Bruce N H wrote:
Ah, there you have the nub of it. At times I've complained about catalog descriptions of licensed theme sets that essentially come down to: "Recreate this thrilling thirty second scene from movie xyz!". In classic sets you are free to decide who is who and what their motivations are. To take this away from castle for a moment and go back to my early spacer days (yes, I've done penance) - is the white spaceman the good guy and the red spaceman the bad guy? Or is it the other way around? Or are they partners, and the different uniform colors denote different functions or ranks (compare to, say, Star Trek)? The same can be said about any classic factions. Especially when they were all generic smileys. I do think that non-licensed themes have at many times strayed over into a prescribed story line. For instance, it seems pretty apparent that we're 'supposed' to see King Leo as good and Cedric the Bull as bad (heck, he's the 'robber chief'). Or KKII. Or Crownies vs Skellies. But your larger point is a very good one. LEGO is at it's best when it gives us the tools to spark our imaginations. Of course, this is another instance of my complaint of the transition from 'Just imagine ...' to 'Play on!', where the one was all about imaginative open ended building whereas the other pushes you to just get that silly building part over so you can use the toys to recreate a predetermined story line.
Probably shouldn't be quoting something a month and a half old but I wanted to input my thoughts on the subject.
I totally agree. I find licensed sets boring and when I buy them after assembling I normally take them apart as fast as I put them together. I have tried to 'play' with licensed sets such as Attack on Weathertop and for me it simply cannot be done, since there is a story in your mind for some reason you have to follow it and thus there is an extreme lack on imagination(Which I constitute as 'boring'). Whereas when I built my Kingdoms sets(Any non-licensed LEGO theme no matter how large the story, you can still use your imagination endlessly) I left them up for a good deal of time because I was free to make up what ever stories my imagination could and thus was fun to play with those sets.
Bottom line: I mostly buy sets for pieces/minifigs but when it comes to play value I think the non-licensed sets hold far more play value than licensed ones every could.