LEGO Ideas X Bricklink Designer Program

Revamped AFOL Designers Program To Give Rejected LEGO® Ideas Submissions A Second Chance At Realisation.

Over the years that the LEGO® Ideas program has been operating, there have been many models that have made the grade to become official LEGO sets, but even many more that have not. During the course of 2020, there has been a record number of submissions to the crowdsourcing platform, and more submissions have been reaching the 10,000 vote threshold for more formal consideration to become official LEGO Sets.

Today, the team are excited to announce a program in conjunction with secondary market place Bricklink, giving some of the unapproved submissions to get a new lease on life:

Appearing on the LEGO Ideas Blog today, the program looks to reach out to the creators of LEGO IDEAS submissions that were ultimately rejected, with a view to developing their designs further for for the AFOL Designer Program. A Pilot of the AFOL Designer Program was run by Bricklink in 2018-2019, and resulted in 11 sets being crowdfunded by the community, and released by Bricklink, as part of the celebration of 60 years of the LEGO Brick. Unfortunately, Ideas that involve 3rd party IP, and others that will not be able to be realised will not move forward to the crowd funding stage. It is anticipated that designers be approached in January 2021 about taking part in this program.

Realizing more LEGO Ideas designs together with the BrickLink Designer Program

As you know, LEGO Ideas has historically produced 4-5 new LEGO sets each year based on creative fan concepts that have reached the 10,000-supporter milestone. We love the fact that we are able to offer this opportunity to passionate LEGO fans around the world. However, we must acknowledge that many fan creators and the supporters of these projects have been left hoping their favourite contenders would be available to purchase.

Today we are excited to announce a pilot project in collaboration with BrickLink Designer Program, through which we aim to realize more of these fan projects that have reached 10,000 supporters.

BrickLink Designer Program

Back in 2018, BrickLink launched a pilot program with the LEGO Group to celebrate 60 years of the LEGO® brick and help realize unique fan designs with original themes. Thirteen fan designs were successfully crowdfunded through the pilot, and we have received many questions about its potential its return since then. Would there be a second iteration? If so, when? You will not have to wait much longer because we can happily reveal that the Designer Program will make its return in 2021.


Why a collaboration with BrickLink?

For a long time, we have read feedback and experienced the disappointment from both fan creators and their project’s supporters. While we can only produce so many official LEGO Ideas, we longed to find an alternative way see more of these amazing fan designs come to life.

BrickLink’s successful AFOL Designer Program pilot indicated that there was an interest among fans to help bring fan creations to life in a different way; making them the perfect partner to test the desire for this among LEGO Ideas 10K Club creations and their supporters.

A recent survey of the BrickLink community also indicated their strong approval in seeing these 10K Club creations come to life through the Designer Program.

Who will be invited?
Select designers whose project(s) acquired 10,000 votes on LEGO Ideas, but were not approved for production, will be invited to participate in this Designer Program. That’s right, we’ll be digging into the LEGO Ideas archives for this pilot. Unfortunately, IP-based designs will not be eligible for the Designer Program, in addition to a few other projects that we know we unfortunately can’t realize. The LEGO Ideas team will first contact the designers from January, and then the BrickLink team will proceed with the onboarding process for participating designers.


What will happen to the original AFOL Designer Program?
The BrickLink team understands that there are some AFOL designers and fans who anticipated a new intake of original projects. The team’s intention is to host annual Designer Programs that best reflect voices of the AFOL communities. Depending on preferences, BrickLink may return to the original format of the open contest in 2022. But rest assured, that no matter how designs are submitted to the program, the goal is to continue to celebrate fan creativity by realizing your dream sets through crowdfunding.


When can I get more information?
The official program title and detailed timeline have yet to be confirmed, but you can expect to get more information in early 2021. At the same time, we will also unveil all participating designers and their projects.

In the original pilot program for the Bricklink Designer Program, AFOLs were invited to submit designs, and a number proceeded to the crowdfunding stage. In this version of the program, selected IDEAS designers will have the chance to have their models considered for production. There still remain a few questions to be considered: Will there be appropriate compensation for designers whose models go into production? Will designs need to be brick built, rather than only existing in a digital form, using only elements from the current palette? We will learn more in the new year. The last few review periods have seen a record number of submissions reach the 10,000 supporter threshold. The will certainly give many fans an opportunity to see their favorite designs realised.

There are currently 177 ‘Not approved’ LEGO Ideas prjects. Once you eliminate any that have some form of 3rd party IP design – which includes models of real cars, real life spacecraft, and anything that derives from film, book, television or video game, this number is rapidly whittled down into the 40’s.

What Ideas Projects would you like to see get a new lease on life in 2022? Why not leave you comments below, and until next time,

Play Well

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