2021 BrickLink AFOL Designer Program to give new legs to 31 LEGO Ideas 10k-club designs [News]

Today BrickLink is revealing the second round of its AFOL Designer Program (ADP), which crowdfunds the creation of LEGO fan designs. 31 LEGO Ideas projects which reached 10,000 votes on that platform but were not selected to become Ideas sets have been ported over to the ADP where fans can choose to support them again. The projects range from a tiny aquarium to a fishing boat and a castle. Fans will be able to pre-order them in a Kickstarter-like process between June 1 and August 10. If they pass the crowdfunding goals on BrickLink, up to 13 of the sets may be produced. Unlike LEGO Ideas, the ADP will not substantially alter submitted models, so the final sets will be extremely close to the voted-on designs.

The first round of the AFOL Designer Program occurred in 2018 and solicited designs from the fan community to be turned into semi-official LEGO sets via a partnership between LEGO and BrickLink. (Check out our review of Löwenstein Castle from the ADP.) The LEGO Company subsequently purchased BrickLink in late 2019, and the newest round of the AFOL Designer Program is leveraging that connection to draw on LEGO’s own crowdsourcing platform LEGO Ideas for the new ADP designs. LEGO Ideas projects have a chance to become official LEGO sets, but must first receive 10,000 votes and then pass an internal review for product viability. As LEGO Ideas announced in December, for round two of the ADP, the company reached out to specific creators whose projects had passed the 10k mark but not the internal review, and invited them to participate in the ADP. LEGO says future rounds of the ADP may be open to submissions from all fans.

Read the full press release from LEGO below.


Today we’re excited to share the next steps in the collaboration between LEGO Ideas and BrickLink via the BrickLink Designer Program: 2021 Invitational.

As communicated in December 2020, we planned to invite a selection of LEGO Ideas members and their 10K Club submissions to participate in the pilot program, the purpose being to realize more of the amazing fan designs that are submitted to LEGO Ideas.

The result has been that 27 members have agreed to participate with 31 10K Club projects. We’re thrilled at the response we got from the invited members with almost 100% of the invited members deciding to accept our invitation.

The designers are already very busy at work on their designs in the “pre-production” phase. In this phase, designers must re-work their designs to fit a few program requirements, such as having to build their creations digitally in BrickLink Studio using a particular palette of LEGO bricks and colours, resizing their designs to fit between 400-4000 elements and more.

“This is very cool: I am in control of designing the final product”
– Stephan Niks, Creator of Anatomini

The pre-production phase, which ends May 31st. will also include testing phases. Submissions must pass the pre-production phase and deadline in order to have their design(s) eligible for crowdfunding.


On the landing page, you can find the overall timeline for the program as well as an in-depth FAQ that can hopefully assist you with answers to your questions. The BrickLink team will also be available to answer your questions.

9 comments on “2021 BrickLink AFOL Designer Program to give new legs to 31 LEGO Ideas 10k-club designs [News]

  1. Jimmy

    This is pretty cool, I’m curious how it will work out.
    I am REALLY attracted to The Castle In The Forest, but not sure my Lego budget will be able to handle it.

    The Pursuit Of Flight is also very nice and I will absolutely buy at least one of those (because part count and price is likely to be more within reach), and probably a second one for a gift.

    Space Troopers is attractive just because it’s a classic-space-esque set, but honestly I have seen much better mocs out there and the measly three pictures shown on the page do not convince me it would be a good value.

  2. Håkan


    Kinda surprised Space Troopers was picked since it felt quite old and under-developed, but maybe Lego was looking for some different Space-based thing that didn’t require a license…

    I’m also considering The Castle In The Forest, although my budget might not allow such splurging without any new prints…


    No external IP’s allowed. No exceptions.

  3. Gad

    I’m deeply hurt by LEGO.
    Bricklink had no problem sending sets from the BRICKLINK AFOL DESIGNER PROGRAM to practically anywhere in the world. I was very happy to support several projects then.
    Bricklink was about AFOLs everywhere.
    Now LEGO excluded me from the Bricklink community!!!

    ***This exclusion by LEGO undermines the essence of Bricklink: connecting AFOLs around the world.***

    Pay attention, LEGO: the World of Bricklink and AFOLs is way wider than 30 countries!

  4. Jimmy

    @ Hakan you are thinking along the same lines I am.

    @Gad I’m not familiar with Bricklink limitations, what exactly are you talking about? It seems like you are saying that this program will only ship to 30 countries, and where you live is not one of them?

  5. Gad

    @ Jimmy Here’s what LEGO has to say:

    Will you ship the BrickLink Designer sets to all countries?

    Unfortunately, we cannot ship the produced designer sets to all countries. Only BrickLink members from the following 30 countries are allowed to pre-order the designer sets.

    America: USA, Canada, Mexico
    Europe: UK, Germany, Belgium, Italy, France, Spain, Denmark, Poland, Sweden, Netherlands, Norway, Hungary, Finland, Switzerland, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia, Ireland, Slovakia, Czechia, Luxembourg, Latvia, Estonia, Greece
    Asia/Oceania: South Korea, Australia, New Zealand

  6. Jimmy

    @ Gad thanks, that’s really weird.

    Does your country have some rule against crowdfunding sites/schemes like kickstarter and the like? It reads like maybe the shipping isn’t the problem, perhaps it has to do with the way the projects are funded.

  7. Håkan


    The sets are produced in Europe, so it could have something to do with the rules of shipping packages from EU.

  8. Gad

    @Jimmy, thanks for taking interest in this.
    This has nothing to do with crowd sourcing.
    Here’s my guess:
    There are many countries LEGO chooses to deal with through a middleman – an importer/distributor. The results are prohibitive prices because of the extra hand. I’m talking two to three times as expensive as in the US.
    So Perhaps LEGO has agreements with these middlemen that forbids them from selling directly to consumers.
    What’s new and very upsetting is that now LEGO brought this practice to BrickLink.

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