Cuusoo of the Week: LL1012-12 NCS-Speeder and No "Space Marines" technically

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One of the points of these Cuusoo selections is to show the breadth of projects that are available. Also, LEGO fans all have their own theme preferences. So each week I am attempting to pick projects that are very different than what I have picked before.

First I showed a city theme set, then a castle theme so I guess the natural progression is space.

There are a lot of projects that claim to be "Neo-Classic" space but I think the LL1012-12 NCS-Speeder by T.Oechsner is one of the best examples of this style on Cuusoo.

One of the mainstays of LEGO space, since the space scooter in 1979 has been the one figure open seat space rocket.

It has certainly evolved over the years and they are even represented in Galaxy Squad, but when I think of Classic Space, it is one of the first things that comes to mind: A guy in a colorful space suit strapped onto some spindly seat with a rocket on it.

What I love about T.Oechsner's design is that even though it thematically embraces the old school rocket seat, it implements it with an eye towards the greebly touches that are used so often in fan built space designs.

As far as the actual design goes, I like how the forward fins match the X shape of the back wings and it looks like the floating nature of the back fins, utilizing a network of four droid arms, would allow for some nice adjustability.

The geometries of the paired 2512s is really clever especially with the opening that it presents in the back of the speeder. The exposed hinge elements on the back wings are a great final touch.

Its Chances

Like the other sets I have presented to date, this does not have any licensing issues and therefore it is really a question of popularity and connectivity.

By connectivity I mean its relevance to casual LEGO fans who find themselves on Cuusoo. Anyone might be interested in a ambulance for instance, but an homage to old school LEGO space with a new twist... that is a much smaller audience.

These quality homage to the old ways tend to build up a good chunk of supporters at first but as soon as they pass out of the "recent" category they tend to drop off to obscurity, so it will be a very hard climb for this one.

Greebling of course increases part count, which increases cost, which drives up the prices, which turns away casual LEGO fans. This is however another thing that makes this an ideal set for Cuusoo. A one off set targeted at people who don't mind or would even desire to pay for the extra parts, but not such a large build that the extra greebling cost becomes prohibitive to the target fans.

As for the survivability of the existing design, it does use the verboten "severed hand" technique (just ahead of the 1/2 technic pins on the forward rods) although I don't think the design would be lessened significantly by their removal.

Personally, I would really enjoy seeing what an official LEGO designer would come up with if they were instructed to greeble out a rocket seat.

The Next Cuusoo Deadline

The Winter deadline is over and the Spring one will conclude March 3rd. According to current support rates, the only "established" project with a shot at making the deadline is the Exo Suit. Technically, the Shuttle Crawler also has the support rates required, but projects do tend to slow down considerably after their first week.

"Space Marines" IS Trademarked.

Well it turns out that the term Space Marine is trademarked. I would not have thought it possible with it predating the existence of the current holders, but I never claim to fully understand trademark law.

The "former" Space Marine project has been taken down at the request of the trademark holders. Cuusoo will relaunch the project when Nick Royer can come up with a new title for his Marines of Space.

Cheers!

12 comments on this article

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By in Denmark,

Nice model, it would look great next to the ExoSuit.

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By in United Kingdom,

I first saw this on http://neoclassicspace.com/

There are some other great MOCs from some really talented builders, and all adhering to some strict rules about what constitutes "Classic" Space.

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By in Australia,

Looks good! It's a good little MOC, and I will be curious to see how it goes :)
When do we find out the news for some of the older Cuusoo picks, like BTTF and the Western Modulars? It's been a while hasn't it...? I know there are a million issues like licensing, as covered here before, but is there no indication or reveal date set?

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By in United Kingdom,

Supported. Don't know if an official design review would ruin it's lovely greebliness or add colours but I do like it as it is.

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By in United States,

@Albus,

The reason I assume we are not hearing anything is because anything Lego reveals would only serve to reduce their negotiation power and could ultimately prove incorrect.

Setting a date would make them look bad if they failed to meet it so the other party could use that as leverage. Revealing sets that they are not interested in producing would also show the other party that they have limited options.

Finally, Lego, or any company really, is not used to doing these open licensing negotiations where the public has asked for it. They are really breaking new ground.

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By in United States,

I just saw they took down Space Marines after reaching 10,000. Another company owns the rights to the name Space Marines and asked Cuusoo to take it down.

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By in United States,

I don't get why SM got taken down. Nick had a huge list of alternate names for his project, that he put specifically for this reason.
Also, if the term predates the holders, why is it trademarked at ALL?!
Why would a company wait UNTIL the project has hit 10000, delighting numerous fans, and then decide to get rid of it? I mean come on! At least call it in early and give the creator a chance to change the name!

*mutters long string of obscenities at people who got it taken down*

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By in United States,

The term "Space Marines" is NOT coprighted. However, the manner in which project used the term, lore, and figures that bore a stiking resmblace to Warhammer 40k, IS copyright infringment.

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By in United States,

@ Dash Justice

You are confusing Copyright and Trademark http://www.lawmart.com/forms/difference.htm

You can read the official posting here: http://legocuusoo.posterous.com/what-happened-to-those-space-guys

The issue is (in Lego's opinion) just with the name, not with the content of the project. Even the owners of 40k are not arguing that issue. At least if they are, then they will be going toe to toe with Lego since the project is based on Lego elements.

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By in United States,

@glenbricker Yes, it is tradmaked, but not copyrighted. The term "Space Marines" is used in movies and video game without any issues beacuse the characters look nothing like the Warhammer marines. The Cuusoo marines might as well be a carbon copy.

As LEGO states, a name change should suffice.

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By in United Kingdom,

The UK trademark rules apply to the way the phrase is portrayed, which is why it's only a Trademark (a distinct and recognisable logo associated with a particular product) and not a Copyright (an original idea protected by law).

Calling the troops serving aboard a spaceship Marines is by no means an original idea. Games Workshop republished in the UK (in 1978 according to my copy, W40K only dates from 1987) a rulebook for the game Traveller, under license from Games Designers' Workshop of the US, that describes just that role and differentiates it from regular army.

The idea is safe... it just needs a new name nobody can complain about.

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By in United States,

Okay Space Marines has returned as Space Troopers glad to see it just didn't get dumped entirely.

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