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LEGO Mindstorms Will Survive

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the gloria-gaynor dept.

Toys 266

thufir writes "LEGO has released a press release, where they dismiss the rumour that MINDSTORMS is being taken out of production. For some reason the changes in product policy lead to the misunderstanding that they would totally drop the product. 'Hearsay has it that a product range like LEGO MINDSTORMS is no longer in focus. This is not true. On the contrary, MINDSTORMS, CLIKITS and BIONICLE are all good examples of products the company wants to stake on.'" See our previous stories, Lego to Stop Producing Mindstorms and Lego Goes Back to the Basics.

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266 comments

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poo poo (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7985388)

moo moo

Save your soul ! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7985514)

SIGN THIS OR SHUT UP ! [petitiononline.com]

Lego (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7985389)

Lego Mindstorm. What's it all about? Is it good, or is it whack?

Re:Lego (5, Interesting)

rogue555 (671448) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985462)

It's pretty cool. Basically, it's a microprocessor with some snap on sensors and motors. You then have the option of programming it with the included visual programming language, or you can use one of a miriad of more advanced languages availible.

Back when it first came out, my Dad and I competed in a sumo cometition held at his work. It was really fun as a high scholl student to be able to play around with robotics and see how changes in code can affect the behavior of the system.

Re:Lego (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7985505)

Did you go to high school in America? Because here in the UK we spell it "school". Thanks

And it's not a simple transposition so don't try to play this off as a typo

FP! (-1, Offtopic)

nfsilkey (652484) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985392)

First Post ...and my cherry is popped. :D

CAN I HAVE YOUR BLOOD-STAINED SHEETS?!?! KTHNX (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7985428)

No Karma Bonus No Subscriber Bonus Post Anonymously

News for nerds, indeed (5, Funny)

jargoone (166102) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985393)

I have a buddy I went to college with. Nice guy, very well spoken and everything. He's still single, and we're in our late twenties. I'm sure it has absolutely nothing to do with the several MindStorms "things" he has in various places in his house. I mean, they're cool, but jeezus, wait til you have one reeled in before you bust the Mindstorms out of the storage room.

Re:News for nerds, indeed (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7985479)

Yeah, some of us don't make sticking our dick in a cunt THE main priority in our life. So fucking what if a person is single in their late 20's. So what in their late 30's or 40's even? Should we all hook up with the first breathing being that likes us, squirt out four kids, buy a house and minivan and run a bunch of credit cards up to their max by 24?

Re:News for nerds, indeed (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7985518)

So I take it your not getting any?

Re:News for nerds, indeed (0, Troll)

aml666 (708712) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985568)

This would be THE primary reason for our existance. If all men were palm loving loners... the human race would end.

Re:News for nerds, indeed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7985636)

There will always be mouth-breathing, beer-guzzling, wife-beating trailer trash happy to squirt along half a dozen kids along with his eight grade education. No need to worry about the human race ending (due to lack of population).

Re:News for nerds, indeed (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7985610)

Yeah, some of us don't make sticking our dick in a cunt THE main priority in our life. So fucking what if a person is single in their late 20's. So what in their late 30's or 40's even?

You're the strange guy at work who never dates and doesn't talk about women, but we're pretty sure also isn't gay right? What do you do with your spare time, masturbate?

Re:News for nerds, indeed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7985661)

Make money.

That would be, as opposed to making less money and then spending it all on chicks.

Re:News for nerds, indeed (1)

probbka (308168) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985830)

I'm rather guessing: says "Bah, humbug" often; expecting revelations and conversion sometime in late December.

Re:News for nerds, indeed (3, Funny)

The Dobber (576407) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985667)

I'm guessing:

Mumbles a lot and has a fixation with his Swingline stapler.

Forgive me for responding to a troll.. (1)

Baron_Yam (643147) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985786)

Humans are social creatures. A large portion of that social behaviour revolves around sex. Survival of life demands it: if you don't reproduce, then when you die, something that DID will take your place.

As such, we're programmed to be happy when surrounded by friends and to be happier when we have a mate... forgetting for a moment that we also seem to be programmed to want a new mate about every 1.5-3 years and manage (mostly) to ignore that in favour of monogamy.

So, those people who totally ignore finding a mate are, in fact, messed up - abberant - strange. Given the 6 billion people on Earth at the moment, I'm sure a few more non-breeders added to the sterile, gay, or whatever can only help us, but it still isn't 'normal'. Now, if we could only manage to ensure that all the anti-social and gays, etc were male, it would give the rest of us guys a much better chance of scoring that harem we've always wanted.

Re:Forgive me for responding to a troll.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7985815)

I don't know about you, but I'm going to die whether or not I procreate. I've had an awful lot of sex and none of it has prolonged my life.

Besides, people don't have sex (99% of the time) to have kids and reproduce. THey have sex because they want to get screwed. Hence condoms, birth control, etc. So if you are claiming that people who aren't driven by hooking up with a chick and having a family are messed up, then what's different about people who are driven by the same things, except they take precautions to avoid the actual procreation part?

MOD THIS UP - NOT A TROLL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7985831)

It is unbelievable to me that this could be rated troll. The language used is rather offensive but the poster makes an excellent point.

Re:MOD THIS UP - NOT A TROLL (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7985928)


You aren't getting any either, huh?

Re:News for nerds, indeed (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7985875)

There's nothing more pathetic than a geek who never got any in high school and then is fucking proud because he convinced some chick in college to marry him. For some reason however, these guys seem to think they're the shit. Must be some trauma from school I suppose.

I'm a somewhat average looking guy who's also kinda geeky. I had (some) sex in high school and still have occassionally. I'm not into long lasting relationships however. I think there are much more interesting things in life than raising kids and trying to keep your wife happy to prevent a family crisis. So I choose to stay single. Why change that? It's perfect the way it is.

You guys who think it's the greatest thing to bind a female to you for the rest of your life should really wake up... it's not. At least not for people who don't want to give up their creativity and/or personality.

Re:News for nerds, indeed (-1, Offtopic)

Eric S Rayrnond (739458) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985755)

Testing

And I thought I post to articles.... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7985394)

Without reading the whole thing. RTFA?

EARLY POST FOR MY DEAD HOMIE GOATSE (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7985397)

(pours a forty on the curb)

Bring back the old sets (3, Funny)

Medieval (41719) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985398)

I want more castle lego sets. I had one really badass set a few years ago and now I can't find it anywhere, even on ebay. I don't even know what it was called. :\

Re:Bring back the old sets (5, Informative)

tuffy (10202) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985488)

I don't even know what it was called. :\

Look for it here [brickshelf.com] .

(Just try not to /. them too much)

Re:Bring back the old sets (5, Interesting)

snatcheroo (576329) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985493)

The older castle sets did kick ass. I remember salivating over the Sears Wishlist Catalogue for hours while looking at the medieval and sci fi Lego back in the mid 80's. The castles then were bigger and more complex as I remember. My one grudge was that every 1 or 2 years there seemed to be a completely new series and the old stuff was impossible to find all of a sudden...

That's a relief! (-1, Troll)

spidergoat2 (715962) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985399)

The world is once again safe for boring toys.

Whew! (5, Interesting)

Dilbert_ (17488) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985405)

I must say this is a relief... My first child is being born in a few months and I was afraid I'd have to start stashing away Mindstorm kits... It would have been like 'New-Coke' all over again ;-)

Re:Whew! (2, Funny)

bob_jordan (39836) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985622)

If you were storing old-coke for an unborn child, make sure you kept an eye on the use by date.

Bob.

Re:Whew! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7985819)

From personal experience, don't EVER mix up a batch of Cool-Aid if the little package is about 10 years old.

It's a little bland until you get to the bottom of the cup and a tar-like substance is revealed.

Oh, and don't taste the tar-like substance.

Re:Whew! (5, Insightful)

BoldAC (735721) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985685)

I don't know... but this looks like a great way for legos to get a whole lot of free press.

1. Hint that they are killing Mindstorm
2. Tons of people talk about how great Mindstorm is
3. Public gets informed about their great product.
4. Squash the rumors and say "We will continue to sell the Mindstorm products that you love"
5. You know the rest...

Nice working of the system to get some free, targetted advertising. Bravo!

AC

Re:Whew! (1)

perly-king-69 (580000) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985751)

Not without precedent. Worked with Heinz Salad Cream in the UK a couple of years ago. Although it's hard to build a robot out of a condiment.

Re:Whew! (1)

mattdm (1931) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985709)

Y'know what's like New Coke? The change of the color grey for 2004 sets. Your old lego doesn't match your new stuff anymore!

Yey! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7985407)

Oh man, this is GREAT NEWS!

Now, let's hope that Microsoft decide not to cancel MS Bob after all!

Frist Psot! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7985414)

woot woot

michael is a communist fuckhead

he earns $63k/yr to press a button on a webpage 8 times per day. his job really ought to be outsourced to a monkey.

Re:Frist Psot! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7985452)

No, really, not some dude from India. A literal primate ape. Maybe everytime he flings poo at the wall it presses the button, or something. I dunno, you guys are the scientists, I'm just the managment.

Various languages for Mindstorm programming (5, Informative)

tcopeland (32225) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985416)

Ruby [rubyforge.org]
Java [sourceforge.net]
Python [demon.co.uk]

Good times!

Perl (4, Informative)

twoshortplanks (124523) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985598)

Lego::RCX [cpan.org] module.

Re:Various languages for Mindstorm programming (1)

shuz (706678) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985607)

You forgot C Good 'ol C the only langauge of that bunch that can really squeeze out all the performance of that little processor.

Re:Various languages for Mindstorm programming (5, Informative)

blancolioni (147353) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985616)

Ada [af.mil]

Re:Various languages for Mindstorm programming (5, Funny)

JediTrainer (314273) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985635)

Enough with the toy languages.

Real programmers will use Visual Basic [southwest.com.au] !

Ouch! Ouch! Stop hitting me!

Re:Various languages for Mindstorm programming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7985845)

This dude isn't trolling. He's obviously being intentionally funny. Or did you not see the 'ouch ouch stop hitting me" line?!

Re:Various languages for Mindstorm programming (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7985731)

I've always thought they missed the boat by not using LOGO. Granted, more can be done with the others, but if your really trying to teach kids nothing beats logo.

Good news! (3, Funny)

tuxette (731067) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985426)

I'll have something cool to buy for my nephew (and future nephews and nieces) when the time comes!

And yes, they're for my nephews and nieces!

at last something smart (5, Insightful)

dummkopf (538393) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985439)

not only do geeks in my former physics department write grant proposals to get lego mindstorms and then race them, they are actually an EXCELLENT toy for teens to learn to program, robotics, ... what the standard lego building blocks do for kids in the age range 3 - 8, mindostorms do in the dange 8 - 15 (clearly these numbers are not bounded on top): foster creativity! so... why drop an educational tool which has proven to be excellent. i guess lego knows what is good and what is not. what i hated with lego (as a big fan since i can remeber), is that in recent year there have been more and more specialized blocks which are useless and completely kill the main goal of lego: use your imagination to make a plane out of bricks. giving the kid a wing was a bad idea, IMHO, because kids then would be bored. after all, you got the wing out of the box, so why spend time trying to figure it out!

Good... (5, Interesting)

JoeLinux (20366) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985447)

My Masters Program (no joke) has a project wherein we have to develop a minesweeper program using mindstorm. Other than the fact that BrickOS hasn't been updated since 2001, I was worried somewhat that I would be using a non-functional toy from here on out.

Hmm....any other projects that work with Mindstorm that I should be aware of?

Joe

Re:Good... (1)

shuz (706678) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985579)

I can see minesweeper being a relatively difficult problem using only one stock set. 1 light sensor, 2 touch sensors ect. I and 2 others developed an automated warehouse forklift using one rcx two light sensors and a touch sensor with 3 engines. That was a nearly impossible task for object avoidance and detection. The real trick is telling what is the barrel you want to pick up from the barrel you want to go around. We used the touch to avoid objects after they had been detected by a forward ir radar. Then with another light sensor facing down we black taped the floor around target barrels. Was a fun project but was hell to get the timings right.

It's been slow going, but (2, Interesting)

NickFusion (456530) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985844)

The RCX Brick and a few other Lego bits are the heart of my 3D Scanner [chromecow.com] project.

I need to set up NQC or LegOs for the next phase, and I need a good way to control the camera.

Dang. Not enough hours in the day.

Re:Good... (3, Interesting)

grungebox (578982) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985912)

At UT-Austin, the first electrical engineering class requires you to design/program a Lego Mindstorms robot to travel along some path and do something at the end of the path. I'm not exactly sure of the project specs because they started the Mindstorms projects the year after I started EE, which kind of sucks. Apparently the Mindstorms thing has been a big success with the students, and it does get students into some cool programming almost immediately. One person told me the retention rate for EE majors beyond their first semester is a little bit higher since they started the Mindstorms projects. Perhaps that's a coincidence, but you never know...

What about the Mindstorms add-ons? (5, Interesting)

Goth Biker Babe (311502) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985481)

I was bought my Mindstorms kit a couple of years ago as a birthday gift. Recently I've been looking to upgrade it but all the add-on kits seem to have disappeared. The Ultimate Accessories Set, the Ultimate Builders Set, the Dark Side Set and the Mars Explorer Set have all vanished.

The Lego shop doesn't list any of them other than the base set. People like Amazon list them but can't say when they will have any stock. They do seem to have vanished from the face of the net. I have managed to get a Mars Explorer set half price which suggests it's end of line. The only place I can get anything is BrickLink [bricklink.com] and at a price.

When I saw the original /. post regarding Mindstorms I assumed that was the reason. Now they've said they're not stopping Mindstorms why have these other sets disappeared and is there any other way you can you get the extra sensors these sets provides?

Re:What about the Mindstorms add-ons? (2, Informative)

cmpalmer (234347) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985669)

While they don't appear to have the full sets, Pitsco [plestore.com] has sensors, extra parts, and lots of neat Lego stuff intended for the educational market.

Their print catalog is really cool.

Good thing they keep mindstorms, but ... (4, Interesting)

MoobY (207480) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985484)

... do they really want to keep the bionicle products? Maybe they're doing a good thing by involving more girls into building toys by keeping the clikits. Boys need bricks and stuff that allows them to be creative. They don't need 200 bionicle sets that still doesn't allow them to build a house. Where are the good old days that lego was selling boxes that had about 5 designs, and enough pieces that allowed you to plenty more designs of your own. I'm amazed that the bionicle products are profitable. After I bought one, I promised never to buy one ever again, as it didn't give me a better collection of bricks that allowed me to do more fun projects. (Note that the mindstorms set was great as there are over 700 regular technic building pieces in that one)

Re:Good thing they keep mindstorms, but ... (3, Interesting)

mark*workfire (220796) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985557)

Sorry, but my 11 year old can't get enough Bionicle's. Won't play with Meccano, KNex, or anything else, but Bionicles get hours of attention.

Not only that, but he builds them, then the 3 year old destroys them, and they have a great time playing together with them. At only $5CDN each, they're great cheap entertainment.

Definitely not for adults, but great for kids to spend an hour with the lego here and there.

Re:Good thing they keep mindstorms, but ... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7985746)

Kids love watching Spongebob and sticking things up their noses. That doesn't mean you should let them. Bionicles are toys that do not foster creativity. They are nothing more than schmancy GI Joes.

Re:Good thing they keep mindstorms, but ... (1)

gfxguy (98788) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985886)

Definitely not for adults, but great for kids to spend an hour with the lego here and there.

I've got the original set of six at my office (as well as a whole collection of Simpsons characters, LOTR characters, etc.)

Of course, all they do is look cool as yet another toy collection, I don't use them, sadly.

Now, the classic bricks - I've got a ton at home that my son and I play with.

I'd love Mindstorms, but it's a bit pricey... don't have enough time to play with it to justify it. But maybe when my son is older it'll be great.

Re:Good thing they keep mindstorms, but ... (1)

The Dobber (576407) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985563)


Same could be said about the Star Wars and other tie-ins.

That being said, my grandson loves the Bionicles.

Re:Good thing they keep mindstorms, but ... (1)

fuzzybunny (112938) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985808)


True. However, I bought the big-ass TIE interceptor a little while back, and spent a whole afternoon/evening putting it together.

I'm 30 years old, having spent a lot of my childhood (until about 2 years ago) playing with legos. I'd completely forgotten how much fun they were, even with instructions to follow.

Re:Good thing they keep mindstorms, but ... (4, Insightful)

Raptor CK (10482) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985593)

But Bionicle brings in the cash. It's a building theme with a story, and as such, it's been doing well, especially since it's all homegrown.

The trick isn't to look at Bionicle as a building kit for vehicles and structures, but to see it as an action figure building kit. This has become especially obvious as the limb pieces have become more and more diverse. Sure, it's slightly limiting, but it's also the single best source for ball-joint parts, which on their own aren't so bad.

Kids buy it because their cool action figures. Everyone else seems to like ripping them apart for the useful pieces, and making some pretty wicked looking skeletons of whatever creature comes to mind.

Re:Good thing they keep mindstorms, but ... (1)

nucal (561664) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985596)

Kids are crazy about them, they generate a ton of profit. One thing that this means is that they can help subsidize less profitable lines like Mindstorms ...

Re:Good thing they keep mindstorms, but ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7985597)

Realize that Bionicles is more like a collectible card game than real Legos. I'm also sure that it makes a boat load of money for Lego, too.

Re:Good thing they keep mindstorms, but ... (1)

fireduck (197000) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985679)

from what I know, Lego owns/developed Bionicle. Sure it might seem fairly lame from a "build anything your imagination can come up with" standpoint, but it's spawned a movie [imdb.com] , which apparently made some money, as another is in production [imdb.com] . Since Lego owns it, they aren't paying licensing fees, hence costs are cheaper and profit higher. I'd presume they're liscencing out (or profit sharing) bionicle to the animation studio doing the movie, and that's another source of income.

Re:Good thing they keep mindstorms, but ... (1)

rcastro0 (241450) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985715)

Listen, I don't know what is your experience with Bionicles, but I decided about a year ago that was a good gift for my 8-year old nephew. After getting his one-robot set, he went about building all sorts of creatures with it. I am not kidding you. He built various types of insects and robots and could even ask me "what do you want me to build ?" and then do it right on the spot. No, it didn't come in any booklet. It all came from his creativity.

I wish I had some pictures taken of what he came up with to post it online. But, anyway, I think we should not understimate the power of a child's imagination and creativity. I mean, I have seen 3rd world poor kids playing with corn cobbs, pieces of wood, broomsticks, boxes and plastic bottles -- and coming up with imaginative representations of things in the grown up world. Why would anyone think they couldn't do that with Bionicles ?

Re:Good thing they keep mindstorms, but ... (1)

mlush (620447) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985736)

.. do they really want to keep the bionicle products?

Aside from the fact that Bionicle is hugely popular and responsible for getting LEGO out of the red last time?

Bionicle is not as generic as the bricks why is this evil? It is very very good at what it does, make robotoid creatures. My 5 year old son can (on his own) make a biped creature (with lots of heads and swords :-) which he can actually stand up. Consider the alturnative I could get him a SuperMegaSnod action figure which will always be the same (give or take torture by magnifying glass) or I could buy him a few Bionicle sets and let him make his own action figures.

Where? (1)

Al Scagnetti (602263) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985491)

Can anyone recommend a good place to buy these? I don't recall seeing them in the local KB the last time I was there. Hell, they barely carry regular legos. Maybe they were just out of stock from the holidays.

Re:Where? (1)

FerretFrottage (714136) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985601)

toysrus had them last time I checked as did ebay (search lego mindstorm)

Need cast iron mindstorm kits (5, Funny)

FerretFrottage (714136) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985494)

Yeah, I built a little robot that kinda chased my kids around...that was all fine and good til he decided to Rage Against the Machine. There are still lego pieces in the fishtank.
Great product, glad to see it is still going.

Re:Need cast iron mindstorm kits (4, Funny)

Dr. Evil (3501) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985552)

So you're saying that you wanted your robot to win the confrontation?

Fish don't eat legos (4, Funny)

FerretFrottage (714136) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985570)

Who said the robot didn't win :)

There goes my idea (2, Funny)

shuz (706678) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985496)

To develop an updated RCX with more memory and a better processor all while developing a better battery sollution and working with Lego to market it after Lego realizes what they lost. *sigh*

Wher's the HP Article!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7985504)

HP made 2.5 Billion off Linux last year? Where's the article? Open source made big business 2.5 Billion! How much did the open source community get? that's nearly as much as office makes Microsoft. Wow.

Troll, mod down. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7985569)

Just another troll trying to spread rumors.

Re:Troll, mod down. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7985644)

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&ncid=1 817&e=1&u=/zd/20040115/tc_zd/116601&sid=961207 51

Not a rumour.

Re:Troll, mod down. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7985677)

Listen, from the beginning this was cut and dry to me. Open source programmers work to create a product that big business will sell. They are sitting in their board rooms laughing at you. You guys are making them billions now and you're not seeing a red cent. This is almost as funny as when Red Hat went public and those CEOs became filthy rich when all they did was polish off something you and your friend scotty worked like slaves to make for society. Idiots.

Bad Karma (-1, Offtopic)

wardomon (213812) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985513)

I'd love to post something relevant, humourous, informative or interesting, but I don't have any karma points left.

When did legos begin to diminish creativity? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7985530)

(I submitted this for a /. poll a few days BEFORE the first Lego stories broke about cancelling certain product lines.)

At what point did the introduction of increasingly sophisticated and purpose-built Lego pieces diminish the creative aspects of Lego construction?

1961: First lego wheels
1964: First Lego sets to include specific building instructions
1974: Large-scale "maxi-figs" (solid bodies, poseable arms, heads w/ faces)
1978: Town sets with mini-figures, trees, signage (gas, fire station, etc)
1984: Knights, armor, swords, horses, wagon wheels, banners
1988: Pirates, cannons, tree trunks and leaves, pirate flags, alligators
1995: Aquazone, scuba gear, squids, painted canopies w/ sea-monster faces
2000-present: Bionicles, Star Wars, Spider Man, and Harry Potter sets

Another point in time? Actually, I'm not as interested in the date itself as much as the sequence of brick releases.

Re:When did legos begin to diminish creativity? (1)

bob_jordan (39836) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985706)

This makes me feel old. I remember the figures before they had poseable arms. Not only that, my first big box of lego came in a wood box.

I wonder when they stopped using wood for the boxes.

Bob.

Re:When did legos begin to diminish creativity? (1)

potus98 (741836) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985823)

Wooden boxes!?!? Cool! Was the lego train set steam powered at the time? Sorry couldn't resist!

Don't worry. I bet there's still wood fibers in the cardboard boxes they use today! :-)

Re:When did legos begin to diminish creativity? (3, Insightful)

potus98 (741836) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985794)

Whew! This is a tough one. As you start to zero-in on a particular brick or set, you quickly realize how this becomes a slipperly slope.

I'm okay with the mini-figures and town/castle sets -probably 'cause that's what I grew up with. But the aqua-zone sets had overly detailed paintjobs on many of the pieces that diminished the imaginative part and often limited those pieces to under-water adventures.

But then I think about the town and castle paint jobs. They had pieces with Exxon stickers, police station logos, stone walls, etc... Did THOSE pieces limit my imagination and I just didn't know it?

What about that little spaceship zooming around the moon logo on the space sets?

Maybe all legos should be restriced to a single color and one of 8 shapes: You could have a line, a square, a "T", an "L".... DOH! That's another poll/thread!

Glad they're keeping Mindstorms (5, Insightful)

Bigman (12384) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985566)

I was somewhat bemused when I read the previous press release, they can't be killing Mindstorms, I thought to myself. After all, of their entire range, Mindstorms is practically unique - the only cheap 'control system' experimentation kit for all ages. And yes, it is cheap, in the context of the alternatives.
Don't know about the bionicals thing though, I've never really looked into it.

Slashdot is a rumor site (3, Insightful)

Junks Jerzey (54586) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985571)

Between this and all of Mac rumors that get posted...maybe the tag should be changed to "The latest dirt for nerds?"

Wait.....WHAT? (2, Interesting)

VistaBoy (570995) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985577)

'Hearsay has it that a product range like LEGO MINDSTORMS is no longer in focus. This is not true. On the contrary, MINDSTORMS, CLIKITS and BIONICLE are all good examples of products the company wants to stake on.'

Wait......they aren't going to take down Mindstorms, but then they say right there that Mindstorms is a product they want to stake on. That's the most confusing thing I've heard all day.

The day is young! (2, Funny)

shuz (706678) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985646)

Well at least for CST time zone it is.

Re:Wait.....WHAT? (3, Informative)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985687)

You obviously don't know that "stake" can mean to place a wager on.

Re:Wait.....WHAT? (1)

AKnightCowboy (608632) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985703)

Wait......they aren't going to take down Mindstorms, but then they say right there that Mindstorms is a product they want to stake on. That's the most confusing thing I've heard all day.

Why is that confusing? Do you not understand what "stake on" means? Think "focus on" as an alternative.

Re:Wait.....WHAT? (1)

rbolkey (74093) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985776)

"On the contrary, MINDSTORMS, CLIKITS and BIONICLE are all good examples of [emphasis mine] products the company wants to stake on."

Now that they're keeping Mindstorms... (5, Interesting)

PaintyThePirate (682047) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985604)

...they really should update it. It's been over four years since Mindstorms first came out, and Lego still hasn't made any significant changes or upgrades to it. It really is an excellent learning/building tool, but there are many limitations to the RCX. A newer model, say, RCX 3.0, with increased processing capabilites, more ram/rom, and possibly even Wifi or Bluetooth instead of IR would be terrific.

Re:Now that they're keeping Mindstorms... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7985701)

Actually, the one thing the RCX needs more than anything is more I/O ports. I like to integrate Mindstorms with Technics sets (my current project is a front-end loader/backhoe); try controlling not just forward/reverse and steering but ten hydraulic cylinders. Using four or five RCX bricks is just out of the question.

Re:Now that they're keeping Mindstorms... (1)

sxpert (139117) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985809)

and 8 sensors / 8 motors would be in order. 3 isn't enough...

THANK GOD. (0, Offtopic)

chowdmouse (155597) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985663)

Had to be said....

My sentiments exactly (1)

jdavidb (449077) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985697)

On the contrary, MINDSTORMS, CLIKITS and BIONICLE are all good examples of products the company wants to stake on.

I'd be only too happy to drive a stake throught the guy who invented Bionicles [slashdot.org] . Not Lego at all.

Glad to hear about Mindstorms, though.

Re:My sentiments exactly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7985775)

I'd be only too happy to drive a stake throught the guy who invented Bionicles. Not Lego at all.

What anger, what vitriol! We could use someone like you looking for Osama ...

Bionicle? WHY? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7985717)

Am I the only one who saw those Bionicle commercials the first time they came on and was like "WTF?". I was watching a mvoie on Cartoon Network I think and they kept showing these commercials for this Bionicle thing but they never explained what it WAS. Finally some months later I saw a comemrcial for LEGO Bionicle sets and figured out that that is what it was.

But who came up with this stupid idea? They created some really convoluted mythology that makes absolutely no sense to sell what amounts to lego action figures with some kind of tribal futuristic snowboarding theme.

If they really want to focus on their better products, they should have KEPT the harry potter and star trek sets and gotten rid of this nonsensical CRAP.

Oh and the problem with stuff like star trek sets and harry potter sets is not that they have a theme, but that they have all these specialized parts that are completely useless for anything else. The whole point of lego is to be able to build the set and then take it apart and come up with new stuff to build. But when stuff like an imerial fighter or whatever comes with huge fixed wings as a single solid peice that will never look like anyhting but an imperial fighter wing, (or whatever those ships are called) you can't exactly use the parts to build a truck instead.

Lego doesn't need to get rid of their specialty sets. They need to CHANGE them so that the come with MORE parts, and LESS specialty parts. Make the kids make the big flat vertical wings out of a big octagonal peice with some smaller octagonal peices stuck on it. But leave the bumps. Don't make one solid wing.

And get rid of that stupid ass Bionicle.

Because this 45 year old gorilla says so!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7985817)

Shove it LEGO

Re:Bionicle? WHY? (1)

Tellarin (444097) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985938)



star trek sets! wow, where are they? i want them!

oh,... i guess you mean star wars,...
well, than i agree with you

AI4U Free Minds for Mindstorms (4, Informative)

Mentifex (187202) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985721)

A free Mind [sourceforge.net] for Mindstorms and other robots is available in Forth, for when the Mindstorms robot has enough user-fillable RAM to load in the AI4U Mind.

pbForth [hempeldesigngroup.com] has long been a Forth programming language available for the "brick" of the Lego Mindstorms.

An Aibo robot fan site [aibokennelclub.org] features the JavaScript version of the free AI Mind.

AI4U: Mind-1.1 Programer's Manual [amazon.com] is an alternative AI textbook that describes the Robot AI Mind in the 34 diagrams of 34 chapters corresponding to 34 mind-modules.

Rubik's Cube (2, Interesting)

markfive (167272) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985761)

Awhile ago I was looking around for methods to solve the Rubik's Cube. I came upon this [i8.com] guy who created a cube solver entirely out of mindsorms. Complete with color recognotion camera. Pretty nifty if you ask me..

planet/population to survive georgewellian fuddite (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7985764)

corepirate nazi felon execrable life0cide?

could happen, thanks, in great measure, to yOUR participation in the creators' newclear power, & planet/population rescue initiatives/mandates.

it's no moon/mars/bars shot, however, this stuff is unbreakable, wwworks on several (more than 3) dimensions, & is free, as in more of US left still alive.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators... get ready to brighten/lighten up. see you there? tell 'em robbIE?

legoland an email unfriendly place (1, Interesting)

HeyBob! (111243) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985780)

I couldn't find any way to contact anyone at Lego by email - just through customer service. It would be nice to send an email of encouragement directly to the management.

project idea (2, Funny)

ThePretender (180143) | more than 10 years ago | (#7985887)

Who will be the first to create a Lego Midstorm version of Gloria Gaynor singing "I Will Survive"? Would be a true expression of the meaning of this cinderella story :-)
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