Ideas Showcase

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View image at flickr

Last month in my last Ideas Showcase article I highlighted the UCS London Bus - Route 38 project. Since then LEGO have released 10258 London Bus. This means that great_mazinga's only Ideas project is likely to be consigned to the scrap heap.

In this Showcase article I highlight seven projects that I believe have some merit and two worthy projects that are unlikely to be considered due to the new Ideas project rules.

Read on to see my comments of these nine projects.

Vincent van Gogh

A collaboration between Melniemuki and Alatariel

This little vignette is based on Vincent van Gogh's painting Bedroom in Arles.

In October 1882 Vincent van Gogh wrote a letter to his brother Theo with the following quote:

"For the great doesn’t happen through impulse alone, and is a succession of little things that are brought together."

This quote could easily describe the Ideas process.

This is a very neat little project that would be well received by a broad cross-section of the LEGO community. The project has had some strong early support and is likely to get to the 1000 milestone soon.


Falconhurst Treehouse

By TJStone6010

I had planned to add this to my last Showcase article but TJStone6010 was in the middle of an update so I put off mentioning the project until now.

Falconhurst Treehouse is the shipwrecked home of the Swiss Family Robinson. TJStone6010 has used some innovative building techniques to make the tree very strong. Have a look at the updates to check out the details built into this tree house.

This is the only project TJStone6010 has that is currently active. It was a Staff Pick a few weeks ago.

The Swiss Family Robinson was made into a Disney film in 1960.

The project is on track to reach 1000 supporters milestone.


Tugboat Tugger 1

By Konajra

Tugboat Tugger 1 is a very detailed minifigure-scale classic tugboat. Have a look at this project as I think you will be impressed by the way it has been built.

It would look quite good in a diorama and could easily lay alongside 21310 Old Fishing Store.

This is the only project Konajra has that is currently active

Early support but needs to pick up the pace to reach 1000 supporters.


Thunderbirds Are Go

By AndrewClark2

I have a soft spot for Thunderbirds and the other Supermarionation puppet TV shows produced by Gerry Anderson.

This project includes Thunderbirds 2 and 4 along with The Mole and an Elevator Car. The five Tracy brothers are depicted as printed minifigure trophies or nanofigures.

Gerry Anderson and his model makers often used LEGO in their models. Have a look at this blog and see if you can see all the LEGO bricks.

Thunderbirds is a theme owned by ITV.

AndrewClark2 was responsible for Doctor Who and Companions which was released as 21304 Doctor Who.

AndrewClark2 also has The Flinstones project which has also been a Staff Pick this year.

I am confident that both these projects will continue to do well.


Life-sized Human Skull with Movable Jaw

By RichterMat

I like this project for a range of reasons: I can see this sitting on a desk as an accurate anatomy model or it could be made into a Pirates styled Skull Island diorama.

It could easily be a backdrop for many minifigure themes.

This is by far RichterMat’s most popular Ideas Project.

It needs just over 400 supporters in the next four months to reach the 5000 supporter milestone.


Concert Grand Piano.

By EduardReynolds

I live in a family where piano playing plays a big part of life. I am drawn to this project due to its remarkable accuracy. EduardReynolds uses black jumper plates to great effect to make the black keys.

The Concert Grand Piano's strength is that it will appeal to a broad range of LEGO enthusiasts.

EduardReynolds has two projects with Ideas: his other project is Lego German Shepherd Dog which is probably not going to be as popular as his Grand Piano.

The Concert Grand Piano has early solid support but will need help to get to the 1000 supporter milestone.


Watt's Steam Engine

By Mr_Kleinstein

Most modern cities have old pump houses with tall brick chimneys that pumped the city's water from the reservoirs to the houses.

The pump house, which are now boutique cafés or museums, used to house steam powered beam engines. Here in Auckland NZ our technology museum, MOTAT, has such a working beam engine. Have a look at this image and compare it to Mr_Kleinstein' Watt's Steam Engine.

The model uses 1/4 Circle Gear Rack 11X11 which has been found in two sets.

Watt was a Scottish engineer who designed his Watt steam engine in 1781. This was a key component in the 18th century Industrial Revolution.

The SI unit of power, the watt, was named after him. (1 kW = 1.34 hp)

Watt's Steam Engine has early support but will need help to reach 1000 supporters.

Mr_Kleinstein has a few Ideas projects underway but Big Steam Tractor, which I have featured before, is his most successful project to date and may well reach 5000 supporters in the near future.


Worthy Projects Not Likely to be Accepted

I have selected two projects here that are worthy Ideas projects but, I believe, will have difficulty being selected as a LEGO Ideas set, even if they reach 10,000 supporters.


NASA Saturn-V Launch Umbilical Tower

By whatsuptoday

Whatsuptoday has designed a Saturn V Launch Umbilical Tower at a scale of 1:110. This is obviously designed to complement 21309 NASA Apollo Saturn V.

The Saturn V Launch Umbilical Tower is not a direct conflict with the LEGO Apollo license as they were also used for the Space Shuttle program.

This project has solid support due to 21309 NASA Apollo Saturn V being one of the most popular sets released by LEGO in 2017. I am confident that it will reach 10,000 supporters.

Whatsuptoday has several other projects underway.


NASA: Mercury and Gemini

By Eiffleman

Eiffleman has made a Mercury and Gemini rockets also at a scale of 1:110. There will be people who want to complete the rockets used in the American space program.

Looking at this build, I am impressed with how the fins have been built on the Mercury rocket.

This project also has solid early support; probably due to the popularity of 21309 NASA Apollo Saturn V set.

Eiffleman also has several other projects lodged with LEGO Ideas.


So here are nine projects to have a look at. I encourage anyone contemplating submitting a LEGO Ideas project to do a considerable amount of research before starting to build their project.

There is scope for someone to design Vostok and Soyuz space craft at 1:110 scale. This is an untapped theme with some support potential.

I am always interested in your thoughts. Which projects do you like? Do you agree with my selections?

Feel free to leave feedback and links to your favourite Ideas.

38 comments on this article

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By in United Kingdom,

The link to "Thunderbirds Are Go" (which looks excellent) needs fixing.

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By in New Zealand,

^ Fixed, thanks for pointing it out.

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By in United Kingdom,

I appear to have missed all these projects on Ideas. The first four are really good in different ways, so have just supported them.

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By in Russian Federation,

Skull is a sure win.

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By in United Kingdom,

@whatsuptoday Realistically, it has no chance, for a couple of reasons. Firstly, as stated in the Mercury and Gemini model bit, 'This project does not comply with the Ideas rules as NASA is now an excluded theme.' - this also applies for the launch tower.

Secondly, it would not be good as a stand-alone model. Why would people buy it if they didn't have the Saturn V rocket set? They wouldn't. Therefore it won't get made.

Because of that, the only way people will get a launch tower is if they build it themselves, and it was only SUGGESTED that they could use your project as a template for doing that.

To threaten to 'report the post to Brickset' when it has been published by Brickset - and is therefore clearly ok with them - is over the top in the extreme. If you don't like what people say about your model, maybe you shouldn't submit them to such a public platform?

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By in Australia,

Thunderbirds for the win!

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By in New Zealand,

Ouch! @ whatsuptoday: I stand by my assessment that your NASA Saturn-V Launch Umbilical Tower will have difficulty being accepted as a project and I have adjusted my article to clarify this position.

I have highlighted your project as I actually like it.

My own Ideas project has links to LDD and Stud.io files so, if people so choose, they can build their version.

I will most likely build an LUT for myself and was planning on using some half width Technic beam as the diagonal lattice. I have read posts that predict the Bricklink price of red hinges will spike due to your project.

I hope this helps.

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By in Norway,

@whatsuptoday as FlagsNz points out in the into, the revised guidelines for Ideas give slim to none openings for a supplemental set:
"anything that implies your project intends to be more than a single, stand-alone set"

And also for "follow ons" to the themes already made;
"Any third-party license that entered our portfolio through LEGO Ideas such as ..., the Apollo program"

As for copyright, that would apply to commercial use - selling the design or set. If I try to make it based on the images (unlikely with no Saturn...) - that would be the same as me painting off of Sunflowers - derivative and fair use.

...and the whatsuptoday comment has been deleted rather than editedto reflect the updates. Wonderful.

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By in United Kingdom,

James Watt was Scottish not English.

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By in New Zealand,

^ you're right. oops. there was no disrespect intended. Corrected.

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By in United States,

The skull and Van Gho vignette are of my interest so thanks for showcasing them.

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By in Australia,

Like many I grew up watching Thunderbirds, and while I prefer the originial series, this set looks brilliant. Thunderbird 2 was always my favorite so if this gets accepted it will be a day 1 buy

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By in Australia,

I'm a fan of Industrial Revolution inventions so I would like to see James Watt's engine make it to 10,000 and get selected. Unfortunately, I doubt that this will happen since the concept is probably not as appealing to most people as the other projects listed here.

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By in New Zealand,

"Brickset embroiled in 'valid editorial opinion' controversy" .... who would've guessed it would come to this?! Calling out Watt as an Englishman though. Tut tut tut. Unforgivable! :-D

Although the Thunderbird submission doesn't really capture the shape of the 'classic' TB2, I still find it has a pleasing aesthetic. Of the few Anderson-inspired ideas I've seen, this is certainly the most successful. But would I buy it? Probably. Having said that, I think the licence (if acquired) could lend itself to a good range of sets, from polybag through to UCS-style. I'd certainly be keen on a UCS "Tracy Island"!!!

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By in United States,

I really doubt the skull would make it through.

I remember reading about some of Nathan Sawaya's art and Lego had sent him a cease and desist when he started making art with skulls. They weren't evil looking or anything, just regular skulls in different colors. maybe Lego's policy has changed a bit, but I don't see it having changed so much that they'd make a set off of one.

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By in Netherlands,

I buy one set a year at most and rarely do I ever feel the need to actually support something. But Thunderbird 2 is an exception, I'd buy that one in a heartbeat.

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By in United Kingdom,

I, d love to see thunderbird 2, made followed by fab 1.

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By in France,

Love the Thunderbirds model

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By in United States,

Lots of neat ideas!

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By in United Kingdom,

The Thunderbirds concept is fantastic, it could cover all the Supermarionation themes, but dont know how widely Gerry Andersons creations were or are valued outside of the UK. I'll be at the front of the queue (except for Joe 90).

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By in United States,

Falconhurst treehouse is awesome! Thank you for listing this in your showcase, I missed this one.

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By in United Kingdom,

Regarding those NASA project rules, it's quite nuanced so I'm reproducing it here for people to consider which I hope is OK. I hadn't noticed it before but it looks like once a model is made based on a specific mission, anything else tied to that mission is much less likely to happen. I suspect if someone challenges it they might feel obliged to pull it, but I guess they have discretion ultimately and it could work for any similarly scaled rocket after all? Quote:

For projects related to NASA, we consider the property to be the specific program or mission. For example, we will no longer consider projects related to the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover, or the Apollo program as potential LEGO Ideas sets.

Editor’s Note: This Guideline was added April 05, 2017 and affects projects submitted after this date. Existing projects based on current LEGO licenses have a smaller chance of passing the LEGO Review than other projects and may have increased risk of overlapping a product currently in development.

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By in United Kingdom,

@paperbalpark

'This project does not comply with the Ideas rules as NASA is now an excluded theme.'

I don't believe NASA is an excluded theme, as they clearly state individual missions are different IPs. However, badging it as a Saturn V launch pad would contravene the rule.

Not that it would (or should) be made for the reason you state - it is a pointless product if the rocket is OOS.

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By in United States,

While I like the NASA Saturn-V Launch Umbilical Tower and would love to build one, I don't think LEGO Ideas is the best way to release it. Even if the project gathers 10K followers, and even if it gets approved, it would take a couple of years before it would get to market. By that time the NASA Saturn-V will be long gone, as LEGO Ideas sets have a short life-span. It would probably be better to just sell the instructions, and let people build it on their own. The other projects are very interesting, and I wasn't aware of some of them. Thanks for sharing! :)

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By in United Kingdom,

5, 4, 3, 2, 1, THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO!

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By in United States,

The Launch Umbilical Tower as depicted is Apollo-Saturn V specific. The Space Shuttle used the crawler and the Mobile Launch Platform, but not the Launch Umbilical Tower.

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By in United Kingdom,

Thunder birds should win it's great I love the tv shows

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By in Canada,

Have to admit, I've never been a fan of Thunderbirds (or marionette-based anything, really), but that model looks really well-designed. I seem to be in the minority here with my opinion of Thunderbirds, but I would probably get that set DESPITE my feelings towards the source material, instead of because of them.

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By in Canada,

Van Gogh might be my favorite. It's simple, but very appealing for some reason. Falconhurst Treehouse, the Skull and the Grand Piano are all really impressive though!

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By in New Zealand,

@ my fellow Kiwi Block-n-Roll: "Calling out Watt as an Englishman though. Tut tut tut. Unforgivable!"

Yes that was a big faux pas! (•_•)

As for the "valid editorial opinion' controversy". I see that whatsuptoday's comment has been deleted, though not by me. Whatsuptoday did have a valid point in that I was promoting or suggesting that people copy a project rather than vote or support the Idea. That is why I adjusted my article.

I would like to see whether LEGO would modify the Ideas criteria that allows downloads of LDD files where the project creator gets a royalty for such a download. The royalty being proportional to level of support. Downloads from Ideas website could only be available after a vote or support has been given.

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By in United States,

I love the Van Gogh for the perfect selection of detail pieces. Such a perfect vignette.

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By in United States,

Wow, very cool and varied selection of Ideas submissions. My particular favorites are the grand piano and Watt engine. Would be cool to see something non-Technic bring mechanical complexity to a LEGO set and also be educational.

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By in United States,

Thanks FlagsNZ for highlighting the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse. Much appreciated. Lots of great projects here and worthy of support.

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By in United Kingdom,

The Van Gogh one is a lovely idea, and I also really like the tug boat and the skull.

Nathan Sawaya's skulls are displayed on his personal website, though I notice they're referred to as being made with "plastic bricks", whereas over on the Art of the Brick website the LEGO branding is used. Maybe that was what it took to satisfy TLG.

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By in United States,

Some great Idea's picks here.
-The Thunderbird's vehicle looks great. Would be a fun build.
-The Van Gogh set looks cute but I'd rather have a large mosaic build kit of his famous paintings with a minifig, palette and easel on a display stand . Booklet with his art and biography.
-The Human Skull is fabulous! Love to build this. Like the designer says, have a series of medical/anatomy like kits.
-The Steam Engine can be a fun build with some power functions to go with it. Good kit for a classroom/school club.
-Put me down for a definite YES on the Saturn V Launch Tower!!! Upon reading up I guess it won't be made but I'm ALL for designers to sell their instructions/parts list/etc. to builders who appreciate their work, time, effort and art!

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