Share Your LEGO CUUSOO Tips

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The Cuusoo team has made an appeal for people to share their tips and tricks about how to build and promote Cuusoo projects.

It's an open call for people to blog their best tips for using LEGO CUUSOO. Submissions will receive a link back to them from the Cuusoo site.

I haven't submitted anything so I'm not best placed to post any tips, but here's my two cents' worth anyway:

  • Promote, promote, promote: Submitting a project to Cuusoo is just the start, not the end. If you don't promote your project every way you can it will languish in the low hundreds of supporters, those who happen to stumble across it. It's not sufficient to just promote among LEGO fans: you need to reach out to other audiences relevant to your project.
  • Think outside the box: Don't bother submitting anything that's remotely like what LEGO is already producing, or is likely to. Come up with something new. Modular building are great, and there are some excellent examples on Cuusoo, but ultimately they will fail because LEGO has its own agenda for producing them. Same goes for Star Wars. LEGO has this covered already and won't let a Cuusoo project disrupt their existing plans. The LEGO birds project is an excellent example of something new and original.
  • Find a kid-friendly IP, or no IP at all: Related to point 1 above, success is more likely if you can tap into a new fanbase, which generally means basing it on an intellectual property. But, you have to be careful to make sure it's LEGO- and kid- friendly. The bigger the IP the better, and they don't come much bigger than Apple, which is a good example of an ideal property with a massive fanbase. Having said that, if your project is not based on an IP, but is something that nevertheless has wide appeal, you won't have to worry about whether LEGO can secure rights to it. LEGO birds is an excellent example, again!
  • Write a back-story: Use the project description to tell readers why they NEED the model you are promoting to compel them to support it. If there's a back-story to your model, tell it. Lots of good quality photos help, too. It's not sufficient to add one photo and one sentence: "Here's a model of xxx. Please support it..."
  • Think one model at a time: Proposing themes or series of sets is not what Cuusoo is for: it's for single sets that can be produced one at a time, and stand alone as worthwhile models in their own right. It's OK to think ahead to what could be done once success has been achieved, but the project should focus on one model only. Having said that, although the LEGO birds one breaks this rule and proposes several models, I think it's OK in this case because when it's successful, LEGO can take its pick from them.

Now it's your turn: use your blog to post your hints and tips, particularly if you've submitted projects, and when you've done so, submit your link to [email protected] with the subject "CUUSOO Tips Blog Post" by the end of Sunday, June 24.

We usually have a heated debate in the comments to Cuusoo-related articles, so bring it on... :-) Oh, and if you haven't already supported the LEGO Birds project, please do so now. I believe it has a very high chance of success and acceptance, as you can probably tell...

15 comments on this article

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By in Netherlands,

You do REALLY love the LEGO Birds project, don't you?

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By in Netherlands,

Why don't you actually add some more projects to the cuusoo corner? I think there are some more good projects left.
Also make a news article then of new sets added, because else people won't notice them.

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By in United States,

Let's do some more data mining, and test these theories... You suggest "thinking outside the box", but what I am seeing is that the first two projects that won (the Japanese Shinkai Submarine and the Japanese Hayabusa Satellite) and the two projects I see that have racked up the most average supporters per day over time (Space Marines and The Civilization Series) are all extremely "in-the-box" projects. In fact, they are almost direct copies of existing Alien Conquest and Architecture lines. Plus, little kids like "in-the-box" projects, and I think they make up almost 50% of voters right now, and little kids will definitely overwhelmingly dominate voting in the post-beta phases later on!! =D

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By in United States,

Yeah, the birds are a great project. The new owl is excellent. One thing I wish Lego would do is pull projects faster if they know they can't produce them. Most famously, My Little Pony got to 7,500 votes before Lego pulled it. Angry Birds has over 800 votes, yet is similarly dead on arrival. If they know they don't have the license to make a set, put it out of its misery ASAP rather than getting everyone's hopes up as the votes build.

Also, I agree with TWP - More Cuusoo Corner projects would be good. Given that the UCS Sandcrawler and Space Marines are the two highest vote-getters, I don't think they still need Brickset's help. It's space that could be given to other up-and-coming projects.

Not that anyone asked me, but here are a few excellent non-IP ideas that could use some support:
Ancient Civilizations - http://lego.cuusoo.com/ideas/view/18259
Drake's Head Inn - http://lego.cuusoo.com/ideas/view/18836
Omniwheel Vehicle - http://lego.cuusoo.com/ideas/view/13602
Tilt-a-Whirl - http://lego.cuusoo.com/ideas/view/18203
Microfig Mecha - http://lego.cuusoo.com/ideas/view/822

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By in United States,

^Modok,

If I am right, here are the fastest movers overall...

1) The Civilization Series is moving fastest with 32.33 supporters per day on average.
2) The Space Marines are second fastest with 27.77 supporters per day on average.
3) The Sandcrawler is moving third fastest with 24.89 supporters per day on average.

In addition to just "Most Votes" and "Most Votes Last Week", I think that Cuusoo should feature a list of "10 Fastest Movers Overall: i.e., Most Average Supporters Per Day Since The Project's Creation Date", perhaps after a 30 day waiting-period to let the fluctuating averages to settle out a bit...

EDIT: Actually, the Birds are moving way faster with about 57 supporters per day overall... So maybe HUW is right!

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By in United States,

P.S. - And let me ask again, in case anyone knows exactly: What % of Cuusoo voters are kids versus AFOLs?

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By in United States,

@Huw. You should submit something to cuusoo.

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By in United States,

@the_real_indy - Thanks for the stats! I wish Cuusoo kept data like that. All we have now is that "top 10" list that's only updated weekly. The fact that Space Marines and Sandcrawler are two of the fastest movers only confirms that once you reach the top of the rankings, the votes become self-sustaining.

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By in United Kingdom,

The Shinkai Submarine and the Hayabusa Satellite models were both something that would never have been created if it were not for Cuusoo, same goes for Minecraft. I think that's the key to success and what LEGO wants the platform to provide.

Space Marines is, as you say, just another space theme, and one that LEGO may well have in the pipeline anyway. The Sandcrawler is interesting: It's Star Wars, so an existing license, but I think the model is sufficiently different to that which LEGO has made, or are likely to make, that it may just be accepted.

I am bombarded with requests to put more models in Cuusoo corner, but generally I don't do so. I'm not convinced that it's proving to be effective for the majority of models on it. Take the T-Rex skeleton which I thought was really cool, but it's barely had 30 votes since I added it, so clearly nobody else does. The submitter needs to cavass members of The Paleontological Society or something to get the momentum going: promoting on LEGO sites is not enough, as I said.

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By in United States,

^HUW, Modok, etc.,

Ah, well my data was based on a verrry limited sample size, because I just had to go through and compile stats manually into a small excel sheet. I didn't even put the birds on my list at first, simply because I generally gravitate towards other types of projects more, but like I said, they are really waaay in the lead in terms of "Total Supporters per Total Days"... Hmm, so can we do some *real* data-mining, and generate a list of "Top 10 (or more) Fastest Movers Overall: i.e., Most Average Supporters Per Day Since The Project's Creation Date"?

To keep it clean and simple, you might just add projects *only if* they reach 300 (or so) votes, plus only add them after 30 days... That will show who is getting votes *consistently* over the *long-haul*, and not just in concentrated bursts of online publicity. That will highlight all the projects, some new and some old, that *really* have the power to get made! I think those are the projects that people will really want to keep an eye on and discuss!

The list they show for "Most Votes" is nice, but very predictable, and like Modok said above, a self-fulfilling prophesy!

The list they generate for for "Most Votes Last Week" is cool, but it can be influenced by a sudden burst of publicity... And I think that kinda sets up a situation where people ask all of their facebook and blog friends to vote in a big burst in one week, hoping to get "permanently stuck" to the Fastest Movers List. That just tends to favor the power of momentum, rather than the quality and innovation of the creation!! So can you do that kind of data mining? Lego should do it, but perhaps it is up to you?

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By in New Zealand,

@Modok
About LEGO being slow to reject projects which definitely could not be produced: They do seem to be getting better, as they rejected the Star Wars Ultrabuild Series project at only 1300. Hopefully this number will be lower for the other hopeless projects on Cuusoo.

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By in Netherlands,

Huw, do you actually know about the star wars design/set process? You say "LEGO has his own agenda for star wars." But that's not completely true. I heard of a designer that lucasarts/star wars sends self product ideas to LEGO for sets, then the designers pick up their favorites, investigate them thouroughly, make sketches and start to built. After about a half year they are finished and a lucasarts/star wars employee looks to it and gives the opinion wheter LEGO may produce it, or not. And then they produce it.
Actually, you can influence this process yourself (like me). Because LEGO (designers) themself also have sometimes good ideas, they can also ask the Lucasarts/ star wars employee to review that. So I give LEGO designers every year some good ideas, and they then produce some (e.g. Falcon, jabba's palace, x-wing, tie fighter, endor bp, maleovolence, and more sets and many minifigs...)

But I think people can with cuusoo influence the same process.

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By in United Kingdom,

^ No I don't know, I am speculating. You may well be right.

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By in Philippines,

Hi, Huw!

Would it be possible to also show a separate Cuusoo corner for new parts, or maybe just a separate article about them?

It's just a suggestion, of course.

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By in United States,

Elsewhere, I read someone suggesting that TLG will only produce *ONE* Cuusoo model per quarter... Is that true?

Theoretically, they could do *ALL* of their sets from Cuusoo, since they are only giving up a tiny 1% of the profits.

So are there any limits on how many projects can be made? Or limits on how many times one person can "win"?

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