'The Winchester' dilemma

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I'm going to revisit this story again...

When news broke yesterday that this model had hit 10,000 supporters at Cuusoo, I was on a cruise ship in Le Havre on the last day of a week's cruise to northern Spain and France. During the week I had 25Mb of data per day while in port via my phone before it started to cost silly money. I was able to skim the site and the forum but not do much else. So, yesterday's post was a bit hasty but worth mentioning given the significance of the story.

I'm now up to date on this and as you will probably have read, thanks to Simon Pegg mentioning the model on a US chat show (which you can see on YouTube), within hours the number of supporters increased by some 5000 and hit the magic 10,000.

What happens now then, I wonder? Will LEGO make it or not?

Let's consider the themes of the model for a moment: zombies, comic violence, death and just as significantly in my mind, drinking and alcohol, which aren't prominently featured in the R rated movie, but they are nevertheless what pubs are associated with.

It can be argued that many themes feature comic violence and we've certainly had zombies and the undead before and LEGO has said in its comments at Cuusoo 'that the zombie theme does put this project at the edge of what we produce, however we recognize that the LEGO Group produces other products where themes of violence and death play a significant role' so I suspect they will be able to cross this hurdle.

But what about the pub itself? Fairly innocuous to most of us, but I know from conversations with a LEGO Certified Professional that LEGO does not want to be associated with alcohol and drinking, for obvious reasons. I think that their internal discussions about whether to make the model will consider this just as much as the violence aspects.

If it doesn't pass review, what would the decision mean to the Cuusoo platform? Maybe if models never stand a chance of passing review due to being against LEGO's principles, or being associated with a licence they could never acquire, they should be removed from the site early on. What do you think?

What message would a 'no' decision send out to Cuusoo contributors and voters? Discuss here or in the forum.

(I'm back on dry land now and normal Brickset service has been resumed. I'd like to thank bluemoose, yellowcastle, LegoCoastGuard et. al. for minding the shop in my absence).

77 comments on this article

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By in United Kingdom,

Lego did make the guarded inn which had knights drinking - twice in fact. Not the same sure, but similar.

If this was a main stream set that would appear on the shelves of Toys-r-us then there'ld be a massive issue - if this set will be sold through Lego directly then there's less of an issue.

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By in United Kingdom,

And there is an Inn in MMV too. Fingers crossed it will happen.

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By in United Kingdom,

...April Fool? :(

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By in Sweden,

As long as the minifigures aren't wearing bloodied clothing there's honestly nothing about this that isn't something LEGO has done before.

Zombies? Check.
Baseball bats? Check.
Rifles? Check.
Pubs/Inns? Check.
Alcohol? Check. (Those golden goblets in Castle themes aren't for Root Beer).

What do people think all of LEGOs action themes are about? Is the upcoming Monster Fighters theme about these "Fighters" going after Monsters to HUG THEM? Did the heroes in Pharaoh's Quest carry rifles because they wanted to be best friends with the mummies? A Shaun of the Dead set wouldn't be anymore about violence and death than what LEGO regularly does (and sells to kids!). And a Shaun of the Dead set would be sold to adults through a specialty service, it's not going to show up in your local toy shop where your innocent little kid might get subjected to it.

I suppose LEGOs real dilemma is whether or not they want to take the massive leap of making a set that will be STRICTLY for adults.

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By in United States,

What about the PotC set 4193 The London Escape. That set came with a pub, the Captains Daughter I think the pub itself was called.

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By in Canada,

Children are exposed to alcohol and violence alot, and when they're teens and probably in their dark ages even more so.
Pirates of the Caribbean had alcohol in it, and LEGO made it into a theme. I really don't see how this is an issue.

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By in United States,

Lego's done pubs before. The Pirates of the Caribbean London Escape set has largely a pub, with barrels of alcohol to boot. The Castle Advent calendar featured a barmaid with a huge keg, one that matches the one inside the inn at the MMV. There's been LEGO alcohol before, and lots of it.

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By in New Zealand,

Its an ugly model. I hope they come up with an excuse not to make it.

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By in United States,

As a fan of the movie, I'd just like to point out that alcohol was pretty prominently displayed in it. The main characters were at first too drunk, then too hung over, to notice that they were in the middle of a zombie apocalypse.

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By in United Kingdom,

Namekuji, if this bothers you that much, the easiest course of action would be to not buy it (should it go into production), rather than wish to spoil it for those of us who would be interested.

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By in United Kingdom,

Surely the whole point of Cuusoo is to generate ideas for sets that TLG wouldn't come up with themselves, yet there is a market for? If they don't run with this, then there seems to be little point with Cuusoo.

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By in Sweden,

Jack Sparrow was pretty much drunk for FOUR movies.

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By in United States,

First it has to be cleared by whoever owns the property of Shaun of the Dead, that can get sticky with movie properties. All the likenesses and names of the actors have to be cleared as well, and royalties will have to be sorted out. (As much as I'd like to see the BTTF sets succeed on Cuusoo, they will have the same issue)

Second, I don't think TLG will have an issue marketing this as an "adults only" set if it is sold through a partner site, like the Minecraft sets are doing initially. I don't think there's necessarily anything there that's too offensive other than it's based off an R-rated movie which LEGO hasn't done before, but you know that if they put this on the LEGO site some negative nancy soccermom is going to go up in arms about it.

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By in United States,

This presents an issue with the Wild West set, too, then - the most wanted of the included buildings in the recent poll is the saloon. :-/

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By in United States,

Regarding alcohol: LEGO sold a corkscrew and bottle opener with a recommended age of 21+, if I recall correctly:
http://www.brickset.com/detail/?set=EL715-1
The shop.LEGO.com description also says, "Please note: This item is not a toy and is intended for adult fans only."

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By in United Kingdom,

I can see all the points you guys are making (Lego has made zombies etc, and shown alcohol usage), but all the same, I hope they exercise their 'veto power', so to speak. Most of the other high-rated (as in PG-13 or higher) licenses they have got have had a history of being family movies or have books or something behind them (though I struggle to excuse PotC or PoP).

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By in United States,

Personally, I hope that Lego will not release this set. My reasoning is this:

I have seen Shaun of the Dead. Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, and would definitely watch it again. The characters are hilarious, and the whole concept is actually quite funny.

I don't feel that Shaun of the Dead is the worst movie out there. But my problem is, if this set gets released, then what will that open the door for? What other types of R rated movies will be allowed to be made into Lego sets?

If the pub from Shaun of the Dead can be made into a Lego set, then why can't we have a Camp Crystal Lake in Lego form, complete with Jason and several campers for him to dispatch? They're both cult movies, and I can guarantee if they make a lego Friday the 13th set, they'll get 10,000 votes in a matter of a few hours.

And if Friday the 13th can be made, why can't they make Lego Nightmare on Elm Street also? I mean, after all, Freddy is fictional, just like zombies, and the violence/language in that movie is milder than that in Shaun of the Dead.

Before long, instead of little children playing with Lego Spongebob, they'll be playing with Lego SAW traps. And instead of little kids playing Lego Woody and Buzz rescuing the toys from Lotso, they'll be playing Lego Michael Myers attacking innocent teenagers with a butcher knife.

That's why I personally don't want them to release it. I mean, yeah, I would personally LOVE to have a Lego Predator, Lego Alien, Lego Shaun of the Dead, heck, even a Lego Freddy. But if they can release one set off of an 'R' rated movie, then why can't they do other 'R' rated movies? Before long, Lego will have changed from a kid oriented toy to an adult collector's item. And IMO, I don't believe that that's what the Lego company wants to be. At least, I hope that's not what they want to be.

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By in Malaysia,

I can foresee TLG might be stuck in a damned if you do, damned if you don't kinda situation. If they decide to go ahead into production, there might be a breach of TLG's policy, and possibility of complaints from the public. If they decide not to release the set, there will be backlash from the AFOL community itself, may even have to shelf the Cuusoo project if not review it's rules to include some sort of filtering and censoring, which they'd have to be very, very specific then to avoid a similar situation.

But, considering TLG carefully mentioned that they'll review the case and explicitly saying that there's no guarantee of production in their congratulatory email to the winner, my gut feeling tells me they most likely won't....

btw this is just my own thoughts mmkay ;)

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By in United States,

The whole violence and zombie thing is easily accomplished; if they can do Harry Potter, they can do this; however, the drinking thing is a big issue, one that should be taken SERIOUSLY heavily.

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By in United Kingdom,

I've got a bright idea: Put an age rating on it! Also The old republic is a 15 and if you remember the force unleashed minifig, Starkiller, had blood splattered across his torso. Lego needs to make this set, it would bring in new fans to the community, make a considerable profit and show that they pay attention to the fans. Also, they don't have to have limbless, gory figures everywhere just make them a little more suitable like the zombie in CM series 1. Plus they could make it part of a "cuusoo" modular street or something that contained a whole load pop culture building. T don't know about you guys but that might be quite cool? Anyway, if lego don't commission this set, I know, they will lose a lot of support on the project as the film has a huge cult following therefore there will be a massive "back-lash" if the project is just "tossed aside".

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By in United Kingdom,

Hmmm, I would quite like this set even though I have never seen the movie. It might be quite nice as a modular building. Plus the interior is excellent!

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By in United States,

grelb32, that's a slippery slope argument the likes of which I've never seen. Sure, the possibility exists for another horror-themed set to come into fruition and get enough votes. But you also need to remember that the original model was posted up at the beginning of the year and was crawling along, even with Simon Pegg tweeting about it. It wasn't until an announcement about it on a fully-national television show that it jumped up in numbers and quickly got the number.

In essence, yes the same thing can happen with another horror theme- or any other theme for that matter. It could be just as easy for a Saw set to appear as a Hangover or Showgirls theme at that point, but the possibility of those actually getting this far remains very slim.

As for the set itself, everything I would say has already been said quite a bit. Zombies and drinking were both featured in last year's On Stranger Tides sets. Hell, even Cannibalism got a shout-out in the sure-to-incite-mother-anger named Cannibal Escape. I think Lego has gotten away with quite a bit over the course of their licensing agreements. Some of the Harry Potter sets dealt with other non kid-friendly themes (Graveyard Duel and resurrection/murder, Dobby's Release and enslavement) so in making a Direct To Consumer set with themes already touched upon in wide-release sets shouldn't be any issue for them.

I think the main hesitation would come from the actual licensing itself. Surely Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, having supported it already, would give the go-ahead. I'm sure Edgar Wright would be on board as well. It's the distributor that I think they would have the most problems with.

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By in United States,

Here's what I'm thinking: if LEGO makes one theme based on something aimed more towards adults, are parents going to think, "Oh nope, LEGO made a set off of an R-rated movie, no more LEGOs for little Timmy"? I don't believe so.

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By in United Kingdom,

@kenhew, you've used a phrase I should have in the article, I think you are right: 'damned if they do, damned if they don't'.

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By in Canada,

A lot of this discussion seems to focus on children but ignore the very large adult market for Lego. It's a growing market, and Lego and has been catering to it more and more every year. The company will certainly sanitize the theme somewhat (as it does with all licenses), but that said, it would still be a product for older teens and adults, with a price point of at least $150. And it will likely be an online exclusive, far removed from bustling toy stores filled with impressionable children.

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By in United States,

I'm curious if they might take a middle path here: make a modular building based off this design, but marketed as, say, a restaurant instead of a pub, and with no obvious tie to the movie. Perhaps they could include minifigures evocative of the characters in the movie, or add other small details that would allude to the movie. For those of us in the know, we'll see it for what it is. For those who don't, it could just be a nice modular set to go with the other modulars. I am skeptical that LEGO will market a set tied to Shaun of the Dead, despite the arguments above; I just think Shaun is a step above PotC and HP in regards to the "mature themes" that lead to a stricter movie rating.

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By in Canada,

^ That's definitely the middleground, but with Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg cheerleading this set, a look-alike without proper licensing would certainly invite a copyright infringement lawsuit.

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By in United States,

The Captain's Cabin POTC set had wine bottles albeit with ships inside!

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By in United Kingdom,

^ yes, but like guns, they are only used in historical or fantasy themes. We never see the baddies in City police sets brandshing firearms, do we, or swigging from bottles.

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By in United States,

I'm more irked by the manner in which this got to 10k. The problem is that it got there because of publicity. Had Pegg not mentioned it on TV, it (probably) never would have gotten to 10k.

There's no easy solution to such a fan-based thing, I'm just sad to see this one surge to the front because of publicity when there are many other worthy models that won't ever get to 10k unless someone mentions them on a TV show.

PS: Yes it'd be a cool set and yes I liked SotD, but there's no way Lego will t produce it, because so many of the features regarding it are on the "edge" to them.

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By in United Kingdom,

I honestly don't care seeing as I will probally not buy it. (not because I don't like it but because it will be probally expensive.) but there probally will be backlash if they do release it or if they don't.

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By in United States,

I think the simple fact that this movie is an R rated movie will doom this project. What is the point of making a product that the majority of your fanbase won't (at least theoretically) even see? Even though this is a limited release, you also risk alienating a lot of self-righteous parents who would be upset that Lego is producing sets with such adult subject matter. On this point, it's just how much risk Lego wants to take. Oh, and for everyone who thinks that there won't be any parents upset out there, you have obviously not been paying attention to the news and seeing what sets religious fundamentalists off.

On the other hand, I doubt that not making this set alienates Lego fans and shelves the Cuusoo project. From the beginning, Lego said that winning designs might not get made.

As Tensor said, I'm not even sure that this set reaches 10,000 votes if Pegg doesn't promote it on TV. That being said, how many of those "supporters" are even going to buy this set. Especially if it's made the way the picture shows. With all of those bricks it's going to cost A LOT!

I doubt this set gets made.

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By in United States,

Is this why we haven't gotten a proper Mos Eisley Cantina? They didn't want to include a bar/bartender?
This whole thing reminds me of an interview I was watching before the Lego Pirates of the Carribean Video Game came out. The interviewer asked 'So, what is it that Lego Pirates drink?' and the Lego representative quickly said 'Ah.. Root Beer' and gave a nervous laugh.
Quite frankly I don't think its the subject matter, but the rating. If it included all the same stuff but was rated PG-13, I think they would do it. I'm hoping they make this set, but then put a restriction on Cuusoo that says Themes/Franchises must be suitable for all ages.

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By in United States,

I don't know about Lego NOT wanting to be associated with alchohol. Medieval Market and Guarded Inn featured a pub. The day Lego introduced weapons is the day they associated themselves with violence. The "Alien Conquest" theme is basically the same as if zombies took over the world. The fact that Lego made a Zombie minifigure should be enough to warrant the production of this set.

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By in Canada,

Just sayin', the modular western buildings CUUSOO project that Brickset has been toting prominently features a saloon. If it is a problem here, it's a problem there, too.

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By in United Kingdom,

If i recall correctly:

SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT

This is the scene where (redacted) has to (redacted) to (redacted) in the (redacted) with a (redacted)...

It does not take a genius to predict that LEGO will not only refuse to make this set, and neither should they, but they will likely now also reconsider their position on even listening to fans ideas at all.

The cuusoo project is for people to get LEGO's attention, to have an idea considered, and the LEGO group will consider it, and the answer in THIS case after consideration will be NO, as it is not in-keeping with their family friendly ethos.

People creating cuusoo projects should start using their intelligence, and consider first if something is even likely to be made by LEGO at all, before putting it forward. Does anyone think LEGO will publish the Karma Sutra? (Oh but they've already done men and women, and wedding sets!) Obviously not.

As much as adults find the film funny (myself included), it is not for children. But Lego is a children's toy, enjoyed by ALL ages. And i don't think anyone wants LEGO to become an adults collectable.

Also, it is not a simple case of they've done a zombie, or they've done violence, because any mature and intelligent adult KNOWS the distinction between comedy and tragedy, play-acting and reality.

The distinction for lego is this:
Simulated or 'Cartoon' violence (such as stormtrooper being shot by blaster, Batman beating up crook, Pirate sword fights) are legit childhood adventure games. This kind of thing is 'stage' fighting, and obviously to anyone watching, not real.

Whereas modern day or realistic (re: blood and guts, people actually die) mature violence is not child-friendly, as it is shocking, disturbing, and is generally meant to be viewed as real.

There is a difference, and people should stop pretending there isn't just to get something made - same with pubs vs saloons vs taverns. Modern drinking culture and louts fighting in the street is not a game, whereas pirates wobbling drunkenly down the jetty is kid-funny, cowboys hiccupping and falling into the street, pointing their pistols in all directions is kid-funny.

LEGO does cartoon stage battles between pirates, super heroes, cops & robbers, space warriors etc. They don't do real physical violence with serious real-world consequences.

Come on people, are we really all so stupid that we can't tell the difference anymore of what is child appropriate and what isn't?

Secondly:
Did LEGO fans really vote for this? Or was it 'bumped' by a lot of votes from movie fans and tv-watchers who thought it would be a laugh after seeing the simon pegg interview, and who will have no real intention of buying this or any other lego set for the rest of their lives.

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By in Australia,

@bigw1974:

That is quite possibly the best way of summarising any movie ever, and I'm pretty sure I now have to see it. Thanks! ^^

Also this is possibly one of the most interesting debates I've seen in pretty much any fandom. The better parts of the conversation, anyway.

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By in United States,

@defirion: I understand your point in what you're saying, and I do agree--those themes probably wouldn't get votes as fast as I stated (within hours, to quote myself). I was more writing in hyperbole to communicate my point, which was this: Where will Lego draw the line? I know for a FACT that Lego will never make a SAW set, I know that we'll never get a Lego Freddy or Jason, or even Allen from the Hangover. But where will that line be drawn? Should it be drawn at ALL 'R' rated movies, or only the more adult ones? Also, what constitutes ADULT themes? Graphic violence? Because if so, then Shaun of the Dead is DEFINITELY an adult film. What about language? Again, that film had ALOT of strong language and would therefore be considered an adult film. And if those things don't constitute an adult film, then what does?

I personally liked @legomatt's statement, which cleverly stated the difference between items that were child friendly and not child friendly. And that's what my original comment intended to ask. What is the line that Lego will draw between a movie that's harder edged but still child friendly (like Pirates of the Caribbean or Prince of Persia) and a movie that's harder edged and NOT child friendly (Dark Knight, Shaun of the Dead, etc.).

I hope that clears up any confusion...

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By in United Kingdom,

@Dlakii
I'm soooo sorry.

Oops, i completely overlooked the spoiler potential of my previous post, which has now been edited by me. Apologies to those who did not want to know what I wrote, having not seen the movie.

And also apologies to those who now WANT to see what i wrote, regardless of seeing or not. (it was kinda' amusing as a summary). LOL.

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By in United States,

I'm just tired of all the tie-ins with movies. I much prefer the unique themes (friends, city, modular buildings, creator houses, Technic, Mindstorms, trains, etc). I'm not going to complain if they make this set, but I won't be getting it. In my opinion it will not fit in with the other modulars.

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By in United States,

This is an interesting case for us fans to follow, as it will show us to an extent where Lego is going to set their boundaries. They are probably going to try their hardest to make it, it would not be good for CUUSOO or for the perception of Lego by the 10,007 fans that voted if they decided it won't be done. The model itself is quite innocent, and as presented by the creator, without violence. In any case there are probably very few of us who really know what Lego will do in this case, that's up to their executives.

To those of you using the movie rating as a criteria, remember that Lego is a Danish company, so American MPAA ratings probably have no bearing on their decisions. European movie ratings are generally more forgiving of language and sexuality, while being stricter about violence. Usually they are similar to those in the US, but there are some notorious exceptions, in this case I found that the rating for Shaun of the Dead in Denmark is 15, which is the same as for the extended cut of the Fellowship of the Ring (the theatrical cut is 11). Most likely Lego's internal criteria weigh much more heavily than the assessments of the movie ratings agencies anyways.

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By in United Kingdom,

The likelihood is that most people who voted for this aren't even lego fans - they are shaun of the dead fans who voted because simon pegg told them to. They wouldn't have done otherwise therefore the model still wouldn't have enough votes therefore this whole discussion wouldn't be happening.
I think that even if LEGO did make this model, not enough would be sold because thousands of the people who voted after simon pegg told them to would probably not buy it.
And I agree with namekuji - theres nothing special about the model - its pretty plain and ugly and certainly doesn't compare to the modulars.

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By in United Kingdom,

I think cuusoo's recent comment on the 29 of March might throw some light on which direction this might be going...

http://legocuusoo.posterous.com/approval-process-for-new-projects-on-lego-cuu

"Dear LEGO CUUSOO Users,

Today we introduce an approval process for new projects, similar to how the Apple App Store handles new app submissions. Our team will check for adherence to the Guidelines and House Rules. We do this so that we can maintain a healthy community by only allowing appropriate projects from the start.

We’ll check for plagiarism, too, but can’t guarantee we’ll catch every instance. You will still be able to report projects that aren’t based on original work, and if we confirm a project uses someone else’s work, we will remove it.

Once we examine your new project, we’ll either approve and publish it, or let you know the reason it was not approved so you can edit it and submit again. Please understand that by approving and publishing your project, our team is not endorsing your project as a product idea.

It’s our hope that adding this review step will provide a better experience than the old setup of allowing you to publish your project and then removing it later if it doesn’t follow the community standards.

Thank you again for using LEGO CUUSOO and best of luck with your projects!

The LEGO CUUSOO Team"

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By in United States,

Ha.. what a debate…
I just want to clarify some of my motives.
I never did this to corner LEGO in a difficult situation. When I posted this on CUUSOO back in January I almost immediately took contact via email with the CUUSOO rep to get a pulse of how they felt about it. Their message has been pretty much the same all along – no guarantees, but go ahead. So I did, and I got (very) lucky.
I was discussing the matter with a friend and this came out: “"No point in making the project phase only for adults if they're going to apply the kid filter on the product stage." – That’s a pretty good point IMO.
I consider myself a true LEGO fan, always have been. My creations simply grew up with me, I am a fan of the zombie genre and sub-culture associated with it so I mixed my passions. I know very well that it’s on the edge but I tried to do it with taste. In my opinion CUUSOO is a platform to pitch for new ideas and catch the new trends. So yeah, it’s different than what LEGO usually does but it’s the point. Explore new territories, not do the things as LEGO would, they do that very well on their own!
So.. will it happen? I don’t know, I sure hope so.
If anything, this story made a lot of people happy - the momentum was full of positive energy and it probably brought back into the hobby a few if not a lot of people who had forgotten how fun and entertaining LEGO can be and that’s already an accomplishment.

If anyone wants to contact me I’m on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/yatkuu/
...and I’ll keep posting updates on the project on this blog: http://www.makethewinchester.com/

To the WINCHESTER!

PS: for the ones that do not like the build – fair enough, that’s your right and I respect that. I’ll only mention that I tried to replicate an existing building, not turn it into something it Is not. Maybe it does not appeal to you, please respect that it may appeal to others, thank you!

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By in Belgium,

What a lot of argumenting for a rather straightforward Lego build... both from pro and cons...
But realy, I dont get why everybody is so excited about it

I dont understand the arguments of those that say Lego shouldnt build it because of the rating of movie.. or even the language they use in the movie... up till now I didnt hear any of my minifigs actualy talk..
And yes, there is violence in the movie, but not that much in the representation here..
So children could use this set and minifigs and react the more bloody scenes? And???
Remember e.g. the scene with the giant ants in the last Indiana Jones movie? My children still close their eyes when Dovchenko gets eaten by them... (and NO, that isnt a cartoony scene). Nevertheles Lego did produce sets, including jungle settings, the poor russian cornel and some ants.. Dovchenko can be eaten over and over again if children would like to... Where did Lego draw the line on this one?

I did see the movie SotD, so I know what the build refers to... but if I hadn't, I just would see here a modular type of building... another take on a cafe corner. ( btw: I wouldnt be surprised if in the cafe corner they serve alcohol too, and lets even not mention the adult activities that could take place in the hotelrooms above it..)

So, no... not building it because of the rating or the nature of the movie it is based on, would be a bit hypocritical in my opinion..
What probably will be a reason for not producing it, and a valid one, are licence rights...
I guess that in order to recuperate your licence fee, you need to have a rather big volume of sets being sold...
Which I dont see as beeing realistic, given the size of the set... due to their price tag, modular buildings are rather for a limited public.
I personally would not buy it for this same reason... besides I prefer to build my big houses myself.. with the bricks I have at hand...

For me the only raison d etre for this set would be its minifigs.. its seems to me that, in general, there is a good demand for zombies... (see e.g. giving the prices on the secondary market for the series 1 CM zombie... the zombie themed builds on Lego events etc..)

So, in this case, I think the wisest thing Lego could do with the outcome of this CUUSO poll is: not building it, but in order to not turn away fans of the CUUSO project, marketing wise not neglecting it neither.
Refer to the fact that there are already new zombies comming out in the monster fighter line... eventualy even produce some zombie battle packs as an ad-on to that product line. (one can only hope ;-) )

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By in United Kingdom,

@andhe, thanks for that, interesting that that was posted just days before the Winchester hit the big time, isn't it.

@yatkuu, thanks for your input. If nothing else this issue will help define the boundaries of what is and isn't acceptable at Cuusoo. Personally I am a fan of the movie and think your model is great. I do hope that it gets made but, as I think I said when we started pushing the Western model, I don't think it will be found to be acceptable. I'll happily be proved wrong though!

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By in United States,

^^ "up till now I didnt hear any of my minifigs actualy talk.." dude , you made my day!
Lots of good points in your post, thank you!
Just y own 2 cents on the IP licensing question. This movie ain’t the LOTR or Star wars it’s 8 years old and despite its huge fan base it is pretty much back catalog. Apart from doing re-edition of the DVD, BR what could they possibly expect to still make out of this? I think that any person with a bit of commercial sense could see the potential to make a profit out of something nobody was really counting on. In my opinion, from a commercial stand point it can only be a “win” for the IP owners (pun intended).
On the same topic, so far I did not get any direct contact with Pegg, Wright or anyone behind the production of the movie but I would just like to mention what Simon Pegg said on his twitter:
“By the way, if by some miracle the Shaun Lego did go into production, me and Edgar do not stand to gain anything. We have no stake in merch. »
« By that I mean, there is no ulterior motive other than the sheer coolness of it. It ain't the Benjamins, it's the bricks. »

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By in United Kingdom,

Yet again a demonstration of what a farce Cuusoo's voting system is. A bunch of fans of some phenomenon who have never bought a LEGO set and have no intention of doing so can, on a whim, walk in and overrun the selection system then wander off and forget about it, whereas LEGO fans who actually design and would buy these things are left behind.

I've suggested that they could rank votes according to the purchasing or other known history of users, but they don't even link Cuusoo users to LEGO.com accounts. They can't even let you use the same sign-up you use for submitting models on Cuusoo for making comments in the discussions on Cuusoo.

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By in United Kingdom,

Firstly respect to @Yatkuu, this was one of the first things I voted for when I joined Cuusoo some time back.

I actually see this as a potential watershed in LEGO's development of AFOL product lines that take it beyond the likes of the Modular houses. If this gets a green light then it opens the doors for all sorts of 'Adult' themed LEGO and by that I mean the likes of more realistic 'Aliens' sets. So forget the Little Green Men from Toy Story and the ADU and think Ridley Scott and James Cameron.

However to do this I can see they might have to open up a parallel sales channel just to fulfill these items. A separate LEGO online storefront just carrying these 'adult' sets with appropriate branding and perhaps allow high street retail only through the likes of Forbidden Planet stores, rather than regular LEGO outlets, might work to project the core brand values.

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By in United Kingdom,

"Apart from doing re-edition of the DVD, BR what could they possibly expect to still make out of this? I think that any person with a bit of commercial sense could see the potential to make a profit out of something nobody was really counting on"

Generally speaking, you could apply that logic to any film and thus ask yourself what makes Shaun of the Dead unique/original as compared to other films, and what attributes warrant it a Lego product? In my opinion, none. Some of the older members and Lego fans are obviously going to have a better knowledge of movies in general, but I just can't see why Shaun of the Dead is such a 'cool' or awesome project.

As I said earlier, the majority of comments and 'fans' are younger individuals who are obviously over excited by a zombie film and don't have as good a knowledge of movie history as older fans. This isn't an 'attack', it's just a simple fact.

Therefore, asking "what could they possibly expect to still make out of this?" only reiterates the limited appeal of the movie itself. It doesn't have the same cultural integration that, say, the Star Wars saga, Indiana Jones saga, 'Pirates O.T.C' or more have.

In addition, the market that Cuusoo aims for is limited to their website, which suggests that the only way potential customers would know about the product or wish to purchase it is if they're aware of Cuusoo in the first place. That is why the previous 'winning' Cuusoo projects work - because they have a limited appeal, but that demand can be managed without licensing.

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By in United Kingdom,

now not that it might make a single bit to lego but they could put the 16+ age guidence like on the bigger models, although that would have to be one hell of good build and be truely expensive like the modular buildings.

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By in United Kingdom,

"...they could put the 16+ age guidence like on the bigger models"

Those ratings are for the ease of building the model and the quantity/size of the bricks - not what the themes connote.

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By in United States,

I just wanted to throw in another idea with regards to the commercial feasibility of this project.

Maybe it is my own perception that is biased but it feels to me that these days Zombies are everywhere. I mean, look at the audience figures of “The Walking dead”, all these books that are released, even the big studios are taking an interest in it cfr. the upcoming adaptation of “World War Z” by Paramount with Brad Pitt (112Million $ budget)… it is no longer a sub genre it is mainstream.

Now ask yourself these 2 questions:
A) What company in his right mind and in these times of fragile economy wouldn’t want to have a piece of such an expanding market?
B) How could LEGO possibly take a stab at that market without putting their image at risk? The Walking Dead playsets? Not a chance. World War Z board game? Try again.

Shaun of the Dead is regarded as a classic by all the fans of the genre and has most of the elements that are making the zombie movies popular - but it is doing it from a comedy stand point. That is IMO the only way LEGO could ever tackle the theme.

The popularity of the set would of course depend on the price tag but I am convinced there is a market for it.

Another hint? The Zombie Collector Minifig is one of the highest rated Collector MF on Bricklink. If someone is willing to pay 20$ for 1 MF, how much will he be ready to pay for the Winchester?

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By in United States,

Yawn... why the heck did this get 10,000 votes? Guess I've never seen the movie, but the model itself doesn't look all that interesting, much less incredible. It looks like a bunch of the collectible minifigs plus building. Guess I just don't get it... there are much more interesting models on Cuusoo and I've visited the site very little. Modular Western Town for example is so much more interesting...

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By in Canada,

I find it weird that there seem to be so many people who seem to be actively against a mature LEGO release. What exactly is it that LEGO represents to you that you find the idea of something targeted and marketed to YOU [instead of your kids] makes you freak out?

This set, should it be released, would never be mass-marketed. It would be an exclusive release, very limited in numbers, and very targeted in its marketing. It would not be featured in LEGO Club magazine. It would likely be available only online [and perhaps by special order through the store]. I mean, be realistic. Releasing this set would be a huge boon in showing that LEGO is aware of and is cool with the adult segment of their audience. 99.99% of their releases target the youth-friendly angle. I see absolutely no issue with having 0.01% that might not be kid-friendly.

Also, it's best for everyone to digest and get over the fact that anything released through CUUSOO will be licensed in some way. There's absolutely no way for something to get 10,000 votes without tapping into a non-LEGO fanbase. Lamenting that "non-LEGO fans picked this, ergo it's not good LEGO" is a really very dumb thing to be upset about, in my opinion.

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By in United States,

Has anyone been looking through google images come across the full sized naked lady sculptures made out of lego bricks in suggestive poses?
If someone posted those on Cuusoo and they got to 10000 would anyone expect lego to make them?
1. They are adult themed so what is the problem if they just put a rating on the box?
2. There is a big pornography industry so there are a lot of potential customers that could come back to lego because of it. Would it bring people back to it?
3. Does anyone think that Lego should dive into making Rated R or even X movie licensing?
4. Would you feel let down because Lego didn't make everything that was submitted?

I know the comparison is a bit off but some of these arguments people are making for it are not taking into consideration the company making the product.
They just got a whole lot of grief over making a girls line. Can you imagine if they started making licensed products for rated R movies? Whats next southpark? Snakes on a plane? The godfather?
Should lego start making gangster lego sets if snoop dogg goes on tv and tells everyone to vote for a set which features gang rape, murder and graffiti?

Again I know this is pushing it well beyond the model shown but some of you act like there shouldn't be any boundaries at all to what Lego will make as long as its not in the lego catalog. This is what MOCing is for. If you want a SOTD set then make it.

I think in this case just making it a modular would not cut it. I think the fans of it would want the artwork on the box and for it to actually say "Shaun of the dead" on it.

All that being said I would certainly not be upset if they made the set and would probably get it for the pieces. I'm more asking if the people for it actually have any boundaries at all to what should be made by Lego.

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By in United States,

If they accept this idea then AFOL's will be inspired that maybe other adult themed Lego's will be produced. If Lego doesn't however, they will discourage AFOL's and Cuusoo might possibly begin to crumble. Because what is the point of entering a idea if Lego will never accept it?

On the matter of the film not being kid friendly. Whenever Lego makes a licensed theme they are marketing the movie itself. Indiana Jones, while violent, is widely considered a 'classic', and therefor the violence is somewhat toned down in the mind of parents. SotD however, while considered a classic by the zombie genre, may not appeal to parents. And you know what? That's all that matters. Yeah, it will have a limited release, but in that mindset almost anything becomes acceptable. Maybe next year a Modern Warfare Cuusoo project will get 100,000 votes, and people will argue that, "Lots of kids play that anyway." That doesn't matter, because it's not kid friendly, it's not widely accepted as a 'classic', and Lego is known for it's kid-freindly products. IMO it's not going to happen. And that goes for SotD (MW was just a metaphor of how far Lego will accept as OK)

Then again, Lego has surprised me in the past. In the end it's up to Lego on how they handle the matter.

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By in United Kingdom,

^ Its not an R rated movie - its a movie that got an R rating in the states. For example in the UK its rated 15 - thats only three years more than all the PotC films, most HP films, prince of perisa, the latest Indiana Jones, revenge of the sith and a couple of LotR films.

Batman returns is also a 15.

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By in United States,

While I personally might enjoy this set, Lego is the great company it is because it HAS standards and it sticks to them. Their kid-friendly values are one of the standards that makes Lego what it is. Plus, if they compromise here, it may be only a matter of time before they compromise on other things. Like using cheap Chinese plastic (wait- you say they already use Chinese plastic?).

I disagree that Lego is damned if they do and damned if they don't. Some of the greatest institutions in our country are those that stuck to their guns in the midst of popular criticism, and a lot of institutions that fail magnificently are those that compromise (think Fannie Mae?). Sure some people are going to criticize Lego if they don't make certain sets, but if you're not getting criticized from somewhere, you're not doing things right.

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By in United States,

^^ I would like to quote the first official feedback they gave to the project:

"Since Shaun of the Dead is a comedy, and you present your work in a humorous fashion, we believe this is within the realm of the LEGO company brand standards on violence. Note that the zombie theme does put this project at the edge of what we produce, however we recognize that the LEGO Group produces other products where themese of violence and death play a significant role."

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By in United States,

I'll just throw in that LEGO Universe, a non-licensed LEGO video game aimed at kids, had a pirate wine rack model, and thousands and thousands of zombies with exposed ribcages and everything from chainsaws to blades to miniature cannons and cutlasses bonded to their arms. Additionally, LEGOLAND (as in the video game from the early 2000s) had a Wild West Saloon building you could place. Just saying, both zombies and alcohol have been featured in LEGO games before as well, not just the sets mentioned before.

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By in Belgium,

@ Yatkuu ... exactly.
I was in my darkages still when Indiana Jones came out... just picking the sets up now.
But I wonder if the same kind of discusion raged when Lego presented those sets...
Weapons, new machine guns, soldiers... you name it...
One of the biggest sets of the line being : http://www.brickset.com/detail/?set=7199-1
Anybody who has seen the movie remembers what Mola Ram and the temple guards stand for?
... the presented violence certainly wasnt cartoony or comical...
For those who dont remember or havent seen that movie: human sacrifice and child slavery... now, where was TLG's morality when they sold that set??

One can of course argue that TLG dint produce the actual sacrifice scene.. or that the soldiers dont wear copies of wehrmacht uniforms...

but the same goes for your MOC: the movie might have a not for children rating in some countries, but what you presented is a building with zombie and zombie fighter minifigs in front of it...

of course, all this can serve to re-act a bloody scene, but so do the Lego Indiana soldiers and Mola Ram..

I can think of a lot of reasons why this CUUSO project could be rejected... but being it just on moral reasons, or not being according to Lego standards (not the quality standards, but the ideas it represents) would be hypocrite..

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By in United States,

At Greysmith: Your'e right, Lego has had alcohol in sets before, but they never made a big deal out of it. They didn't say, "this goblet must have wine in it." They left the content of the cup up to the imagination of the child.

Greysmith this is not for you. I have many dislikes for this set. Lego has made zombies before, but the one in the minifigure theme was not all bloody and gory. POTC had several, and I didn't like that either. It is not improper for Lego to reject this idea. I have never seen Shaun of the Dead, but I have heard that it's very much an adult movie. Lego said that zombies were on the edge of their standards, but this isn't just zombies. POTC was a younger aged movie (PG-13) while this is R-rated. Lego is a kid's toy, and should be themed to such. I can't explain why Lego will release themes that have questionable and violent content, but this would be a stupid move on Lego's part.

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By in United States,

At IAmWillGibson: IF Lego fudges in a limited way, such as here, they will fudge on their principles later when they will be massed released. If Lego takes this path, it will only end up in more and more rejection by families and kids, Lego's BIGGEST consumer group. Sure, adults want these sets, but who is Lego aiming towards? CHILDREN!!!!!!!

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By in United States,

At Yaktuu: That is fine if you like the zombie genre, and I think that it would be heart-breaking to not have Lego create your project. I don't think that this is in the best interest of Lego. You did get lucky, and I am glad that you got this opportunity, but this isn't for kids. Sorry, but I hope that it doesn't become a set.

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By in United Kingdom,

It may be a pub but the film doesn't focus on the alcohol side of things. I say GO FOR IT LEGO. Simon Pegg is a very well respected British comedian, who doesn't have to resort to using sex, drugs or rock'n'roll to get laughs. Or, certainly not in a direct vuglar manner. Not that there is anything wrong with vulgar per-say, but obviously products aimed at grown up children, and consequently the non grown up ones, have to have a more concise level of scrutiny.

Lego could self-regulate this set by giving it a PG rating. Then I will have to show the film to my 8 year old, so he has a point of reference when we build it together, as a family.

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By in Canada,

I really feel people should watch the movie before talking about the movie. But that's not intrinsic to this conversation.

And LEGO isn't aiming at children, it's aiming at the parents of children, who are actually spending the money. The cartoons and the Club magazine are aimed at the kids, yes, and this'd be a million miles from that. But shop.LEGO, the Lego store, those are aimed at the parents.

And I can't imagine a dad in a LEGO store who's kid is off looking at NINJAGO seeing this thing behind the glass and not getting a huge chuckle from it.

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By in France,

I am quite interested in this (hot) debate. I happen to have seen Shaun of the Dead recently. And I loved it. Probably as much, if not more, for its humor than for its "Zombieness". So, unsurprisingly, I also like Yatkuu’s project. And I join IAmWillGibson by begging those who haven’t seen the movie not to comment on it as if they had seen it. You know you don't judge a book by its cover, don’t you?

First I would like to react to what The BrickKeeper said. No, Lego is not ONLY aiming towards children. Lego is quite well aware of the AFOL community, and some existing sets are already targetted at adults rather than children (Modular buildings, Architecture sets, Large Scale Models, etc., though I have to admit most of these don’t have a specifically adult theme, often just a more adult building experience).

So, why do I think Lego should make the Winchester? Because I see no reason for them not to make it. A lot of comments here have already demonstrated that there is nothing unusual in the content of this project. Alcohol, zombies, guns, etc. all have precedents in Lego. And in my opinion, many adamant detractors of the project forget that the reason for making the set or not should not be about its inspiration, but about the set itself (which, I repeat, has nothing wrong regarding its content, as already shown). My point is similar to the one Corellian Engineering and several others already made, but I wanted to try and develop it a little. A lot of people here are basically saying "omg Shaun of the dead is a violent adult movie so Lego shall not make this set". Stop please! I repeat: this is not about the inspiration, this is about the set (which is perfectly ok). You need proof? Let me just give you one example for each of several inspirations of previous Lego themes. Star Wars? Anakin cold-bloodedly kills young Padawans. Indiana Jones? Human sacrifice. Pirates of the Caribbean? Cannibals. Pirates ? Castle ? Killings and rapes were quite common back in these days.

Despite this, Lego made and still make sets having these inspirations. Why? Because the sets they produce are ok: there is nothing shocking or disturbing in them. The disturbing part is not actually depicted in the sets. That doesn’t mean it is not there, underlying, left behind for you to imagine it and to recreate it if you want to. Lego achieves to make originally “disturbing” themes look cool and funny with plastic bricks and minifigs in order to sell them to kids and parents with a family-friendly image. (I am not saying this is insidiously wrong, I am just observing. And by the way, this is similar to what the movie Shaun of the Dead does, when making a comedy out of a “horror film”). So apart from the content of the set, the rest is all a matter of presentation, packaging and marketing, for which Lego is apparently quite skilled (and many ideas have been given on these subjects already). Let’s just hope Lego will consider it this way, too.

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By in United States,

I've never seen the movie. I'd still buy the set, though... and I don't see what all the uproar is about. A bunch of Zombie minifigs (Lego already makes them); a modular building; a bar (again, Lego already made one). If people don't like the asociation with the movie, just make a similar looking set and call it "Zombie Apocalype". It's fantasy violence/horror, and again LEGO ALREADY MAKES THAT! Saves the integrity of Cuusoo, but also prevents kids seeking out an R-rated movie!

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By in United States,

This really is an interesting situation. I wonder if Lego could somehow take a kind of middle road by providing print or PDF instructions for the build, complete with a parts list, but leave it up to the builder to acquire the pieces via PAB or such? So therefore it is not an official set per se, but more of an Authorized MOC. Make it the equivalent of buying a dress pattern instead of the actual dress. If they wanted, Lego could throw in a discount code for PAB so it would be like buying the set, without the whole OMG LEGO MADE A HORROR MOVIE SET OH NOES stigma.

Clearly, it would be just for adult builders or fans of the movie, people willing to buy their bricks to make the build, with a nice movie-logo-emblazoned instruction booklet. Maybe include in the instruction book a sticker for a brick to be used as a sign or name card for the set, so you get a touch of that "official movie tie-in" feeling.

Honestly, I'd like to see that for a lot of the Cusoo sets. Maybe then they could dial back the number of votes needed for production.

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By in United States,

Did anyone read my my comment? (Which is ^^^^, by the way)....

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By in Canada,

@ Roxketman Xtreme: Cuusoo adding a review step makes a lot of sense and would streamline their site in a lot of ways. Many of the issues mentioned in this thread might not be as big of problems. However, that doesn't necessarily mean that this set won't be made, it just means that similar sets may not be made.

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By in United States,

^ I realized that before, but what do ya think its pointing to? No SOTD or no other sets like it, I agree with you, but it was my opinion.... :S

PS I'm 12, don't take me seriously!

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By in United States,

^there will be no final answer untill after Easter. That change in cussoo is being used in order to spot check future approved sets. This dosen't mean that this is denying the SOTD project.

PS I could kinda tell you were 12, but dont let that justify your actions.

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By in United States,

I was joking, and oops, I'm eleven! (gonna be twelve later this year) So it was a joke,I thought someone would say what you said (a bit differently in my mind of course)

PS that is a awesome idea alorian!

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