What kind of Lego kid were you? Follow-the-instructions or anything-goes?
The latter group, those who weren’t afraid to make a mess and improvise their own Lego creations, are today able to submit their unofficial Lego builds to the company itself for public consideration and a year-long round of public voting. If the build can successfully garner 10,000 supporters — essentially a vote of “I would buy this if it were on store shelves” — then Lego will investigate releasing it as an official set.
It’s a system called Lego Ideas, and it looks a lot like Kickstarter. Each project displays its number of supporters and the remaining time left in its campaign to break the 10,000 supporters mark. Projects will often include multiple photos of the finished item, occasionally a story surrounding its origin story.
As an example, this “Back to the Future” Lego set was originally submitted to the company by user m.togami and is now a standard Lego item available for sale:
If your idea should go so far as to break the 10,000 supporter mark and get Lego’s attention, here’s what happens next:
Projects selected in the LEGO Review go into production. You give input to our professional LEGO designers, whose job it is to create the final set based on your project. Once complete, it goes to the factory, then it’s shipped around the world and released for sale. You’re featured in set materials, receive a royalty on sales, and are recognised as the product creator. Your supporters can now own the LEGO set they helped make happen on LEGO Ideas.
So check out the attached slideshow of our favourite things currently drumming up attention on Lego Ideas. If one of them catches your eye, there’s a link below each picture that you can click to learn more on the site itself.