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LEGO Ambassador Project: Design a NEW Pirate Sub-Theme


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99 replies to this topic  – Started by Mister Phes , Mar 04 2014 04:19 PM

#1 Mister Phes

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 04:19 PM

The object is to produce a new LEGO Pirates sub-theme which will be submitted to the LEGO Group via the LEGO Ambassador Project. A couple of the larger sets could also be submitted as CUUSOO projects.
UPDATE: April 5, 2014

The Ambassador Project has launched! Posted Image

Please read the rules carefully and leave your suggestions in the Sub-Themes Suggestions thread.
The sub-theme would contain a range of sets targeted at various price points and there would be a minimial backstory with a couple of significant characters. The aim is to capture the essence of the late 80's/early 90's pirate sets and produce a fresh new sub-theme.The project would involve a forming a team with a range of skills, so we'd require set designers (I.e. talented MOCers), customizers, graphic designers, creative writers or anybody with something valuable to contribute.The process would be:

  • Determine the most popular sub-theme to develop.
  • Determine which sets and minifigures the sub-theme should contain.
  • Produce prototypes of the sets and minifigures
  • Compile everything into a lavish presentation which will be submitted to the LEGO Group via the Ambassador Program and possibly CUUSSOO.

At this stage I'm just seeking expressions of interest to determine the project's viability.So what are your thoughts on this project? Is it worth pursuing? Are you interested in being involved and do you have any skills to contribute?But hold the theme suggestions! Determining the sub-theme will be the next stage of the project.

Edited by Mister Phes, 20 April 2014 - 03:41 AM.


#2 Lance

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 04:21 PM

I think it's definitely a good idea, especially if the community are involved.

#3 Ridge Montante

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 04:33 PM

I think it's a good idea. I'm interested in doing this. Maybe a few members could form a group to combine different talents.

Edited by Ridge Montante, 04 March 2014 - 08:53 PM.

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#4 just2good

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 04:34 PM

I love the idea! Sign me up! I love making MOCs in an essence of being an official set. Sounds great.

#5 tedbeard

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 05:05 PM

Sounds like an interesting and useful idea. I'd be happy to contribute copy as a competent writer.
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#6 Kintobor

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 05:45 PM

Yeah, I'd love to see some new pirates, and I'd love to lend a hand! I have but one question, and that's what constitutes as a sub-theme? Are we talking Castle being a sub-theme to the Historical theme?

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#7 Mister Phes

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 07:39 PM

View PostKintobor, on 04 March 2014 - 05:45 PM, said:

I have but one question, and that's what constitutes as a sub-theme?
We're talking official LEGO sub-themes of a parent theme, for example the original SYSTEM Pirates Theme had four sub-themes; Soldiers, Imperial Guards, Indigo Islanders and Imperial Armada.

So by this definition a sub-theme consists of a range of sets with a common asethetic to their parent theme but with unique design motifs pertaining to the sub-theme.

The mofits are usually most distinguishable in the minifigure torsos and flags, but they can also be evident in the set design and building elements.

Maybe this commonality has become obscured in some of the contemporary LEGO Themes but visit Fibblesnorks LEGO Guide and observe the Pirate sub-themes solely on their own.  You'll notice a trend running through each of the sets in the sub-theme.

#8 Matthias

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 08:03 PM

This is the best idea ever. Unfortunatelly i am not able to help in building or writing.

I think the best selling supthema would be 1. soldiers or 2. armada, because that is what kids want to have.

I wish you and myself that it will be a great success.
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#9 Lego Chris

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 08:21 PM

This sounds like a fun project.  The first thing that came to my mind was Ghost Ships, they could be enemies of both the Armada and the Pirates.  


#10 Sebeus I

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 08:40 PM

I'm defenitely interested in being involved in this project,
I'd contribute in whatever way I can Posted Image .

Designing sets would suit me I think

Edited by Sebeus I, 05 March 2014 - 09:01 PM.

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#11 Kintobor

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 08:51 PM

View PostMatthias130182, on 04 March 2014 - 08:03 PM, said:

I think the best selling supthema would be 1. soldiers or 2. armada, because that is what kids want to have.

Well, honestly, I think kids would be more interested in enemies akin to Ninjago or Chima: weird, supernatural enemies. Soldiers and Armada would be good for us older fans, but in terms of a new sub-theme, I think a supernatural edge would be both interesting for kids, and different for adults. An undead skeleton crew I think would be the most interesting, with both crews chasing after some lost treasure. Each set could include a piece of the map that leads to the lost treasure or something, kind of like the Atlantis and Monster Fighters themes. There could be some Imperials, but I think three factions is a bit much. I could help with writing and building smaller sets. I'm no master MOCer, but I can build some stuff, and my writing's considered pretty good to boot. Posted Image

Oh, cool! The pirate emoticons show up first on this part of the forum! I didn't know that! Posted Image

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#12 Puffle Pal26

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 09:45 PM

It sounds like a very great idea! I can definitely help by coming up with ideas for story and characters, as I am the best at that.

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#13 Matthias

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 09:58 PM

A ship with a undead crew is not realy the essence of the 89 - 93 pirates, don t you think so kintobor? This idea was also used in castle and was not very successful.
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#14 Sebeus I

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 10:18 PM

I think pirates vs Islanders would be an interesting theme, the Idea is not new but I believe it could be very original in set designs.
Pirates are always searching for treasure, often to be found at Islanders' places, the Islanders are hunting those greedy pirates, feed them to their crocodiles, etc,
plenty of material for story-telling.

Edited by Sebeus I, 04 March 2014 - 10:19 PM.

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#15 Simon_S

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 10:27 PM

I agree with Sebeus that Pirates vs. Islanders could be interesting. It would give a wide variety of set possibilities, from pirate ships to jungles and secret shrines Posted Image.
I would love to contribute as a set designer, I also can take some nice photos, but my editing skills are not the best.

#16 Kintobor

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 10:28 PM

View PostMatthias130182, on 04 March 2014 - 09:58 PM, said:

A ship with a undead crew is not realy the essence of the 89 - 93 pirates, don t you think so kintobor? This idea was also used in castle and was not very successful.

Well in that case, the 09 line was also in the essence of the 89-93 line. Posted Image And I never said the undead needed a ship. It's just a thought, really. This is a collaborative effort, so If we're going to pitch this to Lego, you've got to have the primary target audience in mind: kids. And if my four year old brother's anything to go by, they like action, supernatural stuff, and getting every minifigure. Posted Image


View PostSebeus I, on 04 March 2014 - 10:18 PM, said:

I think pirates vs Islanders would be an interesting theme, the Idea is not new but I believe it could be very original in set designs.
Pirates are always searching for treasure, often to be found at Islanders' places, the Islanders are hunting those greedy pirates, feed them to their crocodiles, etc,
plenty of material for story-telling.

I think that would be fun too! Old ruins, Islander villages, pirates over spits. Posted Image The question is, how do you sell it? Do you give the pirates a smaller ship to make way for a larger temple, or do we make a larger ship with the islanders coming up on their canoes? Also, will it be politically correct enough to sell? The views of what's okay and what's not has changed since the original islander sets came out, and I wonder if Lego would get flack for making a theme about natives and pirates running amuck. Posted Image

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#17 Ridge Montante

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 10:38 PM

What about some civilian villages too?
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#18 Sebeus I

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 10:42 PM

View PostKintobor, on 04 March 2014 - 10:28 PM, said:

I think that would be fun too! Old ruins, Islander villages, pirates over spits. Posted Image The question is, how do you sell it? Do you give the pirates a smaller ship to make way for a larger temple, or do we make a larger ship with the islanders coming up on their canoes? Also, will it be politically correct enough to sell? The views of what's okay and what's not has changed since the original islander sets came out, and I wonder if Lego would get flack for making a theme about natives and pirates running amuck. Posted Image
Good point,
I'd say there shouldn't really be an obvious bad guy, you just choose whichever faction you like most to be the good guy.
Concerning it to be political correct I assume it's safe to say that these pirates and Islanders are doing their thing in a universe far away,
the factions don't represent any social group in the real word, personally I think it's quite innocent.
As for sets I think it's a bit early to already discuss those Posted Image .


View PostRidge Montante, on 04 March 2014 - 10:38 PM, said:

What about some civilian villages too?
Now you're thinking AFOL, I'm sure most of us are interested in such things but I believe kids are much more interested in the "active" fraction, the fighting factions.
A ship needs cannons to be interesting, an islander has weapons like a bow or spear, there needs to be action!
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Edited by Sebeus I, 04 March 2014 - 10:44 PM.

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#19 Kintobor

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 10:43 PM

View PostRidge Montante, on 04 March 2014 - 10:38 PM, said:

What about some civilian villages too?

I think a D2C Bluecoat Port could be feasible, and fit our requirements. Have a crane, a tavern, a small boat, maybe a garrison for the troops, and a few villagers, cargo and animals. I sort of don't want this to be the "Pirate Market Village" if you get where I'm going, I'd like it to stand on it's own merits. Sort of like the Imperial Trading Post, but with Bluecoats and more current design techniques. Posted Image

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#20 Ridge Montante

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 10:45 PM

Or a Pirate Ambush Raid on a town. Where the guards have to protect the civilians from the attacking pirates.
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#21 Cara

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 10:46 PM

Is it meant to target kids? I figure that the adult audience and modular builds may be less of a revenue generator but might be different.

I know my kids like anything with moderate fighting, something embarrassing to the bad guys, magic/supernatural and if there is a magically animated or mechanical vehicle/ship/or something rideable made to look like an animal, then you're good to go.
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#22 Cwetqo

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 11:54 PM

I support the idea too.

I think that we need to follow some basic guidelines, if we want to present it as complete and viable proposition of the theme:

-dont get carried away by making many large and complicated sets. Target age is 7-12 and sets need to be simple enough for that age
-price range should be from 10 to 100 euro/usd. TLG will not make non-licensed sets more expensive than 100eur (maybe up to 120 if theme would be really succesful, like Ninjago or now Chima).
-there should be max of 6-7 sets per wave, starting with simple "duel" in range of 7-10eur, followed with products in 20, 30, 40, 60 and 100euro/usd range
-each set should contain at leadt minifigures both oposing factions.
-largest set should be from "good" side (might be difficult with pirates vs islanders)

This in nothing official, but I saw that the pattern repeats with each new theme.

#23 2maxwell

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 01:06 AM

This is a great idea! Tragically, I don't the resources to MOC right now or other useful skills.

Did the lego group decide to never use the old hulls anymore? I personally think bringing those back would be better to create smaller ships and keep prices/piece counts reasonable. Combined with a small port town with either Islanders or whoever else, you could make a decent large set. Take the old Imperial Flagship for example: it was ~300 pieces and cost $50. Meanwhile, most of the larger pirate, islander, or soldier/guard hideouts had between 200-400 pieces and cost between $30-60. Taken together, you'd have a 600-700 piece large set that cost about $100. Sounds reasonable to me!

#24 Louie le Brickvalier

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 03:44 AM

I may be able to find the time for this, we'll see. I think Pirates vs. Armada would be very nice. Posted Image

#25 just2good

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 03:48 AM

View PostCwetqo, on 04 March 2014 - 11:54 PM, said:

I think that we need to follow some basic guidelines, if we want to present it as complete and viable proposition of the theme:

-dont get carried away by making many large and complicated sets. Target age is 7-12 and sets need to be simple enough for that age
-price range should be from 10 to 100 euro/usd. TLG will not make non-licensed sets more expensive than 100eur (maybe up to 120 if theme would be really succesful, like Ninjago or now Chima).
-there should be max of 6-7 sets per wave, starting with simple "duel" in range of 7-10eur, followed with products in 20, 30, 40, 60 and 100euro/usd range
-each set should contain at leadt minifigures both oposing factions.
-largest set should be from "good" side (might be difficult with pirates vs islanders)

This in nothing official, but I saw that the pattern repeats with each new theme.
This.

Hmm, what should the name be? I can conjure up a box design template and logo in a week or so. I am a Photoshop certified professional after all! :grin: :tongue:




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