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Lego star wars Summer 2014 sets - small!
Hi I am new to the forum so excuse me if this is posted in the wrong section..
I visited Toys R Us on friday to hand over my hard earned cash to purchase the new At-At. (75054), I had seen all the videos and was impressed however they had a display cabinet showing the actual model - I expected it to be a bit bigger for £109.00 !! disappointed.
So i then decided to spend an extra £10 to purchase the Imperial star destroyer instead .. (75055).. (bigger box, more money - surely this will impress in size)!
Built it last night and how small is this thing!? It is beautiful and next to my SSD it looks amazing.. but for the 1st time after spending over £100 on a lego model i felt guilty spending so much on so little...
I used to have the 2010 model (6211) this new 2014 model even dwarfs this.. however it is much sturdier and better build quality.
I have only been collecting a few years now but I feel that I have missed out on the Star Wars Lego good times with bigger more value for money models.
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Recent discussions •
Number of parts
Volume / size of model
Time to construct
Number of new parts
Number of minifigs
Often you need to use a combination of all of them.
The sturdier models with lots of small elements are nice for smaller builds, however for things that supposed to be epicly big like Star Destroyers and large castles it is a step backwards. I guess everything has its plusses and minuses...
BTW, this isn't just noticed by AFOLs. I have children over all the time and a number of them pointed out to me that they are disappointed with the current LEGO castles. Kids like to build big, and they don't want to spend hours putting together a castle from small pieces, or fuss around forever rebuilding after an action scene. Thus, my large castle walls from previous sets and the BURPs are quite popular. I even have a bucket of the large gray, tan and brown DUPLO bricks as they are compatible with regular LEGO. So we build castles with those DUPLO pieces then put a layer of regular bricks on top of them to make them compatible with minifigs. Now those you can use to build something impressive in minutes! :D
It's the Imperial Star destroyer ffs!! It needs to be Big!!
It is pointless moaning about the cost of Lego as that is another story (and my fault for paying out).. however If I had purchased this for my son's birthday as his main present for example.. I would be absolutely gutted with what you get for £120.. Compared to the Millennium falcon which is £10 more expensive, bigger, more bricks, more mini-figures and much more playability..
I can guarantee you the next £130 ish Millenium falcon which they make (if they ever do) will be the same price but smaller... same cost, a few less bricks, maybe a bit more sturdier, but smaller :(
I think design of minifigs has improved. Also variety of minifigs has improved due to the CMF series. Factoring those into value for money is difficult, but the CMF series has given a lot of new ideas to me for MOCs using existing bricks, meaning less spend on creator sets.
I would say number of parts, time to construct, display ability and number of new parts. Probably number of minifigures too (especially if you count in that exclusive/rare/different minifigures).
1984 - 674 pieces
1988 - 702 pieces
1992 - 588 pieces
1995 - 764 pieces
2000 - 529 pieces
2004 - 944 pieces (Hogwarts)
2007 - 943 pieces (Hogwarts)
2007 - 973 pieces
2010 - 933 pieces
2010 - 1290 pieces (Hogwarts)
2012 - 1368 pieces (Helm's Deep)
2012 - 1575 pieces (joust, so not really a castle)
2013 - 996 pieces
That said, I actually think theres a lot to be said for the large parts used in the 80's and 90's castles as it allowed children to quickly build mammoth castles of all different designs and then play with them.
On that basis I think value can be measure differently for different LEGO products. For a display piece i want something beautiful and cleverly designed and will happily take more of that for less size. For a kids castle I want size as castles should be big and imposing and would happily trade away complexity for volume.
I understand it's a hard one to gauge because you'd have to average it over a number of sets and ranges for each year and you've similarly got problems with factoring in natural technological evolution (i.e. it's unfair to compare the quality of detail of say an early 1980s minifigure to a 2010s one) but I'm just wondering if Lego is increasing in value or not by any of those metrics where I'm determining value as one of the measures CCC listed relative to cost.
Mostly I realise it's easy to assume things are becoming worse value for money so I'm just intrigued if in a more objective study whether there are ratios to cost whereby Lego is clearly increasing or if it is a general decrease for most or all factors.
Companies often push the market as far as they can before they hit a tipping point, and I'm wondering if the same is true of Lego or whether they're managing the problem well enough to avoid it by keeping measurements of value relatively consistent over time. Or in other words I'm trying to understand whether complaints about lack of size or lack of value that crop up now and again are part of a misconception of relative value over the years, or whether there is a genuine underlying bubble that might burst if Lego pushes things too far.
Back in 1985 I remember getting #6080 King's Castle for my birthday and although i have no idea how much that set cost I know it was my only big birthday present and I was extremely happy with that. Similarly, I would have no problem today buying #70404 King's Castle as the main present for either of my kids. I don't know if that comparison is fair, but generally they should have equal 'value'. Looking at the stats:
#6080 - 674 pcs - 12 minifigs (4 designs) - 4 horses - 32x38 studs base, ~22 bricks tall, with quite a bit of green in front.
#70404 - 996 pcs - 7 minifigs (7 designs) - 1 horse, 1 catapult - ~41x35 studs base, ~26 bricks tall, plus the drawbridge.
Other than being surprised how fewer minifigs there are in #70404, it certainly seems much better value than #6080. More pieces, more detail, a bigger model. If it only had a few more horses and 'basic' soldier figures it would be much better.
Now I have no idea how much #6080 cost, but as my main birthday present I was happy, and now if I got away with buying just that as my kids main birthday present I'd be really happy, but fairly sure they'd be perfectly happy to get it. I suspect its also much easier to get #70404 at significant discount (up to 30% off) than it would have been 25-30 years ago.
So over that time span I think we're getting better value. at >10 years it may be a different matter.
I now also really want #70404 after convincing myself its such good value!
One thing I've found that seems really odd is that while the artwork on the boxes seems to keep getting better over time (for the most part at least) it's not showing the true size of the product inside the box quite so well. I know a lot of people have commented on some of the recent larger sets that from the pictures they look small, but once you see them in person they look a lot more impressive. I've found that if you can physically pick up a box in a shop the weight is a much better indication of the true amount of whats inside.
It's always hard to be objective in considering the cost differences, but i think cheshirecat's example above stand quite well, despite the fact the two sets are very different, in the context of their times and audience they do seem to have a similar value.
I think that a lot of retailers doing insane clear out prices also makes it hard to value some sets as well. Often when a new set comes out I'll look at the price and think 'I'll get it if it drops to 50% off" when it's not necessarily a bad price, but is just part of a theme that gets regular discounts.
I think then value for money comes down to expectation of the user and what they want to do with the set. The kids don't want large numbers of smaller bricks and arches and rounded windows as these all take time to build the castle with. Their value comes from building quick and playing. Whereas I do want the ~10 parts that would be needed to build each panel individually. My value comes from the time I take to design and build and amend and fiddle with the finer details.
Yet they do want some details and smaller bricks when they want to be creative, and I do want some larger parts for holding up rock formations or basements where I don't care too much about the details. I'll often use 1x2x5 bricks instead of 5 1x2 bricks for supports in porticos where I don't care so much about details.
I don't really think you can measure value for money for an item (especially when it is varying) as a function of time. You can compare to a loaf or bread or a mars bar or a pint of beer or the average salary or gold bullion or a rival toy, etc. They'll all give different results as commodity prices vary over time.
I think the discounts have partly damaged lego pricing. I think their prices on release are a bit of a joke and that I'll wait as they will be discounted. And I think lego know this in the RRP prices they set, they can sell to some people early on for more than the item is "worth" to many people (whatever that means) and then sell to the wider population at a lower cost later on. You only need to look on deals sites like hukd to know that many people have a 30% off trigger price.
I think you have to control for a couple of key variables that have increased the cost/value of modern sets. Specifically:
- Minifigs have clearly improved over the past 30 years and even over the past 5-10 years. The amount of detail and custom molds are impressive, and this is probably one of the single biggest cost drivers.
- Licensing deals have also added to value -- and cost.
Taking those two factors out of the equation (which essentially means taking Star Wars sets out of the equation, which takes it out of the subject of this thread :)), I think that on balance the value for cost is still there. Looking at some of my cherished "big" sets from childhood and adjusting for inflation:
- Fire Station #6382: RRP $25 ($65 today) OR Police Station #6384 (I think a similar price then and now.) 4 minifigs. Each was a nice little set and my first two formal "sets." With four figures and multiple vehicles, each felt fairly complete. I loved the opening garage doors, too. I haven't built many plain "city" sets lately but I did get a #7237 Police Station back in the mid-2000s that, at $70, is a pretty spot on price per set comparison. Adult Tables didn't really care for the set (the giant baseplate was very strange) but I think Kid Tables would have really enjoyed it - both for building and for play.
- King's Castle #6080: RRP $52.75 ($120 today). 12 minifigs. OR El Dorado Fortress #6276: RRP $66 ($126 today). 8 Minifigs. Either way, this is basically what Helm's Deep cost. On the downside, Helm's Deep had fewer figs and less of an "army" to it. However, it was far more detailed, which means much more of a building experience. Also, Helm's Deep included just as many "play" features. Considering Helm's Deep was a license, I think it wins out.
- Black Seas Barracuda #6285: RRP $110 ($210 today). 8 Minifigs. The Imperial Flagship is far far more impressive that the Barracuda at nearly twice the size and many times the level of detail. Heck, even at the inflated post-retirement price of $250 that I paid for the IS, it still looks like a good deal to me.
I actually think you're getting more value for your buck today.
Just read the review in our very own brickset..
Fair enough a good quality set and build blah blah blah ... but the reviewer keeps mentioning how "Huge' it is !!! and how "big" the box is ?? wtf
I wonder if the reviewer splashed out £120 for it..
it is my opinion that the set is well worth the value, the size is adequate and though its not UCS level its quite large for a NON UCS set. when it final is released over here in the States I'll likely pick it up rather quickly.
Everyone has their own opinions. Next time do more research on a set before buying it. Please don't bash someone's views on something so trivial, I read the review and saw no reason to do so.
In all seriousness, Lego better release the summer sets in the US asap because I am running out of things to spend money on ;)
It is called 'humour' / 'debate' / discussion etc ..
You Americans should Chill Out a bit!! I am only just trying to have a banter !
And as for the chap who mentioned "Please don't bash someone's views on something so trivial, I read the review and saw no reason to do so "
... THIS IS A FORUM!! I am just trying to join in a discussion... with my Opinion - Just like it was the reviewers opinion.. If you don't like my thread then move on and start your own thread..
Also I don't think everyone who responded to that post are American, best be careful about making sweeping statements about groups of people as it tends to annoy people.
I feel like I have landed into the Lego equivalent of the "Stepford Wives"
the Americans chill out thing, clearly you said you wanted a banter, and as such didn't bother me, I know you tea sippers across the pond have issues with Americans, let it go you lost, we won.
I am a 38 year old happilly married, 2 kids, have a passion for lego, run my own IT business guys... It's a bit embarrasing this turning into a playground row about tea sippers and "We Won" etc so I realise that I maybe a bit to old or don't fit in this forum and also realise I may have offended people so i bid you all good bye and sorry for any offence . Cheers :) x
and FYI I've got nothing against the UK, just trying to lighten the mood a bit.
If you disagree with a review then feel free to write what you think about the set.
I don't get the Americans comment. The review was written by a UK user and many of the comments here are from UK users too.
The one big downfall to writing things in a forum like this is that written words lose any and all inflection that the writer may be trying to convey, hence people misinterpret those words and the S&*^storm ensues. :(
@mathias: you an me both, buddy. I can't wait for the new sets.
^I'm not sure how Haribo relates(with the exception of a sugar high altering mood/responses). Please explain.
@Lego_Nick_501 - Not that it matters, since @CCC's response is absolutely right, but it was not @CCC who initially used the term 'Americans."
The US and UK both have their advantages when it comes to buying LEGO. The debate about how unfair particular events are in one country as opposed to another has been exhausted and will never be resolved, so there is no need to start it again here.