Lego Ideas is a fascinating platform that blends creativity, community, and the timeless appeal of Lego bricks. It provides a unique opportunity for fans to turn their imaginative designs into official Lego sets. Whether you're a seasoned Lego enthusiast or just curious about the process, this guide will walk you through everything you need to know about Lego Ideas.

What is Lego Ideas?

Lego Ideas began in 2008 under the name Lego Cuusoo, a partnership between Lego and the Japanese company Cuusoo. The platform allows Lego fans to submit their own designs, which are then voted on by the community. If a project garners 10,000 votes, it enters a review stage where Lego decides if it will become an official set available for purchase.

The first set to be produced through this program was the Shinkai 6500 Submarine (21100), released in 2010. Since then, the platform has evolved into what we now know as Lego Ideas, producing over 40 unique sets that span a variety of themes and interests.

How Does Lego Ideas Work?

Lego Ideas operates through a well-structured process designed to ensure that only the best and most viable projects become official Lego sets. Here's a detailed look at each phase:

  1. Submission:
    • How It Works: Creators submit their Lego designs on the Lego Ideas website. These designs can be anything from intricate models of famous landmarks to imaginative creations from popular culture.
    • What to Include: Submissions must include detailed images of the build, a compelling description, and sometimes even a story or background for the design.
  2. Community Voting:
    • How It Works: Once a project is submitted, it requires community support. The community votes on their favorite designs, and a project needs to gather 10,000 votes within a set time frame to proceed.
    • Strategies for Success: Promoting your design on social media, forums, and among friends can significantly boost your chances of reaching the 10,000-vote milestone. Engaging with the community and responding to feedback can also help.
  3. Review Process:
    • How It Works: In the review stage, Lego evaluates the project for feasibility, marketability, and alignment with Lego's brand values. This involves a thorough assessment by a team of Lego designers and marketers. Lego is less likley to apprvoe sets depicting political events, figures, or ideologies. Sets focused on religious events, symbols, or figures. Modern war or military vehicles and scenarios and Adult Content.
    • Criteria: The review process considers several factors, including the project's originality, buildability, safety, and commercial potential. Only a select few projects are chosen to become official sets.
  4. Production:
    • How It Works: If a project passes the review, Lego works closely with the creator to refine the design. This phase includes perfecting the build, testing for durability and safety, and ensuring it meets Lego's high standards.
    • Final Steps: Once finalized, the set goes into production, complete with official Lego packaging and an instruction manual. The set is then sold globally, with the creator receiving a percentage of the sales.

Why Lego Ideas is Unique

Lego Ideas stands out because it celebrates fan creativity and offers a diverse range of themes and designs. Unlike traditional Lego sets that follow specific themes like Star Wars or City, Lego Ideas sets are often based on unique and niche interests. This diversity makes Lego Ideas a treasure trove of creativity and innovation.

Noteworthy Lego Ideas Sets

Over the years, several Lego Ideas sets have become iconic. Here are some notable examples:

  1. NASA Apollo Saturn V (21309):
    • Year Released: 2017
    • Piece Count: 1,969
    • A detailed replica of the Saturn V rocket, this set has captivated space enthusiasts and Lego fans alike.
  2. The Flintstones (21316):
    • Year Released: 2019
    • Piece Count: 748
    • Based on the beloved TV show, this set features the Flintstone family's house and car, delighting fans of all ages.
  3. Old Fishing Store (21310):
    • Year Released: 2017
    • Piece Count: 2,049
    • This set is renowned for its intricate design and charming details, capturing the essence of a rustic fishing store.
  4. Tree House (21318):
    • Year Released: 2019
    • Piece Count: 3,036
    • An engineering marvel, this set features a beautifully detailed treehouse with interchangeable leaves for different seasons.
  5. Ship in a Bottle (21313):
    • Year Released: 2018
    • Piece Count: 962
    • A unique and intricate model, this set recreates a classic ship in a bottle, showcasing incredible attention to detail.
  6. The Beatles Yellow Submarine (21306):
    • Year Released: 2016
    • Piece Count: 553
    • Celebrating the iconic Beatles album, this set includes mini-figures of the band members and the famous yellow submarine.
  7. Friends Central Perk (21319):
    • Year Released: 2019
    • Piece Count: 1,070
    • Based on the popular TV show Friends, this set captures the iconic Central Perk caf├ę with detailed mini-figures of the main characters.
  8. Steamboat Willie (21317):
    • Year Released: 2019
    • Piece Count: 751
    • A tribute to the classic Disney animation, this black-and-white set features Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse in their original steamboat.

Mini-Sets Selected as GWP Sets

In addition to the main Lego Ideas sets, some fan-designed mini-sets have been selected as "Gift with Purchase" (GWP) sets. These smaller sets are given away as promotional items when customers make a purchase over a certain amount. Here are a few notable examples:

  1. Space Rocket Ride (40335): This charming set features a retro rocket ride from a fairground, complete with a mini-figure. It was offered as a GWP in June 2019.
  2. Vintage Car (40448): Based on a design that won a Lego Ideas contest, this stylish vintage car set was available as a GWP in January 2021. It includes a classic car model and two mini-figures.
  3. Sailing Ship Adventure (40487): This mini-set, inspired by the winning entry in a Lego Ideas contest, features a small sailing ship with a detailed design. It was released as a GWP in July 2021.

These GWP sets add extra excitement for Lego Ideas fans, providing unique, limited-edition models that complement the larger, more complex sets in the main lineup.

The Collectability of Lego Ideas Sets

Lego Ideas sets are highly collectible due to their limited production runs and unique themes. Once a set is retired, its value often increases significantly on the secondary market. Collectors are drawn to the originality and variety of these sets, making them desirable additions to any Lego collection. The combination of fan-created designs and Lego's commitment to quality ensures that each set is a work of art.

Tips for Aspiring Lego Ideas Designers

If you're inspired to create your own Lego Ideas project, here are some tips to help you get started:

  1. Originality: Aim for unique and creative designs that stand out from existing Lego sets. Avoid designing sets for current Lego themes like Star Wars or City, as they are less likely to be approved.
  2. Detail and Presentation: Pay attention to detail and ensure your project is well-presented. Clear, high-quality images and descriptions can make a big difference in gaining support.
  3. Community Engagement: Engage with the Lego Ideas community. Share your project on social media, forums, and among friends to gather support.
  4. Persistence: Don't be discouraged if your project doesn't get approved on the first try. Many successful Lego Ideas designers faced multiple rejections before achieving success.
  5. Design Digitally: If you don't have enough bricks, start your design using the free "Lego Studio" software. This powerful tool allows you to build virtually, ensuring you can create and refine your design without the limitation of physical bricks.
  6. Browse the Lego Ideas Website: Regularly check the Lego Ideas website to see which sets are gaining the most votes and get inspired. This can also help you avoid submitting a design similar to others, increasing your chances of standing out.

The Impact of Lego Ideas

Lego Ideas has not only produced some of the most beloved Lego sets but also fostered a vibrant community of creators and fans. The platform has even given birth to entirely new themes within the Lego universe. For instance, the Minecraft theme started with a Lego Ideas project and has since become a significant part of the Lego lineup. Similarly, the Sonic the Hedgehog and Friends TV show sets have brought new fan bases into the Lego fold.

Moreover, some sets have reinvigorated interest in existing themes. The success of space-related Lego Ideas sets, like the NASA Apollo Saturn V, has encouraged Lego to expand their space offerings, including the City Space series and reimagined classic space sets.

The Future of Lego Ideas

The future of Lego Ideas looks bright, with a continuous stream of creative and inspiring projects being submitted daily. As Lego Ideas evolves, it remains a testament to the power of community and creativity in the world of Lego.

Stay connected and inspired with more insights from the world of creative Lego endeavors at Land of Geek.


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Jul 3, 2024
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