Two new LEGO Ideas were released recently; the #21316 LEGO Ideas The Flintstones became available last month, and the #21317 LEGO Ideas Steamboat Willie was released just a couple of days ago. While the sets are very different, they do have some similarities; both are based on well-known IPs, and both were significantly changed from the original fan submission. Part of the process of turning a LEGO Ideas submission into an official LEGO set is that LEGO’s own designers will clean up the project to meet LEGO’s standards for building techniques, playability, parts-selection, price range, and a host of other considerations.
Since the LEGO Ideas program has been active, we have seen sets that remained very close to the original submission, while others went through significant changes. Whenever major changes are made, there is a risk of alienating fans who supported and voted for the original project. After all, they voted for one thing, and they received something else. In situations like this, it is always helpful to hear from the LEGO designer(s) who worked on a project and hear their reasoning behind the changes.
The designer video for both the #21316 LEGO Ideas The Flintstones set and the #21317 LEGO Ideas Steamboat Willie set was recently posted on LEGO’s YouTube channel, so in case you have been wondering about what went into finalizing these sets, now you can hear from the designers themselves. I have posted both designer-videos below, starting with The Flintstones set, originally submitted by LEGO fan Andrew Clark, and worked on by LEGO senior designer Ricardo Silva, and LEGO graphic designer Crystal Fontan.
As you can see, Ricardo does address many of the concerns raised by LEGO fans in regards to the changes, including the minifig face prints and Dino missing from the set. We may not agree with all the changes, but at least we can see that there are valid reasons behind them. And now let’s take a look at Steamboat Willie. This project was originally submitted by fan designer Máté Szabó as a simple and small memorabilia. Once it was selected to become an official set, it was then taken over by LEGO designer John Ho. Watch the video below to get some behind-the-scenes insights.
As the #21317 LEGO Ideas Steamboat Willie set went through significant changes, it’s very interesting to hear from John why those changes were made. Again, whether we agree with the decisions or not, learning about the design process is always educational. Personally, I really like the changes that were made to this set. I especially appreciate John taking into consideration the preferences of adult LEGO fans, the type of sets they like to build, and the building experiences they like to have. His explanation for the colorful interior, black and white exterior, and the box design were also illuminating. And it was nice to see all the different versions and scales that were considered for this set.
While I don’t like every single LEGO Ideas set, I feel that the current selection is very strong, and an excellent example of what can be achieved in collaboration between LEGO fans and the LEGO company. The #21309 LEGO Ideas NASA Apollo Saturn V is a marvel of engineering. The #21311 LEGO Ideas Voltron has some incredible transforming features and is the largest robot LEGO ever released. The #21313 LEGO Ideas Ship in a Bottle is a lovely display set. The #21315 LEGO Ideas Pop-Up Book combines the magic of fairy tales, impressive mechanical details, and customization opportunities. And both the #21316 LEGO Ideas The Flintstones set and the #21317 LEGO Ideas Steamboat Willie set bring back nostalgic memories. You can find all of them at the LEGO Ideas section of the Online LEGO Shop.
What do you think? How did you like the designer videos? Did they give you some interesting insights? Do you agree or disagree with that changes that were done to these projects? Which is your favorite LEGO Ideas set so far? Feel free to share and discuss in the comment section below! 😉
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