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 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.

Interview with Peter Reid, Creator of the Exo Suit

With the announcement of the next LEGO CUUSOO set still hot off the presses, we thought you might want to get to know the builder behind the project, Peter Reid. The final model is still being worked on by our designers, so as we wait for it to be produced, let’s learn a little about its history!

Exo Suit - Fan Submission, Not Final Product

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

Peter Reid: I’ve been playing with LEGO [bricks] all my life. It’s the best toy ever. I never stopped loving the brick.

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

exo suit hangarPR: I mainly build science fiction models, and decided to make a walking mechanical maintenance unit, to go with my expanding Neo Classic Space fleet. The Exo Suit was designed for heavy duty repairs and maintenance on the Federation colonies. I decided to put the model on CUUSOO because it’s one of my most popular creations.  The Exo Suit received a surprising amount of attention when it first appeared online, five years ago.

People have been asking me for instructions for years, but several of the parts are quite hard to find, and some of the connections fall apart quite easily. In its current form, it’s not suitable for production. An official CUUSOO Exo Suit will mean a more user-friendly version can be produced, and everyone can enjoy the model.

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

exo trio in hangar

PR: I tried to make the Exo Suit look as cool as possible, which took a long time to get right. All models have their challenges but the joy of working with LEGO [bricks] is there are so many ways to solve them. Building is like a puzzle, where you know what you want the end product to look like. You have to find the right combination of parts to make it work.

SM: The road from publishing the model to reaching 10,000 supporters can be long. What did you do during this time to promote your project?

PR: I did a bit of social networking with Flickr, Facebook and Twitter, and was lucky enough to be featured on several popular geek websites. The project gained momentum fairly quickly, and reached 10,000 supporters in nine months.

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

PR: Keep on promoting your project when you can. Ask friends and family to support you.

Models based on existing properties (like Minecraft and Back to the Future) have a built in audience and a better chance of getting votes. The Exo Suit proves non-licensed models can also break through.exoback2

You just need to do whatever you can to make people see your project in the best light – spend time developing it, take good quality photos, think about your write up, and take advantage of social media. Do everything possible to get the message out there.

Editor’s note: The final design, pricing, and availability of the Exo Suit are still being determined, so stay tuned for further information leading up to the Exo Suit’s release in mid-2014!

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.


Video: How does the LEGO Review work?

A few weeks ago I was on a trip with some team members, and during the breaks we recorded some interviews. This is the first of several; let’s start off with the topic of the LEGO Review (and what’s taking so dang long!).

In this video, Troels talks with us a bit about his role on the LEGO Review, and how it works. Apologies in advance for the noise quality; it was an impromptu interview and I’ll get a good directional mic in the future.

I know you have been anxiously awaiting the results of the Summer LEGO Review. You’ll have to trust that we’ve been anxiously awaiting sharing some news. We’ve always said, though, that due to what is involved we can’t commit to a timeframe for an announcement.

For every other LEGO product release, we decide what to make internally and then tell you about it when we are ready. A lot of our own ideas fall to the cutting room floor, for many different reasons. In the case of LEGO CUUSOO, you vote up what you want and then we go and see if we can make it. It takes the same amount of time to make a decision, but in this case you’re already anticipating a response from us. This is a challenge, and one through which we’re learning.

It’s a lot of fun to work on potential products that a lot of people have told us they want. At the same time we must carefully set expectations and communicate what we can and cannot do.

… and yes, news of the review results are indeed coming soon. Watch this space.