Cuusoo, meaning ‘imagination’ or ‘wish’ in Japanese, started life as a rather obscure project, officially launched by Lego in Japan in 2008 and is still in Beta stage.
It’s reputation is growing slowly and it is becoming a goto site for fans wishing to share their own Lego creations with creators and designers within the Lego company itself.
What Do You Do On Lego Cuusoo?
(I feel like Dr Seuss!)
In essence there are a three stages:
1. View – Find various projects that you like!
2. Support – Once a project receives 10,000 supporters it is reviewed by Lego who evaluate the commercialisation of the project.
3. Create – Once you get the hang of things you can submit your own models and ideas to the site. If your creation attracts 10000 supporters and passes review by the company, you will receive a royalty when your project becomes a product!
Since 2008 three projects have reached production stage. The latest occurred in the last few weeks. The project was a model based on the Minecraft online game and has been approved by both companies.
In fact I received an invitation to the launch event in my email box this morning (if only it came with free plane tickets as well!). The project will be officially launched on February 16th 2012 at LEGO World Copenhagen.
Another project gaining speed at the moment is a Modular Western Town created by mb_bricks.
The project is sitting at around 3000 supporters now but with support from a number of major Lego blogs it looks like it is only a matter of time before it crosses the 10000 supporters line.
The creator says of the project:
“A new line of modular houses based on a classic western theme.
Each house represents a single set and can be combined with other sets of the series.
The buildings are featuring an accurate interior with a lot space for a fun play experience.
Possible sets: sheriff’s place with jail, the gun store, the saloon, the rail station, the post office with stage coach, the bank, the central store…”
To think you can come up with an idea and have it seen by real Lego Designers is a wonderful use of the web and a tremendous opportunity for talented designers and creators who put in the work.
The rules are straightforward and tell you much that you need to know if you have an idea of your own.
- Your submissions to CUUSOO must be original.
- Your submissions are your own work and no one else’s.
- You are at least 18 years old to submit a LEGO model. If you are 13 or older, you are welcome to vote and comment on projects.
- You grant LEGO the rights they need to commercialize your LEGO model. You can continue to share your project as you wish on your own website and online profiles.
- You will receive credit and compensation for your original LEGO ideas.
- Original LEGO Model Ideas. You will receive 1% of net sales if your LEGO CUUSOO Project is chosen and the LEGO Group commercializes it as a LEGO set.
- Original LEGO Part Ideas. You will receive a one-time flat fee as remuneration for a part idea that is produced, to be determined by the LEGO Group.
- Original LEGO Model Ideas based on Licensed IP. You will receive 1% of net sales if the model you submitted is based on third-party intellectual property (e.g. Star Wars or Angry Birds) and is your original work.
- If you are collaborating with another user, you are responsible to agree on the division of royalties between yourselves.
- Please don’t use the LEGO logo in your LEGO models.
- Please don’t submit projects requesting the re-release of discontinued LEGO products or themes.
- There may be unintentional overlap between your ideas and our current product development.
I haven’t created anything for myself yet but I know it is only a matter of time.
My son, who is only 11, is sad that he can’t contribute as he spends so much time refining designs with his Lego bricks and also on Lego Digital Designer (a free Mac/PC program I recommend to all parents if your child is into Lego).
But I have to accept that the rules are there for a reason. If anything, it has made me consider learning LDD for myself so we can co-create a family project together.
I feel blessed to have the opportunity to create and share so freely, and that Lego can take us there.
How about you? Are you tempted to do Lego Cuusoo?