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Australian man wants Ideas set to be his legacy to his son

BooTheMightyHamsterBooTheMightyHamster Member Posts: 1,528
edited August 2017 in Everything else LEGO
I've just seen this on the BBC site...

In a nutshell, an Australian chap has terminal cancer and has spent time with his son playing with Lego in his final days.  They feel that there aren't many 'Australian themed' sets, and have put forward an Ideas project for a Surf rescue set, which, thanks to the publicity his story has received, hit 10,000 votes quite quickly.  Apparently Lego will 'take his illness into account'.

While I feel sorry for the man and his family's terrible situation, I'm not sure how I feel about this.  I can't abide these talent shows, such as 'The X Factor' and so on, and don't watch them, but from what I understand, there's a trend to not just turn up because you're a good singer, but because you've had some tragedy in your life, and 'I'm just doing this for my Mum / Aunt Flossie / my sister / next door's cat'. etc etc

Should an Ideas project just stand on the quality of the build, or should the 'backstory' be taken into account.

I'm really not sure... 


  • LostInTranslationLostInTranslation Member Posts: 5,572
    edited August 2017
    I think an Ideas project should be judged on the project and not on the back story.
    Just looking at the project, there have been similar Coast/Rescue themes before in City, there's Fun at the Beach currently and Friends has done lots of beachy stuff. I think Ideas should be for subjects that can't be covered in existing themes, not something that Lego could/would release under something like City if it felt there was a market for it.
    Regarding the alleged lack of Australian culture representation, well, there are lots of cultures that are not represented in Lego, Lego worlds generally have their own identity and I think that's probably a good thing.  

  • zorzoszorzos Member Posts: 26
    I truly agree with the talent show thing, but in the spirit of fairness, I think all Ideas projects should be judged on the same standards.. On the other hand, once such an issue comes to your attention, I think it's nearly impossible anyone will dismiss it and try to be objective.

    Maybe LEGO can give just the family an official set modelled after their submission but I do not know if that would fan any flames.. 

    Do you think this is going to maybe start a trend? People starting to submit their Ideas projects along with a short life story?
  • BooTheMightyHamsterBooTheMightyHamster Member Posts: 1,528
    I did wonder about that.  If this turns out to be successful, either as an official project, or if Lego do something special for him, I can see the floodgates opening...
  • LostInTranslationLostInTranslation Member Posts: 5,572
    edited August 2017
    Yes it would be a worrying precedent to set. It could all turn into a PR minefield for Lego too. Do they reject this one to set the tone and discourage other similar projects and face some criticism right now, or approve it but then face criticism later if they reject others with equally sad back stories?  
    I think @zorzos has a good idea, make a commemorative set for the family, but again, I wonder what kind of precedent it would set. 
  • zorzoszorzos Member Posts: 26
    I have to admit that I didn't think of the reprecussions to the LEGO Group themselves, I've been thinking this from a fan point of view. Because right now they are faced with an impossible decision, as @LostInTranslation said - one way or another there's bound to be criticism. 

    But yes, even a commemorative set would affect future submissions in my opinion, and it kind of greatly alters the meaning of Ideas projects I think.
  • gmonkey76gmonkey76 Member Posts: 1,827
    I too feel sorry for the man and his family, and wish them all the best. While I like the set I think it's too similar to official sets to get made. I think the set has to stand on it's own. What if the set is garbage? Will LEGO say we made this set because the person who designed it was dying? It opens up the possibility for scammers latter, or bad press if someone else who is dying doesn't get theirs made. Bottom line the set has to stand up on it's own.
  • MaffyDMaffyD Member Posts: 3,500

    I seriously doubt that this will get made - I saw it earlier today whilst looking up what was in review for todays announcement. It's not bad, but not particularly striking or inventive (sun protection theme notwithstanding).

    Lego may well say something along the lines of "Thanks for sharing the inspiration behind this submission, it's a lovely thought and we'll bear that in mind when reviewing." but ultimately, that could just mean that they're going to be careful in how they reject it, to avoid negative publicity.

    They could give fun at the beach and a few other sets with a beach theme (campervan and anything with a surf board or beach in the name) to the family instead to show that they care. Plus that might actually get to them before the father dies, which I think is important.

    I hope the son isn't pinning all his hopes on getting this made. It's a very sad situation for him and his family as it is.

  • zorzoszorzos Member Posts: 26
    Good idea with them getting fun at the beach and some other related sets.

    I wonder in what light would LEGO be cast following the potential rejection of the project though..
  • prof1515prof1515 Member Posts: 1,550

    Honestly, there are as many "Australian themed" sets as there are sets for any other country.  Don't Australians drive vehicles, fly in planes or ride in boats?

    If this father wants to give his son something to remember him by, he already has that capability.  Having an "official" set from Lego isn't really giving his son anything.  The time he spends with his son is giving him memories.  The ideas that they create and build together is giving his son something.  Having an "official" set is just exploiting his illness and his situation to add an element of emotional blackmail to the submission.  It's in Lego's best interest NOT to consider any sad tale lest a year from now we have dozens of ugly, uninspired, "Frankie Sr.'s Terminal Cancer Commemorative Sets" and "Little Timmy's Halitosis Depression Sets".  Sure it's just a pile of 2x4 red bricks that looks like either a crude elephant or a five-legged orangutan but it's special to someone and how can we deny this one when we didn't the other(s)?

  • ecmo47ecmo47 Member Posts: 2,101
    It would be a long an ugly road. Lego would have to do a background check on every Ideas submission with a sob-story attached to ensues validity.
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