Congratulations to the LEGO® CUUSOO Fall Review Qualifiers

As of midnight today, September 3 (GMT), the deadline to qualify for the Fall review has passed. The LEGO CUUSOO team extends our warm congratulations to the following projects that have successfully achieved 10,000 supporters and will be included in the Fall Review!

Fall-marscuriosityFall-ucssandcrawlerFall-portal2

What is the LEGO Review?
For background, check out our three-part blog series on the LEGO Review. The first post announces the quarterly schedule, the second outlines the phases of the review, and the final post shares our our cheat sheet on how to pass the LEGO Review.

When will we announce the results of the Summer Review?
We know you’re at the edge of your seats to find out which projects will pass the Summer LEGO Review. We’re just as eager to share the news as you are to hear it. The results should be in within the next several weeks, watch this space for updates!

Next Review Deadline: December 3rd
Future quarterly review deadlines will be will be early December, March, June, and September respectively. The deadline to achieve 10,000 supporters and qualify for the Winter review is Monday, December 3 (midnight GMT).

Updates to the Project Guidelines and House Rules

Today we have posted an update to the LEGO CUUSOO Project Guidelines and House Rules. This document outlines how LEGO CUUSOO works and communicates what we expect in terms of project content, basic quality, and what kind of behavior we welcome on the site. All new submissions to LEGO CUUSOO are reviewed to ensure they follow these Guidelines, and we moderate user behavior based on the House Rules.

In the last couple months, we’ve posted more specifically about our brand standards and what content we allow. Today we have integrated those standards into the Project Guidelines and House Rules, and have added two new sections to the page; Acceptable Project Content and Basic Project Quality Standards. The original Guidelines content (rights, royalties, plagiarism, etc.) hasn’t changed, and you can find it under the first section, “How This Works.”

Acceptable Project Content
The Acceptable Project Content section incorporates the framework from the Brand Standards blog post several weeks ago. This section is a guide to help you understand what types of projects we will accept. It’s a framework for our decision-making. Our team will apply the standard, but we won’t explain each decision in detail.

The section adds also a couple more rules about project types. For instance, projects should be product concepts (LEGO CUUSOO isn’t a gallery), drawings and photos are OK (as long as you position the project as a LEGO product), and we don’t accept ideas that propose new MMORPG games–projects of that nature are outside of the scope of LEGO CUUSOO.

Basic Project Quality Standards
The Basic Project Quality Standards section outlines a few things you should pay attention to when creating your project:

  • Make sure your photos are clear and well lit (not dark, blurry, or pixilated)
  • Any altered images should be clear and easy to read; we don’t allow jagged edges, poor cropping or compositing, hard to read text, or scaling distortions
  • Titles and descriptions should be clearly understood (really, who likes to read TONS OF CAPS AND EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!!!!! anyway?)
  • Finally, we’ve seen people submit projects where the image doesn’t match the discription at all, and won’t accept those

You can read the full changes on the LEGO CUUSOO Project Guidelines and House Rules page. For those interested, we’ve also done a refresh on the email messages you receive when we accept, reject, or delete a project, so the reasons become much more clear.

Cleaning Up Existing Projects
Some projects posted before we implemented our pre-approval process on March 29 might not follow the Acceptable Project Content framework. We are reviewing and removing these projects in descending order by number of supporters, but with over 3,000 published projects this will take some time. If you find a project that you don’t think fits our standards, you can tell us by using the “Report This Project” link on the right-hand column of the project page. We will then receive your report and make a decision.

Pre-Approval is Good, but not Perfect
We’ve been pre-approving new project submissions now since the end of March. This allows us to filter content we deem inappropriate for the LEGO brand, with one caveat; some things are not obvious on the surface and the filter won’t be perfect. There are especially so many IP-related projects that though we try, we can’t give every IP a thorough review. Projects that are obviously over the line will be caught, but expect that we’ll make mistakes from time to time and let something through we’ll remove later.

How do I know what’s OK?
We’ve provided the Guidelines and House Rules as a framework to communicate our standards. We know it can’t cover every possible situation, so we offer this simple advice; remember that are many LEGO product ideas that both appeal to older fans and do not present an issue for our younger fans. When creating your projects, our advice is to stick to what’s safe. While not every model or IP makes for an appropriate LEGO product, you can still share your creation with the world on sites like Flickr and ReBrick.

LEGO CUUSOO is a learning process for us. Opening ourselves to your product suggestions has tremendous opportunity. In fact, allowing people to publicly suggest new products and build audiences that want them in the open is brand new territory not just for us, but quite cutting edge as a practice overall. Doing this also opens us to risk of criticism for our decisions. That’s great, because it means people care about what we’re doing. So, we’ll stay focused on the good that has happened with LEGO CUUSOO so far, and the great things to come as we grow.

As always, best wishes with your LEGO CUUSOO projects!

Congratulations to the Firefly Serenity playset reaching 10,000 supporters! Here’s our decision on fit with the LEGO brand.

First and foremost, huge congratulations to tbone_tbl for reaching 10,000 supporters on LEGO CUUSOO, and toward everyone for all of the support of the Firefly Serenity Playset project!

LEGO CUUSOO gives the opportunity for adult LEGO fans to submit product ideas. You submit some incredible things, and we’re huge fans of all of your work. This is a beautiful model and a skilled rendition of the beloved Serenity from Firefly built with LEGO bricks.

When reviewing projects for production, the LEGO Jury first looks at how the concept fits the LEGO brand. We learned the IP was questionable regarding a brand fit, and since we anticipated this project reaching 10,000 the team got a head start and reviewed the project on these criteria.

LEGO produces toys for children. Therefore all LEGO products, regardless of age target, must be content-appropriate for this core audience. With this in mind we have decided that as cool as the Serenity model is, the Firefly TV show and Serenity film contain content that is not appropriate for our core target audience of children ages 6-11. While we know this news will disappoint those who supported the project, we will not be producing this as a LEGO product.

Opening ourselves to new product suggestions invites popular ideas that don’t always fit our brand. We are grateful for the spirit behind projects like the Firefly Serenity and for the opportunity to be challenged. It keeps us sharp and looking toward the future of the LEGO brick.

New Guideline and Instructions for Collaborative Projects

In the first six months of operating the global version of LEGO CUUSOO, we’ve seen an encouraging pattern emerge: collaboration on projects. Teamwork makes us smile. Some people are very good at building a model or illustrating a concept with good artwork. Others are good at promoting their project and gaining traffic from other websites to increase their supporter count. By working together, you can complement each others’ strengths and increase your success.

So, we’ve updated our Project Guidelines so you can “legally” collaborate with other builders and feature others’ work with permission. Projects are still owned by the project creator or owner. As a project owner, you can collaborate with one or more fellow CUUSOO users to build the LEGO model or concept artwork to communicate your idea. All collaborators must have a LEGO CUUSOO account and adhere to the Guidelines and House Rules.

To register your collaborative project, have each team member read Guideline #6 and register your collaborative project with us via the instructions. This way, we can log each collaborator so we know that they have given you permission to include their work in your project.

Happy Collaborating!

Results of the LEGO Review for the Winchester – Shaun of the Dead project on LEGO CUUSOO

The LEGO Jury has completed the review of the Winchester – Shaun of the Dead project that hit 10,000 supporters on LEGO CUUSOO on March 31, 2012.

LEGO CUUSOO gives the opportunity to submit product ideas, however all LEGO products, regardless of age target, must be content appropriate for our core audience. With this in mind we have decided that – good though the model is – the film Shaun of the Dead contains content that is not appropriate for our core target audience of children ages 6-11.

Long before the Winchester received mainstream media attention, Greg (Yatkuu) contacted us in earnest to see if his project was acceptable. We recognized the potential conflict, but didn’t see a reason to remove the project. The model was presented tastefully and we thought it deserved fair consideration. With 10,000 supporters, the Winchester earned the opportunity to receive the full LEGO Review.

Greg has been a pleasure to work with throughout this process. We’re impressed by his model, grateful for his constructive approach with us, and we are sad to disappoint such a devoted LEGO fan.

We appreciate the passion exhibited for new product ideas on LEGO CUUSOO. Opening ourselves to new product suggestions invites popular ideas that don’t always fit our brand. This is the first time we’ve felt that we should turn a LEGO CUUSOO idea down, but we’re grateful for the spirit behind projects like the Winchester and for the opportunity to be challenged. It keeps us sharp and looking toward the future of the LEGO brick.

Approval Process for New Projects on LEGO CUUSOO

Dear LEGO CUUSOO Users,

Today we introduce an approval process for new projects, similar to how the Apple App Store handles new app submissions. Our team will check for adherence to the Guidelines and House Rules. We do this so that we can maintain a healthy community by only allowing appropriate projects from the start.

We’ll check for plagiarism, too, but can’t guarantee we’ll catch every instance. You will still be able to report projects that aren’t based on original work, and if we confirm a project uses someone else’s work, we will remove it.

Once we examine your new project, we’ll either approve and publish it, or let you know the reason it was not approved so you can edit it and submit again. Please understand that by approving and publishing your project, our team is not endorsing your project as a product idea.

It’s our hope that adding this review step will provide a better experience than the old setup of allowing you to publish your project and then removing it later if it doesn’t follow the community standards.

Thank you again for using LEGO CUUSOO and best of luck with your projects!

The LEGO CUUSOO Team