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LEGO Mindstorms Will Survive 266

Posted by michael
from the gloria-gaynor dept.
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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LEGO Mindstorms Will Survive

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  • by jargoone (166102) * on Thursday January 15, 2004 @11:06AM (#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.
    • by Maarek_1 (740578) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @11:56AM (#7985976)
      Perhaps he just hasn't met a person interesting and creative enough for him. Anyone who would think less of a person because they have Lego constructions in their house is not what I would call desired genetic material anyway.
      You should do what makes you happy anyway!!
      • by bgarcia (33222) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @01:17PM (#7987010) Homepage Journal
        Anyone who would think less of a person because they have Lego constructions in their house is not what I would call desired genetic material anyway.
        OR.... maybe you can't get a date because you keep calling them "desired genetic material" instead of "women".
      • by iocat (572367) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @01:23PM (#7987092) Homepage Journal
        It's an interesting problem. To think of it from the girl's perspective, try cats. If you went to a girl's place and she had a cat, you might think. "Oh look, she likes cats. This indicates a number of things about her, all reasonably positive." But if you went to her house and she had like 11 cats, you'd be like "oh man, she's a freak."

        A few LEGO projects may indicate a whimsical, curious personality. Too many LEGO may indicate to the women that they will always be second-place to plastic blocks, or other toys. I think most women look for some balance, and extremes in any direction -- too many star wars figures, too many lego, too much money obviously invested in the home theatre -- runs the risk of driving them away.

        Or it could be his bathroom isn't clean enough. That's always a deal-breaker with the ladies.

  • by Medieval (41719) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @11:06AM (#7985398) Homepage
    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. :\
    • by tuffy (10202) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @11:14AM (#7985488) Homepage Journal
      I don't even know what it was called. :\

      Look for it here [brickshelf.com].

      (Just try not to /. them too much)

      • WOW

        I clicked on one of the early 60's boxes and was instantly transported 7,000 miles away and across time back to my old bedroom.

        What a trip. Thanks so much for that link, and of course the people who built the site.

        The cover designs are totally brilliant.
    • by snatcheroo (576329) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @11:14AM (#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...
      • I gotta cosign you on this. The King's Castle was monstrous. My brother finally got it one Christmas and we did what we always did that time of year: take our multitude of castle sets, rebuild them into one giant complex on the dining room table and then blow them apart by shooting them with rubber bands.

        I also thought the Black Knight's castle was so badass looking but then it just disappeared off of the shelf :(
  • Whew! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dilbert_ (17488) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @11:07AM (#7985405) Homepage
    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! (Score:3, Funny)

      by bob_jordan (39836)
      If you were storing old-coke for an unborn child, make sure you kept an eye on the use by date.

      Bob.
    • Re:Whew! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by BoldAC (735721) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @11:31AM (#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
      • 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! (Score:3, Insightful)

        by iabervon (1971)
        I'm personally in favor of any advertizing strategy in which step 2 doesn't involve paying anybody. It's the mark of something that's actually worthwhile if people will actually preemptively eulogize your product, instead of just shrugging.
      • They stated that they need to refocus, and i would imagine that the role playing legos and expensive tie-in products like star wars will be the first to go. Lego is about building, not role playing. But Mindstorms is a great building product, and other companies (Dacta) support it. Mindstorms will likely never go away as a concept.

        That aside, people don't listen to the slashdot community in its natural technological capacity, why the hell would they listen to some crazed middle-aged guy talk about toys?
      • Re:Whew! (Score:3, Insightful)

        Where did they "hint that they are killing Mindstorm?" Oh, they didn't--only Slashdot did? I see.
    • by mattdm (1931)
      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!
  • Ruby [rubyforge.org]
    Java [sourceforge.net]
    Python [demon.co.uk]

    Good times!
  • Good news! (Score:4, Funny)

    by tuxette (731067) * <tuxette AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday January 15, 2004 @11:08AM (#7985426) Homepage Journal
    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!

  • by dummkopf (538393) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @11:09AM (#7985439) Homepage
    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!
    • Your comment on racing reminds me of one of my classes in college - a sort of "How Stuff Works" physics class. We had an assignement which was to build a mousetrap powered lego car, using a specific technics set. I'm not sure if the other people (mostly humanities majors) got into it like i did, but i loved that project. That car kicked ass...
  • Good... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by JoeLinux (20366) <joelinux&gmail,com> on Thursday January 15, 2004 @11:10AM (#7985447) Homepage
    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
    • 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... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by grungebox (578982) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @11:52AM (#7985912) Homepage
      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...
    • by oblom (105)
      Yup, AI 2 course in my school had two projects:

      - line following
      - soccer game

      Both done with Lego Mindstorms:

      http://oblom.net/robocup
  • by Goth Biker Babe (311502) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @11:13AM (#7985481) Homepage Journal
    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?
  • by MoobY (207480) <anthony@liekens. n e t> on Thursday January 15, 2004 @11:13AM (#7985484) Homepage
    ... 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)
    • 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.
      • 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 i

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

      That being said, my grandson loves the Bionicles.

      • 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.
    • by Raptor CK (10482) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @11:23AM (#7985593) Journal
      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.
      • 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.

        Finally, someone gets it. My son has been buying Bionicle since they came out. To be honest, it's only done his education good, especially as he has researched the underlying mythology that goes along with the toys themselves, spurred on by the movie (which, IMO, for a kid's movie was excellent. Made a huge
    • 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.
    • 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
    • What you want are the Lego Designer and Inventor series sets [lego.com]. They consist chiefly of traditional Lego bricks, include several designs in each set, and, by God, they don't seem to be advertisements for anything! The pieces are versatile, and you should be able to use them to build many models not envisioned by the original builders. The product line leads up very nicely to the Technic sets (which were called "Expert Builder" sets when I was a kid).

      If I had more disposable income, I would buy up every

  • by FerretFrottage (714136) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @11:14AM (#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.
  • by shuz (706678)
    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*
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 15, 2004 @11:18AM (#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.
    • 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.
    • 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 l
      • I remember the early space sets, and I think they were pretty cool. There were some pieces with stuff painted on, but they were for the most part pretty generic. Control panels and such. It could work for a space ship controls, or an airport control tower, or part of a machine to crush other lego men, whatever. And they were rare enough that they became almost precious.

        The spaceship/moon logo I wasn't too thrilled about. Maybe painting the pieces to make them more representative of functional objects, thi
    • The painted faces were part of it, but it really got bad when LEGO totally dropped the cool, unique sets (anything from Pirates to Space Police to the Aquazone) in favor of the licensed ones that are 90% unique pieces.
    • [X] Never did, but the Slashbots don't understand it.

      I don't understand whole 'Bionicles diminish creativity' thing. Have you ever actually watched a kid play with them? Mine do, and the stuff they come up with is pretty wild. They'll look at an instruction book and find something they like, but being too impatient/stubborn to actually follow instructions, they'll figure out how to build it themselves.

      The fact is, original Lego is great for building orthagonal structures, but terrible at anything else. Circles, angles, joints, gears, wheels - none of these can be built with 'regular' Lego blocks. Putting these things in gives the builder additional options and enhances creativity rather than diminishing it. Besides, how can you have a decent Rockshi vs. Hogwarts battle without them?

      The people complaining about 'diminished creativity' remind me of old farts sitting in their rockers complaining that 'things aren't the same as they used to be'. You (and they) are right - things are different. Lego has changed and that's good.
  • by Bigman (12384) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @11:21AM (#7985566) Homepage Journal
    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.
  • by Junks Jerzey (54586) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @11:21AM (#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? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by VistaBoy (570995)
    '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.
    • by shuz (706678)
      Well at least for CST time zone it is.
    • Re:Wait.....WHAT? (Score:3, Informative)

      by MindStalker (22827)
      You obviously don't know that "stake" can mean to place a wager 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.

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

    • "On the contrary, MINDSTORMS, CLIKITS and BIONICLE are all good examples of [emphasis mine] products the company wants to stake on."
    • by Xzzy (111297)
      Products (such as LEGO) are not vampires. Staking them does not kill them, and in the business world it actually means the opposite.

      Been marathon watching the latest Buffy DVD release too much? ;)
  • by PaintyThePirate (682047) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @11:24AM (#7985604) Homepage
    ...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.
    • and 8 sensors / 8 motors would be in order. 3 isn't enough...
    • by BuilderBob (661749) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @12:28PM (#7986338)

      The problem with the Mindstorms kit is that it has always relied on a few researchers output from MIT [mit.edu]. The researchers used a (AFAICR) Microchip PIC with EEPROM to use as the CPU and an EPROM chip to store the single byte commands. There was also a smaller Mindstorms kit(can't remember the name) based on another MIT project called Crickets, which were smaller, with no LCD screen and only digital I/O. They are referenced on the linked page but the link is dead.

      The PIC they used has 13 dual I/O pins and some others, even a basic Brick would take 4 pins for the lcd screen, 3 for the logic inputs. I think there are 2 A/D converters which are both used and a reset switch, oh, and the IR (it has IR, right?)

      If they want the kind of things you ask, they need to upgrade the hardware, which they have never done. But with the latest chips they can easily get 4 ports (32 I/O pins) and a couple of A/D aswell. It will also have a new communication protocol allowing (essentially) less I/O lines for the memory and LCD and faster programming.

      The radio communications is a bit different, WiFi is out I think, the power needed and the overspec of the transmission (a TCP/IP header would take up a lot of space on the chip).

      The Bluetooth might be possible NOW, the communication is either by serial port (RCX 1.0) or USB (RCX 1.5/2.0?), all you should need to do is hack the software to use the port, its already set up to communicate in low-level code.

      The language was ripped off from LOGO (perfect for a robot really) and is easy enough to upgrade..even using some of the other interpreters/languages written for the chip.

      And yes, I did plan to make a clone, even down to rough schematics and language design. One problem with a clone is the accessories, the brick hardware is possible. The extra sensors are kind of tedious :( LEGO has the LEGO bricks as a common theme to make sensors easy, and they kept them simple (Was it anymore than a switch and a thermistor/resistor?)

      Oh for simpler times, when real work didn't interrupt.

      BB

  • 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.

  • Bionicle? WHY? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 15, 2004 @11:34AM (#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.
    • Funny, this is the first time I've heard of bionicle, and CN is pretty much all I watch. Just tune out during the commercials.

    • Don't get Bionicle?

      Don't sweat it. Just means you're old. :^)
    • Re:Bionicle? WHY? (Score:3, Informative)

      by digrieze (519725)
      Remember, LEGO is not an American product (although the company would probably tank if they couldn't sell here).

      The BIONICLE line is built on one version of a Norwegian mythology about earth spirits (or daemons, in other versions).

      Lego didn't come up with the idea, they just came up with new names they could protect in court.

  • by Mentifex (187202) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @11:34AM (#7985721) Homepage Journal

    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 (Score:2, Interesting)

    by markfive (167272)
    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..
  • 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.
  • by ThePretender (180143) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @11:49AM (#7985887) Homepage
    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 :-)
  • Thanks to Slashdot (Score:3, Informative)

    by Lust (14189) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @11:57AM (#7985982) Homepage
    This clarification on the Lego website is a direct result of Slashdot. I read the original posting that Mindstorm may be discontinued and sent the article to my wife who is a primary organizer for the First Lego League here in Canada. She in turn sent it up the chain of command until it reached First in the US and then Lego. Lego responded with this clarification. So thank you Slashdot for providing the start of this process.
    • Cool! I'd be interested in hearing why they're not releasing their own software under e.g. the GPL? It seems that LEGO would be perfect to release it, since they have solid community allready, the free software allready exceeds their own software in quality and comprehensiveness, and they make money primarily from hardware, not software (which is one of ESR's cases where he thinks there is nothing to loose by opening up). And most of all, it seems to fit extremely well with their philosophy, open building b
      • If you go to Lugnet [lugnet.com] and hang out a bit, for instance in their Dear Lego [lugnet.com] newsgroup, you'll notice that they actually have people to communicate with the Adult Fans of Lego (AFOL) community. And they claim they are comitted to open up a bit more. I don't remember what they have said about their software (there might be other parties involved), but they will release 3D models of their bricks to the community. There are various other things they do right. Most importantly, they have not even tried to limit acce
  • by sunking2 (521698) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @11:58AM (#7985991)
    Little girls play with legos more than boys do now. My daughter (9 yr) brought into school all of my old legos from my mothers house because she said they were running out of them to use in her classroom. Aparently it's all the girls in the class who play legos at recess while the boys sit there and play their video games.

    While i didn't buy her any regular lego sets, she did get several sets of clikits. If they had some simple, fairly inexpensive lego kits that allowed for girls to make simple houses, malls, in all pastelly girl colors lego would take off again.

    At this point, girls generally have much more imagination and ability to sit down and play and build things. The key is breaking away from the theme based movie/fantasy themes and focus on what girls like, dolls, play houses, etc.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I see everyone here complaining about the overabundance of specialized pieces. Have any of you gone down to wal-mart and LOOKED at the lego sets available. Yes, the dumb Harry Potter sets are there. Yes, the dumb NBA sets are there. Yes, the excellent Designer Series sets are there... WHAT'S THAT?! Excellent Designer Sets... I've never heard of them! Robots, Motor, Wind-up, Creatures... The Robots set comes with instructions for 49 different models and the pieces are excelent for making thousands mor
  • The only Legos I buy anymore are the Star Wars sets, and I even have a couple of the > $100 sets.

    Unfortunately I don't see any mention of those specifically. Can anyone clarify this for me?
  • That's too bad; I really liked the stuff. I haven't been using it much lately because I upgraded to Windows XP. I even had problems running it on Windows ME... I was hoping to see an upgrade from the 98 version at some point. Doesn't look like that'll happen now.

    I'd been noticing a lot of the Studios set in the toy store bargain bins... Oh well, I hear there are other drivers available for the camera, and lots of movie-making software in general, no doubt. Hell, I'll accept a lot if it means Lego will
  • Yay! (Score:5, Informative)

    by psyconaut (228947) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @12:18PM (#7986220)
    I was kinda hoping that in a couple of years, my daughter might be old enough for Mindstorms....so glad it's staying in production.

    Oh, and one last time....the pluralization is LEGO!!! The product is LEGO. You play with LEGO. The company is LEGO. Americans are the only people on the planet who call is "Legos" or "Legoes".

    -psy
  • Milhouse: My Busy Box! It's got everything! [turning steering wheel] Vroom!
    Vroom, vroom! [dialing phone] I'm calling Daddy!
    Jim Hope: Good for you, not being bound by the recommended age.
  • What do you guys think about this set [amazon.com]? It does have a few specialty pieces, but from the large picture it looks like that only means the tail and claws -- which seems acceptable.

    I wonder if this is part of their newer focused lines or if this is one of the lines that'll get the axe. I obviously haven't kept up with Legos much.

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