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Castle 2013- disappointment?

09090900909090 Member Posts: 47
edited September 2013 in Collecting
Castle is one of the core LEGO themes which are produced constantly since late 70s. Over the years they have become a big part of LEGO and their popularity managed to stay. Castle theme has started with recreating a simple medieval scenes mainly focusing on castles, various characters such as knights, forestmen and so on. Later in the 90s castle became a more of fantasy theme with wizards, dragons , ghosts and such, it had certainly a lot different approach than in previous years. Ever since the inclusion of these fantasy stuff a lot of following castle themes were heavily fantasy based some more, some less.
However, some time ago I took a look on new upcoming Castle theme. At that time I was coming out of my dark ages and was very excited to see new Castle theme coming out as I have always loved castle stuff. But upon closer look on the sets my excitement has slowly faded away. The first way of the Castle 2013 includes pretty much basic type of stuff which we get in most historical themes. There is a gatehouse, dragon mountain, castle and few basic stuff. When I looked at these sets I thought that they were missing something. I mean they are good, they have great parts, minifigures etc. , but still I was expecting something more, they seem a bit blank, dull, way too simple much like City sets compared to Modulars or any other more Adult-type theme. It reminds me something which I really fear of and that’s that this theme is basically a one-off like Pirates in 2009 and we won’t see any non-licensed Castle theme for a quite some time(I don't want to get original Castle replaced by some licensed theme by any means, though I have to admit that some of these LoTR and Hobit sets look amazing:P). Whole theme seem a bit weird, at first I thought that this theme wasn’t fantasy, but then I saw Dragon Mountain set which proved my thoughts wrong. But if you look at the other sets you will basically see no signs of fantasy things, I wasn’t really sure whether it’s a fantasy theme. This wawe if sets just seem to be unfinished and a bit dull for me, it doesn’t include anything special just a basic castle sets. Whereas if you look at the previous theme Kingdoms you will see that it offered a nice variety of sets from basic castle sets to civilian ones and special ones like Joust and such. For example sets like Blacksmith are certainly a nice addition to any castle collection.
What I would like to see is more variety of civilian sets such as #7189 Mill Village Raid or very popular #10193 Medieval Market Village, various of places like medieval houses, pubs and so on which would be a realistic image of medieval village and I think it would appeal to all age groups whether it’s kids or AFOLs as we have never received a good civilian medieval sets.
It’s just my opinion about whole Castle line, don’t get me wrong I still love these new sets, but I feel that with their simplicity they are more geared towards kids, and they do that very well. Sadly it reminds me more than anything that LEGO is mostly a child’s toy and I’m not a kid anymore(I’m 17). Despite what I’ve said about this theme, I may still pick few of these sets just because I like Castle and I may modify these sets a bit so they will be much more appealing to me, after all that’s what is LEGO about :)
So let me know if anyone shares the same opinion ;)
BTW: I apologize for any mistakes, English isnt't my first language and I do quite a lot mistakes especially in such a long texts like this.
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Comments

  • natro220natro220 USAMember Posts: 545
    Sadly, I don't think Kingdoms sets sold very well (Mill Village Raid was on the shelf for less than a year, and I saw it get clearanced off pretty quickly). Much like City usually contains tons of Police and Fire sets, Castle will usually consist of two warring factions (Lion Knights and Dragon Knights seem to be the recurring factions). This doesn't leave much room for regular village sets. AFOL's will of course clamor for more, but Lego will go where the money is.
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,950
    In answer to your thread title: yes
  • davee123davee123 USAMember Posts: 810
    I've been an active AFOL since about 1999, and I've felt somewhat disappointed with most of the generic castle offering since then, with a few exceptions. All I can say is: set your expectations low!

    I think the generic castle offering is probably always going to cater more to kids, so your best bet is to use it for fodder for a few particular types of elements. New helmets, new torsos, and the occasional interesting other elements (like the new 1x2x2 arch window inserts)

    The saving grace to castle has been the occasional adult-targeted sets that we've seen. The re-releases of the Guarded Inn and Black Falcon's Fortress, the Blacksmith Shop, Medieval Market Village, and Kingdoms Joust have been fantastic. But they don't come around that often!

    The general castle themes have occasionally desirable sets-- like the Mill Village Raid, the Troll Battle Wheel, and maybe a few others. But they're typically not that great. This round in particular doesn't seem to have anything all that different from previous themes, but it's got the basics that kids really need to keep their interest.

    On the plus side, when you're an adult, you can put together your own collection and build whatever you want, rather than relying on LEGO's designs :)

    DaveE
  • vitreolumvitreolum RomaniaMember Posts: 1,406
    I agree as well, especially after brilliant sets like MMV and Joust...

    But alas, they are aimed at children and in that respect they are great, offering a lot of playability, vibrant colors, etc. I find the new ones way too cartoony and dull compared to the old sets... they even feel incomplete to me.

    And with castles repetition is the word... change some colors here and there, change the printing on the minifigs, a few new parts and there you have it. How you can get from 6086 to this beats me.

    But if we will get a set like MMV every now and them, I'm pleased.
    infernalbrick
  • TheOneVeyronianTheOneVeyronian Help me, I'm inside the M25! (UK)Member Posts: 1,360
    I think I agree, and well argued, I must say. I don't find most of the new Castle sets terribly exciting, the only set I'm even remotely interested in is Dragon Mountain, and only the dragon within that set if I'm honest since I am a big fan of fantasy creatures and will look great next to my Fantasy Era dragons from 2007.
    I know, I was pleased to see the reappearance of the dragon wings last used 5 years ago. It's one of my favourite specialised parts.
    But castles, warring human factions and so on? Just not my cup of tea really. No doubt kids will love it, but I'm not completely sold either. Not a lot of my money's going on Castle when it eventually reaches the UK, that's for sure.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,460
    0909090 said:

    I mean they are good, they have great parts, minifigures etc. , but still I was expecting something more, they seem a bit blank, dull, way too simple much like City sets compared to Modulars or any other more Adult-type theme.

    It’s just my opinion about whole Castle line, don’t get me wrong I still love these new sets, but I feel that with their simplicity they are more geared towards kids, and they do that very well. Sadly it reminds me more than anything that LEGO is mostly a child’s toy and I’m not a kid anymore(I’m 17).

    The box says 7-12. This range is aimed at kids. Lego would soon be a forgotten company if it tailored everything it made towards adults.

    Anyone wanting a more advanced build should be able to take a kids set and make it more sophisticated by changing the build, learning techniques from other more advanced sets. The instructions for 16+ sets are all online. Download them and make the kids set what you wanted it to be.
  • piratemania7piratemania7 New EnglandMember Posts: 2,108
    Totally agree. I bought and built 70400 Forest Ambush this morning. If I am uncertain about the theme I'll go the cheapest way to dip my toes in the water first. Glad I did this! The only good thing was the figures really, IMHO. Good torso printing and some nice head/face features, but other than that it was a collection of a few bricks cobbled together.

    My gut tells me that someone somewhere in TLG said, "hey, lets release an update to the castle line". Because as has been mentioned above, this is a staple of LEGO. Well, I feel like these designers just came up with what they could in a reasonable amount of time to best cater to the younger crowd. They work in constrained environments too so I get it, but definitely a big disappointment here with this release.

    As for MMV, Kingdom's Joust and so forth, I think we were spoiled by those the past few years to get this? A castle with pretty blue tile's for the roof? I do think we could still see such sets released as exclusives and other one off's so thats helpful.
  • Lego_Lord_MayorcaLego_Lord_Mayorca H-Town, USAMember Posts: 541
    Castle has been a disappointment since the turn of the century. At least in 2002, we were able to get a re-release of Black Falcon's Fortress. A single point of starlight in the void left behind.
  • natro220natro220 USAMember Posts: 545

    Castle has been a disappointment since the turn of the century. At least in 2002, we were able to get a re-release of Black Falcon's Fortress. A single point of starlight in the void left behind.

    What about MMV and Joust? Plus, I'd say that most of the 90's sets weren't up to par either...I know some people liked them...but Fright Knights? Bleck.
  • binaryeyebinaryeye USMember Posts: 1,734

    Castle has been a disappointment since the turn of the century.

    To me, Castle has been mostly unimpressive since 1990. It was then that they started to introduce fantastical gimmicks like ghosts and dragons.
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UK / KLMember Posts: 3,610
    I'm afraid I didn't read the OP's post, as it's just a massive block of text.

    As to the question, I'm guessing the line isn't aimed at AFOLs, but aimed at kids. So while it might be a disappointment to you, it probably won't be for kids. If you want better castles etc I suggest you buy Kingdom's Joust or some of the LoTR line instead.
    andheyys4uicey117
  • binaryeyebinaryeye USMember Posts: 1,734

    As to the question, I'm guessing the line isn't aimed at AFOLs, but aimed at kids. So while it might be a disappointment to you, it probably won't be for kids.

    But aren't most themes designed for kids? For example, Monster Fighters is designed for kids, but it isn't a disappointment to me. I imagine others might say the same about Ninjago, Friends, Galaxy Squad, etc. I've always assumed (perhaps wrongly) that one of the main reasons AFOLs are AFOLs is because they're kids at heart.

    If you want better castles etc I suggest you buy Kingdom's Joust or some of the LoTR line instead.

    There are no castles in the LOTR line. A castle could likely be built from combining a few of the sets, but none of the sets are castles.
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,098
    I personally don't care for the "bucket" style castle sets. The Vampyre Castle was fairly well designed. It added some nice little micro builds along with a fold out structure. The negative is that it's not very stable if you want to move it around. The LotR sets would of made for a great basis of continuing the Castle line. Instead they went in the conservative direction with the latest recycled theme.
  • Lego_Lord_MayorcaLego_Lord_Mayorca H-Town, USAMember Posts: 541
    natro220 said:


    What about MMV and Joust? Plus, I'd say that most of the 90's sets weren't up to par either...I know some people liked them...but Fright Knights? Bleck.

    MMV and Royal Joust do stand out spectacularly from the pack, but that was after a gap of almost ten years. It absolutely did not fit into place with the castles of the early part of the 1990s and the late 1980s. The theme for newer Castle is "Loud and garish". Just look at this new castle coming out for example. Does every stone along the wall need gold tips? What's with all the blue and red? Lego needs to risk throwing in a "dark" side to Castle. Even the Royal Knights had black elements in the main castle while still retaining blue and red accents. Now Castle is all bright and sunshiny like how other Lego "evergreen" themes have been transformed into. But if I keep on like this, it will turn into a divergent topic, so I will let this go for now.

    And other guy, above me; don't bad-mouth Fright Knights. Yes, that theme had a lot of stinkers, but that Bat Lord's Castle is freaking sweet, and more than makes up for the rest of the lackluster theme.
  • BuriedinBricksBuriedinBricks USAMember Posts: 1,367
    edited June 2013
    I kind of agree with @TheOneVeyronian, the dragon set is the only one that really interests me...and that's mainly because of the dragon. I have to admit the Gatehouse Raid does appeal to me a little as well, even if it's a concept that's been repeated a few times.

    Really, there's only so much you can do to keep castles fresh and I'm pretty sure everyone's favorite castle line is the one they grew up with. Everything after that is just a rehash :)
  • Brinstar85Brinstar85 Member Posts: 42
    My first post here, but as a huge Lego castle fan I had to offer some thoughts. I agree with the sentiment that the new castle series is a disappointment. The sets just feel very conservative and unambitious in their design. I was actually surprised that Lego decided to make more castle sets while LOTR was still out. It is clear that Lego has been careful to draw a distinction between the two themes. While LOTR is clearly marked at older kids and adults, these castle sets are very clearly designed for younger children. This is apparent from both their appearance and the building techniques used. Possibly the most interesting set is the Dragon Mountain, but that's really only because of the dragon and the catapult. The structure itself looks woefully unsubstantial.

    I don't think that its true to say have been no good castle sets since 2000 or that the only good sets are the exclusives such as MMV or the Joust. I would argue that between 2007 and 2012 castle underwent something of a renaissance. Fantasy Era included some of the best and most innovative castle sets that Lego have made. 7036 Dwarves' Mine, 7048 Troll Warship and 7079 Drawbridge Defense remain some of my favorite castle sets. The Kingdoms line also had its moments with the King's Castle and Mill Village Raid being the particular highlights. Its just unfortunate that with their latest castle wave, Lego has taken a big step back.
    Trenthbluemodern
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,460
    Comparing the new castle line to MMV and Joust is wrong ... the former is aimed at 7-12, the latter at 12+. The older group have had their sets, now it is time for the younger group. They aren't mixing the ages within the range since this may be confusing to parents and kids, who buy something for a younger kid who then wants something else in the range but finds it too hard to cope with due to the more sophisticated build. Or an older kid gets a set and then it bought another set from the younger group but same range and finds it just plain boring and too simple.
    Paperballparkicey117
  • iancam33iancam33 Member Posts: 407
    I just looked at the fright knights lineup and have to agree it was quite sad. I've always loved the castle theme and this years offerings so far are decent. I agree that an added level of darkness would greatly improve the castle lineup. There also should be a few sets that are more "rustic." Castle needs to have more of a natural surrounding ie: trees, mountains, lakes. When did the moat go out of style by the way?
  • davee123davee123 USAMember Posts: 810
    From what I recall, LEGO's tried catering to the castle adult market with 6 different sets:

    2001 - Guarded Inn reissue
    2002 - Black Falcon's Fortress reissue & Blacksmith's Shop
    2008 - Giant Chess Set
    2009 - Medieval Market Village
    2012 - Kingdom's Joust

    I would guess that the more recent history (2007-present) is probably a good gauge going forward for what to expect. From 2000-2004, LEGO was really trying to get a feel for the adult market, so they were experimenting with various things (like re-releases). From 2005-2006 they were restructuring, so I'm not sure things had really settled down to something predictable. But from 2007+, things seem to have been a bit more steady.

    Assuming that's correct, expecting an AFOL castle set every 1-3 years seems to make sense. You could arguably count things like Orthanc, too, but that's definitely tied to the current license. Not sure if that makes AFOL-castle sets less likely for competition or not.

    Honestly, I was surprised to see Helm's Deep, Vampyre Castle, AND Kingdoms Joust come out in the same year. They certainly didn't seem to be worried about competition there!

    DaveE
  • AanchirAanchir United StatesMember Posts: 2,858
    I love the new castle sets, myself. They really seem to be a great, iconic interpretation of LEGO Castle. The new King's Castle is particularly impressive, with a nice, well-fortified gatehouse, a clever dungeon, and a modular style that makes it compatible with the previous King's Castle and the new Gatehouse Raid.

    Overall, I think we shouldn't forget that while civilian medieval sets are great every now and then, the theme is called LEGO Castle for a reason. Big castles tend to be the definitive part of the theme, and what appeals most to kids. Once a castle is on shelves, THEN you can expand the theme with more civilian stuff. Though personally, I'd prefer to see expansion packs for the castle to make it more livable, with features such as bedrooms, a dining hall, a kitchen, a blacksmith shop, stables, etc. These kinds of features are almost always omitted from LEGO Castles, and I think castles are much more interesting when they are a home as well as a military stronghold.

    I don't feel like the new King's Castle is especially juniorized, which is one of the big criticisms I've seen leveled against the new castle theme. Yes, it's aimed at kids — most LEGO castles are aimed at kids — but all in all, comparing the number of big wall panels to its piece count, the ratio is actually smaller than that of many early LEGO castles!

    Not to mention that we've gotten rid of a lot of the juniorized features that plagued LEGO castles of the 90s. We have completely brick-built parapets and battlements, rather than prefabricated parapets and battlements (though the prefab battlements still show up in Bricks & More occasionally). We have bases constructed of plates and occasionally bricks, rather than huge and specialized raised baseplates. In general, a lot more details are brick-built than during the 90s and early naughts, and that is liable to increase even further if any AFOL-oriented exclusives are released for this Castle theme. And why wouldn't they be, when they've done so well for the previous two iterations of LEGO Castle?

    My opinion might not count for too much because I haven't collected LEGO Castle sets for quite a while. As an adult I have to be a bit more selective about my purchases, and I tend to dedicate my budget to more story-intensive themes like Ninjago and Hero Factory, which have long been my creative passion. But overall, I think this newest iteration of LEGO Castle has a lot of potential. Which it certainly should, seeing as it has had creative direction from Advance, the Danish ad agency that played a key role in the development of such themes as BIONICLE and LEGO Friends.
    bluemodern
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,460
    ^^ You could just about include Kingdoms Chess set from last year, although that was in reality a super battle pack for minifigs and not much else.
  • HarryPotterLoverHarryPotterLover Member Posts: 238
    Very good thesis @0909090 I had just said someyhing like this on a seperate thread yesterday. I hope they can do this in the future if/when they expand their range beyond 5 sets!
  • CurvedRoadPlateCurvedRoadPlate Member Posts: 257
    It is worth noting that the first Lego castle was "Loud and garish" being made out of all yellow brick with red windows.
    I like the current castle selection across themes. The Monster Fighters castle is a fun structure, I like the furniture and features like the collapsing stairwell. It was a nice spin on the idea of a castle. Helms Deep is a great castle set for those who like more brick built walls. I am currently in the process of combining 2 of them I found on clearance. Although I am not a big LoTR fan, I plan to people the set with figures from the recent chess set. I also really like the Joust and look forward to assembling it. Later this year we will see a castle released in the Chima line, #70010.
  • skeet318skeet318 Banned Posts: 375
    Yea... my target just got the castle stuff today....when to get the dragon set....already sold. Bought the trash truck instead. I like the lions and wolves....Lannisters and Starks!?
  • BoiseStateBoiseState Member Posts: 804
    My issue with Castle is that it's not sold in as many stores as most Lego, at least in my town.
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Member Posts: 4,401
    Just because a theme is aimed at kids doesn't mean it has to be juniorized or bland. IMO, this entire first lineup is terribly disappointing. And I was definitely not a fan of Kingdoms either. No matter one's feeling on the Fantasy elements, those sets a few years back were really neat and such a fresh approach. To be honest, I'm not sure I can think of two more disappointing lineups than the last two Castle waves. On the bright side, I've got more funds available for all these great 2013 direct sets. :o)
    0909090TheLoneTensor
  • 09090900909090 Member Posts: 47
    What I was also trying to say was that this theme has a bit
    uncertain approach. From Dragon Mountain set it seems that theme is more of a fantasy one, but we don't see any fantasy stuff in other sets. For example look at the King's Castle. In Dragon Mountain set it's obvious that Wizard is a leader of Black Knights (excuse me for not knowning their real name...) but in King's Castle there are few Lion Knights accompanied by their King and few Black Knights which have Knights as a leader? I mean their leader is a wizard and they are supposed to attack Kings Castle so where are these fantasy elements? Don't get me wrong I certainly don't want to have a Castle overcrowded with fantasy elements like tons of dragons, ghosts, skeletons and nothing else, that's the last thing I want. But adding a few more fantasy elements would be nice, it would make theme a lot more appealing to not only kids but also adults. Even if their main concern are kids it doesn't have to be blank, dull unappealing theme. As a example look at the Dragon Masters from 1993-1995. They had large variety of sets from more of fantasy based to more "normal" medieval sets. They managed to get a good balance of fantasy and medieval elements. I'm not a fan of overly dark and fantasy themes *cough*Fright Knights *cough* but LEGO won't do anything wrong with adding a few more fantasy elements if they decided to do a fantasy theme we should certainly see more of it.
  • yys4uyys4u USA SoCalMember Posts: 1,092
    I think there's something a lot of you are missing in this discussion.
    The Mill Village Raid and Blacksmith attack were part of the 2nd wave of sets for the Kingdoms theme, and the Joust set was technically a 3rd wave? (I'm not sure about that). So it's a little unfair to say Kingdoms was much better because it had MVR and the Joust set, as you are comparing comparing 3 waves of Kingdoms sets to the 1st wave of Castle sets.

    To be fair, we'd have to compare

    #7950 with #70400
    #7949 with #70401
    #7948 with #70402
    #7947 with #70403
    #7946 with #70404

    While this isn't an EXACT comparison as the prices and piece count vary with those sets, my point is you should be comparing the FIRST wave of Kingdoms, with the FIRST wave of Castle.

    But when you through Fantasy Era sets into the mix, then that's different. Although I was just getting out of my dark ages during the time of Fantasy Era sets, I have to say I personally believe they were the best of the most recent castle themes.
  • Brinstar85Brinstar85 Member Posts: 42
    ^ Fair point. Comparing the first wave of Kingdoms with the new castle theme certainly reflects more favorably upon the latter. I do still think the larger Kingdoms sets, the King's Castle and Dragon Knight's Prison tower are better designed than the two larger sets from the new theme.

    I just wish Lego had been a little more ambitious and innovative with their approach to the new sets. They just seem to rehash the same tired concepts. One of the reasons why I like the Mill Village Raid and Joust so much is that they offered something a little bit different.
  • icey117icey117 DenmarkMember Posts: 506
    The 2013 castle does not take my breath (or money) away either. BUT LEGO changed themename back to Castle. And it is more colourful and kids-minded. My guess is that maybe this might sell better to kids than Kingdoms did.

    The question is not what AFOL's want but what parents think their kids wants. And for that reason this might sell better for LEGO.

    Sadly!
  • AanchirAanchir United StatesMember Posts: 2,858
    icey117 said:

    The 2013 castle does not take my breath (or money) away either. BUT LEGO changed themename back to Castle. And it is more colourful and kids-minded. My guess is that maybe this might sell better to kids than Kingdoms did.

    The question is not what AFOL's want but what parents think their kids wants. And for that reason this might sell better for LEGO.

    Sadly!

    Not just what parents think their kids want, but what many kids ACTUALLY want. LEGO does focus testing with kids for a reason. Kids from multiple regions, mind you, with different attitudes and design sensibilities. It's always fascinating hearing how kids in the focus groups react to the different sets. According to Astrid Graabaek and Fenella Holden at Brickfair last year, some German kids can be VERY specific in their demands, and sometimes even cry if a set isn't how they expect it to be: for instance, it's simply "wrong" if a fire engine or fire house isn't bright red.

    I don't know how well we can guarantee that this will sell better than Kingdoms. Many of the design sensibilities are the same, although the evil faction's motifs are a lot more stylized, with spiky battlements and siege engines rather than more utilitarian designs.

    Personally, I find the Fantasy Era designs are fairly nice in terms of being very original, but you could say the same thing of many 90s themes which broke from the standard archetypes. Specifically in the case of Castle themes, Fright Knights, had a really unique style of architecture with its tall columns and curved roofs, but is often reviled for being juniorized. Ninja was a lot more well-received by AFOLs as far as I've been able to tell (in part because fewer people were probably comparing it with previous Castle themes) but still used a whole lot of very specialized wall panels.

    In the case of Fantasy Era, I disliked King's Castle Siege for its very airy design, and Skeleton's Prison Carriage felt way too stylized for my liking. It wasn't until the troll faction was introduced that I really started liking the direction Castle was going... and even then, still not enough to start collecting the theme again.

    I felt Kingdoms returned Castle to the sort of archetypical, iconic design that really suited it. I don't mind nonhuman baddies, but the human baddies, the less over-the-top designs of the Kingdoms castles and strongholds, and the iconic lion and dragon heraldry really helped that theme feel a lot more like a "classic" castle theme. It was ordinary, but certainly not in a bad way. It was ordinary in the way LEGO City was ordinary: it was the foundation which set the standard of realism for all the more exotic fantasy and story themes.

    And I feel this Castle theme still maintains that standard to a great extent. The architectural style has shifted somewhat, with much smoother walls and battlements. And the villains have somewhat more exaggerated evil motifs. But it's still unique in its own right — just not in a terribly exaggerated fashion.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409


    I just wish Lego had been a little more ambitious and innovative with their approach to the new sets. They just seem to rehash the same tired concepts. One of the reasons why I like the Mill Village Raid and Joust so much is that they offered something a little bit different.

    In fairness, LEGO does try, but all too often the sets don't sell.

    MVR is now 18 months post retirement and going for just over RRP on bricklink.

    That tells me that as much as AFOLs and brickset reviews love it, it just never sold well. I know that even 6 months post retirement I was still finding them to buy cheap.
    bluemodern
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,098
    ^ MVR wasn't "cheap" post retirement but it could be found at RRP for awhile. It's kind of odd set. My favorite part is the mill. The barn itself is boring as far as kids are concerned. Also there are not many play features for kids. I can see why it didn't sell.
    andhe
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    I guess it depends on what you call "cheap". :)

    I consider any set that I can buy for less than RRP 6 months post retirement "cheap".

    I was picking them up BOGO50 from TRU last summer, for less than retail price.

    Of course, it doesn't hold a candle to other sets, my favorite currently is Portal of Atlantis, a set that still can be purchased for more than 30% off RRP 18 months post retirement.
  • Brinstar85Brinstar85 Member Posts: 42


    In fairness, LEGO does try, but all too often the sets don't sell.

    MVR is now 18 months post retirement and going for just over RRP on bricklink.

    That tells me that as much as AFOLs and brickset reviews love it, it just never sold well. I know that even 6 months post retirement I was still finding them to buy cheap.

    As much as I liked the MVR, I do have reservations about the broader popular appeal of civilian sets in a castle theme. The fact that the MVR didn't sell well perhaps illustrates that not everybody shares the desire of AFOLs to see more sets depicting everyday medieval life.

    I do still think Lego could throw in a little more variety. Looking at the first wave of the last three themes (Castle, Kingdoms and fantasy era) its surprising just how closely Lego has stuck to the same formula. Each theme has included a castle, a prison tower, an outpost, a prison carriage and some sort of army builder. The difference with the fantasy era is the first wave also included the Dwarves' Mine, a unique set and ultimately probably the best set of the entire sub-theme. I understand that Lego is going with its tried and tested approach, they know what sells. It would have been nice to just see one set from the new theme that tried to do something a little bit different.

  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    ^ I hear you... but I think the number of people who buy entire themes is probably limited.

    Far more people pickout one or two sets in a given theme and call it a day.

    For the Castle theme, that will probably be the castle itself, and one or two smaller sets that go with it.

    Something outside the box has everything going against it. If it just doesn't sell enough to justify existing, then it just doesn't.

    There may well be a market for LEGO to do exclusive sets in each theme that are only sold online, I wonder if they have done any business planning on such a concept, if it makes any sense at all to offer themed expansion kits via [email protected]

    I know such kits were tried before, but that was a long time ago now, long before [email protected] and the Internet became so common.

    One challenge for TLG is to learn the lessons of the past, without being stuck in the mud by them, since after all times and the world change.

    A lot of change in consumer buying behavior has happened in the past 15 years, and a lot of the smaller toy stores are gone, replaced by a few large stores and LEGO Brand Retail.

    It is a different environment from when parts packs and expansion packs were offered in the 90s.
  • HardradaHardrada Member Posts: 439
    edited June 2013


    I do still think Lego could throw in a little more variety. Looking at the first wave of the last three themes (Castle, Kingdoms and fantasy era) its surprising just how closely Lego has stuck to the same formula. Each theme has included a castle, a prison tower, an outpost, a prison carriage and some sort of army builder. The difference with the fantasy era is the first wave also included the Dwarves' Mine, a unique set and ultimately probably the best set of the entire sub-theme.

    Agreed, the first waves have indeed been very similar and thus boring lately. I just wanted to point out that Dwarves' Mine was a 2nd wave set if I remember correctly. And so was the outpost set of Fantasy Era (if you mean #7037 Tower Raid). First wave was humans vs. skeletons which I think wasn't that great (except for #7009 ) unlike the 2008 and 2009 offerings.

    I think Fantasy Era was the best of the newer Castle themes. It had the most variety and most unique designs. We had two ships, a mine and probably the best siege weapon Lego has ever produced. (I'm talking about the quite realistic siege tower in #7037.) And it was the last time one of the baddie factions got a proper home base. ( #7097 wasn't a great seller though, so maybe that's why nowadays the evil faction only gets puny bases.)
  • BumblepantsBumblepants DFWMember Posts: 6,259
    I think it would be fun to have an Alchemist Lab along the lines of the Mad Scientist from the Monster Fighters line but set in the middle ages. Might not sell with the kiddos though.

    At the very least Wolfpack needs to come back. Coolest bad guys faction ever.
    skeet318
  • Brinstar85Brinstar85 Member Posts: 42


    Something outside the box has everything going against it. If it just doesn't sell enough to justify existing, then it just doesn't.

    You make some very valid points. I guess what I'm advocating isn't something radically left field so much as a set that isn't a castle, prison tower or prison carriage. For example, I think a siege tower set would have worked really well in the new castle theme. There is already a greater focus on siege weapons, with catapults included in three of the five new sets. Granted, a siege tower isn't anything new (see 6061 Siege Tower, 8875 King's Siege Tower and 7037 Tower Raid) but it would at least feel fresher than the some of the new sets which really do feel like a rehash of Kingdoms.
    Hardrada said:


    Agreed, the first waves have indeed been very similar and thus boring lately. I just wanted to point out that Dwarves' Mine was a 2nd wave set if I remember correctly. And so was the outpost set of Fantasy Era (if you mean #7037 Tower Raid). First wave was humans vs. skeletons which I think wasn't that great (except for #7009 ) unlike the 2008 and 2009 offerings.

    Strictly speaking the Dwarves' Mine was part of the first wave in the US but was released as part of the second wave in the UK, which I always found rather odd. You are quite right about 7037 Tower Raid, I was mistaken about that one. I totally agree that the first wave of fantasy era wasn't that great and things got much more interesting with second and third waves, particularly the troll sets which I always liked.

  • BrickarmorBrickarmor USAMember Posts: 1,257
    Lion Temple, anybody?! Eh? *crickets chirp*

    We'll be getting it because we missed out on many of the five star Fantasy Era sets, and I for one like the looks of it. Vampyre Castle is definitely a recent standout that seems to please a broad spectrum despite the superabundance of panels. But as with Galaxy Squad, so with Castle 2013: I'm in at 40-50% off.
  • BumblepantsBumblepants DFWMember Posts: 6,259
    ^I think the lion temple looks like a great set, lots of unique design and playability. Should be a big hit with kids.
  • 09090900909090 Member Posts: 47
    edited June 2013
    I saw Lion Temple on youtube review and I have to say that it doesn't really resemble any Castle type stuff. It has a lot of cool play features, but really nothing for Castle fans. But it might be popular among kids depending on how popular Chima is.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409

    Granted, a siege tower isn't anything new (see 6061 Siege Tower, 8875 King's Siege Tower and 7037 Tower Raid) but it would at least feel fresher than the some of the new sets which really do feel like a rehash of Kingdoms.

    Yes, but keep in mind that you know all about Kingdoms, but the target audience of Castle does not.

    An 8 year old today was not paying attention when Kingdoms was out, now he is ready for Castle, so they are all new.

    LEGO has to keep redoing the same stuff every 2-3 years because they have a whole new batch of customers growing into the product every few years. Recently they have done adult sets for those of us who are older, which is why they won't rehash them as often (look at the 13 years between UCS X-Wings).

    LOTR is more castle for older people who remember Kingdoms and the Fantasy-Era Castle, the new Castle is for the 7-10 kids who missed the prior themes.

    That is how I see it anyway.
    Aanchir
  • davee123davee123 USAMember Posts: 810
    What I wish we could see a bit more of is variation in the castles that LEGO does come out with. I'd love to see (for example) a frost castle, or swamp castle, or a mountain-top castle. IE, things that will still satisfy the wants of a kid yearning for a majestic castle, but also address (to some extent) the wants of AFOLs.

    Obviously, I assume LEGO's tried that before, and knows what they're doing-- so I'll trust that if/when that fits the marketplace, they'll release it. But in the meantime, I'll quietly hope that the time has come :)

    DaveE
    andhe
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Member Posts: 4,401
    edited June 2013
    I understand that TLG has to put out the basics for each iteration. I just can't be convinced that those basics have to be rubbish.

    The Fantasy castle was great.
    The Troll ship was great.
    The skeleton carriage was great.
    The siege tower was great.
    The troll castle was okay.
    The little sets were interesting.
    The MVR was very interesting.
    The blacksmith was great.

    They even tried some cool new stuff like the battle wheel, drawbridge defense and ship/castle wall set.

    The Kingdoms castle was just so blah as we're many of the other sets. I'm with Dave, make it a mountaintop castle or swamp castle or at least interesting.

    I would call most of Kingdoms and this wave of Castle, "Completely Uninspired."

    You can still release tent poles while not having them be so derivative. The Fantasy sets were so innovative, it took me back to my childhood and the Forestmen hideouts. I felt TLG was back on track, especially with the MMV but now...
    andhe
  • icey117icey117 DenmarkMember Posts: 506



    MVR is now 18 months post retirement and going for just over RRP on bricklink.

    That tells me that as much as AFOLs and brickset reviews love it, it just never sold well. I know that even 6 months post retirement I was still finding them to buy cheap.

    Or it tells you that LEGO produced way to many of the sets.
  • andheandhe UKMember Posts: 2,935

    I understand that TLG has to put out the basics for each iteration. I just can't be convinced that those basics have to be rubbish.

    ...

    They even tried some cool new stuff like the battle wheel, drawbridge defense and ship/castle wall set.

    The Kingdoms castle was just so blah as we're many of the other sets. I'm with Dave, make it a mountaintop castle or swamp castle or at least interesting.

    I would call most of Kingdoms and this wave of Castle, "Completely Uninspired."

    The Crownie/Fantasy era stuff was what brought me out of my dark age (the jury is still out on whether that was a good thing for my wallet).

    The trolls and little dwarves were unlike anything I'd seen in lego before (had mainly space and town as a kid). Ok the skeletons are a bit lacklustre but some of the set ideas were incredibly interesting and 'different' to your average stuff.

    The current castle stuff just feels a bit an attempt to tick the box.
    Large castle [ ]
    Carriage [ ]
    Evil tower [ ]

    Like Dave said, a spin on these would have created far more interesting sets, for kids (AND Afols). Swamp, ice, lava ANYTHING.

  • AanchirAanchir United StatesMember Posts: 2,858
    edited July 2013
    andhe said:

    I understand that TLG has to put out the basics for each iteration. I just can't be convinced that those basics have to be rubbish.

    ...

    They even tried some cool new stuff like the battle wheel, drawbridge defense and ship/castle wall set.

    The Kingdoms castle was just so blah as we're many of the other sets. I'm with Dave, make it a mountaintop castle or swamp castle or at least interesting.

    I would call most of Kingdoms and this wave of Castle, "Completely Uninspired."

    The Crownie/Fantasy era stuff was what brought me out of my dark age (the jury is still out on whether that was a good thing for my wallet).

    The trolls and little dwarves were unlike anything I'd seen in lego before (had mainly space and town as a kid). Ok the skeletons are a bit lacklustre but some of the set ideas were incredibly interesting and 'different' to your average stuff.

    The current castle stuff just feels a bit an attempt to tick the box.
    Large castle [ ]
    Carriage [ ]
    Evil tower [ ]

    Like Dave said, a spin on these would have created far more interesting sets, for kids (AND Afols). Swamp, ice, lava ANYTHING.

    To a certain extent, I agree. It's good to have variety. But at the same time, I feel like there's some value in having a "purer" LEGO Castle experience. It's kind of funny that I don't see many people in the LEGO Castle community really treasuring that, considering how much LEGO Space fans have yearned for something more iconic and traditional than the much more situational Space themes we've had in the past decade. Truly, some of the most classic LEGO castles were very generic, and the 90s themes that started to push Castle sets into new territory, such as Dragon Masters and Fright Knights, were NOT well-received. In truth, I wonder if Fantasy Era would be nearly so well-received if it hadn't been a breath of fresh air after the more story-driven and, to many, downright bizarre design of Knights' Kingdom II.
  • piratemania7piratemania7 New EnglandMember Posts: 2,108
    @LegoFanTexas agreed. I doubt TLG will cater to specifically us super fans. So they have to release what will appeal to the masses. I think they do a good job though by "thinking" about us every year or so with at least one special treat.
    icey117
  • davee123davee123 USAMember Posts: 810
    Aanchir said:

    In truth, I wonder if Fantasy Era would be nearly so well-received if it hadn't been a breath of fresh air after the more story-driven and, to many, downright bizarre design of Knights' Kingdom II.

    I wouldn't think much so. The initial wave of Fantasy Era wasn't really well received other than the undead army component. People loved the skeletal horses, and some people much preferred the new skeletons with pose-able arms. The crown knights were certainly welcomed as a new faction following the character-specific Morcian knights-- but mostly, the impression I got on that front from adults was "whew, it's over!" rather than "what an awesome new castle lineup!"

    But when dwarves and trolls came out, the AFOL community went nuts. Without those, the 2007 lineup itself was pretty much on par with Kingdoms and 2013 Castle (with the exception of the undead as mentioned). IE, I think the overly glowing AFOL review that you see for Fantasy Era sets is largely based on the following years' releases.

    DaveE
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