Why the negativity?

Posted by ,

Earlier this week the spectacular 75936 Jurassic Park: T. rex Rampage was revealed. It features the biggest dinosaur LEGO has ever produced, an excellent rendition of the iconic Jurassic Park gate, and a number of new and sought-after minifigures.

CapnRex101 and I saw the set in Billund a few weeks ago and we were blown away. We spoke to its designer Mark Stafford and it was clear that it was a labour of love and that he was justifiably proud of his creation. Personally I can't wait to build and display it.

Yet, the reception it received here and elsewhere was lukewarm, to say the least, and I was very surprised by it. There was so much vitriol being spouted that I had to end commenting on the announcement article.

It seems that people find something to complain about virtually every direct-to-consumer set released, but I'm not really sure why. We really are in a golden age of LEGO, as those like me who can remember the days before the company even acknowledged adults as customers, will attest.

We have bigger, more detailed, more realistically coloured sets containing a range of parts that we could only dream about a few years ago, and an extremely diverse range of subject matter to choose from.

So, why is there so much negativity? Is it because there's too much choice? Because of unrealistic expectations? Because the bar has been set high by previous sets? Because people think that every set released should appeal to them?

Can we, as a community, do anything to stop it?

I welcome your thoughts in the comments, but please do not discuss perceived issues with the Jurassic Park set, or any other: keep the discussion generic and constructive.

After the break you'll find a complaint checklist, written by CCC and posted in the forum, which I found very apt and amusing. I think some people must be using it already...


Direct To Consumer set complaint checklist by ccc.

Does it contain a vehicle alongside a main build?

Yes - complain that it contains a vehicle, and that those parts should have been in the main model instead of wasted on a vehicle.

No - complain that it should have contained a vehicle, and that unnecessary parts hidden in the main model would have been better used in this valuable addition.

Does it have play features?

Yes - complain that it contains play features, the design could have been improved without messing it up for play features.

No - complain that it doesn't contain play features, you cannot do anything with it apart from display it as it is.

Does it cost too much?

Yes - complain that it is too expensive and would have sold better if they had made it more affordable.

No - complain that they could have done a much better job if they had upped the budget and included more parts in the design.

Does it have unique minifigures?

Yes - complain that it has unique minifigures and that it is unfair to put unique minifigures in expensive sets as it forces people to buy sets they don't want just for the minifigures.

No - complain that a set this size really should have unique minifigures as a selling point.

Has a similar design been on IDEAS?

Yes - complain that LEGO designers ripped off the design on IDEAS.

No - complain that nobody wanted this set, they should have done something more like the one on IDEAS.

Is it licensed?

Yes - complain that they should have done it as an in-house theme as they would have had more freedom over the design and characters.

No - complain that they should have done this as a licensed set to make more sales and to bring out minifigures of (insert licensed characters here).

I'm sure we could think of more...

349 comments on this article

Gravatar
By in United States,

My two cents, the internet makes everything easier and that includes trolling. I don't think there is anything anyone can do to stop it that doesn't include censorship, which shouldn't happen. You have to hope people just try to stay classy.

Gravatar
By in Netherlands,

Negativity stands out. You could have 9 posts praising a piece, and then the 10th poster finds issue with a printed tile, everybody latches on to that comment, and we have another slapfight.

Still, there should be room for valid criticism. As a minifig collector, getting a wanted minifig in an ugly set is a pet peeve.

Gravatar
By in Germany,

Perhaps the negativity comes from the thought that we are indeed not in "a golden age of Lego" but quite the opposite. If one looks around the net, there are many, many well formulated reasons why many people think that we are indeed not. It is easy to make fun of the "negativity" while not acknowledging how very well-grounded much of the actual criticism is. But apparently this is not the place to put it forward.

Gravatar
By in Germany,

I see this not only with Lego, but also other topics. For example i’m reading comic books and are member of some comic book related discussion sites. There is so much complaining, even hate, there since a few years.

I think this is the general climate of internet discussions lately. I’m sometimes very sad, when I think back how nice (without hate) even negative comments were 5-10 years ago.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

I don't even think it's just the direct-to-consumer sets. Reading the comments on Lego fan sites tends to suggest that huge numbers of the people joining those sites don't actually like Lego.

Gravatar
By in Netherlands,

For crying out loud, we should be free to critize any set. I don't worship Lego and bow and pray for them and am eternally grateful for anything they release. Is this an independent fansite or Lego's marketing department?

I strongly disagree that we're living in a golden age of Lego. I think they are doing a worse job every year for a few years now. Prices go up and (design)quality goes down. I hardly buy sets anymore because I think they're not good. And I don't respond to sets that just don't appeal to me like the moonlander. But I critically respond when I see a set that should be right there where I'm interested but I think Lego did an awful job.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Reminder -- please don't comment on the JP set, keep things generic. Such comments will (and have been) deleted.

^ Of course you are free to criticise anything you want here, and we don't intend to censor your comments, but what we witnessed in the comments on the JP article set was borderline hatred, and people who liked it were being criticised for being 'fanboys' which is not acceptable.

Not every set released is good: we've had some right turkeys that should never have seen the light of day (Assault on Hoth) but overall I do believe this is a golden age.

Gravatar
By in Australia,

Love the complaint list, so appropriate in this age of social media where everyone’s a critic. I spoke to someone who thought the set was perfect a 10/10. In the very next breath complained there was only one dinosaur!! I showed this to my son and his eyes nearly popped out of their sockets. I love it for the nostalgia, loved the movie when it came out. I too think we’re in a bit of a golden age for Lego. Only problem with that is there are only so many $ available but too many sets I want. And as BD says above, living in Oz we get robbed blind. This set is $400!

Gravatar
By in Slovenia,

What we see in daily news? War, crime, corruption,... negative news 90%. And it reflects in behaviour of majority to do the same. Criticise all by default. Sad but I guess rulers of the world wants that for ther purposes.
I am not a sheep in this herd.
I admire how many sets Lego made each year. Variety in themes, sizes, target groups is great. Not all is for averyone. Who can't accept that is shallow. Of course we wish for even more. I am waiting for classic castle theme to come back for years but not criticizing Ninjago or Nexo Knights. Some new parts from those themes are fanatstic.
Price? Average sellary in my country is less then 1.000€. More than half people works for minimum weage of 530€. Can they afford lego? NO, and Slovenia is in central Europe, part of EU. Here Lego is serious hobby of few, avareage kids are getting sets up to 20€. Can it be more affordable? Yes, but when world change mentality.
Until then I will buy what suits me and enjoy using bricks as when I was five years old.

Gravatar
By in Italy,

Every question is correct and every answer too.. It just depend on the case and the source material. I guess so it can't be generalized. A car is iconic? must be in set. Car is uhm and main set is already short on pieces, car must be removed.
And this is basically true for every and each of the questions

Gravatar
By in Netherlands,

@huw I agree with you that attacking other users is never ok. Just creating an article about negativity comes across to me as being defensive of TLG, which for a company of that size isn't neccesary ;-)

Gravatar
By in Netherlands,

I’ve been a Lego collector for quite some time now and I also can’t find myself in the opinion that we are living in a golden age of Lego. There used to be waves a new sets and everything looked interesting (for example City), nowadays there a much more sets being introduced but much less are interesting. And to be fair, the prices are going up every year and the price differences between countries is really annoying! Everything is not awesome...

Gravatar
By in Australia,

As a casual LEGO collector, who both buys LEGO for myself and my kids, I find that 99% of the negative comments seem to come from the serious adult collectors, usually whinging about "lack of playability" or "bad design".

Here's the thing: most LEGO sets are aimed at kids, so complaining about playability as an adult is kinda weird to me. I can't picture 40+ year olds sitting on the floor playing and acting out scenes with their toys. Mine get built and put on display until my kids come and grab them. They're toys.

Also, if a set is badly designed to your liking, then redesign it! That's the beauty of the brick. Knock it down, tear it apart, smash it on the ground and start again. I don't hear my kids critiquing their sets, they just build over it.

As I said I'm just a causal LEGO collector. I've had LEGO since 1983ish, when I was 5 years old. Yes its fine to have an opinion or dislike a set, but there's too many keyboard warriors, too many " expert LEGO designers ", too many big kids having a sook. Enjoy the brick while we can.

Peace out.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

As you say, LEGO can't accommodate all fans with every single release. You have to pick what appeals and what doesn't. Personally I like this set, will i buy it? Maybe, but it's not at the top of my list.
Everyone is entitled to their opinions on sets and I like to read them all. I just don't like it when things get too personal

Gravatar
By in Australia,

I think the problem here in the Lego community is the same in others where a brand really captures the imagination and prompts some real investment in the product (I'm not being specific, but yes, GoT I'm thinking of you). I think the more anticipation of a release there is then the harder it is to meet expectations- broadly the complaints above are usually aimed at a scheduled modular/UCS/licensed dtc/Ideas set where there's time for rumours to swirl- Stranger Things and the Apollo landing just arrived and were welcomed.

Where the Lego community does differ is that it is inherently more creative than others when setting expectations. In fact, does the current Lego pallet set unrealistic expectations of what can be achieved in a commercial set?

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Prices are something we all complain about, and in particular the regional differences, which are not acceptable.

However, as this article written in 2013 ( http://www.realityprose.com/what-happened-with-lego/ ) proves, prices adjusted for inflation have remained fairly constant over time.

Of course the largest sets available are more expensive than in, say 1990, because they contain thousands more parts.

Gravatar
By in New Zealand,

I started collecting LEGO over 35 years ago when in my mid twenties. LEGO sets were only marketed for children then and as an AFOL I stood out like a sore thumb. Now LEGO is aimed at all ages and the variety of themes is amazing compared to 35 years ago. When I see all the negativity re sets I think it's just a TOY after all. It is marketed mainly for children not negative adults. Enjoy the brick and all the creativity that can be made from it.

Gravatar
By in Germany,

Maybe this whole development is not so much about Lego as a construction toy, but about the people that Lego reaches today due to increased licensing?!

As an example, I only came out of my dark ages due to Lego Star Wars.

Fans of a certain subject matter (Star Wars, Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, ...) may have strong beliefs and high (possibly unrealistic) expectations when it comes to large D2C sets. And they may see much more in such a set than someone who just enjoys building with Lego.

I am pretty sure that this is at least the reason why the commenting on the latest Jurassic Park (World?!) set escalated.

Gravatar
By in Germany,

The checklist is brilliant! I'll make sure to save it for use in future discussions :)

I think that partly these negative comments show that people care (too much) about what the sets could/should represent, i.e., some of it is genuine disappointment (of possibly too high hopes). But some of it also seems to be a desire to be 'negative' just because. And I'm afraid that is just part of the internet culture in many ways.
I would agree that the last year or two we have seen a significant number of sets more or less clearly targeted at AFOLs, also with some good variety in terms of 'topics'. So, in that sense it may really be a golden age for people looking for 'collector / display sets'. When it comes to the 'bread and butter', i.e., smaller sets targeted for play etc., things may look a little different (e.g., in the Creator 3-1 range). But it might also just be that I have too many of these and am only in it for building and displaying. There is really only so much you would need of any given line of products.

And then, yes, Lego is expensive. And in a sense it seems to be getting more and more expensive (partly because there are more and more of these big, desirable sets). But Lego's always been expensive, thinking back to my childhood and trying to buy stuff with my pocket money. But, arguably, we might be in a golden age because Lego has (finally) realized they can get a lot of money out of us AFOLs. Actually, they might be overdoing this even; I see a danger that there will be a backslash and people stop buying these sets simply because they cannot afford them anymore. However, that says nothing about the quality of these sets. Overall, I would see this as a positive development (and if I'm not interested in a set I tend not to comment...)

Gravatar
By in United States,

D2C sets should come under the highest scrutiny, TLG doesn't need a preemptive defense of a product that will probably sell fine despite the complaints. The desirability of D2C sets as a line is diminished when bizarre things like this, the hulk buster, and hoth get made, as they have proven with sets like stranger things and the large hogwarts that they can go the extra mile and make sets that aren't dumbed down or ripped off from IDEAS. Why are people allowed to feel that way about hoth but not this? If the criticism wasn't warranted on any level it wouldn't have appeared with such frequency, but there will be a review copy sent your way anyways so it doesn't matter.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

I think the fact that people have interpreted Huw’s post as a message stating DO NOT CRITICISE is typical of internet mood right now. A call for a constructive debate is read by some people as something dramatic and debate stifling.

Some types of people ignore facts (Lego isn’t more expensive than their nostalgic youth, adjusting for inflation) and find things to hate. Being a critic and/or nerd is prevalent in pop culture, so perhaps they are chasing these expectations. Haters gonna hate, so they say.

Be excellent to each other. You have the right to speak, but hardly the right to be nasty.

Gravatar
By in Switzerland,

This nagging is even more intense in German-speaking countries. There is this extremely successful Youtuber "held der steine", which is often quite sensible, but the "company" Lego despises. His followers are huge, but his claims are often close to conspiracy theories.

This skepticism towards the big players and that they are only interested in profit and they do not care about consumers or citizens, runs through all areas of society. In German there is a word for it: Wutbürger.

I see it the same as Huw and I'm very grateful for the article above. We are in a golden age for AFOLs. Designers like Mark John Stafford are sorry for me. His set 75936 is fantastic. Watch this video interview with him, a very friendly guy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=Uq9dxzgDsls

Gravatar
By in Italy,

I'm a long-time LEGO collector (53yo) and I strongly disagree
with "we really are in a golden age of LEGO".

The main issues are PRICE and QUALITY: prices are growing and
growing, while quality is rapidly decreasing.

I NEVER broke a LEGO piece in my life until this year,
while dismounting a set bought in 2018.

I NEVER got a missing piece in a LEGO set until this year
and this year I got THREE (!!!) missing pieces in the "big red"
(set 42082).

This is bad quality for a big price, that implies "negativity".

Gravatar
By in France,

I have to say I was surprised by the overwhelming negatives comments on the JP set. If I had been asked what I wanted for a JP set of this price/number of tiles I would have gone another way but that doesn't mean this set is bad, it's just not for me.
As for the general negativity discussion it comes from differents sources for me :
- In comments, negativity prevails : people who are happy about something just enjoy it, they don't go everywhere to talk about it, while people who are angry at something want to vent out, they have something to get off their chest and therefore are more prone to comment, with long argumented comments and to answer/take part of the discussion too (myself included of course). So the comment section is often biaised to get an idea of what people think.
=> Proposal : maybe include a poll for registered users on new sets with simple values : "OMG I love it it's a must buy for me", "It's a nice set but I won't buy it for different reasons", "It's a bad set imo"
- Luxury. I do share the opinion that it's a golden age for Lego fans : so many sets, so many different themes/licence, it seems that there's nothing Lego can't do... and therefore our hopes are super high. There's a room for the perfect set of our dreams and when a set comes out that comes close to it, we're prone to criticize that set not on its value but on how it compares to our vision
=> Proposal : structured comments with items like a list of pros and cons, is the price right,etc. ?
- Fandom. As good as a fan community can be, it has its dark side that has been quite under the spotlight on differents fandoms : fans can be the most supportive community but when that community grows in number and invests time and money in their interest subject they usually feel that that interest is theirs and owes them. Some Lego fans seem to think they know what's best for the company and anything different from their vision is a massive mistake that shows no one competent is in charge (works with Star Wars, Dr Who, you name it). And if fans are a true asset for a company, and are often sharp in their comments, they usually tend to forget they're not the majority and that not every decision happen under their prism.
=> Not much solution here, wait till Lego is uncool again :P
And just to be clear I've been in every of these categories and will be again for sure!

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

I think a lot of it is down to personal perspective and accepting (or not accepting) that not everything is going to be made just the way you like it. If it isn't then it is crap and could have been improved by making it more what you wanted even if that means the core audience for the product wouldn't have wanted it.

For example, Huw brings up the Assault on Hoth set. That was widely derided by AFOLs, partly as it has all been done before, partly because it is not UCS standard, partly as it is incomplete. Yet view that set with a kid's eyes and it is great. It covers a massive area if you spread it out, there are loads of rebels but it still needed some extra Imperials and at least one Imperial vehicle to attack with. They don't care that all the pieces have been done before if they don't have them, they don't care about the UCS badge, they probably do care a little about the lack of Imperials, but are happy with the large numbers of rebels.
If that set had been released under the future Master Builder Series, like Cloud City was, indicating it is more playset-like than UCS-like I wonder if perspectives would have been changed a little. If you accept it wasn't aimed at you, it doesn't appear so bad and actually has a lot of features that the target audience wanted. Of course you could argue that the target audience of a UCS is not kids, and the branding of it is probably the error here, rather than the actual set. If only the MBS label had come a bit earlier, with the re-issued Death Star, then this, then Cloud City.

Pricing is a little crazy for most LEGO sets, but then that is true of most toys these days. But when I see some of my kids toys and think what they cost, at least I can be happy that they get value out of their LEGO. It may cost more for the size of the toy, but they get much more play value out of it. And when they are done with it, it can be turned into something else extending the value.

Gravatar
By in Netherlands,

A wide plethora of opinions is good, even fi we may not agree with them sometimes. If anything, the internet allows people to throw off the shackles of 'polite' discourse, which gets us closer to a situation wherein our innermost feelings may come out. I think it's beautiful, even if I don't always agree with other people. It's okay to disagree.

Gravatar
By in Netherlands,

Complaining is something you see more and more on many websites. Everyone has an opinion and thinks that his (or her) opinion is better than anyone else's. And for some reason it also very normal nowadays to state your opinion with a lot of cursing and insulting. Why??? Beats me...

All the websites, including Brickset, asks their members to add comments, so in a way you (the owner of the website) are responsible for bad comments in the first place. I know you don't ask for negative comments, but it's all part of the deal, I guess.

Personally, I rarely post a comment, but I always try to post it in a kind way. So no insulting for me, because it just doesn't make my comment any more valueable. As for this set in particular; I'm not a big fan of Jurassic Park. Therefore I could add a comment in which I say that I dislike the model, but what's in it for me? Nothing to gain, so I choose not to comment at all.

I collect Modular Buildings and Technic Supercars. I've read also nasty comment about the Chiron, that it doesn't look like the real thing. But I'm really impressed by the way sets like these are developped. Sure, there will always will be improvements to be made on any model, but just be glad that it's available. There are afols who make far more better models than some of the models which are produced by Lego, but these are way to expensive to release.

But getting rid of negative comments will be hard. People want to complain about something and asking them to give comments on certain subjects gives them a platform. Sad but true...

Gravatar
By in Ireland,

There should be a balance in the design of each set isn’t it. Personally, it is more about the understanding of the decisions made by Lego to put certain elements into the final products. Sometimes I praise, sometimes I criticize and sometimes I don’t care.

For the sets that are obviously aimed for kids, I think most AFOL will just get over those vehicles or whatever play features in those sets.

For the sets that appeal to both AFOL and kids like the infamous 1000 cars/helicopters in superheroes sets – it is a valid whining from AFOL side, because obviously people would prefer to not pay for the marked-up price for the exclusive minifigs. From what I have seen, most people will get over that as well, because I guess people knew that these sets are meant for kids also.

Now, when you get these $/£/€ 200+ sets that look like these are aimed for AFOL (and to be fair, this is a not a new thing but we get more of them in recent years that’s for sure), you will naturally get more feedback from AFOL community, whether they are good or bad.

It is funny actually when people say negative voice sounds louder - I disagreed. Like the recent release of Stranger set I see positive feedback is the leading feedback everywhere (I intend to get it myself).

For most (supposedly aimed at) AFOL sets I have seen people like or dislike for certain elements in the sets – I think most people will accept that people have different taste/preference etc, just don’t buy it if you don’t like it, let others enjoy themselves etc.
But when you get overwhelming negative feedback for certain sets…I thought it would be very interesting to understand why that happened.

Personally, I definitely do not agree with the approach of ‘shut up trolls’ towards any negative feedback (which is becoming the standard response nowadays). That approach is anti-consumerism to say the least. While dissecting between valid criticism and troll comments is no easy task, but that’s the business environment in internet era isn’t it. You want to make (good) money, you will have to be competent. Be better.

Valid criticism is never pleasant, this is not new in 2019.

Gravatar
By in United States,

I love the set. The price is a tad too much. But I will eventually pick it up.

Gravatar
By in Australia,

I buy a few sets a year, often large complex sets and I really enjoy building them. Lego make hundreds of sets a year that I don't like, so I don't buy them. Sometimes they make a set that interests me but I think it is a bit too expensive, so I don't buy it. Lego are a private for profit company. They have no obligation to make sets that appeal to me. If they make a set I do like, I buy it an enjoy building it. Simple as that. There is never any cause for complaint.

Gravatar
By in Belgium,

It seems to me that too many sets are being released for the AFOL sector, if not directly aimed at them then at least set at a price point with them in mind. I genuinely think many AFOLs are struggling to keep up, either in terms of cash or time - or both.

There have always been what I would call marquee sets, the Taj Mahal, the Sydney Opera House, the VW Beetle, etc.

But it feels like we're getting so many more right now. The Brickset database says 2015 saw more than twice as many releases as 2005, and 4-5 times as many as 1995. Sure, the database includes a lot of crap that most wouldn't consider to be sets, but this seems like a large escalation in the number of products, a percentage of which will be aimed at the AFOL market or with them in mind.

Let's take an example. In 2018:
- Hogwart's Castle
- Bugatti Chiron
- Roller Coaster
- Betrayal at Cloud City
- Ninjago City Docks
- T-wing Starfighter
- Rough Terrain Crane
- Voltron
- Vestas Wind Turbine
- Kessel Run MF
- Mack Anthem
- Downtown Diner
- James Bond Aston Martin DB5
- The Hulkbuster Ultron Edition
- Volvo Concept Wheel Loader
- Sandcrawler
- Statue of Liberty
- Ship in a Bottle
- Pop-Up Book
- Porg
- Shanghai
- Great Wall of China
- TRON

in 2008:
- Death Star
- Taj Mahal
- Castle Chess Set
- Off-Roader
- Green Grocer
- VW Beetle
- Ferrari F1
- General Grievous
- Telescopic Handler
- Sears Tower

I may have missed the odd set but the difference is clear. And that's a lot of cash. Now, of course, most people don't buy all these sets and will be selective about what to collect and build. But that doesn't stop us wanting more than we can afford (or otherwise justify purchasing). Throw in Collectable Minifigs, polybags, Brickheadz, constraction figures, advent calendars, microfighters, limited edition promotional items, CC exclusives, posters, Mighty Micros, etc. - all of which will be considered collectable by various sections of the AFOL sector.

I just think many are suffering burn-out. Its not possible to be excited about every single new marquee set, while also being excited that Brickheadz 99, 100 and 101 will be released soon, as well as trying to collect the whole Harry Potter theme, all the microfighters and mighty micros, all the promotional posters, Bricks magazines and real-life size minifig mugs.

Judging by the reactions of some people in the comments, I imagine some people treat collecting Lego as a part-time job, and have begun to loathe it as such.

And, as I mentioned previously, I genuinely don't think Brickset helps by recommending 99% of sets reviewed. I think it's disingenuous and dangerous given how malleable some people can be. Huw mentions the Assault on Hoth set as an example of one they've given the thumbs down to - it's often trotted out as an example but in reality its an almost unique example, and if memory serves, most of the criticism was because it was a playset rather than a display piece as people expected.

Gravatar
By in Germany,

This discussion is useless. It is in fact a sock puppet discussion. It is not about the actual criticism voiced, but about online behaviour, the "negativity" in society, how AFOLs ruin everything and what not. The ACTUAL discussion why people are not happy with many sets (and we are not only talking about "Battle of Hoth"), is not even considered worth holding.
The fact that I can buy every single set that is not D2C on a discount, with many in the 40-50% range should be alarming proof that something is not right.
But having a dicussion is probably pointless anyway - I will just continue buying the sets I like and time (or the next business reports) will tell if the people questioning the "golden age" were right or not.

Gravatar
By in Canada,

Regarding the cost, there are a lot of less expensive sets. I tend to buy those, and just like many things in life, adjust my expectations to my income. (Occasionally I treat myself to a bigger set.) Recently at TRU, I heard a man with 2 young kids saying he couldn't afford the Lego sets they were looking at. I was able to direct him to a big display of sets around $11 each. He and the kids were delighted. Lego is a business and it has to make money to survive and it has the challenge of trying to satisfy a wide range of consumers and, like all businesses, meeting the needs of its employees. I am impressed with how well Lego does all that.

Gravatar
By in New Zealand,

I Love Lego.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

I think part of the problem is the speculation before the releases. The news drops a d2c is coming and what theme it is related too, and then there is a host of theories and ideas. Then somehow there is almost a general yet unspoken consensus as to what the set is going to be, literally based on nothing.
I think in the most recent case, the expectation was the visitor centre, but the UCS hoth was also completely from left field.
The problem is people don’t handle disappointment particularly well these days.

Gravatar
By in Australia,

Thank-you for this timely article and highlighting something that has definitely increased of late. I only visit a few Lego related sites but have noticed that comments are getting very negative of late. Cap's recent review of Trafalgar Square set had awful comments that ended up not even being about the set, was madness and sad to see.

My mother always told me growing up that if you didn't have something nice to say, then don't say anything at all. If it's a genuine criticism of a set, fair enough, if it's just to say something negative, then remember it's a toy and I imagine there are not only adults that read this site so keep that in mind.

Remember too that the guys that run this site do not charge for using it and be thankful that they bring us such good articles and a fantastic database for free. If that alone doesn't put you in a good mood, then I don't know what would!

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

@Mickitat The fact that I can buy every single set that is not D2C on a discount, with many in the 40-50% range should be alarming proof that something is not right.
---

I think this says more about their pricing strategy than the sets. So many people buy LEGO these days and are willing to pay different amounts for it. In my view, LEGO (the company) prices their items for the top end of the market knowing that later discounts will draw in a significant proportion of sales later on when they are offered to the "second tier" of customers. Why price lower early on, when there are enough people willing to pay high RRPs to get the set early on. Personally, I fall into the latter camp for most sets, I don't care waiting 3-6 months after release to pick up a set I want if it means I will save 30-40%. If they had priced lower earlier, then I (and no doubt others) would buy earlier but that would mean overall their revenue would go down. However, sales volumes would probably not increase.

Gravatar
By in Ireland,

people forget that Lego is primarily for children.

Q: Would a child enjoy this set?
A: Yes.

Conclusion; it's a good set. Some sets are better than others or more guided towards specific tastes but generally, all Lego sets are good. I talk about Lego with a lot of my patients and younger family members and any picture with Lego in it that you show them gets an 'oooh, that's nice'. Some sets get more 'ooh's' than others.

This T-Rex set initially garnered silence and wide eyes and then a tentative '...is this a real set? Or is it like a game?' Once I showed them that it was real, they exploded with joy talking about the teeth, the lego joints, the tail, the eyes, how many minifigures could fit in the mouth etc. If that's not a commendation, then I don't know what is. Gripes from myopic grumps on the internet don't really matter.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

The discussion surrounding whether or not we are experiencing a golden age is fascinating. We certainly are from my perspective, although I realise that might differ quite considerably according to your personal interests.

For instance, those who are especially interested in Trains or Castle may be disappointed by the current assortment which is perfectly understandable.

@aleydita - We have had this discussion already so I will try to avoid repeating myself. The majority of our reviews conclude with a recommendation because the majority of sets are effectively designed for their respective audiences. Some are notably strong and we may therefore recommend them to everyone while others seem particularly poor so should be avoided, in our opinion. However, most fall somewhere in between, hence we can typically make a recommendation to people we believe will enjoy a particular set.

Dividing reviews between those which do recommend a product or service and those which do not is an oversimplification and I think that would be true in any field.

Gravatar
By in Italy,

As someone else said... it's not just in the LEGO world, it's everywhere. Pick a fandom, and it's like this.

Unfortunately fan entitlement (something that has always existed, even before the internet) has been blown to the embarassing thing that it is now by Facebook and social media and those few who are not happy with anything make so much noise that they seem to be more than those who actually appreciate stuff. But it's not true.

I'd love to have the solution to this, but unfortunately I don't.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

I’m 45, so I remember the eighties.... no internet! nowadays there is simply too much choice, too much consumerism, everyone wants to have their say... everyone wants to be famous... we live in a celebrity-driven world.

Lego produce too many sets each year. We’re all bombarded to the point where we’re simply bored with yet another set. Then we look at the price tag. Someone somewhere is making a lot of money. I wait for discounts on amazon.

Gravatar
By in Netherlands,

I think the reason discussions on the internet can become quite vitriolic is quite similar to the reasons for road rage. As humans, we moderate our own communications based on reactions of the other party. On the internet, just like in a car, you miss that direct feedback.

If we would be sitting in a pub or a room and have the same discussion, we'd be much less direct and a bit more respectful to the people we're talking with. The difference does not need to be very large to make a big difference, because discussions by nature are reactions and counter-reactions.

If in a discussion everyone would be 10% more direct and 10% less respectful, in the end the resulting dialogue would be very different and that's what we are witnessing here.

Gravatar
By in Canada,

I love LEGO. It's pretty much the only pure pleasure left in my life.

I very much look forward to the AFOL sets (though I don't buy them all of course), and I check sites like Brickset practically every day, hoping for some new pleasure.

So when one comes out that disappoints my tastes, unfortunately my first online reaction tends to mirror that disappointment. I'd like to think that my comments are not aggressively negative or insulting, though.

I suppose I could moderate myself by just not commenting.

The last thing I want is for LEGO to stop making AFOL sets. I do agree that this is a golden age for LEGO sets. Ninjago City and Docks, some of the Ideas sets, anything Jaime Berard makes, the Cafe Corner series when it was going well.... those are amazing things. I have no problem with LEGO making many large and complex set - I don't have to buy them if they don't suit my taste or my budget.

Gravatar
By in Australia,

I think its amazing and yes theres other things they could add. but price is the killer for me. esp when theres so many amazing other sets to get this year. 2019 has been amazing for sets. Im a big SW collector and im more excited for HP and this sorter stuff so far. Lego always amazes me

Gravatar
By in Germany,

Your question list is dishonest. I think you don’t understand the situation and just generalize too much because your interest is Lego first and theme/license second. It’s obvious that it’s different people that are complaining about different things and that it mostly boils down to Lego just not utilizing their licenses correctly by only producing one set, and if you are lucky maybe a second try years later.

The vehicle question for example: The Echo Base got hate for its Snowspeeder and countless mini models because we got all of them a dozen times already with no changes and they should either have updated them meaningfully or made them into smaller separate sets so people wouldn’t be forced to rebuy them. The Jurassic Park cars and jeeps on the other hand are iconic and just as much characters of the movies as the dinosaurs with zero representation. They should ideally be available as ~20$ sets (with realistic sizes similar to Indiana Jones, not the 1/18 scale stuff we got in previously in Jurassic World) and if that isn’t allowed by the marketers then put them in a giant D2C but people will keep complaining about this illogical decision because it isn’t that hard for Lego to sell a toy car.

I always disliked most giant immovable objects like the UCS Star Wars cruisers because my main draw for Lego are the figures and if something isn’t compatible with them it’s lacking bigly. With that kind of model you have to have a strong emotional connection or you start asking yourself how it would be different from a poster on a wall or a smaller realistic styled model kit. On the other hand minifigure compatible mostly means full of flick fire missiles and studshooters which get harder and harder to separate from the aesthetic designs. There is a fine balance I clamor. If a function is not based on the source material it is not welcome, that’s my only rule. The negativity really started with the Echo Base, but why? Because it was a 250€ Battlepack studshooters galore with zero design substance and a minimum of figures. We got a nice display set in Lukes Bathing Tub but that should have been part of the UCS set. Especially since it seems to shelfwarm rather hard with a 25% discount at most stores since one month after its release.

There is no other solution than to make different sets with different intentions if you want to cover all bases. But Legos marketers keep making weird decisions like the above, adhering to illogical rules like having only a single JP1 set concurrently. They declare some things to be competing products despite clearly catering to very different consumer bases that only have in common the licenses name.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Lego may be making to many sets of

a) high price
b) high piece count (therefore long time to build)

and putting them out to close together. A typical income in the UK is £25,000 a year (Typical - not what everybody is on as many will be on less). If one assumes mortgage, food, bills you cant ignore, etc. that doesn’t leave much a month for luxuries and Lego - as any hobby is - is a luxury.

The other factor - at least for me - is types of sets. They must fit with what I already have or have some sort of ‘wow’ factor. I bought the James Bond Car as my first in the car line, but not the For Mustang (I did then get the Bus but that looks nice on the shelf - so ‘wow’ factor).

Personally, I feel Lego could perhaps space out the larger sets a little more (I don't know if this is fact but it seems that they are doing lots of expensive sets recently - maybe its just those hit the headlines more than another small boat or car set?). I want more train sets - hardly big sellers I know, but then how many of the large Technic sets do they sell? How many Jurassic Park large sets will they sell? Or City?

Two things though that I always consider here.

1) I don't have to buy it (whichever set ‘it’ is). If I don't buy it Lego will know that I don't want it (Ford Mustang) and will make more of what I do want (Steam Trains) [deliberately silly examples!]

2) People put time and effort into a thing they feel is nice. They do deserve to have respect for that. I know we are not meant to talk about the Jurassic Park set - but it does look very nice. No, I wont buy it, but it looks nice. I don’t like the Ford Mustang because, for me, that doesn’t have the ‘wow’ factor I want. I still feel it looks very nice and is a well made set. But, like almost all the Lego sets Lego put out this year, I won’t buy it. I can’t afford to buy them all nor store them. And even if I could, I would still only get sets I like.

Brickset
I feel that its important to comment appropriately and I do regard Brickset highly. I love the site, love the boards and love the news. But I do feel that everybody should play nicely. I recognise the temptation to say ‘this set is bad because...’ all the time. Lego have made it. You don't like it? Then don't buy it. If everybody does that Lego won’t do that type of set again. But I am grateful Brickset is here.

Gravatar
By in United States,

Initially disappointed because as I am sure a lot us were expecting a visitor center and the t rex is kind of a let down its head just seems a little off but the saving grace is definitely the vignettes in the back all in all a nice set but just not what I was hoping for.

Gravatar
By in Singapore,

Commenting for the first time here since i started collecting seriously from 2003 because I feel strongly that LEGO is really going down... and it’s really sad...

Been close friends with most of the retailers at what I stay and the common feedback is kids are not buying the new sets which have such short shelf life targeted for specific films or IPs.. and similarly for the AFOLs, there’s no more value in collecting ever since they saw what happened with the MF and Tag Mahal re-release.

You just have to walk into any LEGO shops, and you will see branded sets taking up more than 65% of the store.. Star Wars was a success and no doubt branded products offer a sudden sale boost when a film is launched.. not saying its all bad but when you focus so much on it, it diminishes what LEGO stands for... these sets lose the it’s interest as fast as it gets when the attention fades away or when the films are badly received.

LEGO has been so successful because the sets I played with, offer me so much imagination and play time that I reminisce about it much later on when I grew up. But any kids today who are say big marvel fans wouldn’t ever look back at any of the marvel LEGO sets released when they spend so little time on. there are also so many other competing marvel merchandise out there that could let them look back if they really just like the IPs.

So my point is I do feel that LEGO seems to have totally forgotten its USP... and the focus on short term profits just kills the interests for most of the buyers out there... truly listen to the ground more without any prejudice and biases (or any targeted research used to justify a new product launch) and the answer will be clear...

Gravatar
By in Philippines,

I will try to be as generic as possible since it was requested by the author. What I am about to share are my thoughts only on the subject of negativity in general. Again I do not speak for everybody, so here goes.

Personally I think that the root cause of negativity is our perception of things. We as a human being have our own "perfect" model of things and we cherish them because most of the time, well, our mentality is "love your own".

When the things we perceive is actually or even slightly different from reality, our first tendency is to criticize. We question why it is at that state and why it is different from our perception without considering that the reality that we face could be "perfect" for others; without realizing that our present might be much better than the past just like what the author pointed out. We complain to express ourselves but sometimes, the darkness of our heart tells us to complain in the hopes of changing reality. And when the voice of our perception (negativity) becomes louder than reality (when others join to be negative), we think that our perception is correct without realizing that there is a possibility that we might be wrong after all. It is also much easier to criticize than to change ourselves. I believe we are all guilty of this at one point in our lives.

So can we completely erase negativity? I sincerely believe we cannot. I believe so because nothing in our world is permanent; everything is temporal. But if you just try to look at the bright side, wouldn't you agree that this means negativity is also temporal? :) We can definitely do something about it when we decide to and this can trigger others do the same. We can lead others by example. When others see our "good" fruit, wouldn't they try to produce the same fruit? To be infected by our positivity? To change lives for the better? We can change things (including negativity) by starting with ourselves. By showing others what it's like to be on the other side of the fence.

The author already did that in this post. (at least in my perspective) How? By questioning the negativity and by reminding others what we should be thankful of.

To God be the glory. Peace out and more power.

Gravatar
By in Australia,

To be honest, I bristled a little bit at the point of the thread. People don't like things because they don't like them. Overwhelmingly positive responses also have a subtext of judgement ("Oh, I'm a better fan than you because I like things more!") which, maybe, people tend to miss.

And I don't know how much my POV matters, since I'm Australian, and I barely matter to Lego themselves. We get nothing down here. No specials, no anything. Australian and Kiwi fans were overjoyed when the Chinese New Year sets were exclusive Asia-Pacific sets. That is the first time *ever* we've gotten something that nobody else has. You guys know how many things that Europe or America gets, that we don't even see, like, at all? It's not a short list. And people were criticising that, saying, "Nobody ever complains about America or Europe getting special releases" ... really? They don't?

One thing I personally find, well, bizarre is the automatic defense, "Oh, it's a kid's toy. Your opinion isn't valid because it's not for you." Okay, fine, but ...

I remember the SW constraction figures that whiny AFOLs complained about, and I think of a local online seller who still has a pile of the darn things, and he and I have a running back-and-forth on FB about them ("I'll sell the rest of them any day now!"). I remember how controversial and divisive the Nexo Knights sets always were, and I think of a nearby toy store that *still* has first series NK sets, sitting there on the shelf, as the boxes get more and more dinged up as the months pass. Oh, and the Unikitty sets which attracted a lot of criticism (which was, again, dismissed as whiny AFOLS complaining about something that's not for them), and I think of how in Australia, the Unikitty sets were ... radioactive. Nobody wanted to touch them. Within a month, they were being clearanced out because NOBODY wanted them (not that it helped. The department stores all still have piles and piles of Unikitty sets, just sitting there, warming the shelf. At Christmas time, the Lego aisles were picked clean ... except for the piles of Unikitty sets that nobody wanted). Right?

Those sets were for "the kids". Well, did anybody tell the kids that? Maybe adults were rejecting those things for the same reason that kids don't want them either. My Lego tastes (as a 36-year-old) are City and whatever Train stuff isn't terrible these days, and the occasional dragon or spaceship or superhero set that takes my face. My Lego tastes as a 12-year-old? City and Train, and the occasional dragon or spaceship that fit my story narratives (which mostly revolved around superheroes).

And even if we go, "Oh, but parents are the ones doing the shopping, that's why those sets are going un-bought" then we come back to the price tags. You can't tell me Lego's pricing isn't problematic. Look at that recent Spider-Man set. $25 AUD for *three* minifigs? That's laughable, that's ludicrous. I'd say that's one of the big reasons the Unikitty sets failed, they were overpriced to an absurd degree, and being a parent with financial responsibilities means you don't spend $40 on a toy that has practically nothing in it.

I know we're supposed to keep this general, and I'm sorry that the set designer designed something that people were critical of. But sometimes sets are poorly designed and people don't want to spend money on them --- particularly if it's a licensed set (which we know jacks up the price to ridiculous levels, before we even get to the playvalue or design).

And it's not like Lego is innocent in this either. They've employed plenty of dirty little tricks, the last few years, designed to get AFOLS to fork over money. The whole point of the collectable minifig series is to get fans to buy more than they want, just to find the specific figs they're after, and that's not even touching putting specific minifigs in high-end sets (or things like splitting the six infinity stones into all six "Infinity War" sets). It's an obnoxious cash-grab, and people should be allowed to call that out for what it is.

Gravatar
By in Australia,

Just as a final thought (that was cut off. I guess there's a word limit for this form), as a long-term paying customer (who, thanks to living in Australia, has had to put up with some incredibly sketchy behaviour on Lego's behalf), I've never felt the need to apologise for not buying something, and I'm sorry Huw and company, but I don't feel the need to do that now, either.

Gravatar
By in Canada,

I think some have touched on it already (bricksaber); unfortunately the internet social media/forums (including this one) have pretty much become a haven for negativity...we've all been guilty at one point. This negativity is a feedback loop, and people of similar negativity are drawn together and it festers and continues to grow which leads beyond anger (and to even hatred)...even for some mundane topics.

There have been studies by sociologists/psychologists on the topic and I think the best theory is the one where: online people become tribal and will vehemently band together to defend their opinion (tribe).

Perhaps people just need to step back from the keyboard and take a breather and relax.

Gravatar
By in France,

I was very surprised when I read all the comments about this set as soon as first official release information came out. Here on Brickset, but also all around the AFOL and Lego sites, mainly followed by adults, there was such a torrent of discontented people. I mean at first look I truly had the wow effect for this big brick built T-Rex, surprised by its big scale and beauty. The gate hit me also as a non aficionado of the saga of and I instantly found it majestic. And then I started to read the comments, discovering so many complaints about it. I know one can love or not a creation, and say that one doesn't like it. But saying it's bad or should have been this or that is beyond my own level of compréhension. Even if I don't like something I cannot judge whether it's good or bad, but for me. And will never throw at its creator that he has done something wrong or bad or ugly. I just see that I see more and more people saying this or that is bad. But though one can express his disappointment and positive or negative feelings, throwing names and even suspicion at the person who probably put all his passion and even love in a creation should find at least respect for this. I am much more aware that Lego group is there to make money in the nothing else, but I read here and there so many hate about even the beautiful creations that I think that of people are really fed up with the situation,why just they don't stop looking at them, going on specialized sites and just keep with their love with the little brick at home doing their own stuff without spitting at almost anything which comes out from TLG? I have been somehow shocked by the flow of negative comments but most of all by some which really carried negative thoughts and even suspicion of intellectual dishonesty. Just because of a Lego set. I am not a JP neither JW sets collectioner, but as for all the other ranges, from friends to SW, Creator, Technic, there are some I love and some I don't. I am glad that BS have reacted this, way, and that the debate is clearly and frankly opened thanks to the article.

Gravatar
By in Australia,

Criticism is healthy and is essential for growth and improvement, however, what I see more and more is entitlement.

X set doesn't appeal to me personally.
I wanted Y in this set.
As a Z collector, I would have preferred AB.

Since the set doesn't appeal to me for A, B, or C then everyone else is apparently "wrong" and thus I have to become angry or demean others.

There seems to be an emphasis on ego and less on the concept of a toy with broad appeal across many generations; but it is a toy nevertheless.

I must admit, looking at my comments, I tend to be positive, but that is generally because I tend to only comment on the sets I like or want to purchase.

I have been very disappointed in sets, simply because they haven't suited what I personally want from them, the Hoth set in particular. But then I saw a comment on this site, by a man who loved building and playing with the Hoth set with his son, and it was their favourite set. So no matter how much that particular set did not appeal to me, it did appeal to others. Thus, his comment was a nice reminder that diversity is awesome; and I shall keep buying and commenting on the sets I really want; without having to demean the views and choices of others.

Oh and Zordboy, I don't feel like "I barely matter to Lego" and I find that an extraordinary comment.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

@Navy Trooper Fenson Your question list is dishonest. I think you don’t understand the situation and just generalize too much because your interest is Lego first and theme/license second. It’s obvious that it’s different people that are complaining about different things and that it mostly boils down to Lego just not utilizing their licenses correctly by only producing one set, and if you are lucky maybe a second try years later.
---

It was my question list, posted in the forum as a joke about the types of complaints made whenever a new set comes out. Of course it is not intended as a list of complaints that everyone makes. However, if you look at a thread about a new set then most of those complaints will come up from a range of people.

But I note that you complain ... "it mostly boils down to Lego just not utilizing their licenses correctly by only producing one set" ... which suggests that you know better how to exploit the license than LEGO and the IP rights holder. I don't have a clue what is in the license agreement. I imagine the rights holders prefer to have their current products (here, a movie) as the main focus of a theme and so in the license agreement there may well be a limit on the number of sets produced based on older material and their type. If the rights holder is insistent that only one large Jurassic Park is to be made, then LEGO has the choice of making one or rejecting it and making zero. And making zero could well also impact on the agreement for Jurassic World sets. Of course, it may be LEGO deciding one large Jurassic Park set is enough. A wider range of large sets doesn't always equate to more sales overall.

You complaint falls into the general "if only they had done it my way, it would be better".

Gravatar
By in New Zealand,

I would argue horses for courses. Everybody likes different things, and Lego makes many different things to accommodate the vast majority. It doesn't mean you have to, or should like everything.

I disliked Igor from the hall of armour, and it was my kids favourite thing in the set, and ultimately, it's toy, so what the kids say about it is really the only opinion that matters.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

More and more in the comments section I see that the subject matter, i.e. a particular Lego set, is soon lost and it just becomes an excuse for an argument. Either that or commentators are trying to prove that they are more knowledgable or their opinion counts for more. I try to keep posts short, make it clear that they are my personal views and if they are negative comments I try not to spoil the fun of others that may love the set in question.

Gravatar
By in United States,

Nothing wrong with it; but personally, I feel Lego is making way too many huge and expensive sets that not exactly everyone can afford. Small sets (under 75 pieces) used to be quite common--now they're rarely seen outside of polybags. Not to mention the fact that licensed themes are such a big part of the LEGO lineup, and it seems Lego's own themes are being neglected. My Walmart shoves City in a corner, like it's some off brand.

I kinda think it looks pretty good myself; though the theme isn't really something I'm a fan of. And at $250 for more than 3000 pieces, it's price/parts ratio is amazing, especially for a licensed set.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

I like that LEGO is targetting sets at adults. However, for a long while the D2C sets have simply been unaffordable, so as an AFOL I feel left out again.
The arguments about price and part-counts don't really mean much for a model that's designed for building once and putting on a shelf - not dismantling and re-using the parts. That only justifies the purchase to people who've already bought it.

For the last 20 years, LEGO have displayed a pattern of engaging an AFOL audience with a new idea (the 'LEGO Legends' series being the original example), then pushing the price up and up until the market won't bear it anymore, then rather than revising prices back down they scrap the whole line. I don't want this to happen with the lines I like at the moment. I do appreciate the occasional big set (e.g. the roller coaster), but if the very next D2C Fairground set that comes along is at that price point again (or higher!), then they've lost me as a customer.

Gravatar
By in Hungary,

Just my opinion about this and as per my observation it applies to many other things, not just LEGO.
"Something" is teased, released, out of 1000 people will:
- first few will start to write positive things in their excitement (5-10 peeps)
- the rest positive peeps won't bother anymore as they don't want to comment "WOW" for the 25th time, hell, most of them acknowledges that "Something" is good and nice and will definitely get it upon release
- negative opinions will start to emerge (say 20-40 peeps) and since everyone points out different issues (minifigs, part selection, color picking, this-and-that, how the should have improved it, etc.) these comments seem to take over the amount of positive ones
- flaming and picking fights via words is an "internet common" unfortunately, most people feel their opinion is superior to others and instead of a logical and factual civilized argument they start to just throw crap around

There is the thing of "the vocal minority" pointing out negative items and how people should just ignore them anyway, but... When you are among the minority you feel offensed by such saying...

Anyway, best would be to pick a controversial set from 2018 (which received similar negative opinions in it's comments) and check how many people owns it and how many negative comments were. I think it'll be around 1-2%.

Pointing out problems is not an issue I think, but being civilized is important.
I also feel disappointed when a specific set is lacking important minifigs or when they mess something up for the sake of playability, but that's how we all are.

Sorry for the long post. :)

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

It’s a shame so many people these days are so full of negativity. I think it’s more a culture and way of life for people now. Everyone seems so over opinionated and people seem to have the highest most unrealistic expectations sometimes.
I love Lego and I collect the CMF, architecture, creator expert and ideas sets. There’s a few more themes I’d like to collect but everyone has a budget. I love it when they produce a set like the Jurassic Park set. Whether I want it or not isn’t relevant. They have taken a theme and produced an excellent set with it. Yes it’s expensive, but it’s huge. If I want it or not, it comes down to my personal likes and my budget. If it works for me, great. If not, what does it matter. Lego don’t owe me anything personally. They are producing sets for MILLIONS of people of ALL ages from across the world. They are appealing to pretty much every market going. But these individual sets can’t appeal to every single person. Like nothing else can in life.
Fair enough give constructive criticism, but seriously, some of the things on these boards recently are just ridiculous. At the end of the day, if something doesn’t appeal to you, don’t waste your time, energy and stress, getting yourself all worked up about it and ranting about what’s wrong with the world. Move on. Comment on things you like, smile and bring a smile to the others that are reading.

Gravatar
By in United States,

Unfortunately the positives of this set are few. Yes kids would love it, but I can’t afford to spend $250+ on a set for my kid. Which leads me to being a JP fan. Should I as an AFOL buy it to display? Instead, there are too many reasons for me not to buy it. Not trying to be negative, just realistic. Thought this was a big miss by LEGO, although I appreciate the effort put in to its design. I also like the 3 new figures. It is interesting (taking a step back) that there might be something to the overwhelming negativity that this set has received. Where there’s smoke...

Gravatar
By in France,

"Can we, as a community, do anything to stop it?"

Yes, we could ban any individual criticizing Lego sets. Every set would be declared absolutely awesome, amazing, incredible, very impressive by anyone commenting the set review. We could add a strawpoll to choose our feelings about the set, any answer to this poll would be Awesome.

I'm pretty sure the designer of this set thinks he has done a fantastic job. And to my opinion, the iconic Jurassic Park door is really detailed and well realized. But this is a door. Which means this is not a playset, but only a display set. But it is not a good display set, not because of the lack of talent from his creator, but because this display set misses the third part : the iconic green and yellow Ford Explorer car.

Without this car, the set misses his display set objective. Which leads to the second problem : this car has never been represented in a Lego set. You can find the Jeep Wrangler in the set 75916 (2015 !), but not the Ford Frontier. So, you can't even compensate this lack by purchasing an additionnal set with only the car.

There is no negativity in pointing this problem. It's a fact, there is no car and there is no way to get one. But let's see the good thing : Lego could, and really should, ask Mark Stafford to design this vehicle. Maybe Lego will have to ask Ford the right to make this vehicle, but I'm not worried about that : we already have plenty of Ford vehicles in the Speed Champions series.

Gravatar
By in United States,

The first comment is 'the internet makes trolling easier'.

LEGO just released a Stranger Things set, was that trolled? No. Then move on. This set in like the Hoth set, it's hated by nearly all for good reason. It was stole from Ideas, is over priced and over sized. This should have been a smaller $150 set. The price is just outrageous because LEGO knows cult members, I mean 'fans', will buy it.

Then it doesn't have the one thing, the ONE THING, that Jurassic fans want, the damn Jeep.

So it's an overpriced, oversized yet unfinished set. The negativity is deserved.

Gravatar
By in United States,

I'm not going to read the comments so apologies if any of this is repetitive. My opinion though.

This article obviously isn't about valid criticism & debate, it's about unbridled and unreasonable vitriol. It's not about disliking one particular set and saying so, it's about expressing deep anger and personal resentment towards a toy designer for having the audacity to release a single toy [I] don't want to buy. Therefore I won't waste time preemptively defending myself against the "people should have a right to share opinions" retorts. That's not the issue at all.

We're seeing a vicious cycle that has reached maturity. Drama, conflict, and anger get people riled up easily, making them feel strong emotions. The expression of strong emotions triggers interest & engagement. In real life, it draws crowds. In the digital world, it draws views & comments, which in turn triggers search & recommendation algorithms further promote the content, multiplying its power. People like to be seen/heard, so they gravitate towards behavior that gets them seen. It's like children acting out for attention, even when the attention they get is negative -- it's still attention. Problem is, we're generations past children acting out. There is an entire industry of "drama" content creation, from outright tabloid clickbait to biased mainstream news (on all sides) to Twitch streamers trying pit others' fans against each other for sport. Many of today's adults find conflict- or negativity-first reactions & interactions to be normal, especially online. All of today's kids were born after the Internet and gravitate even more strongly towards whatever behavior gets views. Negativity gets views and is far more virulent than either positivity or balance.

The LEGO fan community at large has been one of the kinder, more easygoing definable groups out there, but these days it's being infected more & more by monetized hate culture. All comments on my YouTube channels have been manually moderated for years, and I've seen the shift in attitudes and gradual poisoning of attitudes. It's much, much, much worse with all other interests I personally follow, but this one here is no longer quite the oasis it was just a half decade ago.

What can those of us who don't like this trend try to slow it? It takes significant conscious, forward-thinking work and commitment. The most important thing is to set good examples, always. Create the environment now that you want to exist in the future, using your own actions and your own words. Content creators, moderate your comments. Take the time to explicitly and publicly correct bad behavior, being sure to explain _why_ it was bad and how it could have been better with a small injection of reason. Delete truly ugly posts, don't let them flavor the discussion in your own space. Ban users when absolutely needed. Clean house, and keep it clean. Be VERY careful not to wield too heavy of a hand, though. Criticism MUST be allowed and encouraged, both of yourself and the work of others. You just need to define the rules of decorum explicitly, enforce and reinforce them vigorously, and most importantly follow them yourself without fail.

Gravatar
By in United States,

I think one thing that often strikes me as unusual is how often people seem to have a hard time justifying NOT getting a set unless they can blame the designer for "failing" in some way.

I see a lot of comments like "How is anybody supposed to afford all these expensive sets?" (whether in a particular theme, or in general) and it's downright baffling to me. I mean, with only a few exceptions, it's been the norm for my entire LIFETIME to have to pick and choose, and be willing to skip sets even if I like or want them because there's another set I like or want even more. There have been so many incredible sets over the years that I would have loved to own and build, but have learned I can do just fine without and don't feel any guilt about skipping.

Sometimes I even see comments like "Poor job, designers. This is going to be the first Modular Building/Winter Village/UCS/3-in-1 house/Ideas/Expert car/Ninjago vehicle set I skip" and I wonder if I'm supposed to feel SORRY for that person who's obviously managed not only to like every previous set in that category up until that point, but also AFFORD them all.

And how about the perennial comments when a new batch of sets gets revealed/released: "Meh, nothing of interest here except (insert theme here)", as if only having one theme to collect in a particular wave is somehow a BAD thing. Unless you somehow have a bottomless bank account, I'd normally expect it to feel extremely satisfying to keep one's LEGO collecting habit so tightly focused.

It's bewildering to me that those of us who don't hate on stuff like a new kid-targeted license (Minions, Trolls, Angry Birds, Minecraft, etc) before any sets even get revealed, who are willing to acknowledge the strengths of sets and themes even if we have no interest in them whatsoever, who are willing to accept that a set can be aimed at adults without appealing to us specifically, etc. are treated as cultish or obsessed by a lot of the most critical voices on sites like this.

Yet at the same time, those same critics often make it sound like not liking a set/theme, or not being able to afford a set/theme you do like, is a failure LEGO should be ashamed of. Like it's not enough for LEGO to make SOME sets and business decisions we like, but also to never, ever make any sets or business decisions that disappoint us. And to me, that seems a LOT more obsessive. :/

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Huw, you are a voice of reason and decency. Please don't ever stop being you, and please don't let people saying 'but we have a right to complain!' poison this website with their toxicity. They're mistaking vitriol for legitimate criticism.

Personally, in the time since I joined the Brickset community, I've felt that the comments section has been becoming more and more hostile and negative. There are a couple of things that have been bothering me lately:

1) a few people who seem to want to make a name for themselves as 'famous' commenters. These guys comment under almost every article and usually end up in an argument with each other. They rarely have anything useful to say, preferring to draw attention to themselves rather than the bricks. Often they have a reference to a limp 'running joke' that appears in a lot of their comments.

2) An influx of people from sites like Reddit. I think things like the LegoLinkBot that links any set number posted to Reddit to the brickset database is driving traffic to the site, which is good, but I also think it's bringing that website's famous negativity to what used to be quite a wholesome fan community. They tend to have nothing nice to say about anything.

Oh and 3), this one just bugs me really, but people bragging about how they've seen such and such a leak and *they* know what's coming next. No one cares, pal. We can all search for them just as easily as you did, so stop acting like you have the inside scoop.

More likely though, Lego has become much more popular and mainstream as a hobby. More people means more unpleasant people. Most of us are fine, but it doesn't take many bad eggs to spoil the whole thing. I don't comment very much any more. I use the Shut Up extension for chrome to hide the whole section, which is a real shame because I used to really enjoy reading what people had to say.

Wow, that was too long.

Gravatar
By in United States,

Thank you Huw for addressing this growing issue. I just cannot believe that we now live in a world where we have to remind people that not all products are made for them. It’s always important to think about what you say/type and how you would react to it before you do it, but I’m afraid this has been forgotten.

With all the hatred LEGO has faced recently, I’m surprised they haven’t disabled comments on their social media platforms. In fact, recently, when they announced they were making Minions sets, I respectfully tried to defend their decision, but I was told to kill myself by another user on one of their social media platforms (I didn’t mean to address a theme, but I needed to put this as a point of reference). Threats like this should never happen. The things you like in this material-focused world should never be your life; it’s not worth it to waste your time complaining.

Gravatar
By in Netherlands,

Not liking all sets 100% of the time, especially when we get multiple €200+ sets in less then a year doesn't mean negativity.

If I wasn't critical of sets, there simple would be too many sets in a year to buy.

Overall set quality is mostly good across the wide range of sets, however, with so many sets these days, budget simply isn't infinite, even if you narrow it down to a few themes.

That said, it's still LEGO, the great thing is that the parts can be used in infinite other ways, not just build by instructions once and done.

Gravatar
By in United States,

My comment doesn't seem to have made it through, so I'll just summarize what I was saying. People are entitled. They think that Lego making a set they don't want or can't afford is somehow a failure and that they've lost their way. Nonsense. Grow up people. Reacting negatively towards a set is fine, but some of the comments are just ignorant beyond belief. The AFOL community on display here is very toxic.

Gravatar
By in Belgium,

it's all about the money, nothing else
a lot of people in my country are struggling to 'save' lets say 20€ a month, but what set can you buy for 20€? a stupid little city car
and why is the most expensive way to buy LEGO, to buy it from LEGO themselves?
if you pay full price for a LEGO set you are a real sucker IMHO, you must AT LEAST get 25% off
i'm VERY happy to have sold about 90% of my collection in the last few months, I now 'only' have for about 3000€ worth of LEGO

Gravatar
By in United States,

That checklist is hilarious. XD

I find it interesting though that people seem to be taking this article as saying that they can't criticize sets. That's not what I got from it at all. What I took away is that we should be respectful and reasonable when doing so. I entirely agree. People seem to have largely lost the ability to form opinions reasonably and state them respectfully. I think perhaps it's because many were never taught to do so in the first place, which is sobering.

Gravatar
By in Serbia,

To be fair, with TLG providing so much free support to online communities and physical LUGs, the tone of all reviews has become overwhelmingly positive, to the point where it's hard to find an objective review that points out actual flaws. People who get sets for free to review, may find it hard to imagine that those who have to fork out $250 or $300 for a set will be a lot pickier and choosier (and, thus, negative).

Gravatar
By in Belgium,

@CapnRex101 - it's such an easy get out. "We recommend a set to those we think will enjoy it." Well, duh! You could end every single review of every single product with a statement implying that.

It can't be realistically asserted that every Star Wars set can be recommended to all Star Wars fans, all Technic sets to fans of Technic, etc. yet that's generally what Brickset does, to varying degrees. You might add a caveat now and then that says "the price is a bit high" - or "it won't be a priority purchase" but very, very few sets are given a thumbs down.

Gravatar
By in United States,

Reading the comments here make me happy I'm not more involved in the LEGO cult... LEGO community.

I haven't seen a single person attack the designer. The dinosaur is awesome and the gate is a gate. Everything being criticizing of the set is on PRICE, scale, the fact it doesn't have a Jeep. None of it has been 'Mark Whatever his name is is a smelling poopyhead!'

Yet people who bring up rightful options of a set get a useless article written about them and are called trolls who should go away. The double standard is amazing. This will be my final comment ever on this site.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

@theJANG "monetized hate culture"
Yes! That was a very succinct explanation of the way the internet is today.

Gravatar
By in Australia,

It's sad how much easier it is to complain than find the beauty and creativity in what people do. I am glad to see this set and how it represents such an import part of cinema history (and is also one of my favourite ever movies). But... I wish it had the car. But... Being positive, I reckon we'll get that in some more yet to be announced sets, and I'm super excited about that!

Great article!

Gravatar
By in Germany,

Why all the negativity?

Maybe because LEGO hardly gives people what they want.
As an AFOL and father of two young boys (4 & 7), I'm really highly disappointed about what LEGO did in the last years.
My boys are also almost not interested in LEGO at all, mainly because LEGO doesnt offer anything they want. As all other kids I know from my environment, they like things like knights, pirates, cowboys, romans, vikings... Where is all this?
There is literally not a single (!) historical theme. Doesn't LEGO also have an educational responsibility?
Is the kid's world of today supposed to be made of science fiction, TV shows and digital games?

For people who like licensed and TV based stuff it might be a golden age of LEGO.
Personally, I think we are far away from that.

So, why I am so negative here? Becasue I actually love LEGO and I hope that someday it gets better again. Without (negative) critics, the world stands still.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

You can please all of the people, some of the time... or you can please some of the people, all of the time...

… but there's naff all you can do to appease that one guy and his hundreds of forum bots.

Gravatar
By in Germany,

That must be a rhetoric question, right?! In case it is not, I present to you my short reflections on that:
LEGO is a sweet memory from childhood days for a lot of folks here. We all had our adventures as a kid with toys from that company– that's why we are still in the game. BUT, things have changed.
1. Most of us are adults or at least teenagers now. And we are able to see things from a different perspective. So to say we are more critical than we were s a child. And nowbody likes it, when your icon crumbles. And nobody wants to see the real world cause it is ugly, mean and brute. Here come some critical points that might have unleashed negativity here at brickset:
2. we definitely nowadays have more detailed prints, BUT we now have issues with bad faceprintings on black heads or bad printing quality in general (like the helmets on 75226 Inferno Squad or the white stripes ((;-)) on the 10265 Mustang, ...). On the box the figure looks vivid, but in reality it looks like a ghoul (Hello Mercy, Misako...). That is a big downer. Nobody wants to be fooled, but we get FOOLED!
3. Why do older figures have more detailed prints than the figures that came after them (Hello Greedo – why no sleeve printing after 2004?). Who wants a decline in detail and quality. Not ME!!
4. Production in different countries that result in different shades of the same colour that are no minor issues but the ignorance of a company, knowing what happens wrong, but not changing it!
5. exclusive sets for countries or companies or occasions like toy fairs. Sorry, I have exactly 100% HATE for that move. Are u kidding me!? Only the scalpers smile here and EVERYBODY knows that.
6. I could continue but I remember the KISS rule: keep it simple and stupid:
Verdict: people want maximum value for hard earned money. Companies want maximum profit – no matter what. And people don't want to swallow that contradiction any more. Because they don't want to be fooled anymore. And a spade still is a spade. If things would be better, there would be praise.

Gravatar
By in United States,

There's an interview with the designers of the excellent Jurassic Park set over on the New Elementary which I highly recommend.

I don't think "stolen from IDEAS" is ever a valid criticism for anything, they're never going to use even sections of a fan creation directly without credit, and claims that a licensed set of something very popular is taking a fan's idea or that there's no way that anybody at LEGO wouldn't have come up with something without a failed IDEAS project are absurd in equal measure.

Gravatar
By in Serbia,

"So, why is there such negativity? Is it because there's too much choice? Because of unrealistic expectations? Because the bar has been set high by previous sets? Because people think that every set released should appeal to them?" -- basically a bit of all these things, but to be honest, if I look at this new huge Jurassic Park set, as someone who have never seen JP, I really-really like it, so I honestly don't know what's the problem with it. Maybe nothing? :)

I personally like most of the D2C sets, because you don't only get nice (sometimes rare) parts in big quantity, special minifigures, and a huge amount of bricks, but you also get an unforgettable building experience.

This particular set *might be* overpriced (all I see is a huge gate and a huge dinosaur, and that it has 3000+ pieces!), but don't forget that it is a licenced set. If you check the PPP, it is a better deal than most Star Wars sets for example. And again, as I said above: you pay for the experience too. You won't feel the same after putting together a $25 city car, or any big D2C sets, and we all know that. And if someone thinks that any of these sets are too small for its price, let's have a look on some older sets. Maybe they were bigger, but they were pretty plain/lack of details if you compare them to the sets which we can buy these days. :)

Gravatar
By in Canada,

I think LEGO is generally doing a good job of design and product output. I think there are in the recent year or so seemingly some valid criticism of quality control. The one that stands out to me mostly is some of the printing where the actual print colours do not match those that are advertised on the package. I think the other issue which has been addressed a multitude of times is pricing. It would be nice to understand and or see some more consistent pricing both globally but also within a given line of product. Often times one can conclude why a certain set might have an increased price due to a mold or specialized pieces but other times there seems to be no explanation whatsoever.

Gravatar
By in Canada,

Negative comments are fuelled by strong emotions, hate, passion, obsession (not really an emotion, but linked to a lot) These emotions fuel negative comments and help to curb the filter in some minds of people that would otherwise tell them not to say that in polite company.

This is because text on a whole is faceless and much easier to comment on. It takes five seconds to type and post something at times. Positive comments get drowned out by this simple/easy to do thing.

Gravatar
By in United States,

I think expressing your displeasure with a particular set is fine, but I would like to see less criticizing of others who don't share your opinion. We don't all have to reach a consensus on every subject; just share your own thoughts and leave it at that.

Gravatar
By in Russian Federation,

Negativity isn't some kind of nasty disease to be combated or cured. If someone has an opinion to voice they should be allowed to do so, and to expect the majority of opinions on anything to be mostly positive is unreasonable. Nothing can be exempt from criticism. Some decisions made by The LEGO Group (or literally any other person or entity) will inevitably be more unpopular than others.

I know too well that it can be really saddening and frustrating to see people criticising or disliking something you like, especially when some people act like everyone whose opinions differs from theirs is inferior to them and make personal attacks based on this terrible childish attitude. But hey, that's just the Internet and human tribalism for you. You can't really do anything about it aside from ignoring such people. But someone having a different opinion on something doesn't automatically make them a "troll" or a "blind fanboy/hater" or whatever. If someone dislikes a set design or considers its price unreasonable or whatnot, they should be free to express their views just as much as someone who is positive about the set.

And while it is terrible to see someone mocking others by labelling them "blind fanboys", how is compiling a joke checklist to mock others by implying that they just blindly complain about everything any better?

Gravatar
By in United States,

I for one never fully understood the overt negativity towards LEGO. Sure, there are things you may wish were different or wish were added, but its simply a suggestion of what can be built. Part of me wants to believe that the criticism comes from the passion we have around LEGO and not just simple negativity. I also think the other part that has been lost over the years (in part because the sets have become more and more detailed) is that the sets were always meant to be launching points; meant to inspire, and then continue to build with your imagination to make it what you want it to be.

Gravatar
By in United States,

@huw:
You have a good point about the price staying even with inflation, but I feel like there are three things that counter this.

1. People’s salaries haven’t tended to keep up with inflation, so a set may still be more expensive compared with what people make.

2. The quality has declined. This is not necessarily a new issue; the switch away from colored ABS pellets in the early 2000s, and then the beginning of Chinese manufacturing a little later, were both ways to cut costs—but they also cut quality. We can still see it today with mismatched colors, brittle bricks (I’d say at least 25% of the cheese slopes I bought within the past 5 years have cracked, if not more. Many of these cracked when they were simply sitting on a set), and the notoriously transparent prints.

3. The kinds of sets being made are different. There’s a greater focus on detail, which is great—but it makes all but the most expensive sets smaller. Alternately, some of the smaller price points may be neglected entirely. I’m thinking particularly of the recebt(ish) Bionicle reboot, for example (a theme about which there was no shortage of negativity from you, Huw—both the original and the reboot!). As in the later years of its original run, the “hero” sets became more expensive, the “villager” sets took the price point of the “hero” sets, and the original slot of the villager sets was abandoned. All of these were bigger and more detailed to fit the new price point, but it made everything less accessible.

All that to say that there’s more to complaints on price than simple grumbling not backed up by anything concrete.

Gravatar
By in New Zealand,

Thanks, Huw, for writing an article about the very thing that led to me essentially quitting Brickset. Fair and justifiable comments being met with vitriolic outburts, personal attacks or simply "You don't agree with me so you're wrong" dogmatism.

The truly sad thing is that even Brickset's contributing team have been guilty of such behaviour at times.

Gravatar
By in United States,

If you had told me that ten years ago someday we'd have gotten five Star Wars films within five years of each other, two animated Star Wars series, two live action series on streaming, and a Star Wars extension to Disneyland and Disney World; I wouldn't believe it. Yet here we are, and I have enjoyed the ride very much, and would be willing to say this is a golden age for Star Wars. Yet many fans would disagree... they'd tell you about the thousand ways the franchise was ruined in the last five years.

If you told me that there would someday be a cinematic super hero universe that would smash box office records, I wouldn't have believed it. Yet for 11 years the MCU has been exactly that. Yet I still find critics of everything from Thor's weight gain to random stuff Brie Larson said on press tours.

I would have loved to play an open world RPG-shooter game as a kid. As such in the last few weeks I have enjoyed my time on a used copy of Fallout 4 I bought. Yet anytime I read about the game online all I see is complaints that "Its not a true RPG" "Its shallow" "New Vegas is better" "Bethesda should never have owned this franchide" blah blah blah...

Fandom, in all its shapes is prone to complain. Complaints about Star Wars TLJ are actually the reason I left Eurobricks nearly a year and a half ago now. I couldn't stand seeing the same stupid bulls**t complaints all over the place. I know I have made a few complaints about Lego here and there, but the sense of negativity and entitlement some fans have continue to blow me away.

Gravatar
By in United States,

I think we’re all a little guilty of spreading too much negativity at times. The anonymity of the internet allows it. People are much more cordial in real life.

I didn’t read through all the comments yesterday, but I did look at the pictures and stats for that set, and holy cow!

I’m not the world’s biggest dinosaur fan, but I do like Mark Stafford’s work, and I’m a little curious how he got that absolute monster of a T-Rex to balance like that. Plus it looks like a great parts pack once you’re done with the build, if you don’t want to display it.

Gravatar
By in United States,

Why are fan sites so upset about negativity towards new sets? Could it possibly impact them in some way?

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

@Baldarek And while it is terrible to see someone mocking others by labelling them "blind fanboys", how is compiling a joke checklist to mock others by implying that they just blindly complain about everything any better?
---

It wasn't to mock others, it was to mock the type of posts and narrowly focussed views that appear on threads and more generally mocking what some threads become.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

There will always be a variety of complaints about Lego sets as people are looking for different things in those sets, thankfully Lego does a large enough range of themes and sets that I always find something I like. We should be free to criticise Lego sets but the personal insults are disgusting in some cases, just take a look at the leaks thread and the anti vaxing comments some from regulars on here which were allowed to continue for some time :-( All these comments come from peoples differences on sets, madness !

Gravatar
By in Australia,

How can you have any negativity, when there's now a Jeff Goldblum minifigure available that looks as awesome as that one?

Gravatar
By in United States,

I was actually surprised that there wasn't more negativity about the set.
I buy a lot of sets, for both my kids and myself. I do think, however, that LEGO should be a toy first and foremost, which means the emphasis should always be on fun and play-ability. The focus on this set, however, is to sit on a shelf and look cool. The price is a lot to swallow for something with so singular a purpose. I'm more than willing to spend $250 on a set, but I look for things that this set doesn't offer. I will try to keep my negativity in check--there are more sets available to buy than I'll ever have time for, so if one doesn't pique my interest, I simply won't buy it and try not to complain.

I'm pretty excited about the new space-themed sets coming out because they just look really fun. But surprisingly the hype around them has seemed luke warm.

And regarding the golden age of LEGO, I've recently been looking at some of the sets I had in the late 80s as a child--particularly pirate and castle themes. While the sets seemed much simpler in design, I couldn't help but feel they just seemed more fun than a lot of the newer sets. I think perhaps what changed is that LEGO figured out if they focused on making sets bigger, more complicated, and interesting looking, that adults like me would buy them and put them on the shelf.

Gravatar
By in Australia,

It's interesting to read through the comments and see what people's general gripes about Lego releases boils down to, and when it's not set specific it seems to come down to budget and the quantity of releases which is definitely fair enough.

So why the negativity towards a set which doesn't pass your own expectations? I breathe a sigh of relief whenever a set I can happily pass on is released, and it's certainly not like my tastes are not being catered for.

Gravatar
By in Australia,

"It wasn't to mock others, it was to mock their posts and hence their views (which is a different thing to mocking them)..."

It's not that different.

It certainly feels like it's wrong to attack someone for responding positively (by calling them a "blind fanboy" or whatever), but perfectly accept to respond to negative criticism with, "you're just a troll/hater/monster/immature" etc. That just feels like a really unfair double standard.

Gravatar
By in United States,

Personally, I'm not interested in a brick-built dinosaur, especially one so large. I like that gate, and the minifigs. For me, the instructions for the gate are the most valuable part of the set.

Gravatar
By in United States,

The bottom line is some people are unreasonable and completely ignorant to the processes / rationale when it comes to producing sets yet think they know everything. Those people tend to be the most vocal and ruin the discussions for everyone else and to see the toxicity make it's way back to a designer is very disappointing. This issue is not unique to Brickset nor Lego and it's not likely to change.

Gravatar
By in Poland,

Simple answer: I dont like cashgrabs. And this is a huge expensive cashgrab.
If it was just well priced T rex. I would get it

Gravatar
By in United States,

I think lego is releasing too much stuff. Who has all this money to keep buying? They need to slow down and focus on making quality kits, not that they all aren't awesome but I think if they focus on quality instead of quantity the reception would be greater. They need to find the proper algorithm. lol

Gravatar
By in United States,

Sounds like we’re not allowed to dislike or disagree with something. Don’t try and guilt me or others, if some people are being over the top aggressive about it, that’s not great! But if people are just respectfully disliking it I don’t see why they’re not allowed to. You’re not going to get everybody to like something, that’s just the truth. If a movie takes a year to film, months to edit, all those people hard at work, it releases, and it flops? Nobody’s going to think “hmmm gee those poor workers I feel so bad <:(“

I respect Mark greatly but I honestly am not interested in this set. It’s a good model, the stability and build is incredible - I’m just not interested in purchasing it. It’s just not my thing! I know a majority of people wanted the center, myself included, and I’m not even a Jurassic fan. I just like location play sets more.

Also the argument that LEGO’s for kids doesn’t work - everyone of you knows damn well LEGO listens to us as well at times and produces products catered to us specifically, regardless of how small the AFOL demographic is in their sales.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

To me the problem is that Lego has been doing fantastically lately. They've knocked out some truly incredible sets that made huge portions of thrir fanbase very happy. So to suddenly announce a set which had the opportunity to be really good, but which instead seems to have been produced without first doing any market research whatsoever and which therefore falls short of everyone's wants is just...frustrating. As it is the new JP set is essentially two largely unrelated sets mashed together and then marked up in price. That T-Rex would have been a day one buy as a Creator fan. And likewise, the gate and a Ford Explorer would have got a lot of JP fans on board, as would a visitor centre. But as it currently stands - Lego a charging £220 for a set which the majority of people will only want one half of. And it's disappointing to think of what brilliant sets we could have recieved if these models had been released seperately, and accompanied by appropriate smaller builds.

Gravatar
By in Australia,

Generally, the criticisms of this particular set have been valid. It’s ok for what it is. Nice range of figures. It misses some tricks that the similarly themed Ideas set encompassed. It’s not what most people expected the D2C set to be. Badly stickered sign. A high price point. Sniping at one another or set designers doesn’t help. However, people are allowed to love or loathe.

There’s plenty of positivity around when a brilliant new set is released. But if people have valid criticisms of that set, that’s fine too - it’s entirely subjective.

I’m also interested in how sets are reviewed and received on fansites and YouTube if the reviewer has been supplied a copy by Lego, in comparison to forking out from their own bank account, and how that might impact a review; and the reviewer’s opinion in anticipation of being provided future sets by Lego.

Gravatar
By in United States,

A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself "Would I say this to someone's face?" The goal isn't to avoid criticism, but rather to add thoughtful criticism instead of typing the first thought that pops into one's mind. There's a big difference between valuable feedback and an opinion based on feelings that have no real coherent logic to it. A little self-editing goes a long way.

I think some good goals are:
- Let's not avoid criticism, but let's have good discussions in thoughtful ways.
- Let's foster a fun community around this hobby we enjoy together.
- Treat others with respect and take the time to try to understand their perspective.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

I just don’t like stickers where it should be printed - when it’s a premium price point it should be a premium product. At least have a spare sheet included as poor application can ruin a set and at the higher price point it means a lot.
I don’t comment unless I actually am interested in the set/franchise, and always try to see something positive as well, or I just feel like a whinger. Personally speaking I do think we are in a golden age - set design is outstanding in many cases and I have never enjoyed the hobby more than at the moment.

Gravatar
By in United States,

Without wading through the comments, I’m sensing there are some “old school” (pre-mid-1980s) Lego fans out here who think Lego models have become too complex and don’t have to be so detailed ... just “use your imagination.”

Gravatar
By in United States,

Seems quite a large segment of the population would argue that the golden age of Lego was the late 80s/early 90s when we could get a lot of great sets in exciting themes (Pirates, Castle + Woodsmen, City, Space, Technic, etc) without all of the branded junk. I would have to agree with them. I also don't recall having stickers, certainly not so many stickers vs printed pieces. And I'd agree with that issue as well.

Gravatar
By in United States,

My biggest problem with Lego right now is just price. Prices keep going up, part counts stay the about the same, and some quality (printing mainly) has been dropping. There are a handful of sets I still want, but I'm not buying as much as I used to. Maybe it just feels more expensive to me now but it's not, idk.

T rex is cool though. It's a fine set.

Gravatar
By in United States,

We live in an outrage society... at least in social media. People pile on and seem to enjoy the vitriol. A lot of it is unwarranted. If you don’t like something you don’t have to buy it. I will say I’m starting to slow down on My Lego buying. There’s just too many new sets coming at once. Many are really interesting but at the end of the day, If I’m going to build it and display it it better be something special. Many sets marketed to the adults recently just aren’t all that special to me. I find myself more and more just wanting to save up a bit more money and get older sets off BrickLink that have more of that nostalgia factor for me (like the Black Seas Barracuda)

Gravatar
By in United States,

@lordofdragonss: See, "cashgrab" is one of those criticisms that I feel doesn't contribute to a productive discussion because it's effectively meaningless. Every single Lego set has the core goal of making money (even free gifts with purchase are meant to encourage other purchases). So the distinction between something that is a "cashgrab" and something that isn't usually just boils down to an individual value judgment of whether a set is worth the cost or not, not any sort of objective quality of a set.

So instead of saying "such and such set is a cashgrab," which not only implies that the judgment being rendered is a fact and not just an opinion but also implies ill intent on the part of Lego and its designers, it's much more honest and less toxic to say "I don't personally feel like this set is worth the price" or "I can't justify paying (price) for this set." That expresses the same meaning but without going from justified negativity to full-blown toxicity.

Gravatar
By in Japan,

People don't just dislike sets. If they do, they simply wouldn't buy them.
The thing is, since we can do so much with bricks and licenses now, people see so much potential. People are invested. And mind you, these sets cost an arm and a leg.
Keep listening to fans. Give builders a choice within a set.
I'm just a broke guy so I'll shut up now.

Gravatar
By in United States,

I think this article is facile. I DO agree that criticizing the designer - or, in the case of some, accusing him of intellectual theft - or other users for LIKING a set is beyond the pale. Not every set is to everyone's tastes, and never will be, but criticizing others for liking something you don't isn't cool or fair or fun or fine.

HOWEVER, criticizing a SET, even getting openly negative and saying it is a BAD PRODUCT is always 100% fine in my book. A product is a product, and if you have justifiable reasons for thinking it is lacking - even if these reasons are ENTIRELY SUBJECTIVE - that is fine. Totally fine.

I know that Lego designers work hard on their sets and are often proud of their work. And? Fast-food workers have an EXCEEDINGLY difficult and draining job (if you disagree, try it some time) but if my pizza is cold I'm not going to shrug and say "No need to be negative. They tried their best." I'm going to say "This is a subpar product and I am disappointed."

I also think the perception of AFOLs as being a brigade of Negative Nancys is overblown. The last set before the JP set to receive so much criticism was Betrayal at Cloud City. That came out nearly a YEAR ago. So we've had a slew of new sets and major D2C releases since then and most have been well-received. Where's this supposed wellspring of hatred and anger?

Lego wants to make money off of beloved and cherished properties. They want to make a LOT of money off them, selling large, EXPENSIVE sets off these properties. Criticism is going to increase with two factors:

1.) A person's emotional investment in a property
2.) A person's MONETARY investment in a property

Basically, I feel, if they can't take this kind of heat they need to get out of the kitchen. You're trying to get money from people. If the people you're trying to get money from are not satisfied or enticed by your product, then, well, that's on the company and the set designer.

Listen to the criticism, do better next time. Personal attacks should be off-limits, but if a set is a disappointment, we shouldn't expect fans to just hold their tongues because it's "harsh."

Gravatar
By in United States,

This is a beautiful set, but not one I might buy. It does feel like D2C sets are getting trolled lately. Like assault on hoth could have been a playset rather than UCS. However it is unfair that this set was insulted.

Gravatar
By in United States,

People here are just speaking the truth. We are all fans of Lego, otherwise, we won't be here in the first place. We have the right to express our disappointment on a highly anticipated set which doesn't really meet our expectations. Like many others, I strongly disagree we are currently in the golden age of Lego, in fact, quite the opposite. Sets now are more expensive in general (even after adjusted for inflation) but in lower quality. In my opinion sets in the 80s, 90s, and 2000s are way better and cooler. For instance Town sets are better than City sets, and the older Creator houses sets are far better than the current Creator houses, and the list goes on. If a set is really good, then people will give compliments, easy and simple.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Not sure if this applies to others but I know when I get negative / overly critical (I hope not nasty) it is mostly linked to the number of big sets and expensive sets relative to the number of good affordable ones. If I'm going to have pay half a month's rent to buy a set I want perfection. I don't want stickers, poor skin tones and odd collections of minifigs that miss 1 or 2 key characters. I don't grudge the market 1 or 2 big sets but if most of a wave costs hundreds of pounds then it makes being a collector impossible. I'd rather the big D2C sets included the same figures as the cheap sets so that the build was the only exclusive bit. That way people could still collect whole teams without being forced to get the big killer set.

Apologies if I have historically contributed to some of the negative/offensive threads

Gravatar
By in Greece,

Upon seeing this set, I said "just wow" and I immediately forwarded it to my 3 friends in my lug. Immediately the price subject came up. I admit that I hadn't seen the price myself but upon checking again, I immediately bursted into laughs. I mean seriously 200+ euros??? Sadly for us AFOLs, LEGO bricks have become something to collect rather than build things with. In that manner we can skip LEGO and start collecting playmobil castles, ghostbusters, romans and egyptians as Brick Dangerous said. All I am saying is please TLG make stuff a bit more down to earth for the common masses rather than make most of us feel poor :-p

Gravatar
By in United States,

Unfortunately our world has become very divisive . . . and the anonymity of the internet doesn't help. I think that while we can certainly have and express diverse opinions . . . trying to remain positive and constructive is always appreciated and helps build a healthier community.

Gravatar
By in United States,

In general, if I’m not interested in a set, I don’t bother commenting on a thread about it. If I like a set, but wish it was different, I either buy it and modify it or I don’t buy it and I create something I like better.

Mostly, and perhaps most importantly, before posting I ask myself “what does this add to the conversation?” And “do I want this comment by my name?” If I’m just one more person saying “no, I don’t like this” without anything else to add, I don’t post.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

@ fd5342 I think lego is releasing too much stuff. Who has all this money to keep buying? They need to slow down and focus on making quality kits, not that they all aren't awesome but I think if they focus on quality instead of quantity the reception would be greater. They need to find the proper algorithm. lol

---

Why do you think you have to buy it all? I am one of those people that keeps buying LEGO, I buy the stuff I like within my budget. I feel no obligation to buy everything they release though. I am simply not interested in it all and I cannot afford it all.

If they are releasing too much stuff, what would you cut? How about cut the entire Jurassic World theme, cut half of SW, cut half of City, cut to one modular every two years. What good does that do the public? There is LESS CHOICE. We'd end up with the same quality of sets as before, just less of them to choose from.

Gravatar
By in United States,

I personally LOVE this set. I really agree that it seems like people will always find something to complain about. My only thing is that it does remind me of an 10k Ideas entry.

Gravatar
By in Ireland,

Regarding brick dangerous comment near the start comparing playmobil and lego. I have the gbhq, my 4 year old has the playmobil gbhq. Mine cost around 6 times what his did. His stands about 20% taller. Mine has loads more details than his does. If I was to hazard a guess I would say that the weight in plastic of mine versus his is easily 6:1 or more. The parts of mine can be used for myriad other purposes whilst his are single use. The 2 toys just can't be compared with each other, it's like comparing apples and water melons

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

@yacoub Seems quite a large segment of the population would argue that the golden age of Lego was the late 80s/early 90s when we could get a lot of great sets in exciting themes (Pirates, Castle + Woodsmen, City, Space, Technic, etc) without all of the branded junk.
--
A lot of that is nostalgia though, as many current AFOLs were kids then, and people like what they liked as a kid. Give it another 15-20 years and new AFOLs will be talking about Classic Ninjago and describing why Nexo Knights and Chima were the best sets ever released.

Personally, I think we are in a golden age for AFOLs now, and have been for 10 years or so, with AFOL recognition by LEGO improving every year.

Gravatar
By in United States,

There was a lot of rightful negaitivity around the endgame sets, since they were so much worse than the infinity war sets. The thing is Lego couldn't have done any more than they did, they probably knew a bit more than us before the movie came out but most sets you could have made of endgame would have been spoilers. Think about it, besides the very begining and a collection of rocks for the end, you couldn't have made any sets without spoiling the plot of the movie. I feel that this might happen again in a couple of months when the Star Wars episode 9 sets release.

Gravatar
By in United States,

I think a lot of the negativity comes from a place of boredom and fueled by ego. "I don't like this and you're going to hear about it!"

I have been building with Legos for 25 years and the day I let a theme or set ruin my day is the day I stop building.

Gravatar
By in United States,

@CCC -- While I'm certain that's somewhat true, it's not always the case. I was born in 1989 and didn't start getting into Lego until around 1996, but I think that the mid-80s to around 1995 was the first "Golden Age" of Lego. This is even despite the fact that I didn't grow up with those sets. While I still look on some of the sets from my childhood with fondness (particularly from the then-new action themes like Adventurers and Rock Raiders), I'm of the opinion that what came before was generally greater.

I also think that Lego had a second "Golden Age" that lasted from 2007 until around 2015. And I'd agree that we're in a golden age for AFOLs, though I would perhaps rephrase it. I think we're in a golden age for D2C sets right now. While I don't think this golden age extends to Lego as a whole, there are some certain themes that are really knocking it out of the park right now (Friends, for example, is consistently great. Hidden Side looks promising, and the City space sets are the first time I've been interested in City in years, despite the fact that Town is one of my favorite themes).

Gravatar
By in United States,

Didn't comment on the original post but might as well throw in my two cents.
It's not that I feel EVERY set isn't catering to my niche likes, it's that NO sets have filled that gap in years. To clarify, I'm a long time fan of older, more imaginative space sets. Everything right now is either city-themed/largely realistic ala the new Mars sets or the Nth reuteration of Launch Command, or it's humans vs evil aliens in big war machines or such ala Mars Mission, Galaxy Squad, etc.
Saving that, the niche for "sci-fi/space" is basically entirely consumed by Star Wars. It's very telling that it's 20th anniversary as a product, with nearly zero gaps in production and multiple rereleases abs reiteration of the same products, fans clamoring to have *every single background character* immortalized in plastic, no matter how insignificant, meanwhile the titan that was Classic Space for its 40th anniversary, a series that, without which Lego wouldn't be where it is today, is relegated to a pack in minimodel or a payoff passing cameo? It's vaguely insulting. Worse off, pointing this out previously had been countered by accusations of, and I quote "pandering to 80s nostalgia" - despite the fact that I A) never actually grew up with Classic Space and ilk (my childhood was largely in the dark ages) and B) Star Wars is pandering to *70s nostalgia*.

It wasn't until just recently that we finally got Benny's Space Squad, and it was the happiest I'd been in literally years. Hopefully Lego will get the message that there's still a strong desire from both kids and adults for that type of product moving forward. The good guys vs bad guys archetype for every non-city product line is starting to get rather tiring.

But I'm ranting. I know the aesthetic is never coming back. It's not feasible in the era of modern set design, and that's ok - I'm not expecting that anymore. I would just like the philosophy to carry on.

And a UCS Galaxy Explorer would be nice.

Gravatar
By in Poland,

@Lychir
Ok. Nicely said so I will explain what i wanted to say by saing is a cashgrab.

In my eyes the minifigs should come in minifig sized and based sets.
With such price they could mak t rex and gate smaller and make a car that sits figs.
The figs just rise the price and their unique versions of characters many of us wanted make this set must have for many not for build how it should be but for figs.And this is horrible thing.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

It's almost as if some folk didn't even bother to read the article, just saw the title and started hammering away on the keys again....

Gravatar
By in Canada,

I think with any big set with an unannounced reveal there will always be more scrutiny behind it. It's not about anticipating something great and ones expectations being met or surpassed; or being disappointed. This set is a sudden reveal which invited a knee-jerk reaction from most commenters so we're bound to see more strongly positive or negative views on the set.

Also there is the trap of thinking of a set as being revealed to YOU and not the world. I think it's natural to be biased one way or another before really thinking it through.

Gravatar
By in Philippines,

I also don’t understand the general negativity. Many seem to focus more on what’s bad or lacking in a new set rather than what’s great about it.

Gravatar
By in United States,

People criticizing sets doesn’t really bother me.

But when people start criticizing other people for criticizing (or liking) sets, that’s when it’s gone too far.

Someone in a previous comment (but in the haze of reading all 130 some comments I forgot who) said something about how AFOLs have an air of entitlement. Now this is mostly true. The commenter went on to criticize entitlement. Part of this I can understand. But there is one thing that this commenter missed. People *are* entitled to their opinion. Someone liking or disliking a set are both valid points of view.

I will say this though: If there are certain people who can’t find anything positive to say about *any* set, then they are on the wrong website. I personally have not liked some sets, but there have been even more that I’ve loved (and proudly added to my collection)!

Gravatar
By in United States,

I love that list! It is so true! People just love to complain nowadays... It's there favorite hobby, even more so than LEGO.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

I'm feeling negative about all this negativity. Everyone has the right to an opinion and no one is either right or wrong with that opinion. If you don't like a product then don't buy it.

Gravatar
By in Sweden,

I think the golden age was 2011-2017. Sadly, we’ve seen less creativity, re-releases, hiked prices, focus on looks rather than functionality, and less originality with more and more themes becoming licensed lately.

On sites like these, people are going to vent their frustration. It’s critical for the trustworthiness of Brickset to not attempt to discourage critical voices.

Gravatar
By in United States,

I was incredibly bummed reading through the first thread’s comments, as almost every criticism seemed invalid. We are absolutely in the golden age of Lego. If you consider the brand power that they have now they are absolutely creating sets for a global market and have to factor that into the design process. They used to be focused on limited markets and a much younger age range. It’s simply not the case anymore.

Price seemed to be something frequently brought up in the previous thread and I think it is absolutely insane. The price per brick (in the US) is 7.9¢ per brick. For a licensed set that is crazy. It was common to have licensed sets even a few years ago be 12¢ per brick or more.

If we back up even further to 1995 (which I think is the timeline that a lot of these negative people romanticize in their head) it was even worse. For example, set 6195 Neptune Discovery Lab had 508 pieces and a cost of $89.99. That’s 17.5¢ a brick in 1995. Adjusted for inflation that’s 29.5¢ a brick. Can you imagine the fit people would throw if they were still at that price point? It’s not realistic to say Lego is expensive, it’s simply that sets are larger.

When I was a kid getting sets I used to get tons of $5-$10 sets. Once or twice a year I could look forward to a larger set wether it was Christmas or my birthday. Kids are now getting access to tons of amazing parts even in small sets and it just boggles my mind how people complain about price.

Another comment from the previous thread that stood out to me was someone complaining about how lame it was that Lego gave us only a few days heads up for a $250 set. This is something I’ve noticed where this fringe adult community has it in their mind that they HAVE to buy the set day one. This is nuts. Lego stocks their sets for well over a year now and it’s insane that people are so caught up with being a day 1 customer that they can’t enjoy the set unless they can purchase it the second it becomes available.

Overall I’m very disappointed with the community I’ve seen on here, although I haven’t talked with a single person who didn’t think this new set was amazing. Maybe it’s a bunch of trolls from MegaBlok HQ.

Gravatar
By in United States,

I notice a lot of comments here from people acting as though any concern about excessive negativity is insinuating criticisms of sets, designers, or The LEGO Group itself are unwelcome or people are being shamed for these opinions. Which I think is a bit of a misunderstanding.

In my case, I have no problem with people saying they dislike a set/theme, or wish it had been designed differently, or won't be buying it. I might disagree, of course. But there are a LOT of sets that I dislike, am not interested in, would have preferred if certain changes had been made, or choose not to buy.

What's really distressing is how often the criticism comes in the form of attacks on other people's CHARACTER:

For many critics, it's apparently not enough to say they dislike a set or theme — instead, it's "garbage", it's "lazy", it's "phoned-in", it's "crap that nobody wanted" and it's "an insult/slap in the face to fans".

It's not enough to say a designer or other LEGO employee's explanations or justifications for things you dislike or don't agree with seem wrong or insufficient — instead, they're "lying", they're "out-of-touch", they're "not a real fan of the theme", they're "full of themselves", they're simply "saying what LEGO wants them to say", and perhaps "they should be fired!"

And if LEGO sets a price higher than a critic is willing to pay (even if it's about on par with previous LEGO prices for their country)? It's not just something they'll regrettably have to do without. It's "price gouging", it's "greedy", it's "discriminatory", it's "elitist", it's "exploitation".

And when reviewers or other commenters have a positive overall impression of a set or even disagree with another person's negative impression, they're not just people with different perspectives, people who are more easily satisfied, or people with a more forgiving or positive outlook — they're "sheep", they're a "LEGO-worshipping cult", they're "shills", they're "mindless consumers", and chances are they're "ignoring reality".

Do you see the difference here? There are LOTS of ways to express criticism without being hostile or insulting the character of people you may not have ever met and may not even know the names of. Not only do comments like this degrade the quality of discussion and make other people feel unwelcome here on Brickset, but they honestly make LEGO LESS likely to bother trying to correct the stuff that people here are unhappy about.

After all, what do you think will happen if the responses and feedback LEGO gets from typical customers via their customer service site or social media are generally positive or critical within reason, whereas the responses and feedback they get from AFOL communities are hostile include abjectly unreasonable demands like cancelling a new theme before it's launched, retiring their most successful product lines, or putting entire departments out of work?

They're not going to think we're a valuable community with unmatched expertise about the product, whose concerns they should be making a greater effort to resolve and keep in check. They're going to think we're a fringe audience of belligerent malcontents with hair-trigger tempers, who are more trouble to keep satisified than our business and perspectives are actually worth.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Thank you everyone for engaging in the conversation and doing so courteously.

To be clear, we have no intention of censoring negative viewpoints and the intention of this article was not to stop them but to understand why there are so many nowadays.

I think we do need to be better at reading every comment and removing those which attack or abuse other commenters, and serve the perpetrators a 'hell ban' (whereby they can comment all they like but nobody else can read them)

And to specifically answer the comment that @aleydita keeps raising: Yes, the majority of our reviews are positive. We are, after all, LEGO fans and would not be running the site if we were not.

LEGO sends us sets from time to time -- we make it clear when that's the case -- but we are under no obligation to positively review them. There are few downright 'bad' LEGO sets. There are, of course, those that are bad value for money, and those that are not appealing to us as AFOLs. We point that out when we feel that's the case, and perhaps state who we think they will appeal to.

As you rightly state, however, it is more difficult for us to judge value for money when we haven't spent our own on it. But we can, based on our experience, get a feel for whether a set is good value or not, so it is that on which we base our opinion.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

There is no point in this article, it’s just that people who like something don’t share their thoughts, and people who don’t like it do. Different people have different opinions.

Gravatar
By in Lithuania,

The set is great, but TLG is producing too much of large and heavily priced sets lately which doesn't allow AFOLs to keep up on everything AFOL-worthy. TLG, basically, is trying to squeeze every penny possible from our pocket. I cannot remember last time I though collecting complete series, as there is just too much to chose from. So this results in less LEGO being purchased than originally planned.

Gravatar
By in United States,

@Aanchir: I agree completely. However, the reason this article struck me as odd is that it doesn't seem to mention the things that you do. Granted, this may well be because I didn't look through the comments on that Jurassic Park set (since it's not one I'm interested in), so perhaps there was a lot of that attitude there. So, my not seeing that, combined with the checklist at the end that ignores several things (both that different people make the different complaints, and that context matters for some of them; as Navy Trooper Fenson mentioned, the snowspeeder in the Hoth set had been made multiple times before, while the iconic Jurassic Park car has not been made in a set yet), makes it seem as if the article is expressing dismay at negative opinions of sets themselves.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

At no point has @Huw or anyone from Brickset said people aren't free to express their opinions. Quite the opposite. The question about "What can we do to stop it?" wasn't a call for censorship, it was an invitation for dialogue. There's a difference between "I see. Not my thing, this set." and a laundry list of complaints about how the set and Lego are doing everything wrong.

How to converse more constructively and enjoyably is sort of the issue, and dampening down on the vitriol. Some people probably enjoy their rank consumer anger, but if they think other people think they are wry, witty observers they are likely mistaken.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

@Aanchir They're going to think we're a fringe audience of belligerent malcontents with hair-trigger tempers, who are more trouble to keep satisified than our business and perspectives are actually worth.

---

They will probably also check sales data for the types of sets AFOLs enjoy, and realise that all these crappy, overpriced, badly designed sets sell quite well and so they will continue to produce the crappy, overpriced, badly designed sets that people hate so much but keep on buying.

Gravatar
By in United States,

@Aanchir - I couldn't have said it better...literally. I am definitely not as fluent at communicating my thoughts - you absolutely nailed it.

Gravatar
By in United States,

Collectors become grumpy when they see a lot of resources poured into something that sorta, kinda occupies a perceived gap on their shelves, but is pretty far from what they hoped for. They fear that the decision makers will go "well, that's sorted," and never get around to creating the thing they really wanted.

Also, as someone who has worked 30 years for an organization dependent on community donations, I can confirm that the worst people I've had to deal with have been supporters. Entitlement is by no means confined to fandom.

Gravatar
By in United States,

I certainly don’t understand the negativity. You not liking a set doesn’t mean it’s awful or the company screwed up in making & releasing it. People like & love it, so it clearly wasn’t a mistake to make it. There are plenty of sets/themes I don’t care for, but that doesn’t make them bad. That just means they aren’t for me. More people need to understand that.

As to criticism...nobody is asking or saying we need to praise everything TLG puts out, but you don’t need to insult the set, designer, & company in the process. You could still appreciate the work that went into the set(s) even if they aren’t going on your wanted list. I have no interest in Elves, but once I finally took a look at the theme, I can understand why people like it so much.

Gravatar
By in Serbia,

Toxic negativity is extremely annoying, although I find toxic positivity to be just as annoying - if not more. There are people here who spend more time on PR activities for TLG than TLG itself does, making it their cause to justify every single thing TLG does.

TLG is a business. Even though it is still privately (family) owned, it also has a lot of stakeholders, particularly in the upper echelons, who are primarily focused on the business side and profit, and that's perfectly fine and normal for a corporation. When they engage the community, it's because there is a good business reason to do so. They would not be spending money on AFOL engagement otherwise. So, looking at TLG should be no different than looking at Hasbro, Mattel, Proctor & Gamble, General Motors, or any other corporation.

There are great people working for the company (Mark Stafford and other designers being some of those great people), but as a whole, it's a multinational corporation that, let me remind you, also fired 1800 employees the moment their profit went down. They weren't even losing money, they simply weren't making as much as they projected they would be. I know some of the people who lost their jobs at the time, including designers - and I also know the level of anxiety and fear that was present at the time.

As paying fans of the product, we should have every right to criticize said product and business practices of the company itself. But it's wasteful to spend hours upon hours raging over a product to be released when there is absolutely nothing you can do to change the release. So, my advice: state your opinion, vote with your wallet (don't buy said product or buy when it's on clearance), and then forget about it. If a new product is not for you, buy something older from Bricklink or save up money for something else. Or buy bricks and make your own stuff. Life is too short to spend on complaining about products, particularly luxury ones.

Gravatar
By in Canada,

In this age of internet, everybody seem to firmly believe they are entitled. Some people believe that every opinion is valid and should be respected - not true; person A may be of the opinion that it was OK to kill person B because otherwise person B would have caused much troubles to person A. This concept of "every opinion is valid" is simply not true, and, for a very simple reason: we live in a society. If you want to have it your way and say whatever crosses your mind then move into the woods and do as you please. In a society, you have to accommodate for everybody else. You have a right to your opinion - you just cannot force it on other and call them names(or worse) if they disagree - and also not everything is good or worth saying. The benefits of living in society far outweigh the small cost of self-disciplining yourself. As someone above mentioned: if you don't have something nice to say don't say it. This statement is somewhat misleading as it may be labelled as "fanboy" in nature by some people. Just replace it with: If you don't have something 'constructive' to say than keep it to yourself. Mentioning that YOU don't like a set for reason A, B or C does not help anyone, not even yourself. If you don't like bananas, you won't buy any right? And you won't bitch about the grocer who sells them...

On cost: Amazon eventually puts pretty much every sets on sale to some degree. In reality, you don't need ANY Lego sets to survive, so just buy them when the price reflects your perception of its value. Lunar Lander was not a day 1 purchase for me because I figured I could get it at Amazon with 20% off. It was a day 5 purchase because I got the 5% Lego points, a free set and a badge. To me, that was somewhat equivalent to a 20% rebate. Other's people mileage may vary. Last sets I bought prior to this: 42078, 42066, 42063 - all heavily discounted.

On design: This is a toy where you can build whatever you fancy. You wanted a JP Visitor Center? Build one! You don't like the design of a set? Change it! You don't know how? The internet will give you countless ideas of design possibilities. I bought the Lunar Lander. I didn't like a few design choices. I ordered the parts and changed it to something which is much more accurate - now I'm happy! If you noticed, most of the comments are from "collectors". Builders don't seem to have as many issues, as they can easily modify or create what they need/want. They usually applaud new sets as they bring either new parts or new part colours.

On 99% positive review: have you ever discussed music with a DJ or a radio station animator? They seem to like/love just about everything. This is their life, they live for it, they have an ability to find something nice in every piece they listen to. I personally disagree with 99% positive review (to me it should follow the bell curve - 10% outstanding, 40% good, 40% meh, 10% crap) but I understand where it comes from. The reviewers are upbeat about the product and they review the sets they like themselves. They also have no difficulty finding good aspects (being either the model itself or the minifigs included) on every set - hence the skewed results. That being said, I love Brickset and I'm grateful for it (for much more than just the reviews - which are generally good and brings about points that I may have overlooked).
I think the reviews are good in a sense that what needs to be criticised is criticised properly. To me what is odd, is that whatever is written above, the conclusion seems to always be the same.

On lines of product/marketing: This is where, I'm having the hardest time with Lego. I'm no fan of Pirates or Castle but I know that they are a very large group of people (which truly create amongst the nicest MOCs available on the net - along with space, classic or not). Why Lego has not done anything in that sphere (licence free like before - no need for LotR or PotC). Why Lego can only do full train sets - how about just wagon alone? Technic is my thing. In the good times, the quality of a set was measured by the number of (realis

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Don't you just love the logic of people who spew hatred about something that they don't even have to buy?

Gravatar
By in Canada,

(continued)...
Technic is my thing. In the good times, the quality of a set was measured by the number of (realistic) functions. To me the last good Technic sets were 42043 and 8043. The Chiron might be great but what's the need of all those gears if you cannot see what they are all doing - I'll take another 8448 please! The themes are getting blurred. There used to be a Model Team theme (which is probably Creator now). By blending both together , you displease Model Team people because they don't like Technic and you displease Technic people because there are fewer functions or you cannot SEE what the model do. Technic sets don't have to be vehicles. They can be any piece of machinery - as long as the functions are cool, this is a good Technic set.

All of this can be seen as my own venting but in the end it is my consumer feedback directed at the Lego company (which I hope has a dedicated person monitoring everything on the social medias) in the hope that what can be (easily imho) fixed will be. Companies normally have to pay good money to collect information like that. With forums like this one, they get all this for free.

I think the JP set is fantastic but not my thing - then again, at a good price, I might consider it! ;-)
(I do agree that the jeep is missing though - would be a smart move to make it available)

Gravatar
By in United States,

I couldn’t agree more. As a ninjago fan, all I ever hear from this community is how they wish that theme would end and be replaced with something else.
It’s always good to remember that there’s room for both things you like and things that other people like. It’s not one or the other.

Gravatar
By in Canada,

I don’t understand the complaining about the excessive number of big, expensive sets.
That’s a good thing! There is no obligation to buy them all, and interests differ from one person to the other.
For example, if someone has a budget for 3 >200$ sets per year, it’s better to choose between 30 sets than 10 sets.
A few years ago I bought all the sets I liked. Now there is too much of them. I have to make tough decisions. The happiest problem someone can have!

Gravatar
By in Serbia,

@HOBBES: Amazon is not an option for people from outside of North America, due to high shipping and customs fees. So, listing all the nice discounts that North Americans enjoy on a regular basis may lead to additional frustration from us Europeans, and I know Australians and New Zealanders have it even worse... ;)

Gravatar
By in Canada,

And I don’t always agree with the complaining that a set have to be precisely like a specific scene in a movie.
For example: the fact that we didn’t saw a T-Rex beside a door in the movie doesn’t mean that a T-Rex doesn’t look nice (or realistic) beside a door.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

If a set is poor we are in a democratic country so can so. Just because Brickset get the information from Lego on a lot of sets doesn't mean we have to suck up as well. This article annoys me in that it was even posted as clearly trying to get information for Lego. If Lego want information they can offer fans maybe free minifig for a questionnaire not have fan sites do it for them. Rant over.

Gravatar
By in United States,

I just hope that Lego listens to the praise and the positive comments more than the negative ones. The set isn’t even out yet! However, after seeing it and the minifigures that come with it... I’m very excited to build it! It is huge and has a variety of options for display.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and mine is: I’M SO EXCITED TO BUILD IT!!!

Gravatar
By in Canada,

@HOBBES: I had my comment typed but deleted it because I think you nailed everything I wanted to say. Preach.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

@HOBBES On lines of product/marketing: This is where, I'm having the hardest time with Lego. I'm no fan of Pirates or Castle but I know that they are a very large group of people (which truly create amongst the nicest MOCs available on the net - along with space, classic or not). Why Lego has not done anything in that sphere (licence free like before - no need for LotR or PotC).

LEGO have done loads of castle sets in the past. There were some very good sets. Although there were also lots of complaints from AFOLs over the 2013 range - simplistic / cartoon heraldry of the factions, too similar sets to the previous ones from 2010. And not similar enough to the much older ones. It then took a break while Nexo Knights was out but is rumoured to be coming back soon. And there are a lot of great MOCs out there - this may also be part of the problem. The wider population isn't going to buy into unlicensed large sets that are MOC like quality that cost $500. But also people creating these are not going to buy sets that are of much lower part count and hence quality of build / design. Again, see the complaints about use of panels in official castle sets, which keeps the price down and the size up.

And what do you mean by no need for POTC / LOTR? There were castle sets out at the same time as LOTR sets. And there was a need for LOTR - to appeal to LOTR fans. That license brought a number of adults into LEGO. Just like the Jurassic World license has brought in fans of that franchise where the unlicensed dinosaur sets were not of interest to them.

@HOBBES Why Lego can only do full train sets - how about just wagon alone?

They have done in the past, it didn't work out so well.

Gravatar
By in United States,

@HOBBES

I don’t quite agree that someone disliking a lego set and someone committing murder are exactly equivalent... I think you are taking it a bit too far. If you don’t like a certain perspective, simply skip over it as you would a set you don’t like. I do think that this is the Golden Age of Lego. Let me be clear. I’m not defending people who are constantly negative. Those people drive me insane. But people who are so crazy about something that they won’t let one critical thing go out of someone else’s mouth drive me equally insane.

But Let’s have a bit of perspective. This is Lego...

Brickset is my favorite Lego website—just throwing that out there.

Gravatar
By in United States,

I think one issue of unnecessary, violent negativity is that it delegitimizes very fair criticisms.

I know the conversation was supposed to be generic, but the Jurassic Park set is a great example. Someone complains, bashes the designer, etc. for no jeep. Now all the other jeep-wanters are delegitimized. Now ANYONE who says "I would have liked to see a jeep" is too critical. Now people who want jeeps get the "you would have complained if there WAS one". Thats not constructive either. Responding to people who want jeeps with "lets say there WAS one - what would that look like, what would we face as consumers?" Is far more constructive.

To be constructive would be to see the validity in calm, rational criticism, and engage with that criticism respectfully.

This discussion is about toxic comments, but if we want less toxicity (if that's even possible) there has to be willingness from people of all perspectives to debate, rather than shut down, others.

On another note, as others have said already, saturation may be an issue. We get SO MANY D2Cs these days (i think of the list an earlier user posted of 2018 v 2008), that D2Cs cant just be good anymore. There are so many D2Cs, that now they have to be especially flashy to stand out; otherwise, theyre "just another big set."

I think of the new Empire State Building. Even a simplified one in the same year as the 2008 Eiffel Tower would have caught everyones attention. But now, I personally see the ESB as $100+ I can't spend on my other goal, collecting the modulars from 2015-2019.

What I'm trying to say is this: a lot of perfectly good D2Cs are released these days, but being underwhelmed by them, or even critical of them, is totally justifiable when the competition from other D2Cs is so stiff.

Gravatar
By in Germany,

People love to whine, and what's more, have somehow deluded themselves (or been deluded) into thinking that their opinions hold inherent value or that anyone wants to hear them.

Gravatar
By in United States,

I must admit @Huw, this article itself disappoints me. It shows a lack of critical thinking and disregard for logic. The questions asked are very confused and do not follow the path set out in the article.

You start off by commenting on the critical mass of negativity on this set both on Brickset and other sites, but later ask questions such as "How do we stop this?", implying that this set must be amazing and the criticism must be wrong and worth stopping.

Is there a new spate of negativity towards new D2C sets as you suggest? I don't believe there is. Looking at recently released D2C sets such as the Stranger Things set and the Ford Mustang - those are examples of well received sets which have been well supported by the community. Going out of the D2C sphere, as far as I can see, the recent Moon Lander launch was very well received.

Of course, there was negative feedback towards those sets by people who didn't enjoy them or thought the set wasn't for them, and that's fine. But my perception is that the overall reception was positive.

So, I reject your premise that there is a new spate of constant negativity, and my answer to the question of whether the community should do something to stop the negativity is "no, the community SHOULD CONTINUE to criticize sets it doesn't like."

I feel the better question to ask, is "why is THIS set being criticized so much?". And at that point you cannot answer the question without discussing the individual criticisms towards this set.

Similarly, the rest of your questions about why it wasn't well received, such as "Because of unrealistic expectations?", "Because the bar has been set high by previous sets?", "Because people think that every set released should appeal to them?", cannot be answered without referring to the problems with this set in particular.

If the criticism of this set is as near universal as you suggest, and other D2C sets recently have been well received, then I simply must accept that this set has problems that "the community" on the whole agrees with, and that they, unlike yourself and CapnRex101, were not blown away.

As requested, I will not go into my own opinions as to why set is receiving the feedback that it is. But, I'm glad you both like the set, and hope you enjoy it. Lego is amazing regardless of what you're building. Enjoy the building process and the final model. :D Ignore the rest - your enjoyment is what matters!

Gravatar
By in United States,

I'm just enjoying seeing all of the AFOL's here getting upset and bent out of shape that they were being called out by the website. It's quite amusing seeing everyone trying to defend themselves. Grow up people. Stay off the internet if you think you're being silenced. There are more important things to worry about than needing to moan and complain about not liking a Lego set that you somehow think you are being forced to buy.

Gravatar
By in United States,

I see a lot of these scorched-earth negative folks (e.g. "It's not that I feel EVERY set isn't catering to my niche likes, it's that NO sets have filled that gap in years") as holding it against LEGO that they've changed over time. They want their childhood experience & the happiness it brought them replicated, it isn't, and they blame LEGO. IMO this is about unrealistic expectations, not product quality.

I dabbled in LEGO as a kid but not memorably. As an adult, my daughter started getting LEGO sets for her birthday. I helped her with them and thought "Hey this is fun". We went to the LEGO aisle at Toys R Us (womp womp) and I thought, wow, there's some neat stuff. We got a LEGO catalog in the mail and my mind was blown ("they have sets THAT big/intricate/impressive?"). We went to a Lego Discovery Center, had a blast, and the attached store was beyond my imagination. Finally I couldn't resist and started buying sets for myself and it's been revelatory. I stretch out builds, pore over the fine details, and enjoy the finished models - it's the perfect therapy for me at the end of a long day.

So as someone who's admittedly only been seriously buying/collecting for about a year and a half - to me this is absolutely a "Golden Age". I spend a lot of time on LEGO blogs (and especially this site) reading reviews and looking at past sets - as far as I can tell the LEGO system is just getting more refined and interesting over time, and the new designs/sets I see get more and more appealing. Voltron, Ninjago City, the Saturn V, the Disney Castle, the Modular Building line, the entire Architecture line, the entire Creator Expert line, that massive Hogwarts (I'm not into Harry Potter but I'd love to build that), there's an infinite list of stuff I'm dying to spend time with. I'm man enough to admit that I've even fallen for the Friends sets my daughter loves. I'm an adult with 10,000 other things competing for my time and attention, and yet LEGO snagged me hard. Given what I know about past sets, I'm not confident that would've happened 5-10+ years ago. If that doesn't make the present a "Golden Age", I don't know what would.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

@Sammael - Amazon is not an option for people from outside of North America, due to high shipping and customs fees.
---

Yes it is. In Europe we have Amazon France, Germany, Italy, Spain and UK sites. All do discounts at various times. There are even links to them from brickset.

Gravatar
By in United States,

Negativity is just the normal background noise of the internet. Like spam. It's just about getting attention and clicks.

That said, the cost one isn't fair. If cost per part is below that magic 10c/piece, I don't think anyone will complain. But the others are sadly spot on. Personally, I try to just skip commenting altogether on sets I don't like.

Gravatar
By in Serbia,

@CCC - I am, of course, talking about Amazon.com and Amazon.ca which have much lower prices than any Amazon in Europe to begin with, and then have much higher discounts on top of that.

By the way, I am in Europe too, and I have to pay customs fees on LEGO imported from Europe because it is no longer manufactured solely in the EU. And, come Brexit, so will you.

Gravatar
By in Canada,

As I can't point specifics regarding that JP set, I will point these two things -

1. Do you prefer a suburbia everything is good and positive comments section over a real life sometimes things aren't great comments section ? I prefer the latter.

2. Labour of love or not, *every* Lego set is a commercial product made to sell as many sets possible in order to make the company more profitable. The creation of the product might be art, but the goal is still to sell. As consumers, it's our right and duty to point the bad things too, not just the good things. Just read the comments for "Strange Things", it was mainly positive. I love Lego, but it's not a cute small company anymore, it's one the biggest brands in the world. If they'll start taking their customer base for granted, or start acting as "you'll buy everything we'll product no question asked" approach, they'll get some negativity for sure.

Gravatar
By in United States,

I'm going to be honest here, I agree with just2good and MechaHamster.

Gravatar
By in United States,

Oh man, that complaint checklist is spot on for the general comments you see... and I have to admit, I've voiced some of those complaints before on models. But all the same, my general approach to not liking a set is to not buying it. For the record, I like the JP set, even if there are a few issues with it.

Gravatar
By in United States,

One other thought: the entitlement shown with the whole 501st battlepack fiasco, for instance, is a contributing factor. A very loud, obnoxious minority flooded comment sections until Lego relented and announced a battlepack was in the works. That served as proof that troll tactics can succeed in getting what you feel you're entitled to and IMO it's a shame Lego let the bullies win.

I think a little of that is in play here: the "If I'm loud enough maybe they'll reconsider" mentality.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Bit hypocritical when this site was one of the lead torch & pitchfork bearers for the the decreed monster that you all believed 75098 Assault on Hoth to be !!!!

People will like sets, people will loth sets each to there own but ultimately were all fans of the lego group and should trust they know what their doing

You can buy the set if you want or not its up to you what you can't do is be mad if the company doesn't do what you want.

Gravatar
By in United States,

The anger yesterday was amazing to watch. Appreciate the reality-check attempt, Huw et al.

Gravatar
By in Germany,

Ok, just for the sake of completion, I'd like to add a comment as well, from the angle of human psychology.

The thing is that LEGO by now appeals to a wide variety of audiences: children, teens and adults, girls and boys, with a wide variety of interests. So, it is simply impossible to make a set that will appeal to every possible demographic.

No matter what set LEGO makes, there will be people who won't like it.

Then we come to the point of human psychology: It is easier to complain than to give praise. If something is great, it is easy to nitpick and find faults. If something is bad, it is hard to find good things to say.

It's because it requires more mental effort to formulate positive things, and it requires more emotional effort to go beyond negative feelings, disappointment. As we are all mere humans :-), it is comfortable to pick the easy option.

Gravatar
By in Canada,

Question for @Huw. We are now at 173 comments. If you consult the most commented posts in the past, were they positive or negative? As mentioned by many others, happy or indifferent people will just go about their life. Displeased people will however feel a need to vent their frustration that's why we usually hear more negative than positive. Personally, as there is at least one good Technic and one good Creator set per year, my Lego needs are always satisfied. Now, I just have to hope they will create new sets with the particular parts I need in the particular colours I need them to be...

Gravatar
By in United States,

While I agree with many of the Yes and No variations to each subject, as they work to determine whether I purchase a set, there are a lot of answers that are not covered.

Vehicles:
Yes - While I would like the set, I don't need another of the vehicle supplied (I have enough batmobiles to start a wacky race). I understand the vehicles add play value, but so do good buildings. There are a lot of sets that focus on chases, but not enough that focus on character.

Unique Minifigures:
Yes - It does not have enough unique figures to warrant a purchase. Depending on the cost of the set, I want a good ratio of new vs. repeat characters. I am not excited about new Batman/Superman/Spiderman/HarryPotter figures, but will accept a new Batman if I get 3 uniques. It is a matter of the ratio. 3 old characters for 1 new one isn't incentive to purchase. Building a world needs other cast members instead of just the main feature.

Comparing 76097: Lex Luthor Mech Takedown and 76098: Speed Force Freeze Pursuit are a good example of these. The Lex Mech has 2 characters I don't have, and 3 I do. But, I already have a Lex Mech, so the vehicle adds no value to me. Only Cheetah and Firestorm are interesting. At $40, the value isn't there. Speed Force set has Reverse Flash and Killer Frost with a helicopter for Cyborg (new for him) at a $30 price point. The frost car I don't care for, would much rather have had some ice blocks like you see in the Mr. Freeze sets (10737 as an example). But the value is better in this set.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

In that case, here's my constructive criticism; how can you package two iconic aspects - of the original movie - the T-rex and the gate - but not include the car that was CENTRAL to both?

Fans have a right to be skeptical, especially given the set is valued at £220.

Gravatar
By in United States,

"The thing is that LEGO by now appeals to a wide variety of audiences: children, teens and adults, girls and boys, with a wide variety of interests. So, it is simply impossible to make a set that will appeal to every possible demographic.

No matter what set LEGO makes, there will be people who won't like it."

I mean I am over here in the corner hoping Bionicle someday gets a third generation and I know most of the older AFOL's would consider that a waste of production space...

But all the new themes have been great to get my family picking up the brick in ways they wouldn't have when I was a kid. I wonder if my sister would have gotten into Lego had Friends been released 15 years earlier than it was. My mom is starting to have a small collection of Creator sets and my dad was asking for the Steamboat Willie set the other day... My brother in law picks up lots of collectible minifigures and saw the Jurassic Park gate announced online before I ever had a chance to mention it to him. If anything the breadth of themes is getting people who didn't share the Star Wars & Bionicle obsession of my childhood; into Lego themselves as adults.

Gravatar
By in United States,

LEGO should stop printing faces on mini figures and just use stickers to keep costs down.

Kidding of course! I think stickers didn’t make the complaint checklist because they’re the one thing we all agree on.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

I'm not sure if this is a golden age, but it's definitely shiny. There have lots of superb sets over the last couple of years. Sure few of us can afford to buy a large percentage of the bigger sets, but isn't it great to have such a range of possible purchases to drool and agonise over.

I agree with a lot of the comments that this discussion is really about how people behave on-line. The web and social media in particular seems to breed trolling and general exaggeration, aggression and intolerance of other people's views. Bit like when you get in your car and turn from a mild mannered person in to an angry horned demon.

Gravatar
By in Germany,

You are ten year to late, to say that Lego is in his golden age.

Gravatar
By in United States,

Just to say the complaint check list is actually both true and hilarious! :')

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

People are a lot more... passionate when expressing themselves, is probably the most neutral way to put it. And companies are always banging on about how YOU have a right to be heard and YOUR opinion matters... But if they hear too many of the wrong opinions they'll never do the thing you like and oh gods man the battlements send out the riders our very FUTURES are at stake!!

Except, y'know, they're not. Market research is about a heck of a lot more than just the loudest voice in the particular room you're in.

Gravatar
By in United States,

There is nothing wrong with having an opinion, however, with opinions, there will always be people who either like or dislike something. The best thing to do is avoid insulting others because of their opinions and just because something is disliked doesn't mean it shouldn't exist, there still may be others who appreciate the set. Very few have done it on Brickset specifically, yet, I have ran into comments which literally say that exact point. Overall summary, people have opinions and nobody deserves to be criticized for their opinions, whether we disagree or not.

Gravatar
By in United States,

I totally get it. The reaction to the dinosaur skeletons set from ideas was ridiculous from some parts of the community (haven't seen any of it here that I remember), calling it a bad set because it didn't fit in with their arbitrary definitions of a "city." It's really unfortunate. I expected a lot better from this community honestly, but I suppose we're all disappointed sometimes.

Gravatar
By in United States,

I take some solace in that the number of commenters on any give article is only 1-2% of the number of viewers. And among the negative commenters, commenters who crossed the line from honest disappointment to vitriol were only a fraction of those. When an internet discussion turns hostile, I think far more people simply tune out rather than participate.

Gravatar
By in United States,

@Mr Hobbles it seems like many are conflating the idea of wanting to curb negativity/whining with censoring criticism. I think the former is the goal, not the latter. From my perspective (which is obviously one data point) the amount of immature and whiny comments have slowly increased over the past 2-4 years. I'm not sure what the reasons are, but this could be a moderation issue as well.

Everyone won't like the same sets, and they shouldn't have to. We should always have critical responses that have good reasoning behind them.

Gravatar
By in Ireland,

@Huw I’m with you all the way. So much negativity in the world, with news, Trump, the thought of Boris Johnson becoming Prime Minister (... shudder). I can’t understand why people feel the need to keep taking to message boards and comment sections with nothing positive to say, just whinge whinge whine whine wahwahwah. It’s LEGO, not something that fundamentally affects our lives, it’s something to be enjoyed, there’s nobody holding a gun to someone’s head saying buy this set now, we have a choice in the shopping department and I say the more choice the better. Same syndrome with Game of Thrones, it ended the way it ended so just get over it people! Okay end of rant. :)

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

The majority of the posts did explain what people disliked about the set, so that explains a lot of the negativity - they did give their reasons, on an individual basis, making it relatively constructive. The reason why things go south from there, is that people approach these discussions as an argument to 'win', they see other opinions as wrong or lesser to their own. Ultimately, that's because the way we approach a discussion or debate with others is something that's not really ever taught properly to people, at least not the specifics. The attitude of people's approaches is what causes basically every internet argument there is - nobody ever wants to have their own opinion changed, they just want to fight and 'win', rather than learn or see another viewpoint.

Gravatar
By in United States,

Hmm, on negativity in general, maybe it is time to limit the comment threads on the main page to an age restriction like the forums currently do. I bet we can get a decent chunk of childish vitriol and unreasonable hate removed if those who are of an age that is childish and unreasonable cannot post. Granted, I admit this won't spare us from those who still act like children decades after the fact, but it might be worth considering.

I like the sub-conversation going on about the "Golden Age of Lego". I've made my opinions and research on the matter known from time-to-time, so I will summarize in asserting that indeed, the first Golden Age of the Lego System (not Lego the company, mind you) stretched from roughly 1987 to 1995. A case can be made for including 1986 and 1996 at the tail ends, as well as for a slight dip (a plateau, if you will) in 1993, but those years standardize and exemplify the core Lego themes and designs which had their primordial roots in the Lego sets of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Most will agree that 1997 through 2001 was something of a decline (a "Dark Age"), with a few points of light like Star Wars. In this time period, the Lego System dies, and we cannot speak of future Golden Ages for it. Not that this is a bad thing! But at the time, having only ever known the System, it seemed like things were coming to an end (Lego's financial situation notwithstanding).

So, from 2002 onwards, we see a strong, steady climb back up, buoyed by Star Wars and BIONICLE from the get-go. It leads to advent of some truly gargantuan and detailed sets by the year 2007. By the end of 2008, it becomes clear we are in the midst of something special. I would liken this to the beginning of the second golden age, but it is not comparable to the first. And I mean that literally. You cannot compare something like the Taj Mahal set to 1994's Century Skyway (other than both use a lot of white bricks). I would suggest we call this the Golden Age of Lego Hegemony, for it is in this time period that Lego sets go beyond being a successful toy line and come into their own as a significant cultural force.

Now, this would be the Golden Age that Huw speaks of. It is too soon to really say what the last couple of years have contributed to this, here a decade since the second golden age started, but my own opinion after seeing hordes of Bricksetter opinions and set reviews over the last couple of years is that we might have slipped into something of a "Silver Age". I make no firm conclusions, however. Time will tell if this is indeed the Silver Age of Lego Licensed Sets or just another, longer-lasting plateau between two peaks.

Gravatar
By in United States,

@Lego Lord Mayorca:
Amazing--that's almost exactly my definition of the golden ages (~1987 to 1995, and then starting up again ~2007). I've felt like the second Golden Age began to slip around 2015 or so, shortly after the Lego Movie. I feel like we're in a Silver Age*--but, as you say, it's hard to tell. We've still had some amazing stuff between 2016 and now.

*I think we're still in a Golden Age for D2C sets, but I don't think that has extended to all of Lego.

EDIT: I do admit that part of this may be due to my own interests. I have three kids, and I find that other toys are often more appealing. Playmobil, for example, has the kinds of kits that made me love Lego Town in the first Golden Age, and the value is pretty good (plus, they're not made in China). And Star Wars action figures and toy ships are much more accurate than their Lego counterparts, and often cheaper. I have a little Hot Wheels Imperial Shuttle sitting on my desk at work, and it's a lot of fun to swoosh around while still looking great.
I've tried to set those factors aside when looking at golden ages, but I'm aware that I may not be entirely successful.

Gravatar
By in Puerto Rico,

This is kind of a weird, passive aggressive, shut-downy article.

Even if Brickset largely disagrees with the community's reaction to the model, I don't understand the need to stifle their opinions. I agree that people shouldn't be overly rude, and perhaps they should be more appreciative of the care the designer put into the model, but constructive discourse should never be at the expense of anyone's honest opinion. That's what comments are for.

Gravatar
By in Netherlands,

Despite 2016 dragging me back into LEGO after 15 years, I don't call this the Golden Age of Entire LEGO.

Maybe it's close to a Golden Age to get new Licenses from TV shows and Movies, but certainly not the Golden Age of long-lasting Town/Trains/Space/Castle/Pirates co-existing and then some more, outside of Ninjago and City, waves of sets come and go.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

@Huw - I think part of the issue could be LEGO's apparent shift towards the 'premium' area of the market, with numerous large sets now being released annually, with correspondingly high RRPs.

Ultimately if you buy any premium item, most people will expect a quality product.... and in my mind part of the recent 'negativity' is a reaction to this - if you buy a £50 watch it's not the end of the world if it has the odd issue - but it would be a different matter if you'd spent £1K on it!

I appreciate there's development costs, plus licensing, advertising etc to consider - but sometimes I do wonder how much the actual unit cost of £220 set is; I get the feeling someone's making a hefty profit somewhere.....

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

If you don't like it, don't buy it. Simple.

Gravatar
By in New Zealand,

Maybe we can join the whingers of Season 8 of Game of Thrones and start a petition to make the Lego designers re-do this set?!?

We seem to live in a world now where everyone likes to complain, people are too easily offended and we have to bow to their feelings.

We also live in a world where there's trolls whose only ambition is to bring everyone down to their level, look at the hate Last Jedi received (and the recent Game of Thrones final season) In some parts its justified, but im of the opinion 80% of it is pure Trolling. People enjoying bringing others down.
Im hoping this fine site doesn't turn into one of those communities where the Troll's ruin it for everyone.

Gravatar
By in Australia,

The Lego community has some of the whiniest man-babies I've ever come across in a subculture group, with entitled, bitter, cynical and cringeworthy behaviour that's close to being on par with the notoriously detestable "gamer" culture. Not sure what the 'A' in AFOL represents these days, but it sure as hell ain't "adult"!

Gravatar
By in France,

Such a negativity is a drawback of becoming a kind of luxury brand.
Lego is getting more and more expansive and thus, consumers are prone to check what they get for so big prices. Perfection is not in this World but if you have to pay more than 200 euros for a set, you need to be convinced almost totally.

Gravatar
By in Canada,

@Mozza. There is an 'opportunity cost' in that view. Of course, those who don't like it won't buy it - JP is not a theme I'm interested in (aside for parts), so I won't buy it and it does not bother me the least bit. But for those who are avid collectors of JP sets, there is indeed a huge opportunity cost in that set. There is very little chance that Lego produces another Gate (maybe more modest) with another T-rex(maybe a bit less complex) with (this time around) a Jeep. So, for that group, this is a missed opportunity from Lego with very little chance of seeing it fixed anytime soon or at all. That is at the base of a big category of complaints for many themes. Of course they can build the jeep themselves but for some 'purist', this won't be an offical Lego set. Producing a $20 jeep on the side would solve a big part of the problem but people would still complain that they have to buy two sets where it should be only one (at the cost of only one).

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Haha, so I'm not the only on on here noticing all the negativity and moaning. As I've said before it's Lego, if you want a model of something, design it, buy the bricks and build it yourself and stop complaining that Lego didn't build it to your needs!!

Gravatar
By in Sweden,

I was really happy to see a JP set and hopefully there will be a whole line soon.
As a community we should be able to discuss positive and negative opinions without attacking each other.
There will never be a perfect Lego set, but that's the great thing with Lego. You can change it.

Gravatar
By in United States,

I think most people (myself included) may interpret data in a point by point basis and not always big picture.

Prices probably have remained consistent even though they come off as more expensive. There is a significant increase in expensive sets on the market compared to even 5 years ago. That adds to the collectibility and the many sets that are "out of reach" even for people who have a decent lego budget. People will forget what it was like years ago and only grumble about the present because our attention spans have decreased significantly thanks to "screens." (IMO)

Quality of sets usually are getting better and better, but is that because of extra specialized pieces vs new build techniques. Sets can have a lot of great factors and then fall short somewhere else.

I have been a minifigure collector for years and when a D2C set comes out that is meh, but it has great figures (or just one great figure) it upsets me since I know I won't be getting that figure for the collection.

So taking price and quality into consideration, there is still a point where I have limited funds and limited space, so most sets need to be evaluated if I can actually accommodate those sets.

Gravatar
By in United States,

Personally, I've rarely felt like the comments on this site are overly negative. In fact I would say many of the LEGO sites I follow, including brickset, have generally positive comments and a positive atmosphere. The most negativity I've ever seen expressed.....has been in this thread and in this article. A lot of people just complaining about other people and the "generational changes", has almost nothing to do with discussing LEGO. I left a comment on the JP thread saying what a lot of people are saying, I like this part but I don't like this part and the price is too high when you take that into account. So when you write an article calling people out for their comments, on a site you draw add revenue through when we visit and comment, yeah that's gonna feel like a personal attack. Maybe we shouldn't feel that way, maybe you didn't mean it in that way, but I think a lot of people, myself included, feel like you intentionally wrote an article to discredit what we feel are valid subjective criticisms. I agree personal attacks towards the creator or other users and general statements like "this is garbage" are problematic, but they are not the norm and by focusing on it you lump all criticisms into one general realm of irrational negativity. You didn't write this article to improve anything, you wrote it as a call-out without anything constructive. You didnt address anything about THE MAJORITY of comments which are either positive or at least neutral criticisms. You posed no solutions(You could have a user post of the day to highlight positive comments, You can add report buttons for egregious comments, you could create a weekly thread for people to post about what they like and encourage positive participation). You did none of that, you focused on negativity and wrote an article about it. You got upset people didn't agree with your assessment and took their comments as personal attacks and chose to make your own article and mock your users. Your checklist is meant to highlight this irrational inconsistent standard, but you fail to recognize that all of those are subjective opinions, of course people are going to have opposite reactions. People want/like different things so of course you're going to get opposite reactions. You ask different people why they like or dislike pepperoni pizza you will get people who say they love it because its greasy and people who say they hate it because its too greasy, that is not a double standard its an expressed subjective opinion. You lumped people's legitimate opinions in with the concept of being disrespectful and made minimal effort to differentiate between the two. I went back and read most of the comment stream, there are maybe a dozen straight up negative comments, a few high praise comments, and the vast majority are valid subjective criticisms and expressed desires for what they would have liked out of the set. Not until you get to the end of the thread where 4 or 5 people are going back and forth at each other does it actually get negative. Instead of calling those people out specifically, you lumped criticism together with being a jerk and presented it as all the same. Ban the users if their problematic, dont blame the entire community. I love your site, I love what you all do, I love the passion you bring to this hobby, I respect your attention to detail in formulating your reviews. I hope in the future you find a more effective way to address problems than writing a blanket article that calls out most of your fan base for their participation on your website.

Gravatar
By in Netherlands,

Question I have is: does Lego know what the customer really wants? So far, Lego wants to surpise us, and many times they really do.

But refering to the newest JP-set, I know (everyone knows) the AFOL's want the car, a impressive dino and as many as possible characters of the JP-movies. We did not want to see that all the important scenes are added in the back, what means that this is probably the only set that will be released related to JP, as these are already in the back anyway... To many AFOL's this feels like "the only set they are going to release, but there is so freakin' much more I like and need!" And we got definitely seduced by the incredible ideas of the JP-sets in Ideas-theme.

So, there are SO many AFOL's who are just as inventive as the designers, for LEGO it is becoming almost impossible to impress the AFOL's all the time. I guess Lego should do more about perception management. In the LEGO Ideas process I am really missing that. In the earlier days of Cuusoo and Ideas they told why it did not meet the necessery requirements or (...) to become a set. Nowadays we only get to know what will become a set. Is it hard to say to give an AFOL credits that he did an excellent job, but we designed it already, or the AFOL did a good job, but just not good enough? Give him a compliment with the set as present. Show it to us, publish it widely. Create some trust with this. I am also wondering what's really the reason four projects are selected to be a possible set, while they were rejected earlier. When we already voted for creating the set, and when Lego announces the four sets can be created as a set, why does Lego tells us on second thoughts they accept an earlier design anyway? We already said yes, so why again a voting which it will be... All of them ofcourse! Or, when Lego has some doubts; putting it again into voting with the comment; "we accept this one, but we want to check if you are still interested".

I also think it would be very smart to involve AFOL's to the designing process, in some way, to make sure designs are succesful and as the customer wants it (surprising your customers is out of date in my opinion). And to Brickset and other reviewers, sometimes I am really missing the objective perspect of view. Simply not everything is great. If you don't, the reader of the article feels he/she really need to add his/hers (negative) opinion.
We all know LEGO is an expensive hobby. Anyway, I would never criticize Lego-prices: it is as it is: It's worth it. But when I see that LEGO does not listen to the LEGO-community to create for example road plates that fits AFOL-cities, 9V-rails, monorails, no stickers for adult designs. Some of these are resulting in sky-high prices in the second market... Dear Lego, you know that WE KNOW what it's about. Don't. You should know better and you should be more customer driven.

Note: I like the JP-set, I was not a fan of any of the four Ideas-sets and I am really frustrated how bad the LEGO-Group do perception management and listening. And really, I agree with shokwave2: "if a set is badly designed to your liking, then redesign it!" create the ideas you have yourself. That's definitely what's Lego is about!!

Gravatar
By in United States,

Wow! They make 100s of sets each year and everybody can choose what they want and don’t want. Why do people have to hate on others for not having the same opinion? Honestly - I rarely read the comments on Brickset or written reviews. I do like looking at the pictures though. I would have never known there was backlash on a set like this so now I’m wishing I hadn’t read about it. I love the look and I think I will like it but won’t know for sure until I build it. One things for sure - I like the choices we have. I can’t afford to buy everything I want but that’s not a valid complaint in my opinion. There’s a lot of influencers that spread negative opinions and then people run with it

Gravatar
By in United States,

So differing viewpoints aren't welcome on this site. Good to know.

All hail our supreme overlord LEGO!

Gravatar
By in United States,

@B_Space_Man I'd argue it's not people conflating them, it's this article, which is why I believe it's a confused article, lacking in cohesion and logic.

If this article is questioning the maturity of the people posting the negative comments (evidenced by seemingly increased vitriol, as @Huw puts it), then the reasons they dislike sets are irrelevant, and it is purely a question about behaviour and being able to temper ones tantrum, so to speak. That's a larger debate about toxicity on the internet in this day and age.

Given that, this article wouldn't be the right place to ask those other questions about why people are critical of Lego's sets (and this one in particular). That's an entirely different debate.

If the discussion is about the negativity towards this particular set (or other specific Lego sets), then you have to disconnect the emotion from the sentiment for the discussion to make sense, and this article doesn't do that.

In short, I don't know what discussion this article is trying to start, and what question it's attempting to ask. I think this is evidenced in the replies to this article - some people talking about behaviour and toxicity, other people offering view points on what some sets are better received than others.

Gravatar
By in United States,

It's only been 5 years or so since I emerged from my dim age and discovered the AFOL community through blogs, conventions, and my local LUG. If the positive interactions didn't far overwhelm the negative ones, I wouldn't still be involved in the social aspect of the hobby. Interacting at meetings, shows, conventions, and online adds tremendously to the AFOL experience, but at its core LEGO is solitary hobby. Exceptions abound, but I think most AFOLs still work alone, building and sorting in a closed-off space. I think this aspect of the hobby attracts a disproportion number of fans who don't excel in social situations (not hugely so, but more than the general population). Not everyone has learned how to express negative opinions in an appropriate manner, not everyone will, and even the best of us have our moments. However, every interaction is an opportunity for both parties to grow and learn. The best response to baseless negativity is to be the example of what civil discourse should look like.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

I really like this set. I looked at the press release and thought, “this might be my first and maybe only Jurassic Park LEGO purchase”. Worth it for Goldblum alone...

Gravatar
By in Finland,

I had the same thought about the Ferrari F40 when it was released. So much negativity and all I saw was the best lego car set I had ever seen. Just recently there was a Mustang released and the comments seemed to be very positive...

I think that lego sets should be more clearly categorized. There seems to be a large fanbase for modular buildings and when a flagship set is not a modular building, they seem to react on an expert set review... Probably sometimes other way too.

Probably comments should be moderated.

Gravatar
By in Netherlands,

I think the issue with these comments tone is a combination of things, there are many factors in play. Some things Lego can control, many Lego cannot.

Factors outside of Lego control:

The free disposable income of many people has remained stagnant, and in many cases seriously declined over the past 40 years or so. Combine that with (corrected for inflation) stagnant or decreasing wages, and Lego takes a steadily growing part out of your disposable budget – even if prices remain constant. This leaves the impression that Lego gets more expensive, while in reality everything else has become more expensive while income has decreased.

Resetting societal norms (in which internet does play a factor) in which it has become ‘acceptable’ to say just about anything to just about anything. We have been turned in a consumer society, wherein it seems as a consumer you have all the rights to everything and not a single obligation (no matter what aspect of society),

Entitlement of (part) the fan community (linked to consumerism); I want ‘this’ type of set for this subject, and anything that does not adhere to my standards for that set is simply wrong. And of course, my opinion is the only valid opinion, even in the face of hard evidence.

Factors that Lego can control:

Quality control: The issues with colourbleeding (notable with many minifigs) are simply unacceptable. Lego is a premium product with a premium price, and these misprints are unacceptable.

Although from a marketing stand point (at least in theory) the ‘make sure there is not one single set with all main characters – even the biggest one’ method opens up Lego to the criticism of price gauging and other shenanigans. Prime example the new Ninjago wave. Even more so, I consider it a shame that for collecting the Ninjago FS minifigures, one now has to buy the (bigger) Ninjago sets to get the collection complete.

I think Lego must make sure to not forget the consumer base with a small(er) budget; many of them would also like to be able to collect a series or something specific (say like the Ninjago FS minifigures). The ‘chase an object/minifigure’ system applied now in some series and some minifigure series I find unfortunate. AFAIK there is not a single reasonable way for anyone with a smaller budget to get a complete series of all Ninjago FS or a series of the 'normal' Ninja characters; one has to get ALL the sets.

Bring back one major ‘general appeal’ theme from the past, like Castle or Pirates. Even many kids from today like those things and would make a good audience.

Gravatar
By in Germany,

I admit I didn't have time to read all the comments before posting mine, nor did I want to be influenced by them. I will read them in due course, but as for my two cents:
I find it debatable whether we are in a "Golden Age" in terms of LEGO.
Imho that age was in the Eighties when I was growing up.
Yes, nowadays we have thousands of parts of all shapes and colors, but I don't see this as a positive. On the contrary, it hinders true creativity. It fosters overpriced sets and an abundance of themes I couldn't care less about. Sure there have been cool sets over the last few years that I could only have dreamed of when I was a kid. But seeing how lots of themes I really cared about have been axed (Classic Space, Castle, Pirates, Model Team) or turned into perversions of what they were (Technic) makes me deeply sad.

At the same time sets get more expensive while often offering ever less value for that money.
Add to that the fact that instructions have been so dumbed down that it's borderline insulting. Does LEGO really believe that kids today are that incompetent? What has happened to a little challenge in a build? Today a five year old can build a Creator Expert 16+ set. Believe me, I know from first hand experience, when my daughter built the Tower Bridge herself at that age. Nice for her, but I prefer the instruction sheets of old, where a few pages were enough for even sets like Supercars. And at that time those instructions even included the B-model.

There were also no stupid app controls or electronic components that led to otherwise normal sets costing hundreds of Euros.

Or think of all the sets that cost lots of money even though the build is minute or complete crap, only because they contain some sought-after minifigs.

Or the attitude of TLG marketing, praising attributes that used to be the norm back in the day as if they now were something to brag about.

And while it will sound selfish and stupid, the fact that TLG has turned almost everything towards US based content and style versus European / German based content and style back in what I would have called LEGO's golden age has certainly soured my interest in many sets and themes. Yes, this is only my personal gripe (plus of most AFOLs I know), but when asked why I critize sets or the general direction LEGO is turning towards this fact simply plays a large part. If the US were a country or culture to look up to I perhaps wouldn't mind so much, but thanks not in small part to the current POTUS, most of the world now hates the US or what it had become, when in former times we used to look up to them or even admire them.

No, a golden age to me this is not. Not as far as I or anyone I know who is interested in brick building sets is concerned.

Gravatar
By in France,

(first time ever comment for me).

Who is Brickset's audience ? I always felt it was primarily for AFOLs but when it comes to reviews...
I'm a long time reader of the site, even before opening an account, and I have always found that reviews are too consensual, polite, without bold opinion in the end, which is however what I expect at the end. And I feel sorry for that because otherwise reviews posted here are high quality when it comes to pictures, photographs, explanations. But for opinions...OMG..

Like everyone else, I'm quite used to browsing websites of other interests where opinions are clearly biased in a way or another when it comes to reviewing objects, games, video games, etc.
Except here. I don't think it's somewhat related to the negativity subject about this or thas set. But I do think putting more personal thoughts than generic ones, appealing to everybody and nobody at the same time, in the opinions expressed in the reviews could help directing the tone of the comments.

Sometimes I really feel Brickset is a, not so well, hidden zealot or PR website of TLG. And it's quite disturbing.

I really think Brickset could use a bit of perspective and not being some sort of yes-man about every single thing TLG does or produces. But then again who is the audience ?

Gravatar
By in United States,

@Huw:
I actually liked Assault on Hoth, but just didn't have the funds to float it. I'm still bummed about missing out on the first instances of the ion cannon and the shield generator (regardless of flaws). As some have said, kids would freak out over that set, but as AFOLs who have been collecting the entire theme, there's a significant amount of burnout going on with getting the same basic stuff on endless repeat. I rarely like any Batman-related set, but I buy duplicates because I love the minifigs, and I can raid the parts, so I'm okay with that. I seem to be in the minority on that, as many complain that it's "endless Batman vehicles", while others complain that it's "endless Batman" in general.

@Subix:
If you're saying many people earn less in a whole year than the cost of the new UCS MF, there's really not much that can be done to fix that situation. Short of skyrocketing local wages bringing things on par with the rest of Europe, they'd pretty much have to sell everything at a significant loss to bring it down to a level where it'd be as affordable in your community as it is in mine.

@shokwave2:
Some people think of it in terms of what will appeal to kids, because that's what keeps the company healthy. The last time they talked numbers, they'd thought AFOLs accounted for maybe 5-10% of their business, while AFOLs were dead certain we were over half. What they finally came up with is that AFOLs are a very small fraction of their customer base, but account for around 25% of their total sales. What that tells them is that there's definitely a market for AFOL-oriented models like the UCS range and Creator Expert, but that their bread and butter is still about appealing to kids. And kids like play features. If they can build in cool play features that don't totally hork up the look of the model, that's a win all around.

@Huw:
Actually, what that article concluded is what many of us have been saying for about 10-20 years now. If you take the straight numbers, LEGO sets have been averaging around $0.10/pc for over 40 years now. If you adjust for inflation, that means they're getting _cheaper_, not holding stable. They basically ran things as they always had up until about 20 years ago when they had their only two annual losses. After that they really started streamlining production and bringing the business into the 21st century. They stopped making one-time molds for sets that couldn't carry the cost, they trimmed down the color palette, they stopped hanging on to parts that were no longer in production and started shifting replacement part requests in that direction once the set had been retired for a certain period of time, and they started shopping around for places where the labor costs were lower (Czech Republic and Hungary) without eating up the savings on transportation (China). And all of this was because they needed to keep the cost per piece stagnant to offset the other thing they were doing. And that is increasing the size and quantity of sets. Pieces have been skewing smaller in recent years, which allows them to pack more detail into the models (great), but it drives up the piece count without changing the size of the model (not so great), and that makes a model of X size cost more now than it did 40 years ago, even though the part/piece ratio is stagnant (at least in the US).

@Mickitat:
_You_ may be able to buy them that cheap, but most can't. Until 1999, Germany was the largest consumer-nation of LEGO product. Then Star Wars launched, and the US jumped into the top spot. As someone noted recently, LEGO products have shifted from a very German-oriented product line (Town looked like German towns, Castle looked like German medieval history, etc.) to a much more American-oriented product line (nearly every licensed theme came out of Hollywood). Popularity may be dropping in Germany, but in the US it's only been going up.

Gravatar
By in United States,

@CapnRex101:
Or perhaps the reason most reviews end with a recommendation is that most reviewers stick to the sets they think they're going to like. You get a more balanced perspective when a single person reviews _everything_. It may not match your own view on which sets are great and which stink, but you'll at least see some variety in the opinions. The problem is, unless you're getting review copies for free, you have to buy _everything_, even if you know you're not going to like something.

@tomenadi:
MSRP is more for the manufacturer than the retailer. Companies like Walmart want a fixed MSRP so they can discount below that price, but the trick is they'll threaten to drop a product line if they catch the manufacturer discounting their own products. That's where we get GWPs, since that's a way to give you more brick for the same price without charging less for the sets you actually buy.

Gravatar
By in Switzerland,

Another first time poster here (I was a lurker for many years now, great site!). I just wanted to add to the positive side. I'm 48, got my first Lego System set (it wasn't called that then) in 1974, at age 3. My dark age was about five years short. That means I'm with the brand for a pretty long time now. And let me say to you: We are indeed in a golden age.

Granted, there are some problems. Too many sets, quality issues, expensive prices, strange themes (not Stranger Things, though!), and generally the sense that good old Scandinavian Lego has become a huge international company with some sympathy issues.

But man, the sets we get! Those sets!! If someone told me in 1993 I'd get a T-Rex like this – I'd have called him crazy. The Star Wars ships, especially OT, are just beyond cool. I would have KILLED for a Slave 1 like 75060 back in the day. And a Falcon like 75192? My younger self from, say, 1999, when Lego Star Wars started, would probably have died from bliss just seeing it.

And now it's all just the new normal.

Yes, I'd have preferred to have a JP Jeep with the new set. But that's about it. The rest is perfect as it is. I remember seeing the first Creator dinosaurs set 4507, and being blown away. Now, compare that to the new JP T-Rex. Notice some slight improvement?

So, I can absolutely see where Huw's coming from. I was stunned by the vitriol as well when I read the first comments. And on german AFOL sites it's even worse. And it's common these days. AFOLs in 2019, especially in Germany, aren't having fun anymore. And I don't get it at all. I can understand that many people think Lego is getting too expensive, I'm not rich, either. But that's about it. The quality is still beyond anything else. Even Assault on Hoth or Cloud City II are simply great sets. They're just not perfect. And too expensive.

But nobody in their right minds shouldn't be happy about getting them as a gift, for example. Or should they? And isn't that the real benchmark, here? Imagine getting it for free: would you not be overjoyed?

Gravatar
By in United States,

@Mr Hobbles Your points are well stated, and I agree the two different threads of conversation that you mentioned should be separated which would help things (Speaking of threads, comment threads would help at this moment). The overall behavior in the comments vs the negativity towards certain sets are indeed two large topics, and many people are seeing through the lens of what is important to them, which make the conversation very muddled.

Gravatar
By in Portugal,

The only thing wrong about this Set is the price (more expensive than what I was expecting). All the rest about the T-Rex and the Gate is just perfect. Congrats to the Designer.

Gravatar
By in France,

@lytly
Crappy LEGO set is crappy, free/gifted or not, but of course it stands in the eye of the beholder. And as long as it's impossible to have factual elements to state if a set is good or not, we should have opinionated reviews at our disposal.
LEGO has become more and more mainstream this past few years. It necessarily brings all sorts of different people in the game with different expectations.
But as someone says if LEGO is positioning its products in the premium range they should give premium results, and not just easy fan service. For my point of view sets like Stranger Things looks like heresy, if I may. I won't lose time to post negative comments on it though, but anyway what is this doing in LEGO catalogue...?
LEGO should really once and for all embrace their adults customers and not reply for all criticism (as seen here on Brickset) that they are doing toys that are primarily made for children (ok thanks LEGO I know what a toy is) when they are uneasy on accepting that some sets are utter BS.
But given the RRP of those sets, who can really offer such D2C sets to their children ? Only adults can buy for themselves to alleviate frustation of their childhood when they had no means to buy such expensives toys.

Gravatar
By in Canada,

I imagine this is going to get lost in the comments, and probably won't be read, but I'm saying it anyway.

I've noticed a lot of feeling of entitlement from my fellow AFOLs. And it brings out the dark side of this hobby.

I'm reluctant to make sweeping criticisms like, "things today are terrible, blah blah blah", but I have noticed, and several times commented on, the vitriol and venomous spittings of alleged adults in the community.

Wanna really see a hissing match? Just pluralize LEGO with an s, and watch the pedants froth over this yawn-inducing "issue".

There's certainly a place for criticism, but sometimes, from some, and collectively, we sound like a bunch of unhinged loobies.

With regards to this set, I love it. I probably can't ever afford it, but I would be happy to have a copy.

If you don't like it, fine. If you want to trash talk it, fine. If you feel you could make it better, you totally can. Have at 'er. But no matter what you find wrong with it, perhaps some perspective is in order. I mean, it's not like it threatens your life, or will send the Earth hurtling into the cold embrace of deep space.

Gravatar
By in Belgium,

For me it's very simple. You just can't like everything any company makes.
Wheter it is LEGO or even a 100000$ car, you will always find something you dislike about it.
JP is not my cup of tea either but I just think about another set I like.
And if someone has a complaint about every set maybe it's time for another hobby?

Gravatar
By in United States,

Do you all realize how stale LEGO would be if they didn’t make big sets like this, or didn’t make a lot of licensed sets? Classic sets have run their course. LEGO never could have survived if they didn’t branch out and make sets like Stranger Things. If everyone wants to live in the past with their nostalgic sets then go ahead. But this isn’t 40 years ago. Damned if you, damned if you don’t.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

There are some genuinely interesting points on this thread. I’ve actually been coming back throughout the day to read posts, as rather than anything to do with Lego, it’s become an interesting debate on the decline in civility and general quality of online discourse.

Ironically, although Huw was driven to start this discussion by what he saw as the descent of the JP posts into trolling, even the most negative posts I’ve seen on this site are positively gracious compared to the toxic bile typically found on the comments sections of any website frequented by the general public. This site usually proves to be a glorious exception to the general rule that the comments sections of websites have typically become the playground of lunatics, bigots and fanatics.

What’s most sad about the descent of the web into toxic trolling chaos is that it’s tended to drive anyone interested in measured debate away entirely. While comments sections used to perhaps house one-in-twenty lone nutters howling at the moon, the lunatics have now truly taken over the asylum in online ‘debate’. And sadly, aside from greater visibility, censorship and regulation I see no way back for the web in general, as things stand. This may seem antithesis of all the web stood for at inception, but even Sir Tim Burners-Lee believes his creation has become a monster he no longer recognises.

Getting a little more ‘back on topic’, I believe people should be free to criticise sets on this site – though certainly without resorting to personal attacks – especially on the designer (who seemed like a particularly nice guy from the video I saw!). Much as I love this site – and Huw’s fine work – most reviews do tend to be fairly uncritical. And while I agree there is a growing tendency for pathetically petulant “fan-entitlement” it is interesting to hear people’s opinions in the rare cases they are measured.

Oh, and for my money – as an AFOL who values elegant designs and complex builds – we are no longer in a “golden age”. It was a golden age that drew me back into Lego, but personally I believe that ended a couple of years back – partly due to a drop-off in the complexity of flagship sets (Falcon aside), an increase in licenced play-sets focused on large pre-moulded pieces, Brickheadz and general dilution of the product. Things will swing around again, though. They always do.

Keep up the good work, Huw – you’re a legend!

Gravatar
By in Germany,

@monkyby87: I for one would prefer the LEGO lineup of 30 to 40 years ago to the current one any day. For the reasons I have already mentioned. Sure, someone from the US will have a harder time understanding this than someone from Germany.
I at least can understand very well why especially AFOLs from Germany have lost the love for LEGO they once felt.
It is simply much harder to care for source material you can't relate to because it doesn't reflect what you are used to. Perhaps you have never been to Europe or Germany, but believe me, many things over here look/work very differently to what you might be used to.

Plus, an objective point I failed to mention up to now: quality versus price.
I have white bricks from forty years ago that look more white than brand new ones from 2019 sets. Colour differences in the same set are an abundant problem nowadays. It is a shame that Lepin sets have better colour consistency than LEGO sets.

Gravatar
By in Switzerland,

@MarcusHalberstram A drop-off in complexity? But how? Aren't the recent UCS sets complex enough? Aren't the Ninjago Movie sets complex? I mean, a Ninjago City or a 70618 Destiny's Bounty are just marvellous. Or a Nexo Knights Fortrex? Or a 10266 Lunar Lander? Honestly, when did this drop-off happen..?

Gravatar
By in Netherlands,

As an economist, I am sure the bottom line muat give TLG enough feedback about what customers actually buy (vs intentions). And there must be a lot of data available to correlate to have all the intelligence you need free from subjectivity. Which is why I find this outcry by Brickset so interesting. What exactly is the problem here and who is trying to achieve what?

Gravatar
By in Germany,

If there is a chance given to openly comment on a specific set and people dislike it, what's the matter?

I don't see a reason to close comments just because they're too negative. That's not what comments are for, they're not to be meant to be always positive and nice.

I agree that the respect towards other individuals on the internet is lacking, but we're talking about a Lego set here, no? Some people like it, a lot of people don't, what's the big deal? No one got hurt, no? No one did say something about another members mother or something (correct me if I'm wrong).

Calling someone fanboy means what? That their opinion is not worth as much? I find that odd and difficult to be honest. Can you so easily dismiss someones opinion (may it be positive or negative) just because of their background? I find that to be unfair. You could call me a fanboy for certain things and I would agree, but it doesn't diminish my opinion about something in the slightest. That would be a weird idea I think.

Some people said in the past it was all better without the internet. Probably, but it's over. And it won't come back. Now everyone has an opinion and is able to put it out. What's the deal? No reason to be offended by other peoples opinion about a toy, right? If the majority says they don't like it, it's their right to do so. Happens with movies, video games, TV, Netflix shows, vlogs, books - and, you guessed it: with toys.

Regarding what is true and what is not, or the discussion about if Lego is in a golden age - this is just an opinion. And it's an opinion that many will agree on, probably - but not everyone. And so it is no objective truth, it's not science or math. It's good enough for what it is, but not more - it's an opinion.

Gravatar
By in Canada,

@AustinPowers

Spot on about the instructions. I forgot how all was more challenging and fun back then until I revisited some old sets. Even as an adult I had to stay focused and look for all of the added bricks. I had to count studs and deal with some complex build due to the fact that there were less pre-made bricks for certain things.

It did provide a challenge, but the reward was bigger. Looking at the booklets of today, no wonder my daughter could build city sets when she was just 4 years old... (without taking away from her being awesome and master builder).

Gravatar
By in Australia,

People are never satisfied. Plain and simple.

Gravatar
By in Germany,

@ CCC --- You complaint falls into the general "if only they had done it my way, it would be better". ---

I stated that the marketers are playing by rules they made up, so yeah if you want to phrase it that way. I see no reason to believe otherwise when the jeeps and cars are pretty much the only true Lego build people mention from Jurassic Park and even Lego agrees that cars and vehicles make for the best sellers.
The situation you made up sounds ludicrous. I need citations that this is actually a way license holders operate since all other license holders evidently never had such problems with Lego. From what we know from designer interviews and such it’s obvious that Lego has complete control over what to make based on material provided by the license holder which is later disapproved or approved (sometimes with changes after the main work has already been done, so nothing major). I also find it interesting to note that Fantastic Beasts & Harry Potter has the exact opposite situation where the newer IP is utterly ignored.

@ Aanchir --- I notice a lot of comments here from people acting as though any concern about excessive negativity is insinuating criticisms of sets, designers, or The LEGO Group itself are unwelcome or people are being shamed for these opinions. Which I think is a bit of a misunderstanding. ---

But exactly this has happened to me in the first reply I got, above. Not that I am hurt by it but the intention was obviously to belittle my opinion, insinuate that Lego runs things best they can/perfectly and I have no basis to voice any criticism.
I don’t follow Lego discussions often enough to say that I know the trends but the replies to negative comments in any topic on the net are like this and always lack real arguments. I agree that comments about sets should be more factual and not get personal but your standards (which I presume are shared by most people) feel too broad. I can only imagine about which sets you have heard these comments but from my experience “price gouging, greedy, exploitation“ either comes from the ususal My-Wallet-died-lol crowd, thus to be ignored and never to be taken seriously or recognized in shape or form, or they are completely true like comment concerning the First Order AT-ST.

How can words be taken as personal insults against the people working for Lego when it is still a nebolous situation where nobody really knows who is responsible for what and it is still obviously just targeted against the corporation and business plans in general? Yes we have designers making set lists but most people don’t know about that or can care to connect names with sets, even then many of these lists still list multiple people for one and the same model. In media discussion the attitude of not caring about those details was normal until this decade. I don’t see any reason to feel differently about it now, I still don’t know why this change has happened. It's obviously unhealthy to identify so strongly with his work and I don't think defense of these people by complete outsiders (the commentators) is necessary when the affected don't ask for it.

Even then there are situations like the UCS Slave One drooping panels that not everyone suffers from but which can be fixed by a mod that the design team checked and declared illegal because it allegedly stresses parts. That the panels droop despite correct assembly is somehow not stressing parts? This is a glaring flaw and nobody cares about fixing it, that isn’t right.

With each day people are throwing more and more valid criticism in with the usual nonsense for the impossible, fanatic cause of preserving peace and quiet. It can only lead to degradation and decline. This is like searching for reasons not to improve which never yields good results. And knowing that just fuels the pain I feel of each new commenter who chooses to inform me that I am wrong without giving an argument, that he does not care and I shouldn’t, too. Well maybe not real pain when concerning Lego, but in general.

Gravatar
By in Canada,

I consider this to be one of the Best Sets of the Year.
Jurassic Sets have been Popular in our Family Since the First Movie.
The Price point of 299.99 Canadian is excellent.
D2C sets are always an interest to me and represent good value.

Gravatar
By in Canada,

To be completely honest, I don't know that drawing attention to the naysyers is necessary. While the intent of this discussion might be in the right place, it will not spin positively in the public eye. The takeaway from this will be a negative light cast on the set, regardless of the contents of the discourse.

At the end of the day, one just needs to tune out the hubbub. Positive and/or negative hype is irrelevant. Do you like the set? Buy it. If not, don't. Anyone else' opinion of it is of absolutely no concern. On the flip side, all of the hype around the Lunar New Year sets had everyone clamoring to buy them, or ranting about not being able to do so. Had the sets just seen a regular release alongside the rest of the winter lineup most of the frantic masses wouldn't have cared at all. It was all the inverse of the sitation at hand.

This set suffers only from not being the oversized 'visitor center' playset a contingent of the community had somehow convinced themselves it would be. That is literally the beginning and the end of the "issue". They had no reason to assume as much, outside of propogating thier own desires as truth. It's a bit odd, tbh. The set is gorgeous, with a much wider appeal than a playset would have ever had.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

I was unaware there'd been a negative reaction to this set, as I just saw pics of it in passing while scrolling through some social media feed or other. I suspect it's not this set in particular so much as the cumulative effect of so much discontent. This may just be the straw that broke the camel's back.

I suspect TLG is the victim of its own success here. The sheer number of highly desirable sets produced these days has inadvertently created dissatisfaction, because the more cool sets exist, the more choices we have to make about what to buy, and then FOMO takes over so that it's not so much "Which set do I want?" as "Which sets will I feel least bad about skipping?"

The theory goes that people are happier the more choice they have. I think that once you get past a certain threshold (beyond things like 'where to live' and 'what to do with my life' and deeper into leisure territory), this becomes less true, because the more alternatives there are, the greater the chance that you'll choose the "wrong" thing. With so many possibilities, really, what are the odds that any one set can be "the best"? A set that comes along after a glut of other big ticket sets may get more holes picked in it than most.

And of course, we all hang out on a forum where we can endlessly compare our purchases with those of other fans and get the idea that someone else has made a better choice. It's a hobby that, outside of MOCing and displaying, is often very focused on what will be the next purchase.

This is all simultaneously very silly and very serious. As we get older, we have to think less about how much to acquire, and more about what'll happen to all this plastic when we're gone. In the meantime, it might do us all good to focus a bit more on what we enjoy and a bit less on what we dislike.

(If I figure out how to put that into practice perfectly, I'll let you all know.)

Gravatar
By in United States,

@catwrangler Great points, and I’m guessing your 2nd paragraph is very true.

Gravatar
By in Spain,

Ooh pushing 250 comments almost. I just think people should lighten up. In a forum space like this where conversations can be more in depth and knowledgeable than social media, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t have a balanced discussion - I usually mention some good things about a set I don’t personally like, because very rarely is it all 100% bad.

Gravatar
By in United States,

Huw, just wanted to recognize you for trying to turn this conversation in a thoughtful direction to the bigger picture. You play a great role in the community. Many points of view here, which is fine, but the conversation has been elevated a notch.

Gravatar
By in Spain,

For a hobby you need time and resources (money in this case).

Too many sets means less time to buy and build them. You create a wish list and then sets get in faster than get out of it.

Expensive sets mean you need more money to keep up with your hobby. The wish list gets bigger

Result: frustration as a result of being pushed away from your hobby.

People then (unconsciously or not) start criticising sets in order to justify not getting them in their wish list. Why on earth humans would join a popular-social-wave that contributes to establish a set as a must-have knowing they cannot afford it and will not ever be?

Imho, the comments the topic tries to face are result of this and not the social-forum behaviour that affects news sites, etc.

Gravatar
By in United States,

I make $16.50 an hour. My bills are relatively low each month. And yet I still, 99 times out of 100, can no longer justify the RAPIDLY RISING cost of Lego sets beyond the occasional $4 polybag (and even some of those are no longer worth that).

Why did the T-Rex not interest me? *Because I know I’ll never be able to call buying it a good idea for my budget when I could literally go on a two-day vacation for what it costs*, and when all it actually has in it is a big T-Rex, a gate, some figures, and way, way more pieces than it needs and thus a ridiculously inflated price.

Gravatar
By in United States,

Is anybody still reading this? Haters gonna hate. No amount of discussion will change that.

Gravatar
By in Canada,

@Klinton77 I would call that debatable. How precisely does this set have more appeal? Ignoring the fact that most AFOLs will build it and display it, most kids would probably play with the buildable Rex, but there isn't much else you can do with it after a while.

A Visitor's Center Playset style build could have featured simulated theatre ride fun from when the group were first shown the secrets of Jurassic Park. It could have featured a larger kitchen scene better than the Jurassic Park set we got last year. We could have had the big skeleton destruction element and an exploding wall to let the Rex charge in to save the day like the climax at the end of the movie.

There was more potential for exciting action set pieces that kids could enjoy more than just running around with a giant t-rex build attacking Minifigures and stuff.

I digress however. The point is what is appealing about the set in question is open to interpretation.

Gravatar
By in United States,

@NavyTrooperFenson: Dehumanizing the people who create the sets you love by treating them as nebulous, interchangeable cogs of a machine is part of the problem. I fail to see why not knowing who personally created a set justifies not just criticizing but insulting the design or even the designer themselves, when most decent people would almost never treat a designer let alone another MOCist like that to their face. It's just bad form, especially when the set designers are beholden to a huge number of constraints that most outsiders' knowledge (even my own) only scratches the surface of.

Yes, not every design is perfect. And design flaws can and do occasionally make their way into sets. That's where criticism (especially in reviews, in which the assets and flaws of a design are more readily apparent than a product reveal). This article isn't about that—it's about a particularly toxic type of vitriol that has become more and more common in the community as of late. The previous article's comments included a user going as far as to call Lego's designers liars and thieves and suggest Lego fire their entire marketing team—a particularly callous and hateful sort of overreaction. Not being happy with a toy is not and will never be an excuse to call for literally thousands of people to lose their livelihoods. Yet that is what can happen when people stop thinking of the people who enable their hobby to exist as people and think of them merely as a faceless corporation (one that serves no purpose other than to provide for their every whim).

Gravatar
By in United States,

I always write out long comments, and when I hit post, they disappear. That frustrates me. But my comment was essentially this: I love Lego. I'm not as old as some here, but I've loved it for at least a decade. My Golden Age was 2009 and the years directly before and after it (c. 2007-2010), but 2019 has been an excellent year imo. The Upside Down, Tantive IV, Lunar Lander, Harry Potter, Overwatch, Toy Story 4, Ninjago, the list goes on. I also LOVE Jurassic Park, so much so that I'm one of the few who like JPIII. This year's Lego Jurassic selection has, frustrated me. The Yoda Chronicles, and Freemaker sets worked because Lego had been making proper Star Wars sets for 14 years. But that's okay. I don't have to like everything Lego does, and I don't, but the new set only really disappointed me because I wanted Muldoon and Genarro. I'm not against the set, it's a UCS T-rex for crying out loud. That said, I've been on both sides of the argument before, we all have. Difference in opinion is fine, some will love it, some won't, and that's okay. What isn't okay, is attacking people for either liking or hating something. That's crossing a line, and since we are all Lego fans in our own merit, there's no need to attack anyone.

Btw, this post isn't about people crying over a new set, it's about the name-calling and sometimes bullying that can arise out of such polarizing situations. And I think Huw and CapnRex are 100% justified for doing this.

Gravatar
By in United States,

My take on a set like this is "Well, that's nice, but not really something I want." or "Wow! I really want that set." This really is a golden age and as such you have to pick and choose which ones you want. The problem I find is if it is something we don't want or not our cup of tea (for instance: Dinosaur looks great, but I am not into buildable creatures) we tend to look for everything wrong with it instead of say, "Well it's not for me, but I'll let the people who like that kind of thing enjoy it."

Gravatar
By in United States,

I’ll add an addendum to my last post:

I never had a problem in the mid-90s with set cost versus piece count at higher levels because of the amazing versatility we got out of them. We REMEMBER those sets.

The problem facing Lego now is highly comparable to that facing video games - we have tons more detail and pixels/pieces than we used to have, but in many, many cases it’s come at a cost of wonder and playability. We have hundreds of stunning looking video games now, but only a handful rise to the top due to remembering that a game needs good gameplay, and that sometimes even if it’s *not* a super realistic high-def game, it can be SUPER fun regardless.

Aquanauts, Adventurers, Insectoids, these were series that built themselves on originality and whimsy and fun and inventiveness. *I don’t care how accurate the latest rehash of the Millenium Falcon is when you’ve made one every freaking year for several years!* *I can’t get excited for Ninjago City, as amazing as it looks, when it would cost more than my student loan bill, my cell phone bill, and three gas tank fillups combined!* And I certainly, certainly *cannot give two craps how amazing a T-Rex and gate look when I know that they could have been built with half the parts while still looking just as awesome, because Lego MOCcers have been doing it for decades without batting an eyelash!*

If that makes me “toxic” in the view of the “AFOL community”, then I guess I’m a grubby little sewer rat then. But when the company is losing people like me who have been huge fans from the earliest days of Lego Mania Magazine to now because *we* can’t afford to stay with them? That should be a huge red flag, and at the very least it should never, *ever* be carte blanche for moderators to start waggling fingers at us like “you naughty boys and girls, why can’t you just praise Lego like good little fans?”

This entire article shouldn’t even properly exist; it’s just a place for everyone to whinge, whether it’s mods whinging about disgruntled fans, non-disgruntled fans to whinge about disgruntled fans, disgruntled fans like me to whinge about stuff that we’ve already said elsewhere, and in the meantime while we’re all whinging, *none of it will matter because Lego is going to keep doing it anyways* because, unsustainable as it is in the long term, right now it’s making them tons of obsessive fan dollars, and, just like with lootboxes in video games, they’d be fools not to take advantage of the users for as long as they can to make the stockholders happy.

Gravatar
By in United States,

I’m sure everything I have to say has already been said and this comment is late in the game, so likely won’t be read, but a few thoughts.

I spread my collecting dollars over several different brands/arenas...Lego, Masterpiece Transformers, high end action figures, etc. as such, the competition for my collecting dollar is fierce. I also have a first hand look into numerous fandoms.

Nothing will ever please everyone. There will always be negativity, so let’s get that out of the way. When things are objectively badly designed or poorly made, the criticism and attitude is also clear.

What makes people extra critical though? Competition for our spending dollar, incomplete lines, and likelihood of future iterations.

An item has to really have something unique, definitive, or complete a group to make it into my collection. I could spend 50k a year on things I like, but I have 1/10th of that budget or less so have to choose wisely.

Let’s say I like Martian Manhunter. He doesn’t get very many figures, so I’m really hopeful they nail any release. If they don’t it is disappointing since he doesn’t get nearly as many redoes as Spider-Man (eg).

Attachment to a character/franchise also makes a difference. I’m going to be way more picky when it comes to Superman than Friends.

Apply these to the JP set...people love the movie, so are naturally going to be more interested in, but also critical of sets related to it. Second, as noted above, the likelihood of future sets or attempts matters. Star Wars gets rehashes frequently...the JP set seems likely to be a one-off and so people really hoped for it to hit their wishes knowing they don’t have many cracks at JP1 sets.

Without veering too much into discussion of that set, the frustration is less about what the set is, but what is isn’t. We aren’t owed a particular set, but there ARE reasons people will be frustrated that it doesn’t include certain things no matter how well-designed it is. They’re not mutually exclusive and really aren’t about entitlement.

Gravatar
By in United States,

@Korpen4444: I also often have the issue with posts disappearing when I try to post them! I try to get in the habit of copying everything I've typed before I click "post comment" so that I can paste them if it gets lost to the ether, but sometimes I forget and have to go back and figure out what I wanted to say again (it happened at least once in this very thread).

Might be a good thing for @Huw to look into — I'm not much of a tech person so I have no idea what the cause of this issue is or whether it can be resolved.

Admittedly, it shouldn't be as much of a problem if I can actually get better at not having my comments drag out so long, lol. :P

Gravatar
By in Australia,

@Aanchir

"I also often have the issue with posts disappearing when I try to post them!"

I think it's a time issue. If I open the link to a Brickset article and post a comment within a few minutes, then I can post a comment without a problem. But I've found often that, if there's a lot of reading, or I leave the computer to go have breakfast or something ... then the eventual comment doesn't go through. Maybe the connection just times out, or something? But yeah, I hit "refresh" before typing up a response, and that usually does the trick.

Gravatar
By in United States,

If anyone IS still reading this, and honestly I stopped like 100 comments north of mine, I think one factor contributing specifically to the plethora of outraged/indignant/disappointed is this: when something happens in our regular lives that annoys or bothers us, we vent to people- it’s healthy and allows us to mentally move on. I don’t know about anyone else here, but I don’t necessarily wear my AFOL heart on my sleeve: if I went into my coworkers office and said “ugh you wouldn’t belieeeeeeve the new JP/Star Wars/city set LEGO just debuted- I’m so disappointed because they left out the Jeep/didn’t make it a display piece/included another helicopter,” I would be ridiculed. So adults come to sites like this to vent to people whom they think might share their frustrations. Personally, I think that’s healthy.

Obviously that’s different than just being downright disrespectful, which, as others have said, is happening more and more. I don’t necessarily see it here that often, but I also dont peruse the comments sections all that often.

Lastly, people just like to hear themselves talk (read themselves type?) and think their two cents matters. Just look at the length of most of these comments. Mine included. :)

Gravatar
By in United States,

It’s simple. People are idiots, and too many people are way too comfortable behind their keyboards saying whatever they want expecting everything that Lego releases to be specifically tailored to there wants and needs. And even if they do, it’s never enough. Impossible expectations

Gravatar
By in United States,

I think part of the problem is there are a surprising number of people who are not good at moderating and expressing their opinions in a reasonable way. Most people are opinionated but they would make terrible professional reviewers. If they dislike something even slightly, it’s total garbage.

Think about all the times you see user review scores of 0/10 on huge video games that cost $150 million to make. I’m like, really...it has no merit whatsoever? Unless it’s a broken shovelware game on a phone or E.T. for the Atari 2600 it probably deserves at least a 3 even if you don’t like it.

But you probably get a lot more attention saying “___ sucks and anyone who likes it is an idiot” than you do with some moderate constructive criticism.

Gravatar
By in Canada,

Lego is the greatest toy ever created. Spans multi generations and appeals to all ages. All the whiners should be thankful a conventional play toy is alive and strong and connects with all in today's digital world.

Gravatar
By in Australia,

@ Korpen4444 and other who have lost posts. I have flagged this for years, and raised it before. My experience is that if someone else posts while you are typing, you loose the post.

Gravatar
By in Australia,

^ As well as saving the text elsewhere, another tactic is put in the first few words, post it, then hit edit.

Gravatar
By in Singapore,

I’m just happy it’s not something to would buy and I could save the money for something else in the future. ^^

Gravatar
By in United States,

Definitely great conversation here! Thank you to all that have participated! I like that people have a place to express their opinions positive and negative. I value the negativity just as much as the positive comments. Here's some of my thoughts on the root causes of the negativity.

Lego has great customer service and is one of the most reputable trusted brands out there. It feels like they really care about their customers and want to provide for us. Despite the wholesome appearance... they are an evil toy company employing super-talented-designers that produce an amazing product that we can't live without. It's a for-profit-business and their goal is to squeeze as much money out of us as possible. Whether we actively acknowledge this or not, I think this influences the negativity because of the feeling that at times we are being taken advantage of so they can profit.

I haven't done any research, but I'm guessing much of the negativity we see is in licensed sets for an IP that is part of pop culture. Since we are so invested in pop culture it becomes a part of us. And so buying these sets strengthens and validates these connections we have to a particular IP. So result is that we have high expectations, and when they are not met... we take it personal. We feel like we've been let down or wronged by Lego - hence the negativity.

Digging deeper into Lego's drive for profit as a factor of the negativity: I think at the heart of the majority of sets - the biggest influence of the design and minifig distribution is profit. "What's the most amount of bricks we can include and least amount of minifigs we can provide in a set to get the desired return?"... And "How can we get the customer to purchase more?" if every set was so satisfying and met our standards and expectations for features and minifigs... then we would be less likely to need to buy the additional sets in the line or the follow-up sets. And we'd be less likely to purchase the next iteration of the same set because there was nothing to improve upon. Because of this general strategy by Lego - we usually don't get what we really wanted in any set... and that constant insult to the average AFOL breads the negativity and the feeling of being wronged on a regular basis by our beloved provider of plastic-joy-bricks.

Last point is one that is made often so just echoing it here. Aside from expensive direct-to-consumer and other high-priced sets in a line - most sets are made for kids! And it's easy to forget sometimes that we the AFOLs are the minority consumers of the majority of sets. If I forget that fact and assume that the set was designed for me - I might have a negative response for the lack of care taken in certain aspects of the set that I don't find to be accurate or satisfactory... But the average kid is probably just loving it.

Gravatar
By in United States,

I rarely buy anything outside of Star Wars... however, this T-Rex is stunning in its design. The articulation is astonishing. Consider it - sold!

Gravatar
By in Canada,

This is a bad article. It comes across as a corporate defence of an unpopular product rather than genuine fan discussion.

Mocking the reasons people didn't like the set, then pairing them with contradictory reasons is unfair to other fans since the different reasons were all expressed by different people with different things they value.

As far me, I don't really care about Jurassic Park so it's not something I'd buy so I didn't consider it much though a giant gate seems like a poor choice of emphasis, and grey mixel ball joints still look bad.

Gravatar
By in Netherlands,

At the end of the day though... it’s because we love lego that we are sometimes maybe over-passionate about it.

And in the last 10 years I have been collecting lego, Brickset has always served me well. For example, I stopped using Eurobricks because it started to feel like a suffocating cult.

So as long as people can be people and say want they want to say, I’m happy here.

Respect.

Gravatar
By in United States,

I think nostalgia can blind people to what is good now. Gatekeeping is a very toxic fanboy thing to do. I never would have started buying Lego again if the licensed themes had continued with yellow minifigs and some people only like yellow minifigs. People are purists in their own way but everyone always wants to think they are right and cling to their group of like minded people. People online are always looking for an excuse to hate because that is easy. It's not always easy to look for the positives in things you disagree with.

Gravatar
By in Hungary,

260 comments... Well we are breaking a record.

Nowadays lego went too far. New sets partly cant even reach the shelves of the local small markets, because they become obsolete, their production sometimes stops within' a year. Hundreds of sets are given out in a year, nor sellers or buyers can keep the tempo. Only a small selection hits the markets.

Afols can buy a small portion of desired sets, while children, who draws circles around the desired sets can stay unsatisfied, frustrated, if that set becomes back order, out of stock, or simply retired when Christmas come, the only time when he/she would get one.
Currently too many sets are produced per year. Back in the late 90's, it was less than 200. Yet, it's several hundred.
Secondly, in my calculation, 1 per 5 sets are missing a piece. The plastic is thin, fragile, can easily broke.
Third fact, afols want to re-live their childhood, want to pass that feeling to their children. With classic space, castle, pirates. Impossible. Lego ignores the demand, and producing other lines which are rotting on the shelves (like the obsolete angry birds line, which was a waste, years after the golden age of the same mobile game).
Fourth fact, lego still as expensive as it was in the 90's, perhaps only a little bit cheaper. I want to be honest, and don't forget yet we have clearance sales at -50%, -75% in big hypermarkets chains, which were unknown in middle-eastern europe 20 years ago. But the technology of the production could have led to a much cheaper price/part ratio.

After that much of frustration we receive a set with 3000+ pieces for 250 euro (most people earns approx. 400-450 euro net in my country), and it even not look good, not special, not a great classic scene from the film... etc. Simply its not we want to have. We feel from year to year, that we are only cows who have to be milked. And it feels bad noticing this...

Gravatar
By in Canada,

The JP set is a joke. It looks incredibly bad especially for its high price point. I mean come on, it doesn’t pass the eye test and is significantly worse looking than the ideas set it copied.

Gravatar
By in United States,

I don't understand the negativity either. When I saw this set announced, I was super excited. The dinosaur is huge and incredibly detailed, same for the iconic gate. Not to mention the amazing minifgures. The price does not seem too much to me, and I am looking forward to purchasing it when it comes out. A few comments I've seen talk about it being "stolen" from Ideas... but I don't understand the problem. Is it just because the creator of the Ideas project isn't getting recognition? Because the way I see it, since this concept was also an Ideas project, that basically means we're getting an extra Ideas set. The original didn't make it through the review process I take it, but it's still getting produced! That seems like a win-win.

Gravatar
By in Netherlands,

So now we're not allowed to be negative anymore? Everything Lego ever does needs to be praised regardlessly? Well, I have news for you, Brickset...

Gravatar
By in United States,

"Can we as a community do anything to stop it?"

A dangerous comment to make, although I feel this may have been said purposefully to point out that danger. I'm not going to jump on the boat of extremes and presume that statement means "No negativity! All happiness and lollipops!", but I wanted to point out that the danger of people having that reaction is high.

Is Lego a perfect company? Not by any means, in fact, I have been quite disappointed in the rising set prices with a seemingly declining set quality. But does this green-light threats of violence? Of course not.

Lego, being in the position they are, must make sure they have something for everyone and that is why negativity is necessary. Must every individual person's opinion be taken into account? Certainly not, however, if Lego notices a trend in opinion they should address it.

Lego's comeback during the early 2000's was due, in part, to the negative criticism they received. If they didn't know what to fix, they couldn't have fixed it.

There will always be people complaining. When those people, united under a single complaint, reach a larger percentage, Lego should take a step back and address the complaint by either acting upon it or not.

Gravatar
By in Switzerland,

I think this is one of the great things of `today` that we have been allowed to express our opinions and we don`t have to accept that `Everything is awesome`. Although, I do agree with others that I think that it’s much easier to write negative things on forums/websites/emails and we can sometimes get carried away with the negativity. In person, people are much more censored. In fact, I try not to write negative things in emails to people/colleagues for this very reason. I am much more coherent and constructive when I have to explain my criticisms in person.
I love being a LEGO fan now – there are so many amazing sets that are being released. Of course, there are so many large and expensive sets, and to be honest, I`m quite glad when one set doesn`t appeal to me. I struggle to try and work around what I can afford, so one less and I`m happy.
Yes, I believe that Lego is getting more expensive for much less, but people just have to do the talking with their wallet. Lego are a profit organization and if their sales suffer, they will have to reflect on the reason(s). May be people feel a sense of entitlement, but Lego has many sets across a wide-range of price-points to appeal to all budgets. Of course, it’s difficult explaining to a child that this set is way too expensive, but it’s important to make them understand that you have to budget and someone has to earn this money to pay for it.
I think sometimes we can get carried away with negativity without fully understanding the constraints that Lego are working within – budget, IP partners, brief, stability. Even in my own work, I have projects and I get carried away with certain aspects to only then be pulled back to reality from the management to make me realise that we have various constraints and therefore in my projects we have to make compromises. It doesn`t always make me happy but these are the facts of working for profit-organisations. May be before commenting, if people could understand that these are not MOCs and are the best compromise within the brief, then may be some of the negativity will go away.

Gravatar
By in United States,

The biggest issue is the rumors that come out before a set release. Sometimes I know months in advance that a new set is releasing from (insert) theme. Rumors start swirling about said set. Then the said set releases and it doesn’t match up with rumors that were circulating, which results in me being disappointed( except for the rare case where the set is better than the rumors).

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

My favourite part is perhaps the people who accuse Brickset of being in league with TLG whilst also offering a significant portion of their readers discounts with other retailers. But, then again, I don't even realise the Earth is flat so I'm probably a little too dense to understand.

Gravatar
By in United States,

There's certainly plenty of sets Lego makes I'm not interested in, but well, I just don't buy those sets and usually don't complain much unless it's something I was anticipating and am disappointed in how it came out (I'll fully admit I used to complain about BrickHeadz a lot, and while I still don't like that line now I'm just content to ignore it). Some people just like to complain about things, I guess. As for the T-rex specifically, I haven't noticed that much negativity; it must be in places I don't go to I guess. I pretty much almost boycott social media in general so maybe it's there and I just didn't see it. I don't pay much attention to the "Lego community" except to see reviews of sets I may be interested in.

I recall a quote from a message board responding to Roger Ebert where someone said "No offense, but we don't read your reviews because we really care about whether or not you liked the movie; we read them to figure out whether or not we would." And that's pretty much my take on reviews of anything.

As for negativity... er, so what? Not something that bothers me; people have their right to freely express their opinions, and that includes negative ones. You disagree... say so, or just ignore it. Someone likes something you don't, or someone doesn't like something you do... does that really affect you? Because if it does, it shouldn't. Your enjoyment of anything or lack thereof shouldn't be dependent on the opinions of others. If you just can't stand the fact that someone is expressing an opinion contrary to yours, well... nobody's forcing you to watch/read/listen to it. I understand the frustration of the OP here, but when he says something like "Can we, as a community, do anything to stop it?" I can only say: no, and we shouldn't try. Free speech issues aside, all the attempt at doing so does makes us look like defensive fanboys that are too thin-skinned to accept the fact that not everyone thinks the same way we do. And I think that's good advice in general, not just in the Lego community. I recall shaking my head when a bunch of people were actually trying to petition to have Rotten Tomatoes shut down because they couldn't stand the negative reviews of "Suicide Squad." I really hope people here and elsewhere have the sense not to try to go down that route. If you don't like what someone is saying, you have every right to cover your ears; you don't have the right to cover their mouth.

Gravatar
By in United Arab Emirates,

On the whole the variety of sets is getting more - yes, but for themes like Star Wars n superheroes, it feels as though the sets are getting smaller , more simplified and has less exciting designs. Not sure if this is due to cost cutting or a more stronger design build for kids. But I have less enthusiasm for the newer sets. Maybe I'm getting older? Haha. Can't do much about the negativity. I think fans are just being honest. And there is always greater expectation every year for bigger n better. And can't really expect to fulfil these expectations. Eg. Star wars movies. At the end of the day it's just a toy product. Up to consumers to say n buy what they want.

Gravatar
By in United States,

To be honest, I'm a little surprised by the criticism of this set and of a lot of sets in general. While I did not comment on the unveiling of the set because the set is quite a bit over my budget for Lego, I must admire all the work put into this impressive model of the T-Rex and the staggering gate. I swear, the last time I remember anything this staggering probably was like Sauron's Tower or the Temple of Arijistzu. Plus, it contains some unique minifigures which I'm sure will make people happy. I think fans of the Jurassic Park series will love this as well as many adult collectors, which admittedly, probably still is an underrated market. But, hey, people be people and if they find a reason to complain, they will. Though, I'm not saying complaining is a bad thing because sometimes their points are fair and valid and people are truly using the freedom of expression here, so it's not always a bad thing. I guess I, like many of you are surprised about this.

Gravatar
By in Norway,

As they say - "it was the best of times and it was the worst of times". Back in the old days lego was just lego, with City, Castle, Space, Trains and Technic. Nowadays there are so many different themes, and not all appeals to everyone. On one side we have excellent AFOL-friendly sets like Creator Expert, UCS and Architecture, on the other we have a somewhat excessive focus on licensing and "American taste", desirable minifigs instead of good builds, and dime-store licenses like Angry Birds, Trolls and Minions which I feel cheapens the Lego brand. You can't please everyone, and the greater variation means we all have our pet hates.

As others has mentioned, I suspect much of the negativity comes from pure collectors, rather than builders. I often buy sets I'm not 100% satisfied with out-of-the-box, but then I mod it so it becomes more to my liking. For instance, I actually find the modulars (my favorite theme) to be a tad large for my taste (and space!), so I've changed many of them to 24x24 footprint and added proper facades to the back of the corner ones.

Many collectors (and brickvestors) OTOH, seems to treat sets as (potentially valuable) collectibles to be kept in 100% pristine state to the end of time. If a detail is not to their liking they can't bring themselves to change it, as the set is then no longer "mint" and may "loose value", and instead they complain on the interwebs. This goes double for completists, they've already bought all the sets in a theme and feel they "have to" buy the latest one too, even if they really dislike it. I guess that's just a small price for Lego to pay when introducing UCS and similar sets that appeals to such customers.

When it comes to the-set-that-shall-not-be-named it's by no means bad but at the very upper bound of what I'm willing to pay for any set - I guess it depends on me at some point finding it at 30-40% off and Lego by that time having released the car separately. Not only is it bit expensive but it'd also require a lot of modding - the sign doesn't look that bad but the word "Jurassic" should be quite a bit larger, the road must be extended so it would fit the T-rex coming through the gate and the figures running in front, it needs way more vegetation and fence sections on the sides, I'd need to get the Malcolm figure with glasses from that minifig pack, etc, etc, etc.

Looking at the dimensions I think one reason this set is so expensive is that it's HUEG - about 50% larger than I first imagined from the pictures. The gate is 60 studs wide and 42 cm high - that's almost as wide as two modulars at the base and one modular at the top, and almost as tall as the Statue of Liberty. The T-rex is around 86 studs long - about the same as two straight and one corner modular without the sidewalk. Personally I'd prefer a set 1/2 or 2/3 the size if it had been correspondingly cheaper, so basically I'm right on the 10 000 V fence about the whole thing.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

I personally think its an absolute fantastic set, If I could afford it, I would diffinatly buy it, also I watched the video on YouTube

Gravatar
By in Belgium,

@Huw, I don't wish to prolong the argument but you justify recommending 99% of sets by saying that those doing the reviews are Lego fans. So is everyone here. And if the debate about this very set proves anything, it's that there is a wide spectrum of Lego fans - but I doubt any one of us, even the biggest fan, could justifiably recommend almost every single set.

Perhaps you can introduce a way of allowing users to leave a rating on different aspects of a set. AFOL appeal, value, how it relates to previous similar sets, etc.

Gravatar
By in Canada,

There are plenty of other thoughtful comments. There has never been a better time to be a Lego fan. End of story.

Gravatar
By in Germany,

Indeed, you list a lot of contradictoriness on comments, Huw. I guess it's related to the climate change - the warmer the weather will become, the hotter the people will comment ^^

That for, I suggest to offer Packs instead of Sets. Sets are always a somehow cast of a scene or sequence. Take it or leave it ... With packs available, you can combine as you like. E.g. giant T-Rex Pack, giant JP-Gate Pack*, JP-Tourcar-Pack, JP Actor-Pack. And then a All-in-one-Set aka. Super-Pack (with a smart discount) . But don't force us to buy all.

Take a look at eBay - some guys buy the big sets just for Minifigs, a single construction or even special parts, and sell the rest. What a waste of time and energy ..

*And one more word about creativity: Why not think about all this well known scenes to spread around but also can stack up to the gate :-0

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

^^ I don't think they do recommend every set to LEGO fans, and they are not always positive especially about price. They are starting to highlight types of LEGO fan in the reviews that might like the set.

For example:

75935: Nevertheless, I am sure that dinosaur fans will enjoy this set and would recommend adding it to your collection, albeit only following a significant discount.

75947: This set costs £49.99 or $59.99 which feels quite expensive based upon the size of the hut, although the generous quantity of minifigures and new Hippogriff element should be taken into consideration. Even so, I would recommend waiting for a discount if you are intending to purchase this set.

Now it might be obvious that lego fans that are dinosaur fans are likely to enjoy a lego dinosaur set. Maybe it need not be said. After all, if you like this sort of thing, then chances are you like this. Maybe there need not be a recommendation at all, and leave it to the prospective buyer to decide if they like the set based on the review. If you made it all the way to the bottom of a review, chances are you like the set in your own mind before the recommendation. A recommendation is not really any different to giving a star rating or similar.

Personally, I like the reflection on the price although tend to ignore the recommendation - I'll buy what I like whether or not a reviewer recommends it. I feel Huw and Chris buy enough lego of their own to know whether a price is good or not, even if the set is a review copy.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

The yes/no list is also a reflection of the differences people have. For just about any set that LEGO comes out with, some people will think it is great. Some will think it is too big and should have been made smaller, some will think it is too small and should have been made bigger. The threshold point is different for everyone.

So for JP, they could have done a vehicle too. Some people would want the gate, the dino, the jeep, the minifigures. Some the dino, jeep and minifigures. Some the dino and jeep. Some the jeep and minifigures. Some like it just the way it is. Some want all four things but smaller.

It is the same with the golden age. I love the vast parts array that we have at the moment. We can do more now than ever before. Yet others deride that we have so many parts, and think life was better when there was a limited palette of only 2x4 bricks and little else. So again two extreme camps there - too many parts produced, not enough different parts produced - and of course the middle ground. So the golden age was either in the past, it is now or it will be in the future. Although personally, I have never really understood the complaint about too many parts being available. If you only want to use parts that were in production before, say, 2000 then limit yourself to just those parts or the modern alternatives of them. The fact that other people use more modern design parts that you might feel have no place in the LEGO range has no impact on what you can build with the pre-2000 parts. Many of them are still made, or many similar alternatives are made in the spirit of those old parts.

Gravatar
By in Belgium,

I have read a few, but certainly not all of the comments on this subject so thought I would add my ten pence worth....
We all love LEGO right, thats why we are on this page in the first place. If everybody loved every set, what a dull world this would be.
LEGO has the strength creatively and financially to expand itself in to various markets and licences. My big concern recently, especially over the last 12-18th months is that they are spreading themselves a little too thin.
There have been some VERY odd choices for Ideas approval and some sets that are just carbon copies of previous, not very old ones.
That said, some of the sets coming out are amazing - I love the new Apollo set for example, and had heard NOTHING of it in the build up to its release.
And this is the point, when you are pushing out 100+ sets every year, some people will not like some of the sets you put out.
Quality should NOT suffer
Integrity should not be lost
Creativity should not be stunted
Customers should be listened to
But please Mr. LEGO Sir, dont try to do it all for everyone, all of the time - Stick with what you do best, plastic molds to play with.
Thanks for listening !

Gravatar
By in Germany,

@ Lyichir:

Are you insinuating anyone would treat people like this in real life? Obviously nobody except the mentally ill would. It’s all just words to other words on a screen. It’s too surreal to take seriously and connect with real people. Especially when the designers themselves can’t even give accurate info on who was responsible for what aspect and refer to other nebolous sub-entities like the instruction design team who seems to have ruined a number of sets. Some even state in their lists that they can’t remember who worked with them, how can anyone then be beholden to remembering there are people far far away behind these words who probably don’t even care to read what is written about them and if they do, should be content to know that they have done everything in their power or accept the criticism as valid?

What do you think happens because of one comment of a person that thinks these thousands of people should be fired? Absolutely nothing. It’s nonsensical babble, I can’t believe this is truly a discussion to be had. It is as if reporters question people on the street and include an insane bum sitting on a streetcorner and give him as much credence as anybody else. You can’t argue with that kind of person and articles like this one force a discussion to which only the levelheaded with valid criticism come to see their arguments belittled, ignored or thrown in with insane nonsense while those who write the nonsense don’t even show up.

Gravatar
By in Hungary,

It's quite stange to see such negativity towards such outstanding set. I'm saying it as a Lego fan who is not into the Jurassic Park nor I've seen any of the movie but the overall visual aesthetics of the set really appeals to me.

When someone says that Lego is ( mainly ) aiming sets for kids, I'd like to note that on the box it says 16+ which is over the avarage kid age arrange. So it was basically designed for TFOL and AFOL Lego collectors, of course that doesn't mean a parent shouldn't buy it for their kids and built it together. The building experience and the valuable time they spend together through is, is what matters the most. :)

Gravatar
By in Australia,

It's not the criticism, it is how people criticize...

Gravatar
By in Spain,

There are already so many comments so I might repeat what others already said but here we go:

You said 'We really are in a golden age of LEGO' and 'We have bigger, more detailed, more realistically coloured sets' Isn't the first part subjective? What if I liked the sets in the 90s more? What if I don't want more detailed sets but leave more to the imagination. Then this is certainly not my golden age. I think that if you are a 'neutral' website you shouldn't state opinions as facts (regarding the golden age comment).

You also said 'It seems that people find something to complain about virtually every direct-to-consumer set released, but I'm not really sure why.' Do you really think this is weird? Can you name a company that produces products no one ever complains about. That the entire world likes almost all their products? We aren't all the same. People are different and have different opinions. You can't expect that everyone likes the same things.

You also mentioned 'Can we, as a community, do anything to stop it?' Why do we have to stop it? I for one, think reviews by AFOLs in general (sorry to generalize but that's what I feel when reading forums and Brickset's reviews) are too positive. Every set is great, a must buy (or a buy after discount) and there are barely any flaws. Take stickers as an example, they were the evil thing stopping 'us' from buying sets. Now the opinion in reviews is 'yeah there are stickers and we don't like it but it's normal now so we have to get used to it'. It stopped being a negative and it became neutral. TBH, I can't take the conclusion of the reviews on Brickset that seriously anymore because how can it be that every set is a 'must' buy set. Aren't there sets you don't like? If not, then you're not a consumer anymore but a diehard fan. And a diehard fan treats 'their' brand (or franchise etc) differently than a consumer who just likes the brand and products. There might be a disconnection between Brickset as a diehard fan and people that come here because they love LEGO, but it isn't everything for them (not saying it's everything for Brickset but I don't know how to word it differently).

About the issue on hand: like everyone, I'm on the internet a lot and I love being part of communities (as a lurker or as an active member) and I notice a big difference between the LEGO community and other communities. When a product is announced, a lot of other communities show their positive and negative opinion towards a newly announced product. But the people that are negative just say: I don't like it because of whatever reason and they let it go. They just don't buy it and move on. With the LEGO community I so often read it's too expensive but I'll buy it anyway or I don't like it that much but I'll buy it anyway (or maybe even two copies). How do these things go hand in hand? Why do you buy something if you don't really like it (or if you think it's too expensive). It feels like people criticize LEGO because we think that LEGO is part of our community. They are not. They are a company and the people that buy and sell their products, moc, buy pieces etc are the community. Maybe LEGO came too close to us and with saying so many times that they are listening to us that we now think they are one of us and part of our community. It's feels like we think the sets are made for us personally. And when you don't like something that was tailor made for you, you can't stop yourself from complaining and take it 'personal' as if they didn't listen or as if they don't know you at all.

There are also too many choices. Back in the day, when a set came out, you could only compare it with a couple other sets released that year. You're less inclined to be negative if you don't know all the options that are possible. Now we compare every set with all the hundreds of other sets that came out that year and we want to handpick the best from every set. Plus having licensed sets also makes it easier to be negative. You already know how it should look like and what could be have been included.

Gravatar
By in Czech Republic,

I think the negativity is not the main problem. Problem is how TLG sees AFOL. TLG thinks that If they create big, expensive set, AFOL will love it. No, this is really not what AFOLs wants.
In last couple of years we see how sets are more and more expensive but I think the creativity is fading. We see more licensed sets, why? I could understand Marvel, maybe DC, but Stranger Things, Jurasic Park? To be honest I am full of Star Wars. The creativity from 80s and 90s is gone. Classic themes like Pirates, Castles, Space, etc. are wanted but ignored.
And Technic sets are category itself. Last good Technic set is Arocs, which represents the core of Lego Technic - so many functions for reasonable price.

So why so much negativity? This set is not for kids. And for AFOLs? I do not know, it is plain, somekind of empty and I don't think that Jurassic Park is so popular theme for set like this. For me is another expensive monstrosity.

Gravatar
By in United States,

While I don't think it's ever really necessary to be inflammatory or hateful when commenting on a set, I certainly don't feel any criticism should be looked at as just "trolls whining". There is a substantial financial investment with all of these large sets, and in the case of something more specific like this, there is the very real possibility that this one set represents the only one of its kind we will see. So when that set, which may or may not be "good" or well-designed, or even a labor of love, it may fall short of the desires and hopes of its target audience.
Again, vitreol for what is ultimately a toy, or for its designers is never OK, but people should be allowed to give criticism without being shut down or labeled as "trolls".

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

@easter_house
Quality should NOT suffer
Integrity should not be lost
Creativity should not be stunted
---

They are interesting, as quality (of design), integrity and creativity mean different things to different people.

For example, if a build uses multiple panels instead of 15 small bricks for each panel, some people complain about the quality of the design. There are reasons for it, of course, speed / ease of build for younger builders plus production cost. Have they shown less integrity by using a larger piece? If they design a new part, some people complain that they should have tried to come up with another solution based on older parts, whereas others will love that there is a new part. Better still when that new part is shown to have other uses.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Why so much hate lately, can't people just enjoy a set for what it is, I agree with constructive criticism but flat out hate towards a set is pointless, I admit there are sets I am a little less impressed with but I look at it as a whole and not just with AFOL eyes, I look for neat play features and clever usage of parts. I build all my sets with my son and I like to see how he enjoys the set, that's what LEGO is all about for me, take it back to basics, it's about the experience

Gravatar
By in United States,

The first thing I thought when I saw the Jurassic Park set was that I HAVE TO HAVE THE MINIFIGURES!

From the criticism angle, it seems like there are so many sets coming out these days, the bar is getting set higher and higher. TLG may be becoming a victim of its own success. Had the JP set come out 5+ years ago, I think the comments would have been overwhelmingly positive.

Gravatar
By in United States,

The comments section for Brickset have always felt a little bit toxic to me. A lot of articles will have tons of comments on it where people will say nothing more than "it sucks" or "pass" and then they go on to complain that people find them too negative.

You're allowed to not like a set, but if you are going to go through the effort to criticize it actually come up with a valid reason to not like the product and bring it to the table. I'm not a huge fan of LEGO Star Wars, but do you see me commenting "easy pass" on every Star Wars article? No! 'Cause that would be rude and insulting to the people that actually like and want the project.

I think this checklist you've provided is an excellent example of the cyclical nature of LEGO critique. Whenever people actually do criticize a set properly I'll often see different groups target different sets for the exact opposite reasons. Heck I've even seen some of the bigger YouTubers show both viewpoints on different models within just a few days!

In short, it is impossible to please everyone, if you aren't being constructive don't be so negative.

Gravatar
By in Germany,

Thank you for your well conceived article above Huw. Some people seem not to get that this is about civility in a discussion not about censorship.
Also I agree that we live in a golden age of Lego. The observation that Lego recognises adults more is the salient point here. For me personally it is the "real" space stuff released (Saturn V, Lunar Lander, upcoming fan vote Lego Ideas ISS)

My personal opinion is that a lot of the hatred, directed against differing opinions and against Lego as a company, is born very simply out of greed. Some people harbour, either subconsciously or outright, the opinion that sets are far overpriced and that Lego could still make a (then justified) profit if they sold them for HALF the price. This is flat out wrong, but it fuels aggression. Some people are frustrated that they can not buy the increasing number of very large sets released (Star Wars Cloud City in my case, nice to have but out of budget). This frustration is looking for a outlet. And here it gets ugly.

Also a very good point made here before: Lego is a "rather flexible" system. Go on Bricklink and build what you are missing! As I did with early NASA launch vehicles, which have not yet made it out of Lego Ideas: Mercury Redstone, Mercury Atlas, Atlas Agena and Gemini Titan

Gravatar
By in Canada,

I don't remember a lot of negativity towards Ninjago city or similarly good sets. Sometimes, a set is just not that good. Unfortunately, for expensive sets, they need to be very good to earn praises, that's just the nature of it.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Another argument for the golden age for AFOLs is the existence of sets like The Big Bang Theory. Of course, there is divisive opinion on it - even whether they should have done such an adult themed set in the first place. But that is an indication of making sets for AFOLs / older teens that they would not have done in the past.

Gravatar
By in Canada,

@wgemini^^ Before the movie came out, no-one knew what Ninjago City looked like. As for JP, anyone interested in that IP is very much aware of how things look and what are the iconic parts required for a 'proper' representation of that IP. Much easier to criticise as there is a very clear reference model.

Gravatar
By in Romania,

I love LEGO and I consider HUW as my friend. I am respecting Brickset work as I respect LEGO work.
But being their friend I consider I must criticize when in my opinion something is wrong.
Criticism can take different forms depending on the education.

LEGO don’t need to create sets as I want, but if they have a product for the masses, it is normal for the masses to be able to criticize.
Otherwise it is a religion.

Designers are not saints. We envy them, we like or not their work but they are subject of mistakes or lack of attention.
I am an amateur on replicating real buildings so I look at LEGO sets as the best and the top of world experience in replicating.

If I see 10 mistakes in The Statue of Liberty (obvious the raised hand is shorter and the position of the book is wrong) I can criticize.

If the Bugatti designer says in the instructions book “I rebuilt the model a hundred times before I was satisfied” I can criticize him for non symmetrical chairs pattern.

This doesn’t mean we don’t respect his work.

Anyone not being subject of criticism and verifying his work results, will end up in bad results or auto sufficient work.

About golden age.
I am not competent to debate this.
I think “golden” must be a reflection not only in quantity but also in quality.

Mistakes in the instructions books, missing parts, different colors for the same part in the same set, and different shapes for the “old” BRICK (which is the foundation of LEGO) do not look like gold to me. Gold must represent an age where more product, more employees, more factories can overcome this problems.
They are not even capable to translate their own products name correctly in my language in their biannual catalogue.

You cannot build a simple wall without seeing a lot of different shapes for the same brick.
In fact LEGO changed lately the blue background for the City sets boxes an now subliminally this wall issue is “resolved”.

I believe LEGO must have also an education side for all his products. I understand generations are changing. But castle, pirates, western are a part of our HUMAN SPECIES HISTORY.
If we train kids to know all about monsters, ninjago, chima, hidden sides and others, we help them to have fantasies but we forgot who we are.

I have made Ninjago and Nexo large dioramas for kids, so don’t judge me. I acquired more than 100.000 parts and expensive old minifigures for a western diorama but I am in doubt to do it or not.

Please don’t attack Huw or Brickset for objectivity. Nobody in a place of receiving sometimes free sets and invitations at events would be an 100% objective person. But Brickset demonstrated fair enough objectivity.
Also don’t “if you don’t like it, you must design yourself”.
If I work and make money on my job and go to eat in a restaurant I can criticize the food even if I am not a cook. If the cook is telling me to do my own food, what’s the point of going there?

LEGO must respect our money because we work hard for them and we are buying their products.

Inflation and big prices because “larger sets” it is just an unverified excuse, since a Collectible Minifigure is almost double in price in the last 8 years.

Long live constructive criticism, people who accept it and Companies who respect their clients!

Gravatar
By in United States,

Constructive criticism is not the problem. Hyperbolic, toxic criticism is. It's entirely possible to dislike a set and criticize what you perceive as its failings without insulting the people who made it or fellow fans whose opinions on the set differ from yours.

Gravatar
By in United States,

Maybe use a bit of Occam's razor here. There's negativity because many do not like this set. This level of negativity is nothing new, the internet didn't invent it, it only perpetuates it. As you point out, your "complaint checklist" comes out with every D2C set, but this time it was mixed in with folks that just didn't want this set or wasn't drowned out by an overwhelming majority of folks that do want it.

Why was there no "Why the negativity?" article about Assault on Hoth? I remember a lot more complaining about that one. And where was all this negativity last month when Stranger Things was announced? Sure, there was complaining, but it got buried under all the praise.

I do 100% agree we are in a golden age of Lego and I spend way too much because there are way too many great sets. Just because a few sets attract a stigma doesn't mean there's suddenly a huge wave of negativity.

Gravatar
By in Austria,

Funny going through 'only' part of these 290+ posts, and even more funny looking at the title. Why the negativity? Isn't it quite common that on the internet (especially if you're looking at youtube comments), there will always be positive and negative comments, people arguing, setting their boundaries, etc. Well, unless this set is super magnificent (which in my opinion it is not), then I am not surprise to see negative comments on this set. So... I don't get it why for this special set, it managed to create such a big reaction (both from the site visitors and the site moderator)? Is the reaction created because it simply looks so similar to the original Ideas set? ;) That is something worth commenting already, isn't it?

Gravatar
By in Canada,

I have never had my hobby enhanced by reading negative comments, and that goes for even ‘constructive’ criticisms. They:
- don’t inspire my MOCs
- aren’t particularly insightful or informative
- don’t help me decide what set(s) to buy
- don’t cultivate debate in practice, from what I’ve seen
- don’t reflect or produce a strong sense of community

I sense that what many really want is for their feelings to be validated, and a negative orientation has the temptation of appearing insightful, honest, or sophisticated, but this is not necessarily so.

I also don’t think this is what drives The LEGO Group to improve, and if it was, then such criticism should be sent to someone at TLG directly. It has zero utility for me.

Sure, I could ignore the negative comments. I could also ignore spam, repeated posts, strings of random text, and so on. However, it’s not really possible to ignore it, because I have to read it in the first place to know whether it’s relevant, and then I have to trawl through the detritus to find something meaningful. At a certain point, it ceases to be worthwhile.

Do I therefore think all negativity ought to be banned, and only positive comments should be allowed?
- If the primary defence of these comments is that banning them would be censorship, they aren’t very useful comments. I literally have no use for the kind of comments CCC pointed out, and don’t know what use any other Brickset reader has for them.
- Having standards and expectations for discussion is not censorship. Those standards are never going to satisfy everyone, but they are a precondition for meaningful discussion, not a limit on it.
- Positive commentary at least has the virtue of generating enthusiasm and sharing the joy of the hobby.
- There are many ways to talk about the LEGO hobby beyond ‘positive comment’ and ‘negative comment’. Those other forms of discussion (information, comparison, interpretation, humour, etc.) are what are most valuable in Brickset reviews, articles, and the good parts of comment sections.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Well in the UK we have a comedian being referred to the police for making a joke, new legislation making it illegal to advertise using gender stereotypes such as a man struggling with housework and very real possibility of Boris Johnson becoming Prime Minister. I'd say we have a lot more to worry about than the contents of a Lego set.

Gravatar
By in Netherlands,

^^you forget to mention UK turning its back on Europe.

(Aplogies for politics can’t help myself but perhaps that is the point most people are making about this thread)

Gravatar
By in United States,

Why are people who dislike the Jurassic Park set get attacked and censored? I never saw any "vitriol" or people insulting each other in that article's comments. Why was Assault on Hoth widely attacked and accepted as a bad set while the Jurassic Park set is defended from criticism? I feel this article should not have been made as it certainly will create MORE negativity.

Gravatar
By in United States,

This has blown up. Between this controversy and past ones, I sometimes wish the site would go back to its encyclopedic roots. I understand the positive intentions behind this PSA and the locking of the release post, but censoring comments isn’t the way to address criticism. It won’t magically make more people fond of things they don’t like for a variety of reasons. Out of cusioisty, I went through every single comment on Eurobricks and Brickset and failed to find specific examples of “insults” and “vitriol”, there were a few harsh ones that came close but even then I felt like the criticism was at least partially justifiable in those instances. Seems like part of the problem here is equating disinterest to hate. Many people are expressing negative sentiments since the set didn’t match their expectations, but that’s more disappointment than hatred.

Gravatar
By in United States,

@Norikins: You haven't seen that there because the comments in question were hidden from public view.

If there's any criticism I have of the "hell ban" for malicious members, it's that—the fact that it doesn't leave a visual record of the toxic behavior that took place for other members could make people believe that kind of behavior doesn't exist in the community, nor does it reinforce the repercussions members could face for mimicking that sort of toxicity. Perhaps a way to visually flag offensive posts (ideally with a note of some sort explaining why that sort of post is unacceptable), or maybe even having them hidden by default but with a toggle to show them, would allow those negative posts to be recorded without the risk of them encouraging others jumping on the hate train.

Gravatar
By in France,

Concerning trolls (aka keyboard warriors), follow the golden adage... "don't feed the trolls".

Gravatar
By in United States,

People take hobbies too seriously sometimes. The main point of hobbies is to have fun, but it's easy to forget that and become more intent on not enjoying the aspects you don't like that on enjoying the aspects you like.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

@PaNic leave the politics alone, we saved Europe, twice, don't forget!

Personally, the set at the source of this article is isn't for me, Saw the pics, thought "Meh" and scrolled on so haven't seen the supposed vitriol against it.

Some sets deserve everything the get, like Insult on Hoth. TLG do seem to be releasing a lot more much expensive sets close together, they might want to rethink that strategy though, as not all collectors are ogliarchs or lottery millionaires.

Just my two penneth.

Gravatar
By in United States,

fun game idea: look back at all the brickset reviews and tally all of these critiques that appear

Gravatar
By in Germany,

For me the reasons, why I consume less Lego than the past years where: The high price, the behaviour of Lego with Held der Steine (Germany) and the Fans of Lego in general and Ideas-Members, and my financial status. I bought 141 Sets since 2013 and payed a few thousend Euros esp. on D2C sets, but in 2019 it only was the Apocalypseburg and it will be the Technic Liebherr.
Lego is not interesting for me at the moment. And the competitors are many, many, not only from China.
Biggest Issue: THE Price.

Gravatar
By in Australia,

Part of the solution to this problem is that more people like myself need to make more regular comment. That is, I'm someone who's a lego fan, that generally looks at all these new releases and thinks 'man, that's pretty cool', but doesn't feel strongly enough to take a few seconds to write a positive comment (it might not be a theme I'm invested in, or something I'd purchase anyway). I have a very strong suspicion that there's a large silent majority that thinks similarly. So for my part, I promise to add a positive voice much more often from now on.

I think it's partly just because, a negative emotion tends to be more powerfully driving emotion than a positive one. Therefore people are always going to be much more likely to smash away at their keyboard about something that irks them, than if they like something but aren't hyper-excited about it.

Gravatar
By in United States,

I can understand the concern for people attacking other people because of their thoughts. But the title of the post being why the negativity is a little off-putting. It does come across as making people who dislike a set or criticize a set as being negative or wrong for doing so. That is where I don't agree. I think there is a difference between being negative and being critical. I think criticism is an important part of growth and improvement. As already said, all should be free to complain about problems they see in a set as well as state what they like. If they are attacked on those thoughts, then there is a problem. Of course, some will say it in a less than idealistic way. But I don't like the point of this post as it comes across as there is an expectation that fans should only say positive things about LEGO and the sets they produce. I am sure that was not the intent, but that is how I felt when reading it. I can see why people criticize sets costing so much, but I also feel like some people complain because they might have a problem controlling their impulse spending on LEGO. When they see mini-figures they really want, but that they are in a $250 set that isn't very appealing, it is time to complain. But then they spend the money anyway because they gotta have it which then may send the message to LEGO that the sets are great and they should do more. Maybe complaining about the set is therapeutic as a way to vent frustrations about the financial stress the LEGO group continues to put on us addicted to the plastic bits. If you don't like it, you can say something, but then follow through and don't purchase. You might even get to purchase it for a lot less later when it doesn't sell well.

To summarize, all should be able to post their thoughts/feelings/ideas on sets released, but all should also be nice to each other and considerate to the fact that others have different opinions and you don't need to try to change them to make them agree with you.

Gravatar
By in United States,

Huw: "Wouldn't it be nice if everyone would just be nice to each other?"
Mickitat The Troll: "But I like being a troll!"
patrizio84 The Troll: "Me, too! Being a troll is awesome!"
The World: "LoL. k."

Gravatar
By in United States,

What utter rubbish this article is. Let people say what they want - stop trying to damage control like a paid shill.

Gravatar
By in United States,

frogpharaoh The Troll: "Me, too! Me, too! Don't forget me!! I can complain, too!"
The World: "LoL. Dude, it's Friday evening. Don't you have friends...or something?"

Gravatar
By in United States,

Not that anyone will read this far down, but...

EDITED COMMENT BECAUSE I'M NOT ALLOWED TO TALK ABOUT THE SET.

When I read the T-Rex article it had, maybe, 50 comments. I'd call the reaction "mixed" from what I read.

When I look at a set, I look at price/value. I don't like Ninjago. At all. And yet Ninjago City is a fantastic set. It's $300 and it's so amazing. I will buy it. It will be mine!!!!

Lego sells hundreds and hundreds of sets each year. No reason to spend money on mediocrity, especially on any set above $100. ESPECIALLY on a D2C set where Lego (presumably) has higher margins.

Gravatar
By in Netherlands,

I'm not sure if, after 314 replies, my reply will be read at all but anyway...

What it boils down for me is this;There's more different LEGO bricks around than ever. More shapes and more colours and LEGO is also doing more licensed stuff than ever. However, if you're going to do licensed stuff you best be 100% sure it has the looks and feels of the original. But they don't.

Because the Porsche doesn't look like a Porsche. The Aston Martin doesn't look like an Aston Martin, the Bugatti doesn't look like a Bugatti and now even the T. Rex doesn't look like a T. Rex. To your average Joe it might be, but a Porsche will gather interest from Porsche/Car enthusiasts and they'll see it doesn't look like one. Just like me, who's favourite movie is Jurassic Park. I've watched it loads of times and that T.Rex just isn't a T.Rex. It doesn't look dangerous.

In a time when so many MOCs out there look and feel like the original thing you've got to be daft to think people won't be disappointed. There's someone in his basement creating perfect sets, that Ideas set had a perfect T.Rex and yet what LEGO releases is simply subpar. No amount of love the designer has for its product can change that.

For this reason I've simply stopped buying new LEGO sets about 3 years ago. There's been no new products which I think are worthy of buying. The Stranger Things set has won me over again though, but the last time I bought big sets they cost 230 Euro at the release and then 160 half a year later so why rush to the store now and buy it instantly?

Gravatar
By in United States,

It's worth noting that negativity and the energy with which fans find themselves compelled to complain with - these are all natural byproducts of passion for something.

People often forget that, in many cases, we complain about something because it's something we care deeply about - we want it to succeed, we want it to go on, and we perceive things we see as unhealthy for that thing (whether we're correct in that perception or not) as a threat to something we care about.

Many complaints are ultimately the result of people afraid that Lego will run itself into the ground, that something they grew up enjoying won't be there in the future, or that it's growing away from them - that they're being alienated as a result of the direction Lego has taken over the past decade or so.

Gravatar
By in France,

You are absolutely right. I never bought so much LEGO and wanted so many sets, including a lot if D2C. Tbh, just ignore the haters...

Gravatar
By in Sweden,

People who are satisfied with something are less likely to voice that opinion than those that have a negative one. That's just a fact of the internet, and a fact of the pre-internet too (it was just harder to do, like writing your local paper complaining about road construction near your house).

That Jurassic Park set deserves its criticism though. I'm a huge Jurassic Park fan, and it's just such a disappointment to me. There's nothing hugely wrong with it, it just isn't anything I'd personally want from a Jurassic Park set. Since there isn't likely to be any other Jurassic Park-themed sets coming out anytime soon, it's hard not to be disappointed.

Gravatar
By in United States,

It’s not a bad set but it’s not the set JP fans wanted as a D2C set because it’s not at all compatible with other sets. The gate would look nice on display but I’m not sure about the T-Rex. I would have preferred some new molded Dinos like the very long overdue Brachiosaurus

Gravatar
By in Netherlands,

Can somebody please write an article on writing negative articles about negative reactions?

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

First world problems eh. While the people of Yemen starve and the children of Syria try to sleep at night.

Gravatar
By in United States,

@CamberbrickGreen: Famine and war shouldn't be your minimum threshold for caring about issues. There are an awful lot of problems that are, while orders of magnitude less severe than those, much easier to solve and still worth solving.

Gravatar
By in Australia,

Hmmmm this is an interesting occurrence, especially given recent events in my country.

Now I was not able to read all the comments posted on the JP set so I will not comment on that.

I think its good posting this, although how far one takes this is debatable. I know that Brickset is not trying to ban people from saying anything negative about sets, although undoubtedly many would read this that way.

Its how people present their opinions that matters i.e inappropriate language, singling people out etc. is of course unacceptable and its good that staff are acting on that.

At the same time I dont think that list was entirely fair, after all most are fair criticisms (especially price which is ridiculous in Australia).

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

This is not a forum.
Children come first but so do sales so if a set does not sell, The Lego Group will carefully consider why. Price is a legitimate issue for many of us. If we are going to spend £300 then it has to be a very worthy £300 set for our limited spend each year. This should not generate an emotional problem though. If it is not worth your money, move on and keep an eye out for a set worth your money.

Many people said to build your own as you want it. That is the hobby after all. Input is required.

Gravatar
By in Austria,

One 'constructive comment' to provide here:

1. Learn from how youtube does it, i.e. for every article post, provide a thumbs up and thumbs down button, same goes for every comments that comes below. Here, you have only the 'like' button. Well, there is a psychology side of the thumbs down button that's why I believe it works, because as long as someone are allowed to put a thumbs down, he or she may not comment further, of course it can also be the case, further comment is provided. Then we come to the next strength, i.e. for trolling messages, i.e. if the general public do not like the message, you will see many thumbs down for that post, and the poster, do get the feedback that he / she isn't that popular anyway.

2. Regarding the article post itself, the thumbs up and down, might mean a lot of things, i.e. whether the article is written well or not, whether the set itself is well designed, priced well, thus you may extend that, to even provide a push button survey box in every set's review:
'design and concept' [thumbs up] [thumbs down];
'building techniques and implementation' [thumbs up] [thumbs down];
'price to product ratio' [thumbs up] [thumbs down];
'overall impression' [thumbs up] [thumbs down];

I believe one might gather much more insights through such implementation! Well only member should be allowed to provide the 'thumb' I guess :) Thus might see a push in membership subscription too.

Gravatar
By in Colombia,

I think that the negativity is just a good symptom saying that the market is expanding and more adults are in it taking part of it by commenting and participating. I always had the critic to the AFOL community (to which I belong) that everything was always great and beautiful for them, and no criticism was made in most of the cases. As more people join and have more options to choose from, would cause that AS IN EVERYTHING IN LIFE some people like one thing and others not. What I’m says is like saying in the stock market context, that the market is more liquid and liquidity makes things better and diverse.

Gravatar
By in Hungary,

It seems to me that you Brickset guys get slowly consumed by the lego VIP events you visit, the exclusive meetings with lego designers and the free sets you get for review, so slowly but surely you slip towards being PR platform - you should be careful about this.

You showed critical comments and sometimes even big courage - e.g. reviewing Lepin set - , but I recall as well you publishing article about Assault on Hoth being not really bad set.

I am really tolerant towards even not so good lego products as I collect pretty much almost everything, but if I look for objective review, I do not go to Brickset, as Brickset evaluation is always the same - great set, sometimes you say value for money could be a bit better, but that must be a real rip-off.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

^ Where do you go for what you see as more objective reviews?

Gravatar
By in Hungary,

I like for example:

www.brothers-brick.com
Youtube reviews of Sariel

I do read customer reviews on Swiss version of shop.lego.com or galaxus.ch

I follow also Czech LUG www.kostky.org

I still go to Brickset - your reviews are very timely, have a very broad coverage of sets and there are nice pictures, but I do not read the conclusions.

Gravatar
By in United States,

There is a lot of complaining on the internet, but I think being able to critique a product is perfectly fine. I also understand that most products are meant for a younger consumer. I also understand that inflation is why prices are higher over time. However I preferred style construction that was less rigid, but also had a larger volume. Things would fall apart from time to time, but part of the lego experience is building and rebuilding. Look at the oldest mini figure focused star destroyer. It was massive, and fun to build and rebuild. No under $200 USD set has it’s presence. I would like less details and more perceived value for my money.

I am a young adult (22) enthusiast, haven’t had a dark age yet, but the current line up of sets to not appeal like older sets do. I would love to have a new wave of classic castle, space, and pirates even if it was a only one or two models a year like the winter village sub theme. I can’t afford to drop $500 on the “adult” sets each year. I would like to see something in the middle. I like the new blockade runner. It has playability, it’s display, and has a great volume to price ratio. I want to see more adult and late teen focused sets around $120-250. Something that is displayable, and affordable. I’d also like to see some proper throwbacks to classic sets I wasn’t alive for.

Ultimately I’m just one person with my own view. By the way, I also dislike the censorship of negative comments. If I wanted a commercial, I would just view lego’s website. I understand what the Brickset team is trying to do, but I think there are better ways of handling the situation.
Still a big fan of this platform.

Gravatar
By in United States,

We as members need to start properly posting to these comments by not @ing other posters - if someone wants to have a discussion they can take it to the forums. That's clearly noted above the 'Add a comment' field, although I doubt many actually bother reading it based on the constant singling out of other posters.

I suggest moderators either edit out @ed poster's names or remove the offending post altogether - behavior will start to change when poster's find their comments removed because they can't follow simple rules.

Gravatar
By in United States,

@Switzerland:
I've seen a lot of Europeans voice displeasure at the way the overall product line has gone from original IP to licensed Hollywood IPs, and this probably hits home even harder for Germans than anyone else. Post-WWII, I've heard this was the only toy company that would even cater to the German market, and with their industry in shambles after the war there probably weren't many domestic options either. The result of this was apparently that an entire generation grew up with LEGO products as their only source of new toys, and they've continued to buy LEGO products for their own kids. I've also read recently that, until the US overtook Germany as the top market, the internal IP generally skewed more towards what life in German was like now (Town) or had been in the past (Castle), and that this has shifted more towards life in the US. The same person said that, in Germany, LEGO is losing shelf space to Playmobil, and someone here was gauging the overall health of the company by the fact that German stores are drastically cutting prices on new and recent sets. Meanwhile, in the US (at least near where I live), most sets sell out at MSRP. As the German market dwindles, this will only reinforce their drive to cater to American tastes.

@AustinPowers:
Totally understand it. Totally disagree with it. I do have fondness for certain sets and themes from my youth, but at one point I decided to recreate one of the Super "B" Blacktron Cadet bubble ships and realized just how clunky and simplistic the design was. When I look at sets from that era, I almost never have newfound appreciation for them. I either like them now because I really liked them as a kid, or I like them less than I did back then because I'm looking at them with a more critical eye and a better understanding of what is/was possible.

@yamaki:
They weren't really commenting on the set anymore so much as they were heading towards an outright flame war. Closing the comments wasn't the only option, but it was definitely a valid one.

@Troodon:
1st Amendment rights cease at the US border, and only ban governmental restrictions. Brickset operates out of the UK and is privately owned. Free speech here is at Huw's discretion. Ironically, he's a lot more benevolent about applying that discretion than some AFOLs running sites out of the US have been.

@Lyichir:
While I see where you're coming from, "Comment hidden" links still allow people to respond in kind in a comment thread of this type. If the comments branched off from each other, any responses to the hidden comment could likewise be hidden, but leaving them open for anyone to read will make a headache for the site staff, as they'll have to manually comb through the comments for any responses.

@audiobean:
And put a threshold on how negative the reactions to a comment can be before it's automatically hidden from view? That would allow them to maintain a full archive of reactions, while cutting down on the visible negativity, and all without forcing the Brickset staff to run through every comment with a fine-toothed comb to decide if it pushes things too far or not. And if people don't click on the link to unhide a comment, they can't read it, get offended by it, and respond negatively to it.

@davidzeman:
I've seen TBB lay into the UCS Tumbler for being inaccurate to some really badly distorted "blueprints", and they focus a lot more on covering MOCs than reviewing actual sets. Personally, I browse about half a dozen different sites for a mix of different reasons, and I've found that if I read a review of the same set on three different sites, I will often learn something unique from each site. Brickset just happens to be the only one of those sets that has a very active comment section (most other sites have comment sections that generally range from 0-10 comments before dying down, so there's little chance for a negativity feedback loop).

Gravatar
By in United States,

@darkstonegrey:
You can't allow comments and expect people to go to an entirely different page if they want to respond to any of the comments that appear on this one. You can't allow comments and expect people to _not_ respond directly to them. The Forum disclaimer, by my read, is meant to discourage people from having off-topic discussions, like asking someone how the wife and kids are just because you recognize the username.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Understanding the outpouring of certain types of negativity is beyond my little ol' brain. By all means offer constructive criticism, but the pointless comments, such as "hard pass for me" and "my credit card is relieved", are gobsmackingly mindless.

LEGO release hundreds of sets every year, attempting to cater for all tastes & budgets; if a particular set isn't to your liking, ignore it, move on, and build something else.

Personally, this current diversity of sizes & themes justifies the Golden Age label. How can I complain when LEGO release more desirable sets than I can afford?

Gravatar
By in Germany,

I don't think that we live in a Golden Age of LEGO. The quality of the sets and the themes they offer aren't very good overall.

I miss more sets in the Train Theme. Also for Pirates, Castle and more Creator Buildings. I came back from my Dark Age in 2010. 2010 up to 2013 was from my point of view the Golden Age. Beginning in 2014 there was not many sets, that I like to pic. I get around 10-12 Sets per year - and many single bricks.

There are some great sets, like Speed Champions and Modular Buildings. But most aren't very good in my opinion.

Gravatar
By in Italy,

yesterday, after 20 years, I bought a new lego set. While opening the bags I noticed that various pieces were scratched or had small dents, especially on the edges. I don't remember if even 20 years ago the pieces were already scratched inside the bags, maybe as a child I didn't pay attention to this. I imagine that those who spend hundreds of dollars or euros on a set expect the pieces to be in excellent condition.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

"No negativity of any kind!"
"You just said the word 'no', like, a thousand times."
"And there's also no consistency!"

Gravatar
By in United States,

@audiobean: I'm not sure I agree with the idea that a thumbs down would discourage unnecessary negativity or trolling. Even if you show people they're unpopular, that often makes them fight back even harder because they now imagine that they have a large and organized "enemy" to fight back against. I mean, just look at how people on this site interpreted this article (about how negative comments have gotten a little out of control and asking how we might encourage people to rein it in) as a sign that Huw wishes to censor or silence all critical perspectives about LEGO products or The LEGO Group.

Additionally, if it's simply a matter of telling people that their perspectives aren't as widespread as they might think, then being able to respond in disagreement (or like or upvote responses of that sort that other people have made) ought to already serve that same purpose.

The reason downvotes on sites like Reddit or YouTube make more of a difference than an upvote button alone is that posts that get a whole bunch of downvotes can actually get hidden/removed. Unfortunately, that type of functionality would probably only exacerbate Bricksetters' fears of censorship/persecution, since it'd be their own fellow users rather than admins deciding what voices get heard, and on the basis of popularity rather than whether they are in accordance with site rules/policies.

I think a "report comment" button would be a more effective way of weeding out the kind of out-of-control negativity that really demands direct and immediate intervention, like flaming, harassment, racism, sexism, threats, slander, etc. A report button would serve that purpose without so much risk of comments being removed just because they said something lots more people disagree with than agree with (e.g. "I don't really like Classic Space" or "The LEGO Movie was boring" or "I wish City sets used mini-dolls"). And there could be a penalty for abusing the report button over mere disagreements to ensure that everyone understands what it's for.

@bananaworld: I'm not sure if I'd consider a "my credit card is relieved" comment to be negative. Even though it has the implicit meaning that a person isn't interested in that set, it's not really an insult to the set, the designer, or anybody who is more excited about the announcement. A lot of the time it might be a legitimate case where a person was saving up for a big expensive set they'd only heard vague rumors about, and is happy that they no longer need to feel so uneasy about other purchases they've made or planned on making.

The more hurtful type of comment in my eyes is when people think that not liking a new set that they expected to like makes that set a grievous insult against them, and leave comments to that effect. And being able to reframe disappointment in a positive, if snarky, manner ("wow, I just saved a bunch of money!") might actually be helpful to people experiencing that disappointment.

If commenters can maintain a harmless sense of humor like this, that can potentially both help them deal with disappointment in a healthier way (looking forward to future opportunities instead of backward at missed ones, and reminding themselves that it's just a toy and not something worth getting too upset over), and make it easier to avoid more negative, hurtful manifestations of disappointment like lashing out at designers or other fans who don't share their feelings.

Gravatar
By in Norway,

Huw - First, I think it was a really bad move to close the comments on the JP set. It's just the equivalent of taking the ball and going home, it ruins the fun for everyone just 'cause a few has behaved badly. Second, *please* don't resort to "hell"/shadowbanning - that's just such a underhanded and unethical tactic that I can't understand why anyone finds it acceptable. If you absolutely have to ban someone you should be honest about it and send an e-mail, PM or otherwise tell them that they're banned and why. Also try limiting the scope of the ban, like making it time-limited or for one article only.

As Davidzeman mentions, I think a major problem with many LUGs and AFOL sites are that they're no longer independent - they've became too hung up on perks like early review sets, lugbulk, the ambassador program and inside connections that they've became an extension of Lego's own PR department. Like how they strikes down hard on people posting leaked photos - if Lego can't keep their secrets secure it's their problem and not ours, and by the time we see the first blurry "confidential" pics Lepin has probably gotten hold of the full instruction manual anyway.

When it comes to negative reactions I think it's closely related to expectations. The Lunar Lander came out of nowhere, I had no previous expectations and ordered it on day five (to get the GWP). I didn't pay any attention to any rumors about the JP set until it was announced here, but if I months beforehand had heard stuff like "JP D2C set - 250e" I certainly would have built up expectations of what it could be. As the price seemed a bit high for a gate-themed set I guess I would have considered the Visitor Center too - even if I don't care that much about it and thinks you'd need to get into the 350e range to do it any justice.

I think one problem with the set is that Lego needs to learn the bigger isn't always better. I personally prefer to stay below 2000 NOK/200e for ANY lego set, the only larger one I've bought is the Assembly Square. This is not just a question of cost but of space, I already have all the modulars and they sure adds up. Similar with the GBHQ, at the size and cost of a desktop PC it's just too big for me, even if it's really nice, good value and the size is justified (as it has to fit the car).

The JP set OTOH, just feels oversized. According to the plaque the T-rex is supposed to be 44 foot, going by the basic "1 stud=1 foot" measure and its 86 studs length it's twice as large as it's supposed to be, and more in the league of Godzilla. The gate seems to be more properly scaled (it's just the wheel ruts that's too far apart and looking a little off), but still I'd preferred it to be more like 1/2 or 2/3 the size to make it a more manageable and reasonably priced. If the T-rex had been a non-licensed Creator set at around 100-120e it would've been highly acclaimed, but the combination of off-scale, high total price and lack of the essential car unfortunately has led to a massive backlash.

While JW is far from Lego's worst theme I certainly consider it the most disappointing, mainly due to the sheer lack of JP sets, the focus on another needless Hollywood reboot, and how the neo-modernist blue/white/grey color scheme makes it look like some generic "Dino Police" theme.

Gravatar
By in United States,

I’m sure someone has pointed this out already, but I’m not reading through all the comments. The simple counterpoint to any negativity is that it’s LEGO. If you don’t like it, change it.

Gravatar
By in Netherlands,

This for me is not the golden age of lego,the golden age was like other posters also said up till 3 years ago and maybe did start with the first modular.
My biggest disapointment is the quality of design which imo has been dropping a lot for the past 2 years. I can even identify which sets did start the drop in design quality. It was when the standard lego creator started with the new 3in1 buildings that are much more open and which consists more of different units then 1 coherent building. The house with the bay window from 2 years ago i think was one of the first. For modular buildings it for me started with downtown diner and now also corner garage. The last good modular imo was assembly street. with other sets and themes i have been disapointed in the design as well though i wont point them all out. There have and still are also pleasant surprises design wise. Design quality is the by far most important aspect for me and lego can do much better they have shown in the past.

Another big disapointment for me was and still is technic lego. I very much prefer the old technic lego where you can actually make proper functioning things yourself. Its mostly the mechanic that i find disapointing while for technic sets the mechanic should be one of the most important things. What i find disapointing is the slippage in the gears,the big resistance you can feel when trying to turn or steer or anything for that matter. The 911 that falls through the suspension and almost sits on the ground,things like that. It all looks the part but it does not function properly.

Gravatar
By in United States,

I still say there is a segment out there, it appears, who thinks Lego should be simply about appealing to kids in the 6-10 year old range. Like those who were fans of the (dreaded) Town Jr. range issues in 1997-1999. Simple sets that took maybe less than an hour to build and then they could play.

Gravatar
By in Denmark,

There are a lot of these comments saying things like ‘LEGO was so much better a few years ago’ or ‘the old themes like Insectoids, Rock Raiders, Original Harry Potter were better and simpler and brought me more wonder’. This is wonderful and true, for you. But you grew up with these themes. AFOLs when those themes came out (and I’m sure you can dig up the threads on Lugnet if you want to) were saying terrible things about those themes as juniorised and built from too many unique specialized parts and saying Classic Space and Blacktron and Pirates were so much better. It’s nostalgia and it doesn’t matter how much a designer reworks a set or tries to make it the best thing ever; we can never make you an eight year old again. I wish we could, I’d do it for me too.

As for the criticism, it’s nothing new to me, the second theme I worked on was Agents and when the first images were seen people hated it, truly destroyed it, far worse then anything said about my Jurassic set. Everything I’ve worked on, Atlantis was terrible compared to Aqua Raiders, Power Miners was so junior looking compared to Rock Raiders, Ninjago was a ruined version of the Ninja theme, Chima was just awful, Nexo Knights ruined Castle. Every single theme I have been on has been ripped apart by AFOLs. But you know what? Kids loved them. They loved them all. They sold amazingly, and they have left a lifetime of awesome memories for the kids that grew up with them. I know because they tell me.

I’m sorry If the JP set disappoints you. I’m sorry the license is complicated and stops us doing accurate vehicles, I’m sorry it’s not the set you had in your head. It’s simply just the best I could do. If you don’t like it, don’t buy it. And please show me how you would have built it. I love to see MOCs showing me what could have been done.

I do think the attacking of people who like the set as ‘cult members’ by those who don’t is a little weird, this does seem to be new aspect to internet culture in the last few years. It used to be accepted others could have different opinions without attacking them, MAGA or not, Brexit or not, Kardashians or not have all twisted this to a very bipolar world. “In a perfect world everything would be either black or white, right or wrong, and everyone would know the difference. But this isn't a perfect world. The problem is people who think it is.” - Neal Shusterman.

But what I really object to is people who question my integrity, question my professionalism or, after seeing it’s very different design and after we explained when this model began its journey, still continue to accuse me of idea theft. If you don’t like the set that’s one thing, but accusing me of these other things harms my career and my personal reputation, and that’s way over the line.

Gravatar
By in United States,

Okay, here's my two cents:

Personally, the set is "enhh" to me. I love the T-Rex, but not so much the gate. I won't be buying it not only because of that, but because it costs so much. In fact, in recent years there have been many more 200, 300, 400 $ sets released, and none of them are in either my price range or what I suspect is the price range of many children. I feel like I'm seeing a move to much more expansive, detailed sets -- which is all well and good -- but at the expense of affordability, which I value.

Criticizing the designer personally is of course not okay. But criticizing the set itself is and should always be perfectly fine: the Complaint Checklist posted in the article seems to me to be basically just making fun of people who dislike specific sets? Honestly, it just looks mean to me.

The fact is, this set looks very similar to the proposed IDEAS one. That's perfectly fine and not a judgement on the designer; it's simply because it's not an original idea: it's taken from the JP movies and these are two of the most well known things in it. However, it would be great if TLG could communicate a bit better regarding this sort of thing, because it's happened before. For example, saying in the IDEA review something along the lines of "not this set because we're already developing basically the same thing". It wouldn't be very difficult and would save a lot of trouble.

A "golden age of lego" is very much an individual thing in my eyes. I suspect that most peoples' "golden ages" will be the period that they grew up with. Which is fine.

Finally, directly to the designer of the set, Nabii -- I agree with nearly everything you've said. Except for the line "It used to be accepted others could have different opinions without attacking them, MAGA or not, [...]". People have always taken sides and chosen sides. The internet has just exacerbated the worst of the problem. And if you'll permit me to go on a brief tangent, there's a big difference between whether someone supports the current U.S. president and whether they like a particular LEGO set. One directly affects 328 million people, the other perhaps 1 -- you. Not that you don't deserve respect, because people do, but these are two problems of tremendously different weight, and bringing up the US presidency and Brexit just seems. . .unnecessary, and rather unhelpful.

Anyway, those were my two cents.

Gravatar
By in Denmark,

My point was about people who liked the set being called 'cult members' and 'sucking LEGO's privates' and 'idiots who would buy anything'. This is an example of polarisation - similar to those political/cultural things I mentioned. The whole 'with us or against us' attitude seems to me to have become worse in recent years. But I'm willing to accept it might just be me noticing this more.

Gravatar
By in Norway,

You may be more right than you think about the "with us or against us" thing - I've long held the belief that Western civilization, politics and culture went down the crapper after 9/11 and the following "war on terror", giving way to an authoritarian, conformist dystopia. Pretty much the ONLY thing I can think of getting better in the 21st century are Lego's AFOL themes, which is not a bad feat considering the circumstances.

Gravatar
By in United States,

I think such criticizing opinions are perfectly acceptable. Whether or not we want to hear them is up to us but having such ideas around shouldn't be considered as toxic. This also applies to Lego. Yes, the designers are talented and have certainly showed their effort, but if they're making something with expectations at hand, criticism should be expected and tackled. Questioning its existence is in a sense, naive. Explaining why something was made the way it is and just being transparent is the way to go for things like this. Good and Bad thoughts should be allowed to circulate through a community, otherwise we get stagnation, and honestly; It feels like this and last year for Lego hasn't felt that riveting for me. Then again, I do have a bias favoring constraction.

Gravatar
By in United States,

I love the Dinosaur. No question about that. And I have no problem with the lack of sets put out. The problem is, with me, is that I just want the Dinosaur and, I don't need the rest of that stuff. Also, I am on a limited income and just can't afford those fabulous sets. That is the major setback. Lack of funds.

Gravatar
By in United States,

All I can say, I just recently came back to Lego after 20yrs of a dark age. And I'm glad. Glad I was out for 20yrs. I look at the sets and I missed, and really... don't miss but maybe enough for 1 hand I am sad about. Lego sets today are so much better builds, much better designed imho, and are more intricate and detailed. I love that. But on the other hand, I'm already moving away from buying sets and already moving into bulk/bricklink b/c for me, it's more about the MOC's not about putting together a set from instructions and tossing it on the shelf. I love building. Designing. And the better piece and color range that is available now blows my mind. So for me personally, everyday Lego gets better every time they release a new piece, in a new color. Although I will say, I had to buy a lot of old dark grey/ old light grey for color.

Return to home page »