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Since the beginning of LEGO Ideas (and the original Cuusoo), the LEGO Group has tried to keep the “rules” or guidelines to a minimum to foster creativity. This week they released an updated set of guidelines for submissions to the project, some of which I think are important to the success of each individual submission. Here’s the new guidelines and below, my thought on a couple of them.
- Once we produce a LEGO Ideas set based on a third-party property, we will not accept more Ideas submissions based on that property. This sharpens our guideline on follow-up products based on LEGO Ideas submissions. Once we approve a licensed project for production through LEGO Ideas, we’ll archive other projects based on the same property and not accept new submissions based on the that property.
- Projects must fit in a single product box, so we’re setting a part count limit of 3,000 pcs. While we can’t count the pieces in your photos, if your model looks too big we’ll send it back and ask you to submit a smaller model at our own discretion.
- Projects must focus on a single concept or third-party property. This essentially expands on the “no playthemes or series” rule and also rules out “mass customization” projects (e.g. custom mosaic or minifigure makers) as well as combining more than one third-party property into a single project. (e.g. a project containing both Porsche and Ferrari cars).
- It’s now simpler to collaborate on projects. We’ve removed the requirement to email us declaring your collaboration. You must still receive explicit permission from someone else before including their original work in your project. All new collaborative projects must mention collaborators’ LEGO Ideas usernames in the description, and state that their original work is included with the member’s explicit permission.
- New restrictions on project contents
- No iconic elements referencing third-party properties we find inappropriate for the LEGO brand
- No large or human-scale weapons or weapon replicas of any kind, including swords, knives, guns, sci-fi or fantasy blasters, etc.
- Projects may not propose LEGO Dimensions expansion packs
- You may only use logos that belong to third-parties in the context of your model, similar to LEGO logo guidelines. You may not display logos that do not belong to you in your artwork, since this can imply endorsement from the logo owner.
- New guidelines to help improve project descriptions
- At minimum, please write your description to include a description of your model, why you built it, and why you believe it would make a great LEGO set.
- In some cases, moderators may make basic grammatical changes on your behalf so we can speed up the approval of your project. We will never change the nature of your project and we’ll notify you by email if we make any changes.
By and large, I think these guides will improve the Ideas program and provide a better experience for people looking to support a project.
I’ve commented before that there was no way LEGO would produce a 7,000 piece set of something because the audience would be limited by the extreme price point. LEGO agreed in a more practical “one box” way.
The question of producing more sets in a license is interesting, and I think LEGO is doing this to bring the licensing back to them more. For example, if the Adventure Time set that is coming up is popular, LEGO themselves can choose to design more sets for that theme depending on the license. The downside of course is that fans of a series won’t have any say in what type of sets are created.
The other big change that has been in the news lately, is that LEGO Ideas now expressly forbids life-size replicas of weapons and all replicas of weapons. I assume this is a standalone weapon, for the sake of looking like a weapon. I imagine weapons would still be allowed in context of an appropriate scene. For example, a medieval scene with a trebuchet or something would be allowed. All those HALO reproductions will be removed.
What’s interesting, and maybe I just didn’t realize this before, is that the LEGO Ideas site is being cleared regularly, and after these announcements, of non-conforming and expired Ideas. It certainly helps us locate some of the new and awesome sets that have been submitted.
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