CUUSOO winners and losers

These CUUSOO projects are really flying now. If LEGO had any doubts about the popularity of its little experiment, I bet they’ve been quashed by this point. But yet again the success of these sets is directly tied to their popularity among the gamer/sci-fi crowd.

First up is a nice Legend of Zelda theme, complete with various bows, shields, and swords to give Link his choice of armament. The designer, Mingles, has recreated the final scene of Ocarina of Time as a reference set, which works well in LEGO. I do like the idea of a classic Nintendo line, since the low-res older games can render particularly well in brick form and many of the games are still popular today. Unfortunately, I never got to play Zelda games as a kid (due to never having a Nintendo gaming system), so I’m not personally excited by this theme. I can tell that the world and characters of The Legend of Zelda were faithfully and lovingly recreated here, and I hope that Nintendo is open to a licensing agreement.

Next up is the Firefly Serenity Playset by tbone_tbl. While the ship is faithfully recreated, this pretty much sums up why I dislike so many of the projects on CUUSOO. Firefly is the very definition of niche: the TV series was cancelled before the first season was even finished, and it’s a decade old by now. How in the world is LEGO going to sell this large, expensive toy to kids who have never heard of or cared about Serenity? Yes, I know the series and movie are cult classics, but we’re talking mass market appeal. (And no, despite my love of sci-fi literature, I’ve never seen the series. This whole post is full of nerd shame for me.) Unsurprisingly, LEGO has already canned the project, citing the limited market and child-inappropriate content in the show.

LEGO makes toys for children and occasionally throws a bone to older fans. But there’s just no way they can abandon their core market and pivot to satisfying AFOLs’ every desire. I really hope CUUSOO can become a legitimate source of ideas for LEGO, but for now it remains largely hit-or-miss.

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