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What's Needed for Cuusoo Success?

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What's Needed for Cuusoo Success?

Postby Handar » Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:13 pm

I've been following the development of Cuusoo with interest, not so much the individual projects, although there are some very lovely candidates, but more so the process by which projects are selected. So far two models have hit the 10,000 supporter mark: Minecraft and The Winchester from Shaun of the Dead. Both of these models received significant support from outside the Lego community. The number of supporters of the Minecraft project famously exploded overnight after Mojang backed the idea, and The Winchester saw a similar effect after Simon Pegg began tweeting about it. (I might be wrong, but Minecraft reached 10,000 supporters within 48 hours of Mojang's endorsement and The Winchester earned something like 4,000 supporters within three days of Pegg's appearance on Conan and subsequent tweets.)

Let's now compare this with another project, the Modular Western Town, which currently has the distinction of being the second most supported project on Cuusoo. This project picks up on a theme for which many AFOLs have been clamouring to see a return, so we should expect it to see a fair bit of support based on that. Similarly, the model itself is very well done, which again should help drive interest. Most significantly, however, the project received a significant boost from prominent AFOL sites like Eurobricks and The Brothers Brick, which asked their followers to support the project, much in the same way that Mojang and Pegg did for their respective projects.

It's been at least several weeks since this push, and currently the Western project has ~6,450 supporters. What does this say, if anything, about the relative strength of the online AFOL community? For a project to be successful on Cuusoo, does it require a tie in to another existing 'franchise' so as to be able to tap the support of fans of that franchise (the other three most supported projects are based on Back to the Future, the mmo EVEonline, and the Zelda game series)? Can AFOLs alone rally enough support to see a project over the mark of 10,000 backers? I'm curious to see what others might be thinking about this.
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Re: What's Needed for Cuusoo Success?

Postby WvdP » Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:57 pm

I think Cuusoo is not intended to ask AFOLs about what they want at all: it seems Lego uses it as a way to get non-AFOLs interested in Lego again. When those Minecraftplayers buy the Cuusoo-set, they might start to buy other sets as well. At least it's good (and free) publicity in those circles...
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Re: What's Needed for Cuusoo Success?

Postby andhe » Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:59 pm

I think tapping into another franchise, and fan-base is the key (unfortunately for original themed MOCs).

The idea behind cuusoo is to branch out into a wider market (I think the original japanese submarine was sold in diving shops or something like that), however that does seem to go hand in hand with appealing to fans of a certain franchise.

I could see the Shaun of the Dead set selling in a place like Forbidden Planet (or other similar comic book stores), a place that would traditionally stock lego, but would stock themed merchandise.

I think the general idea is to draw fans of other things into lego by at first getting them to buy a set that appeals to another hobby/interest of theirs.

I would be disappointed to see lego get slowly consumed by licences and franchises in an attempt to appeal to a wider audience. I think we're a long way off that, but it does seem to be only such projects that get votes on cuusoo.

The problem with the western modular is that, although a great set/design, lego fans tend to be 'in' to certain themes eg castle, star wars, trains or at most a couple of themes. I think that the western idea, though popular amongst those that remember the original theme, is still considered a niche. For the same reason why an avid castle fan wouldn't be interested in voting for/buying a star wars set, or vice-versa (there are obviously exceptions, but I just use the example of two types of collector).

Whilst I'm sure the western modular will creep up in votes, and was undoubtably boosted by exposure on AFOL sites I wouldn't be surprised to see another project sneak in following another fan-base invasion. But in the end it's all publicity for TLG. It remains to be seen how well the minecraft set actually sells as to whether we see any changes to cuusoo in the future.
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Re: What's Needed for Cuusoo Success?

Postby OverLoad » Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:37 pm

I think Cuusoo is a way for TFOLs and AFOLs to reach out with the franchises they would like to see licensed and for use in their own MOCs and the like.

For example, I'm an avid supporter of the Legend of Zelda project on Cuusoo. That's one franchise I would, above all, like to see put into future LEGO sets. Others, however, go for Game of Thrones, Shaun of the Dead (which I'm surprised got THAT much that quickly), etc etc.
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Re: What's Needed for Cuusoo Success?

Postby Medieval Guy » Tue Apr 03, 2012 10:17 pm

I have been thinking for a while now that a successful Cuusoo project seems to need extra help. The way to do it is definitely to find a theme or franchise that Lego has not yet tapped into. The trick is to find one that people will like.
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Re: What's Needed for Cuusoo Success?

Postby Athos » Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:00 pm

Could it be that there are not 10,000 AFOLs?

If there are AFOLs who are not supporting the modular western town, I'd like to hear why not? Not into western? Not into modular? Not into voting in internet polls?

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Re: What's Needed for Cuusoo Success?

Postby Valendale » Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:37 pm

Personally, I'm not supporting it because I don't feel it could coexist with the current line of modulars. I'm also not that big a fan of western. But if it was realesed, would buy it? Most likely yes.
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Re: What's Needed for Cuusoo Success?

Postby Handar » Wed Apr 04, 2012 11:05 pm

Athos wrote:Could it be that there are not 10,000 AFOLs?

If there are AFOLs who are not supporting the modular western town, I'd like to hear why not? Not into western? Not into modular? Not into voting in internet polls?


Fair questions. I'm not supporting the Western town, even though I think it's an incredible display of talent. Why not you ask?

Well, I'm not into the Western theme, even though I recognize the quality of these models. More than that, I think that a supporting vote should be an indication that I would buy that project should it be produced. I have no desire to buy any of the models, so I have refrained from supporting the project.
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Re: What's Needed for Cuusoo Success?

Postby davee123 » Thu Apr 05, 2012 7:37 pm

Part of the side effect of CUUSOO (although probably not an intent of it) is humbling the AFOL community. For many years, various stubborn and vocal AFOLs have insisted that their ideas would make AMAZING sets, and would sell like hotcakes, no matter what others tell them. This is (sadly) a way to show people just how incredibly difficult it is to gain support for an idea. IE, how hard it really is to market a successful LEGO set.

As for whether or not there are 10,000 AFOLs? That depends on your definition of an AFOL, but I think "yes, definitely". Are there 10,000 active AFOLs? Maybe... maybe not. Are there 10,000 AFOLs who are not only active, but are also hungry to support CUUSOO ideas? Probably not.

1) You've got to sign up in order to support an idea. A lot of people are hesitant to sign up for a service, and giving away personal information like name, email, etc. That's gonna cull your numbers.

2) A lot of stuff is nice, but people won't go out of their way to support. Western Town? Yeah, it's a fantastic MOC, but what would a LEGO model actually look like? Certainly it wouldn't look like the model shown, and it would have to be smaller, which means it's less impressive. Some people may feel like it's great and all, but isn't worth supporting as an idea on those grounds.

Generally speaking, you need widespread notification of your ideas. Since the demise of LUGNET, there isn't a single place for AFOLs to congregate. Things like Brothers-Brick, Eurobricks, and BrickSet are pretty prominent, and you'll need exposure from multiple sites of that magnitude to get enough bona fide AFOLs.

Because that's hard to come by, it's difficult to get ALL the AFOLs' attentions, or even a vast majority. So it's likely that you'll need support from the general populace in addition to AFOL support to reach 10,000 support votes.

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Re: What's Needed for Cuusoo Success?

Postby larsnelson76 » Sat May 05, 2012 3:43 am

I think that the Minecraft and Shaun of the Dead "Winchester" were successful so quickly because of outside support, but I think there needs to be patience in terms of how long it will take for themes/sets to be approved. They had a lot of popularity and famous people support them. Shaun of the Dead was rejected in spite of its success.

The legend of Zelda has gotten enough support, and what was even more interesting is how many people submitted projects for the legend of zelda. I think there is great potential for that theme.

I supported it and the roman theme. because I thought they both tied into castle well.

I think it will take a long time for the Roman theme to be supported, but I also think it is inevitable that they will do it, because they are making the minifigs for the collectible minifig series.

I also supported the western modular town, even though I am not into the western theme. I thought it was awesome, and I figured that my vote would help the people who wanted it. How many kids would buy that, but are not even 13 and cannot vote for it?

I think everyone should support any set that is done really well, and would be good for Lego. For example, the legend of zelda is a great theme, but the models that won were not that great. I would expect Lego designers to do something that was much better than what was submitted.

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Re: What's Needed for Cuusoo Success?

Postby Kosh » Thu May 24, 2012 2:43 pm

Setting aside the popularity and/or merits of a Zelda theme, I just don't foresee it happening anytime soon. A major competitor has the Ninetendo License from what I've seen and I really doubt the business model allows for the the expense of wresting away the license from competition. Sure it's mostly been Mario based sets but I personally don't think that said license would allow for another company to pick up other parts of the intellectual property piecemeal......
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