Monday, April 29, 2013

Weekly Crowd


GBR: Updates

Thanks everyone for sticking with me through the format changes.  I have some ideas I am working through.  The new Cuusoo tools I have been hinting at are coming along well but have been delayed by Cuusoo going down over the weekend.  Maybe I will have the first new utility later this week, but it is hard to predict events with Free Comic Book day and Star Wars Day both coming up this Saturday.


Cuusoo: Views In Comments Out

Well, Cuusoo has finally done it.  They swapped out Comments for Views in the carousel of projects in the discovery page.    Projects heavy on comments are obviously disappointed and projects heavy on views are happy.  I can understand the move, views represent the projects ability to get people to stop and check it out while comments are largely ignored by people outside Cuusoo and even a relatively small group of fans can generate large comment counts.

Ultimately, Cuusoo is encouraging certain behaviors by rewarding it (a spot on the carousel).  In my opinion comments tend to attract the existing Cuusoo crowd (who have either voted for most of the high commented projects or have chosen not to) while strategies to increase views bring in new users who have a greater potential to support projects.   Of course that is my conjecture, but if I could choose between 100 comments or 100 new views, I would go with the new views every time.

Either way, I would like to see Cuusoo reward this "activity" carousel spot based on Views per X.  Where "X" is some kind of time frame:  Hour, Day, Week, or  Month.  I think my preference would be Day or Week, but right now with it being absolute total, Poptropica is going to sit sit pretty with its 1 million plus views pretty much until it gets retired at 10,000 supporters.  If this was most views in a week, then we would see a lot more versatility up there.       



Remote Control AA Battery

The Tethercell is a fun concept.  This device is a AA battery form factory for a AAA battery.  The excess volume is used to add brains and bluetooth.

The idea is that you put this "battery" into any device that can take a AA battery and then you can turn that device on and off with your smart phone or tablet.   You can also set a timer for the battery and monitory its strength.

As a parent I can think of a few devices I would like to have the ability to turn off at will ;)  but this has some fun applications for Power Functions.  To be clear this is an on/off switch not a polarity control.  So you can turn on lights, audio,  motors, etc...but you can't make the motors go a different way or change their speed.

So, this would work great for the any build you have where you want EL wire or single direction motors were it might be difficult to get to the power supply.  The 10178-1: Motorized Walking AT-AT is the example the immediately springs to mind for me.

What I really see this being ideal for though, for serious Lego enthusiasts, is the Cons.  You can put some nice EL, LED,  audio, and motor effects into your build with one of the these you can turn them on and off without taking the whole thing apart or even getting behind the partition.

$35 will get you one unit.

Short Order Heroes: Light RPG and Character Generator

Short Order Heroes is can be used as a stand alone Light RPG / Story generator or a gaming aid.
The content of this project is simple, it is a deck of cards with an adjective and a number.
To create characters you draw three cards to get a collections of adjectives.  NPC's you encounter while threading your tale get from three to one attributes.  When the conflict arises in the tale, the DM and the Player discuss how the attributes of all the characters affect the conflict.  So if your character is "Cute" and "Foolish" and you are trying to get past a guard who is "Clumsy" and "Romantic" you could try straight diplomacy which no adjective affects ( difficulty 4).  You could try to leap past the guard who is clumsy (difficulty 3), or you could try to charm the romantic guard with your cuteness (difficulty 2).  You determine the result of the conflict by drawing a new card and using the number.  If the number is equal to or greater than the difficulty, the character "wins" the conflict.  The adjective of the card adds flavor to how the action is actually performed.  For instance if the player attempts to charm the guard and draws "Wise" with a 6, the player gets by the guard, perhaps by having a disarming conversation about philosophy or maybe just complimenting the guard on their wisdom.

The game looks like it will be a lot of fun for low key RPG activities.  It can also of course be used with more traditional RPGs to add some quick flavor or to more open ended story telling games (like Tell Tale) to give it more direction.




Pick of the Week

Pegasus Automaton
by Amida

Support Level: 32

First off this Pegasus is a really great design.  It looks both Iconic and organic  at the same time.  The droid elements are great for the ends of the legs.

The real art, is the dynamism though.  I have made it clear that I am a sucker for animation of Lego builds and this one is mighty fine.


Pegasus Automaton from Amida Na on Vimeo.

Honorable Mention

 Nutcracker Figurines
by Mmbace

Support Level: 19

These look amazing.  Nutcrackers are a great subject for a Lego build because even though they are "human" their angular features and cylindrical elements are ideal for the nature of Lego shapes. 

Combinators: Constructors
by Pittstop

Support Level: 21

I like this project concept a lot.  It is a collection of construction equipment micro-builds that snap together to form a single robot/mech all Voltron style.  Not Devastator style because the individual construction vehicles do not transform. This project has a solid presentation and has a very good scale to it.

Tmnt Turtle Blimp
by C3brix

Support Level: 16

Whether you are a TMNT fan or not this is one of the best uses I have ever seen for the Lego Blimp element.   C3brix also did an amazing job of the custom printing!

LEGO Snow and Sand Shapes
by Nickyt13

Support Level: 86

This projects gets some serious points for originality but it is very hard to figure out what is going on from the cover image and title.  The concept is to create large scale molds for packing snow into, to create Snow Blocks. 

The concept is intriguing and quite popular it appears. I don't get the elements Nickyt13 picked though, A 4 x 6 x 2 brick, the dome and the new large cone?  I would have showcased with the ever popular 2 x 4 brick and some more basic elements.  I also think that if this idea is really viable, and Nickyt13 lives in the right climate, they should back up the idea by proving it with....milk cartons or some such then attach the video to the project...or find on the internet.  

Mecanum Drive
by Fex00

Support Level: 23

Mechanum Drives are omnidirectional wheels.  It is effectively a set of wheels organized into a wheel (like the picture above, imagine that!).  This is a "good" idea in that I would love to play with it, but this arrangement above is 137 parts!  And that is a single wheel, granted most of them are tiny but for four wheels you are looking at 548 elements and the creation of three new molds.  That is a lot of investment.

I think fans of Mechanum Drives will be stuck with what we got, or second party wheels adapted for Lego.  

L.M.I.R. - Roman Amphitheatre
by Bigboy99899

Support Level: 52

This L.M.I.R. series is really impressive but I really don't know how well they will transfer to actual sets.  I think this is my favorite to date but when you really get down to it, this is a stadium.  This means you need to stand above it, looking down for best effect and you need to populate it with a ton of figures with Roman-esque elements.  Failing that and the build either looks empty (no figs) or anachronistic (any figs you can find).  The stadium's basic seating holds room for 64 figures.   Even at 80% seating that is still 52 attendees. 


by Laptop1655

Support Level: 5

A very clever build.   High posability with a lot or rare parts.  The black and green also go very well together. I think the main picture could be swapped out with something "easier" to make out though.

L.M.I.R. - Roman Bireme
by Bigboy99899

Support Level: 61

Not the first Bireme but certainly well designed with many nice features.  The figure count, as always for a Bireme, is a little through the roof though.  When is Lego finally going to build an honest Bireme? 

Macross Valkyrie VF-1S: Skull Leader
by Daikoncat

Support Level: 51

I love Robotech/Macross and especially love any transforming Veritech builds.  There is already a definitive build that is well publicized and pushed hard and still only crawling.  I think the big roadblock for these projects is that the serious fans that would go for transforming Veritechs can already own them.  These projects only strongly appeal to the serious Robotech/Macross and Lego fans. 

 Medical Imaging Department
by Goobs_6

Support Level: 22

Wow, this is some excellent work.  A strong variety of equipment for minifigs to lay on while other minifigs stand next to them ;).  Seriously though great work but a little too specialized for the 10k.  That being said, if   Goobs_6 is canny hey might be able to get a movement started in medical circles.

Ian Fleming's Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
by Ipaloosa

Support Level: 11

This is a charming projects and I hope it does well.  In reviewing this project I realized that some new Chitty Chitty Bang Bang books have come out recently.  An image search of Google for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang clearly shows that the the movie version is well locked into people's mindset for what CCBB "looks" like so Ipaloosa has an uphill battle. 

I.M.C.T.B. Module 3: Cleopatra's Lighthouse of Alexandria
by Therealindy

Support Level: 7

See below

I.M.C.T.B. Module 2: Caesar at the Top of his Rostra
by Therealindy

Support Level: 6

Personally I think these builds are very attractive.   There accuracy is also quite impressive, especially in the case of the Rostra.  The anchors are a great idea for the design.

The issue with these builds, like so many in the "notables" category is that they are so specialized.  These builds are not just for fans of ancient history but for fans who know it well enough to know what the Rostra is.

Week of Cuusoo

 After the break is a showcase of all the new Cuusoo projects that came out in the last week.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Cuusoo Analytics: Days to 10k


Still very busy with the new tools/site so "news is light right now.  Hope to have something to share by this time next week though. 

Approaching 1k Milestone

The Log Cabin - Two Seasons! and MINI Cooper Mark I both crossed the 1k milestone AND have received their official comments.

The Drake's Head Inn
Support Level: 987
Micro-build Hogwarts Castle
Support Level: 986
Dragon Slayers
Support Level: 984

Days to 10K

ProjectCreatorRate10k 1k
Batmobile Tumbler Minifig ScaleBrentWaller36.89 14
League of Legends of LegoAddam137.78 27
The Adventure Time Projectjazlecraz118.87 66
Poptropica: Dr. Hare's LairPopCreators49.23 89
FTL: Faster Than LightCrashSanders28.82 130
LEGO single lens reflex camerasuzuki64.51 137
Ghostbusters 30th AnniversaryBrentWaller34.33 213
Macross VF-1 Valkyrie +Fast pack / Armored partsmaxvf114.62 226
GhostbustersTeeKay21.46 258
The Muppets!jedikermit20.13 360
LEGO Bird SeriesDeTomaso8.5 517
Legend of Zelda: Iron Knuckle EncounterWesTalbott9.12 602
Japanese old style architecturetaxon556.84 697
Modular Apple Storegotoandbuild6.79 701
BTTF - UCS DeLorean Time Machinem.togami7.5 727
MINECRAFT Microworld Add-Ons!dunc23710.49 762
Labyrinth Marble MazeTouthomme6.74 896
Ultimate Collectors Series Lightsabersscott345677.64 916
DC Comics: Minifigures SeriesMarvel-boy9.47 100150
BTTF - Jules Verne Trainm.togami6.79 1188
Apollo 11 Lunar Missionsuzuki5.51 1222
Adventure Time! Tree Fortdunc2376.6 1317
Batman: Killer Croc's LairBrickQueen5.41 1324
Florian Albert Stadiumlaszlogabii6.36 1385
The Adventures of Steamrod!Brickthing5.93 1501
Invisible HandLDiEgo3.99 1565
Small YELLOWbrickartist4.61 1629
LEGO Architecture - Leaning Tower of Pisamoctown3.94 1666
Douglas DC-3Ssorg4.56 1681
LEGO PokemonKevinhink4.8 1689
Legolympus (Mythology Theme with Mount Olympus Set)Kiffington4.89 1714
- MegaMan Project -Alatariel4.8 1743
Realistic treesPaultox3.85 1925
Western Town - Pif Paf Citykris_kelvin4.34 1934
Avengers: Iron Man Mark Vii Armormmccooey4.8 194065
Pokemon: Gyaradosretinence4.08 1978
The Glory of Romemminnitt3.47 2027
Micro Scale Star Wars Scenestoomuchcaffe3.66 2039
The Bat Risesvelociraptor3.85 2040
LEGO Settlers of CatanMichael3.32 2258
Mini AnimalsCar_mp4.27 2258150
Minecraft Worldvonsigan4.22 2302169
UCS All Terrain Armoured TransportCavegod3.56 2313
Red SquirrelVuurzoon3.28 2350
LEGO Mobile Designer for Nintendo 3DS & other devicesFrankie3.04 2406
Batman: Man-Bat's LabBrickQueen3.09 2562
Disney MinifiguresKeTi3.47 268187
RMS TitanicSsorg3.23 2724
Majestic Airship!Ssorg2.94 2823
Flying DutchmanSebeus2.85 2846
Phineas and FerbAwesomeEthan2.61 2891
Female Minifigure SetAlatariel2.75 2919
Marvel Avengers Board GamePekko3.09 29197
PianoHidaka2.18 2929
The Amazing Spider Man Ultra Poseable Action Figuremmccooey3.09 293926
Lego StoreRayC2.85 2948
Corellian Defender (Star Wars the Old Republic)GlenBricker2.75 3042
Barnes & Noble and Starbucks Storewooootles2.99 3233223
Legend of Zelda: King of Red Lionsflailx2.8 323924
Hardsuitsiron_S2.56 3263
Lord of the Rings Set: Minas TirithNujuMetru2.85 3269111
RESEARCH LAB SUBMARINE (Modular with interiors)GRusso2.85 3345187
Redemption - Nebulon-B escort frigateLDiEgo2.75 3394121
Modular Town Plan CinemaHinckley2.33 3431
Lego DC Heroes Minifigures Series 1ManiacDude2.71 3454133
Log Cabin - Two Seasons!Ssorg2.56 3514
Lord of the Rings Set: Edoras/The Golden HallNujuMetru2.66 3593209
City Bus from Poznan, PolandMWawrowski2.61 3632184
Wall-Elangemat2.57 3780278
Modular Costume Store for Collectible MinifiguresBrentWaller2.28 3817
Medieval Market StreetAlexP2.23 3870
Castle Crashersczar1.99 3882
Minecraft Expansion Biomessamiam2.46 3965307
Transforming Retro Video Game Accessoriesvonbrunk2.14 3967
Lego Wall-E!!suzuki2.18 4046
Iron Man Hall of Armorrustyj2.37 4071273
James Bond's Aston Martin DB5JJOttens2.31 4136240
Avengers IRONMAN gantrymachine2.0choisanghun2.23 4138102
Galaxy Diner and Empire Theatersonicstar1.99 4259
BTTF - Biff Tannen's Fordm.togami2.14 429286
UCS Venator-Class Star Destroyerjourianbax2.04 445442
Roller CoasterLuc20001.95 4467
Star Wars Season 4 Phase 2 Clone Battle PacksZspace2.14 4467262
MacrofiguresCrashSanders1.99 4496
Vampire GT SupercarCrowkillers1.61 4500
Bugatti Veyron 16.4 GrandsportSheepo1.9 4562
Ironman Arc ReactorMr.Attacki1.99 4764241
Angry Birds - RedChiukeung1.8 4910
Train Turntable and modular RoundhouseFachmann1.85 4972107
Architecture : Space Shuttle crawler transporterTeazza1.71 5005
Galaxy Commandreekardoo1.85 5030165
LEGO Star Wars Micro Chess Setavisolo1.61 5204
BONSAI "Pine tree"AMKK1.71 528017
BTTF - Hill Valley Courthousem.togami1.76 5289175
IRON MAN gantrymachinechoisanghun1.71 5395131
Porsche 997 GT3Crowkillers1.61 565666
Prototype Attack Mecha Alpha Zerodanr1.52 5675
Mirage (realistically speaking)Nannan1.23 5823
Legend of Korra: Mecha Tank, Korra, Amon, Hiroshi, & Support...GlenBricker1.61 5858268
MARS BASE (Modular with interiors)GRusso1.61 5939349
T-Rex Skeletonjazlecraz1.57 5998265
Startrek Ncc-1701 Starship EnterpriseC3Brix1.61 6028438
Lego Movie Chronicle Seriessuzuki1.47 6037
The C.C.S. Gryphon - Galaxy Commandreekardoo1.57 6118386
LEGO Avengers: The Video GameAwesomeEthan1.57 6155423
Cinematic Minifigure Seriessgtdisney551.47 621996
MINI Cooper Mark ISheepo1.42 6338
Wild EncountersWrinkledog1.38 6413
LEGO Minecraft Board GameOrcaman41.38 6508
Themed Brick BoxOdd.Robot1.38 653513
Space Shuttle Launch ComplexTeazza1.42 6543205
Model of Hogwarts CastleScorpius1.42 6618280
LOTR UCS ArgonathShayd_DeGrai1.42 6620281
Back To The Future TrainGRusso1.38 6631109
Stark TowerMMystery921.42 6724386
Minifigure hand with attachment pointpotluck1.38 6803282
Little Sewing Machinesuchdesigns1.42 6834496
Motorized Tumblermahj1.28 6845
Ghostbusters Ultimate CollectionC3Brix1.4 6956528
Minecraft Lego Desert MicroworldWinventions1.38 7067545
Amusement Park Ride - Twist and Whirl Ride - now MOTORIZED!DerekMedina1.33 7166399
Project: MetroidZurtech1.28 7246215
The Drake's Head InnAlexP1.23 732811
Portal Test Chambert-brick1.19 7402
Classic Monorail RevampConchas1.28 7554523
LOTR: Fall of the Witch KingShayd_DeGrai1.23 7714396
Desktop Series: Sky-FirongYIREN1.14 7722
Medusa's TempleStrider1.14 7836
Deadpool Marvel Legends Scalemmccooey1.23 7909592
Willys JEEPsuzuki1.09 7923
Lovely Sailboat!Ssorg1.19 7948385
Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavariat-brick1.19 8032469
Ancient World Civilizationsmatija1.04 8198
Flooded Temple RuinsHinckley1.14 8262367
Clone Wars Infantry PacksDAVID-HALL1.04 8395
Batman The Dark Knight Movie Masterpiece 1:5 Scalemmccooey1.14 8430536
Mini BatmobileTiler1.09 8434178
Minecraft Chickenlegitimateal1.09 8456200
Goblin Fortress RuinsAlexP1.09 8498241
Minecraft Micro World: The Endpaul941.15 8520694
Apple Store Vending Machinelgorlando1.09 8564307
Star Wars - Star Tours Starspeeder 3000HJR-Holland1.09 8663406
Micro-build Hogwarts CastleBeKindRewind1.04 866814
T. Rex encounter from Jurassic Parkpmiaki1.09 8719462
Sonic the Hedgehog (Green Hill Zone)gtrocks11111.04 9036382
Narrow Gauge Steam EngineConcore1.07 9150739
Starcraft 2 Siege Tank - Remote Controlbasilfawlty1.0 9252252
Megadethmegzter1.0 9489489
X Men: X Mansionphillipe1.0 9616616
BATMAN classic BATMOBILE 1960 (by KENTA974)KENTA9741.0 9644644
LEGO Globe (Lowell sphere method)WWWally1.0 9705705
Star Trek Klingon Bird of Preybking1.0 9708708
Advanced Train Track Systemzorkz1.0 9755755
Minifigure Belt with attachment pointspotluck1.0 9782782
Minecraft, the NetherDookie0.95 9837364

Not on the List? First, I tend to cut off projects after a certain day count, usually 10k. Additionally, I only monitor projects that have at least 200. Projects less than that are a little too volatile for proper assessment. Finally, I track several weeks worth of data to get these numbers, so you might not show up until your project has been post 200 for a few weeks.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Weekly Crowd


You may have noticed that I am not posting on Mondays as often any more.  I am working on a new few new tools to help promote Cuusoo projects.  They are in early beta but I am very excited about them.  I don't want to go into details at this point because the principles behind them could change pretty radically in over the next few days/weeks.

I will strive to continue to post my three core articles (2 here and 1 on brickset) each week if not on Monday.  Thank you for your patience.  


Code Monkey Save World

Johnathan Coulton is of those compelling internet music personalities that has cropped up over the years.  He is well know for his melodic cover of Baby Got Back and many of his own unique songs like Code Monkey and Re: Your Brains.

This kickstarter markets Coulton's music and celebrity but with a brilliant twist worthy of a kickstarter.  Comics writer Greg Pak ("Planet Hulk," "Batman/Superman," "Magneto Testament") and artist Takeshi Miyazawa ("Runaways")  have joined with Coulton to make a graphic novel based on the Coulton's works.

The concept is quite clever: Take a great writer and artist and leverage the works of an online celebrity for instant kickstarter success.  

$15 gets you a digital copy of the novel and all the songs that inspired the book, plus a new song inspired by the book. 


Circuitree by Tigrrr

I love a good pun.  It is even better when the pun can play off itself with some great dichotomy.

According to the artist this is design "combines man-made with natural, showing both sides of human nature (fundamental needs and evolutionary aspirations)." Plus, it glows in the dark! 


Pick of the Week

Smurf's Village
by C3brix

Support Level: 61

This is a really nice build but more than the build, I love the concept.

Smurfs have an interesting angle when in comes to Lego in that minifig smurfs would be approximately life size.  This gives a lot of interesting play options that don't quite translate as well with the standard figure.

Take a mideval pull cart and put it next to a Minifig and it is a scaled down pull cart, put it next to a smurf and suddenly that same pull cart is a tiny little construct made of "twigs" instead of "boards."  I built a Lego aquarium recently with a castle, ship-wreck and a deep sea diver and a few critters like fish, snails, and an urchin.  Most people perceive the set as an ocean scene with a diver, ship-wreck, and castle (?) as scaled down with enormous fish rather than everything being life sized.  To be sure I need to do some more work on the fish to clarify their scale.  Back to the point though, since people "know" that Smurfs are diminutive, you can play with perception of scale a lot if you have a few of them integrated into a MOC. 

As for the actual project content, I would suggest to C3brix that they get rid of the large base and wilderness and focus on the buildings alone.  The scenery looks good for a MOC but I think the focus should be on one or two well built cottages. 

On top of all that, Smurfs have a viable brand fit with Lego.  They are a family friendly IP, an international cartoon from the 80's that is also enjoying a return in the movies with a recent box office success (monetarily if not critically) and two movies coming out shortly.  On top of all that, the movies have extremely large casts of internet wielding celebs that could be leveraged for support.

Update: It has come to my attention that the Construct Toy license for Smurfs is currently being used.   This greatly reduces the chances for this project via Cuusoo.

Honorable Mentions

The Adventure Time Project
by Jazlecraz

Support Level: 1876

This is what I said about the Adventure Time IP late last week and it still applies:

The Adventure Time IP is a tricky one to pin down as far as Lego Brand-fit.  The imagination of the material goes hand in hand with Lego certainly, but the maturity of the themes is something that is very grey.  I would compare it to Star Trek the Original Series.  Sometimes the themes are very mature, sometimes they are mature but disguised, and sometimes characters get killed.  Virtually anyone would say that Star Trek The Original Series is appropriate for kids but imagine if it did not have all the history and cultural impact behind it.  

Now I really enjoy Adventure Time.  It is a fresh series with amazing visuals that undermine the otherwise simple style.  Many episodes would be fine for any audience but Brand fit has to stand the most intense content that Adventure Time has to offer.  Now, I have seen all of season one and a random smattering of the rest of the series so, for those who are less familiar with Adventure Time, I provide these two examples of some of the more extreme episodes:

  • Dungeon, is one of the more violent episodes with some creates that provide some amazing, but disturbing imagery.
  • All the Little People is one of the trippier episodes.

I find both episodes excellent but I don't know how many more years I will wait before letting my kids watch them. 

As far as this project's content goes, though all very "pretty" the full scale tree house, as presented does not appear to be structurally sound and the minifigs are a non-starter since Lego will not produced new parts for Cuusoo sets.

The small version is affordable and much more robust with no new parts.  I was toying with the idea of doing something very similar in fact.  I really like Jazlecraz technique of putting the doors and windows on tiles and creatively attaching them.  This is a good flat surface for the print, and would make for some highly prized printed elements for micro builds.

This was almost my pick of the week.  The quality is certainly there, so what happened?  For one thing, this project does not need my support at all, 2000 in the first week!  Geeze!  There were also a few details that I penalized the  project on when deciding on my pick for the week. For instance, there was already a full scale AT Tree House project on Cuusoo with excess of 1k.  Remember, Lego makes the final design so it does not matter which project gets to 10k for an IP to get produced.  Jazlecraz is free to post a new project with the same goal, and this is no doubt the better of the two, but I am also free to not reward it with top honors.   Also, I find it hard to give the pick to projects that introduce new molds so there is another pick of the week point against it.  The final reason was the greyness of the IP.  I would rather give the weekly pick to an IP that is well within Lego Brand fit than one that is on the boarder.  So for the nitpicks out there who wonder how "Smurf Village" got the higher billing, that is why. I will certainly be supporting this project though and wish it the best on its journey to 10k. 

Update:  When I originally posted this article it did not occur to me that  Jazlecraz was using a 4 x 4 round brick with technic holes and technic studs to attach the printed tiles.  In response I questioned why they had chosen to float tiles for the presentation.  I stand corrected.  Very clever part use! 

XP-13 Tesla
by Jwg258

Support Level: 31

Jwg258 has a lot of projects on Cuusoo with a variety of high quality space craft and high playability vignettes.  I really appreciate how Jwg258 always uses interesting geometries and interesting color choices in his ships.

I.M.C.T.B. Module 4: Medusa and the Petrified Colossus
by Therealindy

Support Level: 7

Therealindy has been splitting off their project series into independent projects.  This one is probably my favorite of their Cuusoo creations to date.  The Colossus is well done with good technique on the head and arms and nicely paired colors.  I like how the torso is done with plates to give the effect of musculature as well.  The pairing with the Medusa really sells the project.

I.M.C.T.B. Module 5: Boudicca's Alignments at Stonehenge
by Therealindy

Support Level: 6

This is one of the best "Stonehenges" I have seen.  The project has a smaller version which I prefer for displayability and cost purposes.  Regardless of the scale though, this build takes great advantage of off-angle building to get some creative geometries. 


The Ultimate Zoo — Collectable Animal Series
 by Schwallex

Support Level: 59

These designs are fun and certainly worthy of support.  Word of warning though, this is not a "zoo" as the title indicates, this is just a collection of animal builds, very interesting animal builds to be sure.

Schwallex does a great job explaining the philosophy of the design's concept.

L.M.I.R. - Roman Temple
by Bigboy99899

Support Level: 58

An impressive build with some great details and some attractive internals.  However, even if accurate, this build has a lot of dead volume and bland brick. 

L.M.I.R. - Roman House
by Bigboy99899

Support Level: 45

This shares the same positives and negative of the Roman Temple, but more extreme.  The internals are gorgeous and I really recommend you take a look.  Even more than the Temple though, this build has a LOT of bland walls and roofing.    

Coffee machines at SortBucks
by Irisyuni

Support Level: 16

Clever and well designed but I doubt this project will be able to muster the 10k.

After the bump is a showcase of all the projects that came out in the last week.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Cuusoo Analytics: Days to 10k

This is the weekly Cuusoo Report reviewing the projects reaching and approaching 1000 support and the a prediction of support rate for all major Cuusoo projects.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Weekly Crowd

Cuusoo Picks

Pick of the Week

Duplo Dynamic Duo
by Duplobob

Support Level: 39

There were a lot of good projects this week.  Duplo Dynamic Duo however stands tall being unique, great quality, and an under-served niche market. As a parent I can tell you I really would have loved some Duplo Super Heroes to go with the Duplos. 

Honorable Mentions

The GORILLA Bipedal Loader
by Wolf.leews

Support Level: 40

This is a great looking, fun  design, with a professionally orchestrated project.  Why didn't it get pick of the week? Well, in general, mecha are very common on Cuusoo.  Another week this could have gotten the pick.

In comparison to the other great Cuusoo mecha, this has a compelling identifiable theme (Construction Ape!) to it, which is very good for marketing a unique idea to potential supporters.  This design is also much less complex than the Exo-Suit, which is possibly the Exo-Suit's greatest weakness going into review.

 L.M.I.R. - Lego Modular Imperium Romanum
by Bigboy99899

Support Level: 86

Wow!  This is an amazing build.  The Circus Maximus is apparently the first in Bigboy99899's L.M.I.R. series.  Ancient times appear to be a strong theme in Cuusoo and one that has not been approached deeply in mainstream Lego.

The concept of an ancient arena has many play possibilities and the aesthetic is powerful and compelling. 
Bigboy99899 does not declare an actual scale for this set, but as presented it is huge!  This scale is the only only serious detractor for this project, but it is a significant one in both cost and displayability.

I very much look forward to seeing the other sets in this series. 

Erickson S-64 Air Crane
by Rarewhiteape

Support Level: 20

The Erickson S-64 Air Crane is a very unique vehicle.  Every time I see one I take note: it is hard to overlook, with that strange cavity behind the cockpit.  

I think the rear "legs" of this design could use a little work and I am relatively certain that, if Lego were to make a Erickson, the water thank would be made with plates and wedges instead of slopes,  but overall the concept is sound. 

Star Wars - Bail Organa's Airspeeder XJ-2
by 3d_predator

Support Level: 37

I really like this design.  It has a lot of attractive geometries and I love space hotrods, which is the feeling I get from this...but this reminds more of Galaxy High than Star Wars (yeah, I just compared Galaxy High to Star Wars.)  

Disney Ducktales Money Bin
by C3brix

Support Level: 7

I grew up on Duck Tales, many of my compatriots did as well.  I am not certain that there is the public demand for this, which is also showcased by the seven support at the time of this review, but it is still a great representation of the Money Bin.  Based on the response I think this should probably be redone in a much more conservative scale...or perhaps a bit more campaigning....

BMW Headquarters
by Bigboy99899

Support Level: 33

This is a compelling architectural structure.  It has some extreme repetition which usually turn me off, but the interesting cap /roof element adds a lot of character.


Alien squad The Shaper-ship
by Carpediem

Support Level: 68

This is a very well designed and presented concept.  I like the idea of Cuusoo projects that showcase radical transformation from one shape to another without rebuilding as that showcases the complexity of the designs that are possible with Lego.  

Something about this project just does grab me with that "coolness." Each of the forms are neat but I just keep thinking, "these are just the legs folded up in different ways"...Is that fair?  I don't know but that is how I feel.

White Hot Rod
by Robin.rock

Support Level: 35

Nice design.  If you are on the fence on this one make sure to check out the other images this project has to offer.

Iron Man - Suit Up Gantry
by Jaredchan

Support Level: 22

There are a few Iron Man gantries already on Cuusoo.  I like this one better than the existing projects as it is more in scale with the figure, but I have an inherent problem with all the gantries in that they can't really show Tony Stark "becoming" iron man.  They either show Tony in the middle of a lot of arms or Iron Man in a lot of arms.

The minifig design does not lend itself well to showing a "minifig" being assembled. 

Minifigs for I.M.C.T.B. - Olympians, Titans, and Heroes!
by Therealindy

Support Level: 17

An excellent collection of figures.  I especially like the Athena build.  I think this should be more projects however as it mixes mythological gods, real historical figures, and generic warriors of various cultures.  I  recommend that therealindy let this project ride for a while and get a feel for what people are really supporting in the project and then split off the others as individual projects.  This will increase their Cuusoo footprint and reduce ambiguity of support.

Twin-228 Airspeeder Star Wars
by 3d_predator

Support Level: 16

A solid design, true to the original concept, but I doubt the Twin-228 will inspire 10,000 votes. 

Lego Clock
by Ajphoenix

Support Level: 15

An interesting concept, one that I have been playing with as well.  I think this project fails to take this clock integration far enough to be compelling.

Failed Negotiations (Star Wars Episode I)
by Mattedbricks

Support Level: 53

Definitely a scene that has not gotten much love from Lego.  As effectively the opening of the first trilogy it deserves some respect.  I appreciate the attempt to show the red glow of the lightsaber skewered wall, but this set needs a few more tweaks to it.  I would really like to see an electronic glowing element for instance, and actual blast doors.  Not literal of course, but a second set of doors.  Also there are eight figures (one of which is chrome) for a set that is effectively a wall...that is a little high even considering that three are droids.

Iron Man - Hall of Armour
by Jaredchan

Support Level: 117

See below

Iron Man Hall of Armour
by Ryan.m.evans

Support Level: 82

Note this is reviewed with the above Hall of Armors.

I just can't see this becoming a product.  Lego will not produce a set that undermines their profits.  This is effectively like making a project called "The quest for the Ring" with Bilbo, Gandolf, and all the dwarves.  There is a reason they split all those characters up in different sets.  Lego, like every toy company since the dawn of marketing, mixes expensive, highly desirable elements with cheaper to produce less desirable elements to get a good price for the whole package.

I take that back, we could get a Hall of Armors from Lego Cuusoo, if the armors were prints on bricks like Han in Carbonite.      

General Crowds

Model Survey

The Magazine Fine Scale Modeller is doing a very open survey.  They  want to know what people want to see produced in injection-molded plastic kits.  I am impressed that they are choosing to go with write in answers allowing the fans to write in whatever they like.  They do ask that people not campaign, but based on my experience, I will be very surprised if the Browncoats don't misbehave on this front for the category of "Space and Science Fiction."



Art Book Kickstarter with long missed feel of Calvin and Hobbes

I stumbled upon the Adventures for a Lazy Afternoon art book and seeing it had five days left I added it to this article post publication.  The style is totally charming and the content reminds be of Calvin at is most imaginative.  Just a thousand more and the art book is unlocked, but it only has four/five days left.

Veronica Mars breaks the records, opens the possibilities

Last Friday, the Veronica Mars Movie kickstarter closed out with the third highest funding for any kickstarter at $5.7 million and with the higher number of backers in the history of kickstarter at over 91,000.

Here is the serious crazy about this whole thing.  This is money in the pocket of Rob Thomas, the creator of Veronica Mars.  Sure, WB owns Veronica Mars so there are still strings attached there, but when movie studios put money in a movie, they expect a return on an investment.  For the majority of the backers here the return on investment is the existence of the movie itself. 

Lets land this more solidly in the land of crazy.  Nearly $380,000 of the cash came from the 25,000 backers who pledged at a rate low enough they don't even get a copy of the movie.  These backers are effectively giving free money to the Rob Thomas, or getting a T-shirt with movie ads on it.  On top of that group is another 22000 fans who are throwing in an additional $800,000 for a t-shirt and a digital copy of the movie.

Tallying up, Veronica Mars got over $1,000,000 in funding for a physical cost of 48,000 shirts (walking billboards) and 23,000 digital movie files.  For crying out loud, one true blue fan gave the film $10,000 to be in the film, that even saves the the cost of hiring an actor!

The Veronica Mars kickstarter has fully and quite publicly demonstrated that if you give your fans an avenue to contribute, and a little carrot or two, they will tear down the barriers between and idea and a product.  Not to mention engage in volunteer grass roots campaigning that would put the most successful ad men to shame.

Now of course not everyone can do this kind of thing.  You need to have the fan base before you have the product.  That is, in many ways, a very rare thing.  Kickstarter however allows people to play with fire without getting too burned.  The big risk of trying of course is proving that your fanbase is rather lackluster if you can't meet the goal. I  however predict that Veronica Mars will be the first of many "cult" classics that will attempt an encore through crowdfunding.  

Troll Bridge, the Kickstarter that never stopped kicking

As should be obvious from my Discworld Cuusoo project, I am a serious fan of the Discworld stories.  My attempts at expanding the scope of the Discworld universe are paltry compared to Daniel Knight, Ahren Morris, and the fine people at Snowgum Films.  These guys have been working for over eight years to produce "the most epic-est short-film ever made," based on the short story "Troll-Bridge."

Snowgum launched their Kickstarter from April to July in 2011 and did so successfully, receiving nearly twice the funds they had requested.

Snowgum ans released footage fo the helicopter shots in New Zealand, the large scale bridge set, and a  Behind the Scenes video since the kickstarter to showcase to the "investors" how their crowdfunding is being invested. 

Though fully funded and then some, the movie is still in production.  Many people were late to the party though and are still interested in contributing to and being part of the moving pictures magic.  For these people (live myself), Snowgum is still accepting and honoring pledges at the original kickstarter levels.  Note that $30 will get you a digital copy of the film. 


Anti-Gravity by genevieve.viel

I have always been a big fan of this joke about cats and toast.  The look on this cat's face is extremely well done for the concept.  My one quibble is that the toast and jam is a bit hard to make out from a distance.


Caution:Purple Pants by Wood Man

As I said last week, Threadless is doing a Hulk challenge.  Last week they had one entry.  Now they have 57.  Of all the designs, this one stands out the most to me.  90% of the other shirts show the traditional raging hulk or some variation of something I might see on an issue of (various words starting with I) Hulk or something I would expect to see from a traditional Marvel liscensed product.  This shirt however elevates the concept and even points out those amazing purple pants.

Week of Cuusoo

Iron Man - Hall of Armour
by Jaredchan

Support Level: 117


L.M.I.R. - Lego Modular Imperium Romanum
by Bigboy99899

Support Level: 86


Iron Man Hall of Armour
by Ryan.m.evans

Support Level: 82


Alien squad      The Shaper-ship
Support Level: 68

The Indomitable War Machine
Support Level: 42
Favell Speranza
Support Level: 40

The GORILLA Bipedal Loader
Support Level: 40
Duplo Dynamic Duo
Support Level: 39

White Hot Rod
Support Level: 35
BMW Headquarters
Support Level: 33
Iron Man - Suit Up Gantry
Support Level: 22

Erickson S-64 Air Crane
Support Level: 20
LMS Explorer 1:8 model
Support Level: 19

Twin-228 Airspeeder Star Wars
Support Level: 16

Lego Clock
Support Level: 15
Ultimate Minecraft
Support Level: 15

Modern Urban Modular Hospital
Support Level: 14
American Idol Finale
Support Level: 14

Redesign Flowerhead Mold
Support Level: 11
Clothing Store
Support Level: 10

Power Functions Solar Panel
Support Level: 10
Coruscant Airspeeder
Support Level: 10
Mini Fairground Series
Support Level: 9

Space Fleet Omega
Support Level: 8
Polish bus: Jelcz PR110U
Support Level: 8
Eye of Sauron
Support Level: 8

Heroica Volcano of Lycoper
Support Level: 8
Disney Ducktales Money Bin
Support Level: 7

Aero Shadow
Support Level: 7
Support Level: 7
Compact city Vehicle series
Support Level: 6

Support Level: 5
Hungarian farmhouse
Support Level: 4

Batty and friends!
Support Level: 4
Gravity mark 7 Bubble Tiger
Support Level: 2