The Real Indiana Jones

LEGO Ideas Discussion

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Is it really that hard for a journalist to spend 5 minutes understanding what LEGO Ideas is?

Yes, it is. It's quantity that counts regarding the content these days. So as a "journalist", you want to spend as little time on an article as possible. Pick up everything that flies by, if you want to feel good about yourself spend a few minutes on Google to be able to tell yourself you at least did some research and then post it, so there's one more piece of clickbait to sell advertising.

But that's a whole other mather...

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Ive been surprised at the strength of the consensus that Beagle is not approveable. I suppose it's true, but I feel like lego could jigger with the design to small it up (and drop the silly brick sails) and it could be a very appealing mix of aesthetics, history and science; while complementing, not overlapping, pirates... but I'm biased I suppose...

Edited by ejred

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What happened to that marble maze game which unfortunately doesn't look too promising sale-wise to me.

There are 4 ideas sets on the shelves currently, and at least 3 of them are bound to stay for a while, maybe it's for the best we have a break rather than hacinv one of them retire.

Edited by Sven F

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I know for a fact we're getting Adventure Time Dimensions packs so I'm assuming that will be the next set.

This is the most exciting LEGO news I've heard in a while!

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What happened to that marble maze game which unfortunately doesn't look too promising sale-wise to me.

There are 4 ideas sets on the shelves currently, and at least 3 of them are bound to stay for a while, maybe it's for the best we have a break rather than hacinv one of them retire.

Oh...

I forgot about that set...

I assume it will be revealed soon. The results of the latest review should be up in less than a month

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What happened to that marble maze game which unfortunately doesn't look too promising sale-wise to me.

It's still in development, one presumes, though I'd guess that's mostly done by now. I expect the final version to be revealed soon.

I don't pretend to know what its sales will be like, but I'm sure LEGO has a good idea, and they've obviously decided it will likely sell at least well enough to warrant doing it.

There are 4 ideas sets on the shelves currently, and at least 3 of them are bound to stay for a while, maybe it's for the best we have a break rather than hacinv one of them retire.

There are five currently readily available, actually - Ghostbusters, Birds, The Big Bang Theory, WALL•E, and Doctor Who.

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I notice that with that gif they also seem to be pushing "original" ideas, so I think TLG are all too aware that the license heavy skew is causing some issues.

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I saw that gif on facebook

I don't recall them promoting the line in this way before

At least it means LEGO Ideas is not going anywhere

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But they aren't looking for Ideas, are they? They are looking for people to guerilla market their website for them. If they were looking for ideas a panel from Lego would decide every project, there would be no need for 10,000 votes.

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But they aren't looking for Ideas, are they? They are looking for people to guerilla market their website for them. If they were looking for ideas a panel from Lego would decide every project, there would be no need for 10,000 votes.

All of the thousands of projects? It takes them a good while to evaluate each of the handful of projects that do make it to 10k votes each period. There's no way they could fully evaluate each and every single thing that gets submitted. They'd have to have a dedicated team of hundreds of people just for LEGO Ideas.

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There are five currently readily available, actually - Ghostbusters, Birds, The Big Bang Theory, WALL•E, and Doctor Who.

Birds are retired in Europe as of about a month ago.

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All of the thousands of projects? It takes them a good while to evaluate each of the handful of projects that do make it to 10k votes each period. There's no way they could fully evaluate each and every single thing that gets submitted. They'd have to have a dedicated team of hundreds of people just for LEGO Ideas.

Sure they could. It takes me less than 10 minutes a day to look at any new projects that day. I'd say on any given day at least half can be immediately thrown out, the rest may require a deeper look. But in short order a couple people can easily determine if anything submitted is worth serious evaluation- the vast majority of things will not get that far.

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But they aren't looking for Ideas, are they?

I do think they are looking for fresh ideas. It's just that most of the submissions are not fresh ideas, but MOCs or wishlist products for existing licenses.

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Sure they could. It takes me less than 10 minutes a day to look at any new projects that day. I'd say on any given day at least half can be immediately thrown out, the rest may require a deeper look. But in short order a couple people can easily determine if anything submitted is worth serious evaluation- the vast majority of things will not get that far.

Their evaluation consists of a lot more than merely looking at something. They have to try to recreate it or do alternate builds for it, to see if they can deliver a set with a satisfying building experience. They have to evaluate all the possible parts assortments for it to see how they might line up with their overall production capacity, their plans for other sets they're going to produce at the same time, that build experience they want to deliver, etc. If it uses a licensed property, they have to see if the rights are even available, and if so, they have to negotiate terms with the rightsholders to see if they can reach an agreement that will be mutually beneficial. They also have to evaluate the property itself to decide whether it's a good brand fit for LEGO. They have to evaluate the sales potential of the product (and do so for each of the various price ranges that voters indicated they thought it would sell for). They have to consult with other LEGO departments to see whether the project will duplicate their efforts, or mesh well with them, or neither. They have to make a whole bunch of other decisions like this. All of these things take time.

Birds are retired in Europe as of about a month ago.

I see it's sold out at the U.S. Shop at Home as well, but it's still available in stores here.

I saw that gif on facebook

I don't recall them promoting the line in this way before

At least it means LEGO Ideas is not going anywhere

I'm seeing a variation of it, along with the words "We're looking for creative and original ideas ... ones that start from scratch like Exo-Suit, Birds, and Maze." That sounds to me like they're trying to subtly, gently but firmly encourage users to submit more projects that aren't based on entertainment property licenses, and/or fewer ones that are.

That's perhaps unsurprising, given that such a huge number of the projects that have made it into each of the last several review batches are based on movies, TV shows and whatnot.

Edited by Blondie-Wan

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People could submit their Ideas based on licenses in a non-licensed way. If it's a good set, and not completely reliant on licensing, then it could have a higher chance of acceptance.

So if someone had a Thundercats set idea, they could swap it out with Chima, or a generic non-licensed theme.

Of course, most Ideas based on a license are very heavily reliant on the license, so I don't think this would be likely.

Even still, I'd buy a LEGO set based on a generic Elf Hero about as fast as I would buy a set based on The Legend of Zelda.

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I saw that gif on facebook

I don't recall them promoting the line in this way before

At least it means LEGO Ideas is not going anywhere

Maybe they're hoping to take it in another direction. I haven't seen that ad until recently, but TLG has been advertising LEGO Ideas in magazines like BrickJournal for some time now.

Sure they could. It takes me less than 10 minutes a day to look at any new projects that day. I'd say on any given day at least half can be immediately thrown out, the rest may require a deeper look. But in short order a couple people can easily determine if anything submitted is worth serious evaluation- the vast majority of things will not get that far.

This is an issue with most crowdsourcing websites. If you go to KickStarter, you will find tons of failed projects - Many of these have poor presentation and/or vague goals. With LEGO Ideas, I'm guessing the issue is time. They are already analyzing every project that comes in within a few key areas (photo quality, appropriateness of content, etc). I think outright evaluating the quality of a build or likelihood of its viability as a product is somewhat of a touchy subject - If they start rejecting submissions based on such criteria it might discourage users. The voting process is the key "filtration system" so that staff can focus on scrutinizing the most serious contenders.

The one thing that I do think they could reject outright would be projects that are simply too large to be viable, such as the huge dioramas that have often reached 10,000 supporters. Size should definitely be a factor in the approval process.

I'm seeing a variation of it, along with the words "We're looking for creative and original ideas ... ones that start from scratch like Exo-Suit, Birds, and Maze." That sounds to me like they're trying to subtly, gently but firmly encourage users to submit more projects that aren't based on entertainment property licenses, and/or fewer ones that are.

That's perhaps unsurprising, given that such a huge number of the projects that have made it into each of the last several review batches are based on movies, TV shows and whatnot.

Creating original ideas that people are going to flock to is very, very difficult. With Ideas, I think support is dependent on reaching a target audience. With licensed stuff you have established (sometimes very huge) target audiences. This is why they tend to do so well. While Birds, the marble maze and Exo-Suit are not licensed, they were familiar enough to people to have established target audiences. Birds was especially popular with bird watchers and nature enthusiasts in general. The "Labyrinth" marble maze was based off of a pre-existing game which has been around for several years. This would have appealed to anyone who had previously owned one, as well as board game/puzzle fans. Exo-Suit is probably the most original of the group. But even with that, it was framed in the context of Classic Space, which has a strong following (and mechs are pretty popular).

Based on what I've seen on Ideas, original content often struggles to find an audience. A random monster project is a tougher sell than Doctor Who, no matter how awesome it looks. But if the monster is inspired by the work of a particular artist, author, etc (ie: HP Lovecraft) it might stand a better chance.

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I think that would have a devastating, even catastrophic effect on the whole enterprise. Hardly anybody would vote for anything. Even the most popular ideas would take years to reach 10,000 votes. It would slow support activity to a crawl.

They could change the criteria of 10K votes. Depending on the economics, may be they don't need 10K votes if people already put money down. It could be treated like a condominium project that starts building construction after so many people put in their deposits.

In other words, turn LEGO Ideas into LEGO Kickstarter.

I guess kind of but with better odds you get your product or your money back. :classic:

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It would still limit voting to people with enough money lying around to just tie some of it up on things that might not reach fruition. They surely don't want to do that.

It would also force TLG to implement the financial infrastructure for taking payments on non-products, hanging onto them for months or years, and then refunding them 99%+ of the time. They surely don't want to do that, either.

Honestly, the idea would create vastly more trouble than it would eliminate. It's just not worth it.

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Exo-Suit is probably the most original of the group. But even with that, it was framed in the context of Classic Space, which has a strong following (and mechs are pretty popular).

I think we need to see more great projects like this, based on some classic themes that are not around anymore (like Space and Castle).

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Their evaluation consists of a lot more than merely looking at something. They have to try to recreate it or do alternate builds for it, to see if they can deliver a set with a satisfying building experience....

Yes, their "final" evaluations consist of that, but you were talking about the thousands of projects they would have to wade through as opposed to the few sets that make 10k. What BirdOfPrey5 was saying is that there's not thousands a day that get submitted (at least that we see), and it's one of those things we've argued about in the past - there's a certain level of submission that just wastes everybody's time.

But on any given day, when you go look at ideas, you can skim through all the new submissions in a few minutes, instantly discarding 95% of them (BirdOfPrey5 says half... he's being generous). Most of them are non-starters or just terrible, many are not even worth the bytes they're printed on.

There seems to be only a few people that really work on Ideas until they get to the 10k evaluation stage - none of that would change. As he said, a couple of people could easily discard the vast majority (usually all) the submissions on a given day to end up with a top 10 or so at the end of each period.

I know that, at least for me, I wish they would filter out the obvious non-starters and submissions with a baseplate with a couple of figures standing on it and all the other nonsense people submit... it's at least 75% a waste of time. I don't agree it's a place to show off MOCs, or make kids happy because their creation was posted online and they got 10 sympathy votes from the grandparents and other relatives.

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Yes, their "final" evaluations consist of that, but you were talking about the thousands of projects they would have to wade through as opposed to the few sets that make 10k. What BirdOfPrey5 was saying is that there's not thousands a day that get submitted (at least that we see), and it's one of those things we've argued about in the past - there's a certain level of submission that just wastes everybody's time.

But on any given day, when you go look at ideas, you can skim through all the new submissions in a few minutes, instantly discarding 95% of them (BirdOfPrey5 says half... he's being generous). Most of them are non-starters or just terrible, many are not even worth the bytes they're printed on.

There seems to be only a few people that really work on Ideas until they get to the 10k evaluation stage - none of that would change. As he said, a couple of people could easily discard the vast majority (usually all) the submissions on a given day to end up with a top 10 or so at the end of each period.

I know that, at least for me, I wish they would filter out the obvious non-starters and submissions with a baseplate with a couple of figures standing on it and all the other nonsense people submit... it's at least 75% a waste of time. I don't agree it's a place to show off MOCs, or make kids happy because their creation was posted online and they got 10 sympathy votes from the grandparents and other relatives.

I get what you're saying, but it's still harder to draw a line than that. It's one thing for us to talk sbout obvious non-starters, but they can't just make a rule that says "obvious non-starters can't be posted", since it doesn't define what an obvious non-starter is, and it's really more a question of degree than anything - sometimes the difference between a non-starter and a decent vote-getter can be a fairly subtle one of only slightly more building sophistication (or even slightly better photography, or writing, etc.).

It's not only easier but also fairer for them to be as flexible as possible in what they'll allow, and let the voting process itself handle the weeding and filtering.

Are we really so lazy that we can't be bothered to scroll past a few unappealing projects to get to the good stuff? Do we really need everything presorted for us so that we can just blindly click "Support" on everything? What's the point of even voting at all, if that's the case?

Besides, as you yourself mention, we don't know that they don't weed out tons of stuff already. For all we know, the projects that get posted might be a small fraction of the submissions received.

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Also you're discounting the benefits an unsuccessful submission can have for it's creator. Imagine that I submit my first Idea and it's not very good, it's one of those "obvious failures", and maybe it doesn't do that well. However I do get some support and some feedback that helps to guide future submissions. The next project I submit might just be one that makes it.

In contrast, if all "obvious failures" are immediately discarded, the feedback I get is effectively "You're not good enough for Ideas", so maybe now I don't bother at all.

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In addition to what's been said Lego want more an more submissions, this way people take to social media like Twitter and Facebook to advertise their products thus advertising Lego Ideas itself.

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