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Update to LEGO® Ideas Guidelines: Restricting projects based on active licenses

Since we started accepting your ideas for new LEGO sets, we’ve kept our Guidelines open until we learn something is simply not practical. Early on, we learned to restrict projects that proposed an entire playtheme, new LEGO elements, and ideas that weren’t brick-based LEGO sets. Along the way, we’ve gradually adjusted the scope of projects we accept as we learn what is realistically possible. We will continue to do so as we evolve the LEGO Ideas experience.

Over the years, we have heard from many of you who have wondered if we would ever approve a project based on an existing license like Star Wars or MARVEL Super Heroes. Our Guidelines have maintained that these types of concepts are more likely to overlap our existing pipeline, and they have a smaller chance of passing our review because we are actively developing those product lines.

LEGO Ideas will no longer accept new submissions based on third-party licenses that are active in the LEGO Group’s portfolio.

Today we’ve updated our Guidelines and House Rules to clarify the types of models we will accept as LEGO® Ideas projects. The main focus of this update is that we will no longer allow projects that are based on currently active licenses in our product portfolio, like Star Wars, MARVEL Super Heroes, Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, and so on.

We’ve updated our Guidelines about licensed properties to reflect this, and added a list of restricted licensed properties to the License Conflicts and Resolutions page in the Knowledge Base. If we retire a third-party license and it didn't enter the LEGO portfolio via LEGO Ideas we'll remove it from our list, and you’ll then be welcome to submit projects based on it.

Why are you leaving existing projects active instead of archiving them?

In some cases, when we introduce new Guidelines we’ve archived affected projects. In this case, we’ve found many Ideas projects reference active third-party IP. Quite a few of these projects include sub-brands, spin offs, and extended universes from our licenses. In order to archive these projects, we would first need to review and decide on each one. Instead, we will evaluate and apply the Guideline to new project submissions going forward. Projects currently being reviewed, as well as active projects that reach 10,000 supporters in the future, will still be evaluated as part of the LEGO Review. Just like before, these projects would have a slimmer chance of passing the LEGO Ideas review, as they overlap with existing licenses in the LEGO product portfolio.

We’ve also made minor updates to our Terms of Service:

  • Section III.(ii.) Commercialization and Compensation: Added payment schedule to second paragraph.
  • Section V. Rules of Conduct: Replaced the first sentence, which was previously omitted in error.
  • Updated document version number at top, and trademark year at bottom.


Thanks again for participating here on LEGO Ideas. It’s an honor that you want to contribute toward future LEGO products that inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow. We hope this update clarifies the types of product ideas we’re able to consider and focuses your efforts toward new and different concepts for potential LEGO products.

Mr.LegoGeek

3 weeks ago

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I have a question: does this mean all active licenses that the LEGO group has or only the IPs that are used by LEGO Ideas sets?

HasanJensen

LEGO Ideas Team Moderator

3 weeks ago

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Hi Mr.LegoGeek,

This is covered in our blog post above, which we encourage you to read closely.

To re-cap, we won't be allowing projects based on:
- Any licenses that are currently active through a LEGO product
- Any licenses that have already been produced through LEGO Ideas products (even if these products have retired).

Mr.LegoGeek

3 weeks ago

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So Star Wars projects are a no-no now?

HasanJensen

LEGO Ideas Team Moderator

3 weeks ago

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That is correct.

Again, I strongly encourage you to carefully read our blog post below, where you would be able to find an answer to your question ;-)

Fraga

3 weeks ago

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Finally!

speshy

3 weeks ago

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Why isn't NASA on the restricted list? Doesn't affect any of my current / planned projects; just wondering.

Tim Courtney

LEGO Ideas Team Moderator

3 weeks ago

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The Guidelines page addresses this. We consider the specific mission to be the IP in this case. In a similar way, we are not restricting all properties owned by Disney, rather Disney properties currently active in the portfolio.

FirePrimeNinja21

3 weeks ago

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Ok! Thanks for the new guidelines.

BrickadierG

3 weeks ago

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Hi Tim,

Based on what you wrote regarding Disney and NASA, would the same apply to vehicles not currently active in the portfolio (from the specified manufacturers)? For a random example... A 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air. LEGO has done the Camaro in Speed Champions (so this would be out), but what about the multitude of other cars in Chevrolet's portfolio? With over 100 years of history, there is a lot that hasn't been touched.

As with Disney and NASA, the specific model/brand would be the IP, would it not? (I'm not even taking into account different model years. I'm assuming Camaro is out regardless of specific model year.)

speshy

3 weeks ago

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Thanks for the response, Tim!

Tim Courtney

LEGO Ideas Team Moderator

3 days ago

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Hi BrickadierG, good question. This is part moderation (how do we administrate, and keep track of restrictions?) and part licensing (how do we develop those relationships). Ideally, we want to be as open as possible, while also making the rules as easy to understand and administrate as possible, without leaving ourselves open to pipeline overlaps. Conceptually, it makes sense to treat the make/model as the IP. Hasan or I will get back to you after discussing in the team.

Saneps

3 weeks ago

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Thank you for doing this. I think that it will really help foster original Ideas.

hugosantos

3 weeks ago

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Great news!

Blondie-Wan

3 weeks ago

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Argh! I had several projects based on an existing active license that I've been planning for a couple years now but hadn't yet submitted, and which now I won't be able to.

My fault for being so slow, I guess. I've similarly had ideas that other fans beat me to submitting, one of which actually became a set. Oh, well.

I guess this was inevitable. I'm tremendously disappointed, but I can't blame you for taking this step. Mostly I'm upset with myself for not submitting any of my affected project ideas sooner.

Tim Courtney

LEGO Ideas Team Moderator

3 weeks ago

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Oof! Sorry about that. As you note, it was inevitable. Looking forward to your other projects though. :-)

B-Man

3 weeks ago

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This seemed inevitable. Hopefully the community can take it in stride, and luckily there are many great branded Ideas that are not currently in the portfolio.

ManMan02

3 weeks ago

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Eh, kinda iffy, but you gotta do what you gotta do.