The Deadline 10000 Trend, a Zoo, LEGO SXSW Panel, King Kong, and "UCS JP"

Posted by ,

Currently, the Fall 2013 line-up is ATLAS, Female Minifigure Set, FTL, Poptropica and Ghostbusters (30th anniversary version). At five projects, that is already the biggest review collection to date.

Is there more to come? Macross just hit the 9000 support point and TeeKay's Ghostbusters is set to cross that milestone in the next 24 hours. Depending on your time zone, the deadline for the Fall 2013 review is 10 to 11 days away, so not much time. But to date, no project with more than 9000 support going into the final week of the review has failed to reach 10k before the deadline. Granted, there have not been many examples, but a deadline is something that really focuses support, moves people to action, and gets the internet all a buzz.

Update: As expected, Ghostbusters has indeed crossed the 9000 milestone and is moments away from overtaking the lumbering Macross project, and Oz is indeed stepping on the gas with the official facebook page again posting the project..

Now, with all due respect, and gee willikers do I love the Macross project, if any two projects could break the deadline beating trend, these would be the two to do it.

With Macross you have the problem that hard core Macross fans have enjoyed transforming display quality models of their favorite transforming jets for decades and a known licensing fiasco which has plagued U.S. fans for years. When it reaches 10k it will also be the slowest project to do so. It is a lethargic lumbering beast of a project that has slipped into and out of the top three time and time again, showing up on the weekly top ten during any slow week, but steadily moving upward as unstoppable as the Daedalus Maneuver!

TeeKay's Ghostbusters on the other hand has a much different problem. With it following so closely in the wake of BrentWaller's it has to deal with signal confusion as potential supporters getting the message that there is a LEGO Ghostbuster project that needs votes, may think they already supported it and not click through.

If these projects do hit 10k before the deadline it will clear the field on Cuusoo for a while. No other current projects are pacing to even cross the 8000 milestone for a while yet, unless Oz steps on the the gas again. Of course, if that happens we could end up with eight projects in the Fall review.

 

Cuusoo Pick of the Week: The Ultimate Animal Collection

Back to the weekly showcases! This time around we are back to "cute" and for that I am going with The Ultimate Animal Collection. Schwallex has a great combination of brick-built animals each with character and clever but not overcomplicated design. I could see my kids really falling in love with these critters and learning a lot about how to bend the brick at the same time.

I think the walrus is the most genius for accuracy but my favorite is either the very expressive hippo or the very toothy alligator.

For those of you following along, the last project to get the "cute" project spot was "cuddly" mini animals project.

 

Lego SXSW Panel: Online LEGO Fans and the People who Love Them

Around this time last year I mentioned a SXSW panel on Cuusoo. Well, LEGO likes to attend such things so now they are going to talk about "one of the most enthusiastic online fan communities in existence" that being YOU GUYS (so meta right now, you are reading about a panel about online LEGO Fan communities online at a LEGO Fan community website).

At the panel we will discuss such topics as:

  • What is an “online fan community ecosystem?” As with biology, the greater the fan culture, the more interacting organisms the system has to support in order for an ecosystem to stay intact. So how does a fan culture ecosystem avoid getting polluted? Especially when fans speak with their own voice, and sometimes loudly…
  • What constitutes a fan? Do you need to sleep outside a store for three days in the rain to buy the newest product to be considered a fan? Fans come in all shapes and sizes, especially in the LEGO community, so what are the different types of LEGO fans?
  • Do fans have co-ownership of a brand? When fans take to a subject they often expand the original idea with creations, fan fiction, fan movies etc. So how can a company such as the LEGO Group cater to their fan community and still keep a business strategy and core values intact?
  • What happens when fans combine two different brands/themes which don’t fit? In the hands of adult fans, LEGO bricks are often the medium for creations which don’t align with LEGO brand values – think adult situations, i.e., drug use, sexuality, violence (not exactly what you’d want a toy advertised with). How do companies support the fans and their creations without showing support for such depictions?
  • A lot of LEGO fans know more about the products than the company’s own employees do. They’re highly skilled at creating custom models and modifying parts (in fact, some of them have been building with LEGO bricks seriously their entire lives). So is it even possible for the LEGO Group to facilitate an online fan community, when the fans themselves are experts?

SXSW works a little like Cuusoo. People post panels and the panels that get the most votes, get to happen. So, please give your support to the panel.

Also please feel free to give me your two 2 x 2 round plates on the topics above. The distinguished David Robertson will be there, but since I am both local to the event and online, they went ahead and roped me in as well.

 

A Week of Cuusoo

This week, my pick of the new projects was "King Kong." I have been thinking of doing one of my own for a while but this one is simply marvelous. Scaled properly and well articulated, the inverted dome at 45 degrees makes for a fantastic lower jaw. There is also this terrific arctic explorer vehicle based on some crazy real world prototype, a new Jurassic Park build, a clever Morgan three wheeler, and a promising pirate skull island.

My review of these projects, a few notables, my opinions on Cuusoo Modulars, and other ramblings can be found here.

One Last Thing...

Look what just showed up on Cuusoo...

35 comments on this article

Gravatar
By in United States,

It is Roman empire theme sets.

Gravatar
By in United States,

If both Ghostbusters sets make it, Lego should be able to gather that we want a Ghostbuster set!! Ideally, the only thing they need to do is get the licensing and then go ahead and pass it through!

Gravatar
By in United States,

The Macross project is totally the best (IMHO)! I think I would actually buy that one! If it was easily available, that is.

Gravatar
By in United States,

@ neomonkey

The Tumbler is in the Summer 2013 Review

Gravatar
By in Indonesia,

wow that new jurassic park t-rex was awesome!!

Gravatar
By in Germany,

I really hope for a Ghostbusters Set!
(including Slimer, please!)

And the brick build dinosaur of Jurassic Park just looks awesome!

Gravatar
By in France,

If I was on the panel ...

ATLAS - boring
Female Minifigure Set - already partially fulfilled in CMF
FTL - doesn't look very interesting to me, they look like random small polybags.
Poptropica - wierd, very wierd. I really haven't a clue on that theme.
Ghostbusters (30th anniversary version) - likely to do well from a sales pov, but if successful, then is cuusoo really just for old movie tie-ins?

King Kong looks fantastic, as does Jurassic Park with brick built dinosaurs. But again, more movies?

Gravatar
By in Germany,

^I agree, and will answer your questions: "Yes!" You never felt the urge to re-play what you see in a cool movie? Many certainly do, and if it's only to have on your shelf / desk what reminds you of a movie / video game. We are nerds.

Gravatar
By in Netherlands,

As a fan of both Lego and Macross, I can safely say that even with 10,000 supporters, a Macross / Lego crossover is never, ever, EVER going to happen.

Harmony Gold, who 'own' all Macross rights outside of Japan (or at least they think they do, but are undisputed in doing so), is reviled and hated by Western Macross fans for doing absolutely NOTHING for those Macross fans. They hang on to the license like parasites, but doing nothing productive with it like produce or import new toys. The only way they know how to make money from their Macross license is by filing lawsuits against anyone who even thinks about doing something with Macross. Even a recent 2013 SDCC exclusive GI/Joe - Transformers crossover set made by Hasbro, featuring a tribute to Transformers Jetfire (who was originally a Bandai Macross VF1s Valkyrie jet), was hit with a Harmony Gold lawsuit for 'infringing on HG's Macross license', claiming an unreasonable amount of damages in 'lost revenue' by this release.

So yeah, Macross Lego... not going to happen, unfortunately ('cause the model itself is wonderful!)

Gravatar
By in Portugal,

Just wondering - If the reviews are made quarterly shouldn't mean the next deadline is end of September?

1st Review - 1st Jan - 31st March
2nd Review - 1st April - 30 June
3rd Review - 1 July - 30 September
4th Review - 1 Oct - 31st December

Or am I missing something here?

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Yeah I cannot imagine the Macross set being released. Jurassic park set looks fantastic, but the recurring theme I have seen is that Lego really edits the end result look. Considering it was the original users work that we clicked to support.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

I quite like ghostbusters, ultimate animal collection & jarassic park, But I like the design for macross & King Kong.

Gravatar
By in Taiwan,

I'm happy to see many projects going to be reviewd very soon. But one problem is if the official review would delay even more. And rather than those boosts, I want to see the projects that have been on the top for long time fulfill, like the Piano and Japanes buildings.

Gravatar
By in United States,

@ Konstantin:

The leader of the Roman project said he had halted all work on the project.

Gravatar
By in United States,

If only there were some variation in Cuusoo products. As of now, almost all achievers are the same--nostalgic homages to old movies and Japanese spaceships that nobody's heard of.
Don't get me wrong, these sets are really good--I just wish that the same effort was put into ideas with some creativity behind them.

Gravatar
By in United States,

I supported the King Kong project yesterday, but that Jurassic Park concept is quite amazing...! I had seen another dino one on there with a ton of supports, but it I like this much better... This isn't just a rehash of old dinosaur molds that already existed... I would love to see a dinosaur series of just the dinosaurs done like this...

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

@alldarker - That explains why I only vaguely know of Macross' existence! Harmony Gold sound like a great example for a business studies class in how to abuse the system and squander your potential.
I wonder when the legal world will start to bring some common sense back in to its processes. Surely to claim damages for lost revenue there has to be some revenue in existence to lose! If you ain't using your licence for anything at all then you ain't losing anything when it's infringed...
...aaaaand that's why I'm not a lawyer! :P

I have to say too, that brick built dino does look incredible!

Gravatar
By in United States,

@ PocasNuckie

Quarterly just means 4 times a year in three month chuncks, it does not require the quarters to be in line with Jan 1 - Dec 31. Many Quarters don't run on these dates because then every year you end up with one Quarter Closing down and another opening up on the Holidays and who wants that really?

Besides, the Seasons don't read the calendar ;)

Take your dates and shift them a month so for the Fall Quarter ends at the beginning of September, then to be really specific, more forward any dates you have that land on a Saturday or Sunday to the following Monday to get the Cuusoo Review deadlines. Hm...Looks like the Deadline for the Fall 2013 is Monday September 1st 2013....since my calendar does not have one of those I am assuming they meant Monday September 2nd.

@ alldarker
I hope that by saying you are a fan of Lego and Macross that you have voted for the project, regardless of how certain you are it is not going to fly.

Beyond that, I am not saying its going to happen but I find the intensity of your certainty unfounded. Harmony Gold has used their power to stop expanded content (sequels) from leaving Japan without their consent as well as attempting to stand in the way of companies (like your Hasbro example) who will dilute the franchise with similar content that does not line Harmony Gold's pockets. The success of the Robotech Kickstarter and Warner Brothers ongoing development on the Live Action Movie indicate progress if not product. Do you have any examples of Harmony Gold standing in the way of someone working with them to sell original series Macross themed content outside of Japan? (This is a serious question and I am truly interested) Finally, there is nothing that indicates that Cuusoo must produce for a Global Market. They could make the sets exclusively for Japan.

Your points are valid, the licensing history is certainly an issue, but I think the strength of your conviction is unwarranted.

Gravatar
By in Netherlands,

@ Glenbricker: firstly, I'll be honest and admit that I have not yet voted for the Macross Cuusoo project, not because I don't like it, because I very much do, but because I have lost faith in Cuusoo as it stands.
Secondly, there is a wealth of info gathered on the Harmony Gold / Macross / Robotech story, too much too post even if I wasn't currently typing this on my iPhone (which I am). So I'll post a very informative link to the Macrossworld website, concerning the history from 1982 until recent times.
http://www.macrossworld.com/mwf/index.php?showtopic=36541

Gravatar
By in United States,

If anyone wants any info or help regarding SXSW, I work the event every year. Just PM me.

Gravatar
By in United States,

The Jurassic Park set is awesome!

Gravatar
By in United States,

@ alldarker,

With all due respect, If you can't find the time to point out when, in the last ten or so years Harmony Gold has stood in the way of someone trying to work with them to create Macross products based singularly on the original content, when I provided two cases of them allowing such activity (not to mention Battlecry from 2002), then I hope you can accept that I don't have the time to go digging through your link to find it for myself.

Here is the link to the currently in production Robotech Tactical Combat game which will be producing Macross themed content in the US: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/rrpgt/robotech-rpg-tacticstm?ref=live

As for the movie: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZO8zvM2P9E It has been on and off constantly but Warner Brothers is attached to it and progress was stated on the project as recently as Comicon. I am pretty sure that Warner Brothers would not be looking into making a movie if they could not produce a toy line to go with it and to be blunt, I trust the business and legal sense of Warner Brothers more than your opinion or even a historical track record.

As a fan of the series I assume I don't need to send you a link to Battlecry.

As I have said, I don't think licensing will be a cakewalk (especially if HG wants to hold out any production of any toys until a movie is ACTUALLY in the works) but while I see the solid evidence in front of me that Harmony Gold allows new production based on the original content, I can't believe that this is "never, ever, EVER going to happen."

Now if you have some kind of evidence that Palladium is using some kind of Legal loophole or iron clad contract to produce their minis without Harmony Gold's consent, and that the litigious Harmony Gold is so confounded by that they have not even considered a lawsuit, then I am all ears.

Gravatar
By in Portugal,


@glenbricker
http://lego.cuusoo.com/ideas/view/31711 - still one of the best projects around but you don't seem to want to write a full article about all its vehicles. Is it because you are a collaborator? If so that's a shame because the rpoject could really use some exposure.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

@Glenbricker Last time Harmony Gold got in the way was for this years Hasbro's SDCC exclusive of Transformers and GI Joe crossover set of Jetfire. They put a block on Hasbro selling the rest of their stock online, which after looking at the packaging the fans theorized that it was because they used a tiny old design picture of Robotech Valkyrie in robot mode. Jetfire was originally just a repaint for toy line, even tho in the cartoon he was different. Over a tiny picture they stopped any more sets to be sold, which only drived up ebay prices. If they did that with a picture I hate to wonder what they would do if lego would release this without talking to them.

Gravatar
By in Netherlands,

@Glenbricker: unfortunately my mission in life is not to prove to you how money-hungry HG is when it comes to their questionable hold on the Macross / Robotech license. I gave you a very informative (single) link, which in itself does indeed lead to an extensive 8-part(!) history of HG and Robotech and the legal hassles they've caused. I can't make you read all of it, but at least acknowledge that HG aren't holding on to this license because of their love of the property: they are in it for the cold hard cash.
I've seen the Kickstarter for the tabletop game, and the Battle Cry game was pretty good back in its day (which was over 10 years ago!). But HG themselves have never actually done anything productive with the license itself. The fact that a Robotech tabletop game actually even needs a Kickstarter to get off the ground is pretty pathetic: why couldn't HG put up the cash up front to finance it and take the risk themselves, instead of passing that risk on to crowdfunders (hey! Just like Cuusoo!). Harmony Gold does not take risks: they sit back and leech on other people's ideas, based on the property they 'own' (and I use that term loosely). If there's easy money to be made, yeah, then they are game alright, and then they'll Let Lego make a Macross / Robotech based set. However, I'm pretty sure that the terms they would demand of Lego to produce a Macross set would be worse than the terms and royalties Disney / Lucas demand(ed) for the Star Wars sets. Lego would and could probably never agree to their terms (not actually getting any money through Cuusoo, but only meaningless pledges and support). THAT's why this will indeed never, ever, EVER will happen.
I do agree with you on the fact that Cuusoo started off in Japan with true, enthousiast-based support for the Shinkai 6500 Submarine, and there's nothing to stop Lego seeking out a more reasonable license with Big West, Tatsunoko Productions and Studio Nue to produce a Japan-only Macross Cuusoo set.

BTW: there's still absolutely no definite status for that rumored Robotech movie: it has 'producers' and a 'director' attached, but it's pretty much been in development hell since forever, and the chance that this movie gets made are slim to none, say people in the know. And knowing HG, chances are they'll want extra cash from Lego to make merchandise, just because some day a Robotech movie maybe might just be made.

Gravatar
By in Germany,

Whoa folks. Some heavy knowledge being thrown around here. I don't even know who the heck HG are, and couldn't tell Macross from Macron One.

A++ would not comprehend again.

Speaking of not comprehending, I never understood the point of saying "[set X that's about to enter the review] won't pass". Determining that is precisely what the review is there for. It is not our job, and there is nothing to be gained for us by not having a set made. (Pre-emptive snarky comment that misses the point: but Galidor/Clikits/Znap blah-blah.)

Now, before there's any misunderstanding: I think it totally makes sense to voice such concerns in the early days of a project. But once it's homing in on 10k, any and all concerns become sort of pointless. It will reach the review anyway. And then we'll just see. So you might as well go and support it, if only to get rid of it faster. *Especially* if you think it won't stand a snowflake's chance in hell. Then you can do the happy told-you-so dance all the sooner.

Gravatar
By in United States,

^ That is bulls**t... Why in the Hell would Cuusoo make it that easy to ban someone else's account..?

I have dealt with my share of haters over the years posting all kinds of nasty crap on my site...

Gravatar
By in United States,

Cool stuff! Love the Jurassic Park builds.

Gravatar
By in United States,

Regarding the whole Macross license, some of the comments above seemed to suggest that LEGO might produce a Japan-only version. While I suppose this would be possible, based on the passage of the BTTF DeLorean set, I don't think that LEGO would produce a set that could legally only be sold in a single country. The announcement for the DeLorean specifically states, "the LEGO Back to the Future Time Machine was chosen due to its broad worldwide appeal..."
So, don't cross your fingers on buying up a Japan-only LEGO Macross set on eBay someday.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

^^^^That article is dreadful, claiming they don't want to add to the guesswork before there's anything official, but only after they have thrown their own wild accusation as if not naming the individual is enough to make that acceptable. Very poor.

If Cuusoo have banned a member there must have been a good reason. Simple as.
I hope that is sinking in and this whole issue can be put to bed and forgotten.

And I like the slight irony that the comments have been closed off on the other article! :P

Gravatar
By in United States,

ghostbusters is under 300 supporters away from 10,000!

Commenting has ended on this article.

Return to home page »