LEGO BrickLink Designer Program 2021 – First round summary

As you’ll likely know, the LEGO Group now owns the website BrickLink, which has been used by LEGO fans since the year 2000. BrickLink features a large database that allows anyone to purchase LEGO sets and minifigures, as well as parts. In fact, it is common practice among fans to use the website to order pieces when building MOCs.

The LEGO Group hasn’t made many major changes to the site – until now. The BrickLink Designer Program is by far the biggest thing the LEGO Group has brought to BrickLink.

What is the BrickLink Designer Program? Well it’s a collaboration between BrickLink and the LEGO Ideas team intended to, as the site states, ‘fulfill the dreams of talented designers and supporters’. This scheme takes rejected projects from LEGO Ideas that hit 10k supporters and gives them a second chance. This time, rather than having the LEGO Group decide what gets an official set, the decision rests in the hands of the fans. The LEGO Group has selected a whopping 26 ideas, all of which have the potential to become official sets.

Each idea must go through four stages. Digital modeling, test building, production ready, and finally – and most importantly for fans – crowdfunding. The first three stages involve the creator redesigning the model and physically building it to test its integrity and strength. Then, the 26 projects will be divided into three rounds of crowdfunding, so the first round will only focus on eight of them.

Starting July 1, 2021 and ending August 11, 2021, fans will get a chance to pre-order the eight initial designs. Only the first five that reach their crowdfunding goals will be put into production. That means that three of the following set ideas will not make it to production. You can only acquire these sets if you pre-order them, and they will not be available for purchase at a later time.

So here’s a look at the first eight designs that will be up for crowdfunding soon…

LEGO Observatory Mountain View by ThomasW_BL

This build includes an observatory building along with some terrain. The building features an interior, but its most prominent feature is the rotatable dome with a telescope. An observatory has never been released as a LEGO set before.

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The Great Fishing Boat by EdouardClo

The boat itself is very detailed, and features ropes, fish, and other nautical equipment. The boat is entirely brick built and features no moulded hull pieces. This boat could pair well with 21310 Old Fishing Store.

Sheriff’s Safe with Combination Lock by user II_Buono

This large western themed safe has an impressive working lock mechanism. You have the ability to set the code to whatever you want – numbers are included so you can write it down in case you forget. Brick built props are also included such as a buildable revolver, bottle, dynamite, gold, and candle.

Pursuit of Flight by JKBrickworks

Jason Alleman describes his build as a ‘kinetic sculpture’. The gearbox that moves the plane from side to side to simulate the movement of flight is hidden within the bulk of the build, which is decorated with microscale houses, clouds, and trees.

The Legend of the BIONICLE by Sokoda

This MOC serves as a tribute to the entire BIONICLE story. Each vignette represents a pivotal moment in the BIONICLE story – Tahu’s Arrival, Matoro’s Destiny and The Final Battle. These scenes are built onto a decorated rotating platform. It has been five years since the last BIONICLE set – will we soon have another?

Kakapo by themfledge

The Kakapo, or Strigops habroptililus, is an endangered species that can only be found in New Zealand. User themfledge is both passionate about New Zealand and LEGO building, as this model shows. It uses approximately 1,000 pieces as well as movable wings and tail feathers.

The Castle in the Forest by povoq

The castle is built in three sections, each of which is inspired by different forestmen sets from the 1990s. The build is packed with details such as trees and terrain, as well as a full interior. I could see many fans of LEGO Castle pairing this with 21325 Medieval Blacksmith.

Particle Accelerator – also by JKBrickworks

This model is able to accelerate LEGO balls around a circular ring. You can add more balls, or even obstacles. A control room for minifigures is also featured to give a sense of the scientists operating it. You can turn the gears by hand or use Power Functions.

Which of these are you most excited for – which will you be preordering? If your favourites aren’t included this time, stay tuned for the next two rounds of crowdfunding later this year.

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