Lego Minecraft Project Reaches 10,000 Votes on Cuusoo

Here’s the official press release from Lego:

BILLUND, Denmark – A project backed by Minecraft developer Mojang has become the first user-sponsored project to reach the 10,000 vote threshold on the new global version of LEGO® CUUSOO, opening the way for a LEGO set featuring Minecraft to become a reality.

It took the project only 48 hours to gather votes from 10,000 fans of the project from around the world.

“We’re really excited to see the fantastic enthusiasm of the Minecraft community. This is what LEGO CUUSOO is all about, connecting people’s passion to the LEGO brick,” says Paal Smith-Meyer, Head of the LEGO New Business Group. “It is still too early to say whether a Minecraft play set will become a LEGO product as it still needs to go through a review and approval process to ensure it meets our usual LEGO standards, but it is certainly a lot closer.”

A go/no-go decision should be reached within the next few weeks. Assuming it is given a “go,” then development on any new sets will begin. During this time, LEGO model designers refine the product, while packaging, instructions, and marketing are developed ready for a production run. This will take several months.

LEGO CUUSOO is an idea collection system that asks the Danish toy manufacturers’ consumers to submit and vote for their favourite ideas for new LEGO products. It can be found at http://lego.cuusoo.com . The site is currently in “open beta” and has been well received by fans and niche interest groups eager to see their ideas become official LEGO products.

CUUSOO, which means ‘imagination’ or sometimes ‘wish’ in Japanese, has been developed with CUUSOO SYSTEM, a subsidiary of Japan-based Elephant Design that has worked with open innovation and crowd sourcing for more than 10 years.
The LEGO Group has worked with CUUSOO since 2008 on a Japanese site that has attracted hundreds of ideas and seen thousands of votes cast by a 35,000-strong community. Now the time has come to test the concept internationally.

The first Japanese product, the Shinkai 6500 submersible, went on sale in Japan in February 2011. The next Japanese LEGO CUUSOO model will be the Hayabusa unmanned spacecraft launched in the first quarter of next year.

It took the Shinkai 6500, 420 days to reach 1,000 votes in Japan. Hayabusa took 57 days to 1,000. With the launch of the LEGO CUUSOO worldwide site the threshold was raised to 10,000 to reflect the larger audience.

On LEGO CUUSOO, ideas that are supported by enough votes will be examined by a LEGO jury that will check that the models meet LEGO standards of safety and playability and support the LEGO brand. Consumers who have their ideas chosen for production will earn 1% of the total net sales of the product.

In the case of the Minecraft project, Mojang and the collaborators have offered the 1% CUUSOO royalty to a charity of Mojang’s choice.

14 comments on “Lego Minecraft Project Reaches 10,000 Votes on Cuusoo

  1. 4estFeller

    Wow, I have to say I’m surprised. I don’t really like the idea, but hey, maybe we will see some cool new minifig parts/accessories out of this.

  2. Paul Evans

    I genuinely don’t get this at all.

    The way Minecraft is typically described to people who aren’t familiar with it, is ‘it’s like virtual LEGO that you dig out of the ground and then build with.’ If you assume the two components are ‘dig stuff out of the ground’ and ‘build stuff with it’, I can’t see how the first component would be productive (no pun intended) and the second component is fundamentally /the LEGO building system/.

    There’s nowhere to go with this, short of lego producing perfectly square bricks. If this goes the distance, it’ll be LEGO, replicating a computer game, replicating LEGO. And that’s why I don’t think it’ll go anywhere; it would mean TLC producing a facsimile of a poor copy of its own product.

    Ho-hum.

  3. Bricko

    To tell you the truth, I am not that surprised by this. I like how in just 48 hours Lego fans can have a impact on a new Lego theme. I think that Lego’s idea is fabulous.

  4. Mike

    isn’t minecraft a sandbox game with super-simple elements? Isn’t that what Lego is? Let’s make a Lego set that has Lego in it!
    It seems backwards to then have instructions for how to build it out of Lego. OR if there are no instructions, how is this different then a brick bucket?
    OR maybe I just have no imagination, and whatever “they” come up with is going to blow my mind.

    Either way I am intrigued, not excited, to see what comes of this.

  5. Andrew

    @Bricko: For better or for worse, I think the impact was from Minecraft fans (when the developer linked to the CUUSOO project from their site), not necessarily LEGO fans. ;-)

  6. Catsy

    I have to say that I don’t grok the appeal of this at all, myself.

    The fundamental problem with it is that it reinforces some of the worst stereotypes of what you’re limited to creating in Lego–the kind of excessively pixellated, blocky shapes typical of 8-bit graphics and Duplo. As Lego artists and enthusiasts, we spend a lot of time trying to transcend those limitations where they exist, and disperse the misconceptions of the ones that don’t.

    At best this doesn’t help, and at worst it could hurt our efforts to educate the public that Lego is more than “just blocks”.

  7. Lyichir

    I disagree with a lot of cynics who bash the outcome of this project. There’s a lot of ways to do LEGO Minecraft without making a full theme. Heck, if I played Minecraft, I’d seriously consider investing in a set if it were just like the one used for this article. Both of the CUUSOO projects that came to fruition when the service was limited to Japan were display pieces for the most part. Why should this be any different?

  8. Nick2253

    I’m going to agree with Paul, Mike, and Catsy: I honestly think this is ridiculous.

    I mean, for starters, what’s so different from Minecraft and LEGO right now? Minecraft is a voxel based building game, identical to LEGO except for the aspect ratio. Though of course that hardly a limitation for the even remotely skilled among us (a skilled example seen here http://www.flickr.com/photos/mtbin/5520729043/). In nearly every article and review introducing Minecraft when it first came out described the game using some variation of “a simplified version of LEGOs where you have to gather them before you can use them.” However, Minecraft doesn’t come with instructions: it’s all about sandbox creativity. So, when LEGO produces these sets, you will first build the sets as LEGO intended, and then, POOF, when you take them apart to be “creative,” they reduce to simple bricks. So, yeah, LEGO Minecraft kits will be nothing more than a set of bricks. Though, in a way, I guess that could be useful, because it would reintroduce the current generation to basic brick-based building.

    I also agree with Andrew: this support isn’t coming from the AFOL or the LEGO community. This is coming from the Minecraft community.

  9. Curtis

    I for one think it’s a great idea.

    What’s going to sell better… A big bucket of “Lego bricks”, or a big bucket of “Minecraft Lego bricks”? I think the bucket that says Minecraft is going to sell more. Brand names sell. Mega Blok building sets were a joke before they started snatching up desirable franchises like Marvel, Halo, Need for Speed, Warcraft and Starcraft, now they are hugely popular because they reached out to a knew customer base. Lego now has the opportunity to reach out to a like-minded customer base, gamer’s who like to build things with blocks, why wouldn’t these people buy up the Minecraft branded sets? Why wouldn’t people who normally bought the big buckets (people only buy these for the bricks) buy a Minecraft branded bucket?

    Of course this is assuming Lego sells this theme in place of the big buckets, which I feel would be a reasonable thing to do.

  10. Curtis

    All these comments about Minecraft only reaching 10,000 because of the Minecraft fans rather than Lego fans are ridiculous. I can’t look at my photo-stream each day without seeing a darn Minecraft screenshot! Lego fans are playing Minecraft, lots of them… Lets not forget Minecraft was first submitted by a Lego fan on CUUSOO, and it had a couple thousand supports before Mojang even got involved.

  11. Andrew

    ^ Yes, I suspect that TBB contributor Chris’s Minecraft CUUSOO idea, for example, might have reached 10,000 supportors eventually, from LEGO fans alone, but this project was spun up and promoted by Mojang, thus my cynicism about the 48-hour groundswell actually being from LEGO fans like those commenting here. I’m not at all saying that LEGO fans and Minecraft fans are somehow mutually exclusive — not at all! It’s just interesting to think about how this might have played out “naturally.”

  12. Chris Post author

    Also, I think it’s important to keep in mind that, as far as my understanding of how Cuusoo works, the set that is potentially forthcoming is a one-off specialty set, not the introduction of a major theme. My guess would be that it’ll end up in the vein of the Space Skulls set. http://www.brickset.com/detail/?set=10192-1

  13. legovaughan

    my first reaction on seeing a Minecraft project on Cuusoo was simply -

    “what is this i don’t even”

    and it still is now they’ve hit the magical 10,000. I just don’t understand why they don’t go out and buy green and brown 2×2 bricks and build their low detail worlds out of regular bricks. Oh wait, that’s cos they can do it using virtual blocks in Minecraft!

    wait, what is this i don’t even??

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