Is Cuusoo too easily taken over by Rabid Fandoms?
Posted 27 April 2012 - 02:05 PM
Look at it this way. If Toyota let people vote on their next car design and they give us the choice between a practical sedan or a car shaped like a dinosaur, everyone on the internet is going to vote for the dinosaur car but very few people are actually ever seriously going to buy it. I think Minecraft is the dinosaur set of the Cuusoo range. A few serious Minecraft fans are going to buy it, and some AFOLS who see it as a good parts pack, but otherwise it is kind of blocky and ugly and specialised for a Lego set. Also, who on earth plays Minecraft any more?
I think there are two possible solutions to the problem. One, raise the voting requirement for sets if they are derived from pre-existing fictional worlds. Two, ask people who vote for the product to rank on a scale of one to five how likely they are to actually buy it.
I think the Shaun of the Dead set actually did a good job of appealing to both SOTD fans and Modular Building fans, but something like the Eve Online model means absolutely nothing to me.
Posted 27 April 2012 - 02:14 PM
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Posted 27 April 2012 - 02:27 PM
My reasoning is this: (most) Lego fans don't buy everything of Lego, and Fans from things that would be licensed, don't buy all the merch. It is a given that a (rather large) percentage of the people who vote for any project won't buy the the final product. I voted for the Western Modular for example, but if it reaches 10.000, gets accepted, and the final product turns out to be something I don't like, or if i don't agree with the pricing, I won't buy it. There can also be of course be other reasons for not buying the final products, and no one can blame you for that.
I think it is wrong to think that voting for a product means: I will buy this if it gets accepted. I rather think it means this: I will CONSIDER buying it if it gets accepted. It is an important difference, and I think you need to consider the main reason someone votes for any product, which is: I want to see this made. A big problem is that since Lego does what they want for the final product, it is hard to really say you will buy it or not, I think a lot of the people that voted for the Minecraft project are just not going to care about a 40 euro set that is not remniscent of the game itself, or looks good as a collectible of sorts... And for your information, 5.5 million people bought the game, so yes, there are people that play it, I would think.
The comparison with the car does not make ANY sense to me, by the way, perhaps you can explain?
Posted 27 April 2012 - 02:30 PM
What I think is a problem is that some of the CUUSOO projects are obviously not viable, like the Gundam project or the little pony project. No way you are going to get a license from another toy maker. And lego is going to waste a lot of time trying to get all the license.
Edited by lisqr, 27 April 2012 - 02:36 PM.
Posted 27 April 2012 - 02:32 PM
Minecraft was a bit different in my opinion. Minecraft (from my experience playing) is a niche game with no major name behind the company, thats why it was approved by Mojang so well. If Minecraft was made by, lets just say Activision for example, I do not think it would have been made into a set.
Also, lots of people still play Minecraft and it is growing more popular everyday, I see no problem with LEGO selling this set. I am buying one for sure.
Another example I can think about is either MLP or BTTF, I can see those never making it as sets because I do not see a contract with Hasbro (MLP) and Universal Studios (BTTF) possible at all.
I really like the idea of Cuusoo, I try to like Cuusoo, but I do not get my hopes up for some of the fantasy projects because they most likely will not get contracts or licenses.
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Posted 27 April 2012 - 03:21 PM
The Japanese version of CUUSOO worked a charm, producing two very attractive sets of real world applications. But essentially, the internet is stupid, there will eventually be a time when too many themed creations have to be knocked back and the whole scheme is pulled.
I understand that the licenced themes make a lot of money for TLG, but they need to be chosen carefully. 10,000 supporters of a niche theme, not uncommon on the internet, will not equate to sales.
Don't forget to vote for my CUUSOO project!.. oh... wait... They pulled it because I wanted a rereleased part - how could fans possibly want that?
Posted 27 April 2012 - 03:26 PM
Similarly i agree that other such projects should also be pruned when there's no chance Lego will be able to produce the project. With Minecraft the company who own it were backing the project so it was an easy ride. People like Universal, 20th C Fox, Warner Brothers aren't going to back projects based on movies unless they are current and already have massive PR programmes running.
There should also be different categories for one shot single set projects and projects that are basically creating a theme.
Posted 27 April 2012 - 03:45 PM
I don't think this is anything to worry about at all. The voting is only the beginning of process. After that TLG takes over and I don't think it's going out on a limb to suggest they have a bit of experience at making decisions with regards to this kind of stuff. The issues you are rasing are not things that they are oblivious to and they almost certainly have more insight into these issues than you or I. That's not to say it's not possible for them to make mistakes, but as with any company they can just adapt the approval process as neccesary to compensate for them. The votes just sets a baseline for what will be considered rather than what will be made and they're in a far better position than anyone voting to make that decision.
That said I'm expecting the Minecraft set to sell really well! The Minecraft community may be a niche but it's a seriously big niche and Lego is a perfect it fit for the game.
I don't mind that there's stuff in Cussoo with no chance of ever being made. It's fun to see the designs and what people are voting for. Maybe they should just be a bit clearer about the approval process after that so people are more aware that 10000 votes means "We'll have a think and get back to you" rather than it means they are somehow commited to make it and any reason they choose not to is just an excuse, which is how a lot of people seem to react to the SotD news. Having a look at the site just now there was very little information about this process.
Even a disclaimer along the lines "basing your entry on a licensed property means it is a lot less likely to be made" or something. It's kind of stating the obvious though.
That's actually a really good point and I'd never thought of it that way before. Lego already has a lot of channels through which the communicate with AFOLs and I think they have a pretty good handle on what they do or do not want at any given time.
Edited by Ash, 27 April 2012 - 03:42 PM.
Posted 27 April 2012 - 03:49 PM
Long Answer: This is open to public vote, hence it is open to overuse by any internet fandom. Sure, it's a great idea but the quality stuff takes a long time to aggregate votes while the flash-in-the pan designs related to anything with an internet based fandom will skyrocket under outside the fandom interests. There is false hope for lisences already owned by someone else (Doctor Who, MLP etc) and fans of the media (Minecraft etc) can come in and shoot the total up never to return to the site.
There was a little design contest once. On the internet, to create a Union Flag with something to represent Wales. Oh, sure there were sensible designs and common themes but then someone stuck a Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann logo to a JPEG of the Union Flag and the internet exploded and voted it top.
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Posted 27 April 2012 - 04:14 PM
I think the Minecraft set they have produced is appealing to both fans of the game and general LEGO fans as well because it is practically a creator-style bucket of basic parts. Whenever I am at displays with my LUG the #3 question (after how many pieces and how long did it take) is "Where can I get a bucket/bins/box of bricks?" My kids love Minecraft so I am probably in for 3 sets for them, but for me the sets look like a cool source of basic brick with a whimsical build of an 8-bit world. I may pick up one or more just for parts. I can see this selling well to adults looking for presents for kids.
That does contrast deeply with the Eve ship. No one in my family is familiar with the game and while the ship may be a great representation of something in the game to me it is nothing special. Lots of better looking, iconic Star Wars ships have been produced so the chances of me buying any are zero. The chance of any non-fans buying it: slim to none IMO.
Posted 27 April 2012 - 04:26 PM
Posted 27 April 2012 - 05:37 PM
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Posted 27 April 2012 - 05:55 PM
LEGO has made people who use Cuusoo for great original MOCs aware that it may take a while and a lot of work, so I'm fine with that, if at least SOME of those MOCs get 10K votes.
I don't like the EVE idea much, I'd much rather support the space marine theme idea. Not based on 40K. It will bring space back into LEGO's own themes which is nice. I also love the Western idea. If these projects got more gravitas then I wouldn't think it unlikely that they generate more support. Maybe it's just the people who make original MOCs, a licensed theme doesn't need much work to get it running, but an original MOC needs to be worked very hard on, maybe by advertising on literally every LEGO related website you can find, making Facebook pages, mentioning it on any social media and getting your friends to gather support.
It's not necessarily the fandom, Original MOCs just require a lot more work to get 10 000 supporters.
Posted 27 April 2012 - 05:58 PM
Please share with us what your ideal, non rubbish Lego project should be.
If you don't like the project, don't vote for it. Same goes for not liking sets - Just don't buy them.
Edited by Omicron, 27 April 2012 - 06:00 PM.
Posted 27 April 2012 - 06:07 PM
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Posted 27 April 2012 - 06:09 PM
Replace rabid fandom of Eve Online with rabid fandom of Star Wars or LOTR or Pirates of the Carribean.
Posted 27 April 2012 - 06:12 PM
Hammer >>> Nail head
It's true licensed products can be the some of the most interesting, but look at Modular Western Town, Space Marines, Labyrinth Marble Maze, etc. They're all utterly awesome models/theme ideas, but their rise to 10,000 is a crawl.
If you've seen how often Space Marines is getting updated, you're probably wondering why it takes so long to get to 10,000 supporters, it is an awesome idea.
The car comparison really squares it off, but it is a bit confusing, so I'll reiterate as best as I can - Toyota is selling a really good new car at a really good price, and they're currently testing out the market for it. But they're testing another car at the same time, it's also a really good car, but at a higher price and it's...different than the other. It's not what you would normally expect Toyota to release...it has a massive sponsor, whose logo is a dinosaur. The whole car is shaped like this dinosaur, so it's more of the type of car you would leave out in the driveway and display your love for this sponsoring company. The former car is more the type you would use like a normal car instead of a display model/oddball collector's item.
It would be very obvious which car passes this test first. But lo and behold, the dinosaur car passes the test, because every fan of the dinosaur company wants one. I mean, there's already a bunch of practical cars on the market, why make one more when you can have this badass car that looks like a dinosaur? So rather than random people just looking for a car, AKA the usual Toyota market, you have mobs of people looking for an awesome collector's item for the dinosaur company. Why not have Toyota make it? It's not a bad thing, not by a long shot...some of these dinosaur cars will sell. But it's catering to the dinosaur company fans, not the people who just want a really good car at a really good price.
Toyota considers it a success, and puts up another two cars up for testing before mass producing it....the first car from before, but now they have another sponsored car shaped like the sponsor company's logo, a giant chicken...
Looking back, that may be one of the most insane things I've ever typed in my life, so maybe I'll just try and summarize.
Cuusoo is going to get stuck in a loop if nothing changes. Licensed models are going to make it through because whatever license's fans are going to vote for it, not just LEGO fans. If it was left to just the LEGO fans, there's simply not enough people to reach 10,000 supporters. Naturally, most feasible licenses are going to get created because of the collector item's value....unless the MC Microworld completely bombs, in which case things are probably going to change in Cuusoo anyway. That's why I see Cuusoo in this way - it's not the universally perfect way to create new licenses and such. It's going to remain making one-off collector's items, because as long as it reaches 10,000 supporters and it sells, who cares who's buying it? That's not LEGO being ignorant, that's just hitting an entirely different target audience than LEGO would normally sell to.
Another awesome point. It makes perfect sense. If I knew Minecraft LEGO was going to end up like this, to be entirely honest? I wouldn't've voted for it. Your answer is pretty much based on the assumption that MC Microworld isn't going to sell if I'm reading right, a sentiment I can completely share. If that one set doesn't work out, I foresee a hell of a lot of changes to Cuusoo. And, well, if that happens, then I think what Cuusoo was made out to be will finally come to fruition.
But for now, Cuusoo is pretty much dependent on licenses and media to get a 10,000 votes. This does a lot - it keeps the number of models reaching the intended goal low, so there's not a huge number of disappointments. But it also weeds out every project that's not licensed, something that ruins half the point of what it's supposed to be. I think LEGO needs differing goals for licensed and unlicensed projects, otherwise we won't see a lot of fantastic original projects reach the goal they deserve to achieve.
Posted 27 April 2012 - 06:35 PM
One aspect mentioned in the Winchester thread is the voting demographics which we don't get to see. How long have you been a member? Did you vote only once or twice and never log on again? Do you vote for all models regardless of quality? These demographics will tell TLG much more than 10,000 votes for a specific fandom model. They can see trends... Perhaps 40% voting for the Winchester also voted for EVE, and all other licensed brands, but not on a true innovative moc. This would allow them to better profile who is voting and on what types of models, which is where the power of cuusoo works.
The Slowly crawling models are most likely to get made when they reach 10k simply because people voting are probably not following fandom craze which could be easily traced from the database. That is power of market analysis hidden in cookies!
Product managers have to listen to the loudest voices, but they would be foolish to blindly follow what is said without first listening to the doubters and getting a balanced opinion.
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Posted 27 April 2012 - 06:38 PM
Replace rabid fandom of Eve Online with rabid fandom of Star Wars or LOTR or Pirates of the Carribean.
Many people may not know EVE Online, but just because it is not known to you, do not bash what could potentially be a great Sci-fi theme
Eve also has a very fanatical fanbase, I should know, I have played the game for over 6 years. It has something about it with its fans who will almost buy anything EVE related. I am sure that many many fans will buy EVE ships as their have been forum posts about why there are no models on their favourite ships.
Seeing as there are only 4 models available in the EVE shop out of Hundreds of in game ships, I honestly think these will sell well.
I also urge you to look at some of the ship designs from the game, There are some hideous ones, as well as some of the most beautiful ships I have seen. There is a huge potential here.
EVE is also expanding with Dust 514, a ground based shooter on the PS3 that is linked Real time to the PC MMO where the ships are piloted. There is further potential for ground based vehicles/buildings and troops here as well.
I also know that the EVE developers, CCP have been quite excited about possibly having their ships built in Lego, so licensing would surely be easy to obtain.In Fact CCP themselves have been helping promote Cuusoo and their EVE ship in order to try make it a reality.
The Rifter that was modeled may be a bit bland in terms of Lego's creativity standards, but remember that Lego will still take this apart and redesign it with their Engineers. What the final product turns out like may be very different.
If EVE ships came out, I would buy every one I could afford.
Check this out
List of EVE ships with links to pics
Posted 27 April 2012 - 06:38 PM
I think that the main reason why we are seeing a bunch of licensed stuff is that many Lego fans have a few licensed themes on their wish list, and they haven't had the opportunity to reach out to Lego in this way before. So, I expect that after a few of these projects get through, that should diminish.
I don't mind licensed projects. Cuusoo reflects what the people want. Besides, I think that Lego knows very clearly that not everyone who supports a project would buy the product. I think that's why they review the project.
I think that it's a matter of time before we get to see more non-licensed projects reach the amount of votes needed.
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