So, I was going to type up a lil rant in a topic before stopping myself and realizing that it could actually be a good conversation topic.
So, without further fanfare…
When did everyone become so obsessed with story based themes?
Lego, for as long as I can remember, never had themes with overarching stories. Episodic formulas were the name of the game until VERY recently with things like Chima/Ninjago/Bionicle, Lego has NEVER claimed to be focused on creating worlds with stories as opposed to making YOU create the story, so I’m curious about where this mentality came from in the younger fans?
Life on Mars/Mars Mission, Rock Raiders/Power Miners, Johnny Thunder, Alpha Team. Knights Kingdom… Exo-Force… These are all examples of themes that had “A story” in the sense that maybe things progressed year over year, but I don’t remember them ever being story driven like Bionicle or Ninjago are/were.
I understand Bionicle was the theme that saved Lego, but outside of Bionicle and now Ninjago I never heard people raving about how amazing the story of Insert-Theme-Here was.
So I’m genuinely curious, because while I can certainly empathize with the “Well they did this well so they should keep doing it” mentality, I also feel like people very quickly forget that it’s incredibly expensive to try and make every line have a story, especially when the vast majority of Lego’s target market really couldn’t care less. It’s also a point I keep seeing brought up here on the boards, “Line X is bad and I don’t like it because it has no story.” Well Lego never claimed to be a company that sells stories, they sell creative building toys where YOU make the story and the fun. That’s why we call them Lego themes and not Lego “Franchises” or Lego “Storylines.” The sets are themed around, well, a theme (Explorers, Secret Agents, Ninjas, Robots) and anything above and beyond that is… well, icing on the cake.
Maybe I’m just old and crotchety (I am), Maybe I just don’t care as much for Lego as I did in my childhood (I don’t), but I genuinely don’t understand where this angle of criticism spawned from when Lego Lines with stories have been the exception over the past 20 years, not the rule.