Fan blog New Elementary reveals Exo-Suit logo

Today, Tim Johnson over at New Elementary has revealed the first piece of the upcoming Exo Suit; the logo. Here at LEGO® CUUSOO, we’ve been working with Exo Suit creator Peter Reid and some of his local AFOL friends on the set’s launch. We’re very excited about this collaboration and looking forward to bringing you the Exo Suit.

Check out the Exo Suit logo on New Elementary

Stay tuned for more news both here on the LEGO CUUSOO blog and throughout the adult LEGO fan community.

LEGO Ghostbusters Set Revealed at ToyFair New York

Today we gave a first look at 21108 LEGO® Ghostbusters™ to select collector and LEGO fan press at ToyFair New York, and here it is for you as well!

It’s not every year a pop culture classic like Ghostbusters has a big anniversary, so the team here at LEGO CUUSOO has been working overtime to make this set available as soon as possible. 21108 LEGO Ghostbusters will be available for purchase in June 2014 for USD $49.99 / CAD $59.99.

First, some details from the set’s description:

This fun and iconic vehicle from the blockbusting ‘80s movie is fully loaded with all the paranormal detection equipment needed to track down those ghastly ghosts. It also features cool Ghostbusters logo decoration, removable roof, tracking computer and seats for 3 minifigures.

Now, enjoy a first look at this exciting upcoming set:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

While LEGO fan builder Brent Waller couldn’t join us at ToyFair, we’ve learned from working with him just how big of a Ghostbusters fan he is. He recently told us; “As a child I would recreate Ghostbusters out of LEGO [bricks]. I had a very primitive Ecto-1, Ecto-1A and the Firehouse as well as all of the main characters with “Classic Space” air-tanks for Proton Packs. As an adult rediscovering my love of LEGO [building], recreating it now was a way of recapturing that unbridled creativity of my youth.” Here’s the man you have to thank for this awesome set in full costume, including Proton Pack:

Brent Waller

Exo Suit Progress

For those of you watching closely, yes we did skip a number! The design process for the Exo Suit, our sixth LEGO CUUSOO set, is coming along nicely–however we’re not quite ready to share details. Fan builder Peter Reid is giving us input on the Exo Suit design as we move it toward production, and you can expect more updates on this LEGO fan favorite throughout the Spring.

Six Winter LEGO Review Qualifiers and a New Review Schedule

Earlier this morning (12:00 a.m. GMT to be exact) the deadline passed for projects to qualify for the Winter 2014 LEGO Review. The last four months has brought us six new qualifying projects, and several fan favorites. Congratulations to everyone who qualified! During the upcoming Winter LEGO Review period, we will consider:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

What is the Winter LEGO Review?

We take the projects that have reached 10,000 supporters by January 6th and put them into a batch called a “LEGO Review.” From there, we decide which projects will move on to become official LEGO sets, and which are not possible to produce. These review batches have a rolling deadline and now happen three times each year. Check out this Knowledge Base article for more information: What is the “LEGO Review” and what is the current status of projects in review?

Reviews Now Three Times Each Year

The LEGO Review schedule is shifting from a quarterly schedule to three times each year. While reviews will happen less often, this shift aligns the review schedule with the rest of the LEGO Group’s internal processes in a way that allows us to release results more regularly. Review deadlines will now be early May (First Review), September (Second Review), and January (Third Review) each year.

Our goal is to deliver results for qualified projects from the previous period as (or soon after) each new period begins. This means instead of waiting up to nine months for review results like in the past, you’ll see results approximately four months after a review period begins.

2014 LEGO Review Schedule

2014 LEGO Review Schedule

From Passing Review to “Box in Your Hands”

The most intense part of the process comes after we announce review results. During the Production stage, our professional model designers finalize the design, while others create the graphics and building instructions, produce the sets in the factory, and ship them to distribution centers (warehouses) around the world so they’re available to buy. We’re working to shorten production times for you, but we’re still bound by the laws of physics. We don’t have replicators, teleportation, or delivery drones just yet!

Fall 2013 LEGO Review Results Coming Soon

Now that we’re back from the holidays, the LEGO Review Board is finishing up the results of the Fall 2013 LEGO Review. Look forward to these results over the next several weeks.

The First 2014 LEGO Review Deadline is May 5th

Projects that reach 10,000 supporters by 12:00 a.m. GMT May 5th will be included in the First 2014 LEGO Review. You have four months to help your favorite project reach 10k to be reviewed as a potential future LEGO set, so get busy and good luck!

LEGO® NASA Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover Available January 1st

Hailed by NASA as a “miracle of engineering” when it landed on Mars in August, 2012, we’re thrilled to present a LEGO set based on this historic spacecraft. The fifth LEGO CUUSOO set, 21104 NASA Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover, will be available in the LEGO Shop online for $29.99 from January 1st, 2014.

Stephen Pakbaz (“Perijove“), a Mechanical Engineer who worked on the actual Curiosity rover at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, designed and submitted the rover project to LEGO CUUSOO in late 2011, to further the educational outreach of the Mars Curiosity rover’s mission, and to encourage greater public support for space exploration. His project reached 10,000 supporters within two weeks of the landing in August 2012, and was selected for production by the LEGO Review Board this June.

The Model

This LEGO version of the highly advanced mobile laboratory features lots of great details, such as 6-wheel rocker-bogie suspension, articulated robotic arm and multiple camera sets, plus a display plate complete with LEGO brick Martian rocks – perfect for testing out the rover’s go-anywhere suspension! Similar to other LEGO CUUSOO sets, the building instruction booklet also includes background information about the fan builder, the history of Mars exploration, and the real Curiosity Rover.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

In His Own Words

Stephen Pakbaz recently received his very own Curiosity Rover LEGO sets and would like to share with you this review:

I was extremely excited to receive the official LEGO model of the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover in the mail. Opening the box was followed by a lot of high-pitched giggling (I was the only one in the room, so I’m not sure who it could have come from!). For me, the building experience was similar to what I felt when the real Curiosity rover successfully landed on Mars. Thanks to everyone at LEGO CUUSOO who made this possible!

The Curiosity rover is one of my favorite and most popular creations. Understandably, I was very interested in what the final model would look like, since the LEGO design process depends on many factors in order to meet their high standards. Ultimately, there is not much of a difference between the official model and my prototype and I can see how the differences add up to significant improvements on my original design. My favorite improvement is the use of the Black Steering Arm, which uses ball joints to connect the rocker-bogie suspension to the swiveling arm on top of the rover body. It makes the rover even more accurate, robust, and easier to put together. It is one of the more rare LEGO elements and if I had known that it existed three years ago, I’m sure I would have used it too.

The instruction booklet was another important part of the set that I was looking forward to. It is a high quality booklet packed with all sorts of images and educational information about the rover, including some of the fascinating history of Mars exploration. My favorite parts are the tidbits added to the margins of the building steps that provide extra information about various components of the rover as you build them.

Above all, the LEGO Curiosity model is not just a display piece. It has a functioning rocker-bogie suspension system and fully articulated robotic arm. It can be used to explore the unknown regions of your house or office. After climbing the outer walls of Carpet Crater and descending into Couch Canyon you will finally be able to determine if your living room was ever capable of supporting microbial life!

– Stephen Pakbaz

The Curiosity Mars Rover was developed by scientists and engineers from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which is a NASA facility managed by the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, California. For more information about Curiosity, visit http://mars.nasa.gov/msl.

U.S. Design Patent D673,482.

Interview: How do LEGO® CUUSOO sets get reviewed and produced?

Want to know a little more about how we review your LEGO® CUUSOO projects to become LEGO sets? Today the ReBrick blog features an interview with our Business Manager, Daiva S. Naldal. She’s responsible for bringing LEGO CUUSOO sets to market!

Daiva

Daiva has over ten years’ experience at the LEGO Group and has worked on products ranging from LEGO Castle, Sports, Minifigures, and was responsible for building up LEGO Architecture. Now she brings her passion and business savvy to leading the LEGO Review and producing sets for LEGO CUUSOO.

So, hop on over to ReBrick and read a little bit about how the process works, in Daiva’s own words.

Results of the Fall 2012 LEGO® Review

We’re excited to share the results of the Fall LEGO® Review. In September, three LEGO CUUSOO projects entered the second quarterly review period for projects that successfully reach 10,000 supporters. These three projects—Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover, UCS Sandcrawler™, and Thinking with Portals!™—have been being considered for production by the LEGO Review Board.

Today we’re thrilled to announce the results of the Fall LEGO Review in this video:

21104 Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover
It is with great pleasure we reveal that the next LEGO CUUSOO set will be the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover, based upon the LEGO CUUSOO project by Perijove.

This project rose to popularity in late summer 2012, when the real Mars Curiosity Rover approached and landed on the planet Mars in its historic mission. The model designer, LEGO CUUSOO user Perijove is a Mechanical Engineer who worked on the actual Curiosity rover at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Perijove writes that he built and submitted the rover to further the educational outreach of the Mars Curiosity rover’s incredible mission, and to encourage greater public support for space exploration.

The final product is still in development. Exact pricing and availability is still being determined, so stay tuned on this blog and LEGO CUUSOO for an update on when you can buy your own LEGO rover in the coming months.

What does the review process look like?
The LEGO Review process goes through four distinct stages; Brand Fit Analysis, Business Case Development (including License Agreements if applicable), Model Design, and then a Final Review, where the findings of all prior stages are reviewed together. Check out this blog post for a more detailed description of the review process.

How did we arrive at our decisions?
We know you’re looking for a bit more information about the decision process, and what has happened with each project. We can’t share all details, so here are our comments on the three projects:

Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover
by Perijove
After analyzing the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover project, we learned that this product has niche appeal and strong demand from the space and education communities. The product aligns well with the LEGO Group’s mission to “inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow,” including those who will build our future in outer space.

Like the Back to the Future Time Machine, which was approved in the Summer Review, the model presented in this project is built very closely to the LEGO Group’s design standards and so the final product will be very close to Perijove’s original design. It has a high play value, it fits well with voters’ price expectations, and we’ve secured the rights from NASA to release this project as the next LEGO CUUSOO set.

For these reasons, the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover project has passed the LEGO Review, and has been selected for production as the next LEGO CUUSOO set. Pricing and availability are still being determined.

UCS Sandcrawler™
by mb_bricks
This is a project of epic proportions; a Sandcrawler that could potentially dwarf even the Taj Mahal, currently the largest LEGO set ever produced. Unfortunately we can’t approve this project in the LEGO Review based on our ongoing relationship and collaboration with Lucasfilm on LEGO Star Wars.

Thinking with Portals
by Brickthing and Team Jigsaw
When this project was posted, Portal™ fans showed up in force to vote this to the top. As of today, the test results are not yet in; we’re still looking into the possibility of releasing a set based on the Thinking with Portals! Project. Once we have a decision, we’ll share it with you here.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Other Reviews in Progress
The earlier review batches are in progress; you can find a summary of the projects in review on our blog. The next review deadline is Monday September 2, 2013. Best of luck on your favorite projects’ journeys to 10,000!

Just 6 Days to Qualify for the Summer 2013 LEGO Review

There are just six more days to qualify for the Summer 2013 LEGO® Review. Projects that reach 10,000 supporters by midnight (GMT) on June 3 will earn a place in this review period, alongside Mini Shop Series and Batmobile Tumbler™ Minifig Scale, to be considered as potential future LEGO sets.

How can you help your favorite project reach 10,000 supporters by June 3? Share with your friends via social networks, LEGO fan forums, and to others who can help spread the word too. Make sure you ask them to sign up and support, as that’s what will put your favorite project over the top!

Who has a shot at 10k?
Well, as the LEGO Minecraft™ and Purdue Pete™ concepts showed us, anything can happen. But here are the top 5 projects who are closest to the goal. Will one or more of them reach 10,000 in time?

  1. League of Legends of LEGO
  2. FTL: Faster Than Light
  3. Macross VF-1 Valkyrie
  4. Poptropica: Dr. Hare’s Lair
  5. LEGO Bird Series

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

LEGO Review batches begin on a quarterly basis, so projects that don’t make this cut may qualify before September 1 for the next LEGO Review.

But what about the Fall LEGO Review … you know, from last year?
While you’ve been anxiously awaiting the results of the Fall 2012 LEGO Review (and subsequent reviews, let’s be honest), our team has been considering the  UCS Sandcrawler, Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover, and Thinking with Portals! projects as potential LEGO products.

The Winter and Spring LEGO Review periods are also in progress, though they’re naturally in earlier stages. Here’s a snapshot of all of the projects that have achieved 10,000 supporters and are awaiting a review decision:

LEGO Review Batches in Progress - May 28, 2013

Why does it take so long?
Since we began quarterly review batches last year, we’ve been learning that it’s difficult to give definite timeframes to expect results. Our posts on the review process present a nice framework for how we consider a project for production–but it is by no means an easy process. Ultimately, the products we release must fit our brand and strategy, have a strong business case, and a final model must fit our design, buildability, and playability standards. These factors are compounded when working with license partners, each of whom has their own terms and standards.

Projects in each quarterly review are considered in batches, so we announce the results for each project simultaneously. All three projects in the Fall 2012 review period require that we negotiate and collaborate with license partners and this adds complexity to the process. Especially in cases where we are negotiating with third parties, we won’t share news about some projects earlier than others.

We’re anxious to share the exciting news about the Fall 2012 and subsequent LEGO Review groups, and will do so when the time is right. Thanks again for your patience through the process, and stay tuned!