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AFOL Designer Program

Well, they just posted the next four finalists on the Bricklink Studio landing page for the contest! Crowdfunding doesn't begin until February 1, but it sure is exciting to see what all the contestants came up with! :) 


  • M1J0EM1J0E Calgary, ABMember Posts: 306
    People have done some nice MOC’s!  It definitely sure is interesting to see what ideas people have.  Certainly better than anything I could come up with by far. But I hate to admit, I’m not seeing anything that’s a particular must buy for me.  
  • Glacierfalls265Glacierfalls265 USAMember Posts: 223
    @M1J0E that seems to be the consensus all around. It's probably going to be tough for the finalists to get to that $10k funding goal! 
  • BumblepantsBumblepants Sofia BG/Dallas TXMember Posts: 5,334
    Many of these have extremely high piece counts too. Curious to see how this plays out.
  • M1J0EM1J0E Calgary, ABMember Posts: 306
    I am curious too.  That doesn’t seem a terribly bad threshold to reach actually.  If each set sells on average for $100US (& it’d be more since many break the 1,000 piece barrier), they only need 100 people worldwide to purchase.  Surely there’ll be enough ‘collector’ demand to satisfy that?  It’ll be interesting to compare the results as well to Forma, which seems to be very similar marketing with a totally different set concept, and Ideas.  Initially I thought this initiative would be very much like Ideas, but it seems closer to bricklinking MOC’s than Ideas where a submission could be somewhat changed to turn it into a “Legoized” official set.
  • dutchlegofan50dutchlegofan50 Zwolle, NetherlandsMember Posts: 179
    I'm rather underwhelmed. There are so many excellent MOC's around - check Brothers Bricks for instance. While some of the designs submitted under this program are OK, none of them really stand out in my opinion.

    I'm afraid this is just another example from BrickLink that shows that they don't have the right focus.
    First we got MOC Shop. Turned out to be a complete fail. Then we got Mosaic. Another fail from the start. Now we have this. My prediction is that none of the designs submitted will meet the required amount in the fund raising step.

    Instead, BrickLink should listen to it's customers (the sellers) and turn their focus to updating the outdated 20 year old website to modern standards. But -alas- they seem to have no interest in this.

    I'm particularly concerned because BL -- based in China -- has a different opinion about the freedom of speech than in Europe.
    People like me who are critical about BL are punished by a life time ban on the forum and there's no communication possible with the admins of BL.

    You can take my words above for granted. No problem.

    The real problem is that TLG agreed to cooperate with BL not knowing that BL doesn't accept the United Nations Human Rights Declaration (freedom of speech).

    TL;DR: LEGO should stop their cooperation with BricLink ASAP.
  • Glacierfalls265Glacierfalls265 USAMember Posts: 223
    edited January 20
    It's interesting, I kind of expected the results to be a little more complex. A lot of AFOLs, I think, want the wow factor they see with some of the really complex LEGO Ideas modulars or private MOCs on Flickr. So the results there, as some have mentioned, are nice but not something they really want to spend money on.

    I was kind of surprised. I submitted 7 designs, some ridiculously detailed, and they chose the Clovershire Castle as a finalist. (One of the simpler ones I did). Maybe they chose smaller as they would be easier to make? Mine most likely won't make it through crowdfunding but one can hope! 

    Part of the thing I think with this contest is the short amount of time the designers were given with the program software and everything, so I think some of the constraints might have filtered out any potentially really large projects? Then again, eight still have to be revealed so I can't accurately judge yet! 

  • M1J0EM1J0E Calgary, ABMember Posts: 306
    All the best for reaching your crowdfunding goal!  I’m assuming they wanted a range of sizes (and therefore price points) of sets, given the numbers of sets >1,000 pieces.  But then I’m assuming it’s more difficult for your project to reach the crowdfunding goals then as each set would have a lower sell price, needing more sales.  
  • CaptainPirateManCaptainPirateMan MichiganMember Posts: 317
    We were going to submit our design for "Freddy/Nancy's house" from A nightmare on elm street. Because of licensing we were just gonna call it "Nightmare House" and leave Freddy out of it. But the parts selection that they require you to use was just TOO limiting. We would have had to start completely over. Which if the program was more proactive WHILE you are doing it (as far as what parts you can and cant use) it would have been fine. But it was like 30% of the parts we would of had to substitute, that's pretty much means back to square one. Which we found that out after working on it for almost 2 weeks. That was frustrating.

    It's a nice program for making directions for you MOCS, but the actual contest and rules... Pass.
  • CaptainPirateManCaptainPirateMan MichiganMember Posts: 317
    BTW, this is the original MOC we were going to enter. The "Final" version was altered quite a bit, but mostly the same "feel". 

    Again we were just gonna call it "Nightmare House" and NOT include a Freddy minifig.

  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,024
    The are going to sell parts from the US only, so it will be poor value after S+H and VAT and Royal Mail fees for UK (and other EU countries).

    Plus you can see better MOCs on eurobricks and flickr.
  • Glacierfalls265Glacierfalls265 USAMember Posts: 223
    Oh interesting, I did not know that! (Not the better MOCs part, but the other part!) 
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,298
    @dutchlegofan50, the parent company of Bricklink is based in south Korea, not China.
  • Glacierfalls265Glacierfalls265 USAMember Posts: 223
    Next four finalists are up...
  • dutchlegofan50dutchlegofan50 Zwolle, NetherlandsMember Posts: 179
    edited January 23
    Huw said:
    @dutchlegofan50, the parent company of Bricklink is based in south Korea, not China.
    According to Bloomberg: “The company was incorporated in 2013 and is based in Wan Chai, Hong Kong. Bricklink Limited operates as a subsidiary of NXMH B.V.B.A.” 
    NXMH is a Holding and registered in Brussels. 
  • stluxstlux LuxembourgMember Posts: 2,042
    @dutchlegofan50 The handover of HK to China might have happened over 21 years ago, but HK still has its own legal system, business register and financial regulator. Being incorporated in HK does not make your company a Chinese one.
  • sid3windrsid3windr BelgiumMember Posts: 1,302
    Straying quite a bit off topic here, but HK is a Special Administrative Region of China, which is evidently still in China, and while they are somewhat split off, you can't really say their legal system is not under the influence of China... Cf. Now I'm not really sure I would call BL something like "doesn't accept the United Nations Human Rights Declaration (freedom of speech)." - that sounds like a gross exaggeration to me. That being said, this designer program does nothing for me...
  • JRLJRL UKMember Posts: 84
    I watched the AFOL Programme results with interest, not least because I entered (unsuccessfully). I think there are some good designs and big congratulations to the designers chosen, I know I would have been very excited to have been. My favourites are likely to resonate with most, the castle and the Wild West saloon. Being U.K. based ordering is, as a contributor mentioned above, likely to be expensive. Best of luck to the designers, I think it was a fun initiative!
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,298
    Regardless of the company's registered location, the ultimate owner is south Korean and lives there. I've met him. Nice guy...
  • Glacierfalls265Glacierfalls265 USAMember Posts: 223
    The last four were just announced. If I were to hazard a guess I think the car will make it through and maybe the science tower, fire engine and saloon. Or the bigger castle? idk we'll have to see! 
  • BumblepantsBumblepants Sofia BG/Dallas TXMember Posts: 5,334
    If a set gets fully backed does it get a box and instructions made up for it or do you just get a bunch of parts from a seller and some digital instructions?
  • stluxstlux LuxembourgMember Posts: 2,042
    @Bumblepants According to the BL page, "Once the Pre-order phase is completed, BrickLink will be hard at work turning the successfully funded digital creations into real life sets with packaging and instructions. We’re working with one of the best packaging companies in Los Angeles to produce beautiful and unique boxes to hold all these goodies!"

    So you should get something resembling a set box with instructions. No guarantees how nice the box will be though. Hopefully it will be at least up to the standards of a LCP set.
  • Baby_YodaBaby_Yoda The world's backsideMember Posts: 904
    So, if you purchase one of these sets and it doesn't reach funding, do you get your money back or do you have to just deal with it?
  • Glacierfalls265Glacierfalls265 USAMember Posts: 223
    @Baby_Yoda If you place a pre-order they don't actually charge you until it reaches the funding goal and begins production. If that set doesn't reach the funding goal, you have no obligation to pay. The only person who sort of "loses" if it doesn't reach the goal is the designer I suppose, since their set doesn't get produced! 
  • Glacierfalls265Glacierfalls265 USAMember Posts: 223
    Pre-ordering has begun! Already it seems some of the designs are well on their way to making their funding goal! Best of luck to all of them! 

    *shameless plug for my design, if you like it we'd love your support :)
  • wardmwardm BelgiumMember Posts: 497
    Will shipping to Europe also be free if you do the pre-order? It seems like it does if you go to the funding page... What do you guys think? 
  • wardmwardm BelgiumMember Posts: 497
    It does say "Additional duties and taxes may apply". How much might this be to import some of the sets to Belgium? And will they be sent out together if you pre-order multiple and they succeed? 
  • stluxstlux LuxembourgMember Posts: 2,042
    @wardm If your parcel gets stopped by Customs, you will need to pay the VAT (21% in your case) and a clearance fee. There's potentially also an import duty, but on construction toys from the US, I think this is 0%.

    Some explanations and examples for Belgium here:
  • twoeyesgirltwoeyesgirl Member Posts: 8
    This calculator might be handy.

    I'd love to buy a couple of the finalists as well but the custom fees are also stopping me to hit the buy now button...
  • eMJeeNLeMJeeNL The NetherlandsMember Posts: 301
    Got myself the ‘Bikes’ and the shooting range. Fingers crossed for the customs duties etc to be okay. We’ll see.
  • DeMontesDeMontes North YorkshireMember Posts: 437
    That's a good link thanks @twoeyesgirl....almost

    So if I buy Jonas Kramm's Saloon for134 Euros (automatically converted from $US 149.99) , it will be an extra 32.20 Euros for me in the UK...

    I was confused about the 24% VAT and why it kept defaulting back to EUROS, then I realised that this was a Finnish Customs website so VAT is higher haha. At least this is a 'worse case scenario' website for me with 20% VAT here in the UK...

  • Glacierfalls265Glacierfalls265 USAMember Posts: 223
    edited February 7
    I just came across this video today!
    It's the Behind the Bricks for the AFOL Designer Program. 

    It's really cool to see them working on our designs over there :)

  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,024
    ^^ $150 is about £116, plus 20% VAT (£23.20), plus £8 handling fee for Royal Mail (or similar from a courier) will make £147.20. Call it £150.

    That will be for a 1500 piece set, so 10p a part which doesn't look so bad as a starting point, although the palette used by BL is all fairly basic parts and colours, with nothing unique.
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