Could LEGO be phasing out instruction manuals completely?

Changes in recent LEGO sets might be hinting at a paper-free building experience in the future, including in a Star Wars model. For many LEGO fans, there's nothing quite like turning to the first page of the manual and embarking on a build, whether it's purchased with pocket money or it's a vast creation costing hundreds of pounds. But recently, there have been indications that the days of the instruction manual may be numbered.

The new LEGO CITY Missions sets will not come with a traditional paper manual, but instead use an interactive story on a phone or tablet to guide you through construction. For younger builders, who are 'digital natives' this will no doubt come naturally, but to those who are used to the tactile experience of turning the pages, it might grate a little. In the recent LEGO Star Wars 75325 The Mandalorian's N-1 Starfighter set, the cover of the manual seemed to be an amateurish affair in comparison to the LEGO Group's usual standards, with a render of the set on a bland background.

While it may have been an early production issue that will be rectified in future, there may be some who believe that this is dragging production values down, resulting in less of an outcry if physical manuals are consigned to the past. And then there's the green issue. With manuals becoming increasingly thick, as detailed builds necessitate more and more pages, the LEGO Group must be looking for ways of becoming more sustainable.

We know that plastic bags will be giving way to paper over the next few years, but this might be reflected in instructions in the future too. All of that is speculation at present, but with environmental issues becoming ever more important for businesses around the globe, it might be that future LEGO builds start, not by opening the manual, but by switching on a phone, as is already the case with LEGO Super Mario. You can support Brick Fanatics by using our affiliate links to purchase your next LEGO set.

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