Today LEGO announced the long-awaited results of the Third 2019 LEGO Ideas Review and 3 of the 12 qualifying sets have been approved for production. The winning designs are Home Alone by adwind, LEGO Typewriter by Steve Guinness, and Seinfeld 30th Anniversary by Brent Waller.
Here on the BrickGeekz Blog, we predicted that two sets would win. We were right about LEGO Typewriter, but wrong about the other two. (We went with Clockwork Aquarium as our second choice, and The Husacar as a cover-our-bets honorable mention.)
What makes these three sets a winner? Let’s take a look at each one and try to figure out what’s going through the minds of the folks at LEGO Ideas.
I remember seeing Home Alone in the movie theaters in the winter of 1990. It was a surprise hit of the holiday season, premiering in November and eventually earning more than 476 million dollars. In fact it was the highest-grossing live action comedy for more than 20 years, until it was topped by The Hangover Part II in 2011.
If you’ve never seen Home Alone, it’s the story of an 8-year old boy named Kevin who is accidentally left “home alone” (roll credits) when he oversleeps and his family leaves on vacation without him. His home is targeted on Christmas Eve by two inept burglars, and Kevin rigs a variety of ingenious, pain-inducing booby traps as the burglars force their way inside.
But don’t worry. It’s a comedy. We could laugh at things like that back in the 1990s.
Anyway, in the 30 years since it’s release, Home Alone has become a holiday classic, so expect to see LEGO have this set this ready for a winter 2020 release. You can also expect Home Alone to be packed full of LEGO versions of the sight gags from the movie, including frozen stairs, flying paint cans, falling irons, and pet tarantulas. My biggest concern with this design is the size. The Ideas proposal checked in at exactly 3000 pieces (which is the part limit for LEGO Ideas), and Ideas sets have been trending larger (and more costly) in recent years. So it will be interesting to see how LEGO re-designs the set proposal to keep it at a reasonable price point.
LEGO Typewriter is the creation of Steve Guinness. If you’re not familiar with that name, he was the winner of season 1 of LEGO Masters UK. I’m sure the name recognition didn’t hurt, but LEGO Typewriter is the most technical qualifier in the Third 2019 LEGO Ideas Review and that’s the reason why I predicted it would be a winner. And it was.
The commercial typewriter dates back to 1874, and they were standard fixtures in the home and office for more than 100 years. They’re something of a nostalgia item today – in fact my neighbors were selling one at a yard sale just last week. But if you’re like me and fall on the older end of the AFOL spectrum, then LEGO Typewriter will look very familiar to you. I learned to type on a machine just like this in high school, which prepared me for college and my writing career when I transitioned to word processors on Mac Plus computers.
I predicted that the mechanics of creating a LEGO typewriter would be too tempting for LEGO to pass up. The typewriter is a clever design of moving parts, from the typebars to the platen, carriage, return lever, paper, ribbon, and the bell that goes “ding” to warn you when you reached the end of the page. So LEGO Typewriter, along with the upcoming Playable LEGO Piano, will likely be two of the most advanced LEGO Ideas sets and may set a new standard for LEGO Ideas. I may not buy them myself (my LEGO wishlist is much greater than my LEGO budget), but I’m looking forward to seeing the final designs for these sets.
Seinfeld 30th Anniversary
Now I have to admit, Seinfeld 30th Anniversary was the most surprising of the three winning designs. Designer Brent Waller certainly has earned his dues on LEGO Ideas. He’s a previous winner for “LEGO Ghostbusters” and a 4-time member (soon to be 7-time member) of the 10k club. But we’d like to think that designer credentials are not a factor in the LEGO Ideas review, so let’s look at the merits of the set instead.
It’s certainly a good design and faithful to the 1990s hit television “show about nothing”. I just felt it was too soon after the Friends-inspired “Central Perk” for another sitcom-based LEGO Ideas set. Friends had the benefit of a huge surge in popularity thanks to its recent run on Netflix, so it was easier to see the appeal of that set. Seinfeld is an edgier sitcom and perhaps, in my humble opinion, has not quite aged as well as it’s “Must See TV” counterpart Friends.
But obviously LEGO felt differently, so we tip our hats to Brent Waller as he joins the two-timer club of LEGO Ideas winners. In fact, I’m feeling inspired to write a blog article about the LEGO Ideas Two-Timer club, so watch out for that coming soon on the BrickGeekz Blog.
What do you think of the winning designs? Which sets were not selected that you really wanted to add to your LEGO collection? Let us know in the comments below!