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LEGO Ideas No Longer Accepting Projects Based on Third-Party Active Licenses

LEGO Ideas has just released a new blog post to update their guidelines and they’ve announced that they “will no longer accept new submissions based on third-party licenses that are active in the LEGO Group’s portfolio.” This was a culmination of projects that were not original ideas, which the platform was intended to be used for, and been flooded with licensed material that LEGO already has licenses for. You can read more about it in the link above but here’s a list of the Restricted IP from LEGO Ideas:

The Fine Print:

If your project was previously turned down, archived, or deleted due to a licensing conflict that is now resolved or third party license that has been retired, you may re-submit it as a new project. Supporters from past projects cannot be applied to a future project.

Active Licenses:

Entertainment

Star Wars, MARVEL Super Heroes, DC Super Heroes & Super Hero Girls, The LEGO Batman Movie, The LEGO NINJAGO Movie, The LEGO Movie, Disney characters (Mickey Mouse, Minnie, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Goofy & Tinker Bell), Moana, Rapunzel, Aladdin, Cars, Whisker Haven Tales with the Palace Pets , Angry Birds, Pirates of the Caribbean, Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Miles From Tomorrowland, Doc McStuffins, Sofia the First, The Simpsons, Knight Rider, Mission Impossible, Midway Arcade, Lord of the Rings, Gremlins, A-Team, Harry Potter, Fantastic Beasts, Sonic the Hedgehog, Portal 2, E.T. & The Wizard of Oz.

Automotive brands

Volkswagen, Ferrari, MINI, Porsche, BMW, CLAAS, Volvo, Mercedes, Ford, Audi, Bugatti, Chevrolet & McLaren.

Architecture

Stand alone buildings (Big Ben, London Tower Bridge, US Capitol Building, Louvre, Buckingham Palace, Burj Khalifa, Eiffel Tower & Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum).

Buildings contained in the skylines (London, Sydney, Chicago, Venice, Berlin & New York).

Restricted IP from LEGO Ideas:

Shinkai 6500
Hayabusa
Minecraft
Back to the Future
Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover
Ghostbusters
The Big Bang Theory
WALL•E
Doctor Who
The Beatles
Caterham
Adventure Time
Apollo program
Women of NASA concept


  • Reaven Veaceslav

    Maybe now we won’t see half the in review sets be active licenses, which I found pretty annoying.

  • The Anonymous Hutt

    Lego Ideas is dead.

    • Reaven Veaceslav

      Because they won’t take existing licenses, which they’ve never approved anyway?

      • The Anonymous Hutt

        I’m pretty sure half of the sets in the reviews are based off of existing licenses, despite the fact that they aren’t approved. This means that there will be significantly fewer sets in the reviews. Not to mention the fact that about a fourth of the projects on Lego Ideas are based off existing licenses.

        Lego Ideas may not be dead, but it definitely shot itself in the foot.

        • Reaven Veaceslav

          How? They’ve never approved set based on existing license, and this makes their rule far more clear. There was no point of about 50% of the sets that made it to review because they weren’t going to be approved.

          Now, those 10k votes can be distributed between other sets, and the people making licensed sets hoping to get it approved will (hopefully) put their skills to making stuff that will be approved.

          Basically, since Lego has never approved an existing license set, their pool was already in half, and they’ve already gotten fantastic sets out of it. This will, at worst, result in no difference.

          • The Anonymous Hutt

            It will result in a large percentage of people no longer being interested in Lego Ideas, as they can no longer submit their licensed models.

          • Reaven Veaceslav

            They can submit all the licensed models they want, as long as Lego doesn’t currently own that license. They were wasting their time anyway, apparently. The point of Ideas seems to be unique content that Lego hasn’t considered or didn’t think of adding to their line. A UCS Star Wars X-34 landspeeder, for example, is both a set Lego has produced versions of, and something they’ve almost certainly considered and rejected for the normal UCS line. Wasting that builder’s time with the hope that they’ll get their set made is cruel, if not totally unethical.

            If there aren’t enough Lego creators producing original content, or content from non-existing licenses, to fill out the Lego Ideas system, I’d be shocked.

            If nothing else, I’d rather Lego ideas have well defined rules than mysterious and hard to understand rules.

          • The Anonymous Hutt

            Okay, I’ll admit completely that I misinterpreted the announcement. I thought they said they weren’t allowing ANY licensed IP, not just existing ones. While it is still cool to see fans’ Star Wars, LOTR, and superhero models that are way better than official sets, I understand Lego’s decision.

            I hope you can understand my previous comments better now that you know I didn’t have all the facts. I hearby apologize for being someone who skims. 😛

          • Reaven Veaceslav

            That makes a lot more sense. I agree that if Lego banned all licensed designs, that would have eliminated virtually all the sets they’ve released through Ideas. It would be a pretty bad idea.

          • The Anonymous Hutt

            Thanks for understanding and seeing my point. I don’t want any more sets based off of birds or NASA!

        • Purple Dave

          Many of the current 10k club are tied to active licenses. People vote them up anyways. People get pissed off when they see that their favorite proposal gets brushed off come review time. This clarification takes care of all of that on the front end rather than getting peoples’ hopes up and yanking the rug out from under them _EVERY_REVIEW_SESSION_. It seems to me that the more they write the unwritten rules into the actual rules, such that every project that makes it into the 10k club actually stands a chance of getting approved, the better off the Ideas platform will be as a result. Next, they need to put a firm ceiling on set size so you stop seeing stuff that would cost $300+ choking out reasonably-sized sets when anyone with a lick of sense will tell you that it’s too big to ever get approved. Do that, and you cut out the other major source of instant write-offs during every review session.

          • The Anonymous Hutt

            Since when has “pissed” gotten through the filter?

          • Purple Dave

            Dunno. I haven’t really been keeping track of such things. Other than I know to refer to Robin as Rick Grayson on FBTB because I figured out that it changes it to something that makes no sense otherwise.

          • The Anonymous Hutt

            Just wondering. I’m sure there are kids reading this.

    • Gomek

      Lego ideas played a big part in showing Lego there was more to IPs than just Star Wars and Super Heroes (with all due respect to PotC and LotR). It’s a relatively cheap idea generating platform and is not going anywhere.

  • lorbaat

    Given that they announced quite some time ago that they weren’t really interested in ANY licensed properties anymore, I am not surprised or upset.

    But I wish I had gotten around to suggesting a CMF line of Marvel characters (similar to the Disney line). Would be a great way to release lesser-known characters that can’t sell a set, or variants of popular character (“Patch” Wolverine, “Electro-Armor” Spider-Man, a million Iron Men, etc). I’m 100% positive that the idea has occurred to them but I feel like seeing people support it might have helped it to happen.

    Ah well.

    • Purple Dave

      Huh? They said sometime this year that they’ve been pointedly trying to keep something like a 2:1 ratio between licensed IP and original projects. That sorta necessitates accepting licensed IP, don’t you think?

      • Gomek

        I had to read the release twice, but it pretty explicitly says it will restrict IPs ‘that are active’ already with Lego. I understand the issue as most of the stuff that is going to get submitted is probably already in the pipe line.

        Unfortunately Lego still needs users to prompt them to get new IPs.

        Also, they said a while back they are only interested in sets, so a CMF idea would be rejected. i think everyone would like a marvel CMF line (despite that fact that I don’t need more variations of Captain America and Spiderman.)

        I would have agreed with Shadw that the CMF line would have been an issue with the Action Figure licencing, but then the Batman line kind of dispatched that (assuming Marvel has the same type of deals as DC)

        • Reaven Veaceslav

          I think the ability of an ideas set to get support shows Lego what kind of licenses people want them to have. Otherwise how would they guess that people want sets based on music bands, or something.

        • Purple Dave

          What I mean by that is that based on their own statement, they are currently expecting and intending to release more sets that require licensing than those that have no copyright/trademark issues. So, for every Birds, there’s a Delorean and Ecto-1. For every Marble Maze, there’s a Yellow Submarine and Wall-E. None of these were covered by existing licenses when they were accepted, but some have definitely led to ongoing licenses. The best example of that would be Minecraft. The Ideas submission got the ball rolling, but everything else since then has been released directly under the license without any Cuusoo/Ideas branding. And any new submissions based on Minecraft would be rejected because the Minecraft ball is already rolling at this point. If, say, 10 years from now, the Minecraft theme goes dormant, someone could come along 5-10 years later and push a Minecraft project through to the review process and it could potentially get accepted. But as it stands right now, that is an active license and therefore off-limits to Ideas.

    • Shadw

      AFAIK, at least when it comes to Star Wars, Lego was explicitly forbidden from releasing just minifigs. That’s why they started to glue Star Wars figures to their magnets. Lego has the license for Construction Toys, not Action Figures. Minifigs without a companion build would ‘compete’ with the action figures.
      I assume there’s something similar with the Superheroes lines.

      • lorbaat

        That is an ancient and hoary myth that goes allllll the way back to the earliest days of Star Wars releases. It’s been directly debunked by people at Lego. Unfortunately I don’t have links handy.

        • Purple Dave

          It actually goes back to right around the time they started gluing the minifigs to the magnet bases. Before that, nobody gave it much thought. And since Hasbro owns the action figure license, and kinda hates The LEGO Company a lot, it makes perfect sense that they’d be griefed over the magnet packs, and it’s the only explanation we’ve had for the last 5-6 years. If it was debunked, that’s the most secretive debunking I’ve ever heard of.

  • Ross

    FINALLY. I was always surprised this wasn’t part of the deal originally. Ideas was always supposed to be about originality and bringing something new to the table. As much as I’d kill for nearly every 3rd party licensed set that makes it onto Ideas, they don’t belong there.

  • Mark Nelson

    I have mixed feelings on this, on one hand I think it’s a good thing to prevent conflicts of interest, and am surprised something like this wasn’t implemented after the issue with the GB firehouse, but I think excluding dimensions IP that Lego presumably has no intention of ever making into a line of sets is going a bit far.

  • Robrat

    I’m just a bit annoyed that it’s unlikely that there’ll be a mission Impossible set anytime soon

    • The Anonymous Hutt

      Well, MI6 is coming out in a few years, so who knows! 😉