Only an hour before the third round of the BrickLink Designer Program went live yesterday, the LEGO Ideas team announced that yet another rejected 10K project would get a second chance at becoming an official product. It’s not through the same secondary marketplace this time, though: instead, one of three projects will be produced as a traditional set, sold in LEGO Stores and online.
A fan vote is currently underway to determine which of BrickHammer’s Viking Village, Brick Dangerous’s Marine Life and LEGOParadise’s Working Mini Golf Course will become an official product, through a new initiative in conjunction with US retailer Target. However, the visuals used by the Ideas team for the initial announcement have caused consternation in pockets of the community, reawakening dormant worries of regional exclusives.
Back in 2019, the LEGO Group promised to abandon the concept of regional exclusivity, bringing almost all products to international markets within three to six months of their initial release. We’ve since seen themes like Chinese New Year and Monkie Kid launch in territories beyond just those originally intended, making them available to a broader consumer base.
There were some exceptions to the rule, however: pilot projects, such as LEGO FORMA; gifts-with-purchase, both online and in-store; products sold in specific ‘experiences’, such as LEGOLAND and LEGO House; and ‘special event’ sets, including those given away through the LEGO Inside Tour and at conventions.
Every time a new product has even a whiff of regional exclusivity around it – such as when it’s announced in partnership with a specific retailer in one country – there’s seemingly a collective worry that the LEGO Group has either abandoned its pledge, or has otherwise found a loophole to only deliver it to one market within the parameters of its previously-outlined exceptions.
But on almost every occasion, those fears are unfounded – and the same is true again for this latest bonus LEGO Ideas set. As clarified further down the initial announcement over on the LEGO Ideas blog, the winning set will indeed be available at retail worldwide. The only asterisk is that if you’re in the US, you’ll only be able to buy it through official channels – LEGO.com, LEGO Stores – or at Target.
For now, head over to LEGO Ideas to cast your vote in the latest poll. You’ve got until May 31 to do so. The LEGO Group is currently planning to announced the winning candidate in August, but that date apparently isn’t set in stone.