Results of the Winter, Spring, and Summer LEGO® Reviews

It’s been a busy summer for us. We’re finally able to share the results of not one but three review periods: Winter 2012, Spring, and Summer 2013. We’ve looked closely at each of the ten projects in this these review periods, and here is what we have decided:

LEGO CUUSOO #006: Exo Suit

We’re thrilled to take Peter Reid’s original Exo Suit concept and create a LEGO® set based on it. The set is now in development, which means professional LEGO designers are creating the final version that will become the LEGO CUUSOO set. Final design, pricing, and availability are still being determined, and we’ll reveal the final product leading up to its release in 2014.

Exo Suit - Fan Submission, Not Final Product

We’re still evaluating the Land-Rover Defender 110

We’re still in the process of evaluating the Land-Rover Defender 110 by Sheepo. We’ll let you know once we have a decision on whether it will be released as a set!

All other projects in the Winter 2012, Spring and Summer 2013 Review periods will not be produced.

The LEGO Review Board has evaluated each project these three review periods according to our decision criteria. We’ve decided that all other concepts in the Winter 2012, Spring, and Summer 2013 periods (including the Thinking with Portals! project from the Fall 2012 period) will unfortunately not be produced as LEGO sets. Sometimes our best hopes and plans end up not working out. After a thorough evaluation, the LEGO Review Board has determined that we will not release a set based on any of these projects. We realize this is disappointing to some, so please know that this decision does not take away from the beauty and effort put into these projects by each talented LEGO fan.

Winter, Spring, & Summer LEGO Review Results

How do we make these decisions?

We know how hard you work, vote, and spread the word to see your favorite concepts become reality. Once a project reaches 10,000 supporters, our team is then responsible for deciding what sets LEGO CUUSOO will produce according to our criteria and business model.

By gaining 10,000 supporters, a fan-submitted project moves from the Idea Stage to the Review Stage, where it earns the opportunity to be considered as a future LEGO® set in a quarterly process called the “LEGO Review.” Gaining 10,000 Supporters is just the first step in this process.

During the LEGO Review, we take your vote and the the information you give us in the brief support survey into consideration. This contributes to the Review Board’s analysis of a project’s potential as a LEGO set.

The “LEGO Review Board” composed of LEGO set designers, marketing and business representatives, and other relevant team members across the LEGO Group examines each qualified project. They evaluate concept models and determine if the concept meets our high standards for what it takes to be a LEGO product; including factors such as playability, safety, and fit with the LEGO brand.

Every potential LEGO product, including those developed internally, goes through a process like this and must meet the same standards. The amount of time this takes varies due to all the factors involved, however, know that every set must be fully evaluated before we make a decision about its viability as a set.

The LEGO Review Board makes all final decisions on which new sets the LEGO Group will release based on CUUSOO projects.

Fall LEGO Review Results Coming Early 2014

The Fall 2013 Review results will be available in early 2014

We’ve already started our review of the seven projects from the Fall 2013 period, and we’ll share the results in early 2014. Our team is looking forward to bringing you the Exo Suit and considering more of your projects as they reach 10,000 supporters and qualify for review.

Happy building!

The Quarterly LEGO Review: How does it work?

Last week, we shared details about how the LEGO Review of projects that reach 10,000 supporters will be held quarterly. To recap, the first quarterly review will take place this summer. All projects that reach 10,000 supporters before June 4, 2012 (midnight GMT) will be included in the Summer review. Future quarterly review deadlines will be will be early September, December, and March respectively.

When you see new LEGO set releases, you’re seeing our products in finished condition. You don’t see the months or even years of development and preparation to make the product. There are many phases in the life of a LEGO product, from concept development to model design, business case, license agreements (if applicable), box artwork and building instruction production, molding, printing, packing, and finally distribution. Only then can a new LEGO set make it to your doorstep.

To us this process is both a labor of love and a time-tested method to create quality products that people love. Since LEGO CUUSOO crowdsources the concept development by asking you to submit your ideas, once your project receives enough supporters the responsibility shifts to our team, and we must work our magic and create the product—quite an involved process!

Since it takes a tremendous amount of time and resources to make a new LEGO product, before we commit to producing your project as a set, we need to make sure it makes sense to produce it. Because the LEGO Group is a business, ultimately we must ensure that if we were to sell your project, we would sell enough to make it worthwhile and profitable for us.

Who performs the LEGO Review?
Each LEGO Review is performed by a “LEGO Jury” led by the LEGO CUUSOO project team within New Business Group. Jury members include a cross-section of roles, including a project manager, model designer, graphic designer, corporate counsel, licensing representative, brand management, and a production manager. Jury members participate and make a recommendation on the production of each LEGO CUUSOO project in review.

The LEGO Review doesn’t have a definite timeframe. Here’s why.
While projects can receive supporters quickly on LEGO CUUSOO, it takes time to research the feasibility of a new product and develop the final model. It’s relatively quick to perform a brand-fit review, but the other parts of the review—building a business case and securing any necessary licenses—can take several months.

Each project requires a full business case. This is interlinked with the model design, as we only determine the manufacturing cost after one of our LEGO model designers creates the final model. The outcome depends also on the model design itself; can we produce an attractive, stable design at the appropriate price point using available elements? Are new element molds or new colors of existing elements required? Designing new elements takes time, and every single new element endures its own rigorous review and is approved into the LEGO System. These factors can affect the outcome and whether or not we are able to create a product from a LEGO CUUSOO project.

For licensed projects, don’t expect the speed at which we turned around the Minecraft project to be the norm; in fact, it is the exception. The LEGO® Minecraft™ Micro World was a very special case as we were able to reach a license agreement in a couple of weeks. Most licenses are owned by large corporations, so striking an agreement requires many stakeholders and legal complexity. Also, some licenses can be exclusive or can forbid us from working with competing brands.

Each LEGO Review features these four phases:

Brand Fit Analysis (Approx. 2 Weeks)
The Brand Fit Analysis decides if a project or IP is appropriate for the LEGO Company to produce, and looks at potential conflicts with existing or planned products. Projects that pass advance to the next phase, and projects that don’t pass this phase are not considered further.

Business Case Development and License Agreements (Timeframe Varies)
The review team builds a separate business case for each project that passes the Brand Fit Analysis. At the same time, the Licensing department pursues an agreement for all projects requiring a license. During this process, the team analyzes supporter data from LEGO CUUSOO (demographics, desired quantity and price point), examines the market potential, and looks at any potential internal or licensing conflicts.

Model Design (3-4 Weeks)
Simultaneously to the Business Case development, a LEGO model designer creates official models based on the submitted LEGO CUUSOO project. This process looks to deliver an attractive, buildable, and stable model at the required price point. Our designer considers the “Play Promise” as well; how playable is the model, and how playable does the model need to be considering the target audience? When possible, we involve the fans who submitted the project to LEGO CUUSOO. After this process is complete, the cost of elements used in the model is incorporated into the business case.

Final Review (1-2 Weeks)
After all research is done on brand fit, business case, license agreements, and model design, the LEGO Jury reviews each project and the recommendations of the review to make a final decision on which products to produce. Once these decisions are made, we announce the results.

Phew, what a process! We hope that you now have a better understanding of what happens to projects once they achieve 10,000 supporters, and the various factors involved in the LEGO Group deciding to produce a project as a LEGO set.

This is the second post in a three-part series about the LEGO Review. The first post explained the quarterly review schedule. Next week the third post in this series will give you tips for increasing your project’s chances of passing the LEGO Review with flying colors!

Projects Reaching 10,000 Supporters Will Now Be Reviewed Quarterly

In just over six months of open beta, you’ve come from all corners of the Internet and created some awesome projects in hopes of getting your idea produced as a LEGO product. Wow! We can’t tell you how stoked we are at all of your incredible ideas. It’s hard to contain our excitement when we browse the kinds of things you’re making and supporting.

Opening ourselves to your suggestions is still new territory for us. Allowing you to build an audience for your ideas is both a huge opportunity and a risk. Our production abilities are still subject to the laws of physics (drat!), high costs of new molds, and distribution for toy retailers is planned out well in advance too. This makes it easier to sell one-off’s online like the LEGO Minecraft Micro World, but tricky if you want a playtheme or new elements in your project.

The LEGO Review will now happen quarterly
From here forward, we will conduct the LEGO Review of projects that reach 10,000 supporters quarterly. All projects that reach 10,000 supporters between now and June 4 (midnight GMT) will be included in the Summer review. Future quarterly review deadlines will be will be early September, December, and March respectively. Review periods do not have a definite end date due to the complexity of the process, which we will explain in our next post on this topic.

During the review, projects will be evaluated for brand fit (is it appropriate?), strategy fit (does it conflict with anything we’re producing?), business case (can we sell enough of them profitably at the necessary price point?), model design (can we make an appealing model that adheres to our standards?), and other criteria. Each project will be considered independently, but now we’ll review them at the same time.

We queue for production models that pass the LEGO Review
At the end of the review, projects will either be approved or not approved based on how they fit our review criteria. When we announce the review results, we’ll also reveal the final production models for each approved project. We can then potentially pick one project per quarter to put into immediate production as the next LEGO CUUSOO set. This potential set is chosen based on strategic fit and the business case from the review.

The remaining projects that pass Review will be placed in a queue where they will await an open production slot and may be chosen for production at a later date. The order in which they are produced is also dependent on strategy and the business case for each. As the LEGO Group alone takes on the cost of production and associated risk, we will choose LEGO CUUSOO sets for production at our discretion.

LEGO CUUSOO Remains in Beta
It’s important to note both the LEGO CUUSOO website and the operations that produce fan-inspired sets remain in a beta testing period. LEGO CUUSOO is breaking new ground for the LEGO Group, for LEGO fans, and for brand fan communities as a whole. As we work to produce your favourite CUUSOO projects as LEGO sets, it is important that we do so in a way that is scalable and sustainable as a business. Our team will continue to improve and refine this process, and we’re exploring possibilities that will allow you to share the risk of production costs so that your favorite projects can make it into production faster.

This post is the first of a three-part series about the LEGO Review. Look forward to the next post on this topic next week, where we give you an in-depth look at how the LEGO Review process works for projects that reach 10,000 supporters.

Minecraft™ LEGO® CUUSOO Project Passes LEGO Review

Happy New Year! Since the Minecraft™ project reached 10,000 supporters on LEGO® CUUSOO, many of you have been eagerly awaiting our update.  Until now, the project has been in the LEGO Review—a stage before product development begins where a LEGO Jury evaluates the idea’s feasibility as a product and makes a decision.

We’re happy to announce that the Minecraft project on LEGO CUUSOO has passed the LEGO review and we are now developing a concept that celebrates the best aspects of building with the LEGO system and in Minecraft. We can’t wait to show it to you—but it isn’t ready just yet. These things take time, so we appreciate your patience. More details are to come.