The results of the Summer Review and a few opinions on Cuusoo

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Yesterday after about seven months of review, Cuusoo revealed Back to the Future (BTTF) - DeLorean Time Machine as the the fourth official Cuusoo product. In the process they also rejected The Western Modular, The Legend of Zelda, and the Eve Rifter.

I found the results a bit surprising but very logical in hindsight. Each time a project is approved or rejected it shows a lot about the Cuusoo process, mindset, and constraints.

What follows is my opinion on lessons learned from this latest batch of project results and a few other opinions.

Updated on 12/23/2012

The Review in General

First off, although it does keep people's hopes up, the results of this review confirm the logic behind not revealing any project statuses until the entire review is complete. Had Cuusoo revealed BTTF as the only project it felt had the business case for production, it would have hurt them in licensing negotiations potentially resulting in protracting them even further, and in the end possibly a more expensive set or none at all.

Secondly, we have seen that the business case barrier to production is more harrowing than many of us expected. Keep this in mind when half-heartedly posting the random MOC to Cuusoo.

Back to the Future
Excluding the challenges of licensing, this is an obvious marketing choice for LEGO. BTTF is an unmistakable piece of 80's culture. Adults will buy it for themselves and parents (and cool relatives) will buy it for their kids.

I told my co-workers (who are not obsessed with LEGO like I am) that LEGO announced a BTTF set and their response was "Where can I get it?" The set sells itself.

On top of that, time travelers with a slightly humorous stint can fit in with practically any theme or build: future, present, or past... well, maybe not Chima. (Doctor Who could pull off Chima, but alas, that is not to be.)

There was some discussion about the model displayed in the Cuusoo video. I can confirm through an inquiry to Cuusoo that the build in the video is a Designer prototype and not a final product.

The question this set will put to Cuusoo is what about the other BTTF sets that are out there? Is there room for more than one BTTF set? Once a license is established I imagine it is easier to license more, but will the market for such sets hold, and will Cuusoo really accept making pseudo-themes?

Of course Minecraft also asks this question with nearly 100 projects out there but the vast majority of those are very slight variations on the produced model and are unlikely to produced because of it.

For those fans of BTTF that want to test out Cuusoo's resolve on this issue, there are several quality projects that could expand the line.

The Legend of Zelda
Previous to this week's events we have seen that Cuusoo will take a liberal approach to the interpretation of the project. This was evident in the Shinkai and Minecraft sets.

That is why even though this project made it to 5k as effectively a licensed parts project, I assumed that Cuusoo would use this project as a general request for "a Zelda set" with maybe a specialized headgear piece to go with it.

That was not to be the case though. Cuusoo has respected the wishes of the supporters, and instead of giving them something they didn't support, they have said no, we will not be making a set based on a project of 20+ parts that are based specifically on an IP we do not own.

In doing so however they have also respected the work of other Zelda projects that have been presenting clearly defined, and attractive, sets from the beginning.

If you want a Zelda set, well, they have not said no to the license. This leaves several options open. Here are the best in my opinion:

I have often said if you like the subject of a concept, then support it, not just a single project that touches on it but any project that touches on it. When you see something you like, do a search for more like it. Check out the project creator's other works to see what else they've got. Send a message with the volume of projects supported and let Cuusoo deal with the details... In the end, if they make a set out of it and you don't care for it at that point, just don't buy it.

The results of this rejection have some rather strong implications going forward though. LEGO employees have been quoted as saying that new parts will be very unlikely for Cuusoo sets, but this is the first time that a project has been rejected because of it.

This could be very problematic for some projects on Cuusoo, most notably Thinking with Portals. The vision of Team Jigsaws includes seven new elements: turret shell, turret interconnect, tripod, rounded 1 x 2 tiles, 4 x 6 tile with single stud, new minifig hairpiece, and new microfig hairpiece. Although some of those elements are less required than others, the portal gun and turrets, core elements of Portal, or based almost entirely on new parts.

For those who really want to see any Portal based official sets, you would be wise to cover your bases by supporting GLaDOS and Portal Test Chamber.

With how quickly Team Jigsaw was able to get their support, one smart move for them would be to re-launch the project with no new pieces. There is certainly nothing in Cuusoo that would prevent them from doing so.

It should be clear to anyone creating new project now, that it is very risky to define essential elements of your project on new part production.

Update 12/23/2012 ---

I looked a bit more closely at Thinking with Portals and the Legend of Zelda project and I have some new opinions.

If you look at the Zelda project, the entire emphasis is on the gear and the minifig elements. The opening picture is of three figures all sporting new molds (although Ganon might have an old hairpiece... it's a little hard to tell).

What follows that is two images of a multitude of new gear and then a couple of images of a very good MOC.

This MOC however is presented with the following: "Along with a set representing an iconic moment of the series, I feel it is also necessary to include multiple swords, shields and items as they play such a large and important role in the series."

Mingles, the project creator makes it absolutely clear the heart of the project is the multitudes of new gear.

Thinking with Portals, on the other hand, displays a series of new parts but does not even comment on them in the dialog. I vaguely recall that Team Jigsaw might have when the project was originally posted but I am far from certain of that, and even if they did, they wisely updated the project not to make new parts a stated requirement.

This leaves LEGO with a more expansive opportunity to interpret the intent of the creators and let slide the presentation of the new parts as as merely a suggestion.

--- End of Update

Eve Rifter
Based on the obvious buy-in by CCP games, I was really expecting a push on this project, not a rejection. After the rejection came through, I looked at how many people are active users of the game. According to Ripard Teg that number was about 30k this time last year. That means that one in every three users would have to buy the set if they made 10,000 units, not counting of course the people (like myself) who just thinks it looks cool. I have no idea how many units of any Cuusoo product LEGO will make but I can see how they would be uncomfortable with numbers this small.

If there was follow through support on the other Eve online ships, for instance the gorgeous Merlin, it might be a different story as it could show an active and ongoing link between Cuusoo fans and Eve users but unfortunately that has not been the case.

On what is a pretty tangential note, I am also a bit surprised that Cuusoo did not archive all the Eve projects. When Serenity was rejected, all Firefly based projects where also shelved. This was a brand fit issue of course and that would not change over time, but I can't really imagine that the business case decision will vary for a different Eve project. I have however noticed that as time goes on, Cuusoo seems much more relaxed about removing projects due to these high level decisions. For instance, there are several Dr. Who projects still on Cuusoo even though they have decided that they won't pursue the license.

Back to larger issues though. This is a worrisome for all supporters of any project as it demonstrates a very unforgiving business case. If this did not pass, is there a chance for any space ship based project? It would certainly be nice to know if the scale of the ship or licensing costs were a factor in this decision. Regardless, this has certainly raised the barrier.

Modular Western Town
I would have loved to get this set and I would have loved even more to park a DeLorean outside of it.

Yes, there are a lot of western fans out there. And yes, it has been over a decade since LEGO has released a western theme. Almost every other theme has been represented during that time, some more than once. The lack of any solid western sets however implies that LEGO feels there is a limited market for the westerns and a modular based on a western would have a significant price tag on top of that.

The market might be so low in fact that perhaps without The Lone Ranger marketing, we may not have gotten western builds at all. If this is the case, then The Lone Ranger theme unfortunately is likely to saturate the demand for LEGO based western builds.

The modular, as has been repeated often, is a victim of timing.

Many have asked, "Why not let it roll on to the next review?" Well, for every vocal poster who says they would buy everything western, there is likely another who will say "I've waited 10 years for non-fleshy Western, I can wait one more for The Lone Ranger to be over, then buy the Modular." That is the kind of talk that businesses and business partners don't like to hear. I would not be surprised if the LEGO partnership on The Lone Ranger theme does not in fact preclude them from producing a western set for a certain time frame after The Lone Ranger line is concluded. Even if it is not written down, it would certainly affect their otherwise friendly relationship.

In the end, Cuusoo actually has the proof of how much support there is for a western theme.

Name Support Support rate
Western Modular 10k Complete
Pif Pac City 1.3k 3 spd
Western Wip 0.5k <1 spd
Lego Historical Periods 0.5k <1 spd
Western Ranch 40 <1 spd

If there is a strong outcry for western projects, why do these not show the support for it? And why so few projects?

If you want to see western projects, you have two options, keep posting and supporting as many western projects as you can to prove a market for it, or much more passively, wait for The Lone Ranger to come and go, then support the heck out of the theme. Simply walking away from Cuusoo will not have any positive effect.

Thoughts on Cuusoo in General and the LEGO Fan-base

Many people are hurt and dismayed by the review results. Many are saying that Cuusoo is a failure. That they are done with it. That the implementation is horrible.

While these emotions and comments have merit, it is important to keep in mind what that Cuusoo is in open beta, it is not a finished product, it is a WIP.

Cuusoo is not the kind of product where you can take a handful of people and quietly test it behind the shield of an NDA. Its very nature is dependent upon user interaction and that on a grand scale.

Cuusoo can only be tested and developed by actually attempting to do it. Everything Cuusoo is doing right now flies in the face of standard business practices. Movie studios don't ask people what movies they should produce and then try to get the rights to them. Game studios don't either. Nor do publishing companies.

The LEGO contract negotiators are used to quietly doing their job behind a veil of secrecy, where time does not exist and they are able to walk away if things go sour without causing a public outcry.

LEGO is attempting to let you give them feedback in what avenues you want them to explore. They have given you a tool for suggesting those ideas and a method for proving that they should investigate it. They have also produced three excellent sets based on that model of operation and are now working on the forth. That is an amazing achievement and I don't see how anyone, evidence to the contrary, could not say that is a success. It might not have yet produced what you want and it might not work the way you want it to, but that does not mean it has failed.

Cuusoo is not done though. It is not a final product. It is an evolving undertaking. They are very clear on this:

LEGO CUUSOO Remains in Beta
It’s important to note both the LEGO CUUSOO website and the operations that produce fan-inspired sets remain in a beta testing period. LEGO CUUSOO is breaking new ground for the LEGO Group, for LEGO fans, and for brand fan communities as a whole. As we work to produce your favorite CUUSOO projects as LEGO sets, it is important that we do so in a way that is scalable and sustainable as a business. Our team will continue to improve and refine this process, and we’re exploring possibilities that will allow you to share the risk of production costs so that your favorite projects can make it into production faster.

It is very fair to complain about the interface and the methodology, but many people are saying they are "done with Cuusoo." That is not productive. Boycotting social systems is just opting out of guiding their evolution and slows down their development into something spectacular.

Instead, give feedback to Cuusoo. You can do so at the Knowledge base. Click on "Contact Support" and leave your feedback on how Cuusoo can be better.

I can personally attest to the success of giving Cuusoo feedback. I have made comments and I have seen Cuusoo implement these suggestions.

In the end, despite any faults you might see. There are two worlds: One with Cuusoo and one without.

In the world without Cuusoo, we have people post to MOC pages or other parts of the web and people stop by and take a look. Depending on the interface available, they might leave a comment or two but that is as far as it goes.

In the world with Cuusoo, people can see a MOC someone has done and they can say, "I want that" and there is a chance, not a great one mind you, but a chance, that you can get it. If you don't get it, well, nothing lost.

How is that not a cooler world to live in?

And that hope is a powerful force. United by a desire to see what we can make happen I have made friends in the community that I otherwise never would have. I am not the only one either, Cuusoo is genuinely creating communities.

Future "Cuusoo of the Week" posting

It does appear that the business case is going to be a hard nut to crack going into the future, but without being a employee of LEGO I have no idea what the explicit details of those cases might be. I am sure I will be getting a lot more feedback along the lines of "Well if they rejected X how could they possibly not reject Y." I continue to respond, If you like it, support it and see what happens.

I am going to continue showcasing projects I think are awesome, I am going to continue to hope a decent number of you agree with me, and though my hope for their eventual production is a little less than it was before, I will keep in mind that it was never a certainty to begin with.

As a final point, I would like to reiterate that I am very curious about what they mean by:

"we’re exploring possibilities that will allow you to share the risk of production costs so that your favorite projects can make it into production faster."

Who knows what that really means but it could mean a day in the sun for all those "no IP projects that LEGO will never make."


29 comments on this article

By in United Kingdom,

I wholeheartedly endorse CUUSOO and agree that people saying its a failure is mainly due to people who's favorite of picked sets are not being produced for perfectly viable business reasons.

I would have loved the modular western town, however I see why it may be difficult for LEGO to implement it without causing problems. I for one am excited to see how the lego design team create the Delorean.

By in United States,

Well said. I agree LEGO Cuusoo has a lot of potential it's a long way from realizing, but that doesn't mean it's not succeeding in small ways already. And just because LEGO is having a hard time meeting expectations doesn't mean the platform is a sham. Cuusoo is a grand experiment, and I look forward to seeing how it adapts moving forward.

By in United States,

"Movie studios don't ask people what movies they should produce and then try to get the rights to them. Game studios don't either."

Your statement is not entirely correct. There are several US video game companies that openly ask what foreign language games you would like translated for your region. What follows on those message boards is quite similar to the effect we observed yesterday as a reaction to the latest Cuusoo review! Before Cuusoo, I found the Lego community to be very much more positive-minded than now. There was sharing of creations and ideas. After Cuusoo, there's an added competition for peer support and to express your idea the loudest to influence the decision of one entity. By introducing competition within the community, Lego added an element of negativity that previously didn't exist. Lego holds a huge market share among toy companies. Is the negativity of Cuusoo worth the extra exposure they don't need?

Study hard in school, earn a good living, apply your math and trig, share ideas and techniques, visit bricklink.
Cuusoo is extraneous to the real wish fulfillment process.

By in Canada,

As long as I can easily pick up the BTTF set when it's made available without it selling out in the first two minutes of going live or traffic on the site causing delays upon delays for load times, I feel perfectly fine with how Cuusoo has been going. Quite frankly I shall be perfectly honest, I have not been following this site with great interest or close scrutiny, I have not been involved with Cuusoo mostly due to the fact that I have little insight into how it runs or even the MOC style community at large hoping to become actual LEGO designers.

I am an AFOL who simply likes what he likes and does what he can to support the brand through any means within ability. I rarely stray from building the models that LEGO provides themselves, perhaps I'm not the right audience for CUUSOO as a whole. That being said this is the first set that has stood out to me as being a very desireable one, as a fan of the BTTF franchise I have long hoped to one day own a great looking toy to represent the franchise in my figure collection. That LEGO themselves have implemented a program where someone's hard work has paid off, and we'll be getting something that we can proudly display as a great figure/toy item. Well I'm not one to say it isn't working, far from it, Cuusoo has managed to succeed a lot better than I would have thought.
I never would have imaginied in my wildest dreams that such a project would ever come to light. If anything I think this shows that we have a lot of thought and foresight to put in before we even think of submitting something, be clever, be creative, be open minded, but above all remember the most important thing. It isn't just aboud satisfying your personal needs, it isn't just about getting the prestige of making a brilliant LEGO set, it's about opening up new avenues and possibilities in children's toylines. This could be the first tiny steps into a bold new direction.

By in United States,

As for other BTTF models, they most likely are pricier as they have to get the necessary pieces for the model from different sources. Also, they are very few in number when it comes down to it. Also, LEGO will be the officially licensed one.

By in Canada,

"As a final point I would like to reiterate that I am very curious about what they mean by 'we’re exploring possibilities that will allow you to share the risk of production costs so that your favorite projects can make it into production faster.'"

Which means Kickstarter or some Kickstarter-type format. Have a lower threshold for approval, but each support must come with a monetary commitment as well.

I could theoretically get behind something like this.

By in United States,

Bravo, glenbricker, bravo!

By in United States,

A CUUSOO style kickstarter would be amazing. I realize it wouldn't be a perfect kickstarter clone but giving the people what they can actually PROVE a large number of people will pay money for would be great for everyone. They'd have to do something like put up one completed set, and they will only produce it if they meet a fixed number of units sold.

I'd also like to see someone on Cuusoo enter a Team Fortress 2 set of minifigs for both Red and Blue team, or a Dota 2 set of a few of the 100+ heroes.

By in United States,

I'll reintroduce myself - I'm the creator of the EVE Rifter project. That being said, I'm not disappointed by not being selected and am very excited to buy a BttF product. I am however disheartened by the flat rejection of the other 3 products. I can understand that making 20 new parts for the Zelda project is a huge hurdle. I could also understand if the EVE Rifter was rejected due to a specific reason such as "mature IP" or "too large"; but it wasn't and I'm left a little confused. I'm still seeking some clarification from the Cuusoo team. And while I'm not a huge western fan, I am also disheartened by the MWT rejection because of the push by the AFOL community and the original work.

That being said, I would like to challenge some of your statements (and please trust me when I say I have the utmost respect for you - we've had some good back n forth).

1) "Cuusoo actually has the proof of how much support there is for a western theme." (and you list other western projects that have western themes). -- You could look at BttF projects and come up with the same conclusion. How many BttF projects are there? I counted 8 total. 4 of those are by Togami. And only one of those has over 1000k votes (again by Togami).

2) "According to Ripard Teg that number was about 30k this time last year." -- You do realize that is average players online at any given time right? That means at some points it could be as low as 10k. At other points it could be as high as 60k. Again, that's an average - people don't play at the same time or the same day. Weekends drive up the average, weekdays drive them down. The fact is that EVE Online has over 400K subscribers and continues to grow.

3) "I can see how Lego would be uncomfortable with numbers these small." -- They've set the bar at 10k votes. It hit 10k votes. Why are we suddenly looking at the number of other projects? But again, BttF has 8 projects. I counted 14 EVE Online projects. How many Minecraft projects were around before it hit 10k? How many other Minecraft projects have anywhere near 1K votes? or 500 votes?

By in Ireland,

" it has been over a decade since Lego has released a western theme"
Can I just say: Toy Story? Woody's Roundup and the train were definitely Western sets if you ask me.

"If there is a strong outcry for Western projects, why do these not show the support for it? And why so few projects?"
The answer is simple: there is no strong outcry for Western. This Cuusoo idea received a lot of support for different reasons: it was blogged on every fansite around the world, it was a reaction against the Minecraft set and it was just a well-designed proposal that looked like it would contain many useful parts.
I voted for this idea but I'm no Western fan. I would also have voted for a 1930's modular town if it had been of the same quality.

"If you like the subject of a concept, then support it, not just a single project that touches on it but any project that touches on it".
This is a very good point. I shall go over to Cuusoo now and start supporting more projects.

As for the DeLorean: Yes! I will buy the set. If Lego will also do a UCS/Model Team sized set I will gladly park that beside my VW Camper Van.

By in United States,

@ behemothjosh

I was very sorry to see that the Eve ship was rejected. I thought the design was very clever and unique and looked forward to owning it.

1) This is meant to show that the people who want western content are not doing their part to support Western content or upload western content. They have a tool in which they can directly request it, and the proof is that even though they have this tool, they are not using it. I will clarify that in the posting.

2) Ah, the link I used implied that was the number of users. That is why I sourced my numbers so that people can check them. Thank you for checking that. I expanded my search and found a number of 350k which I am sourcing from Wikipedia.

3) My full sentence was "I have no idea how many units of any Cuusoo product Lego will make but I can see how Lego would be uncomfortable with numbers these small." The "numbers these small" was referencing the, now identified as inaccurate, number of 30k EVE online players.

By in United States,

We supported Western Town. It was the only non license set in the batch.

Then Lego, with only one sentence, went "no" after over a year of fighting for it's non license support. Why bother supporting things on Cuusoo when it seems all you need is a popular license or to have a job for them?

By in United Kingdom,

Best way to get what you want in Lego form is to build it yourself. Don't bother with CUUSOO.

No decent LEGO castle set? Well, I'm building my own "White-Gold Tower" with a cave, a bridge, a throne room, an armoury and a treasure room at the top of the tower.

By in United Kingdom,

i cant see TLG ever going down a kickstarter route. the risk to their reputation is too massive, CUUSOO is probably right at the limit.

it was very clear from the video and blog that the delorean shown was a prototype, the issue would be why the prototype appeared to look worse than the original, its not a good sign.

By in United States,

@The Green Brick Giant: For the record, the reason the Lone Ranger set was rejected had nothing to do with it being non-licensed. If it had been a licensed property based on a famous western film, it would still have likely been rejected for the same reasons.

Let's look at the facts. This was the only non-licensed proposal this time around, but TLG rejecting it doesn't mean they're inherently biased against non-licensed proposals. It just means the project had unlucky timing and conflicted with a licensed product which probably had a restrictive license agreement. It is harder for non-licensed proposals to gain support, but that's a different issue entirely and has nothing to do with TLG.

Meanwhile, if you look at the Cuusoo track record, there's more precedent for non-licensed proposals becoming products than for licensed ones becoming products. Two non-licensed products have become products and two licensed products have become products. Seems about even, right? But then take notice that the number of REJECTED licensed proposals far outnumbers the number of rejected non-licensed proposals. As far as I know, the Modular Western Town is the FIRST non-licensed proposal to reach 10,000 supporters and then get rejected. So again, it just amounts to difficulty for non-licensed proposals to gain support, especially since Cuusoo went global and it became harder for "cultural treasures/historical icons" to gain widespread support.

By in United States,

The problem with Cuusoo, for me, is more the site mechanics and design interface rather than the review process. People spam computer generated images, strange Japanese stuff, or less than half-baked ideas. It's also really hard to search and find what you're looking for, and the community support is poorly thought out at best. The email functionality is bizarre too. All of these amazing MOC's are posted on Flickr and other sites, but there's no point in directing them to Cuusoo because people don't organically find things on there. Rather, the people hitting 10k are directed from external sites and achieve it quickly once it's on those sites.

By in United States,

If you see a cool MOC on Flickr, Brickshelf or, Lord help us, MOCPages, try to figure out how to build it yourself. Cuusoo should not contribute to laziness and general decline of creativity. It should be about boutique sets we'd never otherwise see.

It astounds me to think that LEGO, the one toy out of which literally anything can be made, is becoming nothing more than something people collect.

By in United States,

Wonderful article. Thanks!

By in United States,

Glenbricker, this blog/article is quite insightful, and I feel it accurately represents what happened, as well as how LEGO CUUSOO works. I actually decided to create this account right after seeing this, so I could comment.

LEGO CUUSOO, to me, is a grand opportunity for LEGO fans and builders alike. We have already received 3 official sets, as well as a fourth one announced, due to the site. I do not see how it is a failure. As anyone can post any creation they might have thought of, of course there will be low-quality work on the site! You can see that anywhere user-generated content is allowed. That doesn't subtract from the genius of the LEGO CUUSOO concept, I feel, as it is not an isolated problem only visible on the one site.

I am very active on the site, supporting almost 800 projects (as DKong_5.4.12), and if you look at the link Glenbricker gives for the example of a community, I was an active community member there. LEGO CUUSOO does work, as far as bringing LEGO fans together.

As for the results, I was disappointed about the rejections, especially with the Modular Western Town and The Legend of Zelda. Still, I see LEGO's reasoning, and though somewhat sad, as far as Zelda is concerned, LEGO has not said that the license is unobtainable, and there is still a chance, thanks to the other project being so high in supporters.

Thank you, Glenbricker, for posting these updates on LEGO CUUSOO, they are quite enjoyable, as well as highly informative. :)

By in United States,

Very Nice article...

So have any models that have made it thus far into production required any new molds, or are all ideas and themes that require them going to be rejected purely on the fact that they need them...? Did the Zelda project really require new molds to be faithful to the original creator's idea..?

Were the new molds what really got the Zelda project to hit the desired mark and get the review..? Or was it the fact that the Zelda name is what got it there..?

My only issue with the Cuusoo project is that there are basically rules in effect to eliminate just about any idea that could reach the 10,000 goal(which is somewhat understandable) and the fact that the selected models are small sets(and probably always will be, which is also understandable)

I think Cuusoo should just set limits on the size of the models from the start... Getting people all excited about large projects that are known from the start that are never going to happen isn't really a positive thing...

By in United Kingdom,

Great article as always. With regards to the Eve project I do not think it had anything to do with how many people are members of EVE. You saw with the speed that the ship reached 10k that it had very high support. My suspicion is that the EVE creators (not behemothjosh) got greedy. Part of me thinks that they were demanding something that Lego were unwilling to coincide to. Be it a line of EVE ships or a higher % of the royalties. As BJ points other there are a high number of users for it. So cannot have been that reason alone or at all.

By in Germany,

As for the timing of the western modular: of course I will buy Lone Ranger. Even though I have no idea who he is, before the lego sets were announced, I had never heard of it. So I get another licensed series I can buy and throw out the minifigs instead of getting a wonderful western modular series which seems aimed at adults anyway.
I did watch BttF as a kid, sure, but I do not get the hype and probably never will. It is not a set I will buy just because I was born back then. There certainly are better, more interesting and more influential themes from that era.
I am not done with Cuusoo. I just don't expect great sets to come from it. Early on, I surfed by a lot and supported many projects. With that, I am indeed done, there is no value in it for me if the new sets will be licensed sets which get a lot of support from non-Afols. In my opinion, Cuusoo should be for original, non-licensed models only. But that is just my opinion which has little value and no impact.

By in Singapore,

This is a beautifully intelligent article and I applaud the author for writing it, definitely a refreshing change from the usual complain complain complain we see from LEGO "fans" all the time. I think the average consumer has almost no idea how incredibly complex it must be to take an idea from the public and turn it into a tangible product, to say nothing of the risk involved from the point of view of the company. What the author said is so true: no other company does anything close to this in terms of direct participation from the public. It's amazing.

By in United States,

"What the author said is so true: no other company does anything close to this in terms of direct participation from the public."

No, game translation companies do the same thing. And the result is the same: a bunch of complaining when they fail to deliver. Difference there is that the consumer doesn't have the option to circumvent the company and make the product by himself.

By in United States,

^Game translation companies are a slightly different case in that they aren't creating something from scratch based on ideas that originate from fans, but rather adapting things based on fan demand. I don't mean that to minimize the amazing and creative work game translators do, but there's a big difference between creating something based on a fan suggestion and creating something based on creative work the fans did themselves. Even if game translators will translate games after accepting input from fans, the actual work that goes into translation will be based on the source material and the translators' own judgment, not based on the fans outlining how exactly the work should be translated. Unless of course I'm mistaken and there are examples where fans had a great deal of creative input.

By in United States,

That is a good point about games... Many people complained about the ending in Mass Effect 3, so BioWare actually made an all new ending and offered it as downloadable content...

By in Hong Kong,

Great article glenbricker.

I am really excited about the BTTF set. Shame about the others, but let's celebrate the good news.

By in United Kingdom,

Although I think the right set won, I hope they improve this one a great deal. The doors do not open (how can you have a DeLorean model without functioning gullwing doors) and the wheels do not move between road and flight configuration. I also hope they can find a way to angle the front pillars inward per the original. None of these are a deal-breaker though; I can't wait to part with my money for this.

Now, to get this one as next year's Winter Village set......

By in United States,

According to TLG, Firefly models were removed because they contain content which they do not consider age appropriate:
"LEGO produces toys for children. Therefore all LEGO products, regardless of age target, must be content-appropriate for this core audience. With this in mind we have decided that as cool as the Serenity model is, the Firefly TV show and Serenity film contain content that is not appropriate for our core target audience of children ages 6-11. While we know this news will disappoint those who supported the project, we will not be producing this as a LEGO product."

This is a great article, I really like the analysis.

I agree with an above comment saying that Cuusoo should be for original ideas. In my opinion, the idea is to let fans have their ideas created as sets plus make a little cash on the side. If it's the actual group that comes on and wants to have their ideas created as sets (like Mojang), then fine, that's fair. But a fan of Legend of Zelda posting a Legend of Zelda set? Because I'm myself and nobody else, I would much prefer to get non-licensed sets.

@the guy who posted the EVE Online:
I think that the DeLorean was more compact and better designed. It had a cleaner look and apparently BttF is more popular than I thought. If they didn't have a specific reason, it's probably because they just thought that the DeLorean was better.

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