While I’m sure that nobody will dispute that LEGO these days is primarily about selling pre-designed sets, the original concept is of course an entirely different one. The idea of taking a bunch of bricks and creating something from your imagination certainly still has its appeal even today. Unfortunately LEGO don’t make it easy to live out this fantasy with the Creator Classic brick boxes often being a mixed bag, not necessarily always in a good way.
It seems someone at the corporate realized those shortcomings and incidentally the 60th anniversary of the original LEGO brick patents provided another good excuse to create a new product line and alas Building Bigger Thinking was born. We’re going to have a look at one of the smaller sets called Fun Future (10402), but I also already had bought Rainbow Fun (10401) some time ago. I got my hands on both sets during special promos, so I got them for 7 Euros instead of 10 Euros and 4 Euros instead of 5 Euros, respectively, based on the MSRP.
At the time of writing this article, all the sets are already earmarked as being end-of-line, so if you don’t hurry to actually get one, it will be nothing but a passing memory of the year 2018 soon. As to why they are already being withdrawn is a mystery to me, as in fact this is one of the few cases where I can totally get behind the concept in that it seems to me that this was meant as an effort to get some of the more delicate, smaller and newer parts out there that also would allow for some advanced building techniques. They are commonly used in the design-centric sets, but typically not included in the Classic series or simpler sets like the basic City ones.
The actual reason may be different, but one can of course speculate why those sets likely haven’t sold that well, causing their demise. Let’s begin with the name. Yes, in my view that’s a big marketing SNAFU. While I get what Building Bigger Thinking was meant to imply in terms of liberating your fantasy and creativity, it actually doesn’t really roll off your tongue and is conceptually hard to grasp if you are not an English native speaker. It basically sounds like a Swedish English teacher trying to explain to a group of Polish tourists what “make it grand” actually means and struggling for words.
It also didn’t help that this barely was marketed, despite the festive occasion. If I hadn’t stumbled across the Rainbow Fun (10401) box during my weekly grocery shopping, even I wouldn’t have taken much notice. This makes the whole matter even more regrettable.
Case in point: For the limited price, the models included actually look pretty decent and well thought out. They are simplistic, yes, but at the same time detailed enough to be truly representative of what they are supposed to stand for. This is achieved by including elements that are a bit rare due to either not being used that often at all or being new. The half-inset bridge type part is a good example as is the three-to-two adapter plate. This is made even better by those parts coming in colors that cannot at all be found in other sets currently or only a handful of alternatives. That means, if nothing else, those sets are a valuable source for parts in unique or unusual colors.
This logic extends to the extra/ surplus parts as well. Some of those little buggers are simply hard to find in a specific color, unless you are lucky enough to have unlimited funds and are able to buy large, expensive sets, where they are often are included. It’s also nice that most parts are included at least twice, so you can build symmetrical models and they even threw in some basic bricks, despite them not being referenced in a stock model.
I’m really saddened that LEGO decided to give this series the axe and it won’t be continued. To me it looked like they finally had found their way back to that magic formula and tinkering around with those little bits and pieces is simply fun. With the disappearance of those sets it will also get more difficult to get some parts in those weird pastel colors that I so love for some of my projects, so there’s that, too. it’s really a shame. If you want to experience what I mean, get one of those set while they’re still around…