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Questions for the Ambassador from the hypothetical crowd

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Questions for the Ambassador from the hypothetical crowd

Post  P_Thorne on Mon May 28, 2012 12:35 pm

Here are some questions that the Ambassador could relay to The Powers That Be (at least, he's best-positioned to do so). I'm putting this in the "General Discussion" forum because "Ambassador Reports" should probably be limited to messages in the other direction. I'm also PM'ing Chris so he knows to look here.

These are questions the crowds at Wizard World are likely to ask, for which a specific response would be useful. We probably won't have any, but a placeholder-response of "we've asked, are awaiting an answer, and will post it to our blog" might suffice. Or there might be an official blanket answer that TLG can relay quickly ("we do not comment on upcoming sets").

Current licensed lines, System scale:
* With the new "Avengers" sets, why is there no minifig of SHIELD Director Nick Fury?
* There's a minifig for Black Widow, but (in the interest of gender balance) why not Pepper Potts or Nick Fury's second-in-command?
* Why is the Hulk in 6868 Hulk's Helicarrier Breakout so disappointingly troll-like?
* With the new "Lord of the Rings" sets, why no female minifigs? (Arwen the Elf, Eowyn of the Rohirrim. Shelob doesn't count, because she's a spider.)
* With the DC and Marvel Super Heroes lines, is there a way to vote for characters?

Other Super Heroes, non-System:
* Why does 4530 The Hulk mega-fig have silver shoulders instead of green? And why does 4597 Captain America have giant silver shoulderpads?

Non-licensed minifigs:
* The early series of Collectible Minifigs appeared in LEGO Universe. Why weren't any LEGO Universe faction characters realized as CMFs?

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Re: Questions for the Ambassador from the hypothetical crowd

Post  ctbyrne on Tue May 29, 2012 8:58 pm

Here are my "official" answers as Ambassador. I wouldn't mind doing a LEGO blog but without a reader base, it would be pretty lame.

1. With the new “Avengers” sets, why is there no minifig of SHIELD Director Nick Fury?

Nick Fury has appeared as a minifig in a few locations. Though he has not appeared in a set yet, I would find it hard to believe that TLG has designed the minifig with no intention to use him. Just as the new Spiderman/Doc Ock/Iron Fist set will be coming out later than the first wave of Avengers sets, there is no doubt in my mind that there will be at least 1 more wave of Avengers sets in the future in which Nick Fury will most definitely make an appearance. It may not be back to back, but consider that there is evidence to show another series of theatrical releases in the near future which would help bolster sales of tie-in LEGO sets.

2. There’s a minifig for Black Widow, but (in the interest of gender balance) why not Pepper Potts or Nick Fury’s second-in-command?

Well has LEGO ever had a gender or race balance? The short answer is that the Avengers sets are “action playsets.” The “Avengers” i.e. Hulk, Thor, Capt. America, Iron Man, Hawkeye, & Black Widow are the titular characters and the center of the film’s “action” scenes. Not to say that characters like Pepper Potts aren’t important characters, but they are not important for the scenes which LEGO is trying to capture in sets. There are a couple of oddball sets thrown in to each of the DC and Marvel 2012 lines as well. The DC line has the Superman/Wonder Woman/Lex Luthor set and the Marvel line had the Wolverine/Deadpool/Magneto set. I equate not including Pepper Potts in a Marvel set to not including Assistant DA Rachel Dawes in either the Batman (2008) or DC lines. You’re just not going to get all of the characters just like you’re not going to get every scene from a movie or series of movies.

3. Why is the Hulk in 6868 Hulk’s Helicarrier Breakout so disappointingly troll-like?

It is my opinion that LEGO wanted to accentuate each of the Avengers’ primary characteristics in their minifigs, lest there be a line of 6 standard printed minifigs. Iron Man has a very large helmet but it flips open to reveal the identity of Tony Stark underneath this seemingly robotic exterior. Thor has a hammer that is nearly as tall as he is. And the hulk just wouldn’t be impressive at a regular minifig scale (even though they did make one). Much like the hobbits in the LOTR sets have short legs, and Hagrid from Harry Potter was a larger, 4-Juniors figure, The Hulk needed to be “incredibly” large. I cannot say for sure, but it appears to me that the Hulk’s arms and hands could be the same part molds that have been used for Fantasy Era Trolls and other large monsters. I really see no other way that the Hulk could look in minifig scale proportional to the other Avengers.

4. With the new “Lord of the Rings” sets, why no female minifigs? (Arwen the Elf, Eowyn of the Rohirrim, Shelob doesn’t count, because she’s a spider.)

I’m going to refer back to questions 1 & 2 on this one. The scale on the LOTR universe is so large, I find it hard to believe that LTG settled on 7 sets across a range from 73 parts to 1,313 parts. Surely there will be another wave of sets for this licensed theme. Only one of the sets even takes place in Mordor! Despite another gender imbalance, I believe it will get worse before it gets better for LOTR LEGO sets. None of the female characters had too great of a presence in the “action scenes.” I’m not saying they didn’t do anything, but there are so many scenes for LEGO to choose from, the odds are against the female characters when it comes time to pick another round of scenes to make into sets (assuming they haven’t already.) You can’t have all the characters without a LOT of sets. I also foresee TLG reissuing characters before additional ones are designed i.e. Star Wars. There are 15 Anakins, 8 Boba Fetts, 12 Darth Vaders, 21 Han Solos, 26 Luke Skywalkers, 20 Obi-Wan Kenobis, and 12 Princess Leias, just to name a few dozen!

5. With the DC and Marvel Super Heroes lines, is there a way to vote for characters?

I have never encountered anything that would make me believe that this is possible. Most characters that are made into minifigs have some significance in current film, television, or video game release. The upcoming Spiderman set is based on the Ultimate Spiderman TV series. The closest you will get to more obscure characters would be all of the bonus characters in the new LEGO Batman II video game which releases June 19th.

6. Why foes 4530 The Hulk mega-fig have silver shoulders instead of green? And why does 4597 Captain America have giant silver shoulderpads?

The best answer I can give you is that TLG wants these “Ultimate Build” sets to be seen as closer to their Hero Factory line than the Super Heroes line. The parts are all interchangeable with Hero Factory parts and I feel that the intention is more for the user’s creativity than for display purposes. Hero Factory and Technic in general encourage you to free-build more so than regular system sets nowadays. At some point in the last few years, TLG has stopped putting alternate build images on the back of set boxes. There was once a time (late 80s) where most if not all sets had alternate builds on the back and the caption “Build any of these exciting models with this set.”

7. The early series of Collectible Minifigs appeared in LEGO Universe. Why weren’t any LEGO Universe faction characters realized as CMFs?

I would say that these two entities collaborated in their initial stages because TLG didn’t know exactly where either of them would go in the future. As each defined itself, they went on their own path. I’m sure that LEGO Universe was very carefully monitored to see how many users were logging on and how long they stayed on. Since we now know that TLG pulled the plug on LEGO Universe, it wouldn’t surprise me if they started cutting back on it from an earlier stage than was made visible to us. On the contrary, TLG hit a home run with the CMF line. In the 2 years before Series 1 hit limited shelves, TLG released 4 sets of minifigures. Each set contained 5 iconic minifigs from various years between 1978 and 2002. Limited sales of these gave way to the “blind-pack” version that came out in 2010. The first two series of CMFs as we know them now were distributed lightly and not very well marketed. I do not blame TLG for testing the waters with these as not all ideas work or are worth the time and money. The inclusion of Series 1 CMFs in LEGO Universe was probably a cross-advertisement. Series 1 launched in May of 2010 and LEGO Universe launched in October of 2010.

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Re: Questions for the Ambassador from the hypothetical crowd

Post  ctbyrne on Thu Jun 28, 2012 6:38 pm

Here's an interesting article regarding TLG's new MMO that features...wait for it...the CMFs!

http://www.fbtb.net/2012/06/28/new-lego-mmo-in-development/

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