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Why no more monorail?

Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
edited May 2012 in Collecting
Monorail are still very popular (especially considering the age), and people love them in City layouts, but TLG have repeatedly said that is it out of the question that they'd ever produce monorail again.

I understand they're 'off limits' for rereleases because the technology can't be recreated cost-effectively. Surely though, this is not rocket science, it's just a simple motor with a metal cog and battery attached, it can't be hard to source these cost-effectively, or adapt it to a technology which can. Or is the technology reason (which people often give) incorrect- is the purely down to low projected sales?

(for what it's worth, I'd be in favour of new monorail designs as well as improvements to the technology, rather than a re-release)
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Comments

  • vwong19vwong19 San DiegoMember Posts: 1,183
    Why don't you put that on Cuuso and see what happens. I have little knowledge of monorails, but I like the current train system that Lego has developed and will continue to support that.
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    edited March 2012
    Monorail and trains always used to co-exist, it's not really one or the other (although I did experiment with making a tram which can run on monorail as well as track, but it wasn't practical).

    I did look on Cuuso but the monorails up there are not that good.

    Guess I could try and develop one for Cuuso based on the old technology but whats the point if Lego will never make it out of principle?
  • vwong19vwong19 San DiegoMember Posts: 1,183
    If you get enough votes....
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    There definitely seems to be potential.. this one
    http://lego.cuusoo.com/ideas/view/487
    has 5700 views, but only 167 votes.

    This says to me that quite a lot of people are looking for monorail, but don't want to vote for this one. Me included - I dont much like the design.

    One of the problems of doing a monorail on Cuuso is what system to choose - if you choose the old bogeys and bases you're pretty much limited to 4-wide which doesnt look right these days, and if you choose a 'brick built' system (i.e. no system) then you end up with great ugly lumps all over the place like the one linked to above.

    It would need a new system of bogeys and bases and track, which ..
    - Allows 6 wide cars so it looks modern.
    - Needs to be stable at this width, probably has stabilising wheels in a horizontal as well as vertical plane etc, and possibly has a 'step' in the track to make it more stable for the wider cars. Hard to explain.
    - Remote control, probably PF compatible. Essentially, powering it might not be too hard, simply a standard technics cog attached to an XL motor might do it if the track is designed to take it.



  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    You can use the existing parts to make a monorail that has the impression of a more modern lego design.

    There was the never released aquanauts mono rail which i seem to think used the 3 x 2 x 6 (half hexagon) panels to, inadvertently, make a 4 wide base have the impression of a wider monorail. It also had the lovely idea of the above and below water color changing track.
  • DougoutDougout Member Posts: 888
    Great thread Si, I've been wanting a monorail too. I would sign up on Cuuso if there was a good monorail on there. The last one I remember seeing in stores was the 6991. I don't know why TLG got rid of the monorail, but after looking at the old sets it appears they were all extremely expensive. The 6991 set has a price per piece of $0.31. This is unfortunate because I doubt TLG will bring it back considering their stance on redoing things that have already been done. :(
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,097
    Monorails and the Space theme are so perfect together. When I think of monorails I think of Tomorrowland at Disneyworld. I've been eyeing the original 6990 Futuron monorail on ebay. Seems that prices have been rising. If Lego really had the balls to throw caution to the wind they would release a new Space based monorail set. The 6990 is the best one IMO as it allowed you to build around it. I don't even care if it doesn't have a lot of parts. Really just the monorail and a base station. The rest one could MOC.
  • LEGO_NabiiLEGO_Nabii Member Posts: 34
    The reason LEGO has stopped making monorail is threefold, one the motors and track molds ran out and would be very expensive to replace. Two, no monorail set ever made any money, in fact despite trying several different types at high price points they all cost more to produce then they were sold for. Three, kids these days don't see them as exciting, they are from theme parks or airports, not a futuristic thing at all, in fact pretty boring. Though most find trains quite dull too - sorry, but ninja's vs skeletons is far cooler then a train going in a circle even if it is on only one rail!
    AanchirLyichir
  • richoricho Member Posts: 3,830
    ^ sadly, I think this is correct.
  • UncleVernonDursleyUncleVernonDursley Member Posts: 2
    edited March 2012
    ^^ What about AFOLs though? Surely it's just as worthwhile to produce monorail for mainly AFOLs, and some kids, than it is to produce the modulars, maersk train, EN, tower bridge etc?
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,097
    Three, kids these days don't see them as exciting, they are from theme parks or airports, not a futuristic thing at all, in fact pretty boring. Though most find trains quite dull too - sorry, but ninja's vs skeletons is far cooler then a train going in a circle even if it is on only one rail!
    While I agree that Lego probably won't make another monorail since their focus is more on trains, I totally disagree with every thing else you said. First, Lego keeps making airports so why not a monorail? Personally, I find Lego's airports rather un-inspired anyway. Monorails are definitely still futuristic. For example, if you were to build a railway in space, where there is no gravity, a monorail would be required to secure the train from drifting off. Regarding Ninjas and skeletons, there's plenty of that already in Legoland. Are you a kid BTW?

  • MatthewMatthew Cheshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 3,734
    ...Are you a kid BTW?
    No, Mark's a LEGO Designer ;-)
  • tk79tk79 Member Posts: 329
    edited March 2012
    ^^ He works for TLG. Take his words to heart...or don't.
  • richoricho Member Posts: 3,830
    edited March 2012
    the words were correct. If you have a child you will know that. Whilst a Monorail may appeal to AFOLs wanting to re-live their favourite set from their youth, it simply doesn't appeal to the core target market of Lego, which is children. There is only one way they would do this set, and that's as an exclusive targeted at AFOLs.
    My daughter would have zero interest in this compared to Harry Potter, Star Wars, Ninjago, Friends etc
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    @LEGO_Nabii , thanks for the reply, havent heard from you for a while on here.

    On the motors, could they not just use a PF XL motor, possibly with gearing, like the emerald night? So if they could get away with no new motor, I can imagine that the 4 different track types will all need new molds, plus bogeys and bases making 6 new molds minimum.

    Mind you, they had no problem coming up with the molds for the seldom-used narrow-gauge track used in temple of doom and funhouse escape .. in fact, over 3 years, these tracks have only been used in 3 models - and one of those was a 'out of the box' use in the AC mothership. So I dont't entirely buy the new molds argument, although I can see that it would have an influence.

    Not making money is a biggie though.
    I imagine that the loss is partly down to production costs - the volume of ABS in the track and supports, and the fact that to make a playable set you need a decent volume of track. Still, the volume of track in the original sets was excessive IMO ... they could have provided a lot less, especially since an aftermarket extension was available. Also, the proportion of buildings in the sets was way too high. Nobody bought those sets for the buildings, but the sheer volume of buildings and non-monorail stuff in airport shuttle for instance is incredible. Airport shuttle is the equivalent of getting 7939 passenger train bundled with 7997 train station and 7937 other train station plus a bunch of road plates and extra track thrown in as well. A lot for one set, with not much on-sell, so not smart marketing.

    Things have changed a lot in the last 18 years since the last monorail - can you imagine the modular buildings being released in 1994 and succeeding? Or a huge set like Death Star or SSD? Much of the current Lego market was unimagineable back then, but nowadays there IS a market for very large sets. The market has changed a lot, and I reckon could absorb it now.

    I see what you mean about 'do kids want it', but if you follow that argument through, you have to ask who's buying all the City stuff, it's not exactly full of skulls and dragons. To me, City is where monorail really shines, as it doesnt interfere with the layout like trains do, and adds 3 dimensional movement to the city. They take up a lot less room than trains and are just more practical.

    To address the 'kid appeal' for the 'non-city' kids, the Monster fighters might hold a clue. The Ghost Train mixes up trains and Ninjago-like 'kid appeal'. There's no reason why this couldnt be done with monorail, for example in a theme like Monster Fighters.

    Sorry for the essay, what can I say, I'm a monorail fan, if you haven't guessed. I really think that with the right research and the right concepts, a compelling buisness case could be made.
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,097
    ...Are you a kid BTW?
    No, Mark's a LEGO Designer ;-)
    I assume that he doesn't work in the train department. Just curious, which sets has he designed?
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,097
    the words were correct. If you have a child you will know that.
    I have a three year old son and he thinks just about every Lego set is cool. He is currently playing with the MMV set I built. I'm sure he would play with a monorail. If you're talking about older kids then yes, older kids are usually so brainwashed by what they see on tv that only "popular" themes appeal to them.

  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,272
    ^^ There's a bricklist for some of Mark's sets: http://www.brickset.com/brickLists/?5289
  • 12651265 Member Posts: 947
    I would love to see a monorail set. Not just one set, but a monorail based theme. I understand some of the concerns, however, it's a different time and in today's market I see this theme excelling beyond expectations.
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,288
    edited March 2012
    ...Are you a kid BTW?
    No, Mark's a LEGO Designer ;-)
    I assume that he doesn't work in the train department. Just curious, which sets has he designed?
    Something along the line of "Oh, ok... I'm sorry" would have probably been a better response.

    stlux
  • 12651265 Member Posts: 947
    edited March 2012
    Something along the line of "Oh, ok... I'm sorry" would have probably been a better response.
    Thanks for the laughter.

  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,097

    Something along the line of "Oh, ok... I'm sorry" would have probably been a better response.
    No, because unlike Jaime Berard, Nabii's response was immature and condescending towards the original poster. Just because someone works at Lego doesn't mean we should kiss their feet. If Nabii would of just said monorail trains aren't popular with kids and are expensive to manufacture then that would of been cool. Instead he tacks on the boring part. One could argue that the some of the other Lego themes that had ninjas and skeletons fighting are boring.

  • tk79tk79 Member Posts: 329
    ^ eesh, you're too much...by the way, is your name really spelled that way, or is that just symbolic of the missing "t"act from your posts?
  • LEGO_NabiiLEGO_Nabii Member Posts: 34
    No I don't work in the 'trains department', as we only do a train every two years or so there is no such department. I know how tough it is to hear but there are barely enough sales to justify trains sets let alone an even more niche product like monorail. A fully supported play theme like monster fighters would be lucky to get 6 new molds for the whole line, monorail would have to somehow become a full six/seven set theme that tested better with kids then any of the other ideas being tested against it and that's before the difficulty of affording the electronic components. The safety testing of these alone is astounding.

    Also, there are just not enough AFOLs to justify the new molds, AFOL sets like the Emerald Knight number in the tens of thousands of units, Ninjago mid range sets are over a million sets produced. Jamie put a lot on the line to push through the big train wheels and that's just one mold. Until there are hundreds of thousands of Adult train fans demanding monorail it's going to have to appeal to the kids, and believe me we've tried, it really is either just another train and therefore boring to them. I wish it wasn't, I'd love to design a monorail set, I actually think it would be possible with the existing motors and just 2 new elements, a straight track and a corner track and a bit of funky building.

    I recommend you keep asking just to make sure one dept or another tries it every few years, but baring some new monorail revolution in public transport don't hold your breath.
    AanchirstluxLego_Star
  • 12651265 Member Posts: 947

    Something along the line of "Oh, ok... I'm sorry" would have probably been a better response.
    No, because unlike Jaime Berard, Nabii's response was immature and condescending towards the original poster. Just because someone works at Lego doesn't mean we should kiss their feet. If Nabii would of just said monorail trains aren't popular with kids and are expensive to manufacture then that would of been cool. Instead he tacks on the boring part. One could argue that the some of the other Lego themes that had ninjas and skeletons fighting are boring.

    Nicely said. Nabii's post came across rather condescending.
  • LEGO_NabiiLEGO_Nabii Member Posts: 34
    And I don't mean to insult anyone, kids in Germany, USA and UK have all mistaken monorails for trains and told us they don't get it and it is "boring". Sorry if that sounded like my opinion or insulting. Not a one said Ninjago was boring, though a few were completely confused by it!
    stlux
  • 12651265 Member Posts: 947
    edited March 2012
    ^ eesh, you're too much...by the way, is your name really spelled that way, or is that just symbolic of the missing "t"act from your posts?
    @mathew makes an agrument for monorail...and you bash him?
  • davee123davee123 USAMember Posts: 810
    edited March 2012
    Something along the line of "Oh, ok... I'm sorry" would have probably been a better response.
    Noobs gotta noob.
    Nabii's response was immature and condescending towards the original poster.
    I disagree. I don't think it was condescending to the poster, although I would agree that he shouldn't belittle his company's own train products as boring or dull.

    But regardless, Mark's not a PR person, he's a set designer. At LEGO. Realistically, what he said is accurate, even if not said in the most gracefully delicate way possible so as to avoid all negative connotations. So, although you don't have to suck up to him or kiss his feet, you DO have to accept what he says as factual.

    LEGO *has* done market research, and most DO find trains boring, sorry to burst your bubble. That doesn't mean that ALL kids find them boring, or that YOUR kids will find them boring, or even that ALL kids would prefer robot ninjas who fight evil zombie dinosaurs in space. It means that the market share of "train-loving kids" is relatively small compared to LEGO's other lines, which means that LEGO isn't going to dump as much money into train sets as they do elsewhere.

    You can talk to whoever you want to at LEGO-- I've personally heard from at least 4 different people at LEGO regarding monorail (2 designers and 2 community leads), and the answer's ALWAYS been the same. The hobbyist community started asking as early as 2000 or 2001, when LEGO really started discussing things with us. And the answer's still the same today.

    Bottom line is that barring some sort of miracle-- like a breakthrough in plastics manufacturing, the OLD monorail system is dead, never to return. The production process is too expensive to be worth it. And LEGO hasn't given up the idea of a POSSIBLE new design for an elevated rail system, but the current foreseeable market isn't right for it, so don't expect one in the next 5 years at least.

    DaveE
    stlux
  • 12651265 Member Posts: 947
    And I don't mean to insult anyone, kids in Germany, USA and UK have all mistaken monorails for trains and told us they don't get it and it is "boring". Sorry if that sounded like my opinion or insulting. Not a one said Ninjago was boring, though a few were completely confused by it!
    I understanding marketing and targeting those who would buy a product. Today's youth enjoys interaction, movement, high pace.....like video games, unlike the standard built Lego set.

    It's hard to believe that in today's market Lego could not sell a monorail theme set. I'm not talking about one single expensive set, but a themed set that is surrounded by high and low cost sets.

    Reinventing a monorail Lego is pure gold. I believe Lego is missing an opportunity in creating something that the public dearly wants.


  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,288
    No, because unlike Jaime Berard, Nabii's response was immature and condescending towards the original poster. Just because someone works at Lego doesn't mean we should kiss their feet. If Nabii would of just said monorail trains aren't popular with kids and are expensive to manufacture then that would of been cool. Instead he tacks on the boring part.
    It was pretty clear to me that Nabii was citing the feedback they obtained from playtesting. However, even if someone were more obtuse, it would still be a reach to infer anything condescending from what was posted. Meanwhile I find hostility and antagonism in literally every other post you make.

    stlux
  • oldtodd33oldtodd33 Denver 4800 miles to BillundMember Posts: 2,469
    edited March 2012
    I don't find LEGO_Nabii's response condescending at all. He was simply stating a matter of fact as far as Lego see's it. If Lego thought even for a minute that they could make money on a new monorail they would do it. Now as far as Ninjago goes I have tried playing it with my two younger children and I find it very confusing. Pokemon is much easier. Also, thank you lego_nabii for your comments, I appreciate them. Todd
    stlux
  • LEGO_NabiiLEGO_Nabii Member Posts: 34

    Reinventing a monorail Lego is pure gold. I believe Lego is missing an opportunity in creating something that the public dearly wants.
    I'm sorry, but there is no evidence of this, all of the testing, all of the market research and all of the kids I talk to at events have no interest in monorail. I'm not joking about all previous monorail sets failing completely and losing money, even with full marketing campaigns, cool sets, both earth and space based and when monorails where still sci-fi rather than airport and themepark rides no one bought them. That's one reason they are so rare!

    I do hear a lot of adult train fans and some space fans who are pretty vocal about returning monorail, but as I said above, there just aren't enough to justify it. I would like a new monorail, but I have to be realistic with you, sales history and market research are both against this idea.
    AanchirstluxLyichir
  • sidersddsidersdd USAMember Posts: 2,432

    It was pretty clear to me that Nabii was citing the feedback they obtained from playtesting.
    I think this is the key. I hardly believe that kids think trains are boring. All that Thomas stuff out there is small potatoes?? I think not.

    Our LUG just had our LEGO event this past weekend. I had an ADU Monorail I built in an Alien Conquest display. The kids loved it. They very much focused on the monorail and figuring out where it was going and what it might be hauling (even though the line really was rather short in the grand scheme of things).

    Having said that, I think the key is that unlike the Thomas toys, the LEGO train/monorail toys are very difficult for kids to put together and play with. The LEGO trains are closer to model railroading (HO scale type stuff), which is awesome for adults, but cumbersome for kids. Kids very much enjoy watching trains, and would very much play with them if they were easy to play with (like Thomas). I'm guessing this is what occurred in play testing - the kids failed to build anything.

    That, and perhaps the age range for trains is a touch younger than TLG's target age for the bulk of their products (minus the Duplo, which probably does well with its trains).
  • Lego_Lord_MayorcaLego_Lord_Mayorca H-Town, USAMember Posts: 532
    Well, uh, as a kid, I thought the monorails were really cool, and I know that's not nostalgia speaking (from a current AFOL perspective) because I never had a monorail set. Heck, I never even saw one in real life until I attended Brickworld in 2010. I guess today's kids really are that different. That's a shame, but I guess that makes my 6991 all the more precious; a relic from a bygone age of Lego.
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,384
    Incredible how touchy people are... I don't see Nabii's comments as immature or condescending at all - he's just reflecting the results of market research which reveals that LEGO's target market don't in general find trains interesting. Hardly a big surprise, surely ?

    Must admit I did raise an eyebrow at the suggestion there are barely enough sales to justify trains - even aside from the "themed" Toy Story and Hogwarts Express trains we currently have the Red Cargo Train, Yellow Cargo Train, Red Passenger Train and Maersk Train, with Emerald Night only just retired. That's a pretty substantial roster for a niche which can barely pay its way.

    I'd certainly agree with @davee123 regarding the consistency of feedback from within LEGO regarding a new monorail, though - they hear us, but for a multitude of reasons it's not going to happen in the foreseeable future.
    stlux
  • LEGO_NabiiLEGO_Nabii Member Posts: 34
    Yes correct, age is the key to trains, you're right Duplo does well with it's trains and Thomas trains also sell well at the six and under range. But most LEGO sets are 7+ and that's a huge difference. Remember being seven, when 'little kids' of six were beneath you? Still true with today's kids. Trains appeal to young kids, so older kids think of them as 'babyish' and want new insane adventure lines that no one else has ever played with. This is of course a generalisation, some will always love trains, some never will, but it's impossible to make sets for niche markets in main LEGO themes.
    Aanchirstlux
  • davee123davee123 USAMember Posts: 810
    Must admit I did raise an eyebrow at the suggestion there are barely enough sales to justify trains
    That caught me a bit off-guard too-- certainly it seems that LEGO has been doing LESS in the train department these days.

    I wonder if any substantial amount of the train market is thanks to AFOLs? Certainly, LEGO owes a lot of publicity to AFOL displays at train shows, although I don't know how much of that contributes to sales. And it certainly wouldn't compete with something on the scale of Ninjago or something. But are AFOLs contributing significantly to the little success that trains are having?

    Also, I wonder how much is parents or relatives purchasing LEGO trains as a gift that's "reminiscent" of their own childhood train kits, rather than something that kids want on their own? Seems like something a grandparent or parent might look to get for their kid, perhaps moreso likely than a child getting overly excited about it.

    DaveE
    stlux
  • 12651265 Member Posts: 947
    edited March 2012

    Reinventing a monorail Lego is pure gold. I believe Lego is missing an opportunity in creating something that the public dearly wants.
    I'm sorry, but there is no evidence of this, all of the testing, all of the market research and all of the kids I talk to at events have no interest in monorail. I'm not joking about all previous monorail sets failing completely and losing money, even with full marketing campaigns, cool sets, both earth and space based and when monorails where still sci-fi rather than airport and themepark rides no one bought them. That's one reason they are so rare!

    I do hear a lot of adult train fans and some space fans who are pretty vocal about returning monorail, but as I said above, there just aren't enough to justify it. I would like a new monorail, but I have to be realistic with you, sales history and market research are both against this idea.
    Your opinion is valid; however, I still beg the difference that there is no market for a monorail theme.........kids included. Besides, those who purchase sets are adults......who have the funds....kids are the beneficiary of those purchases.

    Times have changes since the last monorail sets. Since then Lego as a company has grown from the red and had made, and continues to make profits. Kids don't feed the company, but adults who have the funds to purchase for themselves and others.

    A monorail theme will not only generate adult excitement, but without a doudt kids would love it.

    I disagree, nonetheless, Nabii, I appreicate you taking the time in answering some of our concerns.
  • sidersddsidersdd USAMember Posts: 2,432
    Yes correct, age is the key to trains, you're right Duplo does well with it's trains and Thomas trains also sell well at the six and under range. But most LEGO sets are 7+ and that's a huge difference. Remember being seven, when 'little kids' of six were beneath you? Still true with today's kids. Trains appeal to young kids, so older kids think of them as 'babyish' and want new insane adventure lines that no one else has ever played with. This is of course a generalisation, some will always love trains, some never will, but it's impossible to make sets for niche markets in main LEGO themes.
    This I understand and believe. I think people are always kids at heart and are always fond of trains, but I agree that there is some point where kids leave those things behind and latch on to the more thrilling themes.

    Interestingly, LUG displays are always filled with trains, and town, and space. You never see a Ninjago display. One of our LUG members does have an Atlantis display. I imagine there will be Friends displays coming out at shows this year, but I can't imagine them being very large. Kids still love looking at it all, absorbing it, dreaming of owning all that ABS and building their own displays. They probably get home though and just spinjitzu each other like crazy just the same.
    stlux
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Member Posts: 4,401
    Maybe I missed something, but I found nothing at all wrong with Marks comments. If anything, I'm just appreciative that he and Jamie would take the time to even weigh in here with us. I thought it was pretty obvious that the "boring" observation was just paraphrased from kid focus groups.
    stlux
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    ^ yeah, I'm with you. the guy comes here and gives us some internal feedback and information, and we start attacking him because we don't like the information he is conveying to us. disgusting.
    stlux
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,549
    Regarding Ninjas and skeletons, there's plenty of that already in Legoland. Are you a kid BTW?

    I think He was making that remark about Skeletons and Ninjas from a child's point of view.
    More than likely a kid will have more enjoyment out of playing with a Ninjago set than a Monorail.

    Also, in regards to AFOLS wanting the set, like every OTHER thread that begs for sets to be redone, there are not enough AFOLS to justify making new molds, new designs, outsourcing to 3rd parties for the motors, etc etc.
    people HAVE to remember that while AFOLs spend a lot of money it is no where near the amount that the average parent is spending on their kids for LEGOs, not when you take into effect the total amount of parents vs the total amount of AFOLs willing to spend what would probably be 200-250 dollars for a monorail set (250-300 if LEGO wants to make money and not break even Id imagine).
    Also while there will be kids that think Monorails will be cool I doubt all parents will say 'Sure, let me buy this 300 monorail for you to play with for about 30 days then throw into a storage bin and I sell at a garage sale for 50 dollars'
    stlux
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,097
    The reason both Jamie and Mark offered feedback is because "noobs" like me actually stimulate discussion enough to get them to post. The difference though is that Jamie offered his insight in a well thought out way whereas Mark made a rather off putting and I believe inaccurate point that kids think monorails are boring and that he thinks trains are "dull". He's since back peddled. And hey, I'm not attacking him. I was just responding in the same tone to his post. I had no clue he was a designer. After looking at his designs I'm actually surprised by his original tone. You would think he would be a fan of the original monorails. The truth is most kids probably don't know what a monorail is. That is unless they have been to Disneyland.

    Like in the other threads, I'm mainly playing Devil's Advocate. If you guys know what that is then you would understand where I'm coming from. I personally really dig the monorail sets especially the original 6990 Futuron model. It's on my "Buy Someday when I have the money" list. I also understand why they probably will never make another one.

    BTW, focus groups suck. Focus groups are worse than being designed by a committee. The reason is that most people don't know what they want until they see it. Asking people what they want is a mistake. If Lego put out a really kick ass monorail set people would dig it. The problem is that a kick ass monorail set would cost $200 which is too much for the average Lego consumer.

    Finally, regarding kids not liking trains: I recently attended a train show at a local convention center. Guess what the most popular room was? Not the Thomas train sets. It was the Lego train room. Granted there were a lot of non-train Lego sets there, it was the train sets that brought the room together. Like a good rug brings the room together ;)

    I don't think the problem is that kid's don't like monorails, it's that it's just the price point of a Lego monorail set, properly done, with tracks and a couple of buildings is too cost prohibitive.
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129

    Like in the other threads, I'm mainly playing Devil's Advocate. If you guys know what that is then you would understand where I'm coming from.
    Might I humbly suggest you re-examine your delivery? I understand and appreciate your passion, but as someone else mentioned in this thread, you often come across as combative, dismissive, bitter, antagonistic, and frankly, just rude. The downside of all this of course is that it is distracting everyone from your message.

  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,097
    ^^ That's fine. Don't read my posts then. You don't think I've ruffled feathers elsewhere. I'm aware my posting style doesn't earn me friends, but it seems to stimulate discussion which is what I'm after.
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,097
    edited March 2012

    Bottom line is that barring some sort of miracle-- like a breakthrough in plastics manufacturing, the OLD monorail system is dead, never to return. The production process is too expensive to be worth it.
    DaveE
    Back when the original monorails came out, weren't all Lego bricks made in Denmark? Now, from my understanding, Lego has manufacturing plants all around the world. Am I wrong? Why couldn't they just source the monorail track from China? I mean I'd rather it be made in Denmark but if cost is a factor in whether or not they produce a set then why not.
  • OdinduskOdindusk Member Posts: 763
    edited March 2012
    With no disrespect to anyone, I had to laugh at his comments coming across as condescending. When I read Nabii's post, "condescending" was the absolute last adjective I might have assigned to it. Instead, I was feeling grateful that a LEGO developer chose to spend their time shedding a little light on the topic from an internal perspective. It's a rare glimpse into the world that we all love and enjoy. There are many other consumer products out there where you never hear anything from within their company.
    Aanchirstlux
  • DougoutDougout Member Posts: 888
    ^Same here, it's great to get some inside perspective. I really appreciate him taking the time to respond to the post. His comments were very informative, not condescending, and he clearly answered the main reasons on why the monorail is no longer being produced.
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,097
    I read too much into his post. Re-reading it, I agree that he wasn't being condescending. I apologize about that. However, I think Lego is probably overly conservative nowadays due to their recent financial issues. I kind of read into this with Jamie and Mark's posts. Too much reliance on previous sales trends and focus groups will only crimp the creativity of the designers.
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,288
    edited March 2012
    ^^ That's fine. Don't read my posts then. You don't think I've ruffled feathers elsewhere. I'm aware my posting style doesn't earn me friends, but it seems to stimulate discussion which is what I'm after.
    If by "stimulate discussion" you mean stubbornly hold a position and insist others are wrong despite a mountain of supporting evidence, including definitive information directly from LEGO employees, then yes, I suppose you have. However, we somehow managed to get by prior to your recent involvement and I'm confident we'd find a way to keep from boring ourselves if you were to ever leave. Confident enough that I'd be willing to risk it, in fact.

    What I'm not willing to risk, though, is losing the participation of TLG employees, or any other subject matter experts, due to unwarranted, uninformed, and unappreciative challenges of their information.
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