I will say this though: there is something to the two main problems with licensing and cartoony-ness. I'm not sure what it is...I think it's that Lego has finally hit its stride and decided to focus solely on children with its toys. Which would be fine by me...I hate Spongebob but whatever...except that they dumb-down ALL their sets.
... Lego Space was hallowed to me for many reasons, however the most compelling one is ... the lack of conflict. While "Star Wars" thrilled me and millions of others with its charmingly serial-inspired depictions of good versus evil, Lego Space gently yet earnestly beckoned us to explore. Seek out new life and new civilizations. Boldly build what no one had built before. Imagine. To this day, that is the single most powerful bolt of nostalgia that hits me every time I see a canary yellow box with the "LEGOLAND" banner at the top right corner. No fighting, no punishment, no evil. There was only the next frontier and the wonders and mysteries that lay in wait beyond the second star to the right.
And they look more cartoony and fake doing it. I can't stand the new Alien Conquest alien heads...not because I dislike their shapes, but I don't like how SCULPTED they feel. There's no feeling taht it's another PART: it's not a part, it's an action figure!
I wonder if this has to do with the surge in the popularity of videogames? Combine that with our growth as an instant-gratification culture and...well, you gotta sell to stay in business.
STAR WARS IS DEAD!
I don't care if they make Star Wars sets till Hell freezes over.
With the exception of Creator and Basic buckets, we don't really see this anymore, especially in System sets. Don't get me wrong, I realize that times are different marketing-wise and that kids have other options like video games, so Lego has to do whatever it can to compete, but like many I miss the days of more modular, geometric space designs. The really cool thing about the 1979-1983 period, for example, is that the Galaxy Explorer, Starfleet Voyager and Galaxy Commander were all clearly part of the same design scheme, even though they were different. This is part of what I meant by "unity and variety". Unity, because they followed the same basic aesthetic and design rules, but variety in that they had varying color schemes and design differences that stayed within that scheme.
Agreed. As neat as some of the alien designs are (and this goes for the SPIII aliens as well), they definitely lack a certain "geometric charm" that used to be emblematic of Lego. Take the 1997 UFO aliens, for example. The masks were fairly simple and mostly printed, but they still had that feeling of Lego geometry, and were nice and "sharp looking". They looked, as you said, more like parts rather than sculpts. Perhaps Star Wars can be blamed for this to a certain extent, though, since so many "character" heads had to be made. It set a bad precedent that has unfortunately carried over to the original lines.
I think the main thing to keep in mind is this: we must provide our own creativity. We must create the kinds of designs we want to see, and that's where the internet AFOL community comes into play. We may not have Idea Books anymore, but we've got MOCPages and Classic Space and Flickr. We must spread the spirit of creativity to the next generation by showing them what Lego can be.
Stargorger wrote: Ahhh, good point! Hadn't thought of it in that way but I think you're right. The question is why do they keep doing it? Are they lazy? Do they think those sell better? What?
thebatman_104 wrote:Stargorger wrote: Ahhh, good point! Hadn't thought of it in that way but I think you're right. The question is why do they keep doing it? Are they lazy? Do they think those sell better? What?
It seems lego is moving toward more detailed minifigs probably because of the success of the three series of collectible minifigs and the massive minifig customization community (Arealight, Hazel, BF, BA, etc.). I agree though a lot of the new heads seem like you can only use it for that character. The SPIII alien heads just don't have the same modularity that other minifig heads have. They are cool but are kinda like the gungan heads, pretty useless if not inside the theme they belong to.
The one good alien head from SPIII is the skull ones since they are actually helmets. They still lack the lego feel descirbed above that the UFO ones had but are better than a sculpted head. Overall though these sculpted heads are a result of the star wars theme and its success among children (I was one of them when it first launched... sorry ha).
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