What is the reasoning behind splitting the Creator Expert sets across multiple categories? Is it because sets are functionally limited to a theme and subtheme? It seems odd to have sets clearly labeled as such by LEGO to not be included in that category when browsed to.
For reference, I believe these are all sets labeled Creator Expert and their current categories:#10232
Palace Cinema (Advanced Models - Modular Buildings)#10233
Horizon Express (Creator - Expert)#10234
Sydney Opera House (Advanced Models - Buildings)#10235
Winter Village Market (Seasonal - Winter Village)#10241
Maersk Line Triple-E (Advanced Models - Maersk)#10242
[Mini Cooper Mk. VII (Advanced Models - Vehicles)]#10243
Parisian Restaurant (Advanced Models - Modular Buildings)#10244
Fairground Mixer (Creator - Expert)#10245
[Santa's Workshop (Seasonal - Winter Village)]
Based on the patterns here, it seems Horizon Express should be moved into Trains and Fairground Mixer into Advanced Models - Miscellaneous. While the categories would be subjective rather than based on LEGO's labeling, it would be consistent.
The ideal solution is an open-ended, "tag"-based categories system, but I realize that would likely involve a lot of work (e.g. rewriting the database structure) for something that doesn't apply to the majority of sets.
all of thosea bifurcated assortment of those, plus more, tossed into the Creator Expert mega-bin, even though it's not that big (yet.)
It's more of a marketing term than anything, and they seem to be figuring things out as they go as much as anyone. Thematically, I think Brickset does a better job of sorting things than Lego does themselves. What the box says really isn't that big of a deal, where they're intended to be thematically holds more weight. I would put Horizon Express with other trains and Santa's Workshop with other winter village sets before I would store those two together.
However, it would be nice if sets could belong to more than one theme & sub-theme, but I could also see that being a nightmare on the back-end. Maybe add an "Official Theme" category header that is searchable/sortable, yet separate from "Theme" and "Subtheme,"and leave everything else the way it is.
sub-themes: modular building, winter village, landmarks, trains, maersk, etc
I'm open to suggestions as to how best to categorise them, but at the moment sets have one theme and one subtheme, as fields in the main sets database table. Doing anything else, e.g. a many:many relationship between sets and themes is certainly possible but would require the whole 'heart' of the database to be removed and reworked which would not be easy and for the handful of sets that would benefit from it, probably not worth the effort.
Assigning 'Tags' is an idea that's been bandied about from time to time and maybe that would partially address the issue. It would certainly be much easier to add to the existing structure.
The purist in me wants Creator Export sets to be categorised as such in the database: theme: Creator, subtheme: Expert, but because the nomenclature has been introduced years after sets of the same ilk were introduced (modulars, winter village etc.) it makes no sense to do so and I guess these sets should be moved elsewhere for consistency, or we move, for example, all Modulars to theme 'Creator', subtheme 'Expert/Modulars' given that LEGO has done so, according to the link @emmtwosix posted above.
The fact that the Creator Expert subtheme does not include all Creator Expert sets bothers me a great deal too. It seems to me that having "Modular Buildings" as a separate theme is a bit odd, since the original modular buildings were not a part of ANY theme (they were all released under LEGO Direct, but that's not really a theme). A big part of what Creator Expert did is take all these sets that originally were marketed and identified under no theme at all and gather them under one roof.
I would not be opposed to retroactively labeling all other "themeless" LEGO Direct models like that under the Creator Expert subtheme. After all, Brickset already does that with the Designer Sets. Although these were the forerunners of the Creator theme as we now know it, they never actually carried Creator branding — rather, the Designer Sets, Inventor Sets, Technic, and "Creator" (which included what would today be labeled as Bricks & More) were entirely separate themes under the now-defunct "Make & Create" banner.
If the Designer Sets and Inventor Sets can be retroactively put into the Creator theme, why can't we do the same for the Modular Buildings and Winter Village sets? While the Winter Village sets' subject matter is seasonal, the same is true of the Advent Calendars, and those are all sorted under their corresponding themes.
In any case, treating the Modular Buildings as their own theme at least makes more sense than the way the database used to categorize them as "Town" sets despite that theme having ended over a dozen years ago. But there's no reason the Creator Expert subtheme should look anywhere near as desolate as it does at present.
I could live with changing them all to Creator Expert but how far back in time would it acceptable to 're-brand' them given that when the first few in the list were released 'Creator' didn't even exist?
Another question: If the Modular Buildings branded as "Creator" are instead categorized as "Advanced Models" in the database, how come the same isn't true of #10190 Market Street from the Factory theme? I know some AFOLs have various reasons for deciding they don't consider it a modular building. After all, since it was only the second modular building, design rules like only using the classic two-dots-and-a-smile minifigure face for all modular buildings had not yet been set in stone. Nevertheless, it's clear that the LEGO Group does consider it a part of the series, based on the contents of set #10230 Mini-Modulars and ads from the instructions of #10185 Green Grocer. And it features many of the same advanced building techniques seen in the others, such as the curved staircase to get inside and the half-stud offset on some of the windows.
"Advanced sets" is a description, not a theme. It can therefore contain anything or nothing. I'd keep pre-Creator Expert sets in the "Advanced Models" category in the absence of an 'official' LEGO label. Sets released under the Creator Expert subtheme should be labelled as such in the database. And in future when LEGO rebrands Creator Expert as Creator AFOL (!) or whatever then we can label sets released under this brand as such in the database. It's messy, but at least it's accurate, and there's always the search box if people don't know which subtheme to look in....
Could you have a category for sets over say, 1000 pieces ( 10190 is the smallest modular at 1248 pieces ) or maybe a 16+ category? Either way, they could be listed in set number order with a picture so people could find what they are looking for.
I like the idea of calling it all Creator Expert because I think LEGO will use this label for a while and its clearly on the box moving forward. Also I don't think you should be calling a set one thing when it is clearly labeled differently within LEGO group. For instance Horizon Express. I understand relabeling a set here or there, but this Creator Expert is clearly a defined series within LEGO group now. If they were to release any of the older Advanced Models, it would get the Creator Expert label.
*cracks whip* :D
For that matter, why the leading "LEGO" in the theme name? We don't do that for LEGO Factory, LEGO Fusion, or even LEGO Cuusoo, and shop.LEGO.com just has the theme listed as "Ideas".