Reviewing Projects is what the LEGO CUUSOO staff does several times in the life of a project, most importanly after it has reached 10,000. The Reviews are how LEGO determines to create a set based on the project or not.
The Review Phase
Many believe that when a project reaches 10,000 supporters that Lego will produce the depicted creation. This is inaccurate on several levels.
Even though a project has recieved 10,000 supporters, it still has several hurdles to jump before it can become a product and there is no guarantee that is will become one.
A LEGO CUUSOO project goes through one or more low level reviews on its way to 10,000 supports. It must pass an initial review of appropriate content upon being submitted before it can even be posted on the site. At 1,000 supporters (formerly 500) some projects receive another review to determine if applicable licenses, if any, are available. The final, critical Review is not performed until after a project recieves 10,000 supporters.
This Review is not performed until this point because it is a rigorous, expensive, time consuming process. At the point that a project reaches 10,000 supporters, the "Concept Development" phase is complete. This still leaves the following:
- Brand Fit
- Business Case and License Agreements
- Model Design
- Final Review
Not all projects are approprate to be a LEGO product. The early reviews eliminate many of the extremes cases, but at this phase a critical assessment is peformed to see it the project does not conflict with Lego standards of quality and appropriateness. Additionally, a project can fail Brand Fit if it is deemed to conflicts with existing or planned products. The Brand Fit assment is done before Business Case and Model Design. If the project does not Fit, the projects is archived. Additionally any related projects may also be deleted or archived at this time.
Business Case and License Agreements
A project must result in a profitable product for LEGO. This phase includes a review of the marketability of the project and also determines project metrics which will be used in the Model design. During this phase an applicable licensing issues are reviewed. There is always a chance that third parties will refuse to allow the LEGO to make the product.
Model DesignThis is quite possibly the most overlooked phase of the review process for most LEGO CUUSOO Supports. The LEGO Group has very stringent design standards that result in quality models. Official LEGO sets are "easy" for the target age group to build, ensure the bricks are not under deformational strain (which will reduce the lifespan of the bricks), and are ruggedly constructed.
Beyond these design constraints, there are manufacturing constraints that go into an official LEGO design as well. LEGO Designers are restricted to specific quantities of bricks, varieties of colors, overall costs for parts, and various other buisness practices that are not always evident when reviewing a LEGO product.
Additionally, the market research of the desirable aspects of the product can result in the designers creating a Model that diverges signifigantly from the submitted design.
The image here depicts the three existing LEGO CUUSOO Products and their original concpets to demonstrate the transition from fan design to TLG design.
Once a project reaches 10,000 suporters, it is reviewed one final time. This review brings together all the results of the buisness case assesment and the prototype designs. If the project passes this review, the project's success is announced and the project moves to the production phase.