New Rules for Lego Ideas Submissions

Goodbye to 3-meter-long Titanic models or a brickmade stormtrooper blaster: The new terms and conditions set up by TLG (the almighty “The Lego Group”) explicitly prohibits sets exceeding 3,000 parts and life-sized weapon models – amongst other things. I think you can best describe it as a way to clean up the submissions to leave only the ones with realistic chances of being actually made.

The full press release can be found here. Lets have a look at the (in my opinion) most interesting parts. I actually like a lot of the new changes and I will tell you why:

“Once we produce a LEGO Ideas set based on a third-party property, we will not accept more Ideas submissions based on that property.”

This might sound strange first, but actually makes sense in a way that TLG likely wants to keep Lego Ideas original and inventive and wants to prevent it from becoming too licensed-theme-focused. They already have a ton of licenses running as regular themes after all.

“Projects must fit in a single product box, so we’re setting a part count limit of 3,000 pcs.”

Given that the PPP (price per piece) ratio* is usually in the 10+ ct/piece region, this is more than welcome news. I don’t like mammoth-sized sets and I often get the impression that builders just submit them as sheer vanity-projects. Beauty often lies in simplicity. There are so many excellent sets with a couple of hundred pieces out there. (*The PPP-ratio is a very vague thing and not really reliable for determining the value of a set. For example rare, new or especially large or complex parts take a bigger share of the production costs than your standard 2×1 brick in black. This said, the pricing is also for a good part determined by what the customer is willing to pay for a product.)

“No iconic elements referencing third-party properties we find inappropriate for the LEGO brand”

I think we can call this the no-porn/booze-rule: fair enough^^

“No large or human-scale weapons or weapon replicas of any kind, including swords, knives, guns, sci-fi or fantasy blasters, etc.”

This is a nice and welcome nod to the original self-obligation by TLG to not produce any modern weapons. Thanks to certain license-themes, this rule has been more than slightly bent though (I just say Star Wars and Indiana Jones).

“Projects may not propose LEGO Dimensions expansion packs.”

Since I don’t really care for Dimensions, this new rule doesn’t bothers me much. I prefer my Lego as physical and analogue toy.

“Terms of Service now preserves projects that gain a significant following. (…) once a project reaches 1,000 supporters it will not be removed.”

This is rather good news. I have seen too many sets disappearing before they got the attention they deserved. Resubmitting was an option, but this seems to be the better, more elegant way. And the supporter-counter stays, so you won’t have to support it again.

So all in all my impression is very positive. The changes make sense and while some of them may upset a few people, I think they will improve the overall quality of the submissions by giving more clear guidelines to builders.