Pure and simple as a hammer to the forebrain


Lego-Man off the Block Comments
1999-01-07 00:07:00

Consumers in Action
God I hope I never have to stop drinking - even after I die.
-- Johnnie Royale


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 better job!

Over.  End of Story.  Go home now.


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