Monday, December 27, 2010

Branching Off the Cafe Corner Theme

LEGO obviously has had much success with the Cafe Corner line. Although LEGO is considered a "toy", the recent Cafe Corner line has appealed to many AFOLs, mainly due to the new building techniques, massive amount of pieces, and realistic architectural designs. So, what's next?

Architectural Themes and Sub Themes

Now that the line has proven its success, LEGO should consider branching off into themes and sub-themes based on particular architectural styles. We have already slightly seen this with the American turn-of-the-century styles of the Fire Brigade and Grand Emporium sets, compared to the more lavishly decorated European styles of Cafe Corner, Market Street, and Green Grocer. Nevertheless, it could be expanded even more. 

Examples of Architecture Styles

Here are a couple ideas of what I mean:

  • Houses
  • Farms
  • Downtowns
  • Marinas/Harbors
  • Asian
  • European
  • 1800s American Gold Rush Era
  • Mexican/South American
  • African/Mediterranean
Maintaining the Standard

Regardless of the chosen architectural style, the standard must be kept as with the original modular buildings; and that is the pin hole connections, the sidewalk, and the modularity of rearranging the floors and roofs.

How should they be introduced?

Every six months (or however long it may take), LEGO would release a certain number of sets based on different regions of the world  all related in some way or another. For example, let's say in the first half of 2013, they release a series of small houses; one Asian styled, another European styled, another Mediterranean, and so forth. The second half could be a release of downtown or town square buildings, each from a particular region. The sets however, will have to be much smaller than their original counterparts if this were to work.

The line of sub-themes could be placed under a names such "Modular Farming - European - Barn" or Modular Housing - American- Two Story Home" to distinguish from one another and create a catalog of sets that could easily be viewed and purchased based on need or want.

Possible Problems
  • It will impede on the current town and city theme
  • It will cost a lot of money to introduce a new theme
  • It will be focused mainly on older fans of LEGO, and not kids
  • How to represent different cultures, countries, and regions
I would love to hear everyone's thought on the matter. I've been thinking about this idea for awhile now, so I finally decided to post something on it and see what everyone thinks, so please, post a comment, question, or another suggestion about the idea. 


  1. I think this would make for an amazing theme! I don't know about producing more than one building at a time though. To me it seems that it was a smart move to produce the Cafe Corner sets one at a time considering the price and the limit to older customers. Also that would mean they could limit the number when they wanted or if it was profitable extend it farther.


  2. Oh sorry! I almost forgot. I agree completely with you on releasing them between longer periods. But with these new sub themes, I sets would have to be much smaller and cost much cheaper than the originals. There would be a variation in sizes such as small, medium, and large. I'll change that in the description. :-)

  3. The Internet has made it possible to see the work of Lego fans worldwide. Sites like this provide a lot of inspiration for our own projects. I would like to see 1) packs of small, simple pieces, and 2) colors that are common in the real world (including more realistic plant and brick colors). The fun for me is building projects from my own ideas (mixed in with ideas shamelessly stolen from others).

  4. I love to see more buildings being released based on Asian architectural. I was being raised in the Asia, studied in UK and now work in the Middle East. It could be due to my roots of being an Asian when I was grown up as a kid, playing LEGO although I married a Caucasian wife & have 2 lovely kids. As from business point of views, it is a growing market in Asia/China for such an appetite. It will be better for LEGO to pay more emphasis on Eastern themes sooner rather than later!


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