Ten Things in Ten Years - Reduced Focus Upon 'Traditional' Themes

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LEGO introduced three differing ranges during 1978. Town, Castle and Space dominated the subsequent decade before Pirates broadened this selection, establishing relative consistency across the 1990s and early 2000s.

However, the prominence of Castle, Space and Pirates has decreased quite considerably during this decade, to the disappointment of many adult fans. Town, which is today known as City, has remained very significant but the decline and apparent demise of the aforementioned original themes has become fairly conspicuous.

Comparing the present decade with previous years demonstrates the scale of that decline, particularly since 2015 when the last Pirates range was available. This graph displays the number of sets released within each year since 1978 from Castle, Space and Pirates which are represented by the following colours:

  • Red points - Castle
  • Blue points - Space
  • Green points - Pirates
  • Purple points - Castle and Space
  • Black points - Space and Pirates
  • White points - Castle and Pirates

Totalling the annual quantities of Castle, Space and Pirates sets yields the following results. The trend of decline becomes even more apparent here, following the notable peak during 1998. Furthermore, the more recent sets are often promotional items rather than complete selections of retail sets, contrasting with past decades.

Of course, these two graphs do not take account of the increasing number of total sets. The proportion of Castle, Space and Pirates sets which comprise the entire range has accordingly dropped even more dramatically.


Varied reasons exist for this decline, although the increasing diversification of themes is probably the most significant factor. LEGO produces more themes today than at any other time in their history and attention has shifted away from historic ranges such as Castle and Space. The increasing success of story-driven themes, such as NINJAGO or Nexo Knights, might be particularly important too.

That would be interesting because Pirates played an integral role in establishing themes that include named characters. Comparisons could certainly be drawn between products like 6255 Pirates Comic from 1989 and the modern NINJAGO television series as both are intended potentially to improve the connection between children and their sets.

Furthermore, licensed alternatives for Space, Castle and Pirates have emerged since 1999. It seems likely that the introduction of Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and Pirates of the Caribbean would distract attention from original LEGO equivalents, although Space Police III revealed that interest can exist for both concurrently.

However, more recent efforts to produce Pirates and Castle sets might demonstrate that children are becoming less interested in those subjects. Assessing the success of certain themes is rather difficult with only anecdotal evidence, although ranges including Pirates and Castle that have been attempted recently would presumably have continued if LEGO believed demand was sufficient.

For those reasons, I wonder whether focusing attention upon teenage and adult fans would be more suitable where Castle, Space and Pirates are concerned. We have already seen that versions of real space vehicles, such as 21309 NASA Apollo Saturn V, have proven remarkably successful with older LEGO fans and I think more fantastical spacecraft could be similarly popular in the future.

Some evidence of that trend may already be emerging. The Pirate Bay by Bricky_Brick was chosen among the latest batch of successful Ideas projects and that large model seems certain to appeal to adult fans, assuming the final product is similar to the original submission. Perhaps this could herald the introduction of more advanced Pirates and Castle sets in the future.


Would you like themes such as Castle, Space and Pirates to return and do you think they will within the next decade? Let us know in the comments.

83 comments on this article

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By in Singapore,

I would actually not want Castle sets that are too large and/or advanced. They don't need to be juniorized, but I don't want to have to lay dozens of brickwork bricks or spend half the build time on greebling to build a tower. I think the 80s castles were the sweet spot for build experience and time to finished product, though I grew up with Knights' Kingdom I and II, and 6098 is my no. 3 most wanted set.

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By in Russian Federation,

I NEED HORSES!!! :)))

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By in Ukraine,

I miss the old themes and would snatch up a traditional castle if it came up next week. My 4 year old daughter regularly asks for my pirates and uses my castle minifigs in her dollhouse. (She's not quite ready to build her own stuff yet but loves the Princess from the CMFs and all the babies we've amassed) I think imagination has folded under the profitability of licensed products. We won't have Classic Space as long as we keep buying Star Wars. Castle has been taken over by Harry Potter. I would love if Lego never made a Harry Potter set again, I'm so over that franchise.

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By in United States,

@LegoSonicBoy:
If the end product looked good enough, I surely wouldn't mind doing all that brickwork and greebling, because a truly awesome castle is worth it.

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By in Canada,

I believe too many IP themes have taken over...but Lego wouldn't be doing this if there wasn't a demand or it wasn't profitable. Ninjago and Friends (and Bionicle) seem to be the only two (not so) new Lego original themes that have proven successful since 2000. I think it would be nice if Lego would focus more on originality than IPs. As a Lego Star Wars fan I'm even starting to think that the theme should come to an end as it has become tiresome/stale; sure we get lots of new minifigures but the sets are meh.

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By in United Kingdom,

I reckon that LEGO views Harry Potter/Wizarding World and Star Wars as filling demand from kids for Castle/fantasy and Space/sci-fi respectively, and is therefore unlikely to revive either as full-blown ranges while it has those licences.

LEGO doesn't target AFOLs; it regards them as 'already in the bag'. It seeks to grow sales by attracting adult non-FOLs through association with existing IP/franchises such as Top Gear and James Bond and through interests like architecture, culture and tourism.

It does occasionally target adult non-FOLs who were LEGO buyers as kids, i.e. returnees, through nostalgia. But by itself, that isn't a large enough segment to warrant much investment by LEGO.

I wish it were otherwise and would love a re-boot of '70s/early '80s Classic Space and Castle, but sadly the reality is that neither is on the cards.

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By in United States,

I'd love for a new original Space theme to come out soon. What was the last one? Galaxy Patrol? Been far too long!

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By in United States,

Good overview. This is one of my main criticisms of the current marketing direction of LEGO. There are way too many licensed IPs. LEGO's own themes can often be much better, and they don't have to pay a single cent to get rights from anyone. Plus, there are too many parts being produced, and thus molds, that cost a great deal of money to only be useful for that one theme; as opposed to all.

That being said, I am a Speed Champions fan, and licensed trucks and heavy equipment in Technic fit the theme's focus very well. Since Mack is owned by Volvo, I'd love to see a Technic Volvo VNR to join the Mack Anthem. I live about an hour and a half from the Dublin, VA Volvo NRV plant. To me, licensed IPs and partnerships are fine--just make sure they fit into regular themes well.

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By in Germany,

For a second I gasps and thought Lego will produce Castle sets again

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By in Hungary,

Oh look, it's the weekly castle/pirates/space rant

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By in United States,

Lego Kingdoms is my favorite castle theme as it had a nice design a great balance between level of detail and non-juniorized builds. I would love to have more like it.

Also, the castle theme has had the same lance, chest plates, shields, helmets, saddles, treasure chests, and many other pieces from the same molds as the classic sets and I think it is time for some upgrades. Brickwarriors has a lot of good ideas but it would be nice to have Lego produce the cool parts instead.

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By in United States,

They need to bring castle back so badly. I was a kid when Kingdoms came out, and to this day, those sets still reside prominently on my shelf (now accompanied by Löwenstien Castle:). I play with those so much and they are great. I'm sorry Lego, but kids DON'T need computer mech knights to make it interesting. We like the traditional stuff too, thank you very much.

I wonder if we'll ever get a more "normal" space theme again. Where it is futuristic astronauts exploring, along with a bad guy faction. It doesn't need to be aliens.

I also loved the LOTR waves, but those were out around the same time as Kingdoms, and if those are going to be a alternative to castle, then Lego needs to bring it back.

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By in Netherlands,

Here's to hoping they will actually bring back a proper castle theme (either the 80's style or fantasy era, those are the best IMHO), not the Nexo knights or just nothing like now. Ooh how a man can dream.

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By in United States,

Unlike Space replaced with Star Wars and POTC replacing Pirates, the "Harry Potter replacing castle" theory is just plain false. Harry Potter has always coexisted with a castle theme, with the exception of 2003 when there were no castle and two HP sets and the current revival. Lego decided to bring Castle and Harry Potter back in 2010, and both were very successful separately and got second waves a D2C in 2011, Kingdoms Joust and Diagon Alley. Moreover, only around 20 of the 89 Harry Potter sets feature parts of Hogwarts Castle and medieval architecture. It was really Lord of the Rings that killed both themes in 2012. It seems like, in fact, Harry Potter and Castle mutually sold each other as the Castle sets with magical elements, like the dragons and wizards, can appeal to Harry Potter fans and the Hogwarts Castle sets appeal to Castle fans. I think this theory either comes from those who either are equivocating HP : Castle :: SW : Space or those who really hate Harry Potter. I personally love both Harry Potter and Castle and am thankful history shows they can definitely coexist.

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By in Russian Federation,

In the more recent years, Space simply got assimilated into City, it seems.

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By in Austria,

I still don't understand why Classic themes are not incorporated into the Creator line occasionally. A medieval inn, some small pirate or merchant vessel etc... Children are interested in so many things, not only the latest smartphone for some dubious Lego app but apparently managers forget about that!

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By in United States,

I think part of it also has to do with the integration of technology into the brand. NINJAGO has a ton of supporting material, up to and including a movie, while Hidden Side and NEXO Knights both have app integration, though the sets can certainly be enjoyed without - but not necessarily to their fullest. Does anyone remember FUSION from a couple years ago? That, for me, is a nullification of the whole reason I build Lego in the first place: to turn off, unplug, and immerse myself in a building experience that I always have enjoyed since my very first set, in which I can get totally lost and afterwards look at the clock and see that all of a sudden it's 2am on a weeknight. I know a lot of people that when they build a Star Wars set, for example, need to have the movie on as background, and that's the same for any of the licensed IP; build the Saturn V with Apollo 13 playing, for instance. And that, for me, defeats the whole point of why I build. Maybe I'm getting old, and at 35 I certainly don't think I am, but I want Lego to be a toy that lives in its own world and doesn't need supporting material, which it already is to begin with.

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By in United Kingdom,

I’d love a return of castle and pirate themes. My son would love them. I’d literally be forced to buy every set!!

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By in United States,

It’s possible for Lego to replace classic themes with licensed themes that still meet the demand. For example, Jurassic World has essentially filled the void left by classic dinosaur themes, which is evident in the fact that Lego produces JW sets for Juniors and Duplo. The theme is intended just as much for young kids who like dinosaurs but have never seen the movie as for older fans who also like the movie.

In the same vein, Castle was partially replaced by LotR and Harry Potter, and more recently, Space has been replaced by a growing number of realistic space models in the Ideas and Creator Expert lines, as well as a wave of space sets in City. I don’t really think this is a bad thing, as long as new licensed themes also meet the demand of fans who just want classic castle or space sets.

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By in United States,

It would be great if LEGO did a big stand-alone castle set in the same vein as Pirate's Cove. I get the feeling all ages would be all over it!

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By in Netherlands,

Nexo Knights got me back into LEGO after 15 years.

Now I'm hoping for a more traditional in-house Castle theme.

For me Harry Potter and Ninjago simply don't feel the same as a Castle theme.

I know Nexo Knights had a lot of crazy vehicles, but if we disregard those, the castles from Nexo Knights were nice, Jestro's Lair wasn't even futuristic but very much Fantasy-Castle.

Even Knighton Castle was good, ok the color scheme and neon orange might not work for Classic/Fantasy much but the design was still fairly classic and the rooms it had for sleeping/eating/weapons were good and also it had plenty of room to pose figures on the walls/towers.

Fortrex was on threads/wheels yes, but it still was very playable as a castle as well.

I still collected most Nexo Knights sets / vehicles , but to me the 4 Castle buildings sets are still my favorites, and the vehicles likely will be the first to be dismantled for MOCS.

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By in United Kingdom,

Maybe it's not just Harry Potter that's an IP "replacement" for Castle- Minecraft is basically a medieval fantasy theme just with an extremely specific graphic style and Disney Princess is the same- it's just the lack of normal minifigures makes them offputting!

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By in United States,

To answer the question - yes! I'd love to see appearances from the supposed "evergreen" themes, and while it may be wishful thinking on my part, I certainly think we'll see some type of return to castle/pirate/space themes between now and 2029.

As an old-school spacer, the lack of space can be downright frustrating sometimes, but the fact that LEGO occasionally throws us a bone by trickling out items that can used for space MOCs is welcome. However, it sucks when such teases themselves become hard to obtain (e.g. 41636 Benny Brickheadz with the 1x4 blue brick with the crispity clean CS logo - good luck acquiring that piece in any kind of quantity without paying a fortune). But a full-fledged return to space (and other classic themes) is always an opportunity to modernize certain features (would a 21st century take on some airtanks be out of the question?) or update/revisit classic minifig livery.

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By in United States,

I hope LEGO brings back the old themes, especially castle!

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By in United States,

Probably worth noting a lot of blurring of themes in recent years. Lines like Super Heroes and Hidden Side bring substantial Town/City elements to the sets. The first Lego Movie line (and to a lesser extent, the second) had a hefty mix of City, Castle, Space, and Pirate elements (and some weird stuff like Super Heroes and Adventurers thrown in).

I do wonder if we'll ever see a significant scaling back of licensed themes, as the IP cost is becoming more and more pronounced. The Disney-owned sets are having a remarkable bricks-to-cost ratio. DC Super Heroes is still in the tolerability range, but I worry that will crack. City and the other original lines remain largely cost-effective. I wonder if at some point, Lego says screw it and goes back to their bread and butter.

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By in Czech Republic,

Trains, Pirates, Castle and Space themes are gone, we need to live with it guys. Unfortunately.

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By in Portugal,

I think that LEGO should make sets that appeal to adults too.

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By in United States,

Maybe instead of describing the legend of a plot in paragraph form you could include the legend with the plot so it is much easier to read.

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By in Italy,

@andrelego
I totally agree.

Now, I would be very curious to know just how much the Lego Company takes AFOLs into consideration market-wise. It's a wealthy and growing population (kids too get old over the decades). Is Lego focusing on this?

And - yes! - bring Castle and REAL City sets back. With trains. Please.

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By in United States,

I agree, I am saddened by the loss of original themes. Sure, City has had mining, arctic and space sets, but they were less fantastical and had no story. The Lego movie sets were great, Ultra Agents was a cool spin on the superhero genre, and while I did not care for Ninjago initially, I appreciate that each year has provided a twist on an old formula, like pirates or castle.

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By in France,

As a 34 yo AFOL, i received a lot of Pirates sets when i was young (which i still own today). I bought most of the last 2015 Pirates wave sets and the 2 wonderful Castle sets released during my DA: Medieval Market Village and Kingdoms Joust. I got the sets which are related to those themes like Benny Space Squad and the Pirates Rollercoaster. And i was so happy to get the Saturn V and Apollo Lunar Lander!!!

In a word, as an adult, i prefer to get one big detailed set each year rather than a full wave. Next Pirates Ideas set will be a day one purchase for me (if it’s not badly redesigned like last Dinos).

And YES! I’m waiting wait for new Pirates/Castle/Space sets as neoretro sets or replicas like a Modular Castle or a new NASA Space Shuttle.

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By in United States,

BRING BACK CASTLE!!!!

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By in United Kingdom,

@Thunbear - I am definitely not 'ranting' on the subject of Castle, Space and Pirates. I am instead commenting on significant trends and features of the last decade within LEGO. The apparent decline in those themes is an important example.

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By in United States,

I would love to see all of these return, but it just doesn't look like that will ever happen. Therefore, the only way of getting models from these themes is building them myself. It can be time consuming, but its the only way for now.

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By in United Kingdom,

@dngbat591, LEGO doesn’t target AFOLs. It does target adults and FOLs, but not both combined. Please see my post above.

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By in Netherlands,

I missed out on the Pirates if the Caribbean sets which I still regret as those pirate ships are awesome. I’d love if the pirate theme would be brought back with ships and settlements. Castle theme was nice as well especially the medieval village. I don’t care about IPs. I want good LEGO sets.

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By in Australia,

I’d really like to see Lego attempt to bring back it’s Legends line. Reviving classic sets we all cherished (a couple of Pirates, Space, Town and Castle sets could be hand picked) would satiate our desire for these themes and give Lego and indication of what would be worth bringing back as a full line).

I’ve been disappointed that Lego’s playbook on classic themes lately has been to just ‘awesome’ them up; what I thought would be a revival of Ninja ended up becoming Ninjago, while Castle got the Nexo Knights treatment.

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By in Canada,

I think that as great the 80s to mid 90s which was then 'Legoland' was by far the best era of sets ever produced. They will never recapture that no matter how hard they try and I think we as AFOLS need to accept this. Kids today play differently. Everything they seem to bring out now is supported with an app or a TV show. I think that Lego needs to get away from licensed products and focus on 1st party themes. And no matter what they produce or don't, the toy's one and only limitation will always be how far can your imagination take you.

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By in Australia,

@manjeroque
Never mind horses, we need cows! 5 years since the last cow, only three breeds ever made :(

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By in United States,

@Thunbear, there’s nothing about this article that comes across as a rant. It’s a very statistical look at something factual, that being the decline of these classic sets being released.

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By in United Kingdom,

I agree with others Harry Potter, Star Wars are LEGO’s current castle and space. There is room for the classic themes though. I loved Kingdoms, SP3 and Galaxy Squad and bought all those sets.

Those graphs are a terrible way to represent that data though. Almost impossible to make out clear trends. Line graph or bar chart would be better, really hard to see patterns amongst those dots

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By in United States,

I've tried to explain to Lego using my money to buy Benny's spaceship and the new TLM2 Space sets (haven't even seen the movie), but aside from those scant few, they don't seem to be listening. Star Wars is fine, and I do like it, but it's not Space. But I fear as long as Star Wars is around, Lego doesn't see the point in making non-Star Wars space.

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By in United Kingdom,

And western!

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By in United Kingdom,

Maybe Lego could do 1 large castle and a detailed Pirates/redcoats ship a year similar to the way Modular buildings do and thus gauge interest and satisfy fans most of whom are old enough to build a detailed model.

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By in United States,

A new classic space wave could be GREAT, perhaps either a Futuron/Blacktron or maybe an M-TRON revamp would be amazing!

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By in United States,

Classic Space sells. For the longest time, even in my backwater SWVA coalfields town, local stores (Dollar General and Walmart) couldn't keep Benny's Space Squad on the shelves.

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By in Netherlands,

I think that (a big?) part of the reason for AFOLs to want the classic themes to return, is nostalgia! At least for me, nostalgia kicks in when I see or build my childhood sets: the memories of unpacking, building, endless playing, rebuilding... That also makes me believe that even *if* TLG would bring back the classic themes, the experience wouldn’t be the same...

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By in United Kingdom,

I like how nice this article summary is in evidencing the perceived decline of Lego's 'evergreen/bread and butter' themes of yore (relative to today of course). In my own view, I think part of the problem isn't so much as having so many licensed themes of varying degrees of similarity but, maybe a mix of changing market views and over-saturation. If Lego is the world's current leading toy brand (or, certainly one of the main ones) then, in terms of themes or sets available to appeal to as wide a target audience possible, what have they not got to sell? Whether Creator, Classic, Harry Potter, Star Wars, City, Friends, Ninjago, Technic, Architecture, Hidden Side etc. there is a lot of choice for a consumer to focus on. In the past the company was comparatively smaller, evidently produced fewer sets (in aggregate) to now and only had a handful of generic themes. I think nostalgically, it would be nice to have some of those older sets reimagined from the 1970s-1990s era - especially for someone like me, who came of age in the last decade with a mix of old and new elements and colours - it wouldn't be the same. Lego clearly, has evolved into a very large company with shifting ideas of what products to sell; though, thankfully, the core appeal remains timeless: build anything and play well.

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By in United States,

I would love for the classic themes to return, especially Space. But I really can’t fault LEGO. We had three great Space themes in a row: SP III, Alien Conquest, and Galaxy Squad. AFOLs only make up a tiny fraction if the FOL-buying public, and we bought what we could. I myself got nearly all SP III, and I’m pretty sure I did collect all of the other two. And some multiple sets.

But you all, the younger commenters here, who were smack in the middle of the target demo when those themes launched, didn’t ask for them for Christmas, your birthday, for getting good grades, etc. The giant discounts and piles of unsold inventory (and lack of follow-on themes) tell that story.

I’m fine with that, because I know there’s a lot of Spacers on the design staff. I’ve interacted with them on Flickr over the years and they’re solid.

That’s why you see “secret” Space sets pop up every so often, like the Land Bounty in Ninjago this past year, or that airplane Creator set with the Vic Viper alt build.

Also the City Space sets are pretty much their own subtheme. So honestly, from my perspective, Space is doing well.

I don’t know how the Castle and Pirate guys feel. And really, it’s the Train guys who’ve been left high and dry.

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By in United Kingdom,

No sir. I don't like it!

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By in United Kingdom,

Aside from markets and trends, TLG are certainly not sticking to the concept central to the Lego House and it’s Tree of Creativity. The massive build is regarded as a monument to the brand and a legacy of the family that built it. The tree was fundamentally meant to be filled by sets from ‘evergreen’ themes but there’s certainly no castle or pirates being added from the last many years. And space has drifted into non-fiction only as part of City, which itself has its own branches on the Tree.

What I’m most disappointed by is the apparent lack of new in-house IP themes over the last few years. Thank goodness for Hidden Side because otherwise we’d be in a pretty barren wasteland (populated by ninjas).

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By in United States,

@peterlmorris you make a good point about "stealth" space sets showing up. I'm not at all a collectible minifig collector, but I had to grab both the Retro Gamer guy and Galactic Bounty hunter this year for obvious reasons. I'll have to look into the two sets you mentioned, wasn't aware of them.

Edit: 31086 --I wasn't familiar with this set but wow, love it!

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By in Singapore,

The last time I collected a complete theme was the entire LEGO Batman Movie sets. it’s good that LEGO stays refreshing and relevant.

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By in United States,

I do miss original IP.

It was kind of nice to have a new theme with characters that told a story about half-way and let the builder finish it to their liking, or just ignore it all together and make up their own. Up until my subscription to LEGO magazine back in the 90s (roughly the time Adventurers came out) I had no idea that the Pirates, Knights, and Spacemen even had names.

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By in United States,

In my opinion in the end it all comes down to one thing, the money. Lego is nice and wonderful but they aren't going to do everything for free. No one in the world would do that stuff for free. If the money isn't in it then they aren't in it. The largest sales targets are most likely not AFOLS. But it be possible withthe new Pirate Bay set I so hope that it sparks a plug with pirate and hopefully many other traditional themes. I do hope. :)

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By in Australia,

But it's more than conspicuous @CapnRex101 because ever since that epoch - from adolescence to young adulthood - the transformation has permanently changed Lego's playability. Brand marketers, "brand managers" have emphasised their role more, and have more control over a complete product more so that the design engineers. Playability belies functionality. Instead of a completely detailed and functioning set, sets are more frugal, relying on just imaginative playing. But since our audience is for older modellers and collectors, we've already conceded and have come to a basic universal understanding that Lego doesn't and has never catered centrally for us - as ironically we're aren't children anymore. I feel that any desire to resurrect - what I would call "historically-themed" sets than "traditional" - is futile - just as the "SYSTEM" ecosystem was replaced, so was "TOWN" was replaced by the modern "CITY" sets which were and are all ghastly and fundamentally lazy. After the early 2000s, Lego started to change their set DNA - they started to design sets as if it were Mattel Hot Wheels!

The economy of how much cost per brick and how much engineered effort were placed on each released set became so apparent. For most of us, Lego is supposed to be a very long-term project, not a brief one. The sets need to be design correctly, designed well, designed so that its most fundamental characteristics aren't sacrificed. That they are designed just as Lego themselves made the "MODEL TEAM" theme - that's how you should create a set. But to put it more forthrightly: we're just using Lego as a conduit for their parts inventory. We don't rely on the company anymore for the creativity that we want ourselves. There are some many imaginative and worthwhile builders who are happy and generous enough to make sets they like, they release the instructions and we appreciate and make our own versions. Lego don't designed sets for permanence - they aim to make it fun enough until you've reach 17+ and it's over.

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By in United States,

Kingdoms is one of my favorite themes I was sad when theme was canceled

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By in United States,

Löwenstein Castle was by far the most successful BrickLink Designer set, which I think supports the idea that complex castle sets might sell. I would certainly buy them. I find plenty to like among Lego's current offerings, but I'm pretty much a dilettante, whereas when the various castle ranges were on the market I generally bought every one. I didn't buy the LOTR/Hobbit stuff because that's not my particular geekdom, but I can definitely see how that would sap some of the demand for more generic medieval themed sets.

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By in United States,

> Some evidence of that trend may already be emerging. The Pirate Bay by Bricky_Brick was chosen among the latest batch of successful Ideas projects and that large model seems certain to appeal to adult fans, assuming the final product is similar to the original submission. Perhaps this could herald the introduction of more advanced Pirates and Castle sets in the future.

Sure hope so! The way that Ideas set rocketed to 10k votes in record fashion should be all the evidence needed that many AFOLs are starved for high quality Pirates (and Castles) sets. I also miss the Forestmen in particular from the late '80s Castle series.

Here's hoping Lego does The Pirates' Bay set justice and produces something exceptional and true to the concept.

And here's hoping we see more sets like it, both Pirate and Castle themed.

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By in Norway,

Seems like a general trend on a market. Go to toyshop and try to buy something that is not an IP product. It is all about Bob the builder, Firefighter Sam, postman Pat, Paw patrol and all that other mother of jazz. And if you wanna buy a bulldozer or RC car, there will be a Spideman on it. Playmobil has also significantly decreased their production of traditional themes like pirates, western and castle. They just launched a Novelmore theme a combination of castles and technology. Sounds familiar?

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By in United States,

Dont's see much about pirates in comments. Besides mentioning new set. Would love just 1 come out non pirates of carribean, like Imperial Flagship 10210.

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By in United States,

I´´ d like som interesting medieval castle extencion sets. - Castle town sets.

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By in United States,

How bout theme on just ships like mast ships from start to 18th century to start? a viking ship updated then.... templar ship.... , english or spanish french ship?... their's probably hudreds great ships .... Probably saying this all wrong but Architecture sets but for ships emphasis on display accuracy like model ships building .. or close to it

Could do same with trains I would think a Sub-theme - Locomotives

2 winged biplane 3 winged planes ww 1 ww2 sopwith camel , red baron

Historic series----planes trains ships
Great for kids schools, museums, model builders, military history

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By in Australia,

@night13flyer that is an awesome & educational idea. But those ideas arent allowed by Lego, they only accept phone/ipad centered things on rip offs of IPs, eg star wars.

After all, its far more important to create generations of social inept vegetables then teach kids (and adults) about history....

Sarcasm aside, Id love to have those ideas. For everyone, Ive never understood why Creator Expert trains were ended. The arguments about trains not being popular amongst children anymore, 'modern' parents only relate to dirty late intercity trains etc. are all worthy points as to why City trains might be phased out but Creator Expert trains were made for AFOLs. Theres whole groups of people who just do lego trains. So then, why end an 'adult' theme if adults are still interested in it??????

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By in Poland,

Older kids dont care about pirates or castles anymore.
BUT GIVE US FANTASY LINE as Big boom theme.

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By in Romania,

Licensed Themes are what ruined LEGO. All the charm that came from LEGO's own original themes have been replaced with the soulless cash-grabs that are the licensed themes. LEGO's current marketing strategy will do nothing but alienate more and more fans.

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By in Slovakia,

Today's CITY is a total shit. Not over the old Classic Town. That could come back.

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By in Croatia,

Castle theme, in the begining, had great looking castles that reminds to real castle and that is very apealing to kids and especially to AFOLs. Castles and all around them in Nexo Knight, Fantasy Era and Ninjago not so much. It would be great here and there some set come out with that kind of castles

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By in United States,

Poor choice for the charts. The trends are hard to discern. A single stacked bar graph would have communicated all the necessary trends rather succinctly.

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By in United Kingdom,

@TitanArch - Including bar charts here sometimes presents challenges because there are several years with null values. Nevertheless, I probably should have used them, in hindsight.

I think these graphs do demonstrate the appropriate trends though.

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By in United States,

@LegoDavid, licensed themes are what SAVED Lego. If Lego had’t turned to licensed themes they likely wouldn’t be around anymore, or wouldn’t have nearly the footprint they do now. Like them or not (I know many AFOL’s despise them) licensed themes are what kept Lego from going under. I’d love to have more classic lines brought back, but I also don’t know if they’d command the same sales and stability other themes have brought.

A lot of people here also don’t understand marketing. I promise you Lego knows more about marketing their company than a simple AFOL here does.

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By in Canada,

I'm seriously sick of 'licensed sets'. I would LOVE to see more emphasis on LEGO original IPs. I appreciated Nexo Knights, even though I wasn't a fan of "techo-Castle" (though they did have GREAT villain minifigs).

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By in Portugal,

Nostalgia makes many money today and I think that LEGO should explore that market too.

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By in United States,

@monkyby87 That's definitely not the full story. While yes, the Star Wars license in 1999 granted Lego a huge sales windfall, overall profits were reduced due to the licensing fees paid to Lucasfilm. And after the Phantom Menace came out, even the collective buying power of all those Star Wars fans couldn't keep Lego in the black. Without another Star Wars movie until 2002, Lego was right back to its financial struggles at the turn of the century. What well and truly SAVED Lego was the launch of BIONICLE, a home-grown, original theme that drew in lots of new fans to Lego and didn't require any license fees. BIONICLE was the start of the turnaround that the new CEO in 2004 capitalized on, and that set Lego on the path to where it is today.

So yeah, in short, it wasn't the licenses that saved Lego.

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By in Canada,

Heres a free one for you, LEGO:

Create a new theme. Call it LEGACY. Release 5 exclusive sets per year based on original IP themes- Castle, Space, Pirates, Town, and Western. Ensure each set is created using advanced modular/Ideas worthy designs.

Stagger the release of each “LEGACY” set throughout the calendar year, if it scares you to release all five at once.

Watch how well they are received.

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By in Luxembourg,

@brickchap Some AFOL's might still be interested in trains, but there's simply not enough of them. Jamie Berard has been on record stating that even with AFOL train fans buying 4 copies of each Expert train set (and yes, that includes Emerald Night), it's simply not enough.
"Normal" Creator Expert trains don't sell according to Jamie as there's simply not enough train fans out there anymore. Trains need some other hook to be successful, e.g. Christmas themed. So it sounds unlikely we will ever get another "normal" expert train again.

Model trains in general are simply not popular anymore. Model train manufacturers have been in terminal decline since the 90's/early 00's, and have either gone bankrupt or are a mere shadow of their former selves.

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By in United Kingdom,

This is a trend with toys in general. Go into a toy store and see what is selling at the tills. A lot of the toys (excluding games) are licensed, and a lot of it is movie related. And these don't need much advertising, as there is already a big fan base for the movies.

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By in Austria,

I'd so buy a modular castle line ... it's so obvious it hurts they don't do it. That could work on playset or creator expert level equally.

For Pirates and Space (no franchise) it's a bit more complex to come to an obvious product line ... i guess it needs some AFOL factor in it to be appealing to them (and Lego should make use of that nostalgia), but strongly leaning towards affordable and playable enough for children with the majority of sets.

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By in Germany,

Best set ever made? 6080 without doubt.

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By in United Kingdom,

@snagel

One of the interesting releases over the past year(s) is the Harry Potter - great hall, whomping willow and clock tower sets enabling a level of modularity.

Wouldn't it be great if Lego went the Playmobil route a bit, and said, sure buy a base castle, but also buy Tower 1 separately, or wall sections, gatehouse etc etc.

What I would like to see is either:
a couple of new sets a year in the evergreen themes, priced for wide availability but interesting to AFOLs. maybe 1/2 themes a year, maybe with modularity built in
a relaunch of the Legends line with 2 - 3 sets a year of different price points
1 Big Bang set a year, big, pricey aimed at AFOL's first and foremost.

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By in Greece,

Bring back Castle and Pirates please!!!

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By in United States,

I personally think that LEGO is spending entirely too much money and effort on licensed promotional items. I was (am) a fan of the original "Castle" sets, among others. But what I would like to see are more items based on "real" things. I'm really put off by all of the fantasy and futuristic stuff. Also, it's very hard for me to justify paying $249.00 U.S. for something that I'm not that excited about. How about an exceptionally detailed U.S. fire engine, for example? I guess I'm too old fashioned but more items based on real vehicles, etc. please.

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