Pirate themed designs have NOT been made available for crowdfunding via the BrickLink Designer Program.
Are LEGO Pirate fans gonna take this sitting in deckchairs, sipping on Mojitos?
NO! We’re going to stand up and fire the cannons because BrickLink would love YOUR feedback on this matter.
They are requesting feedback for the Designer Program in their forum so you can inform them of the tremendous mistake they’re making… and the untold riches they’re depriving themselves of!
So crew, you know what to do!
Fire away at that forum!
But do so in a respectful and constructive manner.
YARR… but What be this?
Earlier this year the BrickLink Designer Program extended an invitation to crowdfund designs created by LEGO Ideas 10K Club members that were previously rejected for production. In each of the three rounds of crowdfunding, the first five projects that reach the minimum threshold of 3000 pre-orders will be realized as official LEGO sets.
Of the 31 designs selected, designs from classic themes including Castle, Town, Space and even Western (to an extent) were made available, yet Pirate designs were completely absent! Aye, completely snubbed!
The official information states:
Why are some of the unrealized LEGO Ideas projects not invited?
Considering the maximum number of sets we can produce, only
3231 projects were selected among all the unrealized LEGO Ideas projects. No IP-based models are invited to the program as they cannot be produced through this program.
Who will be invited?
Select designers whose project(s) acquired 10,000 votes on LEGO Ideas, but were not approved for production, will be invited to participate in this Designer Program. Unfortunately, IP-based designs will not be eligible for the Designer Program, in addition to a few other projects that we know we unfortunately can’t realize. The LEGO Ideas team will first contact the designers from January, and then the BrickLink team will proceed with the onboarding process for participating designers.”
Beyond that, no specific explanation has been provided as to why our dear Pirates have not appeared!
This led some to speculate the production of 21322 Pirates of Barracuda Bay and 31109 Creator Pirate Ship was the cause of the omission, particularly because the LEGO Ideas terms (during early 2020) stated new submissions based on the pirate ship concept would not be accepted. Dubious, considering pirate-themed submissions not based upon ships were also waived for consideration.
Furthermore, in the time since, LEGO Ideas 21325 Medieval Blacksmith and Creator 31120 Creator 3-in-1 Medieval Castle were released, yet at least three Castle designs made the crowdfunding cut, perhaps squashing that theory like an obnoxious bug under a hammer… unless… there is a double standard for LEGO Castle.
Others speculated more optimistically, choosing to believe the absence was attributed to a wave of new LEGO Pirate sets sailing over the horizon in the near future. Certainly wishful thinking, but if the business strategy determined during the early 2010’s is still in place (I.e. a new wave of Pirate sets released every 5-7 years), we are indeed due for a fresh wave within the next 18 months.
Or perhaps it’s because pirates won the poll for the 90th anniversary LEGO set and crowdfunding pirate designs would undermine future plans. However, the result of that poll is being kept under tight wraps so we won’t know the outcome until 2022.
Muddying the waters further, “Ray the Castaway” by DadiTwins recently won (June 2021) the LEGO Ideas “Do You Want To Go to the Seaside?” contest perhaps dispelling the polling ponderance. Although, it could be argued that, Ray isn’t strictly pirate themed and could be foolishly marketed as a general set. Let’s also consider Ray will be a “Gift With Purchase”, so he won’t be available to the causal buyer, unless he appears on the secondary market via platforms like eBay or BrickLink. This will likely limit his availability limited and render him expensive to those daring to acquire him outside of LEGO.com.
Why is this such a big deal?
There were four Pirate themed LEGO Ideas submissions which reached 10K supporters during the cycle in which the designs were selected for the program:
“The Fortress – Imperial Army” by Piraten
“Caribbean Clipper” by Babyteeth
“Seagull Bay Lighthouse Imperial Fortress” by Delusion Brick
“Imperial Island Fort” by BrickHammer
You’ll observe they all fly the blue coat Soldier’s flag so this may indicate a reasonable demand for this sub-theme among AFOLs.
Danish designer, Piraten (Brian Steffensen Vestergaard) was interviewed by the LEGO Ideas Team after “The Fortress” reached 10K in support… but apparently this level of acknowledgement still isn’t sufficient to warrant an invite to the BrickLink Designer Program. Further adding to the concern, Piraten reported in April 2020, various Imperial themed LEGO Ideas submissions were being rejected without a clear explanation.
The explanation Email he received doesn’t make the cut, given he submitted an Imperial themed design:
We are sorry to inform you that your LEGO Ideas project has been removed by our moderation team.
Unfortunately, your submission requests the release of a model or concept that overlaps with a concept or licensed property (IP) on which a LEGO Ideas set (Pirates of Barracuda Bay) has already been produced.
Since LEGO Ideas has already produced a set on this concept or property, we have decided not to approve this similar submission as a LEGO Ideas Product Idea. Our Project Guidelines and House Rules state that once we release a licensed product or concept through LEGO Ideas, we won’t accept any more submissions based on that license/concept.
We’re sorry to be the bearers of this disappointing news.
But what is the real reason? Could the LEGO Group have something against producing Soldier/Imperial sets which wasn’t previously an issue? Or do they secretly have future plans and wish to avoid conflicts of interest?
Share your opinion (or reconnaissance) in the LEGO Pirates Forum and let’s get to the bottom of this!
What can I do to help?
BrickLink is asking for feedback on the Designer Program so give it to them!
But respect the forum rules or else!
Or, if you’d prefer to discuss with the Classic Pirates in the LEGO Pirates Forum, hit the red button below: