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Are constraction sets dead?

BumblepantsBumblepants DFW/BGMember Posts: 7,499
Was just thinking about constraction sets (hero factory, Bionicle etc) and how the last ones we saw were Solo Star Wars tie-ins. Has the market for these died out? Just curious what others think about this. Any chance they will revive this style of building with a new theme?


  • The_RancorThe_Rancor Dorset, UKMember Posts: 2,486
    There was meant to be that Clone Trooper and AT-RT Constraction set that was never released last year. Perhaps that's a sign that the Star Wars constraction theme wasn't doing too well. I saw sets from across that theme languish on shelves for years after they released, and no one even seemed to buy them on discount.

    Perhaps TLG thinks that putting lots of mechs in other themes makes up for lack of constraction, but otherwise perhaps they're considering a new theme for it next year or so
  • M1J0EM1J0E Calgary, ABMember Posts: 644
    I don’t have a lot of experience with this style of building, having done only my avatar, #4597, but sadly for those who really enjoy it, there doesn’t seem to be new ides coming.  At first I thought maybe brickheadz had replaced some of the licensed characters, but I wonder if mech building with more system parts integrated, has become a bigger replacement for constraction.   
  • CharmiefcbCharmiefcb SydneyMember Posts: 451
    They seemed to focus alot on Star Wars at a time the brand is going through some rough times with consumers. You can look up many youtube videos of store shelves and bargain bins filled to the brim with Star Wars toys. These buildable action figures just seem to be caught up in this rough patch for Star Wars.
    I would be interested to see how the non Star Wars figures went and how the original trilogy Star Wars figures went. I remember I was going to buy a Darth Vader one and said I'd get it the next week. It seemed OK as they had about 50 of them on the shelf. I went back the next week and all of them were gone. Still a heap of Reys, Jyns and Finns on the shelf though.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,523
    Star Wars LEGO sells well, but these did seem a bit niche. I never really saw the point of them as they are difficult to make into anything else. And you could get a better detail action figure for half the price. And if SW cannot make them sell, any other license is probably doomed. The superhero ones also remained on the shelves for a long time.
  • BumblepantsBumblepants DFW/BGMember Posts: 7,499
    The helmeted or Droid characters looked good in this form for Star Wars but the human faces were meh at best. I think if anything they need to invent a new theme like Bionicle and not try and use an IP license. 
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 15,197
    I'm sure they'll cycle back through these again in a few years, for a new crop of kids.

    Do I think they're discontinued (for now) but I'm sure some 'need' will hit focus groups in some number of months, and we'll see these again.

    It is undeniable that there is some intrinsic interest in these buildable Bionicle-esque figures.
  • Mr_CrossMr_Cross East Anglia (UK)Member Posts: 1,659
    I think if there was greater integration possible with system parts, I would definitely find them more appealing.
    Studs, pin holes, bar attachments etc. in strategic places would all make the highly specialised parts in the constraction sets more desirable for me.
    Even within standard sets I regularly find it frustrating when a component could have had greater numbers of uses by simply adding a stud (or bar, clip, pin/axle hole) in an appropriate place, particularly when I can see how easy it would have been... circular saw, I'm looking at you!

    ...a stud or bar hole is even in the line of draw.
  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 5,380
    SumoLego said:

    Do I think they're discontinued (for now) but I'm sure some 'need' will hit focus groups in some number of months, and we'll see these again.

    I don’t know. Do you?
  • lkliment2lkliment2 ChicagoMember Posts: 191
    Personally, I thought the SW contraction figures were a lot of fun to build, which is why I was a fan of them. Kinda disappointed to see them go, but in all honesty I can't say I'm surprised. 
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 15,197
    I don’t know. Do you?
    Yes, I do.  Although it is really not clear exactly what I wrote.  I did, did I; et tu? 

    I do, do do, doo doo, pooh-doo!
  • klintonklinton CanadaMember Posts: 1,248
    SumoLego said:
    I don’t know. Do you?
    Yes, I do.  Although it is really not clear exactly what I wrote.  I did, did I; et tu? 

    I do, do do, doo doo, pooh-doo!

  • Lego_Lord_MayorcaLego_Lord_Mayorca H-Town, USAMember Posts: 618
    The only one I ever got (or ever thought was that cool) was the General Grevious constraction figure. Otherwise, this sub-theme of Star Wars seemed pointless to me. Now, the actual ball-and-joint "CCBS" system of parts? Those are awesome. I wish Lego would just produce oodles of those joints and armor bits and sell them off the Pick-a-Brick wall. Who needs creepy heads or funny torso prints? The creative MOCer can find a way to integrate plain colored ball and socket pieces into a creation.

    Now, if something came along that merited the aesthetic that the CCBS say, a modern-day BIONICLE (i.e. characters and creatures that, by definition, are robotic or mechanical in appearance), that would be a different story. But I don't see that happening now.
  • MrJacksonMrJackson Member Posts: 451
    I can tell you from my 4 years spent working at an LBR store that these didn't really sell well, SW or Bionicle 2.  I can't tell you how many Chirruts, Reys, and others just sat on the shelves, to say nothing of the reintroduced Bionicle.   I think the issue is that kids that want action figures want actual action figures.  The number of people that said "that's not LEGO" was very high, and though they got better as the line grew, with parts like the updated hip shells, they weren't actually all that much fun to build. Of all my LEGO sets, I would have no problem having never gotten the Constraction figures that I did; it's definitely the only theme where I regret spending money in. 
  • MugenPowerMugenPower Member Posts: 630
    I feel like the only one that didn't linger was the Stormtrooper Commander and then it got discontinued pretty fast.  Or maybe I just waited a little too long before trying to buy one but it didn't seem to shelfwarm to me.  I can only imagine that people bought multiples for army building.
  • FauchFauch FranceMember Posts: 2,645
    sure didn't feel much like lego to me
  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 5,380
    Fauch said:
    sure didn't feel much like lego to me
    Lot more Technic than System.
  • BumblepantsBumblepants DFW/BGMember Posts: 7,499
    I got the Scout Trooper with the Technic speeder bike on clearance. That was actually a really cool set. Even that one didn't seem to be a great seller though.
  • SearchlightRGSearchlightRG North AmericaMember Posts: 262
    I actually made a thread looking for new ideas on the subject, and response was lukewarm at best. As a long tie fan of Bionicle it kind of saddens me, but the failure of its second generation and the lackluster reception of the Star Wars figures seems to have killed things off. It could make a return, of course, but Lego may be holding off so that people can get over any dislike they may have had for certain sets.
  • ShibShib UKMember Posts: 5,456
    I loved the original bionicle line when I was a kid, but it was marketed and fit better almost as a Subtheme of technic. I bought the reboot version of Kopaka in the recent stuff and the constraction/CCBS/Bionicle/Hero Factory elements have very clearly evolved into more of their own system. Obviously its a system that integrates with standard system but to me the progression I followed as a kid (Duplo to System to bionicle to technic) doesn't seem to work.

    That progression might not be deemed necessary by LEGO these days but it kept me involved with LEGO for several additional years as a kid when my interests were being drawn more to computer games. 
  • ryjayryjay Member Posts: 1,001
    I actually liked the Star Wars ones, but I always thought they wee too $14.99 ok, but not at what they were charging later on.
  • The_RancorThe_Rancor Dorset, UKMember Posts: 2,486
    Price was probably a bit of a deal breaker on many of the figures. Considering these type of sets are meant to be leaning more towards the action figure market the £30 Vader was quite steep. Although funnily enough that was one of the sets that didn't languish on the shelves as much.
  • Penkid11Penkid11 Member Posts: 788
    Thought it relevant to put this here. Admittedly, I only really wanted to bring this up here so that, should it, in the off-chance, turn out to be true, the world should know what was considered before the theme was greenlit, and what we would be missing.

    It should be said that, the supposed "Clikits-like" theme has been discussed around the LEGO internet scene for some time, and is being referred to as "DOTS." This could give more credence to this info, but it could also help make it look more legit, if it is, indeed, a fabrication.

    Context 1: Christian Faber was the former Art Director of the company who developed the original Bionicle. He has since left the position, but has occasionally been hired by LEGO for theme development.

    This is one of several art pieces, posted by Faber, mentioned in the supposed leak above.

    Context 2: I got this from a mutual who, unfortunately, is not aware of the source of this info. To reiterate, it could be bogus for all we know.
  • AanchirAanchir United StatesMember Posts: 2,998
    Definitely sounds bogus to me. :/
  • The_RancorThe_Rancor Dorset, UKMember Posts: 2,486
    “Classic space theme and Exo Force reboot” is a massive flag, if nothing else! And there is plenty else.
  • Penkid11Penkid11 Member Posts: 788
    To stoke the flame a bit, despite the skepticism, it was just discovered via leaks that the leaked theme "Leaf" has 18 sets, 4 of which were unknown before my initial post. It's unknown if those sets are an additional wave of 4 after the first 14 sets, like the leak implies, however.

    Still doesn't give anything definitive, however.
  • JMasterJMaster USAMember Posts: 17
    I'd love to see it return, but it's looking dark for now. Hey, maybe I'm proven wrong and we get some stellar Constraction figures next year, but it's best to not get my hopes up after BIONICLE Generation 2 ended so abruptly.
  • Russell844Russell844 California, USAMember Posts: 2,363
    How about Constraction Trolls sets? LOL
  • OdeinoichusOdeinoichus CanadaMember Posts: 361

    I love how Chima integrated these into the mythology. Using them to depict their fully CHI powered spiritual forms, meaning you could link them to the rest of the sets without really any issues. But considering we didn't even see any in either of the two LEGO Movies except for that one brief cut-a-way shot to the Bionicles in TLM for a joke, it isn't looking too good.

    It would have been interesting to see at least one new Constraction figure made for TLM 2, I mean we saw them incorporate the Mini-Dolls and Duplo rather creatively, but failed utterly to give us a decent Constraction inspired set for the Theme/Movie.

    Oh well, perhaps for The LEGO Movie 3: The Third Offering. Or something.

  • KungFuKennyKungFuKenny Somewhere between Ice Station Odyssey and FabulandMember Posts: 2,368
    edited August 2019
    It has been said before but the only constraction (lord I hate that word) sets that ever looked attractive were ones that were armored characters (Vader, troopers), droids (K2SO) or in between (Grievous)... sorry @Paperballpark but Rey’s head still gives me the heebie-jeebies... it seems like she is watching me whichever direction I turn! (Really like the speeder you designed for her though)
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark Near ManchesterMember Posts: 4,257
    I agree that the early plain heads looked weird, because they didn't have necks - the helmeted characters always looked much better. Fortunately the first Rey figure had a shawl that went around her head, so it looked better than the other 'head only' characters. For the second Rey figure they added necks on that range, which made them look better.
  • AleyditaAleydita BelgiumMember Posts: 950
    Hasn't the supposed Clickits reboot already begun? Plenty jewellery-themed sets released under the Friends banner in recent years, with an increase in such sets this last year in particular.
  • BumblepantsBumblepants DFW/BGMember Posts: 7,499
    Aleydita said:
    Hasn't the supposed Clickits reboot already begun? Plenty jewellery-themed sets released under the Friends banner in recent years, with an increase in such sets this last year in particular.
    Dots I think? I read somewhere it was delayed until next year due to some quality issues with new molds or something like that. The 1*1 tiles used for art pieces in the architecture set this summer are supposedly borrowed from that line.
  • Russell844Russell844 California, USAMember Posts: 2,363
    Speaking of Chima, does anyone have a constraction #70205 Razar they would like to trade for a constraction #70202 Gorzan?
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