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Seatron - A waste of time?

technicaltacticstechnicaltactics Member Posts: 47
edited August 2011 in Collecting
Many of you may not know of Seatron. Seatron was an aqua based theme, which was scrapped. Here is information on Seatron, quoted directly from Brickipedia. "Seatron is an unreleased theme created to be a subtheme of Space. The theme would have been on an alien planets with underwater astronauts. Many new monorail parts and colours were made for this theme, but when Futuron's monorail failed, development of Seatron stopped. There were also aliens designed for the theme, but the LEGO company stated that it was not yet time to have aliens." Pictures can be found on Brickipedia at, "http://lego.wikia.com/wiki/Seatron". Has anyone else known of Seatron?

Comments

  • Waterjedi17Waterjedi17 Member Posts: 78
    There's one more seatron image showing the vehicles of the 'seapeople' and various space prototypes in this gallery
    http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?f=448827
    But, besides that, I don't know much.
  • pantenkindpantenkind Member Posts: 258
    I would be all over that tram!
  • AScaryOctopusAScaryOctopus Member Posts: 57
    This could have been awesome. It's a shame this never existed.
  • technicaltacticstechnicaltactics Member Posts: 47
    Yes, such a shame. LEGO went through all the trouble to design those new moulds and part colors, now wasted time. I would have loved Seatron, and it was a step in the right direction. Just because the Futron monorail failed doesn't justify scrapping a theme. YET, we see the crummy Unitron monorail in 1994..
  • jwsmartjwsmart Member Posts: 298
    Too bad we never saw that monorail. However, we've seen in the past how prototypes get scaled back before being produced - the prototype container heist comes to mind. So it's possible that had it come to market, it would have been a bit less appealing than the few images we've seen. In fact, it feels like Aquazone was exactly that - the end result of the Seatron prototypes.

    I would like to see another monorail set - I'd love to see a monorail engine that didn't run on 9v batteries, or had some sort of IR remote. I figure if I'm going to have a fantasy about LEGO re-introducing monorail, it might as well be a really good fantasy.
  • technicaltacticstechnicaltactics Member Posts: 47
    And Waterjedi, those proto-types look great! I would love green spacemen. I also would have been into Space Police if they had kept to their proto-type looks.
  • technicaltacticstechnicaltactics Member Posts: 47
    jwsmart, I can't see LEGO at this day and age re-introducing a monorail. With the quality of sets these days, the monorail to me would be a clunky mess :?.
  • jwsmartjwsmart Member Posts: 298
    @technicaltactics - Why not re-introduce a monorail? Geotrax (http://www.fisher-price.com/fp.aspx?st=5760&e=landing) works in a way that isn't unlike the old monorail (but it's also capable of driving over non-sprocketed track...)

    I still think the entire monorail system was fairly well thought out all those years ago, and it has a major advantage over the current trains - elevated track - it is able to traverse 10 bricks vertically over the course of 20". The whole system is simple enough, it has points and still has the same minimum turning radius of 10" as the current track. The only thing we're missing is < 90 degree curves. For me, it's not such a bad thing.

    I would hope that if LEGO did decide to re-introduce it, they would make it high quality enough to work well, and to last. My 24 year old monorail track and motors are still doing very well. I would expect nothing less if they were to resume producing Monorail.

    As I said before, it's a dream that I give very little chance of actually coming true, but I still hope for.
  • knuclear200xknuclear200x Member Posts: 45
    All the sets look like Atlantis pre-cursors, especially the sea animal themed ships and with that said I don't care if its ever released...then again...I DO WANT those seatron aliens.
  • bluemoosebluemoose Member Posts: 1,716
    edited August 2011
    LEGO designer Mark Stafford gave a presentation covering many of the 'abandoned' themes at ComicCon 2009. IIRC 'Seatron' would have been released in the early 1990's if it had gone all the way. Mark followed up with an article in BrickJournal (issue 6, volume 2, Summer 2009), which covers a lot of the prototypes for space themes that were released, as well as those that never made the cut.
  • georgebjonesgeorgebjones Member Posts: 224
    One thing that is interesting to me about this is the green alien minifigure. For whatever reason, LEGO is extremely hesitant to change their Minifigs. They are doing a lot more with the heads now, but take a look at the rest of it. The only modifications I can think of to the legs in the last 20 years are the addition of the peg leg with the pirates theme and the addition of the short legs whenever that happened. Then just last year they introduced long legs with Toy Story. I hope to see more variants of those in the future.

    Also, look at the arms. There is the robot/sci-fi arm, the hook, and recently the long arms with Toy Story. Technically the Power Miners monster arms will also work, although I don't know if I would count that as the rock monsters weren't really minifigs. BTW, I am not considering droids, or other variations that don't really fit into the minifig system.

    I wonder if their reluctance to change the minifigure (justifiably so, it is so recognizable and so popular) was what killed the theme. Perhaps the designer said if their sea creature/alien wasn't included, it wasn't worth it. I doubt the "failure" of the futuron monorail had much to do with it as another monorail was released later in 1990 and 1994.

    Maybe the theme or the design was ahead of its time. TLG is taking a lot more license with their figures now, with Ninjago, CMF, Star Wars. But still, the arms and legs are really not different.

    (I am sure someone will point out that I missed items A-Y from previous years and I welcome it :)
  • RobbRobb Member Posts: 144
    ^ Perhaps it took the high profit margin of SW themed minifigs to demonstrate to management that the investment in non-standard minifigs is worth it. I'm sure that it's much easier to keep producing the generic City minifigs, but SW has demonstrated that fans love non-standard minifigs and will pay a premium to get them.
  • georgebjonesgeorgebjones Member Posts: 224
    ^ Robb, I would agree with you except the modifications I mentioned above involving arms and legs have not been done to any SW minifigs that I can recall. Maybe things are changing, but the thing that stuck out to me most of all was those seatron legs. I think they looked really cool. If they did something like that in brown for the Chewbacca fig, I bet they would sell like hotcakes. :)
  • StuBoyStuBoy New ZealandMember Posts: 623
    ^ I've always wondered why they didn't have Chewbacca with long legs, he's way taller than everyone else in the movies. Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the NBA line have minifigs with long legs and arms? Surely one of those legs could be used for Chewie?
  • mirandirmirandir Member Posts: 31
    ^No they didn't have long legs. What they did have was the spring legs: http://www.bricklink.com/catalogItem.asp?P=x494
  • georgebjonesgeorgebjones Member Posts: 224
    edited August 2011
    ^^Oh yeah, I forgot about the NBA players. That one is tricky because I don't think they were intended to fit into the minifigure system, what with the welded legs and welded hands. If they did furry long legs on Chewbacca?! Awesome. He would need long arms, too.
  • jwsmartjwsmart Member Posts: 298
    Hmmm.
    This thread http://www.bricksetforum.com/discussion/1401/cec-team-ask-what-would-you-like-to-see-as-new-themes-for-lego-direct leads me to believe that the LEGO isn't unaware of the desire for the return of the Monorail... Which I guess doesn't really surprise me given the contact it has with the fan community.
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,727
    ^ That was my interpretation also; the fact monorail is mentioned at all suggests that LEGO are well aware of the demand......
  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,258
    ^ probably didn't want it polluting the results since they've already got one planned (we can but hope right!).
  • jwsmartjwsmart Member Posts: 298
    ^ That is what I choose to believe.
  • MatthewMatthew Cheshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 3,714
    Sorry to burst the happy bubble, but I think you'd better read this http://www.eurobricks.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=57138&st=0&p=1018481&#entry1018481
  • jwsmartjwsmart Member Posts: 298
    ^ Nope, I still choose to believe that LEGO will make a several-hundred-thousand dollar investment in moulds to bring back a hugely unprofitable set because a couple hundred fans want one.

    In all seriousness, I'd start buying trains if they changed the design so it could climb slopes more easily... The modern LEGO trains look wonderful, but require way too much horizontal distance to climb a slope.
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,727
    ^^ When LEGO themselves come out and say "No, Nein, Niet, Never" to a monorail then I'll believe it. I refuse to let the opinion of a random self-appointed authority on Eurobricks dampen my hopes, however....
  • MatthewMatthew Cheshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 3,714
    edited August 2011
    Hardly a 'random self-appointed authority', but Mark Stafford, a LEGO designer, and on here as LEGO_Nabii ;-)
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,727
    Shhhh - please don't allow reality to intrude. I want a monorail and that's that.
  • LegogeekLegogeek Orange County, CaliforniaMember Posts: 714
    ^ Yeah, me too. I want to have at least a glimmer of hope, even if it is a longshot.
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,290
    edited August 2011
    Why would TLG want to invest the cost of at least 5 molds (3 tracks, a chassis, and minimum of 1, probably more, on a motor- and a motor is itself a massive investment) and again try to build a theme around a hugely expensive set that most kids do not understand or want rather then in a new theme that will make money?
    I wonder if TLG interpreted the reason for the poor sales correctly. I distinctly remember 6990 being in stores when I was a child and drooling over the TRU display that had it running. Real-world monorails were not as prevalent then as they are now, but I had no problem understanding it. Even if I didn't equate it to the real world (2 of the 3 monorails were space sets, afterall), for a kid, what's not to like about a LEGO vehicle that climbs, overlaps, and descends on its tracks?

    My assertion is that the high price (understandably the highest priced sets of their time) was the barrier to success. If I'm correct that it was the price and not a lack of desire, perhaps they could find ways to make a system more affordable rather than assume it is not understood or wanted. Or perhaps the original issues are moot as there is a demonstrable demand for high priced LEGO now more than ever.
  • georgebjonesgeorgebjones Member Posts: 224
    Interesting to me how this conversation can come full circle after going on a bit of a tangent, there. I think the monorail issue goes back to good old stubborn businesses. A lot of businesses are so stubborn that if they try something once, they get it in their head that it doesn't work and they NEVER revisit it for any reason. I have seen this many times in my own professional career. It's kind of like the monkeys not climbing the stairs.
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,727
    It's kind of like the monkeys not climbing the stairs.
    Eh ? Did I miss something ? What monkeys ?!
  • georgebjonesgeorgebjones Member Posts: 224
    Sorry DrDave, been waiting a while to use that site. :)
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