Hello, TTV boards,
For anyone who has been keeping up with the system leaks recently they are probably aware of the recently leaked 10497 Galaxy Explorer set from Promobricks that was circulating earlier this week and the leaked Forestmen’s Hideout GWP. These people are probably also aware of the 90th anniversary Lion King’s Castle leak which has received some updated info as well, also provided by Promobricks. Now you may think everything is cool, nice and dandy which is fine but it’s when you first look into it that things feel a bit shady…
Now… now… I know LEGO is a company and can do whatever they want to do and I shouldn’t really be so conflicted about this as I am but I do not like this development.
Let’s do a little history class shall we: In early 2021 LEGO held 2 polls in succession meant to determine what theme would be revived for A 90th anniversary set. To many people’s surprise BIONICLE technically took the first spot in the voting of the first poll, however due to a massive complaint from the castle fans, summarized to its not fair that BIONICLE wasn’t split into subthemes while castle, pirates and space were to which TLG the people who have final say agreed and tallied all the castle subthemes votes into one making it the winning theme for the first poll. Despite BIONICLE technically not having any subthemes as many fans would probably attest as it seems like a given to categorize BIONICLE into year of release instead as all sets are more or less connected to each other. Which fine it’s nitpicking TLG’s decision, we will get back to this later. Anyhow this left us with a total of 4 themes to vote for during the second vote, during which BIONICLE was at a severe disadvantage while we never got the public results for the second poll it is likely that many system fans voted for anything but BIONICLE meaning the support from system fans during the first vote may have disappeared and left BIONICLE on 4th place in that second poll. Now LEGO also established during the first poll that they’d have veto power over what theme would recieve a set to be produce for the 90th anniversary set and let’s just say considering the above the chance they’d pick BIONICLE was slim.
A few months later in June of 2021, the Bricklink designer programs first round of crowdfunding started, among these previously rejected IDEAS sets was The Legend of BIONICLE project and the Castle in the Forest project. Out of which the Castle set prevailed selling out almost instantly and causing such an uproar LEGO had to extend the crowdfunding goal to 10000 sets from 5000. Now, many people think the BIONICLE set tanked and while yes it didn’t reach 5000 supporters within the time frame it did far from poorly according to some sources it managed to reach above 3000 people which is about 60% of the original stretch mark, which even most projects below the BIONICLE set failed to reach. Which means it wasn’t a total failure but if this first round had any impact on the actual choice of theme for the 90th anniversary set is unknown but it’s highly likely that the success of the Castle set swayed TLG’s choice towards Castle. Which is by all accounts a completely viable business strategy, this hypothesis would later be reaffirmed by the first leaks of the Lion King’s Castle 90th anniversary set from Promobricks. So far I was totally cool with LEGO doing a Castle set for the 90th, from what I could tell at the time it won fair and square….
I was even going to settle for the classic Tahu that was released in the 90 years of play Classic set as that’s a very nice thing for them to do but now however I’m not so sure anymore. Earlier this week Promobricks leaked a second 90th anniversary set that being a remaster of the set 497 Galaxy Explorer from 1979. This new leak for sure rubbed me the wrong way. Because it was essentially LEGO saying we know we promised to only make one set of the winning themes but eh we lied and also yeah we are not doing all of the top 4 sets.
Now one may say think about the pirates fans they didn’t get anything either to which I say fair but didn’t they already get a commemorative set, it would be awesome if a set for both themes were leaked but if neither gets leaked which seems to be the case. I dunno it makes me as a BIONICLE fan feel betrayed and cheated not only from what seemed originally to be a fair end result for a pretty hectic part of 2021 for a lot of the LEGO community. Not only does the whole thing in retrospect not seem like it was fair to begin with but that it somehow got actively rigged either to make Castle win or to go against BIONICLE.
I guess however you turn it, it just goes to show that TLG does care about their fans happiness as long as they don’t need to do more than the bare minimum for the BIONICLE fans. I don’t know if we will get anymore leaks of potential 90th anniversary sets before LEGO CON 2022 or their expected release in August 2022. However it’s highly likely that they will announce the leaked 90th anniversary sets during LEGO CON 2022 but right now I’m in this weird state of I just want to be done with it and I definitely feel stringed along or decieved by TLG.
However I’ll end this by saying that despite my depressive overanalysis of the situation I can see the logistical fallacies in my arguments too. Like TLG can’t do everything and doing a BIONICLE set the way LEGO would have wanted to do it may just be too expensive. I can’t personally say that I agree with how LEGO has handled the situation though, it feels like they almost listened but also like they screwed a part of their fans at the same time. I dunno how I exactly feel about this, part of me is really tired of this 80s nostalgia pandering that happens whenever they revisit an old theme for new sets and another part of me is happy that classic sets are reimagined like this but another part feels like they should have gone all out for the 90th and maybe they did we don’t know exactly yet. However I don’t want to be too optimistic, I’m talking about a company that has become more and more corporate during the last decade, it’s very likely we won’t be getting any more sets for the 90th(Except that GWP which well makes sense, that’s all I have to say about that).
Anyhow I’m gonna banish myself to the SHADOW REALM and blast “Can you feel the sunshine” on full volume. So bye until my next return.