Ideas Showcase - Kakapo

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View image at flickr

In my last Ideas Showcase article I mentioned that I planned to write a feature article for any Ideas project that had reached 5,000 supporters.

In my first such article, I am showcasing a project close to my heart - Kakapo.

This product Idea reached the 5,000 supporters last week. I have been following its progress closely and believe that this could be the start of a disruptive new LEGO theme.

Read on as I describe this project in detail and see why it could be the start of a popular new theme.

The kakapo (Strigops habroptilus)

The common name of this large, large, flightless, nocturnal, ground-dwelling parrot "kakapo" comes from the Maori "kakapo", from kaka ("parrot") + po ("night").

View image at flickr

There are only 148 kakapo alive today. It is ironic that for this project to be successful, 10,000 people will need to support a model of a bird with a population of just 1.5% of that number.

The design

The project is designed by Hayden P - FlancrestEnterprises at LEGO Ideas. This is Hayden's only Ideas project.

The model has changed a bit since Hayden first put it on Lego Ideas: while it started out at 473 pieces, it has increased to 490 parts. The main reason for the changes was that Hayden was never really happy with the legs and feet (he has always found these to be the hardest components to assemble on any of the birds he has built!)

As it started to gather supporters on LEGO Ideas, Hayden realised that the model needed to be robust enough to stay balanced and in one piece if the LEGO designers were going to review it. The design is meant to be for display, but it does have movable wings, tail feathers and the legs can rotate.

View image at flickr

Hayden thought that making a kakapo out of LEGO would be an effective way of generating awareness of endangered species and share New Zealand's native fauna to the world. "The idea that this set could inspire someone to seek further information about an endangered species or realise an interest in conservation of wildlife is exciting to me," explains Hayden.

Hayden accepts that this set may have more of an appeal to New Zealanders, however, he has received comments and support from people all over the world who want one. He thinks this is largely to do with Stephen Fry’s ‘Last Chance to See’ documentary where he meets Sirocco.

Kakapo Recovery

The New Zealand Department of Conservation has a Kakapo Recovery program which combines the efforts of scientists, rangers, volunteers and donors to protect the critically endangered kakapo.

5,000 Milestone

The Kakapo reached 5,000 supporters last week and therefore it gained an extra six-months extension. The project is currently at 5161 supporters and has 600 days remaining.

Hayden produced this festive image of his kakapo to celebrate his project reaching 5,000 supporters.

View image at flickr

Comparison to 21301 Birds set

There will always be comparisons between this product Idea and the successful 21301 Birds Ideas project released in 2015.

"Outside of the Birds Ideas set and a few other small Creator sets, LEGO does not really offer a lot in the way of sets with buildable animals," says Hayden. "I think this is a missed opportunity. I think my Idea project is separated from the previous Birds set by its focus on a critically endangered species. I see this as a way to build interest in, and perhaps contribute to, conservation efforts."

A line of critically endangered animals made as LEGO sets would be a good way to raise awareness of these critically threatened species. The LEGO Group could take this product Idea and create a disruptive new theme similar to the Architecture theme designed by LEGO Certified Professional, Adam Reed Tucker.

This is the key point of difference: the Kakapo, and other related sets, could be sold at wildlife sanctuaries and zoos around the world. Locations where LEGO sets are not normally found. This was one of the reasons why the Architecture theme took off: the sets were sold at museums, book stores and in the buildings depicted by the LEGO Architecture model.

Kakapo chick + free instructions!

Hayden has designed a kakapo chick and supplied free building instructions and parts list on the Updates tab of his Kakapo Ideas page.

View image at flickr

View image at flickr


Would you like your Ideas Project featured in an exclusive Brickset article?

Please get in touch with me, using the contact link on my profile, if you would like your Ideas project featured at Brickset in one of my Ideas Showcase articles.

There are currently five Ideas projects that have Achieved Support. Four of the five projects have featured in my Ideas Showcase articles here at Brickset: The Chemical Plant, Playable LEGO Piano and Food Stand Diners as well as my own Queen Victoria Cruise Ship.

You'd be surprised how few people get in touch asking for a promotion. I will take a look at the project and I usually comply with people's requests to promote their Ideas project. It is an underutilised avenue.

Today, Brickset has their yearly traffic review report. It is the third most visited LEGO-related website behind LEGO.com and Bricklink.

Additionally, if your project has reached 5,000 supporters then I will write a feature article. I will ask that you send me some high-resolution images and a short write-up describing your project.

31 comments on this article

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By in United States,

Love this! And it would be brilliant for LEGO to support conservation efforts.

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By in Canada,

When are we getting the next results and which sets are included in that review period?

Wow this is a cool idea. LEGO sets to bring awareness to extinct or endangered animals. I really like the concept. I love animals LEGO models so a dedicated theme would be right up my alley!

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By in United States,

This set is beautiful. I'm all for a new line of strictly animal sets... call it Lego Nature. Use plant based bricks and find a way to give a percentage of profits to conservation groups. Win all around.

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By in Netherlands,

I've loved these birds ever since Douglas Adams wrote about them for the original Last Chance to See series.

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By in United Kingdom,

Including the chick in the set is a brilliant idea.
I hope that TLG make this and a series of related endangered animals.

It would be slightly ironic though .... as plastic, overpopulation and the current world economy are the reason for many species dying out.
Maybe one set should include a population control theme?

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By in Australia,

Yeah, can the chick be included in with the main model? Because that is adorable.

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By in France,

Supported.

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By in Poland,

I really like when buold has a deeper meaning. I like the model and authors ideas.
Hope he suceed!

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By in Netherlands,

The book 'birds from bricks' actually also features a kakapo, and i part sourced that one. Looks beautiful as well. Love the bird! and a nice ideas proposal.

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By in United Kingdom,

Really nice Ideas build and I hope it makes it to becoming a set.
It really is a beautiful build but out of all of it, the use of part 87993 for the legs on the chick is an amazing use of the part. Wouldn't have thought of doing that in a million years.

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By in United States,

A good project.

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By in United States,

I'd imagine that if 21301 Birds was a big seller TLG would have already made additional birds by now. This is certainly a beautiful, well-designed model. I'm guessing, however, that the subject matter doesn't have broad appeal.

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By in Canada,

I enjoyed the Birds set and would like to see more detailed brick built animals. In addition promoting awareness of endangered species is a major bonus.

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By in France,

Party parrot in LEGO!

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By in United States,

Some of my favorite Creator sets are the ones that include brick built animals. As a result this set really appeals to me and I would love a theme of animals like this, especially if it helps support endangered species in some way.

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By in Romania,

I want to build that little chick soooooo bad, but I don't have those two raygun pieces, d'aaawwwww... Well at least I voted for it, if it gets made I hope they include a little chicklet, might put more emphasis on the fact that the species needs to grow! Good luck to the builder!

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By in United States,

Well, it's definitely an accurate model, I recognized it as the parrot from the documentary immediately, for better or worse :P

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By in United States,

A very ingenious design. I should use it in my MOCs.

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By in United States,

Someone needs to send a reproduction of this to that poor fella from the documentary. “I was shagged by a rare parrot and all I got was this LEGO set.”

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By in United States,

Before even opening the article to read it I thought "that's the bird that shagged Stephen Fry"

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By in United States,

It's adorable! I'd love a line of LEGO birds, endagered or otherwise. Some fun ones that come to mind are the Kiwi, Barn Owl, and Potoo.

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By in United States,

Wow, the video was quite funny. I think the species chances of survival might hinge on their ability to find suitable partners for procreation.

Great set, very representative of the real thing. I wonder if Lego would give a percentage of sales towards their conservation efforts? (3%-5% of sales)

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By in New Zealand,

Ataahua!

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By in United States,

I really like this! Let us hope it makes it to the finish line!

*edit* supported on Ideas site!

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By in United States,

5,415

Would buy this without hesitation.

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By in Canada,

Douglas Adams > Stephen Fry

Last Chance to See if one of my all time favorite books.

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By in United States,

Animals and creatures in general are a very under-represented theme in LEGO. As a parent I see that children are often drawn to either mechanical or biological...LEGO mainly targeting the mechanical misses out a huge demographic.

Altho this bird is example is pretty cool...I would also like to see Bengal Tiger, Ca Condor, or Giant Tortoise...POlar Bear, Blue whale...the list of endangered animals (sadly) is almost endless. A great thing about LEGO is its durability over generations...if this line became a real thing...past sets could serve as a reminder and pay homage to the animals...and serve as a piognant learning tool for future generations.

It's one thing to build an extinct dinosaur and another to build an extinct elephant....I think I'd cry.

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By in Australia,

I like this one, great idea and has my vote. Has anyone noticed the number of Pop up book ideas now appearing on the site? Hardly original thinking which is what ideas should be about. Don't think there's copycat ideas website!!

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By in Austria,

I must say that I like this model so much, and it provoked the thoughts that this theme is so under developed in the Lego history. Imagine a cabinet of these small animals that are artistically designed, with similar scale, that will be wonderful! And it is not suppose to contain large amount of pieces and thus should also cost less to the public, so more can own it! Or course I could turn to MOC models to make these things too but it takes time to explore them. I would say the demographic if Lego create these models, are for the AFOL + AFOL with the wish to educate their kids, and why not..? Please bring in a whole theme of these! :)

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By in United Kingdom,

Impressive model! ...and the baby is totally adorable! Supported :) I would certainly like to buy it.

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