Lego Ideas (formerly known as Lego CUUSOO) is a program where fans can submit their Lego builds to the company for a limited-run, mass-produced official set, which is a great way to get fan models of your favorite geek stuff as official Lego sets (as Lego also acquires the relevant licenses if it can). There have been eight Lego Ideas sets so far, and three of them are licensed from existing creative works: Minecraft, Back To The Future’s DeLorean and the Ghostbuster’s Ecto-1 car.
Submitted projects to the Lego Ideas website are voted on by members of the Lego community, and the ones who reach 10,000 votes are reviewed by Lego, in batches. These reviews take place three times a year, and then they decide which set to build, taking into account things like safety and playability. Projects that are based on a third party IP (basically all fan tributes) have sometimes been rejected by Lego because it was either inappropriate or they couldn’t secure the IP rights.
The properties that Lego can’t get the IP rights to get banned from the Ideas website. For the longest time, Doctor Who was on the ban list … until now! For the most recent round of voting, not one but two Doctor Who sets were included in the mix. Also up for evaluation was a model of Doc Brown’s time train from Back To The Future 3, a set of model birds, an Apple store, and the Big Bang Theory characters in their living room.
Lego has announced the winners of 2014’s Ideas Review, and they went with two winners this time. They’re going to produce the birds, and the Big Bang Theory. The birds are a beautiful set, so that deserved to win, but I can’t help but wonder how The Big Bang Theory beat the rest. It’s a popular show no doubt, but the set is just an over-glorified living room with a couch and some licensed characters. The Big Bang Theory‘s entire raison d’être is showcasing nerd stereotypes, one of which is that they don’t really get out much. There was even one episode where Sheldon tried to learn to swim on the living room floor, via the internet. On the other hand, there were three different time machines on the evaluation list, which I feel has way more play value that a bunch of folks on a couch. However, if you’ve always wanted a Big Bang Theory set, congratulations! You’re getting one.
There is good news for the Whovians though. The Doctor Who sets are still up for evaluation. Keep on believing, Whovians. We may still get adventures in time and space!