BrickLink announces crowdfunding design competition

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Last week BrickLink posted teasers on social media about a collaboration between it and LEGO. Here's what they were about:

Your design can become a limited edition 60 Years Anniversary set!

After we posted a teaser about the AFOL Designer Program, we closely monitored the conversation surrounding it. It was fun to read what you all thought this program would be.

So what is it exactly? In case you missed it, BrickLink and the LEGO Group are celebrating 60 years of the LEGO brick with the AFOL community by realising unique designs with truly original themes.

Through this program, your design can become a limited edition 60 Years Anniversary set!


How does the AFOL Designer Program work?

The program will have three main phases:

  • Accepting entries - To give you some time to think about what you’d like to design, we will begin accepting entries September 18th until November 18th. The LEGO design team will review your submissions made with Studio 2.0, and up to 20 finalists will be selected.
  • Crowdfunding - Selected designs will be announced and displayed for crowdfunding beginning February 2019. You will be able to pre-order designs at this time.
  • Release - Successfully crowdfunded designs will become a limited edition 60 Years Anniversary set exclusively available on BrickLink. We will begin shipping orders April 2019.

Why should I submit my designs?

Besides being able to share your designs with the AFOL community, your designs will also be reviewed and produced as limited edition box sets without design modification. On top of that, BrickLink will pay 10% of total sales revenue to designers for all successfully crowdfunded AFOL designs including pre-order. You will retain full IP rights for non-selected designs, meaning you can freely use your original designs for any other purpose after the event.

Even if you aren’t a designer, we’d still love everyone to get involved! You can share your ideas with the AFOL community in the Studio 2.0 forum.

Ready to get started?

The AFOL Designer Program requires that your designs are built with Studio 2.0, which has improved functionality and new features for this program. A building palette made specifically for the AFOL Designer Program will be included so that you are able to focus more on the design itself. Next, check if your design is stable with the all-new stability check because we want to fall for designs, not have them fall apart. Then you can export breathtaking images and even create building instructions for your designs!

Stability check feature on Studio 2.0

Go here for more details about design requirements or for FAQs, or here if you’d like to download or learn more about Studio 2.0.

We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Thank you,
The BrickLink Team


My comments:

  • The sets that will be produced as a result of this will not be officially branded and numbered LEGO sets.
  • Unlike Ideas, where you simply pledge your support for a project, here you'll have an opportunity to pre-order models before they are produced, in the same way you'd do so for products on, say, KickStarter. And, also like KickStarter, only models that are successfully crowdfunded will be produced.
  • I've been told that the sets will be packed by BrickLink using new parts obtained directly from LEGO, which explains why a specific building palette has been provided containing, I presume, currently available parts only.
  • The 'unique designs with truly original themes' bit is important: submissions will need to steer well clear of all IPs, for obvious reasons.

This is certainly an interesting development. I wonder if the crowdfunding model is being tested here before being implemented on the Ideas platform?

 

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26 comments on this article

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By in United Kingdom,

Is it just me, or does this sound like an attempt to reinvigorate the Lego Ideas concept? Especially since it has the 'original idea only, no existing IP's clause?

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By in United States,

It sounds like a great opportunity to "put your money where your mouth is." I've often wondered how many LEGO Ideas supporters actually end up purchasing the final product.

It also sounds like a great way for BrickLink to advertise their MOC for sale section.

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By in United Kingdom,

I've read through the description of this scheme twice, and perhaps I'm an idiot, but I don't really get it. I see that it's funnelling new users to Bricklink Studio, which makes sense for them. But how is this much different to their existing MOC sales (with Bricklink themselves as the sole store), except for the crowdfunding element of course. I suppose it could generate a new and interesting set, but why wouldn't you submit it to LEGO ideas instead? Surely I'm missing something...

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By in United States,

It almost reminds me of the defunct Lego Factory, with a dash of the Ideas platform thrown in for good measure.

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By in United States,

Nope. I think I'll pass

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By in Norway,

So max crowd fund of 20 sets, and “spanning the 200-2000 bricks range”, shipping from US - sounds like quite a few hoops to test if the tool and logistics are up for it.

Then again, bound to be an improvement from the so called easy buy today - 34 stores and $900 before shipping for “modular “ type MOC

Hoping they take a leaf from many a Kickstarter and do drop shipping into EU hubs (++) to keep shipping below brick cost.

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By in United States,

So did anyone read any details on actual numbers? Like if only 50 people preorder one of these designs and 50 is the most any one of them get, will they still produce it? A lot of Lego profit is based off volume and I just kind doubt that they are going to be selling thousands of some of these, but I could be wrong.

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By in United States,

I hope they will approve licensed sets like Star Wars or else I will not buy anything. Jerac has a bunch of cool MOCs that this would be perfect for.

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By in Ireland,

If TLC are involved I'm guessing anything modern military is out as well?
Really failing to see the point of this exercise.

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By in United States,

I'm confused about what value briklink is adding to this concept beyond what could already be done with existing crowdfunding platforms?
I do hope lego finds a way to give users access to the many wonderful designs that have languished on the ideas platform while compensating the designers. However, I hope it takes a direction more akin to a revival of the "designed by me" program.

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By in United States,

I'm hoping this allows some cool MOCs to be sold that wouldn't make sense for LEGO to produce on a worldwide scale with the Ideas program for whatever reason. However, I worry that a couple months is not enough lead time for the designers when it has to be a totally new design built in Stud.io (can't be a previous Ideas submission).

Also since LEGO is involved (though apparently only in procuring the elements?), it's a shame we are stuck with the same "family-friendly" guidelines, even though it's specifically marketed as an AFOL program. Doesn't make much sense. These aren't going to be sold at Barnes and Noble or even officially branded; they couldn't relax that at all? What even makes it "adult" at all at this point?

And then with the IP ban... that's just a lot of restrictions for the designs.

My ideal vision for something like this was to be able to easily buy a kit of buildbetterbricks.com's Iron Giant or one of the awesome Alien/Xenomorph MOCs out there. Because as great of a resource as bricklink is, assembling/optimizing a bunch of different orders from different stores for a build is still a pain.

Holding out hope someone submits an awesome modular. But even then, the piece limit is 2000, well below most official ones of the last few years. And the family-friendly rules still mean no taverns, churches, casinos, etc...

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By in United States,

"How will the winning designs be selected?
Each design will be rated according to originality, visual appeal, building experience, use of parts, and several other factors. Since this program is part of the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the LEGO brick, a celebrated LEGO designer with unique expertise and a historical understanding of the LEGO system will supervise the evaluation process."

…Given these mentions of LEGO history and AFOL communities' already well-known nostalgic biases, I have an unfortunate feeling that a lot of the submissions, especially the most popular, will be throwbacks to relatively mundane/straightforward themes of the 70s/80s like Castle, Space, and Pirates. Lack of licensing or IPs aside, I don't know how well that would really live up to the supposed emphasis on "truly original themes".

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By in Russian Federation,

So you can not basically submit any designs based on Licensed themes, is that right?

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By in United States,

Wow no licensed designs. What is the point then? This is such a waste.

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By in Singapore,

I'm sure designers would be keen on pursuing all the legal processes, communications, paperwork and licensing fees required to make their licensed sets a reality. Not to mention it won't even be up to them, BrickLink, or LEGO whether their sets will get approved in the first place.

BrickLink is doing designers a favor by asking them to avoid licensed IPs.

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By in Australia,

I hope some awesome 16-wide modulars get submitted. They should fit within the 2000 piece limit.

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By in Belgium,

Lego would have struggled to pick a worse company to collaborate with. Bricklink are non-compliant with many EU consumer laws and have a customer service record that surely ranks them amongst the worst companies ever. (And yes, even though constituted in the USA, the fact they are actively trading within the EU makes them subject to EU laws in many areas, including consumer laws.)

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By in United Kingdom,

So let’s say I wanted to make the set 338 ambulance but made it bigger and I made it with all new lego pieces would that be a licensed set? And could I do that? Also does it have to be a set 60 years or older?

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By in Australia,

Why can't they use LDD for the competition? Studio is extremely hard to use. The NBN network is less frustrating.

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By in United Kingdom,

@Brickchap u might able to build it on ldd and save it then transfer the file to Studio

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By in Germany,

Ready ... steady ... go, Robenanne!!!

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By in United States,

With BrickLink involved, this entire scheme is guaranteed to go poorly. The design studio that you are required to use isn't even out of Beta yet. Yet more lame garbage from the unofficial terrible marketplace for LEGO.

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By in Russian Federation,

@TheLegoFan
Importing files from LDD to Studio doesn't work correctly. Studio always seems to mess parts of a model up. Especially when it's a 1k parts model

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By in United States,

I'm interested that there's a limited parts palette which corresponds more or less to those currently manufactured. That seems like an informative list to look at; I'll have to see how easy it is to get out of Studio 2.

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By in United States,

I would LOVE a Serenity ship from Firefly. If one of you talented designers out there could work that up in a reasonable size, you'd have my vote.

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By in Germany,

@iamspartanseven: you did read the rules regarding "no IPs", right?

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