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

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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!

New Blog Address, Please Update Your Links!

Some of you may have heard that our blog host, Posterous, has decided to close down at the end of April. Oh no!

So, we’re happy to share that we’ve found a new home for the LEGO® CUUSOO blog on WordPress. We’ve also given the blog a snazzy new subdomain: http://blog.LEGO.cuusoo.com. Woohoo!

Please Update Your Links!

All links to the old LEGO CUUSOO blog will stop working on April 30. If you own a LEGO fan site or blog, we encourage you to update your links to the new LEGO CUUSOO blog. Now, there’s a little twist, so pay attention; WordPress adds in date stamp directories on all of their articles. For example:

So, you will need to visit our blog and get the new links manually (sorry about that, there wasn’t a way to change this).

Our team is updating all links to the old blog in your comments on LEGO CUUSOO, and we will also update links within blog posts and the Knowledge Base over the coming week.

Errors on users’ My Page and Activity Feed

Today we have received reports that users’ My Page is not displaying their activity feed or project lists. Our development team is aware of the problem and working on a fix.

In the mean time, please log out of the site, clear your web browser’s cache, and log back in. In some cases this may fix the problem. If it does not fix things for you, we appreciate your patience as our team works on a solution.

We apologize for the inconvenience.

4 Questions to Improve LEGO CUUSOO

We’ve hidden something on your LEGO CUUSOO profiles. Haven’t noticed it yet? That’s okay, we’ll guide you…

  1. First, go to your profile by clicking either your username at the top of the page or “My Page.” 
  2. Click “Account Settings” on the right below your profile image. 
  3. Click the “Profile” tab. 
  4. And scroll….
  5. And there it is; a fan survey!

Help Us Understand You Better
Help us improve LEGO CUUSOO by telling us a bit more about what kind of LEGO fan you are. Please take a moment to answer these four questions on your profile. It’s nothing too personal, and we handle the responses anonymously. By taking 2-3 minutes, you’re helping us improve the LEGO CUUSOO community and better understand your needs as fans, thus helping us support you better!

It’s really a win-win situation, so please help us out by following the steps or links above and saving your responses on your profile.

Here’s a Screenshot of the Survey Questions

Profile-fan-survey

 

LEGO fan GlenBricker interviews Tim Courtney at SXSW

Last week my colleagues Peter, Signe, Sara, and I had the privilege of meeting LEGO CUUSOO user and blogger Glen Bricker at the SXSW Interactive conference in Austin, Texas. Not only does Glen create his own high quality projects, he can be seen tirelessly answering questions and helping others with their projects. Glen blogs a lot about LEGO CUUSOO at GlenBricker’s Review, so we turned our meet-and-greet into an interview opportunity.

In the interview I talk about:

  • Our team
  • The roadmap to leaving “beta”
  • How your LEGO model factors into the LEGO Review
  • …and give my single biggest piece of advice to project creators

LINK: Read the “Interview with Tim Courtney” on GlenBricker’s Review.

 

Check out the LEGO® CUUSOO Spring Review Qualifiers

As of 12:00 a.m. GMT on March 4th 2013, the Spring Review Deadline has come to a close. This time around, the qualifying projects have a long-standing history on LEGO CUUSOO, with a determined and loyal fan base. The LEGO CUUSOO team extends congratulations to our four qualifiers:

  • Exo Suit – After close to a year on LEGO CUUSOO, the Exo Suit has crossed the 10,000 milestone. Pending the review, LEGO Minfigures everywhere may yet be able to protect themselves in style!
  • Andy/ Bugdroid the Android by Google – Google™ Android™ and LEGO fans have united to support this project. And who could blame them, this model is adorable!
  • The Legend of Zelda Project – Legend of Zelda™ lovers have rallied together once again to back this fantastic project. Let those of us who spend many painstaking hours blowing into our old gaming systems rejoice!
  • Land-Rover Defender 110 – This supercar just barely made it in time to qualify for the review! If you haven’t seen this baby in action, check out the video link shared in the project’s description, you won’t be disappointed!

What’s the Spring Review Exactly?

On that lucky day when a LEGO CUUSOO project reaches 10,000 supporters, they enter into the “LEGO Review”, where we as a company look at their potential as a LEGO product. For further details, read: Projects Reaching 10,000 Supporters Will Now Be Reviewed Quarterly, The Quarterly LEGO Review: How does it work?, and Cheat Sheet: How to Pass the LEGO Review with Flying Colors.

What about the Fall and Winter Reviews?
It’s hard to gauge how long a review process will take since there are so many factors at play, so we’re not yet ready to communicate a timeframe for the results. Please be patient with us!

Next Review Deadline: June 3rd
Didn’t quite reach that 10,000 milestone this time around? Well, you have three months to get there to quality for the Summer Review. The deadline is June 3rd at midnight, GMT. Get out there and gain support for your project now!

Interview with Team BTTF

In case you haven’t heard, the results of the Summer LEGO® Review are in, and the next LEGO CUUSOO set will be the Back to the Future™ Time Machine based on the project by Masashi Togami (m.togamiand Minifig Builder Sakuretsu (sakuretsu). But who are these builders? Take a minute to get to know Masashi and the team that inspired the the next LEGO CUUSOO set.

Team BTTF tells us they aim to use LEGO® products to re-introduce the world to the movie “Back to the Future.” With that goal in mind, they created the “BTTF Time Machine.” However, this is only the beginning for Team BTTF; they actually have three other projects in the Idea Stage on LEGO CUUSOO and say they are working on more. Perhaps you have seen the remote control-operated BTTF UCS Time Machine, the micro-scale Hill Valley Courthouse, and the minifigure scale model of villain Biff Tannen’s Ford.

How does the team work together? Masashi Togami is the team leader and in charge of the team’s product concepts and managing PR activities to gather supporters. Sakuretsu is in charge of model building and customized LEGO Minifigures. However Legohaulic built the BTTF UCS Time Machine. Before beginning a project they decide as a team which role each member will take, then they work together, each member bringing their own unique personality and skills to the project.

Interview with Masashi

Sara Moore:How long have you been building with LEGO bricks?

Masashi Togami: A little under 30 years. I first began playing with LEGO bricks at age 5.

SM: What inspired you to build this model and put it on LEGO CUUSOO?

MT: When I was in elementary school, “Back to the Future” was the first movie I ever saw. BTTF, which celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2015, continues to provide hope and dreams to viewers today.

From the present to the past, and to the future. Since I was a child, I always believed that the BTTF Time Machine was a perfect match for the world of LEGO [bricks]. Using bricks, I attempted to create the BTTF Time Machine countless times. However, I never had enough of the necessary bricks and, as a child, I lacked the building skill necessary for such a detailed project so I never succeeded.

20 years later, after becoming an adult, I met a LEGO minifigure builder (customizer) named Sakuretsu. He listened to my childhood dream, and in 2011 we added the BTTF Time Machine to LEGO CUUSOO.

SM: Did you run into any challenges when configuring this model?

MT: Sakuretsu specializes in sample builds and the customization of LEGO Minifigures so I asked him to answer this question. There are two major points to discuss:

  1. Customized figurine configuration. First, I sketched some ideas for clothing and hairstyle while watching the movie, and tried to reproduce them for a LEGO Minifigure. The hairstyle in particular is entirely handmade and cannot be reproduced. I used a magnifying glass while creating the parts so that they would appear just like those in the film.
  2. Sample build configuration. The characteristics of the time machine change slightly between each of the three movies, which made it difficult to replicate. I edited the gull wing doors and the operation of the tires from part 2 over and over. Personally, I wanted to create it as an actual 2 person car so instead of using the usual size (6stud), I used one size larger (8stud).

SM: You’ve said before the road from publishing the model to reaching 10,000 supporters was long. What did you do during this time to promote your project?

MT: It was a long and hard road to reach 10,000 supporters. In general, we sought to gain supporters through the following three steps:

  1. Improving the quality of sample builds. Several users left constructive comments about the sample build on the project page which Sakuretsu took into consideration. In reality, the quality of the sample build from the debut of the project and that of the sample build from after we gathered 10,000 supporters is quite different.Even after the decision to produce the design is made, Sakuretsu maintains a strong desire for improvement. He went on to develop an even more accurate sample build. See here for more details.
  2. Developing a strong relationship with various media sites. We searched for community sites, blogs, Facebook pages, etc., that have a connection with LEGO or BTTF and regularly contact the managers of those sites with details about Team BTTF. They often post about our team projects on their sites. We keep a record of all articles about us on this page.Famous sites such as Gizmodo, Engadget, and Wired had a huge impact. After they posted articles about our team, we always made sure to express our thanks through an e-mail to help them remember our name and our activities.
  3. Increasing the fan base of Team BTTF. We created a Facebook page at the end of December 2011 and began updating about the status of our projects and support numbers. The people who “like” our page could be thought of as our die-hard fans. As of January 2013 we have gathered more than 1,000 “likes.” We hope to gather 10,000 “likes” in the future.

SM: What advice can you give to other CUUSOO members with active projects?

MT: The film Back to the Future taught us the following:

“If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.”
“Your future is whatever you make it.”

If you haven’t yet seen the Back to the Future trilogy, we hope you’ll take the time to see it. In order to make your dreams come true, it is important to always fight for them. Even if you fail you must always view failure as a step closer to success.

We hope that all of your wishes come true.

Editor’s note: Be sure to follow Masashi and Sakuretsu on LEGO CUUSOO and check out other projects from Team BTTF! If you’re looking for more information on the upcoming 21103 Back to the Future™ Time Machine, hold tight please. These things take time and we will share details when they are ready.