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Your pet peeves that most people love
The premise of this thread is: What trends in Lego's design seem to be popular and well-liked, but you personally dislike?
I'll go first: I really don't like when a minifigure's print goes from torso to hips to legs. I love Lego for its modularity, and so I want legs and torsos that are individually complete and cohesive, so I can mix and match at liberty. But if you have a longcoat that crosses over, suddenly neither part is very usable outside the context of the other. They may look nice, but if they only work in one combination, they're not all that useful to me.
What does Lego do as a matter of course these days, that is popular but displeases you?
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Also, some of the prints don't align to well. I think I went through four or five Saruman dress slopes until I got one that aligned well with the creases in the robes in the torso.
Too much "individuality" in minifigures.
I get it for licensed themes like Star Wars and super heroes; you want the minis to look like the characters they're modeling, so by all means have individual faces, hair pieces, etc. But for the common themes like City, etc., why does every mini in every set seem to need a new face print, hair piece, torso, etc.? Looking back through history, the same 20 torsos, 15 legs, and 10 hair pieces/hats could be used to create many many different figures while still avoiding the appearance of the same clone figure used over and over (a la Classic Space--not that there's anything wrong with that...). Now over the past 5 years or so, it seems it's hard to find a single part that's been used more than 5 times, as all the new sets seem to need new hair pieces, new facial prints, new torsos, etc.
I'm the old guy in the room who though it was just fine to have the generic smiley-face minifigures populating my town. And I know it was my beloved SW license (and others) that opened the gates for a wider variety of prints, hair styles, etc. I just think it's getting out of hand, and I have to believe it contributes (however slightly) to the costs of producing the sets (and thus to RRP). And of course, identifying and classifying individual minifig parts is now much more difficult as the number of printed variants increases exponentially from year to year.
That said, as a fan of certain lego-based webcomics, I admit it's nice to have the various facial expressions available for the authors. But even then, clever positioning and camera angles can be used to deal with a limited amount of facial diversity (and those same comics do that, too!). And really, the differences only matter if you're viewing your little guys/gals close-up or in pictures; if you display your Lego sets in real life, the larger the display, the farther away from your minis you will be, and the less important miniscule facial expression differences become to the audience of that display.
I'm probably in the minority, but that's what this thread is all about! Thanks for the opportunity to rant a little...
I'd also like to see a lot of the existing torso designs reappear but in different colours. That gives some consistency while allowing for variation. So we have things like the green outfit for the CMF actor, re-done in dk red for Shakespeare, why not redo it in other colours too. This gives variation between groups or factions while keeping them in the same type of uniform or outfit.
And while I am at that, I'm not fan of nametags on City folk, especially prevalent in the CMF. Who cares if the Diner Waitress is called Tara or the Constable is no 1337 or Galaxy Patrol is called Luiz. These small details prevent reuse of multiple torsos with different heads and hair.
And a major bugbear of mine, the use of yellow or fleshie printing on torsos where it is not really needed. So that constable CMF really doesn't need the tiniest piece of yellow on his neck line (he should have a white shirt on anyway), as the torso cannot be used for a fleshie figure. Loads have this sort of unecessary detail on, removing it wouldn't detract from the figure. Obviouly if it is a shirtless figure or a dress has a plunging neckline it is necessary to show the flesh colour, but when it is so tiny, don't do it LEGO!
Many other AFOLs seem bothered by the way some modern sets might have be built on separate plates that "float" independently, but I find that this is very freeing and makes it easier to display models in an aesthetically pleasing way. Some great examples are #10193, #10217, and #41176. I've seen all of these sets forced into parallel or perpendicular arrangements, and it never looks nearly as nice as the more freeform arrangements on the box art. As far as rebuilding is concerned, normal plates are much more intuitive to use for parts of a build other than a base, their less flexible shape makes parts less likely to pop up when moving a build from one place to another, and having connections both on top and underneath makes it much easier to reinforce a model that spans multiple plates.
While a lot of AFOLs yearn for baseplates to come back in more sets, I'd actually like to see the shift towards regular plates go further, perhaps with the introduction of a newer and more versatile road system that liberates cities from flat, repetitive 16x16 grid layouts.
It will always be bewildering to me how many AFOLs decry "juniorization" in modern sets, yet admire sets like #6276 where one giant, super-specialized piece made up what must be around 30% of the set's overall volume!
Interesting enough character but there really isn't a need for 53 variations.
It wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't for the fact that the time & money could be spent on characters that haven't yet appeared
I think you're actually right, even though I'm nostalgic for the raised baseplates of yore. (In fact, I'm ordering some of the ramp/pit ones right now.)
Baseplates in general are a tough sell for me. Thing is, regardless of whether baseplates exist, we're gonna have big plates for various layers of buildings, etc. So given that we will have big plates anyway (even if only up to 16x16, which are easy enough to add together into even bigger formations), why should we have baseplates as well, an additional and incompatible standard?
Because let's face it, if you have a model on a baseplate, and one on regular plates, you aren't going to put those next to one another. You would want their bases to match in terms of height, not to be offset by that less-than-a-plate amount.
So in the "baseplates exist" world, we have two different standards running around, each lowering the number of the other that get produced. They're competing for production/set space. Where clearly we should want one unified standard that gets all the support and attention. I would trade away all the regular, non-raised baseplates for equivalent area of 16x16 plates. (Well, easy for me to say since I'm not a city-builder and thus have no attachment to road plates.)
And yes, I think it's fair to call the old raised baseplates "juniorized". I like them, but I won't dispute that characterization.
(As for the issue of large rock pieces... I like those AND raised baseplates, so at least I'm not a hypocrite on this issue, even if I will admit that both are stupid in some ways, while very nice in others.)
I often get told that I’d be better off buying one modular than the dozen smaller sets for the same price but I just don’t see it that way. I’m not saying that the modulate aren’t impressive or don’t have interesting build techniques, it’s just they are wrapped up in so much more straight stacking of bricks than smaller sets.
Also because it’s easier to get bigger discounts on smaller sets I find it so much better value having more smaller sets.
One thing that definitely is a pet peeve with the LEGO world...when people use price per piece as the baseline for value. It’s such a bad measure of the value of a LEGO set and just frequently doesn’t work on so many levels but when a new set is announced it’s often one of the first comments.
Another agreement :-) For example, while Helm's Deep was a fun build in LOTR, and Orthanc is very impressive, I quite like Gandalf Arrives and the Wizard Battle. And at the prices I paid for them (£6 and £5 respectively) they were bargains.
For me it's the increasing size of wheels on some vehicles. They have 4x4s with bigger wheels than trucks.
On the base plate issue, I have thought a base plates that is the thickness of standard plates would be good, you could still have varied sizes but I do like the multiple of 8 standard.
Of course, "sets should be more complicated and use fancier building techniques" is not a controversial opinion here, and so perhaps it is not for this thread. :P
Hope that makes sense
Sometimes people do go on and on about how they discovered something new and awesome, like using the stud on the side of a SNOT brick to build sideways (I think that is joked about in one of the above videos), because no-one ever thought of it and lego didn't even realise either and that they have turned this annoying brick that had an odd stud on the side into something useful.
To me, whether it looks like I would enjoy building and playing with the set are what is important to me. Couldn't care about potential resale value, how rare the set is or what the price per piece is. The other problem I have with price per piece, is that if you take 2 sets side by side, similar price, similar parts count but one set has more larger pieces than the other (BURPs, doors, wall pieces). Technically the price per piece works out to be roughly the same, but which set really has more value per piece?
Alright, I'll say it.
Complaining about stickers.
I just do not care when people complain about stickers. They're really not an issue. I try to put one on the best I can and if it's a little misaligned, oh well. Darn. Next step! Don't care if they're in the Falcon, Cloud City, or flippin Death Star, I don't care.
(This all said by someone who owns almost all of the Star Wars buildable characters. Not technically Technic, but close enough.)
But I have been known to try to reapply stickers a time or two....
The answer to the last question is that it depends on the person. BURPS, doors and wall pieces (panels?) are completely useless and thus little value to some people if they prefer to use only smaller parts for their builds. Whereas to a child or someone wanting to build an expanse quickly, they may be more useful and hence better value than a small part.
I don't think may people really use just the price per part as a decider when buying a set. If they did, the only to sets that sold would be the bucket style classic sets.
Look, I get it. A lot of people have fond memories of classic Lego. I myself wish Lego would bring back Space and Adventures as seperate themes and would “modernize” Classic Town sets in City, but, take off the nostalgia goggles, and I think you’ll be able to see how silly such statements are. How is a fender or cockpit piece not Lego-like when in the late 90s, the Town stuff was becoming extremely simple with that one piece chassis with the axles? At least those newer pieces add to the astethics, but, that Creator shuttle does show that Lego designers can still do a great job without that cockpit piece. Furthermore, simple=/=better. There are still sets that qualify as simple. Not every set is a modular or a Technic Porsche 911.
Lego is still Lego. Kids still enjoy them. Adults still enjoy them. There were great sets back then. There are great sets now. All of them still offer a genuine building experience. This is why I like Jang. He still has nostalgia, but, he can also see when something older doesn’t look as good as something newer.
“Where is Classic Space? When will we get more classic castle?? Where are my cowboys!!!”
It’s been now proven that they don’t sell well with kids as much as they used to. It’s not the 80s anymore, those days are over!! They’re not coming back. Monorails too. Kids these days love technology and stuff.
Examples: #76078, #76084, #76046.
I look at these sets and laugh. The builds are comically bad. A mix of huge specialised parts and models that looks like...nothing whatsoever?!
So yeah, Super Heroes sets are my pet peeve. :) Waste of talented design resources in my opinion.
Seriously though, I think a homegrown Lego space theme these days probably wouldn't do well when up against Star Wars sets simply for the fact the ship/vehicles/characters are already familiar to most kids. Which set would your sci fi loving 10-year-old self pick up in store? The generic spaceship with generic characters/aliens or the latest Star Wars set with vehicles and minifigs you recognise from the movie you just saw?
This is probably the main reason that many of the recent Lego themes have had an accompanying TV show; so that kids can become familiar with the characters and will want the sets with characters/location/vehicles they recognise rather than just some generic theme. I doubt Lego can produce a space theme/TV show to compete with the popularity of Star Wars and, to be honest, I doubt they'd want to as it would surely cannibalize sales of existing Star Wars sets.
I also wish Lego would release a set like Hot Rod Club in City. If not too expensive, I’d buy it. If there is one thing from Classic Town I would want to see, it would be some of those sets “modernized”. I really like a lot of the concepts behind those old sets. Heck, a new Diesel Daredevil would make for a great $10 set.
Well... I agree with you somewhat, but you've only chosen one I'd agree with. The Hulk dune buggy set is ridiculous when you think about how fast the Hulk can run or jump compared to being in a car. And yes, I understand that She-hulk needs to keep up with him somehow, but an oversized quad bike is not the answer. Same for the Red versions.
However, the other two sets recreate vehicles and scenes of movies that the sets are tied into. If you're not bothered by the movies, then I can see why they don't appeal to you, but they do look like their on-screen counterparts and I like the idea that I could have a collection of superhero vehicles that match the ones on the films I love. That the build is uninspired is arguably subjective, IMO.
If you want really bad superhero sets, look to these:
#76009 - Superman: Black Zero Escape (minifigs, part of a spaceship and a pod)
#76085 - Battle of Atlantis (minifigs and 3 stacks of blocks - I own this one, just for the Aquaman minifig)
#76002 - Superman Metropolis Showdown (minifigs, a roadster and a bit of a roof - I own this one too, for Superman)
#76008 - Iron Man vs. The Mandarin: Ultimate Showdown (minifigs and some kind of tank - I own this one too... for... reasons...)
#76041 - The Hydra Fortress Smash (minifigs, the Hulk, an ATV and a bit of a castle - the only draw is Quicksilver, and even I didn't feel like getting the entire set just for him)
#76037 - Rhino and Sandman Super Villain Team-up (minifigs and some flimsy construction stuff)
#76088 - Thor vs. Hulk: Arena Clash (minifigs and a wall)
#76082 - ATM Heist Battle (minifigs and an ATM, yes really)
Unopened box collectors! Yes, I know the box has value, but that doesn't mean you can't build the Lego! Unless you have already build that set before you're missing out on the experience! If the Lego inside had feelings it would feel unloved and neglected becuase no one wants to build it! So, yes, keep the box, but if you have the space, build the Lego!
Or three, with the spare to sell. Or more, with all the spares to sell.
You can definitely offer someone $1. They don’t have to take it, but you also don’t have to pay them whatever price they want. A set isn’t “worth” X dollars unless someone actually pays X dollars.
The complication is that buyer and seller are both plural - which then gets into supply and demand, which makes neither feel like they have the power.
I get that they are an important part of the set, especially within licenced themes, but when a review of the set has four paragraphs listing every detail of each minifig and then basically ends with "and there were some bricks included too", it's just a jarring reminder that not everyone sees Lego the same way...
This is exacerbated by some particularly poor sets from Lego (the Superhero sets mentioned above), but if the builds and parts are unexciting then I don't get how anyone can be bothered with them, no matter what characters are included (cf a lot of the LOTR/Hobbit 'bits of walls' sets).
To me, mini dolls aren’t awful because of some bigger meaning; they’re just awful because I don’t like them compared to minifigs.
I think these sets were mainly good sets. Uruk-Hai army - sold as an "army" pack hence the number of and focus on minifigures, still had a reasonably good piece of wall which is useful for anyone wanting to extend Helm's Deep in a simple way and a not too bad attack vehicle. Mirkwood Elf Army - again clearly an "army" pack from the name so the focus was going to be on the minifigures, with a reasonable bit of forest. The tree could have been better, but it is simple to add more leaves. Dol Guldur Ambush - the build was small, but no worse than many small city sets. I don't know if you include the two Laketown sets, Battle of Five Armies and Lonely Mountain in the "bits of walls" sets, same with Mines of Moria and even Helm's Deep. If so, these are not just walls. They are a backdrop that give an idea about location, but without making the set 5000+ parts pushing it out of the price range for many. Obviously being licensed with a film with a large key cast, they had to do all the company of dwarves, and many of the baddies too, so the focus has to be on the minifigures but I think they gave us decent scenery too but within reasonable set sizes to fit with price bands. There would have been outrage if they had only made half the dwarves but more detailed sets, for example. The sets are easy to extend / amend yourself if you want something more detailed. But if they missed out key characters, these are no so easy to make yourself. Possibly the worst bit of wall set was the Battle of Five Armies. But there, I think people actually wanted less build and more battle. And five armies.