Man, I bet the folks over at Lego are starting to regret the whole Cuusoo initiative. (This is a thing where people can suggest Lego themes and sets, others can vote on them, and if they hit 10,000 votes, Lego will review them for possible production.)
First, Lego shocked the world by opting not to make a playset based on an R-rated British comedy/horror film. The Winchester from Shaun of the Dead got to the 10,000 votes mark and Lego opted out, saying it didn’t really fit with their brand.
Now the latest slap in the collective nerd face has happened. A model of the “Serenity” spaceship from Firefly got 10,000 votes and was similarly rejected by Lego, again, for supposedly clashing with their brand identity.
People are, of course, upset, but honestly, Lego not only has it coming, they’ve made it worse for themselves. Instead of just stamping the Serenity project with a big red “REJECTED” sticker and moving on, they decided to explain what did and didn’t meet their brand standards. Here’s the entire bandolier of ammunition they gave to disappointed Firefly fans:
Understand that we will not produce products that are related to these topics:
- Politics and political symbols
- Religious references including symbols, buildings, or people
- Sex, drugs, or smoking
- Alcohol in any present day situation
- Death, killing, blood, terrorism, or torture
- First-person shooter video games
- Warfare or war vehicles in any situation post-WWII to present
- Racism, bullying, or cruelty to real life animals
Since Lego has already done a vide variety of themes, one can find counter-examples for just about every one of these in an existing set, and many have done just that. For example, not only did Raiders of the Lost Ark, for which there are Lego sets, feature a Nazi who gets chopped up to death by a whirling propeller blade, but Lego made a set of that very scene. Other scenes from those movies involve dudes getting their hearts ripped out, the Holy Grail, kids being kept in cages, and all sorts of other stuff. And that’s just one of the properties.
So Lego can’t win here. If it doesn’t give a reason for rejecting something, people will complain, and if it does give a reason, people will complain. Only if they approve and produce every single Cuusoo project will anyone be happy, and that won’t and shouldn’t happen.
If Lego really wants to do Cuusoo, I think they need to across-the-board nix any licensed properties. That would go a long way towards solving their “this is really an inappropriate source” and “only fourteen people would actually buy this” problems. This should be a vote for a Lego project as a Lego project and not a vote on whether or not you like this particular movie, cartoon, video game, TV show, or whatever.
Of course, what I really think is that Cuusoo should be dumped altogether. It’s not worth it. It’s mostly people suggesting things that wouldn’t be made in a million years and getting angry when they’re not made. Not everything should be thrown open to the masses because let’s face it, the masses are usually pretty worthless.