Discussion Forum: Thread 262357

 Author: Teup View Messages Posted By Teup
 Posted: Jan 11, 2020 11:01
 Subject: Unitron
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 Topic: LEGO
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Teup (4371)

Location:  Netherlands, Utrecht
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Unitron is a mysterious subtheme - only released in the US for some reason, if
I'm not mistaken. Besides the monorail (by a nameless faction without any
backstory here), I only know it exists because of Bricklink.

I was trying to find pictures of it in some US catalog, but couldn't find
anything about it. Does anybody have any pictures? Also, what could've been
the reason why this was only released in the US?
 Author: DeLuca View Messages Posted By DeLuca
 Posted: Jan 11, 2020 12:09
 Subject: Re: Unitron
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 Topic: LEGO
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DeLuca (164)

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In LEGO, Teup writes:
  Unitron is a mysterious subtheme - only released in the US for some reason, if I'm not mistaken. Besides the monorail (by a nameless faction without any backstory here), I only know it exists because of Bricklink.

I was trying to find pictures of it in some US catalog, but couldn't find anything about it. Does anybody have any pictures? Also, what could've been the reason why this was only released in the US?


I do not have catalogue images, but pictures of the sets themselves can
be found here: https://www.1980somethingspace.com/#unitron
 Author: Teup View Messages Posted By Teup
 Posted: Jan 11, 2020 12:36
 Subject: Re: Unitron
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 Topic: LEGO
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Teup (4371)

Location:  Netherlands, Utrecht
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In LEGO, DeLuca writes:
  In LEGO, Teup writes:
  Unitron is a mysterious subtheme - only released in the US for some reason, if I'm not mistaken. Besides the monorail (by a nameless faction without any backstory here), I only know it exists because of Bricklink.

I was trying to find pictures of it in some US catalog, but couldn't find anything about it. Does anybody have any pictures? Also, what could've been the reason why this was only released in the US?


I do not have catalogue images, but pictures of the sets themselves can
be found here: https://www.1980somethingspace.com/#unitron

Thanks, I didn't know about that site. Still looking for catalog pictures
though, curious that I can't find them showing up anywhere.

Apparently these sets existed, so you would think they'd be featured somewhere
in a catalog and other promo material, and have some kind of backstory. That
site says it's a kind of Space Police, they must've gotten that info
from somewhere.. Surprising, because all I knew is that their monorail was a
helpless prey for the Spyrius faction
 Author: qwertyboy View Messages Posted By qwertyboy
 Posted: Jan 11, 2020 12:15
 Subject: Re: Unitron
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 Topic: LEGO
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qwertyboy (4949)

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In LEGO, Teup writes:
  Unitron is a mysterious subtheme - only released in the US for some reason, if
I'm not mistaken. Besides the monorail (by a nameless faction without any
backstory here), I only know it exists because of Bricklink.

I was trying to find pictures of it in some US catalog, but couldn't find
anything about it. Does anybody have any pictures? Also, what could've been
the reason why this was only released in the US?

 
Set No: 6991  Name: Monorail Transport Base
* 
6991-1 (Inv) Monorail Transport Base
555 Parts, 4 Minifigs, 1994
Sets: Space: Unitron

Of the 19 lots for sale, only 4 are being offered West of the Atlantic. Why do
you think it was a US-only release?

Niek.
 Author: Teup View Messages Posted By Teup
 Posted: Jan 11, 2020 12:31
 Subject: Re: Unitron
 Viewed: 40 times
 Topic: LEGO
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Teup (4371)

Location:  Netherlands, Utrecht
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In LEGO, qwertyboy writes:
  In LEGO, Teup writes:
  Unitron is a mysterious subtheme - only released in the US for some reason, if
I'm not mistaken. Besides the monorail (by a nameless faction without any
backstory here), I only know it exists because of Bricklink.

I was trying to find pictures of it in some US catalog, but couldn't find
anything about it. Does anybody have any pictures? Also, what could've been
the reason why this was only released in the US?

 
Set No: 6991  Name: Monorail Transport Base
* 
6991-1 (Inv) Monorail Transport Base
555 Parts, 4 Minifigs, 1994
Sets: Space: Unitron

Of the 19 lots for sale, only 4 are being offered West of the Atlantic. Why do
you think it was a US-only release?

Niek.

The monorail was here, but the rest of the sets from this theme, along with the
name, is something I've only ever seen on Bricklink. It didn't exist
here, neither in the stores, nor in the catalog.
Same story for these sets, by the way:

https://www.bricklink.com/catalogList.asp?catType=S&catString=9.280&itemBrand=1000
 Author: qwertyboy View Messages Posted By qwertyboy
 Posted: Jan 11, 2020 13:14
 Subject: Re: Unitron
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qwertyboy (4949)

Location:  Canada, Alberta
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In LEGO, Teup writes:
  In LEGO, qwertyboy writes:
  In LEGO, Teup writes:
  Unitron is a mysterious subtheme - only released in the US for some reason, if
I'm not mistaken. Besides the monorail (by a nameless faction without any
backstory here), I only know it exists because of Bricklink.

I was trying to find pictures of it in some US catalog, but couldn't find
anything about it. Does anybody have any pictures? Also, what could've been
the reason why this was only released in the US?

 
Set No: 6991  Name: Monorail Transport Base
* 
6991-1 (Inv) Monorail Transport Base
555 Parts, 4 Minifigs, 1994
Sets: Space: Unitron

Of the 19 lots for sale, only 4 are being offered West of the Atlantic. Why do
you think it was a US-only release?

Niek.

The monorail was here, but the rest of the sets from this theme, along with the
name, is something I've only ever seen on Bricklink. It didn't exist
here, neither in the stores, nor in the catalog.
Same story for these sets, by the way:

https://www.bricklink.com/catalogList.asp?catType=S&catString=9.280&itemBrand=1000

Ah. Instant checkout.

Niek.
 Author: brasletty View Messages Posted By brasletty
 Posted: Jan 11, 2020 18:49
 Subject: Re: Unitron
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 Topic: LEGO
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brasletty (4259)

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In LEGO, qwertyboy writes:
  In LEGO, Teup writes:
  Unitron is a mysterious subtheme - only released in the US for some reason, if
I'm not mistaken. Besides the monorail (by a nameless faction without any
backstory here), I only know it exists because of Bricklink.

I was trying to find pictures of it in some US catalog, but couldn't find
anything about it. Does anybody have any pictures? Also, what could've been
the reason why this was only released in the US?

 
Set No: 6991  Name: Monorail Transport Base
* 
6991-1 (Inv) Monorail Transport Base
555 Parts, 4 Minifigs, 1994
Sets: Space: Unitron

Of the 19 lots for sale, only 4 are being offered West of the Atlantic. Why do
you think it was a US-only release?

Niek.

this whas sold in europ to .
 Author: DeLuca View Messages Posted By DeLuca
 Posted: Jan 11, 2020 12:43
 Subject: Re: Unitron
 Viewed: 48 times
 Topic: LEGO
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DeLuca (164)

Location:  USA, Virginia
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In LEGO, Teup writes:
  I was trying to find pictures of it in some US catalog, but couldn't find anything about it. Does anybody have any pictures?


I found one!
Go to: 1995, "North America - Full Line - 1995", Page 8: https://www.brickfactory.info/catalogi/index.html
 Author: Teup View Messages Posted By Teup
 Posted: Jan 11, 2020 12:48
 Subject: Re: Unitron
 Viewed: 36 times
 Topic: LEGO
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Teup (4371)

Location:  Netherlands, Utrecht
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In LEGO, DeLuca writes:
  In LEGO, Teup writes:
  I was trying to find pictures of it in some US catalog, but couldn't find anything about it. Does anybody have any pictures?


I found one!
Go to: 1995, "North America - Full Line - 1995", Page 8: https://www.brickfactory.info/catalogi/index.html

Cool, nice find! Still no description but nice to see them all there. Now
they at least feel a little bit more "official" to me
 Author: DeLuca View Messages Posted By DeLuca
 Posted: Jan 11, 2020 12:53
 Subject: Re: Unitron
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DeLuca (164)

Location:  USA, Virginia
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In LEGO, Teup writes:
  In LEGO, DeLuca writes:
  In LEGO, Teup writes:
  I was trying to find pictures of it in some US catalog, but couldn't find anything about it. Does anybody have any pictures?


I found one!
Go to: 1995, "North America - Full Line - 1995", Page 8: https://www.brickfactory.info/catalogi/index.html

Cool, nice find! Still no description but nice to see them all there. Now they at least feel a little bit more "official" to me


More:

https://images.brickset.com/library/view/?f=catalogues/c96na2

https://images.brickset.com/library/view/?f=catalogues/c95na

https://lego.fandom.com/wiki/January_1996_LEGO_Shop_at_Home_Catalogue

https://lego.fandom.com/wiki/Summer_1996_LEGO_Shop_at_Home_Catalogue
 Author: DeLuca View Messages Posted By DeLuca
 Posted: Jan 11, 2020 12:55
 Subject: Re: Unitron
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 Topic: LEGO
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DeLuca (164)

Location:  USA, Virginia
Member Since Contact Type Status
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In LEGO, DeLuca writes:
  In LEGO, Teup writes:
  In LEGO, DeLuca writes:
  In LEGO, Teup writes:
  I was trying to find pictures of it in some US catalog, but couldn't find anything about it. Does anybody have any pictures?


I found one!
Go to: 1995, "North America - Full Line - 1995", Page 8: https://www.brickfactory.info/catalogi/index.html

Cool, nice find! Still no description but nice to see them all there. Now they at least feel a little bit more "official" to me


More:

https://images.brickset.com/library/view/?f=catalogues/c96na2

https://images.brickset.com/library/view/?f=catalogues/c95na

https://lego.fandom.com/wiki/January_1996_LEGO_Shop_at_Home_Catalogue

https://lego.fandom.com/wiki/Summer_1996_LEGO_Shop_at_Home_Catalogue


It seems that the monorail was released worldwide in 1994, followed by the other
three sets in 1995 - albeit NA-only.
 Author: Teup View Messages Posted By Teup
 Posted: Jan 11, 2020 13:39
 Subject: Re: Unitron
 Viewed: 33 times
 Topic: LEGO
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Teup (4371)

Location:  Netherlands, Utrecht
Member Since Contact Type Status
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In LEGO, DeLuca writes:
  In LEGO, DeLuca writes:
  In LEGO, Teup writes:
  In LEGO, DeLuca writes:
  In LEGO, Teup writes:
  I was trying to find pictures of it in some US catalog, but couldn't find anything about it. Does anybody have any pictures?


I found one!
Go to: 1995, "North America - Full Line - 1995", Page 8: https://www.brickfactory.info/catalogi/index.html

Cool, nice find! Still no description but nice to see them all there. Now they at least feel a little bit more "official" to me


More:

https://images.brickset.com/library/view/?f=catalogues/c96na2

https://images.brickset.com/library/view/?f=catalogues/c95na

https://lego.fandom.com/wiki/January_1996_LEGO_Shop_at_Home_Catalogue

https://lego.fandom.com/wiki/Summer_1996_LEGO_Shop_at_Home_Catalogue


It seems that the monorail was released worldwide in 1994, followed by the other
three sets in 1995 - albeit NA-only.

Awesome, thanks for these finds. Yes, I had the monorail as a kid, but the rest
of the sets together with the whole name "Unitron" never appeared here.

Seems a lot like the story of Unitron being the heroes that pops up in the wikis
is mostly AFOL imagination As far as I can see they just existed because Spyrius
needed a faction to cause trouble for. I guess Ice Planet was too cool to play
that role
 Author: DeLuca View Messages Posted By DeLuca
 Posted: Jan 13, 2020 06:46
 Subject: Re: Unitron
 Viewed: 38 times
 Topic: LEGO
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DeLuca (164)

Location:  USA, Virginia
Member Since Contact Type Status
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In LEGO, Teup writes:
  In LEGO, DeLuca writes:
  In LEGO, DeLuca writes:
  In LEGO, Teup writes:
  In LEGO, DeLuca writes:
  In LEGO, Teup writes:
  I was trying to find pictures of it in some US catalog, but couldn't find anything about it. Does anybody have any pictures?


I found one!
Go to: 1995, "North America - Full Line - 1995", Page 8: https://www.brickfactory.info/catalogi/index.html

Cool, nice find! Still no description but nice to see them all there. Now they at least feel a little bit more "official" to me


More:

https://images.brickset.com/library/view/?f=catalogues/c96na2

https://images.brickset.com/library/view/?f=catalogues/c95na

https://lego.fandom.com/wiki/January_1996_LEGO_Shop_at_Home_Catalogue

https://lego.fandom.com/wiki/Summer_1996_LEGO_Shop_at_Home_Catalogue


It seems that the monorail was released worldwide in 1994, followed by the other
three sets in 1995 - albeit NA-only.

Awesome, thanks for these finds. Yes, I had the monorail as a kid, but the rest
of the sets together with the whole name "Unitron" never appeared here.

Seems a lot like the story of Unitron being the heroes that pops up in the wikis
is mostly AFOL imagination As far as I can see they just existed because Spyrius
needed a faction to cause trouble for. I guess Ice Planet was too cool to play
that role


There is some background for Unitron in an issue of LEGO Mania Magazine:
 
 Author: Teup View Messages Posted By Teup
 Posted: Jan 13, 2020 07:27
 Subject: Re: Unitron
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Teup (4371)

Location:  Netherlands, Utrecht
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In LEGO, DeLuca writes:
  In LEGO, Teup writes:
  In LEGO, DeLuca writes:
  In LEGO, DeLuca writes:
  In LEGO, Teup writes:
  In LEGO, DeLuca writes:
  In LEGO, Teup writes:
  I was trying to find pictures of it in some US catalog, but couldn't find anything about it. Does anybody have any pictures?


I found one!
Go to: 1995, "North America - Full Line - 1995", Page 8: https://www.brickfactory.info/catalogi/index.html

Cool, nice find! Still no description but nice to see them all there. Now they at least feel a little bit more "official" to me


More:

https://images.brickset.com/library/view/?f=catalogues/c96na2

https://images.brickset.com/library/view/?f=catalogues/c95na

https://lego.fandom.com/wiki/January_1996_LEGO_Shop_at_Home_Catalogue

https://lego.fandom.com/wiki/Summer_1996_LEGO_Shop_at_Home_Catalogue


It seems that the monorail was released worldwide in 1994, followed by the other
three sets in 1995 - albeit NA-only.

Awesome, thanks for these finds. Yes, I had the monorail as a kid, but the rest
of the sets together with the whole name "Unitron" never appeared here.

Seems a lot like the story of Unitron being the heroes that pops up in the wikis
is mostly AFOL imagination As far as I can see they just existed because Spyrius
needed a faction to cause trouble for. I guess Ice Planet was too cool to play
that role


There is some background for Unitron in an issue of LEGO Mania Magazine:

Nice, thanks! Basically a civilian faction that takes care of its own problems
in the absense of a Space Police III.
@1787 Sucks for the other guy if his co pilot bails
 Author: Proprietor View Messages Posted By Proprietor
 Posted: Jan 11, 2020 17:40
 Subject: Re: Unitron
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Proprietor (1665)

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In LEGO, DeLuca writes:
  In LEGO, Teup writes:
  I was trying to find pictures of it in some US catalog, but couldn't find anything about it. Does anybody have any pictures?


I found one!
Go to: 1995, "North America - Full Line - 1995", Page 8: https://www.brickfactory.info/catalogi/index.html
 
 Author: Dino1 View Messages Posted By Dino1
 Posted: Jan 12, 2020 02:32
 Subject: Re: Unitron
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Dino1 (370)

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In LEGO, Proprietor writes:
  In LEGO, DeLuca writes:
  In LEGO, Teup writes:
  I was trying to find pictures of it in some US catalog, but couldn't find anything about it. Does anybody have any pictures?


I found one!
Go to: 1995, "North America - Full Line - 1995", Page 8: https://www.brickfactory.info/catalogi/index.html


Yes, and TLG and the rest of the world called it only monorail.
 Author: Adjour View Messages Posted By Adjour
 Posted: Jan 11, 2020 14:32
 Subject: Re: Unitron
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Adjour (585)

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In LEGO, Teup writes:
  Unitron is a mysterious subtheme - only released in the US for some reason, if
I'm not mistaken. Besides the monorail (by a nameless faction without any
backstory here), I only know it exists because of Bricklink.

I was trying to find pictures of it in some US catalog, but couldn't find
anything about it. Does anybody have any pictures? Also, what could've been
the reason why this was only released in the US?


This explains sooo much.

I collect Unitron, and I long ago noticed that it just seems rarer than "normal"...
a limited release would explain than.

I have more unitron monorails than the other sets. I remember thinking it was
odd that I kept finding monorails (when in theory they should be "rare") but
not the other sets. Even in "space" collections.

The crater cruiser seems to be the most common of the smaller sets IME.

And just another personal story, I don't recall seeing these in the stores
as a kid at all.
 Author: SezaR View Messages Posted By SezaR
 Posted: Jan 11, 2020 16:22
 Subject: Re: Unitron
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SezaR (234)

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In LEGO, Teup writes:
  Unitron is a mysterious subtheme - only released in the US for some reason, if
I'm not mistaken. Besides the monorail (by a nameless faction without any
backstory here), I only know it exists because of Bricklink.

I was trying to find pictures of it in some US catalog, but couldn't find
anything about it. Does anybody have any pictures? Also, what could've been
the reason why this was only released in the US?

Along with this question, I add the following ones:
12v trains were released in mid 1980 in Germany, Switzerlands, Nehterlands, Belgium,
Scandinavian countries but
- why it was sold only since summer 1981 in UK, Italy, France with 7725, 7740
- why the other set 7730 (from 1980) was only sold since summer 1982 in Italy,
UK, France
- why no 12v train was even sold on North of America (or elsewhere)? But we know,
for example, that 4.5v train 7722 from 1985 was very popular in US and Canada.

Why beautiful sets such as 6377, 6383, 6387, 6390, 6391, 6393 were US-only or
US&Canada-only?
And then how few of them were sold through third-party companies with European
boxes? For example 6377 was sold in France, 6387 was sold in the Netherlands
and UK, perhaps for a limited time and in limited copies.

I think there is one single general answer to all these question:
- TLG could not investigate more than certrain amount depending on its pocket
so they released some sets only in some country/ies in which they thought those
sets were excellent sellers. Times went on and some sets did not appear everywhere,
TLG became reacher and in the following years they could sell newere sets in
more countries. For example 9v sets were sold everywhere (but again, few smaller
9V cars were sold later in US...)
 Author: Teup View Messages Posted By Teup
 Posted: Jan 12, 2020 05:38
 Subject: Re: Unitron
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Teup (4371)

Location:  Netherlands, Utrecht
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In LEGO, SezaR writes:
  In LEGO, Teup writes:
  Unitron is a mysterious subtheme - only released in the US for some reason, if
I'm not mistaken. Besides the monorail (by a nameless faction without any
backstory here), I only know it exists because of Bricklink.

I was trying to find pictures of it in some US catalog, but couldn't find
anything about it. Does anybody have any pictures? Also, what could've been
the reason why this was only released in the US?

Along with this question, I add the following ones:
12v trains were released in mid 1980 in Germany, Switzerlands, Nehterlands, Belgium,
Scandinavian countries but
- why it was sold only since summer 1981 in UK, Italy, France with 7725, 7740
- why the other set 7730 (from 1980) was only sold since summer 1982 in Italy,
UK, France
- why no 12v train was even sold on North of America (or elsewhere)? But we know,
for example, that 4.5v train 7722 from 1985 was very popular in US and Canada.

Why beautiful sets such as 6377, 6383, 6387, 6390, 6391, 6393 were US-only or
US&Canada-only?
And then how few of them were sold through third-party companies with European
boxes? For example 6377 was sold in France, 6387 was sold in the Netherlands
and UK, perhaps for a limited time and in limited copies.

Wow! I had no idea about these. Interesting read.

  
I think there is one single general answer to all these question:
- TLG could not investigate more than certrain amount depending on its pocket
so they released some sets only in some country/ies in which they thought those
sets were excellent sellers. Times went on and some sets did not appear everywhere,
TLG became reacher and in the following years they could sell newere sets in
more countries. For example 9v sets were sold everywhere (but again, few smaller
9V cars were sold later in US...)

Hmmm I find it difficult to believe it's really about what sells best where..
it doesn't make much sense to me that Unitron or the Dark Forest sets would
specifically be considered unpopular for Europe when everything else is the same.
Also I'd think it'd be much easier to anticipate by deciding the size
of the available supply rather than dedicing what sets to cancel, also because
you'd need adapted catalogs / PR material per region. But that's just
my reasoning.

And in the case of Unitron I just feel like something went wrong in the Space
department in 1994. It's weird that a faction would have only 1 huge set
and nothing else, followed by other sets the year after. And also have no backstory
or specific gimmick. Also it's the only year two different factions were
released. Nitpicking perhaps, but I also think it's weird the 1995 Unitron
base has a different colour baseplate than the 1994 bases. I'm guessing something
just went wrong.. would be a fun question for an interview with the designers
 Author: Adjour View Messages Posted By Adjour
 Posted: Jan 12, 2020 23:07
 Subject: Re: Unitron
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 Topic: LEGO
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Adjour (585)

Location:  USA, California
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Aug 1, 2016 Contact Member Seller
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Store: The Chili is a Bit Spicy
In LEGO, Teup writes:

  it doesn't make much sense to me that Unitron or the Dark Forest sets would
specifically be considered unpopular for Europe when everything else is the same.


FWIW. The only dark forest set I ever had I got at "price club" which is what
Costco is now. They had a literal pallet of them (and also some town set IIRC).

This was back when these sorts of places were basically bulk outlets for poorly
selling products other retailers couldn't move or move fast enough. So I
would presume that dark forest didn't sell well here either because they
were blowing them out.
 Author: Teup View Messages Posted By Teup
 Posted: Jan 13, 2020 07:30
 Subject: Re: Unitron
 Viewed: 36 times
 Topic: LEGO
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Teup (4371)

Location:  Netherlands, Utrecht
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May 6, 2004 Contact Member Seller
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Store Closed Store: The T-workshop
In LEGO, Adjour writes:
  In LEGO, Teup writes:

  it doesn't make much sense to me that Unitron or the Dark Forest sets would
specifically be considered unpopular for Europe when everything else is the same.


FWIW. The only dark forest set I ever had I got at "price club" which is what
Costco is now. They had a literal pallet of them (and also some town set IIRC).

This was back when these sorts of places were basically bulk outlets for poorly
selling products other retailers couldn't move or move fast enough. So I
would presume that dark forest didn't sell well here either because they
were blowing them out.

Interesting. They are really cool sets, at least as a kid I liked the Forestmen
sets a lot. Perhaps they weren't featured in all of the catalogs, as they
were not in the catalogs outside the US either..