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Hi all,

I was about to post this in the Pub, but since it's partially about LEGO I didn't want the Mods to give me a warning :tongue:

The other day I received a message on the LAN (LEGO Ambassador Network) that RLOC's (Recognized LEGO Online Communities) will not be receiving review sets anymore. They have made changes to the program which limits the distribution to RLFM (Recognized LEGO Fan Media). Obviously, this resulted in lots of debate on the LAN, since Eurobricks wasn't the only RLOC which has been "sacrificed". I am sad that we won't be receiving sets anymore (this goes for all  themes, not only Technic). On the other hand, the "50k views in 24 hours" days have been long gone and some of the recent reviews felt like a lot of work for little in return. I won't go into all the details why this decision has been made by TLG and I surely don't want this post to be a rant or something. We've had a pretty good run and all good things come to an end. As you might know, there's always a lot of stuff going on in my life, so freeing some time might not be such a bad thing.

Coincidentally, I got the news more or less the same day I took down my photo studio (see picture below). We are in the midst of renovating our top floor to replace the balcony with extra floor/office space. I was already in doubt whether I would rebuild my permanent photo studio. It takes up a lot of space. Space which I can probably use more efficiently for storage or finally start building something with my LEGO :laugh: The message sent by TLG was the proverbial last straw. I will probably keep my lamps in case it's really itching to do a review or shoot some MOC pics. 

I wanted to let you guys know the reason there won't be any written reviews anymore. At least no reviews for embargoed sets. Luckily Balasz and Sariel will continue their great work and provide us with awesome videos :wub:

On a positive note; we still have activity support, which means I can still arrange prizes for our contests, so let's continue with what we do best....contests!

This is the current situation

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And short trip down memory lane. How it all started:

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More LEGO

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With my Pick a Liftarm wall :laugh: 

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The last picture was before COVID. Since COVID Kitty (my wife) also started working from home, so we moved some of the LEGO so she could have her desk in my LEGO room. Splitting your LEGO room is the beginning of the end :laugh: We will be adding around 12m2 to the top floor, which will mostly be used as office space. So it's about time to start thinking about thinning out my LEGO collection and/or storing it more efficiently. I like the room to be less about LEGO (at least in plain sight). This will be a challenge, since we have gathered a sh.tload of LEGO sets the last decade (actually since 2005). I will probably start building some of the sets and selling them. But I won't be selling my Technic and Mindstorms, since I will dedicate myself to building that life sized Mindstorms robot :tongue:

I will keep you posted and I will send some pics when the renovation has finished.

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I'm going to miss those nicely written reviews with outstanding pictures! 

It's an incredible collection of reviews you've built up over the years (and an incredible lego collection :wub:)

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Going to miss the Eurobricks reviews. I liked reading them and thought the photography was great. In terms of other media reviews of Lego there’s only a short list of people I watch. It’s going to be a shame as there’s something nice about a reading a well written musings on a set.

thanks @Jim @Milan and the other Technic reviewers for eurobricks

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9 minutes ago, GerritvdG said:

I'm going to miss those nicely written reviews with outstanding pictures! 

Thanks for the kind words.

9 minutes ago, GerritvdG said:

It's an incredible collection of reviews you've built up over the years (and an incredible lego collection :wub:)

It is quite an impressive collection. And most of the sets we still have MISB are stored at my parents. Time to start building those :laugh:

3 minutes ago, Seasider said:

Going to miss the Eurobricks reviews. I liked reading them and thought the photography was great. In terms of other media reviews of Lego there’s only a short list of people I watch. It’s going to be a shame as there’s something nice about a reading a well written musings on a set.

thanks @Jim @Milan and the other Technic reviewers for eurobricks

Thanks. I loved writing reviews, but it does take up a lot of time and the last couple of years the fun was actually ruined a bit by LEGO stores already selling the embargoed sets and reading everything online before we were allowed to publish the reviews. That made me more sad than not receiving sets at all. I guess it's time to simply start enjoying the build and probably skip some sets and focus on the flagships each year.

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Thanks @Jim and others for the reviews over the years. I would always start with the Eurobricks reviews, and supplement with others as needed. I'll miss these going forward, though I understand the change.

I still have some of your photos saved from past reviews, as your photography was stunning. 

I hope in the future you will be able enjoy some of these great sets as play on your own time, rather than as part of a review project with a deadline.

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Thank you @Jim for your hard work all these years. It's always sad seeing something great end. 
All we can do now is focus our energy on competitions. 

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17 minutes ago, Mechbuilds said:

Thank you @Jim for your hard work all these years. It's always sad seeing something great end. 
All we can do now is focus our energy on competitions. 

Exactly! :sweet:

20 minutes ago, Thirdwigg said:

I still have some of your photos saved from past reviews, as your photography was stunning. 

I hope in the future you will be able enjoy some of these great sets as play on your own time, rather than as part of a review project with a deadline.

Thanks. And maybe I will still be able to shoot some pics without actually doing a review. Time will tell.

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Thanks for writing this. out, @Jim When seeing the title I feared for the worst, but to read you are in peace with the reviews ending, makes it much easier, at least for me, to adapt and accept the change. And, as you said, there are the review videos. It's thanks to Eurobricks I discovered RacingBrick :)

Make sure to start a WIP topic when you're starting your robot. :)

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9 minutes ago, Erik Leppen said:

Thanks for writing this. out, @Jim When seeing the title I feared for the worst, but to read you are in peace with the reviews ending, makes it much easier, at least for me, to adapt and accept the change. And, as you said, there are the review videos. It's thanks to Eurobricks I discovered RacingBrick :)

Yeah, the title is a bit too dramatic. I was aware of that. 

I have been doing reviews for nearly ten years and I didn't have as much fun doing them recently as I did in the past. Of course there's is always the benefit of getting a CAT for free, which sounds awesome (and it is). But writing such a review takes up a couple of weeks, which feels like work. I need less deadlines in my life, instead of more :laugh:
(and recently we were lucky to receive the set two weeks before the embargo, which makes writing a review a burden instead of a fun activity)

So yeah, I am definitely in peace with it and it was about to happen sooner or later. In this case, the choice was made for me hehe. But I do feel sorry for other EB reviewers who enjoyed doing reviews as well. It is what it is and I have lots of cool hobbies, so no worries. And to be honest; It's about time I start some LEGO (Mindstorms) building, right?! :D (well, after the renovation).

9 minutes ago, Erik Leppen said:

Make sure to start a WIP topic when you're starting your robot. :)

I sure will.

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On the upside you'll have more time for MOC's then. Looking forward to your life sized Mindstorms robot!

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Posted (edited)

I was looking forward to the possibility of a Muppet's CMF / Lightyear sets review from you guys, but that dream has died now. :cry2:

And so, much like The Lone Ranger riding off into the sunset forever, or the Titanic leaving dry land for the last time, it's the end of an era, and it will be missed. R.I.P. Eurobricks embargoed set's reviews.

(Also, good luck on the life-size Mindstorms's robot @Jim!)

Edited by Murdoch17

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So just to be sure to understand well: this impacts all people that were receiving free sets for reviewing until now, or only some specific groups?

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Thank you @Jim for your great reviews that I have enjoyed reading over the years. Understandable decision, but they will be missed. :classic:

Now about that life sized Mindstorms robot, will there be instructions? :devil:

Ian...

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2 hours ago, Jim said:

It is what it is and I have lots of cool hobbies, so no worries.

And that is the point! :pir-huzzah2: I can really see that.

To be quite honest: I believe, yes, getting a set for free is nice. And creating a review of "your quality" is naturally a >lot< of work. For the community - and for TLG. 

My take is: When you get something for free from a company, particularly one like TLG, something is hiding. Or hidden. There are some occasions (family, true friends, being a friendly human, startups, ...), where for free is not that but giving, in the true sense of giving, or hoping. When a world-wide operating, truly for profit orientated manufacturer of truly overpriced sets of bricks is doing that, then - something is behind it. TLG is anything, but a charity operation, regardless of how much "charity" they do.

And EB is so much more than TLG possibly can ever be (as a Creativity Pool, we need the plastic for sure) - as this is an open source, diverse public domain community. And such communities build on and live on everyone. Certainly not on "Here: Do something (nice), it's free." I may very well be totally wrong, but none of the reviews on EB said: No, sorry. When you try again, I bet you'll pass (the exam) but this time - you unfortunately failed (= 0/10 points). It could also be that TLG is simply superior in every regard, but hey, there is the Internet. There, they have videos and stuff, you know. From folks in the public domain actually buying the sets. Yeah, they are also biased; the worse the review, the more clicks. For either just sucking it up - or starting a sh*t storm. Creating more clicks. I know.

I am on EB for more than 10 years for seeking ideas (not IDEAS!!!), for tips, hints, fun, pubs, learning, exchange, discussions, and sharing. My share of sharing is next to nothing - but I try. Not the point. EB works beautifully well without being an RLOC - maybe even better. And when wanting to be a member of a cult, do the RLFM thing.

Well, you didn't want to rant and certainly did not - I didn't want to either. And did not: I am happy to be around here. With or without free sets. Well, maybe even happier without.

Thank you very much again for all your fantastic reviews Jim, for your work on EB, for steering this thing with wisdom.

All the best,
Thorsten

 

 

   

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Posted (edited)

Double win, more time to make babies and more space to accommodate them :)
Jokes aside, tough luck for TLG if they cut down on distributing a few sets here and there.
Since Sariel moved into a closet with his LEGO 'room' he might also stop with reviews soon too.

May be TLG has a new policy, they took video material from me without asking. Honored, but would have been nicer if they would have asked me.
https://fb.watch/cb4j3j60Vx/

It's a lot of work to create reviews so I can imagine getting the sets for 'free' is not enough, even when 'just' a hobby.
If we all would need to get to work out of hobby without pay, we would stop soon.
So may be for the better it has stopped, freeing up more time for fun building I hope.

Edited by Berthil

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12 hours ago, Jim said:

Hi all,

...

that sucks but at least we will get to see how your big bot will be (also love that container truck its great for bright pieces)

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Wow, it's been a great run Jim. Your reviews were one of the reasons I've joined EB. But, change is good and look forward to your mocs.

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Thanks for all the reviews you've done, they were the best ones out there! I always found myself agreeing with you on both, the upsides and the downsides of the sets you reviewed, and your writing was very enjoyable to read. And of course your photography took the reviews to the next level, making the reviews also truly pleasing to the eye.

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6 hours ago, glowytheglowbug said:

that sucks but at least we will get to see how your big bot will be (also love that container truck its great for bright pieces)

Hi. Please be careful with quoting an entire post with images. That is frowned upon. Please remove the images or quote a single image if you are highlighting something. I will correct the post. Thanks

10 hours ago, m00se said:

On the upside you'll have more time for MOC's then. Looking forward to your life sized Mindstorms robot!

Exactly. No more excuses. Time to use those 500k (or more?) pieces :laugh:

8 hours ago, Toastie said:

And that is the point! :pir-huzzah2: I can really see that.

...Thank you very much again for all your fantastic reviews Jim, for your work on EB, for steering this thing with wisdom.

All the best,
Thorsten   

Thanks Thorsten. I always appreciate your insights and opinion.

It's a long story with a lot of discussion, but the way TLG brought it was more upsetting than the actual cancelation itself. For a multi billion dollar company, they sometimes run things like the one man grocery store around the corner. But I don't want to go down that road. The road that was paved with good intentions :laugh:

Anyway, like my reviews, I tend to approach life with a positive vibe, so I will have more time to put in EB. And maybe we can come up with cool stuff to do. Other forums have themed games, so maybe we can start something similar. Or a series of short contests with a combined theme. Whatever comes to mind.

6 hours ago, Berthil said:

May be TLG has a new policy, they took video material from me without asking. Honored, but would have been nicer if they would have asked me.
https://fb.watch/cb4j3j60Vx/

TLG is know for borrowing ideas and stuff :laugh: (that is weird though)

6 hours ago, Berthil said:

So may be for the better it has stopped, freeing up more time for fun building I hope.

Exactly. I know LEGO needs to share time with my other hobbies and activities so LEGO has its ups and downs, but usually LEGO time is for reviews. Now that I have more time, I can use the LEGO slot to build stuff :wub:

New room, new vibes, new spirit to finally get that robot facility off the ground.

I will be doing a SBrick Light "review" when I have my LEGO back btw. And I promomised @Timorzelorzworz that I would do a review of his fantastic 42129 C-model. But I am not sure when (and if) I can do the latter. I will contact him about that.

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From a personal viewpoint that's very disappointing.. I always found @Jim reviews to be a more accurate reflection of what the set was really like - other reviews get very focused on perceived imperfections and paint gloomy pictures of a set, which for me, wasn't the reality. What a shame, i valued the 'real world' barometer of the jims reviews. And of course the gorgeous photographs.

I'll just have to watch Captain Negatives reviews and add 2 points to every score!! :roflmao: (strange how being so negative keeps you in TLG's good books.... *huh*)

Thanks Jim for the time and effort to bring us all those reviews over the years, its certainly been appreciated :sweet:

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Hmm, does this mean the infamous 42053 review will not happen? :wink:

More seriously, have thoroughly enjoyed reading your reviews - the photography was always top-notch, and the reviews a pleasure to read.

Enjoy building (of all kinds!)

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12 minutes ago, JonathanM said:

Hmm, does this mean the infamous 42053 review will not happen? :wink:

More seriously, have thoroughly enjoyed reading your reviews - the photography was always top-notch, and the reviews a pleasure to read.

Enjoy building (of all kinds!)

Lol, that keeps hunting me for the rest of my life. The one that got away :laugh:

Thanks!

27 minutes ago, TeamThrifty said:

From a personal viewpoint that's very disappointing.. I always found @Jim reviews to be a more accurate reflection of what the set was really like - other reviews get very focused on perceived imperfections and paint gloomy pictures of a set, which for me, wasn't the reality. What a shame, i valued the 'real world' barometer of the jims reviews. And of course the gorgeous photographs.

I'll just have to watch Captain Negatives reviews and add 2 points to every score!! :roflmao: (strange how being so negative keeps you in TLG's good books.... *huh*)

Thanks Jim for the time and effort to bring us all those reviews over the years, its certainly been appreciated :sweet:

Thanks mate! I do see a parallel with movie critics. They don't seem to be in it to enjoy the movie. They seem to be in it to find flaws and imperfections. That is certainly one way to look at it, but I prefer to reflect the enjoyment I got out of building the set. At the end of the day, that's the reason I actually buy LEGO.

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3 hours ago, Jim said:

I prefer to reflect the enjoyment I got out of building the set. At the end of the day, that's the reason I actually buy LEGO.

And thats exactly why your reviews are a genuine loss. But you sound as though you can now build and moc (true love:wub:!?)... all things happen for a reason! Looking forward to seeing some moc's posted.

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That's the end of an era, for sure. Everyone said it and I will say it too. Jim's photography is outstanding and always was and will be a gold standard for Lego photos. That's what I strive to achieve when taking photos of my MOCs (and I am far far far away) and that is how I judge everyone's else photos, including TLG's. Somehow your photos look like renders but so much better.

Anyway, I really like your attitude towards that change. I am sure it still s.cks to hear something like that, but it seems you are on the right track to deal with it. Sometimes you just need to turn the page to see something great next.

Cheers and my sincere respect to you  @Jim   and @Milan. Eurobricks is a very special place in no small way thanks to you two.

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