Results are in and the next LEGO Ideas set is going to be the Old Fishing Store. Daniel Konstanski breaks down this latest result and gives his thoughts on why the other contenders didn’t make the bar.
I must confess to being very surprised that any of the submissions accepted for review are going to be produced. Surprised – and delighted. We are going to be getting our first LEGO Ideas building and one of the few products to come out of the process that isn’t based on licensed material. Robert Bontenbal’s gorgeous creation is a delight to behold and I am hopeful that the LEGO Group will do it justice with the final product. That being said I am surprised anything passed this review. The submissions considered were an eclectic mix that did not fit the profile of any Ideas set yet released. Ultimately most of them were undermined by being too niche and not having an appeal that could reasonably be expected to extend far beyond the 10,000 folks who got them this far.
Fossil Museum by whatpumpkin
Ever since the success of Research Institute, set 21110, there have been a proliferation of these vignette style projects featuring scientific settings. The problem is that these ideas miss the point of what made 21110 a success. Research Institute tapped a cultural nerve by showcasing female scientists, which was the project’s USP. While cool, this model has little play value, limited display potential and a completely monotone color palate. As part of a larger museum set, maybe, but on its own it has nothing to recommend it.
Gingerbread House by Swan Dutchman
If you had told me that one model from this round of Ideas was going to make it through this would have been my guess. Although a very attractive Christmas themed build, the reality is that the potential market for this as a set would be very small. It wouldn’t really fit into a Winter Village layout unless one was okay with mixing fantasy with reality. It is not a particularly interesting play set either.
Jedi High Council Chamber by lojaco
This one wins the award for most baffling to me that it garnered 10,000 votes. Firstly because the Jedi Council scenes are second only to those which included Jar Jar in terms of most hated parts of the prequels. Secondly because what in the world would you do with this? It has essentially zero play potential unless kids like enacting meetings, and from the outside it is just a grey exterior so doesn’t work as a display piece. The only reason I can think of that it made it this far is that collectors figured it would be an awesome concentrated source of Jedi minifigures, perhaps with a few exclusive ones.
Jurassic Park Visitor Center by LDiEGO
Here we have a beautifully executed model, with one glaring problem – who is the market for this? Unless one is a fan of the movie to such an extent that they would want a miniature version of the Visitor’s Center to display on their desk so that the world would know how much they love Jurassic Park, I can’t think of who would buy this. The gates and car, previously submitted to LEGO Ideas, are stronger icons of the movie.
Modular Train Station by LegoWolf
Another fine build with gorgeous detailing, in-particular the window ceiling, but there is a major issue here. Modulars are designed to be lined up against one another, and the corner buildings bend in not out. There is no way to get track to this train station without compromising the entire modular layout, which is of course very space intensive anyway.
Particle Accelerator by JKBrickworks
Particle accelerators are awesome scientific instruments; but that does not mean they would make awesome LEGO sets. I have several friends who are physicists that I am sure would love to have this set sitting on the top of a cabinet in their lab or at a desk, but other than that this set would be a pass for most folks. Little play value was surely the death knell for this project.
Rolling BB-8 by mjsmiley and arbot138
BB-8 has quickly won legions of fans as the cute new droid in the Star Wars universe. Produced at minifigure scale already, this submission sought to realise him in a larger scale, with more movie accuracy. The problem is that BB-8 is part of an existing licence and this set would require new parts which are never going to be made for a LEGO Ideas set. New colours, yes – new parts, no. Great idea, and perhaps the LEGO Group will release something similar down the road, but it won’t happen under the LEGO Ideas banner.
Johnny Five by PepaQuinn
Two words on this one – too niche. I grew up concurrent to when the movie this robot appears in was released and still had to do my homework when I first saw the Ideas submission. Perhaps as a level in Dimensions, which seems to be targeting the relevant target market, but as an Ideas set, this one is not going to happen.