I notices there's a fair bit of discussion on this subject on the POTC and CMF threads so thought I'd start a specific thread for the subject.
It seems to me that some of the more traditional themes have been on the decline an it seems others agree.
I'm a bit of a fan of traditional castle lines, and as soon as I saw Nexo Knights I figured a traditional Castle line was basically out of the question for the time being. I can see how NK is derived from Castle but it's so much more focused on vehicles and tech that it's really nowhere near a castle theme.
Admitedly I like a few of the villain sets as they tend to look more like monsters and magical creatures but even with them year two looks more tech infused monsters - I'm looking at the random additions of wheels or exhausts to what could otherwise be an animal.
The last wave of pirates that came out came under a lot of criticism from AFOLs for being lack lustre - and to an extent I can see that, but more from the point of view that the subject matter has been covered multiple times and some of the designs were quite similar to older sets. I bought a couple of sets on the cheap and quite liked them but I'm not much of a Pirates fan.
Space becomes an interesting point of contention in the debate. I've seen a lot of Classic Space fans complained no that themes like Galaxy Squad aren't proper space themes which comes across as utter nonsense. Frankly modern space themes are never going to be the same as the Classic space era. I also feel like a lot of the Nexo Knights vehicles are essentially space sets, the colours and designs obviously take some inspiration from earlier space themes.
While I don't think we've seen the end of Castle and Pirate themes, I think they'll be fewer, further between and often incorporated into the juniors type themes.
Personally I think LEGO could put out an awesome Castle theme based on brick built mythological creatures. I think they've become a little too obsess with vehicles and miss the notion that a creature build can be just as playable as a vehicle. The thing I find frustrating about this is Ninjago proves that LEGO can produce and sell (damn well by all indications) brick built dragon sets.
Anyone else have any bright ideas about revitalising these themes?