In terms of continuity over their respective lifespans, LEGO's 3 evergreen themes have followed different paths. Many would agree that Town/World City/City (etc.) has really been one long line of modern civilian-style sets, with more and more sets being released year after year. A similar argument could be made for Space because even without direct photographic evidence of M-Tron interacting with UFO or Space Police III, the Space-verse (or universe) could be vast enough that these groups may not have had any contact (also, older space logos have been reappearing such as here
, and here
). However, Castle is the most limited in its case for continuity as the theme is supposedly restricted to one continent during one general time period. Reading this topic
got me thinking, and as this is Classic-Castle.com
, I have tried to understand how all the Castle factions relate to one another using only torso/armor designs and shields emblematic of their respective factions as officially depicted in LEGO publications.
The following image is what I came up with:
Starting from the beginning, I do not believe that Classic Castle related at all to the Black Falcons or Crusaders that followed it. I believe the theme rebooted in 1984, and as we all know Black Falcons, Crusaders, Black Knights, Forestmen, and Wolfpack all coexisted for a number of years. Then came the Dragon Masters, who I view as a sort of bridge between the aforementioned 5 factions and the Royal Knights, Dark Forest, and Fright Knights. There are photos of scenes
involving Dragon Masters, Black Knights, Black Falcons, and the Wolfpack, and later more photos of scenes
involving Dragon Masters, Dark Forest, and Royal Knights. There is also this set
and this set
which seem to connect Black Knights, Royal Knights, Dark Forest, and Dragon Masters. Forestmen and Dark Forest are related due to the reuse of torsos and shields. Lastly, the Fright Knights are connected to the Royal Knights in this set
and to the Dark Forest in this set
. Also of note: the iconic Black Falcon shield reappeared in this 2005 Harry Potter set
, a licenced theme some would like to think of as unrelated to the Castle theme, despite evidence to the contrary.
Starting with Knight's Kingdom I, I think the theme rebooted again. In 2002, the Blacksmith Shop
used torsos shared by the Knight's Kingdom I Lions, so I consider those related. Of great interest is this keychain
, where we find a minifig sporting a Wolfpack emblem on a KKI Bulls style torso. The importance of this keychain cannot be overstated in terms of this analysis, as it provides the crucial link to the majority of the pre-Knight's Kingdom sets. While Knight's Kingdom II initially appeared to be yet another reboot, this set
combined Lion and Bull emblems of KKI with armor pieces distinctive of KKII (such as this piece
, this piece
, and this piece
). I will conclude this era by mentioning the Vikings, a theme acknowledged under this site's Out of Production Sets as being worthy enough to go under the Castle banner. But is there actual evidence to support this supposedly stand-alone theme? I need some help on this one, as I think I remember seeing one of Vladek's Shadow Knights hidden in one of the Viking scenes, most likely from the inside cover flap of this set
(I no longer own the box and cannot find sharp enough images on-line).
Most would agree that Castle rebooted yet again in 2007, now under the appropriately confusing title of Castle where we had Crown Knights, Dwarves, Trolls, and Skeletons, as well as neutral peasants. But was this new Castle theme truly unrelated to its predecessors? Some were quick to point out similarities in the crown emblem
and quartered designs
of the oldest Classic Castle factions, but I think those similarities are generic enough to not constitute an actual link (inspiration perhaps for the LEGO design team, but nothing "in Castle-verse," so to speak). The only other possible link for the 2007 Castle theme to anything in the past would be via the Vikings (and the possible hidden Shadow Knight) provided by this notorious image from the LEGO Magazine
, where pure speculation marks The Northern Sea as a Vikings reference. Again, this is mostly speculation and while all the other markings on that map have manifested themselves in one way or another, the link between 2007 Castle and KKII seems far-fetched to say the least. Additionally, that LEGO Magazine map also shows us this
which, combined with the Collectible Minifigures Series 3 Elf’s bio (as already discussed in this thread
, allows us to group the Elf(s) along with the rest of the Fantasy Era theme.
Finally we arrive at Kingdoms, the latest and current Castle incarnation. Is this new theme related to the previous one? Sure, the Lions and Dragons emblems and minifig designs are similar to the Crownies, as are the building styles, but is that enough? Luckily, the definite link comes in the form of the mere peasants, since both the blacksmith and barmaid appear in the Crownie Medieval Market Village
as well as the Kingdoms Advent Calendar
So there you have it, folks. Whether or not ALL of the Castle-verse is related is a matter of opinion, but certainly a lot of it is. There are other things to consider as well, for instance is this
the same blue wizard that is found in this set
and/or this set
, or maybe they are all part of the same blue wizard clan?
Comments and corrections welcome.
Childhood: The flame that burns its brightest when we are least cognisant of it.