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AFOL Designer Program by LEGO & BrickLink

by admin on September 19, 2018

in Community News

A few days ago, BrickLink, the online LEGO marketplace, announced that they are teaming up with the LEGO Group for a new venture called the AFOL (Adult-Fans-Of-LEGO) Designer Program. Through this program, LEGO fans can submit their own designs, and chosen models will be produced as limited-edition sets to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the LEGO brick. See details below. ๐Ÿ™‚

โžก WHAT IS THE AFOL DESIGNER PROGRAM? – BrickLink and the LEGO Group are celebrating 60 years of the LEGO brick with the AFOL community by realizing unique designs with truly original themes. Through this program, your design can become a limited-edition 60 Years Anniversary set!

โžก HOW DOES THE AFOL DESIGNER PROGRAM WORK? – The program will have three main phases. The 1st phase is accepting entries. To give LEGO fans some time to think about what they would like to submit, BrickLink will accept entries until November 18th. The LEGO design team will review submissions and up to 20 finalists will be selected. The 2nd phase of the process is crowdfunding, which will begin in February 2019. During this phase, the selected designs will be announced, displayed, and made available for pre-order. During the 3rd phase of the program, successfully crowdfunded designs will become a limited edition 60 Years Anniversary set exclusively available through BrickLink. Orders will begin shipping in April of 2019.

โžก WHY SHOULD I SUBMIT MY DESIGNS? – Besides being able to share your design with the AFOL community, your model will also be reviewed and potentially produced as a limited-edition set without design modification. On top of that, BrickLink will pay 10% of total sales revenue to designers for all successfully crowdfunded designs, including pre-orders. 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 planning to submit your own design, but you would like to make some suggestions for designers to build, you can share your ideas in the Studio 2.0 forum.

โžก READY TO GET STARTED? – The AFOL Designer Program requires that your designs are built with Studio 2.0 (BrickLink’s own digital designer similar to LEGO Digital Designer), which has improved functionality and new features for this program. A building palette made specifically for the AFOL Designer Program is included so that you are able to focus more on the design itself rather than worrying about parts being available. You can even check the stability of your design with the new stability tool to make sure it is ready for production. You can also export breathtaking images and even create building instructions for your designs. For more information about Studio 2.0, and for FAQs about the AFOL Designer Program, you can visit the AFOL Designer Program page.

If you do plan to participate in this interesting new venture, I highly recommend that you read through the FAQs page carefully, as it contains a lot more details than the main announcement. For example, the BrickLink team makes it very clear that only submissions in Studio 2.0 will be accepted. Other file formats, such as LEGO Digital Designer and LDraw, may be opened in Studio 2.0 and then saved in the appropriate format. Also, it is interesting to note that submitted models will be hidden before the crowdfunding phase begins. As far as what to build, there are no prescribed topics or themes, and the BrickLink team is looking for as much variety as possible. In fact, special consideration will be given to unique designs with truly original themes. 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.

As you can see, the AFOL Designer Program is somewhat similar to LEGO Ideas, although there are some significant differences as well. On LEGO Ideas, the process is to first get public votes for projects, then the LEGO Ideas team selects some of the projects that achieved 10k votes, then they become available as official LEGO sets. With the AFOL Designer Program, first, LEGO makes a selection from the submissions, which then go up for presale through the crowdfunding phase, then the sets get produced. Also, the AFOL Designer Program is directly related to the 60-year anniversary of the LEGO brick. As such, it will only run for a limited time (although if this venture is successful, there may be similar events in the future). Moreover, sets from the AFOL Designer Program are not official LEGO products, and will not share similar levels of distribution. Moreover, they will not be redesigned by LEGO’s own design team but will be produced as is (with perhaps some minor tweaks if absolutely necessary). It’s also worth noting that projects that were previously submitted to LEGO Ideas cannot be resubmitted to the AFOL Designer Program.

There are some other miscellaneous rules that are interesting. These special, limited-edition sets will only be sold by Studio Shop, a store owned and operated by BrickLink itself in Southern California. There is a limit of 3 copies per design per customer, regardless of whether the copies are purchased during the crowdfunding stage or the general sales period. For winning models, designers must give the LEGO Group exclusive use of the rights for the duration of the program plus up to 3 years. After that point, all restrictions will be lifted and the design rights will be restored to the original designer. For designs that are not chosen, rights will remain with the original designer. You must be at least 18 years old to submit a project to the AFOL Designer Program.

The LEGO Group has started the AFOL Designer Program to celebrate AFOL creativity. Part of the program involves collaborating with others to realize more AFOL designs in small quantities. A key priority is that the AFOL Designer Program will promote initiatives of interest to AFOLs. Therefore, the AFOL Designer Program is currently being tested. Depending on the outcome, the program may be more broadly implemented in the future. As you can see, this is a very unique and interesting initiative. Even if you are not planning to submit your own projects to the AFOL Designer Program, it is a good idea to keep an eye on it to see how it develops. And, if you do have some projects in mind, it is time to begin planning and designing!

What do you think? How do you like the idea of the AFOL Designer Program? Do you think it will be successful? Are you planning to submit your own projects? Do you have any questions, comments, etc. about the program? Feel free to share and discuss in the comment section below! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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2018 LEGO Technic summer sets review

by admin on September 18, 2018

in Other LEGO Themes

A number of new LEGO Technic sets were released last month, so I thought it would be a good idea to take a closer look at all of them. I’m not an expert on LEGO Technic, so I will take the help of LEGO Technic master builder Sariel, who will show you all the plusses and minuses of each set in detail. LEGO Technic sets are an interesting challenge for those who are mechanically inclined. LEGO also greatly improved the aesthetics of LEGO Technic sets in the past few years, so they look great on display as well. So, let’s take a look at the four new LEGO Technic sets! ๐Ÿ™‚

The #42079 LEGO Technic Heavy Duty Forklift is a 2-in 1 set, with the main model being a forklift featuring rear-wheel steering, 2-cylinder engine with moving pistons, and high-reach forks that can lift and tilt, plus a detailed driverโ€™s cab, orange warning beacon and large tires. The set also includes a buildable pallet and a cargo barrel with hazard-warning stickers. The secondary model is a chunky-looking tow truck. This medium-size set is a nice introduction to LEGO Technic with just enough functions for a good building experience. I also really like the colors, although I feel the price is about $10 too high, especially since the set doesn’t include any new pieces or colors. Still, it’s a good set overall, even more so if you can find it on sale. Sariel points out the technical pros and cons of the set, so make sure you check out his video-review below. The forklift measures over 7โ€ (18cm) high, 12โ€ (33cm) long and 4โ€ (12cm) wide. The alternate model tow truck measures over 5โ€ (13cm) high, 12โ€ (32cm) long and 4โ€ (12cm) wide. 592 pieces. Price: $69.99 – BUY HERE

The #42080 LEGO Technic Forest Machine includes two very interesting machines that most of us don’t often encounter in real life; a forest harvester and a log loader. It’s worth noting that the two models work great together, so it might be worth getting two sets. The forest harvester features articulated steering, working suspension, multidirectional harvester head with a spinnable cutter blade, and a large rotating driver’s cab. The boom and grabber are motorized with a LEGO Power Functions motor and an advanced pneumatic system. The set also includes some new pieces and colors, so make sure you check out the video-review below. Lots of interesting features here, although it would have been nice if the blade was also motorized! The forest machine with boom retracted measures over 7โ€ (18cm) high, 13โ€ (35cm) long and 5โ€ (13cm) wide. The log loader measures over 6โ€ (17cm) high, 13โ€ (35cm) long and 5โ€ (13cm) wide. 1,003 pieces. Price: $149.99 – BUY HERE

As the name implies, the #42081 LEGO Technic Volvo Concept Wheel Loader ZEUX is not based on a real vehicle, but what LEGO Technic and Volvo engineers imagined a construction vehicle in the future might look like. A fun idea that I would love to see more of! The wheel loader includes a camera arm, a mapping drone, working boom and bucket, adjustable counterbalance, 4-wheel steering and elaborate rims with heavy-duty tires. The alternate model is the futuristic Volvo Concept Hauler PEGAX, which also comes with a camera arm and mapping drone. Sariel mentioned in the video review below that the mechanical functions are slow to operate and this set would greatly benefit from adding LEGO Power Functions. This could be a good challenge for a mechanically inclined LEGO fan. The wheel loader measures over 7โ€ (18cm) high, 23โ€ (59cm) long and 8โ€ (21cm) wide with counterbalance extended, and over 20โ€ (51cm) long with counterbalance retracted. The hauler measures over 7โ€ (18cm) high, 15โ€ (40cm) long and 8โ€ (22cm) wide with counterbalance extended, and over 10โ€ (27cm) long with counterbalance retracted. 1,167 pieces. Price: $139.99 – BUY HERE

The #42082 LEGO Technic Rough Terrain Crane is the largest of the new LEGO Technic sets, the largest and tallest LEGO Technic crane to date, and the largest LEGO Technic set of all time. The set is even larger than the 3,929-piece #42055 LEGO Technic Bucket Wheel Excavator released in 2016. It is also the second most expensive LEGO Technic set of all time, after the #42083 LEGO Technic Bugatti Chiron ($349.99). Interestingly, the set doesn’t look that impressive or big on pictures. I attribute this to the simple black and red color-scheme, and because it’s just a crane – something we have seen many times in the LEGO Technic collection. Having said that, the set does have many interesting functions that are worth checking out. You can activate the LEGO Power Functions motor and select upper or lower crane mode for complete control over an array of easy-to-operate, motorized functions. You can also lower the stabilizer legs, rotate the superstructure through 360ยฐ, operate the lifting winch or send the extendable boom a meter into the air. Manual functions include 4-wheel steering, 4-wheel drive, detailed V8 engine with moving pistons and fan, and adjustable wing mirrors, plus a detailed operatorโ€™s cab with an opening door. Other features include 2 opening compartments with tools, chains and a fire extinguisher, plus 4 outrigger landing plates and 4 LEGO Technic building sections that can be lifted and assembled. The alternate model is a Mobile Pile Driver, which actually looks more impressive and interesting than the main model in my opinion. There is a lot to see here, so make sure you check out the video-review below. The crane measures over 39โ€ (100cm) high, 25โ€ (66cm) long and 10โ€ (26cm) wide in working position, and over 10โ€ (27cm) high, 29โ€ (76cm) long and 7โ€ (20cm) wide in driving position. The pile driver measures over 9โ€ (24cm) high, 19โ€ (50cm) long and 7โ€ (20cm) wide in driving position. 4,057 pieces. Price: $299.99- BUY HERE

All in all, this is an interesting mix of LEGO Technic sets. We get everything from good entry-level sets to futuristic vehicles, to the largest LEGO Technic set of all time. Also, remember that each of the sets come with alternate models, so you essentially get two completely unique building experiences in one set. I do recommend that you thoughtfully select which model you want to build first, because taking apart and rebuilding LEGO Technic models is a complex and time-consuming task. If you want to take a look at any of the new models, they are available at the LEGO Technic section of the Online LEGO Shop.

What do you think? How do you like the new LEGO Technic sets? Do you have a favorite that you are planning to build? What other vehicles would you like to see in the LEGO Technic collection? Feel free to share and discuss in the comment section below! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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