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Last LEGO Line of Your Childhood


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#1 Offline Master Inika

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Posted Nov 25 2018 - 12:21 AM

This is something I'm not entirely sure how to word properly, so I'll start with the thought process that got me to it.

I was born in 1996, so, I was too young to get into Slizer/Throwbots or early BIONICLE. My first set was Tahnok-Kal when I was seven, the target age for that set. BIONICLE has been one of the main things in my life since then, and I never had a "dark age" (time when I lost interest in LEGO and rediscovered it as an adult). For me, it was kind of a mark of honor to become a TFOL and later AFOL. BIONICLE was always my favorite LEGO line, but I was also interested in Star Wars, X-Pod, Knights' Kingdom, Exo-Force, and Aqua Raiders.

BIONICLE getting cancelled in 2010 was a depressing thing for me, but I stayed a LEGO fan. I tried getting into Hero Factory, but even I couldn't pretend it was the same. I did enjoy the Atlantis sets that came out in 2010. They reminded me a lot of Aqua Raiders. Later, Star Wars became my obvious favorite active LEGO line, then The LEGO Movie became one of my favorite movies in 2014. But I was already 18 by that point. For reference, months after seeing The LEGO Movie and loving it, I voted in my state's gubernatorial election. I was able to appreciate TLM as an adult and appreciate how universal its appeal was to kids and adults.

I also saw LEGO Batman and LEGO Ninjago, and specifically, I got The LEGO Ninjago Movie on DVD recently and rewatched it. It was then that this line popped into my head: "I wish I was a kid again so I could enjoy this the way I enjoyed BIONICLE." It was the first time that I saw being an AFOL as a limitation and not a supplement to how much I could get out of LEGO. I felt very nostalgic for enjoying it on a more primal level, not enjoying it because I understood on an analytical level why it was enjoyable.

So this brings me to my question: what is the last LEGO property you enjoyed as a member of that property's target demographic? You can use the age recommendations on the boxes if you want, but personally I think it's more important for each individual to realize when they began to enjoy LEGO as an adult. For me, without BIONICLE, it probably would have happened earlier. My own answer to my question is: in 2010, when I was 14, trying to replace BIONICLE with Atlantis and Hero Factory. Everything after that I took in as if I was living in a twilight age, like what I was experiencing was the antiquated ruins of a long-fallen empire.

The LEGO Ninjago Movie and some reviews of it made me interested in checking out the TV show, which I've never followed, from the beginning. Even if I do enjoy it, though, it gives me a strange, existential feeling that I'll enjoy it as a peripheral demographic. It's like I "lost my chance" to "really" experience it.

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#2 Offline Pohaturon

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Posted Nov 25 2018 - 04:59 AM

Definitely Bionicle for me. When Bionicle went under in 2010 I lost all interest in Lego entirely up until 2015 when the reboot arrived. Throughout 2017 I was convinced that this time my interest in Lego as a whole would persist but now it seems that once more I'm drifting away, with my only intention being to complete by G1 and G2 Bionicle collections, moccing, and maybe pick up a few Technic sets. I have basically zero interest in System related sets and themes anymore. At most, I'd buy sets for parts for moccing unless it's particularly unique, and stick to bricklink or bulk lots to fuel my parts pool. If Lego ever brings back Constraction, I'd be on board again, but until then I'm jumping ship to Transformers. 

 

When I was a lad during the run of Bionicle I enjoyed other themes as well, but they were always secondary in importance. I genuinely liked G2 a whole lot but I was already an AFOL when that was running, which is why I'd say Bionicle G1 was both the first (it got me into Lego) and last theme that I enjoyed as the target audience. I still intend to one day max out my collection.

 

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#3 Offline CommanderKumo

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Posted Nov 25 2018 - 01:25 PM

I'm not really sure what to say. I don't really buy LEGO sets anymore, I just buy pieces that I need online (I do pick up the odd set occaisonally). Even when I did buy themes though they were usually retroactively. (Buying 90s sets in the 2010s etc). The one theme which has persisted through all of this though is Star Wars! hands out to you my friend!


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#4 Offline xccj

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Posted Nov 25 2018 - 02:23 PM

Hmm, interesting question. I didn't exactly have a "dark age" because I continued to collect Bionicle throughout Gen 1, but I definitely stopped purchasing System sets for a couple of years. By the time Indiana Jones came out in 2008 and reignited my interest in System, I was already beyond the age limit.

I guess the last System sets that I got when I was within the age limit were in 2000 and 2001. I can't remember exactly which theme was "last" but the three I collected from were Adventurers Dino Island, Arctic, and Soccer. After that, it was just Bionicle for many years. B-)

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#5 Offline Aanchir

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Posted Nov 26 2018 - 06:47 PM

I turned 18 in March 2009, so the final LEGO themes of my childhood would've been the things I was collecting in the first few months of that year, which as far as I can remember would have been Bionicle, Power Miners, and Agents. I didn't have a "dark age" of any sort. Perhaps Bionicle helped carry me through that, since besides collecting Bionicle throughout G1, a lot of my purchasing decisions in my teen years were focused on themes that I first became interested in due to having parts that looked useful for Bionicle MOCs (like Knights' Kingdom II, Vikings, and Exo-Force).

 

After Bionicle, I continued focusing mostly on colorful action/adventure themes with 7-and-up builds, though I took a very brief hiatus from constraction themes until the CCBS launched in 2011 and pulled me right back in. So even with Bionicle over, my collecting habits didn't really change much.

 

Right now the main themes I focus on are the LEGO Movie and spin-off themes, Ninjago, and Elves.


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#6 Offline A Frozen Catgirl

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Posted Nov 26 2018 - 07:08 PM

Probably Exo-Force. I was 15 when that ended and obviously kept up with Bionicle beyond that. Never really got too invested in any other theme after that... well, except Hero Factory but I was 17 when that started so I wouldn't really count that as a childhood theme. :v


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#7 Offline Darth Jaller

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Posted Nov 27 2018 - 02:48 PM

I think for me... yeah, that would be Exo-Force too. I was at the upper end of the age bracket in 2006, when the theme started; but even despite the way the comics depicted the characters as humans rather than the familiar shape of minifigures, it still managed to very effectively captivate the remnants of my childhood imagination and draw me in. Beyond that, no other new theme managed that feat... I kept an eye on them all for a few years after, I will grant, but the interest in them was gone and I only really invested in Bionicle and Star Wars after that. Even those, my interest in waned in 2009, only that year's Toy Story sets were able to tempt much money out of me... and that, on nostalgia value as much as anything else, because TS2 had been a huge part of my childhood.

 

Nowadays, it's more nostalgia that drives my Lego interest than anything else, so I guess that was the beginning of my approaching Lego from the perspective of someone outside of the intended target audience?

 

 

Meaning in that case... yeah, the answer to your question would definitely have to be Exo-Force for me.


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For that is the way

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#8 Offline masterchirox580

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Posted Nov 28 2018 - 09:30 AM

I mean I guess it would depend on how you define childhood. General consensus nowadays seems to be that kids stop being kids between the ages of 10 and 12. So that would probably leave it at alien conquest (pretty cool line). And trust me there is no such thing as too young to get into something. I got into bionicle somewhere between the ages of 3 and 4 and I know I wasn't the only one like this. 


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It's time to move on.


#9 Offline Kahu Rider 13

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Posted Dec 03 2018 - 06:55 PM

Depending on how you interpret the question, there could be several answers:
  • Bionicle was probably the last one I was following with any enthusiasm: I started it in 2001, and continued until around 2008.
  • I did start following some other lines after 2001 (e.g. Drome Racers, Spybotics, Vikings), but by 2008 I'd either stopped following these or they'd been discontinued.
  • I bought some random City sets in the late 2000s, but I'm not sure this really counts as 'following' the line.
  • I did try to collect some of the early lines of Minifigs, but by then I was no longer a 'child' (at least, not in name: in reality, I'm pretty sure I was mentally still a child :P !)

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#10 Offline Noble Tehurye

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Posted Dec 05 2018 - 08:01 PM

Designer sets, then Make and Create, then Creator. Those were the only sets I saw as a kid, asked for, even got. :) A few Star wars sets as well, when Revenge of the Sith came out. Was too young to see it but I got a couple of cool sets, along with some mini models. We really didn't have money for many Legos, so my parents were most interested in giving me a set with longevity, like Designer sets. And darn right they were too!

 

As much as I wanted Alpha Team at the time! :D

 

As far as dark ages... Legos are not bad. But all things in moderation. For some an adult Lego habit can be ok, but for many it could be an unhelpful drain on cash and time, not to mention coming off as immature. (I mean my male acquaintances, in your 20s and 30s, spending cash on Elves sets for themselves?!?) For myself, I don't foster an AFOL habit. I keep a few cool sets on display (sold off the rest) since they cheer me up to see them. Rahaga Pouks, the Rock Raiders Rapid Rider, Uxar. Uxar was a treat I bought when I was going through a painful surgery. That was the last (one of the only?) "modern" set I got for myself, from Lego, on release.

 

I buy my sisters a ton of Ninjago tho. They're addicted. :D :P


Edited by Noble Tehurye, Dec 05 2018 - 08:03 PM.

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#11 Offline Aanchir

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Posted Dec 05 2018 - 10:39 PM

As far as dark ages... Legos are not bad. But all things in moderation. For some an adult Lego habit can be ok, but for many it could be an unhelpful drain on cash and time, not to mention coming off as immature. (I mean my male acquaintances, in your 20s and 30s, spending cash on Elves sets for themselves?!?)

 

If you think there's something wrong with folks like my brother and a bunch of my friends/fellow MOCists enjoying one of the best new LEGO themes of the past five years, you're the one who comes off as immature, my dude. Heteronormativity is boring! And even besides that, some of the Elves sets like 41179 and 41194 are aimed at an even more advanced building level than most Bionicle sets, while Elves sets in general tend to be more advanced than a lot of the themes like City and Castle that the wider AFOL community tends to think of as respectable adult interests.


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#12 Offline Noble Tehurye

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Posted Dec 06 2018 - 04:56 PM

Heteronormativity my friend?  ^_^  Now there's a generic nebulous pejorative word I wouldn't have heard save in today's curious political climate.  ;)  When I was younger we boys played with Legos that helped us feel like strong men - certain City service roles, Pirates, Knights, robots...  we had no interest in playing strong feminine roles because we weren't feminine. I can buy getting the sets for MOC elements, but why should I want to trade in my masculine interests any more than my sisters would trade their feminine interests?

 

It's mixing the two that's boring. 

 

Because then we'd all be the same.

 

But hey, this is the place to support and help the OP's ideas about AFOLing. And now, did I accuse you or your friends?  :) I spoke in general terms of certain "real life" people I know for whom the habit of AFOLing, especially with feminine themes, has gotten way out of control, not anyone here per se!

 

Just me complaining a bit I suppose, since I can't tell these people directly. Beg pardon.  ;)  This may not be the place for it. It would be polite for us to bring the conversation back on topic, the OP probably has no interest in hearing fans quibble! :alert: :D


By the way @Master Inika, I do hope you'll enjoy the Ninjago Show! :D It's quite fun but it's most fun when watched with someone of the target demographic. That way you get your perspective and theirs! I don't bother watching it alone but I massively enjoy watch it with my younger sisters - it's much more fun with their commentary! It's full of great quips and cooky humour. :)


Edited by Noble Tehurye, Dec 06 2018 - 04:57 PM.

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#13 Offline Pohaturon

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Posted Dec 06 2018 - 07:01 PM

 

Heteronormativity my friend?  ^_^  Now there's a generic nebulous pejorative word I wouldn't have heard save in today's curious political climate.  ;)  When I was younger we boys played with Legos that helped us feel like strong men - certain City service roles, Pirates, Knights, robots...  we had no interest in playing strong feminine roles because we weren't feminine. I can buy getting the sets for MOC elements, but why should I want to trade in my masculine interests any more than my sisters would trade their feminine interests?

No

 

Just no

 

Stop

 

:kakama:


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:kakama: Stone rocks :kakama:

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#14 Offline Aanchir

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Posted Dec 06 2018 - 09:32 PM

 

 

Heteronormativity my friend?  ^_^  Now there's a generic nebulous pejorative word I wouldn't have heard save in today's curious political climate.  ;)  When I was younger we boys played with Legos that helped us feel like strong men - certain City service roles, Pirates, Knights, robots...  we had no interest in playing strong feminine roles because we weren't feminine. I can buy getting the sets for MOC elements, but why should I want to trade in my masculine interests any more than my sisters would trade their feminine interests?

No

 

Just no

 

Stop

 

:kakama:

 

 

For reals though. Is "today's curious political climate" code for  "LGBT people existing much like they always have, except with a somewhat better chance of not having to keep that part of themselves secret for their own survival"?

 

It's absurd to think that you would be any less of a man or I would be any less of a woman by enjoying and telling stories about characters of a different gender, with cool characteristics that ANYBODY (whether boys, girls, men, women, or none-of-the-above) can enjoy. Plus, there's nothing inherently masculine or feminine about robots, knights, mechanics, etc.

 

Nobody's saying all men and women ought to like the exact same things, just that there's no reason everyone's interests ought to be strictly segregated according to gender. If you really want people to embrace their differences, isn't that best served by giving everyone complete freedom to pick and choose what parts of the human experience appeal most to THEM? Why limit that based on certain interests being randomly stigmatized as "for girls" or "for boys" (even if in a different place and time, those same interests might have been associated with a different gender, or not associated with any particular gender at all)?

 

I also have to wonder… do you have these same sort of bizarre hangups about the various women (including me and many of the MOCists and artists I admire most) who enjoy more traditionally boy-targeted brands like Bionicle, Ninjago, or Transformers? Or is there something about "girl stuff" that you find uniquely demeaning?


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