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Lenny7092

How was Lego in the 2010s?

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What it says here. For me, well, I’m happy about the CCBS, Hero Factory, Bionicle coming back in 2015, Ninjago, Nexo Knights, The Lego Movie Cinematic Universe, Mixels, Lego City Undercover, Lego Dimensions, Star Wars, and Lego Super Heroes. Those are my pros. 
 

The cons are these: Bionicle ended twice, constraction being gone after that, along with HF while there’s no replacement for Bionicle, The Lego Movies after the first The Lego Movie in 2014 are being a little too weird and random, and there are a lot of good themes that ended wrongfully and have a lot of premature conditions (I’m think low budget): 

1. Power Miners 

2. Lego: The Adventures of Clutch Powers - never had a sequel 

3. Lego Atlantis, Lego Alien Conquest, Lego Pharoah’s Quest, and Lego Dino Attack in 2012 - according to a Lego magazine in November 2011, they share the same universe, but they never had an ending. Neither did that Lego Atlantis special in 2010 has a sequel. 

4. Lego Monster Fighters and Lego Galaxy Squad - according to a Lego magazine in 2012, they share the same universe, but again, they never had an ending. 

5. Lego Space Police in 2009 - Never had an ending. 

6. Lego Ultra Agents - there are a lot of cool stuff, like a villain who turns people into villains, but it never had something to tell a story, like how Ninjago does. 

7. Legends of Chima - well, it’s a part of Ninjago now. 

8. Nexo Knights - It never had an ended, and the TV show’s Seasons 5 and 6 are cancelled. Plus, there are a lot of stuff that are unequal to each other. It’s best for it to be one of Ninjago’s Sixteen Realms because it seems a lot like it. Seriously. 

9. Lego Dimensions - It had an unresolved thing, which is a guy turning into another Vortech, and Year 3 got cancelled after 2 years for some reason. It never had a bunch of other franchises that could have a lot of potential of having their own expansion packs, like Marvel and Star Wars. 

10. Lego City Undercover - Never had a sequel. 

11. Mixels 

Yep. Pretty much it. These guys could have good TV shows or special if Lego would be kind enough to put some more stuff in them. I mean, they look like that they had such good potential, but they had a lot of weirdness in some ways here and there, and they were decreasing by quality gradually. These poor needed themes are wasted. Lego should focus on these old themes and bring back older ones before them rather than focusing on the new ones. That is not healthy. 
 

So, that’s my look on last decade. What about you guys?


I like Lego, Bionicle, and Hero Factory!:)

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I'm not sure I'd agree... as I see it, Lego isn't always about telling completed stories. Historically, Lego has often just provided 'enough' story for kids to start from, to allow them to springboard off that and create their own tales using the characters and situations that Lego had set up.

That's what I remember form back in the 90s; and while the early/mid 2000s did enter a phase of story-driven everything (likely due to Bionicle's success as a major story-based theme) I kind of like it if they're going back with some themes to the idea of 'we give you the set-up, YOU decide how it plays out'. That was a good part of what drew me so far into Lego as a kid, the sense of being given a basic story that it was up to me to elaborate on and bring to my own conclusion. I don't think it's Lego giving up on themes and leaving them unfinished; I think it's them encouraging that same kind of creative storytelling mindset again, inviting kids and fans to decide for themselves how they want the respective stories to end.

I'm not saying that story-driven themes are bad, by any means! Just that, maybe, not everything Lego produces was intended to be a completed story in its own right.

Or, that's my take on it, at least. :shrugs:

Edited by Darth Jaller
Phrasing
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I mean if we look at it from maybe a corporate perspective, the 2010's were a good time for Lego. They became perhaps the most influential brand in the world. The Lego Movie launched them to massive fame, and made Lego a bigger powerhouse than Mattel or Hasbro. Not to mention the continued licensed lines like Star Wars, Harry Potter, superheroes etc. all were very successful; while Ninjago remained a huge powerhouse the entire decade for Lego. 

I don't know if the fame will last, the layoffs a year or so back and the failure of the last few Lego Movies makes me think that the "Lego moment" is over. But I think the company enters the 2020's in a much stronger position than where it was in 2000. 

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I feel like for me the first half of the decade was great. The feel and aesthetics of the early Ninjago  years were great, Chima was great and had great sets and a intriguing world. Hero Factory was good in hindsight, and G2 glimmered for a short 2 years; not to mention the plethora of original themes like Atlantis, Power Miners, Pharaohs Quest and others. However I feel that after G2 ended Lego had left a golden age strange licensed themes no one really asked for became more prevalent, the few new themes like Hidden Side and Nexo Knights put story and sets on the backburner in favor of app based gimmicks, and Ninjago became less a mysterious theme about an ancient Japan inspired world  and became more of a superhero theme(in a world already oversaturated with superheroes). So maybe the trend will change in the new roaring 20s, but I feel like we have witnessed the end of a golden age of Lego storytelling.

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To a degree I view the 2010s as a decline. Not necessarily in a business performance sense, but in a creative one. The 2000s was a bit of a perfect storm. Creative pressure to survive. Media that was mature enough to reinforce story and physical toys, but not ubiquitous enough to eclipse them (i.e. smartphones). I'll agree with @Darth Jaller above that Lego has/had a strength in giving you a framework, but not the fine detail, though I think themes like Rock Raiders and Alpha Team benefited from the extra lore their games provided.

For lack of a better term, their business matured (not a unique-to-Lego problem). They figured out a formula and expanded on it until the magic left. The 2010s were the era of licensing, which is great for the bottom line for a time, but eventually that spins down too.

You see the same thing in the tech industry. The 2000s were years of discovery after the 90s ironed out the technology. Transmedia storytelling (i.e. MNOLG), smartphones, social media. All new and engaging. The 2010s saw them all mature into...what we have now.

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The magic found in themes of the 2000s fell away and died off by the 2010s. Lego gave more support than ever to their storytelling, but this did no real good when the stories were all garbage. 2010 Lego storytelling peaked with the HF specials, and it all went downhill from there. I think part of it is doing away with any willingness for "dark" storytelling. That isn't to say that darker is better--G1 is proof that it's not--but with lines like EF and KKII, for their minimal support, their stories gave a sense for a capacity for darkness, a very real possibility that the world can and even presently does suck and that there's actual stakes. In Chima, nobody ever dies, and every time something bad happens, it's resolved with no caveats. The characters barely need to grow or change to get anything done, if at all. By contrast, EF features a potential AI takeover, with human beings already being captured by the robots and held as slaves; most notably, Takeshi's dad. That's not to say EF had revolutionary storytelling, but relative to how much media it got, it was far weightier than anything from the 2010s.

And of course, you've got the HIGHLY elaborate storytelling of Bionicle. Lego hasn't attempted anything on that scale since. The sheer volume of detail and effort Bionicle got was admirable, even when the storytelling was lackluster. There was a lot of worldbuilding and side plots and a huge list of characters who actually got explored SOMEWHAT. It'd be nice if Lego would at least attempt that again. The closest we have is Ninjago, which has horrendous writing for a line with as many good sets as it has.

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Well, probably one of the biggest things, at least for us here, was Bionicle's cancellation right at the beginning of the decade. Right at the time, the was a lot of sadness, and a growing schism between those who accepted it and those who were enraged. And then later it got brought back to a little bit of hype, only to end again shortly after. All this lead to the Bionicle community feeling a bit smaller and fractured. We were forced to adapt, but there's still plenty of people out there.

Then, there was Bionicle's replacement as a constraction theme: Hero Factory. The first year had rather poor small sets if I say so, with the larger sets being basically Bionicle. After that though, we got the introduction of CCBS, which changed the face of constraction as we know it. Not everyone was happy with the change, but I think we can all agree it's lead to some interesting mocs at least.

Now as for the story aspect of Bionicle, that role seems to have been filled more by Ninjago. The TV line has been going strong for almost as long as Bionicle at this point. As others have said, maybe having one definitive medium for the storytelling helps keep people into it. Ninjago has also turned out a lot of cool sets over its many years, although my personal favorite year is still the very first one. One recent notable thing in Ninjago I think is sets being released based on previous story years. This was always something I heard requests and rumors about online for Bionicle, but I think we can assume LEGO evaluated that the money just wasn't there for it. I guess the spread of the internet and past episodes of the Ninjago television show being easily accessible on streaming services means kids can see what was happening earlier that they missed. I just wish current season episodes were as accessible, as it feels like by the time I see them, the corresponding sets are out of stock. Oh well, I guess I'll just wait 7+ years for the legacy sets.

And I think one other major thing of note over the last 10 years is the greater appeal to adults. We went from having a modular building, a Star Wars UCS set, and maybe one or two others. Now we have direct to consumer sets coming out constantly. And there's also ideas, where it feels like most of the products are made by and for adult collectors, although not necessarily just LEGO fans. (It feels like there's been more attempts to just mass market appeal to adults in general too.) We've also gotten a lot of interaction both online and at conventions. I think this has all been a big part of what has kept me a LEGO fan as I got older, despite my favorite line being cancelled. There was always a product for me, no matter my age.

And the 2010s also saw LEGO make forays into having movies on the big screen. I think these were cool, beautifully animated, and overall I liked them, but I can understand why they're stopping. There's only so much of that you can take. I will miss the extremely unique sets though, which often included things that wouldn't be found together anywhere else.

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in 2010: 

1. The Death ov Bionicle 

2. Ben 10 Alien Force figures released (and sucked!) 

3. The Rise ov Hero Factory

4. Cryoshell's self-titled album released (and it is amazing!) 

5. Rob Zombie's "Hellbilly Deluxe 2" released! (as well as other awesome albums from Sodom, Linkin Park, etc.) 

that's all i can think ov... oh well! there you go, noobs! :D

 

Edited by TheZOMBIEJ

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Almost nothing of note or real interest for me in the 2010s. A definite decline for LEGO on all fronts.

 

(Not including Bionicle of course, since we are in the general LEGO section)

Edited by Bonkle

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The highlight was Bionicle coming back for 2 years, and the Lego Movies. Also Hero Factory in the early 2010s, which had a few good sets. 

Basically 2010s were good to Lego as a company, but constraction suffered. 

Also I liked Elves. The Friends-style sets were a 2010s innovation, lest we forget. 


you can call me boomie :D

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You know, most of you guys think that Lego has some problems in the 2010s, and the constraction category is gone, and I agree with that. Without constraction (including Bionicle, continuing the G1 story, Hero Factory), I feel purposeless. It's very depressing. No joke. 

Lego should really focus on the old stuff more and put more quality and media in them, like the stories and making things less weird, rather than moving on to new things that end too early. These old themes need some (or a lot) more love. It's a disaster. :( 

Would you hope that constraction, including Bionicle and G1 storyline, and Hero Factory, would come back in this decade, perhaps with real TV shows and maybe theatrical movies (not as Lego Movies, just 3-D animated or live-action movies or cinematic universe similar to the Transformers movies, Star Wars, and Marvel Cinematic Universe), and celebrate their anniversaries? We all need these. Nothing is better than Bionicle (well, the Lego Movies and Ninjago sort of in some ways, maybe evenly matched). 

I hope we could have less weird Lego Movies in this decade as well, including a Marvel one and Star Wars one because the themes are very great. Focus on the old themes much more in this decade, too.


I like Lego, Bionicle, and Hero Factory!:)

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I didn't come out of my Dark Age until my visit to Billund in 2016, so I suppose I'm not overly qualified to say much, but here's my two cents anyway:

Lego made leaps and bounds in terms of set design, streamlining, part usage, and new molds. They really managed to redefine what a Lego set can look like, while still staying true to the look of Lego. While executed well in most ways, the mid-decade attempt to bring back Bionicle, as well as trying to recreate the Bionicle formula with lines like Chima, Hero Factory, and the CCBS stuff, fell pretty flat in my opinion, and really cemented why Bionicle isn't something that suits Lego anymore.

Overall though, I still find myself pining for the glory days of the System sets. As good as the 2010s may have been, nothing will ever beat going to the Lego aisle of a Toys R Us in the 90s.


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On 1/19/2020 at 7:38 PM, Lenny7092 said:

You know, most of you guys think that Lego has some problems in the 2010s, and the constraction category is gone, and I agree with that. Without constraction (including Bionicle, continuing the G1 story, Hero Factory), I feel purposeless. It's very depressing. No joke. 

I hate to break it to you, but you have a bigger purpose in life than constraction sets. You have a lot more meaning to your existence than that. What about your friends and family? We're not allowed to discuss religion here, but if you have faith, you have more than plastic toys. Even evolution offers more than plastic toys. 

I know you feel abandoned by the big corporate overlords who don't care about you, but you have people who DO care about you, and your entire meaning and purpose is based around a toy? What are they, pocketbooks for more toys? They are worth more than that. And you are worth more than that. 

Think about it this way: what if no constraction sets were produced, ever. Let's say that Lego stands up tommorrow and confirms it: no more constraction. You're still going to live. You will still be alive, with opportunities for new friends, a new family, a new future. 

Constraction sets are just fun accessories to an already full life. They are not something to build your life around. 

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