Ghostbusters: response by LEGO to project creator

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There has been a lot of controversy caused by the upcoming direct-to-consumer 75827 Ghostbusters Firehouse Headquarters since its reveal, mostly regarding its relation to the Ideas project created by fan Sergio, who thought such a set would go well with last year's 21108 Ghostbusters Ecto-1. Both models are shown above.

Thanks to BrickFanatics, I have found out that Sergio contacted The LEGO Group (which he visited back in June) about the situation. This was their response...

We debated whether to share this news with you early during your visit to Billund in June, however we chose not to do so in accordance with our confidentiality policy. You’re correct in noting that we could have employed an NDA, and we sincerely regret not making the extra effort to share the confidential news of the upcoming set.

75827 Firehouse Headquarters was developed independently of any LEGO Ideas submission depicting the firehouse, and is a result of the ongoing relationship we have with SONY Pictures. Our LEGO designers planned and created the set by referencing the Ghostbusters film and through collaboration with the studio.

LEGO Ideas Guidelines state that projects based on current LEGO licenses are likely to be similar to concepts already in our product pipeline. By agreeing to our Guidelines and submitting a project, LEGO Ideas members acknowledge that any overlap or coincidence is unintentional; and that our pre-existing product pipeline supersedes fan-submitted LEGO Ideas projects. See specific guidelines here. We appreciate that your note is based less on this question and more around the fact that we didn’t share with you that it was already in development.

As a gesture of our sincere regret for not making the right effort to share this news with you in advance, we would like to send you a gift copy of 75827 Firehouse Headquarters when it releases in January.”

You can also read Sergio's thoughts on the situation.

107 comments on this article

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By in United States,

And he gets a free copy of a ridiculously pricey set too! Even if Lego was planning to do this set already, a free set is like giving royalties by saying "Thanks for proving 10,000 people want this set." And this set seems to be so ridiculously priced that it is worth more money wise than an actual Lego Ideas royalty fee...

Still after reading his blog, I can see Sergio has a lot of reservations. Can't blame him, not the funnest process to go through.

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By in United Kingdom,

Thanks for posting this note. Hopefully it puts to bed all this nonsense about Lego stealing fan ideas and conspiracy theories etc (all of which as we knew all along was utter tosh!) With Lego now working on 2018/19 sets I wonder what the rubbish the next conspiracy theory will be based on!

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By in United States,

This note could have helped put a lot of fires early. As for the set itself, it is beautiful but over my budget.

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By in United Kingdom,

As I posted in the Yellow Submarine article Lego's response and the whole timeline show that any claims that Lego stole the idea are ludicrous. I assume give his reaction Sergio will be turning down the offer of a free set.

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By in France,

So... the set "was developed independently of any LEGO Ideas submission", yet it'll be release under the "Ideas" collection ? What's the point ?
Maybe I misunderstood the Lego letter but where are they saying the set was in developpement BEFORE Sergio's submsission ?

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By in United States,

^ The Ideas logo was a mistake, they removed it.

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By in United States,

Um, is everyone forgetting that BrentWaller's original CUUSOO proposal that became the ECTO-1 set originally included both the car AND the building:

https://ideas.lego.com/projects/36088

That proposal reached 10k in August of 2013 and entered Review Phase in September. The CUUSOO blog post (http://blog.lego.cuusoo.com/2014/01/30/fall-2013-review-ghostbusters/) detailing the selection of the ECTO-1 clearly states:

"We’re thrilled to take the ECTO-1 and minifigure characters from BrentWaller’s Ghostbusters 30th Anniversary project and release them as the next LEGO CUUSOO set."

They clearly recognize the proposal as both the car AND BUILDING, and specifically stated they took the ECTO-1 and minifigure characters from it for production, not the building.

The timeline here easily works out that the CUUSOO/Ideas set and the HQ set went into development at the SAME TIME!

Why are we not more enraged by this? I realize that it's all based on the same IP, but really, BrentWaller was the first to the finishline with a CUUSOO proposal including the Ghostbusters HQ. He should be getting 1% of the sales of 75827.

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By in United Kingdom,

Poor response. They should have addressed this far earlier without prompting. Their confidentiality will always conflict with ideas and they dont address that here at all. And a single free set does not compare with what he would have gotten. Nor does this offer any proof of independent creation. They seem to be hoping that the situation will never happen again instead of addressing it.

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By in United Kingdom,

What is there to address. Lego gave the go ahead to Ecto-1 in August 2013 so no doubt started designing the HQ then or shortly afterwards. Sergio submitted his design in March 2014.

Lego could not refuse to accept the submission as it would clearly give away what they were planning.

I don't understand what is so confusing about the situation.

@vynsane Other than having it in the background of his picture Brent Waller's submission makes no mention of the HQ.

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By in United Kingdom,

@yuffie Thats a 3d rendering from something like ldraw of the set he designed, it was part of his original submission.

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By in United Kingdom,

@yuffie, the 5000 supporters comment from LEGO does though 'You've built a great approach to ECTO-1, the characters, and the firehouse building. This project would make a great commemorative Ghostbusters LEGO playset.'

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By in United States,

Unfortunately, I don't think Lego did anything wrong. They have licensing rights to the Ghostbusters franchise. Additionally, this is a model of a REAL, existing building. Creating a model of a real building is going to look really similar for models. This shouldn't be a surprise!

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By in United States,

I love how some LEGO fans still stick by LEGO, it's insane to me. A $350 set doesn't make up for the lost 1%.

I guess I should be glad Brickiest posted this article at all.

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By in United Kingdom,

The submissions to Ideas for these sets may well have happened back in 2013-2014, yet some Ip's can be in the works for 5 years! The way that Lego responds to submissions are done in a way that will give out no hints whatsoever. The helicarrier is another example. It was probably put into production with the intent of releasing it around the same time as the Tumbler, but Marvel most likely said to hold on the release due to its appearance within Age of Ultron. But in holding the release, the Ideas Helicarrier popped up. Just an example I can think of plausibly happening

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By in United Kingdom,

I will try to do a balance argument without knowing much of the facts. Just looking at this as a regular consumer just hearing this news.

My first comment would be 'on the LEGO website they put the Lego Ideas logo as the theme when it was first announced. So the person uploading it to the website even thought it was part of Lego Ideas.

Moving on....Sergio has had a host of donations from releasing the instructions to part the set together (was this after or before it was rejected?). Either way if I worked for LEGO I would not have been happy.

Sergio has campaigned and campaigned resulting in huge interest from NEW Lego lovers reaching audiences the LEGO marketing team could only wish for, surely that's worth more than cost of making the set and postage.

1% is all you get from Lego Ideas if the set makes its way through. Leaves more than a bad taste in the mouth that the largest toy maker in the world couldn't have even negotiate this down if they had ideas to make the set, employ him as a consultant designer and pay him and be honest with him?

Who made the the original ideas submissions for Ghostbusters, shouldn't he or she get recognition for their part in the story, without that we probably wouldn't even be talking about this in the first place.

I think if LEGO can prove they had the idea already with Sony prior to Sergio uploading on Lego ideas from a business point of view I can see why they took the decision to act in this way, after all it's just a business!

They must do that as part of the original submission when they make it to a set, now we have the idea how can monopolise this further.

Overall after reading this back I have to say it's hard to side with LEGO, it's a shame for LEGO to be seen in this way, I can't say it's a shame for Sergio as they should have treated him right when he visited, it's more than a shame for him.


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By in Slovakia,

@vynsane @chesirecat
The HQ was never part of the original submission other than background see Brent's original support thread on EB
http://www.eurobricks.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=80179
and the motivational video on YT
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fW8Y2xErL6Y
He is 'selling' the minifigs and car, not the building.
And he has the balls to credit OrionPax being quicker to publish the figs, ECTO-1 and a fullblown HQ with interiors https://www.flickr.com/photos/orion_pax/8484188150/in/photostream/ ! Did I hear anybody say 'poor OrionPax everybody forgot about him', no it's always 'poor Sergio, poor Brent...'
Sergio's HQ was not the first, one can even argue if the best, it was just very well 'sold' over the social media.
And people claiming that LEGO copies Sergio's work because of things like SNOT tiles used as brick which are not on Brent's, and other techniques ... FFS the bricks are like that on Firehouse modular from 2009...

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By in United States,

from my post in the forum:

comparing the two, I'm seeing a considerable amount of differences actually, especially for such a nondescript subject:
big front windows above car door. very different. Sergio went with door/window frames only, while LEGO used brick-built cross beams in both directions
top arch above front windows
railing details above car door
inverted snot slopes around the top
tiling along top side of Sergio's, not on LEGOs
windows on side have non-trivial differences in construction
traffic light is almost completely different
everything above the inverted slopes is pretty much different
hinge mechanism for LEGO is in different location and include the entire roof along the hinge, as well as 1/3 of the back of the building, whereas Sergio's is one wall only and no roof included
I think the most damning criticism that could be made is the scattered use of the brick profile bricks on the ground floor. But that is hardly a groundbreaking or unique technique. LEGO themselves have used it in other production sets.

Did the LEGO designer borrow some elements from Sergio's submission? I dunno, maybe he did. Maybe he borrowed some from the other GB HQ Mocs out online. Maybe he didn't. But I don't see anything here that proves he did, or even makes it appear likely that he did. Again, it's a pretty plain building and there are only so many ways to represent it in LEGO form.

But in the end, appearances are what matters. and if enough people believe LEGO is stealing ideas from Ideas, then it's a bad thing for LEGO, and they should fix it one way or another.

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By in United States,

Yeah, my opinion of Ideas has fallen significantly.
The various restrictions plus these recent controversies doesn't exactly improve its image.
Believe it or not, you can get your project turned down because your main image is too tall (believe me, I know from experience).
A little bit too restrictive, perhaps?

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By in United Kingdom,

@papluh

"The HQ was never part of the original submission other than background see Brent's original support thread on EB
http://www.eurobricks.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=80179"

But in that very same threat Brent's already writing that he has "lots more planned for this, including the Ghostbusters HQ (which you can see a work in progress picture below)".

And there is a work-in-progress image of the HQ as well.

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By in United Kingdom,

I dont think they've done anything wrong except horribly mismanage ideas. Thats what's at stake here, trust in the ideas process and they don't seem to care at all. They need to be more open about the process and drop the corporate paranoia and preferably work out something to compensate designers for their time and effort, a free set is a poor offer. If they can't manage that at least put in place a policy for notifying people their set is being made already so they arent misled and wasting their time for the revenue share thats not going to happen with an Nda if they insist.

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By in United Kingdom,

If I was wearing different shoes I'd be frustrated at not getting 1% royalties on a £280 set, but, whilst many will be disappointed by TLG's response they have done nothing wrong according to the small print that all Ideas submissions are entered against. TLG don't have to hand over anything so you can't grumble at the goodwill gesture of a free set. For whatever reason, there's been a lot of grumbles aimed at TLG recently. I can't fault there customer service. I say don't bite that hand that feeds you. TLG don't have to entertain the Ideas concept and whilst this story is unfortunate, there have been Ideas success stories and I'm sure there will be more. Ideas sets that have gone into production have been on average £40 - 1% royalty is not substantial, however, 1% royalties on a £280 set?! Hmmmm

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By in Slovakia,

@dcmal

But did he update the original submission ? No, it still was about minifigs and car .

Did he added the Stay Puft Man to the original submission ? No, he created a new project on ideas.

So? He did not add the HQ as part of the original submission, maybe in fear of disqualifying it by sheer size, maybe he did not count on it being produced. If he did, we would be talking otherwise. But not doing the official way, his GB HQ was just another MOC on internet and there were earlier ones than that.

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By in United States,

The production set looks a lot more like Brentwaller's than Sergio512's. Sergio even thanks Brent in his ideas submission - " Thanks to Brent, Lego brings the GB Ecto-1 Set. I thought to myself- why not built the appropriate Headquarter".

Given that the HQ was pictured in Brent's approved ideas submission, and the production item appears to more closely resemble Brent's, I think Sergio is lucky to get a free set. He did beautiful work, no doubt about it, but Lego obviously already had Brent's MOC to work with. If anybody should be getting the 1% royalty it should be Brentwaller.

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By in Slovakia,

@dougts

"But in the end, appearances are what matters. and if enough people believe LEGO is stealing ideas from Ideas, then it's a bad thing for LEGO, and they should fix it one way or another."

This is the way to hell, just succumb to anybody who screams the most. Sergio was not the first, it's arguable if he was the best, he is just very good at "selling" his point of view.

Please feel free to check on Sergio's own word from the past when he started after ECTO-1 was well after negotiation phase (which means topic of future sets was well discused)
http://www.gbfans.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=65&t=36209
"I'll present you, my custom Lego Ghostbusters HQ.

The news about the Lego GB Ecto-1 have put me in a extreme euphoria.

I thought to myself, why not built the appropriate HQ for my collection... With permission from Dr Dave W. (he let me inspire from some pictures of his own built) 6 days later I had the model ready.
..."

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By in United States,

It's absolutely silly when a fan gets upset about LEGO making a set that is similar to their creation OF A LICENSED OBJECT.

Let's get one thing straight. When you build a model of a licensed object, all you did was make a model. I'm not saying that's there's not work involved in that, but it's not the same as imagining something out of nothing and then executing that unique idea in the brick.

Now, if LEGO were to ever just straight up rip a MOC out of someone's Flickr steam or something without so much as a hat tip, then we'd have every right to go on the warpath.

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By in United Kingdom,

It seems to me that the Brickset article (and some comments) are angled and not quite thought through:

The Ghostbusters 30th Anniversary project that eventually led to ECTO 1 was started on 1 March 2013. It reached 10,000 supporters on 14th August 2013, and was announced for production on 30 January 2014.

By that time, the minecraft sets were already in their second iteration and there was every reason to assume that Lego might build Ghostbusters into an IP.

Considering that Brent of ECTO fame had already included Ghostbusters HQ shots in his ECTO submission, starting a Ghostbusters HQ project on 19 March 2014 (= Sergio) could have known that his project is probably redundant.

So, with all due respect, if anybody is piggybacking on a trend here, isn't it the Ghostbusters HQ project that was trying to slipstream in the success of the Ghostbusters 30th Anniversary project?

Ceterum censeo, the people behind Lego Ideas have shown exceptionally sound judgement in NOT telling Sergio about the upcoming Ghostbusters Headquarters model for two reasons:

First, they probably knew it would spoil his exceptional day meeting them if they told him that "we are going to release a Ghostbusters HQ building, but it won't be based on your submission, you won't receive credit, and thanks to the NDA you just signed (and you probably didn't sign it expecting such a disappointment), you also can't talk about it." So, guys, give them some credit here.

Second... well, maybe they were worried that he might whine about it publicly. In fact, check his blog.

I congratulate Sergio's effort and success in promoting his model, and I understand his disappointment. Not entirely unexpectedly, he did not win - it happens - but he apparently got rewarded somewhat (meeting the Lego Ideas guys I presume, and an otherwise expensive set)... and then he stinkers about it in his blog. Waaaay tooo goooo.

In this context, consider that in Lego's overall profits, Lego Ideas is probably just a very small, tiny part. And Lego is a company that values its reputation very much. In the German press, they already got some bad rep for not selecting any project in the recent round. So, not a lot of bad press will be needed before Lego might decide that Lego Ideas is not worth it.

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By in Spain,

"Given that the HQ was pictured in Brent's approved ideas submission, and the production item appears to more closely resemble Brent's, I think Sergio is lucky to get a free set. He did beautiful work, no doubt about it, but Lego obviously already had Brent's MOC to work with. If anybody should be getting the 1% royalty it should be Brentwaller."

I completely agree with this.

New to Brickset (longtime lurker). Hi everybody!

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By in United States,

I really do not understand the LEGO defenders here. At the VERY LEAST Sergio provided free market research to LEGO. He confirmed that a Ghostbusters Station would be incredibly popular. For that he gets $350? Ridiculous.

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By in United States,

I think that is where it gets tricky...we all can build a set based on a given IP source material. The end product will likely look similar with a few tweaks here and there based on creative differences/artistic expression.

I don't want to side with anyone in this issue. IDEAS has been horrible so far with a lot of similar products. But LEGO won't prove they had the license beforehand so in the end it doesn't matter. People will continue to buy LEGO and they will continue to make BILLIONS of dollars and everything will be forgotten, like Sergio said.

When the company is big enough, there is no use to waste energy fighting it (which is a shame).

But when I look at both of the buildings, I see similarities (it's the same building source material) and I see lots of differences. The same goes for the interior. What do they expect? It's the SAME source material. I'm sure the interior is going to have lots of similar colors and items placed in similar places. There is no getting around that.

But the bigger problem is how LEGO has been phoning it in. Whether they've stolen other people's ideas or not, they've also been lackluster for most of their own in house builds and rehashing things they didn't need to. Either the designers are overworked or they are trying to push through too much product to make more profits.

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By in United States,

Everybody, just to be clear: I'm entirely neutral on the subject. I'm just here to report the news, and it's a shame on both sides that this had to happen the way it did.

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By in Portugal,

The website LEGO Ideas is a very sensitive area. The project submission system and the requirement to achieve the infernal 10,000 votes, is not very good.
I give an example:
- Two fans can submit an equal idea, without ever having seen the projects of each. After exchanging accusations of plagiarism.
All projects after being submitted, are a time for approval ... they are all always approved.

I think this site will eventually close. So much controversy and finger-pointing, or change the rules of submission and approval or else this will create many, many problems to all ... for LEGO and for the fans.

Why the word "Supporting" and not "Vote". Why do I have to classify each project?
If it costs 0-49 € if it's for children, adolescents or adults, to buy 1 or 10?

This is tiring and for what? I reach the 10,000 votes and then the LEGO says not approved. What does this matter?

Please just a button to say "VOTE".

Thanks
Mike

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By in United States,

This is one of the reasons most companies have a policy not to accept unsolicited idea submissions (especially from non-employees), unfortunate as that is.

The problem with an NDA is that, practically speaking, LEGO would not have any remedy if Sergio violated the agreement. Anything they would try to do would be much worse PR than this. This situation was probably LEGO's worst fears come true for the Ideas project.

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By in Portugal,

Why is this project still here? Why is Team LEGO Ideas, not pulling it out of here? An identical set will be released, why still here? This seems a no man's land.

https://ideas.lego.com/projects/89254

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By in United States,

This seems like someone submitting a picture of an X-Wing MOC to the Lego Magazine in 1998, then getting angry that Lego "stole their idea" by making an official X-Wing set in 1999.

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By in United Kingdom,

@TheBrickPal Well, maybe it is harsh to say the article is angled, and I am sure your intentions were neutral. Nonetheless, it might seem tendentious if a picture of Sergio's model is put next to the actual Lego release, together with what effectively is an apology of Lego to Sergio. There is a lot of context missing, including what is available on Sergio's actual blog post (which I really think he better had not written), which is much more nuanced as well and gives Brent a lot of credit.

But I suspect that most brickset readers otherwise couldn't care less about the topic see the image, skim-read the text and Lego's response, and then jump to conclusions, "Oh Lego ripped him off", when it really is not as simple at all. At that point, they won't follow the link to Sergio's blog anymore.

EDIT: I want to mention that I really appreciate your effort as well as that of everybody else on the brickset team. I didn't mean to discourage or criticise you badly. You are all doing great work.

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By in United Kingdom,

@carbono, I mostly agree with your viewpoint of the Ideas site, but I think the way it is approached by some is unrealistic. It would probably be better off being called the ' Look what I built' site. I have a few projects on there at the moment (like this https://ideas.lego.com/projects/117403 ). I know it will never reach 10,000 votes, I'll be pleasantly surprised if it reaches 100, but maybe at some future date a Lego set might appear with something similar.
Will I be sore that I didn't get my 1% and that Lego designers 'obviously' copied my idea? No. I'll just be content in thinking (maybe incorrectly) that the set might have been the result of my build.
The ideas that are reaching the 10,000 mark are all to often too big, too expensive and way beyond the means of a regular Lego fan.
It also now seems to be populated by people trying to get as many followers as possible with little regard to the projects people post. Off to weed out some of those people now...

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By in United States,

I was wondering when these submissions of IP's would come to a head. If it's an IP then anyone can make any derivative at any point in time. If you don't submit an "original idea" then you're going to have to bite the bullet when you see your model sold by TLG.

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By in United States,

So, for Sergio's sake, boycott this model?

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By in United States,

The reason this is bothering people (or me, at least) is the timing. LEGO announced this about a year after Sergio's project hit 10,000, which it did in under six months. It almost feels like they were watching it to test for demand.

I know this is unlikely to be the case due to the lengthy design process of large, collector-oriented sets, but that's just how it seems, in a way.

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By in United Kingdom,

Everyone keeps banging on about 1% royalties. I understood it to be 1% of the profits. which is far less than 1% of the selling price of the set! If people are not careful the whole ideas platform will get shut down just like the my factory theme was! - when will people just accept it and move on.

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By in United States,

^^^ Not at all. That would take things to a level they really don't need to go to. Just thought I'd share what's been happening.

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By in Brazil,

I don't think Lego did anything wrong, since there was a building in the original Ecto-1 submission.
https://ideas.lego.com/projects/36088

But, the official Lego building clearly was developed using both submissions features.

The windows are pretty similar to BrentWaller's model while the bricks, the art-deco and the traffic light are similar to Sergio512's model.

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By in United States,

I feel he's lucky to get a free set at all.

Sergio, while his creation did get 10,000 votes--hold no rights to any of the things he presented. He doesn't own Ghostbusters nor Lego, so for others to make the claim that he should receive 1% royalties is ridiculous. It was rejected and Lego went with the car.

Even though Lego later on went and made the Firehouse, Sergio still has no claim to it--because he had no claim to it from the start. Sorry but that's how it happened. If it was his own idea, not an IP, then yeah he has something--but not in this scenario. He's getting the set he wanted either way.

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By in United States,

I think the only part I struggle with, is that I barely see the ecto as a viable set to rake in sales, let alone a $350 licensed set on an old IP.
A $350 Cinderella castle? A $350 Star Wars set? A $350 Mervel Universe related set?
Sure on all of those.
I just would never think Ghostbusters, though even with the upcoming movies.

The issue is perception. I could see Lego brainstorming ideas for any license they are interested in, but viability and sales of those ideas are a different story. I do not question they at least had the idea written, maybe even playing with MOCs of the idea. What I question is would they ever put out such a $350 set without having seen basically a proof of concept with 10k votes?

With all the amazing licenses Lego has had, how many licensed themes have had $350+ sets? Looking at that list, the perception I come away with is that Ghostbusters HQ does not really make any sense unless they somehow managed to have a way to prove such an idea was wanted.

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By in Slovakia,

@SuperDKong
Yeah, causality and correlation, they seem to be easily swapped, more so when people believe rather than research.

LEGO had the ECTO-1 ready for the short burst of interest during the 30th anniversary of GB in summer 2014. This was the time when also Sergio's Ideas entry went all they way to 10k after getting just 1k in earlier 3 months.

After the craze went away there was no plausible reason to launch and stock the ultra expensive GB HQ until the new movie puts GB back to news in 2016.

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By in United States,

I knew it was only a matter of time before something like this happened. They under compensated him for his work on this. They should be giving him more than a free set. They should fly him on an all expenses paid trip to Denmark so that they can apologize in person for this. I have lost a lot of respect for Lego because of their response to this situation.

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By in Ireland,

At the end of the day, LEGO reserve the right to produce and sell any and all sets, they own the copyright, so I don't understand the bad blood that seems to have developed here. LEGO Ideas is a great opportunity for the community to input projects and ideas for sets, but the LEGO Group holds the ultimate copyright to the brand and what exactly is sold, coincidences to MOCs shown online and to officially-submitted Ideas will always exist due to the very nature of LEGO as a construction toy with a limited range of available types of pieces to build the set with( which I believe is covered in their Ts and Cs for Ideas submitters). Especially for something that is based on a location from a movie. It's not like he came up with the design of the building by himself, he based his idea off a real life building. If anyone is owed royalties, it should be the designer/Architect of the existing firehouse building in New York getting a slice of the action and not Sergio, haha. But that's my two cents.

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By in Austria,

I read so many arguments from different angles which are all more than understandable. For me the only thing, I don't understand - the main problem: how can something be approved for a review for a future set if they already work on this set at this time? They have to cancel the idea and not take it for a review if they work on the same set or they already know that they do not get the license (already with 5000 votes). Otherwise it is just unfair. For me, I am only surprised how such a big company can ignore the basic rules of dealing with fans, or customers, which is: always try to please them and never act in a way to upset them. If indeed they do not 'steal' ideas, they should have solved this issue already when the helicarrier was new and the idea was in the review phase at the same time…. and now, if there are only sets which are not suitable, it is much nicer if they don't just dump them like this, but postpone the decision and make one announcement for two review phases with the outcome that sets are produced - but like this, it is just strange…

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By in Germany,

Poor response.

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By in United States,

@chrichrichri I think the only thing to understand here is that you can't please everyone. Fans and customers shouldn't be upset; we're getting a very high quality set with the Firehouse. People also have to realize that most products of this calibre are in development from start to finish for many months, and even years. Given the relatively low numbers of Ideas sets that are released, I don't think it would've been realistic for us to expect LEGO to choose another Ghostbusters set to release under the Ideas theme after the ECTO-1 came out.

While I think it's unfortunate that Sergio will not be getting any official credit for the Firehouse set, I think many people are outright wrong in saying that LEGO stole what he made. This isn't like a City or Chima themed set where the ideas are completely original. The Firehouse is based on a very specific building that exists both in real life, and was depicted as a set in a motion picture. There are only so many ways you can design a LEGO set based on a specific building on minifigure scale. That being said, when comparing Sergio and LEGO's design side by side, I don't see any resemblance apart from the obvious connection that both are based on the same source material. Certain dimensions are different, colour choices for bricks are difference, and nearly all the techniques used to make the details are different as well.

In regards to the Helicarrier, LEGO has had a Marvel Super Heroes theme for ages (or at least sets based on the Marvel comics and films). It's basically a given that any designs submitted to LEGO Ideas that would fall into existing themes will be rejected (the latest round of reviews is a glaring example of that). And in that case, the design from Ideas and the actual Marvel Super Heroes sets were completely different, not only in build style but scale as well. The Ideas Helicarrier would have carried a price tag of well over $1,000 based on piece count and size alone.

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By in Canada,

Bottom line, who should get credit. Um! Nobody, all renditions are based on a real building (that still stands) that appeared in a movie. Like a vast bulk of the (so called) Lego Ideas projects they are based on something the someone else created or thought up.

Lego Ideas has shown that very few project are original; even Lego is guilty of this. The prime example being the LotR and Hobbit sets which were based on scenes from a movie (Peter Jackson and the set designers) who drew inspiration from a book (J. R. R. Tolkien) and artists who came up with depictions to promote the book.

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By in United States,

@chrichrichri: Declining a project before it gets to review because a similar product is already in development is not an option, because doing so would require publicly acknowledging that a similar product is in development. Which would in turn mean revealing a future set over a year ahead of schedule just because some AFOL happened to stumble upon the same potential product idea.

Not to mention that the LEGO Ideas staff might not even KNOW prior to review whether a similar product is in development. The LEGO Group is not a monolithic entity, and they're very careful about their secrets, even internally. It's probably not until a project gets to review and the actual design team gets brought in that anybody at LEGO Ideas would even become aware of such a conflict.

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By in Russian Federation,

What a nonsense!

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By in Canada,

Way to go Sergio - publicity - 100% he has gotten there. I would feel sorry for him if he DIDN'T make that post on his blog in the first place.

For Lego, biggest proof that Lego Ideas should be shut down. It is just not worth it, even though the intention could be good and give a "dream come true" for some of the Lego fans. But it is a double-edged sword.

Sorry for the Lego fans who submitted to Ideas, if Ideas is brought down in the near future, you know who to thank for.

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By in Australia,

If they were already planning it, they should have told him instead of stringing him along and bringing him to a useless meeting at their office. Don't they think he has better things to do than pour hundreds of hours into a project after they've secretly decided it's never going to happen? I'm disgusted that TLG treated such a big fan so disrespectfully. TLG obviously is contemptuous of us, their most profitable customers.

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By in United States,

Well this is fascinating. People seem dead-set on either defending Lego as a saint, or condemning them to the deepest pits in hell.

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By in United States,

One element to consider is that Lego DOES subject IDEAS projects to heavy revision before they're released. What the creator builds ends up being different from what Lego finally produces--they resemble each other, but Lego has to remove illegal building techniques and weaknesses and repackage it to be more marketable.

Sergio's firehouse looks similar to the one Lego is producing, sure--they're both red and grey big buildings. However, Lego's model looks like a substantial redesign with a few different building techniques applied. Plus, I'm not sure that Sergio made an interior for his.

I guess what I'm saying is, they both built a firehouse, but Lego's architecture/design is the one that's going forward. Sergio literally came up with a concept, that's it.

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By in United States,

Ideas just doesn't work. Simple as that. The really good projects aren't usually viable to be made as sets due to their size, and 80-90% of the projects don't stand a chance. When you factor in the politics behind a set being developed at the same time as a similar Idea, you get a complete mess. I don't think LEGO is completely in the right here, because Sergio, if no one else, deserved to know that they were already making a set. However, Sergio should be grateful that part of his dream will be realized, and not get hung up about it not being his own design. It's very likely that his own design would end up looking a lot like the official one after the LEGO design process, anyway.
Anyway, I'd definitely be grateful for the compensation. While it ain't designer credit, a $350 set is not cheap.

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By in United States,

Jeez, LEGO... that's just being a jerk. You didn't even TELL him you were making one already?! I find that to be a crap excuse, considering how similar the official set is.

A free $350 set is not bad, but I would definitely be ticked if this happened to me.

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By in United Kingdom,

Wow.... This is really making for a good discussion... It's hard to know the real truth in this situation, however why Lego couldn't foresee this kind of thing happening is beyond me.. Either way this is a poor show Lego.. One of the reasons maybe that Lego seem to release sets just as Ideas sets have been designed is that there factories are so busy that they can't fit the set into the production line straight away and are delayed in bringing it out.. Lego would do better trying to release more ideas sets that reach review stages and make less repeat sets that they do in city every single year... Really Lego how many fire engines do we need year after year... Make different things fans want.. Truth is they make what they want when they want... Afols have been screaming out for more modulars that would sell by the boat load but do they make them? No. If Lego continue with what at late has been some very bad fan PR then they'll end up back where they were 15 years ago... It's time to sort out the Ideas rules once and for all.. P.s if this had happened to me I would be pretty ticked off too.. For most fans it's the fact that they have been able to design a set that's been produced, and not the measly 1% royalty..

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By in United States,

*Facepalm* I'm not sure what to think. I'm starting to think they should just entirely drop IP related projects from IDEAS and lower the bar to 1,000. I like the idea of accepting projects before they even reach 10000. That would solve some problems.

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By in Poland,

Maybe LEGO should state as a basic condition "no IP-based projects"

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By in United Kingdom,

I'm firmly in the camp that thinks Sergio is lucky to get a free $350 set. An understandably nice gesture from Lego though. I could possibly see the argument for Brent being a bit bent out of shape about the situation, but that isn't the issue at hand. On a related note, did the guy that created the Minecraft microbuild get any sort of credit/revenue for the second and third micro sets? If so, then that would slightly strengthen any argument Brent (not Sergio) had for recognition. I guess a closer comparison might be for the minifig scale Minecraft sets which I'm certain he wouldn't be getting royalties from.

Building sets from Lego's existing licences or IP will always run into this sort of problem. E.g. the modular train station and museum that have had a lot of votes within ideas. Both great models, but guess what? Lego has already considered the idea creating a modular train station and museum (and police station, and bakery, and library, and fast food restaurant, and ice cream parlor, and beauty salon and gymnasium etc etc etc) without needing the assistance of the general public. Lego didn't start Ideas so they could start giving away a percentage of their profits for stuff they'd be making anyway. It would be a real shame, but I suspect that backlash and controversy like this will bring about the demise of Ideas.

Anyway... I'm off to upload to Ideas my blue and grey x-wing from The Force Awakens. Wish me luck it gets made into a set.

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By in United States,

Another thing to remember is IDEAS has been courteous in the past. With Doctor Who, they let submissions in when they saw they could produce DW sets, rather than just putting out non-IDEAS ones.

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By in United States,

^^ No he did not

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By in United Kingdom,

This whole story has clarified the value of a creative idea for me.
For all future successfully supported and selected Ideas projects, we the creators, also your devoted customers now demand 5%.
: )

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By in United States,

The only reason I would ever put a MOC on the web, is to share the joy of building. My goal isn't to monetize my hobby.

If anyone gets pissy about the money, they are obviously showing their true colors, and what they care more about.

Bley > green for me, any day.

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By in United States,

@smarty75 If LEGO had told him about their plans, it would have been unfair to all the other Ideas creators who had projects that would conflict with upcoming official product. Why shouldn't they too get advanced warning that their projects had no hope of being approved?

Whether or not LEGO had a hunch at the time that he might leak the info it sounds like in hindsight whatever concerns they had about telling him were right given his poor attitude. LEGO cannot have people going around hinting through action or inaction their business plans. It sounds like he made a good chunk of change from instruction donations anyway.

They're two very different models based on the same subject. Judging from the exterior it's much greater a difference than the slight reconfiguration that most Ideas models see upon official refinement. We haven't even seen the inside yet.

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By in United Kingdom,

I really don't understand all the fuss here, if I'm being honest.
Companies like TLG spend time and money to develop new things/sets far into the future. Any forward thinking company will be, at the very least, 18 months ahead with their planning before putting a product on the shelf. I would imagine the TLG have hundreds of ideas floating around. Many of them will require a license agreement with another company (the BBC, Lucasfilm etc). And they will always be a closely guarded secret.
Isn't it likely that a Lego fan would have an idea that is already in the pipeline at TLG? Of course it is. At the risk of sounding rude ... it is easy to create an 'idea' out of bricks by recreating an image we have seen at the cinema, in a video game, or on the page of a book. The credit for the idea should go to the person who imagined it in the first instance, not the first person to copy it in Lego form.
And, I also believe that a free set is a very generous offer of good will.

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By in Australia,

See this is what I do not understand - in the Project Guidelines and House rules - it states explicitly - "If your project is produced, it’s possible the LEGO Group could consider your set as a starting point for a new play theme; however, any follow-up products would be developed internally and independently from LEGO Ideas."
Ecto-1 was popular from the start - Lego sought the IP. Sergio - saw the potential after the popularity became obvious, so did others, including Lego. It is Lego's company, which idea would any sane company back? The timing even indicates that they moved first. I think they should have told Sergio - however, given his subsequent reaction, I am no longer sure.

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By in United States,

If LEGO had the license before either project then it would make sense that they were being so secretive. They might not have considered the HQ part of the Ecto-1 project because they could have already been working on the HQ.

If TLG had the license before the project submission then there really is no scenario where they can win. They can not say anything and then have all the "fans" make conspiracy theories about LEGO stealing ideas, etc., or they can release news of the set way ahead of time to dispel the conspiracy theories, and then make fans wait a LONG time for the set to actually be released. Either way, the fans are mad.

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By in Australia,

Oh god, Sergio this and sergio that.

His perceived entitlement makes me want to puke.

Ask yourself, social justice warriors, do you really care about Sergio?

Do you really care about Sergio when you have the GB HQ in your grubby hands? Displaying it on your shelf? With 5 more MISB sets under your bed, still in their delivery boxes, for the day when LEGO retires this set?

The spirit of Ideas is dead. Its now all about plagiarism, and hoping to hit the 1% royalty lottery. Kaching!

Huw, please close this discussion and take it to the forums. Taking such a long time to load the whole page.

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By in Singapore,

As much as i want to sympathise with the MOC designer who submitted the idea, my head tells me that Lego owes this guy nothing at all. U submit an idea, not your MOC. Lego decides then whether to turn this idea into fruition after the voting. If your idea is purely original, then u get a small cut. Up to Lego discretion. Simple as that. Many things are in the works, and Lego does not owe any explanation to outside designers working on projects that they are on themselves. Every set in design and production are business confidential. NDA doesn't help either. If the set leaks accidentally way beforehand, the first finger will be pointed at the independent designer. Can that designer afford the damages of breaching the NDA?

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By in United States,

I'm starting to think that maybe LEGO started the review process for the Ecto-1 before it even got 10,000. It's possible, if they were able to secure the IP quickly, that they started planing the HQ set before the Ecto-1 even reached 10,000.

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By in Canada,

I agree with a few others here; it's a representation of a building (he didn't design), popularized by a movie (he had no part in), and with an IP Lego already had from a previous Ideas set. He should count himself lucky to get a free set, nevermind asking to be credited in the set.

Ideas as a true way to share new ideas (like the Exo-suit) is great. Ideas as a way to suggest an IP they don't own just seems like a waste.

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By in Singapore,

i agree with @willobee498.

Do something original like Exo or the birds. It might take longer to hit 10k, but it's all yours! ^^

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By in Canada,

When I was the runner up for the ECTO-1 on Cuusoo, I felt the same way. I had a project on Cuusoo with plenty of supporters before Brent Waller swooped in with a nicer looking model. He managed to gain media attention and hit 10k mere days before I did. There were no rules about what would happen if two nearly identical products reached a review. I was given no credit, not even a footnote in the manual... and as much as it was bittersweet at the time, that's the way it should be.

In my situation, the rules weren't set in stone (at the time... now first across the finish line takes prescience). This time around, TLG did absolutely nothing wrong. The rules are very clear when submitting to Ideas. They did not owe this creator any advanced notice, nor a free set.

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By in United States,

Ideas just needs to end. From the beginning, it has been nothing but negativity from almost every angle. Sets don't get accepted into production, fans are unhappy with the end results of revised designs, Lego steals ideas and marketing, and no one knows what is going on or why and it just leads to more and more resentment. And rightfully so, their PR is abysmal.

Ideas needs to end. It sounded nice in theory, but in practice it's a huge mess. The only thing I think could salvage it might be to have a FAST turnaround (decisions made in less than 6 months, maybe) and MUCH more transparency behind the decision making process. Waiting so long for the heartache of disappointing news and no explanation is a surefire way to turn your customers against you. They have created an "anti-hype disappointment machine"

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By in United States,

@thisisteekay
Not to twist the knife, but "first across the finish line" DOESN'T actually take precedence and possibly never did. Once the Dr. Who ban was lifted, two Dr. Who sets raced to 10,000. Andrew Clark's set, while more of an actual set than glenbricker's minifig pack was ultimately the one chosen for production despite glenbricker getting his to 10,000 support slightly quicker.

Not obeying their own rules - just another of the many ways Ideas has been a disaster.

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By in United States,

I always thought the thrill of Ideas was getting to see your idea or MOC as an official product! I didn't know LEGO even offered royalties and I think that's really cool.

But they don't owe anyone anything (although a copy of the set is always nice). Sergio should be grateful. I don't believe for one second LEGO took his idea. Why should they credit him?

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By in United Kingdom,

It is nice to wake up and find a few comments from people who actually understand the whole (or as much as we are aware of) situation rather than the boneheaded 'Lego stole his idea' posts.

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By in Canada,

@Sergio: I think you should sue LEGO for theft of IP. Your set looks better anyways. Because of what LEGO did to you, I promise I will be boycotting this set!

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By in United Kingdom,

Whoops, I posted too soon.

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By in Austria,

Does it matter who is right or wrong. Nowadays you can excuse almost everything with its complexity blame or explain it with what ever. People can't grasp things anymore, me included, because the world got complex. We get ripped off on a daily base and nobody cares! I cannot imagine what a company like Lego or any other multinational corporation need to do, to prevent us from throwing our money into their way.

So many things a wrong, but legally throughout correct. So why should we care anyway, the sun will rise again and Lego as so many other multinational corporations will gain.

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By in United States,

Grow up people. The choice is yours. Buy it, forget it or get out of this hobby. Big Business trumps little people.

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By in Slovakia,

@ggfile
Are you a troll ?
What IP is Sergio holding ? Not considering that his building is derived from works of other people the IP holder for Ghostbusters is Columbia Pictures / Sony Pictures
If they wanted they could go to court and win for any unlicensed use for monetary and non-monetary profit not falling into fair-use. The only thing stopping them is that profits from MOC/instruction/etc sold by fans is way less than what costs them to get a IP lawyer from reception to top floor for a meeting...

While I respect the MOC quality of Sergio, his cry-baby attention seeking attitude proves that TLG had made good decision not to tell him beforehand.

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By in United States,

I would suspect that when LEGO went to get the license for ecto1, they also negotiated rights for other possible ghostbusters sets. Lawyers costs money and both sides will want to spend their time as efficiently as possible. And bulk licenses should be cheaper than per-item licenses.

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By in United States,

Licensing is complicated in a number of ways. Often ending up in situations that look bad to us. Really this is no different than the unknown conflict with the MWT back with CuuSoo.

Way way back when Minecraft first passed someone from Lego outlined this. Once they entered an arrangement for the Ecto-1 an existing license was put in place. Back in the early days they made it clear that CuuSoo/ideas was only for the first set. Any further development of more or a theme would be wholly Lego, and would not go towards or be influenced by the CuuSoo/ideas creator. This is why only the first Minecraft set went to the CuuSoo creator.

An argument can be made that Ideas should just disallow any existing ip projects, but that is unfair in some ways, as ultimately the yes/no on those comes from the license owner. It's just an extremely complex web of relations, non competes, marketing interests, etc. the default position is probably 99% no, but you never know.

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By in United States,

Lego got the licensing rights and everyone who submitted a firehouse lucked out. I'd recommend not attempting to submit anything similar or related to a previously approved set or a licensed theme that Lego has. Lego Ideas already mentions this, but in a different way. You're making a request for a company to make something with their product. You're at their mercy.

Make original ideas, they will probably have better luck than recreations of things that already exist. Since I'm referencing luck, this does not apply to anything that exists currently or in the future.

Originality is more valuable than recreations.

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By in Portugal,

:(
SO this is what LEGO has been up to... a shame. And the offer is quite the admittance of guilt. But hey Sergio, guess what? You are not alone in this... I have reasons of my own to complaint. I have sent a message to the CEO. Not sure he got it though. Still trying to see if legal action is viable (probably not, just like in your case).

As for IDEAS... It is dead. Or soon to be at the peak of its fame. Because of poor management and moderation - too many abusive and illegal contract terms and ridiculous rules that can be quite xenophobic. But that is another issue...

I had a romantic view of IDEAS and it gave me the hope (a very real hope) of becoming a LEGO designer... Unfortunately the dream stopped. I began seeing many concept ideas of mine applicated onto real sets. Maybe just a coincidence, after all LEGO is a modular system and others are entitled to have ideas too, right? I also noticed some projects disappearing to give room to official sets a few months/years after (haunted house, simpsons,etc...)... again, my faith in LEGO remained though shaken...

And finally, with the announcement of a new theme for 2016 my eyes opened and I could not believe my eyes... the theme is very similar in terms of concept and key words to a concept I presented TLG back in 2012. I have asked designers and FOL's and the opinion is almost unanimous - the new theme has screaming resemblances with my concept. I myself believe it developped into something hideous but the core idea is there.

So you see, this might be just the tip of the veil. And TLG does what it pleases, even more when it come to share money with others than themselves and IP owners. This is all just business and FOLs' opinions are taken under consideration only when it might affect sales numbers.

In your case the excuses might be many and informing you beforehand they had the same idea going on earlier would conflict with their non disclosure policy. They want to make this a secret and many time IDEAS staff knows not what is under development so to decline the idea... and declinig might tip you to something they are doing... ...still... if they want to keep a site such as IDEAS open they must be aware these situations can be problematic. And what if it was an original idea of yours? Coincidences can happen but they normally don't. If they stopped projects such as the haunted house and the simpson back in cuusoo because they were developping them already why not do the same to the ghostbusters HQ? There are behaviour inconsistencies in all this and the porr answer provided stinks of poor excuse.

You are not alone in your dicontent Sergio but can something actually be done? No. It is up to LEGO. And by the response they gave you, they face this as perfectly cool and fine. Ethically I find this whole issue a big mess and TLG's reputation is on a downhill.
I've just been sad thinking of all this in the last few months. Even sadder is that I cannot stop buying LEGO...

Carry on and look towards the future... maybe the horizon brings better tidings... and maybe we can all restart dreaming again.
:(

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By in United States,

Tinfoil hat time

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By in Portugal,

@dougts - may be so Mr. Dougts but at least the paranoia is general. 50 people were asked. only 2 had reservations and saw no resemblance...

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By in Finland,

@Reekardoo: what is this new theme, and on the other hand, what exactly is your creation you perceive having been copied? Something you put on Cuusoo or presented to LEGO directly? Any pictures online of these both, the new theme & your stuff, for comparison, for I too would be curious to see?

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By in Portugal,


@Ssorg - Nothing specifically, hence the reason a legal action would be futile. Plagiarism isn't the case and to prove such is ridiculously hard. But there are some Elves sets that approach some of my concepts. Of course the final product has little to do with the original concept but for a trained eye you can see the resemblance. It could be coincidence too, of course. Others may have thought of something similar. As for the new theme I'm talking about NEXO KNIGHTS. I abhore the final result but having shown a first picture I sent to TLG back in 2012 to more than 50 persons, almost every single one of them could see and understand my image as a prototype or concept art for NEXO. I leave it to your consideration but my keywords for the theme ar all over NEXO - https://www.flickr.com/photos/79651650@N03/22251060064/in/dateposted-public/ Just sad not to be given an opportunity as a LEGO designer but seeing my ideas thrive through other hands...

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By in United States,

^ I only see the similarity as "knights with technology". LEGO went much further with that idea, and in a very different direction. Its cast of characters isn't as diverse as yours, and none of the characters seem to be directly taken from your original concept, either. If they did reference your idea before taking it in a completely different direction, at least they got to see your work. But "techno-knights" isn't a groundbreaking concept, and I see few influences in the final theme. If you've lost faith in LEGO, I'm sorry for you. I haven't, though, and that's probably to my wallet's detriment!

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By in Portugal,

I@8BrickMario - I agree the final result is different and in my opinion much worse. But that is just a subjective matter. The cast (for now) isn't as diverse, true; but there are many similarities when it comes to the minifigs and shields (double check "Macy" if I'm not mistaken). Also the keywords for the theme match the criteria. They did get to see my work, I know that for sure. If they used it or not as reference I guess I'll never know. As you said, you see little influence but you do see some and that is a point to be taken regardless of how cliche the theme was back in the 80's. The problem here is where ethics begin and end for such a company. I cannot really accuse them of anything but the idea of an honest company that I had always had has been tarnished. Maybe I'm the only one to blame for that - true also. But as I said, many, many others agreed that there are similarities too big to be left unnoticed. Too bad NEXO KNIGHTS followed a very different path. It could've been a great theme. Fortunately for my wallet... only STAR WARS this year.. or is it unfortunately? XD

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By in United Kingdom,

@dougts Best post EVER.

I think the two posts which nicely sum up the strange direction this thread has taken are:

"legal action would be futile"

"I agree the final result is different"

Some excellent colouring in though.

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By in United States,

^^ I won't deny you your convictions, but everything you mention seems to be coincidence. A red-colored knight would obviously have a red plume, and the shields look very different to me. It's a fun concept, but Nexo Knights takes almost nothing from it. And that's a good thing. If it doesn't really take anything from your concept, it doesn't really rip you off. I see almost zero in common between the two.

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By in Portugal,

:) Very well I will count you in the "no resemblance column" 8BrickMario :D
To be honest I thought I was delirious at first but so many have said the resemblances were striking so who am I to discuss with the lot :D Lots of coincidences can be just that - coincidences with zero in common. Cheers :D

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By in Thailand,

Maybe we all might need to remain a bit more balanced here, although as we are all LEGO lovers and our affection triggers often emotions easily. Fact is that the opinions and views here appear often absolute. Either Sergio was totally ripped off or Lego was acting absolutely correctly according their own rules. I think it is a bit too simplistic to see it either way especially since they are more than corporate rules to be considered.
To sum it up: It is relatively certain, that Lego has a committed several errors in customer/community relations and brand communication. We are all humans and can make mistakes but we need to learn from them and evolve. At the moment Lego can do mistakes and displease people without big consequences as they have a huge and dynamically growing clientele and great products. For some people our love and addictions is stronger than some other opposing thoughts. However, if TLG wants to upkeep their slogan (the often cited “The best is never too good.”) and also justify their own market position as toy manufacturer No.1 they need to be much more careful / caring, considerate and fair to their consumers. Just producing more and more sets every year is not enough (maybe even bad since WALL-E head and Ant-man set issues might be takes as results for that).
Anyway, you may argue that at least Lego regrets their decision and tried to apologize. But I think a email is just too easy and not suitable for this issue. Furthermore offering a set which people might interpret as “admitting guilt” or “rubbing him their stolen idea under his nose” doesn't make it much better. That’s why this step was short-sighted or even a bit counter-productive. They better should have meet again to clear this issue in a professional and more personal/human manner. In accordance with Sergio they could then publish a statement or anything else.
Now it's too late, damage has been caused in some ways for some people and the past can't be undone. Therefore, only the future can contribute to something positive and we would be able to forgive if the measure seems to appropriate. In this regard, we all agree that Lego needs to advance from this experience to avoid similar cases of overlapping design ideas (as mentioned and experienced already: Helicarrier, Sandcrawler, Wizard of Oz, Four Seasons House?).
A positive brand relationship and message is NOT about interesting or innovative products primarily, it’s about how to involve the customers and fans in a satisfying and dynamic way. Lego is more than a product, it has an individual origin and a story which is told in manifold ways, most entertaining and creatively in the Designer Videos (which is still not ready for GB HQ as the interior as well…). In theory, IDEAS has the potential to integrate us as consumers and to promote as at the same time as originators to become a direct part of the brand which had successfully brought us adorable fan creations. Lego IDEAS should remain its quite unique, pro-active and beneficial core approach. At the same time it shouldn't be misused as (in)direct lego set idea pool or a cheap marketing tool to research for potentially attractive new concepts and niche markets provided through the sources of Lego's own target group. When such discussions and accusations are emerging the whole story and the whole system including the product itself begin to crack.
The solution would be IDEAS needs to become more clear and transparent. This is an easy suggestion but hardly possible since Lego needs to make IDEAS consistent with their aim to protect their concepts from IP counterfeit/plagiarism by competitors. To go into details, removing the option of IP licenses would mean that we never would have been able to acquire fascinating sets like Big Bang Theory, Doctor Who or WALL-E (Swivel head, another communication faux pas admitted and fixed quite late..). Subsequently, what is left, is the case that IDEAS might still overlap with the Creator Universe and the outcry would be similar.

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By in Thailand,

I have not yet figured out the way how IDEAS can improve exactly but this can’t be made overnight anyways. But it is sure it would require team effort.
Just discussing and commenting without any conclusive action proves to be a recurring social media phenomenon of nowadays. To debate and accuse, doesn’t bring us anywhere further. Only productive changes can. Since the system is based on us and is designed pro-actively, we could be also able to help (ourselves and our beloved brand) here. Perhaps the big and influential Lego community including leading authors and members of Brickset, Thebrickfan, Brickfanatics, etc, Lego Youtube Channels and diverse IDEAS contributors (also Sergio) should join hands to propose potential solution options? If you want to keep and improve IDEAS, you firstly need to start organise yourselves and gather ideas. The best ones might get their own democratic election. The Top 3 can be suggested to Lego directly?
Any way you like, just do it! You have experience, you possess good judgement, you know your subject, you are aware of the weaknesses and you should be able to come up with some constructive ideas!

In the end, we all agree that we like to have products from our favourite toy brand without have any bad associations or feelings.

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By in United Kingdom,

I have loved reading the comments etc on this debate and I for one think he is real lucky that he has gotten a free set. If that was to be made into an ideas set at that price, you can already see from what people have been saying that they think its overpriced and may not be able to get it. I reckon on that alone he wouldn't have gotten that much back from it all that would justify getting the set.
The last round of sets that made 10000 votes didn't get through as they had too many pieces etc.
Did he go to Sony Pictures and ask them for the licence to create this product in LEGO? No, Lego spent the time an money on that.
In terms of intellectual property rights and LEGO having to be secret on what they bring to the market, I agree with their approach to this. I was actually surprised to see the creation again after seeing the one that went with ECTO 1. I actually thought it was from the same person.
I mean you just have to look at when Apple make big announcements or their are rumours that they are going to be launching a new product and other people jump on that bandwagon and release something quicker to market, does that mean they were not thinking of it before Apple or is its a conspiracy theory.
Anyway, moving on lets see what gets through the next round of ideas. I would say though that the guidelines need to be a little clearer after the last round with no sets getting through and this happening.

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By in Finland,

@Reekardoo: thanks for the visuals!
In short, while personally I'm not convinced about the idea that they would have taken inspiration from your material (not just here, in general too it's just not my way to jump into such conclusions, for example the Changing Seasons set which many others have perceived being based on my Ideas project), still, I do see certain level of similarity, enough to understand how you felt about it.
By the way, the drawing is awesome, you are certainly a talented concept artist! :)

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By in Colombia,

Every day LEGO Ideas looses more credibility. I'm starting to dislike LEGO ideas.

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By in United States,

@apostie "Sergio has had a host of donations from releasing the instructions to part the set together (was this after or before it was rejected?). Either way if I worked for LEGO I would not have been happy."

Considering LEGO Ideas give submitters the option to upload their instructions to the Ideas page itself, I highly doubt anybody had a problem with Sergio releasing his instructions.

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