Early this morning, the LEGO Ideas team announced the results of First 2016 Review Results, and it’s a bit of a shocker. Robert Bontenbal’s Old Fishing Store has made the cut and will be made available some time in 2017.
This was pretty surprising as Robert’s project features some stunningly intricate details and is made up of about 2000 parts. This dwarfs any other successful Ideas project in terms of piece count and the level of complexity, which is why I totally didn’t expect this to make the cut.
The Old Fishing Store sets a very interesting precedent for Ideas sets now that it’s passed the review, namely that large-scale projects CAN be turned into Ideas sets. Previously, there was a prevailing (and valid) belief that a successful Ideas set needed to be within a specific piece-count, but now that’s thrown out the window.
There have been some really impressive projects on LEGO Ideas that have been poo-poo’d by LEGO fans, not because they were bad but they were previously thought to be too ambitious and unachievable but with the success of the Old Fishing Store, this will open the door for talented and creative LEGO fans to submit larger projects.
It’s unclear at this time how much LEGO is going to alter the build to enable it to be viable commercially, and how much it will ultimately cost, but I’m extremely excited by this and this marks a resounding statement by the LEGO Ideas team that original projects and designs are still well and truly viable.
I think LEGO are taking a pretty big gamble here, as it’s one of the rare Ideas projects that does not have the automatic backing of an existing license’s fanbase, and the onus is now on the LEGO fan community to put their money where their mouth is and support the heck out of Robert Bontenbal’s Old Fishing Store when it arrives at retail.
I want to see LEGO take more risks like these, and I cannot wait to see what the final product is going to look like. It’s probably going to be quite pricey, but as a celebration of an original and creative build, I think it’s going to be worth every penny to send a signal to LEGO that original designs can be a commercial success.
Let me know what you think of this announcement and if you’re as excited about this as I am. What are going to be some of the biggest obstacles to this set when the official details are released? Price? Design? Availability? Parts selection? Let me know in the comments!