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LEGO Design Team – Open Call For Theme Ideas!


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#26 Darth Dino

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 04:08 PM

View Postnatelite, on 22 October 2012 - 12:50 PM, said:

If I win, what's in it for me? :tongue:  do i get a profit share like in cuusoo? do i get hired to come up with themes? doesn't seem fair to solicit for ideas and getting nothing in return. :sceptic:

Hi

that is an important point. This will be a huge idea collection from all kinds of thinkable themes - and Lego hardly tell what they are going to do with it - beside that all right are going to them. Ideas and the bricks are the source for Legos success - and for now the bricks are not patented anymore... Ideas are the key!

In photography for example, there are many online competitions where you can win e.g. a holiday trip if you snd in the best holiday image... Value 2000€. But all others putin their imagesfrom all places over the worldthat fill up for the next 10 years their catalogsand webpages - for free. Sending a photographer around the world or purchasing those images online is MUCH more expensive than a 2000€ holiday trip.

That isthe same with Lego here, setdesigners are expensive, because good ideas are worthful.

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#27 natelite

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 04:51 PM

View PostDarth Dino, on 22 October 2012 - 04:08 PM, said:

Hi

that is an important point. This will be a huge idea collection from all kinds of thinkable themes - and Lego hardly tell what they are going to do with it - beside that all right are going to them. Ideas and the bricks are the source for Legos success - and for now the bricks are not patented anymore... Ideas are the key!

In photography for example, there are many online competitions where you can win e.g. a holiday trip if you snd in the best holiday image... Value 2000€. But all others putin their imagesfrom all places over the worldthat fill up for the next 10 years their catalogsand webpages - for free. Sending a photographer around the world or purchasing those images online is MUCH more expensive than a 2000€ holiday trip.

That isthe same with Lego here, setdesigners are expensive, because good ideas are worthful.

Dino

exactly right. should be more than just a pat on the back.

for what it's worth (hiring a theme designer and conceptual artists, etc) i think giving free lego sets for a year + free trip to billund + tour around the facility + trips to expos to participate in product promotion would very much pay for it. plus it's like a free staff for a year and you have hundreds of thousands participants competing for it. it's a no brainer.

they are signing on a waiver form anyway - so that means the property belongs to TLC. if a theme sells well, you get multi-year sales for the half the annual cost of keeping an employee. how's that for cost-benefit?

#28 Aanchir

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 06:11 PM

View Postnatelite, on 22 October 2012 - 04:51 PM, said:



exactly right. should be more than just a pat on the back.

for what it's worth (hiring a theme designer and conceptual artists, etc) i think giving free lego sets for a year + free trip to billund + tour around the facility + trips to expos to participate in product promotion would very much pay for it. plus it's like a free staff for a year and you have hundreds of thousands participants competing for it. it's a no brainer.

they are signing on a waiver form anyway - so that means the property belongs to TLC. if a theme sells well, you get multi-year sales for the half the annual cost of keeping an employee. how's that for cost-benefit?
I think this is a silly way of thinking about things. It's like contacting Customer Service about a defective part. It's not just the hope of compensation that should motivate you, but rather the desire-- which isn't entirely selfless-- to prevent future products from having the same problem. Similarly, the "incentive" to send ideas here is for the privelege of having your idea made into a full product line and the opportunity to buy a professionally-designed version of your idea in the future.

I'm sure plenty of people will suggest a steampunk theme of some kind, for instance. They're not expecting compensation for the idea, but rather just hoping that their suggestion will lead to an actual steampunk theme somewhere down the line. That's what they have to gain by sending their idea in.

Since most of the ideas that fit what TLG is asking for are worthless to anyone who doesn't plan to market the idea themselves, I think it's pretty selfish to suggest you deserve money for them. TLG isn't asking for ideas because they can't come up with them themselves-- they could probably come up with dozens of successful play theme ideas, given how many competent writers and designers they have on their payroll. They're asking for ideas because they think AFOLs might appreciate if they get some input in what play theme concepts are considered, rather than just basing the ideas completely on marketing professionals and focus group testing.

Or perhaps it will help to think of it this way: every play theme you've ever disliked was one that you didn't suggest.

Your idea of compensation, by the way, is completely ludicrous, and I almost have to wonder which is bigger: the size of your imagination (since your ideas are obviously so tremendously valuable) or the size of your sense of entitlement. The ideas AFOLs suggest, after all, are just a starting point. All of the real work is done by the designers, marketers, and writers that LEGO employs, turning an open-ended and nebulous story brief into a marketable product line. Any later collaboration with TLG is presumably just to ensure that they understand your idea properly and that it doesn't morph into something contrary to your original intention.

Edited by Aanchir, 22 October 2012 - 06:26 PM.


#29 Joebot

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 06:59 PM

View Postnatelite, on 22 October 2012 - 04:51 PM, said:

exactly right. should be more than just a pat on the back.


If it makes you feel better, when I participated in this event a few years ago, they shipped me a free Lego set as a thank you (I believe it was the "Fallingwater" set from the Architecture line).

Unless they've changed the nature of this process, this is NOT a contest. There's no winner. If you've invited to participate, you submit however many ideas you want, as long as they conform to their strict guidelines around content, presentation, and format. They then thank you for your efforts, and give you that proverbial "pat on the back." That's it. There's no judging, no contest, and no indication that they liked or hated your ideas. The only way you'll ever know if they liked your idea is if something similar to it appears on the shelf in a toy store in about 2-3 years (TLC's typical development life cycle). In short, you get no feedback of any kind from Lego.

I'm not trying to dissuade anyone from doing it. I had fun with it, although as I said earlier in this thread, trying to conform to TLC's strict rules was a bit frustrating.

#30 natelite

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 07:06 PM

^ i guess asking for some lego sets and for promotional trips is going to bankrupt TLC.

your comment of sense of entitlement is misleading. i guess TLC is also too entitled to think they can get ideas for free?

if you ever study IP, and copyright you would know that some of the cheapest multi-billion ideas were created before the creators figured out how their real net worth. toy story was a prime example used in case studies. pixar signed over the rights to disney when they first created toy story.

having some reward is to encourage participation - and in the bigger scheme of things the rewards i proposed is chump change. it's hardly a dent for a theme. yes, there's risk that the theme wouldn't sell but that risk (molds, production cost, etc) runs in the millions, which compared to the participation prizes is like comparing an elephant to an ant.

maybe in your world everyone is too entitled and should be working for next to free since the same labors can be had in china for peanuts. we're living like kings here earning more than their minimum wage of not $15/hr but $15/day. shame on us! what? you don't think that little timmy can turn a screwdriver or pack a box as well as you? if he's not asking for anything other than the pleasure of working then why should you? what ever is the world coming to... bunch of entitled snobs... working for free and still asking for second servings of soup!

#31 Hrw-Amen

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 08:19 PM

I am not sure I understand what is going on here?

I think I am right in saying TLG are asking for input from the AFOL community as most of us are experienced users of the product.

How many threads are there on the forums saying 'I wish TLG made X, Y or Z?' Loads of them.

All I read from this is that they want us to suggest some of those ideas to them and maybe if they are any good they may get taken up. Correct me if I am wrong but I don't think they are asking us to actually go and work for them? they just want a bit of feedback from their older audience.

It is just a fun hobby and here is an opportunity to have some input to the creators of our hobby. Seams like a good idea as long as we can come up with some good ideas.

I will have to get thinking of some. If I can I'll post them on. Seams quite an exciting thought actually and rather a fun thing to do!

#32 Darth Dino

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 08:50 PM

Hi

i just would like to clarify a few things from my side:

i am not against asking people for ideas - indeed that is a great way (for both sides) to come up with complete new themes.

I only worry about, that you lose all rights on your own ideas for any situaltion comming up.

If you idea will be realised into a theme and this is going to be a bummer - you are right off the game.

If the idea will be used later on, maybe after years - you are still off the game.

It is not onlycounting for the people that will work successfully with Lego together, but also al those that are NOT workng with them for the first time. To come back to my "photography example" with which i can explain it better, NNot only the "winner" will lose it rights on his idea but all the others too. I am sure that at Lego there will be "no winner" unless someone is so great that he will be hird by Lego.

I only dislike losing my rights on my stuff for nothing, even i am not the "winner" (means my idea will be used).

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#33 RaincloudDustbin

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 08:55 PM

Hopefully, the winner will at least get a collection of the sets.
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#34 purpleparadox

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 10:09 PM

View PostTeardropTrashcan, on 22 October 2012 - 08:55 PM, said:

Hopefully, the winner will at least get a collection of the sets.
This is what's beginning to confuse me, and apparently a few others. As far as I can tell, there is no "winner". This is not a contest.

TLG is simply asking for ideas. You have every right to submit them, and you also have every right to hold them back. The point is simply that TLG wants to know which kind of products we, some of their consumers, would like to see. Do you want your ideas to be reality, on the shelves? That's what this is all about.

They might use multiple ideas that get sent in. They might use none. It depends how feasible our wishes are.

Not everything in life has to be a contest. :shrug_oh_well: We can do things for the prize called happiness.

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#35 InnerRayg

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 02:30 AM

Here's a mind blowing thought - if you don't want them to use your idea without compensating you, don't submit it.

#36 Aanchir

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 01:05 PM

View Postnatelite, on 22 October 2012 - 07:06 PM, said:

^ i guess asking for some lego sets and for promotional trips is going to bankrupt TLC.

your comment of sense of entitlement is misleading. i guess TLC is also too entitled to think they can get ideas for free?
No, because they're not in any way suggesting that they are "entitled" to those ideas. It's just asking if anyone has any ideas that they'd be willing to give away. And I don't think that a year's worth of LEGO sets or a promotional trip will bankrupt the company, but if you've noticed how much a LEGO factory tour typically costs or how much money an AFOL can spend on LEGO in a year, it's hard to picture that TLG should be going to that expense in exchange for 100 words of text. I imagine that some people in their employ could flesh out an idea at least that much in a week of work, and I highly doubt that a paid trip to and tour of the LEGO headquarters and a year's worth of LEGO sets amounts to less than those professionals' weekly salary.

TLG isn't telling you that you have to give them your ideas, but I just don't understand how you're expecting that your ideas are in high enough demand to justify such a huge reward. Maybe a single high-priced LEGO set, or free copies of some of the sets that are created based on your idea, but the amount you seem to be expecting seems exorbitant for an idea you don't likely have any other uses for and TLG could just as easily do without.

Quote

if you ever study IP, and copyright you would know that some of the cheapest multi-billion ideas were created before the creators figured out how their real net worth. toy story was a prime example used in case studies. pixar signed over the rights to disney when they first created toy story.

having some reward is to encourage participation - and in the bigger scheme of things the rewards i proposed is chump change. it's hardly a dent for a theme. yes, there's risk that the theme wouldn't sell but that risk (molds, production cost, etc) runs in the millions, which compared to the participation prizes is like comparing an elephant to an ant.
Well here's another factor you're not considering: TLG is basically counting on many AFOLs to be willing to submit their ideas without expecting any grand reward. And in most cases, that's correct. As I keep pointing out, the only way AFOLs could likely get money for their play theme ideas would be to either sell them to a competing toy company (which assumes other companies would be willing to pay money for the ideas of a random dude off the street where TLG is not) or to go into business with their idea on their own, which isn't practical for most people. Furthermore, many AFOLs would consider it a privelege to see one of their ideas become a successful product line. I certainly would.

And furthermore, there's a big difference between suggesting an idea and being the driving force behind the creation of a new IP. In the case of Toy Story, Pixar did a lot more for the brand than just come up with the premise. And even if they had kept the rights for themselves, it's not unimagineable to suggest that they wouldn't have made as much money as quickly as Disney was able to do with their strong experience marketing feature films and merchandise to tie in with them. Pixar had never released a feature film, and it should be noted that the five-minute short Tin Toy which got Disney to take them seriously was not in any way the financial powerhouse that Toy Story became.

Quote

maybe in your world everyone is too entitled and should be working for next to free since the same labors can be had in china for peanuts. we're living like kings here earning more than their minimum wage of not $15/hr but $15/day. shame on us! what? you don't think that little timmy can turn a screwdriver or pack a box as well as you? if he's not asking for anything other than the pleasure of working then why should you? what ever is the world coming to... bunch of entitled snobs... working for free and still asking for second servings of soup!
Whoa now. I don't see why you feel the need to bring global politics into this. Certainly I think work should be rewarded according to its value. But the rewards you were suggesting you deserve for your idea just seem over-the-top. This is just asking for a 100-word idea, which is a pittance compared to the amount of work that will be required to turn that idea into a marketable theme. If you don't want to submit your idea, nobody's forcing you to, and TLG probably doesn't need it anyway. After all, they've done fine without it until now. But they are merely offering fans the chance to have input on their future product lines. If they were desperate for successful ideas, they wouldn't be turning to fans-- they'd turn to professionals in the field, like they did with BIONICLE back in the late 90s.

#37 SirNagek

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 06:37 PM

I've got the basic idea for my theme idea and wanted to post it for some input, if you don't mind, before I submit it. I'm trying to decide on a good theme title, and wondering if my story idea is too complex for the target age or too close to previous themes. This is only the first draft, so any grammatical errors or unclear sentences are entirely accidental.


"Theme name: Eagle Brigade or Team Eagle

Story premise: The U.S. Military experiment soldiers make up Team Eagle/Eagle Brigade. Accompanied by standard soldiers, including spec-ops units, they are sent to combat a threat that first arises in a small desert town before spreading across the globe. That is, unless they can stop it before it starts. What is this threat? It is a computer virus created by a pair of renegade scientists. This virus is capable of producing life-sized, transparent manifestations that can be humanoid or beast. They can construct any vehicle from computer terminals and/or electrical energy. They can also hijack any vehicle and it will run for them. But there is a formula/code key, stored deep in a vault that, if found, will wipe all computer systems in the world. It will defeat the enemy, but at a cost that makes it the last resort. Can the soldiers defeat the virus and its creators without resorting to their last option?

Main trigger points: Team Eagle/Eagle Brigade is equipped with wing-packs, which are similar to jetpacks only feature mechanical wings. They also have other high-tech weaponry and almost sci-fi-type gear. This theme also has clear-cut sides, with the evil appearing stronger than the good. Potential for different vehicles and transforming elements in vehicles, locations, or brick-built figures."

#38 AndyC

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 08:18 PM

View PostDarth Dino, on 22 October 2012 - 08:50 PM, said:

i am not against asking people for ideas - indeed that is a great way (for both sides) to come up with complete new themes.

I only worry about, that you lose all rights on your own ideas for any situaltion comming up.
If you think your idea is something likely to make you rich beyond your wildest dreams etc, then don't submit it. I suspect, however, that probably isn't true for the most part and, for some at least, getting to see their idea turned into reality is reward enough.
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#39 Darth Dino

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 09:50 PM

Hi

i am not talking about myself, i will never be that creative. But others might be, will be.

I am not sure if you see your idea becoming reality, and making money, that will be reward enough. Lego Cuusoo for example is different. At least the author/moccer will be mentioned, everybody knows that ithave been "your" idea.

If have read a few days aho a story where someone invented the "ipod", a chip based music player, in 1977. A few years later he could not afford to renew the patent, and as everybody know, a few copanies are extremely successful with that. For this guy, it leaves some kind of bitterness not being rewarded in any way.

But last but not least i care more about the "losing the rights on your idea"stuff than on being oor not being rewarded. As photographer i always own the rights of my creativity, my pictures. I can sell those rights, or licnse an image to someone but losing the rights is bad.

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#40 soundwave_sw

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 09:54 PM

I am very excited to offer up some ideas and hopefully they get chosen.  I would love to recieve free sets, factory tours, royalties, etc,  but I will be submitting my theme idea with no expectation of compensation and anything that might come my way is just a bonus.

   A memeber of my LUG was a co-creator of the Mindcraft Cussoo project.  Normally he would have recieved a royalty of the sales which have been beyond TLC expectations but at the beginning of the Cussoo procedure it was agreed that the proceeds would go to charity as part of the license deal.  my friend did get a few copies of the sets he helped create but wont get any money from his labors.  The pride and recognition from being a creator have probably exceeded his aspirations.    I would love to be able to say I came up with an idea like Ninjago but on the same token, i feel bad for the creator of Galidor. :blush:

  Hopefully if a theme is chosen, the creator will be proud of their accomplishments and if anything else comes their way, bonus!



View PostSirNagek, on 23 October 2012 - 06:37 PM, said:

I've got the basic idea for my theme idea and wanted to post it for some input,

"Theme name: Eagle Brigade or Team Eagle

Story premise: The U.S. Military experiment soldiers make up Team Eagle/Eagle Brigade. Accompanied by standard soldiers, including spec-ops units,

Sir Nagek,  my feedback for you would be to trim the US Military angle as TLC won't touch modern military themes and being "American" might be too narrow as opposed to a generic affiliation


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#41 SirNagek

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 11:14 PM

View Postsoundwave_sw, on 23 October 2012 - 09:54 PM, said:

I am very excited to offer up some ideas and hopefully they get chosen.  I would love to recieve free sets, factory tours, royalties, etc,  but I will be submitting my theme idea with no expectation of compensation and anything that might come my way is just a bonus.

   A memeber of my LUG was a co-creator of the Mindcraft Cussoo project.  Normally he would have recieved a royalty of the sales which have been beyond TLC expectations but at the beginning of the Cussoo procedure it was agreed that the proceeds would go to charity as part of the license deal.  my friend did get a few copies of the sets he helped create but wont get any money from his labors.  The pride and recognition from being a creator have probably exceeded his aspirations. I would love to be able to say I came up with an idea like Ninjago but on the same token, i feel bad for the creator of Galidor. :blush:

  Hopefully if a theme is chosen, the creator will be proud of their accomplishments and if anything else comes their way, bonus!





Sir Nagek,  my feedback for you would be to trim the US Military angle as TLC won't touch modern military themes and being "American" might be too narrow as opposed to a generic affiliation


Play Well,

Yeah, generic. Thanks! I'm not sure what they would have against modern military, though...

Edited by SirNagek, 23 October 2012 - 11:15 PM.


#42 soundwave_sw

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 11:45 PM

View PostSirNagek, on 23 October 2012 - 11:14 PM, said:

Yeah, generic. Thanks! I'm not sure what they would have against modern military, though...

a Lego exec recently told me that in some countries where Lego is sold,  there are soildiers on the streets and some of the Jets and Tanks we would like models of might be activly bombing or shelling their country.
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#43 Masked Builder

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 02:01 AM

View PostSirNagek, on 23 October 2012 - 11:14 PM, said:

Yeah, generic. Thanks! I'm not sure what they would have against modern military, though...
The original owner lived through WWII, nothing pretty there.  LEGO is very much against any military.  But other than that the theme sounds strong.

#44 Luke_likes_Lego

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 09:43 AM

View PostInnerRayg, on 23 October 2012 - 02:30 AM, said:

Here's a mind blowing thought - if you don't want them to use your idea without compensating you, don't submit it.


Well said !! I think it's nice that TLG have opened this door. It's up to us whether we walk through it.

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#45 absolutelylez

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 10:29 AM

I don't understand why Lego is doing this when it has a whole dept devoted to this. It is as if it wants us to have the impression we have some involvement in the company.. I think I would just feel used.

Edited by absolutelylez, 24 October 2012 - 10:42 AM.

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#46 NickAb

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 11:43 AM

I think its good that TLG does such things. It means that company is open for communications, and it gives a chance for AFOLs to make some contribution in future sets.
By the way, did anyone get a response from Kim with all the forms we need to sign etc?

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#47 Peppermint_M

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 12:55 PM

I think I'll slot my 2p in.

As a fan of LEGO and somewhat of an Idea Lightning RodTM this is an excellent opportunity for me. Why?

Well, first off: Working for TLG would be awesome but would also mean having to seperate myself from the community, a huge part of my Adult love for LEGO. I wouldn't be able to interact with my friends or my family in the same manner regarding LEGO and that would be terrible for me. If I was to become a designer of any type in TLG I would have reams of red tape stopping me say and do things. I'm also not entirely sure on how much/what I could MOC and share with others. So, if someone appeared right now and offered me a job with TLG for certain, I'd have to really really think on it hard (and I'm none to fond of my current employment...).

But: I have so many ideas I want to share! Limited by my space and time to develop an idea, so many MOC plans die as sketches or even simply doodles in a notebook. Maybe I tablescrap a few features or Scratch Build something... throw some minifigs together and that. Eventually a new idea or some great big block comes along that stops me getting to a completed build. Yet I still have ideas I want to share!

So, with a paragraph, some sketched art and a selection of Tags, I can share one of my ideas with TLG and maybe that ends up being shared with everyone! A win win for me. If a theme I shared the idea for comes out in three years time, I'll be so happy. Even if everyone else doesn't know I had the idea, even if it ends up being a one wave thing I would have shared the idea and maybe some of the excitement, wonder and creativity it inspired in me.

Free Lego would rock for sure and that, but I am not in it for prizes or kudos. I do it for the fun and well, for the art.

Eh, just my thoughts on the matter.

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#48 SirNagek

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 07:12 PM

View PostMasked Builder, on 24 October 2012 - 02:01 AM, said:

The original owner lived through WWII, nothing pretty there.  LEGO is very much against any military.  But other than that the theme sounds strong.

View Postsoundwave_sw, on 23 October 2012 - 11:45 PM, said:

a Lego exec recently told me that in some countries where Lego is sold,  there are soildiers on the streets and some of the Jets and Tanks we would like models of might be activly bombing or shelling their country.

Yeah, that's what I kind of expected. I wasn't sure how many countries Lego sold to like that, and I didn't want just another agents-type theme. The vehicles would all be more toward the sci-fi end, anyway. How would you suggest changing the military aspect out in order to not be another repeat theme?

Edited by SirNagek, 24 October 2012 - 07:13 PM.


#49 RaincloudDustbin

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 08:40 PM

Kim never emailed me for the form. Grrr. :sad: :sceptic: :hmpf_bad:
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#50 Fugazi

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 09:05 PM

View PostTeardropTrashcan, on 24 October 2012 - 08:40 PM, said:

Kim never emailed me for the form. Grrr. :sad: :sceptic: :hmpf_bad:
Give it some time, I'm sure that KimT is buried under form requests right now! :classic:
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