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We're long overdue for an update! I know it can seem at times like we're not making progress on the goals we outlined at the beginning of the year, but we've been working hard every day to get the kits we've planned for release closer to the finish line. Here's a quick update on where things stand as of today, July 5.
The Biggest Change
The biggest change we've made in the past six months has been the launch of our EasyLight™ product line. I wrote about the details in an earlier post-- creating EasyLight™ essentially required us to change every product we make: most designs, all of the packaging, all of the photos, and all online content. One of my biggest challenges is that I tend to underestimate the amount of time projects will take; this was certainly the case with EasyLight™. We're about 80% complete with the re-branding, and we'll be rolling out the remaining products in the coming months. I couldn't be more excited about the new way we're thinking of our product line and how we talk about it– the new products are easier to understand, easier to use together, and most important to me personally, easier to use with just about every brand of lighting product on the market today. If you haven't read about EasyLight™, I encourage you to check out the announcement post.
While EasyLight™ was the biggest change for our company since its founding 12 years ago, it was also the biggest challenge to meeting the timelines I outlined back in January. I've tried to work on EasyLight™ and all of the other new kits I mentioned simultaneously. The good news is that we're getting close to the finish line on both work streams.
Status Update: Other Product Lines
Here's a quick update on the status of the other product lines I talked about in our January update.
BrickScreens: Although I'd originally planned to have these back in stock by the end of May, they're still not back yet. We continue to receive requests for the screens, so I'm working on them bit by bit as time allows. You should see them start to re-appear online in a month or so.
Holiday Products: We're gearing up for some fun new holiday releases this year, so these products should start appearing in our shop around the September/October timeframe.
Custom Work: Because of all the other changes and work going on, I don't anticipate being able to accept custom work again until the beginning of 2024.
Starter Kits: As outlined in my January post, our popular starter kits are being re-aligned to fit within the EasyLight™ line of products. There will be more scenario-specific kits for things like vehicles, airplanes, and buildings. All of the core pieces for these kits are almost ready, so look for starter kits to re-emerge around September.
Website: Another huge area of focus for us this year. We're waiting until the work on EasyLight™ is complete so we only have to update one set of information in a single location. Aiming for September to launch a much more user-friendly and informative site.
Interoperability with Other Vendors: This is baked into EasyLight™ from the ground up. You can now use your existing lights from other companies with Brickstuff products! Check out the Works with Other Brands section of our main website to see more.
BrickPixel™ Lighting System: Most of the new kits we're finishing up incorporate this technology-- you're going to love what we have in store for you here.
Sound: Ditto for sound-- it's baked into so many of the products we'll soon be announcing. We'll also be talking more about why the other generic light kits on the market that claim to have sound have nothing like what we've created.
New and Upgraded Premium Kits: This is the area most customers have been asking about, so I'll cover it in greater detail below.
In my January post, I outlined five Premium kits I thought we could complete and release:
Ideas Motorized Lighthouse (set #21355)
Star Wars Imperial Star Destroyer™ (set #75252)
ICONS Eiffel Tower (set #10307)
Harry Potter Diagon Alley™ (set #75978)
Ideas Tree House (set #21318)
We're about 95% complete with the Lighthouse kit, so look for that to launch very soon.
I ended up spending much more time on the Eiffel Tower set than planned, because I want to make this kit an absolute stand-out. The kind of item you buy and everyone you meet tells you they've never seen anything like it anywhere-- because there is nothing like it anywhere. Over 500 lights, WiFi control, Home Automation (Alexa, Amazon) integration, full customization without needing to code, and the feature I'm most excited about: sound-reactive effects.
To make this kit the most spectacular we've ever created, we're designing every part ourselves. That has meant multiple designs of custom light strips, custom designs of WiFi controllers, and seemingly endless research about how to make LEDs work with sound. As with all of our products, I try to do the hard work and research myself, so you don't have to. I can't wait to share more about this mind-blowing kit very soon. I'm holding off releasing any photos or videos until we're ready with the price and pre-order details. Stay tuned, and make sure to subscribe to this newsletter if you haven't already-- there will be special e-mail only content you won't be able to get just by reading this blog online. Maybe even a subscriber-only pre-launch discount code?
As for the other kits, they will all be making use of the same core technology we're putting into the Lighthouse and Eiffel Tower. Although I can't commit to a delivery date for any of them yet, I will say that the Star Destroyer set is about 80% complete, and the Tree House will have many of the same features as the Eiffel Tower.
Lastly, one comment on the Diagon Alley set specifically: I'm holding off on that one until our new vertical power connectors are ready. These will make it possible to disconnect and re-connect the buildings without needing to mess with any wires-- a big plus! The connector parts are on order (thanks to continuing post-Covid supply chain issues, they have been on order almost since I first wrote my post in January), but there seems to be progress on the manufacturer's part lately, so I'm hopeful for a Fall 2023 pre-order announcement.
As for the 2023 Second Half kits (AT-AT, Knights' Castle, Creator Haunted House, Galaxy Explorer, and Home Alone House), I'm going to focus on the Haunted House to get that complete in time for Halloween, and the Home Alone House in time for Christmas. The other sets may need to wait until Q1 of 2024-- I want each of these to be amazing and special as well, so I need to be able to focus on each one.
Just as we don't sit still, LEGO does not either-- they've released so many great sets this year. We're eyeing a potential Holiday 2023 release for a superb X-Wing light and sound kit, and we're also giving serious consideration to re-introducing our recently discontinued Disney Castle set to be updated to fit inside the beautiful new Castle LEGO released just this month.
I realize some of this news will be exciting to many, while also being disappointing to others. We're still a very small company (just three people, if you can believe it!), and we take great pride in the work we do everyday to make the most inspiring, unique, and creative kits available anywhere. I continue to work on my issues with time estimation, so I think you will soon see an uptick in kit releases. Even when we don't release a kit for a specific LEGO set, I think you'll also find our EasyLight™ Starter Kits and QuicKits have been thoughtfully designed to fit into just about any LEGO set-- current, past, or future.
As always, I want to thank all of our customers, fans, and readers for your patience as we work hard to make amazing things for you to use in your models. While it might not always seem like it, we really are working behind the scenes every day to invent new technologies we hope will take your builds to new heights. I'll have more good news to share very soon, so keep the suggestions and feedback coming, and do subscribe to this newsletter if you haven't already done so.
Until the next update!
Rob Klingberg, Brickstuff Chief Enthusiast