So Lego Ideas is both one of the best and worst concepts Lego has ever come up with.
On one hand, ambitious MOC designers have a chance at glory, to submit they idea and design to Lego and get it made into a full set, complete with royalties from the sales.
On the other hands, sets that do not make it, remain forever property of Lego, and should they take some concepts you have presented and work them into a similar model, you get squat.
On top of that, once a design is rejected (Lego only picks 1 out a finalist lineup of 10), the sets will never be available for re-submission. So it is forever lost in the Lego vault.
They have also put new restrictions in place for submission of existing licenses, so that means no Star Wars ships, Marvel ideas, etc. All Licenses are off limits, no matter how good an idea you have.
Now on an upside, a lot of those failures show up on the Chinese block-off market. But, this is usually still of no use to the original creator, as they may make $20-$50 selling their instructions for the set, but never see a dime in royalties.
But, when all goes right, and the stars align, what you often get from Lego Ideas is some non-traditional sets that are really cool.
Case in point, the new Lego Ideas Ship in a Bottle:
Coming in at a meager 962 elements (280 of which are 1×1 blue water bricks) this set feels rather small for the $99cdn price tag.
With just 4 numbered segments and a few clear elements.
The boat itself is rather tiny, but it has to be as it fits in a rather small bottle.
The bottle design itself is a mixed bag.
On one hand, it is a really slick idea, and even has a built in base to hold the ship in place (something the original submission lacked)
On the other hand, there is just so many line to obscure the ship itself.
The fit is also very snug. Now I understand you do not need tons of space here, but the top crows nest actually presses against the clear bottle, so at least 1/2 inch of clearance would have been a nice thought.
What really shines though is the front 1/3 of the bottle. Made up of 4 large windows, it give you an idea of what could have been if Lego chose to make the bottom 2/3 a little better.
The cork along with the small seal with the creators initials on it is a real nice touch as well.
The stand (sorry for my bad focus skills, still learning to use the new camera) is really well designed.
With 2 globes, and a full compass (non working) that sits under the bottle is a real nice little detail.
As a finished model it is still one of the coolest sets I own right now.
I have been a Lego ship enthusiast for a decade now, and managed to collect almost all the old ships dating back to the pirates line in the 90’s
And this is one of my favorite looking sets of all the ships out there.
The unique design and finished model outweigh any of the gripes I had. Sure the bottle could have been better designed, but it was a good first attempt, and who knows, maybe this could spark a ship in a bottle line for Lego long term. One could hope at least.
A solid 8/10 and a must buy for any Lego ship fans like myself.