Cuusoo news

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It's been a relatively quiet week over at Cuusoo. The projects in our Cuusoo Corner are gradually gaining support but it doesn't look as if any of them will reach the target of 10,000 any time soon.

However it does look as if the Star Wars dark bucket will do so fairly soon, although I think we can be certain that, in its current form, it will be rejected for the reasons LEGO has stated in the project's comments.

The Ghost In The Shell project (those cool Technic walkers) has now dropped references to the movie/cartoon and has rebranded itself ARAKN3. I think this is a sensible move given the nature of the IP, although the machines are now not quite as attractive as they were.

The Cuusoo team has published the second of three blog posts which detail the process behind the quarterly review. This goes into some depth and what's particularly pleasing about it is that is demonstrates a very high level of transparency for the whole Cuusoo process. This should mean that when projects are rejected, the reasons are clear and lessons learnt can be applied to future submissions.

Something that's becoming very apparent is that it's not enough just to put a project on Cuusoo and expect people to find and support it. It really is up to submitters to promote it every way they can, and not just in AFOL circles. Cuusoo Corner is helping to an extent, but not enough to take it to 10,000. This is probably why projects based on an intellectual property that has a fanbase on the Internet are so much more successful: there's a ready supply of fans to tap into. The trick is to choose an IP that is 'LEGO friendly'.

Finally, thanks to everyone who has emailed with suggestions for Cuusoo Corner. I am reading and filing them all, but I've received so many requests that I haven't been able to reply to them all, or add them to the Corner just yet.

Update 23rd May: The ARAKN3 project has been archived today. Find out why in the official LEGO comments. LEGO's explanation seems fair to me.

31 comments on this article

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By in United States,

"This is probably why projects based on an intellectual property that has a fanbase on the Internet are so much more successful: there's a ready supply of fans to tap into."

BRONIES! MY LITTLE PONY!

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By in France,

I think Lego needs to be careful in its comments. They (almost) contradict themselves twice in the bucket of stormtroopers comments.

Initial comments (500): Since Star Wars is licensed to us by Lucas, they will have to be on board with such a product, and we'll take that up with them if this reaches 10,000. A bucket of 100 minifigs would cost around $3-400, but we don't think LEGO Star Wars fans would have a problem paying that. ;-)

Later comments (5000): ... since we have the construction toy license and not the action figure license for Star Wars, it will not be possible to release a set consisting solely of minifigures. Also, since a collection of 100 minifgures would be quite expensive and limit the set's market potential, we think it's best to focus on smaller collections of figs.

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By in United Kingdom,

I don't think they've really contradicted themselves. The initial comment is just unresearched enthusiastic encouragement. For the second comment they went away and did some research, and the outcome of that was the two major problems they describe (no license, too expensive).

Either way I think the chances of Lego making the Dark Bucket is approximately zero. I don't know anyone who would actually pay £200 for 99 Stormtroopers.

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By in United Kingdom,

^To be fair, I think later versions are further diversified - Scout troopers, sand troopers, etc.

I Still wouldn't cough up for it though although there are enough rabid SW fans who might, and they still won't make it without a buildable component or two.

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By in United States,

It seems that Haru, the creator of the Dark Bucket project, has been unresponsive for a while. LEGO even said they know they will not be able to make it as it is, and Haru hasn't done anything about it.

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By in United States,

I am truly baffled by people saying that the Dark Bucket is the best thing on Cuusoo.

I have an idea, let's put 300 Hogwarts Minifigs together so we can populate Hogwarts Castle.

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By in United States,

^ yeah, it's really quite telling. This of course is the problem with "mob voting" - you tend to have a lot of unrealistic and silly people dominating the voting.

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By in United States,

@UtarEmpire - It's not necessarily the "best" thing on Cuusoo, but anything with the most votes becomes self-perpetuating. It's the first project people see on the Cuusoo home page, so naturally, more people will support it. Plus, everyone wants to support a "winner" and help push it over the finish line. Just look at the modular Western town. It took months to get 5,000 votes, but it got its last 3,000 in a couple of weeks.

Besides, if you look at the Dark Bucket comments, a lot of people are just voting for it blindly without even realizing that Lego's already said it can't happen. I'll be glad once it reaches 10,000 just so it'll finally disappear. Same with My Little Pony. It's not that I have anything against those projects, but when it's clear the thing is DOA for licensing or other reasons, it's a waste of Cuusoo space.

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By in United States,

Lego is being really clear with their expectations in a Cuusoo project, which I really appreciate. They seemed to have thought through the whole process and seem to make a long term investment in money and effort to make Cuusoo successful.

The one thing I wonder is to what extent is Lego willing to modify a product in order to make it a viable product?

I guess we might find out with the Dark Bucket, where the 99 stormtroopers is a completely unrealistic proposal based on what Lego has said and what we already know about Lego's Star Wars license. The project can be modified into less expensive project with a buildable structure and say 15-20 stormtroopers, which there would be no reason to reject. It really just depends on Lego's willingness to make the modifications and the supporters willingness to accept the changes. In any case communication would be very important.

In any case Cuusoo is an important platform for us fans in that we have significant input in what Lego creates, and Brickset's contribution in mobilizing the lego community though initiatives like the Cuusoo Corner is invaluable as a tool for all of us to pass projects that are worthwhile and interesting.

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By in United States,

So...is Back to the Future out then?

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By in United States,

The best projects on Cusoo are the obscure ones.I have found magnificent projets.They are:"Piano","The Glory of Rome","Pipe Organ",and "Scorpion's Soul Pirate Ship".These projects need to be added to Cusoo corner.

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By in Portugal,

LegoC10: Searching for "back to the future", it says it is "In Review".

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By in United Kingdom,

The arkan thing is ugly now. i wont vote for it anymore, nor the dark bucket, and im still hoping the pony theme never reaches 10000. if it does, it better be denied. hope marines and the exo suit reach the top, and if they do, dont modify it like the minecraft project.

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By in United States,

@Konstantin - The piano is in the Cuusoo Corner.

I wish the Space Marines theme actually showed more of the proposed sets. So far, we've only got a couple tanks and a couple fighters, along with a thousand fanfic comments.

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By in Portugal,

Regarding the ARAKN3, I'd like to know what is TLG's opinion on the change of name and appearance. It has already passed 5000 supporters but still didn't receive the 5K congratulatory message.

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By in Australia,

There are some great projects there I never would have come across if they weren't highlighted here. I'm hoping the British Birds project gets up. Although the birds are all British I think they have worldwide appeal to nature and Lego lovers.

I also liked the greater transparency from TLG regarding the Cuusoo process where they're very clear that a project needs to make good business sense. Although I'm curious as to how they use the supporter data on price and quantity that they'd buy of a set. If most people said they'd only pay $40 for the modular western set it would become a set I am no longer interested in because I love it for the complexity and detail. However, they did say they look at the demographics of the supporters as well and I get the feeling that TLG realises people in my demographic are much more likely to spend big $s on a Lego set than a teenager with limited income would.

Thanks again for bringing some great projects to my attention.

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By in United States,

Wow, the Tachikoma to Arakne switch, which was a bold but obviously necessary move in my opinion, has really polarized people based on the comments section. It will be very interesting to see how LEGO handles that. Do they want to encourage or discourage preemptive abandonment of impossible licenses in this fashion? Hard to know.

Anyway, the second statement was excellent, very clear and open, and I applaud them for it. They also confirmed that exclusivity issues are present in the licensing issues, which we all suspected, and that may torpedo a lot of licensed ideas that don't seem problematic in terms of appropriateness, etc.

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By in United States,

My thoughts as of now:

Star Wars minifig set: I've been thinking 12-15 minifigures and the same number of small (35-45 piece) landspeeders for wach, but all with a different build. And Darth get a bigger (70-80 piece) vehicle. In that case, it would be no more than about $90.

MLP:FiM: Even if rejected, Hasbro is very likely to make them as Kreos, given the huge fanbase.

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By in Portugal,

Oh bummer, the ARAKN3 project was removed... While I'm sad about it, the explanation TLG gave makes sense.
Since it's no longer on the CUUSOO front page, you can find it here: http://lego.cuusoo.com/ideas/view/13519

I hope Mahj re-submits the project; and, if so, I'll support it again!

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By in United States,

I really appreciate that Lego is making sure guidelines for Cuusoo are clear. I think it will help guide builders in how they can make their model best suited for Cuusoo (Like making the model ARAKN3 beforehand)

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By in United States,

Wow, that was some message on the Aarakn3 entry. Lego has to be one of the nicest, most transparent companies you'll ever come across. Removing the entry ultimately was the right decision.

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By in United States,

Its sad to see licensed projects such as the My Little Pony and the Dark Bucket (which are terrible in my opinion) get so many supporters when other non licensed projects are pushed to the back of the sight. Now I understand there is a fan base for licensed projects, but there needs to be better ways to get people to see unlicensed projects, so amazing projects like the Scorpion's Soul Pirate Ship (http://lego.cuusoo.com/ideas/view/2372), the CT-37 Tri Wing Terror (http://lego.cuusoo.com/ideas/view/1956), and the Majestic Airship (http://lego.cuusoo.com/ideas/view/17123) can be noticed, and get a better chance to become sets.

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By in United States,

@luvendraw
Tri-Wing Terror is based on a license (TaleSpin), so it doesn't really support your point, even though it is awesome!
We all need to avoid the oversimplified "license=bad" thinking. LEGO clearly has not ruled out pursuing licenses, they explicitly say they will try for ones that meet their standards and hit 10,000 votes.

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By in United States,

Also, since TaleSpin is by Disney, all it really needs is the 10,000 supporters, and not much else.

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By in United States,

^Especially since it's a defunct property... why wouldn't Disney want to shake some unexpected cash out of it, and maybe even reignite fan interest? Nothing to lose for them there.

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By in United Kingdom,

^Doubly so if it makes Disney realise a TaleSpin DVD release would be worthwhile!

The one thing I felt Lego left out from their comments was that it's also unfair to the people who voted for a Tachikoma but do not like the ARAKN3. Not that it hurts the voters I guess, if anything it'd hurt Lego if they brought out a high priced set which only had half the potential market they expected.

Either way, I've voted for the new ARAK-N3 version. Plus I only just noticed the Stilzkin Bridge Launcher is up as well: http://lego.cuusoo.com/ideas/view/13596

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By in United States,

As long as we're mentioning new Cuusoo projects, I wanted to link to this amazing Gundam mecha. I don't really know what Gundam is, but you don't have to know the property to know this is an amazing model. I thought it was an action figure or a digital render at first.
http://lego.cuusoo.com/ideas/view/8398

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By in Portugal,

@Modok: Gundam is an Animé series (or, more correctly, a BIG lot of series): http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Anime/Gundam
I strongly doubt any Gundam project gets approved by LEGO, for the same reasons Ghost in the Shell projects get rejected.

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