LEGO STAR WARS         LEGO SUPER HEROES         LEGO NINJAGO         LEGO FRIENDS         LEGO DISNEY         LEGO ELVES         LEGO MINIFIGURES         LEGO GAMES         LEGO BOOKS

Navigating LEGO CUUSOO…

by admin on February 13, 2012

in Useful Resources

(Written by Sarah

In my last post I introduced LEGO CUUSOO, going over its purpose and highlighting some CUUSOO projects. In this post I’ll give you some tips on navigating and finding LEGO models on CUUSOO as well as highlighting a few more projects that I feel deserve the attention. (Read previous post here: CUUSOO – Where LEGO Dreams Come True…)

CUUSOO – DISCOVER LEGO PROJECTS 

The main place to find projects on CUUSOO is through the Discover link at the top of every page. This will take you to a page that shows several “Outstanding Projects” at the top. Below are the search-bar and an “In Development” feature. Below those there is a listing of things happening right now down the left, and the top 10 LEGO models for the week on the right. 

The “Outstanding Projects” at the top will always show you the most supported LEGO project, the newest LEGO project, the most commented LEGO project and the most bookmarked LEGO project. There will be four little dots below these projects and arrows to the left and right which you can click on to see three more sets of projects. Nice, but many of the projects don’t change. In fact, the only category that changes regularly is the newest project listing and I use the list down the left for that.

Down the left you’ll see a tab labeled “Right Now!”. This shows activity on the projects such as who supports and comments on what. On this list there will be a second tab labeled “New Projects.” This is the best and fastest way to see what’s new and it’s how I mainly keep up on CUUSOO projects. 😉

Lastly, on the right, is the “Top 10″ list. This list reflects supports and changes each week as the projects gain more supporters. Thus you’ll see red, green and grey arrows that indicate whether the LEGO projects have gained less, more or the same number of supporters as last week. I find it interesting to see the fluctuations, especially the sudden rise in support for new CUUSOO projects.

CUUSOO – SEARCH

The search-bar is very useful as most CUUSOO projects have tags. The trick with searching is thinking of the most general and popular word(s) that fit what you are looking for. It’s up to each CUUSOO project-designer to create and assign tags so it can be a bit hit or miss. If the word you use doesn’t come up with anything, try variants or synonyms.

Honestly though, I use the search-bar mostly to browse LEGO projects. If you leave the search-bar empty and click on the magnifying-glass symbol, all of the projects on CUUSOO will show up. You can then sort them by “Recent”, “Most Supported”, “Most Commented” and “Most Viewed”. When I first signed up, I sorted by “Most Supported” to see if those were indeed projects that I’d support. Most were because of their quality.

CUUSOO – HIGHLIGHTED LEGO PROJECTS

Here’s another group of LEGO models that I really like and hope they become LEGO sets. Take a look to see if you agree with me. 🙂

LEGO HAUNTED MANSION: This is spectacularly spooky! The color choices are simply perfect. The way the window seems to glow a deep-red in contrast to the dark building just gives me the chills. This would be a good stomping-ground for any type of night-crawler; ghosts, vampires, or zombies. Though I kind of like it without minifigures. To just have this sinister house as is would be a great display piece for Halloween. Heck, I’d probably keep it up all year round. It’s just that dang cool!

LEGO Haunted Mansion by Badsneaker

LEGO WITCH’S GIANT PUMPKIN COTTAGE: This touches the inner kid in me who loves fairy-tales. I saw this, went “awww!” and knew I had to support it. It’s a cute little cottage, not trying to be anything more than it is, but that’s plenty. It’s got a lot of character and would be the great start to a light-hearted fairy-tale series. Definitely something I wish LEGO would do.

LEGO Witch's Giant Pumpkin Cottage by User14608

LEGO GHOSTBUSTERS ECHO 1: I love Ghostbusters – the movies and the old cartoon show – I grew up on it like many others and absolutely enjoyed every minute of it. There’s nothing more iconic than the four Ghostbusters and Echo 1. This would really be a treat to buy, but it’d have to be followed up by their headquarters. Hopefully someone will do that project too.

LEGO Ghostbusters by OrionPax

LEGO PHINEAS AND FERB: Up until recently I didn’t know who or what Phineas and Ferb was. It wasn’t until I read that there was going to be a LEGO Phineas and Ferb board-game that I looked into it. I am so glad I did!  I’m hooked on watching the cartoon on Netflix streaming and have started using their catch-phrases. It’s so addicting, it’s ridiculous!  But with the board-game, there’s not been any news about a series of sets. So if LEGO isn’t going to do it then it has to be done through CUUSOO. It’s just too good of a show and needs to be in LEGO-form.

LEGO Phineas and Ferb by awesomeEthan

LEGO DRAGON SLAYERS: I like this LEGO project because of its potential. It has a great storyline with a lot of thought put in to planning the sets. I really love castle-themed LEGO sets and think this would be a great addition. Rather than the normal, human vs. human conflict, it’s human vs. mythical monsters. I can’t wait to see how this project develops as the creator builds MOCs and posts images.

LEGO Dragon Slayers by lizardman

What do you think of these LEGO models, dear readers? Do you like any of them? If you do, please support them by clicking on the project-image and cast your vote. Are there other CUUSOO projects that you really wish would make it to 10,000 votes? Please post your comments below and maybe in a future post I’ll highlight a LEGO project you recommend. 🙂

And if you would like to learn more about CUUSOO and other great fan-created LEGO projects check here:

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Lizardman February 13, 2012 at 10:56 AM

Thank you for sowing my project! Anyhow a little update. My bricklink order is going to arrive very soon. I hope to have a model up that will blow my other MOC’s out of the water (hint, hint 😉 ) I am not very happy with my previous MOC’s which could use much improvement, but I hope to change that with this one. Thank you for your support of my project.

Reply

Sarah February 16, 2012 at 3:36 PM

You’re very welcome! I can’t wait to see your new model! I’ll be keeping an eye on your project.

Reply

Lizardman March 1, 2012 at 6:27 PM

Well, I got the new MOC update out. What do you guys think?

Reply

Sarah March 2, 2012 at 11:42 AM

Looks nice! I like the snake-like dragon. Very good design.

Reply

Jacob February 13, 2012 at 7:53 PM

Various opinions on these projects:
The Ecto-1 seems to be in the same vein as the Back to the future DeLorean. Although other sets could be mad, the one that would sell the best and be most recognizable is what should become a set on its own if anything. Would prefer it to be standard minifigure scale though. Personally, the witch’s cottage does not appeal to me that much, but I would like to see LEGO do a Fairy Tale-esce series, perhaps with a giant, a few fairies, a prince with Chrome shiny armor etc. As for Phineas and Ferb, I personally do not want to see a set based on them. Although I am sure it would sell well, and it is one of my favorite animated shows still showing new episodes (after MLP:FIM)I have three problems with it. One is that they look odd in 3-D form (You almost always see both of their eyes on the side of their head that faces the screen) I really don;t think that their looks work great for a minifig. The second, is that, for the most part, save for their house an D.E. Inc building complex, their are few locations/ things out side of the people themselves that show up in more than one episode. Finally, and I don’t mean to be too harsh on this, but a set based on this seems to be against what the show is about. The show is mostly about going outside to do crazy stuff during the summer and, mostly, ridicules those that try to merchandise them. Finally, as for Dragon Slayer, I have not looked much into it, but it feels like trying to revive the 2005-2006 LEGO Vikings theme. Its not that it is bad, and if they could possibly have some Skyrim-like elements, specifically for minifigure, it might turn out pretty good.

Reply

Sarah February 16, 2012 at 3:38 PM

Thanks so much for sharing your opinion on the projects. I think CUUSOO is a fantasic opportunity because there are so many different people with so many different ideas of what should and should not be made in LEGO form.

I know that I’m pretty biased here because these are what I like, but I’m happy to have feedback like yours so I can see what other people think.

Reply

Jacob February 13, 2012 at 8:11 PM

Sorry for the long post. As for sets I would like to see out side of some of those you posted about, personally I would like to see Doctor Who. Unfortunately, based on the way LEGO has done previous licences, I personally doubt they would not be able to do it right. If a specific set was chosen, or series of sets made, it would likely be based off of the new episodes. Although there is nothing wrong with the new episodes, there have been episodes from 1963 to 1989, and then the new series, form 2005 to today. Eleven people have played the doctor, and even though some are almost universally agreed to be better than others, I really would like to see all of them made in LEGO form one way or another if LEGO would licence this. Although Cuuscoo projects do exist for this, most of them are not very organized, and appear to be leaving the designs for the set designers, which isn’t bad, but does leave a little to the imagination.

Reply

Sarah February 16, 2012 at 3:41 PM

No worries about the long post. It’s great feedback.

I’m not particularly a fan of Doctor Who, but I think if someone came up witha good model that the fan community could get it made. Remember, CUUSOO doesn’t want project creators to worry about licenses. They’ll deal with it when its time. No one should limit their creativity just because they don’t think LEGO can get the license.

I think the toughest part of CUUSOO is making a good project. Ideas only go so far. A model needs to be created. That’s why the top projects have as many votes as they do – there are actual models in the projects, not just ideas with the expectation that LEGO will design it for them.

Reply

Jacob February 17, 2012 at 12:40 AM

Yeah, I kinda think I came off a bit harsh on some of the projects, rereading my posts. Sorry if I came off too critical. Anyways, I don’t think LEGO would have a problem securing a licence (although I know some more mature licences will likely not considered, due to LEGO standards (as seen in the Studs comic you posted).) The problem is that some LEGO’s licensed sets (Pirates of the Caribbean is the most recent example) seem to have had more potential then was actually explored, due to the focus on the most recent movie and a limited run. With Doctor Who, there have been 11 versions of the same character , and many fans would not be happy unless all 11 were made available. Although I think that LEGO could do this, I don’t know if they would.
Also, as for which ones I don’t like that much, I really did not like the idea of a LEGO Minecraft set, but after seeing the final project, I was actually pretty impressed. Not my favorite set of all time to be sure, but it did far exceed my expectations. I am certain that, if LEGO does make any of the projects that I don’t like that much based off what I see on Cuusoo of I will still shell out the money for it in the end.

Reply

Sarah February 17, 2012 at 10:45 AM

I’m hoping that if a project based on an old license does make it to 10,000 that LEGO would open their minds to the possibilities. I firmly believe that’s what the point of CUUSOO is – to explore paths that have not been traveled before.

And I also believe that this is an opportunity for LEGO to give more to the adult community. I know certain mature material they would not do, but to have like the Western Saloon be made and have it rated at 16+ would be perfectly fine, in my opinion. It wouldn’t hurt kids because c’mon, what kid’s western movie hasn’t had a saloon in it? It’s not like it’s a modern liquor store and promoting underage drinking.

I just feel that too many people, LEGO included, have pigeon-holed LEGO into a do and do not corner. Why can’t they expand, even a little? I know they’ll do it in small, baby steps, but there is a huge amount of untapped potential out there of projects that adults would buy if made.

So for me, rather than saying LEGO probably wouldn’t do this, I say let’s give it a chance, put some hope into and see what happens. Just believe!

So if you want all 11 Doctor Who’s then get together with some friends and make mockups of the figures. Make the Tardis and post it as a project. Then go around to all the Doctor Who community forums and advertise. It’ll be another Minecraft explosion.

Okay… time for me to get off my soap box… sorry about that… hope I didn’t offend anyone.

*ahem* I definitely agree with you that I will buy any CUUSOO project made because I believe in this opportunity and want to see it succeed. In fact, I wish I could buy the first two Japanese models, but with the prices they’re going for on ebay, I’m afraid I can’t afford that.

hmmm…maybe CUUSOO should hire me to be their marketing rep in the fan communities. lol. Wouldn’t that be fun!

Reply

Matthew Hocker February 13, 2012 at 10:12 PM

Those are some cool ideas you highlighted there. I’m a fan of the Ecto 1 in particular. Lego CUUSOO was a great idea, but I think the search feature is its biggest flaw right now. You gave some good tips for that, but it’s still not that intuitive or user friendly. I don’t really like the most popular projects and recently (most supported) projects being highlighted on the main screen…especially the most popular because there’s no rotation of projects. Too many projects get burried.

It is in the beta stages still, so I will cut them some slack. Still, I think CUUSOO would benefit by having categories (cars, robots/mech, space, etc). And if numbers are important, then people should be able to search projects based on the number of supporters. ie: Which robot has less than 500 supporters but more than 100? I like what they’ve started, but I really hope that the search feature will be improved.

I guess I feel this way because I’ve put stuff up on Lego CUUSOO. On a few projects, I’ve initially received prety good support within a few days. One of my cars got 47 supporters within 2 0r 3 days, but then it was eventually burried. It’s at 90 now, but it seems like the number of supporters gradually came to a stop. People can’t find it unless they look for specific terms like ford, car, etc. I don’t think the average person would think to carry out specific searches. That is where the highlighted sets on the main page are at an advantage. You can always see them, so you don’t have to think of terms to search for them.

What are your thoughts?

Reply

Sarah February 16, 2012 at 3:51 PM

I agree that finding projects should be a lot easier than it is. I’m glad they recently started linking projects by featuring similar projects at the bottom of a project, but that’s only so useful. And you’re right, the top 10 and the featured across the top are always static so that’s why they get the most votes. If they even had a randomizer, it would be more helpful.

Categories would be great, though the challenge there is determing the categories. There’d either have to be a lot to get all the avrious projects, or very general. But either way, it would be a step in the right dircetion.

They really should do a how-to guide and an advice guide on creating projects. I know a lot of projects suffer because they don’t have tags, but thinking of tags is not always easy to do. And a good description is also challenging.

Searching by the number of votes is an interesting idea. Have you used their feedback feature? I have to remember to write about that in a future blog. I don’t think a lot of people utilize it, but you can post about problems or offer suggestions for improvement. The downside is that it’s a separate system so you have do a different login

You’ve made some really cool cars. I think another big challenge with CUUSOO is learning how to self-promote. Have you gone to various LEGO fan sites and posted links to your projects? I’m sure a lot of City fans would like your projects.

Reply

Matthew Hocker February 18, 2012 at 3:30 PM

The feedback feature is useful…I’ve used it before, and there was a post about improving the search feature. I think they’ve changed it a little since then to address concerns. I haven’t really dabbled with it much, but I will now. 🙂

I know what you mean about categories. Something like that would have been better put in place since the beginning. Could’ve been like MOCpages where the user selects the category for their MOC. Kind of hard to implement it now that there are a ton of MOCs on CUUSOO.

Tags can be hard to think of, especially if English is not your first language. I tried to add as many relevant tags as I can, and I think it does help.

Self-promotion, like you said, is probably the most difficult thing about the process. I think the trick is to get it to the point where you find the right outlet, they promote it, and others pick up on it and feature it. I think ideas like the Minecraft and Back to the Future sets benefit from this due to a large fanbase who are largely young (20s to 40s) and are more “in touch” with technology. I think that perhaps the older cars are a harder sell because a larger number of people interested in them would seem to be past age 60. And not to stereotype, but they are probably less likely to be tech savvy.

I haven’t dabbled into much self-promotion because I’ve been a bit hesitant about it. I did make a post in Eurobricks a few months back. I’ve done a little promoting on flickr, MOCpages and Facebook, but nothing extensive.

I contacted the Hemmings news blog about it, since they are auto oriented, and my stuff might get posted on there. I think those are the groups I will need to reach out the most since there is probably more of a market for these types of models in the car enthusiast community than the general Lego fan community. When the VW van came out, a lot of these groups were posting things about it.

But it’s really hard to promote your stuff when you don’t want to come across as parasitic, annoying or SPAM-happy. I think it’s just something you have to try and see where things go.

Reply

Sarah February 19, 2012 at 12:32 PM

Since CUUSOO is still in beta, I think they could institute a category feature. I’m not sure about the mechanics of it, but hopefully they could notify existing project owners about the need to edit their projects to choose a category. Then it would just be standard for all new projects. But it still would be challenging picking enough categories without it being too specific and just being another tag.

Self-promoting anything is very hard and it’s a fine line between tactfully promoting and spamming. My husband Will has just self-published a novel and we’re trying to figure out the right and wrong way to self-promote. So far we’re found the most success beginning with family and friends and we’re slowly working our way out from there to post on communities that would be interested in the topic.

The same goes for LEGO projects and sadly I feel you have to go outside the LEGO fan community to get the support you need. The fan community is large, but not cohesive. Everyone likes something different. So you do need to find that car fan site or movie fan site where everyone there likes the same thing and would be interested in supporting a project focused on their likes, even if they’ve never played with LEGO.

I’m keeping an eye on the Western Modular project because it does look like the LEGO fan community is trying to get behind that one. In about a week, they did get it up almost 2,000 votes and it looks to continue climbing. It’s a much slower process that Minecraft, but I think this is the normal flow, to take a while to get to 10,000.

Reply

BravoBlocks February 21, 2012 at 10:34 AM

Great article! The one thing I think people don’t realize too, is that there are many more projects than just the “most supported” ones. My own project is an original theme, but it’s very difficult to get noticed if it is not based on a current, established franchise already, like Star Wars or the like. Nothing wrong at all with coming up with new extensions for these existing franchises, but I would like to see Cuusoo divide categories into “Original” and “Existing” categories, that way if you ARE looking for new Star Wars or LOTR(established themes), you will be steered there. The current homepage is sometimes filled with too many same themed projects.

Reply

Sarah February 25, 2012 at 11:54 AM

That’s a great idea! Have you posted your idea for the division on the feedback area? In my latest blog, I talked about giving CUUSOO feedback and this would be a perfect example of the kind of feedback to give.

http://thebrickblogger.com/2012/02/lego-cuusoo-feedback/

Reply

Matthew Hocker February 24, 2012 at 12:04 AM

Thanks for your thoughts. I wish your husband good luck with the book. It’s a lot like fishing, no?

I’ve finally started promoting a little bit. My stuff was posted on the Hemmings blog, and then my workmates got wind of it and started asking me about it (I work at an antique car library/archive), and now they want to promote it for me. I never wanted to ask them to do it because I always felt like it would have been a conflict of interest…but you never know.

I’m not sure about promoting other things, but my advice to anyone doing it for CUUSOO is to do the research first. Right now, I’m making a spreadsheet with as many different websites that I can find where I might be able to get support; car, movie and even video game sites. Also listed Ford Motor Company since they would be negotiating with Lego about licensing. Some folks there might be interested. On the spreadsheet I list contact details and whether or not they’ve posted something Lego related…I figure those that have would be more receptive.

When I contacted Hemmings, I explained to them what CUUSOO was about and what I was trying to do. I also highlighted some other people’s car projects. While I asked them if they might do a post on the subject, I still said that I understood they might not be able to. Oh yeah, reading terms of service first is also a good idea. 🙂

For forums, I like to try to contact the forum leader first about either mentioning something or letting me post. Otherwise, I don’t think it looks too good.

As for contacting a big organization like Ford…I’m holding off until the project gains more publicity. I think credibility is important with the big guys.

That’s what I would suggest doing with something that involves recognizable IP. For something completely original, it might be more difficult. Depends on the subject matter, I guess.

Reply

Sarah February 25, 2012 at 11:57 AM

That’s a great approach. I think you’ll do well with following that route. It won’t be easy, but no self-promotion is easy. And you’ll get a lot of rejections, but keep moving forward and don’t give up. 😀

One thing I have learned with Will’s novel is that the first place to start is your family and friends. That’s your base support and hopefully, they’ll help you as much as they can. Then, you do what you’re doing – research on websites and people that may be able to support you. Contacting them before posting on forums is also a great idea, otherwise they will consider it spam.

Reply

AwesomeEthan February 14, 2012 at 1:46 PM

Thanks for putting my project up i really appreciate it 😀

Reply

Sarah February 16, 2012 at 3:52 PM

You are very welcome! Thanks for creating such a cool project!

Reply

Jon (Badsneaker) February 21, 2012 at 9:51 PM

Thank you so much for blogging my haunted mansion MOC and your kind comments Sarah!

Reply

Sarah February 25, 2012 at 11:58 AM

You are so very welcome! Thank you for making such a cool project. 😀

Reply

AwesomeEthan February 24, 2012 at 11:13 PM

Hey do you think you can change the picture to my new front picture?If you can thanks thanks.

Reply

admin February 25, 2012 at 8:57 AM

Ethan, sure I could change the picture, but do you mean the one with the 3 sets? The issue is that it would look way too small with the 3 small boxes. I rather use one full image. How about choosing one of the four images under the main one and use one of those? 🙂

Reply

AwesomeEthan February 26, 2012 at 8:29 PM

No the other one (im changing it back)

Reply

Leave a Comment

Subscribe to Comments Feed

Previous post:

Next post: