Most LEGO themes are made up of high quality sets, dreamed up by designers at the top of their game. But even the best themes have a weaker set, less loved than the others – but that tends only to be because the other sets are of such high quality. The opposite can also be true, LEGO themes that had just one or two quality sets surrounded by mediocrity or worse. Today, the Extreme Team joins the Hall of Shame.
Extreme Team was a loosely affiliated sub-theme of Town which the LEGO Group cursed fans with from 1998 to 1999. Designed to cash in on the X-Games craze sweeping much of the world in the late 1990s, this series was at best an aesthetic disaster, and at worst a complete miss.
The first problem in the colour scheme. Perhaps the LEGO design team was trying to make the sets look appealing by mixing and matching so many different colors and windshield tints, but the end result is an ugly mess with no cohesion between sets and awful aesthetics for individual models. Why does that set have a trans-green windshield? How many colours are on that dragster? These sets are an affront to the eyes.
Next, playability. What exactly are these guys supposed to be doing? Sure, playing that they climb a mountain or ride in a rocket car is fun the first time, but the twentieth? Without the characters having some sort of overarching mission to accomplish, these sets quickly find themselves gathering dust on the shelf. The Extreme Team camp, the largest set, is a perfect example of this. The vehicles look extreme, and the suspension bridge is undeniably awesome (yes, those are printed wood tiles), but after you zip line down the mountain a few times to the monster truck, what next?
Last but not least, parts – most of the pieces in these sets are almost useless. From the slanted black wing components on the Rocket Car and the Airplane, to the funky coloured windscreens, to the modular components, there is not much of use once the sets are deconstructed.
So there is little to defend Extreme Team and prevent it from being inducted into the Brick Fanatics Hall of Shame, that special place reserved for the bits of LEGO history that fans would rather forget.
Brick Fanatics Hall of Fame:
Brick Fanatics Hall of Shame: