An open letter the Lego Company from Mr. Lego-Man himself.
After spotting the Throwbots in the catalogue, and then coming across a post
here that they were on sale at Target, I went and bought 8500 TORCH for $5.99.
( They were not in the computer here yet, but they had someone check the shelf
price, so no cut rate deals here ).
Some good...some bad observations:
GOOD: I like the new housing for worm to 40 spur gears lots. I will probably
buy some of the other models to have several of these pieces ( used in the
giant Throwbot ). I like the half 24 spur element allowing it to be rotated,
and can see some neato applications for it. I like gears coming in other colors
than grey. I like the ball socket combinations ( more on this next ). It has
been awhile...the old supercar had a unique piece for the independent
suspension...I am glad these may become widely available. The packaging is
kinda cool and I like the art ( three cheers for the graphic artists ).
BAD: I dislike the direction of the theme. Didn't we see this kind of thing
before as TRANSFORMERS? Not very creative. I do not like the bent of "THROWBOTS
SHOOT DISCS TO COMPETE FOR ULTIMATE CONTROL WHO WILL WIN?" printed on the box.
( Combine this with ruins in the background of the poster ) This is part of my
long running complaint that the LEGO GROUP is leaving their core competency
behind ( creative constructive uses ) for the glam of violent play. Cut it out
guys! I do not like the discs being collectable with two different ones
randomly inserted into each package. Does the LEGO GROUP aspire to follow in
the wake of POGS? The discs themselves are somewhat flimsy when compared to
good old solid Lego ABS. The carrying case is also a departure from LEGO as a
well made product. It is thin and tended to fall apart on me. Finally, while I
liked the new ball socket combinations, the balls have a neat axle extending
from them into a half decorative/beam section. One ball is attatched at about
180 degrees and a second ball is attatched on the other end of the
decorative/beam element at slightly more than 90 degrees. I am probably going
to carefully cut the ball off to have a unique technic element that is not
woefully attached to a decorative element at a fixed angle. Again, is LEGO
following in the footsteps of countless Asian toy knockoffs? Finally, I found
it to be a pricey kit. 31 pieces for $5.99 ( about 19 cents a piece...many of
which are *very* small ones! S@H price is higher ).
I liked Gary Istok's comment to someone about "quit whining and enjoy the
variety of pieces that Lego is producing." I do like very much some of the
elements in the THROWBOT kits...but I would like to think that LEGO could do a