2011 City Spaceport Sets

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Re: 2011 City Spaceport Sets

Postby WabbitSwayer » Fri Mar 11, 2011 2:51 am

This one seems pretty cool! :space:
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Re: 2011 City Spaceport Sets

Postby Stargorger » Fri Mar 11, 2011 8:33 am

WabbitSwayer wrote:This one seems pretty cool! :space:
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Eh, I don't like those x-beam supports. Well, let me rephrase: I like them as pieces, but I don't like that they're 50% of the launch structure. Same with the slant windows on the control room. They're cool, and I'll definitely pick some up, but I wish Lego would do more parts-intensive building, I suppose.
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Re: 2011 City Spaceport Sets

Postby aotus » Fri Mar 11, 2011 5:17 pm

Stargorger wrote:Eh, I don't like those x-beam supports


You beat me to it, I don't care for the juniorized gantry. I like the selection of cylinder and cone parts, though.
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Re: 2011 City Spaceport Sets

Postby Sir Michael Le Fanu » Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:52 pm

aotus wrote:
Stargorger wrote:Eh, I don't like those x-beam supports


You beat me to it, I don't care for the juniorized gantry. I like the selection of cylinder and cone parts, though.



I completely Agree. (With the both of you).
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Re: 2011 City Spaceport Sets

Postby WabbitSwayer » Fri Mar 18, 2011 8:43 pm

Stargorger wrote:
Eh, I don't like those x-beam supports. Well, let me rephrase: I like them as pieces, but I don't like that they're 50% of the launch structure. Same with the slant windows on the control room. They're cool, and I'll definitely pick some up, but I wish Lego would do more parts-intensive building, I suppose.


That has been the Lego way for quite a few years now. Minimal actual parts for more profit. :(
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Re: 2011 City Spaceport Sets

Postby Sir Michael Le Fanu » Sun Mar 27, 2011 12:15 pm

WabbitSwayer wrote:
Stargorger wrote:
Eh, I don't like those x-beam supports. Well, let me rephrase: I like them as pieces, but I don't like that they're 50% of the launch structure. Same with the slant windows on the control room. They're cool, and I'll definitely pick some up, but I wish Lego would do more parts-intensive building, I suppose.


That has been the Lego way for quite a few years now. Minimal actual parts for more profit. :(


Exactly the point I have been trying to make my whole time on the forum.
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Re: 2011 City Spaceport Sets

Postby Alyosha » Tue Mar 29, 2011 6:16 pm

I think we should remember that these sets are toys made for 8 - 12 year old boys. There are production and design considerations that require both simplification and cost efficiency. Fore example, a SNOT construct made out of 10 elements might be great fun to an adult, but is too complicated for a child to assemble and doesn't make economic sense if the same effect can be accomplished with a single cheaper part. Designers have to make a toy that looks good, plays well, holds together, and fits within a budget.

Even classic sets had these issues to some extent. There are POOP pieces on Classic Space sets. Classic castle sets used repeating wall elements instead of brick-built walls. Monorail was only made for a few sets and discontinued because it was exorbitant to produce. The earliest LEGO sets made use of prefab pieces like signs and gas pumps. And so on.

In the last five years, LEGO has made an effort to release sets that their adult fans want to buy: sets with amazing price/piece ratios, complicated designs, and based on fan feedback. If you want those parts-intensive builds, the sets exist!

None of this is to say that there aren't bad sets. However, those bad sets aren't all recent. They're not even recent within the last five years! There are also lots of good sets released in the last two years. Focusing on the bad stuff and suggesting that LEGO only wants to race to the bottom is disingenuous at best.

P.S. The gantry on the 1990 set 1682 Space Shuttle was made with 10 of these 2x2x5 lattice pillars.
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Re: 2011 City Spaceport Sets

Postby Stargorger » Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:53 am

Alyosha wrote:I think we should remember that these sets are toys made for 8 - 12 year old boys. There are production and design considerations that require both simplification and cost efficiency. Fore example, a SNOT construct made out of 10 elements might be great fun to an adult, but is too complicated for a child to assemble and doesn't make economic sense if the same effect can be accomplished with a single cheaper part. Designers have to make a toy that looks good, plays well, holds together, and fits within a budget.

Even classic sets had these issues to some extent. There are POOP pieces on Classic Space sets. Classic castle sets used repeating wall elements instead of brick-built walls. Monorail was only made for a few sets and discontinued because it was exorbitant to produce. The earliest LEGO sets made use of prefab pieces like signs and gas pumps. And so on.

In the last five years, LEGO has made an effort to release sets that their adult fans want to buy: sets with amazing price/piece ratios, complicated designs, and based on fan feedback. If you want those parts-intensive builds, the sets exist!

None of this is to say that there aren't bad sets. However, those bad sets aren't all recent. They're not even recent within the last five years! There are also lots of good sets released in the last two years. Focusing on the bad stuff and suggesting that LEGO only wants to race to the bottom is disingenuous at best.

P.S. The gantry on the 1990 set 1682 Space Shuttle was made with 10 of these 2x2x5 lattice pillars.


I really could care less whether old lego sets used the same less-bricks-for more-space-and-less-cost techniques, in the sense that it doesn't change the unfortunate reality of the present: namely, that Lego, like any other company, is based around the number crunches rather than the product. In the end, they will make whatever sets sell best and are cheapest to produce for the simple reason that the company, like any other business enterprise that successful, is there to make money, not make folks happy. Doing so is a secondary and just another stepping stone to that bottom line.

That said, I'm sure there are tons of lovable huggable folks at Lego. That doesn't change the fact that the company as a business venture is focused towards producing a certain fiscal year growth, not satisfying the creative juices that they so often like to tout. That's merely a sideshow, a way to keep peoples' interest and make a product that folks will buy.

What I see is that these days Lego seems to be heading even MORE in that direction. The majority of the sets are geared towards lower part numbers, higher price, simpler design. They're being dumbed-down and priced-up.
I'm not trying to bash Lego in any wy. I love the company's focus on creative toys, the family-friendly outlook, etc...but I am also aware of the reality of running a business. It's just the way economics works, unfortunately.

It's the downhill trend towards a GREATER economic focus that concerns me is all. I'm not going to stop buying Lego though.
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Re: 2011 City Spaceport Sets

Postby Alyosha » Wed Mar 30, 2011 1:38 pm

I certainly don't believe that LEGO is a company that can do no wrong. In fact, their recent near-demise was in part because they really lost track of what kind of products their consumers wanted to buy. What I'm trying to say is this, in short:

1) There is a lot of excellent and cost-effective set design that I don't think we should overlook. I'm thinking of Creator, CC buildings and other exclusives, and even a lot of the playtheme lines.
2) Rising oil costs are almost certainly--this is a guess on my part, since I have no idea what LEGO's costs look like--increasing the cost of sets. I do think that there are overpriced sets (cough Star Wars cough), but I also think that we need to expect a new normal for price/piece ratios, unfortunately.
3) Arguments about price, piece count, set quality aren't new. If you search the rec.toys.lego usenet posts from 10 or 15 years ago, you'll find some of the same assertions. This doesn't mean that anyone is wrong now, but I think it does mean that we need to have a certain amount of rigor in our arguments.

All that said, I do think LEGO Space and sci-fi themes, excluding Star Wars, haven't fared as well as City and Castle. Space Police III was pretty good, especially compared to Mars Mission, but I don't think we've gotten anything that's really hit it out of the park. It would be nice to have an exclusive set like the Medieval Market or Imperial Ship, but I don't know that any of the recent Space playthemes are interesting enough to support that kind of set.
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Re: 2011 City Spaceport Sets

Postby Stargorger » Thu Mar 31, 2011 8:01 am

Alyosha wrote:I certainly don't believe that LEGO is a company that can do no wrong. In fact, their recent near-demise was in part because they really lost track of what kind of products their consumers wanted to buy. What I'm trying to say is this, in short:

1) There is a lot of excellent and cost-effective set design that I don't think we should overlook. I'm thinking of Creator, CC buildings and other exclusives, and even a lot of the playtheme lines.
2) Rising oil costs are almost certainly--this is a guess on my part, since I have no idea what LEGO's costs look like--increasing the cost of sets. I do think that there are overpriced sets (cough Star Wars cough), but I also think that we need to expect a new normal for price/piece ratios, unfortunately.
3) Arguments about price, piece count, set quality aren't new. If you search the rec.toys.lego usenet posts from 10 or 15 years ago, you'll find some of the same assertions. This doesn't mean that anyone is wrong now, but I think it does mean that we need to have a certain amount of rigor in our arguments.

All that said, I do think LEGO Space and sci-fi themes, excluding Star Wars, haven't fared as well as City and Castle. Space Police III was pretty good, especially compared to Mars Mission, but I don't think we've gotten anything that's really hit it out of the park. It would be nice to have an exclusive set like the Medieval Market or Imperial Ship, but I don't know that any of the recent Space playthemes are interesting enough to support that kind of set.


I hear you. And I agree.

1. That's true. But those are mainly the types of sets I don't buy, lol, mainly because I prefer the themes.
2. That's possible. And I mean, there's obviously inflation and such, but... eh, just grating I guess.
3. I'm not sure rigor is the word you're looking for here but I know what you mean. Good point.

No that's true. Although let's not forget the horrors of Knights Kingdom II (ick...)
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