If you've ever dreamt of designing your own Lego set, the BrickLink Designer Program could be for you. The program allows you to share your creativity with the world and could even earn you money in the process.
But where do you begin if you want to turn your ideas into a Lego creation? We take a look at what you need to know about the Lego BrickLink Designer Program.
What is the Lego BrickLink Designer Program?
In 2021, a select group of Lego Ideas members were invited to submit their projects to the BrickLink Designer Program. Members that had their project reach 10,000 votes, but still didn't make it as a Lego Ideas set, were given another opportunity under this new program.
There were 32 designs in the pilot BrickLink Lego program. These designs were refined and made ready for production before being available for pre-ordering. The 32 projects had to meet a crowdfunding goal, and the first 13 would enter production. The 13 projects that successfully made it through this crowdfunding phase became official BrickLink Designer Program sets.
This exciting program was obviously a success because now it has become a permanent program. The first round of this relaunched program is known as "Series 1" and shows that they intend this to be an ongoing opportunity for Lego fans to realize their ideas.
Series 1 of the BrickLink Design Program has matured the idea from the pilot, adding a clear brief and submission guidelines. The design should be targeted toward the Adult Fans of Lego audience, though you still need to make sure the product is family-friendly.
Your design also needs to avoid using the intellectual property of someone else. This means you need to avoid characters and scenes owned by a movie company, for example. Even Lego intellectual property assets cannot be in your design. They also want you to avoid creating something similar to other recent Lego products and sets that are an extension of those products. You can create designs that are loosely associated with other Lego sets, however.
If your creation becomes one of the five designs chosen for production, you will receive a five percent royalty on the net sales price of each set sold. If you become a fan designer, your set will be produced up to 20,000 times under the BrickLink brand.
If you are interested in submitting your Lego set design and you are 18 or older, you can begin creating now.
How Can You Take Part in the Lego BrickLink Designer Program?
If you have a great idea for a Lego set and you want to try to participate in the designer program, there are a few things you need to do and check:
- Before you can submit your idea, there is a BrickLink app called "Studio" available on Windows and Mac that you need to download. Included in this software is the BrickLink Designer Program palette, which includes around 8,500 color and part combinations.
- You need to be familiar with the submission guidelinesso that your idea meets the criteria.
- As long as you live in a country where Lego Group and BrickLink operate, you can participate in this competition. This is currently 31 countries.
- If you have any questions, help can be found on the BrickLink forums.
There is a timeline that you will need to follow to be eligible to enter the designer program:
Create your design
Using the BrickLink app, Studio, you have from December 2022 to February 2023 to find inspiration and create your design. Along with your design, you also need to produce building instructions following their format.
Submitting your design
Submissions start on February 1 and end on February 28. You have until noon Pacific time on the final day of February 2023 to submit your design in Series 1.
If your design is approved, it will be submitted for crowd validation from March 7 until March 31. This validation phase allows BrickLink members to vote on their favorite designs. This will influence but isn't the only criteria that will see a design move forward.
Between April and May 2023, BrickLink will review your design. They will consider the build experience and how the design fits with the Lego brand. They will also take into consideration how much support the design received from members of BrickLink when selecting which entrants go forward.
Successful designs announced
Toward the end of May 2023, just 5 designs will be selected to prepare for production. They will work with the designer to make the design ready for manufacture.
In February 2024, crowdfunding will begin. Crowdfunding is used to test demand for the design, and if 3,000 pre-orders are received, they will manufacture the set. Orders are limited to two per household, and delivery is free. It should also be mentioned that paper instructions won't be included to reduce costs and paper use. Instead, digital instructions can be found in the Lego Builder app or in a PDF that will be available when the products ship.
In the Summer and Fall, it is expected that the successful Lego BrickLink Designer sets will be manufactured and shipped. They believe orders will be shipped around 6 months after pre-ordering during the crowdfunding phase.
The return of the BrickLink Designer Program can only be a good thing, giving participants the chance to turn their ideas into a Lego product. It also provides Lego fans with new and exciting designs that wouldn't otherwise be available. But you don't have to wait for the results of the design program for exciting new Lego creations.
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