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JediTricks
09-30-2005, 02:58 PM
I personally saw the entire Vikings line at TRU Burbank last night, they even had a self-standing display with the series. I didn't realize they'd be out so soon, other Lego fans had been saying December. The sets look good, but I can see now why they didn't think US consumers would go for it, it seems a little highbrow for our kids (that's a statement of failure on the imaginations of this generation of American children though, not on the Vikings sets themselves). There are a lot of interesting ideas at work in these sets, I hope TRU doesn't end up with a glut of them next year simply because it's an exclusive line that folks don't know about.

Ji'dai
09-30-2005, 05:47 PM
Wow, it seems early yet the all-important holiday shopping season is already in full swing. I'm glad TLG decided to release them to brick-and-mortar retail stores and not just online vendors.

What do you mean by high-brow? Maybe because the Vikings are a more historically obscure group to North Americans?

I'm looking forward to seeing the sets in person. I'd like to get a close look at the ships and the big fortress.

LusiferSam
09-30-2005, 10:29 PM
It looks like Amazon's (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/browse/-/15740141/ref=br_bx_c_2_10/002-8853518-7224855) toy section (which is the same a TRU) has three of the five Viking sets in stock. I just checked S@H and they don't have them yet. I'm thinking about order the big ship (7018) (http://www.lego.com/eng/vikings/productPage.aspx?family=&productNumber=7018) right now from Amazon.

JediTricks
10-01-2005, 03:08 PM
Yeah, getting them into the TRU stores was a very important step I think, and the freestanding display showing off all the sets takes that one step further. Every year, holiday shopping appears earlier and earlier, it's so crazy.


What do you mean by high-brow? Maybe because the Vikings are a more historically obscure group to North Americans?Here in the US there's a sense of romanticism about pirates and medieval knights which I don't think Vikings enjoy, so they're seen more as purely historical (at least from the perspective of the last generation or 2). I suspect Europe has a more romanticized view of Vikings so it would play there better.


That Viking Ship set was cool, and I liked the set's sea serpent more than any other mythical beast in this line.

Mandalorian Candidat
10-02-2005, 11:04 AM
I saw the Vikings setup at my local TRU on Friday night also. In comparison with the Knight's Kingdom sets these just look blah to me. They pretty much don't have much detail to them and seem bare bones. The fortress is kind of cool but is about a c-note and is empty in the middle. Seeing it in the display case made me think of that floating city from Waterworld. I'm not a Scandinavian history buff so I don't know if that's just how the Vikings were (having a spartan lifestyle), but compared to the Anglo/Franco-centric Knight's Kingdom they just don't appeal. I don't know if that's being lowbrow or biased because I was raised in the US (or both) but stylewise my eyes are drawn more to the KK sets than the Vikings.

I will say this, my son thought they were pretty sweet and there were several other kids around checking it out and making positive comments so I don't give your highbrow theory much validity, JT. No offense.

Ji'dai
10-02-2005, 11:48 AM
I saw the Vikings setup at my local TRU on Friday night also. In comparison with the Knight's Kingdom sets these just look blah to me. They pretty much don't have much detail to them and seem bare bones. The fortress is kind of cool but is about a c-note and is empty in the middle. Seeing it in the display case made me think of that floating city from Waterworld. I'm not a Scandinavian history buff so I don't know if that's just how the Vikings were (having a spartan lifestyle), but compared to the Anglo/Franco-centric Knight's Kingdom they just don't appeal. I don't know if that's being lowbrow or biased because I was raised in the US (or both) but stylewise my eyes are drawn more to the KK sets than the Vikings. The castle sets from the 1980s were three-dimensional playsets with inner courtyards. Those castles opened in the rear to allow for expansion and to increase access to the play area, so maybe this Vikings fortress is the same. I think that open area inside the walls is good for play and creates a feeling of realism that the structure really is a fortress with a protected interior. Castle/fortress sets in recent years have been more or less facades built up on large baseplates to artificially increase their height.

I suppose the KK sets are more colorful with their banners and other large ornamentation. LEGO seems to really be pushing the limits of believability with them though, even within an already romanticized theme. But they have to compete with Mega Bloks Dragons and Pyrates, which look pretty cool and have beautiful box art, although MB's stuff is pretty much pre-assembled toys.

You're probably right about the Vikings living a spartan militaristic lifestyle. The sets are kind of drab compared to the castle ones since the Vikings probably used wood and not stone for construction. It would make sense they favored practical over purely comestic ornamentation, unless they scored it while pillaging.

LusiferSam
10-02-2005, 01:15 PM
The castle sets from the 1980s were three-dimensional playsets with inner courtyards. Those castles opened in the rear to allow for expansion and to increase access to the play area, so maybe this Vikings fortress is the same.
The Viking fort is very different from King's Castle (6080) (http://guide.lugnet.com/set/6080) or 6085 Black Monarch's Castle (6085) (http://guide.lugnet.com/set/6085). It has a modular design more similar to Flying Ninja Fortress (6093) (http://guide.lugnet.com/set/6093). It has sections of walls that link (http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?i=1293186) together. This is different from the early prototypes that circulated a few months ago (first prototype (http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?i=1060675), second prototype (http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?i=1100074)). Those might have been more like the classic castle sets.


Seeing it in the display case made me think of that floating city from Waterworld.
I thought the same thing when I saw the first photos of this fort.



You're probably right about the Vikings living a spartan militaristic lifestyle. The sets are kind of drab compared to the castle ones since the Vikings probably used wood and not stone for construction. It would make sense they favored practical over purely comestic ornamentation, unless they scored it while pillaging.
From what I know that's fairly inaccurate. The Norse had one of the richest cultures in Europe at the time. Art, literature, the will to explore, and (of course) war fair were all superior to the rest of Europe. Its true a Norse town would have been build mostly out of wood. But what's the practicality of burning a ship for the dead? Or the ornate detail in their ship's figure head?

Ji'dai
10-02-2005, 03:59 PM
The Viking fort is very different from King's Castle (6080) or 6085 Black Monarch's Castle (6085). It has a modular design more similar to Flying Ninja Fortress (6093). It has sections of walls that link together. This is different from the early prototypes that circulated a few months ago (first prototype, second prototype). Those might have been more like the classic castle sets. The enclosed inner courtyard is still reminiscent of the 80's castle sets. That's a strange linking mechanism but not terribly unlike classic castle, which also had the modular capability to link other sets to form an even larger castle.
From what I know that's fairly inaccurate. The Norse had one of the richest cultures in Europe at the time. Art, literature, the will to explore, and (of course) warfare were all superior to the rest of Europe. Its true a Norse town would have been build mostly out of wood. But what's the practicality of burning a ship for the dead? Or the ornate detail in their ship's figure head? That's likely true. The Western Roman Empire would have fallen by this time and the civilization in western Europe would have been overrun by competing barbarian groups. What I meant was most clothing and weapons would be practical and well-suited for work and battle in a militaristic society. They may not be totally devoid of ornamentation, but it would not interfere with the utility of the item. Did Norse leaders wear silk and fine linens or tough, durable leather garments made from animal hides slain during hunts? I would think in a warrior culture a leader wouldn't garner as much respect if he strutted around in silk and bling bling.

Burning a ship for the dead has religious or cermonial significance, it's a ritual of closure for fallen member(s) of the group. A ship's figurehead was probably meant to frighten enemies, identify a particular group, or bring good luck to the crew. So both have their practical uses culturally speaking.

JimJamBonds
10-03-2005, 12:32 AM
I'm not really a Lego kinda guy but these look pretty cool to me.

LusiferSam
10-03-2005, 01:56 AM
Well I just finished placing my order for the long ship (and a GR book I've been meaning to buy). I'll let you guys know what I think of the set once it arrives. I guess now I need to start looking for broad swords to replace the techo-fantasy KK2 swords with.

LusiferSam
10-12-2005, 02:32 AM
Well I got my Viking long boat last Friday and put it together that night. It's pretty cool, but a little empty. At close to 600 pieces, it seems like there should be more to it. The box is way too big for the set and the official name is a mouth full (something like Viking Ship Challenges the Midgrad Serpent). It looks pretty impressive when built.

On the plus side the six vikings look great. The black and silver speckled helmet, armor and ax heads aren't painted, that's the color of the plastic. The ax heads are a little over sized, but look good. Super easy to customize because they did use the Pirate ship sections. There's a place for food and drink. I'm not sure how accurate it is, but it's not over done. And the artillery piece works better than I thought it would.

On the down side, it has this AAA looking artillery piece (hey its better than the ballista/cross bow of the prototype). The shields on the side of the boat look silly and oversize when held by the mini figures. The ship haul doesn't goes together well (I've had the same problem with the '96 and '97 Pirate ships). The Midgrad serpent is a little too Bionicle for my taste and too short.

Some easily fixable items are the swords, I don't like the KK2 swords. The standard broad sword would have worked better. There needs to one or two more vikings. Six is just too few. Seven would be great and eight would be killer. The ships a little barren, but I'm not sure what to fill it with. I don't really know what vikings would have had in their ships other than more vikings and plunder.

Oh well in the mean time I need to try and find a place for it. It's pretty wide with the paddles and too tall fit on the shelve that might have space.

Ji'dai
10-12-2005, 10:35 PM
So the hull is made up of sections similar to the old Pirate ships, eh? Are the hull sections narrow (12-stud) or wide (16-stud)? How long is the ship?

I suppose it would be bare since Viking ships aren't going to have cannon on the main deck like the pirate ships had. If the craft is basically a galley with oarsmen then it should have more figs seated at the oars.

I keep checking my TRU for these but they haven't gotten them in yet. Hopefully Vikings will see a nationwide release and not just stores in large big-city markets.

Slicker
10-12-2005, 10:37 PM
I've seen these sets around me Ji'dai. I live in Virginia Beach so I don't know if you've consider that a big city market. These look good but I haven't bought a non Star Wars LEGO set in years.

LusiferSam
10-13-2005, 12:13 AM
So the hull is made up of sections similar to the old Pirate ships, eh? Are the hull sections narrow (12-stud) or wide (16-stud)? How long is the ship?

I suppose it would be bare since Viking ships aren't going to have cannon on the main deck like the pirate ships had. If the craft is basically a galley with oarsmen then it should have more figs seated at the oars.
It's the wide sections. It has three of those at 8 studs each. The bow and stern sections are 14 studs before raising. It raises a a whole step with two more studs than another whole step without studs and finally raise five steps to finish off with 3 studs. If I've counted right that makes to the finished hull 64 studs long by 16 stud wide. It has six oars and seats. But that could easily be changed as there's room to close to double that number.

Ji'dai
11-07-2005, 01:18 PM
My TRU finally got the Viking sets. I see what you mean about the "emptiness" in the large ship. It definitely needs more warriors or something in there. Maybe LEGO will do a figure pack for this theme so we can get more Vikings.

The shields on the hull are actually small satellite dishes so I can see why they would be too big for mini-figs. They look good on the ship though.

LusiferSam
12-03-2005, 01:17 PM
Lego finally has the Viking sets (http://shop.lego.com/leaf.asp?cn=235&d=7&t=3) up for sale at S@H.

Ji'dai
12-04-2005, 01:45 AM
Lego finally has the Viking sets (http://shop.lego.com/leaf.asp?cn=235&d=7&t=3) up for sale at S@H. TRU/Amazon has them for 25% off. They're sold out of the small boat and wolf set.

Ji'dai
01-31-2006, 12:58 PM
New Vikings sets due out this year:

http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?i=1601609
http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?i=1601610

7020 Viking Army Artillery Wagon
7021 Viking Double Catapult (cool animal skull on the front there)

My TRU still hasn't restocked this theme since selling out before Christmas. I'm hoping they get them back in. I only got the small boat.

JediTricks
01-31-2006, 03:26 PM
Both look like cool sets, but I doubt this line will survive in the US, the interest just doesn't seem to be there - I guess LEGO was right to not mass-release it here.

LusiferSam
02-01-2006, 11:31 AM
Holy Cow! I thought Lego would just drop this line (or add a new subtheme) like they do every year. That Viking army set is killer. Seven mini-figures in what amounts to a rather small set. Both the Artillery Wagon and Double Catapult have similar look, I'm not sure where this is good or bad. But hey we're getting more Vikings!

Ji'dai
02-04-2006, 02:08 PM
I'm not sure what else LEGO could add to this line except more catapults. Maybe a siege tower. I'd like to see a return of the mini-fig packs. They used to release a figure set or two in every theme.

I did see today that the local TRU has restocked Vikings (except the big boat) so I'll still be able to get them at retail if I want 'em.

Jargo
02-17-2006, 09:45 PM
Vikings lived quite peacably in their home villages. their ships had huge heads on them for both protective reasons and also for battle where the prow would be an awesome sight and also be a weapon in itself and a sort of shield for the forward attack. the hull would undoubtedly have carried grain and meat. perhaps livestock like game and sheep or goats.
they most likely wore woolen clothing items, furs and leather. colours were possibly wode and a sort of purple or blueish purple. as well as yellows. natural plant colours. but dull. the salt of the sea would likely bleach out the colours even more. big smelly and hairy with the red hair too would have given rise to more conflicts than the vikings actually plundering for the sake of it. they probably would have traded a fair amount too. especially for the ornamentation they wore, fine metal work. It's actually the escapades of certain clans of vikings that have given rise to the assumption that all vikings were marauders. technically they were just hippies who sailed boats. in times of hardship they set sail in search of fortune and bounty to feed their clans.

and of course the odd battle. oh and they somehow managed to discover the americas :)