly for them, and who might be discouraged from buying another set if their first one gave them a bad experience.

    Also, LEGO doesn't just pump out new pieces to account for demand, they create new pieces to perform purposes that other pieces can't perform as well or efficiently. Sure, with a very narrow definition of LEGO building, you can create a lot of things with basic bricks and plates. But what if a kid wants to build an articulated figure? In that case, basic bricks and plates would be extremely limiting; you'd need hinges and joints. What if a kid wants their model to look less boxy? Then they'd need detail elements like slopes, curved slopes, and even things like Hero Factory shells. What if a kid wants to make something recognizable in shape at a very particular scale? Again, more specialized shapes may be needed.
  • wagnerml2wagnerml2 Belleville, IllinoisMember Posts: 1,376
    I do think that the pieces were alot less specialized and therefore allowed for a much more universal and creative building experience. I remember trying to build and At At and Slave I from my bricks in the early 80s. It took ALOT of creativity based on the limited pallette of bricks. But the imagination involved in putting all together was tremendous.

    Today's sets are beautiful and fun to build, but the TECHNIC skeletons specialized pieces make it much more difficult to break the set down and build something else.
  • gelkstergelkster MN, USAMember Posts: 880
    Aww #6545 is considered above as a subpar set? I bought that on the look of the helicopter alone- thats thing's awesome!
  • vwong19vwong19 San DiegoMember Posts: 1,191
    Wasn't City Space and Alien Conquest pretty close to being a classic space theme. I grew up with Classic Space in the 80s and owned a couple of small sets. I loved the basic spaceman minifig and simple land rovers and ships, but I wouldn't want to back to such basic designs. Galaxy Squad is a bit too organic and kiddy for my taste. I missed Mission to Mars, and something along those lines would interest me...
  • T_LarsT_Lars USAMember Posts: 104
    In my opinion, the 90s had the best space exploration theme Lego ever came up with.
  • beabea Member Posts: 227
    I grew up on classic space so I'm probably biased as well, but I would wish for a return to classic themes (exploration instead of conflict). However, I don't hope for the classic shapes or building techniques. I think current space sets look just fine. I only wish they focused on the ships and got rid of the bugs. As it is, I don't see myself buying them.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 10,645
    I think the original Blacktron and Space Police were the best. I still have a soft spot for good ol classic gray LEGO space sets though (as that is what I really was introduced to LEGO with)
  • plantmanplantman Member Posts: 97
    As much as I love the new licensed sets as an adult, I would equally love a return of the original more generic space sets as an adult who once a kid. I think there was much more inherent creativity in those sets. No back story, no names, no good vs. evil - just bricks set to your own imagination.
    madforLEGO
  • StormsworderStormsworder Member Posts: 107
    I think Space Police 3 (or the bigger police sets in that range at least) were the closest Lego has got to the original Space themes. They should make a Blacktron 3 (with the original colour scheme).
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