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LEGO® CUUSOO 空想 - Turn your model wishes into reality


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#501 AndyC

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 12:31 AM

Another reason for not saying yay/nay to the modular western is that doing so without being able to talk about the situation regarding the licensed models is simply that doing so would start to break down the whole concept of periodic review cycles. People will come to expect announcements to be made in something of a piecemeal fashion, which then starts to raise the question of why anyone has to wait for a review period at all, why not just assess and announce as each product hits the target? Obviously that isn't the way TLG wants it to work, otherwise they'd have done so in the first place, so instead they kind of have no choice but to hold it all off to a point they can make a clear decision. In the long run though, I think the Cuusoo team might need to restructure things to treat licensed concepts somewhat differently to others, because these kind of delays aren't really helping Cuusoo to feel successful.
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#502 Another Brick In The Wall

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 03:02 PM

If I were in charge of CUUSOO, I'd disallow any model which requires a license that Lego doesn't currently own. It sort of goes against the spirit of the project, prolongs the review period and stifles creativity.

Further any model that isnt physically built and/or doesn't involve substantial construction (e.g. Zelda) should also be excluded.

#503 IAmWillGibson

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 04:09 PM

View PostAnother Brick In The Wall, on 14 November 2012 - 03:02 PM, said:

Further any model that isnt physically built and/or doesn't involve substantial construction (e.g. Zelda) should also be excluded.

But is CUUSOO a model show or an ideas farm? If LEGO is going to rebuild a winning model as it sees fit anyways, the model you show doesn't actually matter at all. Also, my current thing I'm promoting features a lot of pieces in colours they don't currently come in. That should not stop me from being able to suggest it and see if there's interest.

People need to see CUUSOO in the right light. It's not "Hey, this is cool!" but rather "Hey, wouldn't this be cool?"

Re: your point on Licensing, all my stuff tends to be based on Lovecraft, and is that licensed or not? I have no idea. So I'm glad that's not something in the way of the project.

Edited by IAmWillGibson, 14 November 2012 - 05:00 PM.


#504 Aanchir

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 04:28 PM

View PostAnother Brick In The Wall, on 14 November 2012 - 03:02 PM, said:

If I were in charge of CUUSOO, I'd disallow any model which requires a license that Lego doesn't currently own. It sort of goes against the spirit of the project, prolongs the review period and stifles creativity.

Further any model that isnt physically built and/or doesn't involve substantial construction (e.g. Zelda) should also be excluded.
The problem with that is that there are a lot of things which might require some sort of licensing which we as fans take for granted. As just an odd example that would probably never come up on Cuusoo, the song "Happy Birthday To You" is still under copyright, believe it or not. Furthermore, wouldn't prohibiting licensed ideas stifle creativity just as much? One thing kids and adults alike enjoy doing with LEGO is building models based on real life. It'd be a huge burden, possibly enough to kill LEGO Cuusoo off entirely, if you were to prohibit so much of this sort of real-life building. In this day and age there's hardly a thing that doesn't belong to somebody.

As for models based on licenses having less creativity than other licenses, I'm going to go ahead and say that's bunk. A model of a scene from a movie is no less creative than a model based on a real-life landmark like Stonehenge or Mount Rushmore, or a real-life event like the Battle of Thermopylae or the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893. It might be easier for a model based on something with a lot of "nerd appeal" to accumulate votes, but that's just the nature of pop culture and the Internet, and it'd be stupid to discriminate against models just because they happen to be based on something popular.

It's also worth noting that it's almost impossible for fans to know exactly what licensing agreements TLG has with other companies. They produced the Unimog recently, for instance, but does that mean that they have a license to produce any vehicle produced by Mercedes-Benz? Likewise, they have a license to produce Star Wars building toys, but most fans wouldn't realize automatically that this excludes any toy that can be considered an "articulated figure" like the Star Wars Ultrabuild project a while back, which was dismissed due to conflicts with Hasbro's license for Star Wars action figures. A person could likewise produce a model based on the Spider-Man movies, not realizing that the merchandising rights for those belong to Sony Pictures rather than Marvel and that Mega Bloks has the building toy license for those movies.

Overall, there is nothing that stifles creativity more than putting a bunch of nebulous restrictions on what people can or can't submit. And while it might speed up the Cuusoo process to prohibit licensed proposals altogether (to an extent-- after all, proposals would get supporters less quickly if you prohibit so many ideas with established appeal), I wouldn't want that decision to be explained with some bogus excuse about how they "stifle creativity". Just tell it like it is-- acquiring licenses is tricky work that might not be worth the trouble for a niche product.

Edited by Aanchir, 14 November 2012 - 04:30 PM.

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#505 ShaydDeGrai

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 09:28 PM

View PostAnother Brick In The Wall, on 14 November 2012 - 03:02 PM, said:

If I were in charge of CUUSOO, I'd disallow any model which requires a license that Lego doesn't currently own. It sort of goes against the spirit of the project, prolongs the review period and stifles creativity.

I have to side with Aanchir on the creativity issue.  Licensing issues are orthogonal to creativity, just look at the incredible LotR MOCs people have been producing for years before Peter Jackson's films came out or TLG licensed things officially.  Creativity lies in the hands and mind of the creator, all you're proposing is restricting where they can find inspiration.

Further, we have no insight into what licenses may currently be in talks or when existing licenses may expire.  A certain college mascot project aside, it usually takes a long time (if ever) to get to 10,000 supporters. If Glen Bricker's forecasts on the top projects on CuuSoo are at all accurate,  the bulk of the _most popular_ projects on CuuSoo will still take YEARS to make it to the review stage.  Will TLG even still have a valid Pirates of the Caribbean or Harry Potter license by the time projects related to those themes make it through the pipeline?

That said, I do support, and have proposed to CuuSoo, a top level sorting of projects such that instead of one big pool of projects there are three core tracts: Licensed IP; Creator; and New Parts.  Each tract would get its own tab for most recent additions and activity streams and the main page could report the top 3-5 proposals for each in a rotating banner instead of alternating "most commented", "most supported", "newest" for the whole database the way it does now.  This would even give them an excuse to announce review results separately so if licensed IP takes longer, so be it; announce the creator kits in one batch and the licensed ideas later.  Recognizing a part proposal is easy enough; the problem is, many proposers might not even realize when IP questions may come into play, so this might be a question best left up to TLG to figure out when the project is first being approved.  If you (as the designer) flag it as existing IP, fine - but if you think it belongs in a Creator line or that the intellectual property you've based it on has reverted to the public domain, it would be best to have a lawyer check into it just to be sure.

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Further any model that isnt physically built and/or doesn't involve substantial construction (e.g. Zelda) should also be excluded.

I think there's a lot of shades of gray here (no pun on my screen name intended) that your statement overlooks.  I'm okay with virtual models so long as they reflect a realistic expectation as to how an idea might be realized.  As has been pointed out, sometimes the parts needed to build something just don't exist in the right color or are prohibitively rare - in such cases I think a virtual model is fine for illustrating a concept (and really that's the only reason there are images at all on the site - if you're looking for cool models to be accepted or rejected as is, go to reBrick).  

Where _I_ have a problem with (and withhold my support from) projects that don't have a physical build is when it's clear that they haven't thought the idea through.  I see this a lot less these days since they started screening new projects more closely, but there used to be a lot of projects where people would do something like post a picture of a real car and a Confederate flag, call it the 'Dukes of Hazard' tack on some inane text like "This would be cool" and call it a day.  

I also don't have a much respect for a "bad" virtual model.  I can forgive a physical model for having the wrong color parts or other compromises based on a limited supply of parts, but in a virtual space, if you can't build it with an unlimited assortment of parts in exactly the colors of your choice, maybe you should be rethinking your design.  Then, even if LDD has the right parts in the right quantity to build something, it doesn't become a "plausible" model to me unless it has the potential to obey the laws of physics.  I've seen plenty of virtual builds that would collapse under their own weight in the real world.  The tool might let you ignore gravity, moments, torque and give every stud connection an infinite coefficient of friction, but the real world (and the play habits of 8 year olds) is far less forgiving.  When I see a virtual model at CuuSoo, I think about these things and if the the virtual model doesn't hold water, I'm less disposed to support the idea in general because I think it reflects (poorly) on the maturity of the proposal.  It doesn't mean it's a bad idea or not a creative idea, it just needs to be thought through more carefully (and updated)  before I'll back it.

As for involving construction, other than new part proposals and LEGO branded merchandise (lunch tins, storage boxes, t-Shirt designs, etc.), I generally agree with you.  LEGO is a _construction_ toy, kits should be about genuinely _building_ things, not just unpacking them - "some assembly required".  TLG almost went bankrupt the last time they forgot that.


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#506 BrickG

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 01:23 AM

I'm sure I"m not the only one but I'd just never vote again if I couldn't vote for franchise stuff.  This is a great way to market to people not ONLY into Lego.  If you couldn't put up franchises that Lego didn't own up for vote a lot less people would care.  Because lets face it, franchises attract attention and for a lot of people nostalgic and stuff for Lego just Lego alone isn't enough.  Add that franchise stuff and then you get the kind of attention that gets in the news or on the first page of Reddit.

Banning franchises Lego doesn't have the rights to currently would do nothing but hurt them.  And lets face it, Lego Cuusoo isn't really made for existing Lego fans as much as it is a way to market to new or older and gone groups of people.  At least that's what it's evolved into probably starting with that Minecraft set which I guarantee has sold more than the previous Lego Cuusoo projects combined and also garnered more attention from people and the media.

#507 RoxYourBlox

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 04:38 PM

View PostShaydDeGrai, on 14 November 2012 - 09:28 PM, said:

Further, we have no insight into what licenses may currently be in talks or when existing licenses may expire.  A certain college mascot project aside, it usually takes a long time (if ever) to get to 10,000 supporters. If Glen Bricker's forecasts on the top projects on CuuSoo are at all accurate, the bulk of the _most popular_ projects on CuuSoo will still take YEARS to make it to the review stage.  Will TLG even still have a valid Pirates of the Caribbean or Harry Potter license by the time projects related to those themes make it through the pipeline?

That said, I do support, and have proposed to CuuSoo, a top level sorting of projects such that instead of one big pool of projects there are three core tracts: Licensed IP; Creator; and New Parts.  Each tract would get its own tab for most recent additions and activity streams and the main page could report the top 3-5 proposals for each in a rotating banner instead of alternating "most commented", "most supported", "newest" for the whole database the way it does now.  This would even give them an excuse to announce review results separately so if licensed IP takes longer, so be it; announce the creator kits in one batch and the licensed ideas later.  Recognizing a part proposal is easy enough; the problem is, many proposers might not even realize when IP questions may come into play, so this might be a question best left up to TLG to figure out when the project is first being approved.  If you (as the designer) flag it as existing IP, fine - but if you think it belongs in a Creator line or that the intellectual property you've based it on has reverted to the public domain, it would be best to have a lawyer check into it just to be sure.
Great idea!  Seconded!  Somehow, ReBrick is much better at rotating content on its top page than Cuusoo.

Also, I suspect GlenBricker's Review uses a linear model to project 10,000 votes, whereas an exponential equation might be a better fit.  Top page exposure and traffic would skew the results.

#508 Another Brick In The Wall

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 02:15 PM

Please allow me to qualify: My particular issue is with obscure and niche licenses.

Projects like Zelda, which will never have sufficient widespread appeal to support a license for more than a few sets (if that) yet garner enough support on CUUSOO because the entire market segment proliferates the Internet.

Even BTTF is difficult to justify in 2012. It's not clear to me to whom TLG would market a BTTF theme to. As loved as these films are, they had nowhere near the same cultural impact as Star Wars. 

In short, obscure and niche licenses are not economically viable to produce (probably the real reason Serenity was rejected). 10,000 votes in no way guarantees 10,000 sales. Contemporary licenses like Minecraft are a different proposition.

TLG should have the right to reject a project on the grounds  the license is too niche. (I'd prefer if they are honest about this rather than making us endure convoluted reasons they gave for rejecting Firefly)

In my view, CUUSOO should be more about projects like Western Modular Town, Space Marines, or even Mars Rover which fill a distinct void in TLG's current range and have widespread appeal. Or projects from existing themes like the UCS Sandcrawler which provides TLG an insight into what fans of current themes want to see.

Please feel free to disagree

#509 Lyichir

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 02:52 PM

View PostAnother Brick In The Wall, on 16 November 2012 - 02:15 PM, said:

Please allow me to qualify: My particular issue is with obscure and niche licenses.

Projects like Zelda, which will never have sufficient widespread appeal to support a license for more than a few sets (if that) yet garner enough support on CUUSOO because the entire market segment proliferates the Internet.

Even BTTF is difficult to justify in 2012. It's not clear to me to whom TLG would market a BTTF theme to. As loved as these films are, they had nowhere near the same cultural impact as Star Wars.

In short, obscure and niche licenses are not economically viable to produce (probably the real reason Serenity was rejected). 10,000 votes in no way guarantees 10,000 sales. Contemporary licenses like Minecraft are a different proposition.

TLG should have the right to reject a project on the grounds  the license is too niche. (I'd prefer if they are honest about this rather than making us endure convoluted reasons they gave for rejecting Firefly)

In my view, CUUSOO should be more about projects like Western Modular Town, Space Marines, or even Mars Rover which fill a distinct void in TLG's current range and have widespread appeal. Or projects from existing themes like the UCS Sandcrawler which provides TLG an insight into what fans of current themes want to see.

Please feel free to disagree

Zelda's far from obscure. It's one of the most successful and long-lived video game series of all time. And unlike Back to the Future, it still is popular among present-day kids, with new games continuing to be released, so it's no more "niche" than Minecraft is.

And the Firefly set was probably rejected for the exact reason Lego specified. The show has content that isn't child-friendly, and it doesn't shy away from these things in order to present a child-friendly front. If it was "too niche", it's because there are hardly any kids in Lego's target audience who are fans of the show. And, as much as AFOLs hate to admit it, even sets aimed more at them like Lego's big D2C sets have to appeal to kids as well to be a success.

Edited by Lyichir, 16 November 2012 - 02:55 PM.


#510 Aanchir

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 03:08 PM

View PostAnother Brick In The Wall, on 16 November 2012 - 02:15 PM, said:

Please allow me to qualify: My particular issue is with obscure and niche licenses.

Projects like Zelda, which will never have sufficient widespread appeal to support a license for more than a few sets (if that) yet garner enough support on CUUSOO because the entire market segment proliferates the Internet.

Even BTTF is difficult to justify in 2012. It's not clear to me to whom TLG would market a BTTF theme to. As loved as these films are, they had nowhere near the same cultural impact as Star Wars.

In short, obscure and niche licenses are not economically viable to produce (probably the real reason Serenity was rejected). 10,000 votes in no way guarantees 10,000 sales. Contemporary licenses like Minecraft are a different proposition.

TLG should have the right to reject a project on the grounds  the license is too niche. (I'd prefer if they are honest about this rather than making us endure convoluted reasons they gave for rejecting Firefly)

In my view, CUUSOO should be more about projects like Western Modular Town, Space Marines, or even Mars Rover which fill a distinct void in TLG's current range and have widespread appeal. Or projects from existing themes like the UCS Sandcrawler which provides TLG an insight into what fans of current themes want to see.

Please feel free to disagree
Keep in mind that the Cuusoo platform isn't intended for finding licenses that can support "more than a few sets". Niche products are pretty much the very reason that the Cuusoo platform exists.  Not one of the successful LEGO Cuusoo projects to date has become more than one set. Even in Japan I doubt the Shinkai 6500 or Hayabusa probe have much more than a niche following themselves.

And furthermore, I'd argue that budget-conscious projects like the Back to the Future project have a lot more potential for success than things like the Modular Western Town or UCS Sandcrawler. Sure, a generic Western product or a product from an already-successful product range like LEGO Star Wars might have more appeal than products based on a classic film, but when you factor in the necessary cost of the Modular Western Town or the UCS Sandcrawler, the audience that would be willing to pay such a cost for them shrinks dramatically. The UCS Sandcrawler in particular is a product that TLG has probably never released for a very good reason-- it's just too massive for most people to be willing to pay for.

It should also be noted that the Back to the Future project acknowledges the possibility that it could tie in with the first film's 30th anniversary in 2015. At that time it could easily get a significant marketing push (2015 is, after all, not just the 30th anniversary of the first film but the year of the fictionalized future setting in which the second film takes place). So it will probably have a much stronger presence within the public consciousness at that time than it does now.

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#511 TheLegoDr

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 06:51 PM

I agree about Back to the Future. Even if it did get approved and the license acquired, they may still want to wait until 2015 for the marketing aspect. That decision may upset a few people now, but in a few years people would be able to obtain it and forget all about this review process. That's just speculation on my part though.

It's interesting about CUUSOO in general that LEGO seems to be releasing so many great themes and sets as it is, let alone asking for more ideas from fans. It will probably help grow the company if they know exactly what people want. But fads change so what wins today may not be (as) popular when it actually could become available.
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#512 BrickG

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 01:54 AM

Zelda isn't obscure.  It's pretty darned Mainstream.  Who doesn't know of Zelda besides old people?

Now I won't argue that it's toy value is questionable.  And doing sets far away from a game's release when the games release one every like 5 freakin' years?  Unlike other brick franchises (Megablocks) Halo and World of Warcraft Zelda doesn't have a presence that is constant.  That might limit the franchise when it comes to toys.  But obscure?  Never.
If Zelda got Lego sets I'd expect them to be limited or nearer a game's release.  Skyward Sword would have made absolutely AWESOME Lego sets and it was one of the best darned games of the Generation.


EDIT:
Yeah, I think the only thing keeping Zelda toys from being bigger sellers is the lack of a quick release schedule on consoles.  Super Mario toys currently sell pretty darned well.  You see other franchises selling toys (including Zelda) but at a much lower number.  This is because Mario games are coming out every year.  Major releases too.  While Zelda has 1-2 per console GENERATION.  Then some handheld titles that don't get the same level of attention.  Plus Mario is more "everybody" than Zelda.
If Zelda had a release every year like Mario that appealed to large quantities of people it would be easy.  Until then though a limited number of sets would be the only option (preferably near a game's release).



Now Back to the Future...  I would argue it's one of the most popular trilogies of all time.  However toy wise it's even more limited than Zelda since the movies are so old and there are no more coming out any time soon.  It's toy applications are limited.  However I have little doubt a limited one set release would sell very well (there is the market for a few at most).  Probably not as well as the Minecraft set though.

Lego BttF would sell on nostalgia big time.  Tons of adults are nostalgic about lego.  They're nostalgic about those awesome movies too.  There's enough sales for a cuusoo release for sure.

Edited by BrickG, 17 November 2012 - 02:06 AM.


#513 just2good

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 02:55 AM

So Zelda is less popular than Minecraft, which means it can't support one set? Huh?

#514 Another Brick In The Wall

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 05:00 AM

View PostBrickG, on 17 November 2012 - 01:54 AM, said:

Zelda isn't obscure.  It's pretty darned Mainstream.  Who doesn't know of Zelda besides old people?
Lets start with the premise that the last Zelda game sold < 4m worldwide. Nostalgia doesn't equate to popularity.  The IP has been in decline since OoT.  


View PostBrickG, on 17 November 2012 - 01:54 AM, said:

Yeah, I think the only thing keeping Zelda toys from being bigger sellers is the lack of a quick release schedule on consoles.  Super Mario toys currently sell pretty darned well.  You see other franchises selling toys (including Zelda) but at a much lower number.  This is because Mario games are coming out every year.  Major releases too

I think you have the causality inverted. Mario games are released more often because they sell more. Each Zelda game has sold less than the previous for the last 20 years.

View PostBrickG, on 17 November 2012 - 01:54 AM, said:

Lego BttF would sell on nostalgia big time.  Tons of adults are nostalgic about lego.  They're nostalgic about those awesome movies too.  There's enough sales for a cuusoo release for sure.

This is an argument that I may be persuaded in accepting.

View Postjust2good, on 17 November 2012 - 02:55 AM, said:

So Zelda is less popular than Minecraft, which means it can't support one set? Huh?

I'm not sure what you're getting at but Minecraft is significantly more popular than zelda atm, especially with adults.

View PostAanchir, on 16 November 2012 - 03:08 PM, said:

The UCS Sandcrawler in particular is a product that TLG has probably never released for a very good reason-- it's just too massive for most people to be willing to pay for.

I'm sure TLG will make significant changes to the UCS Sandcrawler, if it does in fact come into fruition. For instance, the lighting will be omitted and probably most of the interiors. The part count will be somewhere in the vicinity of the SSD.

Edited by Another Brick In The Wall, 17 November 2012 - 09:18 AM.


#515 Faefrost

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 11:35 PM

View PostAnother Brick In The Wall, on 16 November 2012 - 02:15 PM, said:

Please allow me to qualify: My particular issue is with obscure and niche licenses.

Projects like Zelda, which will never have sufficient widespread appeal to support a license for more than a few sets (if that) yet garner enough support on CUUSOO because the entire market segment proliferates the Internet.

Even BTTF is difficult to justify in 2012. It's not clear to me to whom TLG would market a BTTF theme to. As loved as these films are, they had nowhere near the same cultural impact as Star Wars.

In short, obscure and niche licenses are not economically viable to produce (probably the real reason Serenity was rejected). 10,000 votes in no way guarantees 10,000 sales. Contemporary licenses like Minecraft are a different proposition.

TLG should have the right to reject a project on the grounds  the license is too niche. (I'd prefer if they are honest about this rather than making us endure convoluted reasons they gave for rejecting Firefly)

In my view, CUUSOO should be more about projects like Western Modular Town, Space Marines, or even Mars Rover which fill a distinct void in TLG's current range and have widespread appeal. Or projects from existing themes like the UCS Sandcrawler which provides TLG an insight into what fans of current themes want to see.

Please feel free to disagree

CuuSoo is not designed to support multi set or multiple release projects. They have been very upfront about that. They are looking for single release stand alone sets. There has been some minor discussion about whether to split something such as the Western town, but the general rule seems to be they are looking for single sets only. Not themes. Not multiples. So obscure niche is pretty much the way it goes.

Actually Lego is pretty easily adaptable to more obscure niche subjects. Their actual product is extremely flexible. They don't have to make new molds for each new subject. Just some printing. So smaller run sets are viable. (See some of the odd licensed stuff like the European sets you can buy on planes or at airports.) It's just a matter of whether they can be gotten at a reasonable license cost appropriate to the small run.

Firefly was killed for a very straightforward and non convoluted reason. The source material was too adult content for the Lego branding. It all comes down to two words. "Space Hooker". While a great show Firefly would not be considered appropriate for any point in the 6-12'ish age range. Too much near real world sex and violence. There is no "real reason" why that project was rejected. It never made it anywhere close to a business case analysis of whether or not it would be marketable or profitable. It failed on the "appropriate subject matter" analysis that occurs first. That kind of deep "PG-13 / MA video game" content is the point where we older fans and AFOLs come into the sharpest conflicts with some of Lego's policies. But if we take a deep breath and actually look at what we want, it is fairly easy to predict where the pitfalls will occur.
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#516 Another Brick In The Wall

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 04:25 AM

There was no "Space Hooker" or "real world sex and violence" in the CUUSOO set. It was just a model of a spaceship.  

Star Wars has plenty of objectionable material in this regard. TLG had no problem depicting an incestuous kiss in an actual set.

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Both Leia and Luke have reversible heads. These are likely their "we just kissed" faces. Let's not dwell on that longer than we have to.


#517 Faefrost

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 05:14 AM

View PostAnother Brick In The Wall, on 19 November 2012 - 04:25 AM, said:

There was no "Space Hooker" or "real world sex and violence" in the CUUSOO set. It was just a model of a spaceship.  

Star Wars has plenty of objectionable material in this regard. TLG had no problem depicting an incestuous kiss in an actual set.

It doesn't matter if it was in the set. It was the more adult nature of the source material. They were quite clear about that. Yes there was a (what later turned out to be) an incestuous yet innocent kiss in SW. But there's a difference  between that and an hour long gunfight in a fully populated whorehouse over the providence and fate of an illegitimate baby. It's a great episode. One of my favorites. But it's absolutely not in the 6-12 appropriate age range.

But picky specifics aside. Look, we all do really know what thy mean when they turn down something over the more adult content of the source material. This isn't "Internet rules lawyers 101". This is what are age appropriate subjects to attach the name of a worldwide respected children's toy brand to? This is protecting the strength of the children's toy brand, not in simply giving we AFOL's and aging nerd types what we want. They are going to act very conservatively in this regard. While we may not always agree, I like to think that as lifelong fans of the product we can at least respect and understand where they are coming from.
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#518 IAmWillGibson

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 03:05 PM

Here's a quandary growing out of the topic the thread has found itself discussing.

My current project is a boardgame. The theme is based on the works of HP Lovecraft. Now, yes, fine, I know this is extremely unlikely to pass the Brand-fit test [even though in order for children or their parents to know it isn't age appropriate, they'd have to read, so it's arguably encouraging education, not to mention the average Lovecraft story is not much darker than the last Harry Potter film]. But in trying to make the rules sound as official as possible, I've removed almost all specific references to Lovecraft. The only thing now clearly linking it is the name of the game [Miskatonic Valley] and the fact I call it "Lovecraftian." Oh, and a tiny squid-headed monster [which uses an already-made LEGO element].

Do you think LEGO would ever make a license-skirting product? If I just called this "Ancient Monsters of Massachusetts" and went forward with it, would the fact that it's clearly Cthulhu and yet doesn't call him that make a difference?

#519 Aanchir

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 07:48 PM

View PostIAmWillGibson, on 19 November 2012 - 03:05 PM, said:

Here's a quandary growing out of the topic the thread has found itself discussing.

My current project is a boardgame. The theme is based on the works of HP Lovecraft. Now, yes, fine, I know this is extremely unlikely to pass the Brand-fit test [even though in order for children or their parents to know it isn't age appropriate, they'd have to read, so it's arguably encouraging education, not to mention the average Lovecraft story is not much darker than the last Harry Potter film]. But in trying to make the rules sound as official as possible, I've removed almost all specific references to Lovecraft. The only thing now clearly linking it is the name of the game [Miskatonic Valley] and the fact I call it "Lovecraftian." Oh, and a tiny squid-headed monster [which uses an already-made LEGO element].

Do you think LEGO would ever make a license-skirting product? If I just called this "Ancient Monsters of Massachusetts" and went forward with it, would the fact that it's clearly Cthulhu and yet doesn't call him that make a difference?
Pretty certain that most if not all of H.P. Lovecraft's stories are out of copyright. And TLG has had no problems releasing literary figures like Sherlock Holmes under generic names in the Minifigures theme. However, I could be wrong, and it's definitely worth reading up on the copyright/trademark status of any works you reference.

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#520 IAmWillGibson

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 09:36 PM

The licensing issue is a bit of a nebulous cloud when it comes to Lovecraft, but that's not even what I was asking. I mean if, for example, the Winchester had been marketed as the same model, but not specifically that bar from Shawn of the Dead [rather "Zombie club, when tired zombies go to drink carrot juice"], would that have made it okay as far as the brand fit question is concerned?

LEGO can't make a model based on a non-kid-friendly property, but what about a model that just happens to look similar to something out of a non-kid-friendly property? You'd of course have no hope of gathering anywhere near the 10,000 votes you need for review, but you'd be able to avoid the more final hurdle of "it ain't right for us." I mean... if Monster Fighters can do it. Heck, I should rebrand my game as a Monster Fighters release but change absolutely nothing else about it.

#521 Faefrost

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 10:15 PM

View PostIAmWillGibson, on 19 November 2012 - 09:36 PM, said:

The licensing issue is a bit of a nebulous cloud when it comes to Lovecraft, but that's not even what I was asking. I mean if, for example, the Winchester had been marketed as the same model, but not specifically that bar from Shawn of the Dead [rather "Zombie club, when tired zombies go to drink carrot juice"], would that have made it okay as far as the brand fit question is concerned?

LEGO can't make a model based on a non-kid-friendly property, but what about a model that just happens to look similar to something out of a non-kid-friendly property? You'd of course have no hope of gathering anywhere near the 10,000 votes you need for review, but you'd be able to avoid the more final hurdle of "it ain't right for us." I mean... if Monster Fighters can do it. Heck, I should rebrand my game as a Monster Fighters release but change absolutely nothing else about it.

That approach seems to work for Lego for the Nolan Batman movies. But a lot of that depends on exactly how similar it looks, and would they still need a license. They can get away with the "close but kid friendly" Batman related stuff because they have the underlying Batman license. They just don't ever mention "the Dark Knight Rises". But I can't imagine they would ever specifically go out of their way to acquire a license to then not explicitly exploit it.
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#522 Nintendawg

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 12:37 AM

I want Lego to put the Purdue Pete model into production. Then when they struggle to sell 30 units they can send Purdue university a big fat check for their 1% profit. Except it isn't a check, it's an invoice and they must pay Lego 1% of the losses.

This university garbage really makes me rage. Too many cuusoo projects have no concept whatsoever of mainstream appeal. University mascots have about as much appeal to the mainstream as a model of my parents home. Even if I thought my parents home MOC is good, I wouldn't put it on CuuSoo because I know that Cuusoo is for new ideas to be put into production, not a place to show off my MOCs. And most importantly - Because no one else would want it!

I know this would be highly controversial but It would only take two steps to clean up Cuusoo once and for all.

1) NO LICENSED IDEAS. Example: Your MOC based on super mario bros may be nice but it's effectively fanart. Despite the fact you made the model, no one actually wants that part. They just want Nintendo properties, the part that isn't yours to sell. Lego would be nuts to give anyone 1% of the profits from a licensed model. They already know we want stuff like Zelda, they don't need to pay anyone to tell them that.
2) Cuusoo accounts tied to users lego store/vip account. Now this goes totally against the one person = one vote but hear me out. I want votes weighted by amount spent. I have only spent $70 on shopping at home this year. So thats, say 1.5 votes. University student who has spent $0 and is only voting out of obligation counts as 0.1 votes. Top 5% of spenders count as 10 votes.

What do you think? I realise this would be bad for kids as most would only count as 0.1 of a vote. But I can't see any other way to separate the biggest AFOLs from those who wouldn't notice the difference between Lego and Megabloks.

#523 Aanchir

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 04:00 AM

View PostIAmWillGibson, on 19 November 2012 - 09:36 PM, said:

The licensing issue is a bit of a nebulous cloud when it comes to Lovecraft, but that's not even what I was asking. I mean if, for example, the Winchester had been marketed as the same model, but not specifically that bar from Shawn of the Dead [rather "Zombie club, when tired zombies go to drink carrot juice"], would that have made it okay as far as the brand fit question is concerned?

LEGO can't make a model based on a non-kid-friendly property, but what about a model that just happens to look similar to something out of a non-kid-friendly property? You'd of course have no hope of gathering anywhere near the 10,000 votes you need for review, but you'd be able to avoid the more final hurdle of "it ain't right for us." I mean... if Monster Fighters can do it. Heck, I should rebrand my game as a Monster Fighters release but change absolutely nothing else about it.
Depends how many supporters a project gets under a "licensed" name. When the project for a Technic/Mindstorms Tachikoma from the anime Ghost in the Shell got a lot of support, the Cuusoo staff messaged the owner to tell them that the anime was probably not appropriate content for LEGO to acquire a license for, and that they should do just what you're suggesting: remake it as a non-licensed proposal. However, eventually they decided that even that wasn't an option since many of the supporters had probably voted for it due to ties to the license and thus many of the model's votes were no longer valid after re-branding.

Monster Fighters doesn't really have any content based strictly on stuff that is still under copyright, unless you're talking about the butler from the Haunted House who is quite blatantly based on Lurch from The Addams Family. That sort of reference (a single minifigure) is probably a lot easier to get past the radar than a full project "inspired by" a copyrighted IP, though.

View PostNintendawg, on 20 November 2012 - 12:37 AM, said:

I want Lego to put the Purdue Pete model into production. Then when they struggle to sell 30 units they can send Purdue university a big fat check for their 1% profit. Except it isn't a check, it's an invoice and they must pay Lego 1% of the losses.

This university garbage really makes me rage. Too many cuusoo projects have no concept whatsoever of mainstream appeal. University mascots have about as much appeal to the mainstream as a model of my parents home. Even if I thought my parents home MOC is good, I wouldn't put it on CuuSoo because I know that Cuusoo is for new ideas to be put into production, not a place to show off my MOCs. And most importantly - Because no one else would want it!
The Purdue Pete project got its supporters fair and square, and I imagine it will have strong appeal with fans of the school's sports teams. The real question is whether TLG could overcome the logistical problems of marketing to those potential buyers, who are probably concentrated regionally and thus do not represent a global or even national market. Chances are it could never work that well; however, that's no reason to badmouth the project. Cuusoo proposals are about what the person proposing them thinks would make a good LEGO product, not what they think would be marketable.

Quote

I know this would be highly controversial but It would only take two steps to clean up Cuusoo once and for all.

1) NO LICENSED IDEAS. Example: Your MOC based on super mario bros may be nice but it's effectively fanart. Despite the fact you made the model, no one actually wants that part. They just want Nintendo properties, the part that isn't yours to sell. Lego would be nuts to give anyone 1% of the profits from a licensed model. They already know we want stuff like Zelda, they don't need to pay anyone to tell them that.
And what about the really well-built licensed models that have actual creativity? Or the ones based on obscure licenses that get their support not from fans of the IP in question but from people who genuinely like the concept? You're thinking quite narrowly in terms of what would be licensed or not. A minifig-scale VW beetle? Requires a license. A SpaceX spacecraft? Requires a license. Even a replica of a famous painting might require a license from the artist's estate. Overall it's just a bunch of red tape that would lead people to be more squeamish about proposing any ideas inspired by real-world objects other than those which are obviously in the public domain.

Quote

2) Cuusoo accounts tied to users lego store/vip account. Now this goes totally against the one person = one vote but hear me out. I want votes weighted by amount spent. I have only spent $70 on shopping at home this year. So thats, say 1.5 votes. University student who has spent $0 and is only voting out of obligation counts as 0.1 votes. Top 5% of spenders count as 10 votes.
Yeah... this perhaps is the most terrible idea for Cuusoo I've ever heard in a long time. What if a person wants to support a Cuusoo project but doesn't have a credit card? Or is-- god forbid-- interested in saving money except for the sets they desperately want? Or just realizes how vile and abhorrent the idea of weighting people's opinions by how much money they spend is? Try again.

Quote

What do you think? I realise this would be bad for kids as most would only count as 0.1 of a vote. But I can't see any other way to separate the biggest AFOLs from those who wouldn't notice the difference between Lego and Megabloks.
"Biggest AFOLs"? Since when was Cuusoo about your stature as an AFOL? In fact, since when was there some sort of grade scale against which AFOLs can be judged on their passion for the LEGO brand? Overall, it's a sad day when I see this kind of god-awful pretentiousness within the AFOL community, by which AFOLs decide that the amount of money they spend on LEGO means they deserve more of a say in the company's business than other fans. Especially when considering that part of the point of Cuusoo is to attract new fans to the LEGO brand-- you're not doing a very good job of that by telling them their opinions have only one percent of the value of the wealthiest AFOLs' opinions. Let's not forget that LEGO is an expensive hobby and that part of the reason some people might not become AFOLs is that there simply hasn't been a product close enough to their interests for them to justify the huge cost. In that case, Cuusoo might be just the sort of thing those people might need to enter the fandom, and yet you're proposing building a $70 toll bridge between them and even coming within one-tenth of having the same say as a typical AFOL.

Even some AFOLs might not buy LEGO directly from the company, either because they prefer buying vintage themes or because buying directly from LEGO in their country is not an economically viable option. Again, it's an expensive hobby, even more so in some countries than in others, and I say that as a citizen of the United States which is quite unfairly privileged when it comes to LEGO pricing.

Overall, I've heard a lot of bad ideas for Cuusoo that could potentially kill it off entirely. Yours is perhaps the first I've heard that would not only kill it, but would make it deserve to die. Yes, my family has spent hundreds of dollars on LEGO in the past year. But even I can recognize how obscene this suggestion is, and how it would defeat the whole point of LEGO Cuusoo. Rather than being a gift to fans, creating a nonsensical hierarchy among fans based purely on spending would be a tremendous disservice to both the LEGO community and the LEGO brand.

Edited by Aanchir, 20 November 2012 - 04:05 AM.

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#524 IAmWillGibson

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 05:02 AM

View PostAanchir, on 20 November 2012 - 04:00 AM, said:

Depends how many supporters a project gets under a "licensed" name. When the project for a Technic/Mindstorms Tachikoma from the anime Ghost in the Shell got a lot of support, the Cuusoo staff messaged the owner to tell them that the anime was probably not appropriate content for LEGO to acquire a license for, and that they should do just what you're suggesting: remake it as a non-licensed proposal. However, eventually they decided that even that wasn't an option since many of the supporters had probably voted for it due to ties to the license and thus many of the model's votes were no longer valid after re-branding.

Monster Fighters doesn't really have any content based strictly on stuff that is still under copyright, unless you're talking about the butler from the Haunted House who is quite blatantly based on Lurch from The Addams Family. That sort of reference (a single minifigure) is probably a lot easier to get past the radar than a full project "inspired by" a copyrighted IP, though.


That's an interesting point. I hadn't realized that's how it shook out. When I was talking about Monster Fighters, I wasn't so much talking about license issues as I was "brand fit" issues, and the fact that they're all based off "not-kid-friendly" concepts. Vampires and werewolves and zombies and death and such. But it's cool, 'cause it's cute. My game's only at a hair over 1% so it's hardly even worth thinking about, but I'd hate to get a good toehold on something only to have it scrapped for such a nebulous reason as "brand fit," so I've been pondering it quite a bit lately.

#525 Nintendawg

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 12:07 PM

View PostAanchir, on 20 November 2012 - 04:00 AM, said:

Overall, I've heard a lot of bad ideas for Cuusoo that could potentially kill it off entirely. Yours is perhaps the first I've heard that would not only kill it, but would make it deserve to die. Yes, my family has spent hundreds of dollars on LEGO in the past year. But even I can recognize how obscene this suggestion is, and how it would defeat the whole point of LEGO Cuusoo. Rather than being a gift to fans, creating a nonsensical hierarchy among fans based purely on spending would be a tremendous disservice to both the LEGO community and the LEGO brand.
I was posting a bit harshly I guess. I just feel that all the half baked ideas clog up Cuussoo, preventing so, so many good ones from receiving votes from people that would actually buy them. Yes my "pretentious" plan for voting is very extreme and elitest. I was just interested to hear what people thought. I must also admit Cuusoo has improved since they changed the rules a few months ago.

With the current system any business on the entire planet that has waiting customers could push through their cuusoo proposal. Offer a small discount to customers who quickly vote on the handily provided ipad. Even if it doesn't pass review thats loads of valuable advertising. I had no idea what the serenity was and had never heard of purdue university before. Now Im familiar with both.



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