Back in March, we discussed the BrickLink Designer Program, which is a collaboration between LEGO Ideas and BrickLink. You can read more about the program in the original announcement here: BrickLink Designer Program Details Revealed. In summary, via the BrickLink Designer Program, a select number of LEGO Ideas projects that achieved 10,000 votes but weren’t chosen to become official LEGO sets, were given a second chance to become actual sets.
Initially, 27 LEGO Ideas members have agreed to participate with 31 projects in total (several members had more than one project invited to the program). They were given a period of time to re-work their projects to fit some of the program requirements, such as only using currently available LEGO pieces and colors, and resizing their designs to fit between 400-4,000 elements.
Unfortunately, during this pre-production phase, three designers withdrew from the program with a total of five projects. A couple of the designers were already working with other manufacturers, and one of the projects was too complex to be turned into a set. So, the BrickLink Designer Program is left with 26 projects in total.
Another change that was implemented since the original announcement is that instead of bringing all the projects to the crowdfunding stage at the same time, they are getting split into three batches. Here is the announcement about this change:
Dear BrickLink members, based on your feedback to the structure of the BrickLink Designer Program, as well as challenges related to the current Covid situation, we decided to extend the Designer Program and postpone the crowdfunding start a bit. This change aims to accommodate for equal opportunities for the designers and maximize the number of designs that can achieve crowdfunding. In the new structure, instead of one round of crowdfunding, there will be three rounds. For each round, eight to ten projects will be chosen based on feasibility and part availability. The first five of these designs that are successfully crowdfunded will then go into production. In the illustration below, you can see the difference between the old and new structure.
Will the projects I can crowdfund remain the same? – The designers are currently working hard to make sure that their projects can reach crowdfunding, and we are rooting for all of them to make it, no worries, they are well on their way! The projects available for crowdfunding will still be the ones currently in the BrickLink Designer Program. The downside to the new structure is that some designs will be available 3-6 months later than with the old structure. On the other hand, that might make it possible for you to support all the projects you like!
When can I start pre-ordering? – Pre-ordering begins July 1st with the first round of crowdfunding. Rounds 2 and 3 will begin in September and November respectively. To see which projects will be ready for the first round of crowdfunding, please visit the BrickLink Designer Program landing page. You can also visit the FAQ page for more information about the program.
As you can see on the BrickLink Designer Program landing page, 8 of the 26 projects will be ready for the crowdfunding stage starting on July 1st. The projects are as follows: the Mountain View Observatory by ThomasW_BL, the Great Fishing Boat by EdouardClo, the Sheriff’s Safe by Il_Buono, Pursuit of Flight by JKBrickworks, BIONICLE Legends by Sokoda, Kakapo by themfledge, Castle in the Forest by povoq, the Particle Accelerator also by JKBrickworks.
As you may notice, some of the projects changed a bit during the pre-production phase to meet LEGO’s requirements to participate in the BrickLink Designer Program, but hopefully, supporters will still like them. Some of the creators have included a short introduction and demonstration of their projects, which you can watch in the player below.
Yet another change to the BrickLink Designer Program is that the sets will feature digital building instructions only, provided by the LEGO Building Instructions mobile app. This means that no paper instructions will be provided. On the plus side, the app will let you zoom, rotate and view your model in 3D and ghost view mode to see how far you’ve come and what part you’re in the process of building. The LEGO Building Instructions app is also great at keeping track of complex builds and makes it easy to save your building steps online.
As mentioned, the first round crowdfunding officially opens on July 1st at 3:00pm UTC / 5:00pm CET / 8:00am PST. The first five projects to reach the goal of 3,000 pre-orders will be produced as a limited edition set. Up to 5,000 of each will be produced based on pre-orders received from registered BrickLink members. If you are interested in any of the projects in the first round, I suggest you participate in the crowdfunding stage as soon as possible. Several of these projects are very popular and they could potentially sell out fast. Again, here is the link to the BrickLink Designer Program page, if you want to bookmark it.
What do you think? How do you like the idea of the LEGO Designer Program? Do you have a project you’re planning to support? And what do you think about the changes to the program? Feel free to share your thoughts and discuss in the comment section below!
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