I successfully submitted my first Lego Idea last month and while the experience wasn’t easy per se, I thought it quite do-able and as a result plan to make more submissions in the future.
You see, Lego are quite stringent with what they allow for Lego Ideas submissions; there’s all sorts of hoops they make you jump through regarding IP’s, originality, photo quality, description, etc, etc… It’s quite normal, as I understand it, to have your initial submission returned for revisions; in the case of my first submission I had to make a change to the wording of the build description (apparently it sounded too familiar to an existing Idea..?) and revise one or two of the photographs to align with their ever changing image policy. On my third attempt my Idea was accepted and is now sitting on the Lego Ideas website awaiting your support! Go on, get over there now!
You’re back? good.
I have a number of smaller MOC’s that I have stashed away and decided to dust one off, tweak it and upload it as my second Ideas submission. A fairly straightforward build and a blatant homage (read: not rip off.) to the early era of the Classic Lego Space theme.
One of the earliest and most iconic Lego Space sets from 1979 was the rather unimaginatively titled RADAR TRUCK:
I thought I was being quite clever by creating an updated version, I mean plenty of people have created updated versions of Classic Space models from decades ago, some are even on Lego Ideas’ website. So I figured this would be like shooting Danish ducks in a barrel.
Like the original from ’79, my build is simple (by today’s standards, anyway) and decked out in light grey with the mandatory Red Spaceman minifigure. Hey, I thought it was cool.
My first attempt at submitting the Idea was returned for revision, I assumed because I had called it ‘Radar Truck Redux’ and in Lego’s mind that was too close to the name of the original build; at least that’s how I interpreted their feedback. But it was upon rejection of my second attempt that the penny dropped: they saw this build not so much as a homage (as indicated in my submission) but rather an update to their existing Radar Truck model, which to the best of my knowledge has not been available in stores since some time in the early 1980s… You see Lego don’t like it when you suggest improvements on their existing models; that’s a bit naughty in their view, despite the fact that this is certainly not what I was doing. I was submitting a build that celebrated the original model and one that I thought would appeal to the older fans of Classic Lego Space… like me.
So I decided to drop the Idea. I have other builds up my sleeve that I plan to pursue in the not too distant future. I’ll keep my RADAR TRUCK REDUX to myself and the loyal readers of this shit-hot blog. So check out some more pics of my little build and let me know what you reckon. Am I being Lego-naive? Do I still have much to learn about the etiquette of woo-ing Lego? Probably. Or are Lego just being mean and destroying my already dwindling artistic confidence? Meh… who cares.
Anyway, take what you can from my recent experience and bare it in mind if you plan on submitting a build to Lego. I think the moral here is: be as original as possible. One person’s ‘homage’ is always another’s ‘rip-off’, despite your best intentions.
UPDATE May 2021:
I decided to switch the rims to red so as to closer resemble the original. I also decided to make an original Radar Truck as I had the pieces to do it: