A week or so ago, BrickLink and LEGO announced that they were teaming up to launch the AFOL Designer Program. It seemed rather mysterious, as there wasn’t much detail in the original announcement, but after a week of speculation, they’ve come back with more details!
It’s a one time deal – as far as we can tell, it’s not coming back next year, as it’s tied in with the 60th Anniversary celebrations of the LEGO brick.
According to the official announcement:
The program will have three main phases:
Accepting entries – To give you some time to think about what you’d like to design, we will begin accepting entries September 18th until November 18th. The LEGO design team will review your submissions made with Studio 2.0, and up to 20 finalists will be selected.
Crowdfunding – Selected designs will be announced and displayed for crowdfunding beginning February 2019. You will be able to pre-order designs at this time.
Release – Successfully crowdfunded designs will become a limited edition 60 Years Anniversary set exclusively available on BrickLink. We will begin shipping orders April 2019.
The designers will also be paid 10% of the sales from their set. You may be thinking that it’s just another LEGO Ideas platform, but there are pretty strict rules and guidelines on what you can and can’t submit. Non-IP based original designs that haven’t been published before – that means no posting the same design to LEGO Ideas, digital designs only, no less than 200 elements, and no more than 2000 elements. There’s more, but you can read that in the BrickLink announcement.
There’s also an updated Studio 2.0, with some snazzy new features like a building palette just for the AFOL Designer Program, and a stability checker. I’m intrigued to see how this would work.
It’s an interesting new program for LEGO fans, and given the excitement that is generated with rare, limited run sets, I’m sure there’ll be some amazing models submitted. LEGO has also said in the FAQs that:
The LEGO Group has started the AFOL Designer Program to celebrate AFOL creativity. Part of the program involves collaborating with others to realize more AFOL designs in small quantities. A key priority is that the AFOL Designer Program will promote initiatives of interest to AFOLs. Therefore, the AFOL Designer Program is currently being tested. Depending on the outcome, the Program may be more broadly implemented.
A more broadly implemented program sounds interesting – so we’ll just have to keep an eye on what happens. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the AFOL Designer Program. Leave a comment below to get the discussion going!