Toy Fair report, part 5: Other themes

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LEGO stand decoration at the London Toy FairNinjago: More spinners, more booster packs, more weapons, more of the same... Lloyd ZX is the best of the bunch: the green ninja many of you have been waiting for!

There'll be four more play sets, all of which are weird and in their own way, wonderful. The largest features a four-headed dragon, apparently because last year's dragons were very popular. It's predominantly white and green and when you lift it by its handle, its wings splay out. They also come with a large variety of snake-like minifigs, with new tail and head pieces in several colours.

City: The only sets being released in the summer are the mining sets, of which there are five. They looked OK, but I thought some of them were a bit juniorised, and not as good as the other 2012 City sets that have just been released. These'll be out in August.

Advent calendars: This year there will be three: Star Wars, featuring two unique minifigs, Darth Maul in Santa garb and a R2 snowman (with carrots on his body!); City, which this time is fire themed, and Friends which contains two of the girls in Christmas outfits and a host of accessories and mini-models.

Hero Factory: Didn't pay any attention...

Cars and Dino, no more sets on the way, Alien Conquest, Harry Potter and PotC 'exit' in July...

Games: A new Heroica set 'Ilrion', which seems to be water-themed, and Maya Mystica were the only ones slated for release later in the year, in August.

Creator: Three new sets, a helicopter, a pick-up truck (both so-so) and Seaside House which looks every bit as good as last year's lighthouse! It's light blue with a red roof and looks like an idyllic place to live...

Technic: Only two previously unseen sets were on show, although the catalogue shows a third. 9393 tractor was not on display but 9396 helicopter and 9398 4x4 crawler were. The helicopter is huge (60cm long), red and yellow, and features new blades whose pitch can be adjusted. It's not motorised but it can be, there's space in the body for the battery box. The 4x4 crawler is a IR-remote-control vehicle which had half-black and half-white bodywork which looked a bit odd, and odder still I suspect if you don't apply the stickers.

However, more importantly it comes with new motors and a new servo motor. The two axles were driven by separate motors which were squarer than those we've seen before, although it was difficult to see their geometry exactly. The servo motor would have been used for the steering and it also was a different shape to current PF motors. I don't get too excited about wheeled Technic models, there are too many of them, but I'll definitely be buying the Helicopter which looked to be the best Technic one ever!

Friends: I've left the best until last! There are another eight sets on the way: three more £10 ones: Mia's bedroom (she plays drums, it seems), Andrea's Bunny House, Olivia's Speedboat; Heartlake Flying Club (£15 I think) and four outdoor/horse themed ones. The horses are new, and different to those in LOTR. They are designed so the girls can ride them. They have a new saddle and holes for the attachment of rosettes, bows and so on. Their back is the same profile as the 2x2 rounded-top brick.

Three of the sets feature horses: Emma's Horse trailer (one white horse, trailer looks like a light blue version of the City one from a few years back), Heartlake stables (2 brown horses) and the largest, Summer Riding Camp (3 horses and an open-top VW-like camper van). It seems that, at the camp, Steph and Em have made new friends: Theresa and Ella!

The last set is Adventure Camper which is also similar to the old City set, but in pink and lime green -- it looks a bit of an eyesore to be honest!

So, I think that's just about it. There were no trains, no exclusives, and I didn't see series 7 and 8 figs, partly because there was a crowd of people round the display when I was there.

While there I met up with Pete Croxon, the UK correspondent for FBTB, who was going onto the LEGO stand later in the afternoon. I'm sure he will have remembered some details that I haven't so be sure to check over there for more Toy Fair news and views!

(Please excuse any typos in these reports, I'll get and correct them when I have more time...)

72 comments on this article

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By in United States,

You can see most of the summer/fall Friends sets in the Heartlake poster.
granted they are small, but you get an idea of them. ;)

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By in United Kingdom,

R2-D2 Snowman! This I have to get :)
Only 2 new Heroica sets? Well, at least it will make my wallet happy.

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By in Canada,

Exactly how strong was Lloyd ZX? We need the character card to know.

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By in United States,

No more Dino sets??? Sad day!!!

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By in United States,

^^I was hoping for more DINO sets too. oh well.

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By in United States,

Harry Potter "exiting"? Meaning no more sets? (Please say yes, I am almost done with my collection, it would be nice to have 100% of at least one theme/wave.)

Will there be Series 8 images out soon, you think? Sorry you didn't get a look at them, I for one am ALWAYS excited about the collectibles.

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By in United Kingdom,

Disappointing to hear there will be no more Alien Conquest sets, they are great IMO.

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By in United States,

^^^^ Agreed.

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By in Ireland,

I'd say there's a good chance of Pirates of the Caribbean making a comeback if there's another movie released in a year or so (I think the 5th one is supposed to have a 2013 release, if it goes ahead), hopefully we'll see a Flying Dutchman then...

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By in United States,

Thank you for your report on Friends sets, Huw! Are there going to be only two mini-dolls in the Friends Advent Calendar? :( Don't Advent Calendars usually come with 6 or more minifigs? I was hoping for Peter as Santa or another male mini-doll as Santa.

@ncbarrett: Yes, I see them all except the summer riding camp! Have you noticed there's Andrea and her room in the upper right area of the poster? Apparently, that one is not going to be produced this year.

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By in United States,

Did you see how much Epic Dragon Battle was?

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By in United Kingdom,

I'm very sad that Harry Potter is done, although I was sort of expecting it. There was a lot of rumours saying PotC was getting another wave, but those must have been wrong.

You said that the only City sets were the mining ones (which I'm really not that excited about). What about the hospital? Does that mean it's a store exclusive?

Thanks again.

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By in Canada,

They probably did not design new Dino sets mainly because it was just recently released, and TLG needs to know the demand for them. If no one if purchasing them, why produce more?

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By in United States,

HP "exiting"? NO! Did you see the Phineas and Ferb Game? I'm just going to focus on Marvel and Star Wars this Summer.

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By in United Kingdom,

I expect that there will be another Diseny new brand to tie in with a new film, since there seems to be the pattern of have a few set released on a film or series one year, then the brand is stopped the next year; it happened to Prince of Persia and Toy Story, and now Pirates of the Caribbean.

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By in Ireland,

Huw, one question about the mining sets: are they using the old straight rail pieces like in the leaked preliminary pictures or is there (finally) a straight track piece to go with the existing narrow bends from the Indy mine set?

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By in United States,

When you say that people were crowded around the minifig display, does that mean that there were series 8 there?

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By in United Kingdom,

> Did you see the Phineas and Ferb Game?

It was not on show but it was acknowledged by my guide to be in the pipeline.

> Are there going to be only two mini-dolls in the Friends Advent Calendar?

Yes, that's all. I don't recall seeing any animals, either, it was mostly mini-models.

> are they using the old straight rail pieces

Yes they are the old pieces, in dark grey.

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By in United States,

At least there not getting rid of Cars. That's a relief to me. I really want a Lego Ramone! Maybe there will be sets next year.

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By in United States,

>> Thank you for your report on Friends sets, Huw! Are there going to be only two mini-dolls in the Friends Advent Calendar? :( Don't Advent Calendars usually come with 6 or more minifigs?

True, they usually have more, but if this year's City calendar is any indication we'll be getting the head on one day, the torso on another, and the legs on the third. =D

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By in United Kingdom,

It doesn't surprise me about alien conquest because there wasn't a lot more they could do with the same round UFO shape but I'll be sad to see it go. I take it the pharaohs quest theme is also "exiting"????

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By in United Kingdom,

^ PQ is finished, not even in the catalogue.

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By in United States,

So does this mean that Dino, Cars, Harry Potter, Pirates of the Carribean, and Alien Conquest are already ending? Wow, I didn't even know Dino was already out...
Also, what is this "Phineas and Ferb" game? Is LEGO planning on releasing that Disney show as sets?

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By in Canada,

Also about the Hero Factory sets you said any two times. Is that to add emphasis or a typo?

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By in United States,

By 'old straight rail pieces', do you mean the RC train track?

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By in United Kingdom,

No, the old 4.5v plastic serrated rails.

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By in United States,

You didn't see the HF sets?
I wish there was going to be a Racers advent calendar with parts of cars each day, and some mini figures, or an Agents like theme. Monster Fighters is just kind of cheesy to me.

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By in United States,

Did you see how much the Ninjago sets will cost?

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By in United States,

Hi Huw so what exactly train like stuff did you find and please describe it.

Thanks,
legotrains

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By in United Kingdom,

There are no trains as such, only a short section of track in the mine set and a push along mine train.

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By in United Kingdom,

So you say certain themes are exciting in July does that mean we get a new set before then or that is when it stops full stop???

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By in United States,

Well Huw thanks for trying maybe another supprise train like the lego 3677. Hopefully they do come out with a train.

Thanks again,
legotrains

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By in United States,

Huw ... are there any things for AFOL's to purchase at the fair? My colleague is going to the NY Fair in Feb and before I send him, I wanted to see if there was anything specific that is being sold that I can't get elsewhere. Thanks in advance, Midge

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By in United States,

Ah the moment we all feared. No more Alien Conquest OR PotC. At least we know a rough date to get all the sets by.

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By in United Kingdom,

Yey, new motors! I know a lot of Technic builders are gonna be pretty happy about that.

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By in Australia,

A four-headed dragon for Ninjago? I am THERE. Those four dragons were so brilliant and different, I can't wait to see how this new one turns out. Also, green ninja for the win.

It's a shame there's no more Dino sets. They could really milk that theme for a bit more.

And pity about HP being on the way out. But I picked up Hogwarts Castle this week, so I'm good.

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By in United States,

Still waiting for Harry Potter related to the final movie, so sad to hear that it's done.

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By in United States,

So, HP is officially discoutinued? I suppose it's good to have closure, although it is still sad news.

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By in Bolivia,

"Friends: I've left the best until last!" oh please, no more unsolicited friends apologism. Specially for those of us that have already seen the retailer catalogs pics for the second half of 2012, we already know the full story. Same ugly minifigs, and the sets are much less inspired than the first wave.

Good to hear about no more HP.

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By in United States,

so are you saying no more 2012 POTC or that there is a final wave and the theme ends in July??

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By in Ireland,

Is the word out on what kind of figures will make up Series 8? Can't find anything online yet, maybe they weren't there...

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By in United States,

Ninjago sounds awesome! Thanks for this report Huw!
P.S. Lloyd the Green Ninja? I didn't see that one coming...

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By in United States,

How much will the Epic Dragon Battle cost?

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By in United States,

Dang... Lloyd is the Green Ninja. :( It should be Kai, after all of last year's "Kai will become the greatest ninja" stuff.

~DX ninja

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By in United States,

So no new City Hospital as it has been rumored? Unless of course it ends up being a store exclusive. Also was there any signs of baseplates on any of the larger sets that make buildings?

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By in United States,

- HP was dead at 2007. Despite my great love for the movies, books, and of course sets, there was no doubt in my mind that it would die fairly soon after the new ones came out....
- PotC ending? Huh.....even though this isn't the last movie, LEGO still decided to pull the plug.
- This whole Lloyd is Green Ninja thing kinda spoiled the new Cartoon Network series.
- Dino's dead too? A shame, considering it's potential....
- But three Xmas exclusives for the Advent Calendar? Pretty awesome, IMO!

All in all, and interesting report we have here, and very surprising.

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By in United States,

LOVE Ninjago. I cant wait to get the Green Ninja. And the Constrictai. They rock

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By in Australia,

did you take any good sneak shots of the ninjago sets? I would love to see the dragon

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By in Australia,

but it is a shame you did'nt pay attention to the HF sets, i wanted to see some sneak shots of those :(

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By in United Kingdom,

Thank you Huw for all your reports. The only problem is I want pretty much everything now!

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By in Australia,

@Huw

did you take a sneak pic at the dragon?

Is the dragon bigger than the Lightning dragon?

Can you give a brief description of the NRG ninja's as far as you can remember? (and if you saw them)

Apparently there is a set called Lasha's bite cycle, and it comes with a " Venomari suit Sensei Wu", can you give me a brief description of that fig as far as you can remember

Lastly,on the preliminary pics for the summer spinners, it shows studs on the crowns on the spinners, are there studs on the final ones?

Sorry if I am asking a bit to much mate, I understand if you can not remember.....but I would appreciate if you could answer the ones you can, thank you for all your other information :)

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By in Spain,

That Ninjago dragon set sounds rather exciting,

(apart from the hospital) none of the mining sets appeal to e as they're too similar to the construction sets I've got

The technic sets sound awesome

I'm disappointed they're axing Harry potter and potc both popular themes and also disappointed they're also axing dino and alien conquest. Both themes that ad great potential and had one wave just like PQ.

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By in Canada,

Most of LEGO's Themes that aren't Licensed tend to not last very long. It helps to keep the brand fresh, older Adult and even Kid collectors might like to own more of a certain Theme, but that doesn't mean LEGO is going to choose those Themes for continuation.

It's just the fact of life, with exception to City or Town before it LEGO doesn't keep their non-licensed Themes around for very long. Not like they used to, after all Classic Space, Castle and Pirates were the big sellers next to Town back in the day, but that didn't stop LEGO from experimenting with other concepts that rarely stuck around for very long. (Aquazone, Time Cruisers, Etc...)

That being said I am a little dissapointed that Harry Potter is once again on the out, though not really surprised. In their eyes, with no future films to continue the demand for the items eventually Sales would slip below acceptable costs for production.

Pirates of the Carribean (Or is that Caribbean, I always get that mixed up.) will probably go onto Hiatus until the next film comes out, which means I've got to work double time to earn enough $$$ to afford everything from those two Themes I want before July. A difficult task for a Unemployed Canadian on a Budget.

Alien Conquest isn't too big of a loss, I wasn't gung ho about it in the first place too much even though I want the sets, there's just something about it that doesn't really click. Now if LEGO had plans to bring back Blacktron or something for the Fall Season then I'd probably really get back into the Space Themed stuff. Especially if they made Legacy Sets or something that took old designs and re-released them similar to Black Seas Barracuda and stuff from the early Millennium.

Dino on the other hand is brand new, however much like PQ I don't see it Exiting, Huw did say that they just weren't making any more sets, not that it was being taken off the shelves in July. I think his lumping both brief news pieces together has confused a lot of you, Cars and Dino as far as I can deduce will still be around at LEGO Brand Stores and Major Retailers. HP, AC and PotC will be going out, no new products being stocked after July and possibly existing products being discounted to move them off the major Retailers shelves. (Hence why I have to scramble to find and acquire a good number of sets in such a short amount of time.)

Themes that tend to have longevity these days are Licensed ones (HP has been sporadic since 2000 and we won't see an end to Star Wars anytime soon.), or LEGO's own City Theme, really City is the only Theme that's been continued since... Well since the 1980's to be honest, even back in the late 70's, as City is just an evolution of the old Town Theme. I wouldn't be surprised if LEGO eventually phased out all non-licensed Themes except for City Sets, leaving LEGO Collectors only the Licensed stuff to collect or an endless stream of Fire, Police and the occasional Medic based sets to collect with a few non-emergency sets to pick up.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to some of the new sets from the Themes mentioned here, and so I'm glad to find out about them. It's also great that LEGO (unlike other Toy Companies) tells you when products cease being manufactured so that you know what you should be focusing on at any given time. I'll just have to scrimp and save and prepare myself so that prior to July I can list a Complete HP and PotC Theme as being Owned instead of Wanted.

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By in United Kingdom,

@ambrose,

The dragon is HUGE, bigger than last year's blue one and has the green ninja riding it. Its heads are white each with different patterns printed on them.

The NRG Ninjas have different printing on their chest and helmet and also appear to have 'colour coded' heads: so NRG Zane who is light blue has a light blue head

The ninja in Lasha's bite cycle looks pretty ordinary, same as others this year but probably with different printing.

Not sure exactly what you mean by 'studs on the crowns on the spinners' but they appear to have something similar to the 4-headed snake piece that's on the other new ones this year.

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By in New Zealand,

The full description for seaside house is in the forum in the Hamleys thread, I copied it from the site before it disappeared.

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By in United States,

Dino is exiting already?!! It won't even have been out for a year. Harry Potter, I thought so. Even though that was one of my favorite themes, I don't mind that much because of LOTR!! <|:{D} <--That's Gandalf.

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By in United States,

Did you see a price for the Ninjago sets, because I found pics of the Samaria Mech and the Epic Dragon Battle and I really want to know prices.

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By in Turkey,

Were collactable minifigures series 8 figures shown there?

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By in Canada,

I actually dislike the new Creator house - Summer Home. It looks awful in the one unofficial photo I saw.

Is there going to be a CITY hospital set this year or was the picture I saw a hoax? Many sites on the net mention that a hospital will be released this year. Was it at the Toy Fair?

We all knew this was coming but why is LEGO discontinuing Alien Conquest? It seemed like a fairly popular theme. My Alien Conquest brickfilm has over 270,000 views so far. Based on the excitement and buzz on brickset before the theme's release, I assumed the sales for these sets were good.

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By in United States,

What do you mean by the Alien Conquest and all those other themes "exiting"

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By in Canada,

@Huw

Light blue head? Do you mean mask or the actual head?

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By in Italy,

Does 'Exiting' mean stopping sets? I wonder what happened to Power Miners and Space Police... Must be that. And where are Agents? So many good themes leaving.

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By in United Kingdom,

Huw, how much do you think the Ninjago Samurai Mech would cost. I'm guessing not much more than the price of the Fangpyre Mech because it only has one more minfigure than the Fangpyre Mech and half as many as Destiny's Bounty, so I'm making a random guess that the Samurai Mech will cost around £30.

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By in United States,

I'm dismayed and surprised that Alien Conquest isn't getting any more releases. It seemed to be very popular, and could have had staying power. A large Earth Defense Unit spaceship would have been fantastic.

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By in United States,

HP gone? NO!!!! I was so hoping for DHP2 sets...... Glad to see ADU and Dino gone though.

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By in United States,

@ brixton. No the hospatil is not a hoax. Just go to youtube and type in "legopictureHQ". Also you can see the city sets too.

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By in United States,

@ Huw:

Any news on the prices of these sets? I just need to make sure I have enough money for the 9449 Ultra Sonic Raider. :P

~DX ninja

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By in United States,

I am not surprised at Harry Potter as there are no more books or movies. Let's face it, it's true. Pirates of the Caribbean, I'm not surprised. In my personal opinion, it was a terrible theme. They were way overpriced, tiny and disappointing. I WANT MORE UNLICENSED THEMES!!!!!! ARRRRR!!!! ..... Now that I've made that random scream, I can make my point. It will be a dark day for Lego when only Licensed Themes are left. I hope that that day never comes. When the Son of Man comes, will he find unlicensed themes on the Earth???

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By in Russian Federation,

And what about collectible minifigures????

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By in United States,

Huw, did you see the price of the Ninjago sets? It would really help me budget.

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By in United States,

Are the Friends horses the same as the one in the Heartlake Vet?

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By in United States,

@legolasher66: I agree with you, Licenced sets are overpriced and expensive. I only buy Star Wars when I REALLY want it.

~DX ninja

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