Travel the dunes with the LEGO� Star Wars™ Ultimate Collector Series Sancrawler™

FBTB - From Bricks To Bothans

Follow us: RSS
News? Questions? Comments? Email!

Firefly CUUSOO Entry Gets to 10,000 Votes

Talk about your favorite developments in licensed themes from popular lines like Indiana Jones, Batman, Spongebob, Harry Potter, etc.

Re: Firefly CUUSOO Entry Gets to 10,000 Votes

Postby Walter Boy » Tue May 08, 2012 11:40 am

Here's an article Lego just posted on their CUUSSOO website about brand standards. This will give some people an idea of what Lego considers "appropriate" for CUUSSOO submissions.

But yeah, on the topic of the Firefly entry, it is a shame that it wasn't made into a set. It looked pretty cool, but I'm sure Lego had their reasons.
Image
Walter Boy
 
Posts: 236
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2010 11:21 am

Re: Firefly CUUSOO Entry Gets to 10,000 Votes

Postby The Phantom Menace » Tue May 08, 2012 11:48 am

I think the biggest concern for Lego is the licensing aspect. It's too complex to license and not worth it for niche models with niche fanbases.

Lego can't possibly say that the SSD is for children 6-11, and with films like PotC that deal with cannibalism made into Lego they can't keep using the 6-11 excuse. Regardless I doubt we'll ever see Lego Alien or Lego Terminator because they are primarily aimed at adults.

So far licensing has revolved around Warner, Lucasfilm and Disney entities. Perhaps Minecraft was an easy license to acquire? Personally I would love to see Lego James Bond, but I think the licensing would be too expensive and no doubt the 6-11 excuse would be wheeled out instead.

I can't blame Lego for not accepting the model, business wise it doesn't make any sense, too much money and too much effort for such a small fanbase.

Perhaps Lego will have to put some guidelines on Cuusoo so that only currently held licenses can be entered (like SW and Marvel/DC things). I think non-licensed models are a much safer bet, the trouble is that only stuff based on films/games tend to get the votes. Personally I'd love to see some more sets based on famous buildings (and be similar in scale to the Eiffel Tower and London Tower Bridge models), but I'm no good at designing the models myself.
The Phantom Menace
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 1:47 pm

Re: Firefly CUUSOO Entry Gets to 10,000 Votes

Postby uruk-hailordoflords » Tue May 08, 2012 12:07 pm

ive came to realize that anytyhing PG-13 or R will be denied on CUUSOO. PG will require "much discussion". but look at some of there own liescensed themes, LOTR The Two Tower PG-13 Star Wars 3 PG-13. anyone else agree.
bow to the will of LOTR! urukhailordoflords
uruk-hailordoflords
 
Posts: 33
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:09 pm
Location: kansas , USA

Re: Firefly CUUSOO Entry Gets to 10,000 Votes

Postby Solo » Tue May 08, 2012 2:32 pm

Why is everyone focusing on the violence aspect of this? I'm pretty sure that's not the issue that Lego found questionable. My money says Inara is the line they don't want to cross. Even if she didn't get a minifig and wasn't mentioned at all she's still a key element to the story, and there's the potential for a kid who sees the set to go watch the show and start asking their parents about prostitution. Sounds like just the position Lego doesn't want to be in.
                                                                                                                           Image
Solo
 
Posts: 70
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2009 11:53 am
Location: right here

Re: Firefly CUUSOO Entry Gets to 10,000 Votes

Postby crazybirdman » Tue May 08, 2012 3:30 pm

yeah, it's pretty obvious that violence isn't the issue (or the only issue at least).
crazybirdman
 
Posts: 220
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 8:14 am

Re: Firefly CUUSOO Entry Gets to 10,000 Votes

Postby GrayMattR » Tue May 08, 2012 4:18 pm

I think CUUSOO is a great platform for LEGO and fans to work together on something new. Having said that, LEGO might want to save a lot of people some work and letdown by setting up some guidelines so other entries don't get the votes only to be shot down because they may not be appropriate for all kids. (Not that I disagree with LEGO on that core value.)

For example, FIrefly, Shaun of the Dead, and Back to the Future all have a wide base of fans. Just getting the Shaun of the Dead model mentioned in some high traffic fan sites drove the votes up quickly. Same thing could happen with Aliens, Kill Bill, The Hangover, or whatever. I've seen some extremely cool Aliens MOCs but there's no way LEGO would produce one. I'd love to see a Mike Tyson with jungle cat minifig but there's no way LEGO will make one. You get the point.

I personally don't want CUUSOO to vote up existing franchises but LEGO obviously isn't adverse to it since they went with the Minecraft set. Something similar could happen with Mini Coopers or Curious George but voting on a Zombieland set that won't pass the test is a bit of a waste of time. I'm just suggesting they set the expectations now.
Image
GrayMattR
 
Posts: 198
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2009 4:15 pm
Location: Amsterdam, NY

Re: Firefly CUUSOO Entry Gets to 10,000 Votes

Postby Clavius » Wed May 09, 2012 1:13 pm

I'm sure this is been brought up somewhere before but I'm a brand new member and this is my first post so please bear with me.

But why couldn't Lego just create an catalog of sets aimed squarely at adult collectors and builders? Mattel stamps a big 'ol "Intended for Adult Collectors" right on the packages of some of their mattycollector.com exclusives. (Dark Knight, Ghostbutsters etc.)

Lego KNOWS that a HUGE percentage of their fan base is adults. They could make smaller runs of each set but it would give them the opportunity to get some really cool stuff out there. As a huge Firefly fan, id've been all over Serenity in a heartbeat!

Imagine Lego Predator, Alien, Robocop (I'd eat a small child to get a Lego version of the Discovery from 2001: A Space Odyssey) and of course that Shawn of the Dead set! Plus, how appropriate is much of the material in the Lord of the Rings movies for your average 6-11 year old? Don't get me wrong, i'm glad we're getting them but LOTR is definitely riding the fence in my book.

How many 6-11 year olds do you know are going to walk into a Lego store, look at Super Heroes, Star Wars, Ninjago or any of the City sets, and then look over at the VW Microbus, or any of the Architecture sets and go "OH Daddy! I want the Robie House! PLEEEEEEASE?". Please don't tell me Lego's target demographic is exclusively 6-11 year olds when they make high end sets like that. My father in law who is 75 couldn't wait to get that White House to put on his desk.

An adult centered line could definitely work, seems to me they just don't want to bother.
Clavius
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed May 09, 2012 8:21 am

Re: Firefly CUUSOO Entry Gets to 10,000 Votes

Postby cas » Wed May 09, 2012 2:51 pm

Clavius wrote:But why couldn't Lego just create an catalog of sets aimed squarely at adult collectors and builders?

Ultimate Collector Series sorta fills this hole, along with many of the Direct to Consumer sets (VW Bus, Sopwith Camel). I think Lego should broaden the line, but they do serve adult collectors, they're just not the primary focus.
Clavius wrote:Lego KNOWS that a HUGE percentage of their fan base is adults.

Except this is incorrect. AFOLs are the minority. I've seen numbers bounced around, 5% is one I see frequently, but the consumer base is kids. A good question to ask though is what that 5% is out of. 40 million?
Clavius wrote:Please don't tell me Lego's target demographic is exclusively 6-11 year olds when they make high end sets like that.

It's not, but a massive bulk of the people who end up with Lego sets fall into that category. Lego is an inclusive toy and is only limited by the consumer's preferences and imagination.
cas
Staff Writer
 
Posts: 603
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2009 4:58 pm
Location: ID

Re: Firefly CUUSOO Entry Gets to 10,000 Votes

Postby The Phantom Menace » Wed May 09, 2012 3:30 pm

cas wrote:Except this is incorrect. AFOLs are the minority. I've seen numbers bounced around, 5% is one I see frequently, but the consumer base is kids. A good question to ask though is what that 5% is out of. 40 million?


Considering that the UCS sets are usually their number 1 sellers for the year. I'd say that whilst AFOLs may well be in the minority their spending is not. The spend of one AFOL probably outnumbers many children put together. Lego clearly survive on the collector's market with that being one of their main focuses. If the impact of AFOLs was negligible then they wouldn't be making sets that retail for $400.

Regardless of who their models are aimed at I think that it's clear that every single set that Lego produce has to be suitable for children ages 6-11. You could give the set to them and whilst it may be too complex to build it wouldn't contain any unsuitable content. I think that's a fair policy.
The Phantom Menace
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 1:47 pm

Re: Firefly CUUSOO Entry Gets to 10,000 Votes

Postby Solo » Wed May 09, 2012 3:39 pm

The Phantom Menace wrote:Considering that the UCS sets are usually their number 1 sellers for the year.

Where'd you get that idea?
                                                                                                                           Image
Solo
 
Posts: 70
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2009 11:53 am
Location: right here

Re: Firefly CUUSOO Entry Gets to 10,000 Votes

Postby crazybirdman » Wed May 09, 2012 4:03 pm

LEGO often says that UCS sets are their best sellers, but they don't clarify what they mean, dollar amount? or fastest selling pre-orders? or quantity?
crazybirdman
 
Posts: 220
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 8:14 am

Re: Firefly CUUSOO Entry Gets to 10,000 Votes

Postby CaptainFordo » Thu May 10, 2012 3:04 am

It could just be plain ol' they make the most money because they're the most expensive. From what I gather of UCS sets, due to the multi piece nature of the builds, as opposed to smaller sets which may require specialised pieces, most of them are made out of existing lego, thus negating the need to create new molds, which I believe I read is the greatest expense in creating a lego set.
CaptainFordo
 
Posts: 260
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:42 am

Re: Firefly CUUSOO Entry Gets to 10,000 Votes

Postby bobalego » Sun May 20, 2012 6:15 am

Solo wrote:Why is everyone focusing on the violence aspect of this? I'm pretty sure that's not the issue that Lego found questionable. My money says Inara is the line they don't want to cross. Even if she didn't get a minifig and wasn't mentioned at all she's still a key element to the story, and there's the potential for a kid who sees the set to go watch the show and start asking their parents about prostitution. Sounds like just the position Lego doesn't want to be in.


That would be a good point if PotC didn't have prostitutes in it. I know they are not a key character, but it would be hypocritical no matter how you put it. The point is LEGO knows that Firefly has a limited run possibility, with only 2-3 sets possible to make. Yes true fans would buy a Hero of Canton playset with Jane statue but would an 8 year old?

The violence issue? Wow what an argument that is. Watching Boromir get killed with about 6 arrows alone is worse than half the deaths in Firefly. The number of decapitations are pretty high. I hope LEGO does not try to say this is one of the reasons that they can not consider this...the bottom line: profit/money is what it is all about. I am sure Mega Bloks will outbid LEGO for Angry Bird playsets soon, if Minecraft can find a fan base surely Angry Birds is on the way...
bobalego
 
Posts: 236
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2009 6:23 pm

Re: Firefly CUUSOO Entry Gets to 10,000 Votes

Postby Solo » Mon May 21, 2012 4:17 am

I'll give you half a point for the prostitutes in Pirates. They're background characters at best and never shown actually engaging in prostitution. Meanwhile Inara was part of the main cast and a significant portion of the show focused on her and her clients. And then there was the Heart of Gold episode where they saved a whorehouse. Comparing the explicitness in Pirates to Firefly is an order of magnitude apart so I stand by my point.

And I think you're misunderstanding the Cuusoo project... they're not looking for new licensed properties to create a theme from, they're looking for specific ideas for single run sets. The Shinkai sub. The Hayabusa space probe. The Minecraft mini creator set. In this case it was the ship, nothing more, and it was shot down because of the source content before they even had a chance to worry about the licensing cost.
                                                                                                                           Image
Solo
 
Posts: 70
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2009 11:53 am
Location: right here

Re: Firefly CUUSOO Entry Gets to 10,000 Votes

Postby dWhisper » Tue May 22, 2012 9:47 am

crazybirdman wrote:LEGO often says that UCS sets are their best sellers, but they don't clarify what they mean, dollar amount? or fastest selling pre-orders? or quantity?


Is that kind of like how some information is always verified by the qualifier "they say" but no one ever explains who they is? I'd like to see some actual concrete proof on this. While I'm sure UCS is probably the highest margin line that they offer, there's not any chance of it being the best seller. The biggest barrier to that is that they're only available from LEGO stores and on Shop@Home, and those aren't the top outlets for LEGO. Retail outlets are, in all countries, and very few, if any, carry UCS. The risk is too high for a set that's aimed primarily at kids.

The best margins on LEGO sets always come in the higher price points, but the sell-through rate goes down quickly as set price rises. $10 is the low margin and top sellers, and $20-50 is the sweet spot for return. That's why the majority of sets are in that range, because it's where parents (the people making the actual purchase) are most willing to spend their money. Very few are going to drop $120 for a big set, and fewer still $180 or more for a set that's not even designed to be played with.

cas is correct in the 5% number, that's what LEGO has thrown out to investors before. And they did throw us a bone with several different lines at this point. The UCS Star Wars line is the big example of being aimed at a collector and not kids. Even their big sets are in that boat, things like the Death Star, etc, are aimed squarely at adults and not kids. We've seen that bleed out into other lines, like Modular Buildings, Architecture, and the unique sets for adults (VW Bus, London Bridge, Carousel).

And while it's true that while we're a small part of the overall numbers, the average purchase size is higher. Adult collectors have a bigger basket (retail term for how much you'd put in your cart on an average shopping trip), but the only place where they can control that is through Shop@Home and their Retail Locations. And those are only a sliver of the market, so you see the higher basket offset by the lower foot traffic. LEGO addresses that by actually stocking the UCS and big stuff at the locations and online, so it balances out. Any other location is focused on a much bigger basket (TRU sells other Toys, Walmart and Target sell clothes and food, etc) so it all gets muddled down. In short... 5% isn't worth any additional effort from anyone.

You need to think about it from the point of view of LEGO, especially when it comes to licensing. We see big things like UCS Star Wars because they already have the license. There's no additional cost in trying to produce sets in the line outside of materials, so it's a no brainer to expand it. Stuff like the VW Bus can be done fairly easily, because they have a lot of pull to do it, and there's low licensing cost to do so (it's more in VW's advantage to have the product than LEGO, so things like that come easily). Other things are public domain (Sopwith Camel) or fair use (the Japanese satellite that was the first Cuusoo set).

Stuff like movies, video games, and the like do not give additional advertisement or market penetration to the right's holder, so it's not going to drive their bottom line. Especially for something like Firefly/Serenity, which almost a decade old at this point and only remembered by a small set of annoying and passionate fans (and before you get all offended, I'm one of them, and we are very annoying).

If there's an additional license cost, it's pretty much DOA to focus it on adult collectors. Minecraft was in a unique position, since it was such a natural synergy with the game and product, and it's an indie title. I'd be willing to guess that the licensing cost for that was tiny compared to other established titles, and it makes sense from their prospective. The same as licensed sets we see in the regular line do when the movies are current (and why it's so weird to see a Prince of Persia set on the shelves anywhere).

I think the problem that you think exists isn't that they're not focused on adult collectors, they obviously are to an extent... it's that they're not focusing on what you want. And that's where the whole "you can build things you like" with LEGO comes in. I know it's an argument in another thread as well, but it's true. It's like cooking or drawing or writing. You can do it with some practice, and a lot of times, there will be help out there for you.
If the above post didn't offend you, you're probably reading it wrong.
dWhisper
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2009 10:56 pm
Location: The Arkansas Wasteland

Previous

Return to Licensed Themes

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests