Friday, February 7, 2014

Weekly Cuusoo

Apple Store Modular in the final Stretch
Gotoandbuild's modular has less than 100 support to go.

This is technically the second Apple store to do so but I find it difficult to really consider the Mini Store Series as a predecessor given how spread out it was.  This is also only the second modular to have reached 10,000.

Personally my favorite project by Gotoandbuild is the Urban Moto: A Modular Motorcycle Shop


Minimum Time to Product

So, last Olympics there are a LOT of projects that came out based on, well, the London Olympics of 2012.  This week a 2014 Sochi Olympics project got published.  This does not just happen with these events but they are a good example of moments in time that are..well, locked in the past.

It is very difficult to market a product for an event that is in the past, you have to find people who care about it having happened enough to buy your merchandise and that is a tough sell.

Now movies are pretty much the same thing but you do have a few chances at a second grab.  They go through phases.  There is the build up to the premiere, the actual release, then a second wave of hype when the movie is distributed for personal performances (pay per view, downloads, etc...) and then you have a few fallow years until either sequels or nostalgia kick in.

Too often I see people create Cuusoo projects for a movie the days after theatrical release.  Sure there is a lot of hype and excitement going on but if you will notice, the Lego movie premiered last night, but the toys hit the market a month ago.

Finally,  I see lots of people comment on brand new Cuusoo projects using references to the current or quickly upcoming market.  These comparisons often fail to accurately take into account the long delta between first supporter and first buyer.  

Assuming a project gets to 10,000, lets take a look at some numbers for how long it takes to get to the shelves.
  • The Curiosity was reviled on June 14th 2013 and hit the market on January 1st 2014.  That is 201 days.  Lets round that up to 7 months.
  • The Reviews are currently scheduled to take approximately 4 months
  • After reaching 10,000 supporters, the wait can be from 0 to 4 months until the review starts.
So you can see, one could legitimately expect 11 to 15 months before a product is available.  When you throw in the time it takes to get to 10,000, well, if you want to make a Rio 2016 Olympics set,  you better get going.   

Cuusoo's Load Time Issues

Cuusoo has been having some real issues handling their load recently.  For that reason they have taken down the two processor intensive aspects of the site, the Real Time Feed (RTF) and the Activity Feed.  Although this has disgruntled a few of the users, this is a pretty smart move on Cuusoo's part.

The feed is something that is fun to look at and keeps the super-fans engaged, but it is not an inherent function of the site.  The Activity Feed facilitates communication between users but Cuusoo has tried to make clear that they are not a forum.

The core feature of Cuusoo is to allow people to vote on project ideas and though many projects are discovered via the RTF, which can reveal projects trending upward, most project supporters come to Cuusoo using direct links to projects.

With the heavy load functions disabled, the core responsibility of Cuusoo, to allow people to go to a project, create an account, and support a project are mostly unaffected by the current load problems.

The lack of the RTF has made if very difficult for the Cuusoo regulars to see what is really going on in Cuusoo.  For those who need their fix, I can recommend the daily support tracker.  It only updates once a day, so it is not a perfect solution, but it can give you a good feel on what has happened in the last 24 hours.


Personal Projects

X-Men: X-Mansion

Well, DarthKy and I have done it again.  Another Super Hero Modular. Some of you love it, and probably a few of you hate it.  But you know what, it has been a blast to work on.

The response from the community has been fantastic.  In less than four ( complete ) days the project reached 1000 supporters. In less than five it has reached 2000.

I have said this before, and I will say it again, collaboration is very fruitful on Cuusoo. 

Discworld: Tiffany Aching

This one ain't going nowhere but I love it.  I really like Discworld.  I had been thinking of doing something like this for a while but could never get the sheep right so I never published it.  Then bam, one of my friends said, "Make the core of the sheep one stud wide, not two" and everything fell into place.

I know that tiny literary vignettes are not taking over Cuusoo but I enjoy doing them.  

Pick of the Week

Inspector Gadget
by jalex

Jalex really nailed this one.  Spectacular minis, fun IP, great set concept, very good scale, amazing art.  

I had no idea Dr. Claw had been exposed but apparently it was an action figure. So, if you are having a hard time picturing something in a build, do what Jalex did, homework.  See if some of the conceptualizing has already been done for you.

I think the set is awesome but it does have two issues going against it.  Brain is hard to pull off.  Very decent model but it looks like Unikitty and K-9 had a kid.  The other is the integrated gadgets of the Inspector.  Those are incredibly difficult to pull of but integral to the character.  the only one depicted in the set is the extending neck...but nothing is going to every attach to the top of the standard Lego fedora and nothing will come out of hands...

Didn't keep me from supporting it right away.

Honorable Mentions

AVATAR - Mountain Banshee

Well done Reekardoo!  This is probably my favorite Avatar project to date.  I also see that you are timing well to ramp up for the sequels.

Really clever use of the three claws on the wings.

I keep waffling on how I feel about the head.  I think it is an amazing job from the perspective of knowing how difficult it is to make a tiny Lego "monster" head look even a little bit organic, but I am not sure the Avatar community is going to feel the same way...and it is their vote that is really gong to count for getting this to 10k.

Best of luck!

5th wheel camper and super duty pick-up truck.

Wow!  Dudes, this totally deserves more than 36 support!  This is a fantastic build!  Take a look at the project.  This is a fully loaded camper.  The awning is a nice touch!

Wind-up Caterpillar
by Lipko

The third of the really fun and amazing motion series!  Check out this video then go support all of Lipko's projects. 



Small Sternwheeled River Paddle Steamer
A really impressive steamer and a fantastic presentation.  I would really like to see Lego produce one of these.

I have a strong feeling this is one of those projects that is going to lounge around in the low 100's.  Not sure if there are enough steamboat/Lego fans to pull this one through.
miniature Maersk Train - miniature train project #
by bangoo
I love this line of tiny trains by bangoo.

When they get the fully series done they should really push the collection on the Lego train community. 
Mach 5
Fantastic Build with a very well decked out interior.  Especially well done when you consider how curvy the Mach 5 is. 

The down side is that good or bad, I don't think the original Lego Speed Racer went over very well.

I don't see Lego really returning to this IP without a movie (even a bad one) backing it up.  

Velociraptor - Lego dinosaur fossil
by bangoo
A nice dino-skeleton build but it relies way too much on the lack of gravity to function and I always have a hard time getting excited over builds that fail to take that into account.

This build certainly needs a stand but I also worry about the joints that make the build, as presented, possible. The flexibility of the neck and tail come at a price...
Baby s Nursery
Very well done. 
Noir Café
I really like pulp (which overflows just a touch into noir) so this project speaks to me.  But that is more a reflection of my personal taste than viable community draw. 

The presentation is clever, I understand what MarcCorrigan is getting at, but I don't think it is doing any favors in the thumbnail view department, where most people will just see it as a dark blur.

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