Welcome to Jester's Trek.
I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
You can follow along, if you want...

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

No LEGOs for you

Just a quickie.

I'm going to disappoint a ton of you all the way up to Seleene and Hilmar by saying this, but it's true nonetheless: an official LEGO Rifter will never see the light of day.


Now, I get as big a kick out of LEGOs as anyone.  I enjoy building the sets myself from time to time; they're very relaxing.  Both of my nephews, in particular, are LEGO fiends.  And that's the problem right there.  My nephews fall within the core LEGO age range of 6-11 years old.  Granted, older people also enjoy LEGOs all the way into their adulthood.

But anything that can't be sold to a 6-11 year old LEGO fiend isn't going to be an official LEGO product.  EVE is an M-rated product featuring repeated death, scams, non-consensual violence, rape jokes, porn, profanity, and various forms of hate crimes.  It's not for 6-11 year olds.  Were an official Rifter set produced, even in a limited run, sooner or later a 9-year-old building a LEGO Rifter would want to know where it came from.  The parent of said 9-year-old would then be horrified to learn that LEGO is "endorsing" EVE Online.

That's that, so please don't get your hopes up.

Here's the standards to which "appropriate LEGO products" are held.  Why did this come up?  Because LEGO today made a decision with regard to a Firefly Serenity LEGO play set.  The answer was "no".  And the reason given for that decision was...
LEGO produces toys for children. Therefore all LEGO products, regardless of age target, must be content-appropriate for this core audience. With this in mind we have decided that as cool as the Serenity model is, the Firefly TV show and Serenity film contain content that is not appropriate for our core target audience of children ages 6-11.
In short, a TV show with cannibalistic humans terrorizing the human populace which itself captures and tortures teenage girls for the express purpose of converting them to psychic sleeper agent assassins is not an appropriate subject for children's toys.  Who knew?  And that doesn't even get into the fact that Firefly's main characters are thieves and scammers... you know... sorta like EVE players.

Don't get me wrong: if an official LEGO Rifter existed, I would buy it in a heartbeat.  It will never exist.  If Firefly doesn't make the cut, you can be assured that EVE won't, either.

37 comments:

  1. Thats nice of Lego, of course they are full of crap considering they have made Indiana Jones lego sets (melting nazis!/pulling your heart out of your chest!) and Star Wars (fully functional Death Star!)

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    1. As well as The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, which certainly have some adult level content to say the least. I wonder if Firefly had been more popular and become a marketable product if we would be seeing a very different response. Saying "It's all about the children" is nice and all, but let's be honest...it's all about the money.

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  2. You are probably right, though as noted above, they have done some things that do not fit their own guidelines. LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean is probably further over the mark that Indiana Jones or Star Wars. And they have Avengers sets coming out as well.

    But those are all major cross-licensing deals. EVE is, as always, much more niche.

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  3. I really suspect that licensing is the sticking point behind the scenes. CCP's vocal support will go a long way towards quieting the lawyerly voices.

    ALSO, Eve doesn't have any sex, just violence.

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  4. I'm picturing Hilmar, holding the demo model in his hamds as he gets the news. He is stunned. His hands start to shake which causes the LEGO Rifter to fall to pieces in his hands.

    It's a cool idea, but yeah, I haven't had my hopes up about the LEGO Rifter being made.

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    1. ...which causes the LEGO Rifter to fall to pieces ...

      Very appropriate for a Minmatar ship.

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  5. Thanks for ruining my day jester ;_;

    Though as said, lego has made Pirates of the Caribbean sets, a movie which was rated PG-13, which is therefore inappropriate for their target audience.

    And what about Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom? "The film was released to financial success but mixed reviews, which criticized the on-screen violence, later contributing to the creation of the PG-13 rating."

    Dudes get their hearts ripped out and stuff

    I understand that there is huge money to be made with deals with companies that produce these series, though it is a bit hypocritical from LEGO's side to ban the serenity

    Also, in their 'standards' page, they say "Understand that we will not produce products that are related to these topics:" ..."Death, killing, blood, terrorism, or torture." Seriously? 90% of the lego people I had as a kid were soldiers, that had weapons...

    I fully understand what they are doing when they are disallowing these products, it just makes me unhappy

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  6. The advanced LEGO sets (with PLC controller) are outside the 6-11 age group.

    I think LEGO may find that an Adult line may have some traction. Lord knows there's enough adults with Star Wars ships up on shelves.

    [At this time, I'd like to point out that the LEGO 3-mast Admiralty Battleship was a Christmas gift and that putting it together with the help of my sons was great fun]

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  7. "In short, a TV show with cannibalistic humans terrorizing the human populace which itself captures and tortures teenage girls for the express purpose of converting them to psychic sleeper agent assassins is not an appropriate subject for children's toys"

    I don't understand why. The above recalls almost exactly my Middle School/Junior High School experience.

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  8. Karbox DelacroixMay 8, 2012 at 11:26 AM

    I would like to point out the unethical nature of LEGOs behavior here. Knowing full well that they would never approve the final product they nonetheless allowed the fan to run around creating free publicity for LEGO. They knew that this was a problem from the start but rather than acting with integrity and quashing this at the start they decided to reap the benefits of the communities excitement and favorable press.

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    1. Glad i'm not the only one that saw that.

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  9. I don't understand that. These items are for order and would not be on a wal-mart shelf...

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  10. I see your logic. I do. But I think there's a significant difference between Firefly and EVE. You know the backstory enough for Firefly, and the issue for Lego was that the IP of Firefly was not appropriate for children. I think that's the piece that makes this questionable. The IP of Firefly. However, the IP of EVE Online is immortal spaceship captains in a far corner of the universe, far in the future. That, not the stories of us, the players, who do despicable things, is the core IP of EVE.

    However, in reading the EVE canon, it may not be appropriate for 6-11 year olds. But it's the canon and the IP that killed Serenity, and it is not the same in EVE.

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  11. Nah, it's all just an excuse. If the potential market is large enough, they don't have any moral qualms about exploiting it.

    LEGO Batman, anyone?

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  12. I don't see a problem. Just get the Rifter Plan Set (tm) and build one yourself. That's even better.

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  13. Something I would like to point out:

    Firefly is a movie and EVE is an online game (which requires a credit card to play). A child of any age can watch firefly and pick up what's going on. For Eve online that would be much more difficult.

    Most of the youtube videos (at least those that don't have Shapoo in them) don't have swearing or "bad content" and seeing internets spaceships shoot other internets spaceships isn't any worse than starwars.

    That being said, I still agree that Lego won't make these. Life isn't that awesome.

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  14. I refuse to accept rational thought and logic when it comes to this topic and will continue to cling to my irrational and illogical dream to build a Lego Rifter with my three under-age boys and introduce them to the universe of Eve. Warts and all.

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  15. So following that train of thought the EVE logo represents Goons, gankers, scammers, trolls, griefers, n00b corp wardeccers, blob warfare, and emorage. I'm sure the vikings will be happy to learn this!

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  16. http://www.sadtrombone.com/

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  17. My two sons enjoy every EVE video I've shared with them, and have added the concepts of 'shields' 'armor' 'structure' and 'turrets' to their LEGO ship building play.

    On an interesting note, just like CCP they dislike the concept of area of effect weaponry!

    However, they'd prefer to see the battleships and cruiser models they've seen, as opposed to the frigates.

    Oh, and they prefer Amarr ships :(

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  18. Wait, what about that guy who ran as "proxy" for his daughter Skye? Even had her blowing up ships, hell, flat out ganking people under his tutelage! If she can be a piwate and ganker _in the game_, then I think saying a LEGO toy is "not age-appropriate" for her is a lil ridiculous.

    Also, I'm going to lol if someone picks up on that and runs around screaming about what an unfit parent Skye's dad is, etc, etc. ;-)

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  19. While everyone here is correct in expecting a bleak outlook for a Lego Rifter, Firefly featured a prostitute who was neither possessed by the devil nor was a victim of a neglected childhood in need of rescue by some handsome (white!) evangelical Christian superhero. A prostitute as a strong, independent, intelligent woman? This could not possibly fly with the wholesome American audience who will tolerate hearts being ripped out but only out of fully-clothed torsos. EVE may well make it as a Lego toy if CCP promises to remove the exotic dancers and dress the female frozen corpses. Oh yes, I forgot. Say no to Drugs! Drugs are bad. Gone are the boosters.

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  20. I felt a great disturbance in the Eve Gate, as if 10,000 voices suddenly cried out in hope and were suddenly silenced. I feel something terrible has happened.

    This must have been how Obi-Wan felt.

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    1. This right here. :(

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  21. I just want the layout so I can make my own. Who needs an "Official" product. Just release the plans!

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  22. The reason Firefly as a Lego kit will never make it to the toy shop: Inara Serra is a courtesan (i.e.: a woman who trades sexual fantasy encounters for money). Look at USA-an culture (and thus, the culture of the rest of the world wishing to trade with the USA): it's perfectly fine to have a guy running around the country side blowing up bad guys with bigger badder weapons. The moment there's tits involved, we dare not talk about it around our children.

    Rifter will make it to toy shops because it is an awesome spaceship with no minifig prostitute.

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  23. (and my CAPTCHA for that comment was "importun asstake")

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  24. LEGO is a company. They're in it to make money and figure out how to make even more money. That's their bottom line and their "morality and integrity". Anything other application of "ethics" or "moral code" is ridiculous and irrelevant.

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  25. Politics and political symbols

    Religious references including symbols, buildings, or people

    Sex, drugs, or smoking

    Alcohol in any present day situation

    Swearing

    Death, killing, blood, terrorism, or torture

    First-person shooter video games

    politics: See... CSM and any part of nullsec/lowsec/empire
    Religious references: See the Amarr
    Sex, drugs smoking: see booster
    alchohol: see... pretty much any part of space
    swearing: See any section of the EVE forums
    death, killing, terrorism: See... pod pilots, the people who fly those things.
    first person shooters: See DUST


    I want to be wrong. I want jester to be wrong. I want a lego rifter.

    I know I'm right, though.

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  26. Your arguments make sense. However, they make sense for every thing put into the cuscoo site.

    You kill zombies with sticks and swords in minecraft. Back to the future has bomb-making terrorist and mcfly nearly sleeps with his mother.

    The arguments will come down to: how popular will the product be.

    Firefly while a great show has a limited amount of "power" and the license of the movie and show might prove to be expensive.

    The rifter looks like a "generic" space ship had CCP backing.
    It might have the similar problem as firefly as it isn't well known enough to guarantee millions of sales. (unlike the minecraft mini set that will be bought by cubicle geeks across the world)

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  27. I'd be happy with Moebius or Revell plastic models. Added bonus: the glue smells good. Someone get them on the phone.

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  28. Wonder if LEGO can make a range of "creative" packs that will just happen to support their non-endorsed fan base.

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  29. FYI, this idea was already posted on a less-famous blog:

    http://scramweb.blogspot.com/2012/04/blog-banter-35-lovely-rifter-pity-it.html

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  30. They'll examine EVE Online and see this:
    [url]http://tsu.sarumindustries.de/2012/05/09-EVE-Online-synopsys.html[/url]

    After that their decision will be very clear. --EVE Online-- The real world is a harsh, dark place for some...

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  31. Well, if it's not going to be I will just rage buy the Lego Unimog. That'll be a good compensation.

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  32. I don't think Lego are going to want to be linked to any product poisoned by cyber-bullying.

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