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mygif

Indiana Jones legos? they did that line already, except non-licensed as Johnny Thunder and probably better.

I agree, lego needs to put those alternate pictures back on those boxes. specific pieces sometimes can be more fun to work with, but kids need to have some sort of inspiration to think of how to use those pieces.

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mygif

Yeah, it kinda sucks these days. When the special pieces outnumber the generic, it’s not so great. I remember, though, getting some fun use out of special parts for a plane – specifically, the wings and pieces used for the cockpit. The cockpit pieces became, in my imagination, a sort of claw that opened and shut and crushed things, while the wings just jutted out from the back of my robot, Starscream style.

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mygif

Holy cow! I knew they made these sets and they suck. But what makes it worse is that it looks like they no longer make the general, unthemed kits. They’re all specialized!!!

I wonder if they still make wooden blocks. unless star wars has gotten ahold of them too! :(

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Sage Freehaven said on December 8th, 2007 at 6:00 am

Legos are still the greatest toy ever. Anyone of any age can enjoy them, and goddamn if it ain’t fun not following the directions.

Goddamn you, Lego, for not giving children of all ages the chance to do wacky shit with Legos.

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mygif

The problem looks more like aesthetic evolution.

Today’s kids, after being weened on Playstation 2 are no longer going to be satisfied with toy models that look like something that belongs on a Commodore 64.

however, the point is valid, the less universal a block is, the less happiness it can bring a child unless it is specifically used for a specific model under a specific license… which goes against everything Lego was first established as.

Of course, there are still those that refuse to play by those rules:
http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?f=61438

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mygif

It’s not quite that bad. As someone who has been buying Lego sets over the past few years, I can say that most of the booklets included with the sets have alternate models in them. Even my Batman set. Additionally, Lego still makes generic sets. I got a great bucket that just had random pieces in it. I do agree about the specialized pieces, but my son still manages to make use out of them. The trick seems to be avoiding the really expensive sets.

Bird – Good luck on finals. Seriously, professors love IRAC.

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mygif

Today’s kids, after being weened on Playstation 2 are no longer going to be satisfied with toy models that look like something that belongs on a Commodore 64.

Today’s kids don’t give a damn, just as no kids before them gave a damn. They don’t discern like adults do (or think they do). If something is fun, it’s fun, period. I was practically hooked up to my SNES with an IV, but I still enjoyed the ever-loving shit out of my Legos, my old Atari 2600, and various action figures inherited from my much older brother.

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mygif

What people could really use is a visit to a Lego-only specialty store. I’ve seen the one down in Downtown Disney, Orlando, Florida, and there are two things there that might get kids (and adults!) thinking outside of the box.
1) There are several displays that show unique things made with mostly generic Lego blocks. For instance, several windows show easily identifiable cities. New York is there, with King Kong climbing a skyscraper and alligators swimming in the sewers. Venice has water made of Lego, with a motorized boat rocking back and forth. The thing is, while these displays obviously took more time and thought to produce, compared to the effort someone would have to make to construct a Lego Star Wars ship, these displays do look very fun and rewarding, and thus may ignite a desire to be creative with one’s own Legos.
2) Luckily, the store has bins full of generic blocks in all shapes and sizes (I think one buys them based on weight, or based on what size containerr you use to collect these blocks. I forget). The message is thus: You’ve seen the cool things you can make, now go ahead and grab your supplies so you will make cool stuff.

(Good luck on your finals)

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mygif

I’m sorry, but this whole “special pieces” and “no imagination” nonsense irks me. It’s simply not true.

http://www.daveexmachina.com/wordpress/?p=1955

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Black Belt Jones said on December 8th, 2007 at 2:59 pm

Jesus CHRIST people, I call bullshit on this. This is just another example of people claiming that “things just ain’t what they used to be. Why, back in my day…”. Don’t you realize that every generation and whatnot since the beginning of time has thought this? Same crap as people who say “so and so is raping my childhood”. Just because every damn piece isn’t a bigass brick that can combine to make a bigger brick doesn’t mean that you can’t take these “specialized” pieces and use them in creating more imaginative designs, you just need to have the imagination to do it, children included. Plus, a lot of these pieces allow you to create things that you never could have before, such as awesome robots of destruction, and who doesn’t like those.

Oh, except Bionicle does suck, mainly because they don’t have any connecting bricks at all. At least with all the other sets they are based off of bricks, Bioncle is just…yeah, action figures.

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mygif

I’m afraid that as a 16 year old who only stopped playing with lego regularly two or three years ago, I must de-lurk to disagree. Almost all of our lego was Harry Potter based and the thin plastic roofs and walls were some of the best parts because you can use them for other stuff. The roofs on the castle alone can be boats, toboggans, tents or an iron maiden. Yes you can make all those things from just bricks, but by the time you finish whatever you’re constructing the story has moved on and it’s time for it to get blown up. So it worked quite well for us if we only had to put four pieces together because it just let our imaginations get on with it. I think specialized pieces actually force you to be more imaginative because you have to think of how to use them in interesting ways.

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IslandLiberal said on December 8th, 2007 at 5:44 pm

Ah, LEGO. So many memories. I’ve still got maybe three tubs of it in the basement somewhere. My friends and I would always build rival civilizations and fight wars with our LEGO.

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mygif

btw, that’s a Y-Wing, not a B-Wing http://starwars.lego.com/en-us/Products/classic/6208.aspx

…curse you George Lucas, I was using those brain cells!!

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mygif

The joy of legos is that you don’t need a context or instruction book to play with them. It is fun to just click the blocks together and build. To me, it really doesn’t matter what the blocks look like – I can just play and make anything I want out of them. I would love to see the bricks from the B-Wing model be dumped in front of a 4 year old with no instructions or picture to guide him and tell him to build anything he wants – are you telling me his imagination is now limited because of the special pieces? In fact, I would argue that the specialized pieces can spark a child’s imagination more than a simple brick can.

Lego still sells buckets of random simple bricks for those who are threatened by the odd shaped ones.

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mygif

I don’t know if there are as many specialised pieces as you think. The people designing the lego models are /really/ good at what they do, and (at least in the Y-wing) there aren’t any specialty pieces aside from the shopvac and the minifig gun. And (as the father of a pair of children with approximately 20,000,000 legos, including many of the Star(tm)(r)(c) Wars(r)(tm)(c) sets) in my experience small children will take these elaborately coiffed kits, rip them to tiny bits, and build their own things from scratch which have nothing to do with the original design.

Some of the new non-minifig figures (the “super battle droid”, and the space invader) are pretty horrible, but they’re also so fragile that they disintegrate almost immediately and self-sort themselves out of the collection.

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mygif

Actually, the trend in Lego away from generic pieces and toward more set-specific molds has been a long time in coming, since the day of the dreaded BURP (big ugly rock piece) — see 2001: A Lego Odyssey and note the “Lego Today” minifig’s reaction as reflective of most AFOL (Adult Friends of Lego) at the time.

This specialization/antiuniversalitization (ung) I think hit its peak just as the Star Wars line was hitting the shelves — I think it’s improving across the line (there seems to be a new emphasis on “builder” sets that has been lacking in the last few years), but where it’s worst is, yes, in the licensed products. And I don’t mind that much — I think it’s the licensed products that’s insured Lego’s survival in the last ten years, as the toy market’s been getting tight, even for a traditional favorite. Lego’s marketing strategy has been brilliant, crossing not just generational gaps but media while inking some appealing licensing (and occasionally all three — the Lego Star Wars computer game is nine times more fun than you’d think). I hadn’t noticed that there’d been a lack of alternate model designs on the back — I know there’ve been a few in the instructions themselves in recent years — but I have more faith in their corporate strategy.

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mygif

Thanks for the kind words. Note the Lego post is by my co-blogger Mike O’Hare.

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mygif

Great, Thanks for mentioning our lego site.

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Dave King said on March 2nd, 2008 at 12:38 am

I’m going to disagree here as well. I just made my first Lego model in years, that was given to me as a gift because I am a huge Star Wars fan. This was the B-Wing, which I was pleased for the custom parts as they made the finished model look more realistic. But my main reason for disagreeing is that on the back of the B-Wing box are two pictures of alternate models that can be built from the pack, a Transformers looking robot and a sleek looking starship with rear gunner. There may have only been two, as oppossed to the half dozen from your childhood, but they were still there.

Dave

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