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LEGO Ideas latest news & updates

An interesting piece of news that came out at the end of last month that we haven’t discussed yet, is that the LEGO Ideas team announced their decision about the latest batch of fan-submitted projects for the potential to become official LEGO sets. There were six projects in this review period, and to the disappointment of many LEGO fans, none of them were chosen. But, there is also some hope, and some good news, so let’s talk about it all. 🙂

The six projects included in this review period were as follows: Gilmore Girls – Luke’s Diner by Rainer Zufall, The Wonders of Peru by cdwboy1979, NF-15B Research Aircraft by Mammalucco, I’m Your Father by szabomate90, NASA Space Shuttle (Saturn V Scale) by KingsKnight, and NASA Saturn V Launch Umbilical Tower by whatsuptoday. All of these projects reached the required 10,000 public votes, however it was up to the LEGO Ideas team to decide if any of them would meet their criteria to become an official LEGO set. In the video below, Hasan from the LEGO Ideas team shares the results of the review process.

The LEGO Ideas team knows well that not selecting any of the projects in a review period can result in a lot of disappointment, and even turn people off from using the LEGO Ideas platform as either project creators or voters. In fact, there are around 350 comments (at the time of this writing) on the announcement post with LEGO fans voicing their displeasure, and there are many more discussions about the decision at various LEGO fans sites and forums.

If I remember correctly, this is only the second time when the LEGO Ideas team didn’t select any of the projects, so they must have had some very important reasons. While they don’t share specific details about why each project was rejected due to the confidential nature of the process, the LEGO Ideas team does list some important factors that the review board looks into when evaluating projects in review. These include but are not limited to the following:

  • Products currently available in stores – Sometimes projects can overlap with, or are too similar to, existing products and it therefore doesn’t make sense to launch a competing set.
  • New (and confidential) products currently being developed internally – Sometimes projects overlap with, or are too similar to, products LEGO’s designers are already working on that may still be 1-2 years out.
  • Licensing possibilities and conflicts – Sometimes LEGO can’t come to an agreement with the company that owns the intellectual property rights to a model or character, or they may not wish a LEGO version of the property.
  • Production capacity – Sometimes a project that might use many of a certain element can potentially have significant impacts on LEGO’s production capacity, which is planned and forecasted in advance.
  • Build quality – Sometimes projects are not stable or solid enough to live up to the LEGO quality standards. If you’re building a model in LEGO Digital Designer, it’s always good to test the model by building a physical prototype to ensure real world stability.
  • Feasibility – Sometimes projects contain elements critical to the build that are no longer produced, which would mean the model wouldn’t be feasible. Other factors overlap into the feasibility of a project.
  • Playability – Sometimes playability is considered depending on the project itself and whether or not it’s critical to the build.
  • Expected demand – Sometimes, even though a project has reached 10,000 supporters, the LEGO Ideas review board evaluates that there isn’t sufficient potential demand to mass produce such a set.
  • Brand fit – Sometimes projects don’t fit the LEGO brand values. Although the LEGO Ideas team does their best to moderate all submitted projects based on their guideline for acceptable project content, there are times when models may make it to 10,000 supporters and be deemed not to fit the LEGO brand values at this point.

Of course, this list may or may not satisfy LEGO fans about the decision to reject all of the submissions, and it also makes them wonder about the future of some of the projects. For example, there are very persistent rumors that a LEGO Star Wars Cloud City set is coming, which is likely overlapping with the Star Wars submission. So, there is still some hope here.

LEGO fans also note that rejecting the NASA projects doesn’t seem to make much sense. The previously approved #21309 LEGO Ideas NASA Apollo Saturn V is immensely popular, so much so that LEGO has been having a hard keeping it in stock ever since it was released last summer, and all other LEGO Ideas NASA sets have been very popular as well. The umbilical tower (made by the same designers) would have been a perfect companion for the Saturn V. And, while LEGO made the NASA space shuttle before, there is no currently available version. All of this makes LEGO fans speculate that LEGO might be working on some NASA sets on their own. Having something similar in the works might also have been the reason why the research aircraft was rejected. So, there is hope here too.

Some LEGO fans are also disappointed about Luke’s Diner. My personal view on this is that this might have to do with the #21302 LEGO Ideas The Big Bang Theory being one of the least popular LEGO Ideas sets. I’m basing this on the fact that it was never in backorder state, and that it was frequently listed on sale. Cutaway interiors might just not be as popular with LEGO fans. Interestingly, even though the Wonders of Peru project reached 10k votes, I haven’t seen any complaints about it being rejected. I like it, but perhaps it was too much of a regional idea that didn’t appeal to the larger LEGO fan base.

The good news I mentioned at the beginning is also shared by Hassan in the announcement above. The next batch of LEGO Ideas projects are already in review, and at least one of those projects has been selected to become an official LEGO set. Which project it is and whether there will be others, will be shared later this summer, once the evaluation of all projects has been completed. There has been quite a bit of talk amongst LEGO fans which of the seven project is the one that was already approved.

Both The Dive Shop and The Lighthouse are very popular candidates. They were submitted by RobenAnne, who also designed the very successful #21310 LEGO Ideas Old Fishing Store. Many people would like to collect the whole series for a fishing village display. Another likely candidate is the Pop-Up Book by Jason Allemann and Grant Davis. Jason also designed the previously released #21305 LEGO Ideas Maze set, and his mechanical LEGO creations are very popular in the LEGO fan community.

Opinions on the other projects currently under review are RuPaul’s Brick Race by SeeMarkGeek, The LEGO Christmas Story House by twrt0es, and the Jaguar E-Type Roadster by Ozzyeatingbats. Opinions on these are more unsure as far as the possibility of becoming an official LEGO set. We will have to wait until the summer to find out. And in the meantime, you can also check out the currently available LEGO Ideas sets originally submitted by LEGO fans under the LEGO Ideas section of the Online LEGO Shop.

What do you think about the review results? Do you think it’s likely that LEGO is already working on a similar project and that’s why the LEGO Ideas candidates weren’t approved? And what do you think of the current projects under review? Which one would you like to see become an official LEGO set? Feel free to share your thoughts and discuss in the comment section below! 😉

And you might also like to check out the following related posts:

{ 19 comments… add one }
  • Håkan February 6, 2018, 11:09 AM

    The only set of the last six that makes commercial sense is probably the Nasa Space Shuttle, and it might be too big and bland. Luke’s Diner is a bit uninteresting in itself, and based on a niche product, not too well known outside a certain American demographic, and the umbilical tower is probably too big and bland for a simple companion set.

  • Laurie February 6, 2018, 12:48 PM

    Love the diner idea nice to see such a open concept. Rest not interested in. And that star wars is obvious to be rejected.. My question what happens to all the ones rejected. Do they sell the instructions to those who are interested in building the set… My kids were so sad to see Stitch get Rejected does anyone know if the builder is selling the instructions separate.. Hope the Flinstons get enough support and gets approved. That set is Awesome..

    • admin February 6, 2018, 4:45 PM

      Laurie, it is up to the project creator to decide what they want to do with their projects. Some may provide the instructions for free, some may sell them, some may not share them at all. As far as I know, Stitch is not even under review yet, but it is getting very close to 10k votes, and it still has plenty of time: https://ideas.lego.com/projects/ef31dc6a-6a39-4c8d-8dfa-57c64550c390

      • Håkan February 7, 2018, 8:01 AM

        Seems to be a pretty solid and compact build. Elegant!

  • James February 6, 2018, 1:48 PM

    I built my own umbilical tower for the Saturn V rocket. It is a redundant build! There are 16 virtually identical levels on the structure. Furthermore, each side of every level is the same as every other, so imagine building 64 of the same struts and supports. It looks fantastic (the Ideas version), but the Lego community would implode over the redundant building techniques.

    • admin February 6, 2018, 4:41 PM

      James, very good points. It is a beautiful addition to the model, but it is not really appropriate for a LEGO set. Especially at such a large scale. There is only so many ways you can make an umbilical tower exciting. Still, I have to say it looks very good. The red is so striking against the white and black rocket. 🙂

  • DavidH February 6, 2018, 2:07 PM

    I so hope it’s going to be another building from the fishing village! The folding book would be nice too.

  • jabber-baby-wocky February 6, 2018, 3:00 PM

    I’m pretty impressed with Lego’s choices, and when they don’t choose anything I usually have to agree. They know what the market wants. After all, they are the largest toy company. From the next period, I think they might choose the Jaguar or the popup book. I would like the fishing town sets, but that may be against the current rules.

  • Legostuff71 February 6, 2018, 3:30 PM

    Is Voltron still planning to come out this year? I thought that was voted latest year for this year?

    • Sascha Whitcomb February 6, 2018, 4:16 PM

      I was wondering the same thing regarding the Voltron set being a done deal, and we were just waiting for it to be released. I thought they also say which quarter they plan to have it on shelves during the selection round announcement.
      Anybody got any info on that?

      • admin February 6, 2018, 4:38 PM

        It’s coming, but the actual release date hasn’t been announced yet.

  • rainey February 6, 2018, 6:41 PM

    My vote is for any one (or ALL) of RobenAnne’s designs. They are freakin’ awesome and WHY he isn’t already a staff designer I just don’t understand.

    I know other people need an opportunity. …but not until they’re superior to his vision and execution!

    I just continue to want his whole seaside village!!!

    • admin February 6, 2018, 9:04 PM

      I’m with you! Would want the whole village! 😀

  • Butch Hauke February 6, 2018, 11:09 PM

    I’m with Rainey: give me another building from RobenAnne’s seaside village. I just (finally) bought the Old Fishing Store and it’s just fantastic. I’d also like to have the whole set of them.

    • admin February 6, 2018, 11:29 PM

      Butch, yeah, a lot of people would like to have the whole village. I think it’s still very possible that LEGO will team up with the creator either within or outside of the LEGO Ideas platform, if the sales on the Old Fishing Store are good enough.

      • rainey February 6, 2018, 11:56 PM

        Well then, I’m going out tomorrow to buy my 3rd one!

  • jjava February 7, 2018, 4:16 PM

    I wasn’t surprise that none were picked. IMO, I don’t know how some of them gather the 10k votes to begin with. I am really hoping that the pop-up book will be one of the ones approved. Also won’t mind another one from RobenAnne.

    • admin February 7, 2018, 4:46 PM

      Sometimes there is some social-media flurry over a particular project that can make it reach 10k votes quickly. These votes don’t always come from the LEGO fan community. So, the project may not look good as a LEGO set for our eyes, but fans of the subject may still like them. That’s why it’s a good thing that LEGO has the last say on what get’s approved. 😀

      • Håkan February 7, 2018, 9:38 PM

        And some proposals look impressive as builds, but don’t make a lot of commercial sense for production.

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