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  • Eight Projects Qualify for the Second 2014 LEGO Review

    The Second 2014 LEGO Review deadline passed this morning at 12:00 a.m. GMT, and eight projects have qualified for the LEGO Review in this period. Congratulations to all eight project creators! Here are the qualifiers for the First 2014 LEGO Review:

    Assault on Wayne Manor

     

    Invisible Hand

     

    X-Men: X-Mansion

     

    LEGO Lightsabers: Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker

     

    UCS All Terrain Armoured Transport

     

    WALL•E

     

    Ghostbusters HQ

     

    The Hubble Space Telescope

     

    First 2014 LEGO Review Results Coming Soon

    Throughout this summer, the LEGO Review Board has been hard at work determining the results of the First 2014 LEGO Review. The projects being considered in the First 2014 LEGO Review are:

    We'll post those results here in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!

     

    What is the LEGO Review?

    The "LEGO Review Board" reviews projects that reach 10,000 supporters and consider them for production using a process similar to the one used for our own LEGO products. For more info on the LEGO Review, check out the "What is a Project?" section of our Project Guildeines and House Rules.

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  • Second 2014 LEGO Review Deadline Fast Approaching

    There's just a few more hours for LEGO Ideas projects to reach 10,000 supporters and qualify for the Second 2014 LEGO Review. The deadline is tonight, 12:00 a.m. GMT September 1st. While the project closest to 10k still needs a few hundred supporters, it wouldn't be the first time a project has qualified in the 11th hour!

    But don't worry, if your favorite project doesn't make it tonight, there's four months until the Third LEGO Review deadline at 12:00 a.m. GMT January 5th, 2015.

    First 2014 LEGO Review Results Coming Soon

    Throughout this summer, the LEGO Review Board has been hard at work determining the results of the First 2014 LEGO Review. We'll post those results here in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!

    What is the LEGO Review?

    The "LEGO Review Board" reviews projects that reach 10,000 supporters and consider them for production using a process similar to the one used for our own LEGO products. For more info on the LEGO Review, check out the "What is a Project?" section of our Project Guildeines and House Rules.

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  • A few new features and bug fixes on LEGO Ideas

    Today we released the first of several batches of improvements and fixes to LEGO Ideas. This update is based on a list of both features and bugs our team has prioritized after observing the LEGO Ideas experience to date, and reading the great feedback many of you have sent us.

    While there are quite a few small improvements, we'd like to highlight one big improvment; the Discover Page:

    • Discover page remembers where you left off – No more losing your place when you click back to the Discover page from a project in the same tab. The Discover page now remembers your search and position on the page, even if you’re several “pages” down.
    • Filter by Project State – By default, the Discover Page now shows projects Gathering Support. When sorting by “Most Supported,” you no longer need to wade through a list of projects already at 10,000 supporters. You can also browse by projects that have achieved 10,000 supporters, are currently in Review, approved, in production, on shelves, were recently updated, or even not approved.
    • Browse former Staff Picks on the Discover page – Want a list of old Staff Picks, after they’re no longer on the homepage? Check the box for “Filter by Staff Picks” on the Discover page, and it will show all current and former Staff Picks starting today (since it's a new feature, we weren't able to list picks from before today). See a list of really great projects the LEGO Ideas team loves,* and even search within just staff picks if you like!

     

    This release also fixes a few pesky bugs, including:

    • Mobile log-in screen scrolling issue
    • Projects you follow not appearing on your Following list
    • Fixed broken profile Activity feed badge links

     

    Our development team is already working on the releases that will follow over the months to come. If we haven’t yet addressed your feedback, hold tight, many of the more popular requests are already prioritized in our development backlog. To make sure we consider your feedback, you’re always welcome to email us at support.ideas@LEGO.com.

    * Curious about Staff Picks? This article gives a little background about Staff Picks and how and why we choose them.

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  • The Making of the Exo Suit

    • exo suit
    • lego ideas #007
    • peter reid
    • mark stafford

    LEGO® Designer Mark Stafford transformed Peter Reid's LEGO Ideas Exo Suit project into an official LEGO set. We sat down with him to find out how he did it.

    Peter's original model - full of illegal and out-of-production goodness.

    When LEGO Ideas came calling to ask Mark to work on transforming Peter Reid's Exo Suit into an official LEGO set, he jumped at the chance. He and Pete have known each other for nearly a decade, even before Mark became a LEGO designer. They met when they both exhibited at LEGO World in 2005, bonding over a mutual appreciation of robots and spaceships. In fact, they've even worked together on a spaceship model once, the Enlightenment.


    NA-311 Enlightenment - photo by legoloverman (Peter Reid), from flickr
    A collaboration between Peter Reid and Mark Stafford

    Making the model a legal build that holds up to the LEGO Group's rigorous playability standards was no easy feat. Mark wanted to remain true to Pete's original and Pete had used quite a number of elements that were no longer available.  Mark's goal was to find a way to retain the look and the spirit of Pete's model in a way that was compatible with LEGO standards.


    It all started with a big pile of elements.

    Mark started by working on the body. After a number of iterations, he sent some photos to Pete to see what he thought. Pete was blunt, it was rubbish. But he understood precisely what Mark had done wrong and gave great feedback that enabled Mark to make adjustments and fix the issues. Next up were the Exo Suit limbs. Mark created and rejected too many versions to count.


    Various arm and claw versions

    Although it hadn't been done before with a LEGO Ideas project, Mark invited Peter to come to Billund to work together on the model. This was possible as Peter was already under NDA with LEGO, having done some early sketch models for the Atlantis theme. When asked what he thought about the experience, Peter Reid said, "It was awesome to visit the inner sanctum, and build alongside Mark. We worked on solving a number of design and aesthetic issues, which was lots of fun. I'm very pleased with the finished product. It feels like a true collaboration."

    After extensive work, three versions of the arms were sent to LEGO's Design Lab, the team that reviews and tests all new LEGO set designs. Design Lab came back and said two of them were still illegal builds because elements were being stressed in ways that weren't allowed. Then, a new element - a 2x2 round tile with a hole through it - became available and with it, as well as some connections hidden inside the much-discussed barrels, Pete and Mark were able to solve the arm problem.


    Official "new" elements in new colors in the Exo Suit set.

    It's a general policy that LEGO Ideas sets cannot contain any new elements, but they can contain existing elements in new colors. Mark was able to incorporate a number of new elements from other lines, including a bowl and the handlebars from the LEGO Friends line. The slopes used on the feet are quite new as well, according to Mark. Being able to include a lovely set of brand new elements in colors not seen before was important to Mark. The five official new pieces/colors are:

    • green torso with Classic Space print
    • green helmet
    • green oxygen tank
    • medium stone grey 2x2 dome
    • silver metallic wheel cover


    •  

    Everyone assumed that Mark would utilize the new mini ball joints found in Mixels and Chima sets in this design, but he didn't. The reason was twofold - one, production capacity was completely taken up and they were simply not available; and two, and even more importantly, it was truer to Pete's original design not to use them. Mark told us again and again that he wanted to retain the spirit of Pete's heavily-greebled design to the extent that was allowed. What's greebling, you ask? According to Wikipeda, "A greeble is a fine detailing added to the surface of a larger object that makes it appear more complex, and therefore more visually interesting."


    A number of color combinations were tried before the silver and grey version was settled upon.

    While Peter's original LEGO Ideas proposal didn't include a turtle, Mark and the Ideas team thought the Exo Suit needed a companion. Mark knew that Peter was famous for his turtles, which populate his Flickr photostream, so it had to be a turtle. Mark built several solutions and sent them to Peter, but they weren't right. In the end, they returned (mostly) to Pete's original design and as Mark told us, "The turtle is purely Pete."


    Early prototypes of the green minifigures

    Perhaps the most exciting part of all, for both Mark and Peter, was being able to introduce a new color of Classic Space minifigures. Mark told us that each of the original colors of Classic Space minifigures had a specific job: white for pilots, red for soldiers/explorers, yellow for scientists, blue for commanders and black for spies. None of those really fit the category of mech pilot. Thanks to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IP, all of the necessary parts were there in green, so Mark called Pete and said, "How do you feel about doing a new color of space minifigure?" Pete was, understandably, ecstatic. It had, after all, been 30 years since LEGO had done a new color of space figure. And now Pete and his girlfriend Yve find themselves forever immortalized in LEGO Space.

    The green space minifigure is probably the most meaningful aspect of the set for Mark. He has met both of the original designers of the Classic Space sets (both are elderly men now and live in the Billund area) and to have the opportunity to carry on the tradition they started was a real privilege. "This is my childhood I'm adding to," he said, "it's really special to me."

    Lastly, Peter, who has added to the LEGO Classic Space story himself with LEGO Space: Building the Future, the book he co-authored with Tim Goddard, has revealed to us exclusively that he will add to it again, as there will be a follow up to the popular book. But first, he and Yve will get up to plenty of LEGO adventures with their Exo Suit and their turtle.

    The Exo Suit is available in LEGO Brand Stores and on LEGO.com from August 1.

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