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Those wider pre-existing fanbases are largely guaranteed, and are probably what TLG is appealing to anyway in order to attract new custom and publicity. Decision to green light these sets is probably more to do with being risk-averse (an easy sell to existing fans), and in some ways is a kop out for the cuusoo program.
Now i love my licenses as much as anyone, and if GBers was doable, they could've just done it without 'using up' that precious public voting slot. I'd like to see Cuusoo used to gauge interest in original sets that TLG would never make because of the risk. In my mind, if cuusoo isn't used to produce something new and original with each release, they've bottled it (choked), and will never learn just how popular something that appeared risky might actually be.
It is far from difficult for LEGO to simply spot a popular idea and then proceed to design it themselves, thereby negating any production issues or having to pay a cut to the initial submitter of the project.
While the guys are looking at the girl - I'm always enraptured by these storage cabinets.
This group has money, they can afford a $200 Western Town modular set. Young kids today don't play cowboys and Indians anymore, that is one reason TLR flopped.
Western modular would be great but with the TLR license they couldn't. They seem to be really pumping out the big sets now and pushing them beyond the creator range, that's great but I can understand why they do so tentatively. I suspect the western modular was perhaps a year or two too early. Out of interest what else was in the western modular review?
The point i wanted to make is simply that popular IP's don't need cuusoo to inform TLG what a popular IP is. But we do need cuusoo to gauge the demand for/popularity of original ideas. Existing fanbases will guarantee sales for these occasional IP one-offs.
When I said they can 'just do them' I simply meant produce these one-off single sets, they don't need 10000 votes to tell them what's popular (but it steals the slot from genuine original builds). (Though i believe you do still need a license agreement to produce even one set).
Example: I don't need 10,000 cuusoo votes to tell me a Star Trek USS Enterprise would do well. I do need cuusoo to showcase Tommy Atkins' Nebulova-9 Star Base build.
But irrespective, the fans asked and the fans got - and it was even fairly novel. Sure if every other cuusso set is a 30 year old film ip (or video game up) then it will get boring , but still might be successful. For my money the GB set was the pick of the bunch, has wide appeal and met a price point. As they showed with curiosity they're more than happy to go with what might be more pure cuusso but they just need to be the best of the bunch.
But as said, I just think it's the risk-averse option due to the existing fanbase and instantly recognisable IPs.
Presented with a bunch of fan-voted originals (and no clue how to market them or why they even popular) alongside something based on an IP (and their hordes of fans driving the votes up), the IP (if attainable) becomes the easy option.
I'm not against IP's (I love them), but I'd much prefer to see votes for IP's considered separately from original designs, so that originals aren't pushed aside to 'play safe'.
Hopefully the female minifigs will get develped too.