Fan hopes for Lego sets based on Zelda and Metroid are dashed today as the latest Lego Ideas review decisions are unveiled - and several video game related sets are among those rejected.
These sets have been in review for quite some time - we reported on them way back in January of this year. Since then, teams of decision-makers at Lego have been analysing and considering each of the proposed sets, deciding which will become real products. The designs were submitted as part of the Lego Ideas program, where fans can design potential Lego sets and put them up for a public vote - those that get enough votes then go to the experts at Lego for review, and some of those become actual products that you can buy.
Of the more than 50 sets in this Lego Ideas review phase, two became sets and one seems likely to continue to become a real set in the future. Many more were rejected, however, including several video game pitches: a Legend of Zelda Hyrule Castle, an Animal Crossing New Horizons playset, Samus Aran’s Gunship from Metroid, and a detailed replica of an Among Us map.
Approved was a set based on comedy series The Office and a unique model of a Jazz Quartet. Neither rejected or approved is a Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs set, which will presumably now enter negotiations with Disney. You can read all about the process on the Lego Ideas site.
More sets get rejected through Lego Ideas than not, of course (a Zelda set was even rejected in 2012), but fans had their hopes up this time around, especially for the Nintendo-themed sets. Nintendo and Lego now of course have a much closer relationship thanks to the success of Lego Super Mario, a line of building toys that recently expanded with the addition of Lego Luigi.
While the Lego Mario sets are plainly for kids, Lego appears to be beginning to embrace adult sets aimed at tickling the nostalgia of older fans - thus the release of complex high-piece count sets such as the Lego NES and Lego Super Mario 64 ? Block. This matches a general shift in the company, with Lego clearly identifying there's as large a market for expensive and complicated models for adults with disposable income as there is for simple, cheap, educational sets for kids.
Lego Ideas has been a breeding ground for unusualk licensed Lego offerings, thus the set from this review based on The Office. Furthermore, one recent Lego Ideas set did make the jump to a real set - a Sonic the Hedgehog Ideas project got the approval of Sega and Lego, and will launch as a proper Lego product in 2022.
It wasn’t to be for these sets, however. The Metroid one seemed a long shot - it is a niche series after all, even if Dread is selling well - but the Hyrule Castle set ticked a lot of the boxes for what the team there generally looks for, including plenty of Easter Eggs and kid-entertaining play value.
Lego and Nintendo’s partnership continues - hopefully one day it leads to sets beyond Mario. For now, however, the dream is dead. The next Lego Ideas review doesn’t include any explicitly video game themed sets - but it does include a Lego-scale model of a Gamestop store. Those review results will be available in the coming months.