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Only sheeps and deers say LEGOs…

No, this is not going to be another article about the proper use of our favorite brand name, for that check out: LEGO, Lego, lego, legos – Does it Really Matter? “Only sheeps say legos” is actually a quote from one of my favorite LEGO designers, Mark Stafford in a recent discussion on Reddit. The whole thread is so interesting that I thought to bring it to your attention. 🙂

LEGO Reddit Discussion

I appreciate the work of Mark not just because he is a great LEGO designer (see the LEGO sets he designed here, and his personal gallery here), but because he actively participates in the LEGO community in various LEGO forums and social sites. This keeps him very aware of what the LEGO community wants, and also allows LEGO fans to interact with a LEGO designer on a personal level. Going back to the discussion on Reddit, below I have picked out and paraphrases some of the most interesting questions for you and also quote Mark’s responses, and you can also read the original here.

LEGO Designer Mark Stafford

QUESTION: I’ve seen a lot of people talking about how LEGO Star Wars and LEGO Bionicle saved the LEGO company from bankruptcy, but is there a good source for this story? I’m very curious, since the late 90’s was the height of when I was collecting as a kid, and it seemed like things were in full swing. Lots of set variety that didn’t rely on licensed properties.

💡 ANSWER: I’ve been present at several presentations about this period – both internal and public by high up LEGO managers, including Mads Nipper, Marketing Director and Jorgen Vig, CEO. I was one of many people interviewed for this book which tells the full story of the turnaround of LEGO’s fortunes: Brick by Brick: How LEGO Rewrote the Rules of Innovation and Conquered the Global Toy Industry

LEGO Book Brick by Brick Review

Mads was most open about the situation from 1999 to 2003 at the AFOLCon LEGO event in the UK two years ago. This was the first time I had heard the company came within six months of bankruptcy in that period. When Jorgen first analyzed the company and for the first time ever figured out the outgoings and the profits he almost had a heart attack. The LEGO company at that stage had no idea how much it cost to manufacture the majority of their bricks, they had no idea how much certain sets made. The most shocking finding was about sets that included the LEGO micro-motor and fiber-optic kits (in both cases it cost LEGO more to source these parts then the whole set was being sold for); everyone of these sets was a massive loss leader and no one actually knew.

This was combined with a decision to ‘retire’ a large number of the LEGO Designers who had created the sets from the late 70’s through the 80’s and into the 90’s and replace them with 30 ‘innovators’ who were the top graduates from the best design colleges around Europe. Unfortunately, though great designers they knew little specifically about toy design and less about LEGO building. The number of parts climbed rapidly from 6000 to over 12,000 causing a nightmare of logistics and storage and a huge amount of infrastructure expansion for no gain in sales. Products like Znap, Primo, Scala and worst; Galidor all came out of this period.

The only reason the company survived was the incredibly lucky timing of the brilliant and very popular home grown LEGO Bionicle theme and the internally controversial decision to license and make Star Wars sets – which turned out to a very good idea. Jorgen Vig was put in charge, he made the hard call and made redundancies, they slashed the number of parts down to 6000 (a figure that has grown, but we’re still well below the 2003 total), the company reorganized and analyzed all costs, design was finally linked to manufacturing cost and re-focused on the core business of making construction sets. The unprofitable LEGO computer games business was shut down. (Some of these guys returned to the UK and started their own company called Travellers Tales, they then licensed the LEGO computer game business and freed from LEGO management – who know nothing about computer games – they still make the LEGO computer games today – making good money for all involved – including LEGO.)

After two/three years of consolidation and streamlining the company had it’s first Designer Recruitment Workshop in September 2006. I was one of the 11 designers hired at that time. New managers were in place in the design building, all developed inside the company. These guys loved the product, they knew the customers (as they had grown up playing with LEGO), and they had ideas that had been restrained for years. They hired several kid-focused design graduates and a few AFOLs (Adult Fans of LEGO) – of which I was one. We already knew and loved the product, we brought new energy and new ideas to the cream of the old designers who had survived the bad times.

For me it’s been an absolutely fantastic seven years so far and I see all of the work and principles these guys have created as the message of The LEGO Movie; it’s not just a toy, it’s a tool for creation and imagination and getting LEGO bricks into the hands of kids is the only aim of everything we do. I’m so proud of being even a tiny bit involved in it!

QUESTION: Why doesn’t LEGO make some of the same type of sets they used to? The Space themed sets from the 80’s and 90’s (like Blacktron, M-Tron, Space Police etc.) are awesome sets and I can’t figure out why similar sets aren’t being produced today. Did they really not sell?

💡 ANSWER: LEGO still makes Space themes (see here). It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the marketing of LEGO Star Wars, movie tie-ins, Ninjago and Chima and think that’s all LEGO does these days, but the three evergreens of LEGO minifigure themes are City, Castle and Space. If there is not one of these themes on the shelf at the moment you can be sure one is in development. (basic buckets of bricks, Creator, Technic and DUPLO will always exist too, and Friends should soon move into this category also.) That said, LEGO Space themes do not sell like they used to, and part of this is the co-opting of everything sci-fi by the Star Wars universe. It cannibalizes LEGO Space sales and the biggest difficulty of designing a LEGO Space theme is to make sure it does not look like something from Star Wars.

LEGO Sale - Galaxy Squad


💡 ANSWER: They are LEGO bricks. It is the LEGO Company. (The brand name LEGO standing alone is discouraged – though used frequently around here when we speak.) There is never an ‘s’ on the end. Only sheeps say legos.

QUESTION: Am I the only one who enjoyed the Galidor sets as a kid?

💡 ANSWER: No. According to our sales figures there were about three of you…

QUESTION: Since LEGO moved some of its production to China, it seems like fake LEGO sets are everywhere! What can you say about that?

💡 ANSWER: Most LEGO sets are manufactured and packed at one of four locations; Billund in Denmark (about 5 minutes walk from where I’m sitting), The Czech Republic, Hungary, and just over the US border in Mexico. Some parts are made by external partners in China, but these are the hard to mold or print parts that Chinese manufacturing has perfected over the last 40 years. Many companies who make high end electronics or need precision molding tend to manufacture in China these days – their knowledge is greater, their skills are better honed.

LEGO is soon to open it’s own factory in China, but this will be to serve that part of the world (Asia and Australasia) and will not lead to closures elsewhere. The growth in ‘cloned’ cheap crap from these parts of the world just means we are popular there now. It’s a weird way to show a company some love, but that’s how it’s viewed in the culture; you buy a cheap copy because you want to show how much you wish you could afford the real thing. Of course they don’t understand why if you can afford the real thing you’d want to buy a copy, but that’s cultural differences for you!

QUESTION: LEGO should make biodegradable bricks that work like normal LEGO, but starts to break apart after six months. This way they could be sold cheaper. Having a LEGO obsession seems like a rich kids’ hobby. My son likes playing with his old LEGO sets, but what he really loves is getting and building new sets. I know you can get giant bags of old LEGO pieces cheap on the secondary market, but it’s just not the same, and they are often mixed with other stuff. I doubt that LEGO would want their customers to feel like they are digging through someone else’s trash.

💡 ANSWER: Three to four generations seems like pretty good value for the money and environmentally that life span is pretty good too. (Plus the whole manufacturing aspect should be carbon neutral soon, as we are building a massive windmill farm to offset it all.) However changing to a cheaper material or less accurate molds would just lead to a decrease in the building abilities of the bricks. The LEGO Company is a premium brand and this will never happen. If you take a look at MegaBloks or some of the Chinese knock-offs you can see why; either they won’t go together or they will fall apart. (Not all of them, there are some nice sets and parts out there from other companies – but they tend to be inconsistent.)

Every LEGO part is molded to 10,000ths of a millimeter and most molds cost over $100,000 (over 7000 elements at four factories and these costs add up fast), that’s why LEGO bricks are not cheap. I wish it could be otherwise. On the bright side for you US consumers, the cost of LEGO sets is almost half what it is in Canada, Europe, or Australia – in fact one of the most expensive places you can buy LEGO sets is in it’s home country of Denmark.

Personally I’ve found the best way to wash LEGO bricks is put the parts in a pillow-case and tie it off, put this in a second pillow-case for redundancy. Then pop it in the clothes washer with a very small amount of soap. Stickers will be destroyed by this though. And this is not something the LEGO Company recommends, it’s just how I personally do it – I accept no responsibility for broken anythings resulting from anyone copying me!

QUESTION: How successful is LEGO Friends? Is it doing well enough that we’ll continue seeing support and new sets coming out in this line? Or will they eventually disappear from the shelves just as my daughter reaches prime age for them?

💡 ANSWER: LEGO Friends Is insanely popular and will continue for many more years. It’s also a gateway back into LEGO building for girls, and once they start building with the bricks their interest is piqued by the other themes. For years we neglected them, now they have their own line. Plus females are a lot more represented in other sets; female cops, fire-fighters, pilots, Samurai, and in the LEGO Legends of Chima line female Warrior Eagle, Rhino Warrior, Gorilla, Wolf, Lion and our first year antagonist was the female Crocodile Cruella.

#41027 LEGO Friends Mia's Lemonade Stand

QUESTION: My favorite non-licensed LEGO Space theme of the last few years was Alien Conquest. Shame the theme didn’t get a longer run.

💡 ANSWER:  We designed a whole second year, but it was cut… some of the best stuff I ever did…

LEGO Alien Conquest

QUESTION: I’ve always been curious how much time you put into a model (or how much time they give you, I suppose). I know the answer is it depends based on the complexity of what you’re designing, but is there a rule of thumb? A month per 1000 parts or something? Oh, and are models designed in some sort of “LEGO-CAD” these days, or do you still break out the big bins of parts?

💡 ANSWER: The themes can take years to nail down, but the sets have between 4 and 6 months from the initial ‘sketch model’ to the final set used for production. Sometimes smaller sets take less time, but as budgets are tighter they can be more difficult and take longer to work out. The most sets I’ve worked on at one time is five, that was a tough six months! We have a CAD program based on Maya used during development and for building instructions, and we also sometimes use LDD (LEGO Digital Designer), which is available to download for free at LEGO’s website.

QUESTION: I really miss the LEGO Castle sets from my childhood (90s), is there any chance of some of those sets being re-released?

💡 ANSWER: We’ve found re-releases do not perform as well as new products. We currently have a LEGO Castle line on the market and there’s Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit sets too!

LEGO Castle

QUESTION: Would you hurry up and snap up the license to Doctor Who? It makes my heart hurt to see Doctor Who being peddled by Character Building. I want proper Doctor Who LEGO minifigures!

💡 ANSWER: Kids outside the UK have no idea who Doctor Who is. This is changing in the US, but it’s nowhere near being universally recognized enough for us to pursue. I build my own Doctor Who LEGO for fun though.

LEGO Dr. Who by Mark Stafford

QUESTION: I love the LEGO Architecture line and would like to see LEGO continuing to develop sets that appeal to older LEGO fans.

💡 ANSWER: Adult LEGO sales are still only 5% of total sales (as far as we can work out) so we develop about 5% of the sets for you guys (I’m one of ‘you guys’ by the way) and there’s no way we’re going to stop. We have to concentrate on the 95% though – it’s all about the kids!

QUESTION: How do I get a job as a LEGO designer? Is it the dream job I imagine it to be?

💡 ANSWER: Watch the LEGO Jobs section at LEGO’s website. Check jobs in Denmark (all design jobs are in Denmark). Have a kickass design portfolio ready. Apply, two day interview, get hired. Yes, it is as great as you imagine it to be… except for the location; its in the middle of nowhere…

QUESTION: Any chance of LEGO Bionicle coming back?

💡ANSWER: I won’t/can’t speculate either way on this and I don’t want to get anyone excited or crushed by doing so.

QUESTION: Is LEGO still marketed toward children? With the huge marketing (at least that’s what I perceived) on movie tie-ins and the way The LEGO Movie seems to be directed, it seems that LEGO is now more directed to adults who grew up with LEGO.

💡 ANSWER: 95% of LEGO is still bought for and by children. Adults are a valued part of our consumer market though and we do make several large sets per year for them (including movie tie-ins) – these sets seem to be featured a lot on ‘geek’ websites and might give you the impression kids are not our focus, but they are!

QUESTION: I really loved the LEGO Exo-Force series. Why did it end without proper ending?

💡 ANSWER: Who says we’re done? New Exo-Force, anyone? Unlikely I think, but the reason we didn’t end the story was because then why buy the sets? We left it up to the kids to rescue Master Keiken and finish the story. However this left a lot of people feeling unfulfilled, so with Ninjago (and when its time is up Chima) there is proper ending to the story. But Ninjago came back, so you don’t want to shut down every story-hook and marry everyone off with kids or anything! There’s also a problem with costs; if there are no more products there is no marketing budget to spend ending the story. This is why themes like Bionicle have such poor endings (in that case a series of illustrations and paragraphs of text) to finish the story off.

LEGO Exo-Force

QUESTION: Is LEGO looking to expand more into Asian markets?

💡 ANSWER: Yes, big priority right now…

Interesting stuff isn’t it? As I mentioned I just choose some of the questions and answers to give you a good variety, but there is a lot more! You can read the full exchange on Reddit. What do you think? Did you find the questions and answers interesting? What would you ask from a LEGO designer? Feel free to share and discuss in the comment section below! 😉

And you might also like to check out the following related posts:

{ 45 comments… add one }
  • Brick addict February 13, 2014, 10:16 AM

    i really hope they make lego doctor who some day its one of my favorite shows! i also think the mechs he has maid r the best out there!

    • admin February 13, 2014, 11:07 AM

      Yeah, Mark is an excellent builder. I really enjoy his models and officially released sets.

      • lego trooper 91 February 13, 2014, 8:13 PM

        I no I WANT LEGO DOCTER WHO im really happy that they sade some stuff abuote docter who but i can whate because its not a kidds show so if they have it by the time im a man that will be okay whith me(but not really 😉 ) my famly has all the sesons of the new docter who mat smith is my favort docter so its really sad he had to go 🙁 sorry that i haven’t been commenting much been a little busy (sort of) i feel almoste sick when i think abute the lego move i want to see it so bad ugh I WANT TO SEE THE LEGO MOVE it looks so AWSOME 😀

  • Fikko3107 February 13, 2014, 10:29 AM

    I find it interesting that he mentioned “Cruella” instead of “Crooler”. It seems like a preliminary name. Probably changed since it sounds too much like the antagonist of a particular Dalmatian movie…

    • admin February 13, 2014, 11:08 AM

      Yeah, I saw that too. Considered correcting it, but then I thought it is best to leave it as it is.

    • Chi-bacca February 13, 2014, 1:56 PM

      Or it’s just autocorrect…… 😉

  • Fikko3107 February 13, 2014, 10:51 AM

    On unrelated news, as you know, many counterfeit LEGO can be found here where I live. Recently they start selling packs containing a single fake minifigure such as Superman, Wonder Woman, Captain America, Spider-man, etc. What interests me is that I saw one which seems (If the box art is to be trusted, that is.) to contain Hank Henshaw – The Cyborg Superman. Actually, it’s a bit like the custom figure from Firestar Toys (See here: http://www.firestartoys.com/ProductImages/15766/BIG/BIG/BIG/15766.jpg) Though the cover was a bit blurry to make out. If you’re a LEGO DC Superheroes fan, you know full well that there are no Official Cyborg Supes LEGO Minifigure (at least yet…) You know what this means, folks. The Chinese knockoffs have decided to rip off not only official LEGO figures, but also those made by customizers! Yay!

    Another fake they had which doesn’t have an official minifigure was Ben Reilly, the Scarlet Spider. The cover had a CGI rendering that I think was stolen from the DS game. I don’t think any customizers have made a Ben Reilly yet, so I’m actually quite curious to see what it contains (But not curious enough to spend something like, a dollar on.) Well, maybe it’s somewhat more believable since Scarlet Spider appeared on the DS LEGO Marvel Superheroes game…

    As a closing note, I’d like to say that these little “minifigure” packs had the name of the character printed proudly in big letters on the front. For example, Spider-Man’s packaging had the words “SPIDER-MAN” printed on them. (They just went for “Superman” and “Spiderman” for Cyborg Superman and Scarlet Spider, respectively.) I kind of had to chuckle when I saw a pack (supposedly) containing that guard from the Arkham Asylum set proudly brandishing the word “GUARD” on it…

    • admin February 13, 2014, 11:09 AM

      Very interesting! This would make a great article if you can get some pictures. 😉

      • Lorca Strand February 13, 2014, 7:00 PM

        The head of my old LEGO club traveled to China and found that clones get full Times-Square like advertisements. He also found a shop dedicated to clones. He found a “Superman” which contained Superman, a Thor card ( an obvious imitation of the Ninjago cards) and a SW style blaster. Because Superman really needs a gun.

        • Fikko3107 February 14, 2014, 1:37 AM

          I sort of went back, thinking you know, maybe buy the Scarlet Spider and Cyborg Superman to review negatively, but apparently, both are gone…Then I spotted a Wolverine fake which based on the cover had a skin tone not unlike the “Zombiefigs” found on this article: (http://www.1000steine.com/brickset/miscellaneous/clonebrands_v1.3.pdf) At that point I sort of got nauseous and I bailed…

          • admin February 14, 2014, 9:22 AM

            LOL! I love that post! He just recently updated it too. Maybe we can combine the two. Write an article about your experiences, then we will link to Communist LEGO. Just an idea. 😉

            • Håkan February 14, 2014, 6:53 PM

              A Scarlet Spider fig would be kinda cool though, as well as a peroxide bleached Ben Reilly.

  • legostuff71 February 13, 2014, 12:19 PM

    It’s funny, you think you are stepping in a pond when starting a collection like LEGO, and then you realize it’s an ocean. I am so glad to be apart of it. Very cool article. I was wondering does LEGO ever have a problem with over stock on LEGO pieces and if so what do they do about it ?

    • admin February 13, 2014, 2:12 PM

      Nice analogy. You forgot the shark though in that LEGO ocean. It will grab your foot and will never let you go, while overflooding your house with LEGO! 😈

    • Håkan February 14, 2014, 6:23 PM

      The production of bricks seem insane, but they sell a lot. If some particular pieces were overproduced, I think it’s likely they’d be sent to PAB walls, or sold cheaply through PAB at the Lego site…

      • admin February 14, 2014, 8:32 PM

        Yes, PAB is the most likely way to get rid of anything extra. Also, sometimes they incorporate them in new sets.

  • shrunkin February 13, 2014, 12:54 PM

    I once did a report on the history of LEGO, it has a very cool history.

  • BLProductions February 13, 2014, 1:12 PM

    I learned quite a bit from this article. I usually don’t pay much attention to these older themes. 😕 I was unaware that Lego molds were so expensive to make! That must be why the prime price per piece is 10 cents in the US.

    Also, I really want to be a Lego Designer/Builder, b/c I have quite a few sets already designed and being designed (though these are mostly SW and Ninjago).
    Also (2nd), was Exo-Force a Lego-created theme like Ninjago, or was it licensed? Wait never mind, I found yellow-heads. 😉

    • admin February 13, 2014, 2:14 PM

      I should put together an artile about working for LEGO. I know several teens and young adults who ended up working for the company. One thing about becoming a LEGO designer is that you have to move to Billund. A tiny place in the middle of nowhere and not much to do in a country with miserable weather. This is probably one of the biggest obstacles for people.

      • BLProductions February 13, 2014, 2:39 PM

        Yeah, that’s one of the problems for me. I was hoping to be able to work in the US 😕 .

        • admin February 13, 2014, 3:05 PM

          You might consider working at LEGOLAND Parks. They do have Master Builders who work on the models displayed at the parks. 😉

      • jamesuniverse February 13, 2014, 5:51 PM

        Please do this. Also consider including non-designer positions. This could end up to include US and other areas. For me, a store manager would be awesome for a US job. Hang around LEGO Blocks and sets, hang around kids, and talk about LEGO related things.

        • lego trooper 91 February 13, 2014, 8:18 PM

          i want to be a cop 😀

        • admin February 13, 2014, 8:50 PM

          That’s actually a good way to start to work yourself up. You can also always check LEGO’s website for currently available positions. They always have something. I know when LEGOLAND opened here in Florida a coupel of years ago, so many jobs were available!

      • Håkan February 14, 2014, 6:40 PM

        I guess you could ‘get by’ in English in Billund, but if you’d like to live there, in the long run, you’d probably need to learn Danish as well. Not an impossible task, but always an effort.

        And yeah, I heard that as well, this was a small town that happened to be the birthplace of a globally successful toy (the airport nearby was built mainly as a connection to Legoland, I’ve heard), so it’s basically Lego that keeps the town running, and nothing interesting whatsoever outside Lego…

        (Checking out Wikitravel, I see that there’s a waterpark complex as well, Lalandia, but that’s probably about all.)


        • admin February 14, 2014, 8:30 PM

          Mark mentioned in another post that you don’t need to learn Danish. He said he has been there for 7 years and haven’t learned any. Everyone speaks very good English, so it is not necessary. I might put together another post on some of the things Mark said about working in Billund as that is very interesting too. 🙂

    • Fikko3107 February 14, 2014, 1:40 AM

      Exo-Force was a LEGO IP. An amazing one at that, too. Unique since it had Minifgures with heads inspired by Anime/Manga styles riding giant mechas fighting evil Robots…Also in giant mechas.

      • admin February 14, 2014, 9:24 AM

        I really like Exo-Force as well. I was in my dark-ages when it came out so I missed it, but when I discovered it later I did get some. And I really like those minifig heads. I have over 50 of them! They are excellent especially for masked figured because the eyes are so expressive. 🙄

        • Håkan February 14, 2014, 6:47 PM

          Yeah, it’s cool. The first mecha-ish theme, I think, after AFOL:S already have been postin Mecha online for a while. But the revamped Ninjago seems like somewhat of a successor.

        • Alex February 14, 2014, 8:54 PM

          I was in love with those sets… Exo-Force ending was like the end of the world for me (just like Bionicle). And of course, those double-sided heads are so rich in expression that it makes the Ninjago faces lame. 🙁 I actually used Ha-Ya-To’s head as the head for my sigfig (coming soon).

        • NinjagoNerd36 February 14, 2014, 10:43 PM

          I also missed Exo-Force when it was actually out. I later found the games on LEGO.com though…Back when they actually had fun games. =P One of my friends found a shop in Texas a few years a ago that still had Exo-Force sets though! Of course he bought all of them, who wouldn’t? =P

          • admin February 15, 2014, 9:35 AM

            That’s an excellent find! Sometimes I check on eBay to see if I can find some of the sets, but they are so expensive!

  • legostuff71 February 13, 2014, 3:46 PM

    HELP! I’m surrounded by sharks and their isn’t a dolphin in the ocean to save me. I would love to work for LEGO, the problem would be I would do more play than work. As for the weather, I lived in cold places and wet places. Doesn’t bother me.

  • CD's Lego Blog February 13, 2014, 6:31 PM

    This was SOOOOOO interesting!!! Thank you for posting this! So great to get the answers form a Lego designer!

    • admin February 13, 2014, 8:50 PM

      Yeah, I thought it was interesting too. That’s why I shared it with you guys. 😉

  • Carbo February 13, 2014, 7:07 PM

    That was a rather interesting post, with some surprises too! And I don’t want to complain, but admin, when are you going to post my final series 11 review? I’m normally a pretty patient guy 🙄 but I’ve been waiting for quite some time now.

    • admin February 13, 2014, 8:52 PM

      I actually completely forgot about that! Probably in the future it would be best to keep those reviews together as one post. Or maybe two. Four is a bit too much as there are so many other things I need to publish, so it is hard to fit them in.

      • NinjagoNerd36 February 14, 2014, 10:45 PM

        Bad, bad Admin! Leaving a poor innocent writer waiting for his post to be published! *Slaps admin* =P Jk, it happens to all f us sometimes.

  • Bohrok Tru February 13, 2014, 8:30 PM

    Now this makes me wonder, is this the REAL admin? or an IMPOSTER!!! AAAHHHHHH!!! HEAD FOR THE HILLS PEOPLE!!!

    • admin February 13, 2014, 8:55 PM

      Naw, you can always tell me from the blue line. 😉

  • Darkon February 13, 2014, 10:06 PM

    I bought every single Galidor set and the video game AND I watched the entire TV series! I really thought they were going to be the next big thing, sadly I was wrong. 🙁

    • admin February 14, 2014, 9:21 AM

      You did?! You must be one of those 3 people Mark mentioned. 😉

  • gid617 February 14, 2014, 2:30 PM

    Very interesting, I was never a fan of bionicle – in fact it’s always surprised me how popular it was. It’s also amazing to me how popular friends is.

    • Håkan February 16, 2014, 8:42 PM

      I can’t see Bionicle being that different from other constraction-based themes (although I was told it depended on the storyline).

      Friends is another matter, it captured a niche market Lego largely had been fumbling in for a long time, Belville felt overpriced with a lot of large and useless parts. Friends was a much better combination of classic System and classic girl’s toys, with a similar price per part range as ordinary System sets, an emphasis on other aspects than conflict and fighting and a more pastel color scheme, compared to the traditional primary or subdued color schemes in traditional System sets. (There has been complaints that the pastel parts are difficult to combine with the traditional primary parts, but since I own a lot of old primary parts already, I’m a lot more interested in the pastel parts I largely lack.)

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