Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The New Exo-Force

So I bought two new Exo-Force sets, #7711 and #7708 thinking how cool they were. I was looking forward to the new hair pieces and printed pieces with Japanese writing on them. And to my disappointment, here's what I found: (1) mini-fig no longer come with heads already attached to the torso; (2) the hair pieces are of a cheaper, more rubbier plastic; (3) the pieces aren't printed, they're stickers.

Now, I don't mind that the head doesn't already come attached to the torso, but in the back of my mind, I know this is a cost savings measure on Lego's behalf -- this just signifies the end of an era. It will cause me nightmares knowing that mini-figs are trapped in boxes, headless across the world.

The hair pieces were a big disappointment. I was hoping for the same quality plastic for the hair piece as the rest of the mini-fig -- it now feels cheaper. Now this might be because of the design of the hair piece has to be made differently. This could be because of another cost savings measure, or it could be because the color is more consistent in this type of plastic. For whatever reason, it is what it is.... we may never know the true answer.

The third point was another big suprise for me. In the #7708, there is a 1x2 tile (that would normally come pre-printed) is now a sticker. I find this the biggest cost savings measure that The Lego Group (TLG) has undertaken and the most saddening. One one hand this means that tiles will now come blank and we'll have to apply stickers to them -- which is a good thing, maybe the prices of blank tiles will go down vs. printed tiles. But it's also a bad thing, because I'm not a big fan of stickers. I like pre-printed elements... it might make them more expensive on the BrickLink market, but I knew the quality of the printed piece was good (unless it was printed in gold) -- it wouldn't wear off in time. Pre-printed pieces can go through the dishwasher and not come off; stickers can not. Stickered elements will wear out faster than printed elements.

It's just heart breaking... I understand cost-savings in my workplace, but I don't care for cost-savings in my hobby.

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