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How do we go back? Legoman 10/24/2020 (Sat) 14:07:47 No.677
Tired of seeing all of this star wars and corporate sets just slaping a label on lego and do kids these days feel the same way?
Children, on the whole, like licenses because of 2 main reasons: 1) Lego killed their own IPs, and 2) children in the pre and post-smartphone ages are completely different. Point 1 can be broken down into categories: -The introduction of smaller and/or specific pieces that replaced the classic bricks -The shift from focusing on selling sets to selling minifigures -Licensed themes are the equivalent of junk food -The near-bankruptcy of the company shifted the company's values (from 'Just Imagine...' to 'Play On') -In recent years Lego has listened to what AFOLs want -Lego has followed trends in the toy industry Point 2: -Children's access to technology has changed and so has the technology they have access to -Modern cultural standards have changed rapidly in the last 40 years
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>>678 >The introduction of smaller and/or specific pieces that replaced the classic bricks One of the biggest ways Lego killed itself if you ask me. Look at your pic OP, and then at modern Lego sets. The simple and blocky aesthetic is completely gone; instead modern Lego aims to provide scale models. How is a kid supposed to reproduce something like that with their own bricks? Lego continues to sell tubs of basic bricks but what is the point when they are pretty much redundant with today's Lego sets? When Lego still sold sets with actual Lego bricks in them children were able to recreate fairly official looking MOCs and could therefore be proud of what they've built. How can a child's MOC compete with an almost perfectly scaled, complexly built model? Children are completely put off by building anything that doesn't have an instructions booklet and this is reinforced by their parents. Parents have always built alongside their children but with so many small pieces and somewhat challenging instructions parents are encouraging their children to keep the sets intact. The emphasis of how to play with modern Lego is on the roleplaying and not the construction. >The shift from focusing on selling sets to selling minifigures Don't get me wrong, I do like minifigures and it is nice to have a variety rather than the very narrow range of old Lego, but they have undoubtedly had a hand in this. Minifigures used to be a part of the set but the focus was always on the set and the building possibilities while the minifigures were just a bit of added flavour to the set. I'm aware that minifigure packs existed, but they were supplements to sets as the minifigure packs didn't offer much collectability. Modern Lego, and especially in licensed themes, focus on the minifigures. An incredible amount of detail is put into the printing and accessories of these minifigures and Lego continues to offer variations of the same minifigure to appease and appeal to collectors and children and drive sales. There's even rare and chase minifigures as well as people who's only aspect of the hobby they're involved in is minifigure collecting; people who proudly show off and display their minifigure collections; children and AFOLs alike complaining that X character from an IP has yet to appear in a set, or how they would like to a specific licensed IP CMF wave. >Licensed themes are the equivalent of junk food They are so much easier for Lego to handle. Sure they have licensing fees, but now Lego doesn't have to spend years developing a theme that involves developing concepts, hiring designers to create sketch builds, focus testing the ideas with children and re-tooling the ideas to reflect this, or even developing expensive marketing campaigns. Instead a licensed IP already has this and so Lego can quickly shit out a theme in a third of the time it would take for an original IP. It's cheap, quick and unhealthy for Lego but why would they care when they can reap some quick short-term profits? >The near-bankruptcy of the company shifted the company's values (from 'Just Imagine...' to 'Play On') Just a quick look at the change in mottos from before the introduction of Lego Star Wars and after says everything. 'Just Imagine...' reinforces the inherent creativity of the building system while 'Play On' reinforces the idea that the Lego sets are roleplaying toys first and construction toys second. During the years when they were struggling financially the company was desperate to stay afloat and they tried almost everything to the detriment of the company. A complete management restructure and an influx of outsiders was neither a sound move to save the company in the short or long terms. Instead Lego was left with a load of people who had no real clue what core Lego is but were trying to make money frantically. >In recent years Lego has listened to what AFOLs want AFOLs as a whole have shit taste; they always have. They've always bitched and moaned about how Lego should pander to their tastes despite making up a minute fraction of sales and they have no business sense. Lego cannot rerelease the same sets over and over again and must introduce fresh themes in order to prevent stagnation and keep children interested or else they'd go bankrupt. AFOLs and children have massively different tastes and in most AFOLs cases they want something more mature and sophisticated because they are ultimately ashamed of liking children's toys and have to justify it in some way. They want a more complex building system to the point where sets are almost identical to scale models whilst ignoring the fact that this is detrimental to children. On top of that AFOLs want licenses because they are more distant from a child's toy than an original IP; this again demonstrates how 'mature' they are because it is less likely to be associated with children's toys. The recent NES is a prefect example of all of this - now it's a display model that is scaled and complex to build and thereby distanced from a child's toy.
Will continue this rant tomorrow as I'm too tired right now
Children in general have an overabundance of choices to pick from nowadays with easy access to tablets, videogames, TV shows, the internet and are easily lured in by licensed shit. >>286 had it nailed down pretty well I think.
Well I made this other thread >676 but plenty of what I have to say applies here too. I don't know what Lego's goals are, but by looking at brick tubs, which are meant to be a kid's first Lego, you can see two different approaches in two sets of nearly the same count. Especially in promo pics. Is it about the basics, or about introducing the kids to every color and piece? Earlier ones are only simple bricks in 5 colors, about building within the limitations , later ones are about smaller builds with more detail thanks to a variety of colors and pieces. Say, you make a blocky elephant in only blue bricks, with the eyes being brickbuilt in white and/or black. Now the elephant has round tiles for eyes, rounder edges, moving parts, nearly SNOT, and is 4 shades of purple-pink . Though there was an inbetween in the 90s (your elephant has round and straight slopes and the eyes are from some printed brick) I think the mid 00s may have done it best by introducing only colors like pink, orange or lime, which feel different enough from every other (no kid needs 7 shades of blue or 4 of brown). If I were a kid and I wanted to make a tree I would be disappointed at the bucket with only the basic 5, but jus a single shade of brown would be good enough (aka, the best) A more detailed look >most classic ones are just 2xn or 1xn >Freestyle introduces moving parts that otherwise would be only in model sets These two coexist and colors are only in the basic 5 colors (despite brown and gray existing elsewhere), adding green later in the 90s >by early 00s you get a little more variety, though no more are tubs of pure bricks >current ones including nearly every color and shape And we have sets that are 1500 pcs, which I would be happy if they included all the bricks in an older 300 pcs bucket plus some new colors and pieces, but the sheer variety is too much for that, and there is no alternative , as the current 300 pcs one still has that much variety, because their concept of basic includes a little bit of everything. There's no way to go back. unless they decide to cut down on one or the other.
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>Lego has followed trends in the toy industry The modern toy industry has this retarded idea that they must compete with and try to overtake digital technology in order to stay financially afloat and it is complete bullshit. TV, videogames, and even the internet have co-existed with the toy industry yet with the advent of smartphones the big players in the toy industry shit themselves spectacularly. I won't deny that there are children who's only toy is a smartphone/tablet because their parents find it works as a very good babysitter, but just like in any other era children still play with toys. But still the major players in the toy industry are adamant in their fight for claiming back these children 'lost' to smartphones and will launch toylines with AR gimmicks, companion apps and the like all over a small minority of children. It's a pointless endeavour and actually pushes away the other children because more often than not the big execs have vague ideas of what's 'hip' and 'cool' with today's children. Hidden Side is the perfect example of this in that Lego really pushes children to use the app in order to play with the set (again encouraging children to play with their Lego sets and not to build with them) despite the app being mediocre at best (bloated and buggy; works on a handful of the latest devices and no others) and the characters are almost insulting to children. They're a ham-fisted bunch of outdated or grossly inaccurate stereotypes that comes across to children as cringey and forced. Again Lego seems to be almost encouraging kids to purchase licensed themes because an already existing IP popular with kids has everything they want, rather than what Lego (or other toy companies for that matter) thinks children want. Bit of a sidetrack, but Playmobil has for the most part remained true to their brand and they still continue to pump out knights, pirates, emergency services, princesses, etc and have yet to show any signs of being under financial strains. The whole "we understand what kids really want" is just stupid shite designed to keep the stockholders happy and although Lego cites lackluster sales when trying to bring back anything remotely creative they sabotage it themselves. >Children's access to technology has changed and so has the technology they have access to Now more than ever childhoods seem to be shrinking as children reach adolescence younger because of the media they are exposed to and in the context of Lego it leads to non-licensed themes to be viewed as childish and therefore children are less likely to be interested in them past the ages of 11. Licensed themes however are considered more acceptable because they exist outside the realm of Lego and [in the cases of almost all licensed themes] have an adult fanbase too. Children have always looked to adults so seeing them endorse Star Wars, Marvel/DC, etc affirms the idea that liking these things equates with being mature. Greater ease of access to the internet also means that kids can easily find an abundance of source material (films, tv shows, comics, books, et al.), and combined with Lego encouraging using the models for roleplay, gives kids ideas for storylines for their games. There's no free-form method of playing anymore; no 'here's a pile of bricks and a couple of minifigures - now you make the rest' approach. It has been replaced with a cut-and-paste skeleton so that all the sets have clear goodies and baddies with already defined motivations and personalities included. Hell even City now has named characters just to entice kids to buy the sets. >Modern cultural standards have changed rapidly in the last 40 years I've talked about this throughout some of my points so I'm not going to keep rambling like a broken record not that anyone is reading, how much of a masochist do you have to be to read the verbal diarrhea of a sleep deprived autist rambling on about toys?
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But to go back to your question OP, I don't think it is all doom and gloom. Last year I went to a Lego exhibition with my younger brother and I bought him some yellow Star Wars minifigures because he's into Lego Star Wars. Normally he's the kind of kid who segregates fleshies and yellows, keeps sets built, refuses to MOC, etc. It took him a while but soon I noticed he was making his own yellow figures to use alongside the ones I bought for him and he really started to show his creative side. He proudly showed off a jungle bunker that he had built from scratch one day and I was caught by surprise. Unfortunately he's starting to get to the age when toys are no longer cool to have so he wanted to put them into storage, but I'm just glad he got to properly use his Lego. With the right advertising campaign it could be possible to encourage kids to actually build (the Rebuild The World seems to be trying), who knows?
>>686 I skimmed it
>>686 I also believe that Lego's perception of children having imagination bankrupcy extends to licensed sets. For instance Star Wars vehicles have the good or bad guy's vehicle along some minifigs or small build of the other faction. This vexes me I don't know any toy company that dies this, is it that Lego thinks kids can't enjoy a single ship by themselves needing to be choreographed in the way to play with it, or that they are too dumb to realize which side is which fighting which without the box telling them? Maybe a way to satisfy an alleged "parents who only buy 1 toy" crowd so they have a little bit of everything in a single box? I would understand if they meant it as a way for sets to compliment each other (you buy the clone vehicle so the droids included enlarge the droid army from your hover tank), but what is the point when it's only a minifig of a named character? Also I realized that's an issue going back to maybe the early 00s, but with unlicensed sets
>>686 >Hell even City now has named characters just to entice kids to buy the sets. Wow that is very surprising to me. I'm not really a /lego/ user but I have tons of City stuff from the mid 2000s and that's the last thing I'd ever expect to happen with Lego City.
>>690 Well, Brickster has been around for a while, hasn't he?
>>692 I guess you're right. I didn't think of him though, I never really played any of the games.
>>677 I do not know if the kids feel the same, I for one agree with you, pretty tired of SW but then, I might not have been had I kept loving the franchise. >>678 Agree with point 1 entirely, the magic of building something else out of a set other than the main build is basically gone. Your second point is also accurate. I feel things like Castle might not even resonate at all with today's youth. >>679 Moving away from basic bricks and plates has opened up a lot of opportunities for "experienced" builders but has also closed a lot of doors for people who aren't as experienced or kids. Simply put, more complex building techniques allow for a more "complex" model but also make the parts harder to integrate and use for a regular builder. You're also right about the minifigures - they used to be regular actors in whatever that set was supposed to be about, not the main focus. In my language we even used the term "small lego men" when we were kids, they didn't exactly have an associated identity or character behind them. Licensed themes streamline production and also create free associated content which kids always like. When I was small I always tried to remake films/movies/shows I liked in LEGO form. Fully agree on AFOLS. >>686 I'm going to argue that maybe that's true in the first world but in other more "developing" nations toys are being supplanted by phones. A phone is cheaper, feaster, holds the child's attention better and is almost infinitely renewable in terms of what content it can display. Toys can't really compete. Your posts are accurate and I enjoy reading them.
>>679 >Those pics hit me so hard lol Some of the most fun toy i had as a kid was literal 2x4 blocks of wood to build buildings and towers with. Lego was cool too, I built a pretty nice original spacecraft when i was 11 and my jealous fuck dog destroyed it lol, i was so pissed after that i didnt care about lego again imagine that. >>677 I'm no pediatrician or psychologist but I think i have a high quality prediction for saying the kids raised on "smart devices" will be low time preference retards and be virtually half lobotomized by the time they reach 10. They will look only to external and not internal stimulus such imagination. There is no fucking way it's good for a kid to be fed literal garbage with no mental stimulus, no boredom to force imagination and thought. At least my gen had difficult games that forced us to think. These day's it's anything but. I'm 100% certain many more fucking kids will be retards than ever because of it.
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>>689 I didn't pick up on that but that is interesting >>690 The current City wave has characters from the Nickelodeon show Lego City Adventures in sets. Take a look at 60271- nearly half of the minifigures are explicitly named on the box and the description of the set reads: >LEGO® City Main Square allows young builders and families to dive straight into the LEGO® City Adventures TV series and re-create their favourite scenes (including the popular ‘Slam the Door’ episode – which can be viewed here). >>694 >When I was small I always tried to remake films/movies/shows I liked in LEGO form. I'm sure most children have tried this at some point but it still offers a different form of creative building experience. Instead of building their own designs, they now have to create a somewhat accurate rendition; paying particular attention to shapes, colour, scale, etc still engages a child and their more creative side. Licensed sets completely removed the challenge of trying to create one's own version of the theme and so a child has only got to think of how they are going to play with the set. Classic example of Lego doing all the thinking and imagining for children. >>695 >There is no fucking way it's good for a kid to be fed literal garbage with no mental stimulus, no boredom to force imagination and thought. You touch upon a very intriguing point there. Boredom can actually be rewarding for a child in that they are forced to think outside of the box and to use their imagination. But your average child has something like the internet to fall back on should they be bored so they aren't forced to develop these skills.
>>697 Agreed fully. It was a challenge to use what I had to get close to what I saw. It was fun. I didn't actually aim at recreating the show/movie/game completely accurately but just close enough that my imagination could fill in the gaps. Children now have been reduced to having all these things done for them in order to push consumer numbers. God forbid a set is too off-putting or hard or not-enough-like-TV, the kids might not want it and parents might not buy it.
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>>679 That really sucks, they should create a set theme that brings back the 70s, 80s and maybe even 90s aesthetic of the sets back then
It saddens me that you anons aren't giving Lego City Adventures TV show a chance. It's easily pne of the best things Lego has ever released.
>>753 I'm not shitting on it, its more that Lego then ties the sets into it rather than it just being its own thing. It is on my list of things to watch, is it really as good as people are saying?

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