The LEGO Group is supporting a Bricklink crowdfunding scheme that will see fans have the opportunity to have their designs become limited edition sets.
Bricklink has announced the AFOL Designer Program, which intends to celebrate 60 years of the brick. Fans will have the opportunity to submit set concepts using LEGO bricks in Bricklink Studio 2.0 for two months, before a representative of the LEGO design team selects up to 20 finalists from the submissions. According to the small print, “a celebrated LEGO designer with unique expertise and a historical understanding of the LEGO system will supervise the evaluation process.”
In February 2019, the finalists will have their brick set designs published on a crowdsourcing platform. Potential buyers will be able to pre-order copies of those designs, and those that reach the target fundraising goal will be produced as limited edition 60 Year Anniversary sets, shipping in 2019. These will not be official LEGO sets, they will be Bricklink products that will presumably use official LEGO elements. Successful participants will receive 10% of total sales for their design.
Despite some understanding from the initial announcement that the AFOL Designer Program was somehow linked to official LEGO products, through the use of the word “collaboration” and emphasis on “design”, the sets produced will be Bricklink sets rather than official LEGO sets.
The route to success in this crowdfunding scheme is very different than that for LEGO Ideas users, as rather than reaching 10,000 public votes, all submissions will be accepted. For those who have their designs selected by the judging panel, it will be down to who genuinely wants to buy the set and place a pre-order.
Submissions will be accepted from September 18, and must be submitted by November 18. For more details and all of the key information, visit the AFOL Designer Program page at Bricklink.