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Commercial Aviation Review: Lego Company Getting Thin?
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Welcome to The Lego Commercial Aviation Review, where an owner of a personal Lego airline discusses topics concerning the commercial aviation world of the Lego Minifigure.
About this creation

Welcome to The Lego Commercial Aviation Review.

Today I would like to discuss a topic concerning the Lego Company. It's from a very specific viewpoint, I know, but I am displeased at how the Lego Company is "regressing" in terms of providing Lego kits worth a buyer's money. When comparing Lego sets 7894 + 7893 and 3181 + 3182, the differences are quite shocking. Furthermore, it is apparent that the Lego Company is no longer selling sets 7893 and 7894 (I am lacking in definite proof; please tell me if this is not true). As an "owner" of my own personal Lego airline, BriksAir, I have stopped buying directly from the Lego Company and instead have turned to buying individual elements from websites such as BrickLink to design my own aircraft. This technique is complicated, to be sure, but it is more worthwhile than purchasing new kits made by the Lego Company.

Now, I perfectly understand that The Lego Company is no doubt taking advantage of the fact that they will continue make sales even if they detract from the quantity of pieces included in Lego sets. This is an excellent scheme to save money. Nevertheless, does anybody remember set #10159?



This set is incredible: it is very appealing, and at the same time does not cheat you of Lego elements. It's perfectly detailed and features a great number of accessories and compact vehicles. Now, when their "next" airport came out as set #7894, at the time I was annoyed at how thin the building is. But as I look back, I am thankful that it included such a nice, large plane.



No doubt one of my favorite sets, however, is set #7893, which I believe is the #1 best and most realistic/economical Lego aircraft designed by the Lego Company to date. Designed to accomodate 14 passengers, without the kitchen and revolving seats it can fit 22 minifigures comfortably. If I am correct, the Lego Company designed to versions of set #7893 but apparently today it is no longer available directly from them.


Version 1


Version 2

Now let's take a look at set #3182. By appearance, the airport is virtually no different (meaning it features no different features) and may possibly be even smaller than #7894. The aircraft is of a slightly different design, but is the same size of the aircraft in set #7894. What's shocking is that this is the LARGEST aircraft currently available from the Lego Company (rejections to this quote are welcome). The "replacement" of set 7893 is set #3181, which is comparable to nothing except the aircraft featured in set #10159! I have not seen the interiors but I can guess it features only one row of passenger seats.


3182


3181

As the owner of BriksAir, I am happy to know that MOCpages is populated with those who have the creativity to design their own aircraft as well. I would especially like to credit:


Maxim Schupack

Dave Henderson

Steffen Kasteleiner

Ysk K

Connor Hicks



. . . among others. Thanks for joining me for the first post of the
Lego Commercial Aviation Review.



Comments

 I made it 
  February 8, 2011
Quoting Achiles Forever Hi can I use your review to link to my trademe site to sell this? Please let me know Cheers http://www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/Listing.aspx?id=353126278&ed=true
Sure thing, Achiles! Just make sure you include "Written by Stephen Abbott" at the bottom and you'll be fine. Thanks for asking, I appreciate it! Happy building!
 I like it 
  February 7, 2011
Hi can I use your review to link to my trademe site to sell this? Please let me know Cheers http://www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/Listing.aspx?id=353126278&ed=true
 I made it 
  January 30, 2011
Quoting cyberfrank 2010 i m sure you re right, but, consider that lego is made out of oil! and the price skyrocketed! so, i guess the price range of a nice airport-plane, should be around $350-400 instead of $130 in my country anyways! oil is nt cheap anymore! and lego is linked with it! i ve heard 2005 was really bad for lego, i prefer to see them survive than give until death, it s art, and it ain t cheap, and i d give a pretty good amount of money to be able to have an airport in my city, but, i just don t have the space now! having any lego airport is a privilege! as am i with 2 types of trains, enjoy it!
You're definitely right, CyberFrank. One's gotta count his blessings! Haha. Thanks for the imput; you're right in it's a lucky deal that Lego isn't any more pricey than it is.
 I like it 
  January 29, 2011
i m sure you re right, but, consider that lego is made out of oil! and the price skyrocketed! so, i guess the price range of a nice airport-plane, should be around $350-400 instead of $130 in my country anyways! oil is nt cheap anymore! and lego is linked with it! i ve heard 2005 was really bad for lego, i prefer to see them survive than give until death, it s art, and it ain t cheap, and i d give a pretty good amount of money to be able to have an airport in my city, but, i just don t have the space now! having any lego airport is a privilege! as am i with 2 types of trains, enjoy it!
 I made it 
  August 5, 2010
Yes, I will agree that when it comes to a big-scale project, sticking with playability is much better for your budget and your enjoyment than going for all-out realism. For individual aircraft, I prefer to go for as much realism as possible; when building an entire airport, however, sticking with TLC conventional aircraft is much more logical. Furthermore, since the majority of the rest of the world uses Lego Company planes, sticking with them yourself is a fun way to feel "connected" with the rest of the world in the sense that your "airline" or "airport" is compatible with everyone else's!
 I like it 
  August 4, 2010
I think a little differently, First they had small planes and it was going smooth (I do not live in a mansion) then they took the LARGER approach, and I liked the plane pictures, until I bought them. Thats when I realized Lego took a step off a cliff. I thought 7734 was better. Because the landing gear didnt roll it off a cliff like 7893 and 7894 did. I plan to buy 2 7894 off brick link and OVER LOAD them with realizim, custom decals, and some paint. Within a few weeks it they will be A320 and E190 in Jetblue livery. Well, I will also get the new airport later this year as well.
 I made it 
  June 11, 2010
Quoting Steffen Kasteleiner Hey Stephen:), IŽm not worried that you might abandon your Lego passion. I know youŽll be back later, even if youŽre busy now. Sometimes, other things are just more important. Cause this is our hobby, even if some of us wish it could be more than that... YouŽll be back! Speaking of building: I have a little surprise for you - come and check it out over on my page! :) Best regards, Steffen
Yeah hey I'm sorry I've virtually died for the past few months. I seriously need to break through this awful situation of Lego sterility! Thanks for keeping up with me, though :) I'm checking out your surprise right now! I'll let you know that one of the reasons my MOCpages has gone dormant is because I've been working on the final episodes of Minifigs Among Us and working on some new stopmotion video sequences!
 I like it 
  June 11, 2010
Hey Stephen:), IŽm not worried that you might abandon your Lego passion. I know youŽll be back later, even if youŽre busy now. Sometimes, other things are just more important. Cause this is our hobby, even if some of us wish it could be more than that... YouŽll be back! Speaking of building: I have a little surprise for you - come and check it out over on my page! :) Best regards, Steffen
 I made it 
  April 28, 2010
Quoting Steffen Kasteleiner I had that problem for a long time: there was just no time I could justify to myself for building - pretty much the entire last year. Now, thereŽs a little "room"... Best regards, Steffen
Yes, it is quite a tragedy that things are pushing out Legos bit by bit . . . it's really truly sad! But I'm glad to see YOU'RE still doing stuff :) It's always good to hear from you.
 I like it 
  April 28, 2010
Hi Stephen:), thank you for your comment! IŽm glad to hear from you! It has been a while since we wrote. IŽm curious to see your new, future models. Summer, hmmm? I had that problem for a long time: there was just no time I could justify to myself for building - pretty much the entire last year. Now, thereŽs a little "room"... Best regards, Steffen
 I made it 
  February 26, 2010
Quoting Maxim Schupack If anyone is interested, I found this website for the latest lego passenger plane: http://www.eurobricks.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=38058&st=0 And here are the building instructions for this plane: http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=3181-1
I found out that if you buy 3222 ( http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=3222-1 ) all you'll have the foward and rear fuselage pices for set 3181. HAH! 3222 looks cool; I can't wait till I can purchase it.
 I made it 
  February 26, 2010
Quoting Maxim Schupack If anyone is interested, I found this website for the latest lego passenger plane: http://www.eurobricks.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=38058&st=0 And here are the building instructions for this plane: http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=3181-1
Coolness...now I can buy the pieces from Bricklink, build my own, and save money! haha.
  February 26, 2010
and here are the building instructions for the new airport: http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=3182-1
  February 26, 2010
If anyone is interested, I found this website for the latest lego passenger plane: http://www.eurobricks.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=38058&st=0 And here are the building instructions for this plane: http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=3181-1
 I made it 
  February 25, 2010
Quoting steve emmenegger you say that lego uses now big parts not so versatile for the new planes. It's true but lego skill is mainly determined by someone's ability to use these parts for any other use than the one it's meant for. I checked your plane because I'm waiting for the new airport set in april to use the 8x8 white curved parts to construct warp nacelles for my new corvette ship... just an example.
This is true...even so, you have just as much creativity and "skill" by using little tiny pieces to make something. It's all relative :) Good point, though...I love your space craft. You use a combination of BOTH skills in your creations.
  February 24, 2010
you say that lego uses now big parts not so versatile for the new planes. It's true but lego skill is mainly determined by someone's ability to use these parts for any other use than the one it's meant for. I checked your plane because I'm waiting for the new airport set in april to use the 8x8 white curved parts to construct warp nacelles for my new corvette ship... just an example.
 I made it 
  February 22, 2010
Quoting Steffen Kasteleiner The size of the aircraft models increased (which is generally positive, of course), but are only made out of large, rather unflexible, not very versatile pieces.
Exactly! That's the other thing I forgot to point out . . . the Lego company is turning out all kinds of new pieces that really can't be used for anything else. What made the Lego company so unique was that they "made" you build stuff out of elements that can be used to make something completely different! Now they're turning into just another toy, where there's a specific element for an individual theme, subject, or object.....thanks for the comment!
 I like it 
  February 22, 2010
The size of the aircraft models increased (which is generally positive, of course), but are only made out of large, rather unflexible, not very versatile pieces.
 I like it 
  February 22, 2010
This, of course, applies equally and espacially to aircraft and aviation-themed sets. The first picture of an airport set you showed may have only featured very small aircraft models, but was very rich in pieces and even runway plates. Especially those runway plates are missing in the more recent sets, and at least in normal shops and even pick-a-brick LEGO stores, they are not on storage.
 I like it 
  February 22, 2010
Hey Stephen:), Well you mentioned some very good points here! First of all, I have noticed the "economics" LEGO has done in the last years on most of their city models (apart from the special CREATOR models). The simplicity of lots of official sets bugs me a lot, as well as the tendency to constantly shorten the use of acual traditional small pieces. More and more ready-made, prepaired, large pieces substitute the many smaller pieces as used in former Lego sets. ItŽs so annoying because it hinders creativity ("Why building your own fuselage if you can just by a large, "all-ready-to-go-one" from LEGO?") and results in accumulating large, simplistic LEGO elements instead of small pieces that would guarantee much more flexibility by using them...
  February 22, 2010
also on Peeron if you find a lego brick model that you can be sure of finding on an airplane, you have the whole history of the brick, on every lego model it could be found on, it's an easy way of finding new sets, I found a lot of airplanes that way
  February 22, 2010
well on www.lugnet.com you have a good record of every model, you just have to know what to type. Aeroplane, Airplane, Plane, Airport and Air will give you different lists of models.
 I made it 
  February 22, 2010
Quoting Maxim Schupack http://homepage.swissonline.ch/turi/eBay/Lego/4032/4032Back.jpg This was a special lego airplane that I would have liked to buy, but it was a special, not available on lego's mag or website (or then I missed it). These planes are small, but thanks to the details of having different airline colors (this one is Swiss, but I also saw images of Austrian and SAS, as well as Lego Air), your airport could look more realistic, and since this is Lego City World, it was in 2004-2005 (could be wrong, don't remember and time goes by fast), so probably really cheap compare to today
Huh, that's interesting....I researched everywhere I could to find information about other Lego aircraft but I never could find anything! That's cool that you know of some...
 I like it 
  February 21, 2010
Very interesting, set 10159 is one I've always wanted, I don't like the newer sets
  February 21, 2010
http://homepage.swissonline.ch/turi/eBay/Lego/4032/4032Back.jpg This was a special lego airplane that I would have liked to buy, but it was a special, not available on lego's mag or website (or then I missed it). These planes are small, but thanks to the details of having different airline colors (this one is Swiss, but I also saw images of Austrian and SAS, as well as Lego Air), your airport could look more realistic, and since this is Lego City World, it was in 2004-2005 (could be wrong, don't remember and time goes by fast), so probably really cheap compare to today
  February 21, 2010
Well I agree, lego is becoming a rip off (BTW: IDK the prices for the new lego airplane and airport, they appear in the product section of the lego website, but I've tried the lego shop in every possible country, they do not appear in the lego city transportation page of the shop). Lego and airplanes has always been a complicated story. Most of the lego airplanes are specials that you can only get at legoland (or something like that). Their have been a few that were good money/piece wise, like the star alliance specials with stickers of the star alliance members, but since that was only available in special places, and never advertised on lego. And then if you type lego airplanes on google images, you see the boxes of tons of lego airplanes that I have never seen advertised, including from these last years.
 I like it 
  February 21, 2010
Note that I have never bought an airline set, well CITY airlines series on that note, but i know lego is getting fairly stingy on pieces and designs... I have recently bought a new set and found out that most of its parts are rather small and i didnt find it quite worth the amount i payed. dont get me wrong here the set was ok but lego needs to really step up its game if they want to keep more valued customers. but this is all just my opinion of course and it doesnt really mean much
  February 21, 2010
but hey, what people make is always better then what is advertised/sold, even if I agree that lego 7893 was great, I bought 3 of those, and you can't buy them on lego anymore, and on sites like ebay, they go for over a 100 dollars, crazy....
 I like it 
  February 21, 2010
... Amen. Good day
 
By Stephen Abbott
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