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Results For MOC the 80s! Contest

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Re: Results For MOC the 80s! Contest

Postby Flynn » Fri Oct 09, 2015 10:12 pm

I don't think the contest was a bad idea by any stretch of the imagination (honestly I liked it a lot, and I would've entered myself were it not for time constraints the past month), but I do feel it ran into the problem that, once you take Back to the Future and Ghostbusters off the table, the obvious choices for "iconic vehicle from 80s movie/TV show" shrink rather quickly. Not to say they're non-existent, of course (TRON was an obvious pick, and I'm honestly shocked I didn't see an Optimus Prime this contest), but there's a decidedly smaller base of vehicles that are so noteworthy that it would excite enough people to be creating entries.

Which I think is part of the appeal of a lot of the contests here--the excitement that comes at least partly out of creating something wholly unique as an entry. We've seen LEGO versions of Anakin or Sebulba's podracers multiple times, but how many times have we seen an iPodracer, or a Buzz Lightyear Podracer, or something like that? It's not even the idea of originality, per se, just uniqueness. With a lot of the possibilities here, what wasn't taken by LEGO already has likely been built a fair amount of times, and by some pretty impressive builders--I know I was considering doing Prime at some point in the contest, but the existence of several really quality models of the truck sorta dwindled my enthusiasm for doing it. Naturally, that's not gonna be true for everyone, and there were some uniquely surprising entries that combated that feeling (in particular both the winning entries), but at least for me I ran into the consistent problem of asking myself "what makes this build so special? Why am I submitting this as an entry?"
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Re: Results For MOC the 80s! Contest

Postby Tiler » Sat Oct 10, 2015 6:33 am

There's so much chasing the tail here. I believe that FBTB has at this point a serious problem of audience in both numbers and “quality” and this contest was the proof of it. The results themselves are the very reflection of the interest and audience raised by the site/contest and I’m sorry to say it, they feel just too little like AFOL works, as targeted. Looks like not even the suddenly resumed FBTB MOC blogging – which I believe was a test and by no means a coincidence – doesn't seem to produce the love it used to a while back, when everything wasn't all about promotions and sales.

There was so much dispair to gather entries here that rules got bent all ways, hell you've even got entries that are heavily (and I mean HEAVILY) inspired by other people's work over flickr. It would have been nice maybe to have somebody who actually KNOWS something about the pulse of building LEGO cars and about who's building what to at least assist in moderating this contest, if not to spread the word out.

At this point I'm well aware that the real purpose of this contest wasn't the best 80’s car project, but hopefully spotting the next "geeky" submission to Lego Ideas. However, as long as discussions revolve around US cereal boxes and morning shows... well not all of the world is interested in this kind of debating and people have different (as in various) ideas and understanding on what the 80's mean.

I’ve hesitated about posting this comment as I know I’ll be making some enemies here but since I’ve entered this contest I believe I should say what I think rather than play dead. Set the dogs on me if you wish, I’ll own it, but if you're honest enough you'll give this some thought.
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Re: Results For MOC the 80s! Contest

Postby matoli » Sat Oct 10, 2015 11:07 am

One oh the best contest i've ever seen, the topic was very difficult and we had amazing MOCs, the winner and other cars. Great job guys ;-)
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Re: Results For MOC the 80s! Contest

Postby dWhisper » Sat Oct 10, 2015 11:16 am

I would be curious what rules got bent other than our oversight on speed buggy, or letting people cut stickers (and that was because we were letting people use custom stickers in these builds). Otherwise, the rules were fairly loose by design to start, and it wasn't to get more entries but just to allow as much freedom in the relatively narrow slice for the contest.

You're also incorrect as to the purpose of the contest. This contest was my idea, originally, though it came to life through discussion. I'm on the record here as hating LEGO ideas... I think it's been a destructive influence in the AFOL and MOC community, and has done more to kill off discussions and sharing than community fragmentation ever could. My intent was trying to capture the fun that we got with things like Ecto-1 and BTTF and try to inspire building. The "we will advertise for you" was just an incentive to throw in because there are people that would want to submit it.

We have a general guideline on what we post here, and we do not feature MOCs our Ideas projects until they've gone past the 10,000 stage. Otherwise, we basically become a billboard (at worst) or start to influence voting and playing favorites (which really isn't at best, just... less worse). That did hurt a lot of the stuff we could cover here, but there's a far less sinister reason why a lot of that stuff has fallen by the wayside...

Life.

FBTB has been around for a long time. I've been part of this community for a decade, and on staff for the majority of it. We have spouses, kids, full time jobs, other hobbies, etc. Our staff has dwindled over the years as people have gone into dark age or life has gotten the focus, and we haven't had a lot of people step into those roles for it.

We have always been a fairly narrowly focused site, only working on licensed theme stuff and related things. That means some really cool MOCs have gone unposted or unseen. There's also the reality that the forums, once our primary source of stuff, are really secondary. More people read the front page, and we'll sometimes get as many comments on social media sites as we do here. That's not even something unique to us, really... forums as a thing have been dying.

There are some exceedingly tentative plans on making changes, but ultimately, we can't control the community directly, other than doing what we do and probably trying to do it more.
If the above post didn't offend you, you're probably reading it wrong.
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Re: Results For MOC the 80s! Contest

Postby Tiler » Sat Oct 10, 2015 5:31 pm

I have absolutely no “theme” issue with ANY of the entries, not even the speed buggy which is a quite fun little car, probably the best built one there and one of my favorites. And nothing to do with stickers either.

The rules said: “It must be minifig scale”. This was supposed to be a contest, which by definition calls for at least some level of performance and while I’m not talking “connoisseur” finesses here, one should still have been capable of AT LEAST matching let’s say… City scale. Forget City scale, match Ecto! There are enough System parts available at this point, enough work has been done by Lego designers in providing solutions and enough set references for one to be able to make the difference between the size of a street car (a sedan even!) and the size of a tank. But if anything goes in moderating the entries, what can be expected from those who vote, who probably don’t even care about the rules and take size as complexity and number of parts as detail? Why did I even bother to stick to a scale rule if absolutely NOBODY around cares about it and a sedan in the size of the First Order Transporter – or larger than City trucks, if you wish – is just as good? Sorry… better. I might be a complete idiot, but I can’t recall one single person to use VR tires on a sedan and call it a minifig scale.

I won’t debate the Lego Ideas issue, I trust what you say is true. It’s what I’ve got from following the comments in the contest. Who knows, maybe other people might have got that impression too, probably a reason for scaring off some of those who thought their idea/build won’t be good or cool enough to fit a submission or to fight already existing projects. For what it’s worth, I share your “enthusiasm” about Lego Ideas. I love what we’ve got out of it so far, but if success gets measured by the number of hours you’ve spent in front of fakebook, commenting like a mecha just to keep the project “visible” and constantly asking for votes, than I’ll pass.

The other thing about the rules was… well it wasn’t a “stated” rule, but it should have been a common sense one. It’s not exactly fair to enter a build based almost entirely on someone else's work, knowing that the respective has already build it and can’t enter it anyway. I happen to know a number of LEGO cars that have been built around and to me, changing a hood, replacing some tires or adding some gizmos doesn’t exactly fit the idea of building something on your own.

I do get all that you said about Life, it happens to all of us after all. I just I miss the time when being on FBTB meant you came up with something noteworthy. That’s all.

One last thing, I know it would be more convenient for everyone to think I’m bitter about loosing (or not winning) a contest. I just hate the fact that I’ve been such a sucker as to play by the book and allow myself to be judged for it while it didn’t really matter much.
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Re: Results For MOC the 80s! Contest

Postby jp-30 » Sat Oct 10, 2015 8:35 pm

Given the talk of LEGO Ideas and of the Ecto-1 and deLorian as examples, my ZZ Top rod was scaled in accordance with those two existing Ideas vehicles. Too big for System Town, sure. But still in a minifig scale, just not the Town scale..
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Re: Results For MOC the 80s! Contest

Postby Solo » Sun Oct 11, 2015 12:03 pm

I think we've been over the problem with minifig scale before, but it boils down to there being no definitive line in the sand. We use official sets as the general guide, which is a pretty broad range to begin with, and allow enough leeway that people can build comfortably and to the best of their abilities. No one intentionally stretched the rules to give themselves an advantage. If anyone had, then I could understand where you're coming from. But that wasn't the case and I'm sorry you feel that way. Ask yourself: if you had decided to build the same vehicle, just bigger than you felt reasonable, would it have made a difference? I think your earlier comment about knowing your audience is closer to the mark.

As far as copying someone else's design and making a few changes for the contest, I really wish you would say which entry you're talking about and show the car they based it on. Plagiarizing like that isn't acceptable and while we do our best to prevent it, it's impossible to mentally catalog every MOC we've seen, let alone see them all, so we always rely on forum members as the back up for spotting this sort of thing.
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Re: Results For MOC the 80s! Contest

Postby dWhisper » Sun Oct 11, 2015 3:49 pm

Solo wrote:As far as copying someone else's design and making a few changes for the contest, I really wish you would say which entry you're talking about and show the car they based it on. Plagiarizing like that isn't acceptable and while we do our best to prevent it, it's impossible to mentally catalog every MOC we've seen, let alone see them all, so we always rely on forum members as the back up for spotting this sort of thing.


There's also the fact that this contest was specifically about building from specific sources, and there are a limited number of ways that you can build a particular vehicle when the source material is well defined. They're going to look similar, sometimes very similar, because of that fact.
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Re: Results For MOC the 80s! Contest

Postby Flynn » Sun Oct 11, 2015 4:10 pm

Yeah, and sorta related to what I said earlier, once a really good model of a particular source comes out, the amount of different ways to portray that sorta shrink as that slowly becomes the 'definitive' version. Just look at Rocko's Ecto-1 from a few years back and notice how much of it made it into the actual Ideas project that became a set. It's not fair to call it plagiarism, but there's clearly a pool of influence that just comes from the fact that Rocko's Ecto-1 was a fantastic model that cemented a lot of techniques for building that particular car.
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Re: Results For MOC the 80s! Contest

Postby Trooper10 » Sun Oct 11, 2015 5:29 pm

Solo wrote:... but it boils down to there being no definitive line in the sand. We use official sets as the general guide, which is a pretty broad range to begin with, and allow enough leeway that people can build comfortably and to the best of their abilities.

[/Tongue in cheek] Thanks for the clarification Don! Since Tiler has become the self-appointed arbiter of minifig-scale I was worried that I'd have to hand back the trophy and call Denmark to tell them to recall a few sets where they made the mistake of putting 30x14 tires on a few cars with minifigs in them (ie my definition of 'minifig-scale') eg http://www.peeron.com/inv/sets/8374-1 or http://brickset.com/sets/6864-1/. But now I can rest comfortably knowing there is only one party pooper, raining on my parade :(

Solo wrote: As far as copying someone else's design and making a few changes for the contest, I really wish you would say which entry you're talking about and show the car they based it on.

[/Seriously] - I agree - I think defaming other people's work without being specific is a bit of poor form. With so many builders out there, there are often times when people find the same solutions independently - I've seen it many times. Plus there is no copyright on build techniques - if you innovate, cool! If you are copied - take it as 'the sincerest form of flattery'. If you see something that looks like something else.... please don't claim plagiarism without substantiation.
As for me, I burned a hole in my laptop freeze-framing Netflicks for my source material plus a few photos including one replica that sent me astray at first - I didn't look at one single MOC.

PS/FYI a 1974 Dodge Monaco is about 8 inches shorter than a small truck (F-250) and only 3 foot shorter than a small tank (M3 Bradely Fighting Vehicle) and only a foot shorter than the Cougar MRAP army truck/tank/thing.
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Re: Results For MOC the 80s! Contest

Postby Tiler » Sun Oct 11, 2015 10:34 pm

Given the tone of the discussion, I will most certainly rest my case here. Up to this point in the conversation, I didn't call anyone anything because despite the fact that I had some issues with the way the entries were allowed (not with the design themselves - which could be large or small, inspired or copied - and not with those who built them), I do respect people. It is true, I didn't know the audience here, I have little (if any) "friends" around, a fact that I actually thought would make the competition even better. I'll stop pooping the party and promise not to bother anyone anymore around.
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