Saturday, April 18, 2009

Bungalows & such

Today I am indulging in a little bait & switch. I built a bungalow with Lott's for my tradional title photograph, but want to talk about Anker.

Because - unfortunately - the Ankerstein set I want to talk about is very hard to find. If I have ever seen one for sale, it has gone for more than I could afford to spend on it.

But the Ankerstein company has recently changed hands, and the new owners intend to increase production and introduce new sets.

Recent production of Ankerstein has been heavily influenced by adult enthusiasts who seem to generally subscribe to a pholosphy of "more expansion sets, more stones, bigger buildings."

I'm not knocking that -- they have surely done an immense amount of good in helping the the reborn (after the fall of Communist East Germany) company get up and running and survive its early growth years to become something very admirable.

But the new owners are toy people, currently specializing in top quality toys for younger children. The Ankerstein line will complement their current line very nicely at the high end. Especially with some lower end Anker additions to fill what seems to be a gap.

And the old Landhaus series set 301 (shown here in scans reduced from the CDroms) seems like a very good series to look at. It is the closest Richter came to the Lott's approach, and the dates are just complicated enough to suggest that neither was "inspired" by the other.

So why bring in Lott's? Because all my Lott's constructions so far are from sets with no more stones than an Anker Set 4. And for toy store sales easy starter sets, multiple choices, and low entry cost, all matter. And the roofs make a big differenence in ear;y accomplishment with fewer (expensive) stones.

So lets hope that, while not neglecting the advanced enthusiasts at the high end, that the new direction includes exploring some of the alternatives at the low end, old and perhaps even new (what would Richter have done with the ability to laser cut & line wooden doors and windows?).

And by the way, how do you lie today's shallow pitched roof using the same Lott's Tudor gable stones (turned lined side inward) and cardboard roof as last weeks steep-roofed tudor cottage. A nice contrast.

Good block play.

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