Ask a LEGO Fan

Cafe Corner Closing Time

Posted in Marketplace by lfanquestions on December 29, 2009

JD writes:

Has the Cafe Corner set been permanently discontinued by LEGO?

Dear JD,

Yes.  This set is sold out and is discontinued.

Sincerely,

LFan

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LEGO Games in the USA

Posted in Marketplace by lfanquestions on December 24, 2009

Mike writes:

Do you know if the “games” sets with the microfigure pawns that were released in Europe last summer are ever going to be available in the US?

Dear Mike,

Rumor has it that LEGO Games sets will be available in the USA next year.  This information has not been confirmed by TLG.

Sincerely,

LFan

Selecting a LEGO Train System

Posted in Collecting Bricks & Sets, Marketplace by lfanquestions on December 22, 2009

Mike writes:

Hi Again!
I’ve been wondering about Lego’s current train line… I loved the 9v train stuff and tried to get as much of it as I could before it went away. Seeing how the RC stuff has changed a couple of times I’m hesitant to break into the new system. The bendy track looks cool, but I don’t see that a lot of new train stuff is being released. I was wondering if you had an idea about Lego’s commitment to the current RC system. I don’t want to continue my bad luck of buying in to the wrong things like, Vesa Local Bus, HD-DVD, and on and on. 😉

Dear Mike,

You may want to wait until 2010 and check out a selection of new power functions train sets.  The RC and power functions trains have issues of recharging batteries, power to move very heavy or long trains, and line of site control issues.

Most AFOLs prefer the discontinued metal track 9 volt system.  If you choose to pursue 9 Volt, look for the passenger train set 4561 after the holidays on eBay.  This set will usually sell in the $50-60 dollar range.  The set includes a circle of track, speed regulator, and 9 Volt motor which you can use to modify most other Lego train sets.

Sincerely,

LFan

Lego Belville

Posted in Marketplace, Set Design by lfanquestions on December 16, 2009

Jason writes:

My daughter is a Belville fan.  I noticed it’s been about a year since any new Belville sets were released, but the most recent 3 or 4 are still stocked at Toys R Us and LEGO stores, and appear to sell well (frequent empty shelves).  With all the talk about the end of Bionicle, Technic and Pirates recently, is there any information about the future of Belville?

-Jason

Dear Jason,

First I would like to mention that Technic will not be ending.  This was a false rumor found on certain internet sites.

I believe that most Belville sets are released in the beginning of the year.  New sets should be coming out soon.  These sets sell extremely well in Scandinavian countries but have mixed results in other parts of the world.  One difficulty is convincing large retail chains (Walmart, Target, Kmart, etc) to carry a variety of Belville sets instead of another action line designed for boys.  The Belville line will likely continue as long as the core market for it remains strong.

Sincerely,

LFan

Questions Thread: December 13th – December 19th, 2009

Posted in General Questions by lfanquestions on December 14, 2009

Please send in your Lego related questions to receive answers.  You may reply to this post or send us an email at lfanquestions@gmail.com  Thanks!

Sincerely,
LFan

The Bionicle Audience

Posted in Marketplace, Set Design by lfanquestions on December 14, 2009

Joao writes:

Who is the target audience of the Bionicles? I first noticed them several years ago and “didn’t get them”. Recently I started looking at LEGO again and noticed they are still around so there must be a commercial success behind it, but they seem so un-LEGO with many incompatible pieces and a very aggressive and combat tone of play rather than adventure/story with the rest. What’s behind these and how do they fit the LEGO universe?

Dear Joao,

Bionicle sets were designed for boys who like action figures and stories.  TLG successfully broke into this area of the market by creating figures with collectable masks.  Many fans of the brick are less interested in Bionicle sets because their elements are more difficult to fit into the LEGO system.  However, the Bionicle theme was profitable for a long time which helped the company.

In the past few years the popularity of Bionicle sets decreased while regular system sets  increased.  This is likely the reason behind TLG’s decision to discontinue Bionicle in favor of an updated construction action figure line in 2010.

Sincerely,

LFan

Set Release Dates

Posted in Marketplace, Set Design by lfanquestions on December 14, 2009

Joao writes:

Does LEGO have a typical time of the year when new sets are announced? Or how often do they introduce sets in a year?

Dear Joao,

Yes.  The majority of sets are introduced at the beginning of a year (January) or the middle of a year (late May – August).  LEGO Direct sets sold on Shop at Home or at LEGO Brand stores have been announced at various times throughout the year.

Sincerely,

LFan

LEGO Designer List

Posted in Set Design by lfanquestions on December 10, 2009

Kyle writes:

LFan,

I was wondering if there is a way to find out who the (lead) designers are on the various Lego sets? Is there a website that discloses this information, or does TLG discourage this information from being public? I’ve seen some names mentioned from time to time on various AFOL sites, but nothing comprehensive. It would be great to have this information on current and past sets/themes.

Thanks in advance,

Kyle

Dear Kyle,

In the past TLG would never release set designer information.  Today many set designers give presentations at conventions, are interviewed for magazine articles, and have building videos on LEGO.com.  There is not a website with a comprehensive list of set designers.

Check out these resources for information on designers:

http://creator.lego.com/en-us/designers/default.aspx

http://www.brickjournal.com/

http://www.brothers-brick.com/2009/01/11/from-lego-fan-to-lego-set-designer-the-mark-stafford-interview-part-1/

http://www.brothers-brick.com/2008/09/24/interview-with-lego-agents-designer-matt-ashton-interview/

http://www.millionaireplayboy.com/toys/jenslegodesigner.php

http://www.eurobricks.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=35533

Sincerely,

LFan