TECH

Lego Mars Rover 'Curiosity' Set Approved After CuuSoo Campaign (PICTURES)

17/06/2013 10:33 BST | Updated 17/08/2013 10:12 BST

Lego has announced it will make an official set celebrating the Mars Rover Curiosity after more than 10,000 fans backed the design.

Since 2010 the Danish toy giant has invited fans to submit designs for new Lego sets via its 'CuuSoo' website.

Hundreds of designs have been submitted, with dozens reaching the required 10,000 supporters to move on to an official review.

lego

Previous kits to have made it all the way to production include Minecraft Lego and one based around the Hayabusa space craft. A set based on the 80s movie Back To The Future is also being readied for sale after a successful review.

Lego doesn't just make any old kit, however, and its reviews are both stringent and often quite lengthy - the Mars rover has been undergoing the process for more than seven months. Lego explained why the review takes so long in a blog post.

Now the Mars Rover Curiosity is set to be next, after a submission by CuuSoo user Perijove, who is actually a mechanical engineer who worked on the Curiosity rover at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

The $2.5bn Curiosity rover has been on the surface of the red planet for about a year carrying out enquiries into whether Mars was ever able to support ancient microbial life.

Lego said the model was selected because of its "high play value", its quality design and - crucially - the fact that Lego was able to secure the rights from Nasa.

lego

"After analyzing the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover project, we learned that this product has niche appeal and strong demand from the space and education communities. The product aligns well with the LEGO Group's mission to "inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow," including those who will build our future in outer space."

Release date, final design and price are still to be determined.

Unfortunately for ever victor there has to be a loser.

Lego announced that a ridiculously ambitious Star Wars Sandcrawler, which would have been the largest and most complex Lego set ever made, did not pass the review because of its "ongoing relationship and collaboration with Lucasfilm on LEGO Star Wars".

Meanwhile a set based around the video game Portal is still being looked into, pending "test results". Which might be Lego stalling for time, or making a very clever Portal-related in-joke.

There are currently three more batches of sets under review. They include 'Purdue Pete', a set based around an American Football mascot, an Android logo, a Legend Of Zelda set and a series of 'Mini Shops' designed to bring retail to Lego Towns.