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About NickLafreniere

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  1. NickLafreniere

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

    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.
  2. NickLafreniere

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

    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!
  3. NickLafreniere

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

    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 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.
  4. NickLafreniere

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

    I have read some comments on 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.
  5. NickLafreniere

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

    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.
  6. NickLafreniere

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

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

    [MOC] Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 - Porter Airlines

    That piece is nearly perfect for the windshield, but perhaps it was just a tad bit too tall? Excellent build! I see Porter airplanes all the time at Billy Bishop Airport, so it is great to see it represented in LEGO!
  9. NickLafreniere

    [MOC] Air Canada 737 MAX

    I hope that the 737 MAX can save its reputation within the next few years so that less people have fear!
  10. NickLafreniere

    [MOC] The House of Chocolate

    The dark blue roof with the 2 yellow stars is honestly the part that pops the most! I love that color, it looks mighty fine.
  11. NickLafreniere

    [MOC] Air Canada 737 MAX

    Thanks! My other priority was to make it affordable so that people don't think twice and just buy it!
  12. NickLafreniere

    The LEGO Ideas Thread

    I have supported and loved this one I love the minifig artwork in the windows as well. Making prints/stickers for the glass pieces really takes it to the next level. Looking at the picture again, I have now noticed that your roof shingles are all made of flag pieces! Wow!
  13. NickLafreniere

    [MOC] Air Canada 737 MAX

    I'm glad it was the interiors of the cabin that really sold you on it! No one has ever made diagonal, "pod" shaped business class seats like this in LEGO before: I'm so glad I was able to make it work. There is juuuust enough head room for all the minifigs to sit down. I followed the standards from set set 3181 Passenger plane from 2010, so it's legit! As for the competition on LEGO Ideas, there is barely any aviation models. Only 2 airliners have made 10K, they are both from BigPlanes on Youtube. He makes big planes, I make medium planes! So it is totally different category. I like the Concorde LEGO Ideas projects that are out there. I believe there was one from 2014 that hit 10k but was not approved. Currently, there is one Concorde project that is approaching 5K. Still not too bad, comptetition-wise! Not many people on LEGO Ideas have incorporated minifigs into their models though. I tried to create a hybrid between playable toy for kids/LEGO City and aviation display model for a shelf, and it I think it satisfies both markets pretty decently ;)
  14. NickLafreniere

    [MOC] Air Canada 737 MAX

    Thanks! I understand that it looks like an Embraer due to the 6-wide cockpit piece. It would be great if LEGO could make 1 new mold piece for that cockpit to make it look more like a 737 MAX. The winglets really make it stand out. They are modern and look wicked cool! Wow thanks! That's great to hear. Although there are some nice 3000 piece airliner models on LEGO Ideas, they are just too big for many people to purchase. I made mine to be affordable and not take up too much space. And it is nice and smooth, unlike the chunkier 3000 piece planes. You can pick it up with one hand and "swoosh" it if you wanted to :P Get it for a kid as a souvenir, or get one for yourself to put in the office. Piece count is 657 pieces. I imagine it would cost USD$60, CAD$80. I think the LEGO Ideas team could dig that ;)
  15. NickLafreniere

    [MOC] Air Canada 737 MAX

    I recently finished building a LEGO City/Minifig scale plane that offers more details than your usual airliner. I have submitted my creation on LEGO Ideas. See more pictures and vote for it here! My model also has its own display stand which can also be used to display the minifigs. This plane is built using brick-built solutions instead of relying too much on pre-fabricated plane pieces. This plane has quite a nice cabin on the inside and can accommodate many minifigures. To see pictures of the Economy AND Business class cabins, please see my LEGO IDEAS project page.