Thursday, 20 December 2012

Only One Pass from the LEGO CUUSOO Review

Four sets had hit the 10,000 vote threshold. That meant four sets up for review. One has passed the review stage and will be made into an official LEGO set. There will be huge support for the set that was passed, but also huge disappointment for those that didn’t. Read on to see a video announcement for LEGO and analysis of the outcome.

First things first; the Back to the Future project passed. Congratulations to m.togami* and Sakuretsu on their success. No-one was too surprised to see this hit the 10,000 threshold, and LEGO have made a wise choice in going ahead with it. The iconic nature of the Delorean and the perfect size it is for a fair price point made this the perfect project for an official LEGO release. LEGO designers have even built the Delorean as part of their LEGO projects when training.

Moving on, unfortunately you head it here first – in an article about the classic LEGO Western line, I ended by mentioning that something may be on the horizon that could scupper the plans for the Western Modular Town. In the meantime, my opinion softened. Surely LEGO would not use the Lone Ranger as an excuse to not release a huge, adult orientated LEGO set as mb_bricks envisioned? They wouldn’t both be competing at mainstream stores. If anything the Modular Western Town would simply encourage interest from fans to get into the Lone Ranger theme. And if LEGO didn’t’ commission it on that basis, surely it would make a complete mockery of the LEGO CUUSOO process?

The point here is that since LEGO CUUSOO was opened up worldwide, two projects have passed. The first was Minecraft, a product that was championed by Minecraft fans. The second now is the Delorean, championed by pop culture fans around the globe, encouraged by general ‘geek interest’ websites. This suggests that LEGO CUUSOO is more for everyone but LEGO fans rather than LEGO fans. If anyone is more likely to actually go out and buy a set that they have voted for, it is those people who already buy LEGO. A casual film fan might vote for a Back to the Future set, but will they actually go in to a LEGO shop a year later to pick one up?  How likely are they to remember it is even being released?

This is not a suggestion that Minecraft or the Delorean should not have passed. This is a suggestion that the Modular Western Town should have passed as well. Surely LEGO could have simply slowed the production schedule down for the set to be released after the Lone Ranger range ends in a year and a half?

The real irony here is that many predicted  – incorrectly – that licensed sets would be harder to get produced than non-licensed sets. What a na├»ve view this has turned out to be. It does demonstrate that licensed product ideas should be permitted on LEGO CUUSOO, as they can pass the review. But wouldn’t it be kinder to folk like mb_bricks who go to the effort of drumming up support to simply remove the project from CUUSOO, rather than having them wait six months for a rejection? LEGO have known all along that the Lone Ranger was going to be released, which means they have known all along that western related sets would not pass the review.

So commiserations to mb_bricks. Congratulations again to m.togami* and Sakuretsu. The Delorean will be a resounding success if marketed correctly. What this review has shown is that LEGO CUUSOO might sound like an open, fan-friendly concept – but fans should never lose sight of how well worded the LEGO CUUSOO criteria is.

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