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I think a good compromise would have been blocky arms and keep everything else the same.... Different arms had been used in minifigures such as robots and chicken costume guy.
There is definitely something about the minifigs that just doesn't hit the mark. At some point I really want to do a massive comic con MOC so if I can get the figures (or sets) on the cheap they will be useful for that, but otherwise not for me.
I'll fully admit that not being a fan of minecraft that the design might just look dull because I'm not a fan, but there are plenty of themes I'm not a fan of but like the look of the finished set - case in point I think the micro world sets look nice, but as I'm not a fan of minecraft I have none of them and don't plan to get any. Equally I love Back to the Future but think the design of the Delorean set was poor - mainly because it doesn't fit both figs properly and suffered for the changeable bonnet.
Isn't that what they should do? Get thorough all THEIR processes and make quality stuff?
I do not see this as laziness at all, but simply a function of what they are designing for. It is meant to be blocky. They did take input from fan on a number of the characters as well. I can see why the build and design would not appeal to many, but for kids that play Minecraft, that blocky design is what minecraft is about. The micro sets also were not about okay. It was about creating a cool little desk model. It was a cube. It had interchangeability, and that had some appeal with adults, besides fans of Minecraft, and young kids that would still play with the microset. Yes, there was a beauty and aesthetic to those. This is different. The mini-sized sets are not going to be desk toppers. These are about okay and recreating key elements of the minecraft world. It also sounds like they are using the concept of joining two sets together to make a new set, and the concept of rebuilding a set into something different. (Mere than one model). None of that speaks to laziness, but no.... The appearance of these is going to be drastically different than anything Lego has done before because they are creating that blocky world.
First of all, the minifigs issue I've mentioned.
Second, look at the accessories included: we have a new mold to fit the minecraft world and then a few regular accessories that don't fit the style at all (chest, bucket, bow, etc.)
The build themselves are lame, no interesting techniques, no npu, nothing.
There's also a charm to the minecraft aesthetics that's completely missing here: the blocks are pixellated that creates a certain texture, not just one color, which is missing completely here.
As for what they were trying to recreate here, for me it just doesn't work. The mine looks like a few bricks thrown together with no purpose whatsoever, the flying spider is lame and the other one is just some boring terrain.
Minecraft sets look that way because that is generally how Minecraft the game looks. I simply do not see this as them being 'lazy' but building as something would look in Minecraft, with cost in mind, with current parts. I doubt LEGO is getting paid enough to actually try to make every little brick 'textured' or whatever, and pretty sure those other components are in the game and are in the set(may not be perfect matches, but again this is marketed for kids, this is not a mod). I'm sure if MC wanted a perfect set, they would have said so to LEGO (and been more than happy to open the checkbook to do it). However, due to manufacturing and development, I'm sure it would have been a 30 dollar set for 80 dollars due to all the costs. But I guess they could also include 100's of textured stickers if you really want special different textures on the brick (but then there would be those that would rant on about that). Plus I'm guessing MC folks signed off on the sets, so also direct your complaints to the makers of the game as well.
I would say this: If you want a reasonable facsimile, then buy the set. Want the 'perfect minecraft'? Play the game.
Want to build more with the set? Buy another set and make a bigger diorama.
Bottom line is that if this set is in a home and most people who have kids are going to go to that home and see that set (as 'uncreative' as it is) and say 'Ohh, Minecraft' or ask 'What is that?' Which means LEGO did its job and also Minecraft is getting advertised.
I don't want to buy 100 sets and make the ultimate minecraft, I want one that's good. If I want to make them myself I will just buy a brick bucket and make it. And what about the mold, should I make those myself as well. Sorry to anyone offended but to me these sets are just weak and nothing more than cashgrabbers.
The problem is that whilst yes, one of the very charms about Minecraft is it's simplistic graphics, each block still has a basic pixelated texture set against it. Now I'm well aware it's completely unrealistic for Lego to have made every single block printed, but on the same note whilst you can get away with that at micro scale I don't think you can at minifigure scale and this was always going to be the gamble they'd have to take - the problem is I think it's a gamble they've lost, I don't think it's worked with plain bricks (but even that aside the Zombie and Steve look a bit weird regardless).
I think they'd have been better off making this a UCS-like series - not on the size and scale of the large UCS Star Wars sets, but building a texture accurate or near enough creeper, steve and so forth.
I would strongly consider buying these off sale, but I also believe to get at least one set with a 'Enderman', since he should be based of the famous Slenderman.
I do not believe to touch any of the sets at all, if they got stickers.
Since the LEGO Minecraft world is officially created with standard bricks like 2x2, it would be cheaper to upgrade the world with LEGO basic boxes offering high amounts of standard pieces to a lower price.
The sets are definitely different enough from the more display-oriented Micro-World sets and from other LEGO themes to justify their existence. And other than the minifigures (which I'm still not totally fond of) they do a great job mimicking the Minecraft game worlds on an aesthetic level.
The Cave- Great small set with the printed TNT piece along with two mob figures and Steve with a pickaxe, a must buy.
The Farm- Very nice colourful set with a few unique pieces such as the brown cow and sheep aswell as the Jack o Lantern head which is really useful, yet again this is a must buy, especially with skeleton and craft box.
The House- This is a nice cosy looking house along with a furnished interior, the pig and brown axe/sword seem to be unique to this set, however I am undecided if this will be a purchase.
Crafting Box- This is the best looking of the wave, I particularly like the mooshroom and oven. The 4/8 selected models at the bottom look better than some of the sets and for that reason this is a day one purchase (does anyone know the piece count?).
The End- This set is imo the worst of the wave, it is very bare (which is exactly what the end is like), but I can't justify buying this one for the model itself, however the diamond armour, helmet and sword are absolutely fantastic, and as a matter of fact the Ender dragon and endermen are really cool too.
The Mine- The flagship of this wave is looking great. I spot at least two play features (pushing the mine along the cart and the TNT explosion function). This is the most generous set in terms of mob characters (offering each mob figure from every set par the End), and the fact that this one includes steves new armour piece in the iron variation is pretty cool but again I am undecided if this will be a purchase now that I've seen the others.
Verdict: Lego have done a fantastic job at presenting minecraft into a product, they have craftily spread unique items throughout each set making you want to buy more than one (which is a clever marketing tactic but has been seen many times before). The nice added feature of these sets is that Lego inspire you to build more than just the set because judging by the print on the boxes 'inspiration included', I'm willing to bet that in the manual Lego have included a selection of minecraft Lego models or actual game creations relating to each set. I shall be buying almost if not all of this wave as I think it has been done really well. Should these sets sell well it would be great to see Lego touch up on other new sets such as a witches swamp, the village and the nether. :-D
Are these LEGO store exclusive or is there chance to pick up later with discount from elsewhere for more mobs later?
I've never seen a Lego theme sell like that, even Research Institute and exo suit weren't moving quite like that. Fortunately this isn't a limited release though so there should be plenty for everyone. I think Lego has hit the jackpot on this one though.
My Lego store did not have any Minecraft sets out yet.
Employee confirms "Not a LEGO exclusive" - Minecraft sets to be released in other stores.
I found 'The End' surprisingly lower priced that expected. Guess that I will get it off their shelf, together with the mini version (10% off), double VIP points and the 1/2 "free" christmas set.
Edit: Actually adding an large PAB cup to 'The End' mini version, would be enough to let me have another "free" christmas set.
Making two orders:
1. Buying the new 'The End' --> 2x Points + "free" set.
Walk out, walk in.
2. Buying mini version of 'The End' --> 2x Points + "free" set.
Giving me two "free" christmas sets. Possible? anyone got experience with that?
Tempted to get a set or two after seeing the display models. Might even give a micro version a go - anyone have a preference on these micro model cubes?
#21105: The Village -- it has the interior and interesting topagraphy (and pigs)
#21102: The Forest -- It's got the best re-connectability of the lot
#21106: The Nether -- Dark Red is my fave Lego color, but the connections once subbed out are limiting.
#21107: The End -- The Ender Dragon in micro form was fun
In that order of build.
Wish more sets had a Creeper.