I guess we need to bottom this out once and for all - during the commitment phase a discussion was started, but didn't really resolve:

Is this site only about LEGO products and other brick based toys, or is it open to all construction toys including K-Nex and Meccano (for example)?

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Zhaph: Let's leave the thread open to feedback from the users. These pre-populated "I'm going to give you all the choices to vote" are not all that definitive. Everyone should have their say and the best points considered (by answers, comments, and voting). –  Robert Cartaino Oct 26 '11 at 16:48
    
@RobertCartaino Fair enough :) –  Zhaph - Ben Duguid Oct 26 '11 at 16:50
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@fredley: This question began as a question about non-brick, non-LEGO toys. –  user23 Oct 27 '11 at 0:13
    
@fredley: It was inspired by the discussion that started on the "Should we need a LEGO tag" meta.bricks.stackexchange.com/questions/27/… –  Zhaph - Ben Duguid Oct 27 '11 at 6:20
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3 Answers

up vote 16 down vote accepted

I think we should aim to cover three basic things:

LEGO Bricks. Fundamentally, this toy dominates the building space. If we don't have this, we don't really have a site.

LEGO Not-Bricks. Mindstorms, DUPLO, games, LEGOLand, Bionicle, Modulex, tables, carrying cases, alarm clocks, minifigure collections, company history, BrickMaster and MBA, Znap. The overlap is enormous between people interested in these and the bricks themselves and it's hard to separate them - is a question about a model at LEGOLand a question about bricks, or a question about LEGOLand?

It's also important to cover this so the site can serve as a resource for parents (and whether we want it to or not, it probably will this Christmas).

Other Bricks. Diablock, Mega Blok, Nanoblock, and undoubtedly a new system every few years. Compatible or not, all brick toys share similar building techniques. In some cases, like Diablock, they are "not compatible" as stock pieces but people have built adapters.

That means we don't cover K'nex (perhaps shared interest but no shared building techniques), Meccano (in my experience, very little shared interest), and other progressively more marginal building systems. Otherwise I fear we'll see a gradual descent until we cover things that are barely even building toys like Domino Rally, and eventually just be a generic toy site.

You might say "I'm as uninterested in alarm clocks and Znap as I am in K'nex!" The good news is, the rest of the world agrees with you - the potential number of questions about these things is very small and can never come to dominate the site. That is not true of K'nex.

Why is it bad to offer more? Focus. If the site is 90% Lego, we're not going to attract K'nex or Meccano experts. If the site is 30% Lego, we're not going to attract Lego experts. We need experts to survive. Otherwise people will just go back to the existing Lego forums and wikis, because their questions can be answered just as poorly there.

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(As an aside I would be okay, but not happy, with a site that only accepts LEGO and LEGO Group questions and ignores other brick systems. I would probably not participate in a site that tried to focus on "building toys" generally.) –  user23 Oct 26 '11 at 17:27
    
Cheers @JoeWreschnig very eloquently put. –  Zhaph - Ben Duguid Oct 26 '11 at 19:57
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K'Nex does produces brick-shaped parts too, now. So for me it has a foot in the "non-LEGO bricks" area. –  Joubarc Oct 27 '11 at 8:25
    
That's true, and I'd say questions involving K'nex bricks are on-topic. But I don't think that's what most people are considering. –  user23 Oct 27 '11 at 8:45
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i think K'Nex should be covered here. As Joubarc said, it also has bricks, even if K'Nex relys on sticks/bars much more (wich are very similar to LEGO-technics axles). in addition, it's very similar to ZNAP wich definitely is covered because it's a LEGO product. –  oezi Oct 27 '11 at 14:15
    
But we'll never have more than like ten questions about Znap, and most of the people using Znap are also probably Lego experts. –  user23 Oct 27 '11 at 15:12
    
I think K'Nex is the area with the biggest ambiguity and something we do need to bottom out. –  Zhaph - Ben Duguid Oct 27 '11 at 21:47
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in my oppinion, this site should cover model construction toys in general, wich means:

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Why? What's the benefit of having a large range of topics? I can at least see an argument for K'nex because it's a snap-together toy as Lego so topics about coloring and moulding may be relevant, and with K'nex bricks there's a path for shared constructions, but Meccano has nothing in common. If we're adding Meccano, I have a hard time seeing why not e.g. general woodworking. –  user23 Oct 27 '11 at 15:11
    
I'm more inclined to allow K'Nex than Meccano that's for sure. However I wouldn't see why general wood working would have to be included - If we did allow Meccano we would have a hard time excluding sets like "Wood WorX" which come with pre-cut wooden shapes and instructions on how to build a fire engine or similar (although they do use glue, so could be excluded on that basis) –  Zhaph - Ben Duguid Oct 27 '11 at 21:41
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I feel like that its best that this remain only LEGO considering the size of the LEGO community and the diversity of their products. There are also no "modern" LEGO community websites, that I have found, and I can see this SE becoming a canoical LEGO site.

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