CUUSOO Pick of the Week - Purdue Pete

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Hi everybody! My name is Dennis and I am introducing a weekly article on Brickset highlighting a particular CUUSOO project.

I will soon introduce myself better and explain what this is all about. For now I am rushing into this, because something big is happening right now. To be honest, this Pick-of-the-Week is not representative of what will likely be spotlighted in the future. But this is certainly not your typical CUUSOO project. I am talking about Purdue Pete.

Purdue Pete"Who? What?" you ask. Who is Purdue Pete and why is he so popular all of a sudden? Well, this little guy is Purdue University's mascot. The scale model was designed and built by the associate dean for engagement in the College of Veterinary Medicine, Sandra San Miguel. Earlier this week the University heavily promoted the project in the school newspaper, on their own website, and on Facebook. They called for a record number of votes, hoping to garner all 10,000 in a 36 hour period starting October 24th. According to comments from people who claim to be involved, mass emails were sent out and they had multiple iPads set up at various, high-traffic locations around campus as voting kiosks.
It's quite obvious they have been successful with their campaign. Supporters have been pouring in and you can see them for yourself every few seconds on CUUSOO's Discover page. At the time of this writing, there have been 8,350 votes cast over the last 24 hours. It looks like they are well on their way of reaching their goal.
Now, as an AFOL myself who also happens to have my own CUUSOO project, I completely understand why this project is disappointing to many in our community. Although it is unfortunate that the majority of these people are likely only voting for this specific project and are not voting for any other idea, I believe this can still be considered a positive thing. The way I see it: many people have been exposed to CUUSOO whom were previously unaware of the program. Surely many of these students had LEGO growing up, so this may very well encourage those who have "outgrown" LEGO to rediscover the hobby as an AFOL. As young people who are more likely to use social media, I think sharing this project on Facebook, Twitter, etc. will have a positive effect for CUUSOO and the LEGO fan community in general.
With all that said, do I think TLG will approve this project? I think it's pretty clear to us that it is not a good model fit for production. I'm sure, since this is Brickset, I do not have to go into the reasons for this. However, it does bring up some interesting thoughts. American sports fans are very passionate, whether it's at their school or professionally. Imagine a LEGO model for every major school's mascot. That's a huge potential market full of young people who have generally "outgrown toys". An official model for their school, created by one of their own, could easily rekindle their interest in LEGO as an AFOL. Taking that into consideration, I think Purdue Pete is not such a bad idea after all. Although it is an IP idea, it is original and something that hasn't been done before. It may actually have potential.
Update: As of 7:39 PM (GMT), the Purdue Pete project stands at 8,846 supporters, which makes it officially the top supported submission. Voting has slowed significantly, so it will be interesting to see whether or not the 36-hour goal will be achieved. Either way, the campaign has been very successful and I am sure it will reach 10,000 supporters soon.
Update: As of 12:15 AM (GMT), the Purdue Pete project has achieved their goal of 10,000 supporters. It's my understanding that the 36-hour period ended at 9:00 PM (EST), so they reached 10k with 45 minutes to spare. Very impressive, I must say I did not think it would happen. Congratulations to Sandra, the creator, and Purdue University for their success. I look forward to TLG's comments.

25 comments on this article

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By in United Kingdom,

Welcome to the team, Dennis. A great first article, thanks.

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By in Germany,

A few interesting points there on the benefits of this Cuusoo project, which certainly will see 10.000 supporters soon.

On the other hand, if Purdue University was serious and really wanted to have their own franchise Lego set, it should be easy to get 10.000 Purdue Petes as minifig keyrings (see the The Stig from Top Gear, which I assume was made to order for the Top Gear magazine).

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By in United States,

Go Boilermaker! Sorry been an LEGO fan and Purdue alumni I can't help but wish LEGO would make that set. Purdue Pete minifig keychain and the mini model of the train would be awesome!

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By in United Kingdom,

I've been having problems with my boiler if Peter is able to help.

Speaking of Cuusoo, what happened to the stuff that went into review before the summer? They're dragging it out a bit if to only refuse them all.

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By in United Kingdom,

Hi Dennis, great article. You've certainly touched on something with the mascots. We get a lot of requests at http://minifigs.me for players from various teams and occasionally mascots - the trouble is that most mascots are (in the UK at least) are animals, which don't convert too well into custom minifigs :( Players in their shirts are no problem, and Purdue Pete would be easy, but Ozzie the Owl my local team's mascot would be less successful! Brick built animals would work, but would probably need to be quite large to be recognisable!

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By in United States,

LEGOMANWA's idea is much, much better - dcmal's custom minifig idea plus a scale train. I would buy that in an instant, even though I'm an IU grad!

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By in United States,

Very enthused to see my Alma Mater involved with my AFOL hobby. I was a class of 1996 Boilermaker. As an alumni, I got invited to the actual local voting event in West Lafayette, IN via local friends still working for Purdue University, but alas I could not attend on such short notice.

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By in Norway,

Yes! I agree with Andhe - I didnt hear about any outcome from the cuusoo projecs, which achieved 10 000 votes! What happened to them? Anybody knows?

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By in United Kingdom,

Hi Dennis, awesome article, I usually check Cuusoo daily but missed this, I look forward to reading more of your articles

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By in United Kingdom,

^ No news, then...

The hold up will probably be because the Lone Ranger license will prevent the Western town being produced, and I don't think the license has been officially announced yet (at least, Googling LEGO Lone Ranger only brings up results from AFOL sites). Until it has LEGO can't give a reason for the MWT's rejection.

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By in Slovakia,

I don't think so, Huw. They could simply say the big N-O due to a clash with an upcoming but yet-to-be-announced IP theme. They don't have to hang around umpteen months until they can reveal the theme.

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By in United States,

K, so if I make a Vikings Mascot project a trillion people will support it?

Ok..

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By in United States,

Purdue Pete has now reached the #1 spot.

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By in United Kingdom,

Great article Dennis. Looking forward to more. I think for me the main problem with this is can you make enough of them to make it worth while for lego to produce them. Is it going to be popular with a rivial team? If US football is anything like the football here then they are unlikely to buy it. Plus what is its popularity outside of the USA? While American football is gaining popularity outside the US. Is it big enough for them to do it? I think Cuusoo will be looking at something to sell world wide rather than local.

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By in United States,

WOW THAT THING IS GAINING SUPPORTERS FAST YOU CAN REFRESH THE PAGE!!!!!

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By in United States,

I think this is a really great idea and could lead to even more similar themes down the road... It's amazing what the power of numbers can do... LOL, Meanwhile I can't even get my own community to back up my project and I've been in the paper multiple times and even on the news...

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By in United States,

Now over 9,300! I get the feeling this will be all over in 10-15mins.
EDIT: Now past 9,500
EDIT 2: Maybe more like 10-15mins now.
EDIT 3: Maybe now.

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By in New Zealand,

PURDUE PETE LEGO MODEL HAS JUST REACHED 10,000 SUPPORTERS!!! In 35 hours and around 15-20 minutes!!! :)

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By in United States,

This is an incredibly important question to me. The Purdue sporting teams are called the Boilermakers. And Purdue Pete, as one can readily see, is a person and not a lump of steel or iron. So why do sports announcers call them the "Purdue Boilers".

An interesting concept, although I still would love to see 100X CUUSOO ideas for original sets and 1/100X CUUSOO ideas for licensed sets than what is currently there.

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By in United States,

The history behind the name can be read here:

http://www.boilermakers.org/resources/what_is_a_boilermaker/purdue_boilermakers

According to this article, the train is the mascot. But this:

http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2012/Q4/purdue-pete-model-seeks-boiler-fans-backing-in-lego-competition.html

...says Purdue Pete is the mascot. I looked more and found this:

http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/general/2010/100219PurduePete.html

...which also states Purdue Pete is the mascot. But goes on to say Purdue Pete is the official advertising icon and the Boilermaker Special, the train, is the official mascot.

I find this interesting, because the train would have made a better concept for Cuusoo. I think that would easily appeal to a wider market beyond the school's students and faculty.

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By in New Zealand,

It's very disappointing when ideas like this can achieve review stage when they would clearly be neither an interesting set, nor would the subject be of any interest to 99.99% of Lego fans.

It will also end up as bad PR when the set is not made (for the people who voted) or when it is (for the 99.9% who are waiting for much better sets to be made). Another example of the flaws in the Cuusoo project.

However, given the project as it is, congrats to the people who achieved this.

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By in United Kingdom,

Great article Dennis. I look forward to more.

I don't see the model having a chance in hell of passing review though. It has no global appeal. Team specific items are always going to be a non starter. I couldn't even see it working with genuinely global teams like Man Utd.

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By in United States,

And here come the 500 copycat 'My Team and/or School Too!' projects

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By in United States,

Wow, really? This is a terrible looking piece. Honestly this looks like it was designed using late '70s to early '80s building techniques. Several people have all ready commented on why this is a bad subject. Huge thumbs down from me.

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