UNDERATED for LEGO Ideas: October 2016

Welcome to another edition of UNDERATED for LEGO Ideas, exclusively on SilentMode.tv and with your host, yours truly.

Unfortunately this edition is again later than usual, because of various other things that came up.


This month’s preamble was going to expand a little more on my indefinite abstinence from events, and the parallels between exhibiting at an event and submitting a LEGO Ideas project.

Let’s talk briefly about The Yellow Submarine Ideas set instead. It comes as no surprise that a bunch of copycat projects – old rock bands and their “vehicles” – have surfaced in its wake.

What’s far more surprising is how little the Yellow Submarine seems to have made an impact. I was at two LEGO stores last weekend: both had a healthy supply of sets, and neither had the mad rush to buy them as I’d predicted. I was able to buy two of them with very little problem.

This begs the question: are the 10,000 people who backed the project actually putting their money where their mouth is, or are they just making noise? Has LEGO Ideas literally turned into a “best MOC” or “best concept” competition, as opposed to what it was intended for?

One thing’s for sure: we’re going to find out once the Old Fishing Store is released.

Here are my picks for October.

Zoetrope by Fogtod

Along the lines of the now famous LEGO Maze, the Zoetrope project reintroduces a classic invention. Way before television and even cinema, this was one of the earliest forms of animated entertainment. As hard as it might be to believe, people sat around these things and watched the animation.

This is one of those projects that greatly benefits from the inclusion of video, as it proves that the model isn’t just a collection of lucrative parts. What I particularly like is the use of LEGO parts for the “running” figure, which was a stroke of genius. Printed tiles, while nice, wouldn’t have the same effect.

At the moment there are 185 supporters behind this project – will you be one of them?

The Central Perk Coffee of Friends by Mric76

Some are of the belief that it’s time for another TV show themed Ideas set. What disturbs me is how many of those projects look virtually identical to The Big Bang Theory.

One such campaign is for the famous Central Perk coffee shop from Friends, which seems to be making a resurgence. Anyone who was at the Great Western Brick Show this year would have seen a minidoll version of Central Perk. Though the only Friends I’m interested in actually has minidolls, I think it’s a better LEGO Ideas candidate than most other TV shows.

469 supporters are there for this project, but will you be there for it too?

Organic Farmers Market by Astronaut Avila

One for the hipster generation, with their infatuation for organic food, veganism and everything pseudo-grassroots. Even the logo for this project borrows from Starbucks, which hipsters love [to pose inside].

The farm angle has been tackled by LEGO before, but not so much the market aspect. Although they seem to have moved away from the “green” angle they’ve previously promoted, this project lends itself very well to that idea. The rural side of living is still grossly underrepresented.

Just like a picket fence, we have 111 supporters in favour of this produce.

The Greenhouse by nunki-psi

Speaking of produce, how about somewhere to grow those fruits, vegetables and crops? Look no further than this greenhouse, which is obviously in the countryside because of the gravel. (What is it with people living in the suburbs and gravel?)

It’s not just a pretty exterior: the building opens up to reveal spaces for placing your favourite plants. I’m particularly for the lack of an Audrey 2 reference, which has been done to death now. There are many other features surrounding the building, and plenty to look at.

This project has 249 supporters. Perhaps if you feed it, you’ll “see more”. </groan>

That’s it for last month’s choices. Stay tuned for the penultimate selection of the year, hopefully at the end of this month this time.