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No more CITY starter sets?

560Heliport560Heliport Twin Cities, MN, USAMember Posts: 743
I just realized the CITY starter sets seem to be a thing of the past. Three or four minifigures and a small build, RRP $9.99 in the USA. In 2015 there were five; 2016, four; 2017 and 2018, three each... but so far in 2019, nothing. We are getting two People Packs, Space and Fairground, but they're 4x the price. I'm disappointed.

Comments

  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,393
    But then they are doing this for $4:


    and the $10 sets are:

    I think I prefer those to the pack of minifigures plus a fairly rubbish build. At least here the build is the main thing. It is a bit like SW battle packs, people complain that they are just minifigure packs and the build is rubbish.

    The good thing about the minifigure packs is that you get some variety compared to the small sets. But of course, the price is quite high even though the per minfiigure costs are about the same.


    Bumblepantsstluxgmonkey76Baby_Yoda
  • 560Heliport560Heliport Twin Cities, MN, USAMember Posts: 743
    I especially liked the starter sets for subthemes like Arctic, Volcano Explorers, etc., as a cheap way to add appropriate minifigures. I Like SW battle packs; the builds remind me of Kenner's Mini-Rigs: inexpensive vehicles that looked like they belonged in Star Wars. 
    andheSMCgmonkey76
  • SMCSMC UKMember Posts: 1,605
    edited May 10
    Yep I thought the starter sets were great for the themed city sets, you also often got a figure that would normally only come in the bigger sets like the commander or scientist. It really helped with the one off themes where you couldn't add to there number each year like you do with police or fire.

    I did wonder if the sets were a good idea from Lego's point of view, we know minifigures really help sell sets and getting figures easily might mean people dont buy as many other sets with the same figures in. But saying this we now have the big people packs so who knows what Lego were thinking.

    We also dont have a "you wouldn't see that in a city" subtheme this year, yes we have space but in the past that has gone along side another line.

    2018 Arctic
    2017 Jungle
    2016 Volcano
    2015 Deep Sea
    2014 Arctic

    But Lego seems to be changing up and few of there main lines this year.

    Junior has become 4+ and moved from being its own theme to becoming part of existing themes.

    Star Wars has 4+ sets when it didn't have Junior sets before and have added the Action Battle sets which could also be aimed a little younger than normal sets.

    For Super Heroes Mighty Micros have gone and we have Spiderman and Batman sets rather than marvel and dc sets.

    I have used some of these changes as a good point to try and collect a little less.
    560Heliportgmonkey76Baby_Yoda
  • 560Heliport560Heliport Twin Cities, MN, USAMember Posts: 743
    ^"collect a little less." :)
    FizyxSMC
  • CharmiefcbCharmiefcb SydneyMember Posts: 97
    I quite like the smaller City sets that seem to have replaced the pack of minifigs. I have the rally car and the digger. Nice little builds. Reminds me of the smaller 'budget' sets all themes had back in the day.
    gmonkey76
  • AanchirAanchir United StatesMember Posts: 2,769
    SMC said:
    We also dont have a "you wouldn't see that in a city" subtheme this year, yes we have space but in the past that has gone along side another line.

    2018 Arctic
    2017 Jungle
    2016 Volcano
    2015 Deep Sea
    2014 Arctic
    I dunno… I feel like in real life there are a LOT more cities with a jungle or volcano nearby than with a space center!
    I was definitely surprised to see Mars Expedition as this year's installment in the broader "exploration" category, since previously I had associated City Space sets more with the "flight" category (together with subthemes like Airport and Cargo).
    However, going back to my spreadsheet where I've been keeping track of and trying to make sense of official City subthemes, I realized that based on other patterns we've seen in when different subthemes get new waves, it seems like the Deep Sea Explorers subtheme in 2015 was intended not as that year's "exploration" subtheme, but rather as that year's "nautical" subtheme, which between Deep Sea Explorers, Harbor, and Coast Guard has pretty reliably gotten new waves every two or three years.
    This also clears up the unusual way that treating Space as a "flight" subtheme would have meant LEGO had subthemes in that category two years in a row in 2010–2011 and 2015–2016, when ordinarily Police, Town, Exploration, and Great Vehicles are the only categories that have an established trend of getting entire new waves year after year.
    Koolbrix2018pxchrisBaby_Yoda
  • dmcc0dmcc0 Nae far fae AberdeenMember Posts: 635
    ^Wow @Aanchir. I've barely got enough time to build the sets that I have, nevermind create a spreadsheet to analyse city subthemes and their release patterns!  Not sure if that's sad, impressive or maybe a bit of both ;)

    560HeliportKoolbrix2018Aanchirpxchris
  • TheBigLegoskiTheBigLegoski Amsterdam, NederlandMember Posts: 1,288
    edited May 13
    CCC said:
    But then they are doing this for $4:


    and the $10 sets are:

    I think I prefer those to the pack of minifigures plus a fairly rubbish build. At least here the build is the main thing. It is a bit like SW battle packs, people complain that they are just minifigure packs and the build is rubbish.

    The good thing about the minifigure packs is that you get some variety compared to the small sets. But of course, the price is quite high even though the per minfiigure costs are about the same.


    "a fairly rubbish build" !?!? Really?! TLG produced plenty of battlepacks with really fun as well as good looking little builds. Just because some are 'rubbish' doesn't mean all of them are.

    #60218     (this Desert Rally Racer totally rocks!)
    Those are TLG's bread and butter! Tiny sets like that have always been around. Those are not 'starter' sets, but the most common, next to being desirable, above all also affordable Lego sets kids are most likely to get.  
    The sets with just a bunch of minifigs have never been an established rule to appear each year. Classic space had #6701 (1983)  &  #6702 (1986); with three years in between! City I believe has had similar minifig packs, in the past.
    such #60171 last year, and others earlier this decade, are also more of an incidental phenomenon with a couple even being $30 sets, than a fixed rule. The last couple of years big minifig themed 'people packs', such as #60202 that all contain 15 minifigs or so, have also been introduced. As well as annual advent calenders, and CMF series.
    Lego collecting nowadays is a total minifig bonanza lollapalooza roller-coaster party!    


  • pxchrispxchris Oregon, USAMember Posts: 434
    Aanchir said:

    However, going back to my spreadsheet where I've been keeping track of and trying to make sense of official City subthemes...

    I just want to say... it's a pleasure to find another person who geeks out with spreadsheets on such things! This is totally me too for a wide variety of interests. I've only built spreadsheets for a couple of very specific LEGO related subject though myself.

    I glanced through what you had, and it's quite an accomplishment of data organization!
    dmcc0AanchirBaby_Yodamak0137davetheoxygenmancatwrangler
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,393
    "a fairly rubbish build" !?!? Really?! TLG produced plenty of battlepacks with really fun as well as good looking little builds. Just because some are 'rubbish' doesn't mean all of them are.

    For the most part, to me the builds in the battle packs are rubbish. A simple test is would I pay for the build if it was a polybag set without minifigures?
  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 2,225
    edited May 13
    ....
    Lego collecting nowadays is a total minifig bonanza lollapalooza roller-coaster party!    

    Sounds like a D2C set from the Unikitty theme :)
    mak0137
  • AanchirAanchir United StatesMember Posts: 2,769
    CCC said:
    "a fairly rubbish build" !?!? Really?! TLG produced plenty of battlepacks with really fun as well as good looking little builds. Just because some are 'rubbish' doesn't mean all of them are.

    For the most part, to me the builds in the battle packs are rubbish. A simple test is would I pay for the build if it was a polybag set without minifigures?
    Perhaps you wouldn't, but I definitely imagine that many people would have no problem enjoying an impulse-size set with an ROV and some aquatic scenery, a hovercraft and pier, a lifeguard stand and beach buggy, a police buggy and ATM, an airboat and jungle tree, or a snowmobile and arctic ice formation. In fact, I remember a lot of people expressing interest in some of these simply on account of the scenery elements, even if they didn't care much about the vehicles OR the minifigures.
    And keep in mind that if these same sets had just one or two minifigures/animals instead of 3 or 4, many of them might cost as much as 30% less than they did as starter sets. And I can't say that the Starter Sets themselves compared poorly to $7 sets from the same years and subthemes. Just compare:
    Even just in terms of piece count, it's usually a pretty decent trade-off, particularly considering that minifig and animal parts are often a lot scarcer than the more basic elements that sets this small tend to include.
    While many of this year's City Great Vehicles like #60218, #60219, #60239, and #60240 have beefier builds for their $10 price point, keep in mind that those sets arguably PREDATE the equivalent starter sets. The first $10 City Great Vehicles (60053 to 60055) came out in 2014, while the first $10 City Starter Sets came out the following year. And from 2016 to 2018, there were at least two Great Vehicles sets AND three Starter Sets per year.
    Also, thanks for the feedback on my spreadsheet, y'all! I agree it's probably a bit ridiculous to spend so much time on stuff like this. But IDK, as stereotypical as it is for an autistic person, sorting/arranging/organizing information has been an interest of mine for a long time. I have surprisingly vivid memories of organizing and re-organizing my books, VHS tapes, Pokémon cards, LEGO sets, and minifigures as a kid! And like my online replies, it's a task I have a frustrating tendency to get lost in. :P
    But it's nice when I can turn it into something that's helpful to other people and not just a way of indulging my personal curiosity about how things can best be organized.
    pxchrissid3windrdmcc0mak0137LittleLoriHothWampacatwrangler
  • ShibShib UKMember Posts: 5,088
    edited May 16
    Just seen #40345 on the main site - looks like the starter sets are going nowhere to me.

    (edit - looking at it again it might be one of the new blister packs style sets)
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