Thursday, 31 December 2015

All About Bricks Awards 2015

As adopted by many of the larger LEGO websites, it’s time for a list of awards that do not give out trophies or certificates. Some might even say that it’s just an excuse to remember things that have happened in the past year of bricky goodness. Yes, that’s exactly what this is.

Award for the Best New Theme: Elves
As regular themes return year after year, or old ones are revisited, it is harder to define what a ‘new theme’ is. Does Pirates count? Not really. But whether or not the returning themes count as new, they still struggle to compete with Elves. For novelty, imagination and colour palette Elves is deservedly the new theme of the year. Like Friends and Disney Princess, the sets tend to favour detail over scale but still show some fun building techniques that should encourage young minds.

Award for Surprising Success of a Theme: Scooby Doo
Many LEGO fans scratched their heads when this theme was announced. With top-tier licences representing the most epic, high quality entertainment around, why would LEGO pull out such an old TV series that had no big push in 2015? Well they knew something the fans didn’t, because the Scooby Doo line was an incredible success – a reminder that children know best when it comes to LEGO, not AFOLs.

Award for the Best City set: Deep Sea Submarine (60092)
Seeing the introduction of Diving into the City theme was an absolute treat, and the set that best encapsulated that is this yellow sub. Packed with detail, quality building techniques and a decent scale make this an unexpected joy to build. The little underwater scenery adds to the fun. This should be the standard that LEGO City sets aspire to.

Award for Has It Really Been Retired? : Death Star (10188)
This set has spent so long sitting on LEGO Store shelves that it seemed like part of the furniture. But as such a delightful set, there was little need for LEGO to retire it. Its end has been speculated on time and time again, but it seems that now LEGO have done what the Rebel Alliance did and ended the Death Star. What a set.

Award for Best Star Wars set: Slave I (75060)
Tempting as it was to select a set from The Force Awakens, which provided a slew of newness to a product line that had become repetitive, a UCS version of Slave I has long been desired by fans. It is hard to believe that the original LEGO version of Boba’s ship had to be shrunk down to fit an acceptable price point, yet now fans are treated to this set that looks so good finished that a casual observer may not immediately realise it is LEGO. It really is a treat to build and display.

Award for Most Optimistically Priced Product: LEGO Dimensions
LEGO Dimensions clearly has a fantastic concept behind it, following The LEGO Movie in 2014 it had a great opportunity to expand the appeal of LEGO. But with a starter pack at double the price of Disney Infinity, with additional packs equally expensive next to competing products, it will be amazing if this truly takes off. With a bunch of ho-hum licences, and nothing more promising coming down the line next year, LEGO need to get the product price down or risk ending up with a LEGO Universe style flop.

Special Award for 2015: Birds (21301)
Tom Poulsom was one of the lucky few to have his project selected on LEGO Ideas to be released as a set, and what’s more managed it without a licence attached. As the number of Ideas sets that do not use an existing licence dwindles, it is heartening to see a great quality idea, very different to the usual LEGO offerings, make it through a challenging process.

As always, thanks for reading All About Bricks and thanks to anyone also reading my words in Blocks magazine. It’s been a pleasure this year to take my LEGO work to another level and contribute to this quality publication. In order to keep worthwhile content on All About Bricks, I’ll be making some changes during 2016. Watch this space!

Click here for the All About Bricks Awards 2014.

1 comment:

  1. How do we know Scooby Doo was a success? After the first couple weeks, the product just seemed to sit on the shelves.

    Did Elves have any competition for new theme? Was Ultra Agents in the running?

    Lego Dimensions is clearly a flop, massively on sale since almost day one.