Welcome to the Unofficial Cuusoo User's Guide.
This is a Part 7 of a short series of articles about Cuusoo for beginners through super users. It is derived from the presentation I gave at Brick Fiesta earlier this year.
Part 1: What is Cuusoo?
Part 2: Finding Projects
Part 3: Supporting a Project
Part 4: Comments, Reporting, & Feedback
Part 5: Monitoring Activity and the My Page
Part 6: Creating Projects and Verboten Subjects
Part 7: Creating "Successful" Projects (work in progress)
WARNING: Take anything you read in this chapter with a grain of salt. I have not created a project that has reached production and as I am quick to repeat, there is really not enough data to go on. So far, we only have two solid cases that make sense for anything "normal" with Cuusoo in the Global Market now and those are Back to the Future and Curiosity (no, Minecraft is not a normal case).
This chapter, more than anything else I have posted in this guide is my opinion and open speculation.
Ok, it have been a long time since I have updated this thing but I figure I gotta start at some point and on this the most nebulous chapter (also, I need to refresh/update all the earlier stuff too) but here is my first stab at this process
This chapter will get more organized as I add content but I just gotta put pen to paper on this. I wrote about the issue of "Inevitable Discovery" and realized it belongs in this, so here it is.
The issue of "Inevitable Discovery"
Getting to 10k is only the first half of the journey on Cuusoo. Everyone really wants to reach production though, that is the true goal right?
There are, in my opinion, only three legitimate ways to reach production through Cuusoo
- bring totally new content to the Lego company
- prove a viable concept and market for an IP previously unrelated to Lego,
- present pre-existing content in a new way.
Totally New ContentGranted no fan created content has passed the review yet but I believe that is just a matter of time. The difficulty there is establishing a market where it does not exist (or is poorly defined). This is incredibly difficult for two reasons, 1) In order for Lego to produce a Cuusoo idea it needs to be sure people will go out and by it without s multi-million dollar campaign like Ninjago or Chima and 2) Lego is very good at what it does. It has people who are looking at trends years in advance. This is their job. If there is room in the market for a concept, they will, ideally fill it with a set or a series. This is, of course, the issue that Space Troopers has to face as Lego also saw the market well before and was developing Galaxy Squad.
So you need to produce an idea that people are so thrilled about that the market is obvious but novel enough that it is not coming down the line, on the market, or just getting off the market.
Existing IP, but new to LegoThis is currently the most successful, and will likely continue to be the most successful approach to getting your Cuusoo project produced. The market is established and identifiable in these cases so there is little risk and advertising is easy. The greater difficulties with this type of product are pre-existing licensee agreements, brand fit, contract negotiations, and timing.
All products to date have fit this model.
Present Pre-Existing Lego Licensed Content in a New WayThis is perhaps the most difficult of all but with the review results from the Sand Crawler, Cuusoo has pretty much reiterated their commitment to being open to this idea.
Here is the excerpt from the Knowledge Base:
We give each LEGO CUUSOO project that enters the LEGO Review a thorough and fair analysis of whether it is possible to release. This was the first opportunity we had to seriously consider a project based on Star Wars, an existing LEGO license. So, we're applying what we've learned from this case.
So, how can this be interpreted...many ways. Here is my take on it.
Basically if you present pre-existing Lego licensed content in Lego's tried and true method of "Lego-izing" such content, then you are basically asking Lego to sell its model, with its brands, in its way, but to give you credit for it, and that is just not going to happen*. This is true for the vast majority of Star Wars, Super Hero, Lord of the Rings/Hobbit, Minecraft, and Lego IP projects on Cuusoo.
If you want a significant chance to produce existing Lego partnered licenses you need to present it in a way that Lego has not done before. Here is the litmus test: If the project (however well or poorly executed) looks like something that you would expect Lego to produced, then they already have that covered. Every scene from Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit has been reviewed for product already. There is at least one UCS Star Wars Vehicle each year and a finite number of Star Wars vehicles. They will eventually produce a UCS of every vehicle they think is worth producing. They will eventually produce every mainstream Star Wars vehicle worth producing in minifig and midi scale. In some cases they will do it again and again (Like the Tie Fighters). Batman fighting a random member of his Rogues gallery is a given as well as every iteration of vehicle he will be using to combat said villain. The world only has so much cool architecture in it, if you create a project themed on that one super cool building everybody knows about but Lego has not done yet....well, yet is the operative word there.
In reading a previous post I did on this concept Eurobricks user compared this to the legal concept of "Inevitable Discovery." For the time being I really like the term and will use it to describe such projects.
So what is Novel then? What is like-yet-unlike? Here are a few examples:
Star Wars: Lightsabres, Mico Vignettes, Brick Built Figures**, Deathstar Clock
Super Heros: Brick Built Figures, Iron Man Arc Reactor, Super Hero Racers
Minecraft: Chicken, Macrofigures
Lord of the Rings: Microbuilds
These are novel approaches to existing licenses and have a valid shot, in my opinion. They don't look like anything Lego has produced with these properties to date. They don't look like slight variations on the existing themes. They are not slight evolutions on Lego's existing products.
* Now there is one exception I am willing to accept to all this and that is if you present an existing license, in the Lego "model" but somehow do it in such a way that grabs the attention of the fanbase to the extent that you get to 10000 in a relative blink of an eye...then Lego might accept that your idea is worthy of independent recognition, but I would not count on it. This is in effect what I was attempting with the Corellian Defender. At the time, Star Wars' expanded universe was relatively untouched. I was saying to them "hey, don't overlook SWOTOR" but it turns out they were not.
** I really don't know if figures built with normal Lego could violate Hasbro's exclusivity license, the point of this article is that it is a novel approach to an existing license though and that is why I include it.