Lego starting going down hill in about 1995, with the adoption of constantly molding new pieces to fit a specific need (i.e Bionicle masks and parts, one piece structures, specifically airplane and ship bodies, specific and rare odd shaped pieces), instead of forming the desired component from a conglomerate of smaller pieces.
This resulted in a slight skill loss of the builders. Also in the 1990s, Lego began to attempt to cater to much broader audiences, leaving the mid-adult Technic/engineering based audience hanging. Regardless, a number of new and helpful pieces in the Technic line have been produced, in the discontinuation of the line is most definitely a tragedy. Keeping this in mind, i have not purchased lego's in 5 years, and the bulk of my 15000+ pieces are older ones. Permalink