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NickLafreniere

VIA Rail Canada - The Canadian train hit 10,000 on LEGO Ideas

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native

Today my VIA Rail The Canadian train set reached the mighty 10,000 - a feat that is difficult for a train-themed project on LEGO Ideas. If you do not count the Toronto Subway TTC Rocket LEGO Ideas project ( I don't...just look at it), this is the first non-movie-themed train to get 10K. I submitted the project in May 2020 and it is now February 2021, so it's been about 10 months. While some LEGO Ideas projects get to 10K within just a couple of weeks, this is decent for something niche like the Trains theme.

I won't repeat all the details here, so if you would like to learn more about the project go to the project page and check out the "Updates" tab for ALL the information: VIA Rail Canada - The Canadian

I still have a 2nd train set on LEGO Ideas, VIA Rail Canada - The Corridor that is designed to compliment The Canadian set. Both sets are modular and can be mixed and matched. It could use more votes to catch up to The Canadian, so please vote for it if you haven't already.

native

 

Let me know what you think of the project and ask any questions you have.

 

 

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Huge congrats! Best of luck in the review stage!

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2 minutes ago, M_slug357 said:

When’s the next review wave?

In early May

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Congratulations, the more that TLG sees demand for trains, the more likely that they will try to satisfy it.

But, sorry to rain on your parade, you need to look again at the Ideas T&Cs. In my reading of these, if The Canadian were to be accepted, then that would automatically disqualify The Corridor.

Ideas won't accept a submission for IP that TLG already holds the licence for, so as soon as they get the necessary permissions from VIA Rail, then that disqualifies any subsequent submission that would require a VIA Rail licence. If they decide to do a whole sequence of VIA Rail sets, that is their decision and your further involvement is explicitly ruled out in the T&Cs.

Surely, unless TLG close down their Denmark HQ and moves to Canada, they are scarcely likely to create two Canadian train sets in any case. Better to devote your obviously considerable energy and skills to a new project.

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I said it before, but I'll say it again here: this is basically the only 6w project in existence that I actually want on my shelf. It's just too good.

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Huge congrats!  Been watching this one for quite some time now and pleased to see it hit 10K - it was an instant support for me when I first saw it around June/July of last year...

I don't remember the Vintage Tram (if you count it as a train) having any particular branding, but this is definitely the first train with wagons or coaches that's not branded to reach 10K.

Best of luck in the review stage,

Vilhelm22

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5 hours ago, Tube Map Central said:

But, sorry to rain on your parade, you need to look again at the Ideas T&Cs. In my reading of these, if The Canadian were to be accepted, then that would automatically disqualify The Corridor.

Ideas won't accept a submission for IP that TLG already holds the licence for, so as soon as they get the necessary permissions from VIA Rail, then that disqualifies any subsequent submission that would require a VIA Rail licence. If they decide to do a whole sequence of VIA Rail sets, that is their decision and your further involvement is explicitly ruled out in the T&Cs.

Surely, unless TLG close down their Denmark HQ and moves to Canada, they are scarcely likely to create two Canadian train sets in any case. Better to devote your obviously considerable energy and skills to a new project.

Actually, the rules state that they will not make accept any LEGO Ideas project on an IP that just got chosen, but only after it was chosen. If both projects are in the review period at the same time, it would be a valid possibility. I understood that from the beginning of the project, so it was also very important to get both projects to 10K together.

For both of them to get approved together, they both either need to be in the same review period, or they can be 1 review period apart. Although every batch of LEGO Ideas projects to reach 10K is separated by 4 months, the review periods are 8 months long. That allows 2 batches of 10K projects to overlap in the review period.

The deadline to be included in the current batch of projects to get reviewed is May 6 (I think). The Canadian has made it and ideally The Corridor could also make to 10K before May 6. However, it could still be reviewed at the same time as The Canadian if it reaches the next deadline after that, which is early September.

If the LEGO Ideas team is reviewing both projects at the same time and decide to approve The Canadian and get the VIA Rail license, why not get the most out of the license and tempt the consumer with another product to buy? The work on the model has already been done.

Here are the 3 scenarios that I can see if they decide to approve it:

1. The Canadian gets approved, but The Corridor does not due to not being as popular.

2. Both of the trains get approved! LEGO likes the idea of a LEGO Ideas product that upsells the consumer into not only buying additional electronic accessories and train tracks, but also multiple copies of the set itself. Not to mention the need to collect both sets if 2 are released!

3. Only The Canadian gets approved and the green locomotive is ditched and replaced by the yellow locomotive. The yellow locomotive has less complexity when it comes to prints/stickers and also uses more commonly available pieces. 

 

native

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4 hours ago, SteamSewnEmpire said:

I said it before, but I'll say it again here: this is basically the only 6w project in existence that I actually want on my shelf. It's just too good.

Thanks! I know that many of you on Eurobricks will prefer 7w or 8w for your MOCs, but I had to design a product and not a MOC for a chance at success. I personally only prefer the "official" style of LEGO trains, even if they have flaws and don't look 100% accurate to the real thing. If a LEGO set can capture a real life object at 80% accuracy and be sold at an affordable price, I consider that a success. After designing a legit 6w train that has been tested to work motorized the official way, I understand how there are so many compromises that must be made in order to create a product that is viable. I also just like making 6w trains because many of the train-specific parts are 6 wide! I prefer to work within the limitations rather than to try and go against them.

I think the technique that allowed the train cars to get that extra level of detail was using the small train wheels. It is controversial, but trust me, I believe it could be the evolution of LEGO trains.

The current small train wheel pieces have some friction (I have built it and tested it), but if LEGO could design a new frictionless small train wheel + small train wheel holder , that would change the game. Instead of tickling Elmo (they made a new mold just for the Sesame Street Ideas set), the LEGO Ideas team could spend their time designing a totally useful piece such as a new small train wheel. It could be used in Creator Expert trains, mine carts, or even in a Juniors 4+ kiddie mini train - there are many applications for it.

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With the round end dome observation cars the Canadian is the finest regularly scheduled train running in the world today. This would make an excellent "update" to the Super Chief as an official set. I would hope for the blue engine with Canadian cars since the coordinated colors is more cohesive as a set (an important feature for non-train heads). The specific winning design is kind a moot though, if the submission is chosen, Lego could take great latitude with the design (even turning it into an Amtrak or no-name train). If it were ever to become a set, I would expect it to be a single set of a loco and some number of cars. Hopefully the number of cars would be 3, but that would be massive for Ideas. I fear just 1 car would be their target, which would be horrible. A compromise of 2 cars would be okay, you could have a nice train with three sets. As for new train wheels, I doubt you would see new parts made just for an Ideas set.

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7 minutes ago, zephyr1934 said:

A compromise of 2 cars would be okay, you could have a nice train with three sets. As for new train wheels, I doubt you would see new parts made just for an Ideas set.

60197 is due for replacement in 2022. How planned is this likely to be at this point in time?

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I have read some comments on stonewars.de and some people are saying that the VIA trains compete against LEGO's City train lineup. I disagree, LEGO City and Creator Expert/18+ trains are 2 separate types of consumer. Please keep in mind that my VIA train sets do not include tracks or electronic components, all sold separately. 

As an adult, I don't like the LEGO City trains and have no desire to buy them as they are quite childish. I also really like real-life models in LEGO, they offer more collectible value and encourage you to learn more about the real-life subject matter. There has been a void in the Creator Expert trains lineup for several years, and did the Crocodile even satisfy that void for a lot of people? I think not.

Another point that I see is that if LEGO is already developing a Train Collection, then LEGO Ideas submissions are off the table. I think that could be true after a few years if LEGO does make new trains annually, but that is also up for debate.

The way I see it is why not pay an enthusiastic train fan to design the train and pay them the 1% for the work? Sets like these take many years to develop because of the complexity. I think the whole LEGO Ideas story behind the development of the project also aids in marketing the set, which a risky endeavor like a LEGO train set could really use. LEGO Trains may not have performed well in the past, but it's been almost a decade since the last wave of Creator Expert trains (Maersk, Emerald, TGV) and the social media scene has changed a lot since then. The LEGO Ideas platform, social media, and LEGO Youtubers have such an influence these days so a quality LEGO train set could get more exposure this time around.

 

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1 hour ago, zephyr1934 said:

As for new train wheels, I doubt you would see new parts made just for an Ideas set.

LEGO Ideas changed the rules and they can make new parts if needed. Some projects, like the Naruto project, even suggested multiple brand new pieces and it was allowed. 

The Sesame Street LEGO Ideas set has had multiple new pieces made for the minifigures, which could be reused once or twice in the future, but mainly just for Sesame Street characters. My suggestion for new train wheels could be used in at least 10 sets, and could even be a new standard for a mini train series. The small wheels offer advantages like being able to fit more details on train cars and possibly reducing cost as well. 

Another suggestion for 2 new LEGO pieces could help reduce the piece count, simplify the building process, reduce the “cracks” between the pieces, and improve stability. This would reduce the piece count by about 300 pieces. I bet you could all think of great uses for these pieces. 

1 x 6 Grille Brick    and    6 x 6 x 1 Curved Roof

 

native

 

If LEGO does decide to approve the small train wheel idea, they would absolutely have to make new pieces as the current method has friction. In theory, you can just increase the train speed on your remote/smartphone a few notches. Normally when you run a standard LEGO train, you don't need to use speed 5 and beyond because it is too fast. You could use the high speeds to overcome that friction, but in practice that would be a bad idea. So, new pieces would need to be made. The LEGO roller coaster mini cars and wheels are quite frictionless, so a similar design to that would be great.

Edited by NickLafreniere

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Congratulation on achieving the 10,000 mark. Here's to a favorable selection during the review phase.

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Congratulations. Train projects rarely make it to the 10,000 club at Ideas.
Whether it is realized or not, you have achieved a success.
I would also buy it as an Ideas set. But that doesn't mean much, because in principle I buy every train set and then use the parts for my own train projects. But I am happy about every train set that appears.

Thomas

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2 minutes ago, Ts__ said:

Congratulations. Train projects rarely make it to the 10,000 club at Ideas.
Whether it is realized or not, you have achieved a success.
I would also buy it as an Ideas set. But that doesn't mean much, because in principle I buy every train set and then use the parts for my own train projects. But I am happy about every train set that appears.

Thomas

Thank you! I totally understand if you would want to use the pieces from this set to make something else, and I had that in mind when designing it. There would be some extremely useful grey pieces such as the panel walls, the dome window pieces, and the custom printed transparent windows I made. You could use these parts to make other Budd cars or subway cars. I think this is yet another reason for someone to buy multiple copies of this set. There would be quite a few pieces made in new colors!

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17 hours ago, NickLafreniere said:

native

Today my VIA Rail The Canadian train set reached the mighty 10,000 - a feat that is difficult for a train-themed project on LEGO Ideas. If you do not count the Toronto Subway TTC Rocket LEGO Ideas project ( I don't...just look at it), this is the first non-movie-themed train to get 10K. I submitted the project in May 2020 and it is now February 2021, so it's been about 10 months. While some LEGO Ideas projects get to 10K within just a couple of weeks, this is decent for something niche like the Trains theme.

I won't repeat all the details here, so if you would like to learn more about the project go to the project page and check out the "Updates" tab for ALL the information: VIA Rail Canada - The Canadian

I still have a 2nd train set on LEGO Ideas, VIA Rail Canada - The Corridor that is designed to compliment The Canadian set. Both sets are modular and can be mixed and matched. It could use more votes to catch up to The Canadian, so please vote for it if you haven't already.

native

 

Let me know what you think of the project and ask any questions you have.

 

 

Hi Nick,

My name is Paul, I am on the VIA Rail Canada communications team. I have been trying to get in contact with you. We caught wind of this initiative and we would love to potentially feature this here at VIA.

If you're interested, please send an email to editorial@viarail.ca and we can continue our discussion there.

We really hope to hear from you, and again, great work!

- Paul and the VIA Rail team

 

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There we go... If Paul's boss can get JT to make the call to Denmark then this can be a reality!

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I hope VIA Rail itself getting involved may help to push this forward, but honestly I don’t think it’ll make much difference.  Brad Bird showed his support for the Ratatouille idea (which he directed) and it still didn’t make it....

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3 hours ago, Vilhelm22 said:

I hope VIA Rail itself getting involved may help to push this forward, but honestly I don’t think it’ll make much difference.  Brad Bird showed his support for the Ratatouille idea (which he directed) and it still didn’t make it....

Yes, in the end it is really up to LEGO. They could say no if the project seems too complex, or if they are already working on something similar. 

It really comes down to if people will buy it if they see it on shelves. The most common type of LEGO Ideas project to get rejected are the ones that are based of movies/TV shows. They have to be absolutely iconic and cost less than $100 for it to work (Big Bang, F.R.I.E.N.D.S., Seinfeld) 

For example, let's use the Night at the Museum LEGO Ideas project. It looks nice, it's detailed, and about 3000 pieces. Do I like Ben Stiller? Yes! Did I like Night at the Museum? Sure, it was a good movie. Do I like it enough to spend $300 on a playset?? NO.

However, if we use the new Home Alone LEGO Ideas set that was approved and will come out as an example, that is an iconic movie that is watched anually. Even if you have never seen the Home Alone movies, you could still buy the set as it is a very nice house build for a LEGO City (a very famous house in real life)

I think that if a LEGO Ideas set is based on an IP, it helps if the model can be still understood and worth buying even if you've never seen the movie.

With my VIA Rail projects, it doesn't matter if you are not from Canada, you can still understand what the set is about. Even if you are a 2 year old Chinese baby, you can still understand that my set is a train that can be played with minifigures. My set is of an iconic real-life thing, but is still a generic thing that people are familiar with. 

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