good old legos (generic) vs bad new legos (kit-based)


Recently I read an article or saw a television show describing the contrast between "old legos" and "new legos". The point of the article was that in the good old days lego kits were full of generic, highly interchangeable bricks that could be used to make anything you could imagine. But nowadays the newer lego kits are full of bricks of more limited intercompatibility, bricks which are mainly designed to let you construct the single, elaborate, predefined centerpiece pictured on the box (such a spaceship, or a car).

The article argued this change was a bad thing, since it required less imagination from people using legos. I have two questions for the lego mavens here.

Simple Question: Where on Earth did I read this article (or TV piece)? I can't remember where I ran into the idea, but it took root in my mind. I'd like to revisit it. It may have been on the BBC, but I'm really not sure.

Deeper Question: Is this true? Is this the common wisdom, or a common complaint, among lego afficianados? Have lego kits changed from the good old days, so that now a given kit can produce a smaller number of interesting results? If this is for real, what kits old and new stand out as representative examples of this trend?

I'm much obliged for all your opinions and pointers.


Reply to
Loading thread data ...

NO doubt that modern LEGO sets have more specialised parts. They also seem to be curvy and round now, Lots more curved bricks etc. I think kids now prefer something that looks good, rather than using the parts to build something else. Lack of patience is probably the reason for this.

Technic is probably the worst, I don't particularly like the Smooth Technic Beams they use now.

Reply to

don't know where you saw the article, but I've been feeling this way for years. I like the technic stuff, but when they moved into "this is the custom molded hood/nosecone/arm/whatever", I stopped buying most of the kits. Now I tend to weatch out for the sales on the "stareter" type sets, or just buy bulk brick through the parts stores...


Reply to

Huh. I was going to say Technic is in some sense the best, since the "studless" system works perfectly well with the "studded" system, and there are a lot of things I can do with a studless construction that there's just no way to do with conventional brick-and-plate.

To the original question, yes, there do seem to be a lot more specialized, "one use only" parts. But in some sense I think these have

*decreased* in the past couple years. Also, in some sense the biggest offender on this point, Bionicle, is also one of LEGO's best sellers, so there may be a good economic point to more "specialized" parts. All that said, I don't find the amount of creativity reduced at all - to the contrary, actually. I keep tossing parts that are "worthless" to my 9-year-old son, who finds amazing uses for them very different than their "intended" use. Perhaps it's not the product that's lacking imagination and flexibility, but our older generation mindset.
Reply to

Anyone who thinks the newer pieces engender less creativity hasn't been to BrickFest in recent years. I am amazed at how these "more limited intercompatibility" pieces are used in models. I think these newer pieces call forth more imagination and creativity.

Reply to
Ken Rice

yep some of the kits are full of very specific use pieces

and with bionicle i have just been collecting the connector and chop the balls leaving a bit of xrod to insert into a x hole 1x2for a cheap and dirty shoulder or hip

most of the new pieces have caused me to get lazy like with the click hinge plates and bricks they sure work alot better than the old 2 and 3 finger hinges

they still have bulk tubs but the gap between bulk tubs and models has really increased since the late 80s

my most hated technic piece is the 2791 and 2792 tilt wheel stering shouldnt be made so easy i prefered them using the universal joint and rack and pinion stering

of course with that kind of ludite mentality we would still be using the gears of the old samsonite years

i invented my own differential years ago using a 40 drilled out plates and bricks and 3 crown gears it was pretty big but it worked

i could forgive winshields and right angle brackets but boat hulls and castle walls take the challenge away

Reply to

PolyTech Forum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.