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Why new molds for skull elements?

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Why new molds for skull elements?

Postby one_too_many » Thu Jun 18, 2009 6:21 pm

I always heard that new molds for new pieces made sets more expensive. But now, I'm seeing lots of sets with molded skull pieces (1-piece). For years, skulls were made of many separate elements and they looked very natural and were easy to make. Why the change? Is the cost of a new mold (which doesn't seem necessary and "cheapens" the sets IMHO) less than the cost of a few standard elements?
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Re: Why new molds for skull elements?

Postby Prince Kahuka » Thu Jun 18, 2009 7:19 pm

Can you give examples or link to skull pieces on Peeron or Bricklink? I'm not sure what skull pieces you are referring to.
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Re: Why new molds for skull elements?

Postby Draykov » Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:27 pm

Maybe he means skeleton minifigs (the torso/arm/leg revisions)? I'm not sure either.
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Re: Why new molds for skull elements?

Postby Puddleglum » Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:04 pm

I guess you're talking about one of these two, but I dont know.

Image

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If it's the first one - I disagree. It's a useful part whose details are not really possible to replicate at that scale using brick-built methods. If the second - I completely agree, it's a terrible POOP of a part. But it's only appeared in two sets, the last one 3 years ago, so I'm not sure what you're complaining about. The early 00's were not a pretty time for LEGO themes and set design, they really went whacky with pointless new molds and POOPs. But things have been light years better during the past several years and I have a feeling that particular part is permanently behind us now.

Did you miss Skeleton Tower? And Space Skulls? They are both recent sets with just the sort of brick-built skulls you are referring to.
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Re: Why new molds for skull elements?

Postby one_too_many » Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:12 am

Puddlegum, I'm definitely talking about that first element (thanks for researching and linking the pieces). I admit, I haven't handled the piece first-hand, but I think it could be built at or near the same scale with traditional elements.

2x1 (or 3x1) arches for the eyes. 1x1 cylinders for the teeth. Angled/sloped bricks for the contours of the skull. Well, maybe it is a little smaller than I thought. I believe this has been done, but the closest examples (other than your references) I can find are:

http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=4730-1
http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=6262-1
http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=6279-1

I'd rather have a larger assembled piece than a smaller poop, though. I know I'm picky. And my memory is not always accurate. Sometime I look back and get suprised to see that even the old sets from my childhood are not quite as detailed as I remember them :)
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Re: Why new molds for skull elements?

Postby Puddleglum » Fri Jun 19, 2009 1:36 pm

Truly, the construction of King Kahuka's Throne is magnificent, with great details like headlight bricks for eyes, and the two studs in the mouth giving the impression of teeth. But I would say it's more of a statue than a skull. The skull in Skull Island is okay, but keep in mind the part in question is 3 bricks tall and 4 studs wide, so that brick-built skull is roughly 9 times larger. I sympathize with your desire for brick-built solutions over large molds, but I don't agree with you about this particular part.

And while we're talking about brick-built skulls, here's somethign I made a while back that never found a home in a full MOC :D
Image
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Re: Why new molds for skull elements?

Postby one_too_many » Fri Jun 19, 2009 9:40 pm

Kahuka's throne is more of a statue - I will give you that. I'm warming up to the skulls. Thanks for the discussion.

Great MOC! That's what I like to see :)
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Re: Why new molds for skull elements?

Postby Draykov » Sun Jul 05, 2009 9:42 pm

As it turns out, this skull first turned up in the Pirates 4+ line in 2004-5 which goes a long way to explaining why it exits in the first place. The piece just recently started showing up again in Indy and Pirates sets.
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